Journey 27 - SPIRITUALITY WITHOUT RELIGION "The foretelling time.

The pages from the rear are in the fore. Sun-worshippers have taken their place. The ray of love is seldom perceived and often misunderstood as having flesh. The daybreak of the new morn is founded on the proper perception of the ray of love. Babes know it not- -neither man nor woman. The mystic alone knows the reality of this ray." THE WORD OF ONE, "Doer." In Aristotle's collected writings, (class notes written down by his students), they couldn't think of a good name for that part of the book which came after physics. So they just named it "after physics" or "beyond physics" which translates as "metaphysics." Over the centuries, the meaning of the term "metaphysics" has wandered. At times, it seemed part of theology. At times, it was ontology. In the early twentieth Century, the logical positivists declared the term void of any meaning at all. Quite right. So I feel free to define it anew. I define it as the study and practice of spirituality. The seekers of today (including me) say they are not religious but they do seek spirituality or metaphysics (two terms that I have made identical). The terrorists of 9/11 who destroyed the Twin Trade Towers in the name of Allah have discredited religion. If there were an Allah, he would strike these blasphemers dead. While we don't know much about the "between" (between lives), we can be pretty sure it won't be paradise for these evildoers, not now, and not ever. At the very least, they will have to relive the terror and suffering of each of their victims, all 3000 of them. Spirituality can mean reading the spiritual classics of earlier times. I must warn you that none of these books can be trusted. Huston Smith has edited a collection of new translations of what he calls "Mystical Classics of the World." A better title for the series would be "Spiritual Classics of the World." This includes "The Tibetan Book of the Dead," more correctly translated as "The Great Book of Natural Liberation Through Understanding of the Between." In other words, this is a book about the Between. Yet, we know from modern Psi studies that it is totally mistaken. Human beings do not reincarnate as either animals or gods. There is no demon Yama to welcome you to the Between. There is only the White Light, loving and forgiving. Another famous classic is The Bhagavad-Gita. I reject it for its reliance on and acceptance of Caste. India must get rid of the Caste system, if it is to be a modern democracy. The Gita takes place in the middle of a battlefield, with two huge armies waiting to destroy each other. The form of it is a long argument made by the god Krishna to Prince Arjuna, that it is his duty as a member of the warrior caste to make war and sacrifice all these millions of warriors on both sides. Modern spiritual seekers always avoid violence if they can, and make war only in self-defense, not to uphold a social duty to be a great warrior. Huston's collection also includes THE ESSENTIAL KABBALAH, THE TAO TE CHING, THE ESSENTIAL RUMI, and THE WAY OF A PILGRIM, all familiar except the last. THE WAY OF A PILGRIM is the personal story of an anonymous wandering "Starets" in 19th Century Russia, a familiar type in Orthodox Christianity. The last and most famous of these wandering holy men was Rasputin, a man of many faults and gifts, a crude peasant who had a way with the women, an enormous capacity for alcohol and a tremendous resistance to poison.

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Rumi was a poet, but was he a mystic? He founded the order of the whirling Dervishes, so he is clearly an important person in the history of Sufism. Was he a mystic? I have always had my doubts. Recall that (1) illumination, (2) Noesis, (3) ecstasy, and (4) unitary experience define a mystical experience. Of course, there is a lot more to spirituality than mysticism. Both the Gita and the Tao Te Ching come from long oral traditions, finally written down. I can't help but wonder if here and there the meaning of a metaphor hasn't been lost, as happened in Christianity with the metaphor of "the kingdom of heaven," (the realm of the quintessence). Speaking of Christianity, shouldn't Huston's collection contain a translation of the Coptic GOSPEL OF THOMAS? Many modern seekers have gone to India, to find themselves gurus. Some gurus came to America, sensing easy pickings. Most of these gurus required their disciples to hand over all their possessions, and in this way some gurus became wealthy. One had 30 Rolls Royce cars. How is that holy? How is that different from the televangelists who browbeat the poor and the elderly for money to construct vast monuments to their own egos? Shouting, ignorant and intolerant, these televangelists remind me of the mad Mullahs of Saudi Arabia, and all others who misuse the promise of spirituality out of greed, hatred and ambition. All religions are based on fear, but there is nothing to fear. We all exist forever and ever, worlds without end, amen. I would beware of gurus who demanded all of my possessions and obedience. I would beware of "religion," since that is a synonym for "faith." I would beware of taking literally ancient books that were told and retold, copied and recopied, translated and mistranslated over thousands of years, while meanings change, metaphors change, and our worldviews and scientific knowledge change. For one thing, their original meaning is in the ancient and universal language of Jungian symbolism, thus a literal translation is an unwholy and deliberate falsification. It is sometimes possible to reconstruct the original shape of a spiritual tradition by means of ancient books discovered in modern times and by modern archaeology and philology and I have done that. I would beware of any form of meditation that requires sitting quietly, focused on one thing. Sitting Zazen. Isn't that what the medieval Christian monks tried, with their liturgies around the clock? Did any of them become Enlightened? I don't think so. I would beware of any form of meditation that does not require solitude. Follow the life of the Seeker, as it is described in THE WORD OF ONE. In Buddhist meditation, they use the Self to explore the Self. Sometimes all they encounter is a great lonely void. I think we must introduce more scientific and objective methods. Buddhists try to get rid of the ego. However, the ego is absolutely essential for the Western path, based on a succession of geniuses, who must hold fast to their course despite a lifetime of rejection. There may be useful techniques to learn from oriental or shamanic traditions, but don't give up your critical sense, your skepticism, and your sense of self.

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In the chapters that follow, I will follow an approach to spirituality that includes mystical experience, symbolic divination and revelation. Divination, if it works, is itself a minor miracle. Ditto with revelation. Not all revelations are of equal value. We can give some weight to a revelation only if mystical experience confirms at least part of it. One that I give high marks is the Evolved Tarot, also known as the Word of One, the T tarot, or the Tarot of the Nameless One. The 22 major arcana of the evolved tarot comprise a small part of a vast amount of material delivered by home-made Ouija board, using a silver dollar as the planchette, to a group of Seekers back in the winter of 1962-63. I was not part of that group. John Starr Cooke and Rosalind Sharpe published it in 1969, again in 1970, and in 1992. The complete sessions were published in 1975 as Word of One, now available on-line. I was first attracted to the Major Arcana of the new tarot reproduced in a newspaper once published by Llewellyn Press, called The Gnostica News. This was in the 1970s. The image of the Deliverer caught my attention. I realized that it described the Illumination of Fire, and shows the lesser mystical states which make up the path leading to the fire. A true revelation can vastly extend ones metaphysical knowledge. We must test it against all of our other ways of knowing. These are books written entirely in the language of symbolism, humanity’s only universal language. Nothing is arbitrary in the language of symbolism. Learning the language of symbolism is as important for the science of metaphysics as learning higher math is important for the science of physics. THE BOOK OF THE KNOWER reassures me that our souls do indeed have immortality as part of the ONE. THE BOOK OF THE CITADEL tells me that the soul creates minds. I shall close this chapter with some quotes from the words of the Nameless One. A few explanations are required to understand these quotes. The source of this material never gave itself a name, so John Cooke referred to the source as “WE,” identifying it with a collective self. The source gave each participant a new name, and called John Cooke "Legion." The Doer is the evolved form of the Sun card, and is a seven-year-old boy, holding an unrolled scroll and a ribbon that loosely holds a black horse. A white horse rears on a human skull. A beautifully figured Sun is high overhead. The Book of the Mother represents Creation. She is the new version of the High Priestess. All quotes are from Word of One. Remember that these statements were made in the winter of 1962-63. Even if true then, they may not be true now. You must judge. "ONE is all.... Deny not ONE while you live. The world is full of those who say they seek ONE. How is it that seekers always blind themselves first to their surroundings? Until they remove the film, they seek in vain. Do you wish a word of comfort? There is none. Do you wish a better road? There is none. Do you wish a Savior? There is none. For you, there is only ONE. You will make that do." p. 385. "There is a stirring felt in sleeping regions. Great must be the full awaking. Neither din nor force shall accomplish this. The awakened One arises. The sleeping one sleeps. There is an arouser but he wakes not up."--P. 170.

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"Over all lies a mantle of fog through which the sun is coming--the son is coming.... The breath of life is in your hands, the spark of death, also. Quicken the new birth and fan the spark that the passing past is laid at rest. Desire above all things the Sun." "The Rosetta stone is rolled away. A burden is lifted. A free soul flies onward. Yellow eyes, unblinking, number the years." --P. 171. "The siren bell has rung. Its penetration has entered but not emerged. Therefore its vibration continues its wonders to perform...The market place is a-thrive. Strange beads and salt are vended. Buyers there are none. A pitcher of water reflects the sun. The thirst is mighty but the sun is reflected undisturbed. Maggots will grow if the pitcher is not emptied." "Children parentless seek the Mother. She is busy begetting the Sun. He is now with the world. His cord is severed. He will soon speak. He will speak of the Mother." "Fairy frost at the windows betoken good fortune. Magic are the times now, Magickal are the happenings. The Doer has been activated." "The juice of memory rises. When it spills will be the time of reversal. It is coming. Be ye prepared. Mighty shall be the roar, violent the rending, joyous the release." p. 164 "Great will be the transformation now while nothing visible appears to happen--yet the New Man will stand naked in glory. Tis a promise seen dimly now." p. 112 "LEGION: Is the Great Event Imminent? WE: Yes. GAYLA: How imminent?" At this point a sudden wind whipped open the heavy door beside the group and night air rushed into the room. "WE: Take a breath. It has taken place...." p. 413.

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