June 2004

 

 E-ZINE

 

Inspirations
a poem by Rumi


Feature article
on the Cosmos

News
updates from the Meditation Society and a brainteaser

Campaigns
updating Just 1 Day, World Peace Society, and
Pilgrims of Peace


Readers Article

on the Matrix


We need you
to submit to the meditation e-zine

From the Editor

Welcome to the second edition of our meditation e-zine. Previous editions are available here. I hope you enjoyed the recent lunar eclipse which occurred on Buddha's birthday 05/05/04 (or you enjoyed your warm bed at 5am in the morning!). We have a few photos to share, running alongside the feature article, and a photo of the eclipse forms the background for our inspirational poem this month, by Jalaluddin Rumi.

We've changed the format a little by offering a Feature Article from a recognised spiritual teacher, and also a Reader's Article (so, dear readers, please submit articles!).

in peace,
sabine

Inspirations

 

Apocalypse and Glory, by Jalaluddin Rumi (13th century Sufi poet and mystic), Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world. The forms may change, yet the essence remains the same. Every wonderful sight will vanish, every sweet word will fade, But do not be disheartened, The source they come from is eternal, growing, Branching out, giving new life and new joy. Why do you weep? The source is within you, And this whole world is springing up from it.

 

Feature Article

 

The Cosmos: the Macrocosm - excerpts from a speech by Swami Vivekananda delivered in 1896, taken from his book Jnana Yoga.

The whole mass of existence which we call nature has been acting on the human mind since time immemorial. It has been acting on the thought of man, and as its reaction has come out the question: What are these,- whence are they? As far back as the time of the oldest portion of that most ancient human composition, the Vedas, we find the same question asked : "Whence is this? When there was neither aught nor naught, and darkness was hidden in darkness, who projected this universe? How? Who knows the secret?" And the question has come down to us at the present time...

...We find that in this oldest of questions a few points had been already solved. The first is that there was a time when there was "neither aught nor naught", when this world did not exist; our mother earth with the seas and oceans, the rivers and mountains, cities and villages, human races, animals, plants, birds, and planets and luminaries, all this infinite variety of creation, had no existence. Are we sure of that? We will try to trace how this conclusion is arrived at. What does a man see around him? Take a little plant. He puts a seed in the ground, and later, he finds a plant peep out, lift itself slowly above the ground, and grow and grow, till it becomes a gigantic tree. Then it dies, leaving only the seed. It completes the circle-it comes out of the seed, becomes the tree, and ends in the seed again. Look at a bird, how from the egg it springs, lives its life, and then dies, leaving other eggs, seeds of future birds.

So with the animals, so with man. Everything in nature begins, as it were, from certain seeds, certain rudiments, certain fine forms, and becomes grosser and grosser, and develops, going on that way for a certain time, and then again goes back to that fine form, and subsides. The raindrop in which the beautiful sunbeam is playing was drawn in. the form of vapour from the ocean, went far away into the air, and reached a region where it changed into water, and dropped down in its present form-to be converted into vapour again. So with everything in nature by which we are surrounded. We know that the huge mountains are being worked upon by glaciers and rivers, which are slowly but surely pounding them and pulverising them into sand, that drifts away into the ocean where it settles down on its bed, layer after layer, becoming hard as rocks, once more to be heaped up into mountains of a future generation. Again they will be pounded and pulverised, and thus the course goes on. From sand rise these mountains, unto sand they go…

We see then, that nothing can be created out of nothing. Everything exists through eternity, and will exist through eternity. Only the movement is in succeeding waves and hollows, going back to fine forms, and coming out into gross manifestations. This involution and evolution is going on throughout the whole of nature. The whole series of evolution beginning with the lowest manifestation of life and reaching up to the highest, the most perfect man, must have been the involution of something else. The question is: The involution of what? What was involved? God.

The evolutionist will tell you that your idea that it was God is wrong. Why? Because you say God is intelligent, but we find that intelligence develops much later on in the course of evolution. It is in man and the higher animals that we find intelligence, but millions of years have passed in this world before this intelligence came. This objection of the evolutionists does not hold water, as we shall see by applying our theory. The tree comes out of the seed, goes back to the seed; the beginning and the end are the same. The earth comes out of its cause and returns to it. We know that if we can find the beginning we can find the end. E converso, if we find the end we can find the beginning. If that is so, take this whole evolutionary series, from the protoplasm at one end to the perfect man at the other, and this whole series is one life. In the end we find the perfect man, so in the beginning it must have been the same. Therefore, the protoplasm was the involution of the highest intelligence. You may not see it, but that involved intelligence is what is uncoiling itself until it becomes manifested in the most perfect man.

That can be mathematically demonstrated. If the law of conservation of energy is true, you cannot get anything out of a machine unless you put it in there first. The amount of work that you get out of an engine is exactly the same as you have put into it in the form of water and coal, neither more nor less. The work I am doing now is just what I put into me, in the shape of air, food, and other things. It is only a question of change and manifestation. There cannot be added in the economy of this universe one particle of matter or one footpound of force, nor can one particle of matter or one foot-pound of force be taken out.

If that be the case, what is this intelligence? If it was not present in the protoplasm, it must have come all of a sudden, something coming out of nothing, which is absurd. It, therefore, follows absolutely that the perfect man, the free man, the God-man, who has gone beyond the laws of nature, and transcended everything, who has no more to go through this process of evolution, through birth and death, that man called the "Christ-man" by the Christians, the "Buddha-man" by the Buddhists, and the "Free" by the Yogis - that perfect man who is at one end of the chain of evolution was involved in the cell of the protoplasm, which is at the other end of the same chain...

...We now see that all the various forms of cosmic energy, such as matter, thought, force, intelligence, and so forth, are simply the manifestation of that cosmic intelligence, or, as we shall call it henceforth, the Supreme Lord. Everything that you see, feel, or hear, the whole universe, is His creation, or to be a little more accurate, is His projection; or to be still more accurate, is the Lord Himself. It is He who is shining as the sun and the stars, He is the mother earth. He is the ocean Himself. He comes as gentle showers, He is the gentle air that we breathe in, and He it is who is working as force in the body. He is the speech that is uttered, He is the man who is talking. He is the audience that is here. He is the platform on which I stand, He is the light that enables me to see your faces. It is all He. He Himself is both the material and the efficient cause of this universe, and He it is that gets involved in the minute cell, and evolves at the other end and becomes God again. He it is that comes down and becomes the lowest atom, and slowly unfolding His nature rejoins Himself.

This is the mystery of the universe. "Thou art the man, Thou art the woman, Thou art the strong man walking in the pride of youth, Thou art the old man tottering on crutches, Thou art in everything. Thou art everything, 0 Lord." This is the only solution of the Cosmos that satisfies the human intellect. In one word, we are born of Him, we live in Him, and unto Him we return.

Further info: You can find out more about Swami Vivekananda at http://www.vivekananda.org/ or http://www.ramakrishna.org/sv.htm Buy his books at http://meditation.org.au/bookscds.asp

News (and fun stuff!)

 

Our meditation society website is continually expanding, with the latest addition being a series of articles on meditation-related topics. You can find the articles on the side bar of http://meditation.org.au.

 

Your perception of the rotation of this image apparently indicates the dominance of one hemisphere of your brain. But if you watch it long enough (for a few minutes), your left and right brain will connect and you will see it change direction. With practice you will be able to "make" it change direction whenever you want - perhaps encouraging greater connections between your brain. Not exactly a meditation tool, but its fun!

 

Campaigns

 

An update on the Just 1 Day campaign: working for just one day without war, 22nd August 2004. On their website they have the text of a letter you can write to world leaders, asking them to support the campaign. Many nations have already pledged their support, Australia is currently considering the initiative, so perhaps that one letter you write could make all the difference!

And an update on the US Presidential Election for the rest of the world, on http://worldpeace.org.au: The Independent candidate, Ralph Nader is winning the election on 53%, with George Bush on 4%. Maybe peace has a chance at the ballot box...

Updating the Pilgrims of Peace: they attempted to begin their round-the world journey by bicycle in Pakistan, with the aim of continuing to Tibet, but failed to get permission from the Chinese authorities. Most are at present in Pakistan, while one of the pilgrims is in India attempting to start the mission again from there. We will not hear much from them once they actually begin (until they reach Australia next year), so check out their website and offer your support now if you are inspired to do so!

Readers article

 

The Matrix - by Farnaz Farnaian

Note: My commentary below is only my interpretation of the Bahá'i Writings and does not represent any authoritative interpretation. In the Bahá'i Faith we do not have any clergy. Every individual, its founder Baha’u’llah says, is encouraged to Independently Investigate the Truth.

Life can sometimes seem so complicated, and striving to purify our hearts in this challenging materialistic society is difficult. Yet when we understand what the fundamental purpose of life is, we can make more meaning out of everyday. The Writings from the Bahá'i Faith describe the beginning of human life: all of our spiritual capacities and endowments were given to us at this time.

“The powers requisite in this world were conferred upon him in the world of the matrix… There he received capacity and endowment for the reality of human existence.” (Bahá'i Writings)

At conception was the creation of the soul. Conception is the official union between the body, the soul and the human spirit. Existence has always been eternal, yet here is the special time that our spiritual journey begins. In the world of the matrix, all of our spiritual capacities and endowments were given to us.

At this time we grew eyes, ears, a mouth and a brain. We grew all of our physical forces that would be used in this world. We grew eyes but we didn’t use them in that world. We grew legs at a time that we couldn’t even walk. Why? Because we were preparing to come into this world.

For 9 months we grow and develop our physical senses so that we can use them here in the physical world. If we didn’t grow eyes, we would be blind in this world. If we didn’t grow our legs, we wouldn’t be able to walk in this world. Ultimately, whatever capacities we do not grow in that world, hinder us in this world, and life becomes difficult.

“That which he needs in the world of the Kingdom must be obtained here… the indispensable forces of the divine existence must be potentially attained in this world.” (Bahá'i Writings)

In this same sense, the spiritual forces that we need for the spiritual world are to be developed in this earthly life. These forces are the capacities that are latent in every soul. The soul, just like the body in the matrix, needs to be cultivated, tested, cleansed and purified in order to have the necessary spiritual eyes, ears, and legs to move in the next world.

The author, Farnaz Farnaian, is actively involved in the Bahá'i Society of Wollongong University, and facilitates many events. For more information on workshops in Wollongong on Reflections on the Life of the Spirit, please email: [email protected]. For more information on the Bahá'i Faith internationally please see: www.bahai.org

We need you!

 

If you have any inspirational poems or quotes, campaigns, articles, photos, or other material you would love to share, please let us know and we may include it in our next e-zine and possibly on http://meditation.org.au. Please email nospam@meditation.org.au with any suggestions. Until then, "may the force be with you"...

 

 

 

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