When our desires, our yearnings, are focused upon the horizontal plane of life, whenThe Coming New Man, pg. 58
our strivings are directed at this nature, towards the things of this world, then obviously we strengthen the magnetic attachment to earthly nature, because our yearning has an attractive, magnetic effect. If this desire is directed towards the earth, the other magnetic pole will naturally repel everything which is not directed towards the earth and thus keeps away all liberating influences.
Gnosis is the Death of Faith…
Many years ago, during my occult phase, I read the work, “Nigri Liber Solis” (The Black Sun), and a phrase popped out at me. It read, “Gnosis is the Death of Faith and the Birth of Power.” It affected me so much that to this day I remember that passage from a very obscure text. But what does it mean and how does this relate to the teachings of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum (Golden Rosycross)?
As noted elsewhere, I don’t always see eye to eye with the ideals of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum, and their views on faith is one such example. Like many Rosicrucian organizations, they are heavily vested in the words of the Bible. Although they do a great job in spiritual understanding of the Bible, they are attached to the role of Faith. Faith comes up quite often and it is described as a natural first step along the path.
This is true. It is a natural first step. Before you move your hand for the first time, you believe you can, and then you try. Once that is achieved, you no longer live by faith that you can move your hand, you KNOW you can move your hand. In that analogy, knowing is Gnosis. Gnosis is the direct experience of Truth. Not truth in a rudimentary materialism, but a deep profound Truth.
When someone has a direct experience, faith is no longer necessary. From my perspective, we should be preaching about the Direct Experience, not Faith. I think it’s a trap to put the idea of Faith as the goal, because it leads away from direct experience. One falls into the trap of belief, never attempting direct experience because it may be seen as “not the right time,” or “only a perfected being can achieve that.”
I found a quote by Jan van Rjickenbourgh from “The Coming New Man,” on the topic of Faith.
To believe, in the sense of the Brotherhood, means to know from within, and this ‘knowing from within’ is the activity of the spirit-spark atom. Paul therefore speaks about ‘the faith in your hearts’. By this he does not mean a kind of sentimentality or some traditional bible- or church belief, but refers to the sparkling vibration of the spirit spark atom in the right heart-ventricle. This is the belief which must make its abode in your heart. In order to obtain this faith, to arouse this vibration, you are admitted to the forecourt of the Spiritual School but do not imagine that the Spiritual School can or will do anything further for you before you ‘move mountains’ on the basis of this new, exclusive vibration of faith.The Coming New Man pg. 56
You have to initiate yourself along the narrow path of self-freemasonry. ‘Work out your own salvation in fear and trembling’, says the Lord of all Life, namely: ‘Work for your liberation, by forgetting the self ’, and you will succeed unconditionally if you believe this.
Therefore, we do not stop at the sight of ruined sanctuaries or yellowed parchments, although we salute them with reverence. We thank God for the preceding Brotherhoods, who have borne and suffered so much for us, for through their love-power, it is now permitted us to approach the Gnosis. However, we must never forget that, as a young gnostic Brotherhood, we are to do in the living present what the ancients did in the past.The Arch Egyptian Gnosis pg. 6
Healing and Manifestation: Good? Bad? Neutral?
There are many misconceptions with regards to healing and manifestation, especially from the Rosicrucian point of view. Many Rosicrucians and Buddhists would find the idea of manifesting an outcome (through spiritual means) wrong. Some might call it an act of self-maintenance (meaning, an act of the material ego). Others might say it’s a degenerative action that pulls one closer to their lower nature and further from the Higher. I will attempt to illustrate the true power of manifestation, and it’s connection with physical action – showing that neither is different and the mitigating factor of “good” or “bad” depends on the motivation of the effort.
Desire and Action
Imagine a person who is out of work. They need to pay the rent or mortgage, pay for food and take care of their family, but they just got fired. This person may go out and buy a suit and tie, and adjust their attitude to work at a new job. Perhaps it’s a job selling televisions at an electronics store. Likely this isn’t something they are excited about, but they put on the suit, go in for the interview and give the impression this is the most interesting job offer ever. All that to score a job. What are they doing? They are adjusting their energy – they are in fact committing an act of magic.
Now imagine this jobless person going into an interview, but before they walk through the door they mutter a silent prayer. Walking in they take a seat and feel more confident, having the will of God on their side.
Now imagine a third scenario where they prepared themselves mentally with an esoteric practice to “manifest” this job as their desired outcome. Going into the interview they have a renewed confidence that the perfect job will manifest into their life.
In a fourth and final scenario, the person attunes to the will of the Higher within, and allows that presence to radiate from them, like a pyramid of Divine Will.
Considering those three scenarios, is there a “right” or “wrong” way for a pupil of the Spiritual Path? For some, the prayer, or manifestation is breaking a natural law. For others, everything beyond the natural means is wrong. I will demonstrate how the source of each of those scenarios is the same – making them all equal.
The Source of Desire
When you make an action, whether it is by physical means, or spiritual, you are acting from a desire center within you. Even the most mundane act is sourced from this desire center. It is perhaps an act of will, but the will is not to be confused with thinking or thought (head).
To test this, do the following:
Go into your restroom, and before you shut the door, become observant of your muscle movement. Before you move your arm and hand to shut the door, what happens? Tune into that micro moment. There’s a brief moment of feeling, an impulse. That impulse comes from your core desire. It wants to shut the door (or turn the door knob when you want to open the door). That feeling turns to a thought and that turns into muscle movement. Try it and see for yourself.
If you can hold that feeling, you can actually do some fairly strange things. Metaphysical things. However, that’s outside the scope of this topic. What’s important is that this desire is the source of your action – your physical action. It’s also the source of your spiritual action. Before a person utters a prayer, or becomes the prayer, they have this same impulse.
In other words, no matter what action you take: physical action, prayer, manifestation, occult action, it all starts with the same impulse (desire). Therefore, it isn’t the action that is “wrong” or “right,” but the desire (impulse) itself.
lt is said that a pyramid arises when we pray which vibrates and is coloured in conformity with our inner quality. Therefore, prayer can be something highly dangerous, for all misunderstood prayer turns against us.Elementary Philosophy of the Modern Rosycross
Jan van Rjickenborgh writes about the dangers of prayer – prayer that is colored with a selfish inner quality. In my view, it’s no more dangerous than doing the act physically. If your action is in alignment with the Will of God (or the Higher Self), then it is a pure act whether it utilizes physical means, prayer, or esoteric/magical means. However, if the act is impure (selfish) then no matter if it uses physical means, prayer or esoteric means, it is drawing our identity down into the spiral of the world.
Is it “wrong” to manifest a new computer? Some would say, “yes it is the result of a darkly colored soul, fixated on self gratification and its manifestation will further draw the attention down. This will cycle in the respiration field, contaminating every action and experience with this negativity – which becomes even more negative.”
Yet I look at the issue and think, “well is manifesting this new computer any different then organizing one’s finances to buy this computer?” I say, NO. If the desire is wrong, then it’s wrong no matter how it comes about. If the desire is pure then it is pure, no matter how it comes about.
Spiritual leaders often make their followers think something is “dangerous,” as a way of controlling them. Do not believe something because it was written by a leader. Feel it for yourself, without ego, in the state of the Higher.
Physical Temples are Reflectors Only
The main reason I pulled out of the 2nd aspect (Pupilship) of the Golden Rosycross, had to do with demands and expectations on my attendance to a Physical Temple. My experience has taught me that so-called sacred spaces themselves are not spiritual, but can trigger spiritual experiences. That is to say, they can act as reflectors of Spirituality, but only if one is inclined to receive.
In my own path, I’ve been in tune with the spiritual call and impulse for some time. For me the sacred space that triggers my depth of feeling is my “meditation room” (a room set aside for quiet contemplation.) However, when I attended the Golden Rosycross’ Bakersfield temple I never felt the sacred spirit. I had some prompt me to tell others about the feeling of Spirit or Energy about the place, but the truth is I never felt it.
The reason I never felt it in the Bakersfield temple relates to my non compliance with being there. I never wanted to take the trip there, so it was always somewhat tiresome or awkward. In short, I wasn’t in tune with the experience.
Not feeling the “spirit,” or “energy” that others might at a sacred space, is no indication of connection to said energy. In fact I felt the withdrawal of the school’s energy field when I internalized my withdrawal from the 2nd aspect. It was a physical sensation of pull out of their energy.
What really happens when people “feel” energy
People often claim they feel “the presence of God” at their church or temple. This can lead to erroneous conclusions, such that “my group is connected and that group isn’t.” I’m not saying that happens the GRC, but I’ve seen that sentiment in different religions and denominations.
What’s happens with spiritual feeling, is a person is feeling the presence of the Holy One within themselves! Something triggers that connection. It could be a person, or people. It could be a aroma, or a garden. It could be a physical space. These are simply triggers that bridge an inner connection, but they are not the thing itself.
This is important to understand this because one must not feel less if they don’t feel the “power” or “energy” of a place. People should refrain from putting others on the spot to explain the “power field” of a place, especially if one doesn’t really exist.
The only true power field is within each of us, and it is the energetic force within, bridging the gap between the Higher and physical self.
Esoteric vs. Exoteric
In my youth I would claim to have felt the “presence of God” in my father’s church. In my 20’s I felt it in an occult group called the Golden Dawn. Afterwards I felt the same Presence of God at a humble Buddhist temple out of someone’s house (it was then I felt something odd as buddhism has no view of God.) As I went through different faiths and groups I had this deep connection where I would feel the same presence of God.
A mistake is to think the experience is exoteric (outside of me). Gnosis came to me one night, while contemplating in silence. Gnosis explained that it isn’t that all these groups were connecting to a “God outside of them,” but rather I was carrying God/Source/Higher Self with me everywhere I went.
When I walked into a Christian church (as a believer), I felt the presence. When I wasn’t a believer, I lost that connection – but when I connected to the Golden Dawn, I felt it again! Then I lost it, and then regained that connection as a Buddhist… The connection I felt to the power field wasn’t “out there,” but always within me. I carry it everywhere I go. Sometimes I find something that tunes me into the field. It might be a sacred space, or it could be a plant. It could be listening to the sounds of life (cars, people talking, the sound of walking on gravel).
In other words, it is an esoteric principal (not an exoteric one) that makes the connection to the power field happen. No special building or place will create that experience. The experience comes from our harmonization with the field within us.
Navigating the Shifting Sands of Life
During the month of February, the Golden Rosycross produced a series of events (some public, some private) that dealt with the subject of Egyptian gnosis. One topic that I found very appealing was a metaphor for life, as a desert and how our guidance can not come from the surrounding landmarks, as they shift and move with the winds of change.
A desert landscape can have sand dunes appear in one location, only to reappear in another overnight. Likewise the external (material) world goes through similar shifts. One moment we are taught to cheer some global leader, and the next moment we are told they are the villain. Or perhaps the shifting sands of our life are more appropriate to compare to our desires, constantly seeking something to generate happiness but always leaving us wanting something more.
The external world can not offer lasting peace, as it is constantly reinventing itself. It is a series of undulating movements that create more twists and turns than a good mystery. If we were to look externally to a guru, or spiritual teacher, they may take us some distance but given enough time we’d no doubt see the fault in their nature. They wouldn’t be the perfect being we thought they were, and we may hear of secret indiscretions, or misappropriation of money.
Suffice it to say, nothing in in this world is permanent – which creates problems if we set our navigation to any external or wordy context. Instead, we must find a guide that is unmovable. One such guide is within us. It is akin to having a compass in our hands. By tuning out the external storms, shifting sand dunes, or mirages, and focusing on the compass of our inner life, we will know the direction of each step.
This process, in real terms, is the result of tuning out the noise of the world. Being in a state of the present moment, with the intent of attunement unto the Greater One within. In the Golden Rosycross, we call this Greater Source Within, the Spirit Spark. The process of glimpsing this inner guidance is unique to each one. For one person it may be found through observing nature, for another observing their breath. In all cases it involves awareness of the moment as it is, and a release of conceptual thought. Worries, criticisms, desires and the like will fade from view, once the wall of boredom is overcome.
Once the process is realized, a true intent is felt. It is like the proverbial lightbulb over one’s head. It shines a new thought, a new pattern of behavior and most importantly it LIVES THROUGH US.
This is the Gnostic Path. It is trod alone. No one can explain it, or tell you or I what we must do. Each step is unique to the seeker, as only we have the compass that works within our sphere of influence. The answer to life is not more stuff, nor is it new philosophies/teachers/masters. The answer to life is within us already, our work is in the letting go of old strongholds, in order to see the truth – that guiding compass of Light.
The Self and Ego – Contemplation on the Golden Rosycross
In a recent monthly seminar a statement was made regarding the ego and the Higher Self. What was said was, “It is the path all humanity will eventually go, the path from a self-centered life, focused on the lower and higher self – the ego in all its facets, towards a life centered on the Spirit, God.” From this one statement quite a debate can be made. Specifically it is the idea that “the lower and higher self” equate to ego. Exactly how the ego is defined will determine how one views that quote. Similarly, there’s a concern that the statement negates the path itself, in favor of the focus on the goal.
The Ego Defined
Modern definitions of ego, often based in psychology, tend to consider the ego as a person’s self-worth, or perhaps the mediation aspect between the conscious and unconscious states. These modern uses of the word neglect a spiritual significance, so a deeper understanding is necessary.
The Hindu, Paramhansa Yogananda, said that the ego was “the ‘self’ identified with the body.” This definition aligns with the idea of “I” being the central theme of ego, and yet one’s personal “I” is more than a body. In this way Yogananda emphasized a Greater “I” and a lower “I”. What Yogananda proposed is that the Greater “I” is the Divine Self, while the lower “I” was the ego.
Yogananda wasn’t alone in this view of Self. Much of the mystical paths of the West align with this central theme that there is a carnal or ego aspect and a non-carnal or Divine aspect. The path of the initiate is to find the way to direct awareness as the Divine Self.
Pleasure seeking spiritualists tend to elevate the ego, almost in a form of worship. Perhaps Aleister Crowley is an extreme example of this, seeped in pleasures of the world. Most mystery schools today will bend to the idea of the ego, and prefers living in the world as their focus (politics, power, duality all being part of their nature).
While the words of others can be good, they can also conform to personal bias. It is important to go beyond the words of others and directly experience truth for ourselves. My personal truth experienced the relationship of the Divine to ego driven humanity in the symbol of the sun itself.
Consider the crude, childlike depictions of the sun. It’s a sphere with lines extending from it. Now consider the possibility of each of us are one of those “Rays of Light.” Next, ponder the nature of light. In terms of a metaphor, all light is brightest nearest its Source and diminishes further from Source. A solitary lamp left in the room will shine brightest at the bulb, but in the furthest corner the light is all but given way to shadows.
Following this metaphor, if each of us is a Ray of the Divine Light, then each of us has a Divine aspect, and a lower aspect. The lower aspect is the material, nearly opposite in nature to the Divine. The “god” of the lower realm is the ego, which is fixated on empowerment to command and control the world around us. In this way, although the ego might mean well, as it fixates on the individual success over all others it leads to greed and conflict. Yet throughout the process, there is an element of us that is Divine and one that is the furthest from the Divine. Consider this zoom into a ray of this metaphor:
In the above figure, the ray of light is zoomed into. On the left is the darker, material world. On the right, the brightest aspect that joins the sphere of Divinity. The blue rectangle is our current state of consciousness. As we grow spiritually, the blue rectangle shifts along the ray, to the right. But the pull of the world can shift our conscious awareness to the left.
From the Golden Rosycross’ perspective, which I also agree with, as the spiritual path awakens the True Self is born. The way I integrate that feeling into my diagram would be akin to the conscious awareness of self becoming realized (shifting far to the right), the ego’s gravity is lost and the True Self is realized.
In other words, I interpret that as awareness being One with the True Self.
However, I can’t speak for the depth of the Golden Rosycross and their philosophy as a whole. I haven’t read everything they’ve presented, but the quote at the start shows some element of definition that is perhaps not in agreement with my own experience.
Contemplation of the Quote
The quote illustrates an idea that the lower and higher self are the ego. When I first read this I was not in harmony with the idea, as I see the Higher Self as a deeper True Self that extends towards the Divine Source. If that is ego, it would always pull one back to the material, limited sense of self.
But I do not see “ego” as “self” – because if so, then even the Divine Self is ego (as a “self” is still being identified with it).
In my view, the Higher Self is the separation point from the ego identification – the ego being the concept of “self” identified with material (the body, etc.). However, the Higher Self is the True Self that is being released through a process of going beyond the ego. As the Higher/True Self is released, the conscious awareness of that Self will gravitate into the field of Divine Oneness.
IN OTHER WORDS, gravity shifts from the ego as the source of gravity, to the Divine being the source of gravity. Consciousness when identified with the Higher Self, pulls into Divinity.
Calling the Higher Self the ego, is in my opinion, dangerous because the Higher / True Self is a requirement of moving through the process. If one tries to move from the carnal ego self to Divine Oneness, the process is so wide a gap it is like telling someone to move a mountain with a spoon.
When you are given an impossible solution, the ego can often remask itself AS the solution. Going from carnal to God, may simply be the ego remasking itself as “God”. Consider all the unholy wars for thousands of years, in the name of “God”. Horrible atrocities (such as slavery), done in the name of “God” – these acts, to me, are like the ego as “God.”
In order to reach the true Divine Source, one must first separate into the True/Higher/Expanded Self or else the ego will lead to delusion.
“Gnosis is the Death of Faith…”
Before I stepped into direct perception of the mysteries – the Gnostic path of liberation, I had to understand several concepts. One of those early concepts was the idea of Gnosis and how it varies from the idea of Faith. As it turned out, I had already a glimpse of this concept from my history with Buddhism. Buddhism rejected the idea of Faith based ideology, in favor of the direct experience (Gnosis).
In a lesser known work comes this phrase, “Gnosis is the death of faith and the birth of power.” For some, calling for the death of Faith, is perhaps blasphemous. Yet when understood in the context of what Faith is, we see it is a fragile concept, easily replaced once the direct experience is achieved.
Never had I thought this would be a tricky concept and yet it’s now a delicate matter to discuss. The reason for the tip toeing around the topic is that the definition of Faith from the Golden Rosycross (Jan van Rijckenborgh’s view of Faith) is quite different than that of everyone else.
Typically, Faith is defined as a belief (in fact it is synonymous with Belief) in something unseen. Whether one is Catholic, Evangelical, Muslim, Hindu or a member of a modern religion, faith is conceived in this way. One believes the doctrines, the pastor/iman/rabbi/master/guru because they have Faith in such people. They believe in the teachings because they have Faith in the ideologies from their Holy books.
Faith defined in this way is bound to error. Faith, you see, can be wrong. It was the Faith of the Catholic Church that demanded people believe the Earth was flat, or that it was the center of the solar system. My 3 year old daughter has faith in Santa Claus delivering presents on Christmas Day, while my wife has faith that Big Foot exists in the woods. The point here, is that faith may be right or may be wrong. As it is a belief, it has no special authority.
Because of this, Faith has led many to ruin. Buddhism came about because of Faith. Rather than utilize Faith in dogma, Holy Books or teachers, Buddhism taught reason and logic. But reason and logic wasn’t enough, and Buddhism expanded to include the act of Direct Experience. In Buddhism this “direct experience of emptiness” was described as the “Flash of lightning in the darkness of sky.” It is direct and immediate illumination one achieves through experience.
The Golden Rosycross on Faith
The Golden Rosycross uses the concept of Faith throughout their literature. Jan van Rijckenborgh makes great use of the word. As it turns out, their view of faith is quite different than the commonly understood definition.
Rather than faith being a starting point, a point of belief, that may turn into a direct experience of spiritual Truth, Rijckenborgh uses the concept of Faith in an almost opposite way. Rijckenborgh views faith as the acceptance of Gnosis and making this Gnosis real in one’s life.
In my personal experience, Gnosis is like the Buddhist concept of direct perception. It is not a logical knowing, or a dogmatic faith in a truth, but a direct experience of reality (Spiritual Reality). Faith is like the man who hopes and believes God is real, Gnosis is when the man has a direct experience of God (which is often divergent from the stated dogma).
From The Chinese Gnosis, Jan van Rijckenborgh writes:
To the extent that you, too, are engaged in this process, you no longer need to waste time and energy searching for books and manuscripts on which you pin all your hopes of liberation. Tao can neither be spoken nor written. Tao, the way, the path, can only be experienced.The Chinese Gnosis p. 16
In the quote above, the word Tao is used to express the concept of Gnosis. The Tao is not written or spoken but directly experienced. Consider this in the light of Rijckenborgh’s other work, The Universal Gnosis:
Therefore, it is out of the question that the Gnosis could be revealed as a totality and presented as a system…. The Gnosis comes to every single person in a language that can be understood by him or her; it shows the Path to everyone and is approachable by everyone through basic intelligent action.The Universal Gnosis, p. 15-18
This is the thread that binds the two concepts of Tao and Gnosis. Gnosis is personally revealed, not through a system or book or teaching. Instead Gnosis is understood personally in a language of the individual.
The Problem of Conventional Faith
Conventional ideas on Faith are problematic. Pure faith is uplifted and talked about as though it is a glorious thing, but what faith is in actuality is blind obedience – it is the antithesis of Gnosis.
What is faith? It is often said that faith is believing in something unseen. Meaning, you do not yet have a direct experience of the thing, the situation. You believe, you hope something to be true – but you don’t KNOW it to be true.
I would ask anyone who values faith to sit with the above paragraph for a moment. Faith is hope, it is belief, but it isn’t direct experience.
My son had faith that Santa Claus came every Christmas morning. I know people who have faith that Bigfoot lives in the woods, and I know others who have faith that UFOs are actively abducting people. Their faith is based on the stories of others passed down to them. But none of it is from direct experience. My son never directly saw Santa Claus, my friends never directly experienced Bigfoot, nor were abducted by aliens – yet they have faith these things are real. But what if they aren’t real? What if it is either the ego, or simply an error?
Conventional faith fuels the sails of many ships that crash on distant reefs.
The Solution of Gnosis
I first came to understand gnosis as a solution in 2019. I met a fellow who was a solo practitioner. He was done with organizations and told me that the most important thing to do was find truth on my own. Not by faith, but through Gnosis. But what is Gnosis?
Gnosis, Greek for wisdom or knowledge, refers to knowledge that is known directly. It is the direct experience of Truth. It is personal, and as such no one can take it from you. Others may read in a book, or quote a leader that the world is such and such, but if you have the Gnosis to know something different you can smile and nod but realize the truth within is quite different.
Gnosis is not meant to be preached to others, lest they trod upon it and push it into the mud. As Gnosis is personally revealed, it can not be taught as dogma. Each person comes to Gnosis in their own way, in their own time.
Therefore – Gnosis solves the problem of Faith. Where faith can lead people astray, into the arms of a Jim Jones or into the grip of a modern day guru, Gnosis reveals Truth through direct and individual effort. Gnosis removes the need for faith (once Gnosis of a topic is found) and from that is the power by which we can live the Truth.
The Other Faith
The unique defining element of the Golden Rosycross reveals Faith as the action of Gnosis. In this way Faith is a product of Gnosis. Gnosis coming first, faith is the act of making the Gnostic element real. What exactly does that mean? I am uncertain.
Need for Neutrality and Stillness
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.