The Devil: God’s Adversary?

A mystic’s journey requires that we study not just the aspects of the divine but also the aspects of what has come to be known in the western world as The Devil. So, like the good student I studied the history of this evil menace. The further I went back into history, I found that many ancient cultures portrayed evil in two very different ways. There was the goddess of wrath that represented an uncontrollable destructive force. Then there was the arrogant god who through egotism and cunning, usurped power for his own gains. So, where do such ideas come from? And how did they come up with such an unappealing vision of women?

When I dug deeper into the cultural beliefs, it seems that there were two entities that the ancients worshiped. The first was Mother Earth. She was responsible for bringing forth the harvests from her womb. Grain, and the bread that was made from that grain, was celebrated as the sustenance of life. The second was Father Sky. He was responsible for the beneficial showers that fell from the sky. It was due to his blessing, which came in the form of rain, that the crops would grow. It was a yin yang style of belief where balance is the key to a prosperous life.

Mother Earth and Father Sky were indelibly linked. It was impossible to have a prosperous life without both. You couldn’t have the bread without the rain and rain had no value without a fertile earth that brings forth grain that could be made into bread. Where did this wrathful goddess, who is part of just about every culture, come from? She is the symbol of imbalance in this binary system of belief. When the blessings of Father Sky were withheld, the power of Mother Earth moved from being a loving mother and became destructive. It was believed that the heat of her anger was the cause of destructive earthquakes and volcanoes that flow with red-hot lava.

The ancients were magnificent observers of nature’s rhythms. It can be assumed that the ancients observed lava as it flowed into the sea. The water instantly cools the molten lava and hardens it into rock when these two elements come into contact. So, the essence of the male deity, in the form of water, cools the lava and turns it back into docile earth.

Only when a divine essence is unbalanced does it cause negative results. The feminine essence is known for bringing compassion and caring. It softens the perspective and allows you to see the many possibilities within each situation. Banning this force allows the masculine essence to run rampant. The result is egoism, greed, and selfishness. We need both essences and we need them to be in balance, not at war.

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Spiritual Metaphor vs Historical Reality

I have been asked on a number of occasions how I can believe in any religion that uses texts that are not historically accurate. What most do not understand is that lack of historical accuracy does not tarnish the truth of mystical writing. Many years ago, I came to the realization that spiritual texts are all about explaining the feelings, sensations, and thought patterns that a spiritual student encounters during mystical transformation.

It was a Helen Keller style moment. This one realization opened the door to all future understanding. Just as Helen was able to connect the water pouring onto her hand with the signing that Anne Sullivan was using, in the blink of an eye, I was able to decipher the language of mysticism and understand what the spiritual texts were trying to teach. For me, it felt like an awakening. It was the moment when all the random information clicked together in an understandable way.

Once I understood that describing feelings and sensations was the goal of spiritual texts, it became clear that the ancient spiritual masters used multiple ways to explain mystical phenomena. They used the environment, human tendencies, as well as historical events to get the point across. The uprising of the Kundalini or Earth Mother’s energy, when the spiritual student first experiences it, can be described as “thundering of horses.” You have to imagine working in a field, minding your own business, when suddenly you hear or feel the thunder of oncoming horsemen. This is the sensation that the mystic is trying to describe. The text is using a commonly known experience so that the student can relate to the sensation that is now taking place within the body.

Few of us in the modern world would have direct experience of a band of galloping horses that bring complete devastation to our lives, homes, and lifestyle. So, the closest metaphor for a modern person would be feeling the vibrations of a train as it is coming into the station or the feeling of racecars approaching as they are coming around the track. The experience of the senses is what the story is about, not the historical timeline.

When archeologists found that the city of Jericho did not even exist during the time that Joshua supposedly knocked the walls down, I was not perturbed. Jericho did suffer the collapse of its walls but it happened at least one hundred years after Joshua died. Instead of using this as a historical reference, I use it as a spiritual metaphor. I asked myself, “What feeling, sensation, or intuition does the Battle of Jericho represent?” For me, it describes the feeling when the ego collapses and the forces of Light are now able to flood into the soul. Spiritual experience is personal and unfathomable. So, it is both truth and metaphorical.

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Just Walking Each Other Home

We are all

just walking

each other home.

~Ram Dass

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We are Here to Awaken

We are here to awaken

from the illusion

of separateness.

~Thich Nhat Hanh

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Self-realization is the Greatest Service

Your own self-realization

is the greatest service

you can render to the world.

~Sri Ramana Maharshi

 

 

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Unless we awaken

Unless we awaken

from our personal and collective dreams,

we will continue to live in a state of

unconsciousness on the surface

of a life of infinite potential.

~Adyashanti

 

 

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Ego

Ego:

If it is not fully dead,

it will grow another head.

Ego

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Meditation can reintroduce you

Meditation

can reintroduce you to the part

that’s been missing.

-Russell Simmons

Meditation can reintroduce youMeditation can reintroduce you

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Accept what is,

Accept what is,

let go of what was,

and have faith in what will be.

 

 

Accept what is, let go of what was,cc

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If you truly loved yourself

If you truly loved yourself,

you could never hurt another

-Buddha

 

If you loved yourself

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