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Daily Wisdomisms: Buddha

“I consider the positions of kings and rulers as dust motes. I observe treasures of gold and gems as so many bricks and pebbles. I look upon the finest silken robes as tattered rags. I see myriad of worlds of the universe as small seeds of fruit, and the greatest lake in India as a drop of oil on my foot. I perceive the teachings of the world to be the illusions of magicians. I discern the highest conception of emancipation as a golden brocade in a dream and view the holy path of the illuminated ones as flowers appearing in one’s eyes. I see meditation as a pillar of a mountain, Nirvana as a nightmare of daytime. I look upon the judgment of right and wrong as the serpentine dance of a dragon, and the rise and fall of beliefs as but traces of the four seasons.” —Buddha

From “Zen flesh, Zen bones” as compiled by Paul Reps

The world is a petty place. All of its glitter and gold, its shine and appeal is an illusion. And behind that illusion, the truth of the world is as fake and tarnished as those who proclaim its brilliance. Buddha saw this. He noticed that nothing was as it seems. That reality was not real. That all of the world’s temptations and ideas of success were flawed and ultimately meant nothing. Not even religion and all the promises of the afterlife were devoid of the stain of pettiness and lies that covers everything we see, hear, think and believe. Right and wrong are in constant flux and all of our deeply held beliefs are nothing but passing memories. As a matter of fact, the only pillar that exists is meditation.

We have to go inside to find the answers we are looking for. We have to take time to listen to that still, small voice that so desperately wants to guide us. Because when the external world is nothing but illusion and lies and Nirvana is the nightmare of creation all we have left to guide us is that inner light. So always be encouraged to “Be still and know God.” That’s where beauty and truth really exist and it is they only place they do.

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Daily Wisdomisms: Rumi (The Guest House)

Today’s tidbit is an inspiring and eye-opening poem from Rumi. Enjoy!

 

“This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

 

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

 

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

 

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

 

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.”     The Essential Rumi, p. 109

 

To me, this is a poem about perception. I like the idea that being human is a guest house whose purpose seems to be to entertain all these different experiences. But isn’t that the point? We are here to experience all that life and the world has to offer to us. The good and the bad. I”ll be the first to admit, it’s hard to meet the negative at the door laughing. It’s even harder to invite them in. But in the end, even those experiences add to our character and strengthen our souls.  We can’t live life in fear of or trying to avoid negativity and hardship. It WILL find us eventually. There is no escaping the fact that life isn’t all smiles and rainbows. The greatest weapon we have against them is our perception of them.

Even when they “come into our house and violently sweep out all of our furniture” we still treat them honorably. Even when something happens in our lives that totally screws everything up we have to keep a reasonable perception about it. After all, change is often a violent and unsettling process, but the end result is always likely to be a “new delight.”  Seeing misfortune and hardship any other way is a one way ticket for self-pity and depression. And life’s too short to spend in the dark place of our souls all the time.

So” be grateful for whoever comes because each has been sent as a guide from beyond”.  Each and every experience of our lives is serving to move our souls toward growth and development. So we have to be conscious of falling into the self-pity, woe-is-me mind traps that open so easily every time misfortune knocks on our door. Remember, every time we grow comfortable, we cease to grow.

Daily Wisdomisms: The Tao Te Ching (53)

As always, the Tao is a well spring of truth and inspiration.  Its complex simplicity can speak to your heart no matter what you are going through. After a chaotic day, I was trying to decide what to post. I flipped around in a few books for a while and then came back to the Tao. I immediately opened to this passage and a light went off in my head. Enjoy!

The Great Way is easy,
yet people prefer the side paths.
Beware when things are out of balance.
Stay centered within the Tao.

When rich speculators prosper
while farmers lose their land;
when government officials spend money
on weapons instead of cures;
when the upper class is extravagant and
irresponsible
while the poor have nowhere to turn–
all this is robbery and chaos.
It is not in keeping with the Tao.”  The Tao Te Ching, chapter 53.

 

I often look at my life and wonder why I always seem to choose the side paths. The Great Way is easy. It’s outlined for us, written on our hearts by God. Whispered to us each day by His loving Spirit. Yet we always seem to say, “Yeah, yeah. That’s all good. But what about what’s over here…No I hear you. Just hold on a sec while I check it out…” And then everything gets thrown out of balance. Part of me says it’s the experience of life. But I ask that part, aren’t we supposed to learn from experience? Why do we seem to get caught up and sidetracked more often than we follow the simple advice of our hearts? For me personally, a lot of it has to do with my thinking that I know what’s best for me. I can handle this. I don’t need God or the Tao or any cryptic sayings of old dead men to tell me what to do. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Only, those old dead men knew what they were talking about. Say what you want about human progress, but people really haven’t changed. All that’s changed is fashion and technology. People are much the same today as they were thousands of years ago. All that technology has done for us is added another level of distraction to an already distracted populace. Now, when the government spends money on weapons instead of cures and the upper class is extravagant and irresponsible, the people scroll past it on their social media apps, only stopping long enough to give it a cursory “like” or to comment about “how horrible it is!” But that’s as far as the outrage is likely to go.  And this…all of this…is not in keeping with the Tao. It seems there’s no sense in showing all that robbery and chaos when there’s a cute picture of a kitten covered in toilet paper instead.

Daily Wisdomisms: Hermes Trismegistus on Atheism

Quite an interesting excerpt today. It appears atheism is nothing new. Despite what its proponents would have us believe, Atheism is not the byproduct of humanity moving into a new enlightened age. It is short sighted skepticism at best. Here is what Hermes had to say on the subject. Enjoy!

No one says that a statue or portrait has come into being without a sculptor or a painter; then has this work (the cosmos, J.) come into being without a creator? What blindness! What sacrilege! What mindless arrogance! My son, never deprive the works of creation of their creator. He is greater than anything the name of God implies, so great is the Father of all; for He is single and his work is just this: to be Father.The Corpus Hermeticum, Book 5.

This falls in line very nicely with my piece Only The Code that I posted a while back. To me, this makes perfect sense. As above, so below. No one says that art spontaneously arises out of chaotic nothingness and falls into perfect order. So why is it so hard to believe that the beautiful and magnificent work of art we call “The Universe” has a hand intelligently directing its design? As above, so below. I think that in this day and age with technology and “progress” being what it is, our collective ego has inflated to epic proportions. And we feel bold and empowered enough to challenge the very existence of God. Much like humanity did with the Tower of Babel and we saw how that turned out…

Daily Wisdomisms: Hermes Trismegistus

Further exploration of the writings of Hermes. This excerpt, on the nature of God, ties in nicely with an earlier tidbit from Philip K. Dick. Coincidence? Enjoy!

Be still, my son, and consider what is God, what is the cosmos, what being is immortal, what is dissolved and consider that the cosmos is made by God, and in God, man is made by the cosmos and in the cosmos, and that God is the source, the boundary and the constitution of everything.The Corpus Hermeticum Book 8. p.42.

Again we find reference to God being a part of His creation and not separate from it. I keep coming across these types of passages in my readings and I think that modern religion may have some things wrong. I grew up being taught that God was this eternal grumpy old man who lorded over us dispensing justice as He saw fit. I thought of Him as a force outside the universe He created. Something apart from it. But I no longer think this to be true. God isn’t some grumpy grandpa declaring jealousy and murder a sin, yet freely inflicting these things upon the peons in the cosmic playground He created. That is a trait of someone that is outside their creation looking in. But as Jesus was so fond of telling us, “God is Love.” And in order to truly love something it has to be a part of you. There can be no distinction or separation.

Daily Wisdomisms: Philip K. Dick (The Empire)

Another excerpt from The Exegesis taken from the appendix to VALIS. This particular excerpt rings true to my soul. Enjoy!

The Empire is the institution, the codification of derangement; it is insane and imposes its insanity on us by violence, since its nature is a violent one.

To fight the Empire is to be infected by its derangement. This is a paradox; whoever defeats a segment of the Empire becomes the Empire; it proliferates like a virus, imposing its form on its enemies. Thereby it becomes its enemies.” PKD VALIS p. 235

What PKD calls “The Empire” I have always dubbed “The Machine”. But my beliefs on it have matched PKD’s even before I read the passages. It’s true though. If we look throughout history at all of the uprisings, revolts and revolutions that started out with such noble and pure intentions, those rebels who came to power afterward soon turned out like the very despots they overthrew. This is part of the Machine. It eats everything around it and turns it into a lifeless extension of itself. This can be very clearly seen in the arts. Every artistic movement that has arisen has been assimilated into the Machine and turned into a mass-produced mockery of itself. The same can be said for social movements. The Beats, the Hippies, the Punks, the Occupy Movement, the Tea Party, etc. The Machine swallowed them all. Infiltrated them, labeled them and neutered their influence. Thus, in order to defeat the Empire we must leave it behind.

 

Daily Wisdomisms: Philip K. Dick

Another excerpt from his Exegesis. In this piece, PKD examines the nature of God and God’s connection with nature. Enjoy!

Space, time and motion are relative…since the universe is infinite, and there cannot be two infinites, the infinite God and the infinite universe must be one…there is no prime mover, there is motion or energy inherent in every part of the whole. “God is not an external intelligence…it is more worthy for him to be the internal principle of motion, which is his own nature, his own soul”. Nature is outside of the divine mine; however, this mind is not in a “heaven above” but in every particle of reality.The Exegesis p. 394.

I like this. PKD is essentially saying that God is not separate from His creation. That God IS His creation.

Daily Wisdomisms: Kierkegaard

“yea, so long as every nerve in you is aquiver, whether when you are stealing softly about, or when you step out boldly and Janzian music within drowns out your consciousness—then you feel you are living.”

—Kierkegaard

 

It’s brilliance, it’s passion, it’s inspiration that matter in these uncertain times. These are all there is left to hold on to. The illusion is crumbling beneath our feet and with it goes everything reality holds dear.

Daily Wisdomisms: The Book of Thomas the Contender

The Book of Thomas the Contender is a treatise from The Nag Hammadi Library. I came across this passage recently and thought it fit in nicely with the quotes from The Corpus Hermeticum concerning the web of ignorance and the tendency humanity has to bury its head in the sand rather than face difficult truths. Enjoy!

Woe to you captives, for you are bound in caverns! You laugh! In mad laughter you rejoice! You neither realize your perdition, nor do you reflect on your circumstances, nor have you understood that you dwell in darkness and death! On the contrary, you are drunk with the fire and full of bitterness. Your mind is deranged on account of the burning that is in you, and sweet to you are the poisons and the blows of your enemies. And the darkness rose for you like the light, for you surrendered your freedom for servitude! You darkened your hearts and surrendered your hearts to folly.The Nag Hammadi Library in English (p. 205)

Powerful words. I think they do a great job of reflecting the state of thinking for modern mankind. We live in an era of bitterness, skepticism and scorn. As a matter of fact, we revel in it. All you have to do is read a comment thread for anything on the internet to see that. Scorn. Hatred. Bitterness. Mockery. And too many people seem to love it. They are “drunk with fire and full of bitterness.” Not saying that everyone out there is like this. I’m commenting on the trends that I notice. I believe in the basic goodness of mankind, but I think we tend to lose ourselves in the darkness and are often all to willing to surrender our freedom for servitude.

Daily Wisdomisms: Hermes Trismegistus

This is a continuation from yesterday’s Wisdomism. Hermes has told us to look with our hearts and be sober in order to see through and overcome the ignorance and deception running rampant in our world. Here, he gets a bit more specific on just how to do that. Enjoy!

First you have to strip off the garment which you are wearing, the web of ignorance, the fabric of evil, the knot of destruction, the girdle of darkness, the living death, the sentient corpse, the portable tomb, the robber in your house, him who hates through what he loves and bears malice through what he hates.

Such is the hateful garment you wear, which binds you in itself lest, when you look up and see the beauty of truth and the Supreme Good which lies within, you should hate the evil of this garment and realize its treachery. This has ensnared you making the seeming senses, insensible; for it has blocked them up with much gross matter and filled them with loathsome pleasure, so you do not hear what you should hear and see what you should see.Corpus Hermeticum Book 7

This “garment” we all wear is our connection to our egos which are entrenched in the physical world and continually seek material pleasures and comforts.  We willingly blind ourselves to the deception around us in order to immerse ourselves in the distractions of the material world. Look around you. Do you see the multiple distractions that surround you even where you sit reading this?  Humanity has not progressed. We have merely added more bells and whistles to distract us from the truth. And there are those who do not have our best interests at heart who continually play on and add to those distractions in order to keep us in a state of willing subservience.

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