Slither out of the dead skin of your past and future

Your past and yourfuture are like unwanted skin!  Rub them away with sharp awareness and slither into reality.  No past = no karma! 

Ego and persona with all their limitations are simply grooves etched by repetition and reaction into the mind  

so that our daily lives become like a laser that habitually falls into the groove and makes it ever deeper.

Awareness is the only virtue.  It is your true power so embody it.

Prowl with every hair into each moment of each waking interval in search of its very centre.

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Such awareness is a narrow bridge leading you out of the groove of necessity you have created into your unbounded True Nature, your absolute sincere heart.

Here and now you mirror each moment exactly as it is, and by doing so, you act and you laugh with relief.

Nothing else is needed.

                         

images courtesy of Mariko Kinoshita, Linden Thorp and megapixyl.com

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Divine Thread: our human legacy (Navajo Wisdom 1)

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The Navajo nation believes to this day that they are the direct descendants of the Holy People or Creation Gods. Their whole reason for existence is to carry their legacy forwards with each generation endowed with the physical and emotional attributes of human beings. Their way of life known as the Blessing Way, or Beauty Way, represents the female energy of creation – harmonious, peaceful, happy, undemanding.

In Navajo wisdom, there is no division between sacred and secular unlike in western traditions. Life itself is sacred, only sacred, therefore knowledge, the process of learning, is also sacred.

Holism is their way of life, a constant expression of interconnectedness and beauty. They astutely survey the misplacement of even one small element of life because it is bound to effect all other parts and so the harmony will be broken.

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I recently visited Monument Valley, Tsé Bii’ Ndzisgali (Valley of the Rocks) deep in the Navajo Lands straddling Arizona and Utah, and there I directly witnessed such harmony and beauty.
The hotel we chose was called ‘The View’ exactly because it is an astounding viewpoint out on to such Holy Rocks. This is considered to be the heart of the Earth according to Navajo Creation myths – the Monument Valley Tribal Park, 92,000 acres of majestic buttes, spires and rocks. Unlike other Navajo reservations, this valley is still inhabited by Navajo – 30-100 people depending on the season who live in hand-built houses without running water or electricity, tending their livestock and creating artifacts.

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‘The View’ hotel, the first in Navajo Lands, opened in 2008, followed by a renovated visitors centre in 2009. When driving at 5 mph down the unpaved valley road which weaves in between the sandstone ‘monuments,’ we could get a view of it embraced by the sandstone contours, built in a way which completely respects the majesty of the sacred.

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On arriving, after paying a modest entrance fee to enter the national park, we drove up to the rear windowless side of the hotel to enter the plain lobby. The experience was almost like walking into one of the rocks itself. The lobby is centred around a massive indoor chimney with a log fire burning in it, the walls adorned with Navajo artifacts, but it was the meeting with the beautiful female receptionists that moved me most.

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They exhibited the ‘Blessing Way’ perfectly. No masks. No posturing or acting. Their voices were low and respectful, their eyes used carefully, the information we required expressed succinctly. I immediately thought of hospitality training in western traditions, and how the customer is treated as a god and entitled to amass charm points during their stay! But these young women had the courage to show their true strong nature to all visitors equally. There was no effervescent welcome because we were expected by the spirits.

It was as if we were in the presence of the Navajo Creation Beings, moving in an eternal dance with them.

Their creation story states that once the Earth was made and after things had been placed on it, the First Man and First Woman pulled a single feather out of a Bald Eagle and blew on it while vowing that from that moment on nothing would be still in the universe, ‘not even water, not even the rock.’ (see ref: 1983:16)

We ancient spirits in human form, which is what all human beings are, can directly influence such movement. I had a sense that even the 58,000 year-old rocks were flowing amongst the warm breath of the Navajo guardians, and this sense of movement is still with me several weeks after my recent visit to Monument Valley.

 

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This experience illuminated the importance of venerating our beloved ancestors who laid the foundation of our lives. I have no single doubt that we are descended from the gods and have been entrusted to carry forward their sacred legacy. We can all choose to live as Holy Beings in this very life.

These stunning buttes below are called ‘The Mittens.’ They are the covered hands of the Earth beings pushing up from the Earth’s mantel in what was once a great ocean high in the mountains of Arizona.

Our Earth is a living moving monument to our divine origins.

 

 

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Images courtesy of Linden Thorp (4-9 February, 2017) and megapixyl.com

Reference: Pinxten, Rik and Ingrid Van Dooren, Frank Harvey Anthropology of Space. Philadelphia University Press. 1982

Australopithecus: we stood up and chose the wrong route

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The majority of human beings have decided that we will go our own way.  We no longer listen to the natural world, to our origins.  We are suffering and the Earth disintegrating exactly because we have turned our backs on our divine flame and torn ourselves out of reality with manmade concepts and synthetic realities. Only a few of us are struggling to get back!

It is said that this separation started when we stood up from all-fours to widen our view and pick the best fruit from the higher branches of trees and bushes.  We poked our head up into the sky for the first time between 3.9 – 2.9 million years ago. This species, Australopithecus, played a significant part in human evolution because it could stand up straight and possessed a gene which caused increased length and ability of neurons in the brain – the SRGAP2 gene. One of these species eventually became the Homo genus in Africa about 2 million  years ago (e.g. Homo habilis),  and so on to ‘modern’ humans, Homo sapiens sapiens.

 

art work by Mariko Kinoshita
art work by
               Mariko Kinoshita

Our increased cerebral capabilities and physical stature heralded the beginning of a period of human excellence which differed from animal excellence.  Once we could negotiate the world in a new way with our increased memory capacity and other intellectual tools and skills, we naturally were spiritual beings with a sacred intent.  We were still close to our divine origin with a clear mission to express what animals could not express with the tool of language and communication, the pen and the sword. But we were and are essentially mammals, and always will be.

Our species represented the pinnacle of the evolution of mammals, painstakingly nurturing our young inside us with love and handing down our advanced cerebral capabilities. This upright beautiful species would walk the Earth and create an unsurpassed civilization, going ever upwards. But instead of remaining close to the Earth, we have become aliens with synthetic realities who have gradually lost contact with our original reality, with the universe we are a crucial part of.

 

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It seems as if we were led astray by an evil power some would call the devil, but this is a fantasy.  Imagine this moment of choice – to stay with the sacred, or to move away to the secular:  sacred meaning worthy of veneration and respect: secular meaning ‘worldly’ or ‘temporal,’ not connected or separate from those things worthy of respect. The presence of so-called ‘evil’ is a fallacy because we each have that real choice now in modern life.  We can freely choose to either respect and integrate into a whole, or to doubt and find our own way, to become a splinter.  Another way of interpreting this is that we can choose to be positive and stand in full light, or we can withdraw to the shadows and negativity.

 

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So, now our spiritual evolution lags badly behind our physical and cerebral development, and so we have a choice to deviate from what is morally acceptable, from the ‘Middle Way,’ from our innate goodness and natural love. The love we are endowed with when we come into the world often dims or disappears.  The unconditional love of our parents lavished on us from the moment of our conception which we embodied as loving innocent children, turns into an accessory – something we ‘have’ or acquire/purchase.

 

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Instead of embodying our divine inheritance of love and immortality of the spirit, we have chosen to live in a tyranny of fear, greed and envy, clinging white-knuckled to the material world because we have torn ourselves away from the natural path.  We have taken everything into our own hands, respecting little and trusting no-one.   How can we assume our role as custodians of the Earth when our arrogance dictates and controls our hearts.

The real future of the planet Earth lies in the open hands of indigenous peoples who have made the right choice.  They continue to live with a sense of awe and form a partnership with the Great Mother Nature so that all species thrive and they dance to the rhythms of the planet.  Living in traditional life, undisturbed by arrogant consumers like us, they are truly integrated. They devote their entire energy and being to caring for and listening to the planet – their visual responsibility, and the greater invisible – the universe.

 

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Images courtesy of megapixyl.com

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To glimpse aboriginal life please read my book ‘Easy-Happy-Sexy: on the Twelfth Day.’  This is an account of my time living with Australians in traditional life.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UUSPLYM  – kindle link

http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Happy-Sexy-Twelfth-Day-Linden-Thorp/dp/1622129776/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1434547522. –  ISBN link

U tube video link:

http://youtu.be/8Tc7XuC U38k – the author speaks

https://youtu.be/xCZ3FMGc0bs

Desirelessness: walking away from ‘civilization.’

I briefly lived with a tribe of Australian native people 11 hours by land cruiser south of Ayer’s Rock.  Our group went to help them to move deeper into the scorching interior of Australia in order to return to ‘traditional desert life.’  Their tribal leader, Ninija, had decided that the aging and young of her people should return to their ‘Lands,’ turning away completely form white-fella comforts and handouts.

During this adventure, my view of human life completely changed.  

The settlement we left consisted of primitive prefabricated housing and an air strip.  But not one member of the tribe lived inside the housing. Instead, they used them as a dumping ground for the heaps of material goods donated to them from white-fella do-gooders.  

White Australians have always wanted to ‘civilize’ these desert people, to make them respectable, useful to their average urban ways.

There is no such thing as a ‘gift’ to the desert dwellers and not one of the variety of items they receive is useful to their desert life: nylon dresses, leather shoes, plastic toys, kitchen equipment, tools made of metal.  They accept them and then quickly let them pass through their fingers. They are soon added to the tall heaps of detritus inside their unsuitable housing.

The day we left the settlement in our land cruisers loaded with prefabricated shade shelters to erect as the tribe walked in temperatures that most humans could never survive, Ninija and her people walked naked and barefoot.They carryied nothing except their few custom-made possessions to negotiate the harsh Lands and climate: 

Dilly bags woven from Mangrove string for their totemic badges; Wood and Grass carrying bowls (coolamon) sported on their heads, shoulders or against their bellies; custom-made digging sticks slung across their backs from ornate Kangaroo straps; beautifully crafted boomerangs for hunting; and perfectly cylindrical Hollow Log coffins containing the precious bones of their deceased.

As they slowly walked, the sheen of their black skins caught the strong sunlight and their blond and red topknots of wild hair blended in with the iron-rich ochre of the desert floor. They were joined occasionally by competing kangaroos on one side, and a massive flock of high Emus, great scratching Bird of the Lands, on the other.

They were walking away from ‘civilization,’ – known to them as ‘The Lands of Frowns and Fears,’ away from ‘safety.’ They had neither compass nor water flask.  Walkign away from health care and education; away from the culture of ‘the thinking‘ stuffed with words and ideas.  

Our ‘modern’ mobilized team followed them at some distance, kitted out in snake boots, fly-nets, clinging to our ‘possessions’ stashed away in brightly coloured waterproof rucksacks and pouches. We were highly protected by metal and glass, and cooled by powerful air-conditioning.

I have learned from these genuine custodians of the earth, that a desireless state is a truly pure and happy state.  It is ‘now’ and ‘here.’  Whereas, the future is a mirage and the past is dead. 

I have learned that time itself does not move because it is only a crude device, another delusion; instead, the only movement is of our minds

When our desires are frustrated, all of our negative emotions are generated because we cannot get our way.  In complete contrast, not having any single desire is contentment, no craving, no worries or attachments. Naked and without possessions, we can blend into the many natural realities of the universe

All desires are a mirage or like the horizon: we can never reach them because they are imaginary, a hallucination, delusional. And yet, we persist in running after such pots of gold from the desire to possess them, to drag them like magpies into our nests.

A state without desires is purity itself. If we allow them to ebb away then we do not need to reach out to gods and deities for benefits or protections

If we clear the bridge of the mind of such clutter, then we can walk straight out in the vast field of consciousness and awareness. There we can embody the divine, our original state.

Without worldly desires and clutter, we naturally embody the divine. This is our true human mission. 

Images courtesy of megapixl, etc: all licenses at lindenthorp@gmail.com

The story of Ninija and my adventures has been written as a novel called ‘Easy-Happy-Sexy: on the Twelfth Day.’ If you want to read more about desirelessness, please visit: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UUSPLYM or watch the video trailer at: https://youtu.be/xCZ3FMGc0bs

Forward to my new book – Glorious Death: Glorious Life: Buddhists Cathars and people of the Earth

Buddhists and Cathars jacket

author’s forward

Glorious Death? Human beings are curious of and frightened by their own death and the death of others they love. Death is taboo to most of us, and it is understandable that the complete unknown is terrifying so we evade it, clinging to what we know even more tightly.  But I will show you in this book that there is a way to understand and to embrace death, and that when we do our lives are transformed. 

Glorious Life?  Life is both predictable and unpredictable; both happy and sad; both satisfying and dissatisfying, but what is certain is that we do not have control of it.  Like setting sail on a stormy sea, we are at once battered by waves and wind, and the next becalmed or shrouded in dense fog. However, acceptance of our impermanence is the master key to dealing with such fluctuations; we need to have complete mastery of our sails and rudder and to learn to sail with the weather, into the weather, instead of against it. Realising that all the challenges that the wild ocean throws up are spiritual tests and messages provided for us to overcome and interpret, allows us to strap in and actualize our human potential. 

Buddhists? Cathars? People of the Earth? There are so many spiritual pathways available to us in these days of diversity, but I have discovered that although they may have different appearances and structures, they are all reaching for the same lasting happiness and joy. They are all about mastering our restless fearful minds. The serenity and wisdom of the Buddhist way are well known.

The way of the Cathars (the Good), a medieval group of Christian mystics in Europe branded as heretics by the Church of Rome because of their spiritual beliefs, may not be so well-known because they were exterminated by the close of the 14th century. 

But now is the time of the revival they predicted 700 years later at a time when the Earth and its people are rapidly deteriorating.  The Cathar Creed is the perfect blueprint for us to fully realise that we special humans with our essence of pure love are not aliens here on Earth, but we are the good way for the Earth and its community to heal. 

People of the Earth? The surviving indigenous tribes of our world possess the wisdom to save the planet and to live in harmony. In fact, they are the only people who dedicate themselves entirely as custodians of the Earth, protecting species and living in awe and respect for what the Great Mother Nature has supplied to allow humans to evolve spiritually. The natural world which we moderns have made ourselves separate from provides the perfect conditions for us to excel in love and light, and to bring our intrinsic goodness to bear.

All three of these traditions have brought me personally to a breath-taking watershed.  I look down into the great oceans and I have no fear of death or life, and I have come to surrender to the truth that the world we think we know is just a tiny part of the vast invisible world, the ocean of spirits of love. This is our origin.  In other words, I have fully awoken to the reality of the supremacy of universal love, and that everything else is simply weather. 

I write this work, not from a place of dazzling qualifications or impeccable experience, exhaustive scholarly research or struggles for recognition or advancement. In fact, I have deliberately put aside such accolades and indicators of success, and instead offer a different kind of intelligence and a world of perceptions unique to their expresser. They are testimony above all to being a human spirit. My motivation is to share my view of the world as honestly as I can, striving to write from my true nature which I have consciously worked to uncover during my enchanted life.

I find my true nature to be akin not to heroes or celebrities, state leaders or explorers, but more to mystics and castaways, contemplatives and psychics. In my short human life, I have found the great truth in my own mind as I create it for myself, for it does not exist without my creation. By virtue of our dazzling consciousness, human beings are extraordinary creators.

Living and working in Japan, I have been given a unique opportunity not only to experience an ancient and bizarre culture first-hand but also to question or reappraise many aspects of life that ‘westerners’ take for granted. As a person of faith, one of those aspects is exactly that, faith.  It is well-known that most Japanese reject notions of religious affiliation and look both uncomfortable and incredulous when asked in public what they truly believe in or at any mention of spirituality.

It has been said that Japanese have little imagination which on the surface may be attributable to their passivity and conformity to the greater social conscience.  It is the social system and customs which expect them to be self-contained, restrained, and so they are often reluctant to exchange true feelings or experiences. They are however skilled readers of the air once they have trust.

Therefore, when a westerner, usually born, brought-up and educated in a Christian, Moslem or Hindu atmosphere, talks freely about faith feelings, it seems that it is almost impossible for them to grasp another life course outside superficially secular Japan.  In fact, many Japanese are rarely if ever exposed to foreigners: there are still strong traces of xenophobia from the 250-year period of the country’s closure.

Surely faith has to be recognised by those who realise its personal importance?  Faith?  Conviction?  Trust? These are not qualities that come easily to many Japanese because there are so many types of fear running through their veins. There is also a formidable sense of national pride and duty under the skin, a sense that everything Japanese is best, superior. Here religion and spirituality are very much a social pursuit.  This is part of the necessity of belonging so that the countless temples (Buddhist) and shrines (Shintoist) double as community, culture, and mental health centres.

It is from my stance as a person with a commitment to the intrinsic power of the human race and with indestructible confidence in my own true nature, that I write this book.  My life is unimaginable to most mono-cultural and mono-linguistic Japanese – packing up two suitcases and leaving my ‘homeland’ to live in this land of endemic shyness and nationalism, sampling many spiritual teachings and alternative disciplines along my route, and so on.

You Japan, though we are now one, cannot imagine my life.  So, I dedicate this work to you.  It is a bringing out of the roots of my faith, my origins, and the process of my life as a spiritual seeker.  I want you to experience my invisible Christian upbringing and education, the purity of my lineage; in fact, the whole purpose of my being; to experience my brushes with Islam and Taoism, Sufism and Hinduism, Judaism and Jesuits in the multicultural environment of my birth.

This is my mission: to share my blessed life with a nation which Kukai, the founder of Shingon Buddhism created a form of Chinese Buddhism especially for. He is recognised as, one of the very few Japanese who have attained a universality far beyond the limitations of nation or race.

In 1950, after the Pacific War was resolved and Japan was occupied by the United States, there was a purging of religion and education.  In Buddhist terms, it was called the Dharma Crisis, and through my involvement for 11 years with a Shingon Buddhist teaching, I have encountered this first-hand, although it has mostly been buried under recorded Japanese history of the period so it is difficult to research. Indeed, as a result of the government inquisition, all religious organisations, no matter what denomination, were scrutinised and subjected to a vicious authenticity check. 

The founder of the teaching was in fact thrown into prison for his deep convictions and faith with murderers and other capital criminals, his Buddhist instruments confiscated, and his qualifications and motivations examined microscopically.  This truly tested the faith of his small sangha(community), most of whom disassociated themselves, but those remaining deepened their conviction leading to worldwide strength of the teaching today. This Dharma Crisis was an enormous test of faith for the whole nation, and it has clearly engendered the moral and religious cowardice or seeming indifference that exists today as a result.

It seems that people, in general, are divided into two groups: those who need to know, and those who just-know. Those driven by fear and doubt, and those who are fearless and accepting. Those who think and those who do not. Those who consider the physical sun to be the only source of light in the world shining down on them, and those who are their own sun shining on themselves and others. Those who have taken up permanent residence in their minds, and those who have stepped on to the bridge of their mind and walked out into the limitless field of their consciousness.

As I write, I find myself conflicted and separated by trying to cater for both of these groups, not wanting to leave anyone out. For example, when writing about sincerity and secrecy in relation to the Cathar creed, The Church of Love, I have to describe the Cathar-Catholic history and struggle in great detail so that permanent residents can understand the background; meanwhile, I am longing to get to the spiritual centre of things, and do not want to be pinned down by the time-space continuum.

It feels as if there is a dense web of doubt and proof-seeking, a kind of contagion emanating from the thinkers, the limited, which threatens to draw me in.  So, I want to kick free of it and unconditionally dart around the infinite field which has no horizons or divisions, or tenant agreements, without any appointments or duration. I, therefore, have inserted small articles into the text so that the received knowledge concerning Buddhism, Catharism and Creation Spiritualism is available to those who need it.

Thinkers habitually make questions and construct opinions, which can potentially tyrannize a writer, blocking him or her from writing anything at all. They are natural fighters with an obsession with analysis and understanding on their terms, but they have the power to sway others in this modern life dominated by the intellect. Surely it must be an affliction to always need to justify and debate in order to be accepted, or to gain approval from the intelligentsia fashion leaders, but that is the norm in developed nations.

As Buddha is reputed to have said, People with opinions just go around bothering people all the time. What I write in this book is not opinion but insight gleaned from my spiritual training and awakening mind. And yet, I am unable to exclude this majority group because my message concerns them most of all. I have no dispute with anyone. (Buddha)

In the end, readers will make up their own minds about my Glorious Death: Glorious Life based on so many conditional factors. Therefore, writing anything using abstract symbols capable of such beauty, such harm, such hypnosis, such confusion, is a leap of faith into an abyss. I leap willingly.

And as for my own Glorious Death, the title of this book? I die every night in my dreams. It is no stranger to me.

Evenings had always been our special time back in the city, each one a life in its own right. It was usually initiated with flames and candles, and the opening of corks. Each a make or break, visible or invisible, irresistible attraction or cold polarisation. Now, in the mountains, evenings ended in small deaths in the full darkness and silence. We two isolated souls, which might sting or flee at any moment, were entirely invisible here. (Veil, a novel of Cathars and Troubadours by Linden Thorp)

To wake each morning is a blessing, a new start, a stand against the fear that the human mind throws up like the jackknife of a bully.  During all my moments, the Veil of my physical death flutters above me, giving me glimpses of the invisible world beyond the bridge.

My motivation in writing this book then is to share my journey and to drop seeds into fertile earth.  As a Buddhist practitioner, I have already written a great deal, but it was my discovery of the universal Cathar Creed combined with the realisation that I was a member of the 20th-century Cathar revival behind the scenes, that made me sit down and determine to create it.  I believe this perfect Creed entitled The Church of Love, will suit all beings regardless of their supposed level, caste, status, thinking or no-thinking in the visible world. All beings are perfectly equal in the invisible world.

In order to familiarise the territory before revealing the Creed, I share my blueprints and the spiritual schemes which have brought me to this Glorious point, this watershed.  Some would say perhaps that Buddhists, Cathars, and Indigenous Australians have no fear or doubt because they are at liberty to embody their beliefs. But I would go a step further and suggest that beliefs are dead thoughts, museum pieces, plastic flowers compared with the energy stream that these three breeds of spiritual giants stand knee deep in.

The energy flow of all humans without exception consists of light and love and humanity is itself the Church of Love.

The Church of Love recognizes that the way we (humans) are may be the way of those around us because we (humans) are the way.

Embodying love, being the universal energy of love, cannot be limited to inert thoughts or beliefs, or added to a tomorrow to-do list. It happens right now and here inside us.

Once we have put our visual accessories time and space aside, then reality consists only of now – this moment, not the next or the one before, and here – without borders or differences, regardless of weather or religion. The conditioned mind may think this notion embodying love is an interesting concept, an intriguing theory even, but it will immediately disappear as thoughts and theories always do the moment it is made conscious. By thinking about it, it is immediately made indirect, a mere interpretation. So, it is useful to create a mindful gap around this seed that has been dropped into your being and stay quietly in that gap. In other words, resist thinking about it or even giving it a name. Mark it as that thingy, or your favourite song – music is concrete so cannot be erased as abstracts such as words can.

The thingy must be gently held back outside the gap, prevented from its usual destructive, interfering activities. Then the love can flow freely, indiscriminately, for all of the people around you: like a fresh mountain stream cascading across everything in its path.

In this gap, this opening, you can use your borrowed human muscles and limbs to flow or swim into your day ahead. Staying in this fluid state you enter a crowded space, a train carriage, a shopping centre, or a classroom. With every square inch of your body and your energy field, you can live the divine love that you have eternally embodied once the conditioned mind is quiet.

Then you make eye contact only to love. You spread your lips in a smile only to love. You extend your arms and stride forward with your legs only to love. It is absolutely the only agenda your spirit has. Next, staying for as long as you can in that identity-less gap, just radiate into now and here, and others around you will radiate in response. They will use their eyes only to acknowledge your light and being.  They will spread their lips in a smile only to radiate.  They will extend their physical form in a sincere gesture of appreciation only for the light you bring. And they will expect nothing in return.

Inside this gap is where we belong. It is our true nature. There are no labels or identities, no hierarchies or structure. It is the flow and flux of our energy origins, the wide river of our indestructible human love and light.

THOSE WHO ARE, KNOW.

(CHURCH OF LOVE, CATHAR CREED, CIRCA 1244)

 

March 2016, Osaka.     

 

Gratitude to Mariko Kinoshita for her gorgeous artwork

Temple Chronicle: 20th February

Homa

The world of words demands that we churn out concepts and assertions mindlessly. Each word creates an image in our visual libraries and memory banks. The bridge of the mind leading out to the vast field of consciousness is so cluttered with verbiage and images that we cannot move. We are blocked in.

But unblocking is not just a matter of clearing out, discarding our highly documented lives out on to the scrap heap. No matter how badly they make us suffer by living always indirectly, marooned in our own minds, we have created them in our unique way. They are what we amount to so far, our materials. But we can be sure that materials are not permanent.

So we can first acknowledge them, accept them as our way up to this point, and then we can tenderly build a fire and set them alight, watching them burn with gratitude.  They are a means whereby and without them we would be deprived of their richness.

In the desert, in the Dreaming Lands, aboriginals set light to large tracts of land to promote new growth in the universe, and to send cleansing smoke up to the sky travelers. Japanese Buddhists write prayers and mantras then burn them in a special Homa fire to convey them into the invisible world, and to burn away human delusions. Fire cleanses and promotes new growth, so let go of the archives and new growth is guaranteed to appear. The bridge will instantly be unblocked.

We must keep creating because that is our modern way, teeming with diversity, but we can discard, empty the trash on a regular basis, and spend a little more time each day in the great still silence where words and images have no purpose. Then we can slowly and steadily intersperse listening with looking because sound is concrete whereas images are abstract.

And words? Concentrate your attention on the sound of the words instead of the meaning. Listen to the heart behind the words that reach you and linger lovingly there without reacting or categorizing, or trying to make them permanent. They are the utterances of a fellow true spirit after all.

With a sincere heart and awareness, you can cease to assert and window-dress your ego when you interact with other true natures in your vicinity. Asserting is merely a desperate attempt to make yourself and your world permanent in someone else’s eyes, and in your own. It excludes and separates.

When you speak remember that you are essentially spirit so you must express yourself in an artfully vague way like a breeze, the rapid flapping of the wings of the hummingbird, or the constant fluttering of a candle flame.

We actually have no single ‘claim’ to make via our soft lips or balanced on plump tongues because we are pure love energy, and the human throat is best-suited to singing. Instead of words, fingers and eyes and warm breath and our unique fragrance will register our sincere heart with perfection. Therefore, it is wise to refrain from talk until you have checked your free flow of love.

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THE GRAIL WITHIN

This is a response to Gille Asselin’s inspiring comments on today’s show – ‘Nurturing the Spiritual Spelunker in All of Us.’  (http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/87522/the-search-for-the-inner-grail)

Dhyana mudra

The grail within is not a physical entity although we can express it or channel it by using mudras, or gestures. The opening of the hands in the shape of a cup or goblet, or lotus, at the level of the heart is powerful connection with the Air and Ether. For me, one of the most potent mudras is the Dharmachakra mudra representing the turning of the wheel of Dharma for Buddhists and Brahmins, which was common in the Golden Era of Human Beings when the gods walked among us.

This is the gesture of complete balance, hands resting in the lap, fingers interlaced, thumb tips touching lightly, at the level of the navel chakra connecting us to the Earth. The shape created by the hands in this meditative pose, symbolizes the oval, or ellipse, of the whole universe, through which all energies can flow freely back and forth. It could also be the wide mouth of a chalice tipped forward so that the substances of the universe pour back into the Earth, replenishing all we have selfishly taken.

spiritual practice 1

The Cathars made predictions and promises related to this search for the grail within. Below is one of the more mysterious codices of their Church of Love creed written 700 years ago. I believe I was there, involved in writing this, and that one of my missions today in our troubled times, is to try to exemplify it, to use abstract words to try to touch the rim of the grails of those who read this.

coolamon

I also mention the tireless emptiness of indigenous peoples: their grail has never been within – their grail actually is the cup or coolamon (carrying bowl) of the universe – and yet civilized people have tried to force it inside, under the poison of roof and window and separateness.

The Church of Love recognises that the time has come for the supreme transmutation, the ultimate alchemic act for conscious change of the ego into a voluntary return to the whole.

This creed was created 700 years ago at a time of little hope for the survival of the Good Christians. The Catholic Church was determined to destroy the heretics, and even diverted their armies from the Crusades in the Holy Land to Languedoc in South-Eastern France to ensure their eradication. Such hatred and slaughter is still remembered by the people of the Carcassonne, Toulouse, Beziers and Narbonne, the vivid targets during a 20 year period. It is estimated that 30 thousand civilians were massacred, and several hundred Parfaites (Cathars) or their sympathisers, were burned at the stake to ensure that they went straight to the fires of Hell.

The Romans had no idea that for the Cathars there was no single flicker of fear of pain in such a death, only the joy of knowing that they were at last freed from the Hell of life on Earth dominated by the Bad God, the Catholic God. They knew with supreme confidence that the flimsy veil of death would be lifted easily, freeing their spirit, their essence, to go where it was needed in the infinite and eternal dimensions of the invisible world.

The ‘supreme transmutation?’ The ‘ultimate alchemic act?’ The early Christian teachings exemplified by the Good Christians, were gnostic (2nd/3rd centuries). In other words, they contained ‘secret knowledge’ not simply ‘knowledge.’ In Buddhist terms this is ‘Esoteric’ or ‘intuitive’ knowledge, the secret initiations made by master to pupil in a continual unbroken line from the Buddha, not ‘Exoteric’ knowledge anyone can discover from books or academics. Gnosticism is a term used to describe ancient people who considered the material world was created by Satan, or a Demiurge, so instead chose to fully embrace the spiritual world. Such seekers were aspiring for enlightenment, salvation, oneness, a state of perfection, and they could achieve this by altruistic acts to the point of personal poverty, sexual abstinence, and finding sources of wisdom in other human beings.

If we regard the mind as all, the absolute and only way we perceive the world, then the lower frequencies are represented by the material world, flesh, time, and an imperfect contrived world. But the upper frequencies are represented by the divine soul and perfection, the eternal and infinite, beyond the limitations of time and space. We can all access our higher self by putting down the mask, by opening up to our true nature.

There are consistent features of the gnostic blueprint for life on Earth:

  • the supreme divinity is remote
  • emanations or appearances of further divine beings occur
  • the illusion of a Creator and/or demiurge which we must transcend
  • that the world out of reach is essentially good and we are trapped in a flawed world
  • a complex cosmological drama in which a divine element falls into the material world and becomes trapped there
  • the possibility of the divine being reinstated through a process of individual and so collective awakening.

The key notion is that those trapped on the material plane cause an instability in the fabric of divine nature.

In Buddhism, everything is ephemeral, is constantly changing. Nothing is static and so we need a supple non-reactive mind to cope with this. Everything disappears or perishes eventually in the view of visible humans, except their faith and unconditional love, and other invisible and eternal energies. It could be said that there is alchemy and transmutation at work at every moment.

As a Buddhist practitioner, grappling with attachment to human life, I was once fascinated by how unaccountably different photo images of myself were, and then through a dream I realised that I could see karmic changes and adjustments, and imprints from other lives became clear to me. So, I assembled a collection of images of myself and pinned them to a board in no particular order. Were they really all the same person? Then, like a thunder-clap, I could see the instability of my form in human flesh. I became totally convinced that in any second my physical form might be extinguished. As Van Gogh said about his self-portrait, ‘This is not me; it’s a copy.’

depression

The partnership between humans and their consciousness, and the Heavens and Earth, is an important element of all religious practice. The Buddha stressed the importance of making bonds with the universe by using certain mantras and mudras which enable us to become one with the universe. Here it is perhaps important to mention ‘interpenetration’ which Buddhists substitute for monotheistic-style prayer. If we are to be included in all aspects of the Universe and not separated away as aliens, then we can focus our attention on another different constellation of energy and exchange ourselves for that energy. Energy after all is transmutable, can flow if it is liberated from its imposed ‘permanence.’ In fact, the aureole (a circle of light around the head or body of a deity: halo in Christianity) are still used to remind us of the spiritual origin of all things manifest in the material plane. As above, so below as Gilles mentioned.
reclining Buddha aureole

The mind is all in Buddhism. So, we can learn to use it to penetrate and ignite an exchange. We may interpenetrate with those in pain or suffering loss, taking on their sufferings and healing them, taking on their negative karma, as well as donating our accumulated virtue and merit to them. A Mahanyana Buddhist takes a vow to stay behind in samsara until all sentient beings are liberated.

Likewise, the Cathar energy or spirit is a constant presence in the invisible world especially today during their revival 700 years on. Becoming one with the universe is the principal aspiration, so that we are not separated away from it by our own synthetic views. The ‘supreme transmutation’ is surely the moment at which no synthetic views remain; in other words, emptiness. When the cup is emptied of every last drop.

alcheringa

Indigenous peoples are supremely integrated when they are living traditional life according to ancient tribal laws handed down orally, and fully absorbed in protecting the precious Earth and all its inhabitants. This is sacred work in One heart with the universe. But when their integration is interfered with by developed peoples they become unstable, torn out of their oneness, or rapidly ‘disintegrated.’ This has happened repeatedly during the history of so-called ‘progress,’ but it must never be allowed to happen again as the balance of the Earth depends heavily on the wisdom and protection of its ancient peoples. Where we moderns have failed miserably, self-consciously trying to be heroes and tame the earth for our selfish purposes, indigenous peoples have preserved the Dreaming Lands and they will save us all I am convinced.

ninija, my spiritual guide, who I helped to move back into traditional life from a government settlement, is almost torn out of the Lands by the lusty pursuit of lumaluma, white-fella ghost. He woos her and enslaves her with his bottles of alcohol and nicotine, and his promises. Eventually, she escapes from his relentless taunting and cajoling, and returns to the Burial Grounds so beautifully prepared by her people, led by Gina-granddaughter. Ginger-son’s (her son found dead in a telephone box in lumaluma’s city) spirit approaches quickly and she must officiate.

It is dusk and ninija and gina arrive at the Burial Grounds to a resounding cheer from their people. But almost immediately ninija drops her head, lank hair covering her eyes so that she cannot look at them.

There are no ears or eyes in her beneath her flaxen hair, constantly falling into her face. Here, eyes are absent. Eyes mislaid. Eyes that belong to Rock, crave Sky, catch green Fish in Waterhole, can identify the camouflaged body of giant Lizard from its desert hide and kill it dead with a boomerang. But, ninija no longer has eyes for ‘Here’ and ‘Now.’ She has left them somewhere in lumaluma’s city; somewhere in lumaluma’s hollow; somewhere in his bottle.

And there are no longer the ears of ‘Now’ and ‘Here’ in ninija. No listening stillness like a sheet of bark on which the Desert paints her sounds. No knowing the tread of Emu, of Wombat. No hearing the season’s changes in the Wind as Rainbow Serpent prepares to move on his thirsty journey back to the ocean after making white-fella Dreaming site. No hearing his shiny belly making new Waterholes as he slithers.

ninija great Traditional Landowner, has walked away from her Lands. She has gone from ‘Here’ and ‘Now’ with her people, with her joyous gina by her side holding tight to her hand. Instead, ninija is in a time and place of ‘Then,’ of ‘There.’ She looks and looks, frantic for ‘Now’ and for ‘Here’ at this ceremony. She searches for the wild, and the living with the wild, and the strong and ample of ‘Now’ and of ‘Here.’

….She walks unsteadily. There are no words on her lips, in her tongue, for she must not speak until ginger-son has gone on his way. Her words whirl like boomerangs behind the black Rocks of her eyes, inside words. She whispers, ashamed, raising her arm and moving it slowly across the beloved Burial Grounds.

‘i look your body paintings my people. Strong marks of Kangaroo, or Wombat, Bandicoot, of Platypus and the white Sea-Eagle in the Wet. Red Ochre. Black of Burned Wood. Bark brown. You make many-many Fires of Casuarina for big smoke to carry off his Spirit at the Djang. You make coffin. Paint with Emu. Stick on feathers you find. Cover with Paint bark. You dig long trench with many digging sticks where we can clean ourselves when we frighten away mokuy Spirit, bad Spirit.’

            ……ninija is bewildered. Her painting sisters pull her to the women’s area so that they can begin to paint her chest and neck with Ochre and Ash marks of Pelican Traditional Landowner. But she waits inside just like white-fella, and asks questions just like white-fella. She sits back as the paint is daubed on her skin, wondering if ‘Now’ is about to be dropped at her feet from the beak of white Cockatoo.

As the women skilfully use Hog-tail brushes to stipple her feather markings along her shoulder blades, she wonders if ‘Here’ will be continued in a drop of sweat dripping down her neck. She is with her sisters as always, but she is waiting to take ‘Now’ and ‘Here’ on the end of the long Rootail brush as the first circle of cool mixed Ash and Ochre is painted around her neck. The women sing in adoration of their Pelican leader, gondwan, craving to receive just one glance from her enlightened eyes, but there are no eyes for the ‘Now’ or ‘Here’ or ‘the Lands’ in ninija.

The ceremony goes on around her, but she is absent. And worse, she is breaking the sacred Laws on yet another count, for she must put all her heart into ginger-son’s journey, his new life in the Spirit world, not into the broken and discarded body and its human life story. That is not ginger. That is old Snakeskin, Lizard tail, Beetle-case. His perfect smooth Spirit will leave behind his wasted and empty body.

Ninija closes her drowning eyes and tries to track down ginger’s Spirit as it approaches the Burial Ground, listening across the miles and miles from lumaluma’s city. But suddenly, unbidden, she is consumed by immense fear and panic as the shiny doors to her fleshy heart, installed without permission by lumaluma, slam closed. Fear and panic because of white-fella’s meddling. She cries out inside, her voice splintering with white-fella doubt, with white-fella alien questions. She can no longer feel or see or hear or smell. She is being torn out. She is being separated from the Desert Mother. She is being shifted away from the antics of the Sky Heroes for the first time ever.

That something stealing her away from ‘Here’ and ‘Now’ sits behind her. It is dressed in a black theatre cloak. It wears a wide-brimmed hat. It has heavy black boots of shiny leather. Then, by some magical process, some mixing of her special powers and lumaluma’s ‘Easy-Happy-Sexy,’’Now’ and ‘Here’ suddenly appear in the long, manicured, beckoning finger of lumaluma.

Consolamentum

Now is certainly the time for the ‘supreme transmutation!’ There are no questions and were never meant to be. If we remain with our higher vibrations we go way beyond such intellectual trinkets. We too can integrate into the whole! We must because now is the time according to the Skies! We can each offer up the contents of the Grail, our unique contribution to the Heavens and the Earth.

(for more from ninija see ‘Easy-Happy-Sexy: on the Twelfth Day’ by Linden Thorp) http://www.sbpra.com/lindenthorp/:http://www.amazon.com/author/lindenthorp_inthefield

INTEGRATION

sky phoenix

 The following will be interspersed with the indigenous voice of an Australian tribal leader.

Putting aside the man-made lenses of ‘time,’ ‘space,’ ‘race’, ‘gender,’ and ‘money,’ and so on, is the only way to integrate into life’s true course. This is how we can best begin to repair the damaged links of the broken chain of existence, as we perceive it. The human race has interfered persistently with what is natural, almost insisting on creating its own reality and then imposing it on others, instead of listening to the truth and staying put. We have traditionally searched outside for our sensual satisfaction and the realisation of dreams, when all the time the glories of our human existence lie inside, deep within our divine spirit.

We have therefore become disintegrated beings because we block what is natural, always choosing to ‘live’ indirectly, vicariously, or ‘outside’ reality in our minds, our noses pressed up against the glass. We were given life 2.5 million years ago, secular or sacredbut why do we still utilize so little of our cerebral potential (10% maximum) and fail to realize our divine potential. We claim that we are ‘civilized’ when we lie and cheat, abuse and kill, suffer and seek revenge so readily.

Given the passage of so much time since our birth, is it reasonable to assume that we are handing down the information and knowledge needed to improve and develop us? Or are we unable to access our immense resources because we have lost the skills and tools to do so? We mostly defer to one crude tool only, the intellect. Is this why we are swallowing our pride and seeking the help and ingenuity of indigenous people whom we once pronounced ‘savages’ to live in a way meaningful to the planet?sound

In our present state, it seems that we may never repair the conceptual ‘circles’ and ‘cycles’ and ‘phases’ of universal energy we have adopted to try to understand it. The irony is that we were never meant to understand it, just accept it, integrate with it, because our personal energy is already a component part of it. The leaves of a tree do not question their existence.

We are already on the inside if only we looked directly, but education in the developed world is designed to develop individual intellects, to produce leaders and hierarchies, to control. In contrast, day and night beingsindigenous people in their traditional lives are always inside looking out; they are active participants in the centre of a universal reality. They stand in the eternal stream of energy, both visible and invisible, and in their natural, uncorrupted state, they are entirely accepting and consequently wise. There are no choices for them because they are finely tuned to something far greater than the human ego.

ninija, traditional landowner and spiritual leader, says:

White-fella they come before, talking on and on. They tell ninija what ‘best.’ We not understand ‘best.’ We not choose. We no choice. We just. White-fella choose, count, talk and point with long-long white finger.

By way of an example of this ‘disintegration’ mentioned above, we outsiders can visualise beautiful things in immense detail by virtue of our superb memories. Beautiful flowers have been immortalised by photographs, and works of art, and are also smoking togetherquickly recalled. Thousands of images are stamped onto our memories, in fact, so there is no need to go to find the real thing. Indeed, even if we do encounter the real flower, it may be in a contrived garden and we may compare it with those in our mind collections. We are addicted to recalling its name, both common and scientific, its country of origin, the soil and climate type it prefers, as well as its use as a motto or symbol, its rarity and health benefits, and so on. So, we are rarely experiencing the flower directly, but instead through interpretations or representations.

Add to this that the species has probably been transplanted from its original site, changing as it adapts to a new environment, and is analysed in great detail so we know its every characteristic. No stone is left unturned in the present world it seems so that the drive to make all waitingthings common knowledge is at its height. Traveling to remote places to bring back mementos is applauded, and now the Internet is at our disposal to further accelerate these global trends. Indeed, we have become inveterate consumers with the means to go anywhere and everywhere to acquire whatever takes our fancy.

Indigenous peoples in their traditional state ‘own’ nothing except what they can custom-make from raw materials provided by the Earth. Here is a description of what the tribal members I helped to move from a state settlement back into their traditional lives were carrying as they departed into the Lands in the very center of Australia.

…they took only a few handmade possessions which they habitually carry or wear. Their dilly bags woven from Mangrove string, containing personal effects such as churingas (totemic identity badges). Their Wood and Grass carrying bowls,  coolamon, sported on heads, shoulders or against bellies.  Their custom-made digging sticks slung across shoulders with ornate Kangaroo straps. A range of beautifully crafted decorated boomerangs for hunting both for children and women.  And perfectly cylindrical Hollow Log coffins containing Bones of their deceased. Churinga. Coolamon. Hollow Log Coffins. All bone coffinshand-crafted and customised from Desert materials.

The party of shiny black skins with their blond and red topknots of wild hair was occasionally joined by competing Kangaroos. On one side, they were flanked by a massive flock of high Emus, great scratching Bird of the Lands, and on the other by a troop of wild Camels. Above the whole assembly, white Pelicans flapped their slow wings through an indigo Sky, muttering to full Moon.

They most probably will die if they leave their Lands for any length of time, especially moving into synthetic, urban environments. Following is a description of the experience of ninija and her granddaughter gina, going to ‘white-fella’s city’ to collect the body of dead ginger-son. lumaluma is the ghost of white-fella who comes to plague ninija to be his concubine, all the time distracting her from her duties to officiate at her son’s Burial Ceremony. The Djang is the Djangthe greatest of all rites of passage for their people. (Notice the writing convention of all things belonging to Mother Nature are capitalised, and all those to humans are in lower case. ninija insists on this to show utter respect and gratitude)

When we bring ginger body back to Lands from city, lumaluma, he follow us. He bring him terrible sounds with him. Car. Truck. White-fella whirring engine. Many many people loud. i think i stop breathing because i not hear my own lungs crinkling shut then open again. i not hear lovely sweet flapping sound of just-knowing – lumaluma he call it “waiting.”

And smell? Smoke! They fill Sky so it like white night. i breathe fast because white night sting if it inside me. i pant like Dingo. i look out but only see white-fella wall, wall, and more wall. wall bigger than ninija Rock or Buga Mountains in Lands. wall and roof so I not see Sky. I cannot run without big hard concrete stop!

Camera photo lens with shutter. Vector EPS10
Camera photo lens with shutter. Vector EPS10roof so I not see Sky. I cannot run without big hard concrete stop!

In fact, knowledge of something is an indirect way of ‘knowing’ it. It stimulates our intellects and memories, but it is not reality. The phrase ‘snap-shot’ has become popular in recent years to describe how our minds are continually opening camera shutters, recording, archiving, attempting to make everything we encounter permanent. We are image consumers with very little need to turn away from our fantastic internal collections. But, so and is then imaged and archived for our collections. This habitual activity always pulls us back to our minds where everything is convenient and controllable. How can this be reality?

This is how I felt before I went to the Desert and encountered ninija and the Dreaming, and before ninija became my spirit guide.

Before the Desert and ninija ‘back-then,’ i was a human camera. i was an archivist, and a respository for captions. “Say it. See it. Check it. Now prove it!’ After arriving here, i soon stopped looking and listened instead, and so slid into my rightful place. Now, if i cease listening to the Universe for an instant, ninija strides into to my mind and elbows me roughly in the ribs. she strictly guides me back from the needy eye, and from the very needy ‘i’ of my ego.

Another aspect of the integration/disintegration mentioned above involves the concept of time. Indigenous peoples use only the moon and sun to regulate their days and nights, so they never wait, recover/change gear, or smoke a cigarette or swig time conceptalcohol to help them to overcome the ordeal of living. Rarely do they become stressed by external pressures as we do, counting the seconds ticking on. They move smoothly from one instance of their life to the next, listening for their roles, so there are no concepts of work or leisure, etc. There is nothing else except seamless immersion in what the Earth and Great Mother Nature, their totem group, and their fellow tribesmen need. There is no media, but instead the songs and stories of celebration and morality, which are handed on orally and need no interpretation because they are concrete.

spaceThere are no gaps in this integration into their natural life for thinking, or planning, for speculation or analysis, for exaggerated emotions. So the idea of ‘time’ and its measurement has never been born. By comparison, modern urban dwellers continually seek  stimuli, and understandably are rarely connected into their own hearts and sincerity.

The original energy source of modern urban humans is permanent and indestructible, as it is for indigenous peoples, but we moderns have become compulsive archivists and rebuilders and therefore have damaged it. Surely, it is not possible to compartmentalise and analyse such sacred energy as we do: rice paddyConcepts and theories will never heal the diseased flora and fauna, rebalance the planet or prevent us from destroying each other. These interferences and interruptions in what is natural, fueled by human hubris and synthetic, excessive emotions, have turned us into an invasive species, a common garden weed, an alien. Shockingly, we move around intently seeking pleasure and status, and the fulfilment of our desires and wishes, almost exclusively to any other concerns.

We are also frantic to achieve something notable before our visible life ends and we become invisible and, as we see it, powerless. Whereas those who protect the natural environment and never ‘die’ have no white fella ghostsstatus, find contentment and pleasure exactly in the natural world, and live in the moment. They never hanker after tangible signs of their existence or use filters to alter their perceptions, change their mood, forget or bury the things that are distasteful or brutally honest.

We are all animals and yet we diverged from animal species as our brains developed. We wanted to be different, standing on two legs instead of four, reaching for the best fruit at the top of the tree instead of groveling for grubs. In this divergence, we lost touch with our instincts and intuitions, refusing to fit in with the natural order, and went all out to exploit the world’s resources for personal, religious or national gain. In so doing, we needed to stamp out the traces of ancient and indigenous cultures, as they presented an obstacle to our betterment. This was when we broke the virtuous circle, becoming determined to create eternitysomething entirely new. And because we turned our backs wholesale on natural wisdom, we were forced ironically into a ‘survival’ mode, using trial and error, making fatal or fortunate mistakes, and supposedly learning from them.

This crude hubristic way of living is epitomised in the Greek legend of Icarus, whose father Daedalus made wings of feathers and wax for them so that they could escape from their peril in Crete. Daedalus warned his son first about complacency, and then of hubris about their flight, demanding that he follow his flight path, neither too high nor too low. However, Icarus disobeyed and flew too close to the sun, which melted his wings and Icarusplunged him into the sea and he was lost. Icarus had become oblivious to the natural laws of balance and harmony, and so he lost his human life. Such pride and ignorance has been and will continue to be our downfall or nemesis as a species. It compromises our potential and creates suffering for the majority of inhabitants of planet Earth.

It has frequently been pointed out by religious and spiritual wisdom that ‘there is nothing new under the sun,’ and yet we constantly think we can invent and innovate, throwing out what already exists. Our motivation is often power, recognition, money and worse. And while we are investing all of our precious life’s moments in this ‘progress’ pursuit, ancient peoples are absorbed in being the stalwart custodians and protectors of reality. They are single-mindedly devoted to preserving, blending in, and living in awe of what already exists. Without a doubt, radical change is needed inside our minds, but not in the natural world. Our leaders need more awe 2wisdom to be able to work in equal partnership with what is natural.

In hindsight, it is easy to see that it is absolutely not necessary to make devastating often fatal mistakes, rushing blindly into situations and taking over officiously. We ‘developed’ people are constantly end-gaining, striving to reach goals which are often arbitrary in terms of the planet and the natural world, not to mention our spiritual well-being. As indigenous peoples and the enlightened will tell you, there actually are no ends as there are no beginnings. Existence is one eternal circle.

So, why can’t we use our higher minds to innovate and extemporise to enhance what already exists, rather than sweep it under the carpet? We can effortlessly stay in the universal circle in harmony, integrated and eager to gather wise beings around us. After all, rash acts spring from rash scentthoughts produced from our lower minds; whereas wise and considerate thoughts emanating from our higher minds, our true and divine origins, produce wise and balanced acts. Thoughts are after all acts in rehearsal.

In contrast, in their traditional lives Australian aboriginals are fully integrated. They flow with the tide of reality not against it, and so are absolutely ready to catch any ball that may be thrown to them. For them, there is no meta-reality, no perceived reality, no personal interpretation, because they are reality itself. They absolutely embody their Dreaming Lands. They are their feelings not simulacra as we are. But above all they are love and respect and awe for each other, and for the forces of nature and the Universe, which they consider to be their loving parents. They just embody what is – never thinking or speculating, selecting or deciding, always subjective (or submissive) to and fully aware of their divine origins. That’s why they easily die or succumb to outside influences if they are removed from their Lands.

They are part of the Dreaming reality at all times, fully integrated, and not at all separate.  They are immersed in what is known as the seamless ‘here-and-now.’ The arrogance of ‘civilized’ people tears them out of their own origins, their Lands, and leads them to pursue life for gain and power, always at a distance from reality, and often insincerely. They are rarely submissive, and if they are, Dreaming visionsthey are often viewed negatively by the mediocre majority and feel a sense of shame.

Right now, in this 21st centu ry world, the traditional existence of peoples of the Lands is about sustaining life in harmony with the environment which has been provided entirely due to the kindness of the Creation Heroes, as it has always been. The Dreaming Lands that embrace them indicate all they need to know for their spiritual elevation, and when they are ready, their spirit is released from their human vessel into the sky at the Djang, the most longed for Burial Ceremony, where they go on traveling in spirit form to learn more lessons.

ninija longs to tell lumaluma just how much her people are in love with death, but she daren’t. How they are in love with always moving on to what comes next in the grand plan, in love with travelling on in the eternal Sky. Each of them has a unique part to play, a particular mission to execute. They never worry about what might happen next, or had happened before. She knows civilised people see death as suffering and something to be afraid of. But to the Desert peoples the moment of death is the glorious culmination of their physical lives when their Spirits are released. They adore ‘death’ eternally as if it is a physical presence like the Spirit of Fire or Water. Instead of looking for the where-when-who-why-what-which of death, they just-know or hear its gentle watching over the deadapproach. They are rarely shocked at its arrival. Then, when the Djang arrives and the whole tribe celebrates their release in the Spirit World, pure joy consumes them.

Even in death they are not separate: in fact, they mostly long for the glories of death so they can go on to the next stage. They are listening people, aware of their intuitions and a multiplicity of ways of seeing into invisible realms. This deep flawless awareness creates a sophisticated consciousness which we developed peoples have almost completely lost touch with.

Because they do not think or speculate, or invest in the products of such intellectual processes, their spirits are not trapped like ours can be in the developed world. We can become stagnant, our goodness corrupte may alsobecome vulnerable to strong pressurization from beliefs imposed on us by others, such as religious, political or cultural, easily losing our sense of self-honesty and sincerity. Indeed, we are weakened by intellectual processes and imprisoned in a synthetic reality.native

Perhaps if we can keep in mind that our energy has taken on other forms in the universe, in the vast invisible world and eternity, so there will inevitably be ‘imprints,’ or ‘traces’ – call them eccentricities or idiosyncras – which may cause us to become either confused, or else fixed, or perhaps liberated. We need to remain supple, moving or flowing with life to avoid friction, to avoid fixing our characters or our views. If we release our grip on the visible, the flashing pictures, staying still and quiet and not struggling, we will open to other more subtle influences in the great silence and stillness. Indigenous Australians may stand entirely still on one leg on a high ridge for many hours. They are becoming one with the rock, sinking down into their native element Earth where they are utterly content and at rest.

balance 1Our arrogance, a product of the mind, has led us to see permanence in the world when in reality every atom is ephemeral, a mere flash. In truth, we are pure energy taking on a temporary human form to enrich our greater spirits and those around us. Our mission is to blend with the cosmic and universal energies of the universe, and of the invisible world. It is scientifically attested that energy flows where it will or is needed, so if we put aside our hubris and complacency as Daedalus recommended, we will be able to find balance and recognize our true mission. This is real freedom, not the synthetic free will which bamboozles us into thinking we are free when we are in fact prisoners of our own distorted minds.

The intellectual pursuit of Science also has unearthed the concept of DNA from which we can trace back our origins to 150,000 years ago on the plains of Africa. However, persuaded by the fragmentary view of scientific enquiry, we are great motherconvinced that only cutting edge, exorbitantly expensive instruments can measure this DNA. Be assured that we can learn to discern it the way the ancients do at no cost if we simply listen . Listen to our imprints laid by our ancestors and related spirits – a trait of our great-grandfather’s penchant for plants, a tendency towards cuisines or environments/cultures other than ‘our own,’ a talent or skill, passed down through energy configurations and cell constellations. We may dismiss these as fancy or imaginary, but that feeling or sense of some different presence other than what we fix in our minds as constituting ‘self,’ is a remnant of our discerning or divining powers. These are messages to help us to become integrated, to make us stable, content, fulfilled during this brief human sojourn.

It is asserted by scientists also that we were able to survive successfully as a species because we had sophisticated brains divine sparkskills. This enabled us to create the concepts of time, and so it is that ‘the past’ and ‘the future’ have captured our attention to the exclusion of the ‘now.’ The past and the future are illusionary: animals and plants do not have such a way of classifying.

Perhaps at this moment of cerebral sophistication in our evolution, we were able to outwit slower and less adapted species and so overtake them, but then our new consciousness made us arrogant, we ceased to listen to the natural laws, and wanted to replace everything in the name of progress. A concept of the future may be ingenious and effective in the short-term. However, it is evident now that even with scientific and technological advancement and all the measurements of environmental deterioration and the predictions of our ‘future’ decline, we remain arrogant and evasive about it. We apparently have not learned anything from the shocking mistakes we have made and consequences we have generated, and continue to make.

Cause-and-effect is perhaps a more useful model than ‘the future,’ in that every thought and its action creates an effect. It should not concern us in an intellectual way where and when that effect may be felt, but it does. Instead, we could focus more or making all our thoughts and actions positive and infused with the goodness we are endowed with naturally. That spirit made fleshrequires being ‘here-and-now’ always, like indigenous peoples, so that we can embody the abundance of love, compassion, humility, generosity and so on. We could work to extend them to those around us and to our environment, becoming custodians rather than capitalist hit-and-run types. Foresight is a wonderful tool at our disposal, but if the motivation to use it is dubious or entirely self-interested, then it becomes a dangerous weapon.

Two words in common currency in environmentalism are ‘ survival’ and ‘sustainable.’ We have tended to view desert life or indigenous life-styles as a hand-to-mouth ‘survival,’ always judging based on what we see. It is true that living close to nature is hard and we moderns have been weakened by our self-cherishing to the point where we would probably not survive in such a situation as indigenes can. But even though sound 2‘traditional’ life may look hard – nakedness may seem ‘savage’ and prone to misunderstandings, dirty fingernails and outside latrines unsupportable – it is certain that such lives are carefully controlled to maintain harmony and the thriving of all species. There is no sense of ‘self’ or personal needs: those come second. The environment, if respected, will always provide enough if not always the abundance which our insatiable minds crave. It is we modern urban dwellers who are surely the ‘survivors,’ lost in the wilderness of our negative realities, and of scarcity and lack. It is these realities which drive us towards greed and pre and post-posthumous acknowledgment and even glory.elders

‘Sustainable,’ on the other hand, is in origin ‘to hold from below’ implying stability, steadiness and acceptance. It is indigenous peoples who hold the key to sustainability, and it is certain that if we do not show respect and refrain from interfering with natural order, they will outlive us, returning to their place we invasive capitalists ousted them from.

Much of this way of seeing is based on my experience living with a tribe of aboriginals returning to traditional life. The adult members had either been taken or tempted away by white settlers to a convenient modern way of living, to money and work enslavement, and eventual death as victims of drug and substance abuse. The painting clan lineselders and young children had remained quietly in their settlements, weakened by convenience foods and alcohol, the children by white-fella education and concept-making to prevent the development of spiritual elevation and desert skills. Then they received a sign in the Dreaming Lands to move out of their inappropriate settlements and walk back slowly into their traditional lives deep in the South Australian Desert to resettle in their Lands once appropriated by the Government and Multinational companies.

I experienced, though briefly, what life was like without concepts, and was initiated by the tribal leader as a custodian of their stories and wisdom. It has therefore become my mission to convey her messages for sustainability to urban civilizations.

Version 2

You can read ninija’s story in ‘Easy-Happy-Sexy: on the Twelfth Day,’ Strategic Books, 2013 PB, 2015 epub., to get a taste of desert integration and wisdom. I wrote this article Integration in response to David Suzuki’s article in the Vancouver Sun, Aboriginal people, not environmentalists, are our best bet for protecting the planet. June 8th, 2015, link: http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/David+Suzuki+Aboriginal+people+environmentalists+best+protecting+planet/11112668/story.html

NEW BOOK – to be released in July 2015 – ‘Glorious Death: Glorious Life.’

 

 Buddhists and Cathars jacketThis book is based on the series of articles I wrote last year about my experience of both the Buddhist teachings and the medieval Cathar Creed. Through my spiritual development I am now able to add a third comparison – that of the faith of indigenous peoples, as 25 years ago I was privileged to be able to live briefly with a tribe of Australian native people and be involved in helping to move back to their traditional lives deep in the south Australian desert.  This book is inspired by attitudes to death and so to life: to our eternal existence as spirit energy in the invisible world, and our physical life in the world of matter, the visible world.

Here is chapter 1.

1: blueprint

Everything we encounter in our lives is embedded with crucial messages for our spiritual progress. If we can notice, interpret and apply them in all our living moments, then we will be able to be truly and lastingly happy and perfectly content. Imagine such a comprehensive curriculum, custom-designed for our development as a fully alive and enlightened human being for the whole span of our human life, laid out before us. It is a blueprint, and if we are fully aware of its dimensions and able to act on them, we can use it to build ourselves into a fabulous indestructible beacon to shine its light into infinity and eternity, way beyond the limits of the human world. This light will be visible in both the quirky mists and tides of the visible world, and the vast quintessential clarity of the invisible world. I have seen the light of many with my own eyes.

Before describing blueprints and beacons in detail, these aspirations for happiness and contentedness, which are not necessarily in line with those of all human beings, need to be justified. I write this work from a strong desire to share the way with all beings so that they might get the tiniest sense of their own full and lasting happiness, live some moments according their true nature, and learn to eagerly embrace the glories awaiting them at their death.

As children, before we become intellectually complicated and our conditioning becomes unconscious to us, we are often truly happy, secure, basking in the love of families and adults in general, with the promise of future life unblemished. Children are often so pure, free of complexes, and totally at home in their bodies. Then as we develop into adults inhabiting densely populated societies and communities and abiding by their rules, we compromise our true inclinations and become immersed in living up to the expectations of others, and in seeking their approval.

While we are negotiating the minefield of the human world as adults, our dark side emerges behind the masks that we are forced to wear to fit in. It is natural that we unconsciously or consciously resent the suppression of our natural urges and preferences, and become respectively either passively accepting or aggressively anarchic.

It becomes difficult for most of us to trust others, and to deal effectively with negative emotions such as envy, greed, covetousness, and lust. So, it is common to become isolated from ourselves and disaffected, or else we succumb to temptations and live in an immoral way, always in rebellion, or worse.

Aspiring to live comfortably, in full health and free of worries, surrounded by people who love and accept us for who we are, and to be able to feel satisfaction in the way we have lived our lives by the time we die, is surely unequivocal and universal. We aspire to goodness and happiness because we are intrinsically good and naturally happy. The pressures of living in large social or urban groups and communities is the greatest challenge of all which we are ready to face at the time our spirit becomes flesh.

If we can remain positive, emotionally unattached to matter and self-honest at all times, we will keep the divine flame alight for others and our mission will be complete. Then we can return to the invisible world as spirit, as energy, to take up our place in other dimensions, in infinity, eternity and divinity – known by the enlightened as ‘reality.’

Ancient Indian history tells us that there was a Golden Age of Humans, when the gods and holy beings dwelt among us. Our divine spark was burning brightly because civilization was young and we were pure and innocent like young children often are. As a result there was no need of intermediaries like priests or shamans to contact the spiritual world, because we actually were highly evolved gods and holy beings. In that epoch, our accumulated mistakes and bad deeds as a race of humans were few in number, and so no pay-back was required to balance out the energy in the world. The Universe demands balance because it is constructed from invisible energy, not matter as we see it with our human eyes.

These notions above have been highly criticized, called ‘nice words’ skillfully used to cover up the dark and dirty reality of what some people believe to be real human nature, ie. the opposite of good and bright and honourable. But some would say that these criticisms are the words of the devil, of evil incarnate; that they represent a force intent on destroying the light, of creating a block between the mind and the human heart. This dark view can possess people, can wag their tongues without their conscious consent, and is contagious, spreading out to corrupt others.

Each human being makes their own unique view of the world according to their own energy and environment. Add to this our inheritance from ancestors and earlier versions of culture and evolution in which they lived, and we have another blueprint we are born into human life with. We are born into a family, and each family carries with it a history, a certain energy or set of proclivities, which are usually perpetuated through the generations.

Modern science informs us that we inherit DNA from our parents and they from their parents and so on, and that we cannot change this unless we take dramatic steps with surgery, drugs or other medical intervention. This is combined with the rules and structure of the culture, religion, climate, gender, class, etc. we arrive in. It is perhaps easy to see how people become separated from their true natures and their dreams, and live in a shell of compromise and insincerity.

We see those around us who have ‘lost’ themselves. These foundlings act as if they are slumbering or intoxicated by life, swept helplessly on the highs and lows, buffeted by their luck or misfortune, blaming others and over-cherishing their fragile selves. Our objectivity allows us to apprehend how their inner life is incongruous with their outer life, but we must learn ways to be able to see our own incongruities from vantage points inside. We must also accept that every human being is a reflection of ourselves, and cease arrogantly separating ourselves away as ‘different.’ There are no ‘differences’ because we are all made from universal energy, which knows few boundaries.

Many people become so adept at wearing a wardrobe of different masks to cope with each social situation they must participate in, that the masks grows into their face and they can never remove them. Spiritual training can provide the tools to first detect and then remove the masks occluding our self-sincerity, so that we can live according to our true nature and eradicate all conflicts and friction.

The universal quality of our true nature is unconditional love and all its irresistible trappings – tolerance, patience, generosity, honesty, putting others before ourselves, and understanding. We know this as children and can often put it into action because of our innocence. Then gradually the ego develops to enable us to live in the world of suffering, and we accumulate experience, which, if viewed without delusion, we are told by others, can turn into wisdom.

However, I have realized that we must first and foremost listen to our own voice. Also, that wisdom is a bright sudden light, not always something we have to work for diligently, filter by trial and error, to achieve by ploughing through synthetic concepts of time and space. We are wisdom. We are love. Every cell and pore is imbued with it. All we have to do is nothing – no thinking, no striving, no sweating or self punishment. The Buddha called this ‘the Middle Way,’ the Cathars, medieval mystical Christians, called it ‘formlessness’ or ‘being,’ insisting that ‘we (humans) are the way,’ and the desert dwellers of Australia call it ‘the Dreaming,’ and the ‘now-and-here.’

Some intrinsically know that their spiritual quest is to find their true nature, which has been buried beneath many layers of all types of conditioning. As a young child, I knew this through the devotion and unconditional love of my grandparents, and I aspired to it even then. They were often on their knees praying for others and the world, their gorgeous eyes filled with tears of joy, and their every move was dignified and humble. With living examples of such qualified guides in my life, I realized that the first stage of the search is to reconnect with our true nature by perfecting our spiritual blueprint; the second stage is to transcend the blueprint and the form of that guidance, and expand our greater awareness of all dimensions of life.

I have spent my life in this endeavor, taking some wrong turns, growing tired and sometimes distracted by the irresistible force of human needs the gravitational force field of materialism and self-image. But I have been fortunate that I could always snap back to realizing the emptiness and transience of all things, and appreciating my privileged and divine origins.

During my human life, which I am certain is the culmination of many others lives, I have found three such legitimate blueprints to integrate with my inheritance and environment. This composite allows me to realize my aspirations for goodness and everlasting happiness.

The first blueprint is from practice of and aspiration to the full range of the brilliant teachings of the Buddha – the beginning, middle and final period of his ministry. As I mentioned, I was the legatee of the devout Christianity of my grandparents, but after they died when I was a young adult, I realised that I had been practicing to please them and that modern Christian dogma did not reach me. At that point, I turned to Buddhism from an intellectual perspective, started to study sutras and doctrine, and was deeply touched by its genius.

Then gradually, I became able to accept the invisible, spiritual aspects of Buddhism and put away my books and my intellectual curiosity. Instead, I cultivated emptiness through mindfulness and meditation, and attempted to live in a way that did not create any more negative karma. Karma for my purposes in this work concerns actions, either our own in present life, or those of our lineage of ancestors through the passage of history. There are bad and good actions which evolve from good or bad thoughts. We know this instinctively, and if we endeavor to think and live in a good way, then we avoid creating negative karma for the future. This is the principle of cause and effect: all thoughts and actions have an effect somewhere in the organism of the universe we are part of.

The second comes from a close reflection of the Cathar way of life, and the creed they left for us to reveal in 20th century, 700 years after they were exterminated as heretics by the Roman Catholic Church. The Cathars, also known as the ‘Good’ and the ‘Perfect’ (Les Bonnes, Les Parfaits), were a late-medieval sect (12th-14th centuries) of mystical Christians, who lived according to the original teachings of Jesus Christ, the spiritual Christ. So little is known about them because they worked tirelessly behind the scenes, quietly ‘being’ as ordinary members of society, but tirelessly tending to people’s spirits and helping prepare them for glorious death.

According to their creed recently rediscovered to initiate a 20th century revival of Catharism, we do not need to wave banners about our beliefs because that is the human visible way. Faith is an invisible quality, it is formless, not bound by its intellectual concept or time, or visibility.

The third blueprint is from my direct experience of living with an indigenous tribe in the desert lands of south Australia. I was involved in assisting them to return to traditional life after a long period of highjack by European settlers in Australia who were determined to ‘civilise’ them. The elders and children of this tribe had decided to return to traditional desert life deep in the scorching interior of Australia. Their leader, Ninija, initiated me and became my spiritual guide, imparting desert wisdom and how to live directly and fully in the field of awareness.

Her way of being, integrated fully into nature and rarely involving making concepts except out of compassion to understand self-professed ‘civilized’ people, convinced me that we live always indirectly because the tool of our intellect is so well-honed. We rarely experience reality directly, fully, as the desert people do every moment of their desert lives. They have mostly not set foot in the prison of the mind even to visit, and so have a variety of other tools at their disposal, e.g. prediction, telepathy, intuition, vision, healing, and many more.

At first sight, the possible combining of three unlikely blueprints into one offering true and everlasting happiness and allowing our human goodness to surface, may seem unlikely. However, if we view the human way before the diversity and pluralism of modern ages overtook us, as one united belief in goodness, in light, in unconditional love, within each of us, then we are united, in one heart, breathing one breath. Once, we had no need of intermediaries to guide and connect us with the invisible domain, and our divine flame was burning brightly.

But my blueprints are transparent and so can be easily superimposed on each other to make a composite, because human faith is invisible, is universal, is divine and originates in love. As the Cathar Creed of the Church of Love quietly indicates, “Its members shall know each other by their deeds and being, and by their eyes and by no other outward sign save the fraternal embrace..…It has no secret, no Arcanum, no initiation save the true understanding of the power of love, and that if we want it to be so, the world will change, but only if we change ourselves first.”

I hope to show you in this work of creative non-fiction – “true stories well told,” (Lee Gutkind) – how my composite blueprint works in daily life. This is my story, my view, and I am unashamed to assert that fact. It does not aim to be a scholarly work laced together with the views of experts or spiritual adepts. I try to write sincerely, much in the way that the early mystics like Shantideva and Sylvanus, et al, wrote. The platform I write from is my life as a sincere seeker of spiritual insights, a devotee of mysticism, and above all an appreciative tenant in the body I have inhabited during my human course. I have always realized that my skin is the only thing to physically separate me from the invisible world.

As already mentioned, we find ourselves in the midst of the human world of suffering and loss, sickness and dashed hopes, exactly because we are being given a golden opportunity to liberate ourselves from that suffering, distorted view of life. It is probably our only chance, because it is said that being born a human is exceedingly rare and difficult, as the struggle to emerge from the womb exemplifies. Living for the most part in secular societies, remote from our original divine spark and purity, we have become disconnected from our basic constituents of unconditional love and compassion. So, we have to train spiritually to regain what once came so naturally to us, and the invisible world puts such trainers into the world so that we can find our way to them.

In my life, I have learned not to consciously search with my eyes for these trainers, but instead to listen for their voices. This may seem difficult to understand if you have never experienced free-falling through your life while detecting and then heeding spiritual indicators. If we look with our physical eyes, we may well be searching with the human ego, in a self-serving way, with the hidden agenda of success, status and satisfaction in human terms. But if we open up our heart and realize that spiritual elevation and compassion are the real and natural goals of the human species, then the invisible world will arrange everything. It is simply a question of accepting and listening to the whispers from your own heart, the seat of your intuition and of your higher self. There have been many such whispers during my life, so perhaps I can help unravel this conundrum a little.

In my childhood in northern industrial Britain in 1950s, I was brought up in a typical lukewarm Christian household and attended a Christian school. My grandmothers were devout Catholics all of their lives and wanted to hand their faith on to me. I adored them and wanted to be compassionate and constantly loving like them. One day, I was listening to the radio with my father and brother as we ate lunch together. The presenter was talking about someone or something called ‘the Buddha.’ I remember thinking that I had never heard this strange phrase before, and that as it had the prefix of ‘the,’ it must be something very impressive like ‘the Queen’ or ‘the Prime Minister.’

The talk went on to say that encountering the teachings of the Buddha was, ‘as rare as a turtle paddling through the great ocean encountering a piece of driftwood with a hole in it, and then swimming up to the surface and putting its head through the hole to look at the sky.’

I did not know what ‘teachings’ were at that age, but this notion was stored away inside me until the day I actually did encounter the Buddhist teachings as a young adult. I had no experience of or knowledge about Buddhism, and there were no Buddhist practitioners in my life. Much later, when my grandparents were deceased, I turned away from Christianity and by a series of coincidences found myself attending lectures about the Buddha at university. These teachings so necessary to revealing my full blueprint had been indicated when I was about 7 years old, and I had caught something spiritual, invisible, which would transform my life. I went on to aspire to their wisdom for the next 40 years, and eventually they provided the means whereby I could go beyond them.

Another striking example is how I came to be in Japan where I presently live and work. Much later in my life I was myself teaching at a university, again in the north of Britain. I was assigned as coordinator to a large group of Japanese female students for an intensive summer course. The professor in charge of them was friendly and we became good friends during that time. One day, she asked me what my dream was, and I revealed to her that I had always wanted to live in Japan having taught many outstanding and special Japanese students during my teaching career.

To my total surprise, a few months later, she sent me an email recommending that I apply for a position as visiting foreign teacher at her university. I did and was selected out of a large number of candidates. So, I started to pack up my belongings and send them ahead to my new life in the Far East. My friends and family thought I was demented giving up my secure life in England to go to an unknown culture almost six thousand miles away. But I knew that this was something I had to do.

I applied for a visa from the Japanese Embassy in London, and was summoned to collect it once it was ready. Whilst I was there, I asked if they had any posters of Japan that I could display in my new office. They regretted that they only had one of a beautiful temple in Kyoto, western Japan, the area I was going to. I duly packed it away and set off East.

A key person in my smoothly settling in was the international secretary at my professorial residence in Kyoto, and one day I invited her to come to my apartment for coffee to thank her. She was surprised to see a sizeable golden Buddha image, which I had brought from Myanmar en route to Japan, where I had had an audience with a Burmese Buddhist Master. She told me that she was also a Buddhist seeker, and that she would like to invite me to her temple one day.

I did accompany her and to my amazement found the core text of her sect was the very last of the Buddhist teachings, the Nirvana teachings. I was stunned, as having worked my way unconsciously but systematically through what are know as the early and middle period teachings, I was perfectly ready for the final teachings as the welling up of tears indicated. I committed myself there and then and started to practice Japanese Buddhism, which I had hardly ever encountered before in the west. These final teachings given by the Buddha from his deathbed were indeed my final teachings. The ancient mother temple of this sect, Daigo-ji, was situated in the mountains of Kyoto, beautiful, loaded with spiritual energy which I connected with immediately.

Later, my friend who had become my spiritual teacher by this time, visited my university office. She walked in and stopped still in her tracks as she looked up at one of the large posters I had on my office wall. It was to me an anonymous temple, one of 30,000 in Kyoto, acquired from the Japanese Embassy in London, but to her it was her mother temple, Daigo-ji. Before coming to Japan, I had never heard of her sect, a branch of Shingon Buddhism brought from China in 9th century to Japan by Kukai, known as Master Kobo Daichi. But out of all the thousands of temples in Kyoto, this was the image I had acquired from London. We were both speechless. The spiritual messages were screaming loudly, unmistakably, and I had managed to hear them and take action with my human body.

In terms of my second blueprint, I am filled with gratitude that my spiritual partner while living in Europe, at exactly the right time in my short human life, had the means and unconscious wisdom to make my second blueprint a reality on my behalf.

Almost 20 years ago, I had the great privilege to live for several years in a tiny village in the remote eastern Pyrenees, on the Mediterranean side of the mountain frontier between France and Spain. It was a simple life, mostly sequestered away from the media and other worldly distractions. I was practising the Buddhist teachings at the time, but entirely on my own among Catholics, without either designated Master or sangha (spiritual community). It was a heavenly location, with unhindered views of untouched primeval forests and stunning peaks.

The village I lived in was medieval, abandoned by young people who had moved to the cities to make a living, and mostly in ruins. Climate change had caused water sources to dry up so it was quite difficult to survive the long hot summers there. In the hottest times, people’s kitchen gardens, often their main source of food, suffered unmercifully, and water had to be brought up the mountain in tankers on a daily basis.

My long days were spent restoring and cultivating a huge medieval garden to try to provide all the food we needed, and making the carcass of an old farmhouse more habitable. Early mornings were spent exercising on the sandy roads once trodden by Les Bons or Les Parfaits, the Good, known by medievalism as the Cathars, and nowadays used as short cuts by shepherds and vineyard workers. I had never even heard of Les Parfaits before arriving there.

In forest clearings, beautifully preserved Roman Chapels could be found. In the cliff faces of deep gorges, hermitages were perfect shelters. And from the valley floors, fortresses expertly balanced on high crags, would intermittently come into view against the cloudless sky. The whole environment had once been dedicated to religious devotion, and now I found myself, a religious devotee also, in an ideal spiritual environment.

As I looked more closely at the beliefs of this mysterious Christian sect viewed as heretics by the mainstream Roman Catholics of the time, I realized that their practice was not dissimilar to the Buddhist way. At that moment, I remember being so relieved that I did not need to jump on the sectarian wagon along with everyone else, because to me, all spiritual pathways are valid and share the same values. It just depends on your karma as to which guise your practice takes.

I am certain that all denominations of faiths long for the sacred to again occupy the waking and dreaming moments of human beings, as it once used to. We all battle, whether directly or vicariously, with samsara (the Buddhist term for the human world), or what has become know as the ‘secular world,’ the realm of human desires and self-induced suffering.

I would go so far as to say that my spiritual blueprint had demanded that I was transported to these mountains to tread the footsteps of the Cathars as they fled from the relentless hounding of the Church of Rome, or ‘of Wolves’ as they saw it. I dreamed many Cathar dreams, both subtle and gross, during my stint there, and came firmly to believe that my ancestors had been Cathars. As it had been for them, reading snippets of their lives, each of my own days became a triumph of good over evil, and the thin veil of my death, which they believed was the sole thing separating beings of flesh from the spiritual world, threatened to blow away at any moment.

I recently realized part of my Cathar dream in publishing a novel called ‘Veil,’ which is a transcript of my life there.

One of the things that branded the Cathars as heretics in the eyes of the Inquisition forces sent to the mountains to accuse and dispose of them, was the belief that men and women were equal. The Roman church has always excluded women from key positions, and perhaps always will, but many eminent Parfaits were women. Buddhism has become similarly gender aware, though in ancient India, women were somewhat whimsically excluded from enlightenment, and are still treated with caution by many sects. My present Nirvana guru is a woman, and despite her rank as overall spiritual leader of a huge world-wide sangha, certain predominantly male Hinayana sects in Thailand and Myanmar, are not allowed to touch her!

The origin of the Cathars remains mysterious, recent research showing that they probably hailed from central Asia or perhaps further east. My spiritual instincts tell me that they were likely Buddhist propagators en route from India traveling along the Spice and Silk Roads, who found their way west, and ended up in direct confrontation with the monopolist Catholics of Europe.

As hinted at above, one of their most striking beliefs is that the world is a battle place between the forces of good and evil, and that as humans we have to make our choices about which side we are on. Buddhist samsara – something which flows on relentlessly until beings attain Nirvana, or the extinguishing of and freedom from all cravings, could be viewed as the world of evil we desire to be free from. The Cathars rejected the Christian crucifixion and baptism outright as the devil’s propaganda. They believed in the laying on of hands and that everyone was fundamentally ‘good,’ or possessed True Nature instead. They rejected the romanticized story of the bearded carpenter born in a stable of an immaculate birth, predicted by three wise kings.

In the Buddhist scheme of things, we work to be liberated from samsara, the human world of the 4 sufferings : birth, illness and suffering, old age, death, and in the Cathar scheme, from the flesh housing for our divine spirits, by the lifting of the veil of death. For many indigenous peoples, their traditional lives are already enlightened. They are integrated fully into reality, their intellectual skills redundant there because the spirit prevails, the spirit of their totem, the natural species they are born into.

The desert provides all they need so they do not become attached to visible material items, and they can clearly hear the spiritual messages in their Lands. They are not distracted by status, money, lust or fame, and their human lives are a training ground for the glories of death. They long for death and the final Burial Ceremony known as the Djang.

The Mahayana Buddhist teachings focus on emptiness. They express human life as a projection from the mind of the individual, like a constant replay of a video, and train us to turn off that video so we can find reality. I believe the Cathars had a very similar approach to living in the human world. Using prayer and contemplation as Buddhists use mantra and karmic cleansing, they took refuge in the pure and positive light of the spirit of God as Buddhists take refuge in the three jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. The Australian desert people, as custodians of the environment and guardians of the Dreaming stories which appear in the lands, spend their days visiting Dreaming sites and singing the sacred songs to celebrate the heroes. Abiding faithfully to the desert laws and rituals, they remain pure, integrated and focused on protecting the planet and ensuring their survival and spiritual lineage.

My third blueprint is the result of experience living with Australian native peoples in the south Australian Desert. Again, this came about completely by chance during a two-year world trip I made in the mid-nineties. I knew of the shocking history of these people and the destruction of their civilization by white missionaries, my ancestors, but it was only when I was actually there face-to-face with them that I fully realized the implications of their demise.

I was a member of a group of Europeans assisting a tribe of elderly and young aboriginals to return to the center of Australia, the country finally designated as their ‘Lands’ by white rulers. They were leaving all social and financial support especially so they could return to their traditional life, a life of survival, entailing living rough, close to Mother Nature, their creator. So many of their young adults had been abducted and sanitized by white landowners to become their slaves, and in the process of losing contact with the Lands and their Dreaming heroes, they had fallen pray to substance and alcohol abuse. This often resulted in painful and undignified deaths. Such interference and wholesale conversion of these wise and spiritually evolved desert people to western ways, suffocates their natural spirits. In their traditional life, they are not dominated by concepts such as time and space, they do not work or wait, they do not hide themselves away from the Great Mother Nature under roofs and behind glass.

In the desert, I got insights into how to avoid making concepts altogether, and how to live directly in the field of awareness. I learned how to respect and accept, and to have no attachment to anything, to move with the weather, fully accepting that the natural way was the best for the thriving of the planet. In their natural element, these people are fully happy and content. They watch the land for dreaming stories and indications of how to become spiritually perfect. Nothing else matters apart from the learning of spiritual lessons in human life so that glorious death will come quickly and they can go on travelling in the great sky of existence. The travellers light small campfires as they go which the ‘civilized’ intellect has given the label of ‘star’ to, a word which does not exist in any aboriginal language, or in ethnic languages on the whole.

Three spiritual leaders. The God of Christianity – one God, omnipotent, the Father, the spiritual Christ, present in all beings and all things. The Buddha, all spirit and giver of the laws of ever-present Dharma, eternal, indestructible, Father and Mother. The Creators of the Dreaming, Mother Nature and Father Earth, Lord of all totems, eternal and indestructible.

My life has been blessed by the presence of all three of these emanations of goodness and things natural, and their means whereby. This combination of concepts and systems has brought me to Heaven, to Nirvana and to the Dreaming. Now all cravings are extinguished and I have reached true and lasting happiness. This is the story of going beyond, or letting go, of actually embodying universal Love and transcendent Wisdom.

Following are the codices of the Cathar Creed.

The Church of Love has ‘no fabric, there is no membership, save those who know they belong.

It has no rivals because it is non-competitive.

It has no ambition; it seeks only to serve.

It has no boundaries for nationalisms are unloving.

It is not of itself because it seeks to enrich all groups and religions.

It acknowledges all great teachers of all ages who have shown the truth of love.

Those who participate, practice the truth of love in all their beings.

There is no walk of life or nationality that is a barrier.

Those who are, know.

It seeks not to teach but be and, by being, enrich.

It recognizes that the way we are may be the way of those around us because we are the way.

It recognizes the whole planet as a Being of which we are part.

It recognizes that the time has come for the supreme transmutation, the ultimate alchemic act for conscious change of the ego into a voluntary return to the whole.

It does not proclaim itself with a loud voice but in the subtle realms of loving.

It salutes all those in the past who blazed the path but have paid the price.

It admits no hierarchy or structure, for no one is greater than the other.

Its members shall know each other by their deeds and being, and by their eyes and by no other outward sign save the fraternal embrace.

Each one will dedicate their life to the silent loving of their neighbour and environment and the planet, while carrying out their task however exalted or humble.

It recognizes the supremacy of the great idea, which may only be accomplished if the human race practices the supremacy of love.

It has no reward to offer here or in the hereafter save that ineffable joy of being and loving.

Each shall seek to advance their cause of understanding, doing good by stealth and teaching by example.

They shall hear their neighbour, their community and the Planet.

They shall feel no fear, feel no shame, and their witness shall prevail at all odds.

It has no secret, no Arcanum, no initiation save of the true understanding of the power of love and that, if we want it to be so, the world will change, but only if we change ourselves first.’

I learned during my time exploring the sandy pathways of Les Parfaits in Langudoc, while practicing as a Kadampa Buddhist, that before the Cathar martyrs were burned at the stake, that they secreted this creed in a cave not far from where I was living. It predicted a revival 700 years later, stipulating that those born in the nineteen fifties, sixties and seventies would lead the revival. I was born in 1952.

healing 4

 

 

 

‘Easy-Happy-Sexy’ now available in Kindle and PDF versions

I’m really pleased to announce that the kindle version of my novel ‘Easy-Happy-Sexy’ is now available in Kindle for instant download  at $7.00 in Japan………http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Happy-Sexy-Twelfth-Day-Linden-Thorp-ebook/dp/B00UUSPLYM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427002717&sr=8-1&keywords=Easy-Happy-Sexy+kindle51XEgrxdhsL._AA160_

and the PDF version is available on my author site for $1.99

: http://www.sbpra.com/lindenthorp/

see the video trailer now :