Category Archives: life

Sphere of Life

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Science divides the world into organic and inorganic, the living and nonliving.  And we read of a time before there was life on Earth, and then a proliferation of theories to explain how life evolved from a material matrix defined as lifeless.  In this conception, our mind stages a curious scenario where Mother Earth is a lifeless form, yet gives birth to life.  In this dualistic picture, life somewhat mysteriously arose from lifelessness.

Metaphysical thinkers often affirm, in various ways, “Life is one, ” or “All things are one,” or simply “All is one.”   Do they mean that organic things are one but that the material matrix that gave them birth is something other than and apart from the one?  Or do they mean that organic life and nonliving matter are something other than “life” and that the spirit or soul, sanding apart from these, is life?   If we take them at their word, all is one life, however well disguised in forms organic and inorganic.

The curious “life from lifelessness” concept is less mysterious if we supplement the narrower biological definitions of life with a more comprehensive and unitary definition.  Namely, that all is life—an atom is alive, a human is alive, and a star is alive, and the “big bang” or the “big bloom” is a living action.  Life is motion, and in evolution, motion becomes less unconscious and more conscious. Apparent “lifelessness” is not “dead matter” but just latent life.   Is there then life elsewhere in the universe?  It follows that there is nothing but life in the universe.  Moreover, it would appear stingy, if not wasteful of space, that divinity would evoke a little bubble of organic life around planet Earth and leave the rest of the universe in a dead state.  Probably, divinity is much more lavish.

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Deeper Causes

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Modern observation, by intense attention to externals, finds causes and relative facts. Useful though these may be, there are superficial and deeper causes for everything. So genes do not ultimately cause or determine anything, rather they are in the realm of secondary causes and effects. Behind and through them are undiscovered dimensions.

It is the same with brain and body. There are causes that run far deeper than genes and brain patterns. The light bulb in our ceiling may be considered the source of the light, or one may look to the generator, the waterfall, the Sun, or a “big bang.” But then science cannot truly define gravity or thought and the origin of the universe is not contained in the pages of books.

The Turn from Night to Day

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Inevitably, things become better. The beginning and ending of karmic cycles and the weaving and blending of waves is exceedingly complex. It is difficult to say what is ending and what is beginning, or even sometimes what is for the best and what is not. But our spirit perceives the beginning and the conclusion and is secure in the knowledge of the inevitable triumph of Good. This knowledge is at the heart of that perennial optimism that sees the light of tomorrow. We know how thought shapes the future and how our attitude and orientation contributes to the stream of events. We are alert to the worst possibilities as temporary delays in the cosmic scheme, yet we remain alight with the vision of the best and with our hands and feet well employed.

The future of mankind exists as an archetypal reality. Each one who sees this helps manifest the inevitable, forges a link with brotherhood, and lightens the burden of humanity. One can directly experience the coming renovation in human consciousness because the focus of true individuality is in continuity with a greater life or being that is the foundation and root of unity.

The Door of Everything

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Sound, light, color, and motion can be a portal to intuitive perception. So physical phenomena may trigger intuitive light. Everything is doorway. Everything and everyone is the symbol and gate of reality. Everything serves as window to the spiritual. Every point in space, rightly apprehended, is education, initiation. And though all things serve in this manner, yet the phenomena that triggers revelation is individual, according to temperament and affinity.

“The process of shifting levels from the letter to the inner meaning in the matter of spiritual attitudes can be clearly set forth by one single proposition. It consists in ‘seeing through’ the phenomenon. Every living phenomenon is, first and last, a symbol; for the essence of life is meaning. But every symbol which is the ultimate expression of a state of consciousness is in itself transparent for another deeper one, and so on into eternity; for all things in the sense-connection of life are inwardly connected, and their depths have their roots in God.”

— Hermann Keyserling

Life as Meditation

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All the phenomena of life are meditation forms. Meditation arises spontaneously from the hidden side of things; no waking person can escape the glory of it. There are great shocks of communion in children’s faces and in the pages of books. And here it presses itself upon us in the voices of friends and in the sun behind clouds. And when we dutifully set meditation aside as a packaged ritual of image and word, we may find this works also, but for some of us, not as well as life. For me, the artificiality of forms suffocates, and I try to avoid death by improvising. On a good day perhaps directing our gaze is form enough. From that alone we may slip quietly into the great blue sky of the real.