Naked Bodies are Things of Beauty

“I am ashamed, for naked bodies are exposed to lewd glances and lustful looks. There is foolish laughter and foul words spoken among the onlookers.

“Yet it is not the naked body that is degrading, for bodies are things of beauty. In the beginning, God molded the body to its shape, knowing that in the days to come His Spirit would dwell therein when entering the matter of Earth.

“It was shaped slowly, with care and foresight. Loving hands wrought its wonderful form, and the day dawned when it became the abode of a living soul. Then God commanded, ‘Respect this, this vessel of the ever living spirit, for it is a great and delicate thing meant for communion one with another. It is my supreme achievement upon earth.’

“Therefore, though the body be not supreme it is a thing of greatness, it is a glorious temple meant to be the residence of a god. It reflects without the spirit dwelling within; the smile, the laugh, the eyes reveal it. The body is a thing of glory, it is the greatest of all material creations. …

“That which causes man and woman to forget their responsibility, which arouses in them desires and thoughts, which they cannot control, is not a thing of goodness; it is an instrument of evil. Why should men cover their bodies and women hide their nakedness? Not because naked bodies are things to be ashamed of, but because of what the eye of the beholder makes of them.” ~the Kolbrin Bible (MAN:14:1-7)

Naked Bodies

It is actually quite amazing that people who say we are created in God’s image and our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit think that there is something wrong with being nude. The body is the temple of God, but must be hidden under manmade clothing. Illogic at its best.

Another bit of illogic is how most people accept nudity in art, but nude people on a beach, “No Way!”. It makes me think of the famous tale of the Greek woman who was the widow of a senator and had been allowed to take over his job after he died. This required her to be in areas of the city of Athens where women generally didn’t go. So one morning, when she was walking to the Senate building, three teenage athletes came running around the corner of the building, naked as the day they were born. As was standard for Greece in those days, athletes always performed and practiced nude. But women were not allowed in sporting events. The boys thought it was safe to be running in an area where women didn’t go. But when they accidentally exposed themselves to a woman, they were subject to being sentenced to death for their grievous crime! Fortunately for them, the woman came to their defense, pointing out that she was the mother of several boys, so had seen naked boys before, plus there were nude statues of men and boys all over the city (much like the statue of David used to illustrate this post). She got them freed. Continue reading “Naked Bodies are Things of Beauty”

unreal world

Unreal World of Appearance and Opinion

An Unreal World of Appearance

“Why take as our standard a material world where existence is affirmed by nothing more trustworthy than the sense impressions of ‘normal men’; those imperfect and easily cheated channels of communication? The mystics have always declared, implicitly or explicitly, their distrust in these channels of communication. They have never been deceived by phenomena, nor by the careful logic of the industrious intellect. One after another, with extraordinary unanimity, they have rejected that appeal to the unreal world of appearance which is the standard of sensible men; affirming that there is another way, another secret, by which the conscious self may reach the actuality which it seeks. More complete in their grasp of experience than the votaries of intellect or of sense, they accept as central for life those spiritual messages which are mediated by religion, by beauty, and by pain. More reasonable than the rationalists, they find in that very hunger for reality which is the mother of all metaphysics, an implicit proof that such reality exists; that there is something else, some final satisfaction, beyond the ceaseless stream of sensation which besieges consciousness. ‘In that thou hast sought me, thou hast already found me,’ says the voice of Absolute Truth in their ears. This is the first doctrine of mysticism. Its next is that only is so far as the self is real can it hope to know reality.” ~Evelyn Underhill

World of Appearance

Many people do not realize that the world we live in, the world of matter, is not what is seems to be. That is not just the beliefs of mystics, but science—or at least the science of Quantum Physics—agrees with them. It isn’t that the physical world doesn’t exist, but what it actually is may be quite different than what we think it is.

As Ms. Underhill says, the existence of things in this world is affirmed by nothing more than the opinions and the physical senses of ordinary men. Senses and beliefs which are easily fooled. So it is an unreal world because it isn’t what the vast majority of us think it is, not because it doesn’t exist. Of course, there are some spiritual schools and gurus that say that anything that is temporary is unreal, so in that sense, the realm of matter is an unreal world. Continue reading “Unreal World of Appearance and Opinion”

find meaning in life

Find Meaning in Life, Find Meaning in Living

“The ability to seek and find meaning in life is based more than anything on the capacity to hold paradox and maintain an unblushing cognitive dissonance. The objective world and the subjective world lie one atop the other. Spiritual causality and immediate causality are often different yet occupy the same space, and so truth may be less a matter of either/or than both/and. …

“Consider the Zen practice of the koan, the question or problem posed by Zen masters to each other or by masters to students. The koan is a dilemma, a mystery which the rational mind cannot solve. By frustrating and thwarting our usual strategies of obtaining answers, knowing and understanding, it causes us to begin anew. The key to the resolution of a koan is a shift in the being of the student which allows for a new understanding of the question itself.

“In presenting a koan, the teacher engages the student with mystery in a highly personal way. The student becomes intimate with the question, and sometimes struggles with it for a long time. At first Zen students respond to the mystery much as we all do: with frustration, with outrageous pride, with a sense of unfairness and victimhood, with self-pity, even with anger towards the teacher. None of this works. Having exhausted all these ways, we can begin to find the capacity for other ways and these new ways begin to change us.” ~Rachel Naomi Remen

Seek and Find Meaning

We may not realize it, but seeking to find meaning in things is one of the earliest things we do. Soon after we are born our mind starts trying to learn and identify the things and beings around us. But trying to find meaning in life is a bit more complex. To start with, it is not always clear what life is. And if you can’t clearly identify what life is, it is even more difficult to find meaning in life. You might think that spiritual people do not have that problem, yet I see that very question being asked frequently in spiritual groups on social media. Of course, most of those asking the question are probably relatively new students, or not actual students at all, but simply readers of a few spiritual books. Others are just internet trolls trying to annoy people.

A Flawed Question

One reason it may be so difficult to find the answer to that question is that it makes what may very well be a false assumption: that the meaning in life is the same for all of us. It may be that the answer is very personal. It may be species-specific. I doubt that the meaning of life for a frog is the same as the meaning of life for a man. But if we want a very general answer, there is one that applies in all cases.

A Life Force

The simple – although certainly not complete and satisfying – answer is that a life force exists in the universe. Just as gravity pulls objects together, the life force tries to encourage matter to become living beings, and it succeeds far more than most people suspect. Scientists and explorers have found living things in the most hostile environments on Earth where they never expected to do so. Since the life force is universal, it does the same thing on other planets. Strangely, our scientific community has decided that Earth Life must set the standard for the whole universe, and if they can’t find Earth-like life on a planet or star, it is declared lifeless. They are not lifeless. Life exists everywhere.

Zen Koan

It seems as if Remen is switching subjects mid-stream, but she isn’t. At least not from her point of view. She sees the question “What is the meaning in life?” as a type of koan, a question that can’t be answered by conventional means. As already shown, that is not really true. There is a simple answer and we can find the meaning of life. We can also seek and find meaning in life on a personal level. We should look more at what the meaning of our own life is before we get too concerned with life on a grander scale. That question has an answer also., but it to might be a form of Zen Koan.

The Purpose of our Life is what we Decide to Make it

Usually, people expect a general answer to the question “What is the meaning in life?”. There is one, but what most people really want to know is what is the meaning of their life. That is largely a matter of what they make of it. Your choices determine the meaning of your life. But you can get help in making the right choices, those being the ones that further God’s Divine Plan.

If you awaken your spiritual faculties, you make it far easier for Angels to communicate with you. They will probably still do it in secret and you will thin their suggestions are your own ideas. That doesn’t matter. They will help you steer your ship through life so you have no reason to ask what is the meaning in life. So awaken and know the meaning of life, and have a meaningful life.

brightness of the sun

Brightness of the Sun Brings Enlightenment

“According to the measure in which the air is irradiated by the brightness of the sun, so too the heat increases and brings al things to fruitfulness. When our reason and understanding are so enlightened, that they can recognize and distinguish Divine Truth, then the will, that is, the power of love, grows hotter and streams forth in abundant loyalty and love towards all men in common. For this gift, through the knowledge of truth which is imparted to us in its light, establishes in us a wide stretching love toward all in common. Now the most simple are also the most tranquil, and have the most peace to themselves; and are the most deeply immersed in God; and are most enlightened in understanding, and most fruitful in good works, and in outflowing love towards all in common. And they are hindered least, for they are most like unto God; for God is simplicity in His Being, clarity in His understanding, and outflowing and universal love in His works. And the more you are like unto God in these three things, so much the more closely are we united with Him. Fr this reason we must remain simple in our ground, and must apprehend all things by means of enlightened reason, and … universal love.” ~John of Ruysbroeck

Brightness of the Sun

When we speak of the brightness of the sun, we have to understand that there are two suns. There is the material sun and the Spiritual Sun. When a spiritual teacher, spiritual master, or guru speaks of the sun, it is most likely the Spiritual Sun that is meant. There are two reasons why they didn’t just say that. One is that they don’t want the uninitiated to understand as such power can be very dangerous in the hands of such people. Two, they didn’t want the authorities to know what they were talking about as it might be considered heresy.

Heat Brings Fruitfulness

Actually, it isn’t the heat that brings fruitfulness (growth), but the light. The heat of the sun is certainly necessary for physical life on Earth, but it is the light of the sun that is important for growth of knowledge and consciousness. And it is the Light of the Spiritual Sun that is important for spiritual growth, and spiritual Knowledge (Gnosis). This true Brightness of the Sun awakens the spiritual faculties in us and provides the energy needed to rise to higher and higher levels of consciousness. It is also this Spiritual Brightness of the Sun that is slowly transforming the material world back into a spiritual world, as it was intended to be from the beginning. And it isn’t just our sun doing this. The brightness of the Sun is shared with all suns, all stars, and they are all helping transform the fallen universe of matter. Most of the beings and things in this universe will have no say in it. Man is different. We can embrace this change, and help it happen, by taking in the spiritual brightness of the sun, or we can resist it and cling to materialism. Those who cling to materialism will soon be lost as the world they are clinging to ceases to exist. Make the smart choice and embrace the change. Continue reading “Brightness of the Sun Brings Enlightenment”