Neutrality and stillness are concepts that go hand in hand. To be neutral, one has to find an inner stillness. To better illustrate the point, consider the opposite. When we lack inner stillness (angry, frustrated, agitated, desirous, etc.), that is when we attach to an outcome. This in turn tosses our nature along the ebb and flow of life. Those crests and troughs of the sea of life, cause much distress. If there’s every any doubt, just look at the world. The world is filled with political turmoil, which seeps into people. Right now another round of anger is mounting in the United States, over investigative measures of a past president. Anger and desire, on both sides, is causing people to act rashly – but worse yet, causing them to lose their spiritual center and decline into the state of natural materialism. The way out of this quagmire of life, is to find space. Inner space. For within that space (where there is no emotional cataclysm), we are free to experience the Spirit Spark of God that rests within. In this inner communion our Higher nature is awoken and realized, and this is our path of transformation. This is the hope of the Rosicrucian work. First we must find this neutrality, and second, we must listen to the Gnosis occulted within our stillness.
“Going beyond” is a path to neutrality. Consider the choice to focus on the things not of this world, so that the natural fades out of tune – becoming neutralized. I’ve had this experience several times. The first was as a Buddhist. In 2004, after taking my Buddhist vows, I began a path of conscious reflection (looking at my own nature, my own issues). I realized the truth of the teachings, that the world is more illusion than real. When a war erupted, dividing the nation, I wasn’t affected. I saw the anger on both sides as the same anger. Anger to Iraq was the same as the anger to the man attacking Iraq. One does not solve the other. This is neutrality. Those in the world do not like this type of neutrality. They will fight it, as though it is apathy. Threading that needle is a challenge, but if one were to attach with every outcome, the world will take us astray.
I reached neutrality by understanding a bigger truth: That the world is not True, it simply appears to be true. Looking for the underlying causes (karma) that paints the blankness (emptiness) of the world, I realized that each of us sees the world according to his or her own karma.
Today I could use a refresher on “going beyond,” because I’ve fallen from that state. These states are not permanent, and like a diet, can easily be lost. After I left Buddhism, I joined many other spiritual societies, but it was my fears of 2016 that caused my greatest setbacks. Instead of remaining neutral, I engaged head on. I went for the proverbial jugular of religious hypocrites. Storming their social media castles, I laid waste to their philosophies. Using their own Holy books, I proved their falsehoods. In fighting an enemy, I became the thing I never wanted to be: a man bound by illusionary nature.
In 2018 I found a way to dig myself out of the pit of despair. Spiritual paths, some a distraction, and some poignant, gave me the strength to reaffirm my motto: Union with Self. In that process I made a deep connection with the Higher Self, that so-called sleeper aspect of our inner nature. In truth I think it’s awake, it’s our consciousness that is asleep to it. As it guided my path, I let go of old relationships: physically distancing from my mother, disconnecting from negative influences were the start of a process that formed my path to seeking inner Truth reaffirmed.
Neutrality escaped me still, until I began to read and study the works of the Golden Rosycross. It was here that I found my deep resonance with my Buddhist past, bridging to the current future goal of Divine Union.
We know that ever activity is a motion of our electromagnetic field starting from our natural status. Its results therefore, can only be useful in this nature. What is the obvious thing to do now? We must stop this magnetic motion, the hunting after our desires.The Coming New Man, pg 59
The preceding quote by author and teacher, Jan van Rijckenborgh, explains that our surrounding field has a pulling effect. This electro-magnetic feature draws to it what it is. We may think this an aspect of how our karma works. Desire influences the field, which draws more things to desire. Fear, likewise, influences the field, which draws more things to fear. To end this cycle we need to find a way to slow, or stop, the motion of the field.
When a person possessing a spirit-spark atom in his heart give-up chasing after natural things and becomes still in this sense, he will irrevocable be touched by the magnetic field of the Brotherhood.Ibid. pg 60
The desire, once quenched, opens to the Rosicrucian work (the spiritual Brotherhood), who interact with us and create in us a new desire – which influences and creates a new field. A new cycle is born, where the field and new desire system refresh the aspirant with the Light of God, rather than the false light of the natural world.
To become neutral, one needs stillness. Stillness is an unmovable state, as the Tao te Ching describes: it is a place we hold on to the center. While the trash tornado of the world swirls around us, we just need hold on to our central pole, and let everything else fall away. That is stillness. When the IRS wants to audit, reach for the center. When graffiti invades our neighborhoods, reach for the center. When desires chase after us, reach for the center.
Some in the Spiritual School do not like the concept of meditation – for them, they see it as a process to “fix the personality,” a personality that will be discarded in the search for the True Self. It is through meditation, however, that we can find new avenues to stillness.
A Buddhist lama of mine used to tell us that we can sit here, right now and understand conceptually that the world is empty of existing one way or another… that it is our karma that colors and paints the world to be what it is, in the way we see it. Right now, in a calm, rational state, we can know the illogical and dangerous use of anger. But what happens when we’re cut off on the freeway and someone affirms the action with a middle finger out their window? Do we remain calm? In Buddhism, this person is often called the Buddha. Yeah, that mean-spirited person that cut us off and gave the finger… “it is perhaps the Buddha testing your patience, learn the lesson well,” they would say.
How does one remain still, when temptation arises? Whatever your poison is, be it news, consumerism, passion, how do you stop it when it stirs? If you desire a new car, how do you stop the desire before it consumes you? What of anger? How do you remain still when someone pushes your buttons?
The answer for a Tibetan Buddhist is Gom. The word Gom means to rehabituate the mind. Yes, we are working on the personality, but this is where we start when we are looking for stillness. If a person seeks stillness by letting go of the personality, that’s all good and well, except that they still need their personality to live in the world. So what happens when they put on their personality to go to work, and someone cuts them off on the freeway? Do they lose an entire lifetime of merit chasing that person off the freeway and ending up in jail? There’s an explosion of violence in America right now. People who never committed a crime before are committing murder, even mass murder. If you neglect the personality, you could become a statistic as well.
At some point the personality must be lost. It is the ego and the ego must be shed. Old desires, are replaced with new desires (for unity, for holiness, for God, etc.) and this in turn influences our electro-magnetic field, which brings us more experiences of the same. In time the ego itself is no longer of value as a new personality is born.
Some say, this is why we don’t work on the personality, as it distracts from the transformation. But I worry about those who suffer from anger, desire and other maledictions. What shall they do? An alcoholic needs to do something more than pretend they are at a state they are not currently at (i.e. non-ego). Likewise, the angry person must do something to tame the anger.
Tibetans refer to meditation as Gom, a way to rehabituate the mind. That the mind operates from memory, from past experiences, and often disengaged from reason. To establish reason, one mentally ponders situations and considers why they occur. “What is the cause of these two people I saw fighting? What karma created the first person? What karma created the second person?” Such contemplations often lead to conclusions of rationality.
To further rehabituate the mind, people may dwell upon a problem (such as anger) and consider the damage it does. It can hurt people physically, emotionally and it can destroy the angry person’s spiritual journey. Mentally framing situations of anger, and then affirming new ways of dealing with those situations creates new choices for the mind. The natural mind now has better opportunities to react differently.
“But this is work on the personality,” some may say, and they’re right. For some work on the personality is a taboo as it leads to fixing a thing that isn’t eternal. They would prefer to put their focus on working towards the eternal. But like a baby, who first needs to stand before it can walk, sometimes we must fix a manifested problem in order to clear the way for our spiritual progress.
Creating Space Directly
Meditation is also the process by which we focus the mind upon a thought, or non-thought, in order to hold a state of stillness. Some meditate upon a riddle (such as the Zen Buddhists), while others meditate upon non-thought (such as Mindfulness meditators). This creates direct space.
Looking at a garden, or at nature… washing dishes… pouring tea… these are all examples of behavior that can lead to stillness, as long as the mind is focused upon the work to the point of removing all distraction.
One teacher of meditation would say, “think of your thoughts as a gopher poking its head out of a hole. Now observe the hole with all your focus, and note the next thought.” It’s surprising how the next thought doesn’t come! That is, until we grow weary and turn our attention away. But this is the work of achieving non-thought, which in itself leads to inner stillness.
Some meditate upon spiritual texts. A Rosicrucian may read and contemplate the words of the Rosa Mystica, the Tao te Ching, or the Bible.
Others find stillness in focusing on the Greater Aspect. Be it God, or conceptualizing the unreality of the world. Such things externalize the world to be seen in a proverbial test tube, making it less impactful upon our nature.
Without stillness and neutrality, we will be pulled like tattered boat on the waves of a harsh ocean. We certainly reach peaks, but each peak has an equal extreme trough. In time the boat will be lost, and soon we feel we are drowning. The way through this is to let go of attachments, seek neutrality in all things, and walk towards inner stillness. However you feel stillness can be best cultivated in your life, do it. It’s the key to all future gain.