The Filipino Learner in the 21st Century

With the beginning of the school year, it is time to reflect on the fundamental strategies that pupils, students, and learners from all walks of life can employ in order to improve their academic performance at any level.

Discover your learning style. It is imperative for any learner to discover his or her learning style, the one that is the primary preference of his or her mental nature. Try to discover your learning style and your mental skills and academic performance will get a boost. Do you enjoy looking at pictures and visual diagrams? Do you like to watch informative programs in the television? Do you doodle in your notebook? Does the presentation of topics in school with visual art make you appreciate the lesson more? Then you are a visual learner. Do you like to listen to music when you study your lessons? Are you the type who would benefit from tape recording important lessons and playing them back during exam preparation time? Are you fascinated with sound? Can you close your eyes during class and absorb more of the lesson as the distractions are eliminated? Then you are an aural learner. There are other learning styles, I will expound more in the future. The idea is that you must discover your preferential learning style and use it to the optimum.

Create a personalized learning environment.  Try to create a learning environment at your home. As much as possible, try to obtain your own study table, no matter how simple it is. Organize your notebooks and textbooks. Create posters that inspire you to study. Always schedule your day and week so that you can spend time studying and still perform your household chores. Creating a study space impresses in your subconscious the fact that learning is fun and you have deliberately created an environment that facilitates learning. Set learning goals for yourself. Aim high!

Develop a love for books. This is one of the most critical habits that a person can develop which will go a long way to improve his learning skills. For parents, try to inspire and encourage your children to love reading books. Try to organize your budget to accommodate a certain amount to buy informative and educational books. Invest in the classics. Create a family library. And most importantly, try to be a model for your kids. If children see that their parents love to read, then they will also be inspired to love books. For pupils and students of all ages, read widely and deeply. Always refresh your mind with knowledge by reading general information books. You might even be selected to participate in quiz bees and mental contests. Thus, all kinds of informative books are important. Expand your range always by reading even those books that are not recommended by your teachers and instructors. Start collecting books at a young age and soon, you will be surprised at the quality of your library as you grow older. Read, read and read!

            Understand the fundamental skills. The fundamental skills that allow you to access other higher-order mental skills are the essential subjects of the languages and mathematics. It is very important for young learners to master these two essential skills. All the subjects in the curriculum are important but if you ask me the two most important subjects, then it is English and Mathematics. The ability to comprehend successfully all the other subject in the curriculum is predicated on a good background of these two skills. All the aptitude and licensing examinations implicitly test language and numerical comprehension skills. It is the degree of understanding of these two fundamental subject areas which is directly proportional to academic intelligence. So, learners of all ages, never forget to master linguistic and mathematical skills. In addition, computer literacy must be prioritized also.

Experiment with yourself. In order to improve your study skills, then you must experiment with yourself. How? You must attempt to analyze yourself more as a learner. Ask yourself: what are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you prefer social science subjects to mathematical subjects? If yes, then devote more time to algebra and geometry in order to redress the balance. As a college student, do you excel in the theoretical aspect of your science subjects but struggle in the laboratory exams? Then make an effort to master more of the laboratory lessons. Do you hate memorizing but some of your teachers seem to test that area most often in their exams? Then make an effort to develop memory codes and tools that will help you strengthen your memory. Analyze also your temporal preferences. Do you like to study in the morning, afternoon or nighttime? Then adjust your personal and social schedule to accommodate your temporal preference. Once in a while, do something out of the ordinary which may allow you to discover certain tools that will help you study. How? Go to a park, perhaps your psyche needs it to study. Or perhaps you like to study in the canteen, with the aroma of food and drinks enriching your consciousness. Perhaps listening to some form of music will catalyze your learning curve. Then by all means listen to musical pieces. Classical music, nature symphonies, meditation music, love songs and pop have been proved by various researchers to be the most beneficial in inducing a relaxed mental state. Experiment with various ways to enhance your learning curve.

Join a study group. If you feel that joining a study group will inspire to ascend newer and higher heights of mental achievements, then by all means do so. Join a study group or create one. Befriend the academic achievers in your various classes. This will enrich your network of friends. Besides, the best academic performer in your class may give you some additional tips on how to hurdle difficult topics. Choose your friends with care though. Social learning is fun, make the most out of it.

Apply your learning. One of the best ways to integrate what you have learned into your consciousness is to apply it in your daily life. If you have a store, then you can apply the mathematical lessons you learned in school. Economics teaches you how to budget your money. Social science will inculcate in you concepts you can use in your circle of friends. Mastery of languages will come in handy in foreign lands. These are just some of the ways to translate learning in school into relevant situations in daily life. These are just some of the ways to enhance your study habits. I will share more in the future.

I would like to thank the ownership, publishers and editorial staff of our beloved regional newspaper, the NORTHERN POST, in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, Philippines, for allowing me to present interesting educational concepts in this media format. May this be a partnership of the ages. Thank you so much, Mabuhay, and more power. God bless this newspaper.

 

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Classroom Psychology in Art Appreciation

Prologue

You are a student engaged in any of the clinical sciences or public health courses or courses in the allied health fields. You are forced to take an Art Appreciation class. You hate the subject but needless to say, you need to study it because it is part of your curriculum. A failing grade is always a failing grade, whether your subject is a major one or a minor one. You sit in class, bored to death, and would rather open your books in your clinical science subjects. You ignore your teacher and your classroom environment. You anxiously wait for your next clinical science subject.

 

Introduction

Scenarios like these are repeated throughout the world. Students in the clinical and health sciences and allied health fields like laboratory medical science, public health, respiratory therapy and even domains from nursing to clinical psychology to health statistics are challenged with the thought of enrolling in an Art Appreciation subject or its equivalent in the Humanities. It is challenging because (1) It reduces the time spent to study the major subjects in the clinical sciences and (2) It proves an additional burden of yet another subject that may not be that necessary anymore.

But are Art Appreciation classes or classes in the Humanities no longer relevant in the complex scientific world of the 21st century? This essay would like to explore this question and related paradigms.

 

Discussion

All the natural and clinical sciences build the sequential, linear cognitive map of the learner. The emphasis is on structure, sequence, order, accuracy and precision. Quantitative measurement is the key to problem solving as well as the mastery of the inherent hierarchies, procedures, protocols and heuristics that are involved in the respective scientific domains. The learner or student is trained vigorously in the problem solving protocols that have been the hallmark of the natural and clinical sciences since the ascendancy of the scientific method.

On the other hand, Art with its perplexing array of interpretations, movements, viewpoints, paradigms, perspectives and sensibilities may prove to be a peculiar challenge to the cognitive universe of a clinical student. In fact, he/she may come to question the veracity of the artistic fields themselves, and their actual relevance to his clinical science curriculum. The popular idea that “science is objective and art is subjective” may come to the fore here. And it may prove to be a particular thorn in a bed of roses for students accustomed to the exacting rigor of the natural and clinical sciences.

However, many thinkers, psychologists, philosophers and educators have long extolled the power of the liberal arts curriculum as well as Art and Arts Psychology courses to imbue the learner with humanism, versatility, compassion and wisdom and emotional intelligence. And that is one thing that we want our clinical science students to acquire. In their future professions in the clinical sciences someday, we want them to be compassionate, attentive listeners, who will put the total welfare, holistic health and mental harmony of the patient/client as their number one priority. We want our clinical science students to be ardent proponents of humanism and promote the health and wellness of the complete human being. After all, we Filipinos demand so much of our clinical science and health science experts.

The health of every human being is a primordial imperative for human survival. It is so important that it has been enshrined in the Constitution (1948) of the World Health Organization:

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition. The health of all peoples is fundamental to the attainment of peace and security and is dependent upon the fullest co-operation of individuals and States. The achievement of any State in the promotion and protection of health is of value to all.” (Preamble, Constitution of the World Health Organization).

 

Conclusion

So, the World Health Organization has defined health in very broad and wise terms. Consequently, it is up to us educators at various levels to listen to this moral mandate, a holistic paradigm of health, and execute it to the betterment of our learners. Creativity in classroom management is the key! Make Art Appreciation and Humanities classes enjoyable, cheerful and fun! Unleash those creative juices!

 

 

The Psychology of Creativity

“There is one thing stronger than all the armies of the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.”

Victor Hugo

“On rare occasions, there rises from the multitude of mediocrity that is
humanity a single person of extraordinary vision conjoined with the will to achieve that vision, who
presents a most formidable presence. One to shape the course of history.”

Steven Erikson

 

Creativity has been an incredible force through the millennia.

A perusal of the greatest works of mankind can stagger the imagination. The paintings of Raphael. The plays of William Shakespeare. The relativity equations of Albert Einstein. The creative ideas of Leonardo Da Vinci. The epic lines in the Iliad of Homer. The chess games of Paul Morphy, Bobby Fischer, Gary Kasparov and Magnus Carlsen. The amazing sculptures of Michelangelo. The haiku poems of Basho. The love sonnets of the Brownings. The enlightened mystical poems of the Upanishadic mystics. Masterful creations like Rodin’s Thinker. Incredible monuments like the Taj Mahal of India, the Great Wall of China and the Pyramids of Egypt. Innovative enterprises like the Ifugao Rice Terraces of the Philippines also comes to mind. The list is endless.

How about things, events or performances which are not easily recognizable as creative, yet pulsating with creative ecstasy in the moments of their creation? The gliding aerial moves of Michael Jordan and Lebron James on their way to the basket are easily appreciated by adoring fans. So are the perfect moves of an athlete like Nadia Comaneci as she essays perfection in gymnastics. Many situations have innate creativity in them, born of the inexhaustible wonder of the universe. The ideas of Lao Tzu are creative. They speak with incredible vitality and dynamism. The works of Steve Rune Lundin, author of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, are creative. They burst with archetypal lore. The loving flights of ecstasy traveled by Plotinus when he merges with the Infinite are creative. They are recollections of his mystical rapture with the Oneness of the Supreme Being. All these and many more are products of the amazing, infinite potential of the human mind, body and soul.

The history of mankind is replete with awesome moments like this, when the innate genius present in the genetic structure of an individual combines with the pregnant possibility of a single moment in time to produce a wonderful event, a creative endeavor. Since the dawn of history, creativity has been the primary weapon of the human mind in its attempt to understand, comprehend, systematize, analyze, conquer and ultimately master the natural world. Moments of creativity are evident in the very first hunters of the human race, when the hunter-gatherers in the wilderness fashioned rudimentary tools to arm themselves and improve their hunting expeditions. Moments of creativity are evident in those early communities, when the men and women started to organize themselves into primitive tribes, the precursors of cultures and civilizations. In fact, the primary institution of mankind, marriage and the family, is an act of creativity. It is creative in the sense that man and woman seeks a better and more exalted kind of relationship, a bonding paradigm which will improve the chances of the offspring to survive in the harsh world.

As mankind evolved, creativity became its primary weapon in the pivotal event of civilization building. Creativity is evident in the successful attempt to settle in the great and rich deltas of the world to erect the primordial cultural archetypes that eventually developed to become the cradles of civilization, such as the Tigris-Euphrates, Nile River, and Yellow River civilizations. Creativity is evident in the formulation of the first laws of mankind, such as the Code of Hammurabbi and the Ten Commandments. Creativity is evident in the inception and development of the various languages. Complex languages like Classical Greek and Exegetical Hebrew are testaments to the intelligence of man and his ability to construct amazing philosophical and theological systems. Profound languages like Ancient Sanskrit and Chinese are testaments to the wisdom of man and his ability to convey multiple layers of meaning. Romantic languages French, Spanish and Italian are testaments to the passion of man and his love of life, beauty and truth. Creativity became instrumental in the development of cultures around the world as well as the singular achievements of the great paragons of those cultures, the men and women of creative genius who regaled world history with their incredible personal achievements. Examples of these paragons range from ancients like Leonardo Da Vinci, Shakespeare, Newton, Bacon, Milton, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Leibniz, Boddhidharma, Alighieri, Longfellow, to contemporaries like Wilt Chamberlain, James Oliver Rigney, Jr., Frank Herbert, Enya, Michael Whelan, Wesley So, Sarah Brightman, Ramon Fernandez, etc. This is just a sample of masterful creators in various fields.

The awesome period called the Renaissance was an attempt to rekindle the awesome creativity that flourished in the Greek city-states. Mankind had reached a kind of saturation point in the Dark Ages and it was time for a unique renewal. The rediscovery of our creative heritage in the classical periods of Greece and Rome had incredible implications through the centuries after. Renaissance Art was a blossoming phase and a coming-of-age for mankind. It is a critical phase in the History of mankind that deserves a place not only in World History and Art classes but also in Psychology and Sociology classes.

The study of creativity enhances man in many ways. After all, Art has multiple functions in the life of man. It has a personal function, to elevate man and cultivate his refined senses. It has a religious function, connecting him with the Divine. It has a sociological function, networking man with the larger spheres of Life and society and community. And it has a cognitive function because it harmonizes both the right and the left brain.

Creative artists, creative scientists and creative mystics have labored long and hard to build the foundations of evolving humanity. This quest, though unrecognized by the common man, is helping inch by inch to catapult the human being to higher and higher levels of consciousness. This is the spiral of life, the Tao of creativity, the spirit of evolution.

 

 

The Hanged Man and the Magician

 

THE HANGED MAN AND THE MAGICIAN

Nonlinear Dynamics in Tarot, Metaphysics and Psychology

By Sensei Erwin Rimban

         

The archetypes of the Hanged Man and the Magician represent two ways of knowing and learning. They represent two different spiritual curriculum systems, two different epistemologies and two different viewpoints about the essential foundations of the Cosmos.

The Hanged Man is the epitome of the nonlinear world; he is processing vast amounts of information at an incredibly fast rate. He travels the cosmos in a nonlinear fashion, and reincarnates simultaneously. He does not have past lives, in the classical way that term is understood. What he has is “other lives.” On the other hand, the Magician is the standard bearer of the sequential world; he is processing information in a linear pattern, and achieves his learning goals step by step, by following the laws of classical logic. He reincarnates sequentially, fully apprised of his past lives’ accomplishments at every step of the way. Their conversation or dialogue is an interaction of two radically different interactional and learning schemes. This conversation has defined earth history for the past millennia.

Their experiential dialogue begins in earnest when each decides to explore a universe in the depths of space and time. The Hanged Man is the exponent of the participant-observation method of research par excellence. He will immerse himself into the very nexus of events. This would allow him maximum participation and optimum learning experiences. On the other hand, the Magician is the exponent of the control-manipulation paradigm of research. He is the learner who examines every variable first and adjusts them for maximum control of the situation. The idea is to immerse himself in the experience only after the various variables have been manipulated. Control is his intention, for he possesses great fear. Fear of the experiment getting out of hand, fear of the variables receding into chaos. Fear of the presence of chaos itself. And fear of the nonlinear universe.

But the manifold universe is a dance consisting of both Chaos and Order. These are two opposites of a polar continuum. They are patterned into the fabric of the manifested universe itself, the one cannot exist without the other. The one may deny the existence of the other, but the other shall continue to exist nonetheless. Devotees of both may fill in the polarized spaces of existence and continue the crusade of “cleansing” the universe of the opposite, and yet such opposites will always remain in the dance. Order and Chaos have derivates in the local world of consciousness singularities. They are manifested as the Known and the Unknown. Dualistic thinking is rooted in the celebration of one facet, as well as the downplaying of the other aspect. But this is a metaphysical error, for the one cannot exist without the other aspect displaying equal potency. The Magician, being the epitome of Order, tries to reduce the limits of the unknown at every instance. He controls the starting variables of his experiments and experiences in order to minimize the occurrence of the unknown parameters. In this respect, he is configuring the status of his experiments at the very beginning. On the other hand, the Hanged Man possesses the supreme receptivity of the perfect learner. He does not assume and control for the outcome of his experiments. He enters each experience with his cup empty, for he is the perfect vessel of the “beginner’s mind.” His opposite, the Magician, has thrown the beginner’s mind out of the window.

Using archetypal symbolism further, the Hanged Man is really the Fool who is upright at the tarot spread, cheerful, innocent and excited to begin his adventure. But the Magician is the Fool reversed. He is devoid of cheerfulness; he approaches the experiment in total seriousness. He seeks to manipulate the variables to ensure “victory” at all costs. His game is dominion, and he knows no other technique. This conversation is not really a dialogue of worlds to him; it has become the “Clash of Epistemologies.” Join me in this mental voyage as we discover how the clash of the learning systems has defined the history of earth since the dawn of time.

The moment that the Magician encounters a living universe, he instantly apprehends the dual nature of that system and “divides” his mental map into two distinct schematic topologies. He bifurcates the living world into two realms, white and black. But the definitions should surprise you, dear reader, for they are not what you seem to think they are. For the sequential mind of the Magician, the white represents all the known and the black all the unknown. The sequential mind therefore, classifies as evil something which he does not know. And what is his approach to the unknown? What else but conquest. The Magician will try to do everything to reduce the unknown into the known, otherwise he shall eliminate the unknown from his ken, for the unknown drives him to incredible depths of fear! On the other hand, the Hanged Man, learner par excellence of the nonlinear world, approaches the problem of duality differently. He understands that the dualistic nature of the universe is a central characteristic. Therefore, he does not try to conquer the unknown, because he knows that the more one acquires knowledge, the more one shall recognize his ignorance of other facets of knowledge. The learning moment therefore consists of experiencing the particular flavour of that existential narrative, and reflecting on that existential pathway to savour the full gifts that it can bestow. In addition, the Hanged Man is fully aware of the transient nature of material existence. He realizes that all the external forms of the manifested universe are dances of Ultimate Reality, in the process of transforming from one pattern into another.

The motto of the Hanged Man is: “The more you more, the more you don’t know.” The motto of the Magician is: “Knowledge is power, therefore I must possess that power.” How different are their learning goals!

Knowing that the fruits of manifestation imply constant duality, the Magician’s sequential mind endeavours to discover, conquer and apportion for himself the fruits of the labours of polarity. This gives him security as well as comfort. But he becomes attached to this material quest, and may be tempted to indulge in the passions of conquest during all the hours and eons of his physical life. A temptation too strong to resist, born out of fear. In the same vein, the Magician constructs elaborate patterns of domination strategies to subjugate the fruits of material existence. The presence and imposition of domination hierarchies reinforces his belief in the salvation offered by his sequential mind’s diversions. He then proceeds to catalogue neatly all the fruits of his conquests into orderly packages of logical comprehension. His cavern is the cave of logic. And he does not relent from his sequential pursuits.

From the other side of the fence, the Hanged Man’s soul is enjoying every moment of his adventures into material existence. But there is a caveat: his personality, consisting of the lower mind of his fractal soul and its animal vessel, is now deeply entrenched in the tortured paths of the planes of matter. By previous arrangement, his memory of the immersion process should now be in “sleeping mode” and he forgets his true nature. However his whole being still holds a memory of his spiritual origins, which is embedded in his attitude of not being content with the fruits of material existence alone. Nay, he longs for the beauties of the soul world, and seeks those beauties at every opportunity. Thus, he samples the beautiful products of art, music, and literature. And this gives him peace, for a time. But, this peace is not permanent, for he constantly longs for some kind of paradise, a paradise never found in any material realm. Still, he willingly enters the prison of the sacrificial chambers of material existence. Unfortunately, in this planet’s history, this prison has been reinforced by the deceptive matrix of the technosphere, which lures all travellers in its deadly embrace. In this planet, it appears that the adherents of the sequential paradigm have imposed a powerful hierarchy which effectively installs them and their minions on the top, while the suffering devotees of the nonlinear curriculum are pitifully enslaved at the bottom. Such is the façade of the prison world, which reveals its true nature to souls, step by step. A prison world of multiple masks.

Not content with the domination strategy, the sequential mind of the Magician has snatched the mentorship paradigms, and twisted them to serve its ultimate ends. Endeavouring to control the whole population of Earth, the technosphere, gauntlet of evil and control, has established various mental programming stations over the whole world. Some of them are easily comprehensive, because they exude exoteric paradigms. However, some of them reek of the occult and thus are mysterious even to their faithful adherents. Most of them cater to primary seekers of every known motivation and desire. Completing the gauntlet of control, the technosphere creates alternative operational schemes for all these mental programming stations. The idea is to confuse and deceive the slave race completely. Every kind of alternative scenario is thought up well in advance, from military to religious to economic. Alternative scenarios are realized, experimented upon, and implemented, thousands of years in advance if necessary. Such is the level of control desired by the sequential mind. At this point, the Magician has completely forgotten his spiritual heritage and fully embraces the temptations of fractal existence. This is his greatest weakness.

While his polar opposite is busy creating, erecting and fortifying edifices of control and deception, the Hanged Man is immersing himself deeper in the multifaceted dimensions of simultaneous reincarnation. While the Magician builds castles in this universe, it is the Hanged Man who lives in those castles and experiences all the myriad permutations and perturbations brought about by the periodic, dynamic nature of physical existence. Part of the experience of the nonlinear mind is the recognition of vectors of asymmetry, extremely powerful and potent engines of spiritual transformation. In fact, these two realities are the attractor states of these two learners! For the sequential learner, attractor states consist of the edification of his ego and its mental constructs. What began as an adventure of power, to gain security in the context of the unknown universe, has now evolved into deification of his fractal self’s egocentric personality. Amazing! For the nonlinear learner, attractor states consist of evolutionary thresholds that are born out of vectors of asymmetry, when the seas of time and the oceans of thought converge into the lattices of crystal space. What began as an immersion process continues as a learning experience, albeit colored by multiple theatres of apparent suffering. But suffering is a vector that leads to wisdom later on. The dramas of the two learners continue.

The sequential mind, for all its errors, still manages to learn. He discovers, from various sequential lifetimes, the presence of bifurcation points, thresholds in the continuum of spacetime, when evolutionary leaps are possible. He therefore endeavours to control those decision points. He does this by arranging all sets of events and alternative pathways in his favour, as well as mentally programming people to “create” worldspheres which are favourable to him and his sequential adherents. Even prophecy can fulfil this function and he partakes of it very well. The hierarchy of the technosphere is trapped in a series of bifurcating events, whose alternative streams are being controlled by multiple agents and scenarios. On the other side of the fence, the nonlinear devotees adapt by accessing knowledge from other realms of consciousness, to act as guiding beacons in the quest for self-discovery and soul growth. The dialogue of two epistemologies has now escalated into a veritable war of souls! The sequential mind adapts by coercing the esoteric realm into its maws. The nonlinear mind responds by accessing the Truth not from outside, by from inside. This is the key to success. If the nonlinear processor successfully transfers the gifts of the spirit from the soul realm into the material realm, then the Awakening process is guaranteed later on in the road to Truth.

Having been successful so far, the Magician now completely forgets the existence of the spiritual realm, and focuses completely on fortifying his home and his vehicles in this material realm which it calls paradise. The ego of his fractal self is now the sole locus of his being, and he adores the particular vehicle associated with his fractal self. His adoration and exaltation of his ego reaches such a limit that he does not realize that the inner struggle now occurring in his being are the warnings of his soul which is trying to be heard in the cacophony of the orchestra of the manifested universe. He is provided avenues of escape, representing the theatres of incubation, which he debases into alleys of decadence. These alleys are suffused with addictions of every kind, because the sequential mind would rather forget the spiritual truth than forgo his material desires. He is now held prisoner by the material realm and the deception of his egocentricity. This reality of the sequential mind continues in a periodic manner. The wheel of time turns and turns, and the sequential mind keeps repeating his errors, age after age. A deception of futility, born of fear, but catapulted into spiritual ignorance. A mess.

Meanwhile, our beloved nonlinear mind is about to find purchase in the depths of suffering. From the depths of his subconscious as well as the collective unconscious of mankind, he discovers the presence of the archetypes of humanity. These universal templates have been the engines of growth for mankind over the millennia. The discovery brings sweet inspiration to our nonlinear learner, who is delighted that universal experiences impress in our collective mind the necessity for growth. He brings these archetypal gifts into the light of consciousness, there to be shared by all, enriching and strengthening everyone. And now his final voyage begins, for immersion in the archetypes shall uncover a treasure trove of mysteries, and secrets and revelations which dazzle the mind and strengthen the soul. Accompanying the revelation of archetypal lore and the true history of mankind shall be the discovery of the methods of accessing Truth. These methods have been prepared by his Higher Self well in advance. They shall arrive at the most appropriate time. They shall connect him, the fractal soul, to his Higher Self,

And the Awakening shall occur……

How beautiful is this process, how incredible are the gifts of Truth, how fantastic are the revelations about the true nature of Ultimate Reality! And for the Hanged Man, paragon of the nonlinear world, these revelations are only the confirmations of his soul stirrings all along. What stirrings? That this material world is only a derivative of the real world. That this material existence is a poor copy of the true soul world. That magick is real, that power is born of the soul, and not of the body…..

And that we are immortal, loving and caring souls. That paradise is in the soul realm. And that true heaven is home. Home in the higher dimensions.

After the Awakening is complete, the souls of the nonlinear processor shall complete the union with their Higher or Deep Selves. And then, our beloved, completed, wise Deep Selves shall proceed into full Ascension. Victory at last shall be the crown of millennia of hard work.

Meanwhile, the sequential learner, is still trapped in the periodic realms of material reality. He shall remain there, until such time that he discovers the Truth…….

The Hanged Man and the Magician. Two worlds collide. Two fates intertwined. One Truth, many mirrors of that truth.

This has been the dialogue of the two worlds. This has been the conversation of two epistemologies. This is the contrast between the way of life of the nonlinear world and the sequential world. This is the voyage of the archetypes of the Hanged Man and his polar opposite, the Magician. This is the way of life in the Cosmos.


My Polycosmic Model of Reality

MY POLYCOSMIC MODEL OF REALITY

Sensei Erwin L. Rimban

 

The universe is a polycosm.

It is a sea of infinite possibilities. A moment is a fractal. This means any moment encapsulates the polycosmic and multifaceted nature of Ultimate Reality. This also means that within each moment resides other seas of other possibilities, other potentialities, and other permutations.

Within each timeless moment is a sphere pregnant with infinite possibilities.

How come we experience certain states and not others? How come there is an “experience” at all?

There are two ways through which the polycosmic universe engages itself and creates certainties.

One is the creation of consciousness singularities. Consciousness singularities engage certain facets of the polycosm and “make them happen.” They are “instruments of the paradigm of the cosmos.” They are angles, so to speak. They are mirrors of certain states. And just by emphasizing a certain angle, they cause certain realities to occur. They cause certain worlds to come into being.

These consciousness singularities “collapse” the probability waves of the sea of potentialities, thus causing “certain states to manifest.” But in reality, these states are there all the time. They are the possible scenarios, the unmanifested permutations, the nascent realms. It is the focus, the determination, the desire, the concentrated attention of the consciousness singularities which collapse the probability waves and cause these paradigms to occur.

 

(To be continued………..)cosmos-696x435

Into The Sea Of Molten Light

INTO THE SEA OF MOLTEN LIGHT

A Poem by Sensei Erwin L. Rimban

 

Black obsidian glass venturing

Far, far into the navels of the green sea

Of molten light, whose aperture

Can only be gleaned by those

Of sufficient motivation…

 

Character flaws suffuse the personalities

Of my storylines, it seems, for I cannot

Recall if any one of them sufficiently remembers

The ancient paths to dawn’s promise

I wager a thousand gold pieces

That no one among them possesses

The infinite courage required.

 

Portals opening into the maws of destiny configured

Portend the coming of slick midnight

Into the realms of men, perchance

To awaken those nonchalantly slumbering

From the laziness of extreme complacency….

 

The opulence of “sacred” words from books

Cannot compare to the radiance of experience

That which teaches us sears into the extremities

Of our bones the world spheres of immanence

A gift beyond compare for those who have braved

The immersion sequence that entertains the delights

Of Hanged Men.

 

A fractal self like me, like you

Feeds into the powers of immanence

To experience one beautiful flower of springtime

In the manifold universes of Creation.

Again, and again, and again….

 

The mirrors of the seers imply

That if the square root of one percent of thee

Remembers

The paths to Truth, and acts therein

Then the recursive power of infinite beauty

May propel the remaining sets into the cohesion

Of  Symmetry!

 

Then, one day, we awaken

To a different dawn, when our sights

Are dazzled by objects hitherto unknown

And the colours of the rainbow dance

With our senses, like fairies in the moonlight….

We should cry for the passing of shells

Into the naked woods of memory

Assuming they are forgotten in the mists

Of time; and the songs of sorrow may cascade

Into the memories of our souls, the lovely tunes

Enchanting us no end for we thought

There was nothing better.

 

I am a bridesmaid, and I shall be ready

For I am forever wishing to be married

To the Deep Self of my being, and

The One Who Animates Us is no less

Than our true, real self, hidden but glorious…..

 

Of course, we were mistaken

When we thought this was the only real world

This fragment of Infinity we call earth

Is only a dream within an illusion within a game

And now that we awaken from the darkness

Of millennia, let us see, let us see

The ecstasy of Infinite Reality!

 

Let me guess, let me guess

That what lies beyond is incomparable

And a fitting crown to all our efforts

In this monumental sacrifice when the soul

Was tricked into hypnotic sleep…..

 

Shall we dispense of letters now, my friends?

I am tired of the slow, dizzying mortal dreams

Of my left brain; and now only open

My deepest essence to the gold cords of my twin

Whose magickal guidance all these eons

Cannot but be gifted with the immortal skeins

Of undying gratitude.

 

The TAR Paradigm

 

landscape-2268775_1920THE TAR PARADIGM

THE TESTS OF AUTHENTICITY AND RELEVANCE

Conceived by SENSEI ERWIN L. RIMBAN, ANAM CARA Philippines

April 13, 2016
The Philippine Islands

PREAMBLE

Whereas, various esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological and interfaith groups, fellowships, congregations and organizations purport to know facets of Absolute Truth;
Whereas, these groups claim to have knowledge, revelations, insights, teachings, concepts, protocols, and developmental programs that purport to be reflections of Ultimate Reality;
Whereas, further, that these groups claim to have privileged information on the nature, dynamics and ultimate fate of the Cosmos or fractal aspects of the Cosmos, down to the individual and soul levels;
Whereas, further that these groups also claim the concomitant right to disseminate, explain, expostulate, convey and persuade humanity to either believe or accepts their teachings as real and authentic:
Therefore, we of the Anam Cara Philippines and Soulfriends Learning Organization, do hereby present these self-evident principles to Humanity on every level; to remind us to contemplate very deeply the authenticity, veracity, integrity and relevance of these esoteric groups and their teachings.

RATIONALE

There is a dearth of evaluative paradigms to assess, test, judge and evaluate esoteric groups of all kinds. In many places of the world since time immemorial, esoteric, spiritual groups and the like have almost been free from the piercing analysis and objective assessments that are the hallmarks of the sciences. Even though these esoteric groups are conceptually different from the sciences, there is a need to develop objective paradigms that may convince us of the authenticity and integrity of their teachings. The various esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological and interfaith groups, fellowships, congregations and organizations purport to know aspects of Ultimate Reality and have never been shy of promulgating their viewpoints as Truth in their citadels of learning. Consequently, their flocks absorb and accept their viewpoints completely, never questioning their authenticity and integrity. Exacerbating this condition is the lack of objective paradigms, parameters, protocols and methods to evaluate their truth-claims. The conceptual difference between science and religion should not be used by these esoteric groups as a shield to evade honest self-examination.
Trying to overcome these conceptual limitations, these Principles attempt to bridge the gap between veracity and ignorance by foreshadowing a set of paradigms that an ordinary person, a member of Humanity, can utilize as a guide in order to understand the elementary context and dynamics of the esoteric systems he/she is trying to comprehend and join. These paradigms do not claim to be the definitive criteria in assessing esoteric organizations of all kinds for all time. However, we are strongly suggesting to unfolding Humanity to keep these Principles in mind as guides to the portals of the Unknown. And at the same time, to be sufficiently open to similar themes that may be developed in the future along these lines.
We hope to add to the fund of knowledge and spur further growth in the critical self-reflection and honest self-examination of the various esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological and interfaith groups, fellowships, congregations and organizations of all kinds existing right now in Planet Earth.

THE TESTS OF AUTHENTICITY AND RELEVANCE (TAR)

FIRST PRINCIPLE: Any esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization must present a series of core concepts and teachings that are distinctive of their vision, mission and program and is a unique representation of their viewpoints of Ultimate Reality. (The Test of Uniqueness or Distinctiveness.)
Furthermore, this core must have been accessed by authentic methods whose epistemology and methodology can be examined and replicated to some degree so that objective seekers of Truth can analyze their veracity for themselves in the course of their lives, without relying on mere opinion, hearsay and secondary sources.
Furthermore, this core must be a unique set of teachings that contribute uniquely to the collective database of Humanity which can be learned, celebrated and practiced freely and without coercion.

SECOND PRINCIPLE: Any esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization must have a core set of teachings which partake of the collective knowledge of mankind. Although the First Principle is critical, these set of core teachings must be able to find relevant connections with the established fund of knowledge, whether in the various disciplines of the sciences or the plethora of fields existing in the esoteric world. (The Test of Connectivity.)
Furthermore, their set of teachings must be able to find connections to appropriate subfields in the sciences whose relevance has been shown to be authentic representations of facets of reality. To adhere to this theme of interdisciplinary thought, the set of teachings from these esoteric organizations must allow for honest self-examination and objective isomorphism. The more that these interconnections are realized, the more that these teachings must be reflective of authenticity and relevance.
In matters where the curriculum of the esoteric organization in question must gravitate too closely to the First Principle, in contradistinction to the Second Principle, then the Test of Workability breaks the tie. If the curriculum is shown to be workable and promotes wholeness, growth and harmony towards Humanity as a whole, then this esoteric organization may be considered to have passed this particular test.

THIRD PRINCIPLE: The set of teachings of the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization in question must be conceptualized, expressed, conveyed and disseminated in a manner that is most comprehensive to a wide variety of learners, learning paradigms, learning contexts and learning environments. (The Test of Parsimony.)
Furthermore, every effort must be made by the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization to express these set of teachings in the most comprehensive manner possible. This is a proof that the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization is not developing hierarchies of oppression and dominance. Neither must the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization be seen to be catering to elite factions of Humanity only, nor should they be promoting occasions where such elitism become oppressive paradigms.
Furthermore, no instance must occur where the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization is promoting extreme violence of any kind to promote its aims. Tolerance for all the viewpoints of evolving Humanity must be one of its goals. At the same time, Humanity must respect the natural exuberance of the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization to present its mission and vision. This natural exuberance should, however, be limited to passionate discourse.
Furthermore, the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization must observe the allowance of open dialogue and objective appraisal of its curriculum dynamics, and must be open to an objective examination of its epistemology and methodology. The more that the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization allows objective examination, then the stronger is its penchant towards integrity, wholeness, symmetry and balance.
Furthermore, the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization must make every effort to preserve the complexity of its concepts and paradigms which is its natural cognitive right. Complexity is a function of development over time. However, the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization cannot sacrifice Parsimony for Complexity. In situations where Complexity reaches threshold levels, the mentors of the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization in question must make every effort to turn the tide towards Parsimony and comprehension. As usual, the test of Workability breaks the tie and should be able to enlighten Humanity on the authenticity and veracity of the concept in question. Parsimony can also occur when a concept of the esoteric organization in question has been to clarify, improve and illuminate a theory or proposition in associated fields of the sciences.

FOURTH PRINCIPLE: The set of teachings of the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization in question must be rooted in local realties, but should be able to transcend these local realities and function globally, when necessary, in appropriate contexts. (The Test of Integrity.)
Furthermore, although the nativity of the, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization can always be situated in a specific locale, its ability to transcend this locale must be eminent and recognizable. While at the same time, exposing itself to the various perspectives, viewpoints, and paradigms of mankind can only add to the capacity of its truth-claims to be verified.
Furthermore, the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization must not proselytize for the sake of proselytizing only but because it can sense that it can contribute to the collective wisdom and harmony of evolving Humanity. As such, it must celebrate the betterment, development and beneficent evolution of Humanity as one of its goals.
Furthermore, the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization in question, in its pursuit of its mission and vision, must never trample the rights of the individual as specified in various declarations of human rights. The esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization in question must have a working template to celebrate the uniqueness of every human and balance this appreciation of individual uniqueness with the harmony of the common good.
Furthermore, the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization in question must make every effort to promote its set of teachings in environments of integrity, wholeness, honesty, harmony and equality. Provided, however that the pursuit of tots wisdom tenets and truth-claims occur in environments that simultaneously promote the well-being and freedom of every human, whether that human is an adherent of its paradigms or not.

FIFTH PRINCIPLE: The set of teachings of the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization in question must have a high degree of workability and applicability. Theoreticall eloquence and rhetorical elegance is nice, but Humanity needs actual, workable paradigms and methods. The mentors of the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization in question must make every effort to improve and enhance the workability of their theses, paradigms, claims and directives. (The Test of Workability.)
Furthermore, that these set of teachings must be able to find appropriate contexts of their own where they can actually promote human progress.
Furthermore, the Cosmos is a living, dynamic system. The set of teachings of the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization in question must be able to reflect this dynamism and flow. They should provide themselves with opportunities for development and evolution. Provided however that the well being of individuals and the harmony of collective humanity must always be taken into account. Wisdom is refelcted in service. The esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological or interfaith organization in question must be able to prove, repeatedly, that it considers the welfare of Humanity at all levels as part and parcel of its ongoing mission and vision.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

We have presented a dynamic, working guide to the portals of the unknown in the world of the esoteric, spiritual, occult, metaphysical, exobiological and interfaith organizations. May we request Humanity to examine and test these Principles in real-life scenarios. And to contemplate their permutations in singularities and communities. It is our dearest wish that clarity and objectivity may pervade the realms of the unknown regardless of the difficulty of accessing the truthfulness of their wisdom claims. If these set of Principles contribute to the evolving database of Humanity, then it has done its part in our journey towards unity, wisdom, wholeness, love and Ascension.


 

Spiritual Declaration of Human Independence

sunset-2205553_1920SPIRITUAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN INDEPENDENCE

By Sensei Erwin L. Rimban

 

I am a human. I am a citizen of the Multiverse. I am a disciple of the symmetry of Ultimate Reality. Consequently, I have the rights and privileges of a being and citizen of the manifolds of the Cosmos, fully recognizing the diversity and multiplicity of the Multiverse, and its capacity to express and evolve all forms of Life.

I am a human. I have the right to Life and Meaningful Existence. In all my cosmic explorations, I have the right to protect the identity and security of my being, fully recognizing the rights of other cosmic beings to the same. In addition, I have the right to celebrate, modify and evolve my own cosmic identity, cognizant of the dynamics of change, and respect the rights of others to the same.

I am a human. I have the right to Truth, and Knowledge, and Wisdom. I have the right to access, contemplate, celebrate, articulate and disseminate Truth in all its forms, without endangering the harmony of the Cosmos in the pursuit of Truth. I respect the rights of all other cosmic beings to Truth and the celebration of Truth in the community of cosmic beings.

I am a human. I have the right to free expression. I have the right to express myself aesthetically and experientially in all the forms of Art. I have the right to pursue, celebrate, present and modify my Art in all forms possible, as long as it does not injure a cosmic being, or cause injury to humanity or the community of cosmic beings in any way. Whenever my Art causes discord in the harmony of the Cosmos or purports to cause injury to any being or system of beings, I am willing to enter dialogue to modify such Art and rectify its mistake, in order to preserve and facilitate the harmony of the community of cosmic beings. I uphold the harmony of the whole, and the evolution of the Totality over the desires of a singularity.

I am a human. I have the right to go Home. In all my cosmic adventures, I have the right to inquire and quest for my true home, the nativity and origin of my being. In all cases where home is situated in higher realms or dimensions, I have the right to pursue Ascension in all its forms. Whenever such desire and quest occurs, the systems and communities of beings in the cosmos must respect this right and provide meaningful assistance, or refrain from constructing any impediments, as well as allow me the right to go home peacefully, cheerfully, and cordially. I have the right to extricate myself from impediments to the wisdom quest, as well as all other systems born of polaric duality which prevents my Ascension and return to higher realms.

I am a human. I have the right to experience all the facets of Ultimate Reality in all the realms, planes and dimensions of the Cosmos. Let no system of thought, or set of beings ensnare, or deceive, or enslave me in my peaceful exploration. Whenever such dichotomies of deception occur, may I exercise my right to resolve my harmony, integrity and freedom within the concord of cosmic harmony. Let my thoughts dwell on unity encompassing diversity, fully realizing the rights of other communities of beings to experience Ultimate Reality in their own ways, modes and styles, and frames of reference.

I am a human. And I am free. Free to travel the manifold dimensions of the Cosmos. Let us all respect the rights of every being to cheerfully experience Life in all its forms, acquire Wisdom and return Home.

I am a human. I am free. I am Love. And I am recursive!


 

The Fundamental Metaphysical Questions

volcano-2235125_1920UNDERSTANDING THE FUNDAMENTAL METAPHYSICAL QUESTIONS

 

Who are you?

          “I think, therefore I am.”

          “You are a child of the universe…”

          “We are all in a widowed state, and our task is to remarry.”

The first one is attributed to the philosopher Rene Descrates. The second is from the poem Desiderata. And the third one is from Louis Claude de St. Martin. Throughout the ages, the greatest thinkers of humanity have endeavored to answer this most fundamental question of human existence. Let us now explore how various paragons of the ages have approached it and savor the insights we can gleam from their thoughts.

“You are a creature of God,” pronounced the Western theologians. But a sinful one, they admonish and thus continue the argument by explaining how you can be saved in the form of the various theories of salvation. “You are atman, a fragment of the Universal Soul,” asserted the Eastern spiritual gurus. Sinfulness is not an issue in the East, compared to the West, but ignorance of one’s true nature is. Therefore, the Eastern spiritual traditions emphasize the need to know one’s true nature. Some would say the East presents a much more cheerful prospect. Man is rational, said the ancient Greeks. Man is spiritual, said the ancient Eastern spiritual teachers.

“You are a body”, intoned the mechanistic Western physiologists. A lack of subtlety there, everyone can see they have a body. “You are a mind existing within the confines of the body,” championed the Platonian idealists. More subtle, assuredly.  “You are a body with a mind that is full of psychosexual dilemmas,” declared the Freudian psychoanalysts. The various psychoanalytic paradigms all flowed from this concept. “Your psyche is rooted to the Collective Unconscious, countered the brilliant Jungian archetypal analysts. And their disciples have been searching for archetypes ever since, uncovering every nook and cranny of the human psyche.

“You are a battleground of the forces of light and dark,” lamented the dualistic-minded Zoroaster. Dualistic religions and philosophies flow from this theological position. You are a combination of Yin and Yang, but they are enemies on the surface only. This is a paraphrase from the Taoist masters. For them light and dark, yin and yang, are lovers beneath, whose eternal dance comprises the phenomenal world. “You are nothing,” counseled Prince Siddhartha Gautama upon his ascendancy as the Sakyamuni Buddha, perhaps with a twinkle in his eyes. Did he mean it literally? Allegorically? Or was he thinking of something else. “You may be nothing, but you create your reality by your free will,” added the pragmatists and existentialists.

“You are a collection of atoms, obeying the classical laws of physics, argued the mechanical Western scientists. For centuries, this has been the norm of Western classical thinking. But Heisenberg, Schrödinger, and other more super-intelligent quantum physicists arrived on the scene. And they changed the landscape of science forever. “You are a monad, a fragment of the universe, complete unto itself,” offered Leibniz, co-inventor of the calculus. “And you are immortal,” echoed Vardhamana Mahavira, champion of Jainism, thousands of miles to the East. Both of these thinkers are separated by distance and time, yet show surprisingly similar positions.

So who are you?

The best answer to this question comes from the hieros gamos, the sacred marriage, of quantum physics and the mystical arts. The most advanced quantum physicists are penetrating into the deepest mysteries of space-time, nature, and the universe. They are beginning to behold the Divine Wisdom, the wisdom of the ages, which has been shrouded in mystery since time immemorial.

For centuries, the Divine Wisdom has been in the hands of the mystics of East and West. Experiencing firsthand the presence of Divine Intelligence, mystics are given a true experiential event where they apprehend personally the nature of man and the universe.

Hieros gamos. The sacred marriage. More and more quantum physicists and mystical philosophers are communicating, sharing knowledge and critical insights. This conference of minds will help usher the Golden Age of humanity.

This concludes our basic survey of the first fundamental metaphysical dilemma. It logically now leads us to the next question…..

Why are you here?

          “Something is doing we don’t know what.” A legendary remark attributed to Sir Arthur Eddington.  Let us continue our pilgrimage in wisdom by studying the second fundamental question of existence, the question of origin and purpose.

Two great systems of thought contested the nature of man’s origin in the past: creation and evolution. The diametrical opposition of the mechanical scientists and the stubborn theologians dominated Western civilization for centuries. But today, a new kind of thinking is emerging which is destroying the obsolete paradigms of the past. In this paradigm, both viewpoints can be assimilated into a new system of thought, one that synthesizes both creation and evolution.

The universe is suffused with energy. And Einstein has demonstrated that matter is simply crystallized energy, a new concept that was extended by the mystical quantum physicists. This position correlates well with the viewpoint of mystical philosophers that matter is the lowest form of energy. We can accommodate the creation theory by tentatively accepting that the creation of this universe did exist as a point in time, corresponding with the Big Bang of the Western scientists. That settles the point of view of creation.

Observe the universe. Explore our world. Open your eyes to your environment. The forms in our world exist as hierarchies. But the hierarchies are inter-related. Atoms give rise to various molecular arrangements. Molecules give rise to mineral categories. All the various kinds of plants are composites of atoms, molecules and minerals. But the whole is more than the sum of its parts. In other words, a plant is more than a collection of atoms, molecules and minerals. It is something more! And by extension, all the forms of life are more than the sum of their preceding hierarchies. Plants exist as the subsistence of some animals. But animals are entirely different from plants. In the same way, humans eat plants and animals, but their forms are different. Humans are infinitely more complex than plants or animals, although these forms are composed of the same fundamental building blocks: the atoms, molecules and minerals.

Thus, there exist hierarchies in nature. Preceding wholes give rise to new kinds of wholes. The building blocks remain the same, but the configurations are entirely different. All these permutations in nature display the fact that energy configurations are evolving from one context to the next, from one level to the next, from one hierarchy to the next. Visualize smaller circles of life giving rise to larger circles of life. Smaller energy configurations giving rise to higher energy configurations. This, then, is the new paradigm that accommodates both creation and evolution. In this way, we see evolution manifesting as the development of energy configurations in different environmental matrices, each building on the preceding whole. And creation is the original impetus that gave rise to the universal primordial archtypes of these forms.

Fascinating!

If energy configurations are evolving, then the level of awareness of these energy systems are evolving too! The level of awareness of an atom is limited to energy interactions that maintain its nuclear shape and integrity and insure its ability to form molecules with other atoms. The awareness of a monocellular organism is something else entirely. Its biological activities revolve around the maintenance of homeostasis and the capacity to reproduce. Thus, its awareness of itself has reached a different level, not necessarily higher in essence than the preceding system of an atom, but perhaps richer in context. Because the necessities of homeostasis and reproduction will cause the organism’s awareness of its environment to be on a higher level of context, richer, and more detailed.

Which leads us to human awareness. The consciousness of the human has reached a level where he begins to inquire on the fundamental questions of existence. His awareness of himself is not necessarily higher than molecules, plants or animals. Rather, it is richer relative to the environmental matrix. Because if the human is to survive, he has to assimilate and conquer more of its environmental variables as compared to the lower hierarchies.

Therefore, we can see that evolution is proceeding level by level, whole by whole, context by context. This is a secret that used to be shared only by the best quantum physicists and the most enlightened mystical philosophers. This is the fact that evolution means not only the development of outer physical forms but it is actually the enhancement of consciousness as a form experiences its pilgrimage through the levels of complexity in the nature of the universe.

Creation means the inception of a universe. Evolution means the development of awareness or consciousness in that particular universe as its levels of complexity deepen; thus revealing their inherent beauty.

And now, we are ready to tackle the final fundamental dilemma…..

Where are you going?

          “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This is a mystical saying attributed to the semi-legendary figure of Lao Tzu, reputedly the author of the Tao Te Ching, and considered the nominal founder of Taoism.

We have been exploring the fundamental questions of existence. We began with the question of fundamental nature: “Who are you?” Then we continued with the question of origin and purpose, “Why are you here?” Now let us study the question of destiny and finality: “Where are you going?”

We have seen how the forms in nature are evolving into more complex forms, hierarchy by hierarchy. This process pervades the entire universe. And while matter is the outer form or clothing of this process, it is the evolution of consciousness which is the engine that drives it.

There have been many allegories of this process. Some mystical writers compare life on earth in particular and life in the universe in general to a school. In this allegory, all beings are enrolled in some kind of school where skills are gained, lessons are learned and insights assimilated. In mystical Hindu philosophy, the tempering forces are called karma, dharma and samsara, among others. When a particular insight is learned, developing beings go on to the next level, where there are fresh lessons and new insights. Another allegory worth considering is that of a pilgrimage or a journey. In this particular allegory, the beings of the universe are on a grand adventure. The goal is perfection in evolution as well as the joy of exploration. I find this allegory to be a perfect educational tool for aspirants in the spiritual path.

From the point of view of a single individual, life is so complex with its attendant problems and vicissitudes. Anyone can be overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of it all. Yet, all the great spiritual traditions of mankind have maintained that life has a purpose far more magnificent than our mundane existence. The trick is to discover the higher meaning of life. For this, all spiritual aspirants since time immemorial have been challenged to open their eyes to the wider world.

Expand your consciousness. Inquire more. Reflect more. Contemplate more. Meditate more. Discover more perspectives. Get out of your shell, psychologically speaking. As the forms of the universe evolve into higher and higher modes of expression, so you too are invited in the great banquet of eternity. We have seen previously how the forms of life seek to produce more wholes, each more complex than the preceding one. In the same way, the journey of evolution is a pilgrimage of wholes. Let us see how this journey plays in the dance of the universe. Reflect very deeply as we essay the next few statements.

You are a whole.

Yet, you are incomplete.

This incompleteness is not your fault (paradigm shift in Western religious thought). Rather, it is the product of inexperience. Why is this so?

As you have journeyed in the planes of existence, you have assimilated experiences from your own perspective. Since you are a fragment of the greater whole, this perspective is necessarily incomplete. You can gain a better understanding of the infinite universe by increasing the quantity of your travels in awareness. This means experiencing more of the whole from your vantage point. More lives. More experiences. Thus, the wheel of time, the cycle of reincarnation.

Meanwhile, you are a whole that seeks to enhance its wholeness. You seek perfection, but think it unattainable. Well, good news, your lower mind cannot attain perfection by itself. It must use other weapons at its disposal; some of which are known only to the Collective Unconscious. Waiting to be discovered, of course.

You are a whole.

Yet, you are incomplete. A fragment of the Greater Whole.

And this is the reason why there is a pilgrimage.

You are bound to evolve, into greater and greater Wholes.

Your coherence increases as your pilgrimage deepens.

Your capacity to process information shall increase!

And you shall evolve, more and more, expanding higher and higher!

Let me conclude by offering this saying of Teilhard de Chardin for contemplation:

“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey; we are spiritual beings on a human journey.”


 

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