spiritual rebirth

Spiritual Rebirth and the Sun of Righteousness

“Some are reborn through water and the spirit (cf. John 3:5); others receive baptism in the Holy Spirit and in fire(cf. Matt. 3:11). I take these four things – water, spirit, fire, and Holy Spirit – to mean one and the same spirit of God. To some the Holy Spirit is water because He cleanses the external stains of their bodies. To others He is simply spirit because He makes them active in the practice of virtue. To others He is fire because he cleanses the interior defilement which lies deep within their souls. To others, according to Daniel, He is Holy Spirit because he bestows on them wisdom and spiritual knowledge (cf. Dan. 1:17; 5:11-120. for the single identical Spirit takes His different names from the different ways in which he acts on each person.

“The Law instituted the Sabbath, says Scripture, so that your ox and your servant might rest (cf. Exod. 20:10). Both of these are symbols for the body. … The Sabbath signifies the final goal pursued by them throughout the ascetic and the contemplative life, and so it provides for both of them a fitting rest.” ~The Philokalia

Spiritual Rebirth

The most important part of the first line quoted above is that we are reborn. Many modern churches interpret this as something that happens with physical death when we are reborn as spirits. Others say that simply accepting Christ as our Savior makes us reborn. Neither Jesus nor the Apostles ever taught either of those beliefs. The great mystery schools didn’t teach it either. Yet all believed that we must be reborn. It should be obvious to any thinking person that being reborn cannot be such a simple thing as accepting someone’s philosophy and teachings. It doesn’t matter whether the teacher is Jesus, Buddha, or some Indian Guru. Jesus didn’t say, “Listen to what I say and you will be saved.” He said, “Follow me, do as I do, and you will be saved”. That is quite different from what is being practiced in the majority of Christian churches today.

The early Christians, Buddhists, Mystics, and others understood what was meant by rebirth. It means that the spirit and soul, which lie dormant when we enter the world of matter, must be awakened and made conscious. That makes us very different people. It makes us butterflies instead of caterpillars. Sadly, most of those who today claim to be reborn have not actually done this.

Water, Spirit, Fire, and Holy Spirit

I can agree with the Philokalia when it says that this rebirth through four different things all refers to rebirth through the spirit of God. In the specifics of each, I think they are only partly correct.

While water can represent a spiritual cleansing—which is certainly necessary for most of us—it can mean much more. We think of water as flowing. Water has waves. Energy also flows in waves. So another interpretation of water is as flowing waves of energy. Not just any energy. It is the spiritual energy that flows from God, into the spiritual sun (or Sun of Righteousness), and then into us. It is this energy that awakens and “feeds” the spirit and soul. It is, in that way, a means of being reborn. It is a means of spiritual rebirth.

To the ancients, fire and light meant the same thing. Since they got light from a fire, they used the words interchangeably. So yes, fire can burn the impurities out of us, but it does more. Thinking more in terms of light, it again represents that energy, that spiritual light, that comes to us through the Sun of Righteousness (“Sun,” not “Son”). This spiritual sun shines on all, but only those who turn to it and attune themselves to it receive and significant benefit. The Old Testament prophet Malachi did promise, however, that it would burn all the evil out of the world. That doesn’t mean people, animals, etc. will burst into flames. It means that we will all transform into spiritual beings. We must all go through a spiritual rebirth. Those who make the effort to transform early will be the leaders in that coming Golden Age of spirit.

Likewise, spiritual rebirth by spirit or the Holy Spirit means the same thing. That light, fire, flowing Water of Life that comes from the spiritual sun.

Law of the Sabbath

I have to admit that I never thought of the references to animals with regard to the Sabbath was really a reference to the human physical, or animal, body. Yet it makes perfect sense to see it that way. Of course, work animals need to be allowed to rest. But I think that is more of a daily thing rather than a weekly one.

When it comes to man, however, I see it differently. It isn’t so much that the physical body needs a day of rest once a week, although that might be a good thing also. I think what was really meant by those who started the idea of a Sabbath is a day of mental rest. Or more accurately, periods of mental rest. It could be a day or an hour. It might be just a few minutes. So in an allegorical way, the idea of a Sabbath is to remind us that we need to devote time to spiritual matters as well as physical and mental ones. It also is hinting at the need during spiritual practices to clear the mind as much as possible and let the true knowledge found in the spiritual light educate us. As the Zen masters say, you must empty your cup before it can be refilled with something else. The one who successfully empties his cup can experience that spiritual rebirth.

use music

Use Music to Aid Health and Spiritual Growth

“Make use of music for your spiritual development, as do the advanced beings in the Sublime World above. The new epoch of Love that is coming will give a new impulse to music. If someone wants to do something bad, play some music, and this person will relent. Awaken the Divine within people and they will listen to its voice.

“There is always the desire within you to be heard by someone when you sing. Be assured that you have the best audience. The whole of heaven listens when you begin to sing. From above, you receive the best evaluation. Do not be afraid that there is no one Above to listen to you. There is an audience there that appreciates your singing.

“It might happen at times when you cannot reconcile with your neighbor. But once you begin to sing, within you will awaken the readiness to reconcile. This is the power of music.” ~Beinsa Douno

Use Music

There are many tools that we can use to aid us in our path to spiritual awakening and enlightenment. Many are making use of crystals and incense. They are both excellent aids, but music may be better.

There is evidence that the Pythagorean school used music during their spiritual processes, primarily when watching the sunrise. It is likely that it was used in spiritual ceremonies even before that.

We also know that some of the ancients used music and sound to heal physical and mental illnesses. It is likely, therefore, that they also used it for spiritual purposes.

Types of Music

Douno mentions singing, but that is not the only way to do music. Gregorian chanting is another effective method. Or at least it would be if those monks did it while sun gazing at dawn. Playing musical instruments is also effective. Harps and organs are the most common ones used for that purpose. Almost any musical instrument can be used, however. Singing bowls are another good choice. In Tibet, metal ones are used. In some other places, crystal bowls are used. We use the crystal one in Cosolargy.

Drums are another way to use music for spiritual development. This is common in some parts of the world. While they may be effective, I think they work in a different way than the other types of music. There is also a recent theory about the mysterious ruins of Stonehenge. This theory says that when some of the rocks are struck, they vibrate and make a sound. It is possible that they were struck in a certain order or combination to help those in attendance raise their frequencies to higher, more spiritual ones.

Hear My Singing

Douno says w all desire to have others hear us sing. I find this hard to believe. I know that many of us, including myself, are not good singers. We would never sing in a place where we thought others could hear us. This makes me think that Douno may be using allegory in this case. When he says “singing” here, he means any form of music. So he is saying that we want others to hear our music, whatever form that music takes.

I think this is another way of saying that we want others to share in our knowledge and agree with us. This is just human nature. But it also means that when we have awakened to any significant degree, we have a need to help others. This is not the egotistical desire to show off our knowledge, as is so common with materialists. It is a genuine desire to help others grow. This is not only good but necessary. We can only raise our frequencies a limited amount when we do it alone. We can raise it much higher when we work with others. Some will help us. Some will be helped by us. Some will do both at different times. This is another way to use music.

An Audience Above

We are told that there is always someone to listen to our “singing”, someone above. First, above doesn’t mean a physical location. It means higher frequencies, higher levels of consciousness. And it isn’t specifically our singing that they “listen” to. They listen to our spiritual growth in general. It is not about sound, but about growth. Every time we make progress on the path of spiritual enlightenment, they celebrate. Every time we fall back toward materialism, they frown and help turn us back in the correct direction. Not only do we use music, allegorically speaking again, so do they. And not only do they listen to our singing, sometimes they sing to us as well.

Illustrating Image by tuana ajans from Pixabay

powers and princes

Powers and Princes of Darkness and Light

“I will take you eagerly, and we’ll soar on wings high over dark powers and recalcitrant princes. I will take you into the primeval calm of new land, the new paradise, and will show you the design of the father’s being. You will know joy and praise, go beyond pain, and in luminous dress you will gird on light. On your head is your diadem of authority. Spirit spoke and built on that structure the vast fortress of the noble emperor. The primeval firstborn merits a palace as his dominion. The first human clothes himself in gladness and binds on the diadem of sovereignty. On his friends he binds the diadem and clothes their bodies in the garment of gladness. And those faithful elect he clothes in praise, binds the diadem on them. They reign happily as once they were in shackles just for their name and were horribly punished by enemies. Their victory was their return from hell. Their enemies are subdued, and before them cliffs! On that day when the father reveals his form, the caring father, lord of the aeons of light, he will show his illuminated shape. It’s a glorious bright form to all the gods who will live there.” ~Parthian Songs

Soar on Wings

It isn’t clear at the beginning of this song who the speaker is. Who is going to help us soar? Who is bringing us high above darkness? I think the answer is an awakened soul. When our soul is awakened it does, in a sense, soar on wings. Not that we literally grow wings. But the soul, being unlimited by time and space, can be anywhere it wants to be instantly. And return so fast you don’t even know it left. When you exist outside of time and space, as the soul does, you don’t really move at all. You simply shift your focus to a new location. The soul is already there. It always was.

Dark Powers and Princes

We do need to soar high above dark powers and princes. But who are the dark forces or powers? Who are the princes? It is difficult to comprehend that in the spiritual worlds, forces and beings may be the same thing. We don’t think of gravity or inertia as beings. Many of us do, however, think of darkness, or evil, as beings. The devil, demons, these are beings of darkness. But they are also powers. These powers and princes are not much different than the force of gravity, but they have been personified as a matter of convenience. Think of demons or devils if you prefer, or think in terms of forces. The result is the same either way. The darkness is not our friend. The dark princes want to keep us trapped in the realm of matter where they have most of their power. They will do almost anything to keep us from awakening and developing our spiritual faculties that allow us to escape from them. Fortunately, there are light powers and princes that are at least as powerful as the dark ones. The princes of light are on our side.

Diadem of Authority

I have not read this particular term in any spiritual books before. But it is reasonable to assume it is symbolic, like most other odd references found in spiritual writings. Diadem is a type of crown. Specifically, it is a band that circles the top of the head. They are often made of gold. Some have diamonds on them, but that isn’t what the name means.

Since this is a spiritual song, specifically Gnostic, we can assume the diadem is not a literal, physical crown. It is a reference to the light that is often seen—or at least imagined in artworks—around the heads of holy or enlightened persons. It is a halo. It is the Dove of Light above the head of Jesus. Ancient traditional diadems are usually made of gold. Like other gold crows, therefore, they also represent a person who is “One with the Sun”. That is to say, they represent one who has been awakened and enlightened by the light of the spiritual sun that is symbolized by gold. This is backed by the previous line of the song, which says the awakened soul will be clothed in light. So the soul, or awakened spirit, is clothed in light and wears a crown of light. Are we getting the picture that light is important yet?

Primeval Firstborn

You might think this is a reference to Adam, the first human, but it isn’t. Not directly, anyway. It is more likely a reference to the hidden true and ancient self that is in each of us. It is spiritual man, before he descended into matter. This is the archetype of humanity. The song says that this firstborn rates a palace as his dominion. This is an allegorical way of saying that the awakened soul of man rates a space in heaven rather than being trapped in matter.

For His Friends

The song tells us that these Firstborn, these powers and princes of light, also gives the clothes of light and the diadem. He gives them to his friends and to the faithful. This is telling us that when we awaken, it is our duty to help others do the same. Of course, we cannot do it for them. But we can encourage others. We can teach them. Helping others is just as important as helping ourselves grow. The powers and princes of darkness can only be stopped by the powers and princes of light. Yes, God helps to. But He doesn’t do it directly. God can’t descend into the realm of matter. He might be contaminated for one thing. For another, his great spiritual energy might transform the matter into spirit instantly if he descended into it. That would be a very bad thing for those of us who are not yet prepared for that. So the powers and princes of light instead help teach others to join their ranks. They also help hold the powers and princes of darkness down so they cannot harm us as much as they would like to.

Even if we can’t truly say that we have reached this level of being a prince of light, we should still help others as much as we help ourselves. That is because Humanity is a single thing with many parts. The individual parts cannot be saved alone. All of humanity must be saved. All must become powers and princes of light.

I and ego

I and Ego, Not Perfect, But Necessary

“Let us then begin at the beginning and remind ourselves of a few of the trite and primary facts which all practical persons agree to ignore. That beginning, for human thought, is of course the I, the Ego, the self-conscious subject which is writing this book, or the other self-conscious subject which is reading it; and which declares, in the teeth of all arguments, I AM. Here is a point as to which we all feel quite sure. No metaphysician has yet shaken the ordinary individual’s belief in his own existence. The uncertainties only begin for most of us when when we ask what else is.

“To this ‘I,’ this conscious self ‘imprisoned in the body like an oyster in his shell,’ come, as we know, a constant stream of messages and experiences. Chief among these are the stimulation of the tactile nerves whose result we call touch, the vibrations taken up by the optic nerve which we call light, and those taken up by the ear and perceived as sound.

“What do these experiences mean? The first answer of the unsophisticated Self is, that they indicative of the nature of the external world. …It is immediately apparent, however, that this sense-world, this seemingly real external universe, –though it may be useful and valid in other respects—cannot be the external world, but only the Self’s projected picture of it.” ~Evelyn Underhill

The I and Ego

Underhill has it correct. At least when it comes to physical life on earth. Our first hint of conscious thought is always I. That is to say that when we first start thinking, everything is seen and felt as it relates to us. We have no other point of reference but Self. That ego, which so many silly schools have deemed something superfluous that needs to be destroyed, is something we are born with. It is also something we will die with. It cannot be totally destroyed, and those who waste much time trying to will make little spiritual progress. Yet this concept continues to be promoted. Why? Because it benefits the government, that’s why. It doesn’t benefit the individual who loses all interest in accomplishment of any sort. It doesn’t benefit his spirit and soul if he becomes indifferent to what happens to him. But it does benefit governments. It makes sheep out of people, the so-called sheeple. Governments love sheeple. They don’t rock the boat. They don’t protest. They do what the government tells them to do. They do what the corporations who own the government tell them to do. That is why the destruction of the ego is promoted. It is not a spiritual thing at all.

The World of Senses

Yes, the world of the physical senses is the world of I and Ego. But Ego is more than just interpreting the information coming from the senses. It is also the desire to know, to learn, to grow. Take away ego, or greatly suppress it, and you have no desire to grow, to change yourself, or to make the world a better place.

The world of the physical senses may be limited, yet important. We may not like it, but we do live in the physical world, and we must function in it. That means we have to use the physical senses, even if they are limited. Of course, what we know of the physical world doesn’t come primarily from those senses. It comes from the brain’s interpretation of the senses. It is in those interpretations that many fantasies become reality to us.

Beyond Ego and Senses

But the physical senses are not the only we have. We are also equipped with spiritual senses, though we rarely use them. That is because they don’t communicate with the brain, but with the soul instead. If the soul has not been awakened, then those senses are unused. Even when awakened, what they experience may not be communicated to the conscious mind. Exceptions sometimes occur through intuition. But the development of our spiritual faculties can increase the level of that communication. Of course, it does need that much-maligned ego to communicate with.

I and Ego Summary

I and Ego may be all about the physical world, but in a sense, our spirit and soul live in our physical body. So while we dwell here, I and Ego are necessary. You might be able to do without them if you completely withdraw and become a hermit or a monk. Otherwise, you have to function in the material world as well as the physical. I and Ego make it possible to do so. The ego must be controlled—preferably by your own soul—but it is needed.