Category Archives: Consciousness

“The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening”

Book by Steve Taylor, New World Library, 2017

Here is a book we highly recommend about “The Leap” upward after “The Fall” in consciousness. Instead of giving a book review, we let the author speak for himself.

We are, I believe, on the threshold of an evolutionary leap… There are a number of signs that this evolutionary leap is under way and that wakefulness is collectively emerging with the human race. [p.255]

Everywhere there are signs of a growing sense of connection and empathy, a wider conceptual outlook, and a movement beyond both ego-isolation and egocentrism. [p.260]

But our collective awakening also means more than this. It means regaining what we lost at the same time as gaining something new. The wakefulness we’re developing now is different from that of earlier human beings. At the same time as representing a return, it represents a progression. [p.261]

But what seems to be happening now — and the reason why we’re undergoing an evolutionary advance rather than just a return — is that we’re retaining the heightened intellectual and conceptual abilities we developed with the Fall, at the same time as regaining the heightened perceptual awareness and the sense of connection of earlier human beings. [p.262]

Despite the positive trends I’ve described above, we live in a time of crisis. It’s true that we’re living in a time of unprecedented spiritual awareness, unprecedented compassion and connection. But we’re also living in a time of unprecedented danger. [p.264]

The big question: Can we wake up collectively in time? Can the positive traits associated with wakefulness transcend the negative traits associated with sleep before our present crisis leads to catastrophe? [p.265]

This is why it’s imperative for us as individuals to follow our own individual impulse to awaken. It’s important for us not to suppress this impulse… but to allow it to guide us toward spiritual practices and paths and consequently toward wakefulness. [p.266]

Gradual awakening means practicing meditation and mindfulness, service and altruism. It means embracing quietness, simplicity, and inactivity so that we become comfortable within our inner space and learn to be.     [p.266]

Even if we don’t survive, the earth will recover eventually. Evolution will continue. Its trajectory can’t be reversed, only slowed down or frustrated temporarily. Eventually new living beings will emerge who will experience the expansiveness and clarity of wakefulness as their normal state. [p.267-68]

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December Solstice Greetings

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Megalith for viewing winter solstice sunrise (photo by S. Tokuda)

 

One Earth, One Sun, One People

In ancient cultures, winter solstice day was the beginning of the new year. On this shortest day of the year, people knew that the next day would start to be slightly longer, and spring would be coming. Winter solstice is a symbol of rebirth and regeneration.

December 21 and 22 mark the days of the solstice which we call the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.

Iwakage has posted an article entitled, Winter Solstice 2017. It gives some of the dates and times in various time zones around the world. At the instant of time that is astronomical solstice, it is already early Friday morning of the 22nd in Japan, where Iwakage is located. One of the “earliest” times is in Hawaii when the solstice occurs at 6:28 a.m. on the 21st.

To our readers around the world, thank you for visiting us:

U.S., Japan, France, Italy, U.K., Australia, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Morocco, Russia, Netherlands, Spain, India, Philippines, Hungary, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Belgium, Mexico, Switzerland, Estonia, Chile, Thailand, New Zealand, Serbia, Bulgaria, Portugal, Austria, S. Korea, Ukraine, Argentina, Finland, Romania, Poland, Taiwan, Switzerland, Slovenia, S. Africa, Israel, Greece, E.U., Norway, Cape Verde, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Peru, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Colombia, Turkey, China, Iceland, Belarus, Croatia, Pakistan, Latvia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Lithuania, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, Venezuela, Panama, and eighty other countries.

Seeing the names of these 150 countries truly impresses upon us that we are all One People living on this Earth under our Sun. Solstices, equinoxes, and all the days of the year come to all of us. Although the times on our clocks may differ, these astronomical times are the exact same moment for all of us.

Okunomichi wishes every one of you a Happy New Year!

 

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Kimi no Na Wa and Twilight

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Kataware-doki Fragment of Time

We are told in the movie, Kimi no Na Wa, that kataware-doki means twilight in the dialect of Hida, where Mitsuha lives. Iwakage has more about the land of Hida as seen in the movie, if you click here. 

Strange things can happen during kataware-doki, the toki time of kataware. And they do, in the movie.

Kataware means a fragment. Fragment of time. Also, the fragment of the meteor that crashes to earth in Hida, obliterating Mitsuha’s hometown.

Let’s consider the fragment of time called kataware-doki. Twilight is a fascinating time of day — or is it night? It is the time between day and night, when it is neither day nor is it night. It is kure, dusk. Many haiku have been written about kure. Here’s one by Basho.

kono michi ya / yuku hito nashi ni / aki no kure.

This path —  no one walks it  —  autumn twilight

This lonely path that Basho describes could be a viewed as an autumn day turning into night, or as late autumn when the season turns to winter. It may even allude to the time when his life is coming to a close.

Kure is a border between two things such as light and dark, life and death, between two instants of time. It is at such a border that all things are possible.

As we were pondering twilight, Earth and Sky posted an article on three definitions of twilight, saying “You can define twilight simply as the time of day between daylight and darkness, whether that’s after sunset, or before sunrise.” They explain how Civil, Nautical, and Astronomical Twilight are defined — astronomically.

Still, these definitions do not explain how we feel about twilight.

Photo: Earth at twilight as viewed from space, NASA

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2017.12.04 Update. Basho in his autumn haiku used kure for dusk. The character for dusk is 昏, also read kare. We noticed that, in the movie, the teacher also explained kataware-doki as karetaso and tasokare. We find that tasokare is written 黄昏, where the first character means yellow and the second is dusk. Now, kare usually means “he, him.” But kare if pronounced tare or dare would mean “who?”

So, we are back to the title of the movie, slightly rephrased, as:

Who are you?

Perhaps that was question being posed by Makoto Shinkai.

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Lao Tsu Lines

HHN blue sky

The following one-liners were inspired by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English, Tao Te Ching, 1972c. The book is beautifully calligraphed and illustrated with English’s black-and-white nature photographs. The numbers in parentheses are the chapter numbers from the Tao Te Ching.

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The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.   (1)

The Tao is an empty vessel; it is used, but never filled.   (4)

2015-05-110The highest good is like water.   (8)

Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature.   (16)

The way of nature is unchanging.   (16)

Yield and overcome; bend and be straight; empty and be full.   (22)     DSCN2581

The Tao is forever undefined.   (32)

To die but not to perish is to be eternally present.   (33)

It does not show greatness, and is therefore truly great.   (34)

Tao abides in non-action, yet nothing is left undone.   (37)

Being is born of non-being.   (40)

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David Bohm:  Wholeness and the Nature of Reality 

The question of whether the world we live in is a simulation of some other has recently been raised in the media. For those of our readers who, too, are pondering the nature of reality — and we think that includes most of you — we recommend the study of David Bohm’s work.

Dialogues with Scientists and Sages

imgres-3We first learned about David Bohm in the book by Renee Weber, Dialogues with Scientists and Sages: The Search for Unity, Routledge, 1986. Philosopher Weber interviewed a number of exemplary people of our time: Lama Govinda, Rupert Sheldrake, David Bohm, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Father Bede Griffiths, Ilya Prigogine, Stephen Hawking, and Krishnamurti. This book can be truly transformative and although out of print, should be on our bookshelves to be read and reread. Bohm himself was greatly affected by the Eastern views of Krishnamurti.

David Bohm

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David Bohm, 1917-1992, was a prominent quantum theoretical physicist who had studied and worked with Einstein and Oppenheimer. He made a number of important contributions to quantum mechanics, relativity, plasma theory, and ontology theory. Ontology is the branch of metaphysics and philosophy that is concerned with the nature of reality. His work challenged conventional physical thought and offered an innovative approach, so innovative as to be little understood nor accepted by the mainstream. His work, unfortunately unappreciated until now, will surely become more widely known in this century.

Wholeness and the Implicate Order

imgresDavid Bohm was an extraordinary physicist whose great work, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, was published by Routledge in 1980. In the Introduction of this book, he wrote:

  • “I would say that in my scientific and philosophical work, my main concern has been with understanding the nature of reality in general and of consciousness in particular as a coherent whole, which is an unending process of movement and unfoldment.”
  • “How are we to think coherently of a simple, unbroken, flowing actuality of existence as a whole, containing both thought (consciousness) and external reality as we experience it?
  • “Clearly, this brings us to consider our overall world view, which includes our general notions concerning the nature of reality along with those concerning the total order of the universe, i.e., cosmology.”
  • “My suggestion is that a proper world view, appropriate for its time, is generally one of the basic factors that is essential for harmony in the individua and in society as a whole.”

Topics in his book include the following:

  • Ch. 1 Wholeness as a world view compared with fragmentation world view.
  • Ch. 2 Language can be noun-based or verb-based, divisive or unitive.
  • Ch. 3 Reality as an underlying universal movement/process; world view in which consciousness and reality are not fragmented from each other.
  • Ch. 4, 5, 6 Technical subjects
  • Ch. 7 Consciousness and the enfolding-unfolding universe

There is an important Appendix at the end of Chapter 1 on the Western and Eastern forms of insight into wholeness. Here, he notes that in the East, the immeasurable was seen as the primary reality, for measure is a thought of man. “When measure is identified with the very essence of reality, this is illusion.” It is the immeasurable that Bohm calls the implicate order.

What the West can do, Bohm states, is to

  • “develop new insight into fragmentation and wholeness [that] requires a creative work even more difficult than that needed to make fundamental new discoveries in science, or great and original works of art.”
  • “assimilate [the great wisdom from the whole of the past, both in the East and in the West] and to go on to new and original perception relevant to our present condition of life.”

In the rest of the book, Bohm lays out the results of his own creative work. We, now, can take up the reins and move ahead into greater wholeness and harmony in our world view and in our lives. This is one of the great books of the twentieth century.

David Bohm and F. David Peat:  Science, Order, and Creativityimgres-2

This book was published in 1987. It is a more descriptive book and may be easier to understand. It takes up topics such as creativity in science, what is order?, the implicate order, consciousness, and creativity in the whole of life. Certainly well worth reading.

D. Bohm and B.J. Hiley, The Undivided Universe: An ontological interpretation of quantum theory

imgres-1The Undivided Universe by Bohm and his long-time collaborator was published in 1993, a year after Bohm’s passing. This epitome of Bohm’s work elucidates the implicate order and its role in quantum theory, as well as in consciousness.

  • “As we develop this idea, we shall see that the notion of enfoldment is not merely a metaphor, but that it has to be taken fairly literally. To emphasise this point, we shall therefore say that the order in the hologram is implicate. The order in the object, as well as in the image, will then be unfolded and we shall call it explicate. The process, in this case wave movement, in which this order is conveyed from the object to the hologram will be called enfoldment or implication. The process in which the order in the hologram becomes manifest to the viewer in an image will be called unfoldment or explication.”
  • “What all this suggests is that our most primary experience in consciousness actually is of an implicate order. And our perception of the explicate order is constituted mostly by a series of abstractions from this.”
  • “The implicate order is not only the ground of perception, but also of the actual process of thought.”
  • “All of this is clearly compatible with the notion that the basic order of the mind is implicate and that the explicate arises as a particular case of this implicate order in much the way that we have suggested.”

Links

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Wesak Festival of Taurus Full Moon

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vesākha and Wesak

This post is about the Wesak Festival of May. When you do a search on the word, Wesak, you will learn that it comes from the lunar month named vesākha in the Hindu calendar. Further, that the Wesak Festival is the most important Buddhist festival of the year. However, the Wesak Festival which we describe here is not a religious festival but one observed by groups of spiritual practitioners all around the world. It is one of the three major full moon festivals of the year. The three Festivals are the Festival of Easter (Aries full moon), the Festival of Wesak (Taurus full moon, usually May), and the Festival of Goodwill (Gemini full moon).

This festival is quite unique in that it does not commemorate a past event, but rather an event that is taking place simultaneously at the time of the festival. And what is it that is taking place? Certain spiritual energies are being “beamed” by humans to great Minds or energetic Centers, which are sending cosmic energies to humankind on earth. This exchange is part of humanity’s growth as fully conscious beings.

Wesak was brought to the attention of the West by the mystic, Mme. Helena Blavatsky, and was further explained by Alice A. Bailey, frequently referred to as AAB. AAB, who was originally a conventional Christian minister, had two dreams of being present in Shambhala Valley high in the Himalayas. At that time, she did not understand what she was viewing, and only later through various sources did she realize that she had “witnessed” the Wesak ceremony of the Buddha, the Christ, and the pilgrims.

The Buddha represents the Light of Wisdom, while the Christ symbolizes Universal Love. There is a prophecy that humanity will achieve a higher consciousness when Wisdom and Love are co-joined.

Wesak Festival

From the Lucis Trust, the keeper of Alice Bailey materials, https://www.lucistrust.org/resources/wesak:

“The Wesak Festival, at the time of the Taurus full moon, marks the high-water mark of spiritual blessing in the world. There is an unusual inflow of life and of spiritual stimulation which serves to vitalize the aspiration of all humankind. The intuition of all who seek to serve the good, the beautiful and the true (regardless of their faith or spiritual background) is stimulated by this spiritual blessing.

“At Wesak we can visualize the aspiration of all people of goodwill being fused into a concentrated invocation to the Buddha, the Christ, and all Enlightened Beings on the inner side of life. This is a time for dedication, a time to hold ourselves steadily in the light, and above all, a time to focus on the needs of our fellow human beings and the necessity of providing a group channel whereby the spiritual forces can be poured through the body of humanity.”

“The Buddha’s annual return to bless people everywhere and to convey the message of wisdom, light and love is the outer evidence and guarantee of inner divine guidance and revelation in this present world cycle.”

See the beautiful video at https://www.lucistrust.org/productions/videos/view/wesak_video.

Alignments

At the time of the Taurus full moon, the following astronomical alignment takes place: Moon, Earth, Sun, Taurus constellation. In the figure below, note that the Earth is located in the blue orbit at the spot labelled May 21. The Sun “appears to be in Taurus” on May 21. The full Moon is not shown in this figure, and it is obviously on the other side of the Earth than the Sun, in the direction of Scorpio.

Zodiac image from Addison-Wesley Longman.

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Wesak is as well a time of alignment of consciousness. We align our human consciousness with the great consciousness of the universe. In AAB’s words, “At this time great expansions of consciousness become possible which are not possible at other times.”

 

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The Sixth and Seventh Rays

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Incoming Seventh Ray

We are quite aware of the changing of consciousness as predicted by wisdom schools around the world. The school of Seven Rays as taught by Alice A. Bayley (AAB) explains it in terms of the Sixth Ray giving way to the Seventh Ray. But not without resistance. We visited the Lucis Trust website to refresh our memories about the Seven Rays. We found not only a succinct summary here, but also a discussion of what these changes are that we are undergoing. These excerpts are from the Alice Bayley website, Lucis Trust, https://www.lucistrust.org/arcane_school/talks_and_articles/the_science_the_seven_rays

Sixth vs. Seventh Rays

The past 2000 yrs have been conditioned by the 6th Ray of Devotion and Idealism. This ray has fostered the growth of the great world religions because the 6th ray endows the “capacity for abstraction”. The outstanding quality of human experience over the past 2000 years has been the growing expression of idealism. But after 2000 years, the conditioning has led to the tendency to impose one’s own particular ideal on others, at the expense of the original idea.

The 6th ray is the ray of blind procedure; only one aspect of reality is seen at a time – and usually the least desirable. All else is sealed to them; they vision only one picture; their horizon is limited to only one point of the compass. To most of humanity, this vision has focused on the material world, material comfort, material possessions and material enterprises. To this the labour movement today bears testimony, AAB [Alice A. Bailey] pointed out.

Two of these rays are struggling for expression – one incoming (7th) and one outgoing (6th). Although the 6th ray began to pass out around 1625, it’s still the most powerful influence. The influence of the 6th ray has led to the development of taste in all forms. “Good taste” is highly valued; now disciples must transmute this into the discriminating sense of spiritual values. Interestingly, when a ray cycle passes out, the lower manifestation of that ray lingers on longer than the higher expression. Thus, the 6th ray is expressing now through the reactionary forces, clashing with the progressive forces of the incoming 7th ray which are seeking to govern and which would take world civilisation in drastically different directions. One ray is fostering crystallisation and the perpetuation of the existing culture, and one is fostering the creation of something entirely new out of the present world upheaval. 6th ray people are often the reactionaries, the conservatives, diehards and fanatics, who hold on to the past and hinder progress. They provide, however, a needed balance and steadying.

The forces of the 7th ray work out on the seventh or physical plane – the plane whereon major changes in all forms are made. This produces the precipitation of karma, but because of this grounding effect, the 7th ray will foster the spiritual advancement of all grades. But it’s important to remember that the 7th ray is the direct line along which first ray energy can travel, bringing the release of life into new and improved forms and the destruction of old ways of living. “You can’t pour new wine into old bottles”, it’s been said. Does this explain the growing sense that something is being destroyed in order to make way for the new? Is this what’s evoking the “reactionary” elements and the growing fundamentalism we see in so many areas of life?

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