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..:: Enlightenment V / The Balance ::..


Alan Schneider


                 In many ways, the priorities of the higher and lower minds are diametrical opposites – the physicality of lower mind experienced directly through the activity of the senses and organized by the ego cannot be ignored, but the spirituality present in higher mind represents the only enduring meaning present behind those senses.   If we live for sensory gratification alone, we invariably find ourselves lost in an endless search for more, and yet more, gratification, as desire and desire action compulsively drive us on the rat-wheel of material achievement, essentially going nowhere.   Certainly this cannot be the meaning of existence.   Yet, we live in the flesh, and under the shadow of the ego.   What, then, is the root mechanism laying at the foundation of this evident conflict?   I have come to the unavoidable conclusion that this mechanism is Karma.   

            At some point in the existential (and spiritual) development of the individual, the dawning of an inkling of higher purpose occurs beyond physical gratification, as the residual unrest of the total mind (the Psyche) provokes us to search further and more deeply for meaning and connectedness in existence.   Eventually, this search tends to reveal something like a map of higher manifestation, and, although there are myriad systems present in the Mystery Teachings that all allude partially to this map in their own specific terms, one must make at least the primary, fundamental decision to view the physical universe shown to us in the senses as a conscious process to make much progress with any of them.   If this decision is made, then a distillation of the Mysteries can be arrived at.   Since I prefer the relatively scientific approach of Jungian psychodynamics, I will describe this distillation from that perspective.  

            The Jungian Self is the ultimate source of the total mind, of which the elements of physical sensory experience are a portion, but certainly not the whole.   Since we are all ultimately fields of consciousness present within the total mind, that consciousness trumps sensation in the map of higher manifestation – and meaning trumps action.   Because the Self is the source and Creator of all experience in the total mind, this creation necessarily includes both individuality and collectivity under the combined heading of universality.   If one can quiet the lower mind effectively enough through the use the techniques of higher investigation, principally (but not only) meditation, then the Self can be directly contacted as the source of Creation, and that Universal Presence revealed as the only conscious manifestation present anywhere – only the Self is real – all other apparent realities amount to fragments of the One Self.  

            The fundamental aspect of the Self is Love – specifically, Universal Love expressed as the Kundalini Energy, or libido, in more scientific terms.   Again, since I am prone to the influence of science, I will use libido as the default implication here.   Because the Self is “composed” of Love, this characteristic, like the Self, simply exists – the actions that we perceive as the flow of motion and time occurring in space do not really exist any more than we ourselves really exist as the discreet objects perceived by us as our bodies and lives.   This is why the relativity physics of Einstein deals with events that are seen as eternally present within spacetime, having event horizons that define their boundaries – the physical perception of reality as we seem to experience it is an illusion created in and by the action of the senses – and, once again, only the transcendental Self is real.   The essence of the Self as a field of Universal Love demonstrates existence on all levels of perception including the physical, where human observers are entrapped in the turbulent, gross vibration of Karma.   The body and the apparent movements of this level of perception are elements of the Karmic turbulence present here, nothing more.  And just as the totality of Universal Love must embrace suffering and chaos to be complete, so these are seen as manifest here in this perceived life of Karma and dense, interactive form.   The body itself is made of Karma, as are all the other forms present here, and exists to suffer for that reason.    The Buddha wisely observed that all life is suffering, and so it is, because it must be to fulfill the local requirements of The Cosmic Balance.   Only the pursuit of Enlightenment positively affects this condition.  

            The primary vehicle of Karmic expression in this particular universe is radiant energy – radiation of all the many types known to exist, including visible light and heat, the two kinds that human beings can perceive.   This Divine Light forms the third aspect of the Self active in addition to Love and Presence.   Like the first two, the Light simply exists without further qualification within spacetime – it always has been, and always will be.   The Self is Presence, expresses Love, and radiates Light.   This Light – this Radiant Energy – assumes the relatively dense form of Karma at the vibrational level of rote human physical perception, but can assume higher states of manifestation through the practice of higher consciousness techniques ultimately leading to EnLightenment.   All that we perceive is composed of Divine Light vibrating at various frequencies and amplitudes within the Self as one of the primary aspects of the total mind.  

            The individuals choosing to develop the higher mind are facing many serious challenges to their practice.  For one thing, this enormously complicates the fundamental ongoing battle for survival and advantage that characterizes material life.   Now, we must juggle the priorities of material living with the generally conflicting priorities of spiritual development.   How am I to smite my “enemies” when I have attained the Enlightened realization that we are all One Being in many forms?   How am I to blindly compete against my brothers and sisters when I know they are my spiritual kin?   How am I to awaken to the Truth and forsake the material illusion when I seem to be surrounded by a world culture that worships illusion and attempts with great persistence to destroy those who have awakened thus?    And we cannot turn away and forsake the Truth, returning to our spiritual sleep, once we have awakened – the powerful epiphanies and realizations that mark our progress change us forever once they have occurred.   Oh, yes, I say the use of the term “complicates” here is an understatement of understatements!   

            This life of Karma seems to select certain people for introduction to the spiritual awakening process – in most cases, a certain minority of the general population will inevitably be so “selected”.   In times gone by this was referred to as having “The Calling to the Spirit” – and spiritual awareness, processes, and other activities of diverse varieties.   Primitive cultures frequently recognized this as a legitimate condition, and made provision for the existence of those “Called” to spiritual service – shamans, diviners, seers, yogis, priests, and others were actually esteemed in days long gone by now.   Today, the brutal, blind mechanization of modern and Post-modern industrial culture has all but crushed Enlightened spiritual practice and those called in this way, labeling them charlatans, criminals, and psychotics.   Yet, the fact is that this process is an inexorable facet of our right nature, and the denial of this constitutes the fundamental perversion that is progressively destroying humanity through its worship of high-tech “achievement” at the expense of Enlightened personal development.   I suppose this is also Karma after everything is said and done, as the Self in the embodiment of the Soul – the Divine Spark nested within the individual organism – experiences what it must to grow and develop as a higher spiritual entity.   Such being the case, we must acknowledge the severity of the spiritual crisis that can befall the Called, and give them as much shelter as we may.  

            The Buddha knew well the price of Awakening, and specified that the faculty of compassion held forth in the Heart was the single greatest human achievement – beyond the Guru’s Samadhi, beyond even the Satori and Nirvana that he himself had espoused as ultimate spiritual goals.    This is why Buddhism is such a uniquely grounded practice in daily reality – the reality of the here-and-now involvement with life, the body, the senses, and the ego, along with the Enlightened understanding of how all of these affect consciousness and the total mind.   The development of compassion in the Heart through study, meditation, and (above all) service to others liberates consciousness.   

            The Balance is a dynamic, evolving condition within the total mind.   Libido is a demanding master, never stable anywhere for long, and continuously driving us to search on for whatever answers we can discover to the riddle of life.   The general action of The Balance can be summarized as follows:  The Self generates all awareness of everything and anything attainable on any level of perception through the action of its three primary aspects – Cosmic Presence, Universal Love, and Divine Light.   These aspects are omnipresent, operating at all “times” and in all “places”, each in its special manifestation as a driver of consciousness.   In particular, the Divine Light expresses the quality of  vibration, the highest frequency of which is the Presence, followed by Universal Love.   The human consciousness is of a variable frequency that can perceive a relatively wide “bandwidth” of other frequencies with training – specifically the training of Enlightenment practice – but normally only perceives the dense vibration of physical form and process called “life” in common parlance, but known in Enlightened terms as the phenomenon of Karma. Life is Karma. Some people are selected to experience Awakened Awareness  (Enlightenment) by the Self, although this ongoing process is frequently accompanied by much suffering as the illusion of Karma is supplanted by compassion as experienced in the Spiritual Heart and Soul of the individual.   Full Enlightenment is attainable through this compassion, demonstrated by spiritual study, meditation, and, above all, humble service to humanity in this life, at this vibration.  

            It can be argued that as long as consciousness occurs at any level of perception within the vehicle of the body, no matter how high the vibration experienced is, Karma is still present.  For example, Hinduism specifies many levels of Samadhi, the highest awareness attainable in that system, ranging from Sivakalpa Samadhi – essentially a transitory spiritual epiphany – through Nirvakalpa Samadhi – a much more profound experience of union with the Self having lasting consequences – and Sahaja Samadhi – full and permanent union with the Self that, however, will still permit interaction with others on the dense plane of Karma, although the practitioner no longer has any Karma apart from the physical body.   This final aspect of Karma is released in Maha Samadhi, the physical death of the organism.    With the introduction of Satori and Nirvana, Buddhism takes the concept into the additional realm of Non-Dual perception of pure consciousness devoid even of a perceiver – simply a stream of no-thought, attainable through meditation if the individual’s Karma will permit this occurrence.   This is the continuum of The Balance – ranging from full envelopment in the material illusion without even the perception of Karma as the source of that illusion at one end to full Enlightenment and union with the Self as simultaneously Everything and Nothing while still incarnate in the body at the other.    Karma as the vibration of Divine Light active at the human level of experience is the deciding influence of where and how The Balance is expressed for individuals, groups, cultures, societies, planets, solar systems, galaxies, and even universes, all expressed as elements of the Self.   

            And there are additional considerations of what is the best, most appropriate outcome for humanity implied by The Balance.   If this life is essentially an exercise in transitory difficulty mediated by the body, and serving only the purposes of Soul evolution present in the Self, what then is the most appropriate life to be lived by individual human beings?   What is the “good life” under this scenario, which I personally believe to be the most accurate one?  

            Paradoxically, the illusion of material existence cannot be dispelled by resisting it, but only by accepting it as it is.   We must continue to work, play, suffer, and question as parts of this acceptance process, all the while knowing regardless that we are enmeshed in the vibration of deception.   The distinction for practitioners of Enlightened awareness is that these (and many more) essentials of living are augmented with the three activities noted earlier in this essay – spiritual study, meditation, and selfless service to others.    Let us examine these three in greater detail now, as they constitute the keys to Liberation from Karma while still living among human beings in the human condition.   

            First, the three keys must all be practiced simultaneously to one extent or another to unlock the bonds of Karma – no lesser combination of just one or the other of them will work.    This having been said, let us consider first the Key of Spiritual Study.   This study is probably best undertaken in the context of a study group of like-minded people for maximum effectiveness, because the discussions that can and should take place as result of this involvement are of infinitely more fruitful nature than even the best realizations attainable through isolated practice.   It is understood that the concept of what “like-minded” is will necessarily evolve along with Enlightened consciousness, but most people will have some notion at any given time of what this means, and the utter plethora of spiritual study groups available means that there is some group out there somewhere for almost everyone interested in spiritual growth at any level.   Now, this can certainly be augmented by individual study as well, but we are social creatures for good reason – evolution has selected this as a primary human survival trait – and this must be acknowledged as fundamentally appropriate for our species.   Study at least monthly in the supportive presence of others.   In this way, the aspect of the Self as Divine Light is realized within the personal higher mind.  

            The Key of Meditation has been considered at great extent in these essays, and for good reason, because meditation has the ability to begin directly dissolving the Karmic illusion, progressively revealing the Spiritual Truth in the process.    Almost any kind of meditative practice will suffice for this purpose, and there are hundreds of them out there to my knowledge.   The object here is the induction of a state of trance-like heightened awareness by lulling the ever watchful ego to sleep while still maintaining wakeful awareness.   In the resultant altered state of consciousness, the contents of the collective unconscious can be brought into awareness – the Jungian archetypes – and their deep messages for the higher mind understood through Enlightened perception.   The only caveat here is that those who have experienced much trauma in life frequently have difficulty meditating in any tradition, and may want to consider a course of therapy before proceeding, or concurrently.   Only meditation can directly reveal the Truth of Consciousness and the aspect of the Self as Cosmic Presence.   It should be noted here that meditation is also best practiced in the presence of others – in this way the collective vibration of the group of meditiators reinforces the experience for the individual.   

            This brings us to the all-important consideration of selfless service, the Third and final Key to Liberation.   The term “selfless” here means volunteer, as opposed to paid, service to the other struggling sentient beings here on the material plane.    It is very important that the spiritual vibration of the work done not be polluted by any considerations of  material gain.   And the spiritual vibration is the point of this Key – giving in service without expectation of reward is the primary activator of compassion in the Heart and Soul of the individual.    This compassion is, in turn, directly linked to the Universal Love noted earlier as one of the primary aspects of the Self – in giving selflessly, we build the perceptual road back to God and the Self – the Kundalini highway – and thereafter can travel it at will.   There is no other way to build this road to my knowledge – even meditation is incomplete as a spiritual practice without additional selfless service, the Key to the Self in the aspect of Universal Love.   Virtually any form of spiritual selfless human service will work to this end, but it must be done at least weekly, and in the company of others for the reasons already noted in previous paragraphs – there is something about the collective vibration of spiritual activity that is very important for individual progress.  

            In these ways The Balance can be shifted from ignorance to Enlightenment, and this is necessarily a good practice, because with Enlightenment comes spiritual freedom – Moksa, or Liberation from Karmic bondage – the presumable object of our occurrence in the flesh of the body and the experience of the physical senses as interpreted by the ego.    Inasmuch as the physicality of this existence is linked under ignorance to endless suffering, I concur with the Buddha, Christ, and all of the other Enlightened Masters of history that Liberation of the Jivatman – the personal Soul – ultimately to regain the Self is indeed a good goal for humanity, and perhaps the greatest goal of all!


                                                                                - With Love, Alan -

                                                             (Copyright 2010, by Alan Schneider)


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