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Julie graduated from Creighton University with a major in dance and Theology and taught for several years at an inner-city school in Milwaukee. With a desire to expand her knowledge of the arts and spirituality, she attended St. John’s University in Collegeville and completed a Masters in Theology and Liturgical Studies. Over the years, her quest to merge diverse religious beliefs and practices through the commonalities of love and peaceful living, led her to travel, live, and study with shaman practitioners, herbal healers, Native American medicine women, Buddhist priests and other earth-based spiritual teachers. Through these experiences and experiences with global metaphysical teachings, she learned to honor the eternal source of love in all people.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Co-cultivator, Co-creator

Below is a fabulous vision of what Anastasia, the Russian recluse, cites in the Ringing Cedar series and further proof of her vision and teachings reaching across time and space. I was blessed with bearing witness to what was originally presented as a sermon on July 4, 2009, and doubly blessed by being given permission to put it on my blog for others to read. This is not a fast read but a reflective read. I hope members of the Anastasia community will find their way here.


Bliss [Ananda] by Dr. Whom?

It is my “story” –... that leads me to be present today to present to you on “Bliss”, and this present-ation will, of course, in turn, become a –- new –- part of “my story”, and a [smaller] part of each of your stories as well.

There are four episodes of “my story” that are most relevant to the topic of “Bliss” [Ananda] [and to its shadow-topic, its other, “Iblis”, about which I learned from my erstwhile spiritual and mathematical teacher, Dr. Charles Musès].

1. In 1959, I had a dream – a sleeping dream of Vision-like vividness and intensity –- which became the one and only dream that has stayed with me ever since, scarcely ever leaving my waking mind.

Sparing you the details, let me say only that, in the imagination of this Dream, I was transported to a different civilization, and into the sanctuary of one of its churches, whose altar was inscribed –- carved in stone –- with an inscription that was both a scripture, and a mathematical equation; a scripture-equation that described the self-unfolding of the cosmos. Thus did I encounter a vision of the re-unification of Science & Religion, and of the «Dharma» of my life.

I will try to be true to that vision … –- attempting to make it speak both to those in this congregation who are of a scientific and/or an atheistic persuasion, and to those who are of a theistic persuasion as well.

2. In 1968, I met a beautiful being, a person of the female persuasion, a fellow student at U. C. Berkeley, who incarnated my most far-reaching vision, at the time, of the feminine divine.

Indeed, she exceeded that vision. Before meeting her, I’d read a book entitled “Psychic Research Behind the Iron Curtain”, which showed me there was knowledge in the ancient psycho-physiological traditions of yoga.

The greed for knowledge had always been the primary form of greed motivating my life up to then, and I could not resist experimenting with yogic meditation, when she urged me to take up the correspondence course in yoga offered by Self-Realization Fellowship, the source for her yogic practice as well. Well, in the end, I lost the lady, but I kept the Gift with which she had gifted me.

3. In 1975, during the Kriya Yoga meditation for whose techniques I had, by then, recently qualified, I experienced a breakthrough, accompanied by a poem, which took shape in my mind unbidden as this breakthrough experience unfolded. I suddenly knew what “yogic Bliss” meant. This poem, entitled “Ananda”, goes as follows –-

The Rock is Rolled Aside

The Spring is Sprung

Ananda Flows Within

Ever New.

Ever The Same.

Absolute Security.

Absolute Adventure.

4. In 1996, after ~“40 years” of roaming a terrain as sparse of clues as a desert is parched of water -- of clues few and far between, albeit cumulative -- I suddenly saw, in the depths of the details of my professional work, and “hidden in plain sight”, the new arithmetic that enabled me to formulate, for the first time, a rudimentary version the “Cosmos Equation” of my 1959 Dream-Vision.

Ever since that day, like an idea-Mantra[m], like an idea-Mandala, that equation, with its seven-symbol succinctness, ever revolves in my mind’s eye, awakening in my heart the Bliss of beholding, as if being there & seeing, the self-creation of the cosmos as a whole, even at scales of space beyond what my senses can encompass to witness, & for far past times, wherein my body, & its sensorium, could have had no existence to witness.

Apart from Mantra and Mandala, apart from Meditation –- I’ve noticed! –- our minds tend to grow cataracts too!

But what if we were really “in touch with reality”; what if we suddenly awakened in this present moment – RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW?

What if we were suddenly, shockingly, really “present and accounted” for, all re-collected, in all of our parts, in all of our present selves, in all of our past selves, altogether, as one, whole, vividly-alive NOW?

Our hair would stand up on the backs of our necks. Our jaws would be agape, mouths dropping, wide open, in utter awe! –- and this, no matter whether theist, or

a-theist we be!

Now, maybe, after a time, for mere convenience, we might, in polite company, lift our jaws back closed. But the inner emotion of awe and wonder would persist, sans these bodily signs notwithstanding.

Why?

Because the power that constructed the cosmos is still here.

That power is present, right here, right now!

The power that constructed the cosmos is not distant. It is not remote. It is not located simply “back there”, in the distant past. Nor is it now, but only way “out there” in space, hidden in inaccessible galactic immensities. It is right here, “hidden in plain sight”.

“The creation” –- the self-construction of the cosmos – is not remote in time. Creation” did not happen just once, "way back at the beginning".

The creation continues. It is “still” going on, right here, right now. And we are a part of it.

Whatever you may think this power of creation ultimately is – “immanent” or “transcendent”; “material”, or “spiritual” – it is manifestly here, manifestly now! – all the time; ‘all the space’!

First, before we think it, we may feel it; we may experience it outwardly. It is all around us. And, it is – quite literallyinside us.

Feel it! Know the Bliss, the Ecstasy, of knowing it!

We are part of this cosmos; part of this vast Dance of “uni”-“verse”; of together-turning, of turning [“verse”] in unison [“uni”] –- the planets rotating, turning about their own centers, turning on their axes, & revolving, turning about their suns as centers, &, turning, together with their suns, about their galactic centers: vun vast Valtz, as Lawrence Welk might say!

This “present” that we share – right here, right now – is, indeed, a gift, a “present”. It is one that has been “PRE-sent”; sent from the “PRE-“; sent from the past. It is the gift of the past, the cumulation and the ‘present-tation’ of all that has been “present-ed” before, and always with the addition of something new, something ‘un-prece[nt]-[de]nted’, that has never been ‘prece[de]nt-ed’ before.

But what is the “pre” from which this NOW, this “uni-verse” is “sent”?

Our scientists have reconstructed it.

They have identified a swarming, burgeoning, and formidably fecund single population of pre-sub-atomic, pre-nuclear “particles”; units of ‘matterized energy’, mysterious points of light –- the “quarks”, et al. -- that launched the building of everything; of everything that we see around us right now. They are the power that built the universe!

But how did this fecund swarm build itself up into the world that we know today?

There is an old German word -- «aufheben» -- which means, e.g., to pick-up a stone from the ground, and to raise it to eye-level. Thus, it means to change the position of the stone, to negate that position, & to preserve it in our grasp, & to elevate it as well.

«Aufheben» also describes what the cosmos-content does to itself, in creating new, unprecedented content; in creating, not just new beings, but new kinds of being; newontology”.

This selfaufheben» of the content of the cosmos is accomplished by ‘self-meta-«monad»-ization’, that is, by ‘self-meta-unit-ization’. «Monad» is Greek for “unit”.

The qualitative units, or «monads», that our scientists call “quarks”, et al., once their population, and its spatial concentration, grows to a sufficient level, birth new populations, of a new kind of qualitative unit, a meta-unit –- the “sub-atomic particle” unit –- i.e., to populations of ‘meta-quarks’, e.g., protons, each made up of a heterogeneous multiplicity of quarks.

These new populations of sub-atomic “particle” units, once grown to sufficient quantity & density, birth populations of atom-units, i.e., populations of meta-sub-atomic “particle” units, made of a heterogeneous multiplicity of sub-atomic “particle” sub-units.

These new populations of atom units, once they grow to sufficient quantity & density, birth populations of molecule units, i.e., populations of meta-atoms, meta-atomic units, each one made up out of a heterogeneous multiplicity of atom-units.

These new populations of molecule units, once they grow to sufficient quantity & density, birth populations of prokaryotic “living” cell units, i.e., populations of meta-molecules, meta-molecular units, each one made up out of a heterogeneous multiplicity of molecule units.

If you want to understand this production of novelty – of newontology” – via ‘meta-unit-ization’ by an example closer to home, consider that part of human Nature which is written language.

Start from phonetic letters. Each word is a ‘meta-letter’ unit, typically made up out of a heterogeneous multiplicity of letter–units. Each sentence is a meta-word unit, typically made up out of a heterogeneous multiplicity of word-units. Each paragraph is a meta-sentence unit, typically made up out of a heterogeneous multiplicity of sentence-units. Each chapter is a meta-paragraph unit, typically made up out of a heterogeneous multiplicity of paragraph-units. Each book is a meta-chapter unit, typically made up out of a heterogeneous multiplicity of chapter-units. A library unit is –- well, you get the idea!

Sentential propositions like ‘The cosmos constructs the cosmos.’, or ‘The cosmos constructs itself.’, and the included sentential proposition ‘Humanity constructs humanity.’, or ‘Humanity constructs itself.’, are known as “[self-]reflexive” sentences, because, in them, the sentential subject and the sentential object are identical -- the same [pro-]noun, the same name.

Self-reflexive” means “bending” [“flex”] “back upon” [“re-“] “self”.

This linguistic, i.e., this syntactical-semantical, ‘self-reflexivity’, is often used to describe physical ‘self-refluxivity’, where the word ‘self-refluxion’ means a “flowing” [“flux”] “back to” [“re-“] “self”.

Both of these terms –- the term ‘self-reflexive’ and the term ‘self-refluxive’ –- describe processes pervasive in both ancient and modern human thought, and also, per human thought, in the world outside of human minds, including:

· Yogic meditation, whereby human, conscious attention is turned back around upon, and focused back upon, itself, or upon the very psycho-physiological organs by which human conscious attention is generated, or manifested, creating ‘attention [to] attention’, or ‘consciousness of consciousness itself’.

· “[The Law of] «Karma»”, Sanskrit for “action”, per which each action flows back to and acts back upon the source of that action.

· The “Paradoxes” of non-dialectical, Formal Logic, & of Set Theory, e.g., of the sentential proposition “This sentence is false.”, which self-oscillates its own truth-value, and of “The Set of All Sets”, forever failing to be itself by lacking its own subsets as members. Add those missing subsets to this set, & it becomes a larger, different set, adumbrating yet new subsets that it does not yet contain.

· The Mathematical nonlinearity of nonlinear differential equations, which assert, e.g., that the quantitative velocity of the evolution of the state of a dynamic[al] system is equal to the self-reflexive self-operation of that state.

· The logic of dialectics, seeing the ‘intra-duality’, or ‘self-duality’, within each entity, “between” its aspect as sentential subject/agent, and its aspect as sentential object, such that the internal opposition between those two aspects manifests as a continual self-development of that subject/object entity; a continual expansion of its internal “ontology”, to the point of eventual self-transcendence.

And the entities which built our world, which built us, are still with us.

Your body, scientists tell us, is made of organs, all made up out of “eukaryotic”, or nucleated –- centered -- cells.

Each of your body’s eukaryotic cells is made up out of a heterogeneous multiplicity of “prokaryotic” cells, earlier, smaller cells that mutually “self-internalized” to form the eukaryotes –- that is, to form what we term the ‘meta-prokaryotes’.

Each of your body’s prokaryotes is made of molecules.

Each of your body’s molecules is made of “atoms”.

Each of your body’s “atoms” is made of sub-atomic “particles”.

And, each of your body’s sub-atomic “particles” is made up out of a vast & heterogeneous multiplicity of the pre-sub-atomic, pre-nuclear “particles”, including the “quarks”; of those “particles” that form, i.e., what we identified as “the power which built the cosmos”.

They are still HERE.

They are still NOW.

They are outside us, “without us”: Everything around us is made of what they made.

They are within us. Every kind of thing around us is also inside us.

We are made of what they made.

We are they.

We cannot see them, but they are everywhere, in all that we see.

But, if “the power which created the universe” is so present, and so accessible to us, to put it to use, in our own further creation, why are we not jaws-agape in awe; why are we not awake to this presence, why are we not continually in the Bliss of this realization?

That is: why are we still ever in “The Pursuit of Happiness”, rather than celebrating, and reveling in, its continual [re-]achievement?

Let us take recourse to some early ‘mytho-theologies’, or some ‘theo-mythologies’, that supply some otherwise missing metaphors, useful in answering this crucial, and most ‘hyper-practical’, question of all questions.

The ancient Egyptians described the cause of the “un-bliss-full”, and “unawake” condition of humanity by the word “isf-t”. This word names a condition of being “cut off from the source”.

This “isf-t” condition arises in us, per some very ancient theologies, or mythologies, as the consequence of a poisonous paradigm controlling our behavior –- called the “Image of Iblis” -- calamitously infecting our consciousness, in an inherited spiritual catastrophe that befell our remotest ancestors, and their Deity.

This controlling behavioral paradigm is a seeking to monopolize the source of life for ourselves alone, thus excluding and depriving all others of life-[re-]source(s), or, failing that, is a seeking to rob the life-[re-]source(s) of others, so as to “light-en” our resulting darkness, at their expense; at the expense of their loss of their life [re-]source(s); to gain at the expense of others.

The “karmic refluxion” of this paradigm, of its behavior, it seems, is to constrict the flow of life-support from our own inward source. What we [would] do to others thus befalls us. We become “cut-off” from the inward [re-]source(s) of our life/light, in direct proportion as our actions deprive others of theirs. We become darkened, weakened, and de-energized: “isf-t”.

It is as if a noose of our «karma» tightens around the “tunnel of Light” –- perhaps one and the same with the proverbial “tunnel” that has [the] “Light” at the end of it; the “tunnel” that many have reported seeing, near-death; the tunnel that the yogis call “The Mouth of God [of Brahma]”, associating it with the physical structure of the “brain stem”, the “medulla oblongata”, into which every [«Om»-ic] “Word” unit, every unit of life-force, uttered into it by God, may sustain and advance the life of the soul that occupies the human body which contains that “brain stem” –- as if that Light-tunnel becomes narrowed in radius, to nearly nothing, as an inner, self-reflexive, ‘self-refluxive’ result of our attempted negation of others’.

Thus, our Bliss is lost. “Iblis” replaces it.

How, then, does yogic meditation help to re-generate your Bliss?

Perhaps it is because, metaphorically, in meditation, you suspend your “isf-t”-ing activities, and the umbilical cord of Light within you begins to relax a little; begins to widen its radius, allowing more life-sustaining Light to “well-up” within your medulla oblongata, to flow into the body/mind which your soul currently inhabits.

What if our channels of Light, of Life Force, were to open wide? Would we become "En-Light-ened"? Would we have halos around our heads?

What, then, ISBliss”?

Is it some changeless, immutable, frozen state of mind?

What do I think?

That Bliss-Ananda is nothing short of the feeling of creation itself.

I feel Ananda as something deeply dynamic; as something ever new.

In deep meditation, the Bliss that I feel seems to be a response to the feeling of being nourished, of being sustained from some secret inside and transcendental source; the feeling of being sustainedly created; of being created again and again and ever anew within.

When not in deep meditation, when my attention beholds that which surrounds us, I experience Ananda as the Bliss of beholding the ongoing creation outside me, all around me, without me. I feel the same Bliss when I contemplate “The Universal Equation”; when it “re-minds” my mind of the vast, interdependent web of creation as a whole, including that before me in time, and that beyond me in space, and that beyond my senses now, equally, in the imperceptibly small, and in the imperceptibly large as well.

Yet both of these forms of Bliss are passive.

In my first-found way of Bliss, via meditation, something else seemed to be sustaining creation –- to be continuing the [re-]creation of me.

In my second way, via the sensuous contemplation of my surroundings, and via the cognitive contemplation of “The Universal Equation”, once again, something else seemed to sustain the creation –- of everything else, of everything other [than me].

Is there a “third way” of Bliss, one that transcends this passivity?

I say “Yes”!

Because we are part of that “everything” that is created, and that, in its turn, creates!

We are made ofthe power that constructed the universe”; and we are therefore also part of it.

The creation not only continues:

It continues, in part, through us.

Humanity constructs itself.”

We are all co-creators of humanity.

We are all co-creators of the cosmos.

You are a part of that self-construction of humanity, & a part of that larger self-construction of the cosmos.

And this remains so, whether you know it or not,

whether you make effort to do well at it or not.

Whether you know it or not, whether you do it well or not, you are making history. Your life, your acts, are the substance out of which history is made.

In this closing, please consider the closing words of the Afterword, by Karl Seldon, to a text entitled Dialectical Ideography –-

Overcome we, the Iblis within ourselves, and the cosmos will be our canvas. We ourselves will be our works of art. We ourselves will be our work of art.

I urge you: become the co-cultivator, the co-creator, of your own “Garden” within the larger “Garden” of this «kosmos», and do so in alignment with the paradoxical, karmic, dialectical, cosmological principle of “win-win” creativity!

THERE’S NO STOPPING YOU THEN!

There’s no stopping you then!” in the sense that you will no longer be stopping[-up] yourself, from within, or stopping[-up] yourself from the outer reflux of your own attempted stoppings[-up] of others. And --

You will reap the Bliss of conscious, cosmological co-creativity.

What each one of us does with our lives, if we do it well, matters -- and though it appear to be the tiniest of deeds today, against the vast scale of the cosmos –- each such deed is a seed that will sprout into cosmological consequence in the future, and for all futurity –- e.g., via the children with whom you Gift the world, and via the care with which you Gift them, and via the cultural and economic infrastructure which you build, as the collective body of humanity.

Now it is time for me to return into silence, and to sit down, and for you to do what you will [do]; for you to do what you will to do.

Amrta!

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