City of the Golden Gates and Airships – Atlantis

These are excerpted from:

The Story of Atlantis

A Geographical, Historical and Ethnological Sketch

by W. Scott-Elliot

[1896]

At Sacred Texts

Agriculture

In such an empire as the Toltec, agriculture naturally received much attention. Not only were the labourers taught their duties in technical schools, but colleges were established in which the knowledge necessary for carrying out experiments in the crossing both of animals and plants, was taught to fitting students.

It is said that wheat was not evolved on this planet at all. It was the gift of the Manu who brought it from another globe outside our chain of worlds. But oats and some of our other cereals are the results of crosses between wheat and the wild grasses of the earth. Now the experiments which gave these results were carried out in the agricultural schools of Atlantis. Of course such experiments were guided by high knowledge. But the most notable achievement to be recorded of the Atlantean agriculturists was the evolution of the plantain or banana. In the original wild state it was like an elongated melon with scarcely any pulp, but full of seeds as a melon is. It was of course only by centuries (if not thousands of years) of continuous selection and elimination that the present almost seedless plant was evolved.

Among the domesticated animals of the Toltec days were creatures that looked like very small tapirs. They naturally fed upon roots or herbage, but like the pigs of to-day, which they resembled in more than one particular, they were not over cleanly, and ate whatever came in their way. Large cat-like animals and the wolf-like ancestors of the dog might also be met about human habitations. The Toltec carts appear to have been drawn by creatures somewhat resembling small camels. The Peruvian llamas of today are probably their descendants. The ancestors of the Irish elk, too, roamed in herds about the hill sides in much the same way as our Highland cattle do now–too wild to allow of easy approach, but still under the control of man.

Constant experiments were made in breeding and cross-breeding different kinds of animals, and, curious though it may seem to us, artificial heat was largely used to force their development, so that the results of crossing and interbreeding might be more quickly apparent. The use, too, of different coloured lights in the chambers where such experiments were carried on were adopted in order to obtain varying results.

This control and moulding at will by man of the animal forms brings us to a rather startling and very mysterious subject. Reference has been made above to the work done by the Manus. Now it is in the mind of the Manu that originates all improvements in type and the potentialities latent in every form of being. In order to work out in detail the improvements in the animal forms, the help and co-operation of man were required. The amphibian and reptile forms which then abounded had about run their course, and were ready to assume the more advanced type of bird or mammal. These forms constituted the inchoate material placed at man’s disposal, and the clay was ready to assume whatever shape the potter’s hands might mould it into. It was specially with animals in the intermediate stage that so many of the experiments above referred to were tried, and doubtless the domesticated animals like the horse, which are now of such service to man, are the result of these experiments in which the men of those days acted in co-operation with the Manu and his ministers. But the co-operation was too soon withdrawn. Selfishness obtained the upper hand, and war and discord brought the Golden Age of the Toltecs to a close. When instead of working loyally for a common end, under the guidance of their Initiate kings, men began to prey upon each other, the beasts which might gradually have assumed, under the care of man, more and more useful and domesticated forms, being left to the guidance of their own instincts naturally followed the example of their monarch, and began to prey more and more upon each other. Some indeed had actually already been trained and used by men in their hunting expeditions, and thus the semi-domesticated cat-like animals above referred to naturally became the ancestors of the leopards and jaguars.

City of the Golden Gates

The “City of the Golden Gates” and its surroundings must be described before we come to consider the remarkable system by which its inhabitants were supplied with water. It lay, as we have seen, on the east coast of the continent close to the sea, and about 15º north of the equator. A beautifully wooded park-like country surrounded the city. Scattered over a large area of this were the villa residences of the wealthier classes. To the west lay a range of mountains, from which the water supply of the city was drawn. The city itself was built on the slopes of a hill, which rose from the plain about 500 feet. On the summit of this hill lay the emperor’s palace and gardens, in the centre of which welled up from the earth a never-ending stream of water, supplying first the palace and the fountains in the gardens, thence flowing in the four directions and falling in cascades into a canal or moat which encompassed the palace grounds, and thus separated them from the city which lay below on every side. From this canal four channels led the water through four quarters of the city to cascades which in their turn supplied another encircling canal at a lower level. There were three such canals forming concentric circles, the outermost and lowest of which was still above the level of the plain. A fourth canal at this lowest level, but on a rectangular plan, received the constantly flowing waters, and in its turn discharged them into the sea. The city extended over part of the plain, up to the edge of this great outermost moat, which surrounded and defended it with a line of waterways extending about twelve miles by ten miles square.

It will thus be seen that the city was divided into three great belts, each hemmed in by its canals. The characteristic feature of the upper belt that lay Just below the palace grounds, was a circular racecourse and large public gardens. Most of the houses of the court officials also lay on this belt, and here also was an institution of which we have no parallel in modern times. The term “Strangers’ Home” amongst us suggests a mean appearance and sordid surroundings, but this was a palace where all strangers who might come to the city were entertained as long as they might choose to stay–being treated all the time as guests of the Government. The detached houses of the inhabitants and the various temples scattered throughout the city occupied the other two belts. In the days of the Toltec greatness there seems to have been no real poverty–even the retinue of slaves attached to most houses being well fed and clothed–but there were a number of comparatively poor houses in the lowest belt to the north, as well as outside the outermost canal towards the sea. The inhabitants of this part were mostly connected with the shipping, and their houses, though detached, were built closer together than in other districts.

It will be seen from the above that the inhabitants had thus a never-failing supply of pure clear water constantly coursing through the city, while the upper belts and the emperor’s palace were protected by lines of moats, each one at a higher level as the centre was approached. It was from a lake which lay among the mountains to the west of the city, at an elevation of about 2,600 feet, that the supply was drawn.

Now it does not require much mechanical knowledge in order to realise how stupendous must have been the works needed to provide this supply, for in the days of its greatness the “City of the Golden Gates” embraced within its four circles of moats over two million inhabitants. No such system of water supply has ever been attempted in Greek, Roman or modern times–indeed it is very doubtful whether our ablest engineers, even at the expenditure of untold wealth, could produce such a result.

Air-Ships

If the system of water supply in the “City of the Golden Gates” was wonderful, the Atlantean methods of locomotion must be recognised as still more marvellous, for the air-ship or flying-machine which Keely in America, and Maxim in this country are now attempting to produce, was then a realised fact. It was not at any time a common means of transport. The slaves, the servants, and the masses who laboured with their hands, had to trudge along the country tracks, or travel in rude carts with solid wheels drawn by uncouth animals. The air-boats may be considered as the private carriages of those days, or rather the private yachts, if we regard the relative number of those who possessed them, for they must have been at all times difficult and costly to produce. They were not as a rule built to accommodate many persons. Numbers were constructed for only two, some allowed for six or eight passengers. In the later days when war and strife had brought the Golden Age to an end, battle ships that could navigate the air had to a great extent replaced the battle ships at sea–having naturally proved far more powerful engines of destruction. These were constructed to carry as many as fifty, and in some cases even up to a hundred fighting men.

The material of which the air-boats were constructed was either wood or metal. The earlier ones were built of wood-the boards used being exceedingly thin, but the injection of some substance which did not add materially to the weight, while it gave leather-like toughness, provided the necessary combination of lightness and strength. When metal was used it was generally an alloy–two white-coloured metals and one red one entering into its composition. The resultant was white-coloured, like aluminium {sic}, and even lighter in weight. Over the rough framework of the air-boat was extended a large sheet of this metal, which was then beaten into shape, and electrically welded where necessary. But whether built of metal or wood their outside surface was apparently seamless and perfectly smooth, and they shone in the dark as if coated with luminous paint.

“In 1800, Sir Humphry Davy discovered the short-pulse electrical arc and presented his results in 1801. In 1802, Russian scientist Vasily Petrov created the continuous electric arc, and subsequently published “News of Galvanic-Voltaic Experiments” in 1803, in which he described experiments carried out in 1802. Of great importance in this work was the description of a stable arc discharge and the indication of its possible use for many applications, one being melting metals. In 1808, Davy, who was unaware of Petrov’s work, rediscovered the continuous electric arc. In 1881–82 inventors Nikolai Benardos (Russian) and Stanisław Olszewski (Polish) created the first electric arc welding method known as carbon arc welding using carbon electrodes. The advances in arc welding continued with the invention of metal electrodes in the late 1800s by a Russian, Nikolai Slavyanov (1888), and an American, C. L. Coffin (1890). Around 1900, A. P. Strohmenger released a coated metal electrode in Britain, which gave a more stable arc. In 1905, Russian scientist Vladimir Mitkevich proposed using a three-phase electric arc for welding. Alternating current welding was invented by C. J. Holslag in 1919, but did not become popular for another decade.”

In shape they were boat-like, but they were invariably decked over, for when at full speed it could not have been convenient, even if safe, for any on board to remain on the upper deck. Their propelling and steering gear could be brought into use at either end.

But the all-interesting question is that relating to the power by which they were propelled. In the earlier times it seems to have been personal vril that supplied the motive power–whether used in conjunction with any mechanical contrivance matters not much–but in the later days this was replaced by a force which, though generated in what is to us an unknown manner, operated nevertheless through definite mechanical arrangements. This force, though not yet discovered by science, more nearly approached that which Keely in America used to handle than the electric power used by Maxim. It was in fact of an etheric nature, but though we are no nearer to the solution of this problem, its method of operation can be described. The mechanical arrangements no doubt differed somewhat in different vessels. The following description is taken from an air-boat in which on one occasion three ambassadors from the king who ruled over the northern part of Poseidonis made the journey to the court of the southern kingdom. A strong heavy metal chest which lay in the centre of the boat was the generator. Thence the force flowed through two large flexible tubes to either end of the vessel, as well as through eight subsidiary tubes fixed fore and aft to the bulwarks. These had double openings pointing vertically both up and down. When the journey was about to begin the valves of the eight bulwark tubes which pointed downwards were opened–all the other valves being closed. The current rushing through these impinged on the earth with such force as to drive the boat upwards, while the air itself continued to supply the necessary fulcrum. When a sufficient elevation was reached the flexible tube at that end of the vessel which pointed away from the desired destination, was brought into action, while by the partial closing of the valves the current rushing through the eight vertical tubes was reduced to the small amount required to maintain the elevation reached. The great volume of current, being now directed through the large tube pointing downwards from the stern at an angle of about forty-five degrees, while helping to maintain the elevation, provided also the great motive power to propel the vessel through the air. The steering was accomplished by the discharge of the current through this tube, for the slightest change in its direction at once caused an alteration in the vessel’s course. But constant supervision was not required. When a long journey had to be taken the tube could be fixed so as to need no handling till the destination was almost reached. The maximum speed attained was about one hundred miles an hour, the course of flight never being a straight line, but always in the form of long waves, now approaching and now receding from the earth. The elevation at which the vessels travelled was only a few hundred feet–indeed, when high mountains lay in the line of their track it was necessary to change their course and go round them–the more rarefied air no longer supplying the necessary fulcrum. Hills of about one thousand feet were the highest they could cross. The means by which the vessel was brought to a stop on reaching its destination–and this could be done equally well in mid-air–was to give escape to some of the current force through the tube at that end of the boat which pointed towards its destination, and the current impinging on the land or air in front, acted as a drag, while the propelling force behind was gradually reduced by the closing of the valve. The reason has still to be given for the existence of the eight tubes pointing upwards from the bulwarks. This had more especially to do with the aerial warfare. Having so powerful a force at their disposal, the warships naturally directed the current against each other. Now this was apt to destroy the equilibrium of the ship so struck and to turn it upside down–a situation sure to be taken advantage of by the enemy’s vessel to make an attack with her ram. There was also the further danger of being precipitated to the ground, unless the shutting and opening of the necessary valves were quickly attended to. In whatever position the vessel might be, the tubes pointing towards the earth were naturally those through which the current should be rushing, while the tubes pointing upwards should be closed. The means by which a vessel turned upside down, might be righted and placed again on a level keel, was accomplished by using the four tubes pointing downwards at one side of the vessel only, while the four at the other side were kept closed.

The Atlanteans had also sea-going vessels which were propelled by some power analogous to that above mentioned, but the current force which was eventually found to be most effective in this case was denser than that used in the air-boats.

The Yellow Rose and The Soular Lotus

When it comes to models, it is wise to remember that they are just that. It is easy to fall into the trap of imagining the model to be reality and the sum total of reality at that.

When I first started doing the dreaming practice which involves a rājā yoga visualisation of a yellow rose, I was like a duck to water. This was because I can visualize multiple dimensions and things like symmetry operations easily.

Here is an annotated Toltec version of Otz Chiim. In blue are my suggestions.

Visualizing the yellow rose invokes the lightning strike from “on high” and this is an invigorating thing to do. One is intending union with the dreamer the Soul. As a part of the dreaming practice one can ascertain the dreaming colour or in other words upon which ray the egoic or Soular lotus is to be found. The idea is to fully open the heart, the lotus. After eight years of several times a day I switched to the Master in the Heart meditation which builds the Antahkarana {in red} up to the Soular lotus and beyond. In other words, this meditation builds Jacob’s ladder.

The two models do not coincide completely but there are correspondences.

What one has to bear in mind is that these two-dimensional flat representations are in fact at least three dimensions. Visualizing both of these diagrams in 3d should help.

The idea is to bring about complete fusion of Soul and personality, cooperation between the dreamer and the dreamed. This is the first goal of yoga or union.

In effect one hands the steering wheel of the physical plane entity over to the Soul or the Dreamer. Union is the true meaning of yoga.

Nāga – नाग

Excerpted from Wikipedia:

The Nāga (IAST: nāga; Devanāgarī: नाग) or Nagi (f. of nāga; IAST: nāgī; Devanāgarī: नागी) are divine, semi-divine deities, or a semi-divine race of half-human half-serpent beings that reside in the netherworld (Patala) and can occasionally take human form. Rituals devoted to these supernatural beings have been taking place throughout south Asia for at least two thousand years. They are principally depicted in three forms: wholly human with snakes on the heads and necks, common serpents, or as half-human half-snake beings in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. A female naga is a “Nagi”, “Nagin”, or “Nagini”. Nagaraja is seen as the king of nāgas and nāginis. They are common and hold cultural significance in the mythological traditions of many South Asian and Southeast Asian cultures. They are the children of Rishi Kashyapa and Kadru.

Etymology

In Sanskrit, a nāgá (नाग) is a cobra, the Indian cobra (Naja naja). A synonym for nāgá is phaṇin (फणिन्). There are several words for “snake” in general, and one of the very commonly used ones is sarpá (सर्प). Sometimes the word nāgá is also used generically to mean “snake”. The word is cognate with English ‘snake’, Germanic: *snēk-a-, Proto-IE: *(s)nēg-o- (with s-mobile).

Hinduism

The mythological serpent race that took form as cobras can often be found in Hindu iconography. The nāgas are described as the powerful, splendid, wonderful and proud semidivine race that can assume their physical form either as human, partial human-serpent or the whole serpent. Their domain is in the enchanted underworld, the underground realm filled with gems, gold and other earthly treasures called Naga-loka or Patala-loka. They are also often associated with bodies of waters — including rivers, lakes, seas, and wells — and are guardians of treasure. Their power and venom made them potentially dangerous to humans. However, they often took beneficial protagonist role in Hindu mythology; in Samudra manthan folklore, Vasuki, a nāgarāja who abides on Shiva’s neck, became the churning rope for churning of the Ocean of Milk. Their eternal mortal enemies are the Garudas, the legendary semidivine birdlike-deities.

Vishnu is originally portrayed in the form sheltered by Śeṣanāga or reclining on Śeṣa, but the iconography has been extended to other deities as well. The serpent is a common feature in Ganesha iconography and appears in many forms: around the neck, use as a sacred thread (Sanskrit: yajñyopavīta) wrapped around the stomach as a belt, held in a hand, coiled at the ankles, or as a throne. Shiva is often shown garlanded with a snake. Maehle (2006: p. 297) states that “Patanjali is thought to be a manifestation of the serpent of eternity”.

Buddhism

As in Hinduism, the Buddhist nāga generally has sometimes portrayed as a human being with a snake or dragon extending over his head. One nāga, in human form, attempted to become a monk; and when telling it that such ordination was impossible, the Buddha told it how to ensure that it would be reborn a human, and so able to become a monk.

The nāgas are believed to both live on Nagaloka, among the other minor deities, and in various parts of the human-inhabited earth. Some of them are water-dwellers, living in streams or the ocean; others are earth-dwellers, living in caverns.

The nāgas are the followers of Virūpākṣa (Pāli: Virūpakkha), one of the Four Heavenly Kings who guards the western direction. They act as a guard upon Mount Sumeru, protecting the dēvas of Trāyastriṃśa from attack by the asuras.

Among the notable nāgas of Buddhist tradition is Mucalinda, Nāgarāja and protector of the Buddha. In the Vinaya Sutra (I, 3), shortly after his enlightenment, the Buddha is meditating in a forest when a great storm arises, but graciously, King Mucalinda gives shelter to the Buddha from the storm by covering the Buddha’s head with his seven snake heads. Then the king takes the form of a young Brahmin and renders the Buddha homage.

In the Vajrayāna and Mahāsiddha traditions, nāgas in their half-human form are depicted holding a nāgas-jewel, kumbhas of amrita, or a terma that had been elementally encoded by adepts.

The two chief disciples of the Buddha, Sariputta and Moggallāna are both referred to as Mahānāga or “Great nāga”. Some of the most important figures in Buddhist history symbolize nāgas in their names such as Dignāga, Nāgāsēna, and, although other etymons are assigned to his name, Nāgārjuna.

Literature

The Nāga Saṃyutta of the Pali Canon consists of suttas specifically devoted to explaining nature of the nāgas.

In the “Devadatta” chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the daughter of the dragon king, an eight year old longnü (龍女, nāgakanyā), after listening to Mañjuśrī preach the Lotus Sutra, transforms into a male Bodhisattva and immediately reaches full enlightenment. Some say this tale appears to reinforce the viewpoint prevalent in Mahayana scriptures that a male body is required for Buddhahood, even if a being is so advanced in realization that they can magically transform their body at will and demonstrate the emptiness of the physical form itself. However many schools of Buddhism and classical, seminal Chinese exegeses interpret the story to repudiate this viewpoint, stating the story demonstrates that women can attain Buddhahood in their current form.

According to tradition, the Prajñapāramita sutras had been given by the Buddha to a great nāga who guarded them in the sea, and were conferred upon Nāgārjuna later.

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I have often pondered on the similarity of nāga with nagal and nagual, East meets West.

Gateway to the Nagual’s world similar to Nagaloka?

Quetzalcoatl

Snake Totem

This morning whilst out playing with the camera I came across this, a recently shed snakeskin.

This is the fourth encounter of a snake in the garden, and it comes, probably, from a snake not long out of hibernation. We also have three slow worms and a salamander. The skin is less than twenty metres from where I am now sat, out on the lawn just uphill of all the blossom.

Snakes and dragons get a bad press from the church.

Having been a child in outback Australia and in Zambia, close encounters of a snake like kind are not new. I very nearly ran over a black mamba with my bicycle. It was crossing the path in front of me, and I missed its tail by inches. In Australia aged 5-9 I used to bring snakeskins which I found in the dry creek or bush home to my mother. This freaked her a little.

Here is something on the snake totem from Animal Speak by Ted Andrews.

Dreams and Karma

The first thing to say on this subject is that many have a difficult relationship with sleep; they have difficulty nodding off, they don’t get enough sleep or they get too much. Many worry about sleep and others about the dreams therein. The second thing to say about this is that dreams (and visions) underpin and are a part of, many widely followed world religions. In the relaxed, at ease and stress free western world, many are wont to say;

“It was only a dream…”

Dreaming is natural. Everyone does it. Not everyone recalls their dreams. There are lots of opinions about dreams ranging from psychosexual, mystical, horror stories to space cadetry. Some are entirely conscious that they are dreaming when they are dreaming. For most people dreaming is a place where the problems of the day are gone over and filed. This dreaming is not deep dreaming nor true dreaming. It is internal dialogue, carried over into sleep.

Dreaming however can be of great aid in understanding Karma. It can advise on the past, encouraging one to review life to date. It can point at how to work with the Karma of the present and the time around that. It can guide to future fate and even destiny. Some dreams are very powerful and have implications wider than the indiviudal who dreamed them.

Dreams concerning fate and destiny are by way of signposts to a possibility opening in the web of life. It does not mean that the dream will actually manifest, that depends upon actions taken. Sometimes dreams of the future play out near verbatim.

Working with dreams can lead you to some very interesting places. BUT you have to listen to them AND act upon them. In order to start to work with dreams you need discipline. This sets the INTENT and allows dreaming to start to work in a different way.

Learning to dream true, takes time.

Those suffering from the burden of immediacy find it very difficult to adjust to the timescales of dreaming. Being ever in a hurry the dreaming cannot manifest nor coalesce.

That part of being which transmigrates between lifetimes is the Dreamer. This is the Soul or reincarnating Jiva. The vehicle into which it incarnates, including its personality, is the Dreamed.

The Dreamer chooses where it incarnates into. It does this to work directly with Karma.

All through life the Dreamer overshadows the Dreamed and whispers over its shoulder. It wants the Dreamed to get busy working with Karma. The Dreamed is often deaf, deluded and downright stubborn. The Dreamer has no option left other than to “ramp things up” until such time as the Dreamed starts to pay attention. It does this through dreaming both at night time and by dreaming in life circumstance for the Dreamed to work with. If it so chooses the Dreamer can precipitate a point of crisis for the Dreamed.

The Dreamer wants to drive the vehicle, the Dreamed resists. This can cause the car to crash!

It is with eyes closed that we can hear the whispers of our Dreamer the most easily. Unless you can still and silence the internal dialogue, you will never hear these whispers. There is no space amongst all that blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!

An intelligent being seeks to work with Karma. A stupid one ignores this.

Learning to Dream True is one of the quickest and most efficient ways of working with Karma. For Dreams, if you like, give the lesson plan from which to work. The exercises are set by your own inner teacher, the Dreamer. They are bespoke and tailored for you and you alone. This 1:1 teaching is quick, profound and effective.

If you learn to Dream True your life will unfold in unexpected ways. You will see beyond the facade of social conditioning and be introduced to the many layers of life which exist beyond the mundane and the 9:5.

Dreaming True is the adventure which ends in liberation.

Having said this there are many cul-de-sacs which glitter and sparkle with glamour. There are very many lost in these. All things Astral shine like stars to the glamoured beings. The personality, the Dreamed, loves baubles and trinkets. The Dreamer sighs heavily in frustration.

A large part of Dreaming True is very simple.

This is the truth and because it points at simple things to do with behaviour and attitude, it is often disregarded. There needs to be work done in order to learn from Karma. People are often lazy.

The Dreamer requires the Dreamed to experience discomfort and hence, learning.

It is exactly here where many give up on the idea of working with dreams. Whilst things are pillow fluffy and exciting, dreaming is OK. When the Dreamer says CHANGE! most give up the ghost or rather give up on the ghost. They try to forget their dreams and frustrate their Dreamer. This is Self-Sabotage, the SELF tries to sabotage the Soul!! This causes discomfort and tension in being. There is no happiness, no sense of being whole. There is a civil war going on in being. This state of civil war abounds and as a direct consequence, humanity suffers.

Who is driving my vehicle, my personality, my EGO, or my Soul?

God – a being or a state of awareness?

For many centuries humanity has cast God in its own image. We have some benevolent /vengeful geezer with a beard in a paternal sense and a Caucasian man getting nailed to the cross in Israel long before there was widespread travel and intermingling. Over the years many cultures have their own version of God and Gods. Our concept of deity is a time evolving one. This is a safe statement. Even the religions splinter and have different versions of God which arise out of the same scriptures.

I personally cannot imagine heaven and hell as they are often portrayed in artwork, because these portrayals have humans in corporeal forms. When you are dead and have quit your body, you don’t have one that looks like meat. Some people even have their body burned.

There are some questions that we cannot answer.

Science is pretty sure that the universe exists, and modern science even has a time frame for this current manifestation of the universe, 14 billion years-ish. By using instrumentation based largely on electromagnetic radiation we can measure the visible or emissive universe. This is the prakṛti or material universe, we do not have any instruments that might measure puruṣa. So even in our wisdom, which we might overestimate, we have at best half the story. The immaterial universe, the subjective is as it currently stands, beyond our instrumentation. The cycling of universe is spoken of in Vedic writings, and is not as yet forbidden by modern science, we have the so-called great crunch as a possible fate for this one. The one in which you and I are currently manifested incarnate beings.

We can say with a fair measure of confidence that the universe is.

We cannot answer why it is, nor for what purpose it manifested / is manifesting.

We might be able to offer some reasoned arguments for how come it came into being, in what way it manifests.

So, did a God kick off this whole shebang?

Does God have other beings who are his/her Gods?

Many traditions have a sense of an overarching Spirit which remains unmanifested. The so-called negative veils of existence Ain, Ain Soph, Ain Soph Aur of the kabbalist, the Nagal of the Toltecs, The Brahman and in a sense Wakan Tanka of the Sioux.

Is it necessary to invoke some kind of being? Or could we simply have “an awareness” without any form whatsoever, an awareness which is arupa, formless, no matter, no shape. As an abstract concept it is difficult to get your head around an insubstantive thing which is aware. Are we limited by our prejudices?

Now more than ever humanity is much more capable of abstract thought, we do not need oil paintings, or statues we have virtual reality and that can be time evolving.

In the Toltec Teachings there is a notion of before the universe. If there is no universe, there is no thing. No thing is very empty, a void, the utter nothingness of vacuum. We already have few problems with our cartesian thinking. What were the dimensions of this no thing? It is an invalid question because if there is no thing, even dimension has not yet manifested and remember dimension is something we humans dreamed up.

The narrative continues. This no thing this void was somehow aware, and it figured out that it was lacking “self”-knowledge there were aspects about itself which were unknown, perhaps unknowable. Remember this awareness was alone in the non-universe the void. In contemplation it had the inquiry as to what was known, unknown and unknowable. Some ”thing” stirred in its awareness.  Or perhaps it might be better to say the progenitor of “thing”, this bugged it. In order to find out what was unknown it had to manifest the unknown or matter aspect of itself. It had to make stuff. Out of arupa and pure nothingness it had to manifest rupa. And so, in a quest to understand its own awareness the great Spirit, the Nagal, gave birth to an aspect of its own awareness, the Nagal’s awareness which precipitated the creation of our universe as we now know it.

To imagine even for an attosecond that we mighty comprehend an awareness capable of manifesting a universe to better understand itself, is foolhardy arrogance.

You may notice that I have used it. This it cannot be until after the very first stages of manifestation. Because it cannot exist unless there is something. Nothing implies no it. I have used it as a convenience cognisant that it is strictly a turn of phrase.

Is God – a being or a state of awareness?

Different Types of Meditation

I’ll introduce the various different types of meditation that I have experimented with and make some comments about them.

Gazing

I mentioned that as a child I used to gaze at distant objects and become utterly absorbed by them, no thought involved. It is possible to while away great swathes of time in this manner. It is related a little to combing the shadows or gazing at shadows. If one concentrates hard on the shadow of say a leaf, or a tree or pretty much anything one starts to open and experience what can be termed the second attention. This differs from ordinary reality and can be quite spooky at first. In particular if one does gazing at dusk or dawn, some surprising stuff can be observed. Dusk and dawn can be thought of as the gap between worlds. You never know what you may / may not encounter whilst in the second attention at these junctures, this is particularly true when one is far away from concentrations of human beings. It is possible to enter the second attention for extended periods of time. I used to do this when hiking solo in the countryside.

Focusing on an object.

People rarely look and observe with commitment or intensity unless it is their job. I bet art restorers have a fantastic attention to detail. One can train the mind to focus by focussing on an object which may be static or dynamic. This might be a painting, a candle, or a fire.  Anyone who has really concentrated on a fire say in a log burner, for a long time knows how utterly absorbing and transcendental it can be. It can be mesmerizing or engaging. Fire meditations can lead one to strange places. Again, one can focus on the shadows of a candle.

Moving Meditations

These include martial arts and possibly asana. I am not at all supple, so I don’t know about the latter. My first experience of Zen and seiza came at a karate dojo. Where most sessions would end with a ten-minute meditation sat. We also did special breathing exercises in hourglass stance. After having done 1000 high level kicks, meditating in seiza, when the sensei is prowling with a shinai to whack you with if your posture sags, is quite an experience. One can find empty mind easily after extreme exercise. As one progresses in martial arts one is increasingly present in the moment, in the zone, and there is a martial state of mind which is hyper attuned to movement and flow. This differs in flavour between arts, yet to my limited experience there is commonality. Many of these states are generative of ki/qi/chi/prana.

Sound Meditations

Do you really listen to music totally and with every fibre of your being?

If you do you will know that listening to music is a highly meditative thing. Why is there plain song chant, mantra chanting and myriad other forms of music? Because there is nothing quite like certain types of music for speaking direct the soul, not all types but more than you might think. As an art form, the pinnacle of live opera in a cathedral such as The Royal Opera House or a mass in a Cathedral is hard to beat. It touches something deep inside. And if you are a participant as opposed to a recipient the collective ritual is evocative.

Emptiness Meditations

This is the complete and utter stilling of any thought process or fleeting emotion, seeking that point of utter inner silence before any single nascent thought has even begun to stir. There is the point before mind, the void, in which no-thing stirs, no-flicker of idea, no germ of discussion, not an iota of opine, nor a flickering emotion. Total silence, sans bruit. The point before mind is empty, yet it too is impermanent for there must be in time an influx. Time stops but time must restart, that is Dao, flow cannot be held at bay. There in that point before mind one can quite literally see a tiny foetus of thought begin to impregnate the silence and one Knows that one is the thinker and not the thought. When one attains the point before mind one literally stops the world.

Constructive Thought Form Building or Imagination

I have done two of these Toltec Dreaming Practice and The Master in the Heart. One visualises a yellow rose, the other a golden lotus. We have occident and orient. One evokes the lightning strike of energy down, one builds the Antahkarana up. Unlike emptiness practice these raja yoga techniques are constructive, literally building by the focussed and intelligent use of “mind”.

The Zen and the Art of Laser Alignment / Peeling Mangoes / Laying Flooring / Cooking Dinner….

Total absorption in the action, becoming at one with the action and not rushing, having no goal orientation, just doing. No internal dialogue, the eternity of now.

There is scene in the film Fearless where the main protagonist tries to compete in planting rice, in rushing he makes a mess of it and his blind carer has to go out the next day and replant what he has planted. This is the antheses of Zen and the Art of..

His mind was in win-space and not present.

Hmnn, I am pretty sure that I could expand on these…