“I also came from a pretty tough upbringing, and I have finally begun to find myself now in college. So I guess what I really want to ask is… what advice could you give to a 22 year old aspiring for greatness and in search for truth and meaning?” Daniel
These notes I’ve been compiling relate to your question.
The study of astrology and esoteric symbolism is useful when interpreting experiences but more important is the ability to honestly face what needs reform in your own life.
Every technique of transcendence is wrong for someone. No technique is right for everyone.
All religions and spiritual paths are something true wrapped in something false.
Ignorance can be crucial to right timing. So don’t over hurry to inform yourself or others. Respect the process of ripening that pervades all experiences.
Fame is a machine that demands constant feeding. Always focus on the work, never its results.
Enrich your thoughts and emotions with art and stories of noble actions but also respect the greater awareness that silences thought when focused on the present moment.
Overzealousness often delays what it tries to hasten.
Serendipity is natural when you’re on the right track.
Life missions reveal themselves over time seeming obvious in retrospect. Along the way respect the process of training for something that may only be appropriate when the conditions for it ripen. Inventions, relationships, communities unforeseen cannot arrive before their time.
Health should be each individual’s concern, if at all possible, not the responsibility of practitioners beholden to instrument and pharmaceutical companies pushing for profits. Use the Internet to find preventatives and cures. For example, research the benefits of oregano oil for fighting colds and Candida. Organic food in the right proportions, including alkaline balanced with acid, and clean water can be medicinal. By experimenting carefully with safe, simple cures yourself you can then share what works with others. Becoming a healing influence for your friends and community is a noble action.
Profit by placing yourself in the right spot ahead of something that is obviously changing, or by revealing something that needs attention but has been wrongly ignored.
Find out what experiences and which emotional states correlate to pain or illness and reform them.
Sexuality, personal and shared, is a journey of self-discovery full of shadows and shifting opposites. Seek partners who will help you explore safely, not people who will force you to hide yourself.
Treat each day as an opportunity to encounter epiphany, if not epiphany then destiny, if not destiny then inspiration, if not inspiration then serenity, if not serenity then beauty, if not beauty, then opportunity.
Allow life to lead you on a journey of discovery of meaning. Expect to be taught by every experience you have.
The girl with her feet in the cold pond water saw a leaf floating into deeper water. Living in a world where the bees were dying off she was so sensitive to their shape and color she noticed the bee was not a crinkled edge of leaf.
The bee, motionless, was now underwater, and not moving, so probably dead.
But the girl didn’t hesitate. She waded waist deep into the cold water and lifted the leaf.
The bee fell from the leaf to thrash in the water causing small ripples to glisten in the sunlight.
The girl used the leaf to scoop up the bee.
This time the bee held on tight.
As she carried the bee to safety the girl reflected that the bee had given up, but once almost saved, had struggled for life again. Setting the leaf in the sun the girl returned to her perch now dripping water and shivering in the hot sun.
The bee slowly climbed to the top of the leaf where it carefully used its legs to wipe the moisture off its wings.
The girl wondered if the sun felt as good to the bee as it did to her.
An ant on a scouting mission noticed the bee and fled for cover.
The bee, a winged buzzing monster hundreds of times bigger than the ant, never seemed to notice the little creature’s panic.
The girl reflected that she was as much bigger than the bee as the bee was bigger than the ant. The girl wondered what creature might be watching her, too big to see, benevolent or malevolent? Was this superior being looking down on her indifferently or with fond recognition of unexpected resemblances? She hoped she wouldn’t have to drown to find out.
Truth eludes words. Meaning evades language. Words obscure as much as they reveal. Language captures only traces of meaning. Truth can turn to fiction with a single discovery. And fiction too can turn out to have been true. That is why love has often been considered higher than wisdom.
Never assume someone superficially good is trustworthy. Never assume someone superficially bad is untrustworthy. In all cases only time and a history of noble actions can earn trust.
Sometimes irrationality is the only way to counter the irrational.
To help when no help would lead to the best outcome is no help at all.
Be careful how, when and whom you help. The right kind of helping brings with it an ease and serendipity that are unmistakable. Learn to know the difference between when you can help and when you can’t.
What is taught here in this world where we live? Consequences, it would seem, for so few of us understand them.
The sacred trust between generations, to carefully keep for the future what was kept by the past, has been broken as never before. Contribute however you can to preserving what remains and reviving what can be.
Allow the world to surprise you with love and wisdom. Expect collaboration as you move along in your life.
Relaxed appreciation is a good start to any meditation.
No light without dark. No love without loss. Do not fear the dark. Only together can love and loss and light and dark bring awakening.
When awakened try not to forget how cramped life was before so that you can deal kindly with those suffering the claustrophobia of a sleeping soul.
Love between two people is the most relentless but rewarding spiritual path. Lovers are mirrors of every human fault and glory.
All inspiration arrives from the invisible. Pay attention to where your inspiration arrives and silently wait for it there.
SEVERAL NOTES ON BOOKS
While the treasures lost in the fire that burned the Library of Alexandria can’t be replaced the Internet is a library of such vast proportions it fulfills the Rosicrucian promise of the Invisible College that is everywhere at once yet nowhere at all. Always begin your search online. You’ll save space and a king’s fortune by reading online.
Book collecting, especially of rare volumes, includes the responsibility of keeping them in good shape for the next owners. What else in your life should receive the same treatment?
When you read a book you find great, research its sources, in its notes and bibliography. Follow from book to book the wisdom you seek, so you can see the variety of perspectives, and so arrive at your own.
Never assume that a book’s popularity or even academic approval make it completely trustworthy. The famous Evans-Wentz translation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead published by Oxford University contained “channeled material” and numerous inaccurate assumptions yet it was the basis of dozens of later works. The Carl Jung sponsored translation of The Secret of the Golden Flower, prized as a classic for decades, actually contained serious errors.
Allow for unlikely coincidences when doing research, follow your instincts, even if they point to improbable places.
Human beings have such powerful imaginations we are forever deluding ourselves. Put your imagination to work instead of letting your imagination work you.
THE CRACK IN THE WALL
The old fool stood staring at a wall. The hot sun beat down on his bare head. Perspiration dripping from his face dropped onto the hot stones and evaporated.
With an annoyed expression his neighbor approached him. The old man did crazy things every day. “Get out of the sun!” he scolded. “What are you looking at?”
“Did you ever wake up,” the old man rubbed his chin, “to find a crack in the wall?”
“Get out of the sun!” The annoyed neighbor insisted.
The old man ignored him. “The ground moves, foundations shift, there it is, a crack in the wall that wasn’t there yesterday.”
The neighbor wondered if the old man had already suffered sunstroke.
“A crack in the wall is only a small surprise. Time exposes all weaknesses. But what about the day you wake up and that crack in the wall is gone?”
“Someone fixed it, you old fool!”
The old man shook his head emphatically. “Any patch would show. Do you see one?”
The neighbor glanced at the wall. The bright sunlight exposed no patch, no repair, no crack. “I’m sure there never was a crack.”
“There was, ask anyone around here, we all worried about the wall tumbling down. Of course, the children ignored our warnings not to play near it.”
“I remember,” the neighbor nodded. His wife told him about the danger to their young children while he had half listened. He looked closely at the bright white sunlit wall.
His wife looking for her husband found him standing beside the old man staring at the white wall in the bright sunlight.
“Get out of the sun!” she said a bit sharply.
“That crack in the wall, it’s gone!” Her husband turned, looking bewildered.
“When a crack disappears from the wall without anyone repairing it there can be only three explanations,” the old man declared.
The neighbor’s wife was about to say something when her husband hushed her with a glance.
“What are the three explanations?” The neighbor respectfully asked the old man.
The neighbor’s wife folded her arms.
“First, this could be a dream.”
“How can this be a dream?” the neighbor scoffed, looking back at his wife.
“Dreams never seem like dreams until they end,” the old man said, “no matter how absurd the details.”
“Well,” the neighbor admitted, “I guess we can’t be sure, can we?” He turned to his wife again.
She rolled her eyes.
“Second, this could be a miraculous blessing from a supernatural source.”
“But why this crack,” the neighbor asked, “and not another?”
“Perhaps our prayers have been answered,” the old man speculated, “or maybe one of the children playing by the wall will have a miraculous destiny.”
“Which child?” the neighbor asked, “one of mine?”
“Only time will tell, “the old man shrugged.
“Third?” the neighbor was eager to hear the next revelation.
“We’re dead,” the old man said. “That’s how many souls crossing over discover they’re no longer living, only dreaming of the life they had. Little details aren’t the same. One finally catches your attention. You stand there staring at it, rubbing your chin? What is it? A miracle? Yes, the miracle of memory.”
The neighbor and the old man returned to staring at the wall.
“Where was it exactly?” the neighbor asked.
“Right here,” the old man pointed, “it was right here yesterday.”
Squinting at the reflective white wall the neighbor could not see a crack. “Look for yourself,” he finally turned to his wife.
The surface in the bright sunlight looked smooth and uniform. Then she stepped in the way of the sun and in the half-light the crack stood out vividly exactly where the old man pointed.
“Crazy old man!” the neighbor shook his fist.
The old man only laughed, he was relieved to still be alive.
The most beautiful Mahayana Buddhist sutra.
Plotinus – On the Beautiful
The flower of pagan wisdom and an important influence on Christianity.
I Ching – any and all translations
While every oracle can and should be explored and experienced I concur with the Yi Jing’s reputation as the most impressive oracle around.
Plutarch’s Lives – any and all translations
Plutarch’s aim is to illustrate greatness by contrasting the lives of great Romans and Greeks.
The Secret of the Golden Flower trans. Cleary
A correct translation of a true classic of meditation.
A Republic of Mind and Spirit – Albanese
A book that can easily lead you to a hundred other books while providing a groundbreaking over all map for esoteric spirituality in America historically and today.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A Biography (Lives of Great Religious Books) – Lopez
Demolishes revered misconceptions but also provides interesting new insights into the reality under the myth.
Flash of the Spirit: African & Afro-American Art and Philosophy – Thompson
A clear view of a very misunderstood religious tradition at the heart of American culture.
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – any and all translations
Everyone should experience several yoga postures in succession while contemplating their favorite sayings from this classic.
The Secret Teachings of All Ages – Manly P. Hall
While some of the scholarship is dated, the book is almost one hundred years old now, it remains the best introduction to the rich western esoteric tradition and the likes of Pythagoras, Dee, Fludd, Paracelsus, Levi, Agrippa, and Boehme. The ultimate reading list. Get the illustrated edition.
Zen Buddhism – Suzuki and Barrett
Classic introduction by the man chosen to bring Zen Buddhism from Japan to America. But remember he chose our word “emptiness” to translate a Japanese word usually translated into English as “skylike”.
Tao Te Ching – any translation
Wisdom beyond words.
The Unobstructed Universe – Betty and Stewart White
The most inexplicable and amazing alleged case of communication after death, in history includes a remarkable philosophy of life, while incidentally documenting an extraordinary relationship between husband and wife.
The Cloud of Unknowing – any and all translations
Christian classic equally applicable to mystical experience in any tradition.
The Culture of Make Believe – Derrick Jensen
Pulls away the curtain of popular history revealing the horrors deliberately left out. Man’s war on nature documented.
Native American Spirituality – the history, myth and practices of every tribe hold worthwhile wisdom. You can get a good start anywhere on the Internet.
Cosmic Consciousness – Bucke
Contains a wealth of quotes, and an early survey of perhaps the ultimate mystical experience.
Written by Ronnie Pontiac
Newtopia staff writer RONNIE PONTIAC is a founding member and primary guitarist of Lucid Nation, executive producer of the documentaries Rap is War, Exile Nation, and the award winning animated short Cohen on the Bridge. He associate produced The Gits documentary, and was art editor, then poet in residence for Newtopia Magazine in its former incarnation . He’s a published author of works on obscure topics such as ancient Greek religion and the history of alchemy. Follow him on Twitter @AmerMysteries.