Category Archives: symbols

“Spiritual” Materialism

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Physical methods are analogous to symbols, useful up to point, but dreary and confining as a primary occupation. Unless we find our way behind each symbol it becomes a shell, a useless husk. The center and the pivot of our life should be subtle.   An approach to life that pivots on any physical method or substance is a fundamental error and incompatible with spirituality.

“The greatest moment is like the silent interplay of shadows in a budding forest—the silence of a thought’s interacting shadows extending inside me.”

Second Light, Vilhelm Ekelund

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What Religion are You?

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What religion are you, he asks? How can I tell the truth when all the words have been debased. I am everything—I would be some of the best in everything. And I am nothing—I am none of the labels and none of the memories. If you’re free with words, I would admit of a firm label and the words will not really matter. Then, the symbols will not betray the meaning. Together then, we could look behind them.

“I am not a little exclusive I, but the great inclusive, allied I. It is the play of stellar electricity in my soul.”

— Frank Crane

Playing with Numbers

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To the forgetful, life is a painful game of numbers, with emphasis on division. What is forgotten?

The simple.

The simplest is unity: one. We can’t get simpler.

1 is a beautiful straight upright line, clean and fundamental, like a spire pointing heavenward. One is a single sun shining high above the forest.

2 and 3 introduce many, a sequence of angles and curves; so begins in number symbols a winding path in the forest of complexity. 2 and 3 are lovely and useful when 1, the origin, is behind them. In essence 1 always is, but if we don’t look sunward, then all becomes a maze of complexity and separation. Without 1, complexity is depressing, crazy, and painful. With 1, complexity becomes interesting and creative. Sunless and heartlessness are the walking dead who have forgotten 1.

The numbers are abstract, I apologize, but the pure wave of unity is not abstract. Bang or bloom, the origin of stars begins. Bang or bloom, spirit-thought strikes downward.

Remember, without 1 there is no joy, and everything is blank, sunless, without true dimension. A teacher said, “The world has lost its happiness because happiness is in spirit.” Spirit is 1, and life begins with the simple realization of 1.

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.

The Death or Resurrection of Words

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We think and invest in symbols. The investment serves for a time. But a symbol set can only embody so much light and fire. Then, as we notice its inadequacies, the symbol begins to die. Having served us for a time, the language runs its course and we find ourselves ready to move on. Discarding thoughts and their corresponding symbols, we pass to new thought and subtler use of the mind. Some hold their symbol set closely, as if to squeeze every bit of life from it. For others, a set of symbols or words quickly becomes oppressive and must be changed more frequently. When to keep and when to discard and move on, is individual.

Otherwise considered, there are at least two ways to deal with vague, ambiguous, or troublesome words. One is to drop them in favor of more precise and fitting language. The other is to redeem them, resurrect them, dust them off, polish them until they shine and are again serviceable. While most any word can be redeemed, the question often is, in a given case, is it worth the effort? Redemption is sometimes more work and less effective than the adoption of a new verbal body for our thoughts.

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