Category Archives: Five – Emptiness

Emptiness: to the end of the night


Night. A clear sky at new moon. Narrator drives the borrowed Skoda Superb [1] Combi from Amsterdam via the Noordoostpolder [2] to the marina at Lauwersoog near the departure of the ferry to Schiermonnikoog. Both headlights shine on the empty highway through the dark void land that over 50 years ago still was bottom of the Zuiderzee (Southernsea). Carla dozes in the back seat. Man sits as a passenger next Narrator; in the dim light of the dashboard they look to the exit at Emmeloord that in the far distance is lit by lantern light.

Skoda Superb Combi[3]

“Within the emptiness the headlights – with the lantern light in the distance – conjure a dark magic landscape wherein everything we now see emerges and immediately disappears like phantoms who are called to live in a flare in order to slip at once into the dark emptiness again.

As boy in South Limburg I have loved the dark nights with the infinite universe wherein I – included – was one with all the stars and galaxies in the firmament. Now I feel myself floating within a faint white glow on an infinite journey through the universe and thereby perfectly at home in this vessel. Tonight – before we were getting ready to depart – I have looked up a definition of Buddhist enlightenment [4] in a book: “Enlightenment is realising the oneness of life”[5].

I looked for this definition yesterday afternoon we have ended our survey of intensities and associations with the question: “One – what is that?”, that had been asked by a Buddhist sage to a wise woman. She was unable to answer this question. I wonder whether the inability – or the emptiness – of the wise woman to answer fits better with the question: “One – what is that?” than this definition of Buddhist enlightenment.

We now begin the survey of emptiness during our quest to “Who are you”. In Sanskrit the word for emptiness in the Heart Sutra is ” śūnyatā”. Do you know the meaning of this word in Sanskrit?”, asks Man.

The car is nearing the exit at Emmeloord. Narrator slows down and takes the exit to Lemmer; hereby Carla has awakened and she asks: “Where are we?”. “Near Emmeloord in the Noordoostpolder, now we are heading to Friesland. I have asked Narrator for the meaning of the word “śūnyatā””, says Man.

“The word ” śūnyatā” is usually translated with “emptiness” or “empty of self” [6], but this translation only reflects the core of the word just like within the core of the tropical cyclone there is usually a clear sky and no wind; the centre of the cyclone is sunny and “free” of wind.

Kern van een cycloon[7]

The word “śūnyatā” consists of the verb cores:
• “śvi” – with the weak form “śū” – meaning “swell”, “grow” and “increase”;
• “ya” meaning “mover” and “incentive”. My father was of the opinion that “ya” is closely related to “yaj” in the sense of “sacrifice”, “offering for a higher – Godlike/heavenly– purpose” (perhaps “God’s gift” in reciprocity”and,
• “tā” meaning “impassableness”, “inaccessibleness”, and also “unviolability” and “sacred” [8].

A contemporary Japanese Zen master in America had written in his explanation of “śūnyatā” that this word is not a negation of the concept of existence, but the word indicates that our entire existence in all its forms is completely dependent on the principle of cause and effect; we have read earlier that even the Gods are bound by the principle of cause and effect [9]. As the factors of cause and effect are changing constantly, there is no static – fixed – existence possible. The word “śūnyatā” categorically denies the possibility of the existence of static – fixed – manifestations. All appearances are relative and interdependent according to this contemporary Japanese Zen master.

In addition, he writes that “śūnyatā” also means “zero”, a concept that became known rather late in Europe, but has been in use for much longer in India. Zero has no numerical value in itself, but it represents the absence of numerical values and thus symbolises at the same time the possibility of all numerical values. Similarly “śūnyatā” – through the concept of “zero” or “no” – represents the possibility of the existence of all manifestations and it is also included in all forms, that themselves only exist in relation to their non-existence and by their interconnectedness [10]”, says Narrator.

vorm en leegte[11]

“The definition of zero is too limited: but I will not go into it now. If I understand it correctly, “śūnyatā” refers to “emptiness from” and “emptiness to” just as – in my opinion – Erich Fromm is referring to “freedom from” and “freedom to” in mutual dependency with the concept of “freedom” [12 ]. Here I am reminded of the French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty who has argued that manifestations are caused by a creative process of giving meaning and taking meaning at once[13]. The Zen master adds to this argument the void – or space – for allowing the creation of manifestations”, says Carla.

“Quite interesting that you refer to a creative process for the creation of manifestations. The Japanese Zen master indicates that an intuitive and immediate understanding of ” śūnyatā” is the basis for all understanding. But before he states this, he first mentiones the ” śūnyatā” of the ego and then the “śūnyatā” of dharma [14] – the world order and duty [15] – and of the subjective and the objective. After this he concludes that everything – every manifestation and every being – only exists through the principle of interdependence bound by the law of impermanence. The intuitive and immediate understanding leads to knowledge and understanding of the four great truths to know: impermanence, interconnectedness, manifestations and essence; maybe it’s good to come back on these four values later. The Zen master goes further in his statement on the importance of impermanence – emptiness or vanity – and interconnectedness than Maurice Merleau-Ponty in the arising or creation of all manifestations and of every being

I have this explanation of “śūnyatā” from the introduction by this Zen master in his book on the Buddhistische Heart Sūtra.

This description of the Zen master has stayed with me because it fits so well my perception of the ghosts in the night. As a child soldier in Africa with our militia we had put the forest around a village on fire at the end of the night. We had shot everything and everyone that had come out of the forest and we had been happy [16]. I still carry the ghosts of these villagers with me; their breath – in emptiness and vanity – has become my breath. At night they are as real to me as people I meet during the day; these spirits are connected with me in interdependence within the law of impermanence: during daytime they have disappeared”, says Narrator.

“Are these spirits really present for you here and now in this car?”, asks Man.

“No, driving the car I have my attention on the road, but if I do not focus my attention any longer, the ghost come to life from the emptiness of darkness just as real as a dream during sleep. Or to cite a quote often incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain: “I am an old man and have suffered a great many misfortunes, most of which never happened” [17]”, says Narrator.

“Fortunately, because otherwise I should have asked you to look for a parking place and we might continue our journey tomorrow during daylight. I have several versions of the Heart Sutra to study in my luggage. Would you like to help me with the interpretation of Sanskrit?”, asks Man.

“That is fine. I have a copy with the explanation by the Japanese Zen master with me. Do you have a waterproof compartment for books on your boat?”, asks Narrator.

“Your book easily fits within the waterproof ton. When we will lay dry at low tide, we will have time to read”, says Man.

“The definition of enlightenment that you have just mentioned, gives one aspect of enlightenment – in line with the interconnectedness within the metaphor of Indra’s Net – quite clearly. It is only one side of the coin, the other side is “śūnyatā”. In Buddhism, the term “nirvana” – literally absence of forest (or barriers) or the open plain [18] – is often used for enlightenment. In Hinduism one often addresses enlightenment with “moksha” [19] that comes from the verb core “muc” meaning amongst others “to loosen, or to liberate”. With both interpretations, I am not happy because in my opinion “śūnyatā” together with the metaphor of Indra’s Net gives a better interpretation of the term enlightenment. I think it is a good idea that we do not only survey emptiness in the sense of “empty from” at this part of our quest, but also in relation to the four great truths of Buddhism and in relation to Indra’s Net”, says Narrator.

“Good idea. When I had lain awake during my travels under the dark starry sky, I had felt myself fully included in space or in the infinite void. The boundaries between the space and myself had dissolved and I had become one with everything around me. In a book on Zen Buddhism I had read two poems mentioning an empty mirror as metaphor for life; in the second poem also the illusion of the empty mirror was removed just like during this journey by car through the dark polder the sight on the landscape is non-existing. Do you know the text of these poems?”, asks Carla.

“The two poems had been written during the appointment – or better the Dharma transmission – of Huineng [20] as the sixth Zen patriarch. In my own words: the fifth patriarch sensed that the obvious candidate was fit for the position. He asked each monk who would like to be candidate, to write a short poem on the core of Zen and to affix it on the monastery wall. Only obvious candidate anonymously published the following poem:

The body is a Bodhi tree;
The mind like an empty mirror stand.
Time and again brush it clean
And let no dust alight [21]

Bodhi – with a sound (and a meaning via “et incarnatus est” [22]) akin to the English word body – meaning in Sanskrit “a tree of wisdom, or a tree where under a human becomes a Buddha” [23].

The next morning a second poem was affixed alongside the first poem with the following text:

Originally bodhi has no tree;
The empty mirror has no stand.
Originally there is not a thing.
Where can dust alight?

In Sanskrit Bodhi has a second meaning: “perfect enlightenment” [24]. The Fifth Patriarch knew a humble firewood-gatherer – without any formal training as a monk – had written this second poem and he foresaw an uprising of the monastery to the appointment of this uneducated layman as Dharma heir. The following night, the Dharma transmission took place and at dawn the sixth Zen patriarch had to flee from the monastery. The monks have haunted him for a long time. Eventually after a long flight he had been fully accepted is as Dharma heir; every Zen master is in direct line associated with this sixth patriarch. And reciting the poem I also reflect him in the emptiness of this night”, says Man.

“Splendid explanation. Shall we continue tomorrow? I would like to continue dozing”, says Carla.
“Then I will also take a nap. Tomorrow we have to get up early”, says Man.

Narrator drives the car with Carla and Man sleeping via Friesland and Groningen to the parking place at Lauwersoog near the ferry departure to Schiermonnikoog. He parks the car facing east to see the dawn over a few hours. Upon seeing the first twilight he awakes Carla and Man.

“On this bright morning we have to see the sunrise before so we will start rigging the sailboat at the marina”, says Narrator.

“Upon seeing the emergence of the first sunrays trough this windshield, I think of the poem “The Windows” by Guido Gezelle, wherein he as a Catholic priest at the end of the nineteenth century has marginally repeated the iconoclasm:

THE WINDOWS

The windows are full of saints, mitred and staved,
martyrised, virgin crowned, duked and knighted;
that the burning from the oven fire glassed has in the shard,
that, glittering, speaks all the tongues from the heaven bows paints. [25]

Thou scare is again enkindled in the east the violence
Of sun flame, and does she touches the saints, so melted
The mitre from the mantle collar, the gold ware from the crone,
and all, even white now, shines and lightens even clean.

Disappeared art thou, dukes and counts then, so soft;
disappeared, virgins, martyrs and bishops: forever
no palms, staves, stolen anymore, ‘t is all gone, to
one clarity molten, in one sunlight – in God. [26]

– Guido Gezelle [27]

Kerkramen Noordzijde Keulen[28]

In my opinion Guido Gezelle advocates with this poem – despite the beauty of church windows as windows on the world – an empty mirror without stand in God’s face”, says Man.

 

[1] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%A0koda_Superb
[2] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noordoostpolder
[3] Source image: http://da.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%A0koda_Superb
[4] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhi
[5] Source: Bridges, Jeff & Glassman, Bernie, The Dude and the Zen Master. New York: Plume, 2014, p. 95
[6] Source: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunyata, see also the English Wikipedia-page on this subject
[7] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropische_cycloon
[8] Source: electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta.
[9] See: Origo, Jan van, Who are you – a survey into our existence – part 2.1 – Facts and Logic. Amsterdam: Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2014, p. 85 and 122
[10] Source: Deshimaru, Taisen, Mushotoku Mind – The Heart of the Heart Sutra. Chino Valley: Hohm Press, p. 28, 29
[11] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%9A%C5%ABnyat%C4%81
[12] Source: Origo, Jan van, Who are you – a survey into our existence – part 2.1 – Facts and Logic. Amsterdam: Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2014, p. 97
[13] See also for the “creative act of giving meaning to and taking meaning from”: Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, Phenomenology of Perception 1945
[14] Dharma means literally “placing of the self/Self continuously”.
[15] Source: Badrinath, Chaturvedi, The Mahābhārata – An Inquiry in the human Condition. New Delhi: Orient Longman Private Limited, 2006, p. 68. See also chapter 4 for an introduction on Dharma.
[16] See the last part of book 1 of the Mahābhārata where at the fire in the Khandava forest, Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa shoot arrows with joy to all that leaves the forest. Sources: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/maha/index.htm boek 1 Section CCXXVII and further; Katz, Ruth Cecily, Arjuna in the Mahābhārata: Where Krishna is, there is victory. Delhi: Molital Banarsidass Publishers, 1990, p. 71 – 84
[17] See: http://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/10/04/never-happened/
[18] Source: electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta.
[19] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moksha
[20] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huineng
[21] Source: The Sixth Patriarch’s Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra. Burlingame: Buddhist text translation society, 2002, p. 67
[22] Literal translation from Latin: he/she/is becomes flesh
[23] Source: electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta.
[24] Source: electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta.
[25] “mitred and staved”: with signals of authority; “all the tongues from the heaven bows paints”: showing all the paintings on the ceilings of the churches.
[26] Free translation of this poem. Original: http://cf.hum.uva.nl/dsp/ljc/gezelle/rijmsnoer/ramen.htm This poem is date by Guido Gezelle on 14th of April 1895.
[27] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guido_Gezelle
[28] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stained_glass

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Introduction: Five realities and five skandha’s


In the previous post your Narrator has given an introduction about the consistency between religion and science. In this post your Narrator will explore the question whether the five skandhas include everything that we may need for our spiritual development.

During the following stages on their Odyssey the two main characters will continue with their quest for who we are, where we come from and where we shall go to. First we will visit the five common realities:

o   Facts and logic – scientific reflection and consciousness

o   Intensities and associations – intuitive reflection and consciousness

o   Emptiness – mode of consciousness

o   Change – mode of consciousness

o   interconnectedness – mode of consciousness

How do these five realities relate to the five skandha’s from the Mahâyâna Buddhism and with the emptiness of these skandhas according to the Heart Sutra [1]?

The answer to the second question is easy at this moment: the two main characters will look for the answer at the third stage at the reality – Emptiness.

The answer to the first question is also quite simple. The five realities include the five skandhas whereby the five realities better reflect the contemporary consciousness.

The fifth and final skandha – consciousness – constitutes the other four skandha’s and at the same time is derives from these four skandhas [2]. Consciousness underlies the five realities and consciousness is formed by the five realities. As far as your Narrator is aware, there is no difference between the fifth skandha – including emptiness – and the five realities.

The first skandha – form – in contemporary form, coincides with the five realities, because form takes shape by facts and logic (or lack of it), by intensities and associations for the experience of form, by change because everything changes and by interconnectedness because a form exists in relation to other forms.

The second skandha – feelings and sensation – coincides with the second reality for the experience, with the fourth reality for the change of feelings and with the fifth reality for the experience of feelings within and by a society.

The third skandha – perception, recognition or distinction – coincides with the first reality as far as its nature of  facts and things, with the second reality insofar as the distinction of intensities and associations concerned, with the fourth reality for the change of distinction and recognition, and with the fifth reality for the distinction and recognition relative to other things, facts, entities, living beings and events.

The fourth skandha – mental impressions, impulses, imprinting – is reflected in a similar way as the third skandha in the first, second, fourth and fifth reality

As far as your Narrator is aware, the five skandhas – including the emptiness – coincide with the five realities which the main characters will visit.

At the end of the Odyssey, the two main characters may in retrospect perhaps conclude whether the five skandhas provide everything that is needed for our spiritual development.

The following post will be available within a few weeks. One of the main characters is still recovering from the efforts and the other main character has made the first part of the report on “One”, “Two” and “Three”; this report is almost ready to be published. The version in the English language is not ready yet. In about four weeks the main characters will resume their Odyssey.

   [3]


[1] See several translations of the Heart Sutra, e.g. by Red Pine (Bill Porter), Edward Conze, Donald S. Lopez Jr.

[2] Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skandha

[3] Source image: http://www.gralon.net/articles/art-et-culture/litterature/article-l-odyssee—resume-et-episodes-mythologiques-1415.htm

Introduction: One – Solipsism


On our Odyssey you and I will encounter three obvious classics. Classics are views and ideas that do not suit anybody (completely), but are still worth studying to progress further. We make in this introduction a short detour along the three classics, “Solipsism”, “The universe is but a dream” and “Pantheism”.

Solipsism[1]

Solipsism knows and recognizes only one single consciousness that completely coincides with the awereness of the observer. In the original form of solipsism, there is no existence outside the consciousness of the observer. On our Odyssey, you and I will encounter many elements and forms of Solipsism.

[2]

At the first stage – described in chapter one – the oneness includes at first sight several features of Solipsism, but the oneness can easily avoid Solipsism, because oneness at this stage will be soon divided in two or more parts, and it may not be excluded that all these parts have a separate consciousness. In addition, one is the recurring initial divider of every prime.

At the second and third stage we will not easily encounter solipsism.

At the fifth stage, each of the five basic realities may easily degenerate into Solipsism, because every reality may regard itself as the only true consciousness within which everything is fully and completely enclosed, e.g.:

  • Only natural science based on facts and logic is true: everything else is a delusion or worse. In this extreme form natural science migrates to religion, and currently religion is not included within the competence of natural science.
  • Only feeling matters. Everything else is a reality from where we should keep ourselves.
  • “Only in the void I can live, elsewhere I never found shelter[3]”. This is a pitfall for zealous practitioners of meditation. As lured by the Sirens [4] these practitioners are attracted into the void putting aside the other realities.
  • Everything changes and only change counts[5].
  • All is fully interconnected: outside this interconnectedness nothing exists. At the last stage on our Odyssey named “Zero – not one, not two” we will see how this manner of Solipsism is surpassed.

At our seventh stage we will encounter elements of Solipsism in all seven entities, e.g.:

  • In the reality of Ishvara[6] – where you and I will meet god, gods and religion – only the reality of the own god, gods or religion is recognised as the existing reality. Other gods and religions are often contested with all possible means. Only the own god/gods and religion is regarded as the sole true reality outside which nothing exists (or is allowed to exist).
  • Only the reality of “here and now” exists. Everything else is unimportant or does not exist.

At the end of our Odyssey on our homecoming at “Zero – not one, not two” we will look back if every manner of solipsism in the seven realities is surpassed.

The next post will cover the second classic “The universe is but a dream”.


[1] See also: http://www.iep.utm.edu/solipsis/

[2] Source of image: http://www.huubmous.nl/2010/02/01/het-solipsisme-van-een-kind/

[3] Free rendering of a verse written by Jan Jacob Slauerhoff  “Only in my poems I may live, elsewhere I never found shelter”.

[4] See also Homerus’ Odyssey.

[5] See also Heraklitus:  “πάντα χωρεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει”” meaning “everything changes and nothing remains untouched”. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heraclitus

[6] A philosophical concept of God in Hinduism, see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishvara. In  Sanskrit the word “Ishvara” consists of the noun “ish” meaning “god, ruler” – Wherein the German word “ich” may be recognised –, the noun “va” meaning “wind, ocean, water, stream, going” and the root “ra” meaning “give, influence”. Source: electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta.

Introduction: Rituals – part 2


In the previous post, we had a first glimpse into the role of rituals as “rites of passage”. Now you and will look a little further into the role of a few rituals in our daily life. These rituals often consist of a number of conventional acts.

One of the oldest documented myths is named the cattle-cycle[1]. In the cattle-cycle, God[2] gives livestock to farmers who in turn take care of the cattle and let the herd increase. Foreign men steal the cattle. In return the warriors steal cattle again and they give a portion of the stolen cattle to the priests for smoke offerings to God who in turn thanks for the sacrifices and again gives livestock to farmers.

The myth of the cattle-cycle tells of rituals that form the basis for mutual trust between gods, priests, and people. Cattle are a metaphor for mutual trust; a role that money has taken over in our society.

Looting of cattle has a central place in this culture. It is a necessary act for warriors to acquire property. With the stolen cattle the warriors have a means of exchange to obtain one or more women[3]. In Proto-Indo-European world, women represent the only real property that is of value[4]. Only by holding the highly regarded medium of exchange – cattle – a warrior can acquire women for obtaining offspring.

The myth of the cattle-cycle sanctions looting of cattle if accompanied with the prescribed rituals to come to terms with the gods and society.

According to an old saying each property is acquires by an initial crime. Today the obtaining and transfer of possession is still surrounded with many rituals. Are today’s rituals still necessary in order to sanction the initial crimes? We give the following reflection from the New Testament: “How hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich[5] to enter the kingdom of God[6]. Chapter 5 reports our experience with the handling of property and ethics herewith.

[7]

[8]

In today’s society and on the workplace rituals are repeated again and again for retaining mutual cohesion.

During lectures at the late seventies of last century, Prof. Dr. W. Luijpen – professor of philosophy at the Technical University in Delft – made three remarkable statements.
The first statement is: “We have decided to work for our existence. We will work at least eight hours in order to sit for fifteen minutes in the sun. We will not work fifteen minutes to sit for eight hours in the sun as in some other cultures “.

To this statement you and I add the following anecdote of the South Seas fisherman as illustration:
An American saw a man sitting on the beach of a sunny island with a fishing rod.
The American gave the following advice: “You must use five rods. ”
“Why?”, said the fisherman.
“Then you may catch more fish and earn more money”.
“Why?”, said the fisherman.
“Then you may buy a boat.”
“And then?”: said the fisherman again.
“Then you catch more fish and you may buy a bigger boat and earn even more money”.
“And then?”: said the fisherman again.
“Then you will earn so much money that you can sit the whole day in the sun.”
The fisherman smiled and made an arm gestures to the blue sky and the Sun

[9]

The second statement was: “We have decided that our official relationship between each other will happen through a legal order and our conflict will be settled by legal procedures. In case of a disagreement or a conflict we will not settle the case unilateral by brute force, but we will settle these disputes through our existing legal system.”

Examples have already been found in ancient Irish law. For example: an exile, is sent in a boat on the sea [​​10].

The third statement was as follows: “We decided that we believe in a God father. We do not believe in a Mother Goddess and our religion is not poly-or pantheistic. Other societies have a different way of believing. “

[11]

We will describe in each chapter of the book the various ways of religion that we encounter on our Odyssey.

After this trip to myths and rituals we continue with the introduction of the separate chapters.


[1] See: Mallory, J.P., In Search of the Indo-Europeans, p. 138

[2] “go” Means “cattle” and “da” means “give”

[3] Zie Anthony, David W., The horse, the wheel and Language (2007), p. 239

[4] Zie McGrath, Kevin, STR women in Epic Mahâbhârata. Cambridge: Ilex Foundation, 2009 p. 9 – 15

[5] Probably this concerns all richness and property in any manner.If we all dispose of all our wealth and property here and now, that will probably cause major problems. Perhaps a middle position is better: let us for the time being be good care takers of our wealth and property.

[6] See Bible, New Testament, Marcus 10:24-25

[7] Source image: http://henk50.web-log.nl/onderweg/2009/07/de-kameel-door.html

[8] Source image: http://theoleenders.blogspot.com/2010/10/het-oog-van-de-naald.html. After closing time of the main gate in Oriental cities a narrow port remained open to give people and animals stripped of luggage the opportunity to enter the city: this narrow gate seems to be called “the eye of the needle”.

[9] Source image: http://nl.dreamstime.com/stock-foto-s-tropisch-eiland-in-de-stille-zuidzee-image15390673#

[10] See: Kelly, Fergus, A guide to early Irish Law. Dublin: Dundalgan Press, 2005 p.219

[11] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_of_Willendorf

Introduction: Rituals – part 1


Besides myths we also have rituals to give important changes and transition a place in our lives. The rituals often consist of a number of conventional acts.

First you and I will look at several important “rites of passage” – or the rituals that mark major transitions – in your life.

At the beginning of your life – therefore at the beginning of all time – you are still united with everything and everyone around us. Are there already changes and transitions? We do not know. We are not aware of rites in this phase of your life.

Your first birth from the comprehensive oneness took place during the separation of air and earth. Did this first division happen quickly in a sigh, or slowly whispering, or with a big bang followed by a flash? We do not know. This separation of earth and sky is the most painful split to date; the book of Genesis in the Old Testament speaks of a rupture of heaven and earth. The following divisions are memories of the first division. Not that these later divisions were not painful, but the first rupture is the immense primeval separation from which the other divisions have emerged as crackle.

[1]

Your first “rite of passage” took place during the very first birth of air and earth. Then you are baptised in the air and the water of the earth. The following baptisms you have undergone, connect you with all your ancestors and with the “rite of passage” of the very first birth.

After your birth, you are an individual involved in society. Chapter 3 reports of this development: we will also look at the role of myths and rituals.

Rituals provide a good modus for establishing common faith and continuation of mutual trust. Through the rituals, the trust between the world, air, earth, gods, priests, people and everything around us is continually restored. Rituals have to be repeated periodically in order to retain, this kind of “rites of passage” have no lasting effect.

Hereto monks, priests and pastors throughout the world over and again make their meditation, prayers, hymns and rituals in order to maintain the common order and trust. A monk once said that meditation is vital for the whole world, so that the world is maintained[2]. A Reformed organist said during a radio program that the church singing is the most beautiful thing in the world.

In Chapter 5, we report of your marriage to the world. We follow the rituals connected with reason, feeling, with endless possibilities, with the change and with interconnectedness.

[6]

[7]

Your marriage to the ”complete oneness” is covered in chapter 7. We follow your connections with:

  • God and gods in the paragraph “Ishvara[3]”;
  • The connection between body and soul/spirit in “Et incarnatus est[4]”;
  • Every particle around us in “Show me a small truth”;
  • Eternity/time in “No time, no change”
  • All our actions and existence in “Thou art that”
  • Death and finitude in “And death shall have no dominion here[5]
  • This moment in all her glory in “Here en now”.

Each of these connections has its “rites of passage”. Below we show two pictures of “rites of passages” in the surpassing of the ego included in “No time, no change”.

[8]

[9]

At the last stage you and I have surpassed and incarnated all myths and rituals. The report of this stage follows in chapter zero.

In next post we continue with the role of rituals.


[2] Source not yet retrieved

[3] A philosophical concept of God in Hinduism, see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishvara

[4] « Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto » may be translated by “And she/he becomes flesh of the Holy Spirit”

[5] See also: Dylan Thomas, And Death shall have no Dominion

[6] Source of image: unknown

[7] Source of image: http://thekissklimt.wordpress.com/2009/04/24/the-kiss-brancusi-sculpture/

[8] Source of image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/grassvalleylarry/238432804/sizes/o/in/photostream/

[9] Source of image: http://themeditationmind.com/meditation-history/zen-buddhism/

Introduction – table of contents of the book


In the previous post we have explain how we have come to the number of 19 special stages during our Odyssee for who you are. These places constitute the table of contents of the book.

[1]

Now we will name the 19 special stages based upon the table of contents.

Inleiding – Introibo[2] [3]

1.       One – Thus, in unum deum[4]

2.       Two – In dubio[5]

3.       Three – Dubio transcendit[6]

4.       Five common realities

  • Facts and logic
  • Intensities and association
  • Emptiness
  • Change
  • Interconnectedness

5.       Seven other realities

  • Ishvara[1]
  • Et incarnatus est[2]
  • Show me a small truth
  • No time, no change
  • Thou art that
  • And death has no dominion here[3]
  • Here en now

6.       Zero – Not one, not two

The next post is about myth and rituals. Then we continue with the introduction of the separate chapters and paragraphs.


[2] Introibo ad altare Dei: let me enter to the altar of God

[3] Joyces, James, Ulysses. 1975, P. 7

[4] In one God

[5] In doubt

[6] Doubt surpassed

[7] A philosophical concept of God in Hinduism, see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishvara

[8] « Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto » may be translated by “And he became a body of the Holy Ghost”

[9] Zie ook: Dylan Thomas, And Death shall have no Dominion