Siddhartha

Siddhartha Begins His Spiritual Journey

“Siddhartha was thus loved by everyone. He was a source of joy for everybody, he was a delight for them all. But he, Siddhartha, was not a source of joy for himself, he found no delight in himself. … Dreams and restless thoughts came into his mind, flowing from the water of the river, sparkling from the stars of the night, melting from the beams of the sun, dreams came to him and a restlessness of the soul, fuming from the sacrifices, breathing forth from the verses of the Rig-Veda, being infused into him, drop by drop, from the teachings of the old Brahmans. Siddhartha had started to nurse discontent in himself, he had started to feel that the love of his father and the love of his mother, and also the love of his friend, Govinda, would not bring him joy forever. … The sacrifices and the invocation of the gods were excellent—but was that all? …

“Not to be looked down upon was the tremendous amount of enlightenment which lay here collected and preserved by innumerable generations of wise Brahmans.—But where were the Brahmans, where the priests, where the wise men or penitents, who had succeeded in not just knowing this deepest of all knowledge but also to live it? Where was the knowledgeable one who wove his spell to bring his familiarity with the Atman out of the sleep into the state of being awake. …

“Was not Atman in him, did not the pristine source spring from his heart? It had to be found, the pristine source in one’s own self, it had to be possessed! Everything else was searching, was a detour, was getting lost.” ~Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha Begins His Journey

Siddhartha had grown up in a spiritual family. His father was a Brahman. So he knew the importance of spiritual development. He knew it was necessary. So he practiced his meditation diligently. He prayed and fasted. But eventually, like many today looking around at the conventional churches, realized that these daily practices were not helping him progress. They were doing little more than taking up time and keeping him under control. He mentions at one point that these spiritual practices are doing nothing more than helping one hide from the world. He realized that they did no more than alcohol or drugs do for many. He was little more than a drunk who hid from reality and real spiritual growth in ritual fasting, praying, and meditating.

Siddhartha and Asceticism

So Siddhartha then decides to join a group of ascetics. He gives up his fine clothes and good meals and begins to wear rags ad eat little. He soon discovers that this path isn’t really doing any more than the constant praying and meditation.

Then he hears of Gautama Buddha. Everyone is saying this man has become a true Buddha, an enlightened one, yet has rejected asceticism as the best path to follow.

Siddhartha and Buddha

So Siddhartha, along with his best friend Govinda, leaves the ascetics and goes off in search of this new enlightened one, Gautama Buddha. They find him and listen to him give a public talk. Both Siddhartha and Govinda are impressed with Buddha’s speech and whole personality. He is clearly one who has achieved a high level of enlightenment. This causes Govinda to join the group of devoted followers who pledge to listen to and follow the teachings of the master. Siddhartha, however, does not. He meets with Buddha and explains to him that, while he recognizes that the Buddha is an enlightened one, he has learned from Buddha’s own teachings, that simply listening to the talks of an enlightened one will not bring about his own enlightenment. He must seek enlightenment within himself and not from others. Buddha smiles a faint agreement and wishes him well.

What Siddhartha Learned

We hear so much these days from spiritual people on social media that religion is about hearing other’s experiences, spirituality is having your own. Yet those same people ask others for recommendations of books and videos that can bring them enlightenment. That is doing exactly the same thing as the religious people, just with different books! And following meditation methods with little or no evidence that they accomplish anything except turning people into docile sheeple is no different than the religious people attending weekly services that have become empty ceremony. They are correct in rejecting the empty ceremonies as a path to true enlightenment, but too many of them are simply following a different, yet equally empty, spiritual path.

Siddhartha learned that we must awaken our own spiritual self and learn from that true self. All we can get from books or teachers are methods for doing that. The teachers cannot give us truth, they can only point us in the right direction. And hiding from the world in drugs, booze, or meditation isn’t going to do that.

More to Come

This is only the beginning of Siddhartha’s journey. I’m sure I will have more to say about it as it continues.

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God's work, spiritual poverty brings joy

Doing God’s Work is the Path to Perfection

“Be Perfect Someone asked the Master, “What is the new way of doing God’s Work?” The Master explained: We need to participate in God’s Work; that is, we need to think, feel, and act as God does. We need to work with Nature in a new way, as God works. He works in an all-perfect way. God is long-suffering; we should be patient. God is all-knowing; we should be wise. God is all-loving; we should be loving. God is all-powerful; we should be strong. It is God who gives us the impulse to think and to work. You feel low; God uplifts you. You feel despair and wish to die; God gives you the impulse to live. You do not want to work; from within you, God says, “Go and work.” I aspire that my thoughts and intentions be in accordance with God’s intentions. I do not wish the weather to change because of me, but I subject myself to the weather that the Great Omniscient Cause has ordained. What is your task? Continuous self-development and self-perfection. God is the continuous manifestation of Perfection and man is the continuous self-improvement on the path to Perfection. This is the meaning of the Scripture, ‘Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.’ Man needs to continuously correct his imperfections on the path to Perfection.” ~Beinsa Douno

 

Participate in God’s Work

We do need to participate in God’s work. We do need to think and feel as God does. Most importantly, though, we need to act as God does. That means we are supposed to be co-creators. But here’s the catch: we can only do that if we can communicate with God so that we know what He wants. That means communicate with God directly. Don’t simply accept some minister or spiritual guru’s interpretation of what God wants you to do. You must learn to communicate directly with God yourself. That is the only way to truly know what He wants of you. And knowing what God wants and doing it is the way to participate in the creation. Or perhaps we should say participate in the recreation as God reclaims the realm of matter created by the fallen angels and returns it to its correct form as spirit.

 

Work With Nature

While working with Nature isn’t a complete solution, it’s a good start. We need to get away from the stupid idea that nature is our enemy and we need to defeat her. Nature isn’t our enemy. If she was, we would have no chance of defeating her. We need to work with Nature in farming, in industry, in building housing, etc.

I can only shake my head in disbelief when I see people on TV after a disaster such as a flood or hurricane destroys their house or business for the second or third time and they vow that they will return and build again. If I got severely sick every time I ate turnips, I would stop eating turnips. If every time I build in a particular location, my house gets destroyed by storms, I would build elsewhere.

Another reason why we should work with Nature is that unlike humans, Nature never defies God. Nature always does her work within the will and desires of God. So by working with Nature, we are also doing God’s work.

 

I Subject Myself to Weather

Douno says that we should subject ourselves to the weather because God has ordained it. On this, I disagree. The things that happen on the physical level are not being done by God, but by us. This is our playground, our place to learn. Someday, we will realize that anger, jealousy, hatred, and other negative thoughts and emotions generate the hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts.

I do agree though that we need to stop being such wimps when it comes to weather. Many people today won’t go outside if the temperature is above 80° F and will bundle up in much clothing if it is below 50° F. They never allow the indoor temperature to vary more than two degrees. This is weakening us in may ways (read “What doesn’t Kill Us” for more details). I now practice going outside even when the temperature is over 90° F and practice spending a little time outside wearing very little in temperatures below freezing. Contrary to popular beliefs, this is making me stronger and healthier, not sicker. Staying healthy is also God’s work. (Note: I’m not the guy in the photo also practicing Wim Hof method.)

 

Self-development and Self-perfection

Creation is all about self-development. It is said by some that God creates to know Himself. Others say He creates simply because it is His nature to do so. In either case, creation is a form of self-development. But that is only true if we create in a beneficial way. Creating a pile of ash by burning down a forest isn’t real creation, isn’t self-development.

The proper way to create is to seek perfection in ourselves and the world as we do so. Some argue that perfection is impossible, so we shouldn’t waste time trying. By that logic, we should all commit suicide since we can’t live forever in physical form.

Even if perfection can never be reached while on the physical plain, it is the goal to aim for. The closer we get to it, the better we are. The real problem is that many people have no idea what perfection is. That is why we all need to awaken and develop our spiritual faculties. Only the spirit and soul can understand what real perfection is. Only they can guide us on that self-development path, which is also the way of God. Following the Way of God is always God’s work.

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way of righteousness

Way of Righteousness Delivers from Darkness

“Let us therefore prepare ourselves to travel to the Lord with an undivided will and purpose. … Let us sever ourselves altogether from the love of the world,and attach our souls to Him only, and keep in mind Him only as our business and care and quest. If we have to be somewhat busied also in body, with the business laid upon us, … let not the mind be parted from the love and quest and longing after the Lord; so that striving in such a mind, and journeying along the way of righteousness with an upright intention, and always taking heed to ourselves, we may obtain the promise of His Spirit, and may through grace be delivered from the perdition of the darkness of the passions.” ~St. Macarius the Egyptian

Way of Righteousness

What exactly constitutes the way of righteousness is a matter of great debate among churches, mystics, and philosophers. It shouldn’t be, but it is. That is because most people speaking on the subject are doing so based on something they were told, or something they read, rather than on personal experience. Only one who has truly walked the way of righteousness and knows what it takes can actually answer the question. For those who have actually walked the way, the descriptions vary little. They may use different words because language simply doesn’t describe the spiritual very well, but the story is similar.

Detachment

The only way to completely sever ourselves from the world of matter is to leave it, to die. That isn’t necessary (phew!). You can live in this world, you can own material goods, as long as you can remain detached from them. This isn’t an easy thing to do,but if you are destined for a spiritual life, you have probably already found that a life of materialism is not fulfilling. But if you have to wash your car when it gets the littlest bit of dirt on it, or wear your lucky shirt whenever you play a game, you may still need to work on that detachment.

The problem is like the old “Don’t think about an elephant” trick. As soon as someone says that, you immediately think of an elephant. So don’t think about detaching your connections to certain objects. Instead, become totally attached to the spiritual, your spiritual growth, and the needs of your soul. You will then be on the Way of Righteousness. Continue reading “Way of Righteousness Delivers from Darkness”

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Unseen regions, Immune Soul

Unseen Regions of Spirit and Light

“To those who say that it is presumption to penetrate into unseen regions, the occult scientist would merely point out that this can be done,and that it is sinning against the faculties with which man has been endowed if he allows them to waster instead of developing and using them.

“But he who thinks that views about the unseen world are necessarily wholly dependent on personal opinion and feeling is denying the common essence of all human beings. Even though it is true that everyone must find light on these things within himself, it is also a fact that all those who go far enough arrive at the same, not different conclusions. … Difference exist only as long as people will not approach the highest truths by the well-tested path of occult science, but attempt ways of their own choosing.” ~Rudolf Steiner

Into Unseen Regions

It is strange that many people think there is something wrong with trying to delve into higher realms of existence while still on Earth in a physical body. They don’t feel the same about exploring a lost jungle, or exploring the depths of the seas. Yet they think there is something improper about exploring our spiritual side. Fortunately, that group seems to be shrinking.

Occult Scientist

It is unfortunate that Mr. Steiner chooses the term “Occult science” instead of “spiritual science” or “Spiritual growth”. To many people think of the occult as something evil, and that is not the way Steiner means it. So wherever he says “Occult,” just think “Spiritual”.

Mr Steiner s saying that because we have the faculties with which to explore higher dimensions, we should use them. It seems he is saying that because we can do something, we should. On that, I can’t agree with him. There are many things we can do, but that doesn’t mean we should. When it comes to exploring the spiritual, though, we should.  Continue reading “Unseen Regions of Spirit and Light”

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