Category Archives: meaning

Someone asks, “What is the end goal of reincarnation? After we have lived, learned, experienced everything we wanted to. What then? It all seems, not pointless, but rather mundane. At least that’s how I’ve always felt.”

I will share some ideas, partly from my own thoughts and experiences, and partly from the wisdom traditions.

To begin with, it will help to understand what “learning” is not. I think our human concept of “goals” and learning are vague analogues of the real meaning and do not actually capture the essence of it. Learning is not simply the gains from the kind of labor we experienced in school and it is not simply learning to seek pleasure and avoid pain. It has little or no correspondence with what Mom and Dad taught us or what we read in most books. Spiritual learning is not verbal. When we are asleep to the real meaning of what we encounter then we assign conventional and mundane meanings to spiritual terms and teachings and so miss reality.

What then is learning in the spiritual sense of the word? It has been defined as the expansion of consciousness. But any word or phrase that one may use to describe or define it will fall short of the reality. The limited meaning that most have for goals and learning, together with the sense of the mundane are all limitations within our own consciousness and these words do not actually point, for most, to the inner meaning. I’ve suggested the new word “consciousness” but the real meaning of that will also have to be learned by direct personal experience. We must stay open to that possibility.

I will say that consciousness is bound up with the true meaning of love, joy, and life— it is a vast thing of infinite dimensions. It is not just learning as we may have experienced it thus far in this tiny slice of life–a partial life and part of the chain that stretches back into the remote past and forward into the distant future embracing all the undreamed of possibilities of that. And it is not even just learning within an earthly body on this planet, rather it is cosmic and has about it as many facets as are stars in the depths of space—so “learning” is not limited to planet Earth at all– that is just the beginning.

And beyond that, it is not just learning–it is also doing, which is to say the power to create and the power to be and become vastly more than can now be imagined by anyone on the planet. I will say that love is the key and that by engaging in creative work on behalf of humanity, from the motive of love, will come some illumination to us as to the nature and meaning of the word “consciousness.”

The spiritual goal of our life and all lives is written in space as a dynamic Divine archetype which is gradually accessible to our consciousness as we grow and unfold the powers and potentials of divinity within us. So the goal in a spiritual sense is not a limited thing. It is unlimited. It is infinite and so there is no final ending point where attainment is absolutely complete and so the story ends. The goal is not a matter of learning everything that you wanted to. It is a vastly expanded sense of learning who and what you are which means a transformation of the sense of identity and so what you “want.” It is the discovery of infinity both within yourself and within the universe. Think large and realize that even this universe is but one of a chain of universes that stretch into the remote past and on into the infinite future.

Each of us can, by virtue of what is within us, say with Divinity:

“And within me, deep and deep, Universes wake and sleep.” Kenneth Morris

Deep star field from NASA

Words Darkly Illuminated

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Words are useful and support community of understanding when those who use them are “on the same page,” as the cliché has it. Some language works against this through ambiguity or vagueness, which no doubt mirrors the corresponding weakness in human consciousness. Each person is free to spin words and concepts in a certain way, often without regard to the language of another or the confusion engendered. We can mitigate this Tower of Babble effect by paying close attention to the thinking and communicating process as mediated by words. One aspect of this pertains to the degeneration of terms and concepts.

Perhaps one of the most difficult word-meaning problems occurs in cases where the same word can mean opposite things. This sometimes occurs where unfriendly forces hijack a word with a benevolent tradition. For instance, a dictionary shows that the word “mystic” has suffered some debasement, having spilled over in its usage with the word “occult,” a term with some unsavory magical associations. So, a given word may point to it’s opposite where popular thought arrives at a strange mix of dark and light, of spiritual and anti-spiritual connotations.

The Active Enzyme Lemon-Freshened Junior High School Witch

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You’ve probably not met The Active Enzyme Lemon-Freshened Junior High School Witch. Maybe she’s alive and well on a planet a constellation near Andromeda; we don’t know for sure and humility prompts us to realize that there are a few corners of the universe we’ve not yet visited. But she has such a charming name that, in a serendipitous mood, we might be half-convinced that she is quite real. In any case, a book for children was written about her, but unlike many related texts it does not purport to be anything other than fiction. Fiction often overlaps with fanciful abstractions and the real and unreal are intricately interwoven. We also know that many abstract words are only “shadows hiding a vacuum.” And what we know about the “The Active Enzyme Lemon-Freshened Junior High School Witch,” is that she is a high-flying abstraction pieced together from things that we do have knowledge of.

The thing about the witchery of high-flying language is its emotional appeal. It is glamorous, and at the same time often touches on matters of real importance: God, love, death, humanity, finding the right path, our place in cosmos, our true nature… These are so important, so luminous in the depth of consciousness that we may find them compelling even when badly expressed and mixed with all manner of invented balderdash. So when we encounter a truth that is distorted, watered-down, and morphed with extraneous material of all sorts–even then–we may find this pseudo-truth attractive and absorbing. The words we hear and the associations they evoke work magic so that anything with some real truth in becomes a challenge. And like the Active Enzyme Lemon-Freshened Junior High School Witch, the name can be so charming that we may be half-convinced by the name alone. This particular witch is an abstraction, selected and composed from a wide array of things.

The root meaning of the word “abstract” is to “draw away,” in essence to draw away from the things physical, concrete, and specific. If one were aspiring to things spiritual, this would seem, at first thought, to be a good idea. But some mentally unhealthy conditions are also characterized by withdrawal. So what are the differences between the benign metaphysician and the neurotic?

One difference, semantically defined, is what we might call word/reality split. It is the disunion between the words and the things or realities that they stand for. Often, we listen to someone using high-level abstract words, and we don’t know what they’re talking about. In such cases, there are at least two possibilities: either our experience is too limited or uneducated for comprehension, or they actually don’t know what they’re talking about. In this latter case the person who has “lost touch” doesn’t know it and are quite sure that they know what they’re talking about. They may be proud of their language and love the associated emotions.

We live in a “New Age” of information and misinformation overload, and this poses special challenges for us. In the metaphysical and philosophical world, there are thousands of competing verbalizations with contradictory pronouncements. If we gulp down lots of metaphysics, unless we’re an exceptionally well-rounded and clever, we’re apt to wind up with fine case of muddle-de-physics.

Naturally, many of us think—prematurely–that we’re exceptionally well rounded and clever, and so are quick to get into trouble. Which brings up the next notable difference between a metaphysician and neurotic: ego. Knowledge of a special language makes us feel special. Familiarity with lofty terms seems to elevate us, and set us apart from the crowd. We may become part of a world saving in-group. We are trying to be less lonely and be recognized for our knowledge and high status. Salvation of the world is, of course, an essential and admirable pursuit. And it would benefit all of us if more of those enthusiastically engaged in this activity did know what they were talking about, and if they actually could fly as high as the witchery their words suggests.

“It is inherent in our intellectual activity that we seek to imprison reality in our description of it. Soon, long before we realize it, it is we who become prisoners of the description.” —Aneurin Bevan

“Great God, what a universe! And we discuss it over our teacups as though it were a thing we carried in our waistcoat pockets.” –L. P. Jacks

“Men suppose their reason has command over their words; still it happens that words in return exercise authority on reason.” –Bacon

“The world is satisfied with words. Few appreciate the things beneath.”—Pascal

New Life, New Love, New Words

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There is a special power that comes from learning new words and from learning new meanings for familiar words. The eminent psychologist, Dr. Roberto Assagioli, wrote, “Words possess the power of stimulating and arousing activity associated with them. They evoke and make operative the meanings and idea-forces that they signify.” But I would add, they only do so when we tap into one of the deeper levels of meaning behind them.

Everything has a multitude of levels or dimensions, and our vocabulary is no exception; it evolves as we do. So we find new words for new experiences that come to us, and we find new dimensions that give deeper meaning to the words we now use. Words like “self” and “love” have many meanings, and the meanings we give them depend on our developing experience.

We can take any word our intuition underscores as important, and use it meditatively. It’s good exercise to proceed as if we don’t really know the meanings of important words we use. On some level this is always true. For instance, we might take the new word “spirit” into our vocabulary and see it in a completely new way, as if for the first time. Likewise, the new word “love” will have for us a spectrum of meanings not yet divined. We can always seek behind our words, going one dimension deeper into meaning. And when we have done that, then stay open for the next layer of meaning, and the next….

“But customs make one customary. Therefore, I urge you to look at the sky as if for the first time.”

Leaves of M’s Garden II, 191

Giving up and Acquisition

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We can view progress as giving up or displacement, or in terms of acquisition. The first is negation and the second affirmation or inclusion.

We relinquish one thing, but obtain something else, in other words, the displacement of the lower by the higher or the supplanting of a lesser thing by a greater. Energy shifts from one thing to another, and lesser things fall away as we become more absorbed in finer ones.

Esoteric “inclusion” is the obverse of denial. We can move forward by denial or inclusion. And though the approaches may differ, inclusions and denial are, in a sense, aspects of one thing. We can express this difficult concept with an example.

Here is flower. Shall we renounce it? My answer is yes and no. We might respond to the flower as a personality in a superficial emotional or sentimental way. But there are other levels of response. The soul is artist and beauty is the essence of spirituality. The flower is symbol and gateway. We may well renounce the flower if our eyes are glancing off it superficially. But the flower is a manifestation of spirit, and hence an instrument of transformation–it can be a portal into which we are ushered into the meaning of life.

Intuitive Vistas

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What is intuition? It may be thought of as a world or a universe of meanings. Colors, notes, and lights are the best physical analogy. Intuition sparkles in the mind and feelings with a beauty so intense as to be sharp, even painful.

Intuition has relatives. The meaning of love and unity overlap with that of intuition. The meaning of “illuminated mind” overlaps with intuition, but the usual meaning of “rational truth” and “love” are far from intuition. Probably, we must be able to really think before we can expect intuitive light. In the silence following thought, we can often see the most clearly.

Sometimes we may see in the silence following simple observation. Some intuitive fire can emerge spontaneously as the accompaniment of sight. But it is hard to say what hidden preparations lead to the moment of revelation.

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

The Little Prince

The Deep Significance of Definitions as Arrows

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Often people imagine that a definition relates words to the world. But actually, a definition only relates words to other words—it is we who must, based on our experience, relate the words to the world. Definition is the substitution of words for other words, but it is experience that lets us to link words to the world. This is why experiences in common are the basis of communication, and why expanded consciousness is so vital to harmony and understanding.

A definition is only helpful when the words used link to our personal knowledge and experience. If we have an experience that relates to a word, then that word becomes like an arrow pointing to the experience. Where we have only the word, and lack a corresponding experience, that word remains like an arrow pointing to a question mark. We can, of course, also have in our minds a word-arrow that points to the wrong part of the world. What makes it “wrong?” It’s wrong because we are alone in our definition, so the mistaken word-arrow is useless and misleading as a means of communicating with others.

The practical value of reflecting on this is that it helps us understand something of what happens when we try and fail to communicate. And it also helps us think more clearly, because in so far as we use words when thinking, we can better understand what it is we are doing.

 

“A SONG of the rolling earth, and of words according,
Were you thinking that those were the words, those upright lines? Those curves, angles, dots?
No, those are not the words, the substantial words are in the ground and sea, They are in the air, they are in you.”

Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman

 

Some illumination exists in understanding when we have got hold of the words, but not that which the words point to. Our psychological condition in this respect is not always as clear and obvious as one might at first think. If it were, mutual understanding would be a far more widespread than it currently is.

The key is to be free of imprisonment in our own vocabularies.  

“Each man wrappeth his thought within his own egotism and calleth the brat a new name.”

The Case of Patience Worth, Prince, Walter Franklin

Meditative Translating—Verbal and Conceptual Adaptation

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We do not know to what extent we agree or disagree with another until we understand each other’s thoughts, and to do that we must get behind each other’s words. Intellectually, it would seem that we all know this obvious truth, yet emotionally we often demonstrate we do not. So, if a person’s words are foreign to us, we may assume the thoughts behind them are foreign as well though this may not be true. Frequently, we will argue, so to speak, with the words of another and never connect with the ideas, never realize that we failed to understand what was is in the other’s mind and heart.

It’s useful to understand the special language used by another, especially when that language contrasts with our preferred usage. It helps to be able to put on different verbal hats. Indeed, the externalization of thoughts is so intimately bound up with language that often we must be able to put on a different verbal hat in order to think toward something new. Adopting another’s terms and meditatively translating them into our own language can often advance understanding of the new.

Through this discipline, we gradually approach the realization that words are not the same as meaning, that essence is not the same as form. It would seem that this is obvious and that we understand this, yet the frequency of arguments based on unexamined definitions shows that our understanding of word/meaning relationships is weak. In the abstract we may know that words are not the same as the things they refer to, and that words mean different things to different people, yet to often in our conversations we betray “the better angels of our nature” and foolishly fail to act from our understanding. Here then is a practical aspect of semantics that can promote essential understanding and avert many arguments. About arguments, fools may rush in, but angels can tread most anywhere without ill effect. And where we prove more the fool than angel, well there’s the lesson also.

External Knowledge and Intuition

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Familiar forms and familiar words

In the psychic, as in the physical, we may see, hear, or sense something and then think about it. The thing that distinguishes the phenomenal or personality-level experience is that it can generally be more or less adequately thought about and expressed in terms of forms. That is, a personality experience can be adequately described in terms of shape, color, or sound. To put it another way, since it takes place in the realm of forms, common word forms provide the natural means of communicating or recording it. We hear a voice and it might say, ”Circle of flowers,” and we may ask what does that mean? Or we see a shape that resembles a circle of flowers or colors and we ask, ”What does that mean?” The key is, when we ask such a question we’re speaking about something phenomenal, something closer to the personality or manifest realms.

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Unified field

In the paragraphs above, I’ve divided life into spiritual and personality levels, but let’s unify them because that is more realistic. So, if we are evolving, our experience of life is moving toward unity. This means that in any seeing or hearing there can be a spiritual component. Everywhere, the spiritual transparency is laid over the personal one, because the worlds and our experience of them overlap in a unified way.

So, in every experience, physical-psychic-spiritual, we’re presented with a unified field. The physical and psychic (emotional-intellectual) components of any experience may be rightly questioned. We can examine these and assess them with the mind. But if there is a spiritual component, that is, if our experience has a soul, then that is the self-validating part. The body of our experience, the form it takes in our sense or psyche (shape, color, words), these are the external or relative part, the part that intellect can address. The spiritual part is transcendent to the intellect, and the mind cannot judge that which is beyond it.

“At that instant he saw, in one blaze of light, an image of unutterable conviction, the reason why the artist works and lives and has his being—the reward he seeks—the only reward he really cares about, without which there is nothing. It is to snare the spirits of mankind in nets of magic, to make his life prevail through his creation, to wreak the vision of his life, the rude and painful substance of his own experience, into the congruence of blazing and enchanted images that are themselves the core of life, the essential pattern whence all other things proceed, the kernel of eternity.”

Time and the Rive, Thomas Wolfe

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Interpersonal Resonance

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It’s rare to resonate to the actual meaning in the mind and heart of another. Ego usually prefers a more personal interpretation. We hear words, automatically assigning them meaning based on personal knowledge. This is natural and inevitable, but our sin is that we forget about our ego and the limits of our knowledge. The interpretative process becomes thoughtless and self-centered, and we relate to another’s words in a way that misses the meaning. We jump to the conclusion that we know what’s being said. It’s a natural action of ego. It’s tricky, because words of themselves are just dead forms and illusions. We ourselves give them life, or fail to give it. Having words in our ears doesn’t mean we have the meaning in the mind and heart of the speaker. All this might seem obvious, yet this very day have we not all fallen short of the glory of communion.

The glory of meaning is in people, not in words. Meaning is an arc of light in the space between words.

“All music is what awakes from you
When you are reminded by the instruments.”

Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman

And in reading, thinking, and listening, all meaning is what wakes from us when we are reminded by the words.

Magic Resonance

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“Never did eye see the sun unless it had first become sun-like, and never can the soul have vision of the First Beauty unless itself be beautiful”

— Plotinus

How to make our minds as sane and clear as the Sun? We can choose to focus mainly on what is beautiful, good, creative, uplifting; at the same time, to clearly know the obstacles but without making these our main focus.

Otherwise put, the key is resonance. If consciousness is occupied with the innermost beauty of things, a magical resonance is created that floods the space of the mind and surrounding space. Then the mind becomes a door into light. Right resonance in the mind and heart leads toward transcendence of the limited. We ponder the beauty of the candle and the star, and find they are not simply hot spots or opposites of ice. Rather, a door swings open, a door into fire, of which these luminous points are the messengers. The grandeur of this beautiful fire is enunciated by the morning light at the dawn of each new day.

Synchronization or resonance is a way of talking about vibration or frequency. We resonate with that which relates to our own nature. The phrase “sympathetic vibration” also expresses this. Emerson wisely said, “The secrets of life are not shown except to sympathy and likeness.”

Strings of a musical instrument vibrate together, even though they are not entirely alike, yet the similarity of their nature makes the resonance possible. So, to know the higher, we must become like it. We must sound the notes in our mind, body, and emotion that are resonant with their correspondences on transcendent levels. Each thought, emotion, or action that resonates with the higher is magical. Magic is the applied truth of the heart, the power to manifest and uplift.

Truth and truth—a limited rendering

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There is cosmic Truth; kin to the energy that patterns all the suns in Space. It is transcendent Spirit, pure Light beyond thought and word.

There is Monadic truth, the sun-like core of Self, mystically one with spatial suns.

There is intuitional truth, pure Beautiful light, and more of truth than fits most any brain.

There is truth of soul, a fire above the mind, and great, but well below the fires of the great hierarchy of suns.

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There is the relative truth that developed mind takes and forms to words. It embraces the practical and the communicative. It is thought-truth in which we may see, from time to time, mirrored sparkles of things cosmic and mysterious.

There are truths on the many strata of the emotional plane, an array of sensing and sensitivities in graded steps from most beautiful downward toward the darkly glamorous and exclusive pseudo truths of the fanatics.

But what is our relation to truth? We are light obstructions becoming clear light transmitters. All the common of intellect, of emotion and body, and all ordinary noise that we do and say—all this competes with the pure pressures from above, with the transcendental. So, in our sleepy misalignment we block our creative gifts, and our fears, greater than our loving desire to give, hold us in prison.

Yet then there comes the upward turned eye, the pure feeling, the creatively tensed thought—these instruments of divinity manifest. And as the eye mirrors suns in the far depths of space, so a certain turn of mind and heart mirrors the mystic, the most Transcendent. Then we render ourselves most clearly, drawing ever closer to the energy that patterns suns, ever closer to transcendent Spirit, to pure Light beyond thought and word.

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Where Meaning Is

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Are words better able to convey mundane experiences than subtle or spiritual ones?  No, because the virtues and limits of words are the same in each case. It’s experience in common that makes all communication via words possible, because the meaning of everything (from the most spiritual to the most material) is not in the words but in the consciousness of the listener or reader.

“The eyesight has another eyesight and the hearing another hearing and the voice another voice.”

—Henry David Thoreau

Like the Best Morning of Life

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We would like perpetual renewal of life and vitality. We would like to feel that dawn is coming with a rush of new benevolent energy. We would like to be in spirit like the best morning of our life, to find in the light of new day the best actions and words.

About words, today, I reiterate a bit of transpersonal semantics conducive to renewal: a word is, or might be, sacred. I do not fancy myself religious in any conventional sense, but there is a good idea in the religious of the world, that of “sacred word.” I do not say it is in bibles or churches. But it might be in you. And if we were to meet, I would listen for it. You might not even know you spoke it, but I fancy that I would hear and know.

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Dead Words

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People tend to listen and respond as if words have more or less fixed meanings. But words don’t have fixed ordained meanings. They mean what we, the community of word users, agree they mean–and we often disagree and change our minds. Word meanings are in motion like the fluid consciousness that gives them birth, and dictionaries are the fluent history of our collective verbal habits. Dictionaries are not meaning bibles but an ephemeral record of how we have used words. Words are a catalyst for consciousness–there is no meaning in the words themselves. Or we might say words have shadow meanings that follow the actual meaning that exists in the life of consciousness. Words are symbols, forms, obscure mysteries—they are in the world of dead things and only take on meaning in a moment of illumination in the mind and heart of the reader or speaker.

Perceptions and Being–Light of Worlds

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There! Ghost of light, arresting glimmer on the periphery of vision… Is that a magic mirror, a window, a door? If mirror, it does not reflect earth-light. If a window it might be a sacred landscape, a memory of ancient worlds or worlds not yet born. It is close now, and clearly an opening door. I see through to a world, and within and beyond that another and another–bright worlds of the past and worlds of the future, infinite vistas of painful beauty. They sweep around and through me and I go to them. Their flow is joyous, commanding, where each paints the fiery core of things. And now a chorus of shining, ascending, voices. They fill me with open spaces; they engulf and overwhelm; I am with them, of them… I love and become through them.

Infinite Divinations

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Runes, cards, I Ching, sticks, books, leaves, hands, stars, numbers, words, symbols, forms–all the same face, giving nothing or everything. Every pattern, every symbol system, the waves on the sand, the child’s face, every language, the same; the whole universe divined by I-evoking magic. Does it matter where we turn for the answers? I divine there is little virtue in the pattern, in the form itself; most virtue being in the reader or in the reader’s magic relation with “out there.” The sky and the earth are as full of Runes as is any man women or child.

To Become what We Are

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I am a shadow of what will be, a suggestion of things to come–so are we all. And in dawn of future light, the shadow looks even less me than I foresaw. And when we start to be, to become in essence what we are, what sacred wonders then unfold! In these we see that space, that communion with our truer selves–along that way of lights is future world, yet present now were we more timeless in our present.

The Esoteric Landscape, a Difficult Journey

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Let us consider the world of the “esoteric” or “spiritual science”—these suggests a wide diversity of things such as psychic phenomena, the supernatural, mysticism, meditation, tarot card reading, kabalistic obscurity, crystal balls, reincarnation, astral bodies, auras and chakaras, Eastern thought, metaphysics, and the occult. For some, the language may also call to mind witches and wizards, seances, a yogi in a mountain cave, magical charms, mysterious rites, and perhaps even some UFOs thrown in. And for some, the esoteric terms even associate with cults, satanic worship, or some TV show on the latest strange, weird, or bizarre phenomena. We might say that, the human scene, being what it is, people inevitably acquire a superficial picture; a caricature of whatever realities esoteric language is intended to point to. And among many people, a term like “esoteric” or “occult” conjures emotions most strange, while in this maze of language and concepts–usually but vaguely and poorly defined–wander the metaphysically oriented people of the world.

All this is not to belittle the truth underlying the language, but rather to help us realize more clearly the difficulties of discerning that truth. It helps to realize that excellent things are rare, and that for every true teacher, there are a thousand pretentious gurus. For every true psychic, there are a thousand pseudopsychics. For every prophetic visionary, thousands of false prophets walk the earth. And for every truly enlightened individual, there are thousands spiritual charlatans. And the matter is further complicated by the fact that we rarely have just obviously “false” communications but a cryptic blend of the true, and half-true, of false, and a partly false. There are a thousands of shades of partly true offered us from every direction.

And everywhere we find systems, gimmicks, offerings of pretty packages, of effortless cures and quick enlightenments, and even metaphysical versions of get-rich-quick schemes. And for every purely wrought axiom of wisdom, there are a thousand clichés and inferior versions.

It may also help us to realize that, at one extreme, everything becomes counterfeited and debased. Everything has false and glamorous versions. Everything has illusory and shadowy counterparts. So, on the surface, everywhere is scattered fool’s gold.

At the other extreme, in deeper spaces, is the clear gold light of wisdom. But between the extremes is a world of grays where things gradually shade toward the light. This is the world where our discrimination and insight are constantly tested. This is the world where we must learn to think and see ever more clearly. We live along a twilight path of human understanding, a world mixed of dark and light. Yet, along the way, we may more optimistically recall that shadows suggest the light that cast them.

Take heart then that the Powers that be thought so well of us as to lay upon our path such difficult circumstances. Our own powers are equal to the challenge, if not today, then surely tomorrow, and we have an infinity of tomorrows.

Let us bring out of the dense fabric of human thought some clear ideas, set them upon a pedestal, elevated, striking, luminous—suitable objects for reflection. The light of them is beautiful and, in one way, simple, yielding to us by interior radiance that vision of clarity we so deeply need for the difficult journey.

Ellipsis and Etcetera

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Everything is gateway and symbol. See these dots: . . . They’re an “ellipsis,” a form of punctuation indicating an omission. The word “ellipsis” is from Latin and means, “to fall short.” When we speak, write, or think, we always fall short and the ellipsis reminds us of it. Therefore, add an implicit ellipsis to each thought and expression.

The ellipsis is the most important form of punctuation. It should be burned into our memory like bright dots of fire. These little dots are not dots at all: they are points of light opening into the larger cosmos. The ellipsis has a powerful gateway attribute. It’s one of the most useful symbols in an open-minded person’s equipment. It reminds us that there’s always more to everything than is said or expressed. This means that no book, group, idea, teacher, philosophy, religion or science, ever tells us all we need to know about anything. There is always more beyond what is given.

Also useful for our understanding is the word “etcetera,” from the Latin, “the rest.” It is an antidote to our human tendency of period-and-stop thinking. The word should remind us of the bad habit we sometimes have of picking up a piece of the truth and saying with it. This is simple and obvious yet rarely understood and applied.

The Voice of Dreams

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This morning I spoke with someone with a voice unlike any I’ve ever heard. It had a clarity and quality that was astounding. I was struck by the message within the message that was this individual’s voice and presence. Though the external meaning of the exchange was exceptional, it was virtually obliterated by the quality of the speaker. The encounter impressed upon me the difference between symbol and essence.

Psyche: the Fiery Angel

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A fiery angel comes to live with us, in her face the memory of all we have known, in her all the fiery angels of past ages. Her hand traces the brightest patterns of life, the hidden structures of worlds and time. With her, into the earth for a time, to sleep, to dream, and finally to wake, until now we see the creative, the essence of ourselves, the soul incarnate. Near her, the face of the whole world shines with fluid light. Near her the obvious invisible flame, and in this the world of subtle pattern, the flow of deep purpose, the great mystery. We live in this flame in our true aspect, and in it are all the faces of love in all times.

Behind the Mirrors of Illusion

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My image in the mirror is illusion, another not-me. Light bounces from body to mirror to eye and mysteriously paints another not-me in the brain. I look down on this image and name it. The name is an unsatisfying apparition, and when I pass the name to you it remains a curious ghost. Yet behind the mirror, behind the image, behind the word, behind these into the vast heart of light, I see the foundation that makes all illusions visible.

The Gift without Name

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They come to you, unifying, communicating, manifesting in sound. We might say they use “music” or “notes,” as that is an analog the brain understands. They play the power through each center, ringing changes through the ascending body-of-light-sound that seems “I.”

They show something of what and why you are in the deep infinite of life, and something of what they are, and something of what all life is. They radiate pure meaning that comes as chords of music.

The waves are infinite in variety and beauty; each strand of musical-meaning sparkles with countless seeds of future life, your life and all life. The essence of the future is there, and worlds of instruction live in each chord. With all perceptions altered, brightened immeasurably, you are grounded at last in reality. Your subsequent life, in so far as it is meaningful, shall be nothing but the translation into action of this music.

The sounds continue in the background of your best thoughts. In greatly muted from they weave their magic through all the days of your life—thank heavens for the muted notes, for fully sustained they would burn your body to ashes. You see now where the obscurations are, where the notes failed to penetrate. But it is only a matter of time before the gift without name redeems everything.