dog-like mind

Dog-Like Mind Needs to Become Angelic

“Now if thou hast had an envious [spiteful] dogged mind, and hast grudged everything to others, as a dog does with a bone which himself cannot eat, then there appears such a doggish mind, and according to that source is the worm of the Soul figured ,and such a will it keeps in the Eternity, in the first principle. …

“For the door of the deep to the Light of God appears to thee no more; for thou art a perfect creature of the first principle. And now though thou dost elevate thyself, and would break open the door of the deep, yet that cannot be done. … Thou fliest out aloft over the Kingdom of God, and cannot enter in; and the higher thou fliest, the deeper thou art in the Abyss, and thou seest not God yet, who is so near to thee.

“Therefore, it can only be done here in this life (while the Soul sticks in the Will of the Mind) so that thou breakest open the gate of the deep, and press in to God through a New Birth.” ~Jacob Boehme

A Dog-Like Mind

What people thought of when you mentioned dogs several hundred years ago is quite different than today. So when Boehme talks about someone having a mind like a dog, he doesn’t mean loving, devoted, and well-behaved. He means one who is full of greed, jealousy, and self-importance. In short, a materialist. Perhaps even a narcissist, although I think that word is being overly used these days. So a dog-like mind is not a good thing. At least not according to the way they thought of dogs back then.

Fate of the Materialist

So what Boehme is trying to get across in the first part of the quote is that the materialist has little, if any, change of achieving significant spiritual growth. Because he put so much thought and effort into collecting material goods and wealth beyond what he actually needs, he has trained his mind to follow that path. That he could suddenly stumble upon a path of spiritual enlightenment is highly unlikely. It happens in rare cases, but relying upon it is not a good idea. It’s like relying upon winning the lottery when you retire so you have money to live on. The dog-like mind is stuck in the dark forest of matter and cannot see the spiritual Light.

Door to Deep Light

I think the choice of words Boehme used here is unfortunate. It will likely be interpreted by most spiritual students today as supporting the idea that all truth is found within and the outside world should be completely ignored. But we know that Boehme’s own awakening was triggered from something outside. Specifically, He was awakened when the sun reflecting off a shiny metal bowl he was holding struck him in the eye. Yes, he had been studying religion and spirituality for some time and we can assume he was on the verge of awakening before that happened. Nonetheless, it was an external event that triggered his awakening. It was also not a coincidence that his awakening closely resembles that of St. Francis who awakened while watching a sunrise from his sickbed.

While there is certainly good reason to turn within and explore our inner self, it is the external spiritual sun that most often triggers a true spiritual awakening. And by a spiritual awakening, I don’t mean simply realizing that materialist is a failed system and there is more to reality than matter. That is just the first tiny step towards an actual awakening. A real spiritual awakening happens when the dormant spirit and soul are awakened. That takes more than just positive thought and desire. It also takes a lot of energy. The best source of that spiritual energy is the spiritual sun. That is the door to Deep Light. So forget your dog-like mind, even the spiritual version of it, and explore sun gazing and other techniques beyond simple meditation.

Elevate Yourself

You could interpret what Boehme is saying here as meaning that we have to overcome the ego to develop our spiritual self. While that is true, we don’t need to destroy the ego. It is a useful tool, especially in the world of matter. But we do need to keep it under control and a reasonable size.

Specifically, what Boehme is talking about here are those who elevate themselves by declaring that they are awakened and enlightened with no justification for doing so except an inflated ego. He says that when such people fly up to Heaven and God, allegorically speaking, they will find themselves unable to enter. God is not fooled by dog-like minds and their pretend enlightenment.

Awaken Now

So if you seriously do want to enter heaven and become one with God and the All again, you need to really awaken. And, as Boehme says, you can’t wait until your physical body is dead to do that. It will be too late. You need to awaken and develop your spirit and soul while you still live in a physical body.

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worldly thoughts

Worldly Thoughts Drag Us Down

“The thoughts of the world drag the mind down to earthly and corruptible things, and do not suffer it to love God or to remember the Lord. And oftentimes, on the other hand, the unlearned man goes to prayer, and bends the knee, and his mind enters into rest, and deep as he may dig and get below, the wall of evil that withstands him breaks down, and he enters into vision and wisdom, where potentates and wise men and orators cannot penetrate to understand and know the delicacy of his mind, since he is engrossed in divine mysteries. One who is inexperienced in judging of hearts does not know how to value them, for lack of experience. Well, Christians abhor the glorious things of the earth, and account them but dung in comparison with the magnificence of those things—a magnificence which works effectually in them. …

“The adversary never ceases from warring. Satan is merciless in his hatred of men; therefore he never shirks from warring against every man. But he is not seen to set upon all to the same degree.” ~St. Macarius the Egyptian

Worldly Thoughts

Yes, worldly thoughts can drag down the mind. More importantly, they can drag down the spirit and soul. But we can’t live in a material world and not think about material things. We would not be able to hold a job, have a home, or even eat if we never thought about worldly things. The trick for the spiritual person is to function in the physical world, but without becoming attached to it. We must think about worldly things, but not let them rule the mind.

Corruptible Things

Macarius calls those worldly things “corruptible”. Usually, we only see that word used in reference to people. Children can be corrupted into becoming thieves or murderers. But things are corruptible because they rot, they age, they rust away. Nothing physical is permanent. Even mountains are worn down by wind and rain. So we don’t want our worldly thoughts to become attached to the temporary and corruptible.

The Unlearned Man

The person who is not well educated often has an advantage when it comes to awakening his spiritual self. He has fewer beliefs and preconceptions that serve to block out the truth that doesn’t agree with those beliefs. The other side of that coin, however, is that the educated person can more easily understand the material that comes through to him when his spiritual faculties are awakened. So both have advantages and disadvantages. Perhaps a good solution would be for the well-educated person to work together with the unlearned one. Then both could learn and comprehend the new spiritual things they are learning. Continue reading “Worldly Thoughts Drag Us Down”

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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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unlearned souls

Unlearned Souls VS Awakened Souls

“Why should imprudent unlearned souls trouble that which is both learned, and prudent? And which is that that is so? She that understands the beginning and the end, and hath the true knowledge of that rational essence, that passes through all things subsisting, and through all ages being ever the same, disposing and dispensing as it were this universe by certain periods of time.

“Within a very little while, thou will be either ashes, or a skeleton; and a name perchance; and perchance not so much as a name. And what is that but an empty sound and a rebounding echo? Those things which in this life are dearest unto us, and of most account, they are in themselves but vain, putrid, contemptible.” ~Marcus Aurelius

Unlearned Souls

What Aurelius calls unlearned souls, most of us today would call souls that have not been awakened. They are people who rely strictly on the brain-mind with its knowledge only of the physical world. They are not necessarily uneducated. In fact, some may be very well educated according to the standards of a materialistic society. But with a sleeping soul, they have little ability to understand the truly spiritual.

Troubled By Unlearned Souls

Given that these unlearned souls can’t comprehend the spiritual, their opinions on spiritual matters should not concern those of us who have awakened or are at least trying to awaken. Yet, sadly, many allow themselves to be troubled by the opinions of those people on spiritual matters.

If you need an opinion on a repair problem with your car, you would talk to a mechanic, not plumber. If you had a health problem, you would discuss it with a friend in the medical profession, not a carpenter. Likewise, discussing the spiritual side of your life with someone who has not even started and that path, and has no wish to do so, is pointless. Worse than pointless sometimes, because you can let the opinions of such people convince you that you should stop your spiritual development practices.

Understands the Beginning and the End

The soul does understand the beginning and the end. It understands what was before the beginning and what will be after the end. That is because only the physical universe has a beginning and an end. Only the physical universe has time. Since the spirit and soul exist outside the limits of time and space, their knowledge is not limited by time or space.

Ashes or Skeleton

Aurelius says that in a short while, we will all be ashes or skeletons. He is telling us that physical life is short and limited. As much as we may wish for it, we will never be immortal in a physical body. The physical realm is all about change. Everything in it does and becomes new things. Some things may last hundreds, thousands, even millions of years. But they all have an end. Even the planets and stars are mortal.

Having a Name

So Marcus Aurelius is telling us that making a name for ourselves in the physical realm is meaningless. If we devote all of our energy to physical success, and fame in the physical world, we have accomplished little. Yes, there are a few people who become so famous that they are still known a thousand years after they are dead. Most of them. However, were spiritual leaders like Jesus and Buddha. We would not know the names of kings, governors, or high priests from the time of Jesus if they were not mentioned in his story. The successful business leaders of that time are even less known.

The point Aurelius is making is that if we truly want to be immortal, and have a name forever, we have to do it through the spiritual faculties which are immortal. They are the only part of us that is immortal. So while we are still alive on the physical plane, we have to awaken and start using those faculties. We have to unite ourselves on all levels: physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual. Then physical death will not end us. We will pass on to the next level as a complete being ready to continue the path to ultimate enlightenment, ultimate consciousness. So let’s stop being unlearned souls and start on the path of true enlightenment by awakening those spiritual faculties.

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