Article: Three Ways We Can Honor the Soul ---- Learn New Things --- Ascend and Discover A New World! By James Bean, Copyright November 2009, All Rights Reserved http://www.SpiritualAwakeningRadio.com
There are unexplored "rooms" within the "interior castle" of the human body, the true temple of the Spirit. What ultimately is to be uncovered along this mystic-journey of inner soul travel exploration is our true identity, which has been given various names: the True Self, Higher Self, New Nature, New Adam, "Christ in you -- your hope of glory", Atman, Supreme Soul, Drop from the Divine Ocean, the Pearl, Spark of the Light, Nuri Sarup (Light-Body or Radiant Form), Spirit Entity, or Surat (the attention-faculty of the soul). Eventually the observer will observe it's own Self.
It occurs to me that the definition of "soul" for most is really atman or Spirit combined with the astral and mental subtle bodies or coverings. Those are generally lumped together and called "the soul." That's understandable of course, as it represents "us" as separate individual or individualized "drops" of the Divine Ocean.
There are Realities that we do not see, many things we do not hear, and a vast treasure-trove of wisdom we are not paying attention to. The outer world via the five senses comes pouring in -- we are outwardly gazing all the time and dominated by impressions of mind and matter. We have accepted our own reflections (bodies) as the only reality. Thus the need for meditation, and not just any form of meditation, but an initiation into the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Inner Space, so that we may see and hear spiritually, know and explore those realms we inhabit: the astral plane, the causal and mental regions, and ultimately beyond mind and matter, to the purely spiritual region, until there is Oneness. Kirpal Singh's axiom is: "God plus mind [manas] is man, and man minus mind [manas] is God."
Swami Bhagirath Baba, a Master from Bihar, India, said recently: "Moving down from the middle of the two eyes is going towards ignorance, and moving up from the middle of two eyes is going towards Knowledge." "The beginning of the Turiyaa state has been said to be the Aajnaa-chakra [Third Eye Center] (the Guru instructs about the Point in between the two eyes where the vision of both unites), and the destination of this is in Kaivalya--the State of Oneness--Pure Consciousness." Swami Bhagirath Baba describes as ignorance or spiritual poverty a situation of only being aware of the world below the Third Eye Center, the material world of the fives senses but cut off from awareness of the reality that exists above and beyond the Third Eye Center. For Bhagirath Baba and other mystics, above the Third Eye is a kind of tunnel that ultimately quite literally leads to God. Those who have had NDE's or Near Death Experiences have described this same tunnel. The observer passes through certain visions, sights and sounds, perhaps stars, moons, and suns, inner regions or heavens, then bright Light, from Light to Sound, and from Sound to Soundlessness and Formlessness. I even know of several helpful "charts of the heavens", illustrating the various levels, or regions of Inner Space, this Kingdom of the Heavens that are within. Email me and I will gladly send some Shabd Yoga as well as Gnostic charts to you!
Three Ways We Can Honor the Soul
Kabir once said, "There is no other God like compassion on living beings and worship of the Supreme Self." (The Bijak of Guru Kabir, published by Shri Kabir Ashram, Jamnagar, India) There are three major ways (no doubt many more) we can honor the soul, the divine within ourselves and others.
1) A Sociable God: Where Two or Three Gather in My Name, I Am in Their Midst
The first way we can honor or acknowledge the soul is through spiritual community, by connecting with other souls. The Eastern term for this is "Satsangha" or "Satsang" (Associating with the Eternal Truth or God), referring to people getting together to meditate as a group, discuss spiritual principals of truth, sing hymns (bhajans, kirtans, bhajans), and focus on the Wisdom of one's spiritual teacher, path, mystic order, or tradition. It's also easy to recognize parallels to this in various world religions and paths, East and West: synagogue, church, mass, message board, chat room, book discussion group, class, tele-seminar, friends meditating together, meeting together, including over the phone, or via the web. These all, to varying degrees, could be viewed as containing elements of Satsang.
As we develop our meditation practice and ethical foundation, one of the fruits of this is the bhakta principal of seeing God in everyone. Eastern cultures are quite advanced in this area. I really like the salutation used by an Eastern religion known as the Kabir Panth, the Path of Guru Kabir: "Bandagi Saheb!" Bandagi is from the Sanskrit 'vandana' - a salutation, and saheb is a word for master. Bandagi saheb thus means: "I offer salutation or greeting to the master dwelling in you". Bandagi Saheb also reminds me of the greeting "Namaste'", which means: "The God in me bows to the God in you." Also, in the Radhasoami tradition of India, satsangis greet each other with "Radhaswami", meaning, Lord of the Soul. The principals of this art of seeing God in others is quite eloquently articulated in a holy book of the East known as, The Narada Bhakti Sutras, which I highly recommend. One can find translations of it online, as well as can order it via any good bookstore or library.
2) The Supreme Soul Assuming Control
The second way we can honor souls is by adhering to ahimsa values. Ahimsa is an Eastern term for the Golden Rule meaning, cultivating non-violence in one's thoughts, words, and deeds, to, more and more with each passing day, become truly peaceful in all aspects of life. This means being inspired, not by vague platitudes about inner and outer peace, but by specific ethical principals to be guided by in every aspect of life and living. As of late, rich sources of inspiration for me have been the Bijak of Guru Kabir, the Saakhi Granth of Guru Kabir, and countless Jainist Sutras. The religion from India founded by Lord Mahavira known as Jainism has a vast amount of wisdom to offer about ahimsa ethics, the values of the Supreme Soul.
3) Become Your Real Self In Meditation
The third way we can directly honor the soul is by BEING the soul in meditation. When we first start practicing meditation, we may believe that we HAVE a soul. If our meditation becomes deep and successful however, over time we will realize that we ARE soul. It is the soul that is inhabiting this body and mind. We don't merely have a soul hidden away someplace -- WE ARE THAT.
Not All Saints Are Dead
When it comes to spirituality, there are two basic approaches that most have. The most common one is finding a book on spirituality. Many begin the learning process this way. Of course, rather than the pursuit of knowledge leading to mystical experience, it could be the other way around for some. One may begin the spiritual search as a result of something acting as a catalyst. People may begin seeking answers as a result of having an experience that opens them up to new possibilities. In any case, most with a spiritual curiosity may get ideas from certain books, perhaps a book from a popular author with a best seller. This could be described as an eclectic do-it-yourself spirituality. One is not necessarily tethered to any specific spiritual path, tradition or direction, just some of "this" and some of "that." Most of us begin this way. There is however another approach. Some go from being an eclectic spiritual seeker perpetually in seek-mode to someone who has "found" a certain path or contemporary spiritual movement they resonate with, that feeds their soul like none other thus far in their experience. One may join a living school of spirituality, a mystic order or lineage. Perhaps this lineage or path has been in existence for many centuries. One may find that the wisdom of mystical paths such as Kabbalah, Sufism or Sant Mat is not solely based on ancient scriptures, scrolls, or holy parchments from the past, with a focus of looking back to an earlier time of prophets and saints, like we usually find in the mainstream exoteric religions. Rather -- what's especially noteworthy about mystic paths is, they may have Living Buddhas, Living Christs, Living Rumis, Living Hildegards, Living Kabirs, a Living Master or Meister Eckhart, a Living One: a living mystic or saint with us now, here on Terra firma in the Twenty First Century.
Living Students Have Living Teachers
For it is the ability to truly listen that gives birth to an awareness of a message, and an appreciation of a messenger. An Infinite God could never have a limited number of inspired words, or be forever bound by bookbinders. If there is no inspiration now, how could there ever have been any inspiration in days gone by? There is also no missing element or trace mineral, once present in the water supply during the middle ages or earlier times but now gone, that once caused the appearance of prophets and saints, and accounts for their absence now. What was true then is true now. The same need that brought great souls into the world during past centuries is still with us. My experience and belief is that the age of prophets, apostles, masters or saints is still with us, that there is a Living Gnosis Now. There are living Masters in the world today. The reality and not the illusion of having a guru, begins here, with this openness to the possibility of Living Ones Now. ////////