The Endless Journey

The Endless Journey

Dear editors and translators:

I’m 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. I’m doing so now. I think it’s 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 we’re 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?

Just 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 a paradox.

Pure 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.

Reincarnation is just a gross echo of the more subtle psychic flux that’s 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 it’s 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 whatsoever.

Pure 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.

This 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 get’s 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.

The 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 it’s 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. It’s necessary to back-track a bit.

The 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.

The 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.

I 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.

In 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 one’s work can ultimately lead one to enlightenment, but the process is very time-consuming.

Sri Ramakrishna
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 it’s 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 hundred years.

All 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.

Most 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.


The 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.

The 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.

  The 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 Christianity’s 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.




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