indifferent zen

Indifferent Zen, Emotionally and Mentally

“How prosaic and emotionally indifferent Zen is! When it sees a mountain id declares it a mountain; when it comes to a river, it just tells us it is a river. When Chokei (Chang-ching) after twenty hard years of study happened to lift the curtain and saw the outside world, he lost all his previous understanding of Zen and simply made the announcement: ‘How mistaken I was! Raise the curtain and see the world! If anybody asks me what philosophy I understand, I’ll straightaway give him a blow across his mouth with my hossu.’

“Chokei does not say what he saw when the screen was lifted up. He simply resents any question being asked about it. He even goes to the length of keeping the questioner’s mouth tightly closed. He knows that if one one even tried to utter a word and say ‘this’ or ‘that,’ the very designation misses the mark. It is like another master bringing out before the entire congregation a monk who asked him who Buddha was. The master then made this remark, ‘Where does this monk want to find Buddha? Is this not a silly question?’ Indeed, we are all apt to forget that every one of us is Buddha himself. In the Christian way of saying, this means that we are all made in the likeness of God or, in Eckhart’s words, that ‘God is-ness is my is-ness and neither more nor less.’” ~Daisetz T. Suzuki

Emotionally Indifferent Zen

Is Zen Buddhism truly emotionally indifferent? I am not convinced of it. I can remember during the Vietnam war scenes of Buddhist monks setting themselves on fire (self-immolation ) to protest the war and the rule of Ngo Dinh Diem in South Vietnam. That is not at all indifference. Of course, some of these monks may have been practicing a form of Buddhism other than Zen. Yet I still believe that Zen is not truly indifferent.

For starters, why bother to be a monk at all if you are indifferent to the condition of the world, the people in it, or your own fate? Unless forced to by circumstances beyond their control, I think one becomes a monk (or spiritual adept) because he wants to better himself, the world, and all of humanity. So if they later achieve this emotionally indifferent Zen, why don’t they quit being monks?

I think the idea is actually to not worry about the conditions of the world, especially those things you cannot change, to the point that it makes you behave contrary to common sense. Continue reading “Indifferent Zen, Emotionally and Mentally”

one whole God

One Whole God, One Whole Universe

“If we are made, as we are, in the image of God, let us become the image both of ourselves and of God, or rather let us all become the image of the One whole God, bearing nothing earthly in ourselves, so that we may consort with God, and become gods, receiving from God our existence as gods. For in this way the divine gifts and the presence of divine peace are honored.

“Love is a great blessing and of all blessings the first and supreme, since it joins God and men together around him who has love, and it makes the creator of men manifest Himself as man through the exact likeness of the deified man to God, in so far as this is possible for man. This is what I take to be the actualization of the commandments, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might, and your neighbors as yourself (cf. Lev. 19:18; Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37-39).” ~The Philokalia

In the Image of God

I have covered this before, but I will repeat it. Being made in the image of God refers to our spirit and soul, not our physical bodies. It should be obvious that the physical bodies are not in the image of God, otherwise, we would all look the same. It would also mean that God has a physical body, which He doesn’t. It would also mean that the physical body couldn’t die because God cannot die, yet we all know that the physical body does die unless we are living in a fantasy.

One Whole God

The author of this section of the Philokalia (the book has many authors) advises us to “ become the image of the One whole God.” That is just another way of saying that we must become one with God and share in His Wisdom and Knowledge. It does not mean that we should, with arrogance and excessive egotism, declare that we are God and have no need to develop or change since God is, obviously, perfect. Continue reading “One Whole God, One Whole Universe”

intuitive consciousness

Intuitive Consciousness and Attaining It

Intuitive Consciousness

“In many temperaments of the unstable or artistic type, the intuitional consciousness of the Absolute becomes ungovernable: it constantly breaks through, obtaining forcible possession of the mental field and expressing itself in the ‘psychic’ phenomena of ecstasy and rapture. In others, less mobile, it wells up into an impassioned apprehension, a ‘flame of love’ in which the self seems to ‘meet God in the ground of the soul.’ This is ‘pure contemplation’: that state of deep orison in which the subject seems to be seeing, feeling, and thinking alll at once. By this spontaneous exercise of all his powers under the dominion of love, the mystic attains that ‘vision of the heart’ which, ‘more interior perhaps than the visions of dreams or ecstasy,’ stretches to the full those very faculties which it seems to be holding in suspense; as a top ‘sleeps’ when it is in a fast spin. … This act of contemplation, this glad surrender to an overwhelming consciousness of the Presence of God, leaves no sharp image on the mind: only a knowledge that we have all been lifted up, to a veritable gazing upon that which eye hath not seen.” ~Evelyn Underhill

Artistic Types

I would first like to disagree with Ms. Underhill in lumping together the artistic and unstable types. While it is true that some great artists have been mentally unstable, I think they are a minority. Most artistic types are perfectly sane. But they do tend to be more sensitive than the average person, and they may well be what makes them artists. Maybe she meant autistic types and the book has a typo. In any case, she is correct in saying that the intuitive power generally comes to people in one of two ways, and affects each type differently.

Ungoverned Intuitive Consciousness

When intuitive consciousness breaks through to one without being sought, or without being understood, it may do it in a forceful and undesirable way. It may cause unexplained joy and ecstasy, or it may cause fear of something for no known reason. In more extreme cases, it may cause such psychic phenomena as a type of speaking in tongues where the person suddenly starts speaking in a language they do not know. Or it may cause a person to levitate, or glow with an inner light. Many think such phenomena is desirable, but it is rarely useful when uncontrolled.

In the case of unexplained fears, it may be useful but isn’t always. We have all heard the stories of people who suddenly felt that they should skip a flight they were scheduled to take, or a cruise they were supposed to go on, and later the plane crashed or the ship had an emergency at sea. That is all great. It is a good thing those people get that warning. But what you never hear of is the people who suddenly became fearful and canceled their flight or their cruise, and nothing happened. While I haven’t done a scientific study on it, I bet such people outnumber those who got a reap premonition by at least ten to one. So this type of intuitive consciousness is unreliable when not developed with discipline.

Governed Intuitive Consciousness

When Intuitive consciousness is developed and controlled intentionally, it can be much more useful. As Underhill says, hen the Mystic practices this, he attains a ‘vision of the heart,’ meaning that he is guiding his spiritual faculties in a specific direction: towards unity with God (or the All). These mystics and spiritual adepts still get those occasional flashes and warnings that happen with those who have strong, but ungoverned intuitive consciousness, but when they do, it is more reliable because of the disciplines they practice. What’s more, is that those flashes are often presented in images that are not easily understood by the untrained. The trained adept, on the other hand, knows spiritual symbology and is better able to interpret those flashes accurately.

The mystic can direct his intuitive consciousness into the sun when practicing spiritual sun-gazing. This permits the spiritual sun to link that person with higher dimensions, spiritual dimensions. The spiritual sun acts as a portal between the physical realm and the spiritual, but only if you know how to access it.

Awakening Intuitive Consciousness

You might be thinking at this point that this is all great for intuitive people, but what about those who don’t have those intuitive flashes? The answer is that if you are at all spiritually sensitive—and you probably are if you read this blog—you can awaken your spiritual faculties and develop intuitive consciousness and even higher levels of consciousness. It does take time and dedication. But now that we have the Sun of Righteousness shining down on us, it is easier than in the pasts several centuries. The exact methods for awakening the dormant spiritual faculties cannot be revealed in a public document, but it involves practicing spiritual sun gazing with an attitude toward spiritual growth for benevolent purposes. Just looking at the sun as some sun-gazers are doing isn’t enough. Snakes and turtles do that and never achieve intuitive consciousness or a real spiritual awakening. You have to do it in the proper way and with the proper attitude for good results.

power of helpful thought

Power of Helpful Thought for Good

Power of Helpful Thought

“The corner-stone in the power and charm of a persons thought is this, expressed in words, ‘I want to help you in whatever way I can. I want to help build you up. I want to help you to better health, to better business, to the place where you really belong, to the position where your talents may most shine.’ If this thought is sincere, it carries immense power. It will always be drawing more power to you, because every additional person’s goodwill you so draw and fasten to you is an additional unseen rill of life feeding yours. It is a rill of substance, thought unseen, as real as the elements we do see. Goodwill of others is constructive thought. It helps build ua up. It is good for your body. … It is the real ‘elixir of life.’ The more of such thought you attract to you, the more life you will have. …

“ if you send out a contrary order of thought, you draw to you from them the poisonous ans destructive elements.These will hurt your body. Persons in this way are literally hated to death. The ill-will of many people fixed on one man can injure that man’s health. It has killed many. It can injure no one if they oppose it with the thought of goodwill.” ~Prentice Mulford

Power and Charm of Thought

Many people don’t realize that what you are thinking when you interface with other people is just as important as what you say and do. While the effect of negative thought may not be obvious and dramatic, there nonetheless is an effect. And if you are speaking in a positive way to a person, yet thinking negative thoughts about them, they can often sense this on a subconscious level and will realize that you are not being sincere.

It is understandable why people say positive things when they are thinking contrary thoughts, but it should be avoided as much as possible. We live in a society where being honest and saying what you think is not encourages if it isn’t positive. Instead, we are taught to say something positive, no matter what we think. This turns us into a race of hypocrites. What should be done is for each of us to examine our negative thinking and try to correct it so our thoughts will be just as positive as our words. That is what the power of helpful thought is all about. Continue reading “Power of Helpful Thought for Good”