Coffee Commentary #1 Orwellian Nightmare or American Dream?

Coffee Commentary #1 Orwellian Nightmare or American Dream?

cuppa

Why do people all say they want to see change in the world around them?

So they don’t have to change themselves.

http://mixlr.com/darryl-thomas/showreel/orwellian-nightmare-or-american-dream-4/

Law of Attraction, Part 19: Conclusion – Attraction or Stimulation?

stimulation or attraction

We come to the conclusion of our survey of the history of the spirituality – based idea called, the Law of Attraction. It has taken us many centuries to observe and follow its stages of development and form within the various eras, cultures and perspectives from many important figures from ancient times to the present day. We have learned how the Law of Attraction is explained as a magnetic force where ‘like attracts like’ is theorized  as a metaphysical law. The idea behind the Law of Attraction is to mentally draw to yourself prosperity and wealth, since that is what God apparently wants you to do. Prosperity and good health is considered a sign of one’s self-realization and spiritual growth (an idea promoted within the New Thought movement beginning in the late 1880s) . Manifesting a positive outcome for yourself through using the power of your mind, feelings and emotions is the secret to make all your dreams come true.

Prosperity Consciousness, is particularly as it has been marketed in America, has long been an interest of people looking for tangible ways to succeed in their lives. Books by Napoleon Hill, especially, “Think and Grow Rich” and Wallace Wattle’sThe Science of Getting Rich” has sold millions of copies. These books promote the power of Positive Thinking, faith and affirmations as key components for becoming a success in life, and are still amazingly popular. “The Science of Getting Rich” was first published in 1910, and has remained in print to this day. Positive thinking techniques, will power, creative visualization and the mental science approach to health was applied by Wattle to give readers the key into attracting wealth.

William Walker Anderson was a prolific New Thought author and editor and is credited with coining the term the “Law of Attraction.’ He writes in his book, Thought Vibration or the Law of Attraction in the Thought World“:

“We speak learnedly of the Law of Gravitation, but ignore that equally wonderful manifestation, THE LAW OF ATTRACTION IN THE THOUGHT WORLD. We are familiar with that wonderful manifestation of Law which draws and holds together the atoms of which matter is composed – we recognize the power of the law that attracts bodies to the earth, that holds the circling worlds in their places, but we close our eyes to the mighty law that draws to us the things we desire or fear, that makes or mars our lives.

The primary equation that the Law of Attraction rests upon is the metaphysical claim that thought equals energy. This is an ancient philosophical and spiritual formula based on the assertion that the manifested universe has been created through an ineffable cosmic consciousness or “divine mind.” In his book, Atkinson lays it out this way:

When we come to see that Thought is a force – a manifestation of energy – having a magnet-like power of attraction, we will begin to understand the why and wherefore of many things that have heretofore seemed dark to us. There is no study that will so well repay the student for his time and trouble as the study of the workings of this mighty law of the world of Thought – the Law of Attraction.

Could this be true? On what verifiable foundation is this claim by Atkinson resting upon? Are there any other possible explanations why the Law of Attraction should be considered more than a pseudoscientific theory?

For Bernard Poolman, there is another explanation that seems far more plausible. Poolman was a noted businessman, author and spiritual practitioner who said he had worked with his own spirit guides and mentors before questioning the entire framework and effectiveness of the spiritual activities he once engaged in. After decades of investigation, he offered this conclusion which I share here:

So, existence exists as One Word. This is the Revelation that will be proven that existence exists. Within common sense you can work it out now – that existence exists as One Word: Stimulation.

Energy is never real, because Energy only exists when there is stimulation and the stimulation is always external and I mean if you or another person Stimulate the point and you Simulate it – that means you’re accepting it – you’re gonna have an experience, an elation in that relationship that elation is your Joy, your Love, everything. Love by itself doesn’t exist! It requires stimulation – that’s why no-one can actually stand for Life, because you want Life to be ‘unconditional’. Why do you want it unconditional? So that you can have Choice. So that you can have the choice? to be stimulated the way you want to. Bugger everyone else! It doesn’t matter what’s happening to them, they have the same power. They have Choice! They have Chosen to be Here – the fact that they’re in a country where there is no food – has got nothing to do with me! I mean, they can, they must plant something, I mean, they must not starve. I’m quite happy this side, I’m Stimulated! I know they’re not stimulated, but that’s not my problem! While I’m stimulated, I am not even aware of their existence – which is so wonderful! Please, stimulate me, then I don’t have to worry about anyone else! Just keep me stimulated!

But what about the all of these religious, philosophical and spiritual masters who claim that the Law of Attraction is a real, objective, magnetizing force operating in existence?

 They will not explain to you how reality practically works or why it doesn’t work. They will stimulate you to have an experience and tell you to not worry about reality. Christianity is doing that, the Muslims are doing that, the Hindus, every Religion are doing one thing: that is stimulating you not to care about what is going on in Reality, and it’s Stimulating you to worry about what happens to you AFTER you are DEAD. 

The Masters did the same. Did they really Master anything? There is not a Master in existence that’s mastered anything. The Masters mastered the way to stimulate their followers effectively to become mentally incapable of realising what is Here. Incapable of making any movement to actually care for Earth. That’s why we’ve created a Consumerism System.

In Spite of all the Great Masters that’s ever been on Earth – what have we done? We have not moved, we have not evolved. What is evolution at this stage? Evolution depends on Stimulation. Stimulated on how to become ‘more’. “I’m evolving! I am more Intelligent!’

Have a look – take your stimulation away, what happens to you? You’ll find you go into a depression, you go into a boredom, and you’re unable to get out unless you stimulate yourself – which is what? You’re experiencing the system dying because it’s not being stimulated. That’s what you’re experiencing when you’re in a depression and when you’re in a form of boredom – you’re experiencing the absence of stimulation!

And then you start searching and suddenly the next moment you “meet someone.” The ONE that can stimulate you. And immediately your whole body is on fire = “I’m stimulated. Please stimulate me – I don’t mind! I’ll exist as long I’m being stimulated.

That is the whole point where everyone is existing. Because what do you want? You want to be stimulated. “Give me enough stimulation and I will exist, I’m satisfied. As long as that stimulation is to my approval, the way I like it,  I’ll be Happy.

Let it not be the way I like it, and I want to discard it – I’m not Stimulated by this.” I mean, this is just not acceptable. “I want to be stimulated like THIS! I have CHOICE! I can CHOOSE how I want to be stimulated. This is the way I want to be stimulated. And that’s all I’ll accept.”

You will not move unless you’re stimulated. Which means stimulation is your God. Whosoever stimulates you, controls you.[1]

Money is what? Stimulation.

Without stimulation you will not move. Motivation is really just a nice word for stimulation.

So what is the Law of Attraction, really? 

It’s the Law of Stimulation. Everybody now gets together and stimulate each other to Focus on the Positive! So now, the positive cannot exist without the negative, you automatically stimulate the negative. Which is perfectly fitting into the End Times – which is the perfection of the whole point of being stimulated according to a particular book and a particular prophecy so that it can become true. Why was it written? To make sure you create it!

Therefore you are Stimulating the End of Existence through what? Stimulating the Law of Attraction. How do you do it? By creating the Absolute Positive Polarity and holding it in place – no matter what! So that the Absolute Negative Polarity can Manifest, because you are Stimulating both! They cannot exist Separate from each other.

Light and Darkness exists together.

Positive and Negative exist together. Because the very moment something moves through stimulation, both Positive and Negative exist. Positive and Negative requires Stimulation to exist. Without Stimulation neither positive or negative exist. Now within the Law of Attraction, we are stimulating the Positive and the Negative, and we say “Law of Attraction.” “Let’s think Positive!” –   which is, “Let’s Stimulate the Positive.”

So now we Stimulate Positive, Stimulate Positive, Stimulate Positive – I mean, you have to do it, and do it, and do it, and that it takes all of your attention, all your stimulation. stimulating it, stimulating it, stimulating – but what are you actually creating? You’re creating the stimulation which you use up  – while in waiting is the negative, waiting to be activated once the stimulation crashes, once the stimulation can no longer stand. And what manifests the negative? BAM! In one singular moment – we call it = ‘an Act of God!’ – because in a single moment, God wiped out existence. But you’ve stimulated it to be a single moment. While positive stimulation took you a long time – it was not instantaneous – it took a long time – you built up the negative to manifest itself in a single moment.

So, existence in a single moment will change through the negative, because that’s how it has been created. Which is why a market crash for instance, is something that happens fast, while a positive market is something that builds very slow. The positive is always very slow, because no one understands the Principle of Stimulation.

If this sounds like a hard teaching, it is. Bernard Poolman liked to say he was not a “guru,” but “here to bring Uhuru!” What should those of us who bought into the whole program of believing in the Law of Attraction do? How do we move beyond past our present understanding that the law of stimulation is in fact the operating princile within human consciousness under the guise of “attraction.”

Forgive all the stimulations, because the stimulations are your addictions. They are based in geometrical patterns. The Sacred Geometry! I mean, isn’t it beautiful? If we can paint a beautiful picture about Sacred Geometry so that we can justify our stimulations which is our addictions to specific stimulations that makes us “special.”

Test the shit out for yourself and stimulate it yourself to see how it works. Then find out whether you’re justified in stimulating something for your pleasure without making sure that this part of Existence that is there as you as another being – who is actually understanding what the fuck they’re doing, and what they get themselves in for and that it is possible to exist without stimulation.

We’ve existed only through stimulation.

We have not existed as Life in fact.

Life is Here. Life does not require stimulation, Life doesn’t have a Beginning or an End. Life has been stimulated into illusions and being abused as these illusion called ‘Man’ and  ‘Nature’. Everything that exists as a system is an illusion! Because the system is not aware of itself and how it functions. It is not aware how it is stimulated to get a result. You are not aware of all the points that stimulate you – have a look. You are living according to those points of Stimulation in your life that you like.

Everything in your Life exists as One Word. Who you are, is who you are right now because of how you’ve been stimulated to be. Everything you believe, every religion and every book you read is a point of stimulation. Every philosophy that exists is a point of simulation. The totality of Science is an observation of stimulation. Science is nothing extraordinary! It is people that are stimulated to watch stimulation – and according to that, they write down within their own observation of stimulation. That we call, Science! Isn’t it wonderful? It’s Profound! We’ve worked out Reality!

I mean, it’s One Word: Stimulation.

Note

[1] One of the books housed at the famous Nag Hammadi Library, “On the Origin of the World,” there is given a curious Gnostic creation myth where Adam, the primordial man, has been created by “seven rulers” (the “Archons”) without a soul. They are not pleased with their creation because the creature is devoid of life and is unable to move itself, so they abandon the man. Yet it is through the divine intervention of the spiritual feminine principle symbolized by Sophia-Zoe (Gk. “Wisdom-Life”) animates Adam by “sending her breath to him,” after which Adam is able to attain consciousness and speak. The Archons are surprised to discover that Adam has been animated and are even more displeased. They decide to place Adam in Eden, content with the fact that the man is still unable to move… until Sophia’s daughter, Eve is dispatched by her mother to rescue Adam, who can only writhe helplessly along the ground. Eve speaks and commands Adam, “Adam come to life. Rise from the ground!” Adam immediately obeys and stands up and exclaims, “You shall be called the mother of the living. For you have given me life!” Here is a clue of a half-understood principle of the Law of Stimulation, where Adam is stimulated into action.

Special thanks to Maya Harel, Bella Bargilly and Anna Brix Thomsen for their assistance.

Law of Attraction, Part 18: The Laws of Manu in the 21st Century

yogananda
“I could show you that whatever your powerful mind believes very intensely would instantly come to pass.”
Yogananda 
Manu Smriti Agniveer
“If a woman should happen to merely to overhear recitations of Vedic mantras by chance, hot molten glass should be poured into her ears.”
– The Laws of Manu
It’s been a long ride in the history of the Law of Attraction, and we have noticed an interesting thing: namely, Hinduism’s role of providing the background and content of this New Age spirituality belief system. While the sacred knowledge of the ancient Vedic civilization furnished the dominating Brahmin priesthood with rules and prayers for sacrifice, magical incantations and the elaborate ritualism for the nature gods such as Agni and Indra of the old Vedic religion, it was the emergence of the Upanishads, the Shramanas and the Vedanta that gave us the doctrine of the divine cosmic principles of karma, dharma and moksha along with the powerful new gods Brahman, Vishnu, and Shiva.These religious tenets were further developed and articulated by spiritual leaders such as Sankara, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Aurobindo and many others who claimed that knowledge, yoga or devotion to the gods – were the paths to escape the illusion of the world and cycles of reincarnation.
With the Vedantic notions of the unity of the soul or Atman, being of the same substance – and thus equal to – the Supreme Brahman – is it not strange to see the obvious institutions of separation and inequality within modern Indian society? Does not Hinduism assure us of the cosmic unity of all things in existence? Then how do we explain this seeming disconnect occurring between Hinduism’s metaphysical unity and the institutionalized separation and inequality between the thousands of castes that is the reality of Indian culture?It might be instructive to turn to one of the principle Hindu sacred texts we have yet to talk about – the Manava Dharmasastra; or the Laws of Manu.
 

The Laws of Manu is claimed by orthodox Brahmins to be of divine origin that descended from Manu, the archetypal first man of Hindu mythology and like Noah, a survivor of the great flood. Manu as the father of the human race is later made Earth’s First King by Brahman. Essentially a compendium of ancient domestic, religious social customs and rites, the Laws of Manu was written and compiled by the Brahmin elite sometime around the first or second century BCE, though no doubt containing many traditions that are much, much  older, perhaps dating back to the period of the Vedic civilization 1500 years earlier. The Laws of Manu is a crucial link to ancient India’s past in the respect that it contains the legal template of the legitimization of the Varna/Caste social system as well as rules and regulations concerning various civil and criminal laws, rites, daily conduct, and basically all forms of right action that Manu laid down for humanity.Within the division of the Varna social classes, the Brahmins placed themselves at the top, the warriors and merchants classes underneath and at the bottom, the Shudras, the lowest caste of workers and beneath them, the Outcastes like the Untouchables and ‘Chandalas.’ They are to be content with “serving meekly” the higher castes without complaint, according to the Laws of Manu. Thus the Brahmins were able to institutionalize the acceptance of separation, inequality, servitude, domination and a metaphysical fear of “pollution” – which has defined the cultural traditions of India and Hinduism ever since. This fear of pollution is taken to the extreme, where a “twice-born” of the upper castes must avoid the shadow or even the appearance of an Untouchable. This preoccupation with pollution and it’s association with Hindu identity has locked in separation and unbelievable poverty and abuse which hundreds of millions of Indians are powerless to escape.For over 1500 years, the Shudras and the Outcastes (basically anyone not born a Hindu) have been considered less than human – and have been forced to exist for centuries within endless cycles of illiteracy, poverty and cruelty. As Hinduism failed to provide a sense of brotherhood and equality for all of India’s peoples, it took the Indian government to adopt the Prevention of Atrocities Act enacted in 1989 to specifically outlaw the parading of the Untouchables or “Dalits”, naked through the streets, or forcing them to eat feces, or to take away their land, or to pollute their water, or to interfere with their right to vote, or to having their homes burnt down.For the Shudras and the Outcastes, the Law of Attraction appears to be inoperable within their worldly life. According to the Laws of Manu, their only hope is to meekly accept their unforgiving fate, for they may move up to the next varna in their next life. Maybe.

 

The Dalits

20 percent of India’s population is composed of the Untouchables or Dalits. Anyone who is not born a Hindu is considered an Untouchable. Since no provision is made for the Shudra or Dalits to collect wealth thru their own efforts within the Laws of Manu, the Law of Attraction is only operable for the Brahmins and upper castes – with the Shudra’s acceptance of the enslavement and control by their masters.

Within the Laws of Manu, the Law of Attraction appears within the dynamic of a polarity, where one’s fulfilled desires must be connected to another’s unfulfilled desires. Indeed, this polarity can be seen within the Laws of Manu which justifies the removal of free will and economic security from the Shudra because “a Shudra who has acquired wealth gives pain to Brahmins.” Hinduism has comfortably conceived a unified principle of reality where everything exists on a cosmic level as “One,” but this oneness rings a bit hollow given the current reality of the Indian people today.

The World Bank estimates that 456 million Indians, nearly half of the total Indian population, now live under the global poverty line of $1.25 per day. Another study claimed that 77% of Indians, or 836 million people, lived on less than 50 cents per day. In other words, one out every third person stricken by poverty in the world, is an Indian, their innate divinity denied and ignored. Their fates and fortunes on earth determined by the Laws of Manu, based solely by their birth into a world which is considered to be an illusion. It is a convenient truth for the elites and upper varnas in India to consider the suffering of millions to be an illusion as well.

Perhaps it seems strange that Hinduism should be the birthplace of both the Laws of Manu and the Law of Attraction. As we have seen, the history of the Law of Attraction descended directly from the interplay of the Vedantic principles of the divinity and supremacy of consciousness and which were cross-pollinated by the occultism and spiritualism of the West, by the New Thought Movement, the Theosophists and the prosperity consciousness authors like Napoleon Hill, W.W. Atkinson and modern New Age figures like Wayne Dyer and Rhonda Byrne to explicitly form the Law of Attraction as we know it today.

However, what we have learned is that the Law of Attraction is inoperable for those not “free” enough to acquire what they desire. A person’s birth within the caste system fully determines their potential in one’s life. In fact, by exploiting the despised and neglected Shudra and Untouchables who have been used historically as the vehicles to fill the desires of the higher castes, the Laws of Manu and the Law of Attraction work together through the religious and cultural institutions of inequality and the suffering of hundreds of millions of Indians for the benefit of the Higher Castes. Thus the Law of Attraction operates ‘as the dynamic trajectory’ through the polarity between the ‘wealth and dominance’ of one and the ‘accepted enslavement and control’ of another, producing both the wealth and pollution the Hindu accepts as Maya.

What’s up with that?

 

Next: The Conclusion

 

Sources:

A Source Book in Indian Philosophy, edited by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Charles A. Moore, Princeton University Press, 1957

The Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda

The Philosophy of Hinduism, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches, vol. 3″, Government of Mahararasshtra, Bombay, 1987

India’s “Untouchables” Face Violence, Discrimination by Hillary Mayell, National Geographic News, June 2, 2003

Poverty in India.” Wikipedia contributors. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 9 Apr. 2010. Web. 9 Apr. 2010.

Caste: In India and Africa, by A. K. Ingutia © 1965 W.E.B. Du Bois Institute.

Law of Attraction, Part 13: The Pure Brahman of Consciousness

adi shankaracharya2

 

The legend begins with a Brahmin monk and his disciples making their way down to the Ganges River to perform their ceremonial ablutions, when they happen across a Chandala walking towards them on the road, leading a pack of four mangy dogs. A Chandala was an Untouchable, the despised class of people who didn’t belong to any recognized varna or caste. Their only allowed participation within Hindu society was to be maintainers the funeral burning grounds or other equally detestable work. When the Chandala refused, the Brahmin became indignant and he instructed the out-caste to stand aside, for a holy man of Brahmin birth could never permit himself to be polluted by even the shadow of such an offensive being. The Chandala stood his ground and demanded that the Brahmin explain himself.

The Chandala said, “You preach to others that the atman and the Brahman are the same, that all distinctions are barriers against the realization of that supreme truth. If there is one Absolute Brahman in all, then why do you accept caste and creed? You teach that there is only one Absolute Brahman in all things, yet you acknowledge differences between man and man. How can this be consistent with your teaching of Advaita ? To whom do you address? The body which is transient, or the soul which is eternal?” Admonished in this way, the monk realized his error and prostrated himself before the Chandala, proclaiming that anyone who could show him the truth, Brahmin or Untouchable, that one was his teacher.

The name of that Brahmin monk was Adi Śaṅkara, founder of Advaita Vedanta, and considered one of the greatest religious philosophers in Indian history. Those of us in the West may have never heard of Śaṅkara, but 1200 years ago, he established a religious movement that has lasted to this day. Śaṅkara achieved fame and notoriety for traveling on foot across the four corners of India to debate other monks and scholars and setting up monasteries to promulgate his teachings, before dying at the age of thirty-two.

The major tenet of Advaita is that of Universality – that “all is God, and God is all and everything is the manifestation of Brahman.” This absolute monism claims that only the Brahma, the ultimate reality, is the Only Reality. All forms are just manifestations of Brahman.

The world of differentiated objects, or the variety of forms, like a water drop and the ocean, are ultimately illusions; everything in existence are but the thoughts of Brahman . This Brahman was totally uninterested and absolutely removed from the happenings at the level of human beings.

However, Śaṅkara’s absolute monism ran into the same contradiction that the ancient Greek philosophers were pressed to resolve: how could an unchanging, unmovable, uninterested, undivided and utterly transcendent Universal Principle have any relation to the affairs of the world?

Śaṅkara solved this problem by stating that the Brahman was both wholly transcendent and pervaded all of existence. The being who achieves knowledge of the Brahman within his soul, or Atman, achieves liberation from the world, and becomes one with Brahman. The end result of this process is termed, the “Higher Self,” which is the pure self of consciousness, free from ignorance and impurity and liberated by its knowledge of its awareness that all distinctions are false.

According to Śaṅkara, The “lower self” is subject to ignorance and deception, which causes the being into believing that polarity and the differentiation of objects are real. The minds of those beings that are ignorant of Śaṅkara’s Brahman will only form a projection which stands as the personal god the devotees pray to and worship.

This projection is the “Lower Brahman” whom Śaṅkara called, Ishvara, who possesses human qualities such as Love and Justice. Although these projections of the human mind are broadcasted through ignorance, Śaṅkara claimed it was better to worship the projection than to worship nothing at all, because Isvara, even as a projection, is the closest thing to the Higher and pure Brahman of consciousness.

Critics have labeled Śaṅkara’s doctrine as moral skepticism, charging that it implies that one risks enslavement to rebirth and ignorance by following moral codes of dharma and caste – when the unrealized self-will be seduced by differences one sees in the world, while believing self-identification is real – when all of what is seen, is illusion. Śaṅkara claimed that while all things in existence are the mere thoughts of the Higher Brahman – the Higher Brahman Itself, is devoid of attributes, thus “qualities” like individuality and polarities like “good and evil” do not exist.

Yet, Śaṅkara was forced to recognize that apparently, the people always suffered the consequences of evil actions.

Śaṅkara employs the line of reasoning that Evil cannot be created by God because in the allowance of evil, God’s qualities of goodness would be negated, and God would be in truth open to the accusation of extreme cruelty “abhorred even by a villain.” Śaṅkara reasons that since the Higher Brahma has no qualities at all – He cannot be the author of evil. Thus evil is the ignorance that deceives the human mind, which is geared to self-interest and abuse against others in this world.

The seeming duality of “good and evil” and “light and dark” are relative only at a certain level of reality. Śaṅkara compared the Brahman’s position to the polarity of good and evil to that of the sun producing both day and night. The sun itself is not subject to day and night, but the world rotating on its axis produces the effect. It is the characteristics of the Earth and its relation to the sun and the ignorance of the observer that appears to cause day and night. The same design holds for the apparent distinction of good and evil.

Śaṅkara used the analogy of a magician to illustrate his point about Brahman ‘s relation to the illusion of ignorance. When the magician pulls off a magic trick through sleight-of-hand, the ignorant viewer is taken in by the magician’s creation of a perception, like pulling a live rabbit out of a hat. Those in the know are not fooled, because they have knowledge that the magician has used an illusion, and they know how the illusion works. The magician, who stands as Brahman, is not confused by the illusion of the magic trick.

Anyone familiar with the workings of the Law of Attraction will recognize the role Brahman as pure consciousness plays. The idea with the Law of Attraction is to consciously draw to yourself prosperity and wealth, which is considered an indication of one’s self-realization and spiritual growth.

Śaṅkara’s Higher Brahman stands as the point of absolute Universal Consciousness, or Divine Mind, which pervades the essence and substance of existence, and is the conduit of the magnetic attraction that brings one’s desire to fruition. The concept was transformed in the West as the starting points of the new religious movements led by the writings of Helena Blavatsky, Alice Bailey and Rudolf Steiner, who were all instrumental in forging the design of the spirituality of modern Hindu and New Age philosophy.

 

Next: East Meets West: Ramakrishna and Vivekananda

 

Sources

The philosophy of Sankara’s Advaita Vedanta by Shyama Kumar Chattopadhyaya, 2000

Self-realization (Brahmaanubhava): the Advaitic perspective of Shankara by Vensus A. George, 2001

Parallels in the Philosophies of Madhyamika Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta Hinduism, and Kabbalah,”Ira Israel. March 26th 1999. Religious Studies 257

Hindu Philosophy by Shyam Ranganathan, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Isvara.” New World Encyclopedia. 23 Jun 2008, 23:44 UTC. 20 Jan 2010, 13:07

Shankara and Indian Philosophy” by Natalia Isaeva. State University of New York Press. 1993

The Philosophy of Religion and Advaita Vedanta” by Arvind Sharma, Penn State Press, 1995

Law of Attraction, Part 10: Tantric Yoga

durga

“Shakti is the creator of the Universe,
And the Universe is her fascinating body;
Shakti is the basis of the entire world;
She is the intimate substance of any body.”
– Shaktisangama Tantra

Tantra pertains to a group of religious and magical texts concerned with various techniques of attaining enlightenment in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, dating from the 6th to the 13th centuries. Tantra is largely concerned with the mantras, meditation, yoga, and rituals dedicated to the worship of the feminine principle of divine energy called, “Shakti.” We have previously shown that the Vedic gods were largely male personifications of nature and human virtues. We have also seen in that the objects of worship of the feminine goes back earlier than the Indus-Sarasvati Civilization into prehistoric times by Vedic and non-Vedic cultures. Some historians postulate that there were parallel currents of religious veneration of the male and female representations in different regions of India. Indeed, many apparent “Goddess” figurines have been located at the Harappan site causing some historians to believe that a pre-Vedic Mother Goddess cult may have existed in Neolithic India.

In any case, the Vedas do mention Aditi, the mother of the Gods, and goddess of the sky and earth, quite remarkable and unique for an ancient culture.

The name Shakti translates into ‘power’ or ‘energy,’ and is the personification of this feminine principle; worshipped as the Supreme Deity in Shaktism, one of the three primary denominations of Hinduism with the other two main denominations focusing on Shiva and Vishnu as their respective Head Deities. Tantra explains that the universe is the result of the “dance” of erotic energetic interaction between Shakti (divine creative power) and Shiva (divine consciousness). According to Shaktism, existence was created by Shakti and she is the energy that animates creation.

Kali, Durga and Parvati are three principle aspects of Shakti. Kali is often depicted as black, intimidating and aggressive, depicted as wearing a necklace of skulls while standing on the body of her husband, the god, Shiva. The Indian city of Calcutta derives its name from Kali, and in the temple dedicated to her, a continuous flow of blood is kept at the altars in appeasement to the goddess, or else it is feared that Kali will take her revenge on the people with pestilence, floods or natural disasters.

Durga is a more restrained aspect of the destroyer Kali, often depicted as a beautiful demon-slaying warrior with eight or ten arms, but still a terrifying symbol of feminine wrath, fearsomeness and unstoppable power, casually destroying demons the other gods feared.

Pavarti is the most benevolent and motherly aspect of Shakti. Pavarti, like the Vedic Aditi, is the mother of all the Gods and Goddesses. Her husband Shiva derives all his power from her.

Tantra is said to have been founded by Shiva during Kaliyuga, which in Hindu cosmology is the current, dark and lawless age -the age of vice and darkness – the last of four vast repeating ages, or “yugas.” The Vedas are regarded by the Tantrics as useless and no longer apply in this age of Kaliyuga, the Age of Kali. Thus, the Tantrics of the “Left Hand Path” say that their job is to make religion attractive to men, so liquor, meat, corn, fish and sex are permitted in certain mysterious rites. The “Right Hand Path” Tantrics prefer to perform their rituals symbolically.

Shakti cosmology relates that after Shakti created the human physical form, seven latent energetic-consciousness points were deposited within. These are termed the “chakras.” The tantric yoga masters discovered that the Kundalini, the latent energy that is believed to lie coiled at the base of the spine, contains vast, cosmic power within all human beings, and can be awakened and activated through various techniques, resulting in blissful unification with the divine, often depicted symbolically as the “awakened” and dancing Shiva; the Nataraja.

Activating the Kundalini is said to be the key in ultimately transcending the physical and uniting with the Divine. Rituals and meditative techniques based on sexuality were developed in service of attaining mystical experiences and enlightenment by identifying with the spiritual union between Shakti and Shiva. This is an interesting reversal of the renunciation of desire and sexual activity by the Vedic and post-Vedic sages. The historical and psychological conflict between human desire and reverence for spirituality is seen in sharp contrast in the competing philosophies between Shaktism and Vedism, between the annihilation of sexual desire and embracing sexuality in service to attaining the same goals: enlightenment and freedom from the wheel of rebirth.

However, tantra’s controversial tradition of using the energy generated through sexual ritualism as a short-cut to enlightenment, is considered by Hindu orthodoxy as reckless and dangerous. Kundalini is also carries a controversial history as well, with its creation of an energy flow through the chakras being seen by some as beneficial for breaking the bonds of the ego, and by others, as a waste of time.

In modern times, the Tantic ritual of orgasmic intercourse was appropriated by Western Occultists like Aleister Crowley, who appropriated the Left Hand Path tantric rituals to generate orgasmic sexual energy for magical purposes to achieve higher consciousness and power. Tantric traditionalists insist that non-orgasmic sexual continence was practiced by the yogi masters, claiming that control of ejaculation was prescribed by the tantric texts themselves. Otherwise, the goal of uniting with the divine is destroyed through orgasm.

Today, the use of Tantra has been transformed by the New Age and occultists in the West in lurid and sensational ways as “sacred” or “spiritual” sexuality. The goal isn’t so much achieving divine consciousness as it is achieving a mind-blowing orgasm. The fulfillment of “Sacred Sex” is marketed and sold as a commodity. The traditional tantrics deplore this appropriation, claiming that tantra has been distorted and polluted by Westerners who don’t understand nor appreciate their native religion.

So how does tantra relate to the Law of Attraction? Well, Napoleon Hill remarked in his book, “Think and Grow Rich,” that

“Sex desire is the most powerful of human desires. When driven by this desire, men develop keenness of imagination, courage, willpower, persistence, and creative ability unknown to them at other times … which may be used as powerful creative forces in literature, art, or in any other profession or calling.”

As we have said before, the Law of Attraction has a secret history of undergoing many transformations in different cultures and eras. The tantric aspect of the Law of Attraction appears again in Think and Grow Rich, where Napoleon Hill claims that sexual desire is the most powerful catalyst for human evolution in the arts, sciences and culture. There isn’t much literature regarding sex and the Law of Attraction specifically, only promises that one will attract a person within that “like attracts like” principle; if one uses intense, passionate focus, one receives their desires. The drive for self-empowerment through human sexuality, whether it is spiritual awakening through tantra, or achieving the ultimate “sacred” sexual pleasure, is ever with us.

 

Next: Vishnu the Preserver

 

Sources
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology, Leslie A. Shepard, Vol. 2

The Hindu-Yogi Science of Breath, by Yogi Ramacharaka

Tantra: sex, secrecy politics, and power in the study of religions, by Hugh B. Urban, University of California Press

Kama Kapla, The Hindu Ritual of Love, by P. Thomas, Taraporevala Sons & Co. LTD, 1960

Kama Shilpa, by Francis Leeson, Taraporevala Sonss & Co. LTD, 1962

Aditi.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 23 Dec 2009, 07:42 UTC. 9 Jan 2010 .

 

Law of Attraction, Part 8. Ancient Brahminism

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At some point during the beginning of the first millennium BCE, the descendants of the Aryans and the non-Vedic tribes abandoned their pastoral life in favor of developing and acquiring wealth and property. But with this new affluence, a new set of questions arose concerning the unfamiliar ways of living. How could the more asocial and selfish elements in a being be controlled? What happened after death? How was the world created? With these existential questions, the old social conventions began to be challenged. Vedic culture had grown and become more complex and advanced, rendering the ancient nature worship practices unsatisfying and hollow, and they were beginning to tire of the bloody sacrifices – and the Brahmin priests, as well. The Brahmin priests realized that something had to be done to keep the society, and their privileged place within it, stable.

 

A clue of what Vedic culture might have experienced within their existential terror can be found in the remarks of Sigmund Freud, who explained that man’s relationship with religion is based on a curious thing, the often – stimulating  fulfillment of desire. One could say the same about the Law of Attraction – which is said to magnetically manifest the fulfillment of one’s desire. What the Vedic people did not have was an object of their desires, something they could mentally focus upon –  that lived within them as the troubling questions that needed answered about the nature of reality, the purpose of life and who they really are.

 

We can only imagine what existential crisis the Vedic people went through. What they needed was a way to express the unspoken desires inside them that insisted there was more to life than just living and dying. What was missing was something to charge up and stimulate their feelings and imagination in order for people to generate energy for the “nourishment of the Gods.”

 

The Brahmins

 

The Brahmin priests gradually saw that they had a big problem on their hands, and we repeat: Vedic culture had progressed, becoming more complex and sophisticated, rendering the primitive nature worship unsatisfying and hollow.

 

The priest resorted to their mastery of vocabulary, symbolism and persuasion. The people had a duty to sacrifice, the priests explained, – for sacrifice nourishes and pleases the gods, and thus the gods will be thankful and return the favor. There was a morality component attached to this ritual: one would be a thief if one did not reciprocate this Divine Arrangement; the Law of Reciprocity. The priests instituted more than a few innovated wrinkles to persuade the people – as they insisted that there existed a cosmic order to things, and it was the Brahmins duty to give the people a code of conduct to stabilize the community.

 

Dharma was the idea that each person has a duty, moral code, and set of behaviors which are specific to one’s varna, or social class,

Karma, where one’s station in life is determined by actions of previous lives, and

Moksha, defined as the salvation from the rounds of rebirth.

 

We will talk about these things later, as these innovated systems of religious determinism gradually seeped into the religious practices over many centuries, but for now, we continue with how the Brahmins gave the people what they wanted: objects for their desires. The Brahmins found the answer by shifting the people’s  consciousness away from focusing on nature-worship to spiritual contemplation of a subjective metaphysical reality. They meditated, pondered and speculated about the workings of the universe. The result was the emergence of a new God: Prajapati, the Supreme Deity and the lord of creatures, who in one version of the story, sat alone in all of existence until he split himself into male and female, repeating the process until the world was filed with people and animals.

 

“O Prajapati, none other than thou encompasses all these creatures; for whatever object of desire we sacrifice to thee, let that be ours; may we be lords of riches.” (Rig Veda 10.121.10)

 

The priests also gave the people the Devas, who represented the forces of nature, virtues, and demons – who were responsible for all kinds of mischief. The priests claimed the ability to communicate with the supernatural world through the use of a hallucinogenic drink made from herbs called, soma. Soma was believed to be the drink of the Gods, and apparently, the use of soma allowed the Gods to communicate to the priests that they must prepare sacrifices for them. With the use of ancient Vedic prayers, mantras, sacrificial rites and the intoxicating soma, a magical technology was developed to manipulate the Gods and reality in favor of the supplicant.

 

Over time, Prajapati’s influence waned, and he became submerged within another innovation by the Priests: the discovery of the Brahman, the “power” held within the rituals, sacrifices and incantations. Within the development of the concept of the Brahman, the internal spiritual development of a being became more important, as Brahman was the single unifying principle that this existence emanated from. Brahman was Absolute joy and knowledge. The old Vedic gods like Agni and Indra were still recognized, but only as various manifestations of Brahman.

 

Around 900 BCE, the old Vedic texts were finally written down in Sanskrit along with new compositions and declared Divine. Armed with the authority of their spells, sacrificial rites, a holy, liturgical language and script of the Vedas at their beck and call, the Brahmins were regarded as powerful beings who could command the gods to bring about whatever they pleased. It wasn’t the Gods who brought rain and sunshine; it was the Priest who commanded the Gods to bring rain and sunshine. And since the priests claimed that they were the exclusive controllers of this “Brahman,” the Brahmins maintained their superior social status as an elite of sacred priests and powerful manipulators of the Gods and existence. Within this, the Brahmins had found a solution that gave the Vedic people a way to fulfill their desires and feel protected.

 

The Brahmins sought to legitimize the social order of varna and class that had existed since ancient Vedic times. Being the representatives of the Ultimate Reality placed the Brahmins, of course, at the top of the social order, and they cleverly manipulated the varna system by placing themselves and their lineage as the elite. The priests appealed to the ancient Vedic cosmology of “the Cosmic Man,” the Purusha[1]” who was sacrificed and dismembered, re-assembled and resurrected – with the Brahmins coming from his mouth, the Ksatriya, the warriors, coming from his shoulder, the Vaisya, the landowners from his belly and the landless peasants, the Sudras, the feet. Those who rejected or ignored these rulings were placed as the Untouchables, the outcasts.

 

It must be noted here that the priests of emergent Brahminism carried a particular contempt towards women. The Brahmanic religious literature declared that women were to be dependent, chaste, loyal and secluded within their homes while declaring their husbands to be the wives’ divine saviors. Women were there to support men in all phases of their ritualized life. Widows or abused wives could never marry again. They were to wear veils covering their faces. Women were so despised by the Brahmins that the priests declared that the male children of the top three varnas must go through a birth ritual where they were to be ‘twice born.‘ Women were excluded from the rebirth ritual because they were considered to be too impure to be redeemed. The “dowry burning” phenomenon has long plagued Indian society well into the present day, harks back to ancient times, where family of a greedy groom seeks to extort the family of the bride, and having failed in the attempt, escalates the conflict to bring about the murder or suicide of the bride.[2] The Brahmins did see some value in women as the necessary contrivance for producing children, without which the funeral rites could not be performed at all.

 

The Brahmins’ used their sacred knowledge of the Vedas as an unassailable power by wrapping themselves within an aura of holy authority. It was unallowable to even touch a Bramin priest. Only a Brahmin may read the holy scriptures or educate the other social classes. The the priestly elite, the Brahmin priesthood enjoyed a social privilege that gave them advantages over the warrior, farmer, the darker-skinned servant varnas and untouchables, all who were subordinated beneath them held power over. Even kings dared not to openly oppose the Brahmins, for in the Vedic tradition, it was the priests who legitimized kingly power.

 

Of course, the other varnas supported the Brahmin Priesthood as well, building temples, showering them with financial gifts and land in exchange for the priest’s blessings. The Brahmins became in fact, the landed elite, protected by royal power, while living off of the labor and money of the lower varnas. The Brahmins in effect, were a dominating social power presiding over a feudal agrarian political economy. The Law of Attraction is seen here operating at the level of energetic polarity: the priests standing as representatives of God, attracted wealth and abundance – at the expense of the lower varnas. And it was this corruption and oppression under the supervision of the Brahmin priests that paved the way for the emergence of Buddhism.

 

Next: The Shramanas and the Revolt against Brahmin Authority.

 

Notes

[1] The Purusha is a religious concept with a varied and distinct defining points. Not only did it stand as the name of the cosmic man sacrificed by the Gods to bring about all the forms of life in the Universe, in different eras and systems, it also refers to human consciousness, the Self or the unifying principle of existence. Compare to the creation myth of the ancient Sumerians, who held that their gods also sacrificed a god, whose body and blood were mixed with clay to produce the human race.

[2] “Bride burning” is still a common practice in Southeast Asia. As late as 2010, it was estimated that  8391 dowry death cases were reported across India, according to statistics recently released by the National Crime Records Bureau. “On one hand people regard women as devi (goddess), on the other hand they burn them alive. This is against the norms of civilised society. It’s barbaric,” former Justice Markandey Katju remarked in response to an appeal filed by a husband handed a life sentence by a Sessions court for burning his wife. Story, Indian Dowry Deaths on the Rise.

 

Sources

 

Freud, Religion, and Anxiety by Christopher Chapman
Brahman and Chhetri of Nepal.” Encyclopedia of World Cultures. James Fischer. “The Gale Group, Inc. 1996. Encyclopedia.com. (December 29, 2009). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3458000468.html

Encyclopaedia of Dalits in India: Movements by Sanjay Paswan
Caste is the Cruellest Exclusion, by Gail Omvedt, InfoChange News & Features, October 2008

The Mysore Tribes and Castes by L. Krishna Anantha Krishna Iyer (Diwan Bahadur), 1988

Handbook of Hindu Mythology by George Mason Williams, 2003

Law of Attraction, Part 7: Eastern Origins

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In the previous blogs about the history of the Law of Attraction, we briefly looked at the Law of Attraction’s ancient connection with the major religions in the world. In this series we will expand and deepen our investigation into the secret history of the Law of Attraction as it applies to the great religious systems in the world. It isn’t common knowledge, but many of the most important aspects of the Law of Attraction derive from Hinduism, thus a brief survey of Hinduism seems to be in order. In this blog series we will shift venues and look at the Law of Attraction’s role within the development of the oldest living religion in the world today: Hinduism.

 

Hindu Origins: Vedic Civilization And Religion

 

Undertaking the daunting task of breaking down a religion as enormous as Hinduism gives one pause, because Hinduism goes so far beyond your typical Westerner’s basic understanding of religion. It is difficult to grasp all at once. A shallow treatment of this system will not yield anything more than shallow realizations, and delving in too deeply creates the danger of getting lost within an ocean of details and losing the narratives. We will deal with this by handling the material historically and thematically, and those who wish to study further will have the appropriate vocabulary to begin.

Hinduism is the world’s oldest existing organized religion, with an estimated billion followers, making it the world’s third largest religion, and within it containing a rich variety of religious beliefs, rites, customs, and practices. Hinduism is unique among the major religions because it claims no historical founder like Buddha, Mohammed, Moses or Jesus were for their respective religions. Hinduism is a belief system based entirely on the tales of mythic Gods, heroes, demons, magic, morality, karma and sacrifice.

The word ‘Hindu‘ is English, and named after the advanced urban centers located along the Indus River Valley. Harappa and Mohenjodero (located in modern-day Pakistan) were two ancient cities built around 3500 BCE that evolved and flourished as dynamic urban centers from around 2600 to 1700 BCE.

Hundreds of sites have been excavated in Punjab and Rajasthan along the dried-up Sarasvati River, mentioned in the Rig Veda, which places its beginning of the Indus River Valley Culture between the Sarasvarti and the Drishadvati rivers. From here, we will use Dr. David Frawley’s suggestion on referring to this as the “Indus-Sarasvati civilization” which appears to be the birthplace of Indian culture.

The Indus-Sarasvati civilization is an enigma. These urban centers were the largest and the most sophisticated in the world at that time (approximately 26 centuries before the Common Era), including Egypt and Sumer, and yet, at some unknown time, they were mysteriously abandoned. The Harappan cities were community-minded, featuring planned streets, public baths, sewage draining and granaries. They used bronze and stone tools. And it seems these people believed in an afterlife. Graves have been discovered and fire altars have been excavated. This culture worshipped the forces of nature, animals, the phallus and an all-powerful Goddess. Seals have been discovered featuring designs of figures seated in the yoga position. Human sacrifice was ritualized; the flesh and blood placed in the fields to refresh them. Numerous seals have also been found indicating that commercial activities took place. Scholars do not know why the Harappan cities were abandoned. Perhaps climate change or some sort of economic or agricultural calamity made living in the cities impossible.

 

The Aryan Controversy

It has long been assumed that Hinduism descended from the legendary Aryans, the alleged creators of the Vedic civilization and religion. The Vedic civilization is named after the Vedas; the 4 sacred books of hymns, mantras and spiritual teachings of Hinduism that was handed down by the Aryans – or, the “Aryas” according to the Rig Veda. The Vedas, which were orally transmitted for centuries by the priests and later written down in early Sanskrit, contain hymns, philosophy, and instructions on ritual for the priests.

And here hangs the tale of the controversy in discussing the murky history of India – the subject of much academic speculation and political disputation. The biggest bone of contention within this scholarly debate centers on the so-called “Aryan Invasion Theory” that postulates a large group of roving ‘Aryans‘ descending from the east, invading the Indian continent, displacing and conquering the indigenous Dravidians and other tribes on their way towards establishing the Vedic Civilization.

Critics have attacked the Aryan Invasion Theory on grounds that the Vedic records themselves do not contain any reference of an “Aryan Invasion.” They say that the Aryan Invasion Theory was only put forward by Eurocentric scholars, built upon literary, linguistic and religious assumptions that were used by the West in service of British Colonialism in India. Critics also point out that is no evidence that the Aryans lived at any time outside of India.

According to “Frawley’s Paradox,” on one hand, the Indus-Sarasvati culture left behind the greatest, sophisticated urban civilization in the world at that time, and strangely yet, left no written records. And on the other hand, we have the theoretical Aryans, thought to be illiterate, militant, domineering chariot-jockeys and destroyers of cities, leaving no archeological trace except one of the world’s greatest literature in the Vedas.

Frawley’s solution to the paradox suggests that the Vedic and the Indus-Sarasvati cultures are, in all likelihood, one and the same.

 

The Vedic Religion

The Vedas are the sacred collection of hymns and mantras of the Hindu religion, and are considered to have been revealed by the gods themselves and given to human beings. The dating of the Vedas is hard to determine, as they were assembled over a long period of time, orally transmitted for centuries before being written in Sanskrit some 3,500 years ago, making the Vedas the oldest religious text still used in the world today. The Vedic religious forms have had an enormous influence over Hinduism.

The original Vedic gods seemed to be all males; Indra, the Warrior-King of Heaven, drew the most attention in the Vedas. Varuna, the sky god held the universe together as the cosmic law of existence, punishing those who transgressed the moral order he laid down and rewarding those who kept his law. Agni was the fire god and acceptor of sacrifices. Vishnu was the sun god who strode the universe in three steps.

The Vedic culture’s religious needs were serviced by a hereditary priesthood called the Brahmin. For centuries the Vedic Brahmin priests committed the Vedas to memory and chanted mantras and officiated over the sacrifices and fire rituals. The Brahmins’ sacrificial rites were very important to the Vedic culture. The rising smoke from the flames was carried up to Heaven by the fire god Agni, who transmuted the flames into nourishment for the gods.

 

Next: More on the Vedic Religion

 

Sources:

The Origin of the Indo-Iranians, Volume 3, by Elena Efimovna Kuzʹmina, J. P. Mallory, Brill, 2008

Handbook for the Study of Eastern Literatures, Ancient India, by Dr. Robert Churchill, Creighton University

An Introduction to Hinduism by Gavin D. Flood, Cambridge University Press, 1996

Looking for the Aryans by Ram Sharan Sharma, Orient Blackswan, 1995

A Social history of India by S. N. Sadasivan, 2000

The Myth of Aryan Invasion of India, by Dr. David Frawley, American Institute of Vedic Studies