I think, in the times ahead, we’ll need to become even nimbler if we’re to understand some of the spiritual truths that will be communicated in the weeks and months ahead.
And so I’d like to take a minute out to look at some of the most common causes of confusion that arise when we look at what some of the sages say.
I’m going to leave aside spiritual passages that are couched in code – using such terms as “the firebrand plucked from the burning” or “the light always burning on the altar” (both of which refer to the soul, which is one with the All-Soul and which always burns on the altar of the heart).
I’d like to look here at one common source of confusion: the use of terms that seem paradoxical when associated with each other but yield to understanding when we make one simple adjustment.
A very, very simple example of a paradoxical saying is: “Die before dying.” (2) Two words are used with the same root: “die” and “dying.” But the two deaths being pointed at are not at all the same.
The one is the death of the ego or whatever else is the barrier to Self-knowledge. The other is the death of the physical body.
So, loosely interpreted, we’re being encouraged to do that which we need to do while alive to realize ourselves, which is the purpose of life.
Apparently it’s far easier to reach Self-knowledge in the circumstances that exist on the physical plane, where situations confront us, than on the astral plane, where the living is easy, so to speak.
If we don’t accomplish that purpose, we’ll have accomplished nothing, as Rumi reminds us below, and we’ll need to reincarnate into this vale of tears, as many see it.
“There is one thing in this world which must never be forgotten. If you were to forget everything else, but did not forget that, then there would be no cause for worry; whereas if you performed and remembered and did not forget every single thing, but forgot that one thing, then you would have done nothing whatsoever.
“It is just as if a king had sent you to the country to carry out a specified task. You go and perform a hundred other tasks; but if you have not performed that particular task on account of which you had gone to the country, it is as if you have performed nothing at all. So man has come into this world for a particular task, [Self-realization] and that is his purpose; if he does not perform it, then he will have done nothing.” (3)
This approach combines terms that refer to the physical plane (the death of the body) to terms that relate to a higher plane (the death of the ego, which ordinarily survives the death of the body).
The juxtaposition of these two levels of realities, or two conditions or accomplishments, the one relating to a lower dimension and the other relating to a higher, I believe, makes us reflect on the sages’ sayings, puzzle over them, and hopefully burst through to a realization powerful enough to lead (depending on our purity) to enlightenment.
It’s akin to using a matchbox with friction paper to rub a match against so that a flame results.
Here’s another example: “Let the dead bury the dead.” (4) Jesus uses two words that are the same (“dead’) but gives each a different meaning that causes us to reflect on his utterance.
Those being buried are physically dead. But those he asks to do the burying are those that are dead to the higher knowledge. Those who are alive to his teachings he asks to seize the moment and follow him. (5)
The “dead” who should bury the dead may be dead to the realities of life. They may be dead to the purpose of life. In some way they are ignorant of the higher qualities, purposes, ends, or means that Jesus has come to make plain.
Here’s another example from a book on abundance: “This all-providing Source of infinite prosperity is individualized as me – the Reality of me.” (6)
“Source” and “Reality” refer to the Absolute plane of existence – the formless Transcendental, the ultimate Reality. “Me,” as it’s used here (not as it might be used in some other contexts), refers to the relative plane – in our case, the Third Dimension (or Fourth, or Fifth, depending where we anchor our perceptions).
“Me” exists in a lower dimension than “Source.” At the absolute level where Source exists, there is no “me.”
We’re asked to thread our way through the master’s utterances, distinguishing between different levels of reality. And, if we do this, I think we’ll find the sayings of the masters and mystics unfolding for us – at least those that are not simply couched in code and require specialized knowledge.
Leaving that aside now, I’d like to spend a moment looking at the role of cognitive dissonance – the discomfort we feel when something about a comment doesn’t seem to make sense to us – in forcing new paradigms to arise.
We’re going to be watching a lot of cognitive dissonance take place in the weeks and months ahead so it may be useful to consider its role in “forcing” new paradigms.
Archangel Michael often refers to the situations we face today that bring much cognitive dissonance as “creative chaos”:
“In some situations, given that many of your reference points continue to be the old third, the polarity, the either/or, it looks like black or white. In some cases it looks positive, in other cases it looks like mayhem, or negative, but in all of these situations there is an element of what we would call radical chaos.
“It is that creative chaos not only generated by human activity, decisions and attitude, but there is also radical change that is taking place because of the influx of energies, the higher frequencies, and, can we say, the influence of inspirations that are being adhered to, listened to and acted upon.” (7)
Out of this creative chaos, Nova being will arise – all the new paradigms that will outfit us to navigate the new lifestyles of Nova Earth.
Thomas Kuhn wrote The Structure of Scientific Revolutions to examine how new paradigms emerge. (8) That book may experience a new popularity as we navigate the new seas of understanding today.
It’s been a while since I last read it and so I can’t remember whether this is something he said or something I did with what he said.
My recollection is that he said that new paradigms emerge when a person faces cognitive dissonance: a set of circumstances that cannot easily be made to relate to one another.
When the circumstances become uncomfortable enough, the individual may abruptly reorganize matters in his or her mind, which have until then been represented as unhappily coexisting, into a new sensible relationship through a new way of seeing.
Example: Emile Durkheim’s father was a rabbi who was constantly stressing one thing while Emile was more interested in another. Emile felt discomfort but did not know what it was that separated him from his father – until he had a moment of insight (an “Aha!” or “”Eureka!” moment) forced on him by his growing chagrin.
In a moment of insight, he made a distinction between “values” (his father’s preoccupation) and “facts” (his own preoccupation) and, when he did, he created a distinction that has since been said to result in the birth of the modern social sciences. The son’s cognitive dissonance forced a new paradigm on him that came to be seen as underpinning social science.
A second example illustrates how one scholar took circumstances of confusion and used them to derive a whole new way of understanding how we interpret reality.
Benjamin Lee Whorf, a noted anthropologist, worked, in his earlier life, as a fire insurance investigator. He saw that many fires were caused by people using language that didn’t accurately describe the situation. In fact the language obscured the situation or led to false conclusions.
For instance, a worker threw a lit match into an “empty” drum. But the drum, while empty of liquid, was not empty of vapors and exploded.
Or a worker put a coat over a cone heater that was switched off. He then threw the “light switch.” But the switch was not a “light” switch. It was the switch to the cone heater, which went on and caused the coat to catch fire.
Whorf wondered what the deeper significance of these circumstances was and arrived at the theory of linguistic relativity: that things showed up for us, not as they are, but relative to the words we used to describe them.
Whether we’re trying to pierce a mystical utterance or arrive at a new paradigm, we’re going to be called on in the times ahead to be mentally agile or nimble, just as we’ve been called upon up till now to be emotionally clean and clear. The Mother’s baptism of clarity and purity will make it easier for us but there’s still some work for us to do.
It’s all about how we navigate change and we may have to draw on all the ways we can think of to overcome the inertia of the old Third Dimension. Our task is to open ourselves to much that will be brand new to us as we work our way through this time of creative chaos and conceptual reorganization.
(1) “Nimble Mammals – 1; Brainless Dinosaurs – 0,” Sept. 5, 2011, at http://goldenageofgaia.com/accountability/nwo-essays/nimble-mammals-1-brainless-dinosaurs-0/
(2) “Non-existence … is death. But it is a death in accordance with the hadith, ‘Die before dying.’ The Perfect Man, when he does this, dies with a death which is consequent to and leaning on a will and he has thrown himself into the ocean of He, without having feet or head or having any trace of exterior or interior being in him. There he is drowned, he is annihilated, and name or sign of him no more remains, and he becomes He. Because the drop has fallen into the ocean and become the ocean.” (Muhyideen Ibn Arabi, Kernel of the Kernel. trans. Ismail Hakki Bursevi. Sherborne: Beshara, n.d. , 37.)
(3) Rumi in A.J. Arberry, trans., Discourses of Rumi. New York; Samuel Weiser, 1977; c1961, 26.
(4) Matthew 8:22.
(5) Jesus probably saw that, if this man went back and buried his dead father, a circumstance would arise that would have the man abandon his intention to follow Jesus. If the man did not follow Jesus now, he might never do so.
(6) John. R. Price, The Abundance Book. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 1991.
(7) “Archangel Michael: John Kennedy Will Return as an Intergalactic Peacekeeper,” Nov. 23, 2013, at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2013/11/archangel-michael-john-kennedy-will-return-as-an-intergalactic-peacekeeper/.
(8) Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970; c1962.