Art is much more important than the average person realizes it to be — despite the saying that ‘art is what man makes, and nature is what God makes.’ I would prefer to say that nature is what God makes as God, and art is what God makes as man. The artist who has arrived at some perfection in his art, whatever his art may be, will come to realize that it is not he who ever achieved anything; it is
“How can you know the real from the unreal, the true from the false? Only by self-development. How get that? By first carefully guarding yourself against the causes of self-deception. And this you can do by spending a certain fixed hour or hours each day all alone in self contemplation, writing, reading, the purification of your motives, the study and correction of your faults, the planning of your working the external life…Little by little your sight will clear, and you will find the mists pass away, your interior faculties strengthen, your attraction towards us gain force, and certainty replace doubts.”
“It requires a middle or mild fire; to keep the spirit in the heart from rising it must be gently simmering, then it getteth a very sweet and meek ringing sound. Now in the seventh melting, there belongeth to, and is required for, the process, a yet more subtile fire, for therein the life riseth up and rejoiceth in the love, and will show forth itself in infinity. And in this motion it groweth unctuous or fat, and luscious or luxuriant; it increaseth and spreadeth itself, and the highest depth generateth itself very joyfully.” [JB, The Aurora]
Sometimes a death can occur, likened to the dark night of the soul, which is not the death of the body, but the end of the old way of being in the world and an awakening to a new and greater life. This way of being has always been there, were we but able to see beyond our “separate self”.
Robert Prizeman, musical director of the choirband, Libera, set to music the poem ”Do not stand at my grave and weep” by Mary Elizabeth Frye.
“Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.”
– Mary Elizabeth Frye
“Someone asked, “Why is there suffering?” Baba gave this succinct reply: Suffering is essential for the elimination of the ego, just as it was necessary for you to scrub and scrub in order to wash the stain from my coat.”
“What hinders men from seeing and hearing God, is their own hearing, seeing and willing; by their own wills they separate themselves from the will of God. They see and hear within their own desires, which obstructs them from seeing and hearing God. Terrestrial and material things overshadow them, and they cannot see beyond their own human nature. If they would be still, desist from thinking and feeling with their own self-hood, subdue the self-will, enter into a state of resignation, into a divine union with Christ, who sees God, and hears God, and speaks with him, who knows the word and will of God; then would the eternal hearing seeing and speaking become revealed to them.” – Jacob Boehme
Theosophy Watch recently posted this video from a series called the Living Matrix.
This “Path” is mentioned in all the Mystic Works. As Krishna says in the Dhyaneswari: “When this Path is beheld…. whether one sets out to the bloom of the east or to the chambers of the west, without moving, O holder of the bow, is the traveling in this road. In this path, to whatever place one would go, that place one’s own self becomes.” “Thou art the Path” is said to the adept guru and by the latter to the disciple, after initiation. “I am the way and the Path” says another MASTER.
The Voice of the Silence, Glossary to part one, pg 78
“‘To dare to will, to act and remain silent’ is our motto as that of every Kabbalist and Occultist.”
Lierre Kieth, (author of The Vegetarian Myth), had a peek moment when she began critically examining mounting evidence against vegetarianism. Having been a vegan for 20 years, this was a radical change.
I was accumulating information that fit into my belief system about how life is. Every time I got information that didn’t fit in, I set that aside; so I ended up with gaps in my consciousness. … One of the things about being a vegan is it is not about what you eat, it’s about who you are, and that makes it really hard to examine new information… it is a threat to who you are…
Listening to her inspired me to critically look at how we decide what is true and how we regulate our lives by what we believe to be true. When we adopt a certain set of “truisms” we could call it a belief system, especially if a group of people hold the same opinions. One of the things about a belief system is that is puts a context in our mind about who we think we are. This can give a sense of identity, security, comfort and community in knowing we are correct in our thoughts and hopefully our actions.
The problem with this kind of comfortable arrangement is that it tends to deter some of us from examining other belief systems and new information. When these paradigms are different from what we believe to be true we may decide to discard it as not true and to ignore new information.
On the other hand, with more and more information and new thought we may wonder if what we believe is actually “the truth”. This may lead us to ask; can there be different truths depending on circumstances? This type of questioning can create in us a kind of spiritual crisis; in some cases it threatens who we believe we are. It may require that we make radical changes in our thinking and in turn how we are on our world in order to find that inner balance with our true self.
Should you consider these questions, you may start to recapitulate and examine how you think about things. You may ask yourself “How did I come to this assumption of what I believe to be true?”
As humans we naturally like to categorize things and store knowledge in a certain way, to form what we conceive to be true. We use already known facts to bring together and form new and innovative thought. Most of us can say that we have a memory and the ability to retrieve information; we can come to a synthesis of that information and build new concepts based on what we have learned.
What if the stored information was relevant at the time but it isn’t as relevant now. Could we say that the paradigm of our reality has shifted? Or to put it more clearly, “What was the context of our awareness when we decided that was true? How has it changed?”
For a specific random example;
I might ask myself, what point in my life was I at when I decided “Old women are useless and a drain on society”. Was I twenty and in my prime, raging hormones, intellectually sharp, beautiful and full of ambition? Was it when I was turning sixty-five feeling the effects of aging on the body, working in a world of younger people, not thinking quite so clearly and facing the prospect of retiring? You might also consider; has the view of society changed about this situation, has there been a general paradigm shift and why?
It seems that what we think to be true is influenced by our environment, social climate, ancestors, belief systems, the specific needs at that time and more.
What then is true? Is anything really true, or is truth constantly shifting and moving within our awareness paradigms. What I’m asking here is – “Is truth absolute and unmoving, a final conclusion so to speak or is it something that changes?
Jean Houston writes: YOU have to follow your heart now with all the courage and conviction of a hero, no matter how many dragons and enemies to your happiness you have to overcome along the way! Otherwise, somebody or something else might follow your heart for you, and pass you up in your own journey. Not staying true to yourself is akin to abandoning your own personal evolution to natural degradation and psychic entropy. The Feminine Paradigm
Jean Houston is saying that not being true to yourself is abandoning your own personal evolution it’s degrading your self-worth and creating an atrophy of the ability to be uncontrived and natural in the moment.
We know that as time moves on we have an accumulation of knowledge and a record of what happened. That record of what happened seems to be told differently in history, by the winners and by the losers, by cultural points of view and by the ability to communicate.
H.P. Blavatsky is quoted as saying; There is no religion higher than truth. Indeed this is the motto that has been adopted by the modern Theosophical movement.
What is truth? Can we talk about truth as facts and knowledge or is it something else?
Could it be that truth is actually the “sweet spot” that we hit on a moving target? Is it about coming to the moment with exactly the awareness and concentration required to “hit the right spot on the tennis swing”, or bring to the moment the exact response required at that point in time?