Spiritual Essays #50

Morality and Nature in Good Vs. Evil

by Jayaram V

Nature does not seem to care much about what you consider morality or immorality. It aims to make you fit for survival, and arm you with skills and abilities to deal with the challenges you face in your life. It does not care whether you are moral or immoral and how you use those skills.

From Nature’s perspective, honesty, dishonesty, deception, truth, falsehood, love, hatred, violence, peace, cruelty, compassion, greed, lust, love, restraint, aggression, surrender, killing, non-killing, are mere strategies, which are meant to help you to work your way through the maze of life and emerge successfully at the other end without getting hurt or harmed.

Morality or immorality does not exist in Nature’s design. They exist in our thinking and belief only. We impose them upon our perception of the world and upon our behavior because of our beliefs (not truths) regarding life and salvation.

Nature does not care whether you speak truth or untruth, but whether you survive and succeed in life with the knowledge and intelligence give to you and whether it can rely upon your design and constitution to create similar species in future. In the laboratory of Nature, you are just another specimen, an experiment to collect data and adjust its future plans according to that.

Nature is not bound to morality or prejudice. It is an automaton, which works, with mathematical precision, according to the laws of Nature. Hence, its approach and action are free from the burden of morality and guilt.

When you view life from Nature’s perspective, certain facts become obvious, like the following.

  • Morality makes you weak.
  • Honesty makes you vulnerable to attacks.
  • Truth exposes you to innumerable risks.
  • People love sweet-talk but not honest criticism.
  • Tact and manipulation get things done.
  • The most successful people in life are those who habitually break the rules and get away with it.
  • People are more impressed by lies and the embellishment of truth rather than the truth itself.

People are successful to the extent they are in perfect alignment with the strategies. Nature intends them to use in their survival, and fail to the extent they align with their sense of morality and virtue.

Many such facts of life we glean from life itself become self-evident when we examine them closely. We tolerate them in the hope of an eternal life for ourselves and divine justice for all.

Truth triumphs rarely in the violence and commotion of life. This is the harsh reality of our existence upon earth. We have to deal constantly with the conflict between our natural instincts and our sense of righteousness, and between self-interest and our moral commitment.

Sometimes, we recognize the triumph of morality in case of a few people and put them high on the pedestal to remember that morality matters in our lives. People like Rama, Yajnavalkya, the Buddha, Jesus. They were failures in their lifetimes, and went through lot of agony when they lived upon earth.

Yet, we remember them because they help us to believe in the triumph of virtue and righteous living. However, when you remove them from the equation, all that you see is the triumph of nature, victory of expediency, cunningness, falsehood and opportunism over values and morals.

This is a battle in which you seldom know why you need to be good and self-righteous when the world around you moves on with its own agenda of self-promotion and self-preservation. It is a conflict between you and Nature, in which Nature seems to prevail when it replaces you and recycles you with a more adaptable, practical and flexible human being.

This dilemma is going to surface eventually when human beings succeed in creating advanced versions of self-sustaining machines based upon the human model with artificial intelligence. Then may arise a danger, which if we are not paying attention now, will prove to be the nemesis of the humanity.

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Spiritual Teachings #18 Christian

As long as a man is negligent, he fears the hour of death; when, however, he comes near to God, he proceeds firmly and both kinds of fear are taken away. How does this happen? While his knowledge and his behavior are of a bodily nature, he is frightened by death. But when his knowledge is of a psychic nature, and his behavior is steadfast, his mind is moved by the thoughts of Judgement every moment. In the first state he belongs wholly to nature; in the psychic state he is moved and guided by his knowledge and by his discipline. And he is happy in the neighborhood of God. But when he reaches true knowledge by the motion of the apperception of God’s mysteries and he becomes confirmed in future hope, he is consumed by love.

He that is bodily fears as an animal fears being slaughtered; he who is rational fears the Judgement of God. He that has become a son, is pleasing to love, not to the staff of him who testifies. ‘I and my house will serve the Lord.’ (Joshua 24:15). For love annihilates fear. It not only fears but it even longs after departure. Love is the dissolver of temporary life. He that has reached the love of God, does not desire to stay here any more.

My beloved ones, because I was foolish, I could not bear to guard the secret in silence, but am become mad, for the sake of my brethren’s profit. For true love is not able to cling to the cause of love apart from friends.

Oft when I was writing these things, my fingers paused on the paper. They could not bear the delight which had fallen into the heart and which made the senses silent. Blessed is he that has constant intercourse with God and has withdrawn himself from worldly things, being with Him only, in intercourse founded upon his knowledge. And if he has to be patient, it will not be long before he sees fruits.

Gladness in God is stronger than earthly life. He that has found it, is not only free from the trial of the affections, but he does not even turn towards his life any longer. Furthermore, he has no other apperception, if he really has been deemed worthy of this.

Love is sweeter than life. An understanding concerning God, from which love is born, is sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. What is the sweetness of love which excels life? Love is not spiteful if it has to undergo a myriad of deaths for the sake of it’s friends.

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Rosicrucian Reflections #96

“Natural Law is that set of laws decreed in “the beginning” by the Divine Mind as the working basis of all creation and without which no manifestation can occur and exist. It is universal in scope and manner of operation, simple and direct. Natural Law is always constructive even when it seems indisputably destructive. It is the expression or manifestation of Cosmic Energy and order that humanity is able to discern. There is no such thing as supernatural law. There is nothing more divine than nature, nothing super beyond the natural. The greatest of miracles are not the result of some supernatural law, but of natural law.”

-Rosicrucian Manuscript

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Essene Meditations And Blessings #96

Meditation

The seed within the earth

Lies alone, awaiting.

It knows not loneliness,

But strength of purpose.

Throughout the year

I have known loneliness in crowds,

But aloneness is quite different.

I must pass through the gate

To the inner temple

Alone.

The Blessing

My inner wellspring bubbles over,

And the more I share

The more I have.

Help me

To be of valued service,

Yet not attached

To being a server.

For the tools of service

Are compassion and humility,

And these are born in a loving heart,

Which is open enough to take

As well as give.

From you I receive,

To you I give,

Together we share,

From this we live.

-Danaan Parry

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Weekly Meditation #95

Despair Gives Way To Joy

Despair gives way to joy at the thought of you, indwelling good. I cannot be sad when I think of you. My sorrow is turned to gladness and my shame to rejoicing. My tears are wiped away and the sunlight of the spirit shines through the clouds of depression and lights the way to heaven. Joy has made me glad.

-Ernest Holmes

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Science Of Mind #65

Living Today

It is not the particular negative experiences we have gone through in the past that destroy our happiness, but rather our emotional reaction to those experiences carried in the reservoir of memory. Many people suffer complete defeat without having really been defeated; others succumb the first time anything goes wrong. It is one of the aims of psychosomatic medicine, analytical psychology, and psychiatry to drain out the negative and emotional reactions to previous experiences. There is just as real an infection of the mind as there is of any part of our physical body.

Almost invariably our negative reactions to life, our unhappiness, and perhaps most of our physical disorders are based on unhappy experiences that are buried, but buried alive, in our memory. But yesterday can have no reality to us other than as our reaction to it. It can have no real existence of its own in today other than as the lengthened shadows of yesterday. And so it is that as the impulsions of yesterday are carried over into today, making today happy or disconsolate, so the reactions of today are prophetic of what we will experience tomrrow.

Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not arrived, and I live in an eternal present filled with an everlasting good. There is nothing unhappy or morbid in my consciousness. I have no fear of yesterday nor do I anticipate tomorrow with anything other than enthusiastic expectation. everything good in my experience will create my future. I have no fear in looking backward or forward, but realize the eternal day in which I now live. Today is big with hope fulfilled, with love and life well lived. Today will provide its own blessings.

-Ernest Holmes

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Spiritual Essays #49

What is True Surrender?

by Jayaram V


What is true surrender? It is not just prostrating yourself in front of an image of God when you visit a temple or perform a ritual at home. That act of prostrating in front of God’s breathing image is just a physical form of surrender, an expression of either your innocence or your cunningness. In that surrender you are not completely lost. You have not forgotten your identity, duality and desires.

You are still there, most of the time seeking and wanting, asking for things you do not have, and waiting for miracles to happen to become that special person God wants to love. It is not true surrender. It is surrender to desire and to a vision of yourself as a worshipper relying upon the hidden powers of the universe to manifest your cherished goals, dreams and desires. It is surrender to life’s longing to unite with the things of Nature and become an instrument of desire.

True surrender is higher than that. It is surrendering desire itself, not surrendering to desire. It is giving yourself to God, the silent power that may never respond to your prayers and calls, without expectations. It is putting yourself at His feet, becoming that flower, or the flame, or the fruit you usually offer to Him. It is becoming the offering, rather than the offerer, the sacrifice rather than the sacrificer. In that sacred ritual, you do not offer mantras, but only your silence. It is a ritual, in which you communicate with Silence, through silence and by silence.

In Hindu tradition, we recognize it as true devotion. Bhakti (devotion) means offering. You may mistake devotion for an emotion tinged with desire or an act of seeking through rituals; but in true devotion desire and seeking are absent, except the desire to lay at the feet of the universe and letting go of your will and desire to guard your life and ambition. True devotion is an act of silence, without drama. God, the omniscient one, does not need that drama to acknowledge your devotion. He understands your silence, without the need for words and gestures.

True devotion is not possible without complete surrender. Performing a ritual to fulfill your desire through the power of God is not an act of devotion. It is a mere declaration of your devotion to your desires and attachment. In that you are not giving yourself away. You are merely using a means of communication to accumulate things and burden yourself with the weight of karma. In that you seek security in exchange for a few offerings that do not really belong to you anyway.

True surrender flows from true renunciation, at the end of a long and arduous spiritual effort, when you have understood the true meaning of devotion. In that surrender there is no effort, a natural expression of joyful giving filled with love, compassion, understanding and wisdom. In surrendering to God you surrender to life and let it flow. True surrender means, you open yourself to life’s innumerable opportunities and challengers without conditions, preference, fear or choice. It means you willingly offer yourself to become an instrument in the hands of God, and dedicate your life to His cause. It is true surrender.

With that comes true freedom. In that surrender you experience the flow of life, the opportunity to be in the present, without the compulsion to seek things to enhance your pride or your security. In that freedom, you do not acknowledge any authority outside you but your own wisdom and intelligence rooted in the thoughts of the Self, and you learn about life and existence in the choiceless awareness that naturally arises in you as a sign of your inner freedom from the desire to become and to have.

Surrender is an act of devotion, and devotion is an expression of surrender. Both are best performed in the ritual of silence. When you surrender, you fall into silence. You become a true muni. You become an autumn leaf in the winds of life. You let life happen. You let the forces of life control you, dictate you, victimize you and see the dance of Death everywhere and in everything, without being troubled by it. It is the same god of Death mentioned in the Upanishads as the First Born and witnessed by Arjuna in the Bhagavadgita. When you truly surrender, you make peace with Death and watch its devouring power without fear and aversion.

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Spiritual Teachings #17 Buddhism

Training the Mind is just like Raising a Water Buffalo Wisdom from the Collected Works of Ajahn Chah

“Thinking and wisdom are two very different things. Thinking merely reacts to and follows our moods, and thoughts carry on with no end in sight. But if wisdom is operating, it will bring the mind to stillness. The mind stops and doesn’t go anywhere. There’s simply knowing and acknowledging what’s being experienced. When this emotion comes, the mind’s like this; when that mood comes, it’s like that. We sustain the `knowing’. Eventually it occurs to us, `Hey, all this thinking, this aimless mental chatter, this worrying and judging it’s all insubstantial nonsense. It’s all impermanent, unsatisfactory and not me or mine.’ Toss it into one of these three all-encompassing categories, and quell the uprising. You cut it off at its source. Later when we again sit meditation, it will come up again. Keep a close watch on it. Spy on it.

“It’s just like raising water buffaloes. You’ve got the farmer, some rice plants, and the water buffalo. Now the water buffalo wants to eat those rice plants. Rice plants are what water buffaloes like to eat, right? Your mind is a water buffalo. Defiled emotions are like the rice plants. The knowing is the farmer. Dhamma practice is just like this. No different. Compare it for yourself. When tending a water buffalo, what do you do? You release it, allowing it to wander freely, but you keep a close eye on it. If it strays too close to the rice plants, you yell out. When the buffalo hears, it backs away. Don’t be inattentive, oblivious to what the buffalo is doing. If you’ve got a stubborn water buffalo that won’t heed your warning, take a stick and give it a stout whack on the backside. Then it won’t dare go near the rice plants. Don’t get caught taking a siesta. If you lie down and doze off , those rice plants will be history. Dhamma practice is the same: you watch over your mind; the knowing tends the mind.

`Those people who keep a close watch over their minds will be liberated from Mara’s snare.’ And yet this knowing mind is also the mind, so who’s the one observing the mind? Such ideas can make you extremely confused. The mind is one thing, the knowing another; and yet the knowing originates in this very same mind. What does it mean to know the mind? What’s it like to encounter moods and emotions? What’s it like to be without any defiled emotions whatsoever? That which knows what these things are is what is meant by the `knowing’. The knowing observantly follows the mind, and it’s from this knowing that wisdom is born. The mind is that which thinks and gets entangled in emotions, one after another precisely like our water buffalo. Whatever directions it strays in, maintain a watchful eye. How could it get away? If it starts to drift over towards the rice plants, yell out. If it won’t listen, pick up a stick and stride over to it. `Whack!’ This is how you frustrate craving.

“Training the mind is no different. When the mind experiences an emotion and instantly grabs it, it’s the job of the knowing to teach. Examine the mood to see if it’s good or bad. Explain to the mind how cause and effect functions. And when it again grabs onto something that it thinks is adorable, the knowing has to again teach the mind, again explain cause and effect, until the mind is able to cast that thing aside. This leads to peace of mind. After finding out that whatever it grabs and grasps is inherently undesirable, the mind simply stops. It can’t be bothered with those things anymore, because it’s come under a constant barrage of rebukes and reprimands. Thwart the craving of the mind with determination. Challenge it to its core, until the teachings penetrate to the heart. That’s how you train the mind.”

Rosicrucian Reflections #95

“As mystics we do everything that we can to cultivate and maintain four primary virtues, and thus warrant being called a mystic: understanding, service, compassion, and love. These virtues all flow into one another, and end up merging into a perfect unity and forming one entity, thus moving us closer to the “Rose-Croix” state. But the road is long, and the ascent an arduous one, with its tests like so many stones on the path. Willpower, perseverance, and trust are three further virtues that need to be manifested, if we wish to achieve our spiritual elevation. We can do this together under the aegis of the sacred symbol of the Rose-Cross, and thanks to all the experiences – pleasant and unpleasant – that we have already lived through, and will continue to live through. This choice is ours, for we have our free will.”

-Christian Bernard 

*****

Let’s all try to reduce our consumption of plastics.

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis