Archives for posts with tag: christianity

One outcome of my awakening experience was my personal discovery of books from early Christianity that had been largely unknown until a large cache were discovered in the desert of Egypt in 1945. One book purported to be the secret teachings of Jesus to his innermost circle. What I realized, or thought I did, was that these books were describing awakening with a pretty high degree of specificity. It wasn’t only that, but how they appeared to veil the teachings in many cases by using descriptions that made it difficult for anyone not having the experience to even know what the writers were refering to. It was to my mind like a way of coding the teachings just enough that it made it hard to understand. This may have been intentional, but it could also have been the result of not having a specific enough vocabulary with which to do the describing.

This might sound strange, but let me give you an example for what I mean. Not long into awakening, me and a person who awoke along with me (a country apart, didn’t know each other, this all happened from a distance) we both referred to what was happening to us as “it.” That was how sophisticated our vocabulary was. We had no reference point, no context, nor a teaching to guide us. Overnight, innexplicably, we had a tellepathic connection (which was proven numerous times each week). “It” fit though, because how on earth would you describe “this” (we used that term also)? It also kept what was happening to us from prying eyes and ears since who would understand or believe it? There was no real context in which to put it in. When that’s the case, you create a language or vocabulary for it much like people who are dealing with it do today (witness the use of words like “downloads” and “portals” to refer to aspects of the experience). You create your own vocabulary to help describe what is happening to you.

How could it be, I wondered, that these books were described as heresy by certain people within the church when they so clearly revealed a sophisticated understanding of a very rare state of being?

When I first found these books and realized they were pretty clearly describing my state, I considered that it was a conspiracy that they were not just shoved aside, but that in many cases, the books that were part of an unnacceptable take on Christian thought were destroyed. Now however, I am realizing it was little more than a conspiracy of ignorance…and an easy trap to fall for by anyone who was not in the know, who hadn’t had the experience, or wasn’t initiated into the system.

Was it as many scholars have asserted, that these books were jibberish, mere speculation, and could not be tied to Jesus at all? Was it true that as some Orthodox apologists have said, that these people, called “Gnostics” were late-comers? Were they forging documents, slapping Jesus’s name on them in order to give their own “wild speculations and fantasies” more caché?

I have learned that the opposition will say just about anything in order to put a good man or woman down. Maybe this speculation was right, and my initial gut sense was all wrong. There were times when this certainly appeared to be the case.

This question put me on a 15 year journey where I made myself familiar with early Christianity. I didn’t spend years in seminary getting my doctorate in divinity, nor did I learn Greek or Hebrew. I knew next to nothing about the field and I just couldn’t square my sense that these early Christians were on to something of immense importance versus what those in what would become known as the Orthodox church had to say about these teachings. Something didn’t add up.

I have realized that while I lack the background in the history of early Christianity that many scholars in the field have, I have something most (perhaps nearly all) do not: I have the experience of awakening with all of its dizzying effects, signs, and symptoms. I have read at length even scholars who specialize in the Gnostic texts speculating about the meanings of the gospel of Thomas or Philip. My sense from the beginning was that these Gnostics were the real deal, and that these works constitutes a “lost Christianity” as Bart Ehrman has described it. Having said this, I will also say that they go far afield from the words of Jesus as we have come to know them. The difference between an esoteric system and an exoteric one (the Gnostics as we refer to them ate esoteric) is that esoteric systems have much greater production of documents because the followers keep having experiences and writing about them. In the case of these early Christians, they believed that the Christ was revealed to be within a person (some Gnostics considered Paul to be a bit of a hero because he writes in his letters that God revealed to him the Christ which was within him when he was struck by a blinding light on his way to Damascus). For the Gnostics, then, the crucifixion lost much of its importance because they found salvation from the awakening to the indwelling Christ.

I ask you: what teaching by Jesus ever made anything appear to be outside of ones self? The kingdom was all within one, and seeking was done inwardly. Those who “seek him” were seeking a quality that was already there. It is worth noting that this is precisely what most Eastern traditions that describe awakening say. It is also a completely different story that Orthodox Christians have put forward since about 100-130 A.D.

I will say, however, that there were times in my work on this subject where it looked like the Gnostics were a later “invention” or movement and could not be definitively pinned to Jesus. I was, for a time, considering that for as insightful as they were, there just wasn’t a connection to Jesus’s life. I got used to the idea that these were amazing people who spun their own insights into what the Christ was all about. Maybe they were a seperate development that still managed to “get there” even though they came later.

That was before I found out about the work of Walter Bauer who did a study or survey of documents from earliest Christianity, who, in the 1930’s (and before the discovery in 1945 of this cache of early books in Egypt) determined that heresy came first and Orthodoxy came later. Orthodoxy, based on Bauer’s work, placed Orthodoxy a hundred years after the heretics (give or take a decade or two). Source: Orthodoxy & Heresy In Earliest Christianity

Heresy has always been described by the church as that branch off of the “main vine” that represents a divergence from the central truths of the dogma (see church father Origen since he originated this concept). This begged the question: how could this be so in light of what Bauer found? This may have been the result of the church, a group within it, seeking to hide the truth about how things were in the early days of the movement. It could have been as simple as ignorance by another group who didn’t have the deeper teachings (and thus could easily not understand them even when they saw them).

Then there is the troubling reality that Bart Ehrman points out in his book Jesus Interupted which is that most of the discoveries we have made in the last 100 years of Christian documents are nearly all Gnostic (which is used to describe this group of Christians today—gnosticism meaning ‘one who knows’ or who has inner knowledge not attained through books or instruction alone). Ehrman asks pointedly, did the Orthodoxy not have anything to say that there have been so few new discoveries of Orthodox books or letters during the same time period? It is plausible, then, that Gnosticism was far more robust, engaged, and involved in the matters of Christian thought than the early heresy hunters would have us believe. The historical record is certainly showing us this in spades in this regard. In Bauer’s work he points out letters that show that the church gave up trying to convert Asia Minor because the heretics were so numerous and resistant to their message. It would be easy to just say they were deluded and utterly lost, but it hides the fact that this was a situation that had always been described as no big deal by those in the Orthodox wing of the church, something more like a few flies that needed to be swatted away as the Orthodoxy has tried to represent it as. No, “heresy” was much more developed than Orthodoxy was, and at a very early period. It begs the question as to which tradition was the original or earliest one.

When I think about what happens to our leaders today it is easy to see how each side in a political campaign seeks to demonize and dethrone the leader who is in the opposition. Those with the loudest voices wind up being heard and believed. We are well aware of the sentiment that the winners of a war get to tell the history as they want it told.

Orthodoxy won the war of ideas not because their thinking was superior but because they were more worldly and systematic in their willingness to take down what they considered an opponent. You can easily see just how harsh the rhetoric was by reading the writings of these noted antiheretics like Tertulian, St. Justin, and others like them. In fact, we know a lot about early Christian “heretics” because the diatribes about them were so long-winded (and detailed) by those who were opposing them. Christians don’t like the idea that there may have been a larger story here because they have lived with a version of a story they have come to know and love. But to say that a belief system is right simply because we have lived with it for 1600 years or more is not evidence that it is necessarily right or the final word. It only means that one group stamped out another group such that their knowledge base was silenced.

Yes it seems strange and foreign, and yet this is just what archeology has revealed and the voice that was silenced was showing us the very keys to the kingdom. These keys as I call them are a suit of methods that appear in the so-called Gnostic writings mostly found in the Nag Hammadi Libray but that are also found in documents discovered earlier like the Pistis Sophia. These documents describe the same phenomenon as those in Eastern schools of though which describe the process of enlightenment.

I am not suggesting that these people went to India, but managed it on their own and that the “ressurrection” of the soul was achieved by attaining a quality that one culture called Christ while another called it Buddha. As such, this knowledge wasn’t predicated on belief alone, but pointed to a universal quality that every person has regardless of race or creed.

Rumi, the great poet and mystic once wrote about how we all squabble over the names of things and that we try to differentiate the light falling in one place as fundamentally different from the light falling in another when it is all the same source, the same thing. I think Orthodoxy tried to do this in an effort to carve out its own seemingly unique niche when in fact it had discarded important elements along the way that would have enriched it tremendously.

The Mar Saba Discovery

Then along comes Morton Smith in the 20th century. Morton Smith claimed to have made a discovery of a book in Mar Saba near Israel in the early 1960’s that contained writing by Clement, a figure from early Christianity. Clement quotes lines from a book that he calls “Secret Mark” which was, as he described it, part of a private teaching Jesus gave to his closest followers. Clement emphasizes that these teachings were never spoken before the uninitiated, a situation Jesus cautions about even in the synoptic gospels when he refers to swine and pearls, those who were “without.” In this case, Jesus was pointedly obfuscating his teaching so the Gentiles could not understand lest they be saved. The book was intended for the “perfecting” of those who were followers of this Jesus.

Morton Smith took photographs of the document and when he returned later to examine the book again, it had vanished. It has not been seen since. Here’s the thing: forensic examination of the photographs themselves have established that the book is an authentic document of the era. Christian apologists go so far as to criticize the writing as being “too Clementine” which to me may well be enough to prove the point. The writing style is consistent with what historians know about Clement, who has many writings attributed to him. Those within scholarly circles who are Christian apologists set upon Smith in attack after attack, however.

The letter was about one thousand words and had been copied onto the endpages of a seventeenth century book which no one had ever mentioned before. The find shook the scholarly world, although it’s existance made hardly a ripple in popular Christian circles because the letter denounced the group involved as heretical. That seems to be enough for any reasonable believer of the faith, but it raised important questions for many who find the discoveries of this kind to be suggestive of what Bauer had found to be the case and which continuing discoveries like the Nag Hammadi Library texts had done two decades prior, which was whether we have been told the whole story. Here is an excerpt from an article in The Nation about the discovery:

These heretics, as Clement and Theodore saw them, claimed that they possessed a secret version of the Gospel of Mark. Jesus, they believed, had taught his followers that they were freed from the law and could do whatever they wanted without sinning. According to one of their Christian critics, Irenaeus, they actually thought they earned salvation by “doing all those things which we dare not either speak or hear of, nay, which we must not even conceive in our thoughts.”

The Nation, Gospel Secrets: The Biblical Controversies of Morton Smith, January 8, 2009, Anthony Grafton.

It is worth noting that as a result of scholarly research we now know that it was Mark’s gospel that was the earliest of all the gospels. While Clement denounced the teachings in Secret Mark, he did not say that this Mark didn’t exist. Here we have a proof that books like Secret Mark were later destroyed by the Orthodox church, with copies that have yet to surface. Consider what would happen if the prevailing attitudes and beliefs of today were against you, what would you do? Would you perhaps hide away the books that you do have in order to preserve them? If your books were unapproved of, they would be destroyed with fire.

While some scholars like Ehrman have suggested that the Nag Hammadi find may well have been an effort on the part of local Christians to free up space in their libraries by burying the collection several kilometers away, I am reminded of an email from Elaine Pagels recently that the burial of the NHL documents is well within the same time frame as the letter by Bishop Athanasius, written in 365 A.D. which spelled out what books were to be acceptable for use in the church. Every book Athanasius mentioned in his list is contained in the New Testament today. It was Athanasius’s letter that would set the die for all that would follow. Anything else would come under scrutiny and risk being remanded to the flames. Remember, before the printing press, books were copied by hand in what could take many months to complete. Burning one book or two could end an important thread within the early movement. Back then, in the first century, stories abounded about the life of Jesus, an oral tradition, that was only later written down after Jesus’s death.

This article is helpful to gain the full scope of the issue about how the New Testament was formed.

My thesis has been and continues to be that Jesus was a man who attained awakening. The books attributed to his private teaching happen to also describe what is known in India as kundalini. While there isn’t compelling evidence that Jesus had gone to India, there is no good reason to suggest that in order to awaken he would need to study under an enlightened guru either. It’s possible he got instruction locally from John the Baptist, or the Essenes. We just don’t know because for as a man as famous as Jesus is, there is a huge gaping hole that is unaccounted for in his life in terms of time. I never studied under a guru and managed to trigger the first initiatory steps into awakening on my own. Likewise, it is quite possible that Jesus did the same. All he would need would be a quality of intense curiosity and a drive to seek. I suspect that this is just what Jesus meant when he said seek and ye shall find. He sought, and he found. But what did he find? He described it as a world that was within each person. At no point does Jesus ever say that his kingdom was outside of himself. All of this was an inside job. So meditation would have been part of it, something Jews of the time were well familiar with. The right kind of meditation would do it, nothing fancy, but something that would serve to achieve a first release of inner emotional material followed by inner inquiry.

It turns out that I did precisely what the heretical Jesus prescribed, which was to remove what keeps one divided within the self. This is actually a prescription Jesus mentions in the gospel of Thomas and mentions in the gospel of Phillip. The way I achieved this was through a conversation with a holy man when I felt a long-standing frustration guilt, and frustration with the universe, afterwhich everything began to change. I unburdened myself of a giant knot that had me tied up for decades, it was almost like an insurmountable impasse for me at the time.

I suspect that the story of Jesus’s baptism was like this or served a similar purpose for him because in the Gnostic texts he is teaching about how to attain the kingdom by resolving what divides you within, and a teacher always relays to his or her students how they achieved it themselves. The elephant in the room is if Jesus was God why was he going to John to have his sin removed? Why did Jesus need baptism? He obviously felt like he needed it, and instead of seeking the God, according to Orthodox scripture, which had always been within him. It’s a huge leap around the question that Christians never seem to ask. I think that it is a perfectly reasonable question to ask and actually makes loads of sense once the private teachings are known and taken into consideration.

With John, who claimed he could relieve the burden of sin through ritual washing, or baptism, Jesus was relieved enough of his own burden for the first flashes of “the light” to begin showing through. Jesus also spent forty days fasting and praying in the wilderness near where John was located. I will point out that this is the same approximate time that the Taoists prescribe for awakening the secret of the golden flower, their take on the awakening process. Similarly, in Hindu practice the number of 40 to 45 days comes up a lot for a time frame. It takes some effort to break through the veil of the earthly self to attain to the “heavenly” one (regardless of what tradition you ascribe to). Orthodoxy glosses over this precisely because it knows nothing about these practices. Then, when presented with the very means to do so, they cried foul heresy. The kingdom thus was found and then lost within a few short generations. The apostolic era came to an end not because of some God-ordained event with dubious reasoning but precisely because people no longer had access to the teachings that would have kept the era chugging along nicely. All of the signs of the holy ghost, and of awakening, were gone because the knowledge had exited the building.

If Jesus had awakened, the libertine attitude shown in the works of some of the Christian mystics like the Carpocrations that Clementine was speaking out against in his letter mentioned earlier has a very good chance of being true. Awakening pushes you beyond the normally accepted mores of the time by virtue of the fact that the energy of awakening vivifies and stimulates the body in new and novel ways. The Hindu describe it as a libidinous force, a creative current that leads one to new levels of bliss that are experienced and described as orgasmic. It’s not that it is literally so, but that this is the only way to aptly describe it so it can be halfway understood. Awakening absolutely impacts the master glands of the body resulting in high outputs of all sorts of hormones. Kundalini a sexual energy? I have always felt that the energy of awakening stimulates all sorts of things, including libido. Kundalini does much more than just stimulating libido.

Many people who are awakened know about the futility of skirting issues. No, the energy seems to push us to leap headlong into the cleansing fire that is the holy ghost, the feminine aspect, what in India would be called Shakti or the Ida current. All of this is consistent with awakening, and there is no reason to think it wasn’t the case with Jesus.

The problem with the Orthodoxy was that none of the secret teachings made any sense to them. How was it possible that by finding the savior within, the Christ, one washed away ones shame of human sexuality? Or guilt, or any other issue that represents stored emotional material that awakening can help the person to clear? Awakening can do this, though. It cleanses and returns you to a renewed mind and state of being. It is a salvific force.

It is now more likely that Jesus did have a private teaching and that the synoptic gospels represent only a thin slice of a larger picture. While Clement railed against this “Secret Mark” as heretical, I ask the question: says who? On whose authority? Why should I pay any attention to someone who was never included in the private teachings of a realized master? Even when Jesus says “No one comes to the father except by me” Christians don’t consider how that statement could mean something significantly different than what they assume it does. In Jesus’s day he was the only person around who had attained to the level that he had, so yes, Jesus was the only game in town. Like any great teacher, if you wanted to get there quickly, you studied under him like any teacher anywhere who had a grip on the esoteric or hidden things.

The word “occult” means to hide. When I place my hand in my pocket, it is occulted in the same way that when the moon crosses the path of the sun, it occults the sun in eclipse. Today the term “occult” has been made to refer to witchcraft or black magic. Occult means only to hide.

It is fair to say that Jesus was himself an occultist. I am not saying this in order to stir controversy, but to point out that he did do this in his teaching practice. Absolutely, no doubt about it. If you doubt this is the case you can find the evidence in the synoptic gospels themselves.

And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked him of the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God, but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables. That seeing that they may see but not perceive, and hearing they may hear but not understand lest at any time they be converted, and their sins be forgiven them.

Mark 4:10-12

It may be a bit much to take, realizing that Jesus was only speaking openly to a Jewish audience and with those who had already been prepared to understand his teaching and not others (Gentiles). This situation is communicated in Luke 12:41 with Peter asking about whether Jesus will teach to all (openly and not in parable so as to hide the meaning of his teaching). Jesus only explains or decodes his parables when he is with an elect or prepared group of people (and as we see in Mark, this means not Gentiles).

A lot is said about this by Christian apologists who try to explain why this might have been done. An early writer and bishop of Alexandria writing under the name of Dionysius (see: Salmond, S. D. F, et al. The Works of Gregory Thaumaturgus, Dionysius of Alexandria and Archelaus. T. & T. Clark, 1882.), explains that the church regularly seeks to keep its teachings secret, even from those within the church who are members when they do not themselves fully understand the mysteries. This is done so as not to “blind” those who are “lost” or without the full knowledge or understanding (referred to as gnosis). Jesus uses the word “maturity” to signify this level of comprehension as does Paul in some of his letters, too. This maturity involves a capacity to understand what is being said in a deeper more full way. It is not uncommon for the deeper teachings, the more mystical ones, the mysteries as they are called, to be hidden from view.

Every single tradition, Christian or not, does this in order to protect people from gaining something for which they are not yet prepared. Traditions with an esoteric wing (in essence nearly every tradition that I can think of) have this as a feature because of the power associated with these “innermost” teachings (they are more than simple rule-following and may include how to cultivate new states of awareness). For example, for a very long time certain methods for reaching enlightenment were shrouded in mystery and kept from public view in India because it was known that prematurely exposing a person to these powerful methods could bring a person prematurely to enlightenment before the person was ready for it. I have personally observed a case of an individual who “forced” awakening and it did not go well for her…at all. It is not out of the realm of possibility that Jesus recognized this and operated in the same way. You mean Jesus resisted saving people? Absolutely. But wait, doesn’t that go against most of what we were taught since the beginning of time (or at least the way we now count time)?

There is a disconnect between what many are told about their faith (Christianity in particular) and what actually happened. Most Christians I have spoken to have ben of the opinion that Jesus taught and spoke openly to the multitudes, but the evidence shows differently. While Jesus spoke openly, yes, he did not speak openly in such a way that those “without” the additional teaching and inner initiation could understand. Technically he taught to all, but his purpose was not for everyone to understand or to become saved. This is to my mind an important factor when we reassess Christianity at its very roots because of the existence of documents that date back to earliest Christianity that speak of a private teaching and how important it was to teach privately. This would be documents which the church itself disputes as being tied to Jesus’s real teachings, the Nag Hammadi Library.

One possibility, which I explore in the manuscript I am currently researching on Jesus and the Gnostic texts, is the theory that Jesus taught this way as a recruitment tool. You teach by parables because there are “dogs” (see Dionysius) or swine amongst you. However, you might also get people who come up to you to say how they enjoyed the teaching but what did you mean by the parable of the candle? What was that all about? What I contend is that the quality necessary for maturity and being prepared to know the truth is a deep sense of curiosity. For most who hear the parable, they might get some comfort from it, but not everyone would want to know more. Clearly people were not pressing Jesus to just go ahead and explain himself plainly, nowhere do people do this except in a more private way.

When you are dealing in mysteries the reality is there is a very small number of people who are going to actually pursue understanding the teachings at a deeper level. it seems a little silly for the church to say Jesus didn’t teach in private when he certainly did so, and it also isn’t that much of a stretch that he might have had more teachings which were hidden from view even from those who would form the basis of the orthodox strand within Christianity who did not themselves understand them (as in the gospel of Thomas or Philip for example). They seem to be so far removed from the kinds of things that the orthodoxy is used to hearing Jesus say that they tend to reject the teachings out of hand even as there is evidence that such teachings may have in fact existed. A number of the gospel writers said that there was a lot that Jesus did and spoke about that weren’t being included in the gospel accounts, and the gospels themselves really aren’t that large in size for a person who was considered to be so important. Its curious, isn’t it? You would think there would be many more writings about him than they are. In 1945 with the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Library documents, we may well have gotten some of them, even if the Church was unable to accept them at such a late date. That said, these documents are from very early Christianity, so it wasn’t like they were created centuries after Jesus was off the scene.

I am surprised to learn just how many people who consider themselves Christians actually think that Jesus taught openly to all people. He didn’t do that in fact. He hid his teachings from Gentiles. Only later was the Word taken to the Gentiles through the efforts that Paul made to export Christianity beyond Judea.

The idea then of Jesus having a private teaching is not so hard to understand, and yet the church railed mightily against gospels which purported to have been collections of Jesus’s private teachings (the Nag Hammadi Library is a trove of this “secret” or private teaching). Additionally, one of the foremost purveyors of these secret teachings, according to scholars, was a man named Valentinus who lived at a time when he was able to speak directly to a disciple of Paul, and he was a disciple who had learned directly from Paul while he was still alive. What Valentinus wrote in a letter was that he went to this disciple because, I presume, he had a vision of the risen Christ (much as had Paul). When he spoke to this disciple of Paul we was told that Paul had a private or secret teaching only given to his innermost circle of disciples and he says further that he was then schooled in this teaching. Now bear in mind, Valentinus was not a fly-by-night person. He was highly respected and was a devout Christian. He even was in the running for being chosen for the position of bishop of Rome back in a time when Christianity was still an underground movement and either frowned upon by Rome or outright prosecuted for being an illegal religion (depending on which emperor was in power at the time).

While many want to say that there was no secret teaching, there remains some evidence that this was in fact the case both with Jesus as well as Paul. No controversy, only understanding why this was done the way that it was. It makes for a lot of conjecture alla Dan Brown style writing, but it seems that this was done for very good reasons.

It is worth considering in order to get a better understanding of the history of Christianity and how some of the leaders of the Church conducted themselves.

if you search articles in neurophysiology or neuroanatomy, you will see a raging debate about something called “hemisphericity” which implies that you can have one hemisphere more dominant than the other. Well yes you do, in some ways, and in other ways, no.

THIS article explains that you CANNOT train one hemisphere to be more dominant since the brain is so involved in cooperating between its different regions and “sides” that such an idea is impossible (and debunked in the 1980’s).

Everyone, from winners of the Nobel Prize in physics to the artists behind the Archibald Prize, used both sides of the brain when performing any task. In fact, the idea that people can be classified as left- or right-brained was debunked in scientific literature in the 1980’s

https://theconversation.com/mondays-medical-myth-you-can-selectively-train-your-left-or-right-brain-4704

The problem, I think, is that we are dealing with an incredibly complex and also nuanced biological machine we call the brain. So many regions responsible for different functions, we think, based on the data so far collected. Something gets lost in translation, I think. And while you might be using one part of your brain for one type of function, you might also be using other parts as well. If your body is in motion, well, you have the motor cortex in on the game, too. Lot’s of busy-busy. And to my mind, based on the research I have been doing over the years on the brain, I think some scholars and researchers tend to get lost in the details….because let’s be honest, there are a lot of details when it comes to our grey matter.

The same source goes on to say:

Despite this, left/right-brain training programs appear to be gaining popularity. This is puzzling because there’s no evidence indicating that you can train just one side of your brain. Such attempts are doomed because the two hemispheres are heavily interconnected and constantly communicating.

Ibid

Again, there is truth in what the writer is saying, but there is another side to all of this and it has everything to do with how we do indeed train ourselves how to utilize the abilities that appear, thus far, to be seated in one hemisphere in the brain. You might wonder where I am going with this and how this is tied into kundalini, but give me a minute.

When I was in art school, I was keen to be the best that I could be as an artist, and part of this was to learn how to use my mind to its fullest as it related to the creative process. Betty Edwards had come out with a book entitled Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain a decade previously, and we were beginning to know a few things as it related to the (visual) arts where the brain is concerned. In this seminal work in the field of art, she explained how many people often use the wrong side of their brain when creating artwork, or in creating likenesses of people in portrait work, sculpture, or landscapes, for example. The problem, she explained, was the left brain is reductive in its approach, meaning that it tends to create abstractions and stores “ideas” of what an object looks like, not really the real thing. The left brain is great for making cartoons, but it’s terrible for creating real-life likenesses (“abstraction” means to take those details that you feel are the most important and isolate them—such a left brained thing to do). This is one reason why many beginning artists are so bad at making a realistic likeness, which is due in part to their drawing on an inner image of what they think something looks like rather than what is in front of them. It is a very difficult habit to break in our species it seems.

Over and over, Edwards showed how art students would draw an eye and a mouth all in the same stilted manner, making almonds for eyes and sardines for lips. But look more closely; do they really look like that? “Draw what you SEE!” was the admonition by my teachers. Of course, do that, but you have to get out of the part of your mind that tells you what it is that you THINK that you see. And what are the implications of being in that abstract left brain process? You are in fact living in the past. You are drawing on an inner image of what it is that you think you are looking at. You wont EVER see what is in front of you so long as you let the left brain continue its dominance in your thinking and doing.

This has everything to do with enlightenment, I promise, and it can show you the folly of trying to use the “rational” left brain in the process of enlightenment. But hang on, I am going to string you along a little longer!

By the way, you can pick up a very inexpensive copy of Edwards’ book here at Thrift Books in case you would like to be better at drawing. The book has a lot of very good exercises that actually work if you want to be better at art.

There was something about art making that I always found curious, and it had to do with what we call inspiration. It was always this elusive thing. I knew enough about it that I could lay my hands on it when I needed to. I understood it intuitively, but it wasn’t like it was something that I could force. In fact, it was the opposite of forcing. I had to bid it come. I had to be receptive to it. And that was the point. Inspiration, I found, was not something that happened in the way the logic circuits of my left brain worked. What was even more interesting to me was that I often bumped up against a very interesting outcome of the inspired state when things got really intense, and that was that i often would wind up feeling sexually aroused when things were really cooking. I can remember staying up late into the night working on piece after piece. Inspiration would breed more of itself in those solitary hours as I worked in the studio. I felt funny because I had never heard of this before. Was I weird? Was it just me? I later learned that I wasn’t alone, that a number of other artists and writers commented on the coincidence of the sexual with the inspired state. The writer Anais Nin wrote about it a good deal, as did other artists. Maybe it was natural. I felt like it must be. I suspected that the channels that carried creative energy and sexual energy might not be all that different. They might in fact be the same. Our idea of creativity might actually be the stumbling block. Some of the great artists had a charisma and were notable in their sexuality often (although not always). I always felt like there was a connection here even if I was too young to know enough to say definitively.

Fast forward twenty-five years or so, and I wake up after using a meditation technique a friend I met through an online forum who had passed it on to me. I have yet to meet him, but we had a lot of very lively conversations through email back in 2006. The result of my using this meditation method was that I inched closer to awakening with it. Suddenly suffused in a brilliant white light during meditation, I was flabbergasted, and after which everything picked up steam in the strangeness department and in a few months I “popped” and the cosmic egg was cracked. I didn’t go into this thinking that I was going to try to awaken. Back then “awakening” wasn’t that much of thing, not like it is today.

I had no idea what it was that I had. I considered I could have had a brain tumor (yes really). I didn’t speak about what happened to me to my family for close to a year. I was concerned that I could be carted off to the hospital or institutionalized. As a result of this, I spent a lot of time observing what was taking place inside of me with this new energy. I had a keen sense that I had stepped into something entirely new and I was very much on my own now. It was exhilarating and lonely all at once. I sensed that whatever this was that had happened, it was permanent. there was no going back to Kansas, there was no putting the genie back in the bottle. There was no being normal again. I felt like a stranger in a strange land. It was both death and rebirth, caterpillar and butterfly. I had no resources upon which to refer to. I studied the phenomenon closely as it unfolded within my mind and my body. I wanted to know as much about as I could summon so I could take my notes and see if they compared to any other experiences other people had had so I could get a better understanding about it. It is interesting what happens when you rely on yourself in this way. As you ask, so shall you receive. Miracles tended to happen, small ones, inexplicable ones, sometimes on a daily basis. I would later learn that these were called synchronicities, a term coined by the Swedish analyst and researcher Carl Gustav Jung.

One of the important aspects of the awakening process for me was how I felt like some new state was being brought online, activated, and it was different from the way I normally had felt. I also saw how similar the awakened state was to inspiration, something I was very familiar with. In fact, I would say, they were identical in terms of how they felt and behaved, the only difference between the two was a matter of degree. One was much stronger than the other (can you guess which one?). I wondered if this wasn’t me shifting into my right brain more, or that perhaps what kundalini amounted to was breaking the bonds that kept the right brain constrained because this unrestrained portion seemed to emerge almost out of nowhere (“almost”). I began to feel that human beings were in fact left-brain dominant by nurture, even artists like myself. I suspected the entire race was this way, that we simply had developed this way as a means of survival. Linear logical things are extremely good for getting stuff done, no doubt about it, but I think that we as a race were (and are) moving out of that old paradigm so things are shifting now.

When I learned that what I had was kundalini, I saw how the Hindu’s use the imagery of the man and woman, how one side was depicted as the feminine, and the other masculine. These images were created for a reason, and I had already felt the twin energy of what felt masculine and feminine rise up through my body. They were speaking to me about my condition.

I got to watch this curious phenomenon in myself for months, close to a year, even, before ever cracking a book on kundalini. When I saw the merging of the masculine and feminine and on the correct sides of the body, I realized, they were describing the same thing I had been experiencing. They had images painted on the foreheads of yogis called a Tilak and it was shaped exactly in the same way as my third eye awakening proceeded. I actually can feel when my third eye opens, it creates a force of pressure that is exactly like the Tilak. They were on to it, and while I searched article after article, no one really was able to explain why the Tilak was shaped this way. I knew it was shaped this way because that is how it FEELS when the third eye is fully activated (more than just a small round dot in the forehead—this was a process that proceeded over a three day period in order to completely open the third eye, a chakra that spread all the way to the back of my head in bands horizontally and in a dual-forked energy vertically moving upwards, corresponding to the Ida, Pengala, and Sushuma nadi (energy channels — the feminine, masculine, and cosmic, respectively).

They say kundalini is the coming of the feminine Shakti. When I felt this take place, I recognized it as the part of my mind that I often used when making art. It was the same, but it was also much much more present, more powerfully present once the cosmic switch was flipped. Before all of this, I had to search for “her” and then I had to wait quietly, in a receptive state. I had to become that feminine trait that was in me in order to reach the inspired state. I began to consider that the cosmic light switch was using the mind to overcome the resistance we all seem to have to shift out of the logical confines of the linearity of thought that have so predominated our thinking for so long. To open up to the right brain was like a revelation. It felt like letting the genie out of the bottle, literally, as if it had been held in such tight confines for so long. And why does it feel like that? Because everything in the left brain is small, it is highly focused, linear and logical. We just don’t realize how caught up in that part of the brain that we are. The more that I slipped into this very large space that was the “feminine” I felt like I was set free. I also felt disoriented for a time, and sometimes would go scurrying back to the familiar prison of the left brain. This is most popularly called a “contraction” in awakening circles. Every time I did this, I felt a strange pain, the painbody so many were talking about. I made it my mission to break out of painbody once and for all. It took great effort, an effort at letting go of so much that I thought was important (but was really useless baggage).

I didn’t have any proof that my theory was correct, though, and to be honest, it seemed like the whole of science pertaining to the brain was against me. I went searching, and what I found was one brilliant gem, the work of Doctor Jill Bolte Taylor who, in her now famous TED talk, described how as a neuroanatomist, she realized one morning while getting ready for work that she was having a hemmorage in her left hemisphere. She knew it was her left because her language centers began to shut down. She had trouble understanding English, she had trouble even reading the keys on the phone to try and call someone to help her. This took her about 45 minutes to do, to call out to tell a friend that she needed help. As she recounts her harrowing ordeal, she found that another brain state started to come online, one that she had never experienced before, a mystic state where everything was connected: samādhi. She stood there, tears streaming down her face, describing how incredibly beautiful the experience was. She also proclaimed that, because of the shut-down of her left hemisphere, she was able to have a unique view into a state that is normally only experienced by yogis or gurus or by people like myself (and perhaps to you if you have experienced this). Her talk, entitled “A Stroke Of Insight” was the last nail holding down this idea that I had based on little more than my own observations that this comes about by way of letting go of the tightly held control that the left brain has, probably has had in people, for centuries.

Not long after this, I looked into the concept of the left brain acting as a brake against the right brain, and as if on cue, researchers were finding new evidence for this in fact being the case in the months prior to my thinking about how this appeared to me to be at play in the awakening process (how it overcomes this left-brained dominance). I read about people whose corpus collosum, the nerve fibers connecting the two hemispheres of the brain, which had been damaged in utero through disease, exhibited some unique traits of superconsciousness, but which also kept them from being able to fully participate in society because they had limited communication between their two hemispheres. It was amazing to watch and to read how these people have incredible genius and yet had trouble tying their shoes are making up a grocery list or coping with the rigors of linear life in our world. I saw an analog with their ability to calculate numbers; I had answers come into my mind with lightening speed often, vast amounts of information, a storm of it, processed in fractions of a second. I sensed that my experience was tied to their same abilities, except because I had two intact hemispheres that could “talk” to one another, I could call on both sides of my mind, not just one.

When I began to catch on to how early Christians were talking about a unitive state that caused something to “rise” (see the gospel of Philip) and how people would go from being “dead” to alive, I felt like I was seeing how they were describing awakening. The more I read, the more I saw this pattern in their language emerge. It was curious, too, because these Christians were branded heretics and stamped out over a period of about two to three hundred years. In truth, the effort continues to this very day, but the main part of their work was done between about 200 to 400 A.D. more or less.

In their earliest writings these early Christians spoke of the “left and the right” of the “father and mother” coming together in the bridal chamber and out of their union came the Christ. While Christianity and Judaism before it had a notable and solid use of “left and right” meaning the goats and the sheep, the bad and the good, it certainly appeared that these Christians were turning these old conventions on their head (in the same way that they were turning the creation of Eve from Adam as that moment when our whole being was cleaved from its primal natural state into one that was responsible for our Fall even further because of some bite into Knowledge). Further, in the Gospel of Philip he goes so far as to say that those who do this aren’t just Christians, they are Christs. Whoo boy, nothing gets the Orthodox in a lather faster than insisting that the Christ dwells in all people and that this state of being comes about through the feminine and masculine coming into union with one another (the father and the holy ghost or sprit). Further, the feminine was revered by this group because it was she who brought so much wisdom, the ability to see deeply into things, to know (gnosis), not to simply believe (which is a poor substitute for knowledge) and to even heal.

Ideas like this sound strange to us today because we have about sixteen hundred years of entrenched belief behind the notions that we think of as Orthodox (a compound word from the Greek meaning “right thought”), but for those early Christians whom we call Gnostic, this was the authentic path to becoming Christ. And precisely because of this constellation of the feminine, masculine, and the indwelling Christ (which was treated in the same way that the Buddha is in the East which is to say that the Buddha is not a person but a state of mind that each person has within them, but is in slumber…..or more accurately, the person is slumbering before their own inner Buddha), was why this was too much for the Orthodox wing of the church to handle. Hadn’t Eve been the one who brought down the whole house of humanity? Hadn’t it been Lot’s wife who turned to look back even though she was told not to? David can go on for chapters in Psalms about how many people he has killed and no one bats an eye. Never mind that he was transgressing against the Law of Moses.

When I felt this triadic quality in myself, I thought how perfect that was: as above, so below. We make babies through union physically and we make a new level of consciousness inwardly with the two like-male and like-female parts of ourselves, an engine for enlightenment, with these two qualities which are in ourselves. This was much more natural than the Orthodox way which was an all-male club. It just seemed more perfect, more in keeping with how we are actually composed esoterically. And what better way to fold the feminine into our spiritual lives here on earth by making her the mother? The Gnostics believed that two people so awakened to this inner seed of light in themselves should have babies because that light be would all the more be kindled in their progeny, the result being an elevation of the spiritual quality in humanity.

If you want to see mysogyny in motion, you need only see how Christianity stripped itself bare of any kind of decency in what it did with the early Christians which we now call the Gnostics. To do that, you have to dig into the texts (history) because you wont see any evidence in today’s church save for cries of heresy whenever such a thing is brought up. You have to look at what the heresy hunters had to say about these people in order to know what they were fighting against. It all sounded strange to them because they didn’t understand, they didn’t have that seed of light in them which would grow like a mustard seed. And yet, traditions throughout the world describe a means of reaching an exalted state of being that required no belief, just a few very simple methods for turning the attention inward and which often involved the union of opposites within. Meditation techniques work as well as they do because it is there in such a place of quiet mind that you can begin to glimpse the lightening strike that is the realization of who you really are inside. No two worlds could have been more different though: one was literal and linear and cramped and stuck-up sexually and the other was ecstatic, vibrant and full of inspiration and light where the masculine and the feminine merged in order to form a “ladder” by which your own consciousness could ascend into the heavenly states simply and in a natural organic fashion with those two working together, not against one another. This is the core of the secret, and the mystery of the divine marriage within. The failure of the Orthdoxy was one of awareness, knowledge, and imagination, three elements crucial for navigating the numinous.

When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and female one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in the place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then you will enter [the kingdom].

The Gospel Of Thomas, James Robinson ed., p. 129

I use the above quote because during what I later learned was a temporary “kundalini flash” a few months before the full rise of the energy, I wrote a piece that contained a passage nearly identical to the quoted passage in Thomas above. I posted it online on a forum. My friend who gave me the meditation technique pointed out how it was similar to Thomas. The only problem was I didn’t know that Thomas even existed. I really didn’t know, and I read it for the first time in the Fall of 2006 online. My jaw dropped to the floor. They were describing an arrangement by which one reaches a state of inner unity where the spark of awakening is kindled. I would later realize that none of this was an accident, and it had unfolded in the way that it had in order for me to realize something very important about earliest Christianity (and my role in it in the Fourth Century). It was known that there was a quality that was like a man and woman, and that they were arranged as if one was on one side of the body and the other on the other side of the body, very much in keeping with how the Hindus described it. This wasn’t an article of faith, but was instead the very thrust of the Gnostics which was they knew. They didn’t need to believe because what they had was the indwelling awareness that made union with the divine possible. And you know what? They were right.

Today as I worked in the studio, I entered into that familiar place I go where ecstacy waits. Nowadays, I don’t have to be deep in meditation, all I have to do is open to it and there it is. I have learned that this state, like the inspired state, is one where I let myself be seduced, to surrender to something higher where I then rest in a state of deep devotion and love as I go about my work. I can listen to a radio show, I can get distracted, I can even get frustrated now and it comes right back. It didn’t used to do that. All of this took time to cultivate, and I have largely done it on my own. No guru, no teacher, but a series of events and people who all had something to teach me as they came and went. Others are also doing this in their own way all across the world as more and more of us continue to awaken all on our own. Ripe. Vibrant. Alive. Awake.

What the Orthodoxy failed to see or grasp was how important our sexuality is spiritually. The reason why it is important is for the same reason why awakening happens in the first place, which is a union of opposites brought together in a rare moment where often there is a roar of sound, a sudden riotous vibration, or a flash of light (as was in my case). When I give myself completely over to this ecstacy, my mind opens like a flower opens and new faculties show themselves. I do not have to have any article of belief, but I know something divine is at work. Yes, there is nothing that compare to it except the orgasmic, but with a difference; it is as if the electrons go into a glorious precession that acts as a waveform that unites my being and in a state like there, wherever I put the beam of my awareness, impossible things begin to happen. I might think of someone and know something I can only know was true only later, or I might peer into the core of matter, or I might gain insight into something that I need to do, this insight being like a vast bundle like how a dream is often untangled or remembered after a night of dreaming. People call this today a “download” and certainly the term is apt because sometimes it can take hours for me to feel the bundle unwind. I often will remember that I had had a dream about this issue years ago, different state of mind are touched on, and none of this process is in the least logical but is driven instead by what I sense is a superconsciousness and intelligence that I rarely possess in my day to day except for when I am in love with the universe and it is in love with me. All of this sounds like what a mad person might say except that as a practical mystic, I have always sought to try and note my experiences, jotting them down when I can, to see if there is any correlation later with something in physical reality. Many times I have seen things there was no way for me to see and known things that had I told a physicist, they would just assume I was lying, that I had read a journal somewhere. I know that this experience, this ecstacy, opens us to our greater potential. And while I really take no joy in writing about it because of how it is often frowned upon because it seems boastful, I only mention it here because doing so is like me shaking your arm and pointing to the phenomenon because I know that it is possible for you to do the same. “What I do you will do also, and you will do even greater things…”

Kundalini has been described as a “libidinous” force, sexual in character, and while this is true, that it sparks sexual energy, that isn’t all that it is. I have found that everything that we have in the body exists first in spirit, that everything we are emerges out of consciousness, not the other way around, and as such, what we think of as sexual energy here on earth, which makes new life, there is a higher dimensional aspect of our sexuality which is connected to our spiritual selves, that part which survives physical death and which exists in all time. It is this aspect, which we call “sacred sexuality” which is, to my mind, nothing more than the spiritual compliment to our sexual selves. It is this part of ourselves that allows us to have union with the divine. And while some will cry heresy, I can tell you that when the moment comes when you do reach union with the divine, it will be that part of you which surrenders like one surrenders to a lover, that will make such a union possible. I can also say that when you do touch the divine, the divine will have zero shame about any of this, unlike ourselves who try to point fingers and try to make a beautiful thing an object of shame. Some of us, it seems, have a lot of growing up to do. This isn’t a mental exercise, but is instead something that encompasses parts of yourself that you may not have even known existed before. Instead of feeling shame, you will come out of that cloud of light renewed, healed, revived. Each time you step into that state, it seems as if some bit of the hard crust falls away and the mind is opened more and the logic centers go quiet because none of this is the domain of the logical. The only thing it can do is to write down what it is that that happened to you, and it will always do so poorly because language exists in the left brain and this experience cannot be contained or compassed by words.

In awakening, it is known that those who are too logical have a very hard time of it. Taisen Deshimoru, the Zen master, who taught in France said in The Ring Of The Way that monks who are “mental” were the ones who had the hardest time with Cosmic Mind. You just can’t get there with the left logical mind. You have to use the part of the brain that specializes in the holistic, the nonlinear, and that is the right brain. In fact, Dr. Taylor came back from her stroke describing the brain in just this way, despite what all of the researchers might want to say (she was there, she saw it happen in motion as a trained researcher in the field). The biggest lesson that I learned was how to stop trying to understand everything logically, to learn how to FEEL (this is not to be confused with emotion—feeling is a capacity that we have like intelligence is a capacity that we have intellectually for example). When I did this, I shifted more into the right brain process and moved into the much larger realm of awareness. The logical mind was never intended to grasp the mysteries of the cosmos. It’s job is to learn how to build a ladder to the stars, not contemplate the meaning that is behind them. It is the feminine in us that alone has the wisdom to open us to ever-larger realms of awareness. And to be clear; the two work best when the feminine is given the room she needs while not being silenced by the left brain. The feminine must now find her voice in all of us. In the process, we will all grow wiser because of it. We might even help stamp out mysogyny and begin to craft a new way to be in the world. The Gnostics had a word for those who had discovered this inner feminine and masculine trait in union: syzygy. Some have referred to it as an androgynous outcome to enlightenment, but I have not seen it this way at all. Instead, I experience it as a highly cooperative and dynamic state where two rely on each other for what it is they themselves do not possess, and which, I will point out, is very similar to what two people fall in love do, which is to admire and even lean upon those opposite traits in their beloved which they do not have. In the process of this that is spiritual and individual, it fuels the outer process as well (how we relate in the world). I know what it is like for a woman to love a man and I also know what it is like for a man to love a woman. My own gnosis has shown me in those moments of ecstacy how it must be or can be if we just learn how to develop or cultivate this form of inner and outer cooperation. I can dream.

The left brain reflects on what is known or what it think it knows. The right brain does not, in my experience, have this facility. Instead, it does the opposite; it looks much more impartially at what is happening in the present. There is a reason why so many, since Buddha first mentioned the power of being fully present, have gone on to write books about the awareness that happens in the present moment. Ram Das wrote “Be Here Now” and Tolle wrote “The Power of Now” and they are both saying the same thing that Buddha said first. This is a right-brained activity, this ability to be in the present. But more: quiet the mind so that you can begin to sense what is beneath all of the mind-chatter. It is there, they all insist, where the greater awareness lies. It is not something that you do, it is something that you are and which your thoughts keep you distracted from perhaps ever finding. The left brain will always be in a prejudiced state, and it is this part of us that seems to be running so much of the show when it comes to awareness. It think it knows, but it is only basing its thoughts on conjecture based on what has happened in the past. To know this new state you must be open to what can be, not what has been. I contend that when you can reach into this silence in yourself you are quieting the mind and that this allows you access to the parts of you which are not wed to time and space. This is the same space that is written about by the Gnostics, the Pleroma, the fullness. We are all related, we are all family, from the largest to the smallest. It is an unimaginably large family, but knowing your place in it will forever alter any sense that you have that you are ever alone or set adrift or singular only. Even in the synoptic gospels Jesus reminds the Pharisees that their scripture did say “ye are gods.” What the Orthodoxy could not imagine was that we all are. Did they just want Jesus to be that beacon of a light on a hill that we all seek to give ourselves to? Was it all just a way to herd the sheep into an ever-tightening space spiritually for control? Or was it just a conspiracy of ignorance, a failure of imagination?

Contained within these two parts of us is all the wisdom and knowing that we need to navigate them. You literally have access to vast amounts of information that is part of what the Gnostics called the Pleroma (Koinē Greek: πλήρωμα, literally “fullness”). It is here that the sacred marriage of takes place. It is firstly within, and can be bolstered by others who are likewise centered and known to themselves. Staring into the awakened can be like staring into the same infinite that one feels within ones own self. This is also where the “deficiency” that the Gnostic Jesus spoke about was resolved. This idea that we are not good enough, this feeling that we are set adrift, sinful, bad, and unloved. All of this is washed away or redeemed in the Pleroma. And Jesus was showing the way.

Even as I say all of this, you cannot get there simply by becoming more aware of what the right brain can do for you. Something else needs to happen, and unfortunately, even the yogis of India, for as good as their systems are for explaining all of this based on numerous observations by monks in the past, cannot explain what happens when we awaken. The energy rises, they say….it is aroused, they say. But by what means, exactly? The Gnostics explain this simply: by becoming one with ones self, to become known to one’s self, and then by going as deeply as one can in silence, you can then touch on that place where the union of the opposites creates the spark that cracks open the wall separating you from a super-conscious state. “Remove what divides you” said the Gnostic Jesus, something I read six months after I had done exactly this very thing which I knew at the time was the first step into self-initiation into the mysteries of the kingdom. Once there, it is a self-sustaining font of energy which gets busy clearing the “knots” of emotion, the samscaras in the Sanscrit, of the stored emotion which is out “baggage.”

It is a quantum leap, but once you reach it, you have it forever. Its power may wax and wane over time afterwards, but its force will purify and clear you so that you can be a vessel for both the divine and who you really are. In many ways it has felt like my whole body became a sensing organ, a body of awareness. Was this new mind tapping into the wisdom of the body? Do all of the neurons scientists have found existing in our organs also provide thinking potential, as vessels for awareness also? I am afraid we don’t know yet, but I have a sinking suspicion that there is a connection whereby what we think of as the brain extends itself in awakening to include the body, and expresses its twin character of like-male and like-female qualities of what the Gnostics called “the left and the right.” When I say all of this I also know that awakening itself is a fairly simple thing, but it can take years to get there. It seems you have to want it badly enough, because who else could stick with its relentlessness, its intelligence, long enough to allow the changes to take place that makes a broader awakening possible?

Achieving this state could be done through years and years of preparation. What I know is that it is possible for it to happen much faster than that. I would suggest that you don’t do that, though, since getting yourself ready for it can be of immense importance. It is true as many in India have suggested, that this is in all truth, a more deeply fundamental state which is less something that you reach for but is instead something that you already are. It seems to be activated, but it is more like waking up to what you already are. It is your get out of jail free card. I ask; are you really ready to be that free?

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I have been doing a lot of research now on a subject near and dear to me: early esoteric Christianity. As a result of this work, I have begun to discover a few things about Eastern tradition as it relates to awakening, and most specifically kundalini.  When I say “Eastern” I include Indian, Chinese, and Japanese traditions for the most part.

Before I touch on that, let me say that I made a fascinating discovery about esoteric Christianity that happened concurrently with my awakening experience in the first few months of my awakening: they, early Christians, were describing kundalini in their own way. Sure, the words being used were different, but by cross-referencing throughout their documents, it was clear what they were describing. My research is about this and I am hoping to develop it into a decent guide that helps to show that Jesus was indeed teaching a secret doctrine. This was a secret because not everyone was ready for it. And no, I am not remotely suggesting Jesus travelled to India or Tibet to “get” this. For my money, my theory is more fascinating and hopeful than that. I think there is ample evidence to suggest that anyone who has awakening can describe and then teach about it after having experienced it if they are good at being able to understand its many facets and can convey the information in a cogent and direct way….and even in indirect ways.

This, though, is about a link to awakening that was picked up by Jesus that does not appear to be taught in the East. At least not in any direct way. I know this link because it was a clear and certain element in my awakening. Coincidence? Nope!

This missing element strikes me as the essence of what opens us each to awakening. This link, a seed really, if understood properly, could help awaken more of us. Maybe.  Probably. It would mean having the right teacher who knows how to relate a person to what this missing link means in our consciousness. It would mean learning how to be different, or how we relate to what we are deeper down. Its just a seed, but great things grow from them. Like a mustard seed, maybe. Winks.

I was not satisfied with the teaching in church….I knew there was more. I didn’t know what it was, only that it was wanting. I knew this above all else, beyond the explanations of others that I was merely “prideful” or unable to take the teaching as truth. No, there was more, I knew it beyond all else.
When I awakened I was lucky to have seen how there WERE teachings by Jesus himself which he passed on to his disciples in books that spoke directly about a process whereby one entered the kingdom. These were central teaching that acted like a key to understanding everything else Jesus was teaching in his ministry. The problem was that these teaching were demonized and anathematized by the church. These were part of this something “more.” I knew that in fact Jesus was teaching his followers about awakening and that the truth was hidden or obfuscated in numerous ways. History offered up her secrets and laid bare the many ways that contributed to our losing these central teachings. What is so amazing to me is that these teachings are actually the lynch pins in understanding all that Jesus taught about. It’s pretty incredible to look at all of this and know that this went down in the way that it did.
I once wrote about this issue and had some of my friends asking me why I was so critical about Christianity, or why I hated the church. It’s too easy to feel that way when dealing with this issue and to me, it is an easy way out of actually examining things closely and asking some very fair questions. But it’s not out of a deep hate or any of that. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I want a religion that offers the keys to self realization, of actually knowing what this kingdom is. Truth is a curious thing; we can have all levels of it and still be missing key points.

I have done the hard work of inquiring and looking. I have poured through the texts of the New Testament as well as those that were not included, from apocrypha to the Nag Hammadi. I have studied issues surrounding translation, how the contextual nature of Aramaic actually does matter when translating to any language, as well as what biblical scholars are saying that pastors dare not touch. More than this, I awakened and saw that the only books that helped describe my new state of being were the words of Jesus teaching his followers about the kingdom, which fit my experience perfectly….but also happened to have been deemed heresy. They had been cast aside and had never made it into canon.  The more that I read, the more it became clear that what we got was a version of the truth, but not the full truth.  I’m not even suggesting that this was some sort of conspiracy.  It may have been simply a conspiracy of ignorance acted upon by those who had less than the full story.  But even half the story is better than no story, and it wasn’t as if we weren’t getting truths.  We just didn’t get its heart, and this, dear readers, is the hardest one to swallow for some of us today.  It is covered over first by some 1700 years of tradition and then it includes a whole new dimension of thinking added, a great mystery that has been hidden from all of us (for whatever reason).

Since my experience in awakening is the same exact phenomenon as others who have awakened, and it’s all described in the same way by nearly everyone, and is being described in these cast-away texts, it begs the question; isn’t it possible that something very important was missed? And perhaps, then, might this missing piece be important to know the fullness of this man’s great insight and teaching? If you found out that the teaching of Jesus was incomplete, wouldn’t you, as a follower of Christ, want to know? I’m asking you to put your pride aside and get curious and be simple like children, ripe for hearing what might just be really big news.

Awakening, which is the kingdom, brings a renewed way of using the mind. If you can teach yourself to forgo mere rational thought, you can activate more and more of your capacity for understanding, which is truly liberating. It requires humility because there is so much to give up in order to see in this way. There is a blizzard of biases and beliefs that rage in such places, and the very religion that was created to support these teachings has essentially continued to demonize the concept of awakening in some quarters. Once these biases have been cleared, though, the mind becomes a luminous field of awareness in direct proportion to how much bias has been released. But it isn’t just that, it’s letting yourself be shown, led, taken by the presence of the indwelling divine and it’s child which is the Christ consciousness. Others call it Cosmic Consciousness, or Cosmic Mind. It is all the same and emerges in the same way in each tradition because this is what we ALL are, rather than the beliefs we hold. Remember how Jesus said the kingdom is within you? That might just be an important clue to all of us. It’s what’s inside-this does not happen outside of any of us. Where, then, do you think you will meet God?

This more asks me to continually to let go of my familiar moorings to here and as I do, new understanding floods in, mysteries become knowns, and the universe resolves into a greater and greater miracle. But no words can contain this more…you just have to go and see for yourself.

All of this is like a seed that grows into a sprout, then a plant, and then a flower. The flower opens more and more and this flower is awareness. This is how awakening proceeds; it is the smallest of seeds that grows in stages. More and more, it opens, revealing still-deeper layers of comprehension. To get there, I lay aside all rational thought and allow my mind to go blank. Yes, blank. It is here that absent thought a great and ineffable presence grows that is a love unlike any other. Everything I could ever wish to know becomes available in that “space.” If you believe you can’t, you probably won’t….but if you consider it possible, then it becomes possible. I wish this for everyone because it reveals our own foolishness and opens us to wonder and awe. The world so needs this right now.

Until next time….

 

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I started a project yesterday that has been nagging at me for years that involves my encounter with early Christian texts and what I have found was an effort to change the teachings of Jesus in order to appeal to a specific group of believers.  While I’d love nothing more than to have a real cloak and dagger story for the sake of excitement, what we have as historical documents is scant.  But the fix was in even during the life of Jesus in terms of who would tell the story of this man’s teachings and what that story was going to look like.  
I know I am going against 1600 years of ingrained belief and programming, but it is a story that deserves to be told.  Jesus was deep into the forces of awakening and taught about them, but either those in power wanted to hide them away, or they simply could not understand what a certain strand of his teachings even meant.  Having said this, those who had these deeper teachings were hunted relentlessly in an effort to not allow these most important of his teachings to see the light of day.  Whether by design or by ignorance, this was the result.  And this, I now know, is a fact.

 

For me, the story begins when I was young and had trouble with the church and its teachings.  For me, my trouble wasn’t as vague as some people’s problems with the church often tend to be.  In my experience, I had this very strange and unexplainable sense that the church had hidden something of great importance from the public. It is this hidden element within Christianity that made all the difference in knowing God intimately, directly. The only problem was I didn’t know why I had this sense growing up.  But like so many people I knew who were church goers or grew up in a family who went to church, something just didn’t add up. 
The story gets interesting when I began looking at early Christian documents that had not been a part of the canon of the church. I did this after a friend  saw a piece of my writing and suggested I look at a certain book because, as he explained, what I had written bore similarities to this early book.  
I was at this time going through a six month period that was for me, the time that I was waking up.  For me, it was a gradual process with a number of steps.  Clearly, I knew something was up and that I was somehow being prepared for something.  What it was, I didn’t really have a clue.  
When I first read those passages in a book that stretched back into antiquity two thousand years, I felt a familiar stirring inside of me and wanted to know more.  It would take going through a full awakening, though, for me to be able to pick out the passages that were clearly talking about awakening.  Scholars, though, described these passages as “strange teachings” and this showed clearly to me that even they didn’t understand what Jesus was getting at.  How could it be, I wondered, that I could see these for what they were and no one else could?  
In writings by a follower of Jesus, a church developed in the second century called the Valentinian church or school. They explained that only those who had attained the light would be able to understand the teachings.  Otherwise, they would seem like strange incomprehensible teachings.  Could it be, I wondered?  How could someone without a deep background in scholarly study of the Bible like me identify what they were talking about was related directly to awakening?  
Because of how the church and our world has evolved, we tend to look to learned authorities for confirmation about what is true or not true.  But these authorities are part of a system of being and thought that is part of the problem, which is of course the same problem that the early church had to begin with when they suppressed the teachings to begin with.

 

At the center of this story is a Wild spirit that if known, brings about revelation, self knowing, secret knowledge, and healing.  This is the story that should have been told.Now that the beginning work has been done, the rest is going to be more scholarly work with research and historical accounts.  Dry stuff for me, but the story is so compelling and so interesting that I think that it will turn into an interesting read once I am done with it.  Finger crossed!
This is ultimately a work of devotion in the hopes that it can help bring a paradigm shift in thinking by placing something wonderful and wild back in a central role in an understanding of the forces of awakening that are  redemptive in nature.

The Gospel of Thomas, along with the Gospel of Mary, and the Gospel of Philip,  were key books that I discovered early in my awakening that related to me the body of esoteric knowledge that Jesus taught to his disciples.

These books are so new to modern Christianity that their effects on our thinking are only recently being felt. The discovery of the Nag Hammadi codices happened in 1945 by a local man living near the town that the codices were named after. The same year the Dead Sea Scrolls were also discovered. The codices, though, were not fully translated and published until the early ’70’s. The differences between these two finds, though could not be greater: the Dead Sea Scrolls were written very much in the Judaic tradition as mystical treatises from a group of people who were the Essenes, while the Nag Hammadi was mystical thought based on what would become a break from the Judaic tradition into new realms of experience.

Reading them for the first time in 2006 was an epiphany for me. Growing up, I always felt that there was more, and that something more was missing from Christianity. I didn’t know what this something more even was, nor did I know why growing up that I had this deeply held sense about how Christianity had been hiding something. Sounds a little crazy, right? As I have read this collection of books that began with Thomas, I felt immediately as though I had found it. Just like any book I could feel where it was “off” or when a distortion was creeping in. When the writing was hitting the bullseye, it felt as though I was reading a buried truth inside of me. I saw how, for as useful as science has been, it had done the exact same thing religion had done; it taught us to pay no heed to our own experience (in this case, an inner reality was reduced to mere chemical signals and with religion, our broken state could not hope to allow us a clear view to divine reality).

The Gospel of Thomas was the first book that began to illuminate as well as unravel both what I was taught and what I suspected deep down was a different story about Christianity. Maybe you, too, have had similar misgivings-like something just doesn’t seem quite right about it? I guess I grew up questioning and found it odd that there was invariably that moment in conversation where the other person would say, “You just have to believe!” I never outgrew that need to question, and consequentially never became a follower of anything…..not a religion or philosophy or “ism.” But as time would tell, it stood me in good stead.

Being introduced to these books was like putting a puzzle piece into place that had long been missing. It came to me by way of a friend who read something I wrote while I was in the “thrall” of the energy I had been feeling in bursts early on before the full-on “rise” of awakening.

I published the writing on a forum in 2006 just months before kundalini rose. The writing was an innocent appraisal of what I was going through and how it was affecting my inner perception and experience at the time. It was written as prose, but it was poetry at its heart. The discovery that I made was when my friend suggested I read the gospel of Thomas in the Nag Hammad. I had no familiarity with these books, but found certain passages in Thomas to be identical in content to what I had just written. My friend had said as much, which piqued my curiosity.

The piece I wrote was about how all of nature was suffused with the energy of life force and that this force existed for plants just as it existed for humans; that sexual energy is the interconnecting principle behind all energy, which is creative and connective. Most people never feel this in their baseline experience because the energy is narrowed down so much that they only get a trickle. By sexual energy, I am not talking about sex or active arousal, but rather a steady continuou experience of sexual/sensual energy as a kind of energetic baseline —or bliss, if you prefer.  What I had unknowingly stumbled onto was this baseline experience instead of mere arousal. How can anyone know the creative power inherent in the emanations of spirit and the universe who does not experience it first hand? 

The energy that I felt was sexual, yes, but it was also different in that I noticed that it was opening my mind in a way that I was familiar with as an artist and seeker, but in a different way. It was like a rarefied form of inspiration, maybe like inspiration on steroids. It brought the awareness that I was opening up to a reality that existed in all things and that this was more than mere imagination. I was at work as this experience first poured through me so powerfully, and was like a narrative that hung in the air, waiting for me as I turned my mind back to it through the course of the day. It was almost exactly like putting a book down and picking it back up at the same place later. The sense that “I” alone was creating this had vanished.

Rather than feeling like I was creating this experience, it had an objective quality to it that was co-creative; as if it waited for me to find my own unique way to give it voice. This was a very different kind of experience, and I have written about it before. On that day it was as though I stepped past mere imagination to find that imagination, if you go deep enough into it, becomes a sensory portal where we form images to describe the reality we are experiencing when we are not using our physical senses. It allows you to see beyond yourself (as long as you aren’t wearing  blinders). 

The sense I had was extremely vivid and a little more than “trippy.” It has now become a fixture of my experience, but back then this was a horse of a different color. It was akin to how you awaken from a dream and are able to go back to sleep to finish the dream….except I was awake.

 It was like a truth living in the light. I came upon the first realization that sexuality was an integral part of spiritual energy in an undivided way. I knew, had known, that our sexuality had the capability to allow us deep communion with ourselves and one another, but I simply had not experienced it in the way I was doing so on that crisp October day in 2006. I was moved by sexual energy to see and to feel into a world that seemed like it was a product of imagination only to find that it was a channel, along with imagination, for apprehending the world and reality in a nonphysical, nonsensory way. I was not experiencing this with a person, it was with a matrix or field of energy that interpenetrated everything. It was through the energy that I first began to relate and see in this new way.

I realized that our shame about sexuality was, at least in part, blocking all of us from knowing the light of this knowing. I knew on that day that what made sexual energy dirty was the shame we brought to it. Sexual energy had been poorly understood as a result. 

When I finally sat down to write out the material that had played through my mind that day, I felt a need to note the time. I put it down on the page and began to type. The material poured through me. It was so fast, a part of me was surprised. I noted the time that I ended and put it at the end of the page. Years later, I went back and tried to type the piece again and found that I couldn’t match the speed that it came through. It was entitled The Yearning. 

After having written the piece, I had the first synchronicity occur that was uncanny right after leaving work. I went into town and wound up buying a science magazine that had a story in it that carried the same message in it as my writing. Out of all the magazine’s I could have bought, this one was the most different of all of them, and I had to work to find it because it was hidden behind a card rack in the store. When I looked at its cover, there was no mention of the story that was in it. These personally relevant coincidences would begin to form the basis of so many events in my life once awakening came in full force. Synchronicity happens when we step into the flow of this energy in consciousness, you see. It is part of this new landscape.



The writings of Thomas, which are a collection of quotes that Jesus said, carries no story-line like the mainstream Gospels do, but instead is a collection of sayings with no apparent personal commentary by Thomas. The book is laden with an understanding of awakening and relays this in the same way Jesus taught the masses, which was through a nonliteral language of parable and analogy. The reason for this is because Jesus was seeking to relay a nonphysical reality to minds who knew nothing but physical reality.  You can’t do this in a literal way and expect anyone to understand you.

Photograph of a page from The Gospel Of Thomas


The key here in ALL of his teachings is his use of the word “like” which is in nearly every parable: he does not say the kingdom is a mustard seed, he says it is like a mustard seed. This type of discourse assumes that you will look inward for the details, for the truth. It is a means of getting us to look inward to find our own inner mustard seed, to understand how something so small and so hidden can grow and unfold into something so large.

(17) “I shall give you what no eye has seen and what no ear has heard and what no hand has touched and what has never occurred to the human mind.”

This quote lies at the heart of the deeper esoteric teachings of Jesus, which was that this information could not be properly known through physical means or the senses. It was a reality that Jesus knew and sought to convey. More than just a structure for doing good, it was the essence of spiritual knowledge, of inner discovery. 

“Jesus said to them, “When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside, and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female, so that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in the place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in the place of a likeness; then you will enter the kingdom.”

What Jesus is saying is that when the opposites within our nature are brought into unity, awakening comes. For Jesus, the kingdom was the word he used to describe this state of being. 
If this sounds the least bit familiar to those who know and experience kundalini, it is because it is. Some suggest that these teaching borrow from other esoteric traditions. Anyone who has experienced kundalini can likely tell you that when it happens to you, you don’t need a tradition to explain it. You know. So it is natural for anyone who caught on and achieved awakening to describe it in roughly similar ways as another culture or tradition did is because it’s the same experience being described. You will never get awakening through a description, you will get it because you found it inside of you. 

The awakening of kundalini is a merging of the seeming opposite forces in awareness, symbolized in the Hindu tradition as the two serpents that rise up through the body and awareness to merge into one another in an experience of blissful union that awakens, redeems, and saves us from being, as the Gnostic texts convey, “dead.” And life before awakening is like this-we thought we lived until we awoke and then REALLY knew what being alive was all about!

The idea of this fusion of opposites shows up throughout the teachings of Jesus in the Nag Hammadi. It is told in different ways, but it’s the nonliteral language Jesus is using that urges us to look within ourselves for the answer.

(48) “Jesus said, “If two make peace with each other in this one house, they will say to the mountain, “Move away,” and it will move away.”

The clue is in both context and the use of “two” in his teaching. The two are not two physical people. If you take it literally, you lose what he is trying to teach, which is much deeper. He is saying that when you make peace with the two forces in your awareness, the male and female, or in the Hindu tradition, the Shakti and Shiva, in your body (or house), you will attain the powers that come because of it. 
Jesus is not being literal; the two are living in the house that is the body. When they make peace, or move into union with one another, you can think of something and it happens. The mountain does not literally move, he is just saying that the seemingly impossible now becomes possible. For anyone who has experienced awakening, you know just what I mean. Again, synchronicity lies at the heart of this. 

Another key to this is also how Jesus uses the concept of being divided. When you are divided enough within, awakening is not possible. But when you are no longer divided, a process takes hold that is the very essence of what we talk about and experience in awakening. One of these keywords experiences is that of feeling as though we are being taken apart by this force, that it leaves us irretrievably changed. The accounts of this are too numerous to mention in the Nag Hammadi Library (where Thomas is found). So we have Jesus speaking directly to this experience again in Thomas where he states that, “Therefore I say, if he is destroyed he will be filled with light, but if he is divided, he will be filled with darkness.” 

Most every awakening is accompanied by a brilliant flash of light. The encounter of this light is the same light experienced upon bodily death, but those who were on to the esoteric teachings of Jesus could experience this light while still alive, an encounter that always leaves the person forever changed.
If you see what happens to people who have had near death experiences, they are all similarly changed by it; accounts almost always involve the person feeling as though they have to live their lives in a more purposeful and compassionate way than before. Additionally, people who have had a NDE will often have kundalini awakening and if not a rise of the energy, return with similar abilities as those who have awakened without an NDE. This is due to what the encounter with the light does, or initiates in us as real soulful change. It was so important that Jesus taught almost exclusively about it. What these teachings share with other traditions is the concept of a unified self as the means to know God, Cosmic Consciousness. I will remind my readers that the whole purpose of yoga is to bring body and mind into unity in order to prepare for awakening. The word yoga means union.

The question at the forefront of your mind might be, “If this is true, why doesn’t it come through more clearly in the canonical Gospels?” It is a fair question, and it’s due in part, I observe, as a result of the early versions of the  Gospels that were making their first rounds during the third century AD. These books have many of the same words in them, but a  different understanding was now in place. For example, when Jesus mentions adultery, people think he is talking against cheating on your spouse. But clearly in the Gospel of Mary our adultery is sinning against out own nature; we turn away from that part in ourselves that could save us. This is but one example of the differences in understanding that took place at the time. The documents, as written, reflect that level of understanding as a result.

These were books selected by a group of people who all thought the same way. That is, they were literalists, and the nuances of Jesus’s spoken word was lost on them. They thus favored books that conveyed a certain literalist depth to them. Everything else sounded like nonsensical gobbledygook to them. So naturally, anything that bid them to dig deep within was quickly rejected, and Thomas, along with a lot of the Nag Hammadi Library, is deep. They labelled it heresy because it did not agree with the collection of books that conveyed what I call Christianity Lite. 

I know this sounds dismissive, but it isn’t. It’s what my journey has shown me is true. If you like this form of Christianity, I think it’s fine, but don’t expect it to be a means to bring you to a full-on transcendent encounter with the cosmic  It simply lacks the important central teachings for sparking the requisite awareness and willingness to approach it differently for that to happen. Too much is missing from the road map! Besides, there are passages in the Bible that exhort followers not to fall prey to conjurer’s and magicians. They effectively sealed the library shut, denying anyone the hope of finding the keys to awaken. If this sounds bad, bear in mind that this was the exact same observation Jesus was making about the Pharisees when he was alive. The key unlocks all of us regardless of religion, but the key has been surrounded by fear of losing ones eternal soul. What a fine state! But the story has stuck along with a particilar understanding of the teachings, and the victor was Rome, so the church in Rome set the pace and the kind of story that would be told.

The history is not ambiguous on this. Rome became the center for Christianity based on the superior resources found there. But Rome was not the defacto center in the beginning. In fact, there was a very real vying for this designation in the beginning. Constantinople was one such early center, and there were also ministries that sprang up in the wake of the work that the disciples did early on in those areas. The gift of the discovery of the Nag Hammadi was a result, most likely, of a church that was nearby.   It is likely that there was ongoing activity long before the structure was even built. 

Rome became the center because of power, influence, money, scribal resources, and the will to become that center. The church also had the support of the Roman empire behind it. The church could decree any teachings it believed stood outside what they believed was the core messages as anathema, which they did, landing any heretic in jail or losing his or her life. The church could simply remand a person to the Roman authorities for punishment in much the same way certain Jews were said to have demanded punishment of Jesus before Pilate.

This is not the only force that served to so change the story of Jesus’s teachings. 
There are scribal errors. Some, most in fact, are so mild that they don’t change the meaning of what is being conveyed. There are tens of thousands of these types of errors that are found in the books, and they are easy to find by simply comparing all of the oldest copies of the same books with others of its kind. But there are more substantive errors that take place, and they are less numerous but they tend to be far more significant. These often take the form of translational errors. 

The Gospels were written mostly in Greek and later translated to Latin. This is how a passage in Luke has Jesus asking Peter three times if he loves him, totally missing the mark meaning-wise from what was said in the Greek version.

Jesus has Peter over to his house for breakfast and he turns to Peter asking him three times if Peter loves him. Peter says that he does love Jesus each time he is asked. 
On the face of it, it doesn’t make sense why Jesus would do this. He just keeps repeating himself. This encounter happened we think after the crucifixion, so Christians have explained this by saying that Jesus was doing this to remind Peter that he had denied knowing Jesus three times when Jesus was arrested and later crucified. And it all makes a kind of sense, except that isn’t what Jesus was asking Peter at all.

Instead, in the Greek, Jesus asks Peter if he loves him agape, which is the form of love one has for, and with, God. Then Jesus uses the word philos, which is the familial form of love one has. Think of it as brotherly love. Jesus then asks him if he feels eros, which is erotic, sexual love. Peter answers in the affirmative each time. 

Do you see how different this story is now? Instead of “going there” and shaming Peter for denouncing him, he is instead asking him if he loves him without reservation, without any boundaries as pertains to social propriety. Jesus wanted to know how full and complete Peter’s love was. Now imagine “eros” being translated into the King James’s Version! That was because the image which those in the early church chose was not the real Jesus. The accounts of Jesus thus followed the narrative the early church fathers wanted, which was a nonsexually, non-erotic Jesus. In this particular case, I think it was quite possible that the error in translation may have been intentional. It is why I view this passage as being intentionally mistranslated; having Jesus speaking of sexual love didn’t fit their narrative, but it fit another story when not translated completely, thus giving the passage a very different spin.

The other problematic side to this which I haven’t gotten into is the fact that Jesus spoke middle Aramaic, which is a highly contextual language. This means you need to know the context a word is given in order to discern it’s meaning. Since all of the Gospels, we assume, were first written in Greek (“koin” Greek), we are all one step removed from the nuances wording Jesus was giving in his teachings. The elephant in the room though is that if someone did not understand what was being said, a different story might be told. This is a small but important point.

Imagine the scene: Jesus walks into the kitchens of Levi and says, “That is a very cool oven, Levi! How do you cook with it?” Levi later says to his friends, “Jesus cannot understand how I cook with an oven which has no fire…” In truth, Jesus was saying that he thought Levi’s oven was really great and could he show Jesus how he cooks with it? I know that sounds silly, but it’s very likely this has happened about central concepts about Jesus’s divinity, our relationship to that divinity, and the path to salvation. Actually, these small errors make for big missunderstandings!

Most people assume that the Gospels were written by the disciples, but many of the disciples were illiterate and the canonical Gospels have very sophisticated writing structure. They were first told, then copied. There were different versions of the same document in existence (such as two copies of Matthew, one purported to be for the masses while another for the more initiated). Scholars can also see how a Gospel will abruptly have a different writing style, which suggests a different writer. Most readers never even catch the difference though.

 Through translational errors as well as picking the versions of books that spoke more to the people’s own sensibilities who came three hundred years after Jesus, this likely became the force that defined our understanding of Jesus as the man we think we know. 

Then, it was quite easy to fold our arms and say, “For the Bible tells me so!” Except that this isn’t so because there is a problem with that Bible.

We now have books that were hidden away for over 1600 years that had been thought to be extinct. The fabled Gospel of Thomas was decried a myth by the church (even though it was mentioned in the writings of some well known people at the time) until a copy of it emerged having been discovered in the desert of Egypt in 1945. Along with it came a trove of over 40 books all bound in leather folio’s, the contents of which have caused scholars to rethink Christianity in a radicaly new way. 

It would be a different story if the books made no sense at all, but instead the teachings are extremely deep, so deep that gnostic scholars admit that they have trouble understanding them.
They don’t understand them because these books are a treasure of esoteric teachings, the marrow of how to find God, how to know the self, to know about the twin forces within awareness that Jesus says many times in different books as his being “One with the father and mother.” This only sounds strange to someone who has no experience with awakening. Thus, the books in the Nag Hammadi have this as a consistent theme. Yes, there is mention of God the father, some writing in the NHL uses this term exclusively to describe the masculine aspect. But it also focuses on the feminine aspect exclusively too, (Pistis Sophia) so there you go. These “new” themes are difficult for scholars to understand because they themselves do not know or already taste the nature of the experience. 
It’s hard to pull back the veil when you don’t know a veil is even there.
 
To better understand the rift that occurred in the early church and how heresy was the origin of Christianity (as defined by the church in Rome), you have to read the history on all of this. You won’t find the whole history within the church because the church had its mind made up 1600 years ago and it hasn’t changed much since Instead, you have to pick up scholarly analysis to begin to see the additional materials that help to clarify the issue more.

Works by Bart Ehrman, while criticized by the church, are some of the best examples for understanding the Bible as it was instead of how it has been made to look. He does this by examining the facts. He draws on scholarly research instead of faith.
Even in his own work, there seems to be something missing, which is the gap between the esoteric works and the exoteric (canonical Gospels). Somewhere between the death of Jesus and the birth of the church under emperor Constantine, there was a dividing of the way in understanding. Somewhere, books were radically changed. Perhaps this was done piece-meal, changes that took place as the result of people hearing the stories and having only a limited understanding,and then writing them down.  What we know is that the Gospels, most of them, were not written by their authors. We know this because of how they are written. They often use the name of the writer as having said what the book contains instead of the writer using the correct  form of person if they were writing it; “These were the words that Jesus told Luke” instead of, “These were the words that Jesus told to me, Luke.” Even in Thomas the same form is suggested in the first sentence:. “These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down.” In the case of Thomas, the sayings were without narrative, so it was easier to simply copy them as they were. Scribal errors were reduced with the document  because it had been written and then buried for 1600 years. But this book was copied many times even as the other Gospels were.We do not have another copy of Thomas with which to compare. We do know that some of the sayings found in Thomas were found carved in a building in India, a country, not coincidentally, that Thomas was said to have been encouraged to go to spread the teachings.

(5)Jesus said, “Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you. For there is nothing hidden which will become manifest.”

The process of awakening is one where you increasingly learn to see things as they are. When you are able to pierce the fog of your belief and inner bias, events will look vastly different to you. You will also attain secret knowledge, which is referred to as “gnosis” and that those who did know were the “gnosticoi.” While writing this piece I had a comment made on another earlier post where a reader, herself awakened, described how she could discern answers to problems, any problem by sitting down, getting quiet, and ‘listening’ inwardly for the answer…. which, she added, always comes. So that is an example of what I mean by “secret” knowledge.

The act of merging the opposites within is what keeps us from being “one-sided” or stuck in one mode (masculine/rational) of thinking. It is when we merge them and find union within that the energy rises and we are saved from death.

The “rising” is mentioned in Philip, and it’s quite remarkable. He explains we must attain this while alive now if we are to live a fuller life. He suggests in his explanation of it that simply waiting to find it when we die wont do it; doing it here is important. He uses the term rising in the flesh. He also explains that the concept of resurrection was wrong. We do not die and come to life, but we are as though dead and come into a larger spiritual life, becoming more alive. I highly suspect that even in his lifetime Philip was seeing a corruption of the teachings by people thinking Jesus would come back to resurrect them, which is a distortion that shows up in the canonical Gospels such as in Revelation where Jesus comes in glory to raise up the dead and judge them too. This is how the fairy tale that is the rapture came to be I think. But Philip explains, no, this is a rebirth, a resurrection of the self in flesh as though it had been dead. This is not a literal physical death. This is a death of soul, of awareness of ones true potential.

This concept of those who are “dead” are found through both Thomas as well as Philip. It is clear that Jesus is playing with words to make an important point. It is also word usage that befuddles scholars. “The dead are not living and the living do not die.”

Those who are not awakened are like someone who is dead; they do not live the fuller life that awakening, or the kingdom affords them. The living do not taste death because the gnosis which they attain upon awakening shows them that they are more than flesh and bone and that the universe is a living breathing subtle presence that supports this new life by way of the Creator who is both masculine and feninine. It is by joining the two in yourself that you live in the same way as the deity does. This is why it brings gnosis of the deity; the twin forces that are in you are present in the deity. This becomes the way to know this larger life.

The difference between canon and the Nag Hammadi is the role Christ plays. In canon, you seek the Christ as Jesus to be saved by him. In the Nag Hammadi, the Christ is found within. You already have the capacity to BE a Christ. The idea that anyone could be a Christ right along with Jesus was an anametha to the church and could land you in jail, and you could lose your life.

The clues to all of this is in knowing that the sayings were meant to stir your own knowing. It’s there for you to know. When you do know, you will begin to see what is being said. While the vocabulary might be different from Vedic teachings about the rising of kundalini, and while they may vary based on aporoach and their details, they both are speaking about the same exact thing. This teaching is the same as found in other non-abrahamic religions or philosophies.

The sad part is that this was weeded out in the beginning as “heresy” when in fact it contains the esoteric teachings that Jesus conveyed to his disciples because, as Jesus explains, the masses are not able to understand his deeper teachings even though they are present in every single parable. He also points out to Peter in the same sentence that even though Jesus speaks plainly to Peter that even he does not understand.

This is a tall order for us, then, to understand these teachings. Perhaps the difference in content may have been due to the differences amongst the disciples themselves, with small differences equalling substantive differences in what they each understood the teachings to mean. Even in the letter of Peter to Philip, Peter describes Philip as standing or keeping himself “separate” from the rest of the disciples. Could it have been that Philip found himself at odds with the rest of the group in his understanding of the teachings? 

I won’t pretend that the Nag Hammadi is without fault, though. While it has those parts that seem to lift off the page, it also contains a lot of what I would expect from a culture of the time as being highly resistant to the feminine principle having equality amongst the masculine. This is no more evident than in the creation story that was written by this group of people. In it, the error in the world came about by the feminine principle seeking to create a world on her own, which results on a demiurge that then sows all kinds of havoc in the world. It seems women just can’t get an even break! But you can see how the bias is there and results in a prejudice against this force, which we all have in ourselves. But luckily, the truth is there inside you, you need only knock and the door will be opened.

When I awoke, I became aware by meditating and focusing on the energy that this thing felt like the embrace of a man and woman. I called it that. I also found that the i focused on their embrace that I could begin to feel a third presence emerge from them. I called this “the child.” I didn’t know that this was kundalini, I simply knew what I felt. What I did not know was that this was the same result as the early Christians had and were describing. In fact, they used the image of the bridal chamber to explain the sexual bliss that existed in the experience of this union. The Christ was the one who emerged from this bridal chamber called the “nymphion.” Boom.

It was in reading these words that it all came  together for me; the union of the inner man and woman producing the child, which for me was a transcendent awareness that unleashed my mind and brought “secret knowledge” was the same thing Jesus and his followers had described. It was also an idea the later Christians who devolved away from and could not stand the idea of their god-man as being sexual in any way. This also meant that the teachings of Christianity did not offer the teachings which, despite their prudishness, would have actually saved them and redirected them into a new life.

It was a big “WOW” moment for me to say the least. This was the origin of the Trinity, and the takeaway here was that the Holy Ghost was the missing link, the feminine aspect that if understood, could have jump-started a revolution in being here on earth. 

In recent posts on how to release trauma, you can perhaps understand why I stress why it’s so important to release trauma or emotional material from the past. It is because it serves to divide you and keeps your insides turning away from the trigger that brings awakening.

This is not just achieved by dealing with emotional material in a more or less direct fashion, it can also be achieved by way of somatic release exercises which recognizes that emotion is stored in the body and can be released through body movement without having to reexperience trauma, but simply to face and acknowledge the emotion. This is at the core of pranayama yoga as well as chi gong, just to name a few. This has, though, the result of releasing what divides you and as such, will lead to awakening when enough of the right material is healed or released. It isn’t for the elect, it is who each of us are regardless of class or religion. It goes way deeper than that.

The teachings found in Thomas might speak to you as they spoke to me and others. For me, it was through Thomas that I knew someone besides me had experienced this before. Philip explained that Jesus was trying to get his disciples to be Christ’s. This happens when the two merge deeply into each other and remain so from then on. This is the consumation of Augustine, the divine marriage of the alchemists, and the Bridal Chamber. It is cosmic consciousness of the Hindu, exemplified in the merging of the yoni and lingam, the Tor of the Druids in England, and cosmic mind of the Zen Buddhists.
Critics of these writings seem to say that the writings in the NHL are of eastern lineage and are not aligned to Christian thinking. I rather think that the truths espoused in all of these traditions or strands of thought arise from direct experience of a spiritual reality that is common to us all. I was able to describe my own experience without the aid of a tradition. Further, I was led to writings that had passages nearly identical to what I had written. 
What I did was no different than what anyone else has done who could witness their own awakening. It isn’t that the early Christians were  a “Gnostic” group, it was that they had insight that led them to describe what all other esoteric traditions have done for ages, with the descriptions illuminating a condition, or state, or structure to consciousness that is common to all of us. What the critics do not get is that this experience is often so clear and vivid that those describing it as the union of opposites are describing it as it is. No tradition needs to tell you what’s happening because you feel the energy rise, you feel the physiological and neurological reaction to the energy as serpentine, and you experience the rush as it pierces the chakras and opens you even further for the universal awareness to move through you.  I described it on my own in exactly the same way that the early Christians had-which was the truth of the Trinity.

All of this amazing stuff is in you, and is the source of all that I write about. I hope that you might find this so that you can walk in this new life which is the real “resurrection and the life.”

I am working on the most difficult chapter in my book, which is going back into the historical record to show how Christian orthodoxy was an outgrowth of a much deeper mystical current that existed with the first Christian (Jesus), and that through the intervening years between his Ascension and the institutionalizing of the church, this deeper connection to soulful truth was lost.

It is a difficult chapter  for a number of reasons. One is bias.I am up against an entrenched tradition that is used to believing what it believes.  The other is a tradition that was built off of and drew from an earlier “doxos” (or thought) but lost critical aspects or concepts necessary for it to more deeply guide it’s followers to the depths of who they were. The other difficulty has been time. The sheer accretion of it as a belief system has made it a stumbling block, most notably for those with the most need for clearing a path within that leads both into themselves and into the vast realm that is the Kingdom. Lastly, it is challenging because so much has to be packed in to what must be a short and to the point chapter.

To untangle this has meant that I need to bring not just scholarly resources to the table, but the reality and experience of awakening as well. It means that I have to show how this first tradition was lost long before ink was set to papyrus, and how it most likely happened. 

The challenge that comes along with all of this is how the early church sought to scour from history those books and sects that actually served to birth Christianity before it was a state institutionalized religion. A lot of supporting material that I could have used has been lost. However, despite all of this, something amazing has been given to us in our current era. It came in the form of a time capsule, an honest to goodness time capsule buried in the perfect spot in order that it could survive the heresy hunters that have come and gone over the centuries as Christendom has grown.

In an interesting twist of fate, a man named none other than Muhammad Ali (no, not that Ali) uncovered one of the greatest finds to date of early Christian thought in the desert in Egypt just outside the town called Nag Hammadi. Without knowing it, Ali played a role in helping rewrite history by helping to bring forward the very documents the early church came to revile, and which it spent so much effort in burning, anathematizing, and demonizing.

While the Nag Hammad find took place in 1945, translations of the more than forty books were not completed and brought into the broader publishing world until about 1972. As a result, we are only now beginning to assess more deeply the impact that these books have had not only on how we conceived Christianity, but also ourselves at our deepest of levels. 
The reason why I am approaching this subject is two-fold. First, as Westerners, we have been touched most by Christianity than any other religion. Even people who are not members of a church or who buy into the faith at all are still affected by the reach of a religion whose values have threaded themselves into so many facets of our lives. Many people today might not be involved in the church, but very often their parents took them to church as children, or they have grandparents who did. Secondly, there is the issue of the truths and the path that could have happened, but didn’t, and how important the teachings were to anyone, regardless of any religious affiliation. Before there was a religion, there were brilliant messages that were plucked from the Light, which transcends all religions or institutions.
The story here, at its core, is about an infection. It is the infection of ignorance and how it can turn it’s own deliverance into a 1600 year odyssey of illusion. I know how bad that sounds, and honestly, I am grappling hard with how to strike the right balance in this one important chapter in WTI. Sometimes you have to know how to break the news gently. But this isn’t just about overturning a beloved institution. It is  not about that at all. It is in fact about a way to recognize that we have been swimming in the shallows all this time, and that a deep ocean beckons to be explored.
The problem that we face in the wake of the discovery and subsequent dissemination of the Nag Hammad Library into the mainstream is that the conversation about it has lacked a thread of continuity of knowing (or gnosis) when studying the texts that make up the collection. As a result, those who did the translating and the commentaries that accompany the books admit to being mystified by their central precepts. These books cannot just be read with the intellect, or with orthodoxy weighing heavy in the mind, but must, I feel, be read with the heart and the soul. These books ask of us something more than what orthodoxy ever did. It isn’t surprising to find that Christian scholars are so dumbfounded. They are inheritors of a tradition that never demanded that they utilize the hidden depths. It is now time that we did. What’s more is that people are  ready.
These books from the Nag Hammad Library, the best of them, ask us to take that leap into the unknown in order to retrieve or discover that which most of us have lost or have buried. This isn’t about facts and concepts, but a quality that IS us. Curiously, in some of the books, they provide the simplest and clearest means to reach awakening, which Jesus called the Kingdom.
To do all of this in one small chapter has led to the realization that this first book won’t be “the” book most widely read, but will be the foundation for a number of them. What gets laid down in this one small but potent chapter on Christianity will lead to a book that side steps the Orthodox journey and helps to bring a turn of mind and willingness to go deeper. More than a dry analysis of these “new books” from Egypt, it will show how they communicate the ineffable and help bring us closer to it, less by rational discourse and more by tapping our innate powers of feeling in order to conceive what is in fact entirely revolutionary in each of us. In an effort to set themselves apart from other religions, Christianity denied the very aspects that are universal to reaching enlightenment by hiding something terribly important to all of us.
The chapter on Christianity in the book I am writing now will be to wet our whistle for a deeper dive into what the origins of Christianity could have become. The book will examine all of the historical evidence and will ask readers to be audacious enough to step into the gap, their own unknown, to reach out, and in, to retrieve what is still missing in so many of us.
My dear friend and spiritual cohort who is one of the most gifted psychic intuitives I have ever met, said to me many years ago that there would be a book that I would write that would be the book, and it wasn’t the one I was working on then. This ruffled my feathers back then partly because I had so much time, so much experience, tied up in the effort of that manuscript that I had in front of me. But here it is, six years later, and as I begin working on this one chapter, I can feel the presence of an entirely new book muscling it’s way into my awareness. When Ali told me about this as we sat in the car at the gas station that rainy day, she said, “That book is already written, Parker….it’s just waiting for you to put it to paper.” Sometimes a wise man needs a wise woman to help him see the bigger picture.

Part of the soul of this new book is how we can change our world by being able to acknowledge one element, one simple aspect of our inner spiritual reality  that the Orthodox tradition swept under the rug right from the beginning. I sense, at this time, that it has to do with something that will only work if we begin to embody and practice it in our day to day. The way we are going about it now will only lead to a growing divide between all of us and our fundamental nature’s. We need to become aware and begin working now if we are to stave off what could become an ever-widening gap in our society and all of its institutions. 

How A Book Not Yet Written Catalyzed A New Paradigm For Men

What is so interesting about this is that in the months prior to beginning work on this chapter, I felt a clear need to begin doing a type of inner work with men.This was an unexpected realization, and it happened during a conversation I was having about retreats for women who were doing spiritual healing of their own. When asked if I would want to be a contributing partner in this visionary idea, I found quite suddenly that I really needed to work with men, at least at first. At the time I really had no idea about what that work would entail.  
The idea was firmly planted though, and it hasn’t budged a single bit since then. The earliest ideas began in my mind as a group who would first gather locally to begin revisioning the masculine, to, as a group, share and work together to come up with solutions that will aid in recreating the masculine experience and identity. This would be done without destroying what is the essence of what it is to be men in an essential way, apart from cultural expectations and programming. This local group would then be translated into a larger arena where workshops and retreats would be formed in order to reach a wider audience. That assumed that men would ready for this, and I personally see many who are.

Since then, without fully knowing what the content would be exactly, the concept has evolved very quickly into a means to effect a much needed paradigm shift. This shift will have the result of creating a space and knowing about how to heal our innermost spiritual, and emotional fractures related to masculine identity. The outcome of this, I sense, will be men who live very different lives and whose own healing will also help heal a new generation of women who have been yearning quietly for this sort of outcome, for this kind of man in their lives, be they father, brother, son, or lover.
I know that you might be wondering how this type of work is connected to a book on Christianity. It ties into fundamental beliefs about our identities which were supported and informed by the church. It has played it’s part in keeping a great secret from itself and us. This secret has the power to transform all of us. It is the missing ingredient that when added, is tranformative at the most basic and essential levels. Since paternalism had a hand in the early church, and because of the extraordinary scope of the reach the church has had on most Westerners, being able to see the church as how it could have been actually can show men how they can be today by correcting this one simple aspect that got hidden away by men. Men did this, and now we can each undo it. The results should be interesting to say the least.
Having said this, this work won’t be limited to heterosexuals since it will not be built on the old paradigm which has an often unrecognized or acknowledged codependency at its core. It will instead seek to bring healing and fresh thinking to the individual first, with the balance then achieved in the self naturally rippling outward with new effects, new eventualities, coming into the lives of those who participate. This will be driven naturally and organically as an outcome of this re-visioning process that will call upon, not coincidentally, the one aspect that the early Orthodox Church sought to hide, whether by ignorance or design.
There is a lot that I haven’t written about in specific terms because to do so would mean a number of posts. The main core of the work will in fact be incredibly simple because instead of this being a process of reshaping the selves of men, it actually serves to bring men to the one place within them that society has taught them to ignore. Instead of methods, finding this lost part of themselves will BE the method, the compass, the guide, the teacher. We have been envisioning this the wrong way, you see. 

What I sense that this awareness can liberate in men is an amazing relatedness to their deepest selves…this in turn will bring greater and greater layers of fulfillment which will be a healing balm for the rough edges we have had for so long. I am merely it’s facilitator. You are the healer!
It only takes a single pebble dropped in the calm waters of a self ready for change to effect this change.

Who knew what writing this one chapter might birth or clear the way for all of this to begin coming through?
For now, I have a chapter to write. Besides my own work that sustains me in my day to day, I have an outline to write along with how to include all elements necessary to make this book what it needs to be. Concurrent with this will no doubt be setting up the framework for my first group of men who are ready to take that first step into a new world.

The One has no limits.  It is neither form, nor not-form. It is indivisible.  Everything that exists, exists in it.  It seeks only Itself.  It is eternal and the giver of eternity.  It is pure Light.  It is the Blessed One that never changes.

The Apocryphon of John

 

All things manifest are filled with God.  All things that are invisible are filled with God.  All things flow from God, yet [S]He does not change.

The Isha Upanishad

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They have been spoken of down through time, a dual force in awareness that has emerged with many names and have all been tied to awakening, to the manifold process that is enlightenment.

These twins, as I call them,  were written about in early Christian documents. Recent discoveries have unearthed their known and truer nature as part of the trinity (I know the trinity is not two, but the “two” birth the “third” which is Christ Consciousness—more on that later…).

In the Eastern traditions of the Taoists, the Yin and Yang were expressions, understandings, of the vital role these forces played (and not merely as an observation of how our world just has bright and dark, or opposites only).  The Shakti and Shiva were expressions of this understanding, and the kundalini, as expressed as a serpent twining about a central axis, was an expression of the two-in-one force that gave rise to a third awareness that moved along the central axis (the spine where the shushumna channel lies energetically and is the center for cosmic awareness).  This awareness has been in many cultures such as the Polynesians who knew that out of the One life force came two complimentary forces that when joined formed the One again, which is a truly transcendent awareness and state of being.

The experience of this union is so powerful, so incredibly blissful, that it has been likened to sexual union for the fact that the experience created an intense bliss that felt orgasmic.  This was not itself physical orgasm, but is instead the result of the chemical soup in the body which has been instantly changed by the presence of the energy now within awareness.  The body is an amazing servant, a mirror to the soul, and what the soul feels that can be brought into full conscious awareness, the body will share in and will respond to through chemical production of endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin and also even adrenaline.  These compounds, some which are used as neurotransmitters in the brain (yes, can you even imagine?) have a profound effect on how we feel, how we recognize that we feel. And so it is that when one feels this bliss, it is like being bathed by a quiet pulse of orgasmic energy all throughout every part of your being.  it is the presence of this energy and this bliss that begins to purify and cleanse you of a world of hurt, wrongdoing and wrong thinking and feeling in your life, past and present. It is HERE in THIS that we experience the true power of what enlightenment is.

Within each of us, these forces exist all the way down to the atoms that compose our bodies.  One can see and interact with this vital force in this way when your awareness is honed and focused.  The Hindu Vedas describe just such a sensory experience of seeing down into the microscopic level to feel and commune with this energy that is expressed in everything.  Some say, rightly so, I think, that these Twins exist as creators of reality, or supporters of it.  Through them come the birth of all phenomena.  All of it. They are entirely ubiquitous, and awareness of their presence can be seen throughout all writings, especially in the east.

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These two forces are likened to a feminine and masculine force.  Complimentary, they merge one into the other upon awakening in such a way that vast sums of energy are created in the body and awareness.  This production of energy brings healing, however difficult for some at first (due to shame surrounding anything that might feel…..gasp….sexual), in a way that is likened to a lightening bolt experience at first (kundalini) and then as a deep stirring effect that stirs out of the subconscious those things which have made us each sick, neurotic, or holding to old traumas.  We enter into a new life through these and the early Christians describe these people who have encountered the flash of white light as being androgenous people of a sort.  They were called this by the so-called Gnostics as Syzgy.  This term was used to describe people who had an encounter with the brilliant white light that marked the beginning of awakening (aka kundalini and divine union experiences).

The result of this encounter was that the two currents of energy which are akin to the two energies surrounding stars and planets ( a torus of negative and positive particles creating a spheroid or torus shaped field of energy–the same torus that surrounds physical bodies as well).  The awareness of this energy, now heightened in awakening, reveals to each of those so awakened to two forces alive in the body.  This brought awareness of both energies, and this leads to the “androgynous” sense of both forces alive in the body of awareness and matter.

This Syzgy was not itself something that changes ones own native sexual orientation, no, but shows every sign of broadening ones awareness of both while it also erases any compunction with feeling so intimately the energy that represents the opposite from your own sexual orientation.

So yes, the early Christians were describing this incredibly blissful experience which they likened to a sexual experience of being in a Bridal Chamber, a union of the soul with its two parts. It is the beginning of all forms of union in life, top to bottom.  It is the very genesis of what divine union is and without it, the idea would not exist, for it rests within this foundation and is fed and nurtured by it.  Simply put, it is an erasure of all elements within the self that serve to limit and to divide you against others….be they people, or experiences.

Link that describes this term in more detail: http://www.gnosis.org/library/valentinus/Syzygy_Valentinian.htm

To help to explain this state of inner union, the Gospel of Thomas says it very clearly by letting Jesus speak for himself to a woman named Salome (not the princess Salome who demanded the head of John the Baptist, but was rather much more like a disciple).

In the Gospel of Thomas ( Saying 61b) Salome says to Jesus that he had come up on her couch (presumably referring to reclining at meals) and eaten from her table. “Who are you, man,” she asks. Jesus replies, “I am he who exists from the undivided.” He goes on to say that someone who is divided will be filled with darkness, but someone [presumably “undivided”: translators point out that there is a gap in the text] will be filled with light. This is one of the notable sayings on the theme of Oneness.

Source: www.gnosis.org/thomasbook/ch24

In numerous places throughout these gnostic gospels, you have Jesus saying over and over how when one removes the division, within that the kingdom comes, that one is “resurrected” that the flesh “rises” or awakens into what seems to be like the difference of being dead and then coming into life.  I observed early in my awakening that what had sparked my awakening was the removal or healing of a long-standing issue that I had which had kept me divided.  When I removed that, awakening began. it is an account that I describe in the book I am working on that involved a discussion with an Oglala Lakota medicine man named Sydney Has No Horses.

It is important to remember that these things are themselves mysteries that cannot be fully explained in a literal linear mode, and are instead  expressed or conveyed through more poetic and less “exact” language.  To know what they are saying, it helps to already be awakened…..which does not help those who seek, but merely points in the general direction. This is not a factual conceptual framework being created, but is instead a description of a state of being.  And how can we really explain such a thing? Most often, poetry does it better than more materialistic means.  That means not being literal. Sadly, the early Christian church was gripped by a wave of literalism that was called orthodoxy, and a whole host of teachings within the church were cast aside, deemed heretical, or were simply not understood for what they were. If you read the Nag Hammadi texts such as Thomas and Philip and Mary, you see that the language used is…..more like poetry and is inexact.  It is this way for a purpose.  It is less that this was a different church, but that it was a different depth of understanding that had taken place.

My experience in this nonduality, of these twin energies, is that they open your awareness to the entirety, potentially at least, of the universe and everything within it. A boast?  In nearly every reference to this experience there is much talk about “secret knowledge” when one awakens.  This is what is being pointed to, which is a new or renewed ability or awareness within consciousness to join to everything.  This, not coincidentally, is the very essence of what nonduality is all about.  It means “no other” and it means, literally, that one may feel what another feels, to know it so intimately that there is no distinction at a deeper level of the experience between the observer and the observed. It is why I can feel what another feels over vast distances.  We are not divided by space or even time.

This also opens one up to an understanding of all others, including the opposite within you, which for many, is not just the dark or the light, but the feminine and the masculine. Whether these twins are literal male and female counterparts is not the point, but their complimentary forces can open the doorway to understanding all others. It means that as a male you can feel deeply the experience of the feminine, and as a woman you can commune with and feel deeply the experience of the masculine both within yourself and through the beloved, be they male or female. For anyone thinking that this becomes a non-homosexual experience, think again. There is nothing about these two that in any way limits or biases against same sex experience.  The joining of these two twins is simply the result of incredible vastness, a “waking the infinite” within each of us. One enters into the mysteries of this type of awareness and knowing, and part of it also is that one can relate to others in ways you have never been able to do.

It is not surprising to me that the kundalini is called “shakti” in the Hindu tradition.  The reason for this is because up until awakening is sparked, there is only one primary current in awareness, which for us is the yang energy.  I know you wont always agree with me, but the whole of humankind has for many thousands of years been focused primarily in the left-brained mind which is also considered to be the yang energy. I write a lot about this and how it ties into brain function and cognition, so if you want more on this simply search using left or right brain in the search function on the site and you should find a good deal of writing on this topic as it relates to current brain science.  I also say this as a very right-brained artist, and I can tell you that in a relative way, we do not know just how we have limited our right brained functions and the function of the “feminine” or yin sides of our energy and our consciousness. As a result, the discovery one find, whether you are male OR female, awaits you as a great discovery about the greater depth available to your sexual and spiritual self!  A man is greatly informed by what it is like to be a woman and a woman is greatly informed about a level of feminine experience that she may have never known (the same is true for men in the reverse, of course) as a result of these energies now fully awakened and interacting in this “new” way within consciousness and in the body.

When kundalini comes, it isn’t that a yin presence comes as the substance of the energy, but that in your awareness you become aware that you are now both.  It is in this awareness that the two forces are joined or unified in your consciousness and this is where the electric lightening bolt realization takes place that is so often a common experience in awakening (you do not need to have a lightening bolt experience, and it is better that you do not do so if you can help it since it makes for a more peaceful progression with the energy).  Less that shakti comes AS the kundalini, but more that she has simply been missing in our awareness.  As a result, when most awaken, you can begin to feel a fluidity and sensuality that is conferred as a result of the two now in union and it is this added compliment, the feminine force of yin, that now makes for an incredible chemical reaction in the body…which is not just chemical, but energetic from top to bottom. You can see how this is through simple observation in how your thoughts change and how more feminine you can become.  The feminine force of yin gives a great deal of receptivity, fluidity, and less of a literal approach to understanding and cognition (and this is not limited to men or women only!)

The advantages of this new arrangement are incredibly unifying and healing for the self.  These twins birth a third energy as a result of their union, something that I described in the first few months of my awakening as the union of the man and woman who birth the cosmic child.  At the time that I was writing this, I had no idea what had happened to me.  I didn’t know yet that this experience had a name.  I knew about kundalini years before this, but when it happened to me it was such a novel and different experience that any description of it went entirely over my head….at least at first.  But the description that I made based on my early meditations and communion within the energy, was no different from what I would find scattered throughout all cultures of the two who birth the third.

If you are of the Christian persuasion, you might find yourself upset over the idea of the trinity being treated in such a way, but I caution you that it is quite clear that the trinity and its deeper reality was hidden or obscured by the rising tide of orthodoxy that gripped the early church and it cuased, I observe, a kind of dumbing down of what the trinity was originally to Jesus and his followers.  When we look at the documents that had lain in the desert for so long and which had not been subject to the biasing effects of the orthodoxy church, you can find the trinity as a resounding bulwark of the masculine and feminine in one deity and that the Christ was born from them both.  This was why Philip said in his gospel, “Those who say that Mary begat with the Holy Ghost are in error.  They do not know what they say.  For when has a woman begotten with a woman?”

This quote reveals quite clearly that the Holy Ghost was the feminine aspect of the deity, and that it made no sense for the story of Jesus’s conception to have been described in this way.  For Philip, who was described as heir to the deeper teachings of Jesus (even within the orthodox church), he would have understood the subtle differences involved. It is in his and other books that he describes the union of these two forces as a Bridal Chamber.  It was out of this chamber that Christ emerged.  Many scholars are trying to make this Bridal Chamber experience into a ritual that the early Christians engaged in, but this is not so (they are in error).  Instead, it is an experience that one has that is initiatory, but instantaneous when one removes what divides you.  Less a rite, it is mystic experience that we each have.  As a result, this also meant that everyone one of us can experience this, that this was what Jesus had also taught to his students, his disciples.  Not all of them got it, or understood what was being said, however. It may be possible that gospels were favored over others that did not include these sayings, so that the orthodox church only had those which it favored (lacking the feminine aspect of the deeper mysteries of spiritual attainment).

This is one reason why I have long felt that Christianity was missing something terribly important, and that the early church had hidden something.  At age nine, when I felt this sense for the first time, I had no way of knowing what this thing was, I merely knew deep in my bones that this was so.  It was, I would later find, something that my soul knew without question, but that my inexperienced 9 year old mind had no way of knowing why it knew.  It is by joining this missing part that you can know the kingdom.  Right now. Right here.  And while the dried and limited orthodox minds will reject it, it is rather that orthodoxy is showing itself to be the real heresy and the heresies of the past, so much more closer to the truth.

There is nothing as life-changing as this awareness of the twin within.

नमस्ते

P.

 

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