art of study

Art of Study is Not Just Memorizing

“There is an art of study. We were told in youth to study. We were never told how to study, or, in other words, how to get ideas. Committing to memory words, sentences, and rules, is not getting ideas. … If you commit to memory a great many words and sentences, you are simply over training a part or function of your mind. …

“Words are not ideas. They are only the signs or means by which, through the sense of sight or sound, a printed word or spoken word may represent an idea to the mind. …

“The more that is committed to memory, the greater the burden placed on the department of memory. … The memory is useful only to hold what is grasped by the spirit. No amount of book-learning can teach a man to sail a boat well. He must educate himself. When he learns through practice and many failures that the rudder must be kept in a certain position to counteract the force of the wind, his memory at last holds what such practice has taught him. … Did you learn to dance by first committing to memory the rules for the guidance of your steps? No, you received the idea from someone else who could dance. You absorbed that idea or thought.

“Every person, to learn quickly, must learn to throw himself in a certain mood of mind. That is the mood of serenity and repose.” ~Prentice Mulford

Memorizing is not Studying

If you are learning to be a carpenter, memorizing the names of the tools used by a carpenter may be helpful. Yet even after you have memorized all those names, you still don’t know how to be a carpenter. A parrot could have done the same, yet there is no chance that it will become a carpenter. There are times when memorizing is useful, and it is often a good first step to learning a new skill, but practice and experience are necessary for almost every skill except winning a spelling bee. And even with a spelling bee, memorizing the spelling of many words doesn’t mean you will be able to handle the pressure of being on stage or competing with other spellers.

Words are not Ideas

Many people would take offense at this claim by Mulford, but with few exceptions, he is correct. I think the only time a word could be said to be an idea is when something new is discovered or invented and they are trying to give it a name. Even then, once the thing has a name, the name is not the thing, not the idea, but a way of communicating the idea. That communication only works, however, if everyone agrees on what the word means. There are a lot of communication failures because different people have different ideas of what a word means. A simple example is that greed, which used to be a negative thing to almost all people, has somehow become a positive attribute to many.

The function of words is to form an image in the mind. It is that image which is the idea, not the word that represents it. Continue reading “Art of Study is Not Just Memorizing”

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similitude of God

Similitude of God Means Spiritual Humility

“Dost thou suppose that I write of the Fall of Man without Light and understanding? … For an angry, malicious, proud, seeking of self-honor and dignity, a mendacious [or lying], thieving, murderous, lascivicious, lecherous mind is not the Similitude of God. But a humble, chaste, modest, pure, courteous [mind] which inclines itself with a longing desire and love to the Heart of God, that is the Similitude of God; in which the flaming spirit is the joy and meekness goes forth out of the will, and for its brethren the will of its spirit (which goes forth from it) readily inclines forwards them; and as the proverb says, it imparts the very heart to them, which is done in the Spirit, wherein the heavenly joy (in the eternal element) springs up, and the Wonders of God are manifested in the virgin, by a hymn of praise to the eternal Mind of God; where the mind plays upon the harp of David a hymn to God; where then (in the eternal Holy Mind) there springs up Knowledge and Colors in the eternal Element, and in the Spirit Wonders, with works and powers or virtues.

“And this is the Image of God, which God created for His glory and joy, and no other; and let not the mad Antichrist persuade thee concerning any other Image of God, for there is no other.” ~Jacob Boehme

Fall of Man

I find it curious that many people who are into spiritual development of some sort don’t believe that there was a fall of Man. They think that everything is proceeding exactly as it was supposed to. If that were true, why would there be a need to make the effort to develop our spiritual side?

The Fall of Man is very real and, as Boehme notes, is obvious to the one who has “Light and understanding,” in other words, one who has become spiritually awake. Man “Fell” from being a spiritual being to one of matter. That is why Adam and Eve were ashamed of their bodies and tried to cover them. It had nothing to do with sex or specific organs that appalled them. They were ashamed of their entire bodies of matter.

Similitude of God

Unlike many who call themselves Christians today, Boehme understood that the greedy, arrogant, seeker of self-honor was not living as a Child of God, a servant of God. Boehme knows that to live as a Similitude of God, one has to have humility, love, manners and ethics. Perhaps most of all, to truly live as a Child of God, one needs to be creative, but exercise that creativity in accordance with the Laws of God, and not with self-interest.

We like to think that we were created in the images of God, and we were, but not in the physical sense that most people think. But because God gave us a certain degree of free-choice, we don’t have to live as images of God. To remain a similitude of God, we have to behave and live as God intended, not as the dark beings who whisper in our ears would have us live.

Heavenly Joy

Heavenly joy does spring up in those who are truly awakened and live in similitude of God. Rejecting that joy for earthly pleasures is like the person who stops to pick up pennies while a few feet ahead is an unseen pile of gold. The real gold, of course, is being reunited with God, becoming a conscious part of the All. That is what brings us joy. No matter what trials the physical world and the demon agents of the Demiurge throw at us, we still live in joy, for we know the fate that awaits our eternal spirit and soul.

Knowledge and Spiritual Wonders

Joy is not the only thing we gain by living in the Similitude of God. We also gain Knowledge and Wisdom. True knowledge and wisdom, not the opinions found in books. We also experience the wonders of spirit. Those wonders include true and absolute love for all, an understanding of what we really are, and an understanding of God’s Plan to redeem the fallen realm of matter. That knowledge brings even more joy, and a desire to remain in service to God and the Universe. Living in similitude to God isn’t a sacrifice, it’s a privilege.

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oversoul

Oversoul of Universal Consciousness

“Like most of us, Emerson had been taught to think of the soul as an immortal spirit placed inside each of us by God, which can be either saved or damned. But as his faith evolved during these tumultuous years, culminating in his pilgrimage abroad, Emerson came to a very different understanding. Through meditation and experience, Emerson came to see his soul as a part of the universal consciousness. The “oversoul,” he believed, is the very ground of existence, out of which all things—energy, matter, life—come into being. We cannot define the soul, he insisted, only evoke it with metaphor and poetry. Emerson likened the soul to the sun—too bright to be gazed upon directly, yet by it, we see all things. He also pictured it as a vast ocean, with our individual souls being waves upon it, emerging for a time and then returning to the whole. Individuality, in Emerson’s view, is secondary to unity. Each of us is inseparable from all people, all plants and animals, the Earth, our solar system, and the entire cosmos. And we each carry the universe inside ourselves, just as each wave carries the ocean.” ~Sam Torode

The Soul

The initial belief of Emerson that the soul was immortal spirit was correct. But we need to be aware that just because the soul is spirit, doesn’t’ mean the spirit is the soul. The spirit and soul are two different things, though both of them are spirit. Where he, like many others, was wrong is in the idea that the soul could be either saved or damned. A human can be saved or damned, but not the soul. A person who develops their spiritual self while still alive in the physical world can integrate with the spirit and soul. Then that person is truly saved. But for those who fail to do that, the soul will separate from them at death and return to the higher realms of spirit without them. So the immortal soul is saved, although the person may not be.

Universal Consciousness

Yes, the soul is a part of universal consciousness. Yet it also retains its individual existence. It is much like each of us in physical form is a part of the human race, yet still individuals. Continue reading “Oversoul of Universal Consciousness”

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spiritual nobleman

Spiritual Nobleman Gains Spiritual Truth

“Eckhart quotes John, 19:12, ‘A certain nobleman went out into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.’ ‘The nobleman’ means, according to Eckhart, ‘a person who submits completely to God, giving up all he is and has’; ‘to go out’ means that he ‘has nothing more to do with vanity … to the extent that he is now pure being, goodness, and truth’; and then he has ‘daybreak knowledge in which creatures are perceived without distinctions.’ But, according to Eckhart, this knowledge is not enough, the nobleman is to be completely free of all forms of knowledge. And then Eckhart continues, ‘There will be no blessings except a man be conscious of his vision and knowledge of God …’.

“Eckhart is here deeply involved in contradiction, He praises knowledge, then repudiates it, and finally takes it up again as the thing desired. … The soul must ‘look at God without anything between’ and ‘receive its being and life and draw its essence from the core of God.’ … Eckhart seems to be using knowledge in two different senses, one is the relative and the other is the absolute. Hence this apparent confusion.” ~Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki (inner quotes by Meister Eckhart)

Spiritual Nobleman

The spiritual master known as Meister Eckhart says that the nobleman referred to in John 19 is actually the spiritual adept, the one who submits completely to God. This doesn’t mean a loss of self or the destruction of the individual ego as some claim. It simply means putting God’s Law and God’s Divine Plan above personal desires and wishes. Today, this idea is laughed at by many. We pay homage to one who is willing to give his life for his country, but laugh at the person who dedicates their life to God.

Into a Far Country

The far country reached by the spiritual nobleman is the spiritual dimension. Close or far in the physical sense has no meaning here. Physically, they are located right here, everywhere, so there is no physical distance at all. Yet they are distant places to us because we have sunk so far into matter that many cannot even accept the existence of the spiritual anymore. On a mental and vibration level, we have moved far away from such places. We moved, they didn’t. To get back to the far country, we need to become open-minded again, especially about spiritual matters, and we need to raise our frequencies. We raise our frequencies by taking in energy and the best energy to take in flows from the spiritual sun. Continue reading “Spiritual Nobleman Gains Spiritual Truth”

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