high mountain

High Mountain to Spiritual Enlightenment

“As it is difficult for one to climb high mountain peaks, so it is difficult to climb the highest reaches of spiritual life. Life is climbing a high mountain peak. Someone tells me, ‘I moan. I am tormented.’ Naturally, you go to the heights, and for this reason, you find it difficult.

“One suffers because one has strayed from God and does not know how to return. Moving away from God leads to deprivation, suffering, misfortune, hardship, disease, and death. The greater the suffering, the greater the turning away. Therefore, in order for this deviation to be set right, you need to return to the primordial life.

“The reason for human suffering and hardship lies in the unfulfillment of God’s Will. The trials of life come in order to distinguish that which is pure gold from that which is only gilded. What is gold is put to work, whereas whatever is gold-plated is put aside.

“One should not bring suffering and conflict upon oneself. Sometimes the Spirit comes and tells someone to do something, but that person refuses with the excuses that there are no favorable conditions or proper disposition. Then comes the great difficulties in one’s life. …The suffering and misfortunes in your life are due to a lack of understanding of the great Principles and Laws that Nature is using.” ~Biensa Douno

A Difficult Climb

Climbing a high mountain is always difficult, but it is not the same for everyone. If you are physically weak or handicapped, it is a lot more difficult. If you are very strong and an experienced mountain climber, it will be easier than for others. If you are starting your climb from seas level, or below, it will be more difficult than for the person who is starting out already halfway up the mountain. And if you sit at the bottom of the mountain waiting for someone else to lift you off your butt and carry you up the mountain, you are going nowhere. So as Douno said, it is difficult to climb the peaks of spiritual life, but it is worth the effort—and necessary.

Suffering and Deprivation

To some degree, we all suffer. It may be health problems, financial problems, relationship problems, and so on. One reason even the most spiritual people have such problems is so we can relate to others who have to deal with those problems and see no way out. Another reason is because so few of us have advanced so far on the spiritual path that we can escape the trials and tribulations of material Man.

Don’t get the idea, however, as many do, that the only way to awaken and grow spiritually is to go through great depression and difficulties, the so-called “Dark Night of the Soul”. While there is no doubt that some people have had a spiritual awakening from that path, there are many more who have had a spiritual awakening without it. So it is necessary only for some, certainly not for all.

If you have fallen far from those spiritual mountain peaks, or were never very spiritual or religious before, than your climb will naturally be longer and harder than for someone who has always had some religious and spiritual beliefs that are at least close to the truth. Of course, the people who are in the worse state in this regard, are not the atheists who have no belief in God or religion, but those who follow phony churches of materialism, namely the Evangelical Christians. These people have turned Christianity upside down, so they don’t just have to climb the mountain of spiritual truth from sea level, but from a hole a mile below sea level.

Strayed from God

It is true, as Douno says, that much of our suffering and difficulties happen because we have strayed from God. We insist on doing things our own way, and that leads to undesired results. We need to remember that we are trapped here in the horrid world of matter; the world of death, disease, greed, and so on, because the fallen angels did their own thing instead of following God’s Plan. If we can acknowledge and accept that, we are on our way to healing. We can turn back to the Way of God and start working to help fulfill the Will of God rather than that of fallen Man. This does mean keeping our egos under control, but it doesn’t mean destroying them. People without egos at all become sheep who can’t accomplish anything. The difficult climb will become an impossible climb for them. That is what many governments want, which is why they promote and aid gurus and spiritual teachers who preach ego destruction. You should always be suspicious when a government starts promoting any spiritual practice.

Pure Gold and Fool’s Gold

Douno talks of pure gold and things that are merely gold-plated. I think it would be better to say real gold and fools gold. If you are not familiar with it,

Fool’s Gold (iron pyrite)

fools gold is a mineral with a similar color to yellow gold, but is essentially worthless.

Douno is using gold allegorically here to represent that which is real and that which is spiritual. The gold-plated items, or fool’s gold, represent that which seems real and important, but isn’t, namely, the material world. He advises us to put aside that which is fake gold, and make use of the real gold. We can’t, unfortunately, put aside all things of the material world. We can’t climb to the top of the high mountain and spend the rest of our lives there. In most parts of the world, you can’t get away with that kind of life. You have to have a regular job and pay bills. You have to buy food and clothing. So we can’t put those things aside, but we can place the real gold of spiritual matters ahead of the material ones. It is possible to be spiritual and still function in a world of materialism. It may take a little longer to climb that high mountain with that limitation, but it can still be done. Real gold is found at the top of the high mountain, not at the bottom.

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dragons and zombies

Dragons and Zombies Brought Down

 A Tale of Halloween Allegory

The Beginning

Malchor and Suzette huddled together in the corner of the small cave. As far as they knew, they were the only humans still alive. They huddled in fear more than for warmth. They were out of food and weapons. They had no more places to hide. The coming day would probably be their last.

Two years ago, they had been living a normal human existence. Malchor had been a teacher at a community college. Suzette was a social worker for the county. They didn’t know each other yet. Nor did they know the big changes that in store for them and everyone else. They went about their jobs and social lives with barely a concern. Or at least no significant concerns. They may have worried about their health care or a refrigerator that was sure to die soon, but little more than that. Malchor was putting money aside for his retirement. Suzette was thinking about doing the same. Both, by coincidence, were considering taking a Caribbean Cruise in a year or two. Then everything changes.

Zombies

The zombies came first. No one knows what was causing it, but some people started to become flesh-eating zombies. Human flesh, specifically. Whether they were really the walking dead, or just seemed dead because their minds were shot is unknown. No one had the time, or for that matter, the inclination, to study them. The living were too busy fleeing from them or trying to kill them. But it seemed like each time someone successful destroyed a zombie, three more were born to take its place. It wasn’t long before the entire human race was operating in survival mode. So much for that Caribbean Cruise.

Dragons

The zombies might have been defeated eventually if they were the only problem, but there was soon another. A few weeks after some people started turning into zombies, dragons started arriving. While few had witnessed one arrive and lived through it, the few who had shared an amazing tale that few could believe. They spoke of a bulge forming in the ground, getting bigger and bigger, until it burst open like a new volcano. But instead of lava, a dragon crawled out of the hole. These dragons were not the gargantuan beasts often seen in movies, but they were bad enough. They were about the size of a large horse with leathery wings and horns on their heads. If that was not enough to convince anyone that they were demonic in nature, they blew flames at everything moving they encountered. Humans, animals, even machines were burned up by them. And those who ran from the dragons were being caught and killed by the zombies.

Malchor had been chased out of his home four months ago by the zombies. They not only killed everyone they caught, they followed a scorched-earth practice by burning everything when they finished. He came across Suzette two weeks later hiding in an alley. She had been fleeing from a dragon. They had been together ever since.

For over a month, they had managed to stay hidden in a small shed on a rural farm going out only to get food and water. But a dragon set that on fire four days ago, and they had been hiding in the cave since then. They knew it was just a matter of time, but neither would give in and just run out to their death as they had seen many others do in recent days. But they had no place left to go and they were out of food and water.

Awakening

The opening of the cave faced east, and Malchor could see the sky getting lighter. Soon the sun would be up on what was likely to be their last day alive. He said a silent prayer and watched.

The sun begin to rise above the horizon revealing a landscape of burned ruins with roving bands of zombies. Soon the Dragons would be out as well. But then something unexpected happened. As Malchor watched the rising sun, it began changing. It started spinning and changing shape. It grew brighter and warmer, though in a pleasant way. He told Suzette to look, and she soon saw it as well. Something flowed into them from the sun as it grew brighter and appeared to change shapes. Their courage returned. They no longer felt tired. They began to understand that they had within them the power to defeat the creatures of darkness. Instead of the smell of burning flesh and the sound of dragons, they smelled exotic flowers and heard bluebirds singing. Other songbirds joined in. They stood, and continued to watch the sunrise. They filled with brilliant light, and a sword of white fire and light appeared in each of their hands. The went out to face the horrors.

Each zombie they touched with one of the swords just disappeared in a puff of smoke. After a while, it seemed to spread on its own like a contagious disease. One after another, all the zombies began to pop and disappear in smoke. A dragon attacked, but was similarly destroyed by the power of the light. Then a second and a third. Then like the zombies, all the dragons began to fall over dead and burst into flame. It was over. They didn’t know it, but the date was October 31st. Happy Halloween


Dragons and Zombies

It can be fun to fantasize about things like zombies and dragons, werewolves and vampires. A lot of it is being done these days and those tales rarely have any meaning. They are just for fun, just to scare us. But that hasn’t always been the case.

The ancients who originated many such legends were more interested in sharing truth than in telling fantasies. But sometimes it is dangerous to tell the truth. Sometimes, the danger is that people will not believe it and ignore it. A truth ignores becomes a truth lost. The other major reason is that authorities are known to punish those who speak too much truth. These authorities may be church leaders of government. That really doesn’t matter.

Whether it was for fear of being prosecuted, or simply to protect the truth from those who would misuse it or deny it, the ancient wise men often hid their meaning by using allegory. People would remember these allegorical tales and pass them on generation after generation. The wise ones knew that one day we would start waking up and see the hidden truths within those apparent legends, myths, and fairy tales. Dragons and zombies may never have existed in a literal, physical sense. But as allegories, they and many similar creatures are real.

Dragon Allegory

While it may vary depending on the part of the world, dragons are generally bad guys. Even in some Oriental countries where they are considered good luck, they actually symbolize good luck only in a materialistic sense. So dragons symbolize materialism, greed. That is why many dragon tales have them guarding a huge treasure that they have no real use for, but will kill anyone who tries to take it from them. They can be found controlling many huge corporations today. Or they may be the very wealthy who have inherited the wealth and live off the money others produced, along with interest and additional investments. They are never satisfied with what they have and always want more. Then when they get it, they are afraid of losing it, so do everything possible to protect it. So they may not be physically real, but they are very real in allegory.

Zombie Allegory

Much like dragons, zombies in many ancient tales are allegorical. They may or may not be evil. Zombies kill people and especially seem to be fond of eating brains. At least, that is true in most zombie tales. This makes them an allegory for those who destroy people in various ways.

People who sell products that kill others, such as cigarettes, drugs, and guns, are represented in allegory by zombies. They consume others for their own benefit. Zombies are usually depicted as not fully aware mentally. These people are often not fully aware of the damage they do to others or themselves. Zombies make a perfect symbol for them.

People who try to hide the truth and prevent us from gaining wisdom and knowledge are represented in allegory by the zombies eating brains. On another level of allegory, the zombies gain only false and worthless knowledge by eating brains because spiritual truth—the only real truth—is never found in the physical.

Awakening Allegory

In my Halloween fairy tale above, I have the characters achieve a sudden and unexpected spiritual awakening. It rarely, if ever, happens like that. It usually takes years of spiritual practice.

When they awakened, they experienced such things as pleasant scents, sights, and sounds. This is often reported by those engaging in spiritual techniques, especially spiritual sun-gazing. A bluebird is a standard symbol for happiness. It is also a symbol of spiritual awakening. Blue is a spiritual color.

After awakening, our heroes find themselves with swords of fire and light with which they defeat the evil dragons and zombies. These swords are allegory also. They represent the spiritual light that awakens our spirits and souls. Spiritual beings defeat evil with knowledge and love, not violence.

Halloween Allegory

Halloween itself is an allegory, although it has lost much of its original meaning. It originated as All Hallows Eve. It was the day when spirits and could roam the earth freely. This allegory reminds us that spirits and souls are real and they survive physical death. And the idea that there is a special day when they are allowed to roam the earth tells us that spirits and souls do not roam the earth regularly. So using allegory, we are being told that ghosts and souls are not the same thing. Happy Halloween!

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river of light

River of Light and Logos of God

“For those still mainly concerned with the bodily forms of virtue, the Logos of God becomes hay and straw, sustaining the possible aspect of their souls and guiding it to the service of the virtues. For those who have advanced to the true contemplation of divine things, the Logos is bread, sustaining the intellective [sic] aspect of their souls and guiding it to a godlike perfection. That is why we find the patriarchs on their journeys providing themselves with bread and their asses with fodder. …

“In scripture the Logos of God is called and actually is dew, water, spring and river. According to the subjective capacity of the recipient. To some He is dew because He quenches the burning energy of the passions which assail the body from without. To those seared to the depths of their being by the poison of evil He is water, not only because water through sympathy destroys its opposite, but also because it bestows a vivifying power conducive to well-being. To those in whom the fountain of contemplative experience is continually active He is a spring bestowing wisdom. To those from whom flows the true teachings of salvation, He is a river copiously watering men, domestic animals, wild beasts, and plants.” ~The Philokalia

Logos as Fodder

Why would anyone see the Logos, the Divine Light of God, as hay or straw? For the same reason, an atheist sees God as imaginary, or a hotel developer sees a flower garden as wasted space. So what the Philokalia is saying is that when that divine light enters such people, the effect is no greater than what happens when you feed hay to a horse or donkey. It won’t awaken the souls of such people any more than straw will awaken the divinity in the donkey.

Today, as many are being encouraged to engage in sun gazing, some such people try it. They may get some physical benefits, just as the donkey gets nourishment from the straw. However, there will be little, if any, spiritual benefit. They are attuned to the wrong frequencies of that light. Just as your radio will only play the channel it is tuned to, your body and spirit will only absorb the frequencies you are connecting with.

Logos as Bread

Here bread is allegorical. Physical bread is not going to be any more effective at awakening our spiritual faculties than straw is. But it is being used here as an allegory for those frequencies of light that do awaken those faculties. The bread here is the Divine Light of the spiritual sun or Sun of Righteousness.

River of Light, and More

The Philokalia then shifts gears, in a sense, and starts referring to the Logos as various forms of water. This is also an allegory. It is an allegorical reference common in the scripture of various religions because it symbolizes how Logos flows. It isn’t something static. It flows into us and fills us much like water filling a jar.

Dew of Light

I’m not so sure about dew, the lightest form of water referenced, being used to quench burning passions. I think some passions may need something more like a fire hose. Still, the point is that one thing the Logos does is help control passions. It does that making us change our priorities to the spiritual above the physical. It also makes us understand the physical is temporary and superficial.

Water of Light

As the quote says, you can look at the Logos as water because it washes the poison of materialism and falsehood out of us. They truly are things that poison us so we need this cleaning. For some of us, it may take the river of light to do that.

River of Light

When we have rid ourselves of false beliefs and are completely open for truth and reality, the river of light flows into us like a flash flood. We become so full of the spiritual light that we must share it with others. If we don’t, the excess can actually make us ill. That is one reason why all awaken people try to help others by sending light to them. And the others you send light to don’t have to be human. You can send a river of light to a sick pet. You can flood a dying forest during a drought with a river of light to help it survive. Or you can just send the excess light out into the world to help any and all that need it.

River, Fountain, Waterfall, Ocean

Beyond the dew, water, and river mentioned in the quote, there are other forms of water. They also can be an allegory for the Logos or Light of God. The fountain of youth that foolish people searched for is the spiritual sun from which the river of light flows. A rushing waterfall can represent someone overwhelmed by too sudden an awakening, too great a flow of light. Such a thing can drive men mad. That is why any responsible guru or teacher is always careful about teaching each student only as fast as hey can handle it. The ocean can be an allegory for the entire race of light beings, human and otherwise. Or it could represent the worlds of light, the spiritual dimensions where everything is light and there is no death or disease.

There were times in the past where such things had to be hidden in allegory. Today is different, so some of the allegories can be revealed to the general public. But even now, the most advanced teaches are kept only for the serious students who will use them carefully and wisely.

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Saul

Saul and David as Allegory

“When Saul was being choked by an evil spirit, David sang to the accompaniment of the harp and gave him relief. In a similar manner every spiritual discourse, sweetened with mystical contemplation, brings relief to the intellect possessed by evil spirits and frees it from the bad conscience which chokes it. ”David’s glowing complexion and beautiful eyes signify a man in whom the splendor of a holy way of life is enriched by the presence of the principle of spiritual knowledge. In this state ascetic practice and contemplation go together. Ascetic practice is given luster by the qualities of the virtues; contemplation is illumined by divine conceptual images. …

“Saul is the natural law. … But he slipped downward into the sphere of the passions. He was therefore disposed so that David might take over Israel. David is the law of the spirit.” ~The Philokalia

Healing Music

When Saul was chocking, David healed him with music. He sang and played the harp to him. Throughout the ages, many laughed at this idea. Today, healing with sound is well established, even if not fully accepted by the official medical community. Apparently, David did this for Saul on more than one occasion. Yet David was destined to replace Saul as king. So why did he help Saul?

He helped because he was a spiritual person and it was his duty to help others if he could. Judging whether or not they deserved such help was not his business. He helped anyone who needed it.

Glowing Complexion

The Philokalia says that David’s glowing complexion and beautiful eyes show that he is a holy man, a spiritual man. Why is that? It sounds more like a cosmetics commercial than a description of a spiritual person.

The glowing complexion of David is not from oils or creams. This type of complexion doesn’t come from cosmetics. Even healthy eating won’t do it, though it comes close. No, this glowing complexion comes from an inner glow. It is the glow of spiritual light. The kind of spiritual light that is abundant in all real spiritual people. The light that comes down to us from God and through the spiritual sun. All of us absorb this light to some degree. The spiritual person, however, turns to that spiritual sun with intent and a pure heart and takes in much more. That gives him that inner glow.

The eyes are also affected by that spiritual light and by spiritual growth. Not only do they have a more lively glow, but they may actually change color. Many people with brown eyes will have them change to blue, blue-gray, or green after a few years of spiritual practice. Continue reading “Saul and David as Allegory”

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