palace

Palace of the Soul, Ruins in the Mind

“suppose there were a very great palace, and this were deserted, and became full of every evil smell, and of many dead bodies. Well the heart is Christ’s palace. And it is full of uncleanness, and of crowds of many wicked spirits. It must be refounded and rebuilt, and its store-chambers and bedrooms put in order; for their Christ the King, with the angels and holy spirits, come to rest, and to dwell, and to walk in it, and to set his kingdom. I tell you it is like a ship furnished with plenty of tackle, where the captain disposes of all, and sets them their tasks. … The heart has a captain in the mind, the conscience, which is ever judging us. … The heart contains many natural faculties bound up with it, and it is the mind and conscience which chides and guides the heart. …

“From the time that Adam transgressed the commandment, the serpent entered and made himself master of the house, and became like a second soul beside the soul. For the Lord says, Whoso denieth not himself and hateth not his own soul, is not my disciple. … Sin entering into the soul has become like a member of it, and is united with the bodily man, and therefore many unclean thoughts spring up in the heart.” ~St. Macarius the Egyptian

A Ruined Palace

Ruins

Heidelberg Castle

Decades ago, when I was in the Army and stationed in Germany, I visited with friends several ruined castles. It was sad to see these ancient buildings that undoubtedly took much work to build, crumbling and being the homes now of bats, snakes and worms. But there are other castles there, such as the one in Heidelberg, that have been kept up and are still functioning in one way or another. Some have been made into museums. Others are public buildings such as libraries. One of my army friends was married in Heidelberg castle, and I attended a fasching party there. Some smaller towns and cities are making an attempt to restore these old castles and palaces. But no one would hold a wedding or a party in ruins full of snakes, rats, and bugs. The vermin and filth have to be cleaned out first. Continue reading “Palace of the Soul, Ruins in the Mind”

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hierarchy of being

Hierarchy of Being, Simple and Complex

“That which engenders the world of sense cannot itself be a sense world, it must be the Intellect and the Intellectual world; similarly, the prior which engenders the Intellectual Principle and the Intellectual world cannot be either, but must be something of lesser multiplicity. The manifold does not rise from the manifold: the intellectual multiplicity has its source in what is not manifold; by the mere fact of being manifold, the thing is not the first principle: we must look to something earlier.

“All must be grouped under a unity which, as standing outside of all multiplicity and outside of any ordinary simplicity, is the veritable and essential simplex.

“Still, how can a Reason Principle (the Intellectual), characteristically a manifold, a total, derive from what is obviously no Reason Principle?

“But how, failing such origin in the simplex, could we escape (what cannot be accepted) the derivation of a Reason principle from a Reason principle?

“And how does the secondary good (the imaged good) derive from the Good, the Absolute? What does it hold from the Absolute Good to entitle it to the name?” ~Plotinus

Matter and Intellect Hierarchy of Being

Plotinus, while apparently having a significant amount of spiritual knowledge, has difficulty grasping the idea of something greater than intellect. That is not too surprising. So many people today think the same way. Many even think the soul is just a part of the mind or another name for the mind. It isn’t.

Plotinus has the relationship of matter and Intellect (thought) down correctly, but he can’t seem to get beyond that, accept on an abstract level. He doesn’t know that the true hierarchy of complex beings like man is: the physical body, intellect or mind, psychic body, spirit, and soul. Four levels, not two, not three. Four levels of being. Four dimensions of existence.

Hierarchy of Being

While Plotinus has an incomplete hierarchy, he does understand how the hierarchy works. The basic idea is that you can’t create or generate something greater than yourself. You can’t generate something with more knowledge than you have. Therefore, the generated must always be of a lower or equal level in the hierarchy of being. It can never be higher than that which generated it. So the intellect (mind) could not be generated by the physical body. It has to be the other way around. Thought generates matter. Matter cannot generate thought. And the mind had to be generated by something higher.

Plotinus doesn’t say, or even speculate, on what that is. It should be obvious, however, that what is higher than intellect is spirit and soul. So the idea that spirit and soul grew out of the body or the mind is just nonsense. The created has to be of an equal or lower level than the creator. Spirit is definitely a higher level than mind or matter. Matter is temporary, constantly changing, constantly being destroyed and replaced. Spirit is permanent. It doesn’t die, get sick or old, it doesn’t fade away. It can become dormant from lack of use and that is the state it is in when we enter the physical realm. Very few people ever bother to awaken the spirit and soul. The primary reason is simply that they have not been made aware that it is necessary or how to do it.

It is only logical, then, to say that the spirit and soul could only be created by something even higher. That something, that Ultimate Consciousness, is what most of us call God. That universal spiritual consciousness creates all spirits and souls. Individual minds—the intellect of man—is generated from the spirit and soul. The physical body is a generation of mind. Top to bottom. The real hierarchy of being.

Simple to Complex Hierarchy of Being

It is said that evolution goes from the simple to the complex. Simple single-celled life forms evolved into simple multi-celled forms like the sponges, then to forms with complex parts and organs with different functions. So it seems like the hierarchy of being is simple to complex. That is only true when you look only at the physical level. If you include the mental, psychic, and spiritual levels of being, you see that matter has fallen from the spirit level that is much higher than matter. In a way, the spiritual level seems simple, but that is true only if you look just at that one level. It is, in fact, the most complex level of being because all other levels are below it, within it.

History of the Hierarchy of Being

Material science tells us that man is a recent development, evolved from lower beings, most recently apes. But that conclusion is made by ignoring the higher levels, or by believing that mind and spirit were generated by the physical body. As already discussed, that is a false belief. In truth, we existed for a very long time as pure spirits before man became physical. We existed before there even was a physical universe of matter. When everything was spirit, we were. Spirits and souls are ageless, eternal.

The other levels are the result of the Great Fall caused by the fallen angels. Only then did the current hierarchy of being come into existence.

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mind reading

Mind Reading: We all Do It

“The simple forms of telepathic phenomena have received the name ‘Mind Reading’ and by some have been regarded as something not quite within the class of real telepathy. This last impression has been heightened by the fact that there has been offered the public many spectacular exhibitions of pseudo mind-reading, that is to say, imitation or counterfeit mind reading, in which the result has been obtained by trickery, collusion, or clever artifice. But, notwithstanding this fact, genuine mind-reading is actually a phase of true telepathy. …

“I will remind the student that he will learn more by a half-dozen actual experiments at mind-reading than he will by reading a dozen books on the subject. It is very good to read the books in order to get the correct theory fixed in mind, and also in order to learn the best methods as taught by those who have had a wide experience in the subject; but the real ‘how’ of the matter is learned only through actual experimental work.” ~William Walker Atkinson

Psychic and Spiritual

The first thing I want to clear up before getting into the subject of telepathy is the matter of psychic and spiritual matters. They are not the same thing. That needs to be repeated for many. Psychic is not the same as spiritual. If you look at it as climbing up flights of stairs that represent levels of consciousness, psychic activity is one flight above our normal materialistic state, and spiritual is another flight above that. So we do have to climb up to the psychic level before we reach the spiritual. The problem is that many stop at the psychic level and go no further. This is a mistake. That said, let’s get on with exploring Telepathy.

Telepathic Mind Reading

At the time when Mr. Atkinson was writing his books, telepathy was probably defined a little different than today. The simple definition now, according to Merriam-Webster, is: “communication from one mind to another by extrasensory means”. That would clearly include what is often called mind reading. But as Atkinson points out, it only includes real mind-reading, not the many mind-reading stage acts that are done with trickery.

We All Do It

Many people think that telepathy is either a special talent that a small number of people have. Others think it is something that has to be learned and developed like studying most other subjects. While that is true for conscious mind-reading, the truth is most, if not all, of us, do it subconsciously all the time.

I can’t prove that. I haven’t conducted extensive, scientific experiments on it. But I have seen enough evidence of this subconscious mind-reading to accept that it happens all the time. I have written about this before, but let me repeat just one example.

Have you ever been driving down a quiet country road at night and looking ahead, you see something strange just off the road? Perhaps you see a witch standing there. Or maybe a bear. But when you get closer, you laugh when it see that it is just a rock, bush or tree stump. Have you ever had that happen when there is a lot of traffic on the road? I think the answer is no. I certainly haven’t. And the reason for that is this subconscious telepathy that we do all the time without being aware of it. If there is another car a short distance ahead of us, those in that car see the object first. Once they know exactly what it is, their minds broadcast that information. We pick it up and see the correct object right away. We never see the witch or bear because those other minds told us it is just a tree stump or a rock.

If you can except that all of us are communicating telepathically on a subconscious level, it makes it easier to learn to do it consciously and intentionally.

Beyond Human Mind Reading

But if psychic communication is not spiritual, why bother learning it? One reason has already been mentioned. Because the psychic level of consciousness is the first step towards the spiritual. The other, more important reason, is that we use something similar to mind-reading to communicate with spiritual beings: angels and Light Beings. Although telepathy on the physical level is mind-to-mind communication and communicating with spiritual beings is soul-to-soul, I think learning one helps develop the other. Of course, we don’t want to spend to much time and effort on developing psychic abilities such as mind-reading. That is likely to cause us to take root on that level of consciousness (allegorically speaking), and fail to move on to spiritual levels.

Do it Yourself

Mr. Atkinson is correct in saying that we will learn more about mind-reading by practicing it rather than just reading about it. That idea isn’t limited to mind-reading. In fact, it is true of almost everything. It is definitely true of spiritual development. You can read books that teach techniques for spiritual awakening, but you don’t awaken by reading the books. You don’t gain any significant spiritual knowledge by reading books. You have to practice spiritual techniques. You have to practice until you raise your level of consciousness so high that you connect directly with the source of all truth and knowledge. Then you will learn how inadequate any book is at teaching truth and reality.

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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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