illuminated self

Illuminated Self and the Continuing Journey

“This new apprehension of reality generally appears to the Illuminated Self as final and complete. As the true lover is always convinced that he has found in his bride the one Rose of the World, so the mystic, in the first glow of his initiation, is sure that his quest is now fulfilled. … He has yet to pass through that night of senses in which he learns to distinguish the substance of Reality from the accidents under which it is perceived; to discover that the heavenly food here given cannot satisfy the ‘hunger for the absolute.’ His true goal lies far beyond this joyful basking in the sunbeams of the Uncreated Light. Only the greatest souls learn this lesson, and tread the whole of that ‘King’s Highway’ which leads man back to his Source. ‘For the many that come to Bethlehem, there be few that will go on to Calvary.’ The rest stay here, in this Earthly Paradise, these flowery fields; where the liberated self wanders at will, describing to us as well as it can now this corner, now that of the Country of the Soul.

“It is in these descriptions of the joy of illumination—in the outpourings of love and rapture belonging to this state—that we find the most lyrical passages of mystical literature. Here poet, mystic, and musician are on common ground: for it is only by the oblique methods of the artist … that the wonder of the vision can be expressed.” ~Evelyn Underhill

Illuminated Self

I think what Ms. Underhill is saying really applies to those who are only partially illuminated. That, of course, is all of us. No one living in a physical body is fully illuminated, so all of us fall into the category she is discussing.

If you have been studying some form of spirituality for a while, you know that there are many who insist that there school, or their guru, or their beliefs that they picked up from various books, is the only true spiritual teaching and is the ultimate and complete teaching. Therefore, once they have learned what is required, they have nothing else to learn, they are complete. They only need to continue to practice whatever it is that they have learned to date. Unfortunately, no matter what school or teaching you follow, that simply isn’t true. As Underhill note, your “bride” is not the only rose in the world, though you might think she is. She is, of course, using this as an allegory for our relationship with spiritual development and enlightenment.

Bride and Groom

Carrying that analogy or hers a bit further, we might also note that many think that one they have found a bride or groom, a soul mate, a twin soul, etc. their journey is over, done. But many marriages fail because of this idea. Just because you found the one and are married, doesn’t mean you can coast through the rest of life. Both of you change constantly and so both of you have to continue to grow and keep the relationship fresh so those changes stay compatible rather than pushing you apart.

Likewise, just because you have had a spiritual awakening, have leaned certain spiritual practices to follow, doesn’t mean the quest is over. You have to continue to grow and learn forever. Reaching a higher state of consciousness isn’t enough. You have to reach for, and join the highest level of consciousness that most call God. Your illuminated Self is never finalized. Continue reading “Illuminated Self and the Continuing Journey”

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changeling

Changeling Fantasies in a Modern World

“These days in our America, so many go about proclaiming ’empowerment,’ by which actually they mean ‘resentment,’ or ‘catering to resentment.’ To be empowered by eloquence and vision is what Emerson meant by self-reliance, and is the start of what I mean by ‘mere Gnosticism,’ where ‘mere’ takes its original meaning of ‘pure’ or ‘unmixed.’ To fall in love with great poetry when you are young is to be awakened to the self’s potential, in a way that has little to do, initially, with overt knowing. The self’s potential as power involves the self’s immortality, not as duration but as the awakening to knowledge of something in the self that cannot die,because it was never born. It is a curious sensation when a young person realizes that he or she is not altogether the child of that person’s natural parents. Freud reduces such a sensation to ‘the changeling fantasy,’ in which you imagine you are a fairy child, plucked away by adoptive parents who then masquerade as a natural mother and father. But is it only a fantasy to locate, in the self, a magical or occult element, older than any other component of of the self?” ~Harold Bloom

Empowerment

Empowerment is defined as sharing information, resources, and power with employees so they can do certain tasks better. I’m not sure if that is the same definition it had when Bloom wrote the quote above. In any case, I don’t see how he thinks that what most people mean by empowerment is actually resentment. However, he does have a point in that what it usually means is limited to material things. So when he says it is really more like what Emerson called “self-reliance,” he is saying that it is more correctly thought of as a spiritual thing rather than something given to us by other people. In other words, real empowerment comes from within ourselves, not from others. We may get advice from others, but it is only when we decide to accept that advice and act on it that we become empowered.

Loving Poetry

Mr. Bloom says that loving poetry when you are young is a kind of spiritual awakening. But which came first, the chicken or the egg? It may not be that loving poetry develops your spiritual self. Instead, it may be that you have a love of poetry because you already are spiritual. Or you might develop a love of poetry at the same time that you are developing your spiritual self. It is true, though, that the two often go together. And it isn’t limited to poetry. Spiritual people are attracted to all things of beauty and peace. Music, art, gardening, They are also attracted to things that deal with truth and justice rather than lies and misdirection. As Bloom says, they are “ empowered by eloquence and vision.”

Immortal Self

We do have an immortal self. That “Self” is not physical. As Jesus said, flesh cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The higher realms are those of spirit. Those spiritual realms are the only ones where immortality can exist. No matter how hard they try, medical research will never make the physical body immortal. When the planet itself is mortal, how can any being living on it be immortal?

Bloom adds that this immortal self cannot die because it was never born. Hose still clinging to the illusions of matter may have difficulty grasping that. They end up asking senseless questions on social media like, “Who gave birth to God?” or “How do you know if your soul is old or young?” No being gave birth to God because He was never born. He just is. Likewise, your soul was never born. It just is. It exists outside of time and space. Therefore, there are no old souls or young souls. Aging has nothing to do with souls.

Changeling Fantasy

If you think the changeling fantasy is dead, you don’t use social media very much. Or at least you don’t see what is posted on many spiritual groups. There you find a few who may claim to be children of fairies. More often, however, they claim other changeling concepts today. Some changelings believe they are not from earth, but come here from planet Asturias, or Perseid, or some other planet or star. Other changelings are star children from some unspecified star send to help the human race evolve. Others are simply called Indigo children, crystal children, or other new age names that have no connection to reality. Yes, there are special people, people who are destined for great spiritual development. But they are people who have humility, so you will rarely find them making egotistical claims of superiority.

As Bloom notes. These changing fantasies are just a means, on the part of such individuals who have usually had a partial awakening, a glimpse into the spiritual, to understand why they are different. But they are not from other planets or stars. A changeling is just as much an Earthling as anyone else. But they feel the awakening of their souls which are from heaven. Not a physical location at all, but a higher dimension of reality, a higher state of consciousness.

His doesn’t mean that we should make fun of those who have changeling fantasies. They are only trying to deal with something they don’t understand. One day they will all understand they are dealing with spiritual things and spiritual beings, and they are not aliens or Starseeds. Until then, just let them believe whatever comforts them.

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cultivating yourself

Cultivating Yourself on All Levels

“Some people spend all of their time thinking about common and ordinary things; no wonder they don’t progress much. Others spend half an hour and more thinking about the good, faith, love, thinking about the great things of the world. These people are cultivating the soil for their future genius.

“God’s teaching is the best soil; whoever falls on that soil will grow and multiply.

“Evil in mind is an abnormal condition. It is manifested through weak people. Strengthen your will; do not let your negative traits manifest themselves.

“Tell yourself the truth about your defects and you will free yourself from the restrictions you are living in.

“Prepare yourself for paradise. With the burden of materialism, one will not stay a second in paradise. The materialism that a man has in his consciousness is so heavy that if he happens to enter paradise with it; he will be expulsed for less than a second or he will go down.

“Arm yourself with Truth, Good, Wisdom, and Love, and begin to erase your sins from the past. Ask for forgiveness and forgive.” ~Biensa Douno

Common and Ordinary Things

Many people will insist they do not spend all of their time thinking about common and ordinary things. They think of great things, important things. They think about the rules of law. Some may think about running a business. Other may be studying and experimenting to make some great scientific discovery. But while those things may seem great on the level of materialism, in reality, they are very much the common and ordinary things that Douno is talking about. Virtually anything about the realm of matter, with the possible exception of escaping from it, is common and ordinary. What is really sad is that many today seem to think they are engaging in some sort of spiritual activity when they are trying desperately to manifest material things. Manifesting is only spiritual if you are manifesting spiritual things. But I’m not even sure manifesting is possible with spiritual things. The realm of spirit doesn’t function like thought-manipulated molding clay. Only matter does that since it is illusion to began with, and has no definite shape.

When Douno says the people who spend all their time and effort on common things “don’t progress much,” he doesn’t mean in the material sense. Of course such people become governors, senators, and business executives. He means they don’t make any meaningful progress. In other words, they don’t make spiritual progress.

Cultivating Yourself

Spending thirty minutes developing yourself daily is indeed cultivating yourself. It doesn’t have to be thirty minutes a day. It could be a few hours a week. It might be only fifteen minutes a day. The important thing is that you never stop learning, never stop growing. This is important for your mental self but is even more important for the spiritual self.

In today’s materialistic world, the spirit and soul are, on average, the least developed parts of humanity. And then we wonder why we live in violence and poor health. We wonder why we are never satisfied with what we have. The answer is that deep down some part of us is craving a spiritual awakening. That is what we need more than anything else. Cultivating yourself includes body, mind, and spirit.

Truth, Love, Wisdom

Douno says we need to prepare ourselves for paradise. That certainly sounds like a good idea. But how? You have to have some understanding of what heaven is in order to be ready for it.

If your boss tells you that it would be great if you learned to operate a glopstugel, it doesn’t help you any if you don’t have any idea what a glopstugel is (I certainly hope you don’t, I made it up).

Douno helps by telling us to arm ourselves with truth, good, wisdom, and love. While that is certainly a big part of cultivating yourself, even here there are some problems of understanding. In order to prepare for heaven, you need to go beyond ordinary truth, ordinary wisdom, and self-serving love.

If, for example, you see an oak tree across the street, and I ask you what it is, if you say it is an oak tree, you think you have told the truth. But you haven’t. You have only told the truth within the boundaries of the great illusion of the world of matter. The real truth is something much deeper that few people ever see, or even realize exists.

Wisdom is even more confusing. In today’s world, knowledge and wisdom are often confused. Many think that being wise simply means having a lot of knowledge. Others will say that wisdom is knowing how to use what knowledge you have. While that second one is correct, it too comes with a caveat. First, if your knowledge is limited to the world of matter, it is incomplete and inaccurate. In such a case, it is impossible to truly use it wisely.

Love and good are also too vague to truly understand. But there is an answer to this dilemma.

Awakening to Gnosis is Cultivating Yourself

Our mind is limited to an understanding of the physical world. The soul knows the realms beyond the physical. But that doesn’t do us any good if we spend our entire life on Earth with our soul dormant. We are born into this realm with our spirit and soul in a coma-like state. They are not dead, but they can’t really function until awakened. Doing that takes effort. While there may be some very rare cases of the soul awakening without effort, just sitting back and waiting for that to happen is like planning on winning the lottery to finance your retirement. Make the effort to awaken them.

It takes energy to awaken our spiritual faculties. Energy that comes from God, down to the spiritual sun, and then down to Earth. So we need to turn to the spiritual sun and actively take in that energy. We need to do that regularly. That is not just cultivating ourselves, it is cultivating our real selves, our permanent selves. Cultivating yourself means seeking out and excepting that energy that awakens and nourishes the soul.

When the spirit and soul are truly awakened, they understand the real truth. They also know real love, real goodness. That gives them real wisdom.

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know yourself

Know Yourself and the Power Within You

“Should you who possess everything not know yourself? If you do not know yourself, you will not enjoy what you own. But know yourself and what you have enjoy. The perfect human can neither be restrained nor seen. If they see him, they can stop him, so there is no way to grace but to put on the perfect light and become perfect. All who put on that garment will enter the kingdom. This is the perfect light. We must become perfect before leaving this world. Who is rich and has not thrown it off will not share in the kingdom but will go as imperfect into the middle. Only Jesus knows where that will end.

“There was a householder who had every possible thing, be it son or slave or cattle or dog or pig or wheat or barley or chaff or grass or castor oil or meat or acorn. He was sensible and knew what each one’s food was. He served children bread and meat. He served slaves castor oil and meal. He threw barley and chaff and grass to the cattle. He threw bones to the dogs, and to pigs he threw acorns and scraps of bread. Compare the student of god. If you are sensible, you understand the nature of learning. Bodily forms will not deceive you, since you will look at the condition of each person’s soul and speak with that form.

“There are many animals on earth in human form. When you identify them, then you throw acorns to swine, barley and chaff and grass to cattle, and bones to the dogs. To slaves you will give only what is preliminary, but to children you give what is complete.” ~Gospel of Philip

Know Yourself

Knowing yourself is important. Most of us, naturally, will insist that we do know ourselves. But they truth is, almost none of us do.

What we think is our self is usually a combination of our own fantasies and the things our parents and friends tell us. Over many years, we build up a self-image that is not who we truly are. One of the purposes of a spiritual awakening is to learn who we truly are.

We can say that our true self is a spirit. The physical body and the brain-mind that runs it is temporary and therefore not our real self. So if what you know of yourself is purely on the physical and mental levels, you don’t know your true self at all. Continue reading “Know Yourself and the Power Within You”

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