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