nothing happens except that, freed from the cage, consciousness
thrives on a different mental level where it can use the power
added to it either in a positive or a negative way, or plunge
itself, as well, in the field of insanity.
"There are things in the psyche which we
do not produce, but which produce themselves and have their
own life." (8)
The drop which dissolves in the wide expanse
of the ocean can restitute an inadequate, indeed poor, idea
of what 'Life' builds upon and how it enriches its
own experience on this speck of cosmic dust which is our planet;
we cannot span the cosmic infinity where 'Life' thrives.
What is sure is that the drop cannot return as the very same
drop, it has dissolved in the ocean; still, perhaps some of
its atoms and molecules may appear in other drops within other
clouds with, encoded within, the experience gained within a
former cloud. This discounts the theory of reincarnation. Yet
some lingering memories may reach other drops which will attach
themselves to some receptive psyche, memories which a receptive
psyche will attach to a "my" past life. Might it not be that
some of these dispersed atoms and molecules carry with themselves
or, rather, are the seeds of an evolutionary process since nothing
whatsoever gets lost in the cosmic experience? This is a crude,
indeed poor, explanation of what my intellect can grasp up to
this point; there is another wall to smash: what is the purpose
of life? 'Me' is once more struck dumb nor will it
ever smash this other wall; speculation and wild theories abound,
none of them reasonable; we are looking at the problem from
an infinitesimal "inside" constricted within the illusion of
space and time. 'Life' itself may not be aware of its
purpose, it may be just a great cosmic machine yet, behind this
there ought to be something inconceivable, an intelligence with
those two qualities which are most manifest in planetary life:
purpose and will. That is why 'me' was never born and
'I' am pounding my computer's keyboard. We have something
in common with that mysterious beyond, purpose and will. "There
is no such thing as chance, and what we regard as blind circumstance
actually stems from the deepest source of all." (9).
From end to end, with
And here, poor fool! with all my lore
I stand, no wiser than before. (10)
There are several ways to become an enlightened
being in this wonderful planet, a fully realized homo somewhat
You may try with a complicated Tibetan mandala
of your choice. It is advisable to be shut in a dark and deep
cave up in the Himalayas clad in a light cotton robe and in
a given number of years you will emerge, a Milarepa reborn.
Or you may pin your mind and intellectual faculties to a Hindu
yantra, a complicated image of intertwined triangles
with a deep symbolic meaning. It is better to lay, with a loincloth,
on a bed of mails in the proximity of the river Ganges; it is
not compulsory to paint your body and face with multicolored
stripes, nor need you have a long braid rolled up on the top
of your head. Resist the temptation, unless you are an Indian,
to bathe in the Gange's waters, only Indians possess immunity
against its horrible pollution. And one day you will be a perfect
Jagadguru, a reincarnated Sri Sankaracarya.
Alternatively try an easier way, introspectively contemplate
your mind: "The mind is like an impetuous stream brought
about by a torrential rain uphill. We must see the rain abating,
the clouds dispersing and a clear sky above. We must learn to
restrain the stream’s current, slow it down until it comes to
a standstill and like a polished mirror it reflects the illusion
of the world, our world. Then, patiently, bit by bit
we must dissolve this image, the illusion of this world
of ours, until nothing remains and we are stunned by another
vision, the vision of reality." But what is reality?
Read it between the lines:
"Before enlightenment you chop wood and
carry water …
After enlightenment you chop wood and carry water …"
The enlightened Zen monk chopping wood and
carrying water would explain it in a single word, ‘satori’;
a Dervish mystic would say ‘fana’, an Hindu ascetic
would say ‘moksha’, a Buddhist would say ‘nirvana’,
a Tibetan anchorite would say ‘tharpa’ . We translate
these words as ‘enlightenment’, ‘illumination’ or ’spiritual
realization’ and the mystic experience cannot be conveyed
in words. But whatever the vision, the experience reflected
by the aforementioned words is a subjective experience, even
“The Tao that can be told is not the
The name that can be named is not the
eternal name.” (11)
is a mental concept. Can the human experience
of reality, the unconditioned realization of our primordial
nature, reflect that Reality which lies beyond the power
of the human mind?
Another method is to use your imagination as
best it reflects your personal dispositions; a long time ago,
since the Himalayas and the Ganges are beyond my reach, I conjured
the visualization described below and it seemed fairly effectual,
notwithstanding I am still in a dark cave with no rays of light.
Clearly, you may devise your own visualizations as it best suits
your disposition, but beware, psychical
games may be dangerous.
"Imagine that a large sphere is interposed
somewhere between the sun and the floor – an eclipse of
sphere! And, again in your imagery, you are the shadow
cast on the ground, a flat bi-dimensional shadow in Flatland
but, as luck would have it, endowed with a sense of sight, and
some sort of intellectually active machinery. Hence, you will
perceive a dark disk with a dim and fading aura of light around
it somewhere above in the deep blue sky but all that will be
perfectly flat simply because, being a shadow, you lack the
perception of the third dimension, in your ill-fated case height;
and, worst of all, lacking the sense of height that dark disk
will be intolerably oppressive. It will be some kind of immaterial
but indeed real weight on your shadow-body and no matter how
you slide on the floor to evade it, it will follow you everywhere.
A perennial daily nightmare with no way out; and there is no
way you can comprehend that situation because you do not know
what is causing it, you cannot visualize, still less, imagine
the bright sun shedding light above the sphere. As it happens,
due to some unexplainable portentous event and an extreme effort
somehow your shadow leaps on the sphere. There cohering to the
sphere, it experiences a strange sensation due to its curvature
and the possibility of a different, strange and mysterious world
is envisaged, verily a different dimension; hence it slides,
not without a supreme effort, upwards; but as it crosses above
the sphere’s middle section it is annihilated by the sunlight
and no one but an inert sphere, a psyche without a brain, is
left to tell the story. You are annihilated! Fused into the
sunlight the shadow returns where it belongs to, that domain
of eternal light which gave you a tangible, albeit flat ineffable
existence." Such a situation is not difficult to imagine; nor
does it require a dark cave or a bed of nails, just make yourself
comfortable. "And only when he turns away from himself,
will he jump over his shadow-and verily, into his sun."
When I devised this mental game I
did not realize its symbolical importance, only much later it
crossed my mind. The shadow is a projection, that is, what I
think that I am. The object in the way, hard to reach, is my
subconscious. The luminous source above the mysterious object
is that which dispels ignorance, a face of reality – not reality
in itself; self knowledge, within the limits available
in our mental tool box. Our reality is what our sense perceptions
posit us. Hence “Be your own guide and your torch.” (The
Buddha) Even so, there is an indeed simpler way which can be
summarized in only four words, an extreme shortcut: here forget
the grammarian's and the psychologist’s scholarly definitions
of ‘I’ and ‘me’. 'I' is your physical
person, exactly the reverse of your image as it appears in a
well-polished mirror while 'me' is the conceptual reality
of that cherished 'I' and then, relaxed and breathing
properly, close your eyes and meditate about "the Self
beyond myself"; only four words! That is the shortest path to
the effulgent insanity of the beyond. “What visage
did you possess before your father and mother were born?” (12)
Indeed, there are a plethora of methods to switch on your inner
light and in this blessed era only a click of the mouse away!
That is all it takes to join the beaming army of enlightened
beings in this gorgeous, albeit maltreated, planet. As for me,
a hoary one-eyed troglodyte, without an Internet connection,
I still have to totter in my dark psychic cave.
But whether you are in a cave, or lying on your back on rusty
nails with just a loincloth, or squashed as a shadow on a green
prairie or on the hot sands of the Sahara, or playing with your
mouse do what most people don't:
inhale slowly filling up from the navel to above the diaphragm,
to you throat; retain as comfortable for a few seconds, exhale
slowly and retain for a few seconds. Do not force, nor strain;
rather, make a habit of such a practice, it means good health!
Proper breathing is related to vitality, you are not inhaling
just oxygen but vital energy (prana). Avoid exotic
breathing exercises unless properly supervised by a competent
adept, noxious results might ensue. (14)
"For true men draw breath from their heels, the vulgar
only from their throats." (15)
"Religion is regarded by the common people
as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful".
Are you afraid of death? Senseless and irrational
unless you have a sure method to escape it, death!
But there is no way out, your inescapable fate is to feed the
worms, or wild creatures, or to be cremated. But this fear is
terrible, what hallucinations will cross your mind during the
last moments? It depends on your psychical propensities; perhaps
a bright smile will enlighten your visage, a happy trespassing.
Do you believe in Heaven and Hell? Pathetic!
If you are a Christian, every Sunday morning after drinking
Christ’s blood you will pay indulgence to a priest to have Saint
Peter open the gates of paradise for you. That damned shrewd
priest is then obviously better off than you are but he himself
will never avoid hell, no Son of God will ever intercede for
him and his irksome ignorance. Christian hell is terrific, appalling;
you will not be given respite for all eternity. I have no information
about the Jew’s hell, I never read the ‘Holy’ Bible but for
a few textual passages. But surely Islam’s sensuous paradise
is worth attaining to; alas, my bad luck is that I do not believe
in it even if I read the Koran thrice; in two languages to be
The Tibetan’s hell, if we are to believe to what they depict
in their paintings, is all but pleasurable still you can escape
from it, you will not be there for eternity like an inveterate
Christian sinner. As for the Chinese hell, what about being
reincarnated as a donkey, or a snake, a worm, a fox and so on?
The Buddhist’s paradise is the most rational, it is right here
if you can grasp it within the days allotted to you, it is the
attainment of Nirvana, enlightenment; it follows that
you can live the rest of your life ‘awakened’ and in complete
freedom from attachment to any earthly propensity. Anyhow I
do not strive for it since 'me' was never born; even
so I try to be more awaked, that is, free from life’s entanglements
and somewhat less ignorant. To live confined in a bag of flesh
and bones is conditioning even for the unborn.
There is no Heaven, there is no Hell
but forget not, there is no exemption from a Knell.
Shakespeare would not agree: "...it is a Knell, That summons
thee to Heaven, or to Hell." (17)
And Dante is crippled since the Church abolished Purgatory.
All in all, you are your own paradise or hell.
As I wrote above, I discount the theory of
reincarnation; it is a religious or psychological hook to dismiss
man’s fear of death. That intolerable and frightful fear of
utter extinction does not make sense, it is simply irrational.
My drop dissolving in that cosmic reality symbolized by the
ocean looses its strict individuality; as such it will not experience
a past or a future, its constituents will be part of the ocean
for ever and ever!
Seen from a physical point of view: the human brain is an incredible
electrical powerhouse: If we consider 100 billion neurons at
a resting negative potential of 7 millivolt it has a potential
of -700 watts/ampere, -700 thousand volts. This is a conservative
estimate, and patently all these neurons cannot be simultaneously
at an equal potential; obviously the brain’s potential at any
given instant gives rise to an electromagnetic field and, around
the skull, it has been verified. (19)
This electromagnetic field is radiant energy at a given frequency,
that is, we are biological transmitters and this emission is
lost in the universe with some encoded information.
When we die this transmitter is switched off, the biological
organism will feed the worms, or whatever, and it will disappear
for good. With the brain’s demise sense perceptions, intellectual
and mental faculties will vanish as well, nothing physical,
psychical or whatsoever will remain, but … the encoded energy
lost in the universe, is it really lost? If the brain
is a transmitter, can it not be also a receiver? This brings
about an important point: if so it can tune into some of the
encoded energy of the universe and react to it as a psychical
manifestation. The psychical manifestation can be clairvoyance,
telepathy, telekinesis, abolition of gravity (levitation) or
a mental perception of a different moment in time; in this last
case, since the psyche appropriates any manifestation that affects
it in given circumstances a person may see past events and speculate
about it as a personal experience: reincarnation! And
so we have a Shanti Devi and a host of individuals who claim
past lives, reincarnations. This is not far removed
from the Buddhist doctrine of the Alaya-Vijinana, that is "'store-consciousness"
and the Hindu's "Akashic Record."
1- C. G. Jung
in "Myths, Dreams and Mysteries"-p. 329-Collins, The Fontana
What I write is not referable to direct experience, or self-realization.
It comes from acquired knowledge, it is mere intellectualism
and as such its value is.
2 -Have you ever realized why,
if you do, you go to church? You where brainwashed into it.
Whatever it may be 'god' has nothing to do with it.
You are motivated by a mental concept firmly instilled in your
mental frame and what do you gain from it? Hard to say but,
most obvious, it is evident who gains from it: those leeches
and parasites which infest the globe while, on the other hand,
they could be much more profitable to society if they were tilling
the land instead of preaching nonsense.
3 - They were very strict concerning
discipline; a record of our misdeeds was kept and, at the end
of the schoolday, those whose name appeared in that book had
their due. The punishment was a piece of rubber hose, or a stick,
or a kurbash (a long whip, used only by the warden
on the most impenitent) unlashed on their buttocks or on the
legs; the piece of rubber hose specialization was hands. Regretfully,
modern society releases exempla, false hopes and even material
gifts to try, hardly successfully, to gain disciplined young
rebels. Estimable and dedicated teachers, they were deeply engrossed
in their faith and several of this order, just like Daniele
Comboni, were killed in Sudan, an Islamic country. This is the
other face of that scourge of the world which the Mother Church
has been and, behind the curtains, still is. Christianity as
a whole, 'in the Name of God' may compete with the
horrors of the German Dictator and the Mongol Conqueror of the
Word. “Dr. Sprenger estimates that nine million persons have
been burned or otherwise put to death as witches during the
Christian epoch.” (The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Mysteries
of All Nations, by James Grant - 1880 - p. 558.) Noetically
with its anthropomorphic doctrine, its lies and willful perversion
of facts it has stifled the human mind and brought about an
incredible mass of blind, lip-service tomfools. The
greatest world catastrophe was not the sinking of Atlantis but
the raising of St. Paul. Furthermore this does not
take into account the slaughters, cruel, insentient, homicidal,
and inhuman deeds of the biblical god. It baffles me
how such a great part of the world's populations can still live
with the 'holy' Bible under their pillow. But since
I am a dunce why should I bother? Alas, even a dunce can be
disconcerted, not so much so about the deeds of that ancient
god still thriving somewhere up there in the sky (the
future paradise of the obtuse) but about the peoples in the
claws of the abominable mundane priestly caste. "Their
bloodless souls crave blood, and so they sting in all innocence."
4- So much so I am quite suspicious
about chance and random events. I am more prone to
think of a law which regulates the physical universe in an inescapable
way. The electron which escapes from its orbit, so much so as
the spermatozoon that succeeds, among millions, to fecundate
an egg, or the leaf which falls there instead of here at such
a time rather that at another time: while it all appears to
be casual, to wit, singled out by chance the causal agent is
always behind the phenomenon albeit by and large we lack means
to access the causative agent.
5- From “The Middle Way”, the Journal
of the Buddhist Society. Vol. XLVII No. 1 – May 1972.
7 - Friedrich
Wilhelm Nietzsche in "Thus
8- C. G. Jung in "Myths, Dreams
and Mysteries"-Collins, The Fontana Libray-1974.
9 - Schiller, 1952.
10 - Johann
Wolfgang von Goethe - Faust
11 - The
Tao Te Ching - Translation by Gia Fu Feng & Jane. -
[16 more translations
for comparative studies.]
12 -Zen quote from "Initiation
and Initiates in Tibet"- Alexandra
David-Neel - Shambala Publications, Inc. -Berkley-1979.
13 - In town, Asmara, there are
tens of cybercafé; connections are slow and maintenance
not at it best. Even thus impaired, this
site is fully public domain and does not have that omnipresent
beggar's "d o n a t e" button.
14 - Two ebooks are here available:
Science of Breath by Yogi Ramacharaka and Sudarshan
kriya yoga Breathing for health .
15 - Chuang Tzu: "The
true men of old slept without dreams and waked up without worries.
They ate with indifference to flavour, and drew deep breaths.
For true men draw breath from their heels, the vulgar only from
their throats." I am not sure about Chuang Tzu's meaning
of 'draw breath from their heels' but my method is
to visualize, i.e. to feel, with every inhalation breath
as life energy, or prana, raising up from the soles
of my feet all the way up to the crown of the head; completing
the cycle, exhalation, I visualize it falling from the top of
my head just like a fountain’s water falls back into the pool
which contains it. The resulting feeling is just like being
inside a life giving protective cocoon, just like a chrysalis
in its own cocoon.
‘… the practices of magicians and hermits not only were intended
to achieve heightened contemplation but had also a therapeutic
purpose. This is confirmed by an inscription on twelve jade
stones which has come down to us from the 6th century B.C.:
“This is how breathing must be done: the breath is retained
and collected. When it has collected it expands. When it expands,
it goes downward. When it goes downwards, it becomes quiet.
When it has become quiet, it grows firm. When it is firm, it
begins to germinate. When it has germinated, it grows. When
it has grown, it must be pressed back. When it has been pressed
back, it reaches the crown of the head. At the top it presses
against the crown of the head, down below it presses downwards.
Whoever follows this principle lives; whoever does the contrary
dies.”’ (Wilhem Helmut: A Chou Inscription on the Technique
of Breathing. Quoted by Needham, Joseph: “Science and Civilization
in China”. Cambridge (Cambridge University Press). I: 1954,
II: 1956)- from The Chinese Art of Healing by Stephan Pálos.
Bantam Book, 1972.
16 - Seneca the Younger.
17 - Shakespeare, Macbeth
18 - The Divine Comedy - Translated
by Translated by Arthur
John Butler (PDF) and by
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (txt).
19 - "... the brain's electric
field is not a by-product; it is a feedback loop." Scientific
American Mind - November/December
210 - p. 10. It is strange that the scientific community realized
such fact at such late date (clearly science needs experimental
evidence, and this is the case here).
Ibid. "We knew that weak electrical fields could impact
brain activity, but what no one had really tested before was
whether electric fields produced by the brain itself could influence
its own activity".
~ A personal note ~ We have been able to translate electricity
into mechanical force, then into voice, afterwards as a carrier
for both voice and images. In all these transformations there
has always been a key component: a length of twisted wire, a
coil; we also discovered that adding another component - a condenser
- we could alter at will the frequency of oscillation of the
generated electrical field so as to achieve desired results.
The two components mentioned above, condensers and coils, have
an equivalence in our brain, (if we reflect about the plethora
of artifacts that we see around us we will discover that most
mechanism are inspired by natural mechanisms) where the circuits
between cells (condensers) and dendrites (coils) form resonant
circuits besides driving the brain's biochemical processes.
Hence, here and once more we just brought into the open - by
that process that we call invention - what is inside ourselves.
And the undisclosed mechanism which creates the interaction
between brain and mind cannot but be in the interaction of some
sort of electromagnetic field so as it is for the universe at
large. All universal interactions - to our knowledge - depend
on electromagnetism. By now we know far too well how to alter
the functions of the brain with modulated (that is, with other
superimposed signals) electromagnetic waves, both for good (the
simplest example is music) or for bad (mind conditioning). Here
is ample proof that by altering the functions of the brain we
alter, as well, the response of the human mind. This, in itself,
is the other face of the coin where on one side we can use psychoactive
substances to act upon the chemistry of the brain while on the
other side we have electrical fields which alter the oscillatory
and hence chemo-electrical response of the same. That which
we cannot get to terms with, is what is the channel of communication,
or the route of exchange between the brain and the human mind,
if we give for granted that brain and mind are two different