two golden birds

Two Golden Birds of Matter and Spirit

“Like two golden birds perched on the selfsame tree, intimate friends the ego and the Self dwell in the same body. The former eats the sweet and sour fruits of the tree of life while the latter looks on in detachment.
“As long as we think we are the ego, we feel attached and fall into sorrow. But realize that you are the Self, the Lord of Life, and you will be freed from sorrow. When you realize that you are the Self, supreme source of light,supreme source of love, you transcend the duality of life and enter into the unitive state.
“The Lord of Love shines in the hearts of all. Seeing him in all creatures, the wise forget themselves in the service of all.” ~The Mundaka Upanishad

Two Golden Birds

I love this analogy of the ego and the Self as two golden birds sitting together in the same tree. It isn’t one gold bird and one black one, it isn’t one bird and one snake: two golden birds. No indication that one bird is evil and needs to die. That is the true relationship of ego and Self (Soul). Neither one is worthless. Neither one is inherently evil. Both are of value. But they need to work together.

While the quote says the ego and soul (Self) are intimate friends, that is only true if the soul has been awakened. As long as the Self remains dormant, it can’t help guide the ego. And the ego can’t know higher levels of being,and higher purposes beyond the physical without the Self.

Even after being awakened, the ego may refuse to listen to the soul. The soul may have to convince it that it will benefit the ego to listen. Then the two can truly become friends.

Attachments and Sorrow

The quote says if we think we are ego, we will feel attached and “fall into sorrow”. That is because the ego knows nothing beyond the realm of matter. It may be told about spiritual things, but it doesn’t actually know anything spiritual. So it becomes attached to matter, attached to things and to physical life. When those things get taken from us by crooks, fire, floods and so on, we suffer because we identify with them. We see it every time there is an evacuation ordered for an area and some insist on remaining behind to protect their things. We are in sad shape indeed when things become more important than people, including ourselves.

But when we awaken the Self, we find a greater world of spirit. One that is permanent. One where there are no things to be attached to, just beings. When the Soul and the Ego can work together, then we can live in joy. Continue reading “Two Golden Birds of Matter and Spirit”

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do your best, spiritual task of man

Spiritual Task of Spiritual Man

“Man’s task must be entirely sought for on this earth, and everyone desiring to shirk his earthly task and to escape into another world may be certain he will never reach his goal. Yet what the senses perceive is only part of the world, and it is in the spirit world that the beings dwell who express themselves in the facts of the physical world. Man must become a partaker of the spirit in order to carry its revelations into the physical world. He transforms the earth by implanting in it what he has ascertained in the spiritual world. That is his task.” ~Rudolf Steiner

Spiritual Catch-22

You would think that the more you want to become spiritual and be pure spirit, the more you will accomplish toward that goal. But the catch is you have to do much of the work while still here in the physical realm,and help other do the same. If you don’t than as Steiner says, your quest to reach higher realms will fail.

There is a simple reason for this requirement (or spiritual task) which few are willing to accept: Heaven’s Gate will not open for one individual. It won’t even open for a group. It will open only for the entire human race, or at least all who are willing to accept that they are actually spiritual beings.

Spiritual Beings

Nearly everyone understands that spiritual beings live in the spiritual worlds or dimensions. What many don’t understand is that there are different types of spiritual beings in different dimensions. Just “above” us in the forth dimension we find spiritual beings who have much influence on us. Many foolish people seek out these forth dimension beings thinking they are making spiritual progress by doing so. But the forth dimension is the realm of demons, devils, and dark beings. They are not there to help you grow. They are their to help keep you trapped in the third dimension while living off your life force like spiritual vampires.

The fifth dimension is also home to spiritual beings. It is higher than the forth dimension and the beings in it are of a higher caliber in several ways. This is the realm of angels and light beings. These are the beings who want to help us advance spiritually. These are the one to seek out. That is our spiritual task. But they only help and advise,they won’t do all the heavy lifting for you. Continue reading “Spiritual Task of Spiritual Man”

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Cathar ruins

Cathar Beliefs and Practices

“The last surviving ruins of the Cathar Gnostic school in the south of France near Toulouse, in Languedoc, are now a tourist attraction. The so-called sacred mountain of Montsegur and the meadow beneath, the Field of the Burned, were the places where the remnants of the Cathars (Greek for ‘pure’), branded heretics by the Catholic Church, were brutally disposed of in March 1244. …
“Cathari beliefs were typically Gnostic. Bertrand Russell described them thus: It seems that the Cathari were dualists … they considered the Old Testament Jehovah a wicked demiurge, the true God being only revealed in the New Testament. They regarded matter as essentially evil,and believed that for the virtuous, there is no resurrection of the body. The wicked, however, will suffer transmigration into the bodies of animals.” ~Bernard Simon

Cathars

The Cathar, or Cathari, are not the best known group of Gnostics, but they are a legitimate one. We all know that early Christians suffered much prosecution from governments and other religions in the early days. Yet they were perfectly willing to do the same when they gained political power.

The Cathars were one of those alternatives to conventional Christianity that the Catholic church just couldn’t allow to exist. So in 1244 the Catholic church wiped them out. It is claimed the Cathars walked calmly to their death singing sacred songs and refusing to engage in violent response. Like all true soldiers of Light, they chose to save their immortal souls rather than their physical bodies. It was not that they didn’t care about physical death, it was a matter of priorities. They would rather accept physical death than engage in violence and possibly lose their souls as a result.

Demiurge and the Physical World

The belief that the physical universe is a fallen universe, created by the fallen angels, or the Demiurge, is common in Gnostic groups. Not only Christian Gnostics, but those who preceded the Christians such as the Essenes and the Theraputae of Egypt had the same belief.

You frequently see questions to spiritual groups on social media asking why God allows death, or why God created disease, etc. The correct answer is that He didn’t. Those things are all part of the false creation of the Demiurge, the realm of matter.

Sacred Mountain

The Cathars are not the only Gnostic group to build their settlement near a mountain. It was, in fact, very common. While the chosen mountain may have been sacred for some reason, that really wasn’t important. It just had to be a mountain with no one living on it. If the mountain had deposits of metals, crystals,or gems in it, that would make it better, more “sacred”. The Essenes always got up before sunrise, took a ritual bath to cleanse themselves of “sin”, then climbed to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise while reciting certain prayers asking God to bring more spiritual light into the world. It is reasonable to assume the Cathars uses their sacred mountain in much the same way.

Transmigration

I think it is a misinterpretation to say that the Cathars, and some other Gnostic groups, believed that the virtuous would go on to a spiritual life after death, while the wicked would be reborn as animals. The way most of us would interpret “virtuous” and “wicked,” there would be a lot of people who didn’t belong to either group. What about them?

In fact, none were left out of the true belief. That belief was that those who properly prepared for a spiritual life after physical death would go on to such a life. Everyone else would be reborn as animals,then plants, over and over until their spirit had insufficient energy to come back again. Only then would it return to what we might call the spirit recycling center to be recharged then reissued as a new human. This is one reason why so many Gnostics were always kind and gentle with animals. It could, after all, be your dead grandmother.

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free will, discrimination

Discrimination and Discipline for Spiritual Growth

“When one lacks discrimination and his mind is undisciplined, the senses run hither and hither like wild horses. But they obey the rein like trained horses when one has discrimination and has made the mind one-pointed. Those who lack discrimination,with little control over their thoughts and far from pure, reach not the pure state of immortality but wander from death to death;but those who have discrimination with a still mind and a pure heart,reach journey’s end never again to fall into the jaws of death. … They attain the supreme goal of life to be united with the Lord of Love. …
“Get up! Wake up! Seek the guidance of an Illumined teacher and realize the Self. Sharp like the razor’s edge, the sages say,is the path, difficult to traverse.” ~Katha Upanishad

Discrimination and Discipline

Discrimination is a good thing when not used in the sense of being prejudice against some people because of their race, religion, or nationality. It is not always obvious when one lacks discrimination and discipline. It is especially hard to see this lack in ourselves. Most of us think we have plenty of discrimination and discipline, and this simply doesn’t apply to us.

The most important part is a disciplined mind. A mind that wanders from subject to subject indiscriminately is not disciplined. When the mind cannot concentrate on a goal long enough to make it happen, you don’t have enough discipline. One major reason people fail to accomplish things is that they can’t concentrate on a single goal long enough to make it happen.

Defining Discrimination

Let’s look at a few examples to understand what it means to have discrimination on many levels. I think it is fair to say you lack discrimination if you:

  • Choose what to eat based on taste rather than nutritional value,
  • Buy the latest fashions even though you don’t like how you look in them,
  • Listen to whatever happens to be on the radio,
  • We get angry with others for doing things we think they shouldn’t do,
  • Do whatever your friends do.

You are showing discrimination when you:

  • Wear the clothing that is comfortable and looks good on you,
  • Choose to wear colors that are uplifting and spiritual,
  • Carefully select music that is uplifting, soothing, or otherwise beneficial,
  • We are tolerant of others weaknesses,
  • Insist that friends sometimes do what you want, or do it without them.

Of course, discrimination is not a black and white thing. Few of us entirely lake it. Still fewer are always discriminatory. So it is something we can all work on and improve as we travel down the path to spiritual enlightenment. Continue reading “Discrimination and Discipline for Spiritual Growth”

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