When I collect my wings

It is a satisfying thought; that when I am ‘deaded’ (as my then Greek landlord’s 4-year daughter used to say), I will be sent a pair of wing to take me into the heavens – to my new home. Would I need to remember Icarus, the lad who flew too close to the sun? I do, however, like the thought of flying high, like an eagle. Yet, as my father advised in response to that hope, ‘Of all the birds, the eagle flies highest; but he flies alone.’ O.K. that would suit me: even at an early age, I realised that I may be destined to become a loner, thereby being able to fly high in any direction.

Is it then significant that I was born in the (Chinese) Year of the Dragon? Unlike those who believe that you are what you are because of when you were born, I prefer the view that you were born when you were because of what you are. That is, the time and date of your birth reflects your innate nature and (possibly) your path of destiny (in the broad). This path, no matter how it was set, has to allow for a degree of free will, as well as for chance events or influences, or for pre-programmed interactions and intersections, has it not?

As I wrote in the conclusion to my memoir, The Dance of Destiny, referring to the flight of dragons in the context of human folly: They soar into the sky of solitude, and simultaneously sink into the sea of humanity, as they sing the songs of significance about their true home, that ocean of consciousness which unites all existence and non-existence

What will the higher beings in my next abode say when they meet this new arrival who was described in relation to one of his books as ‘an intellectual who cannot be categorised’? Or, do they already know that I am only an eagle thinking that I am a dragon?

 

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Returning to the Ocean of Consciouness

The following excerpt from Ecknath Easwaran’s The Upanishads views life’s as “ … a kind of school in which the individual  self is constantly evolving, growing life after life towards a fully human nature.”

The world is the wheel of God, turning round

And round with all living creatures upon its rim.

The world is the river of God,

Flowing from him and flowing back to him.

On this revolving wheel of being

The individual goes round and round

Through life after life, believing itself

To be a separate creature, until

It sees its identity with the Lord of Love

And attains immortality in the indivisible whole.

(Shvetashvatara I.4-6)

I offer to share this inspiring view to other Seekers of understanding of reality. But, I am not seeking to ‘sell’ Hinduism, or to argue that there is only one path to God. Ultimately, we are dealing with beliefs – unproven, unprovable – no matter how many theologians stand on the head of a thumbtack claiming that they have an inside track or the only track to God.

Reincarnation in a nutshell

Moving back to matters of the spirit rather than of the mind, as a metaphysical Hindu interested in obtaining a purview of reality which transcends the valuable guidance available in all the major religions, I hold on to a belief which I acquired in my youth; that is, reincarnation.

This concept of a repeated renewal of Earthly life was, I understand, part of the belief systems of most cultures, until the early Christian church discarded it. This belief offers a continuity in the process of soul purification, as driven by one’s free will. The process needs more than a single lifetime.

Refreshing my reading of The Upanishads by Ecknath Easwaran, an American academic of Asian Indian origin, I came upon the following self-explanatory excerpt:   

As a caterpillar, having come to the end of one blade of

grass, draws itself together and reaches out for the next,

so the Self, having come to the end of one life and shed all

ignorance, gathers in its faculties and reaches out from the

old body to a new.

(Brihadaranyaka III.4.3)

I offer to share this with other Seekers of understanding of reality.

 

 

The wisdom of the ancients

I remember that, at about 8 years of age, I asked my parents about the origin of the universe. This was a time when, before bedtime, my family often sat outside our home in the dark, and wondered at the beauty and apparently complexity of a sparkling sky. Their response? It has always been here, with neither beginning nor end. What an entrancing glimpse of reality, in the midst of a life of material insecurity!

While traversing the mechanistic perception of all that is in the universe by the modern Western world, throughout my life, my wonderment has continued. I remain unsatisfied by the changing speculative explanations or theories of modern science. Instead, I have been entranced by the myths from all over the world about the inexplicable complexity of the Cosmos. I recognise that enduring myths originating in ancient, long-gone civilisations will reflect some history, while offering explanations of the mysterious.

I have also been challenged by the claim (read The Upanishads by Ecknath Easwaran) that the mind is only an instrument of consciousness.

Those of us who are spiritual know that, since we humans are co-created, we are interconnected; that is, bonded to one another (at least, in intent). Similarly, the recently discovered principles of quantum physics has led to free-thinking cosmologists working in that discipline to postulate that the interconnectedness of all matter and events (the ‘oneness’ described by mystics in many cultures) is actually conscious, possibly intelligent. These heretics of science may take us to a real understanding of existence.

Indeed, in his autobiography, Paramahamsa Yogananda wrote of his wonderful experiences of cosmic consciousness in a state of ecstatic joy when “ … the entire Cosmos … glittered with the infinitude of my being.”

Modern science may yet accept that those who came before us may have glimpsed reality in a way not practised by us.

THE WAY HOME – A THOUGHT

What one perceives to be of form and substance may only be a transient projection from that

all-embracing, all-permeating, ever-existing essence of indefinable reality which is the Cosmos.

This, the ancients called Consciousness.

Does this not explain that subtle yearning by sensitive souls to return to that very ocean (the Ocean

of Consciousness) from which we humans had once arisen?

Is this not the greatest, and yet simplest, lesson we can impart to our youth?

 

Purpose in Earthly existence

Moving from the spiritual to the material, we normally live without much emphasis on what life is all about, and how we human beings fit into the universe. After all, life is for living – without much concern for ego gratification.  Yet … … as an inquisitive 8-year old, I did ask my parents how the universe came about. Their answer was: It has always existed; it has neither beginning nor end. What a surprise! How could that be, I wondered.

When I began to read about religion at 24, the only explanation I found came from Hinduism. The Hindu cosmology is complex. See Chapter 9 ‘On Religion’ in my book Musings at Death’s Door: an ancient bicultural Asian-Australian ponders about Australian society about my tentative understanding of it. Combined with Hinduism’s metaphysics, the cosmology is awesome and inspiring. (NOTE: Musings at Death’s Door has been recommended by the US Review of Books.)

I remain curious. Why do we exist? Is there some reason for the kingdom of fauna to have thrown up the human species? To what end? Of what use are we? Do we not pollute our environment and destroy that which sustains us? Then we die. Many people I know resist death, seemingly because of the alternative (as one woman said to me recently). As a metaphysical Hindu, I am not afraid to die; indeed, I am looking forward to death – but only in my Earthly form. I look forward to continuing my search in another dimension to understand the place of humankind in the universe.