sleeping soul, Deep Sleep

Sleeping Soul Must Awaken Now

“Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


The Quote is from a poem titled “A Psalm of Life”. We should expect, therefore that it is about life, and it is. But it is not just about the fleeting life in physical form. It is also about eternal life in spirit. That is the life that really matters.

Life is not, we are assured, a mere dream. Nor is it empty, meaningless. But it is those things if we look only at physical life, which is brief and full of misery and illusions.

Sleeping Soul

Longfellow tells us this negative view of life happens only to those whose soul is sleeping. This makes one wonder who that might be. Most of us have been led to believe that our souls are awakened when we are born. But the great mystery schools of the past and present teach otherwise. They teach that we come into this world with our souls in a deep sleep, a kind of coma. If we don’t make the effort to awaken it, its great powers cannot help us. Continue reading “Sleeping Soul Must Awaken Now”

infinite life, strength of Character, Solar rhythm Supreme Mind

Infinite Life of Immortal Spirit

“Not all things can have a life merely at second hand, that would give an infinite series. There must be some nature which, having life primary, shall be of necessity indestructible, immortal, as the source of life to all else that lives. This is the point of which all that is divine and blessed must be situated, living and having being of itself, possessing primal being and primal life, and its own essence rejecting all change, neither coming to be nor passing away.

“Whence could such a being arise or into what could it disappear: the very word, strictly used, means that the thing is perdurable. … In such an entity this primal and eternal Being cannot be dead like stone or plank: it must be alive, and that with a life unalloyed.” `Plotinus

Infinite Life

Plotinus doesn’t just make spiritual sense with his statements here, he is also logical in the intellectual sense.

If there is a factory that produces paper cups, and truckloads come out of the factory daily, it stands to reason that there must be something other than the cups themselves inside the factory. There must be machines forming the cups and probably people operating the machines. The temporary cups can’t make themselves.

All material beings are temporary like those paper cups. And while we can certainly see that people, animals, and even plants are capable of reproduction, that is only part of the story. That reproduced body of matter must be given life. There must be a source for that life, a permanent Being that is always alive and therefore always generating life energy. At some point, the first being of matter had to be created and given life by a being that had life, but was not material. That being cannot be material because everything material changes and dies. This infinite life that is the source of all other lives is God.

All That is Divine

Plotinus says that this is not only the nature of God, but of all divine beings or divine lives. This means that the angels of God are also immortal and infinite. Beyond that, even we have some of that infinite life in us. Our souls, which are created by God, must also be divine. Therefore, they too are infinite and immortal. So don’t ask, “where is my soul?” or “Is my soul young or old?” The soul is everywhere, and every soul is ageless. Continue reading “Infinite Life of Immortal Spirit”

Good life - spiritual

Good Life of the Spiritual Person

“The good life is a result of something. You cannot live well if you have not thought well, if you have not felt well. The good life is a result of thought. The good depends firstly on love. The Good depends also on thought, and then as a result come the good life. …

“Love others like you love yourself. The most idealistic is to live God. … If you are content with riches, but discontent when they are taken away from you, you have not understood love. Be content in both cases and give thanks. Riches and titles can be given and taken away from you, but believe in love that bears in itself all good things, and these good things will be given to you at the time when you are ready.” ~Biensa Douno

The Good Life

When we speak of “the good life,” the image we each form of what that means may differ greatly. One may envision himself living in a great mansion with servants to do everything for him. Another may see himself on a deserted beach enjoying nature without a care. Another may see it as doing good for others through volunteer work. All of these visions, and many others, have one thing in common. We envision the good life as doing that which makes us happy. And that is as it should be. We are individuals and we have different skills and desires. We should not all want to be president since that is clearly impossible. But it is possible for all of us to do things that make us happy—within reason, of course.

Result of Thought

The idea that the good life is the result of thought has two meanings. First, if we are happy and content with the life we have, than it is for us, the good life. So in that way, because we think it is the good life, it is. Second, if we do want to change our life for the better, we do that mostly with thought also. No great inventor has ever invented something without first visualizing it in his head. A scientist doesn’t come up with a new theory without first thinking about it. Even artists must think about what they are doing or planning to do. This idea works for spiritual growth as well as for things on the material level. I doubt that anyone has truly had a spiritual awakening without some thought about it first. And continued spiritual growth requires continued thought and the belief that we can succeed.

Then there is the other side of the coin. If we say we want something, but deep down don’t think we deserve to get it, we will never get it. If we say we want to accomplish something, but don’t believe we can, then we won’t. We have to believe in ourselves and our ability to succeed if it is ever going to happen. That is why the Zen Master teaches that we must empty the cup before we can fill it with something new. We must get rid of false and limiting thoughts and beliefs if we want to succeed at anything. Continue reading “Good Life of the Spiritual Person”

water of life

Water of life, Physical and Spiritual

“The waters are not merely a destructive force, they are a necessary element in fertility. The eastern garden has a fountain at the center, from which the waters flow in labyrinthine channels to irrigate the plants. If the fountain dries up,the garden dies; if if flows with too great force, the garden is washed away. The same is true of the symbolic fountain that penetrates the surface of the conscious, intellectual mind, and fertilizes it with the waters from the deep chasm of the unconscious. Order, discipline, the rock of faith, the intellectual law, the rule of Caesar, all these are required by human nature, which demands the comfort and assurance of an organized society.

“But these are not its only requirements. However perfectly the garden is laid out and planted,without water, it is sterile. So also with the mind. Against reason stand prophecy, poetry, revelation the desire for Liberty and the millenarian influence of the Holy Spirit.” ~John Michell

Water of Fertility

We don’t generally think of fertility as a property of water. Nor do we thing of water when someone mentions fertility symbols. Yet, what Michell says is true. The plants growing in the garden need water. It is not what we normally think of as fertility, yet we plant seeds and put water on them to make them sprout. Sometimes, we make plants sprout just by putting them in water. So it certainly act like a form of fertility, at least with plants.

But what about animals? While in most animals, it is involved there too. Even the very act of conception requires the presence of water to function. So while it is the sperm that fertilizes the egg, this can’t happen without water. But I think Mr. Michell is hinting at another kind of Water.

Water of Life

There are a number of uses of the expression “Water of Life” in literature and religion, yet the definition of it varies. The important thing, I believe, is that it s a spiritual version of physical water. The Water of Life is the ether through which the Light of God travels. It is the carrier of spiritual life rather than physical life. And just as that garden Michell talks about needs to be watered regularly—but not too much—our spirits need to be watered regularly with God’s Light and the Water of Life.

Spirits grow stronger and smarter when they are nourished with that water, but shrivel like a raisin and go into a state of suspended animation when they are not. But just as the garden can be ruined by too much water, we can be driven mad by too much Water of Life before we are strong enough to deal with it. So while spiritual growth is great, we must not try to rush it. Continue reading “Water of life, Physical and Spiritual”