Culture and all arts and sciences can be pictured as expressing in streams of descending energy. Evolution forms under a rainbow of hierarchical influences. So the best of human culture glows with light borrowed from above, and the sunlight of spiritual impression, in concert with our own efforts, creates history.
Yet spiritual energy is like sunlight in the garden that can feed both weeds and flowers. We are often inept at grounding radiant energies in a beneficial and beautiful way and consequently we make a mess of things. The energizing and organizing impulses, through our unready vehicles, are misapplied. So many grand and glorious impulses from above, on contact with human psychology, become unfortunate travesties.
“A little soul holding on like a bulldog to the tail end of a great principle, and whip-cracking about among his fellows as he follows that principle around in its huge curves, is a deadly menace.”
When I was a young child, one morning well before the sunrise, we left on a camping trip. The sky was the dark-bright of a full Moon. The car sped along the highway and the cool wind whipped passed the open window with amazing freshness, the wind of childhood. I looked at the passing landscape of shadow-shapes, vague ghost trees, and an occasional house. There, far beyond the cool wind and ghosts was the large yellow Moon low on the horizon. It was then that I first really saw the Moon.
I have seen other moons since. Sometimes they bring an unexpected friend in the wake of their synchronicity. Sometimes they bring unusual thought, and sometimes a fire in head and a body electric. There are Moons of painful beauty that recall the visitations of childhood. They seem to open wide one of many hyperspace doors between worlds, where lights gleam from a current of numberless dimensions.
Sometimes a Moon passes by me unnoticed. I do not know one Moon from another but find them all benediction. So also I cannot name the stars or tell which is far or near. But I think, that in the far depths of space, there are many planets with Moons, and many children look to them.
The physical body is fiery–its atoms are bits of fiery energy, so our body can develop in special ways along a fiery path. Desire is also fiery; we burn with it, and the mind is often represented as fiery energy. All these are personal fires, and in way all are, as mythology has it, “fires stolen from heaven.”
Ideally, our life would be directed by spiritual fire, by subtle fires transcendent to personality. Then the beautiful fire of heaven and the external fires of body, emotion, and mind might meet and blend in magical harmony. This would be meditation or mediation.
We might say that true meditation is the union of spiritual fires with more external ones. But what if we engage in a process in which we experiment, as a personality, with the fires of our external nature, and while doing so we call it “meditation” or some other methodological name? Then, mistaking personal fires for spiritual ones, we might become an inflamed personality.
How then to define a path leading to union with spiritual fire as distinct from an inflamed personality? I’m thinking that it comes down to the question of whether we emphasize form or spirit. Form has its place as a vehicle for the spiritual, but often the form dominates, eclipsing the spiritual. Let us count some ways this occurs:
- Emphasizing rituals and set forms of all kinds instead placing our life in order.
- Emphasizing physical postures instead of spiritual orientation.
- Focusing on a center within the physical or etheric body instead of the radiant spiritual energies behind and through our psychology (Love, spiritual will, harmony, beauty, etc.).
- Emphasis on breathing exercises instead of the spiritual “breathing in” and giving forth that is, or should be, a healthy daily life.
- Emphasizing finding a physical guru instead of attunement to our inner teacher.
- Desire for psychic powers instead of desire to use our existing powers for the benefit of others.
- Emphasis on physical methods using sound, color, technology, or body manipulation.
- Emphasizing symbol instead of meaning.