We are all familiar with the famous cartoon depicting an indecisive human being, receiving advice from both an angel with a shining halo on one side, and a horned little devil with a pitchfork on the other. Since a very young age it is clear to us that we simply cannot escape either side of our instinctive nature. We, as spiritual entities entrusted with a body and a brain at birth, embody three different energies which reflect each of our natures – the earthly, the mental and the spiritual. Our physical nature is the nature of the body, while our spiritual nature is that of the spirit. Our mental nature is the energy that connects those two, as spiritual reality is perceived by physical mind and transformed into the mental activity which we assume is an accurate representation of all that exists. In most situations, we really do have to “see it to believe it”, but if we continue following this motto and applying it indiscriminately to every aspect of our lives, we will surely never see the truth of things, since the fact is that the things we cannot see are actually the realest of all things. Consider the amazing fact that we do not physically see even a minuscule fraction of the process that takes place behind the scenes before we are presented with this limited version of reality which we experience and call daily life. Reality goes through stages of filtration before it is available to our sense perceptions. We all know that there can be tremendous consequences if a person’s brain is somehow injured or damaged in any way, whether by force or by a chemical imbalance, or whatever the problem may be; the fact is that a damaged brain cannot perceive reality in the same way as an undamaged brain. However, the fact that two versions of reality are not the same, does not necessarily mean that either of them is exclusively real. Does a schizophrenic, for example, perceive a reality any less real than us in his mind, during the moment when he is fully immersed in his “hallucinations”? Can we differentiate between reality and sleep while we are having a vivid dream or nightmare? Do we not run for our precious lives in a nightmare in much the same way we would in a similar real-life situation? These scenarios bring us face-to-face with the powerful realization of just how fragile and limited our so-called “reality” really is. Limited, however, does not necessarily mean flawed, as this is the way in which we were created by God, and I’m sure many of us believe, in some way or another, that things happen for a reason, as opposed to being merely random happenings.
My personal belief is that we were given a mind as a filtering mechanism so that we can function on a physical level, since it is evident that states of deep meditation and insight, or psychedelic states, are not of much use to us while we are attempting to engage in anything which requires conscious use of our sense perceptions. Meditative states of being are useful to us only when we are in a contemplative state, divinely inspired and willing to empty the mind and to silence the emotions and desires of the flesh, in order to allow God’s divine wisdom to shine through and manifest itself. A perfect example is that of the psychedelic experience, which allows us to view reality from a much broader perspective, a more spiritual perspective, so to speak. This state of being can be embraced and used as a tool to reach some of the most mind-blowing revelations and ideas within our grasp, as I myself can attest to. Many of my most recent psychedelic trips have been some of the most powerful and inspiring experiences of my life, and I can honestly say I would not be as motivated as I am in the project of pursuing my goals of righteous living if it had not been for those experiences. However, I have also witnessed peers experience horrible, hellish trips while on psychedelics as a result of not being able to let go of mental social constructs, to let the experience simply flow. This usually happens when someone decides it’s a great idea to take a high dose of a psychedelic drug at a party or a nightclub, completely ignorant to the fact that he is surrounded by unfamiliar faces and loud noises, by people with possible ulterior motives and materialistic views of life. These unfortunate reactions are simply results of people being unwilling to part with their minds, and to enter the realm of spirit, choosing to use a powerful spiritual substance in an attempt at fulfilling physical or mental desires. Experimenting with one’s consciousness is serious business and is an art which demands respect, for it requires dissociating from the mind, and associating once again with the natural spirit of all things. This is sacred and must always be practiced in an environment which encourages peace, calm, self-inquiry, and open communion if meditation or study is done amongst a group. The value of such tools as entheogens is too often shamefully wasted on mundane conversations and ideas which simply do not do the experience justice. This, unfortunately, does not prevent those who are still ignorant to the spiritual properties of these plants, or who have no intention of showing respect for nature, or for natural, ancient culture and wisdom, from abusing them. Nowadays, many play the part of philosophers, yogis, psychonauts and free thinkers, but are unwilling to let go of the destructive behavior patterns and selfish ambitions which drive them, and are deluded by their minds into a false sense of spirituality.
The fact is that true meditation, whether it is done in the form of sitting and focusing, the practicing of breathing exercises, any kind of fasting, or through a psychedelic experience, requires us to consciously focus our attention upon our spiritual nature, gradually as we become less aware of, and concerned with, our bodies, thoughts, emotions and senses, and instead more aware of a feeling of deep bliss and intuition. This bliss I mention is not to be thought of as a drug-induced, jittery euphoria, as is produced by stimulant drugs which are mainly manufactured in order to be used as mood enhancers. Rather, it is a warm feeling of relaxation associated with the pure pleasure of simply being, of awareness existing separately from the mind’s distracting noise. When we come closer to the great spiritual nature within and without us, such deep bliss is inevitable, as the spirit is the energy which emanates directly from God, a reflection and representation of all that is godly and pure; the microcosm reflecting the macrocosm. Even through the many harsh obstacles of life, even when presented with images of the atrocities which are committed around the world and which take place on a daily basis, someone who can see beyond the veil of illusion is not weighed down by the sufferings associated with international burdens, for he realizes both the fact that all suffering is brought upon us by ourselves as collective humanity, and the fact that the worst of challenges have always been, and will continue being, some of the most profound sources of inspiration and motivation for courageous spirits who, throughout the ages, have been and will continue to be brave enough to defy the status quo of society, taking on the task of self-discovery, the path taught to us by such great teachers as Jesus and the Buddha, the task presented by the Yoga Sutras which leads to Samadhi, the perfect Kabbalistic balancing of the Desire to Receive and the Desire to Share, to love and accept oneself, and to love all others as oneself, seeing past the illusions of physical or mental differences, or dualistic concepts. One who takes on such an honorable task quickly realizes that there is no space for hate, for anger, for sorrow, for worry, in his consciousness, for these things too shall pass, as everything material is impermanent. Every motion that takes place in every world, every leaf that falls, every drop of rain that descends upon our earth, is a sign of the constant balancing out of the universal Law of Polarity, or yin and yang energies, circling like an endless ring. A person who is divinely blessed with even a glimpse of this divine reality (wisdom), really experiencing that moment to the point that it changes his consciousness and inspires him to become better, can come back from such a divine state, and incorporate its profound wisdom into his spirit, reflecting it onto mundane, everyday, physical reality, creating the change he wishes to see, and improving the overall living energy of the universe everywhere he might go, so long as he possesses the necessary understanding to do so, which is usually the case if such a mystical sate has been experienced.
Many ancient mystics regarded the nature of the spirit to be further divided into three parts, representing the Holy Trinity within man, which can be symbolized by the three highest sephiroth on the Tree of Life: Kether (the Crown), or the supreme, unfathomable aspect of God’s Light, as it emanates from God himself; Chokmah (Wisdom), representative of the universal spirit we are referring to, and which is the reflection of God’s energy which gives life to all and encompasses all wisdom in all things; and Binah (Understanding), which allows us to put divine Wisdom to action. This three-fold spirit of divine light is within us at all times, and we increase or decrease our awareness of it depending on how much we exercise listening to it and following it. The process of ascending up the sephiroth can be seen as elevating our awareness above the lower natures (physical and mental) within ourselves, and becoming fixated on the spiritual reality and oneness of all. In Western civilization, the spirit is faintly recognized as intuition, but intuition becomes weaker and weaker as it is constantly ignored and discarded. Even an atheist can recognize intuition as something coming from beyond the mind, as expressed in the words of Paracelsus, “There is an Eternal Sun, which is the source of all wisdom, and those whose spiritual senses have awakened to life will see that sun and be conscious of His existence; but those who have not attained spiritual consciousness may yet feel His power by an inner faculty which is called Intuition.” This spirit of wisdom is within everyone and everything, so it is not exclusively inside of us individually. Rather, it is us; all of us. Each physical body and brain we interact with is actually another manifestation, or incarnation, of the universal spirit, just as the cells and organs within our body all work together towards the perfect, harmonious completion of the whole. Intuition is the feeling inside of ourselves that makes us feel that something is morally right or wrong. This can sometimes be the case even without knowing why what we are doing is right or wrong, but just having a deep feeling of conviction that it is. The spirit knows. The spirit, which is our true self, separate from our earthly nature, comes from a dimension of all that is good and true, and is itself an extension or emanation of the divine light which is the source of all that is, if worded in a Kabbalistic sense. As an extension of all the light which pervades all consciousness, the spirit comes from God, the divine authority which we cannot possibly begin to label or understand through vocabulary, and therefore has the qualities of purity and holiness which are evident in anything that emanates from the Creator himself.
Mental energy is the energy of the brain, which as mentioned earlier, filters spiritual reality and allows us to perceive the world in a simplified, logical manner, applying labels and categories to all ideas and experiences, creating concepts to prevent us from becoming confused, or from being presented with visions and ideas which we are not prepared to experience, and which might cause us to become overwhelmed. Mind does not produce ideas or visions, but rather presents us with a minuscule glimpse, or compressed version, of the vast ocean of ideas and visions which exist beyond the physical realm. Therefore, thought is not a production of ideas, merely a process of grasping already existing ideas, as also stated by Paracelsus, or expressed by the famous phrase “No idea is original under the sun.” Just as the eyes, which are physical organs, process the physical appearance of all things, and our ears aid us in the processing of the sound of all things, so does the brain, which is also a physical organ, process all ideas which exist in the realm of spirit, and present them to us as thoughts. The body is the third and most physical nature within man. The body has its needs, and these are survival instincts built into us so that we may have the means to keep on living. The body feels hungry so that we will eat and be filled with energy, to work, to eat, to have sex. Sexual desire is felt in the body so that we may feel compelled to make love and procreate, ensuring our bloodline and family name will live on through our children. Although the cravings of the body are experienced physically, they actually arise from our brain, which sends a signal to the body so that it will act and satisfy the mental urge. These cravings can be observed in animals as well as humans, and are common to most species of animals. The body therefore represents man’s animal nature, his lowest nature, which must be dominated by his mental nature, which in turn must be dominated by his spiritual nature in order to produce truly positive results in this life. It can also be described as man’s Luciferian nature being overcome by his Christ consciousness, as described in Masonic terms. The brain connects the rest of the body to the nervous system, and although it is technically part of the body, it is considered a separate nature in man since no other body part is capable of thought. We might say that the body is the tool of the brain, as the brain is the tool of the spirit. To dominate the former two with the latter is the ideal situation.
The spirit, which is intuition, and which is guided by the essence of God which is ever-present in us exists, as I mentioned, in a higher dimension, a dimension of pure wisdom and truth. The problem is that we ignore our intuition, and over time we forget to trust or even listen to our spirit at all. Society is constantly at work to indoctrinate us, filling us up with ideologies and categorizing us into labels, to belittle us and minimize us in order to fit us into little boxes, and many of us have succumbed and become so identified with certain groups and identities, willing to fight to the death for these ideas and movements, that we end up putting abstract concepts over actual lives, friendships and relationships. We have become completely blinded to the fact that, despite all these names, labels and movements we associate ourselves with to differentiate ourselves from each other, we are all essentially composed of the same creative energy, the same extension of God’s divine light. This means that if we learn to see beyond the mental patterns and ideas we have become so submerged in, we shall then become able to experience a deep sense of equality or oneness with all that exists. We are all a manifestation of the universe, a manifestation of God’s creative energy shining on the canvas of creation. Everything is in constant motion, vibrating and becoming at each second something different than it was the second before. This is due to the fact that Divine energy cannot be stopped. This divine energy is referred to as prana in the Hindu religion, and in Kabbalah as the divine light, which is the energy emanated by God, which then passes through various levels of emanation by means of the ten sephiroth of the Tree of Life, creating different dimensions or worlds, each operating at a different energy level, both within the physical universe, as well as within the spiritual and physical body of man.
When an individual realizes that this divine, universal spirit which is also within us grows stronger the more we practice trusting it, sacrificing our selfish desires for a greater cause, being examples of integrity and righteousness, of wisdom and understanding, he or she should feel absolutely compelled to follow it if he is truly wise, for he will remember the ancient truth once forgotten, that the path of the spirit is not to be followed based upon any promised reward, but instead it is something which is to be embraced out of a feeling of being called to embark on a mission, on a journey back to our divine roots. A wise alchemist acknowledges that a spiritual life will not be easy, and it might in fact bring about ridicule and misfortune. For this reason, if we are serious about living life righteously, according to the Holy spirit within us, we must have something to keep us motivated at all times. We must be willing to make sacrifices if we are ready to embark on this alchemical journey. This is a personal, psychological and spiritual journey which takes us on a lifelong mission to transmute all the negativity inside of ourselves, every challenge and every disadvantage, every weakness and every insecurity, into a deeper source of strength which fuels our every cell to work diligently toward our various goals. Our main goal as a species as well as individually, which is that of constant self-realization, is ultimately compromised of all the productive goals we set out to complete, so do not be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task at hand. It is crucial to embrace every challenge and every adversity as it comes, for there can be no gain without pain, just as positivity cannot exists without negativity, or light without darkness, and vice-versa. In Matthew 6:34, we are taught to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.” This truth, that tomorrow will worry about itself, was acknowledged by the ancients and can best be explained by the Hermetic Principle of Correspondence. Everything happens for a specific reason; every cause has one or more effects, and every effect has one or more causes, but everything happens as it is supposed to, as indicated by the universal Principle of Cause and Effect. the Principle of Polarity states that opposites meet in degree, and everything balances out in divine perfection. One who understands this truth, and constantly meditates upon it in order to analyze it from every possible perspective, begins to understand that there is no need to resist the dance of life, the constant changes which create the flow of our world and the entire universe, just as we have no desire to resist the changes of the seasons during their respective times of the year. Energy moves back and forth, in and out, here and there, balancing itself out, but never ceasing to exist in essence. As goes the famous statement by the great philosopher Alan Watts, “the only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” Every experience is to be fully embraced and its essence extracted, in order to be used in the process of the alchemical transmutation of the spirit, refining material existence into a golden monument representative of the divine essence of the Great Creator, the First Cause.
The Kabbalah teaches us that our physical world is a result of a contraction of the Divine energy which once was completely present in everything. All that had been created in the beginning, in the void, or the nothingness, was a reflection of all that was the Creator. This means that as the Creator was the positive, all-imparting, uncreated energy, the energy of creation was the negative, so to speak, all-receiving, created energy. This receiving energy was continually filled by the divine light of God, and lacked nothing. However, through what Kabbalists believe is the true secret contained within the Genesis account of the Fall of Man, the Universal, receiving energy (symbolized as Adam), being subject to the law of correspondence, felt a desire to create (tempted by the serpent), or to impart instead of being satisfied by merely receiving (a concept known Kabbalistically as bread of shame), and was therefore deprived of most of the divine, all-giving energy of God, and expelled from the Garden of Eden, into the sephirah of Malkhut, which contains the least amount of divine energy, being lower than the higher dimensions above it. The purpose of this contraction of divine energy was so that the receiving energy would have a chance to impart as well, but on a smaller scale, and to receive as it imparts, gradually connecting more and more with the original all-giving energy of God which once fulfilled its every need. Lacking the all-giving, pure energy of the Creator, this all-receiving energy was separated into physical bodies, and left with all kinds of unfulfilled desires which were previously constantly fulfilled by the divine light. This state of physicality, being almost completely separate from God’s divine light is the state of existence within the sephirah Malkhut, our physical world. Even in the realm of Malkhut, however, we still possess a fraction of God’s divine energy within us, known as intuition, which can serve to guide us back to God if we practice paying attention to it. It has the ability to elevate us above our desires, and above all forms of suffering, for as, according to the Buddha’s philosophy of the four noble truths, desire and attachment are the causes of all suffering. Studying the Kabbalah, we also learn that God’s divine Light undergoes a process of gradual emanation, and passes through ten sephiroth (plural), until reaching Malkhut, the sephirah (singular) which represents our physical existence. If we were to go up from Malkhut, ascending through the higher sephiroth, we would notice that each higher plane is less physical than the lower, and embodies within it the next, lower level in potential form, just as a seed holds within it the potential for growth into the tallest of trees, and just as a mind contains the idea of a building before the blueprint is finished and long before the building is finalized or even started. As we ascend we see that with each higher dimension, we come closer to the pure divine Light; we gradually let go of material existence, as we venture into the realm of our thoughts, then our emotions, and then to our willpower, or self-control.
Willpower is represented by the sephiroth of Tiphereth, or beauty, so it is at this point that we begin to see the beauty in every aspect of life. Willpower allows us to transcend pain or pleasure, and the flaws or character which arise from too much of either, by allowing us to see how every experience, whether painful or pleasing, brings about its own lesson, and its own learning and growing opprtunity. When we reach the level of willpower, we are on the edge of enlightenment, as Tiphereth is the sephirah which follows Geburah and Chesed (Justice and Mercy, respectively), the direct recepients of the energy which emanates from the Holy Trinity, namely Kether, Chokmah and Binah (Crown, Wisdom and Understanding), the three-fold nature of the human Spirit. These ten sephiroth are not only used to represent the grades of physicality of dimensions of non-spiritual existence, but also the different levels of human consciousness. The three highest sephiroth represent man’s three-fold spirit, while the seven lower sephiroth represent man’s mental, and physical natures, dealing with thoughts, emotions, and physical matter. A wise person, knowing the truth behind the matter of pain and pleasure, and of overall duality, can be content in knowing that nothing lasts, and everything is impermanent. Energy keeps on transforming itself, moving and vibrating, creating and destroying, and nothing remains the same. Recognizing the impermanence of such things, a wise person decides to follow the true inner peace of the divine spirit within him, neither rejoicing in times of victory, nor sulking in times of misery. A person who is identified with their true divine self, the divine nature that operates inside and through their physical body, cannot be ecstatic about worldly gains, and losing such gains cannot take his happiness away either, for his treasure is in the heavenly planes. A master of the spiritual art will not weep in times of illness, due to sorrow, for he knows that the true self, the spirit, is eternal and cannot be harmed by disease or even death, only strengthened through the discipline which can be built by the necessary mental strength to endure a devastating illness. We must all strive to become as wise as we can, for one cannot possibly acquire enough wisdom in one lifetime, even if every second is spent searching. Life is just too meaningful.
One way to keep motivated on the path of constant self-realization and mastery of the spirit and mind is to practice what is referred to as Karma Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita; simply put, consecrating your every act to the Creator, therefore transforming every secular or mundane act into a sacrifice to the divine. Such a philosophy and way of living frees men from the bondage of labor, since by adopting this way of being one ceases to be attached to the fruits of labor, and begins to see even the most tedious task in a brand new light, as a manifestation of his thanksgiving for the amazing powers to live and to breathe which have been so graciously bestowed upon us all. How do we sacrifice and offer our actions to God? We do this by being fully present in every moment as our real Self, the divine spirit which emanates from the light of the Creator, the Self that we feel inside, the Atman which reflects and emanates from the Brahman, the voice of conscience that knows, recognizing and advising us regarding what is right and what is wrong. The spirit, recognizing its own true essence of divinity, is fully conscious of its origin, that it came from an omnipresent, all-powerful supreme God. This realization is humbling and simply awe-inspiring, and should prevent a person who has mastered his lower nature from complaining about any situation, recognizing divinity and balance in every aspect of life. Often times, unfortunately, this feeling of intuition, which is actually the spirit, the true Self, is dumbed down by incessant thinking, as we forget about our Spiritual nature and only pay attention to, and identify with, the mind’s activity. Let us, therefore, carefully examine ourselves; our thoughts, our emotions, our moves, our motives, our likes, our dislikes. Let us evaluate them honestly and carefully, to the most minute detail, as a scientist looking through a microscope, so that we may find out which of these things truly serve us, and which only serve to bring us down. Which are manifestations of the divine spirit in us, and which are products of following social norms which we know are incorrect? If we all make it a habit to take a moment to reflect in such a way on a daily basis, it would mean the beginning of mankind’s journey to higher levels of collective consciousness, and an overall more fulfilling state of existence.
~ REBEL SPIRIT