Near-Death Experience Story of Mellen-Thomas Benedic

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In 1982, I died from terminal cancer. My condition was non-operable. I chose not to have chemotherapy. I was given six to eight months to live. Before this time, I had become increasingly despondent over the nuclear crisis, the ecology crisis, and so forth. I came to believe that nature had made a mistake – that we were probably a cancerous organism on the planet. And that is what eventually killed me.

Before my near-death experience, I tried all sorts of alternative healing methods. None helped. So I determined that this was between me and God. I had never really considered God. Neither was I into any kind of spirituality. But my approaching death sent me on a quest for more information about spirituality and alternative healing. I read various religions and philosophies. They gave hope that there was something on the other side.

I had no medical insurance, so my life savings went overnight on tests. Unwilling to drag my family into this, I determined to handle this myself. I ended up in hospice care and was blessed with an angel for my hospice caretaker, whom I will call “Anne.” She stayed with me through all that was to follow.

Into the Light

I woke up about 4:30 am and I knew that this was it. I was going to die. I called a few friends and said good-bye. I woke up Anne and made her promise that my dead body would remain undisturbed for six hours, since I had read that all kinds of interesting things happen when you die. I went back to sleep. The next thing I remember, I was fully aware and standing up. Yet my body was lying in the bed. I seemed to be surrounded by darkness, yet I could see every room in the house, and the roof, and even under the house.

A Light shone. I turned toward it, and was aware of its similarity to what others have described in near-death experiences. It was magnificent and tangible, alluring. I wanted to go towards that Light like I might want to go into my ideal mother’s or father’s arms. As I moved towards the Light, I knew that if I went into the Light, I would be dead. So I said/felt, “Please wait. I would like to talk to you before I go.”

The entire experience halted. I discovered that I was in control of the experience. My request was honored. I had conversations with the Light. That’s the best way I can describe it. The Light changed into different figures, like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, archetypal images and signs. I asked in a kind of telepathy, “What is going on here?”

The information transmitted was that our beliefs shape the kind of feedback we receive. If you are a Buddhist or Catholic or Fundamentalist, you get a feedback loop of your own images. I became aware of a Higher Self matrix, a conduit to the Source. We all have a Higher Self, or an oversoul part of our being, a conduit. All Higher Selves are connected as one being. All humans are connected as one being.

It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. It was like all the love you’ve ever wanted, and it was the kind of love that cures, heals, regenerates. I was ready to go at that time. I said “I am ready, take me.” Then the Light turned into the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen: a mandala of human souls on this planet. I saw that we are the most beautiful creations – elegant, exotic … everything.

I just cannot say enough about how it changed my opinion of human beings in an instant. I said/thought/felt, “Oh, God, I didn’t realize.” I was astonished to find that there was no evil in any soul. People may do terrible things out of ignorance and lack, but no soul is evil. “What all people seek – what sustains them – is love,” the Light told me. “What distorts people is a lack of love.”

The revelations went on and on. I asked, “Does this mean that Humankind will be saved?” Like a trumpet blast with a shower of spiraling lights, the Light “spoke,” saying, “You save, redeem and heal yourself. You always have and always will. You were created with the power to do so from before the beginning of the world.” In that instant I realized that we have already been saved.

I thanked the Light of God with all my heart. The best thing I could come up with was: “Oh dear God, dear Universe, dear Great Self, I love my Life.” The Light seemed to breathe me in even more deeply, absorbing me. I entered into another realm more profound than the last, and was aware of an enormous stream of Light, vast and full, deep. I asked what it was. The Light answered, “This is the River of Life. Drink of this manna water to your heart’s content.” I drank deeply, in ecstasy.

The Void of Nothingness

Suddenly I seemed to be rocketing away from the planet on this stream of Life. I saw the earth fly away. The solar system whizzed by and disappeared. I flew through the center of the galaxy, absorbing more knowledge as I went. I learned that this galaxy – and the entire Universe – is bursting with many different varieties of life. I saw many worlds. We are not alone in this Universe. It seemed as if all the creations in the Universe soared past me and

Then a second Light appeared. As I passed into the second Light, I could perceive forever, beyond Infinity. I was in the Void, pre-Creation, the beginning of time, the first Word or vibration. I rested in the Eye of Creation and it seemed that I touched the Face of God. It was not a religious feeling. I was simply at One with Absolute Life and Consciousness.

I rode the stream directly into the center of the Light. I felt embraced by the Light as it took me in with its breath again. And the truth was obvious that there is no death; that nothing is born and nothing dies; that we are immortal beings, part of a natural living system that recycles itself endlessly.

It would take me years to assimilate the Void experience. It was less than nothing, yet greater than anything. Creation is God exploring God’s Self through every way imaginable. Through every piece of hair on your head, through every leaf on every tree, through every atom. God is exploring God’s Self. I saw everything as the Self of all. God is here. That’s what it is all about. Everything is made of light; everything is alive.

The Light of Love

I was never told that I had to come back. I just knew that I would. It was only natural, from what I had seen. As I began my return to the life cycle, it never crossed my mind, nor was I told, that I would return to the same body. It did not matter. I had complete trust in the Light and the Life process.

As the stream merged with the great Light, I asked never to forget the revelations and the feelings of what I had learned on the other side. I thought of myself as a human again and I was happy to be that. From what I have seen, I would be happy to be an atom in this universe. An atom. So to be the human part of God … this is the most fantastic blessing. It is a blessing beyond our wildest imagination of what a blessing can be.

For each and every one of us to be the human part of this experience is awesome, and magnificent. Each and every one of us, no matter where we are, screwed up or not, is a blessing to the planet, right where we are. So I went

But I reincarnated back into this body. I was so surprised when I opened my eyes, to be back in this body, back in my room with someone looking over me, crying her eyes out. It was Anne, my hospice caretaker. She had found me dead thirty minutes before. We do not know how long I was dead, only that she found me thirty minutes before. She had honored my wish to have my newly-dead body left alone. She can verify that I really was dead.

It was not a near-death experience. I believe I probably experienced death itself for at least an hour and a half. When I later awakened and saw the light outside, confused, I tried to get up to go to it, but I fell out of the bed. She heard a loud “clunk”, ran in, and found me on the floor. When I recovered, I was surprised and awed about what had happened. I had no memory at first of the experience. I kept slipping out of this world and kept asking, “Am I alive?” This world seemed more like a dream than that one.

Within three days, I was feeling normal again, clearer, yet different than ever before. My memories of the journey came back later. But from my return I could find nothing wrong with any human being I had ever seen. Previous to my death I was judgmental, believing that people were really screwed up.

About three months later a friend said I should get tested for the cancer. So I got the scans and so forth. I felt healthy. I still remember the doctor at the clinic looking at the “before” and “after” scans. He said, “I can find no sign of cancer now.” “A miracle?” I asked. “No,” he answered. “These things happen … spontaneous remission.” He seemed unimpressed. But I was impressed. I knew it was a miracle.

Lessons Learned

I asked God: “What is the best religion on the planet? Which one is right?” God said with great love: “It doesn’t matter.” What an incredible grace. It does not matter what religion we are. Religions come and they go. They change. Buddhism has not been here forever, Catholicism has not been here forever, and they are all about to become more enlightened. More light is coming into all systems now. Many will resist and fight about it,

When God said, “It doesn’t matter,” I understood that it is for us to care about, because we are the caring beings. The Source does not care if you are Protestant, Buddhist, or Jew. Each is a reflection, a facet of the whole. I wish that all religions would realize it and let each other be. It is not the end of separate religions, but live and let live. Each has a different view, and it all adds up to the big picture.

I went over to the other side with a lot of fears about toxic waste, nuclear missiles, the population explosion, the rain forest. I came back loving every single problem. I love nuclear waste. I love the mushroom cloud; this is the holiest mandala that we have manifested to date, as an archetype. More than any religion or philosophy on Earth, that terrible, wonderful cloud brought

Knowing that maybe we can blow up the planet fifty times, or 500 times, we finally realize that maybe we are all here together now. For a period, they had to keep setting off more bombs to get it into us. Then we started saying, “we do not need this any more.” Now we are actually in a safer world than we have ever been in, and it is going to get even safer.

So I came back loving toxic waste, because it brought us together. These things are so big. Clearing of the rain forest will slow down, and in fifty years there will be more trees on the planet than in a long time. If you are into ecology, go for it; you are that part of the system that is becoming aware. Go for it with all your might, but do not be depressed or disheartened. Earth is in the process of domesticating itself, and we are cells on that Body. Population increase is getting very close to the optimal range of energy to cause a shift in consciousness. That shift in consciousness will change politics, money, energy, and more.

The Great Mystery of life has little to do with intelligence. The Universe is not an intellectual process. The intellect is helpful; but our hearts are the wiser part of ourselves. Since my return I have experienced the Light spontaneously. I have learned how to get to that space almost any time in my meditation. You can also do this. You don’t have to die first. You are wired for it already. The body is the most magnificent Light being there is. The body is a universe of incredible Light. We don’t need to commune with God; God is already communing with us in every moment!

Note: The above text is a concise, slightly edited summary. For the full text of this inspiring near-death experience story, click here. For Mellen-Thomas Benedict’s personal website, see www.mellen-thomas.com. For other amazing near-death experience stories, see Anita’s highly inspiring near-death story at this link. For a rich and inspiring online lesson with other incredible near-death experience stories and more, click here. From PEERS.

Zen Master Alan Watts Discovers the Secrets of Aldous Huxley and His Art of Dying

Few figures were as influential as Alan Watts and Aldous Huxley in popularizing experiments with psychedelic drugs and Eastern religion in the 20th century. Watts did more to introduce Westerners to Zen Buddhism than almost anyone before or since; Huxley’s experiments with mescaline and LSD—as well as his literary critiques of Western technocratic rationalism—are well-known. But in a countercultural movement largely dominated by men—Watts and Huxley, Ken Kesey, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, etc—Huxley’s widow Laura came to play a significant role after her husband’s death.

In fact, as we’ve discussed before, she played a significant role during his death, injecting him with LSD and reading to him from The Tibetan Book of the Dead as he passed away. In the interview above, Laura speaks with Watts about that experience, one she learned from Aldous, who performed a similar service for his first wife as she died in 1955. The occasion of the interview—conducted at Watts’ Sausalito home in 1968—is the publication of Laura Huxley’s memoir of life with her husband, This Timeless Moment. But talk of the book soon prompts discussion of Huxley’s graceful exit, which Watts calls “a highly intelligent form of dying.”

Watts relates an anecdote about Goethe’s last hours, during which a visitor was told that he was “busy dying.” “Dying is an art,” says Watts, “and it’s also an adventure,” Laura adds. Their discussion then turns to Huxley’s final novel, Island (which you can read in PDF here). Island has rarely been favorably reviewed as a literary endeavor. And yet, as Watts points out, it wasn’t intended as literature, but as a “sociological blueprint in the form of a novel.” Laura Huxley, upset at the book’s chilly reception, wishes her husband had “written it straight.” Nonetheless, she points out that Island was much more than a Utopian fantasy or philosophical thought experiment. It was a document in which “every method, every recipe… is something he experimented with himself in his own life.” As Laura wrote in This Timeless Moment:

Every single thing that is written in Island has happened and it’s possible and actual … Island is really visionary common sense. Things that Aldous and many other people said, that were seen as so audacious – they are common sense, but they were visionary because they had not yet happened.

Those things included not only radical forms of living, but also, as Huxley himself demonstrated, radical ways of dying.

Related Content:

Aldous Huxley’s Most Beautiful, LSD-Assisted Death: A Letter from His Widow

Aldous Huxley Reads Dramatized Version of Brave New World

Leonard Cohen Narrates Film on The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Featuring the Dalai Lama (1994)

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Washington, DC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Grandpa and Jesus

Somewhere between running water and voices,  I hear drums. I can not make out what the voices are saying.  Just a low murmur.  I sure like the way the water and drums drown out the conversations that never stop. Pitches. Running water makes music and has different pitches in it’s rhythm. And the drum mimics the heart beat, but with decorations and ornaments that make the dragons fly by.

Grandpa was  clever at devising ingenious devices, the man with the grizzled beard always kept his eyes on the world. His advice was full of cut and dried old phrases. A lifetime working at the rubber plant left him with a lack of imagination,  he became an ordinary guy.  A descendant of the Dutch, settlers of New York, just an off handed, lonely, Knickerbocker guy. An old patroon. He was the guardian of activity…a divine entity. But he hadn’t a clue.

So anyway, the old patroon was legally blind from a large waterfall of cataracts. Clouds over the pupils. Hmmm…  He had them removed before laser surgery was discovered,  and now he was 92  (now being back then). He once asked me, as death got nearer to him, if I believed if Jesus really rose from the dead.

“I guess spiritually Grampa,” I answered and thought it was a pretty good answer. But like an admission of guilt, the words escaped from my mouth and ran into his ears and did not bother to hide in the halls of his brain till it made sense upon further investigation by him.

A great hostility and rage he became. “I know spiritually! I mean literally, do you believe it?” he yelled back angrily. The doubt on the face of a man wanting so badly to believe. I felt awkward so I said nothing. Perhaps I should have been honest and said no, but I remained silent…such an empty reply. Grandma, his wife and Baptist Christian believer, died two years before. And now his lonely body was nothing but a vessel for pain and grief. Poor guy, 92 years of life, only to be reduced to this. How fucking rude of life! He wanted to see his son, who died in World War II by a Kamikaze pilot, his 18 year old body lost in the ocean forever. He wanted to see his wife again, who through the years had became half of him. He wanted to believe the Christians so he could see his wife and son in heaven, but his doubt was torturing him. He was stuck in rational mode trying to believe a story full of holes, and his mind became strapped down and wasn’t free to wonder. He just couldn’t jump the hurdle that the church put up. Strangulation  by dogma.

As he laid dying in the hospital, his daughter, my aunt, lay dying from lung cancer just down the hall. But nobody told Grandpa. It would have been too much for him, they thought. I don’t know. I just let them think their thoughts, and do their deeds. My then much younger mom, his other daughter,  was with him when he left this world.  She watched him sit up in bed with his arms extended and call his wife’s name. My mother was sure he saw her, as he hugged the air and laid down and died.

Now I ask, “Grandpa, is there life after death?”

Silence…such an empty reply.

But somewhere between running water and voices, I hear drums.

Deathbed Visions, DMT & Consciousness – Reflections on Life and the Beyond

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In recent years in the West there have been a number of studies in which people on their deathbeds are asked what it is they most regret about their lives. An Australian palliative nurse, Bronnie Ware, conducted one such study of patients in her care – she spent several years looking after a range of people in the final 12 weeks of their lives and kept a record of their dying epiphanies, publishing them in her book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. Ware spoke of their astounding lucidity and identified five common themes which recurred over and over. These were:

  • That they had lived their lives true to themselves.
  • That they hadn’t worked so hard.
  • That they had the courage to express their own feelings.
  • That they had stayed in touch with their friends.
  • That they had allowed themselves to be happier.

What emerged is a pattern of conformity – both to those around them and wider society – which ultimately prohibited them from leading a truly satisfactory life in which their own dreams and ambitions were fully realised. From the treadmill of everyday work to the way in which we adopt our persona to suit the demands and expectations of others, these regrets are as predictable as they are a sad reflection of the skewed priorities which tend to dominate Western culture. At the same time they reflect something of a pessimistic approach to viewing life and death, focusing on the absence of something positive instead of an appreciation for the goodness that actually existed.

By contrast, Japanese documentarian and film-maker Hirokazu Kore-eda approached the idea of reflecting on life from a different perspective, asking hundreds of subjects from all walks of life – many of whom were not facing imminent death – to choose one cherished moment from their past which defined their lives. The result is a whimsical celebration of life in all its beauty and diversity, which also demonstrates how much people tend to fictionalize their past, with rose-tinted nostalgia heavily influencing their reminiscences. Choosing a single most cherished moment also proves to be considerably more difficult to do than listing one’s regrets, suggesting that negativity has become engrained in mankind’s mindset, as if anxiety and lamentation has become a driving force behind the species.

Kore-eda compiled the interviews and conducted many more for his film After Life, which straddles both documentary and work of fiction, and the result is a film which suggests the immanence of the human experience, with many themes and concepts emerging that a variety of different cultures would doubtless share. So too with deathbed phenomena – the paranormal experiences and visions of those on the brink of death – there is a unity across cultures, and indeed throughout history. Frequently these visions of heavenly creatures and deceased relatives have been considered evidence for the presence of a spirit realm and even as proof of the after life, comforting visions of a place beyond the familiar temporal realm.

The following account from Chaz Ebert, the wife of the popular American film critic Roger Ebert, highlights the nature of deathbed visions in a contemporary context:

“The one thing people might be surprised about—Roger said that he didn’t know if he could believe in God. He had his doubts. But toward the end, something really interesting happened. That week before Roger passed away, I would see him and he would talk about having visited this other place. I thought he was hallucinating. I thought they were giving him too much medication. But the day before he passed away, he wrote me a note: “This is all an elaborate hoax.” I asked him, “What’s a hoax?” And he was talking about this world, this place. He said it was all an illusion. I thought he was just confused. But he was not confused. He wasn’t visiting heaven, not the way we think of heaven. He described it as a vastness that you can’t even imagine. It was a place where the past, present, and future were happening all at once.”

Not surprisingly, when mainstream science first came to examine such phenomena in the early 20th century, they were rationalised by the materialistic mindset as being nothing more than hallucinations – a rationalisation which continues to the present day. There is some merit to this interpretation, as anyone who has taken psychedelic drugs can attest to.

Hallucinogenic drugs such as psilocybin and DMT are capable of manifesting alien realms and entities which for the user feel every bit as real as experiences they might have in sobriety; with DMT, visions of otherworldly beings are incredibly common. Given that the neuronal function of the brain at the point of death is impaired, experiencing a stage of cerebral hypoxia, it is entirely plausible that these visions correspond to these changes in brain activity. This would certainly parallel the work of Rick Strassman and his studies into DMT and the near-death experience, in which he posits that the pineal gland releases huge doses of the chemical at the moment of death.

But new theories have emerged in recent years which may finally take us towards a true reconciliation of science and spirit, in which the deathbed visions of people and places are neither the imaginative products of an ingrained cultural and historical perception of an afterlife nor chemically-induced hallucinations, but real phenomena which actually exist.

Harvard neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander, recently interviewed on Waking Times, conducted extensive research which challenged the orthodoxy of reductive materialism and offered a radical new interpretation of the way in which consciousness functions. Rather than being a product of the brain, Alexander posits that “consciousness is at the core of an unfolding reality” and that beyond this there is a conscious force which exists external to the physical body. Additional research in the field of consciousness by Stanford University Professor Emeritus William A. Tiller has indicated a powerful realm between particles which is heavily influenced by human consciousness. This latent energy, which interacts between the conventionally-measured molecular/atomic substance is apparently spurred into interaction by intentions projected from the mind.

A number of prestigious scientists have long held to the theory of the multiverse, building upon the lack of predictability in quantum mechanics as the starting point for an ever-expanding array of parallel universes. Dr. Robert Lanza, in his book Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Key to Understanding the Nature of the Universe, put forward the notion – long held in religious and spiritual beliefs – that consciousness continues on after the death of the physical form. With consciousness the driving force behind the existence of the universe, Lanza believes that consciousness never actually dies, and that we only perceive it as doing so because of the identity people have with their bodies. Beyond this, Lanza suggests that consciousness can travel between universes at will – just as our bodies are thought of as the product of stardust (and there is solid mainstream science supporting that idea) so too are our “souls” intrinsically linked to the proto-consciousness which forms the fabric of space and time.

A recent study from Boston University revealed that belief in immortality may be hard-wired into the human brain, and while this study focused primarily on highlighting the cognitive roots of religious belief, an interesting aspect of the findings points to these beliefs originating not in culture and upbringing, as was initially assumed, but as intuitive concepts – natural drives rather than nurtured opinions. But perhaps this implicit awareness is more than mere fantasy – if the theories of Alexander, Tiller, Lanza and an increasing number of experts in a variety of fields prove to be correct, it would mean that humanity would have to radically revise its views on death itself, and deathbed reflections on hopes and regrets could become almost redundant.

Rather than validating the claims of religious institutions throughout history, confirmation of consciousness as a phenomena which both shapes the universe around us and transcends the physical realm would forge a new era of metaphysical enquiry. Albert Einstein famously predicted that “the religion of the future will be a cosmic religion” – that future may already be with us.

About the Author

Andrew Dilks writes on culture and politics at orwellwasright.co.uk. He is the author of Goliath and Flow. His newest book Prehistoric Highs: Mind-Altering Plants and the Birth of Civilization will be available in 2014.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact. 

Mushroom Clouds

Psychedelic-Vision

When the world arises in me,
It’s just an illusion:
Water shimmering in the sun,
A vein of silver in mother-of-pearl,
A serpent in a strand of rope.

From me the world streams out
And in me it dissolves,
As a bracelet melts into gold,
A pot crumbles into clay,
A wave subsides into water.

I am God sounds a bit arrogant doesn’t it? How about this, I am God and so are you. Better? Well, only if you really understand the allegory. God is a concept that stands for that which we can’t identify. That which gives us life and co-creates this experience. Him, Her, It, the Force, Consciousness and many others names can symbolically be given to what some call God. I think it’s fair to say most have given up the thought that God is an old white bearded man in the sky, hopefully. Not all, and maybe not most. I do not personally know most people. I’ve only met a tiny percent of the world’s population, so most is mostly a useless word. Useless words shouldn’t be used. Too late now, but I’ll make a mental note about that. (Which would be useless as I can’t remember anything for very long anymore). (I just used useless again, didn’t I? I’ll never learn).

This Consciousness is in everything, absolutely everything, and in fact is all there really is. The last psychedelic trip I took was very interesting. I could see, feel and literally Be everything I saw. A rock, the wall, food. Everything was consciousness and I was connected intimately with everything I saw. I literally became that thing. Alas, explaining a trip to someone who’s never tripped is like explaining color to someone born blind. It’s impossible. But many might say, “Yes, but you were in a drug induced hallucination.” But no, it was a spiritual experience. Watch the movie DMT, The Spirit Molecule. Read how the Shamans used mushrooms. Catch up on some Terrence McKenna lectures. Better yet, take a trip if you’re an adult. You’ll never be the same again. (Don’t just find some stuff and take it, do it right, read up on it and have an experienced guide with you if possible. LSD is actually not the best for this, but it’s the easiest to get and will work just fine. Disclaimer: I did not just endorse hallucinogenic drugs, that was just your interpretation and twisting of my words. (Shame on you, implying and what not). :P

Or just start meditating, that is the slow way, but it will get you there. You will understand that reality is mostly made up of beliefs. Belief that an object is solid is the biggest illusion. It’s a mostly empty spaced atoms vibrating at a speed that makes it impossible to pass your hand through it. But it is not solid. And all ‘matter,’ including us, is connected to the invisible force I prefer to call Consciousness. There is no time, that’s also an illusion, a tool that helps humans function, but it’s not real. It would seem that Consciousness is flickering off and on, pulsating eternally, folding and unfolding into Itself, allowing us to experience that which is Ourselves. We are like a computer and Consciousness is like the server. We are like a virtual reality game. Reality too is evolving, and we will always be a part of it. Death is an illusion that only exists in the minds of the living. There is no end to existence. Don’t you think it odd that you exist right now, in this time, but never did before and never will again? It just doesn’t work like that.

Science and physicists know the nature of reality isn’t grounded in their fundamental materialism that they seem to be stuck in. Until mainstream science takes the leap and admits publically that there is a Force that animates us things will not change, but evolution by nature betters itself, so the time will come when we realize the system of fiat money and dependence on material things hurts us. It might be 10 years or 100 years or a thousand years. The reason the flimsy paradigm of science isn’t changing quicker is because of the fucking 5oo year persecution of the church. That resulted in science setting itself up us only materialistic with spirituality strictly taboo. Religion and science were once one entity. In ancient Egypt, they KNEW there was no death. They KNEW intuitively, from direct experience, not belief, that death was an illusion. They didn’t even have a word for death. The Hindus call the ‘dead’ the disappeared. They are still here, but their body has disappeared. The Buddha said everything is an illusion, the Hindus called illusion Maya. Mysticism and science do belong together.

To get your knowledge of reality from a religious book issued by a government for the purpose of control is insane. Words written by other humans are not to be worshipped. The meaning of the words have been lost anyways. The ‘Jew Peter’ is mythically ‘Jupiter,’ (and mystically something else long forgotten, or driven underground or out of existence), but it’s a form of chasing your own shadow. I.E. The statue in Rome of Peter is an old statue of Zeus, or Jupiter, right in plain sight and we don’t/won’t see it. Belief over rides reality. (Kennedy’s head went backward and part of his brain landed on the trunk, yet they say he was shot from behind AND called it a MAGIC bullet, and people believed). We really need to stop and analyze our beliefs. We can learn that we assign a belief to everything. There is nothing in our reality but beliefs, illusions, and not knowing this is hurting us, not helping. We need both a  spirituality based on reality and a “material experience” to be fully Human. Our purpose is to evolve and become Love. To realize our full potential, or better said, Remember our full potential, as it seems we had it at one time and lost it. That paradigm will come, I predict, when science makes that long awaited announcement to the public about what it already suspects.  Many PhDs are speaking out even now (but mainstream ain’t having anything to do with it yet), and their theories are harshly ridiculed by their peers. Stubborn and stupid, indeed it is. Oh well, it’s all in cycles. A circular circus. Like the snake biting it’s own tail.

Bill Hicks 101

Bill_Hicks_take_some_mushrooms

“Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.” ~ Bill Hicks

 

Ahead of his time? You bet. Born December 16, 1961 –  Died of cancer February 26, 1994 RIP Bill Hicks, thanks for your comedy/philososphy

One Soul, Many Bodies: The Case for Reincarnation

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What happens to us when we die? It’s a question everyone eventually asks themselves at some point in their life. It transcends racial, social, political, economic and gender lines, making it the one question common to all human beings whether we like it or not.

Yet ever since the first men and woman began pondering their mortality a hundred thousand years ago, the answer has eluded us. What does happen when we die? What becomes of our soul, our mind, our personality – our very essence? For that matter, do we even have such a thing as a soul, or is it all an illusion we have created to give ourselves a sense of permanence and the hope of immortality?

The rationalist answers this query by proclaiming that since we are nothing more than a collection of cells and our brains simply tissue encased within a mantle of bone, nothing can happen to us when we die. The essence, personality, mind – soul – or whatever we wish to call our consciousness, ceases to exist, endowing our time on this planet with no more meaning than that which we choose to give it during our brief sojourn here. This is, of course, the position of the atheist, which is what makes atheism, in my opinion, so easy. It requires nothing because it offers nothing, which strikes me as a fair trade.

To most people, however, this answer is unsatisfactory. It suggests that we are little more than some great cosmic accident and that, consequently, our life has no ultimate purpose, forcing us to contemplate an existence without meaning in a universe that, despite all its beauty and splendour, has no more significance – or ultimate permanence – than a flower that briefly blooms in the spring only to wither and die after a few short days of vibrant life.

I suppose there are people for whom such a prospect is acceptable. It does, after all, tidy things up and make life simply a little game we sentient beings like to play for no particularly good reason other than because we have no choice. Yet something deep within the human heart knows better. We instinctively understand that we are more than the sum of our parts, which is why most people believe their personalities will survive their physical demise in some form and will continue on long after their bones have turned to dust. This, of course, brings us to our second option, which is that the personality/ego/true self/whatever you want to call it does survive the demise of the body to exist – at least for a time – as a separate disembodied consciousness. If this is the case, however, the next question that logically follows is what happens next?

Some believe, for example, that we become ghosts – little more than disembodied spirits aimlessly wandering the Earth, capable of perceiving the physical realm but unable to interact with it in any meaningful way. They can even point to various evidences to support this contention, from reported hauntings to automatic writing, séances, and apparent disembodied spirits caught on film.

While I personally have no problem with the idea of ghosts, I don’t think existing as a disembodied consciousness is truly a viable long-term option for what happens to us. Ghosts always struck me as being transitory; beings stuck on the Earth plane for a time only to ultimately move on and so essentially vanish from our physical realm. As such, even if we are to become ghosts, it will be, at least for the vast majority of us, a brief experience and not our eternity. I suspect we all eventually move on to ‘greener pastures’, so to speak.

Now, however, is where things get more interesting. Most people, regardless of whether they believe in ghosts or not, believe that the essence of who we are – our “soul” if you will – goes some place. Heaven is the favoured destination for most; a place where our conscious personality, no longer shackled to the limitations and burdens of physical existence, survives within a perpetual state of bliss and joy throughout eternity. Some add to this by also embracing a belief in hell; a perpetual state of torment for those who turn to evil and so are doomed to exist forever within a conscious state of agony, regret, and fear.

Both positions, however, suffer from the same problem, and that is that they see our time here on this planet as but a blink of the eye of eternity, with the decisions we make – or fail to make – while in the body having profound and eternal ramifications. Unfortunately, this reduces the physical world to little more than a cosmic hatchery that exists only to birth new souls, each of which will spend a short time in it before winging – or, potentially, plunging – to their ultimate destiny.

While admittedly this idea does manage to make this single life of paramount importance, it also forces one to wonder why a physical realm is necessary at all. If the physical universe exists merely as a vehicle for our creation, why couldn’t the process be circumvented entirely and we be created directly into the spiritual realm – as was supposedly the case with God’s angels?

Why all the unnecessary pain and hardship of a physical existence – especially if there exists the very real danger that we might earn hell through our misdeeds – if the spirit realm is the only destination that awaits us? In such a context, physical existence seems not only pointless but, in many ways, even hazardous.

So where does that leave us? If no Heaven and if no Hell, then what’s left?

There is a third position to consider. It is one that until recently has been largely ignored in the West but has been embraced by literally billions of people around the world for thousands of years. It is the belief that this physical existence is neither insignificant nor transient, but instead is perpetually ongoing. It is the concept that our soul lives on not in some ethereal Eden – or Hades – somewhere, but realises perpetual existence through a process of continual rebirths into the physical realm, making our time on this planet not one single, brief experience, but a repetitive process realised through literally hundreds of lifetimes. It is a timeless belief – one that predates both Christianity and Islam by many centuries – and one that is known by many names in many cultures. It’s been called rebirth, regeneration, transmigration of the soul, even metempsychosis, but is perhaps best known to us today as reincarnation.

Upon first consideration, especially to those who haven’t given the idea great thought, reincarnation may seem to be a foreign or exotic concept, especially to the Western mind steeped in the scientific method and drenched in two thousand years of monotheistic religion. It is something for Hindu holy men to ponder, or New Agers to embrace, but nothing that seems particularly relevant to most Westerners today.

I can easily understand this perspective for it is one I held myself for the first forty years of my life. And the truth be told, it is an Eastern concept – one in vogue more than four millennia before Christ was born and a belief held to by nearly two billion of the world’s population today – making it one of the oldest and most enduring belief systems known to man. In fact, it may be the original post-mortem belief among early humans who probably considered the idea when they began noticing strong similarities between recently born offspring and their deceased ancestors. Perhaps the mannerisms or interests a child displayed reminded one of a deceased loved one or a birthmark mimicked that found on a long-dead grandparent, leading village elders to imagine that the dead ancestor had returned a second time – a not unreasonable assumption in cultures that naturally assumed the soul to be inherently immortal.

Unfortunately, Westerners have traditionally had a tendency to consider foreign or primordial religious concepts as primitive and so reject them out of hand. However, this perception appears to be slowly changing as reincarnationist beliefs have become more prevalent in the West, especially in the last fifty years, and is becoming increasingly popular to ever growing numbers of people.

A Lost Western Tradition of How the Soul Returns

Of course, unbeknownst to most people, reincarnation has always been a part of Western thought. The prospect that the soul repeatedly returns to the flesh flourished in ancient Greece almost three thousand years ago and may have played a far more important role in our development as a civilisation than traditional histories have led us to believe. Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, and Pythagoras all taught and believed in some form of rebirth, the foundations of which were later adopted by the great Roman philosophers Ovid, Virgil, and Cicero, along with a host of other great thinkers of antiquity.

In fact, reincarnationist concepts were so prevalent in the centuries immediately preceding the birth of Christ, that they played a major role in many of the “mystery” religions of the Mediterranean; religions which were themselves to become the template for other later mystical faith systems of the region. Reincarnation, then, far from being a purely foreign concept was, in fact, widespread and may have strongly influenced the shape and thrust of Greek and Roman philosophy.

Even more of a surprise to many people, however, is the fact that reincarnationist concepts were also part of some of the more mystical branches of traditional Western religion, from the Sufis of Islam to the Gnostics of the early centuries of Christianity, and even within the Hasidic and Kabbalist traditions in Judaism. In fact, at times it virtually flourished and, especially in the case of Christianity, almost became the predominant belief system during the first few centuries of the Church’s existence until it was forced underground by the more traditional, non-reincarnationist branches of Christianity. Its proponent’s writings declared heretical and burned, the concept was so successfully suppressed by the Church of Rome that few Christians today even realise it was ever a part of their own faith.

Why was it suppressed? The obvious answer is because it threatened authority. Western religion is largely dependent upon the belief that man is destined to “die once and then be judged” to maintain control. In promising multiple rebirths, however, reincarnation renders the proclamations of the Pope or the Grand Mufti or whomever was the ruling head at the time transitory and, the truth be told, irrelevant. As such, reincarnation threatened the Church’s very livelihood, making it a very dangerous idea that had to be either suppressed or labelled as heretical in order for the Church to maintain its power base. As a result, the concept remained largely unknown outside of Asia for probably seventeen of the last twenty-one centuries.

Its revival in the West was imminent, however, with the arrival of the Age of Enlightenment in the eighteenth century. Once the long forgotten writings of the ancient Greeks again became available and one could hold to previously forbidden ideas without forfeiting their lives, such once forbidden concepts as reincarnation became increasingly popular, especially among the intellectual elite of the era. Amongst those who held to some form of multiple rebirths are such notables as Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Benjamin Franklin, Shakespeare, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Voltaire, among others.

Interpreting What it Means to Reincarnate

However, since its reintroduction into the Western consciousness, reincarnation has undergone a transformation. It is no longer the unending “cycle of life” wheel taught by the Hindus and Buddhists, but has become a “school of higher education” designed to bring us to ever greater levels of spiritual enlightenment. This is why when a Hindu or a Buddhist and their fellow Western reincarnationist talk about the subject, it often appears as though they are speaking two different languages. This is because in some ways they are, which is where the confusion comes in.

To the Hindu, the soul is essentially stuck in a never ending cycle of rebirth which can never be broken due to the continual need to balance one’s karma. In effect, with each incarnation into the flesh, the human personality – a by-product of the underlying soul that birthed it – accumulates a degree of bad karma that must be worked off in order to restore balance to itself. Some of this karma can be worked off in life in the form of good works, but this is seldom sufficient to work off the entire debt, which must be accounted for in the next life by having the soul take on an incarnation that may be more difficult so the ongoing karmic debt can be worked off.

On rare occasions, a life may be so exemplary that the person might be born into a higher station (or caste in Hindu parlance) but as a rule, bad karma tends to outweigh good karma and, in being continually accumulated through each lifetime, adds to the growing debt that remains to be balanced and so perpetuating the rebirth cycle. (Of course, if one accumulates too much bad karma, they may not be reborn as a person at all, but could come back as an animal or even, in some teachings, an inanimate object such as a stone. This belief is called “transmigration of the soul” and is also a major element of Hindu teachings.)

Buddhism, on the other hand, while understanding the process of reincarnation in much the same way as does the Hindu, differs in that it teaches that the cycle of rebirth can be broken through achieving nirvana (literally, enlightenment), at which point the cycle is broken.

Enlightenment means essentially to be become aware of one’s true nature and to the realities contained within the Four Noble Truths as articulated by Gautama Buddha over two thousand years ago. These are: first, to be alive is to suffer due to the imperfection of human nature and the world around us; second, that the cause of suffering is attachment to transient things (in effect, craving or desiring things); third, that one can learn to let go of these attachments; and, finally, that the process of achieving enlightenment is progressive and may itself extend over many lifetimes.

In sharp contrast, to many Western reincarnationists, the purpose of rebirth is to learn the lessons we need to learn in each incarnation in order to advance to the next spiritual level which, while having some similarities to the Buddhist concept of slowly achieving enlightenment over a number of incarnations by practicing the Buddha’s Eightfold Path (right view, right intentions, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration), is actually quite different.

The Buddhist does not believe that one is “learning” new lessons with each lifetime, but simply applying the principles contained within the Eightfold Path until craving, ignorance, delusions and its effects gradually disappear as progress is made towards enlightenment. To the Western mindset, attachment is not seen as the source of the problem (though it does generally acknowledge that an obsessive attachment to things can be detrimental to spiritual growth).

Another significant difference between Eastern and Western concepts of reincarnation have to do with the perception of what it is, exactly, that is reincarnating. The Hindu sees the soul – the divine essence of God – as being the generator of each incarnation, with the individual personality or ego a transient expression of that soul.

In marked contrast, the Buddhist doesn’t believe in individualised souls at all, but believes the sense of self is merely an illusion created by our own perceptions – a conscious “memory” if you will, conceived by our assumption that we exist separately. To the Buddhist, we are all a part of a larger, divine consciousness that has simply taken on the very brief “illusion” that it is separate. The Buddhists compare our sense of existence to the waves upon the ocean; just as a wave is a temporary phenomena caused by wind and currents, our personality is equally as transient and is, upon death, absorbed back into the divine consciousness in the same way that a wave upon the ocean is eventually swallowed up by the ocean itself.

In the West, however, the personality – or ego – is more robust and generally considered immortal. To many, the soul and the personality are considered essentially synonymous, so as a result, when we die, our basic personality – complete with all its memories, life experiences, knowledge, and traits – returns in another body to continue its existence. It may not have a direct memory of its past life – though some people claim to be possess the ability to consciously remember their previous incarnations – but it is essentially the same personality starting life over again in another context.

The personality may experience dramatically new surroundings – for example, it may experience one incarnation as an Indian girl who lived and died in the nineteenth century and then return as a Spanish man in the twentieth century – but it is still the same “person” underlying each “role.” Of course, the experiences and environment it finds itself in through each subsequent incarnation will affect the base personality in both subtle and sometimes substantial ways, but this too is a part of the process. This is why the Westerner sees reincarnation in the context of “lessons.” After all, the Indian girl was able to experience and learn only so much in her short time on Earth, mandating that she return again – this time as a Spanish male – to learn those things she either neglected to learn or hadn’t the opportunity to learn in her previous incarnation.

This makes spiritual enlightenment a type of “to do” list that needs to be checked off in its entirety before we can cease the process of rebirth. (What happens after that is equally open to speculation among Westerners: some imagine we come back as avatars or spiritual teachers; others speculate that we start the process over again on another planet, while still others maintain that we move onto other dimensions. Apparently, the options available to the enlightened soul are extensive.)

I wonder, however, if the truth is not a conglomeration of each of these perceptions? Clearly the Eastern concepts of a parent soul that births each and every individual personality has merit, as does the Buddhist belief in the transient, temporary nature of the ego that is birthed. And the Western concept that we reincarnate until we learn what we need to know also has some validity and seems to parallel in some ways the Buddhist idea that the cycle of rebirth ends upon achieving enlightenment – however one chooses to define the term.

I often wonder if we aren’t all looking upon the same phenomena and not simply seeing only those parts of it that speak to us personally. I suspect our understanding of the purpose for reincarnation is lacking in many ways and may never be entirely complete, though I also believe we are making progress in coming to a fuller appreciation for its complexity and sophistication. Perhaps one day East and West will come together and merge their different perceptions and in so doing, form a complete whole that answers everyone’s questions.

Of course, I recognise that such may sound like a contradictory process. After all, how can there be a soul and yet not a soul, and how can the ego be immortal and yet transient? To combine both Western and Eastern concepts of reincarnation would seem to embrace paradox, but I have found it is often within the complexities of paradox that the truth exists. In fact, it is only our limited ability to understand that makes these apparent contradictions paradoxes in the first place.

I wonder if they would still appear as such were we to find the capacity within ourselves to truly understand on a level our current mental capacity does not permit. On the other hand, perhaps understanding these concepts is not done at a mind level, but on a spiritual level, which is a difficult place for many people to go.

Maybe in the end we were never meant to fully understand how reincarnation works, and that may be where the adventure really begins. Perhaps the question of what happens to us when we die was never meant to be answered but merely explored, for it is in seeking – not necessarily finding – the answer that growth can take place.

It may be, in fact, that it is only in abandoning our need to find the answers that we give them the ability to find us. In effect, we may be like the man who is so busy looking for treasure that he fails to realise he is searching for it within the bowels of a gold mine. Were he to but look up and see the treasure that shimmers all around him, he would realise how silly his fervent quest had been all along. Perhaps we need only do the same.

Jeff Allen Danelek’s latest book The Case for Reincarnation: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Soul (Llewellyn, 2010) is available from all good bookstores or via www.newdawnbooks.info.

If you appreciated this article, please consider a digital subscription to New Dawn.

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A native Minnesotan who currently resides in Colorado, JEFF ALLEN DANELEK has been working as a graphic artist and technical illustrator since leaving the Navy in 1984. He has been writing as a hobby for fifteen years, and enjoys presenting alternative theories on increasingly popular subjects dealing with the strange and inexplicable world around us. Danelek is regularly featured at seminars, conferences, and has been a frequent guest on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and the X-Zone with Rob McConnell. His books include The Case for Ghosts, Atlantis: Lessons from a Prehistoric Civilization, UFOs: The Great Debate, and 2012: Extinction or Utopia: Doomsday Prophecies Explored. His latest book is The Case for Reincarnation: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Soul. Danelek is also a novelist and instructor at Colorado Free University. His website is www.ourcuriousworld.com.

The above article appeared in New Dawn Special Issue 14.

© Copyright New Dawn Magazine, http://www.newdawnmagazine.com. Permission granted to freely distribute this article for non-commercial purposes if unedited and copied in full, including this notice.

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Hip Monkey Munchies

he-come-groovinup-slowly
He come groovin’ up slowly….

So it’s like this: I take a few tokes of weed here and there, usually here. It has this tendency to melt the plasticity of reality and puts me on a level of clearer vision. As a teen I was never without a lid (Lid; 4 finger bag of weed for $15). Now I don’t think I’d want to be high all the time. A few tokes is all I need, once a month, maybe twice, sometimes thrice, never with rice. It cleans out the cobwebs of the fiction called culture (the weed, not rice). A lecture by Terrence Mckenna called Culture Is Not Your Friend brings it all home. Man, I wish I could articulate as well as Terrence, or Watts or Manly Hall. But alas, I can only be me and my writing is not for everyone. I used to write a lot more. On another site back in 2005 I did gather a small following of other demented characters that apparently either understood or were entertained by my rambling nature.

Even at around 12 years old I started a neighborhood ‘newspaper’ with a friend who had a copy machine in his home, rich bastards that they were. We sold our homemade newspapers for probably 2 cents a copy, but soon figured out that businesses in the area would pay for advertisements and we could give the paper away for free. By doing this, our number of subscribers went sky high and the ads sold for a lot more. Clever for a 12 year old. My dad didn’t think so. He beat me up a lot, just for the hell of it. Dear old dad, may he RIP. Another story I’ll probably never tell.

I ran away at 15 and travelled most all of America via thumb. I lived with the Indians on Pine Ridge reservation (Black Hills, Rapid City S.Dak.) for a summer. White people weren’t normally welcome on the reservation. My friends and I saw some white guys beating up an Indian girl and we kicked their asses with pool cues. The Indians were grateful and invited us to live with them. This was not too long before Wounded Knee. I learned a lot from that experience. Another story.

See the rambling here? Shit, I am not staying on any single subject. Just typing thoughts out. Making little symbols that others can interpret, yet I feel you could still never know what the thought  while it was in my head, getting ready to disappear before I wrote it down. Interesting. Surreal really. Oh oh, I feel odd. It’s OK, I’m used to that. So yeah, journalistic writing is tedious for me. I admire and appreciate those with the talent to do it. I’ll do it sometimes, but it won’t look professional. That’s just not my bag. The closest I’ve come to that kind of writing was after my son died I kept busy making a Beatles’ website. You can see it at Beatlesnumber9.com. I update the news everyday,  it’s just something I stuck with.  “It took me years to write, won’t you take a look…”

Yeah, culture. So anyway, in 1974-75 or there abouts I went to S Korea as a young soldier. It didn’t take me long to realize I was pretty much a hired hitman for USA Inc. I loved the Korean people though and could see that our presence corrupted them. Pretty, and sometimes very young girls, were selling their bodies for money. They were a very poor country, and a Mommison would buy the girl from a family and the girl was a sex slave. Snap. American pride filled my the toilet bowl outside my quonset hut. Culture shock? You bet. Another story for another time.

Did I have a subject here? I don’t remember, proof of my non-writing abilities. Oh well. Yo! Oneness. Let’s touch on that then I’ll leave.

Life, nature itself is birth, death, rebirth. You can see it in everything if you look for it. Even Ocean waves. Death is as natural as birth. So why do we not talk about it? Especially in the West. Hidden things become a fear. Why do we cry when a loved one dies? We’re not crying for them, we’re crying for ourselves. We’ve lost a part of ourselves, it has disappeared. The dead aren’t suffering, they’re experiencing the Ultimate detachment. No bills, no worries. They’re OK, we’re not. So it’s dawns on me that the loved ones I’ve lost were very much a part of me. I cannot be a me without a you. Interconnectedness is obvious. Even when John Lennon was shot I cried like a baby. I didn’t know him personally. He was a huge part of my life. I cried for myself. Lennon existed inside me. That was then. This is now. I don’t place people on pedastals anymore.

I’m reminded of a joke, because I told you my minds just wonders and I just go with it. ” I think all women should be placed on a pedastal, but just high enough so I can look up their dress.” Welp, I could drone on, but I won’t. I have lots spinning round in my mind and none of it is very coherent. I’m just releasing some of it here. You would not believe my personal life, what a friggin carnival! Yup.

Forever Stunned

Image

I’m living on a lightning cloud,

The thunder strikes explode so loud,

And I don’t know what to do,

‘Cause all I do is think of you.

I look around but your not there,

I close my eyes, you’re everywhere,

I’m gonna be forever stunned,

Because I lost you, my dear son.

I know this void is here to stay,

I think about you every day,

I thought I’d be the first to go,

The more I learn the less I know.

This emptiness that makes me cry,

Will always keep me asking why,

You know I think it’s just a crime,

That I can’t see you one more time…

 

 

 

RIP Gary,  Son – 1975-2001

10 Painfully Obvious Truths Everyone Forgets Too Soon

The truth does not cease to exist when it is ignored.
You know how you can hear something a hundred times in a hundred different ways before it finally gets through to you? The ten truths listed below fall firmly into that category – life lessons that many of us likely learned years ago, and have been reminded of ever since, but for whatever reason, haven’t fully grasped.
10-painfully-obvious-truths
This, my friends, is my attempt at helping all of us, myself included, “get it” and “remember it” once and for all…

1. The average human life is relatively short. 

truthsWe know deep down that life is short, and that death will happen to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it happens to someone we know. It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with a distracted mind, and misjudging the final step. You expected there to be one more stair than there is, and so you find yourself off balance for a moment, before your mind shifts back to the present moment and how the world really is.
LIVE your life TODAY! Don’t ignore death, but don’t be afraid of it either. Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take action. Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside you while you’re still alive. Be bold. Be courageous. Be scared to death, and then take the next step anyway.

2. You will only ever live the life you create for yourself. 

Your life is yours alone. Others can try to persuade you, but they can’t decide for you. They can walk with you, but not in your shoes. So make sure the path you decide to walk aligns with your own intuition and desires, and don’t be scared to switch paths or pave a new one when it makes sense.
Remember, it’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t. Be productive and patient. And realize that patience is not about waiting, but the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in. This is your life, and it is made up entirely of your choices. May your actions speak louder than your words. May your life preach louder than your lips. May your success be your noise in the end.
And if life only teaches you one thing, let it be that taking a passionate leap is always worth it. Even if you have no idea where you’re going to land, be brave enough to step up to the edge of the unknown, and listen to your heart. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Passion and Growth” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

3. Being busy does NOT mean being productive. 

Busyness isn’t a virtue, nor is it something to respect. Though we all have seasons of crazy schedules, very few of us have a legitimate need to be busy ALL the time. We simply don’t know how to live within our means, prioritize properly, and say no when we should.
Being busy rarely equates to productivity these days. Just take a quick look around. Busy people outnumber productive people by a wide margin. Busy people are rushing all over the place, and running late half of the time. They’re heading to work, conferences, meetings, social engagements, etc. They barely have enough free time for family get-togethers and they rarely get enough sleep. Yet, emails are shooting out of their smart phones like machine gun bullets, and their day planners are jammed to the brim with obligations. Their busy schedule gives them an elevated sense of importance. But it’s all an illusion. They’re like hamsters running on a wheel.
Though being busy can make us feel more alive than anything else for a moment, the sensation is not sustainable long term. We will inevitably, whether tomorrow or on our deathbed, come to wish that we spent less time in the buzz of busyness and more time actually living a purposeful life.

4. Some kind of failure always occurs before success.

Fail-Fail-Fail-Fail-SucceedMost mistakes are unavoidable. Learn to forgive yourself. It’s not a problem to make them. It’s only a problem if you never learn from them.
If you’re too afraid of failure, you can’t possibly do what needs to be done to be successful. The solution to this problem is making friends with failure. You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner? The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried. Behind every great piece of art is a thousand failed attempts to make it, but these attempts are simply never shown to us.
Bottom line: Just because it’s not happening now, doesn’t mean it never will. Sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right. (Read The Success Principles.)

5. Thinking and doing are two very different things. 

Success never comes to look for you while you wait around thinking about it.
You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. Knowledge is basically useless without action. Good things don’t come to those who wait; they come to those who work on meaningful goals. Ask yourself what’s really important and then have the courage to build your life around your answer.
And remember, if you wait until you feel 100% ready to begin, you’ll likely be waiting the rest of your life.

6. You don’t have to wait for an apology to forgive. 

Life gets much easier when you learn to accept all the apologies you never got. The key is to be thankful for every experience – positive or negative. It’s taking a step back and saying, “Thank you for the lesson.” It’s realizing that grudges from the past are a perfect waste of today’s happiness, and that holding one is like letting unwanted company live rent free in your head.
Forgiveness is a promise – one you want to keep. When you forgive someone you are making a promise not to hold the unchangeable past against your present self. It has nothing to do with freeing a criminal of his or her crime, and everything to do with freeing yourself of the burden of being an eternal victim.

7. Some people are simply the wrong match for you. 

You will only ever be as great as the people you surround yourself with, so be brave enough to let go of those who keep bringing you down. You shouldn’t force connections with people who constantly make you feel less than amazing.
If someone makes you feel uncomfortable and insecure every time you’re with them, for whatever reason, they’re probably not close friend material. If they make you feel like you can’t be yourself, or if they make you “less than” in any way, don’t pursue a connection with them. If you feel emotionally drained after hanging out with them or get a small hit of anxiety when you are reminded of them, listen to your intuition. There are so many “right people” for you, who energize you and inspire you to be your best self. It makes no sense to force it with people who are the wrong match for you.

8. It’s not other people’s job to love you; it’s yours. 

love-yourself-1It’s important to be nice to others, but it’s even more important to be nice to yourself. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. So make sure you don’t start seeing yourself through the eyes of those who don’t value you. Know your worth, even if they don’t.
Today, let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as incomplete as you think you are. Yes, let someone love you despite all of this, and let that someone be YOU. (Read Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.)

9. What you own is not who YOU are. 

Stuff really is just stuff, and it has absolutely no bearing on who you are as a person. Most of us can make do with much less than we think we need. That’s a valuable reminder, especially in a hugely consumer-driven culture that focuses more on material things than meaningful connections and experiences.
You have to create your own culture. Don’t watch TV, don’t read every fashion magazine, and don’t consume too much of the evening news. Find the strength to fill your time with meaningful experiences. The space and time you are occupying at this very moment is LIFE, and if you’re worrying about Kim Kardashian or Lebron James or some other famous face, then you are disempowered. You’re giving your life away to marketing and media trickery, which is created by big companies to ultimately motivate you to want to dress a certain way, look a certain way, and be a certain way. This is tragic, this kind of thinking. It’s all just Hollywood brainwashing. What is real is YOU and your friends and your family, your loves, your highs, your hopes, your plans, your fears, etc.
Too often we’re told that we’re not important, we’re just peripheral to what is. “Get a degree, get a job, get a car, get a house, and keep on getting.” And it’s sad, because someday you’ll wake up and realize you’ve been tricked. And all you’ll want then is to reclaim your mind by getting it out of the hands of the brainwashers who want to turn you into a drone that buys everything that isn’t needed to impress everyone that isn’t important.

10. Everything changes, every second. 

Embrace change and realize it happens for a reason. It won’t always be obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it.
What you have today may become what you had by tomorrow. You never know. Things change, often spontaneously. People and circumstances come and go. Life doesn’t stop for anybody. It moves rapidly and rushes from calm to chaos in a matter of seconds, and happens like this to people every day. It’s likely happening to someone nearby right now.
Sometimes the shortest split second in time changes the direction of our lives. A seemingly innocuous decision rattles our whole world like a meteorite striking Earth. Entire lives have been swiveled and flipped upside down, for better or worse, on the strength of an unpredictable event. And these events are always happening.
However good or bad a situation is now, it will change. That’s the one thing you can count on. So when life is good, enjoy it. Don’t go looking for something better every second. Happiness never comes to those who don’t appreciate what they have while they have it.
Your turn…
What else would you add to this list? What important life lessons do you often forget? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Authors:  Marc and Angel Hack Life

 

Source: RiseEarth.

Immortality as Consciousness

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As portions of the One, we are immortal. We have chosen to ‘play’ in space-time, the earth plane of Limitation. Caught in temporal mortal forms, our human body, veiled in the illusion of separation and Samsara, the cyclical ocean of death & birth, we fear our impending inevitable death.

While enjoying the adventure of Limitation, human beings since ancient times have fervently sought immortality. From the Akkadian Gilgamesh to the alchemist Sir Isaac Newton, eternal life has been the burning desire of many, especially the rich and powerful. Throughout our current Kali Yuga, all of written history, men and women have longed for immortality in the hope of prolonging their present identity and perhaps even bodily form. Yet most remain deluded — bound in our self-imposed sojourn.

There are now 176 billion observable galaxies. There are trillions of stars, each of which in all probability may have at lease one inhabitable planet awaiting life forms. There is no reason to assume that the numerous extra terrestrial races have no part in the seeding and colonization of planets. Indeed the idea that earth was seeded by various off-planet beings is not in conflict with the metaphysical traditions of consciousness and enlightenment found in the Sanskrit texts.

Ritual as Control

It appears that on occasion, the beings that colonized planet Earth, their priests and occultists, have offered their ‘chosen’ ones elaborate rituals, tests and quests that promised immortality. These chosen ones participated in elaborate, often costly and sacrificial rituals only to find themselves after death in yet another temporal realm – a slice of the myriad realms, the temporal astral planes, which they magnetized by the ritual practices. All these realms, every layer of 1000′s of heavens, hells and in-between are temporal, limited by time. Thus the ‘chosen’ who thought they were achieving immortality, found themselves eventually back in Samsara, the endless cycles of death & birth. They had not reached true immortality, the eternal imperishable One that pervades All — that which they were to begin with!

The idea that man could make himself immortal beyond time, through time-based priestcraft rituals and so-called ‘sacred’ material objects as instruments is a bit humorous. Everything is sacred. Immortality is not about life span, years in any particular bodily form, sharira. Real immortality is reaching God Consciousness, returning to our Source, That, the Tattva-ness we have always been. Therefore any and all elaborate secret arcane occult ritual dramas only got the’chosen’ ones to yet another temporal realm.

The Chandogya Upanishad III.6 explains the Real immortality, amritam, which is beyond the hands of time. The Seer Rishis reached immortality by ‘brooding’ on the verses in the Rig Veda, meaning they focused on the Wisdom Truth in the Sanskrit verses which are compared to the flowers of immortal nectar, a honey water that has the power to issue forth in its essence the birthless-deathless Reality. The wisdom woven in the verses holds the ineluctable power to immerse, absorb and return our consciousness into the One, the Source eternal beyond death and birth.

Our colonizers did indeed have much longer life spans than we earthlings. The Anunnaki were not the first of these colonizing races, but perhaps they were the last. One year for Anu, Enlil, Enki, Ninhursag, Inanna and the others is said to be 3600 of our human years. In terms of their years, they have not been ‘absent’ from our planet for very long. However they too die, even though we could not perceive their mortality because their allotted years greatly exceeded ours.

The Bhagavad Gita states that all manifest beings are mortal. In XVIII.40 Krishna says that no being, either on earth or in heaven among the ‘gods’ is free of Prakriti’s gunas, meaning the modes of material nature, the matrix that exists in time. Even the spheres of the Vedas, their rites and rituals, are said to be confined to the three gunas (sattva, rajas & tamas) and therefore belong to the plane of time. Krishna [BhG.II.45] urges his friend Arjuna to Become, to move beyond duality and liberate himself from the gunas, the power Shakti of Prakriti’s matrix.

Time Relative to the Vital Rhythms

Alain Danielou has a very insightful take on immortality in his book ‘While the Gods Play.’ He says that even though the duration of the gods may appear immense to our human consciousness, they are still “within the domain of multiplicity, the domain of Prakriti” and thus are mortal. How could these gods give us immortality when they do not themselves possess it?

Danielou states that the relative experience of time by various forms in creation is due to “the value that we attach to a given length of time…relative to our physical body. It is determined by the vital rhythms of each species.” Each life form has its own heartbeat and this vital rhythm dictates its duration in time.

Even though the immortality of the flesh is unobtainable, what was given to us is the sacred Wisdom-Knowledge to reach our own God-Consciousness that dwells within each of us. This knowledge was revealed and concealed in the Rig Veda. The Upanishads were written many years later and sought to illuminate the Rig Veda. “The Upanishads form a natural continuity of the glorious spiritual visions and realizations reached by the Rishis of the [Rig Veda] Samhitas… [T.V. Kapali Sastry].” The consciousness of mankind was continually ineluctably sinking into the solidification of matter through an increasing differentiated five-sense perception, as the Kali Yuga inexorably rolled on into ever-deeper density.

The colonizers of planet Earth were taken to be gods because they possessed advanced technology and seemed immortal to us. The term ‘gods’ in Sanskrit devas comes from the root √div and simply means shinning, luminescence, effulgence. The devas are the invisible (to the five senses) forces which play their part in the subtle body to generate the creative give-and-take relationship with the manifest external, the temporal illusory holographic universe. “The gods of the Vedic pantheon – Agni, Vayu, Indra, Surya – are frequently mentioned as having a double function as nature powers in the universe, (adhidaivatam), and as lords of the sense, life, mind and other instruments of the soul within us, (adhyatmam). [T.V. Kapali Sastry]”

Dead Ritual

The ‘gods’ have been personified throughout written history and tyrants have used this tool of the personification of ‘gods’ and the mythopoeisation of history [Malati J. Shendge] to control us through fear. Tyrants benefit from fear and endless destructive wars, many of which have been religious. Ritual has played its role and I quite like this description of the birth of ritual by the Sanskrit scholar, Malati J. Shendge — any ritual, yours and mine: “When the events became symbolic and were ascribed magical powers to attain certain aims, the process of mythopoeisation was complete. History was forgotten and dead ritual became the end in itself.”

Many of the Upanishads reject ritual. Swami Muni Narayana Prasad says that the Mundaka Upanishad “highlights the defects and weak points of Vedism and its ritual, and advises the seeker to become indifferent to them.” In the Bhagavad Gita II.45-6 Krishna says that Vedic rituals belong to the domain of Prakriti’s three gunas and tells Arjuna to ‘Become!’ without them; and further, he says that the Vedas are of no more use to the Self-Realized person than a well, when the entire land is flooded. Priestcraft rituals will not deliver immortality or Moksha, Liberation.

Sanskrit is a very difficult language to learn, and is said to take eighteen years to master all the subtleties of Sanskrit grammar. Naturally this arduous task left Sanskrit and therefore knowledge in the sacred Sanskrit texts, under the control of an elite. In India a guru was the only means to access the knowledge of the Vedas, Upanishads, etc. because unless you were born into the priest caste, you could not read the texts. Thanks to the many translations of these jewels of wisdom, people all over the world can now read the ancient sacred Sanskrit texts. Some of the translations are surely superior to others, just as there are good gurus and better ones. A translation made by an enlightened master is going to carry the power of that consciousness, and therefore be a more direct revelation.

With a sincere heart and dedicated purpose, I believe that we don’t necessarily require a guru. Certainly an enlightened teacher would be a wonderful experience, but even the Kashmir Shaivite saint and scholar, Swami Lakshmanjoo has said, “Don’t pin this on me!” In the last moments, it is up to us. As Krishna says [BhG.VI.5], we must lift ourselves up by the Self, Atmana. Swami Muni Narayana Prasad has also said that some do reach enlightenment by their own efforts, alone and without a guru.

Wisdom from Altair

In my book ‘Inanna Returns’ based on my visions of the Anunnaki colonization of our planet Earth, Inanna told me that when the geneticists Enki and Ninhursag created us, the lulus, they intentionally unplugged some of the genes. These genes in the human body were connected to our ability to realize that we are the One. The colonizing family did not want a worker race that refused to take orders or might rebel. Our ignorance of our origins served their purpose and kept us in the bow-down-and-worship phase of our evolution. I assumed that this was natural because the radiation wars seemed to coincide with the advent of the Kali Yuga — and thus the exposure to radiation pushed the human race into deeper ignorance and limitation.

Inanna said that when she was given the Indus Valley, she was already quite fed up with the increasingly chauvinistic attitudes of the males in her family and thus she resolved to attempt to activate the unplugged DNA. If you think of how many metaphysical systems there are in India, just imagine that throughout the universe there must be countless versions of primordial metaphysics, Truth, Satya, Rita (from the root meaning to rise, tend upward), the Eternal Right, Sanatana Dharma. Inanna called the system Samkhya, and because I did not want to add more to ET confusion, I said it originated in the Pleiades; but Inanna told me that what she taught was from Altair. Ninhursag’s mother came from the Altairian system and Ninhursag in turn, taught Inanna. Setting up what amounted to Tantric temples that practiced tantric rituals with trained priestesses and priests, Inanna determined to give the humans, the lulus, an advantage in consciousness.

‘God’ Genes

The immediate offspring of the Anunnaki already had better DNA, meaning they had abilities to access other dimensional realms that most of the worker race did not possess. When Enlil found out that Inanna was doing this, he was horrified, angry, and gave Marduk permission to destroy the Indus Valley civilization.

I don’t ask the reader to believe what I say here about the Indus Valley Civilization, but look at India – how amazing is it that the ancient Sanskrit texts were preserved. How incredible is it that the British thought that India’s ancient religious beliefs were not worth destroying. Remember that the Romans burned the ancient books in the Library of Alexander. I know — I died in that fire. Sometimes when I am copying a Sanskrit verse, I see the letters through the eyes of that lonely old man in the library at Alexandria, slowly methodically copying old Sanskrit written on dried palm leaves.

It is a miracle that we do have the Rig Veda, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, the essence of them all, to guide us Home.

Think of how often tyrannical dark forces have destroyed great civilizations, devastating the earth again and again, leaving the vast majority of mankind in poverty, fear, hunger, and ignorance. Wouldn’t our acceptance of wisdom teachings allow more to become enlightened? Who doesn’t want us to remember that we are portions of the One? Surely if everyone is God, then it can only be that there are designated beings whose ‘job’ description is playing the Darth Vader roles. In the Mahabharata, the character Duryodhana, who has played a primary part in starting the war, in fact is upon his death greeted with cheers and showers of flower petals by the ‘gods’ in the heavens. He is said to enjoy a heaven for those who have played their role, meaning he has lived out his own dharma and contributed to the adventure of limitation, the human drama.

I know this may sound a bit crazy at first, but consider this — if we all became enlightened at once, would the universe collapse? Who would there be to ‘play’ and mirror the myriad aspects of the One into the temporal illusory hologram? Yes, the bad guys do have a role, and this included the Anunnaki. Some of the family are in fact now trying to help us and many have incarnated in human flesh-and-blood bodies to activate the dormant genome. The hope is to re-establish the Satya Yuga, the era of Truth, and our collective memory of primordial metaphysics, without which there can be no harmony with the Creator, but only further delusion and dissolution.

Fear Propaganda as Control

The cacophony of a threat-matrix around the Anunnaki coming is just one more in a long line of ritual-rackets from the Fear Inc. tyrants who seek to keep mankind bewildered, confused, in fear and safely away from the Wisdom-Knowledge of our true Being, the One. Instead of rapid-fire running around the Internet, chasing mendacity and demons, and messing up the synaptic patterns in our brain that are conducive to contemplation, let us focus on our own consciousness within. There we will find Peace, lasting Love, integrity, truly useful power, and even our own Immortality.

For thousands of years the Sanskrit texts have held the secret key to our freedom and enlightenment, the recognition of our innate God-Consciousness within. That is the only immortality we have ever needed. The rest is mere delusion and deception. Just as the only real Free Will we possess is latent within us, so it is that true immortality awaits us within, in the Heart.

I often say to myself and I hope you have a sense of humour, because I mean this in the highest most sacred loving sense — I often say that God is crazy! God is crazy in Love for Its Creation. There is only one Soul, forever dancing in crazy Love, Its mad blissful Joy across thousands of universes.

We meet in the Heart,

V. Susan Ferguson

“The gods of the Vedic pantheon – Agni, Vayu, Indra, Surya – are frequently mentioned as having a double function as nature powers in the universe, (adhidaivatam), and as lords of the sense, life, mind and other instruments of the soul within us, (adhyatmam). [T.V. Kapali Sastry]”

About the Author

V. Susan Ferguson is the author of Inanna Returns, Inanna Hyper-Luminal; her own commentary on the Bhagavad Gita and the Shiva Sutras; and Colony Earth & the Rig Veda. Her website is Metaphysical Musing.

“The gods of the Vedic pantheon – Agni, Vayu, Indra, Surya – are frequently mentioned as having a double function as nature powers in the universe, (adhidaivatam), and as lords of the sense, life, mind and other instruments of the soul within us, (adhyatmam). [T.V. Kapali Sastry]”

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, I.iv.10:

“And to this day, [those] who…know the Self as I am Brahman [the One], become all this universe.
Even the gods [any other dimensional beings] cannot prevent his becoming this, for he has become their Self. …if a man worships another deity thinking: He is one and I am another, he  does not know.
He [who does not know] is like a sacrificial animal to the gods. As many animals serve a man, so does each man serve the gods. Even if one animal is taken away, it causes anguish to the owner; how much more so when many are taken away!
Therefore it is not pleasing to the gods that men should know this [that they are the One].”

Resources: 

– Lights on the Upanishads, with Sri Aurobindo Darshana, by T.V. Kapali Sastry; Sri Aurobindo Kapali Sastry Institute of Vedic Culture, Bangalore, 1947, 2004.

– While the Gods Play, Shaiva Oracles and Predictions on the Cycles of History and the Destiny of Mankind, by Alain Danielou; Inner Traditions International, Rochester, Vermont, 1987.

– Bhagavad Gita, In the Light of Kashmir Shaivism, with original video, Revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo, Edited by John Hughes, Co-editors Viresh Hughes and Denise Hughes; Universal Shaiva Fellowship, 2013.

– Life’s Pilgrimage Through The Gita, by Swami Muni Narayana Prasad; D.K. Printworld, New Delhi, 2005, 2008.

– The Bhagavad Gita in the Mahabharata, A Bilingual Edition, translated by J.A.B. van Buitenen; The University of Chicago Press, 1981.

– The Bhagavad Gita, translated by Winthrop Sargeant; State University of New York Press, 1994.

– Abhinavagupta’s Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, Gitartha Samgraha, translated by Boris Marjanovic; Indica Books, Varanasi, 2002, 2004.

– The Civilized Demons: The Harappans in Rig Veda, Malati J. Shendge; Abhinav Publications, New Delhi, 1977.

– Satyaloka in the Rig Veda, A Study, by Dr. A. Venkatasubbiah (1886-1969); Vishveshvaranand Vedic Research Institute, 1974.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

The Kabbalah’s Remarkable Idea

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by Paul Levy

During the question and answer period for the book release of my new book Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil, someone asked what was I going to write about next. Without having to blink, I responded “Kabbalah,” which is considered to be one of the most profound spiritual and intellectual movements in all of human history. Soon after the publication of my book I had discovered, much to my surprise, that the Kabbalah had a similarly radical view on many of the things I had written about, particularly the nature and role of evil in the cosmic drama. In my book, I contemplate how the wisdom traditions of alchemy, Gnosticism, shamanism, Buddhism, mystical Christianity and the depth psychology of Jung were pointing at and could help us to deepen our understanding of what the Native Americans call “wetiko” (which, simply put, refers to the spirit of evil), but I hadn’t written about the Kabbalah because I hadn’t realized that it was pointing at wetiko in a particularly unique and creative way.[i] In Dispelling Wetiko, I point out, in as many ways as I can imagine, that encoded in the deepest evil of wetiko, which is the evil that inspires humanity’s inhumanity to itself, is actually a blessing in a very convincing disguise to the contrary, such that if we recognize what it is revealing to us about ourselves, it can help us to wake up. In essence, the Lurianic Kabbalah of Isaac Luria (1534-1572) says the same thing, i.e., that evil, which by definition is diametrically opposed to good, is, paradoxically, at the same time its very source.

Upon studying the Lurianic Kabbalah (henceforth referred to simply as “Kabbalah”), a place of deep recognition stirred within me. In reading its creation myth, it was as if images were being activated within my mind which matched a deep inner experience I had been having for years. According to the Kabbalah, when it first arose within the divine will to create a universe, there was a contraction (known as the “Tzimtzum”), a localized withdrawal and concealment of God so as to prepare a space and “make room” for a finite creation with all of its distinctiveness, multiplicity and limitation to be brought about. At the very moment that God then conceived of the world and poured his[ii] infinite light into the “vessels” that he had prepared for this very event, the vessels were instantaneously filled and shattered by this influx of divine light. This catastrophic event, called “The Breaking of the Vessels” shattered the vessels into shards which fell through primordial space, the metaphysical void, while at the same time severing the previously united (and unconscious) opposites that constitute the underlying unified structure of the universe. Each shard entrapped a portion of divine light, seemingly separating this primordial light from its source.

These shards, known as the “kelipot” (pronounced k’lee-pote), represent malevolent constrictions in being, which, according to the Kabbalah, became the source of evil and personal suffering. The negation and mirror image of divine holiness and purity, the kelipot were like envelopes that concealed holiness just as a peel hides the fruit within. The kelipot were likened to husks or shells that imprisoned within themselves the divine light of God, which, because of its estrangement from its source, becomes malevolent. The kelipot altered the appearance of the light, but didn’t, however, change the essence of the light itself. The kelipot are themselves infertile and lifeless, with no independent existence, vacuous apparitions sustained in their seeming vitality and existence only by the very divine light that they have captured. According to the Kabbalah, evil has no life of its own, as the very source of evil is both intrinsically connected to, and yet, parasitic in relation to the divine light. From the perspective of the Kabbalah, though parasitically dependent upon the light of God, evil seeks to destroy holiness, which is to ultimately destroy everything, including itself. By severing the primary reality from its source of being, the kelipot had assumed an illusory reality, becoming a lethal mirage that, though ultimately not truly existing, could potentially destroy our species. The kelipot were also thought to imprison and bind aspects of human souls as well, feeding parasitically on the divine light within them, which is to say that the Kabbalah’s view of cosmic events was also a description of the dynamics within humanity’s soul. The entrapped divine sparks of light symbolize each individual’s essential but forgotten reality. Significantly, just like the spirit of wetiko, the kelipot contained within themselves the source and very energy for their own undoing, and ultimately, the potential for their own redemption.

Like autonomous complexes within the psyche, the kelipot appeared to obtain a measure of independent existence, as if they had become separated from, and other than, the light of God itself (something which is inherently impossible). For the Kabbalists, evil emerges out of separating things that should (and necessarily do) remain united, a “splitting” of a deeper unity. It was as if the universe itself had been subject to a cosmic “dissociative reaction,” in which the underlying unity of the universe had been fragmented into a multiplicity of selves. Both the kelipot and affect-laden complexes become relatively inaccessible to consciousness, shrouded in the darkness of the unconscious. Becoming “exiled” from their source, these split-off complexes become the source of much suffering in the personal realm, just as the kelipot become the source of evil on the cosmic scale. Just as the divine light estranged from its source becomes evil, when our psychic energy becomes encapsulated through repression and severed from the wholeness of the psyche from which it arose, we develop all sorts of negative, neurotic and self-destructive symptoms.

It was as if in the process of creation, God (or in psychological terms, “the Self”), had become alienated from itself, as if “Being” was in exile from itself. And yet, according to the Kabbalah, this cosmic cataclysm was no accident, but was inherent in the overall scheme of things, built into the very design of the universe, as if God had to become estranged from himself in order to become more fully himself. To quote Jung, “And where would God’s wholeness be if he could not be the ‘wholly other’?”[iii] In becoming concealed and eclipsed from himself, the infinite God creates the illusion of finitude, limitation and separation.

As if clothing himself in a garment that is our world, God creates a very convincing illusion that is akin to a dream. According to the Kabbalah, our world is itself like a dream in the infinite mind of God. Dreams themselves are tailor-made so as to help us understand Kabbalistic thought in general. As long as we are under the spell of the dream that we are having, all of the people and objects within the dream seem separate and objectively existing. It is only upon awakening to the dreamlike nature of our situation that we recognize that who we thought we were is nothing other than a model of ourselves being dreamed by something deeper, and that the dream in which we find ourselves is a display of, and not separate from, who we have discovered ourselves to be. Similarly, it is only when God is differentiated into, and includes within himself, a seemingly boundless expanse of apparently finite entities, which are then understood as all participating in his unified essence, that God completes himself as the Infinite All and his full infinity is achieved. This is to say that the deepest unity isn’t opposed to multiplicity, but, rather, requires and embraces it.

In the same way that God has to become estranged from himself in order to become who he is, according to the Kabbalah, it was only after the vessels break that humanity’s potential to become fully itself is set in motion. It is as if some form of destruction, deconstruction, or disintegration is a prerequisite for individuation and is necessary for the birth of the Self. Seen symbolically, the Breaking of the Vessels is an expression of the inevitable brokenness that everyone experiences at one point or another within, and even throughout, the course of a lifetime. It is when things seem most broken and shattered─when we hit bottom─that the deeper process of healing and transformation can begin. This archetypal idea is also expressed in the figure of the wounded healer, who accesses the ability to heal by going through and adding consciousness to the process of being wounded. Seen psychologically, the archetype of the wounded healer expresses the idea that the ego, if it’s to undergo transformation, must be wounded or broken in some way in order to open up to its connection to the healing energies of the unconscious. This idea of being broken, of experiencing failure, feeling psychologically and spiritually impotent, and going through a symbolic “death” experience is also related to the archetypal “Dark Night of the Soul,” an inner, psychospiritual experience which involves descending into the darkness─similar to the archetypal descent of the shaman into the underworld─which is the very process through which the light is discovered. This is similar to the personal process of spiritual emergence, which almost always looks like a nervous “breakdown.” The person who is spiritually awakening is typically experienced to be “falling into pieces,” as their psyche “melts down” and disintegrates, all potentially leading towards a higher form of integration more in alignment with their deeper, intrinsic wholeness. This process of falling apart is an iteration of the same fractal, a recapitulation on the microcosmic scale of an individual psyche, that the Kabbalah describes as initiating the process of divine evolution on a cosmic scale. The shattering of the vessels can also symbolize moments when life so shakes us up that we snap out of our fixed patterns of thought, rigid beliefs and assumed ideas about both the world and ourselves, such that a divine spark of creativity can come through us.

One of the striking features in the Kabbalah’s account of the origin of evil is that, unlike the Biblical myth, whose notion of the Fall of Humanity is attributed to a human act as described in the Garden of Eden story, the Kabbalah sees the origin of evil as an inescapable feature of the very process of cosmogenesis itself. Instead of seeing evil as existing outside of God, the Kabbalists saw evil as an essential component of the deity, woven into the very fabric of creation. From the point of view of the Kabbalah, evil issues forth from God himself, originating in the very heart of divinity, and is a logically necessary consequence of the very act of creation itself. In the earliest Kabbalistic writings it says “The Holy One praised be He has a trait which is called Evil.”[iv] From the Kabbalah’s point of view, to deny evil its rightful place in the cosmos is to do away with the Good as well. To quote Sanford L. Drob, author of Symbols of the Kabbalah: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives, “Evil is to creation, and the individual finite existence that is creation’s very essence, as the outside of a container is to the space it contains.”[v] To one-sidedly strive after good and unilaterally reject and exclude evil would be like trying to grasp the container without taking hold of the boundary which defines it.

This “crisis in creation” was built into all things, both human and divine, into the molecular and subatomic structure of the cosmos itself. The dialectical tensions of the cosmos are mirrored in the psyche of each individual. This primordial rupture, which was a form of trauma on a cosmic scale, became the in-forming force behind human history itself, conditioning the experience of each individual, as well as our species as a whole. It is as if our entire species is suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Seen as a whole person, it is as if the wholeness of the universe had split into cosmic multiple sub-personalities who are dissociated from and seemingly separate from each other, desperately in need of recognizing their connection so as to come together and reintegrate.

When Freud was first introduced to the Kabbalah, he was so beside himself in excitement that he exclaimed “This is gold.” When Jung, who to my mind has the deepest insight into the nature of evil of anyone I have yet encountered, had his eyes opened to the profundity of the Kabbalah, he realized that his entire psychology had been anticipated by certain of their adepts. In an interview on his eightieth birthday in 1955, Jung declared, “the Hasidic Rabbi Baer from Mesiritz anticipated my entire psychology in the eighteenth century.”[vi] I can relate to how Jung must have felt, as the more I studied the Kabbalah’s cosmology, the more my mind was being blown, feeling as if I had found an alternative─and complementary─rendering of what I had written about in Dispelling Wetiko. The Kabbalah provides an ingenious model of how we have become entranced by the spell-binding powers of our own mind. It was as if the Kabbalist’s had been tracking wetiko for centuries, had created their own mythology and symbol system which “captured” it, and in so doing had presciently realized how to “break the curse of evil.”

Jung writes, “In a tract of the Lurianic Kabbalah, the remarkable idea is developed that man is destined to become God’s helper in the attempt to restore the vessels which were broken when God thought to create a world.”[vii] Commenting on this novel idea, Jung writes, “Here the thought emerges for the first time that man must help God to repair the damage wrought by creation. For the first time man’s cosmic responsibility is acknowledged.”[viii] Jung was appreciating the Kabbalist’s (r)evolutionary insight that humanity was playing the crucial role of co-partnering with God so as to complete the creative act of his Incarnation. The radical and taboo thought was, “for the first time,” emerging into a monotheistic worldview that, to put it into religious language, humanity didn’t just depend upon God, but that God, as if to complete the circle, depended upon humanity as well. From the Kabbalah’s point of view, God did not just create humanity, but in a joint venture, humanity is reciprocally helping to create God as well – talk about a “cosmic responsibility!”

According to the Kabbalah, it was as if divine sparks, psychic/spiritual treasures were encoded within us and hidden throughout the physical universe. It is a Sethian[ix] notion, as expressed by Hippolytus, that the darkness “held the brightness and the spark of light in thrall,”[x] the wording of which suggests that the darkness seems to have the light under a magical “spell.” This is quite remarkable, considering that, as mentioned earlier, the darkness parasitically requires the energy of the light in order to maintain its seeming existence and appear real. Ultimately speaking, the light has used its own creative energy to constrain its infinite radiance, as if the light has cast a spell upon itself. Seen as a reflection of a process happening within each of us, this expresses how something so incredibly powerful (i.e., ourselves as the radiant plenum – the boundless luminosity which is the very fabric of our being) can fall under the spell of a nonexistent phantom appearance that arises from the immense creativity of our own mind such that it entrances the light within us into believing that this imaginary, illusory phantom of darkness is more powerful than the light that we are. These apparition-like “darker forces,” the result of a timeless, acausal, nonlinear and insidious feedback loop within our own mind, only have power over us to the extent that their illusory nature is not seen through. The powers of darkness cannot take our intrinsic power from us, rather, they can only take on seeming reality by tricking us into giving our power away to them.

The idea of sparks of divine light becoming trapped in the dark denseness of matter, and this state of affairs being linked with human salvation is a quintessentially Gnostic idea. The Gnostic Gospel of Phillip says, “I am scattered in all things, and from wherever thou wilt thou canst gather me, but in gathering me thou gatherest together thyself.” It was as if sparks of the divine, of our very Self were dispersed throughout the manifest world, waiting to be discovered and liberated.

To the Kabbalists, it was humanity’s divinely appointed task to find, extract and free this light that is hidden in the darkness of the material realm (this is called “The Raising of the Sparks”), thereby helping this light return to its divine source. It is the mission of each one of us to raise the sparks hidden within those kelipot that reside within our soul or that come our way over the course of a lifetime so as to fulfill our part in the healing of the world. According to the Kabbalah, humanity plays a key role in the repair and restoration of the world, called “Tikkun ha-Olam” (henceforth “Tikkun” for short). Tikkun is a project in which humanity, the world, and God himself becomes more fully themselves, as if humanity plays a vitally important role in the completion and actualization of the universe, and if we can talk in such human terms, of God himself. The profound viewpoint of Tikkun reveals that the purpose and significance of evil in God’s plan is to provide a context for humanity’s redemption, which is to say that the vision provided by Tikkun puts evil, humanity, and God himself in their proper places within the cosmos.

This cosmic process is mirrored in humanity through the process of individuation, of becoming an indivisible unity or “whole,” which entails a gathering, recollecting and remembering of all of the split-off, projected parts of the psyche. Etymologically, the root of the word individuation means “un-divided,” as if the process of individuation is the antidote to the “diabolical” (whose etymology means “that which separates and divides”), disintegrating effects of evil. To quote Jung, “Individuation does not shut one out from the world, but gathers the world to oneself.”[xi] Elsewhere Jung writes, “Everything living dreams of individuation, for everything strives towards its own wholeness.”[xii] As Jung suggests, just as each one of us dreams of individuation as we strive towards the wholeness of our nature, can’t we say the same of the universe itself: that it too dreams of individuation, of gathering its nature to itself, and re-membering all of its split-off parts? Are we all just playing roles in a cosmic process of individuation─a universal awakening─that is mysteriously being revealed and catalyzed through our darker half?

It is an age-old, archetypal idea, expressed in both alchemy and Gnosticism, that light is to be found hidden within the darkness, which suggests that evil is connected to the process of redemption and individuation. Jung comments, “that not only darkness is known through light, but that, conversely, light is known through darkness.”[xiii] According to the Kabbalah, the extraction of the light requires an acknowledgement of, and sojourn into the realm of darkness, which psychologically speaking, can be thought of as making a descent into the underworld of the unconscious and coming to terms with our base desires, what in Kabbalah is referred to as a “descent on behalf of the ascent.” Going inward is going upward in consciousness, dimensionally speaking. This descent always involves a coming to terms with the “shadow” of ourselves (which has both a personal, as well as transpersonal/archetypal component). Our totality must include a dark side if we are to be whole. Jung writes, “Where there is no shadow, there is no light.”[xiv] By entering the dark realm of the unconscious, we are offered the possibility of refining ourselves as if in a crucible, as if the shadow-world of the unconscious is a divine furnace of purification. If we fail to take into account the shadow aspect of ourselves, we are unwittingly feeding it, increasing its power over us; if we don’t acknowledge and see our darkness, we deliver ourselves into its hands.

The kabbalistic idea of finding the light hidden in the darkness is also a basic psychoanalytic idea, having to do with making the unconscious conscious, as well as connecting split-off complexes to the wholeness of the Self. If we don’t acknowledge and pay our dues to the darkness, like the return of the Freudian repressed, it will take its due on its own terms, with a vengeance. In alchemy, the prima materia, which is considered the primal chaos that includes within itself elements of negativity and evil (and is symbolized by the element “lead”), is necessary and indeed indispensible for the making of the “gold” (which is the awakened consciousness) and the completion of the opus.

The entire process of Tikkun proceeds out of what the Kabbalah refers to as “The Other Side” (called “The Sitra Achra,” a nether realm of evil inhabited by and composed of the kelipot), which is to say that, kabbalistically speaking, there is no liberated light except that which issues forth out of the evil realm. The Zohar, the key Kabbalistic text, makes this very point when it makes the remarkable statement, “There is no light except that which issues from darkness…and no true good except it proceed from evil.”[xv] According to the Kabbalah, evil is the very condition of good’s realization. Evil, at cross purposes to the good at its core, is at the same time, paradoxically, its very foundation. It is only by attending to the darkness within ourselves and making the darkness conscious, however, that we become secure in the attainment of the good and begin to wake up. Jung writes, “He who comprehends the darkness in himself, to him the light is near.”[xvi]

From the Kabbalistic point of view, evil brings into the world the possibility of choosing between sin and virtue, which is to say that evil is the very origin of the possibility of the highest good. Freedom of choice is a necessary postulate for responsibility, morality and the creation of values. Evil becomes the condition for free choice, and hence, the condition for the full realization of good. As if the revelation of everything is through its opposite, an idea is only complete when it reveals its opposite to be inextricably linked to its very significance, e.g., darkness is only known through light, just as light is only known through darkness. According to the Kabbalah, the world and the soul of humanity are partly immersed in the “Other Side,” which is to say that the evil impulse can’t be banished, but needs to be harnessed for the good. To quote Jung, “You can’t reject evil because evil is the bringer of light.”

Evil, according to the Kabbalah, reciprocally co-arises with the possibility of humanity’s freedom, as if God could not create true freedom for humanity without providing a choice for evil. Freedom and evil are thus two aspects of the same process. It is as if the Breaking of the Vessels, the seeming exile of divine light, and the production of evil which resulted made possible the process by which humanity can attain its autonomy and potential freedom. Only in an evil and tragic world can compassion and kindness be most fully realized. Jung succinctly expresses this realization when he writes, “The evil one is holy.”[xvii] This is not to justify, sanction or condone evil, but rather, to contextualize it. The chaos and negativity that resulted from the Breaking of the Vessels was, for the Kabbalists, the inevitable result of, and the price to be paid for, the infinite taking on finite form, of divine unity giving itself over to distinction, individuality and freedom. From the Kabbalistic point of view, evil is created by and for freedom, and it is only through freedom by which it can be overcome.

If the kelipot are solely the source of evil, how do we explain that is it is through their evil that we potentially actualize our freedom? Are the kelipot expressions of a higher intelligence, part of the divine plan to bring about a higher form of good that couldn’t be achieved without their existence?

As if intimately related, there is a deep interconnection between the forces of light and dark, as if at a certain point the dark and the light become indistinguishable from one another, a “coincidentia oppositorum” (co-incidence of opposites). The idea of the interpenetration, interdependence and the coming together of the opposites is at the root of every wisdom tradition on our planet, and is an idea that underlies, informs and animates the Kabbalah’s entire cosmology. In addition, the principle of coincidentia oppositorum can be considered to be the cornerstone of Jung’s entire psychology. In Jung’s personal journal, the recently published Red Book, whose reflections are the basis of his life’s work, he refers to the coincidentia oppositorum as producing the “supreme meaning.”[xviii] The part of us that is having the realization of, in Jung’s words, the “mysterium coniunctionis” (the mystery of the conjunction – the co-joining of things typically conceived of as being opposites) is the Self, the wholeness of our personality. The Self─who we are─is simultaneously the sponsor and result of this realization.

Through its choices, humanity can realize and actualize the values that are only abstractions and ideas in the mind of God. Humanity’s actions can instantiate, embody and make fully real the higher, spiritual values of our universe, helping God to see, and experience the totality of himself in the process. It is as if humanity is the vessel which God has created in order to complete and incarnate himself. It is the Kabbalah’s perspective that the unity and perfection that is provided with humanity’s help is of a higher-order than the unity that existed before the Breaking of the Vessels and prior to creation itself. This is similar to how, in the alchemical operation of “solve et coagula” (dissolve and synthesize), an original unity is separated into its opposing parts, and then reunited in a process that brings about a superior wholeness. From the Kabbalah’s point of view, it is as if God creates the world in order to fully realize himself in it. In a case where the microcosm mirrors the macrocosm, this is similar to how the unconscious manifests itself in a reflective ego in order to complete and know itself as a conscious “Self.”

It is only a broken and disordered state of affairs─such as we have in the world today─that provides the optimal environment within which humanity can best exercise the greatest spiritual, moral, aesthetic and intellectual virtues that truly make us a reflection of God. The discordant, unassimilated and antagonistic effects of both our personal complexes and the kelipot of the Kabbalah all serve to call forth our highest potentialities, similar to how a road test for a car involves being put under the most difficult conditions to push it to its edge and elicit the limits of its performance capabilities. This world is truly a perfect realm for the “road-testing” of our souls. Humanity’s highest virtues are called upon when confronted by evil.

Jung writes, “The self is made manifest in the opposites and in the conflict between them; it is a coincidentia oppositorum. Hence the way to the self begins with conflict.”[xix] Conflicting energies exist relative to, by virtue of, and at the expense of each other. Reciprocally co-arising, they belong together precisely insofar as they oppose each other; their antagonism is the very source of their essential oneness. The conflict that arises from the Breaking of the Vessels and the creation of evil is inherent to, and necessary for, the cultivation of the human spirit. Jung writes, “The stirring up of conflict is a Luciferian virtue in the true sense of the word. Conflict engenders fire, the fire of affects and emotions, and like every other fire, it has two aspects, that of combustion and that of creating light.”[xx] In other words, the conflict and friction that is the result of the Breaking of the Vessels can potentially create separation, hurt and misunderstanding─producing more trauma─or it can create light, the light of consciousness itself. From this meta-perspective, the shattering of the vessels allows, potentially, for more light to be revealed. To quote Jung, “But that which brings division ultimately creates union.”[xxi]

Though the Kabbalist’s envision the Breaking of the Vessels (and the kelipot entrapping the divine light and bringing evil into the world) as a cosmic event that happened back in the dawning of time─at the very moment of the creation of our universe─this process is also atemporal, in that it happens outside of time, which is to say that it is happening right now. The Breaking of the Vessels is a symbolic articulation of a process that is active in us right now and is informing our human condition in each and every moment.

Like the prototypical Adam, whose situation in the Garden is a metaphor for the archetypal human dilemma, as well as for all subsequent human decisions, each one of us stands at a fork in the road─a place of great opportunity─between the paths of Tikkun (and life) on the one hand, and feeding the kelipot and evil (and death) on the other.[xxii] Adam’s sin was catastrophic precisely because it was an act of free choice, and for this reason it strengthened the kelipot and the power of the “Other Side.” Similarly, whenever any of us is “unconsciously” taken over by evil in the form of compulsive, addictive behaviors (as compared to “acting out” our compulsions as the medium through which we become conscious of them), we are unwittingly investing in the grip of the kelipot over our soul. When we are able to choose differently, however, and redirect our psychic energy so as to “re-turn” (a word which, etymologically, has to do with the word “repentance”) to the true spiritual home within ourselves, the energy that was bound up in the compulsive re-creation of our habitual patterns becomes freed up and available for the expression of love and creativity (which, in religious language, would be to serve God). To “turn away” from the “self and/or other” destructive evil impulse within ourselves and to “turn towards” and reorient ourselves towards the good is to genuinely “repent.” Repentance is the highest expression of humanity’s capacity to choose freely – it is a manifestation of the divine in humanity. Repentance is a living manifestation of the power within us to extricate ourselves from the binding power of the kelipot, from the chains of endless causality that otherwise compel us to follow a path of “no return.” As Jung points out, “The sin to be repented, of course, is unconsciousness.”[xxiii] From the Kabbalah’s point of view, a “sinner” who “repents” is on a higher level than the saint who has never sinned.

The moment of “metanoia,” of a shift in our attitude, a change in our mind and a softening of our heart, is a moment in which we are participating in the birth of consciousness. Individuation is Incarnation. In this moment of awareness, the energy that was bound up in the recreation of the kelipot and their seeming power over us is instantaneously liberated. The holy sparks imprisoned by the kelipot, like iron filings drawn to a magnet, fly back to their divine source, where they can then assist and inspire the process of a universe-wide Tikkun even further. The kelipot, which had been parasitic on this sacred light are then deprived of their vitality and vanish as though they had never existed, as if a dream that had seemed real vaporizes into the light of awakening consciousness, getting reabsorbed into the very divine light from which it arose.

We, by our very choices, are actively participating in creating (in my language, “dreaming up”) the archetypal process of either feeding the kelipot and their resultant evil or denying them their food in each and every moment by feeding awareness instead. Once we cultivate the compassion that is at the root of this process, the evil impulse─“yetzer ha-ra”─within us is not, like in the psychological process of sublimation, merely redirected while the underlying drive is left essentially unchanged; rather, the redirection implied by this process elevates and alchemically transforms the evil urge into “yetzer ha-tov,” the impulse for good. It is the creative tension between these two primordial urges within us that supplies the energy for humanity to potentially connect with our true power and exercise the divine gift of genuine freedom. For the Kabbalists, the good that we are capable of in our personal life issues forth, and is functionally related to the evil inclination within us; which is to say that the energy that is animating the evil impulse can potentially be channeled to inspire the good. The greater our evil impulse, the greater our potential for good.

At this point, I am left practically speechless, in awe and appreciation for the divine creative imagination as it imagines itself through the Kabbalistic cosmology. My life truly feels enriched after finding the gold of the Kabbalah. The Kabbalist’s vision of the cosmos and the Native American idea of wetiko mutually illuminate and shed light on each other, expanding our vision of who we are in the process. As I become more familiar with the Kabbalah, I am realizing that I have been a “closet Kabbalist,” and that my inner Kabbalistic nature was a secret, hidden and unknown even to myself.

For the Kabbalah, the act of creation itself is an introduction, a mere opening act, a preparation for the process of Tikkun. The Kabbalistic myth of Tikkun, at least in my imagination, is a satisfying myth, as the ‘mystic’ Tikkun is the true coming of the Messiah, which psychologically speaking, is the birth of the Self through humanity. Kabbalistically speaking, the savior does not come to unite humanity with God, but to unite humanity with itself; individuation means becoming who one is. The process of Tikkun involves seeing through and transcending the illusion of the imaginary “separate” self and recognizing our true self, which is a “self” that is interconnected and interdependent with all beings. This is an insight that is not limited to the merely inner domain within our own minds, but requires us to embody its realization and carry its compassion into the world at large. Tikkun doesn’t have to do with leaving the world behind and entering our own personal nirvana, nor does it have to do with transcending the world. The vehicle for Tikkun’s realization is our world.

When we truly become a living representative for the process of Tikkun, we realize the synchronistic dialectic between the outer world and the inner landscape of our mind, which is to say that the outer and inner worlds, just like a dream, are recognized to be reflections of each other. This is to recognize that the outer world is the medium through which our inner realization is made manifest and given form, which is to say that one very powerful way to “work on ourselves” and deepen our inner realization is to engage with, fully participate in and be of service in and to the world. The psychological redemption that is at the heart of Tikkun involves a simultaneous turning inward and outward. As practitioners of Tikkun we seek to discover the core of divinity that resides within ourselves as well as within the world at large. From the perspective of the Kabbalah, it is incumbent upon humanity to discover, recognize, bring out and sanctify the sacramental value of the material world. The world becomes alchemically transfigured in the moment of recognizing that it is, and always has been a pure spiritual realm. We ourselves become transformed in the process. The process of Tikkun will only be complete when the last spark has been raised and the universe, suffused with the inviolable primordial radiance of the divine, reveals itself to be the dream that it is. As we collectively connect with each other in the profound process of Tikkun, we can refresh and restore the world to a state of harmony undreamed of previously.

About the Author

A pioneer in the field of spiritual emergencePaul Levy is a wounded healer in private practice, assisting others who are also awakening to the dreamlike nature of reality. He is the author of Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil (North Atlantic Books). He is also the author of The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis, An artist, he is deeply steeped in the work of C. G. Jung, and has been a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for over thirty years. Feel free to pass this article along to a friend if you feel so inspired. Please visit Paul’s website www.awakeninthedream.com. You can contact Paul at paul@awakeninthedream.com; he looks forward to your reflections. Though he reads every email, he regrets that he is not able to personally respond to all of them. © Copyright 2013.

This article was originally published on awakeninthedream.com.

[i] It was particularly Sanford L. Drob’s brilliant writings on the Kabbalah that opened my eyes to how the Kabbalah was, through its own divinely inspired creative imagination, describing wetiko in its own unique way.

[ii] For consistency’s sake, I have chosen to use the masculine gender when referring to God, as this is the gender used in referring to God in the Kabbalah, as well as by Jung.

[iii] Jung, CW 11, Psychology and Religion: West and East, par. 380.

[iv] Sefer ha Bahir, par. 109, as cited in Gerhom Scholem, Origins of the Kabbalah, trans. R. J. Zwi Werblowsky (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1987), pp. 149-150.

[v] Drob, Sanford, Symbols of the Kabbalah, p. 329.

[vi] “An Eightieth Birthday Interview,” in C. G. Jung Speaking, ed. W. McGuire and R. F. C. Hull (Princeton, N. J: Princeton University Press, 1977), pp. 271-272.

[vii] Jung, Letters vol. 2, p. 157.

[viii] Jung, Letters vol. 2, p. 155.

[ix] a Christian Gnostic sect

[x] Elenchos, V, 19, 7 (Legge, I, p. 162).

[xi] Jung, CW 8, The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, par. 432.

[xii] Jung, Letters vol. 2, p. xlvi.

[xiii] Jung, CW 9ii, Aion, par. 92.

[xiv] Jung, Visions 1, p. 162.

[xv] Zohar II, 184a; Sperling and Simon, The Zohar, Vol. IV, p. 125.

[xvi] Jung, Red Book, p. 272b.

[xvii] Jung, Red Book, p. 290.

[xviii] Jung, Red Book, p. 229.

[xix] Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, CW 12, par. 259.

[xx] Jung, CW 9i, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, par. 179.

[xxi] Jung, CW 10, Civilization in Transition, par. 293.

[xxii] “…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may have life.” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

[xxiii] Jung, CW 9ii, Aion, par. 299.

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