Monday, August 8, 2016

God Perception

I borrowed the phrase "God perception" from Sri Yukteswar, because it seems to capture the ultimate simplicity of the process of union with God.  Perception is a matter of seeing, not going through complicated paths of reasoning.  It is not a strenuous exercise of the mind, but more a matter of relaxing the lower mind, its binding to the senses, and its skepticism so that a higher faculty may emerge.

Simplicity does not always imply ease, for how difficult it is for a man of excessive sense-tinged desires to live simply.  There is something built into an earthly mind that seeks to contort itself into complications to pursue its desires and ignore primordial laws.  Shortcuts from Divine Laws, seeming to be the easy way, in fact lead to the tangled way.  With apologies to Shakespeare, "O what a tangled web we weave, without a practice to perceive."

St. Paul may have been thinking of this complicating faculty of the lower mind when writing his second letter to the Corinthians (11:3)

But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

The word perception comes from the intensive "per", one meaning of which is thoroughly, and "capere", meaning to grasp or take hold of.  In English we have an expression to "get a handle" on an idea.  Alan Kay, a famous computer scientist, said

A change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points.

For example, consider a little game where two opponents take turns moving a number from a pool of 1 to 9 to his own separate pool.  The first player that has three of his numbers adding to 15 wins.  An arithmetic view looks a little complicated, but with a change in perspective it can be related to the familiar game of tic-tac-toe, where all possible ways of adding three numbers to 15 is very visual.


I highly admire aspects of Jewish thought - their classic writers are thorough interpreters of the Old Testament. But there is a side to some of its more materialistic ones that tries to understand revealed scriptures by exhaustive lists of how they apply in hundreds of varied and often confusing circumstances.  I commented on this to Jonathan, who said (approximately), "Yes, a few hair-splitters merely engaged in complications designed to obscure the spirit of the law while appearing to fulfilling the letter."

The Hebrew race gave us science, a tremendous source of good for the world.  Material science, though, is only a reflection of a greater spiritual science.  The philosopher Bertrand Russell said that in science, we seek to break things down into principles that are so simple that no one doubts them, and then use those same principles to prove things so astounding no one believes them.  So do simple Niscience truths have the power of the atom when they are split open from their bound state.

There will be a spiritual science, which Niscience is a part of, but the application of its principles does not demand complicated mathematics, and the even greater complications trying to use it outside the physics of very confined laboratory environments.

The Maha Chohan, in his telepathic directives to Ann Ree, said of Maya

Just as man's feelings begin to be nullified, his senses to be deadened, more and more will he fall into the intricate schemes in matter ...

Science but reflecteth the archetypes of the Higher Worlds, and hath not the heart of the living life within it.  Science is a temporal means through which men experience and experiment.

There is nothing wrong with experiment unless it is needlessly prolonged with a stubborn clouded view.  It is in the aftermath of experiment that we need to promote a relaxation of our stubbornness, and a calmness of mind - even if it has to be the calm that follows the storm of our emotions or the storm prompted by our wrong choice.  Carl Jung, who could be pretty hot headed, nevertheless was able to let the storm pass and then look back with calm insight.  He wrote of an incident when he was younger and his school teacher accused him of cheating:

My grief and rage threatened to get out of control. And then something happened that I had already observed in myself several times before: there was a sudden inner silence, as though a soundproof door had been closed on a noisy room. It was as if a mood of cool curiosity came over me, and I asked myself, "What is really going on here? All right, you are excited. Of course the teacher is an idiot who doesn't understand your nature-that is, doesn't understand it any more than you do. Therefore he is as mistrustful as you are. You distrust yourself and others, and that is why you side with those who are naive, simple, and easily seen through. One gets excited when one doesn't understand things.

And Yogananda wrote of a time early in his discipleship where he tried to meditate, but found himself unable to still his thoughts.  His guru intervened and tapped him in the area of the heart and gave him a stilling of the mind and the breath.  He wrote,

As often as I silenced the two natural tumults (mind and breath), I beheld the multitudinous waves of creation melt into one lucent sea, even as the waves of the ocean, their tempests subsiding, serenely dissolve into unity. 

A master bestows the divine experience of cosmic consciousness when his disciple, by meditation, has strengthened his mind to a degree where the vast vistas would not overwhelm him.

All of us must at times have experienced on a smaller scale the peace which comes from a trusting, simple naive openness to the Divine.  It is precisely this peace which lets our higher mind function and inform us.  St. Paul wrote of it:

the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I had an experience in my early teens where in a dream I was looking through the view finder of my camera, accompanied by my father, who in the dream had a kind and benevolent peace to him.  When I put my camera down he said that he thought my camera was a good one and had a similar manufacturer to his own.  He then led me past a cylindrical vortex of water, talking to me about dream interpretation.  He warned me not to go into the vortex, but I disobeyed and found time inside to be very, very slow - glacial in tempo.  I found it hard to free myself or move much, but my father reached through the wall of water and pulled me out.

Ann Ree interpreted the dream and said that my father was really the master.  Looking through the view finder of the camera was a Third Eye experience.  My father telling me that my camera had a good manufacturer, meant that I was a good perceiver.  (I presume now that if it had a similar manufacturer to the Master's it indicated my being on his Light Stream.)  The vortex, she said was my higher mind, but that I needed preparation to not be overwhelmed by an over intense and premature exploration of it - even as Yogananda mentioned that we would be overwhelmed by premature opening to the vast vistas of spirit).

Years later, I came upon this fine description of how the Masters' minds gaze into the world, from one of the Master's letter to A. P. Sinnett.  It was a bit of a vajra for my seemingly less than developed perception:

Quarrels and even discussions we leave to those who, unable to take in a situation at a glance  are thereby forced before making up their final decision to anything to analyze and weigh one by one, and over and over again every detail ... That which is regarded by most men as a "fact" to us may seem but a simple RESULT, an afterthought unworthy of our attention, generally attracted but to primary facts. Life esteemed Sahibs, when even indefinitely prolonged, is too short to burden our brains with flitting details - mere shadows.  When watching the progress of a storm we fix our gaze upon the producing Cause and leave the clouds to the whims of the breeze which shapes them.

We may not have the perception of the Masters, but we have the legacy of their instruction, which gives enough of a focus to lead us out of the labyrinth maya confusion.  It is simply a matter of, through calmness and humility, making a daily and with time hopefully a momentary application of the compact and essential truths they brought through Ann Ree.  I would like to close with some excerpts of Ann Ree's magnificent mantram, Simplify and Glorify:

In crisis falterings, call forth the simples of the spirit ... Peace is thine authority, no other giveth authority as peace giveth it.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Reciprocal Maintenance

We are all to an extent strangers in this earth, as is repeated in many books of the old testament and new testament. We journey with other exiles from paradise in a world where we are expected to be helpers to our fellow travelers. Indeed everything in the world is responsible in some way for something else. And this responsibility, called by Ann Ree "Reciprocal Maintenance" demands that every person and thing give of itself in some sacrificial way.

Ann Ree wrote,

We entered this earth to develop a certain kind of consciousness. As an eternity body, we are an offering to the Christ, through which He unites us with God.

There is no freedom of mind until one realizes that Reciprocal Maintenance supports all worlds and universes. Man creates through taking on the weight of Creation as willing creators with God.

There is no creation without renunciation ... When Intentional Suffering is accepted as a way of life, joy and creation begin. One steps beyond the Maya penalties for unknowing into the glorious transcendental knowing.

Other scriptures acknowledge this too. In Hinduism there is the idea of the Yajnas or the offering of materials or labor. When done ritually, an offering is put into a fire. Closely related to yajna is the Zoroastrian yasna, though the latter is associated with water, not fire. In Islam, one of the five pillars is alms to the poor. Whatever one thinks of the violent elements in Islam, hospitality is present and almost an obligation in the small villages in Islamic countries.

In daily life there are many sacrifices. Some of them involve suffering against our own will. Ann Ree called that alien suffering. But when we recognize our responsibility and sacrifice willingly and joyfully, we have entered into true intentional suffering, which is the key to our evolvement. Ann Ree described some sacrifices and insights that many mothers share,

When I nursed my child, sick and weak, I shared the suffering of my child and experienced Intentional Suffering. When my child was healed through prayer and supplication and mediation, I was in the midst of grace, which is the natural result and response in Intentional Suffering.

When I took on the financial burdens of those who had lost their way in moral ethic as to debts, I experienced Intentional Suffering, and thereby opened the vital grace of prospering …

In Reciprocal Maintenance, nothing is my possession; I may by grace have leased it or borrowed from my accumulation of grace. If I understand that possessions which I call “mine” belong to the universal reciprocal-maintenance account, I then shall be bestowed with all forms of prospering under the law of Reciprocal Maintenance, where I shall lack nothing …

I, having suffered all, am beyond that which seeks to force alien suffering upon me.

Whether we are aware of it or not, our own individual existence is maintained through the sacrifice of some thing or some person. For example, when we eat food, a plant or animal has sacrificed its life for us. In turn whatever resources that animal or plant uses is a sacrifice by some lower form of life - even by the minerals in the soil or water from the some stream.

From the Venerable One,

Each plant is a baptismal font holding up its branches, its leaves, its fruit, crying out to man, “Take of me. This is my life for you. And yet on the morrow I know my root shall be scarred and burnt by your thoughtlessness.” This is the lesson the plant giveth to man: the silent love, the silent knowing, the silent serving.

In the kingdoms above us are great beings whose total lives are for our sakes. They are not engrossed in their own evolvement, though they do evolve because of their loving service to us. Think of the sacrifice of their total labor for the lower worlds. It is the true bodhisattva vow that prevents them from working on their own behalf until every blade of grass, or thing below them, is enlightened.

One never knows when he will encounter an angel unaware working through a presumed lower person or creature. The parable of the good Samaritan is a moving example. The Samaritans and Judeans each forbade their members to interact with the other. But the one looked down upon by the Judeans, a Samaritan, was the one to help the beaten down man.

A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

Through reciprocal maintenance, high and low are united by a chain of obligation. The seventh Light Stream is the one that looks back on the other Light Streams as heir and uniter. Ritual is an earth performance but affects and unites the lowest plane with all upper planes, including the highest. It's lowest expression is black magic or the very opposite: inverted and selfish use of energies. The Master of the seventh Light Stream, Master R, was Noah in a past life, who metaphorically gathered all the creatures from lowest up to man into the Ark. Jesus, the Divine Mediator between low and high, was the one who said,

Even as ye have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Another aspect to seven is the idea of the lost one or wanderer. The seventh of the Pleiades was the wanderer. She correlated to the exile of the Jews in Exodus. It is said that in our chain of solar systems, we are the lowest of the twelve. How unfortunate it would be for us if higher beings did not condescend to lift us. Jesus, who came from other eternity systems to lift ours, had words for a certain scribe:

Then a scribe came and said to Him, "Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.”

Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."

In other words, we have no claim on any place or thing. We are all strangers in the earth. The only thing that is ours is the potentially limitless power to give, once we have overcome egotism, covetousness, and selfishness.

I'm sure we can all give examples of where we gave expecting nothing in return, and received an unasked for blessing. For many, it is the blessings in later life from children raised well. There are other forms of time tithes as well. I'll give an example from my experience perhaps more easy to relate to by the general population. Money ;) When I was out of work for two and a half years, my finances were drained. Once I got a fairly low paying job - it was about a third of what I make now, though it increased to about half - I didn't see a way to survive with a negative cash flow, so I fell behind on my tithe. After some time the ingratitude of such an act became too unbearable. I determined to not only tithe, but pay all the back tithes I missed, even if it was possible only slowly. Eventually I was able to do this in full. Once I had done this, I noticed not less money, but more. This, of course, was not my aim else I would probably have been saddled with still more lessons.

My mother was a sterling example of not counting the cost. She always tithed, and always gave a portion of what meager amount was left after providing for her children, to some cause. She seemed to have an innate knowing of sacrifice. Her blessings were more on the inner. She had many spiritual experiences.

I would like to close with this beautiful mantram by Ann Ree sealing in our knowing of our eternal quest through this world to find our spiritual home:

My soul is a lantern lit of God.

My soul it a seeker, seeking to make earth Heaven.

My soul is a voice waiting to speak of eternal things.

My soul is a household awaiting its master.

My soul is a threshold inviting the stranger.

My soul is a wanderer homesick for the eternals.

My soul is a door awaiting the key.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Leaven of Gratitude

The Leaven of Gratitude

Jesus said,

The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

The word leaven as a metaphor has come to mean something that pervades the whole of a thing and transforms it from raw form or causes it to rise, even as leaven does for a lump of dough to make it bread.

There are virtues that pervade all aspects of the spiritual life even as yeast does in bread. One of these is gratitude. Ann Ree wrote,

Gratitude is the answer to get out of the sealed tomb. Gratitude stimulates all the virtues.

With gratitude we remember the Giver of all and know that we intuit but haven’t yet opened their full value because we can’t see what the leavening action within them will produce in its fullness.

Without appreciation, we may have the whole world but still be unhappy. There is always a negative somewhere that commandeers our attention and negates the wonder of the portion of good that has risen.

Ann Ree wrote,

Gratitude is the beginning of ecstasy.

Every spiritual practice we have contains the seed of ecstasy. A mantram, if it is properly spoken, and not carelessly, contains hope, higher suggestion, and a great key to our soul's treasure house of wisdom. Meditation, if it is not a duty but a joy, unites us with the limitless treasures yet to be opened in the great Unconscious. Study of spiritual instruction, if done with receptivity and holy expectation, takes us beyond static concepts and habits. Our gratitude for each of these truly does stimulate each virtue contained in them.

The animal kingdom takes nothing for granted. As Ann Ree once said, a dog will lick the hand of its owner in gratitude, and will stoically tolerate its master's flaws once it has placed its fidelity in him. The dog reveals the virtue of gratitude in the animal kingdom, and often exceeds humans in its expression.

Yogananda said,

You can find a flaw in the greatest painting or work of music. Isn't it better to see the grandeur in it?

It is important to realize that everything in the world has a flaw. And this flaw is actually a key to our learning. Like the serpent in the garden of Eden, there is a little something to catch us in the midst of our inertia and cause us through the consequences of our indifference to toil in the fields of Maya's raw material. It is from raw material, like the unleavened bread, that we have to add spiritual yeast to produce our spiritual food. When, as Job, we begin to take things for granted, or as our just due, we attract the loss of possessions, family, honor, and health - which through indifference become static and dead.

But the trial involved in their loss is also something we should be grateful for. Job kept his praise of God in his trials and through mastery opened the greater realizations behind the blessings of possessions, family, honor, and health. He was rewarded with more than he had before because he then knew their value.

When Jesus started a saying with the words, "The Kingdom of heaven is like," He was giving a key to true values. The most moving one is about the pearl of great price:

Again the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant man seeking goodly pearls.

Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

When we value spiritual things so much that we would sell all for them, we have gone into true gratitude. Neglect then becomes much less likely. But it is so easy, when immersed in Maya, to be pulled by passing fancies.

When Jesus healed the ten lepers, it took nine of them only moments to become complacent. One returned to thank Him and likely knew much more happiness than the others.

The structure of Niscience began when Jonathan, in gratitude to Ann Ree for her ministry to him and the world, offered all he had to her cause. He left everything and devoted all his waking moments to preserving her teachings. His family disowned him, and he released a successful real estate career and all financial certainty to follow her.

Today, gratitude for God or Country is something of an embarrassment to many. Cynics love to demote both. Thanksgiving day has become largely a social occasion. But a sincere gratitude has another benefit: it protects one from the lower cynical mind. Ann Ree wrote,

The Satanic works through the intellect ... If one lives in a state of gratitude all the time, this is his real protection. Gratitude insulates him from the dark.

In the educational system, the use of the intellect has lost its morality. Teachers having intellectual morality are looked upon as idealistic, impractical. Cunning-mind intellect dependency is prevalent in the Self Genesis Age.

I had a dream in my teens that I believe was a blessing and reminder for caution against intellectual pride. A voice said to me, "A Leo must always be grateful." Of course, pride is a Leo downfall, but gratitude acknowledges the true Sun shining on our existence - and that Sun is not the ego.

When we can move from gratitude for a few things to gratitude for all, the calling card of one blessing turns into a cornucopia of grace. St. Paul exhorted the Thessalonians with this part of his epistle to them:

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

A true gratitude in one thing eventually makes us look at all else we have been given. When we can expand our gratitude to all - even our pains and struggles, we become spiritual kings. I close with these words of Ann Ree,

The seven days are given to man that he might bring the report of good to his king. Man must discern what part of the day belongs to the king and what part of the day belongs to man. When all days belong to the king, man becomes the king.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

One Without a Second

The phrase, “One without a second” (Ekam Advitiyam) is a refrain used in the Chandogya Upanishad’s lesson of a father to his son Svetaketu. In one characteristic verse, the father says,
Just as from a single lump of clay, dear boy, one would know about everything made from clay, the difference being a mere verbal distinction, a name, the reality is only `clay.'
But the form side of creation nevertheless has tremendous variety even if the root substance is one. That is the Yin principle. The Yang is the austere seed, but Yin is the flower which loves endless variety and coloration. No two snowflakes are exactly alike, no two faces, no two signatures, no two fingerprints, or no two trees. Ann Ree seemed to look at this side of the picture when she invoked the phrase, “One without a second,” as if to render it as, “There is no one like you in expression anywhere in the world.” She talked about the paradox in one of her talks,
So you have to realize that we are all very special and unique persons for we are all the same. That is why God is such an enigma to all of us.
That's why it makes us love Him so much, because He has so many changing faces. And they are right here imprinted and indented on our faces.
One reason it is important to ponder deeply this fundamental truth … is that each person has a very special part in God’s Eternal Plan. This means each person is precious to Him. I have had to bear that fact in mind as I contemplate the cruelties perpetrated by man against man. My lower mind entertains the idea of retribution for a cruel man, but I end up conceding that God allowed that person to learn from trial and error and that the victim is also part of his own karma, learning from previous errors. In apparent tragedy, God maintains perfect justice by joining the lessons of the evolved and the un-evolved when they meet in homogenizing times like the reincarnation tidal wave we are in.
There are no superior or inferior persons in the world, just differences in the timing of their unfoldment. We would not think an aged giant Sequoia was essentially different than a new Sequoia sapling. Both attain majestic height in their own timing and both with their unique place.
Ann Ree went so far as to say that God cannot unfold His plan without any of us. We are each as important to His plan as the mightiest star.

Another reason it is important to ponder the phrase “One without a second” is that we each have to realize our own unique destiny in God’s overall plan. When we make choices based on the wishes of our parents, or the collective expectations of society, or conforming with any temporary circumstance, we may be fighting against our very destiny and the unique role God is preparing us for.

When we make a mistake, we cannot think that we are no longer precious to God and no longer have His best wishes for us. Ann Ree wrote in Dedication #1
Each man has a hidden best - a best which he must call forth through dedication.
Carl Jung used the term Individuation to refer to the process of our becoming what we truly are. Rational thinking based on useful generalizations can fail when it comes to our unique destiny. For generalizations are based on averages which wash out uniqueness. He made the point that we may search a bed of stones for one with its average size of 2 inches and never find one that is exactly 2 inches. He said that he by necessity would reach a point where he had to make his treatment of his patients as varied as his patients. Scientific laws based on statistical truths may get us close to destiny, but they can never account for what an individual destiny truly is. Ann Ree continued Dedication #1 by adding,

When dedication begins its yeastlike action, no one can tell the results, not even that one who dedicates, nor can he know where his dedication will place him.

In a paradoxical way this uncertainty in certainty is comforting. It means that we can achieve a God-like Will that makes us more than mechanical creations. Jesus quoted the Hebrew scriptures when He said,
Is it not written in your law, “I said ye are Gods?”
So how can we reconcile our uniqueness with the essential unity of souls? Such, we are told, is the task of Soul Realization. I found the passage in Ann Ree’s biography, Prophet for the Archangels, intriguing which described the phase of her evolvement where she underwent a synthesis of what she called Light Streams. It recorded telepathic words that the Masters spoke to Ann Ree as one voice. That remarkable kind of telepathy must imply a unity of thought and intention quite unknown to most of humanity. Saint Paul described something similar when he referred to the Body of Christ, comparing the unanimity of the members of the physical body to the one body in Christ:
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12)
I remember being inspired by Ann Ree at an early age when I saw how she treated people who I thought were un-evolved with kindness. I felt ashamed of my feeling of aversion when I saw her loving face. Yogananda described a similar impartiality with Yukteswar:
Everyone found in Master an equal courtesy and kindness. To a man who has realized himself as a soul, not the body or the ego, the rest of humanity assumes a striking similarity of aspect. The impartiality of saints is rooted in wisdom.
As this is Christmas, I would like to relate our unique soul destiny to the image of a direct star. When she was at Wooded Place, Ann Ree had a vision of Jesus and a mighty star slightly above her. The star moved towards her with a singing, humming tone. She remarked that she had never before experienced such an intensity of light. Jesus said to her, “This is your own direct star. You have come under your own direct star.” Ann Ree commented,
When one makes alignment with his direct star, he no longer thinks of himself and the preservation of his body, or the preservation of human objects and possessions. From the time he unites with his direct star he is caught into God’s mighty momentum.
When Jesus came into the world a great star appeared to the Wise Men. Ann Ree said it was the star from the eternity system Jesus came from as a Messiah in that world. I’m sure this was a momentous event for our world wherein it became aligned with our destiny as an eternity system.
May each of you unite with the star of Bethlehem this Christmas and with your own direct star as ones without a second.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Acceptable Time

The title is taken from these words from Isaiah, prophesying the coming of Jesus.

Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

There are certain times when the clock strikes and we are thrust into a totally new way. I would like to look not only at this phenomenon, but also what happens before.

Sometimes a watershed moment happens with absolute recognition and we yield to that dividing point in our life with a sure and joyful intuition, if not a total outward knowing. For many Niscienes, meeting Ann Ree was such a moment.

Many of us can relate to what the disciple Matthew experienced when his life came to the ripe moment when he met Jesus and united with his soul calling:

Matthew, on being called by Jesus, did not need conversion; he did not enter into any intellectual discourse with Him. He followed Jesus without question.

Upon meeting Jesus, Matthew recognized that his soul hour had struck.

At other pivotal times we are pulled out of old situations by a much needed, though painful, crisis into an aftermath of something unexpectedly wonderful and new. Jonathan had that experience when a crisis prompted him to seek out Ann Ree and totally redirect his life into its destined course. When he described the situation that led to his calling upon her, she shook her head slowly and said, “Karma.”

Though Divine Interventions seem to be “out of the blue” they must in reality have some kind of incubation or preparation. There must be a reason for the clock strike being at “the acceptable time” and not another.

God gave us free will because we can solidify our learning in no other way but by direct exposure to cause and effect. If everything is done for us, we are not human beings, but robots. But He doesn’t let us destroy ourselves or upset His Plan. There seem to be ebbs and tides between free will and the moments that say, “thus far and no farther.”

In one dream I checked out three books from a library. One was on a technique of reading, another on mathematics, and a third, whose topic I no longer remember, but which had a picture of children in flowing robes. Ann Ree interpreted the dream and said that these pertained to three lives. One was a memory of life as a child in Greece, and the one on mathematics related to research on the timing of karma, how much we work out, where, and when.

At a moment that the soul knows is perfect for our experience, we are exposed to good karma (called grace) or bad karma. A quickened soul is one who has shorter periods between key timings of grace or karma. Being quickened doesn’t mean we can’t or won’t err - only that we can are ready for and can bear lessons and use grace that are more frequently spaced.

The world as a whole was ready for our Saviour 2000 years ago. Ann Ree wrote,

Christ Jesus, the Son of Man, would thrust those who have readied themselves throughout the ages onto the forward points of the new manifestation. The time is indeed at hand when He who came in the “acceptable time” would reveal to man his birthright and the Plan under God.

Since His coming, the world has experienced rapid karma and rapid grace. An atom in our foreheads was quickened enabling us to learn more rapidly. Those not up to this quickened pace will be prepared for more slowly paced eternities. The symbol of Pisces, into whose age Jesus was born, is a fish swimming to the left and a fish swimming to the right. These are symbolic of the separating of the sheep from the goats.

At “acceptable times” we are presented with a tangled situation presenting a key puzzle which we must decisively solve or fall back. If we can work at untangling the knot, we free the lesson. There are karmic knots we have made and golden knots that God gives us as divine puzzle and golden opportunity. The untangling of either knot releases energy. A golden knot is called a stele by Ann Ree in her book, The King. She writes,

To unite with the king one must first unlock the stele or the engraven lock protecting the centered self. The stele is an unceasing, vibrating identity-tone which keeps intact the grace.

It is our duty as Niscienes to unlock the instruction we have been graced to receive from Ann Ree. Despite errors we have made, I have to hope that the time may still be at hand, to borrow a phrase from Revelation:

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

There is a myth about the knot of Gordias. It was prophesied that who ever could untangle the knot would become king of Asia. Alexander the Great, it was said, came to Gordium and struggled to untie it. In a fit of frustration, he drew his sword and cut the knot. There are times when we must summon the will to cut through the karmic knots we have made by tangled thinking and see a simple solution to what seems difficult. The opportunity for the world to unite with the Niscience archetype, I believe, must be seized fairly soon and perhaps with something as drastic as a sword to the knot made by comfortable and complacent thinking.

It is my prayer that some in the current generation may discover the beauties of Niscience and carry it forward.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Marking and Tracing

The eternal questions are “Who am I?”, “Where have I come from”, and “Where am I going?”. These can be applied to some of the most immediate of our experiences: our own thoughts and emotions. Ann Ree said,

Niscience is based upon the Marking and Tracing techniques that enable one to experience his frame of consciousness within the Greater Archetypes. One who works within the Greater Archetypes becomes a “Nisciene” beyond nescience or unknowing.

She describes Marking and Tracing as follows,

The first stages of initiation are tracings. These are one’s chief negatives he must work with when he starts on the Path. Markings are divine signs and grace-reassurances experienced during illumination. When one receives a marking, he has attained a station in light through which he will serve as a pure and whole channel, that God may use him. One moves from marking to marking as he evolves in God-Realization.

The sanskrit word for “Mark” is lingam, which is also translated as “sign” or “inference”. (Interpretations of the lingam as a phallic symbol, said Ann Ree, are erroneous.) In one version of a Hindu myth involving their version of the Trinity, Brahma, Siva, and Vishnu, Vishnu and Brahma were arguing as to who was greatest. Siva appeared as a lingam from which emanated an infinite column of light, piercing the the three worlds. Whoever found the end of the column first would be declared the more powerful. Brahma went upwards trying to find the end, and Vishnu descended trying to find the other end. Neither was successful, though Brahma received a Ketaki flower, supposed to have fallen from the top, as a token.

These divine markings and tokens are thus shown to be from the Infinite.

The majority of us are pulled hither and yon by forces we little understand. Thoughts that we believe are our own are in many cases the result of collective forces from the emotional or astral world, survival reflexes from earlier genesis levels, habits etched in from repetition in past lives, or habits and reflexes inherited through the genes. Ann Ree went so far as to say that most thoughts of the average man are not his own.

To the extent that we even recognize what thoughts aren't our own, it is essential to distinguish between those coming from higher and lower sources. The higher thoughts that we eventually make our own can be identified by their long term consequences and whether they serve selfish or glamor ends.

When we are in a state of heated emotion, it is difficult to see things clearly. We attribute things to others that aren’t there. We fail to see ourselves reflected in others and they, likewise, are pulled into the same reactions. Ann Ree wrote,

Through the practice of Marking and Tracing with detachment, one can slow down the rajasic, heated thought-forms in his thinking. In the spilling out, Undersoul casts its unrest upward into the screen of the emotion and the mind. By standing back from this with a cool detachment, one can clear the Undersoul with total awareness. From this come humility, flexibility, and chastity.

Nescience, the opposite of Niscience or knowing, is where we are trapped in a habit-bound mechanistic state of the mind. Certain cultivated mechanical strengths of the mind are true necessary supports and can be very beneficial, but they are not always flexible enough to handle every situation. That twinkling quality that makes us living, creative beings comes from a higher “plus factor”. Without this, intellect mechanisms become as sounding brass or tinkling cymbals and it's initially impressive gains prove to be either of no lasting effect, or, followed too assiduously, they may actually enslave us, becoming our masters - as much of technology does today. “Time saving” devices, for example, leave many with even less time than they had before, for they save time only in order to pursue more perishables or engage in maintenance of the perishables they have hoarded.

The “plus factor” that takes us beyond repetition is ever before us waiting to be grasped. Ann Ree wrote,

There are voices uncountable in this earth seeking to sound into the mind and knowing of man. Men are dull and spiritually illiterate because they are inattentive to the Spirit side of their hierarchy natures. Millions in the earth today are no more than sentient vegetables, living to eat, to sleep. Above all, they desire to be safe. The teacher who asks such ones, “Safe, from what?” is met by bewilderment and hostility. No one in the world is totally secure from the Maya unpredictability forces unless he has knowledge of what these forces are saying.

We are assured by the great sages that many of the truly beneficial inventions and ideas that have come through the agency of finite minds were invisibly inspired by merciful higher sources. I would like to give some examples.

Thomas Paine, one of the authors of the Federalist Papers wrote,

There are two distinct classes of what are called thoughts: those that we produce in ourselves by reflection and the act of thinking and those that bolt into the mind of their own accord.

Several ideas in his pamphlets published during the American Revolution, he admitted, were in second category. Some believe that they were impressed onto him by higher beings responsible for the archetype of America.

Carl Jung wrote, “... there are things in the psyche which I do not produce, but which produce themselves and have their own life.” He spoke about an inner figure called Philemon, who personified an objective (non-subjective) part of his psyche. In conversations with Philemon, he observed clearly that Philemon spoke, not himself. Jung described one conversation,

He (Philemon) said that I treated thoughts as if I generated them myself, but in his view thoughts were like animals in the forest, or people in a room, or birds in the air, and added, ‘If you should see people in a room, you would not think that you made those people.’

I was introduced to Ann Ree’s writings at around age 10, met Ann Ree at 11, and received my grace name at 12. In my late teens I did not attend services or her classes. At that age I had not developed a sense of responsibility and also took the rare opportunity I had been given for granted, thinking that everything in my world would always be there. For all the reasons I should have availed myself of the rare privilege of her guiding presence, the one that actually pushed me to do so was a peculiar one. One day a few years later, a thought struck me like a thunderbolt: receiving my grace name was so important in my life that I must repay that gift by supporting her great mission in the world as best I could. I didn’t know much about grace names then, or the power of words and names, but after I once again sat at her feet, Ann Ree saw fit to assign me several talks on the manifesting power of the Word and Sound Current: “Logos and Articulation”, “The Invisible made Visible”, “Shadows of Things to Come”.

For a final example of markings, Alice Bailey’s “Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle” the Tibetan has an account of the telepathy from Master Serapis, who

... sought to bring through some constructive idea for the helping of humanity ... one of [the] disciples on the inner planes, seized upon the suggestion and passed it on (or rather stepped it down) until it registered in the brain of Colonel House [in Woodrow Wilson's cabinet]. He, not recording the source (of which he was totally unaware), passed it on in turn to that sixth ray aspirant, called Woodrow Wilson.

The League of Nations was, alas, ahead of humanity’s readiness at the time and failed due to the weakness of its aspirants.

The phrasing that the intermediate disciple “stepped it down” is very interesting, as the stepping down of volume and power to tributary channels is part of we call in Niscience, mediation. We do not have the high revelatory degree of Ann Ree, but if we have been able to prove some portion of her teachings in our lives, it is our duty to pass it in the vernacular of our experience to others. We are channels of mediation in our daily lives and testimonies through character or action, though not always knowingly.

Elihu, who according to Ann Ree represented Job’s soul voice, said

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.

Job 32:8

So how do we practice marking and tracing? For tracings, one way is to observe our thoughts and reactions to see where they come from - especially if we sense that we are off balance or that our mental reflexes are not adapted fully to the present and particular situations.

At other times we have a marking, a thought that “comes from the blue” and is very helpful. It may come with no prompting whatsoever, but it can come in a state of rest after we have exhausted ourselves trying to find an answer through our well-worn way of thinking. It is as if the calmness we experience after giving up our habitual ways of thinking - and perhaps also the releasing of our mental pride - allows a greater voice to be heard. Great souls are able to maintain this calmness, releasing ego claim and desiring, for greater and more continuous intervals than rest of us. They are alert to the voice of God speaking though all persons and all circumstances.

I love this quote of Jung,

... if some great idea takes hold of us from outside, we must understand that it takes hold of us only because something in us responds to it and goes out to meet it.  Richness of mind consists in mental receptivity, not in the accumulation of possessions.  What comes to us from outside, and, for that matter, everything that rises up from within, can only be made our own if we are capable of an inner amplitude equal to that of the incoming content.

Yogananda also wrote of the source of true thoughts,

Thoughts are universally and not individually rooted; a truth cannot be created, but only perceived. Any erroneous thought of man is a result of an imperfection, large or small, in his discernment. The goal of yoga science is to calm the mind, that without distortion it may hear the infallible counsel of the Inner Voice.

Marking and Tracing are for the purpose of sifting the true gems from ordinary stones in our thoughts. Making a setting for the gems, nicely called “amplification” by Jung, is how we make them our own and integrate the into our being.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


All lasting and indestructible things are purchased by sacrifice, industry, and faith in God.
- Ann Ree Colton
 A virtuous man’s sacrifice is acceptable; its memorial will not be forgotten.
- Ecclesiasticus 35:8
These are powerful statements and should give each person pause as he contemplates what spiritual gold he would extract from his life.

The truest gifts we give are those that we are willing to sacrifice for. These are the things that we value the most and these are the offerings that have the most love in them.

If life places us in situations that demand sacrifice it should not prompt resentment, but joy - provided the sacrifice is truly necessary for some good. Necessity is corrective grace in disguise, because we are spared unnecessary future suffering and are given an opportunity to move toward the divine rightness that we have been blind to.

I am thinking of the many sacrifices made by mothers in the world; sacrifices of time, career, opportunity. I am thinking of the sacrifices of fathers who work at jobs that aren’t fulfilling but which provide the necessities for their families. And of course I am thinking of the sacrifice of Jesus at His crucifixion.

All of these surely have their compensation and are well worth the cost. If one has a true sense of values the sacrifice is no sacrifice at all, for the gain in the world is so great and lasting. And God, who waits to see what we offer truly and sincerely without seeking reward itself, rewards us.
But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
(Mat 6:3-4)
It may seem paradoxical that sacrifice is so tied to joy, but it only seems so if one is unwilling in sacrifice and focuses on what is lost. Such sacrifice is not true sacrifice, and conversely true sacrifice is not the sad sacrifice of regret. A spiritual joy can coexist with temporary sorrow. Seeing maya as temporary makes its struggles bearable - even joyfully bearable.
To come under a Most High Saint one must be obedient without deviation to his yoke of adversity. He must know sacrifice as a natural way of life; nor can he complain of his lack of any human thing. He must be so engrossed in the winged angels in the Christ Kingdom that, while suffering, he is in a continual state of grace. Therefore he sees sacrifice as not sacrifice. To these, the Most High Saints come with the oils of holiness - crowning and blessing forever.
The Jesus Story
After a few thousand lives, it gradually dawns on the initiate that the things most of the world seeks after are fleeting and produce no lasting happiness. A prescient conscience avoids the cycle of enchantment followed by disappointment as the monotony of this cycle is remembered. Regret fades as we are able to look to the future and trust in the good law of God.

Law, balance and justice are under the fourth light stream. The yoke side of the law leads to grace and is “light” as Jesus said,
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
(Mat 11:28-30)
All great souls do not look back once they have glimpsed their destiny. The sacrifices to fulfill what is asked of them are as nothing compared to the delight of opening the treasures of their path. Jung spoke of the yoke in this way

Free will is the ability to do gladly that which I must do.

In Watch Your Dreams, Ann Ree says that the number four relates to “Karma, sacrifice, the builder, Cherubim”. And this image of the square in The Venerable One shows how the square of sacrifice produces the stones for the road ahead:
In great cities, disciples receive a testing as to the great symbol of the square, as of sacrifice, in which disciples – as beautiful stones – become the path for the walk of the many feet.
The great Builders of our world sealed into every block of form a latent energy. To free that energy is our millennial task. Nature will not wield up its riches until we learn to seek the things hidden behind the commonplace events heaved onto the shores of our destiny. They are the building blocks which will eventually house our soul.

As a counter pole to those seeking escape from our earthly schooling, the alchemists conceived of a spirit Mercurius, who as Jung put it, was
… a sapientia Dei (Wisdom of God), but one who presses downward into the depths of matter, and whose acquisition is a donum Spiritus Sancti (gift of the Holy Spirit). He is the spirit who knows the secrets of matter, and to possess him brings illumination …
Mysterium Coniunctionis
Without this sensing of our task in the earth school, we flounder in vacillation, always looking for that detour away from the line of our life -a short cut that is no short cut. I find these words of the Master to Ann Ree on the fourth vow, the vow of decision, to be particularly interesting:
“Decision” is thy fourth vow. When sacrifice hath become not sacrifice, the authority of instantaneous decision is given to thee. That which speaketh “now or never” is the soul’s timing freeing thee from karma.
Though Ann Ree had a few moments of false steps in the early and middle parts of her life, she always had a sense of destiny that corrected her steps and kept her going forward. That same thread is our Ariadne’s thread leading us out of the labyrinth of maya.