Category Archives: reality

Worldly Reflections

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Without intuitive light, we exist imprisoned in symbols, in forms, in surrounding things. But by light we pass through symbol to meaning by way of intuition. Or failing this we are caught in symbol, mistaking it for the real. To be caught is easy, because symbols are not entirely dark–there is borrowed light in them, a moonlight reality, mirror of the sun’s radiation. Without the sunlight of intuition, only glamour is visible, and we exist then in an eerie moonlight world, knowing only surface lights. While moonlight is from the surface, sunlight shines from an inner depth. So moonlight is borrowed but sunlight is fiery-original and an apt symbol of intuition. On the surface we live in a moonlight world of things, yet rightly seen each natural thing conjures for us the sunlight world.

True life expresses in a radiance that illuminates all surrounding things. Knowledge or consciousness may be conceived as the source of this interior radiance–it is the light of intuition or teaching from within. It is revelation of truth, the release of imprisoned splendor.

Beauty as Transformative Power

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“I was lifted high,
In sun-bright healing winds—desiring now
A greater beauty…”

— Marion Wentworth

Usually, people think of beauty as something perceived, something we subjectively attribute to an object or a person. But I find the spiritual meaning of beauty is different. Spiritual beauty is not a passive perception but an active and transformative power. It is the energy of the intuitional world. We commune with such beauty, we enter into it and it enters into us. It is unity and Fire. It is “the world of pure meaning.” This beauty is not our personal response to an object in the world. Rather, beauty is itself a multidimensional world of rainbow archetypes.

In the archetypal world the divine mosaic shines in beauty. We encounter considerable fidelity problems in translating this world of pure meaning into its best correspondences in thought and words. It is a valiant effort, yet the lesser cannot fully include the greater. Still we try to mirror it. Fortunately, the mental mirror is itself in long-term evolutionary motion.

“…beyond the Beauty that is predicated of various forms and relationships, there is a pure Transcendent Beauty, and this is a mode of the very Being of the SELF. This Beauty is not something that is beautiful. It is Self-existent and casts its luster upon all things… Ecstasy is pure Beauty, as well as pure Joy and Knowledge.”

Pathways Through to Space, Franklin Merrell-Wolff

Flowers and other Hyper-space Doorways

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“It is not words only that are emblematic; it is things which are emblematic. Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact. The visible creation is the terminus or the circumference of the invisible world.”   R. W. Emerson

This being so, every encounter is an act of interpretation, an attempt to divine essential meaning. Every thing suggests its higher correspondence. The archetypal shines through everything in all its oceanic majesty. So, to the evolving eye, the entire universe, every person, flower, and event becomes a hyper-space doorway.

And God said: "Relativity, degrees, strata, spectrum, etc."

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The words you see here—and the thoughts I hope you see—are an illusion, but also relatively real. Words are real to the extent that some true spirit or knowledge imbues them, and they are also more or less real or unreal according to the consciousness of the reader.

Think of the words “real” and “illusion.” I propose that the world is not illusion on the one-hand and reality on the other. Is this obvious? Yet we often use the word “real” as white and absolute and “illusion” as black and unqualified. Sure, some accommodate some grays in their vocabulary, but usually human emotions are friendlier with the enthusiasm of an absolute and unqualified ego affirming judgment.

Are you with me or against me on this?

Or is the question: “To what degree?”

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

The View from Childhood and Space

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In the garden, the child asks, “Where is God?” With omnipresence, we might find God behind that curtain of galaxies in the far depths of space, or in the gift of flowers? Where is God the child asks. Smiling mother touches the child’s forehead and answers, “Right here.”

Galaxies might look severe, yet It must be a fiery but gentle God that nurtures the aura of youth, for the muted radiance of the child is easy on the eyes.  Still, galaxies can not be discounted. Isn’t God more intense than the brightest sun? Some imagine approaching the God of all things directly. and right now, yet even the distant center of our modest solar system gives us sunburn. And it’s not hard to picture that even a lesser angelic visitor may be more than our eyes can bear. It seems degrees of separation are required for our protection, and serious adaption to the advancing radiance. But even with the dangers of life, there remains the wonderful concept of a vast hierarchy of light, otherwise the gulf between man and deity would be impassable.

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.