editors and translators:
Im slowly improving from being bitten by the flu bug.
I would like to take the time now to thank also the Brazilian
and Polish translators for their insightful comments on my work.
You know, I forgot to do so in the last group letter. Im
doing so now. I think its time to tackle the most difficult
issue any human being can deal with and that issue of course
is connected to this mysterious thing I call IT.
I think were all sophisticated enough now to understand
that we are not our physical bodies. All is physical flux. The
body is born and it disintegrates. But the mind lives on in
order to find a new body. This is what the process of reincarnation
is all about. But the mind is also in flux. Does it ultimately
die too? If it does. What comes next? The answer to this question
leads the seeker to the deepest and highest teachings of any
religion. What are we if we are not our bodies nor our minds?
as meditation expands the mind to enable it to embrace a lot
more of itself; and other minds as well. So too is meditation
designed to ultimately kill the mind off . So that a different
kind of consciousness can slowly and subtly arise. This purer
form of consciousness is not connected to either our physical
bodies nor our expansive, but still limited minds. This is where
IT starts to take on quickly the dimensions of
consciousness and the mind are NOT EQUIVALENT. They are not
the same. Regardless of what any dictionary will tell you. Indeed
the flux of the mind distracts you from ever finding out who
you really are. Which is indeed this pure consciousness that
cannot be described nor perceived by the mind because of its
very fluxy limitations. These fluxy limitations of the mind
are so deep that they generate the constant physical flux which
we call reincarnation. Both fluxes are intimately connected.
is just a gross echo of the more subtle psychic flux thats
really working behind it. Neither flux is the truth. Only pure
consciousness is the truth, yet when this difficult concept
is encountered head-on. Only paradox enters the picture. Both
logically and also linguistically. Pure consciousness is not
describable because its not really a substance. It has
no dimensions like space and time. It cannot be perceived with
the senses nor can it really be analyzed with any kind of logic
consciousness is NOT the source also of any physical or psychic
kinds of worlds and thus cannot produce them. Yet neither of
these worlds could exist without pure consciousness. Pure consciousness
is also not GOD. Yet many mystical texts describe GOD as being
aware of this pure consciousness. Even to the point of deciding
which human being may have the experience of it. Is this a little
confusing? Pure consciousness is what we are after we finally
rid ourselves of both our bodies and then our minds.
is a very difficult situation to understand and
an even harder one to realize because our minds are so deeply
layered with certain cognitive functions that need to be dissolved
slowly through many life-times of concentration and meditation.
Only through this long process can our minds initially become
more expansive and aware of these deeper psychic layers even
as they distract us from becoming truly free of them. This is
the ultimate paradox of the spiritual path. Harvest of Gems
and Two Short Stories only skirts this very difficult paradox
as the complexity and speed of the human mind gets explored
by the writer with only small hints of where this process is
really going. That is why the word IT finally
takes on the form of a very haunting mantra as the Harvest journey
progresses onward from West to East. IT becomes
a symbol for both a greater and subtler kind of inter-connectivity
not just between reader and writer, but also reader and the
universe while also slowly hinting of something even beyond
all this and no more.
flux described both in and out in Harvest of Gems seems to be
connected to something mysterious and also eternal.
A kind of non-flux that cannot be described and that yet seems
indispensable to the existence of any kind of given flux even
if they can never be equivalent. If any of you are confused
by now its OK. This subject is the subtlest kind of topic
that any human can talk about. But to have a deeper understanding
of this difficult issue. Its necessary to back-track a
ancient Indian scriptures talk about an uncreated universe where
three kinds of psychic energy create everything that exists.
These energies are called the GUNAS. They are RAGAS, SATTVAH,
and TAMAS. These are the active, balanced, and passive mind
energies. Out of these three primary energies comes all kinds
of infinite combinations both psychic and physical. These primary
mind energies are primordial. They came before CHIT. Chit being
human mind energies which came much later. CHIT ultimately generated
gross forms of matter. This concept to Western ears is very
radical. Western cosmologies especially modern scientific ones
have all matter evolving first with humans coming along much
later along with their still evolving minds. Not so the East.
In the East mind comes first and Harvest of Gems and Forty Immutable
Parables always stress this very deep and important insight.
ancient Indians began studying and observing the mind and discovered
that it had basically four functions which were very complex
and layered and constantly shifting. These functions were memory,
identity, analysis, and judgment. Identity is what is now popularly
called ego. These four functions allowed the human mind to navigate
through all kinds of space-times and made it easy for it to
steer around other minds too. Out of this study and exploration
came what Swami Vivakenanada calls the Four Yogas. These four
yogas became the foundation for not only understanding the critical
properties of the mind, but also for finding avenues towards
transcending it completely.
will now talk briefly about the four yogas and why every important
religion has to have them to qualify as a serious religion.
The four yogas are like a grid which can be laid-out on any
religious system to see if it fulfills its ultimate potential.
The four yogas are Karma yoga, Bhakti yoga, Raga yoga, and Jnana
yoga. Each progressive yoga is more difficult to implement then
the last even though they are not mutually exclusive.
Karma yoga, the devotee concentrates on action. The spiritual
life is devoted towards helping others as selflessly as possible.
This non-attachment to the out-come of ones work can ultimately
lead one to enlightenment, but the process is very time-consuming.
With Bhakti yoga the first attempts at serious concentration
are made. An emotional symbol is chosen and its perception
is closely monitored. Devotion to Christ or the Buddah are
all standard bhakti objects. The devotee through an open-heart
rids him or her self of all ego. Then comes raga yoga. In
this practise perception itself is manipulated. Out of this
process every form of shamanism we know arose. Mind science
became codified and its no coincidence that spiritual
insurance is needed when doing Raga yoga. The temptations
for grabbing power are vast. Jnana yoga is the most difficult
yoga of all. Here perception is shifted and shifted until
it is ultimately eliminated. Very few humans are up to this
kind of inhuman kind of concentration. But the Buddah, Christ,
and Ramakrishna were all great jnani yogis. Please see the
picture of Ramakrishna. The greatest saint of the last one
the yogas can lead the seeker to eventual enlightenment or to
a karmic down-spiral that can have reprucussions for life-times.
The ego can hijack any kind of spiritual practise. There are
many false teachers in the world because of this. Most religions
in the West today have lost their raga and jnana dimensions
and have become empty shells of their former selves. Christian,
Jewish, and Muslim mystical schools are few and far between.
Within Christianity and Judasim even the bhakti element seems
to have been lost now. Today most churches and synagogues cater
only to karma yoga and in a very self-absorbed way. Devotion
to something higher has been lost and only a social club for
good works remains. This not enough for any true spiritual seeker.
religions have always known that a mix of all four yogas is
necessary. Yet few followers of any religion successfully make
the right balance. Harvest of Gems is about how the narrator
attempts to make this difficult balance under very trying conditions.
The Raga and Jnana yoga aspects of religion are re-introduced
to the West and also to the westernizing East in a new and bold
narrative. The story of Black and White Stress is a journey
through many of the gross and subtle dimensions of these four
yogas. With the promise of IT and thus something
beyond them always hovering nearby. Harvest of Gems is a journey
through all kinds of space-times. Through many kinds of Yin
and Yang worlds. A journey that carefully tracks karma and has
dialogues with deities and even God. The traveler keeps on with
his climbing. The main symbols of this journey being the Kalachakra
mandala and the Blue and White Yabyum. Both of these symbols
are powerful Raga yoga icons.
writer has added to this letter two more photos. All of
you now know the Kalachakra mandala which is on the cover
of Harvest of Gems.
Blue and White Yabyum symbol is the first photo here.
It is an ancient shaman icon that reflects feminine and
masculine energies in countless kinds of exchanges. The
yogas came out of deep studies into the guna-chitta realm
and they all point to the Godhead. Where there is no space
nor time. Nor any kind of psychic energy. Where there
are no reference points and also not any perceptions.
It is Nibbana. It is Satchittananada. It is Being-consciousness-bliss.
Or just pure consciousness. God is above the guna-chitta
realm. But is not part of the Godhead. The Indians used
symbols to point to this non-dual beingness. All logic
and words fail here and except for a few secret mystical
schools. The West never really understood this.
most powerful symbol of the non-dual paradox is Kali standing
on top of the prostrate corpse of Shiva. This is the third
photo attached to this letter. Mother is God as seen through
the mind-stuff. This female symbol of God stands on top
of what is transcendent of both nothing and everything.
This being the Godhead. A term coined by Meister Eckhardt.
One of Christianitys greatest mystics. This
negative yabyum symbol is for celibates. Here one
sees all creation and destruction standing on top of a source
which has no connection to it at all, yet which without
it could not be. The paradoxes keep mounting until the mind
of the seeker drops all its engrained illusory perceptions
about what he or she always was.