Saturday, February 25, 2006

I See Dead People!

Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur: Why so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call them? --Shakespeare, Henry IV

Oh, I think so, wise guy. Where would we be without the authentic gurus, avatars, saints, seers, and miscellaneous holy men who have marked out the path of exit and entrance into the closed circle of material existence? Once you have formed a relationship with one of these celestial beings, it brings real tears of gratitude to contemplate how much they have sacrificed for the love of mankind and where your life would be without them. Thanks to their guidance and example, we can have real faith and hope that our spiritual endeavors are not in vain--that they will bear fruit.

Formed a relationship? With a dead person? Say it ain't so, Bob!

Now that I have successfully driven away half my readers with all the spiritual mumbo-jumbo--those so-called "normal" ones--I think I can say it, can't I? It's just you and me, right?

Yeah, I talk to dead people. And they t.... Never mind. I'll get to that part in a minute.

Mankind is haunted by the memory of paradise. Religions arise to memorialize and give structure to this memory. Rituals are enacted to make the memory present. But Buddhas show us that we are mistaken to see this as a memory of the past, as it is actually a memoir of the future. A Buddha is someone who has found the vertical path of exit from the closed circle of mere animal and material existence.

On the other hand, the avatar breaks into time from eternity in order to reconcile the horizontal and vertical worlds. There are more Buddhas than avatars. It is said that the avatar only incarnates at world-historical crisis points, when mankind has reached a hopeless impasse in its spiritual evolution. The avatar comes to fulfill a specific mission. That mission is not always strictly spiritual in the narrow definition of the term, but can be scientific, political, even military. You can look at it metaphorically if you like. But do look at it. Consider where the world would be if you removed a handful of capacious souls from the world-historical stage, say, Plato, Newton, Edison, Einstein, Washington, Lincoln, and Churchill. One of these men is worth more than most nations.

Now, I hope it isn't offensive to my Christian friends to suggest that there has been more than one avatar with a divine mission. As a matter of fact, it has been orthodox belief--ever since Augustine I believe--that the Christ had been present in the world in an attenuated or partial form from the beginning. There were hints and adumbrations before the full revelation appeared in the form of Jesus. You might say that the Christ existed as a sort of quantum field or wave function until, in the fulness of time, it collapsed and became particularized in the person of Jesus: "Before Abraham was, I AM." In any event, it is not so much Jesus' divine birth, but his divine death, that counts. That is what really sets him apart from the others. He is risen!

So one can still remain Christian and recognize the existence of other divine emissaries, even if they are not regarded on the same plane as the "only begotten"--at the very least, Moses, John the Baptist, St. Paul, etc. And I hope no one doubts that there have been "Christian Buddhas" as well--Denys the Areopagite, St. John of the Cross, Meister Eckhart, Theophan the Recluse, Seraphim of Sarov, and so many more. Ignore these luminous beings and you are denying yourself one of life's true metaphysical delights.

As I tried to convey in my book, there is only one story. It is the story of an evolving cosmos awakening to itself and becoming conscious. Who could argue with that? It happened. And it's happening. First there was matter. Then one fine day, life. Then just a short while back, self-consciousness. And most recently, the recognition of, and identification with, Spirit. Matterlifemindspirit. You can insert an arbitrary line dividing one from the other, but at least recognize that you are the one who created the abstract dualism. The underlying Oneness of existence knows no such demarcations, neither in space nor in time. Is that why it's possible to form a relationship with a teacher outside our local spacetime matrix? To resonate with someone who dwells in the nonlocal noumenal world from which this one is a local projection? I don't know. Probably. Off hand I can't think of a better reason.

I do know this. For a long time, I tried the "do-it-yoursoph" approach to spirituality. You may not think so, but I tend to be pretty rational, and it actually wasn't too long ago that I was an atheist. Still, I was always drawn to spirituality, so long as it was something along the lines of Zen or Taoism--strictly rational in a right-brained sort of way. Most forms of Buddhism might be described as "psycho-spiritual technologies" aimed at facilitating post-biological evolution, or ego transcendence. You don't even have to have any particular beliefs, either rational or otherwise. You just sit, meditate, and wait. That's it.

The purpose of such spiritual exercises is to become deep, that is, to plunge into the vertical. You can only think of one thing at a time. In this regard, it is just as important to develop a good forgettery as it is to have a good memory. In order to recollect the vertical, we must forget the horizontal. Meditation is learned forgetting. It is to change one's center of gravity from the horizontal to the vertical, or perhaps die to the one and be resurrected into the other. Either way, death is the guardian of this threshold. In making this transition, one recognizes the existence of something analogous to "gravity" on the spiritual plane, as we are "attracted" by and into it--as if it is a giant planet or star.

The uncorrupted heart is able to perceive the divine presence in the Buddha or avatar. When we perceive this, we spontaneously bow before it. In so doing, we open up to their benign influence. This is to move from spiritual technology to radiant grace. In the transitional space formed by the heartfelt veneration that occurs here, you actually reincarnate the departed avatar or Buddha. Their words become flesh.

Look at it this way. Our human personality develops in the transitional space between our brain's neurology and the empathic others of our childhood. Just so, our higher self is given birth in the transitional space between us and a transcendent being. As you know, some have even made the analogy explicit by referring to it as "the Father." In this view, our earthly parents only derive their just authority in being divine deputies of our nonlocal parent. Their job is to serve as examples and take care of us long enough to usher us into the presense of our real parent.

You want spiritual advice, right? I can do that, but I must emphasize that he in whose name I speak is mightier than I--mightier than me and Petey put together--and whose sari I am not fit to carry. I can bobtize you with my honeyed words, but s/he will do so with fire!

Yes, you can try to be a soph-starter, as I did. Or you can enlist the priceless assistance of one of the many helpful nonlocal operators who are always standing by. Immerse yourself in the word they have left behind, and read it not with your mind, but with a higher faculty: your heart. See for yourself if you can't make them a real living presence in your life.

O merciful Homo futurus, wholly I-AMbassador of the Omega Point, esteemed Eschatolator Operator, we pray that you lead us upward and occasionally throw us a freakin' bone down here in 4D! If it be your will.


Petey said...

Congratulations. I think you've finally succeeded in driving away the last of your readers.

yesandno said...

Peter was a tad too early with his comment!

Takes time on the weekend to travel forward, nevermind trying to travel upward...

And now we have the past as future...this is going to take time to digest.

LookingGlass said...

Spiritual technology to radiant grace. This really resonates with my recent experience. I have for the last couple of years been interested in "spiritual technology. After looking for a while, one can see clearly, with only a little effort and honesty, that we live in a surface world that sits on something far deeper. Eventually, there is a feeling of perspective shift, similar to when you get "magic eye" pictures for the first time. The surprising thing for me is that I feel Jesus looking at me here. This is interesting because I have strayed away from my youthful Christian belief, and become much more sceptical about Jesus. In other words, I was not looking for him here (as a christian doubter), but here he is!!

Steven Tucker said...

Most of the great spiritual beings in human history have been little more than those with the most powerful imaginations - those with the most disdain for human nature - those with the most to lose from reality.

But when reality stands against you, why bow before it? Why not fight back with fantasy or imagination?

Goesh said...

I still linger, not able to divest myself from as much technology and gadgets and gizmos as I would like. I once built an earth lodge and lived in it and didn't own a tv set until I was around 40, but now those feats are less wonderous somehow, and that is troublesome...

dilys said...

It is indeed a venerable tradition to send out a question, or a call, "If You're There..."

LiquidLifeHacker said...

I am still an avid reader Bob, I have just been so busy lately, but I love all the things you are sharing lately and I always enjoy and appreciate all your candor.

I love it when we all share!!!! I get alot out of everyone's input too here in the comments.

As for me, as far back as I can remember, I have always "known" God was there. Even as a child I felt His presence, especially at night laying in bed, you know, in that quiet time before you doze off. I "knew" He was there with me, I could look out my window and feel that He was watching over me and protecting me always and I guess thats why I was never bored or afraid to be alone as a child. My mother always said it was so hard to punish me by just sending me to my room alone, because I would entertain myself and talk to myself and sing. I really never felt alone...ever!

Another thing, in retrospect that amazes me, is how when I have ever done something wrong, I immediately felt remorse for it. Now I admit that it hasn't always kept me from being stubborn or from repeating mistakes, as I am human and just as capable as everyone else to do wrong, but there has always been a strong force that has reached down and gotten my attention when I have done negative things. I might not have let it stop me right then from indulging into the wrong path ...but I always felt instant knowledge that whatever I was doing was "wrong" and as I grew older this would expanded into not only my bad behavior but it would start to question my "thoughts" on bad things too. It took on all dimensions and when this would happen I would find myself unable to sleep or have a sense of peace until I "had a little talk with Jesus"

I know that sounds a bit over simplified, but the conviction was there and it's always been true for me. In fact, I would soon learn that "in those humble talks" that some things I had said or done that I hadn't even thought were "trespasses" would rise up and be revealed as another issue I had to conquer. It would be a review of certain things from the past whether it be that day or something from a year ago (like dragons to slay) and until I admitted them and faced them and talked them out with Jesus in that prayer process, I couldn't find that much needed peace or move forward into the future of my relationship with God. I think very early, when I was a child that I thought this would be a one time thing and each time it would happen I would rub my hands together and think "Oh good, now I have that out of the way" but as I matured I found out how serious it all was and is and that it's an ongoing interactive struggle to keep it all in balance. (If I was really interested in a good nights sleep Ha Ha) So prayer is essential to me, because that's where I have all my "close up and personal" talks. It's where I go to be healed.

When I was a child, like many other children, I asked someone "Why is the sky blue?" and I was told that one day it could be used like a screen for all the world to see everything and it could become the "global monitor" since all the world can look up and share the sky as one and that each of us could one day have something like "our video" or "our DVD" pushed in for everyone to see. (you have heard every tree is known by his own fruit, well this would be like we will know YOU by your DVD) and it would expose everything about you, even the secret things! I said, "That will be embarrassing, I would feel shameful" and then I was told that is why I should always pray and ask God to "rewind" "edit" and delete those things with "Jesus's sacrifice" and that made sense to me because Jesus's work on the cross is about covering "our sins"

Until that day, I will always look up to the sky and enjoy God's daily artwork that He offers us in the sunrise and moving fluffy clouds to the sunset's warm pallet of colors and be in awe of His stars that shine through each night's darkness that always promise me hope that something brighter has been prepared for me in the future called eternity.

LiquidLifeHacker said...

I just read the link you left here Dily...awwwwwww thanks for sharing that!

Quoting from it...
-----"It was like falling in love. If you have not been in love, I cannot explain it. If you have, you will raise a glass with me in toast."

*holding up my martini glass*

jwm said...

Bob- great post!
Dilys: Thanks for that link.
LLH: Onc again you too have given me something to think on. Goesh and Lookingglass, too. This is all just so cool.


Michael Andreyakovich said...

The phrase "spiritual technology" reeks of charlatanry to anyone who knows the Church of Scientology as well as I do. It's an oxymoronic phrase anyhow - spirituality strikes me as a, well, spiritual thing. Technology don't enter into it... The word "technology" is the sound of something cold, hard, and rooted firmly in what Bob calls the horizontal; and any church that calls its scripture the Tech has its aim at least 90 degrees wide of the target.

On a different tack: Kurt Vonnegut is an agnostic, and even he believes in telepathy. When you read a book of philosophy, he says, you are thinking the thoughts of the great minds that preceded you.