The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Seasons of Life; 'An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will'

A good friend of mine, who has passed from this biological experience we call 'Life', used to say crazy things like, 'Love God and do what you want'! Now, coming from that same Christian ( more or less ) worldview, I understand that he was referring to the God of the Bible, or 'Yahweh' of the Hebrews. All religious differences aside, one should note the striking similarities ( differences as well ) between these statements; 'Love God and do what you want' & 'An ye harm none, do what ye will'. The latter focuses on how we should treat 'others' in this biological experience ( experiment? ), while the other seems pretty ambiguous. 'What does it mean to 'love God'?' 'Who, for that matter, IS God?' We may say, 'Love God' & then 'do what you want', but that seems to grant quite a bit of lee-way'; if their 'God' is a bit more 'liberal' than yours, maybe He/She/It would allow them to harm anyone who got in the way of them doing what they wanted! Then again, 'what is 'harm'? 

The accepted dictionary definition of harm is 'physical injury, especially that which is deliberately inflicted.' In this scenario, it should be fairly simple, right? If you don't cause physical injury to anyone, especially deliberately, by doing what you want. then, 'no harm, no foul'; 'just do it'! So, by this strict dictionary definition, if no one is harmed in the process, then it's all good, right? Well, for instance, what about hunting? How can we take our rifle into the woods with the deliberate intention, not just of causing physical harm to, but of killing an animal? 'But, that's different', one might object, 'it's just a dumb animal; plus, it's only so we can eat'. Well. 'dumb animal' arguments aside, it's still a Life, it's still physical injury ( not only that, it's deliberate ), so how do we justify deliberately causing harm in this instance? How about 'self-defense'? If we cause physical injury or death to someone who is trying to harm us or a loved one, even though it may be termed 'justifiable', we're still causing harm to someone!

How then, do we justify killing someone or something, so that no harm will come to another? The Circle of Life entails the Law of Sacrifice. One thing must die, or offer it's life so that another might live. To use a simple biological example, plants, for instance, need the water from the clouds, the nutrients from the ground ( ? ) & for the seed itself, in essence, to die. in order to be ( trans ) formed. Human life, on the other hand, speaking gestationally, feeds off of human life. Though the mother doesn't usually give her own life that her child might live ( though this does happen, however infrequently ) in a sense, she does give of herself so that her child will prosper. ( Without going into all the biological intricacies of the human anatomy ( I am ill-equipped for that ); throughout the gestational period, the fetus feeds off the available nutrients that the mother's body holds, most of which are necessary to her own life. ) 

How can we, then, justify this 'Circle of Life' while holding to 'An ye harm none............'? This dilemma may be solved by looking at 'harm' in somewhat the same way as we do 'murder', Then again, if we go hunting, for instance, with the intention of killing an animal ( whether it be to eat or not ).................... On the other hand, though, we're back to 'The Circle of Life' & 'The Law of Sacrifice'. Something must die, biologically speaking, in order for something else to live. From the minerals that make up Mother Earth, to the plants which are consumed by animals and human alike, to what most call 'dumb animals', which often serve as 'food' for the human animal; call it 'transformation' or 'death', 'as above, so below'; in order for something to live, something else must die.

'What if the term 'harm' has become 'lost in the translation', so to speak?' As we are 'spiritual beings having a human experience', are we really harming another by causing physical injury to their biological machine, whether it's intentional or not? Without flirting with the nuances of things like war & abortion, let's take a short look at the concept of self-defense. In this scenario. which may be variously 'colored'; harming another may be justified, whether in defense of oneself or their loved ones, even a complete stranger. In such a scenario, though, especially that of the 'complete stronger', one must beware lest they themselves partake in another's karma! 

It should be understood, then, that harming another entails 'intention'. If we go into the woods with the intention of harming ( killing ) a 'dumb animal' for the sake of causing physical injury ( or death ), this might rightly be connoted 'harm'. However, if we were to take the same action with the intention of feeding our family in the great 'Circle of Life', it should be noted that this would be 'transformational', rather than 'harmful'. In the case of 'self-defense', where the intention would be more along the lines of preventing physical harm to oneself or a loved one than in causing harm to another, this too, could be termed 'justifiable', though, in this case, you must judge for yourself, The same would apply in the 'theatre' of war & abortion.

'As above, so below'; 'are we really harming another by causing physical injury to their biological machine?' Humanly speaking, it would be extremely difficult, if not entirely impossible, to debate this question. In fact, it seems somewhat ridiculous to even countenance such a query! With the understanding that we are primarily spiritual ( spirit ) beings, not physical ( human ) beings, we should note that the intention to cause physical harm to another comes, not from our spiritual ( divine ) nature, but from our Ego, which entails our human nature. In the same vein, 'harm' is relative; what, in one's perception would be denoted 'harm', may in another''s perception, simply be 'self-preservation', a necessary part of the 'Circle of Life'. Either way, 'as above. so below', it is in the the intention that the harm lies ( or not ).

'Death is an illusion'! Biologically speaking, one might note, like Energy Itself, everything. from the lowly mineral to the human being ( the highest form of Life? ) is simply transformed into what seems to be something else entirely. Some might ask, at this juncture, 'What then is 'death'?' That might require another story for another day. Suffice it to say for now though, 'death is not the end of anything; it is simply a transition from one form to another, a transformation, like a caterpillar to a butterfly. To quote from a recent movie, with obvious Christian under-tones, 'End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it. White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.' Metaphorically speaking, one should note that this could be, in fact should be understood to describe our own inner transformation or 'awakening'; in biblical terms, 'dying to oneself'.

So, not to justify the taking of a human life, or any biological entity, for that matter, when we view 'harm' from the perspective of 'The Circle of Life' & 'The Law of Sacrifice', we may see that 'death' is not the end of Life, it is simply the beginning of a new one, a transformation. From a spiritual standpoint, however, 'death' should be seen in a whole new Light: since 'death', as we know it, is encompassed by this physical experience alone, may not the same be said of 'harm'? This may seem an exercise in futility, but can we really harm anyone without them perceiving it as such? With trepidation, concepts like 'mercy killings' come to mind!

In conclusion, whatever one's perspective of Who ( or What ) 'God' is, whether it be a Higher Power out there somewhere, or their own Higher ( Divine ) Self, it should be clear that if we live by the Law of Love, we are free to live in this human experience as we will, yet harming none. 

Namaste' & Blessed Be,

Sage Charles

Monday, October 05, 2020

Beyond the Mind's Eye

 

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is [g]good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is [h]bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great [ is ] that darkness!

Matthew 6:22  & 23 - The Bible ( Hebrew/Greek Scriptures ) - New King James Version

At the Core of this post is the 6th chakra, that which is known in certain circles as 'The Third Eye Chakra'. Although some versions of the passage above transliterate the Greek ὀφθαλμός as 'eyes' ( plural ), it is more correctly 'eye' ( singular ). This 'eye' is metaphorical for the faculty of knowing, or what is sometimes called 'The Mind's Eye'. As we will see, though, the Mind is often part of the problem! It is with the Mind that we employ our sense ( if any ) of logic. With the Mind we think, solving the world's problems. We tend also to identify with the Mind, as well as identifying others by their mental capacity. The Mind is most definitely the most powerful tool in our biological arsenal, but when we posit ours or another's value by the strength of that person's Mind, we tend to undervalue that person, be it ourselves or the other. Again, if a Person has a strong Mind, we often place that Person on a pedestal, to whatever degree, thus identifying them with their Mind. Those with a weak Mind are often identified scurrilously as 'retarded'!

The Third Eye Chakra, as some understand it, is a spiritual center, located behind the physical eyes, between the brows, in the center of the forehead. As such, not unlike the Christian 'soul', it is not visible or substantial, though like the 'soul', it is evidentiary. It also requires a certain faith to believe in its existence, though for some, rather than having faith ( believing ), they have a Knowledge of spiritual things, such as 'chakras'. This may come off as sounding a bit uppity, but to be quite honest, anyone can 'garner' this Knowledge, which, in all Reality, isn't to be 'garnered'; this Knowledge exists within each & every human being! Most of us, unfortunately, are so preoccupied with the strength ( or weakness ) of the Mind, whether through social conditioning or what, that the overwhelming majority of us have forgotten, not only what We Know, but Who We are! Not to sound like a broken record, but as I've said in many of my recent posts, We are More than our humanity, More than this Biology ( wondrous as it is )!

The fact that We are More, although in a sense as 'unprovable' as the existence of 'chakras' or even the 'soul', is, in all actuality, fairly well-accepted, though maybe not in those terms. Being brought up Christian as I was, I 'learned' pretty quickly that, as human beings, we were part of the natural creation, though unlike the rest of creation, we were then imbued with a 'soul'. Without going into too much of a diatribe here; speaking of 'uppity', how much more uppity can we get, thinking that we ( human beings ) are the only ones with a 'soul'!? Reading the creation accounts in our English Bibles, even in a very literally wooden sense, it should be clear as day that it was the 'breath of life' that 'God' breathed into Adam which gave him life; without it, he was simply a lump of clay. Here's the question of the day; 'if the Hebrew Scriptures did not record 'God' breathing into the other animals ( created beings ) this 'breath of life', then how were they alive?' WERE they alive?! Or was the Text referring to something altogether different?

Getting back on track now, to the 'Heart' of the matter, or the 'Core' of the issue, so to speak, the Mind, with its logical capacity, should infer from the above musings that the creation accounts in the Hebrew Scriptures are indeed referring to something More than what most people have accepted for centuries. Admittedly, I used this same logic to arrive at this very conclusion! However, that was not the End of my studies: continuing to study, I soon came to realize that there was even More to it than that! The fact that the Text was, one, written to & for an Ancient Near Eastern people, maybe even more importantly, two, it was transliterated ( ordered ) by those with a western mindset, has been largely glossed over by its modern readers!

In all this, I employed my Mind & although I identified, for a time, with this garnered knowledge & with my Mind, I understand now that though, in a purely human sense, I did use my logical mind to reach this 'conclusion', I simply realized ( remembered? ) what I had always known; that I was More than my knowledge, More than my logical Mind; I AM a Spirit having a physical experience!

As Spirits having a physical ( human ) experience, we ALL thus share this Knowledge! 'As above, so below', though, the overwhelming majority of persons have forgotten this illuminating fact. Overrun by the trials & tribulations of this fleeting human experience, most are convinced that there is nothing More to Life than this human existence, that all we are is 'just another brick in the wall, to quote a famous music group. No wonder some people have no hope! Okay, so there are many that have a discombobulated hope, but is it really of any use in this Life?! 

So now, as we reach the conclusion ( of this post ), the question on our minds might be, 'How then, do we go 'Beyond the Mind's Eye'?' How would you suggest we move past the trials & tribulations of this earthly existence?' I'm glad you asked! Some people's go-to is religion. The belief in a Higher Power no doubt gives them some comfort; i.e., that Someone ( else ) is in control of things. ( I'm not saying there isn't a Higher Power ) The problem with this belief, though & with religion in general, is that it tends to take away our responsibility. We are responsible for our own actions, but far too often, we like to blame our problems ( which we create in our own mind ) on some evil entity called 'the Devil' or 'Satan'; some even blame 'God' for their problems!

Our 'problems' are all in our Mind ( at least, that's where they begin )! 'But', some might protest, 'what about when somebody else does something to us or our loved ones? Surely THAT'S not our problem!' Well, actually, it kinda is! When somebody does something to us that's beyond our control, it's still our choice as to how we respond to any given situation. What other people do is not our problem unless we make it our problem. Of course, where does the 'problem' begin, but in our Mind? We think, 'that person did this or that to me or my loved ones' & there is where Choice enters the arena. 

So religion is NOT the problem! It is what we DO with our religion! If our religion, for instance, tells us to love our neighbor & we DO, then it's all good. However if it tells us that & we do not ( love our neighbor ), it's anything but good. The religion is not at fault; WE made the choice to love or not. As I've noted previously as well, neither is belief, even faith, a bad thing. There's also nothing wrong with believing in a Higher Power. In believing though, believe in yourself as well. YOU have the power to control YOUR own life. What Christians call 'free-will', or 'Choice' is what gives us that Power.

Back to the question though & finally, 'how can we go beyond the mind's eye?' The first step is a fairly simple one; 'Remember'! Remember Who you are! 'How do we go about doing that?' Quiet your Mind. ( Now, that IS easier said than done! ) Stop dwelling on & identifying with your thoughts. Realize that you have them ( everybody does ) & there is nothing wrong with that. It is when we begin to identify with & act on those thoughts that we run into trouble. We have them; we are not them! We have a body; we are not that body!

The next step? Well, that's up to you, my friend...........

Namaste' & Blessed Be!

Charles Haddon Shank


Sunday, September 27, 2020

'I'm In Love; I'm All Shook Up'

This question has been proffered many times before, in several iterations, but, 'what IS love?!' We've covered the fact that, humanly speaking, it most certainly involves feelings, but surely, that's not all there is to it! 'Love is an action', so we've heard, but that doesn't seem to cover it, either................ It IS an active proposition, for if it's merely spoken words, where's the proof? 'Actions speak louder than words', they say. So again, humanly speaking,' love is an action', or maybe better said, 'Love is active'! In essence, one can say, 'I love you' every day, but if that 'love' doesn't manifest in their actions, can you trust that one truly loves you? If that one says they love you, but then abuses you in any way, whether physically, emotionally or spiritually, you can be sure they don't really love you, they just 'love' to use you. Once you are of no more use to them, they will slowly but surely fall 'out of love' with you & sooner or later, discard you out of mind!

Maybe our problem is that we've forgotten who we are! We are not bodies ( persons ) that have a Spirit/Soul; we are Spirits that have a ( biological ) body. That Spirit, just like It's Progenitor, IS Love. As Spirits that manifest in this biological construct called 'Life', we merely show that Love, share that Love, in a sensual way, to those around us. 'How do we show Love?', you may ask. Well, 'as above, so below'; Love does not abuse! Love, for that matter, does not even use! Those who use people, in whatever way, though they may truly 'have feelings' for that Person, are not actually manifesting True Love, but are proving their 'lust for the flesh'; they have forgotten Who they are, having swallowed 'hook, line & sinker' the proposition that We are simply People that happen to have a spirit. But, we must begin somewhere......

'Where to begin?' Well, in Reality, it starts with the Spirit! It is the Spirit that first must Will in order to do with the Body. The failure to first Will ( in the Spirit ) to do something ( in the Body ) is where most people get into trouble, for, thinking they are simply a body with a spirit/soul, they tend to act instinctually, like the animals they think they are, with their animalistic lusts ruling their action. Thus, even though they may feel they are showing you 'Love', they're only manifesting their animal nature. 'Love is not a victory march', says a popular song from our contemporary archives: in one way or the other, most people seem to think that it is ( most likely, even the author who coined this phrase ). The majority of people seem to think that one must win, through conquest, the 'love' of another. Once 'won', then, we must actively keep his or her love, for fear that we may lose it & them. In this way, we, generally speaking, are fighting a losing battle, for in that sense, 'the conquest never ends'!

So why, generally speaking, do we think we must fight to 'win' the love of a fair maiden ( or master )? On a funny note, isn't it interesting that we, as a society, seem to be stuck on the notion that the male of the species is the conquistador, not the female? Back to our question; is our culture to blame? A large part of the blame, we must acknowledge, rests squarely on the shoulders of Organized Religion in general & Christianity in particular! Interesting as well, is the fact that Judaism & Islam, from which Christianity unfortunately stems, seem to have this notion in their head as well, that men are somehow superior, in whatever way, to women & therefore bear the greater burden ( responsibility? ). When it comes down to it, it might be noted that this is a large part of the problem in our contemporary culture, with it's father-less children, 'dead-beat dads' & 'sperm-donors'. ( 'baby-daddies' is another such ). However, this is on the way out, slowly but surely, with a growing number of women realizing that they don't 'need' the male of the species to do anything but 'procreate'. But that's another subject for another day, perhaps..............

'Why do you say that 'we are fighting a losing battle?, you ask; 'as above, so below': 'the conquest never ends'! In general, day-to-day ( or yearly, as the case may may be ) terms, think of it like taxes: one might outright 'own' a piece of property, real estate or whatever, but if you miss one payment on your taxes due, you find out pretty damn quickly that, in actuality, it's really not your property, after all.  So in the case of say, the 'conquest' of marriage, whether it's primarily the male or female ( even if it's both ) doing the fighting; once one or both lose the impetus to keep the marriage going, it usually doesn't last very long.  This, again, leads us back to the fact that 'Love is not a victory march' ( whatever the author meant by these words ), so, since 'Love' is not a conquest, something to strive for, 'what IS it?! 

Love is Who we are! We do not need to tell someone that we love them, though it's nice to hear the words, to show someone that we love them, or rather, have feelings for them: all we have to do is 'let it be'. We only have to Be, not who we, as human beings, THINK we are, but Who we, as Spirit-beings, KNOW we are! Realizing this is easier said than done, I most readily acknowledge, what with cultural indoctrination & all; in order for our True Nature to shine through, we must drop the masks society has told us we MUST wear ( in order to be acceptable ). We must acknowledge, first & foremost to ourselves, for this is where True Love begins, that We are NOT what Cultured Society says We are! We are Who we Are, not because we feel like it, not because we've become that, or attained it, but because that is our very nature!

As human beings, to be perfectly honest, we DO feel the impetus to both love & be loved in return, but this is where get into 'Vibrations' & 'Frequencies': again, perhaps another subject for another day! For today, though, though we may hear both our biological clock ticking & feel the 'need' for that human touch, these sensations are felt simply by this biological machine ( wondrous as it is ); our True Selves want for ( need ) nothing: We are complete!

'What is Love? WE are Love! Not in our humanity, though we most certainly make it manifest through our  sensual bodies, but in our Heart of Hearts, Our True Nature, we are the Love that we so desperately seek, as human beings! Do we need to manifest this Love in our humanity, in order to BE Love? No, we must DO nothing in order to BE Who we are; unfortunately, not knowing who they really are, many have chosen to manifest Fear & Hatred. Realizing though, Who we really & just BEing, instead of feeling driven to DO, that we must be conquistadors, We cannot help but manifest our True Selves. This is Love, not that we have emotional feelings for others, but that we accept ourselves for Who we really are, that we first love ourselves!

Namaste & Blessed Be!

Charles Haddon Shank

Friday, September 18, 2020

Intentional Magick

'Abracadabra'

'Bippity, boppity, boo'

'Double bubble, toil & trouble'

There can be no doubt that words have power, but do words like those listed above actually have the power to change reality? 'First off', one might well ask, 'what IS Reality?' What determines if something is real or just a figment of our imagination? Do WE determine what is 'real', or is there an Absolute?! Can we alter Reality ( not just ours ) by uttering Words of Power like those above? These questions, as well as others like them, may seem frivolous, inconsequential, or even silly & stupid to some, but to others, they give pause to consider, at the very least. Reality, to most, IS Absolute! 'It is what it is' comes to mind. In this application, though, it should be understood to refer more to the choices of those around us, than to a deterministic, fatalistic type of view. It is true that, as far as our senses are concerned, inanimate objects, such as a block of wood or a stone ( boulder? ), are part of that Reality. It should be noted too, that, again, physically ( biologically ) speaking, we are a part of that Reality, as well. However, the Reality to which I'm referring here is an ever-changing one. While everyone may seem to be subject to the same Reality, in truth, everyone has their own Reality. determined by the choices we make as individuals. IE, because of personal choices, to whatever extent, one person's Reality may seem more hellish, while on the other hand, another feels they're walking on 'Cloud Nine'. Both Realities are very real, or at least, so it seems, but the perception is different!

Magick, as opposed to Magic, is Reality itself! The latter is an Illusion, mere ( however convincing ) parlor tricks, sleight-of-hand, while the other happens on a daily basis. Magick has been given a bad name over the years, with its practitioners operating under a cloud of stigma. Television, for the most part, hasn't helped in this arena, often portraying witches as evil & while that stigma may have lessened somewhat in general over the years, the magick practiced by witches is portrayed as almost supernatural ability. In fact, for the most part, these portrayals are noticeably ignorant of truth, being presented simply as 'magic'. Magick can be likened, perhaps, to what most call 'miracles'. This might warrant a post of its own ( maybe even a blog ), but Miracles, while they often seem supernatural, not unlike Magick, are an everyday occurrence as well. The birth of a child, for instance. From conception to its emergence into this cold, cruel world, the growth of the child, not to mention its very existence, is nothing short of miraculous. Planting a seed in the ground & watching it grow to fruition is a very similar process & hardly any less of a Miracle. Both of these, while many attribute the Miracle to 'God' ( or Whoever ), the Truth is that they are simply everyday occurrences & completely natural, biologically speaking.

Intention, unconscious or not, is what motivates us, humanly speaking. One example from my own experience is that when someone did us a perceived wrong & ended up hurting us either physically or emotionally, after being made aware of what they did, their response would be something along the lines of, 'I never meant to hurt you'. "Well, you didn't mean not to, did you?', was usually my sharp ( hurt ) retort! The point is, our intentions are manifested in our actions. When it comes to emotional harm, of course, it becomes difficult to discern between harm which we actually cause & that which is simply that person's perception. When we intentionally ( consciously ) practice doing what we know is good, just & true, we are, in essence, doing Magick!

Doing Magick can include ( depending on your chosen religion, or way of life ) the use of certain words, such as those above, or phrases, even chants or prayers. However, to practice Magick, one doesn't need to cast spells, perform certain rites, or utter incantations. One needs only to have the intention to do a certain thing & it will be done, if one's intentions are true. In the same vein, one's intentions may be true, but if what they intend is NOT good, just & true, that one may be perceived as practicing 'Black Magick'! 'Black Magick' is usually attributed to Satanic activity or devil-worship, involving dark incantations, or even the summoning of evil spirits & calling on the 'Dark Lord' himself!

While intentions are not always good ( ? ), our intentions lead us. Speaking of Magick, contrary to popular opinion, simply by intending to sprout literal wings & fly, one cannot thusly defy the laws of gravity ( ? ). It could be rightly said, however, that Orville & Wilbur Wright did just that, metaphorically speaking! Following their intentions to the end, the brothers figured out how to sustain flight & now, thanks to the same technology, even space travel has become almost matter-of-fact. Intentions help us to accomplish what might seem impossible to the casual observer. Call them Miracles, call it Magick, everything begins with our Intentions, whether it's a new life ( human ), or the Miracle of Flight!

There is a common thread, so to speak, running through both Magick & its illusory pretender; both are possible through Intentions. a mere magician ( parlor tricks, etc ) intends to fool his audience into thinking he ( or she ) has sawn a person in half, while still preserving their life, or just simply guessing ( correctly ) the card they chose. Magick, on the other hand, is a bit more mundane ( ? ), simply being the result of one's intentions for good. As we saw, simply by intending to 'sprout wings & fly', one cannot defy the Laws of Nature ( ? ), for example, but with the right intentions, plus plenty of blood, sweat & tears, one can indeed take flight into worlds unknown!

Reality, in the Greatest Sense, IS what you make it!

Namaste' & Blessed Be,

Charles Haddon Shank

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Beyond Dreams

Whether we realize it or not, when our body rests, we enter into the realm of dreams. Some people keep a dream journal by our respective beds so that when we return from that ( realm ) to this physical ( material ) realm, we can jot down what we remember from our sojourn there. There is no question that when we go to sleep, we enter another realm, not physically speaking, of course, but mentally, spiritually. Even if we aren't aware of our time in this realm, we all enter this state of consciousness! Some people enter this state during what are normally called 'waking hours'. Though these may seem to be somewhat different than our 'sleeping dreams', they're really not; dreams are dreams, whether we're awake or not, whether we're aware or not! The question is, 'what ARE dreams?' Are they reality, or are they merely our unconscious 'mind' manifesting our hopes or fears? Some have learned to pay attention to these dreams, as they believe, or 'know', rather, that these dreams are messages from their Higher Selves, warning them of what may happen if they continue the course they're on, or in other words, by making certain choices.

Dreams are funny things. 'As above, so below'; they can include anything from pleasant ones, like what are often called 'wet dreams' to premonitions of what we subconsciously ( or consciously ) fear may be looming on the horizon. Dreams can also take the form of nightmares, again, usually involving fear, with either scenes of things we hold remorse over, such as killing in war-time, or again, premonitions that our actions will have terrifying consequences! These should not, however, be feared, as they are messages from Beyond, whether powered by our conscious or unconscious 'mind'. The Mind is a powerful thing!! It is also something to be aware of; It can be deceitful! We create our own 'reality', our own 'truth', through it. Here's where we come face to face with the Ego. As we've noted previously, the Ego is neither good nor bad; It, like the Mind, just IS. It is when we allow them to control our lives that we get into trouble. Don't get me wrong, both the Mind & Ego CAN be put to good use. In this thing we call 'Life', one usually won't get far without a good, strong Mind; the Ego also helps keep us afloat in the busyness of the 'day-to-day', especially in this 'dog-eat-dog' world!

The question, at this juncture, is ( or should be ) 'what IS 'Life'?' If Life is simply ( ? ) the 'busyness of the 'day-to-day' in this 'dog-eat-dog' world', then maybe we should all just go Home! Is stepping on the backs of the down-trodden so that we, personally speaking, can get ahead really living, or is it just surviving? "Survival of the fittest' may not be as popular a phrase as it used to be, but it sure has manifested well ( ? ) over the ages! For all intents & purposes, one might well call this physical experience 'Life', but is that all there is to It?! We live & die, then we come back to Life to do it all over again ( hopefully with better results )? Now, the question that REALLY needs answering is, 'who ARE we?'

Knowing Who & What we are is of utmost importance! So 'people have 'survived' without truly knowing themselves for ages', one might object. That's true; they 'survived', only to 'die' & begin the cycle all over again ( some people are just slow learners ). To truly live, one MUST develop an understanding of Who & What they really are! It's been said before ( many times ) that we are spirits having a physical experience. Whether one believes this or not, 'it is what it is'; while believing ( knowing ) this will make the biggest difference in how we live our lives on this earth, it IS possible, through our choices ( powered by 'free-will' ) to do More than to just survive this experience. To truly LIVE, though, one must, to some extent at least, know themselves for Who & What they truly are. Not that this is an easy proposition. It IS, however, a simple one.  

Simple meditation, if we can but quiet our Minds & Egos, can do wonders for our soul, like 'Chicken Soup', one might say! Meditation is not 'the end-all', of course; it's simply a means to an end. The goal of meditation is More than just quieting the Mind, though that IS necessary; it is THROUGH quieting the Mind that One begins to realize that the Mind isn't all It's cracked up to be! 'As above, so below'; it is 'good', in this day & age especially, to have a Mind that is not easily swayed by outside influence, by 'others', so to speak, but in order to 'see' past the rigamarole of this thing we call 'Life, One must first stall the Mind, bypassing the Ego, to find the 'Us' that NEVER changes!

As a human being myself, personally speaking, I can surely understand that, with the busyness of 'Life & our hectic 'day-to-day', it is difficult, some might even say 'damn near impossible' to find the time to meditate! As they say, though, we must MAKE time!`If we can't take the time to get to know the Real Us, all we'll ever do is survive; we'll dig a rut so deep that our Mind will convince us that there's no way out. The Ego, on the other hand, will try to convince us that we're better than that, so there will be continuous warfare between these two, until we realize we are More than both of them!

Our dreams would tell us much, if we'd only listen! I should clarify; some dreams get pretty crazy, at least mine do. Crazy as it may sound, we, our Higher Selves, are telling us something important through those crazy dreams, something Beyond! Even though they may seem, especially at the time, to be rather inconsequential, even silly, there is a deeper meaning to them. If only we could easily decipher them & move Beyond, but alas, for the most part, our dreams, sleeping or waking, are relatively difficult to figure out. Some are fairly simple & vivid ( lucid? ), such as premonitory dreams, but even those usually have a deeper meaning attached. As the case may be; I wish you, my readers, the best of luck as you Journey Beyond your Dreams!

Namaste' & Blessed Be, 

Charles Haddon Shank

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The Core

'Yes, Virginia, there IS an Afterlife!' Okay, so maybe not in the sense that most think of it, but then, everybody has their own unique perception, right?! One person's idea of an 'Afterlife' could be sitting on 'Cloud 9', playing on harps for Eternity ( a bit of a cliche' ), while another's could be a simple as playing 18 holes every day. The term 'Afterlife', especially for the Christian & certain other religious folks, is usually more-or-less synonymous with 'Heaven'. Some believe that, at the End of Time, the Earth will become 'Heaven', while others believe it is either so now, or at least underway. Whatever the case may be, in the view of this blogger; call it 'Heaven', 'the Afterlife', 'Summerland', or what you will, It, whatever It is, is simply a sort of spiritual 'waiting room', a dimension, if you will, where souls/spirits go when they are separated from their physical hosts, or 'avatars', until such 'time' when they reincarnate. Yes, that's a hard pill to swallow, but that is MY personal view & it resonates with my Spirit!

Having just read 'Proof of Heaven' by a neurological doctor ( surgeon, no less ), I can't help but perceive how his experience ( NDE ) was influenced, to whatever extent, by his chosen religion. No, I'm not saying that it was all in his head, nor am I discounting the reality of his, or any other NDE, just that, as he even states several times in his book, in other words, once 'encumbered' ( limited? ) by his physicality ( brain ) again, he found it well-nigh impossible to accurately portray what he experienced. Neither am I saying that ALL of what he portrayed was 'colored' by his religion; there is no doubt in my mind that 'he' experienced what he did, for there IS consciousness apart from our physicality, or humanity. All I'm saying here, is that while much of what he wrote, again, 'resonates with my Spirit', in the telling of his story, the good doctor showed his religious colors, for what that's worth!

'As above, so below'. Besides being chock-full, in its simplicity & complexity ( kinda like, 'it is what it is' ), this statement implies strongly, among other things, that the state of our Higher Being has a direct correlation to that of our Lower Being. Now, I realize too, that this statement itself implies 'separation', but this cannot really be helped, at least, not on  this 'plane', since sadly, many don't acknowledge that they have a Higher & Lower Self!

As we then, humanly speaking, contemplate our own mortality ( whatever our chosen belief system ), it is comforting, to whatever degree, to think that there IS life after death; in other words, that after our biological clock stops ticking, that somehow or other, we will live again, whether it's in another 'form', or in Christian terminology, as a glorified ( ?) human being, inhabiting 'a new heavens & a new earth' in the selfsame ( though 'glorified' ) body. A pleasant dream, no doubt, but a dream nonetheless!

At the very 'core' of our being, we are spirits having a physical experience. You've probably heard something like this before, but it bears repeating. If indeed it is otherwise & we are simply 'Higher Animals' ( on the evolutionary chain ), then why SHOULD we worry about trying to 'do better next time' or waste our time trying to make the world a better place? For that matter, why not just live our lives however the hell we want, since we are 'just' animals & this is all there is?! Thankfully, we are More than 'just' animals: though we have an animalistic nature, we also have a Higher Nature, One that, because of Its interconnectedness with the Divine, allows us to see & therefore live for More!

Dr. Alexander called this 'dimension' in which he experienced the Presence of Divinity 'the Core'. This, in my opinion, is a very fitting name for what most call 'Heaven', for it implies that we are 'Heaven'! Being brought up 'in the nurture & admonition of the Lord', so to speak, I learned, in time, that the Holy Spirit ( ' God' ) lives in our hearts. Now, if that's not 'Heaven', I don't know what is! If you've read any of my posts over the last 10 years ( give or take ) you're probably familiar with the phrase, 'Heaven' is in our hearts'. This is not to say, again, that the doctors 'vision' was all in his head, so to speak, for as he explained in his book; his brain ( at least the necessary cognitive part ) was not functioning at the time. Dr. Alexander DID experience an NDE; for all ( or at least most ) intents & purposes, he was physically ( clinically? ) dead! But, just like Lazarus in the biblical story, his spirit returned to his body & he awoke with New Purpose.

What then, does 'the Afterlife' look like? IS it a waiting room for the Eternal Cycle of, in Christian terms, 'Birth, Death & Resurrection', or in another, 'reincarnation'? Is it simply a place of Eternal Rest where we sing the praises of our Lord & Savior all day long? A 'place' we go to after we die? Of course, WE don't really die, do we?! This biological machine ( some call it our 'avatar' ) will eventually wind down & become wormfood, but who we really are, at the Core of our Being, will never die!

Namaste' & Blessed Be,

Charles Haddon Shank

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Perish the Thought

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:8 ( KJV )

'Think before you speak!' When dealing with the Person, especially the Other Person, this is usually a good idea. Or at least, so it would seem! Usually, in the course of any given day, at least once, we will find ourselves regretting something we've said or done without thinking it through. 'As above, so below'; thinking things through before you speak sounds good enough, but (at least ) two 'problems' should be noted here; one, even if it's not 'appropriate' ( ? ), by not saying how we really feel, we're being dishonest, not only with the 'Other', but with ourselves! Secondly, we have a tendency to over-think any given situation; so often, for much the same reason ( 'it's not appropriate' ), we end up doing or saying what we shouldn't. Either that, or we remain silent & inactive.

The verse above, again, personally speaking, sounds like great advice, right?! If we kept our minds 'on things above', so to speak, rather than 'things on the earth', to follow further instruction from the Christian bible, we would do well, we're told. But, therein lies much of the problem; because we as humans believe in duality, we see things in black & white. This is beautiful, that is not, etc. This is worthy ( we are worthy ), that is not ( they are not ). Don't get me wrong; I'm by no means saying there's no such thing as 'just desserts'  ( call it 'Karma' ), just that with a dualistic mindset comes 'separation'. 'But, there should be separation', some would argue, basing this on passages from the Christian bible, like II Corinthians 6:17. This is probably another matter for another day, but suffice it to say that this passage, indeed most if not all passages like it in the Christian bible are referring to a different people in a land & time far, far removed from our current situation.

Most famously, it was Rene' Descartes who said, 'I think, therefore I am'. If we've learned anything in the pages of this blog, it's that it not only sounds ass-backwards, it's just plain wrong! Thinking is not a result of who we are & it definitely doesn't make us who we are! The overwhelming majority of people in this world seem to think that we are merely human beings with rational minds & the ability ( unlike other animals? ) to think things through before we do or say something we might later regret. This is where Fear enters the picture, but again, 'another matter for another day', perhaps. This is not to say of course, that we needn't exercise care, watching our words, so to speak, but too often, our fear of what others might think prevents us from speaking our mind. Not altogether a bad thing maybe.............................

Getting back to Descartes' statement above, putting the cart before the horse ( ? ), so to speak, although it is more like, 'we ARE, therefore, we think', really, in all actuality, it is ( only ) in our capacity as human beings that we do think. As 'monads', or individual minds, in the Hyperian way of thinking, our thought processes do, in that sense, stem from the fact that we are More than our humanity, our 'avatars', in a manner of speaking. As just a bit of a side-note here; whether you take Morgue's word for it or not, he does make some sense; convoluted as it may be, the idea of 'the One & the Many' is not unique to him. Being unique ( individual ) souls, in a manner of speaking, we are possessed of our own thoughts; in other words, we, in our humanity, do not ( necessarily ) have a 'hive mentality'; we think differently, however similar or dissimilar, than any other human being. No one person out there thinks entirely the same as another.

Not to get too biblical, but the apostle Paul, in I Corinthians 2:16, talks about us, in our humanity ( ? ) having 'the mind of Christ'. As accurate or inaccurate as this translation may be, you can be sure that what the writer speaks of here is not a mind that only thinks pure thoughts, as one would expect of 'the mind of Christ'. No, what the author refers to here is the Oneness with the Source that the above-mentioned 'Morgue' also speaks of. As individual minds, or 'monads', we DO think our own thoughts, separate from the One Mind, or 'the Source'.  However, we may choose, as an integral part of the Source, the Collective Mind, one might note, to simply observe ( without judgement ) those unique, individual thoughts, allowing them to pass freely through our mind.

While we may be, as some have said, 'of like mind', we do not, 'as above, so below', think exactly the same thoughts as any other human being ( even 'monad' ). Although we may be fairly 'like-minded', we will never think the same thoughts as another individual. For example, we may be thinking the same thing, as sometimes happens, but everyone has their own unique 'spin' on it, whatever 'it' may be. On the other hand, we should well note, just because one has 'the mind of Christ', it is not to say that impure or 'unholy' thoughts never enter his or her ( individual ) mind!

Because we are who & what we are, call it 'monadic individuals' or what you will, we DO have thoughts unique to us, as individual human beings; there is no avoiding that, nor should we wish to. I realize that, in some traditions, 'thoughtlessness' is highly spoken of, but it is not that we need to avoid thinking, though sometimes we tend to overthink any given situation, it's that, rather than allowing our thoughts to rule us, to the point where we begin to identify with our thoughts ( for example, 'I'm thinking about this, so I must be a..............' ), we simply observe our thoughts, as one separate, yet not separate from the Source, call it 'the mind of Christ', or what you will.

'Speaking your mind' is not entirely a 'good' thing, nor is it necessarily a 'bad' thing. When one doesn't speak his or her mind, whether out of Fear or what, not only are they being dishonest with the other; they are also cutting themselves short. There is such a thing as 'tact', though; I'm not saying that we shouldn't choose our words ( timing ) carefully, just that we should always be true to ourselves. 'As above, so below'; it is when we identify with our thoughts ( 'I am this', 'I am that' ) that we run into trouble. For most people, it IS easier said than done, not to act ( 'right' or 'wrong' ) on our thoughts, but for those few who manage to disassociate themselves from their thoughts & simply observe them without judgement, like passing clouds above, the result is that we are not spurred to action by our thoughts, but by our Will.

The Will does not stand in opposition to the Ego, as some might suppose, for they stem from two very different sources! The Ego, as we've noted, is attached to our human, or animal nature. In fact of the matter, it is an integral part of our avatar. The Will, on the other hand, gets its strength from a Higher Source, stemming from & rooted in our true nature, as spirit beings having a physical experience. I should clarify; though it often seems that the Ego does oppose the Will & sometimes the Will must oppose the Ego, the Ego, as some also suppose ( we've been here before ) is not necessarily 'evil'. The problem 'crops up' when we allow It to overrule our Will.The Ego enables us, in our human nature, to operate in this physical realm; through It we exercise what we humanly call 'free-will', which, though attended by the Will, is not the same. But, I digress.................

There is nothing 'wrong' with thinking! Sometimes, even the darkest thoughts occur to us, troubling or else relieving our minds. We think, though, whether because of societal ( cultural ) conditioning, or what, that such thoughts are 'bad', or 'evil', but they are simply there. Again, 'it is what it is'. If we just observe those thoughts, allowing them to simply & smoothly pass through our mind, 'no problem': it is when we attach ourselves to these thoughts, allowing them to determine our course of action that we run into problems!

To end on a positive note, do not, as some seem to preach, try to change your way of thinking; 'you think just fine!' Your thoughts are NOT the problem; the free exercise ( I'm NOT referring to 'free-will', here ) of your Will is the problem. Learn to differentiate between your Will, which comes from the Spirit Within & your 'free-will', which originates with the Ego; again, NOT a 'bad' thing. Once we learn to differentiate between these two distinct points, we will be more easily able to simply observe our thoughts, without judgement, as they pass freely through our minds. Without the attachment to our thoughts, which belong to our humanity ( again, NOT 'wrong' or 'evil' ), we instead rely on our Higher Nature to determine our course of action, which is ALWAYS a 'good' thing!

Namaste' &  Blessed Be,
Charles Haddon Shank