hidden truth, sphinx

The Great Sphinx of Truth and Knowledge

“Confronting mankind there stands a sphinx—the vast unknown. However well a man may be informed concerning a specific subject, his furthermost outlook concerning that subject is bounded by an impenetrable infinity. And the ‘discovered,’ as I will show, has only transferred ignorance to other laces. Science has confined its labors to superficial descriptions, not the elucidation of the fundamental causes of phenomena. … She dare not attempt to explain the why even of the simplest things. … How does the maple tree secrete a sweet, wholesome sap, and deadly nightshade growing in the same soil and living on the same elements, a poison? …
“That word Why to man dominates the universe. It covers all phenomena, and thrusts inquiry back from every depth.” ~John Uni Lloyd

The Great Sphinx

When you talk about a sphinx, most people immediately see a great statue in Egypt. That statue, however, is a depiction of a sphinx, not the thing itself. The sphinx represents a mystery, the unknown, the great riddle of the universe, and beyond.

The Limits of Science

There is no doubt that the scientific community has found answers to many questions. They can tell us what chemical make some people have red hair, while others have brown or blond. They can tell us what chemicals make some peppers hot while others are not. They can tell us what makes the sun hot. They can tell us that ice expands when it freezes. They can tell us that metals liquify when heated enough. They can even tell us at what temperature each type of metal will melt. They are good at discovering the whats and wherefores of the universe, but not so good with the whys.

They can tell us that a certain chemical in some peppers makes them hot, but they can’t really say why some peppers have a lot of that chemical, and others don’t. They can’t say why some plants spread their seeds using the wind, while others rely on birds, insects, or animals to spread the seeds. They can’t tell us why plants exist at all.

The Seeker Asks Why

Whether they realize it or not, the seekers of the world are really trying to answer that question “Why?”. Telling them that copper makes red hair isn’t enough. They want to know why they have red hair. They want to know why they have hair at all. Most of all, they want to know the root causes of it all.

Science might be able to give those answers if it would go beyond the limitations of the material plane, but few scientists are willing to do that. When they do, they are often ridiculed by those who refuse to look over the fence, to look outside the cave of matter.

The Spiritual Teacher

Religion generally doesn’t do any better than science in this. Today’s churches are often just as materialistic as the business and scientific communities. They too look for answers in matter rather than in spirit. When they do venture beyond the realms of matter, it is often made up nonsense that pleases the congregation, but is not based on any spiritual truth. It has no actual answers for the Sphinx.

A real spiritual teacher, however, is both religious and scientific. He applies the rules of science and scientific study in exploring the realms beyond matter. Since matter ans spirit are very different, the study of spirit must be different, yet still scientific. You cannot put a spirit on a scale and weigh it to prove it exists. A spirit has no weight, but it is still real. A spirit has no beginning and no end, so cannot be measured. That doesn’t make it ay less real.

So if man really wished to answer the great riddle of the Sphinx, he needs to embrace spirituality as well as science, the non-material as well as the material. Maybe soon the scientists and the spiritual seekers will join together to find the real truth. But for now, we must learn different things from each discipline and put it together ourselves. We must each solve the riddle of the Sphinx.

Two roads, Pythagorean Y

Pythagorean Y and the Road Less Traveled

“The famous Pythagorean Y signified the power of choice and was used in the Mysteries as emblematic of the Forking of the Ways. The central step separated into two parts, one branching to the right and the other to the left. The branch to the right was called Divine Wisdom and the one to the left Earthly Wisdom. …The neophyte must then choose whether he will take the left-handed path and, following the dictates of his lower nature, enter upon a span of folly and thoughtlessness …. or whether he will take the right-handed road and … regain union with the immortals in the superior spheres.
“It is probably that Pythagoras obtained his concept of the Y from the Egyptians, who included [it] in certain of their initiatory rituals.” ~Manly P. Hall

Pythagorean Y

I don’t think the Pythagorean Y is as famous today as Mr. Hall indicates, but the idea of the forking of the ways certainly is. Many, however, think of this decision symbol as representing something much simpler like deciding which profession to go into or who to marry. While we make many decision in our lives, only one is the Y. That one decision is whether we want to follow the path of materialism or the path of spirituality. All other decisions are secondary. And I have no doubt that poet Robert Frost was really talking about this in his “The Road Not Taken” where the wise traveler eventually chose the “one less traveled”. The path less traveled is the spiritual path.

Right or Left?

Unfortunately, choosing the correct path is not as simple as it sounds. It is not just choosing right over left. It is not always obvious which is the path less walked. Here are some hints.

  • The easy path – This is almost always the wrong path. The only exceptions might be if your father is a spiritual teacher or you were born into a very spiritual family. Then the easy path would be to stick with your family, and it would also be the correct path.
  • The popular path – When we are young we often think that if something is popular, it must be good. Just think of restaurants. The places selling the junkiest fast food are often the most popular while the ones selling a healthy and well-prepared meal are less so. Popular doesn’t mean good, and it doesn’t mean correct. This is usually the wrong path.
  • The moneyed path – It is always tempting to take the path where one can make the most money. The rampant materialism of the day encourages this. We idolize those who make great sums of money. Sometimes, we make movies about them. We write books about them. But greed is not and never will be a virtue. We do have to make a living in this world, but beyond that, choosing the moneyed path is the wrong choice.
  • The moral path – Choosing a path of moral values is a good choice. A path that values people and values life. A path that values fair play and honesty. You can’t go wrong taking that path.
  • The environmental path – a path that cares for the environment we all have to live in is generally a good choice. A spiritual person values all life and that means caring for the environment.

That is not a complete list, but it hopefully helps. Continue reading “Pythagorean Y and the Road Less Traveled”

Seeking more, Supreme Good, Spiritual Evolution, Everywhere Church

Soul’s Light and God’s Presence

“God is present in all, even in those who do not recognize Him; but men flee from God, they step out of Him, or, to speak more correctly, out of themselves. They cannot grasp Him before whom they are thus fleeing, and, having lost themselves, they hunt after other gods. But if the soul progresses on the road to perfection, begins to realize her own higher state of existence, to know that the fountain of life is within herself. … She will see herself even as the pure Divine Light itself, as a God, radiant in Beauty, but becoming dark again as her light is rendered heavy if it approaches the shadows of the material plane.” ~Franz Hartmann

God Within and Without

Yes we truly can find God within. We can also find Him without. If God is everywhere, He is within and without and we need to look in both areas to find Him and know Him.

Many men (and women) do flee from God, then complain they can’t find Him. Mr. Hartmann says this is really fleeing from ourselves. What he means is that we are fleeing from our true selves, our spirits and souls, so as to justify excessive involvement in the world of matter. But hiding under the bed doesn’t make the monster go away and hiding in materialism won’t make the spiritual realms go away.

The Soul’s Light

The soul, once awakened, does become full of Divine Light. It does become radiant in beauty. It shines forth in splendor and others are attracted to that light.

Yet, as Mr. Hartmann notes, even an awakened soul can be darkened by the shadows of materialism if it gets too involved in the world of matter. But these “shadows” can be more than the simple shadow we think of.

These “shadows” may be demons and devils who wish to steal that light from us, while at the same time trying to stop us from gaining such light. They enjoy having us trapped in the world of matter where they can control us, enslave us.

So the soul needs to avoid attachments to that shadow world of matter. That is not an easy thing to do. When those around you are all caught up in the short-term joys of matter, and the ever growing desire for more material possessions, it can suck us in like a powerful vacuum. We have to learn to resist those temporary pleasures and attachments. This doesn’t mean we can’t own a house, or a car, or eat in a restaurant occasionally. It means we do such things only out of need without getting caught up in the pursuit of more. Continue reading “Soul’s Light and God’s Presence”

Sun of Life, Sun of Righteousness, Always Shining Sun

Eternal Sun Shining on Mountains and Valleys

“The first coming of Christ in the exercise of desire is an inward and sensible thrust of the Holy Ghost, urging and driving us toward all virtues. This coming may be likened to the splendor and the power of the sun, which, from the moment when it rises, enlightens and brightens and warms the whole world. So likewise Christ, the eternal Sun, beams and shines, dwelling above the summit of the spirit. … But that man in whom this should take place must be inwardly seeing, with the eye of the understanding.

“In the higher lands, … the sun shines upon the mountains bringing an early summer there, with good fruits and strong wine. … The same sun gives its splendor to the lower lands. … There the country is colder, and the power of the heat less; nevertheless, there too it produces many good fruits, though little wine.” ~John of Ruysbroeck

Sunrise of Christ

Much like Jacob Boehme, Ruysbroeck had to be careful what he wrote for fear of being charged with blasphemy or worse. So much of what he says here is allegory and you have to know the symbolism.

First, the “coming of Christ” doesn’t make much sense if you interpret it literally. Even if you understand that Christ in an immortal spirit that dwelt for a time in the man Jesus, not the man Jesus, you may not realize that such a spirit is everywhere, always. So I believe that what Ruysbroeck means is not the sudden arrival (or sunrise) of Christ, but of the awakening of our individual souls through the power of Christ found in the Light of the Spiritual Sun.

It is not by coincidence that Ruysbroeck, as with many others, compares this rise of Christ to the rising sun. Great spiritual men and women have always known that there was a connection between Christ and the Sun, though they may not have known exactly what it was. Continue reading “Eternal Sun Shining on Mountains and Valleys”