During the past 4 weeks we have watched Greece battle with the IMF, The German and French Banks, the politicians and finance ministers for a better deal. They have not succeeded. Even with their brave determination at a solid “No” vote in last Sunday’s referendum, they still look like they will be worse off than before. And no matter what we might think of Greece, as being irresponsible, the ordinary people who probably were never in a position to be other than what they are today, continue to suffer horrendously, under austerity measures that are ruining expectations in Europe for any reasonable recovery. Banks, it seems, can be bailed out. People can’t. Greed has given way to a new lower goal that beggars belief. It’s called Evil Selfishness.
Sri Yogananda, wrote often about human greed. He called it Evil Selfishness. This is how he describes it.
“Evil selfishness is that which actuates a man to seek his own comfort by destroying the comforts of others. To be rich at the cost of another’s loss is ignorance, and is against the interests of the higher individual Self of the persons who engages in such selfishness. To delight in hurting others’ feelings by carping criticism is also evil selfishness. Evil Selfishness carries a huge karmic debt, that has to be paid back. (Bankers included.) 🙂
True and good selfishness motivates a man to seek his own comfort, prosperity, and happiness by also making others more prosperous and happy. Evil selfishness hides its many destructive teeth of inevitable suffering beneath the apparently innocent looks of temporary comfort-assurances. Evil selfishness encloses one in a small circle and shuts out the rest of humanity. Good selfishness takes everybody along with one’s own self into the circle of brotherhood. Good selfishness brings many harvests – return services from others, self-expansion, divine sympathy, lasting happiness, and Self-realization.
To avoid the pitfalls of evil selfishness, one should first follow and establish himself in the pattern of good selfishness, wherein one thinks of his family and those whom he serves as part of himself. From that attainment, one can then advance to a practice of Sacred selfishness, or unselfishness in which one sees all the universe as himself.”
Perhaps you will agree with me that the world is facing a crisis. What is the cause of it, and what will be the remedy? Will there be a Golden Age any time soon? I am not sure there will be a Golden Age in my life-time, although I want to be proved wrong on that point. Chris Hedges in his book, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, wrote the following:
“Sadism dominates the culture. It runs like an electric current through reality television and trash-talk programs, is at the core of pornography, and fuels the compliant, corporate collective. Corporatism is about crushing the capacity for moral choice and diminishing the individual to force him or her into an ostensibly harmonious collective. This hypermasculinity has its logical fruition in Abu Ghraib, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our lack of compassion for our homeless, our poor, the mentally ill, the unemployed, and the sick. … We accept the system handed to us and seek to find a comfortable place within it. We retreat into the narrow, confined ghettos created for us and shut our eyes to the deadly superstructure of the corporate state.”
No kidding! – How and why do we allow societies to fall into such destruction? Here is an interesting and probably the most true explanation there is from the late, great Sri Yogananda.
Sri Yogananda quotes from Sri Yukteswar Giri
“All nations have to follow the influence of the ascending and descending yugas. The present world crisis is due to the up-ward climb of Dwapara Yuga; in order for the world to become better, evil must be expunged. The forces of evil will cause their own destruction, thus assuring survival of the righteous nations. The conflict between good and evil has been going on since the dawn of history. But as the world is moving upward through the Dwapara Yuga, the electrical or atomic age, there is greater potential not only for good, but also for destruction through the misuse of technology by those who are greedy and desire power.
In keeping with the influence of Dwapara Yuga, technology is rapidly moving the general populance to higher levels of achievement. But this progress also creates a greater gap between the achievers and non-achievers. This foments jealousies and social, economic, and political troubles.”
The Hindu scriptures teach that the earth goes through repeated cycles of evolution and devolution. These world cycles consist of 24,000 years each, and are divided into four yugas or ages – 12,000 years of ascending through these yugas to increasing enlightenment, and then 12,000 years of descending through the yugas to increasing ignorance and materialism. Each half-cycle consists of Kali Yuga, the dark or Materialistic age; Dwapara Yuga, the electrical or atomic age; Treta Yuga, the mental age; and Satya Yuga, the age of truth or enlightenment.
We humans are not solid matter, we are vibrational beings. All creation is vibration by design of the Creator. Our thoughts are powerful and can project us while on Earth to any place we can think of. Once we enter the astral realms, we are pure thought. We are our own creators.
I was told long ago, no two deaths are alike. On death, our thoughts project us to the realm of light that most suits our earthly habits. It’s the reason we are told to keep our thoughts positive and to live to the best of our capabilities. We do not change after death. We are the same person. Nothing changes other than the body is gone. People with huge ambitions now, will not shed those ambitions on death but seek a way over there to satisfy them. A selfish person here on Earth is not always lucky enough to realize the astral planes, or those helpers sent to guide them home. Such souls can stay earthbound until another time, when help is sent to rescue them.
I read recently of the soul of a man who had died on the “Titantic” then became earth-bound. He roamed the earth for years, often possessing others’ bodies to satisfy his Earthy needs. This soul had come from a wealthy family who had not known suffering or want. He lived only for himself, ignoring all the grinding poverty of others. He simply was blind to it. On death, he too, become blind. He was in the dark. His darkness was the darkness of ignorance. He did not even realize he was dead. He eventually was given help and guided towards the light, where he was able to realize his mistakes. Below is a piece from Sri Yonganda on the astral planes.
Sri Yogananda from the book ‘Divine Romance’
Everything in this material world is a copy of it’s counterpart in the astral world; but the material manifestation is a gross one, limited and distorted by the law of relativity.
The principle of duality or relativity is inherent in creation; shadow as well as light is necessary to apprehend a universe of separate forms and creatures.
Relativity operates in the astral world too; but on that plane there are no fixed limitations – everything is perceived as different vibrations of light, naught else. In the material world delusion is deeply embedded in that law of relativity, preventing the physical consciousness from understanding things as they really are. You don’t perceive things in their essence as light because the instrumentality of your physical senses is too gross. You instead experience the relative difference between solids, liquids, and gases as so radical that if you leave the solid shore and try to walk across the liquid ocean, you drown. In the astral world, even though you can cognize the shore as solid and the ocean as liquid, there is no drowning in the astral liquid. You differentiate the solids from the liquids only as varying vibrations of light, which do not clash with each other. You can glide just as easily through “solid” light and ‘liquid” light. Or you can walk on liquid light in your solid body of light, as Jesus showed when he walked on the water. To him, both his body and the sea were naught but relativities of astral light, which he could alter at will by the power of mind. He demonstrated that a fully God-realized master can control the astral light underlying material creation. That is how he performed his miracles, such as healing the sick and raising the dead, feeding multitudes with a few loaves and fishes, and resurrecting his own body.
There is not one human experience you can think of for which the astral world has not an exact duplicate. You can experience birth and death and marriage and disease and everything that you see in the physical world. Relativities of light can create sensations and perceptions experienced as real. In the material world, because the law of relativity is so heavily laden with delusive power, man is constrained by those “realities.” In the astral world, everything is changeable at the command of the mind.
How important it is to live in that finer realm! I am all the time there—even now as I am talking to you. Such happiness comes; there are no words I can use to describe it to you. In this gross world, you get tired of everything; even the most enjoyable things eventually become tedious or boring. But in the astral world the creations of your will are ever new. You will never tire of that world. If you want to be young you can be so. If you want to appear as a man or as a woman or in any form you wish, you can do so. You do not have to worry about money for your needs; a mere command of your will provides whatever you want. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to do that here? This earth is so limited; some persons have plenty while others starve. But in the heavenly astral world there are no such inequities; every being has according to his desire. If you want an opulent palace, it is there for you. If you want snow or heat or light or rain, you can have it just by the power of thought. With astral light the mind can create anything. You are free from all limitations when you know the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God, which is behind this world.
Leslie Flint transcripts – from his website. Leslie Flint was the greatest voice medium ever to have lived. He has left us a wealth of information by ways of transcripts from voices on the astral planes, each giving evidence of their survival. Leslie, together with other great wisdom teachers, like Daskalos, and the Masters from the East, all agree to the conditions of the soul after leaving the Earth plane.
A disciple of Yogananda once asked, “Will the Earth be destroyed?” “Definitely not,” he answered. Sri Yogananda also said, “I prophesize you will see a new world! a world of peace, harmony, and prosperity. The earth will know no wars for hundreds of years, so tired will they be of violence of all kinds.”
The earth, in this new Dwapra age, will see inconceivable progress, not only with great advancement — scientific and otherwise — on all levels of life, but there will even be travel to distant planets. Dwapar Yuga is a time when man will penetrate the illusion of space. If space is indeed an illusion, then the most distant galaxy must be no farther away, really, than our own feet! Perhaps man will then be able even to travel to galaxies that now seem impossibly distant from us.
The ancients have predicted there will be a time when all creatures of Earth will understand each other and know each other’s thoughts. And although we will still consume each other, the necessity of function and the assurance of our return will remove all trepidation. Fear of another will only occur when a threat is imminent. Suspicion and fear from unknown motivations will be eliminated. And because we will know each other’s thoughts, we will no longer waste any time with those who don’t appreciate and love us.
We will understand the language of the weather and the seasons. We will know what to expect and cultivate accordingly. Sufficiency will be assured. Hunger will be optional. We will understand our place in the world and harmony will prevail. This prediction is the promised reward for the final maturing of our species.
All species have a cycle of existence that resembles the cycle of an individual life. For example, tortoises are in advanced maturity in their cycle. They have achieve wisdom and serenity. Antelopes, on the other hand, are in the young adulthood of their cycle as a species. They enjoy the enthusiasm and energy of movement, courtship and the curiosity of new ideas.
Humans are in the adolescent part of their cycle. This manifests in their insecurity and bluster, in their unfamiliarity with their bodies, in their desire to appear knowledgeable about all things, in their quarrelsomeness, in their easy embarrassment, and in their secret urge to improve themselves.
All stages within these cycles are important and necessary. We wouldn’t want to go from youth to old age without the intervening transitions, even if we could. We might miss something exciting. So there is no negative judgement in finding our species in its adolescence. We should just enjoy it and look forward to what comes next. The prediction is coming true..
I’ve always found the Upanishads to be the supreme Scripture, and I have often felt that the Johannine (Bible) texts are best read with a copy of the Upanishads by one’s elbow. But it must be remembered that the two Scriptures were written for different purposes. The Upanishads were written for Yogis & Brahmin Priests – the spiritual elite and those who had already barjed upon the Path – while the Bible Gospels were originally written for the common or uneducated people. A reason why I lean heavily on the Bhagavad Gita for this blog instead of using chapters from the Bible.
O Son of Kunti (Arjuna), that thought with which a dying man leaves the body determines — through his long persistence in it — his next state of being. – Bhagavad Gita VIII:6
The entirety of a human life is a preparation for the final examination at death…. The paramount habit of thought and feeling during a man’s years on earth is thus the most important factor on “the day of judgement.” The final thought, inexorably produced by the tenor of a lifetime, is indeed the karmic judge that at the sound of “Gabriel’s trumpet” anounces a man’s next destination.
– Paramahansa Yogananda
just a little note to say every once in a while I will be closing the blog down or putting it on private, to allow me time to read through the posts and delete those no longer read. Might also add, this blog is hard graft, lots of work and sometimes I grow tired.. Thank you for understanding…
All that Krishna says of himself is true of us, or potentially true of us… We too are bound in time and space, but also ‘without beginning and without end’. We too have an ‘ordinary form’ and a ‘supreme form’, a concept spoken of by St Paul in terms of the ‘Body Terrestrial’ and the ‘Body Celestial’…
The beauty is when we dance with both, as Krishna does to the sublime music of his flute…
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“It is only through silent awareness that our physical and mental nature can change. This change is completely spontaneous. If we make an effort to change we do no more than shift our attention from one level, from one thing, to another. We remain in a vicious circle. This only transfers energy from one point to another. It still leaves us oscillating between suffering and pleasure, each leading inevitably back to the other. Only living stillness, stillness without someone trying to be still, is capable of undoing the conditioning our biologoical, emotional and psychological nature has undergone. There is no controller, no selector, no personality making choices. In choiceless living the situation is given the freedom to unfold. You do not grasp one aspect over another for there is nobody to grasp. When you understand something and live it without being stuck to the formulation, what you have understood dissolves in your openness. In this silence change takes place of its own accord, the problem is resolved and duality ends. You are left in your glory where no one has understood and nothing has been understood.” ~ Jean Klein, “I Am”
Sri Yogananda told people before he died, “There’s nothing left of Yogananda, God only resides in this form..”
The greatest romance is with the Infinite. You have no idea how beautiful life can be. When you suddenly find God everywhere, when He comes and talks to you and guides you, the romance of divine love has begun.
When I look at photos of Sri Yogananda during his last days on Earth, I do not see a weak older man. Indeed not! I see only a serenely beautiful being who has lost all attachments to earthly life.. His expression in this photo is one of utmost peace and bliss. His half open eyes appear to be gazing at something supremely wonderful and beyond us. Perhaps he is gazing upon the realm that is calling him home to the highest light. Here is one of his gems on genius.
What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? Matt. 16 -Chapter 26.
“The twin aspects of genius, the passive and the active, are possessed by the fully realized artist; they also form the necessary equipment of the Adept. Yet in very few people are these twin aspects manifested. Nearly everyone has a capacity for the passive aspect, which involves some sort of appreciation of aesthetic values. There are few people totally unresponsive to the beauties of nature, and none at all that is not responsive to its ferocious manifestations. Fewer are able to respond profoundly to the beauty of natural phenomena, and fewer still to so-called works of art. It takes a degree of genius to respond to such manifestations the whole time. Artists in this category are among the saints, some of whom thrilled with rapture at the constant awareness of the total unity, harmony, and beauty of things.
Such were Boehme, Ramakrishna, etc. Some yogis are immersed in an unsullied and vibrant bliss derived from the incessant contemplation of this ‘world-bewitching maya’4-the breath-taking wonder of the great and glamorous illusion which surrounds us.
On the other side of the fence, on the side of active or creative genius, there are yet fewer. Active or creative genius means nothing less than the ability to translate the wonder or the terror of the great lfla (the great play of life) in terms of visual, tactile, audible, olfactory, or some other sensual presentation of phenomena.
But there is a third aspect of genius which is yet more rare. It is the ability to open the door of the theatre and admit the influences from outside, from the swarming gulfs beyond the grasp of the mind, and accessible only to the magical entity whose fantastic feelers can snare the most fugitive impulses as they flash through the holes in space, the kinks in time, to be reflected in the magic mirror of the artist’s mind.”