Archive for the ‘gnostic wisdom’ Category

Originally posted on Ancient Whiteagle Wisdom:

storyteller kachina

Storyteller Kachina

Our  elders said we learn through living, through experience of the truths of life. We also learn through listening to stories. The imaginal world and the “real” world provide experiences from which we learn. The truth of our discoveries is either confirmed in our interactions with others or not. If the story resonates with our inner being, we adopt it as our own. Each tradition explains phenomena in ways consistent with the people’s environment, with their experience on the planet.

Like many Americans my genetic inheritance is multi-cultural and hence multi-faceted. We were more like gypsies abandoned by our tribe, living in Idaho’s Magic Valley, where irrigation made the desert bloom. Growing up without a close connection to my indigenous roots was hard. It made me feel disconnected, like I was alien, a wanderer in a strange land. Even my nuclear family felt a little foreign.  I knew…

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After the most destructive war in their history, people struggle to re-establish the life-style they remember.  That is the setting for the movie Hugo.  A wounded veteran of the First World War is the police authority in the Parisian train station.  His world is the shops, vendors, the travelers, and the trains.

He lives in the station as does Hugo, an orphaned boy, who lives within the walls of the train station.  The boy has been keeping the clocks running on time in his uncle’s absence.  Befriended by a shopkeeper’s Godchild, Hugo is trying to find meaning in a “steam punk” cultural setting.  His only link to his deceased father is an Automaton, which the boy is trying to fix.  He feels that people, like broken machines, “just want to work” [with purpose].  And the key is (literally) heart-shaped.  Once the key is found, and inserted within the back of the Automaton, all the pieces of the story come together in harmony.  Family is not blood, it is the love of the people for one another.  The  Automaton’s function is to represent the mechanical way the boy feels, given expression in a dream, and to tie all of the characters (synchronistically) together in the story.

In the same time period of the movie, and perhaps in response to the same questions of meaning in the face of war’s devastation, a Native American Avatar’s teachings were channeled through Grace Cooke in England.  “White Eagle” was the name which the Ascended Master used.  Most of his teachings in the early 20th century have been validated during the late 20th and early 21st centuries under the name of Near Death Experience Research.  He taught most of the truths found in the esoteric teachings of the world’s religions, expecially that the afterlife is not to be feared, that we will be greeted by people we recognize, and we will be able to review our life’s experiences in a non-judgmental environment.

Reminiscent of the teachings of the Theosophical Society, White Eagle talked about the evolution of the soul through many incarnations.  And, like the ancient Gnostics, White Eagle said that Heaven is within each and every human, that our life experiences awaken the Divine Spirit which is already within us.  The Soul’s Journey is to learn compassion and love, unconditioned and open to all.  Speaking to Western Europeans, White Eagle used terms to which his audience could relate.  He talked about the Christ consciousness needing to be awakened within us all, that we are essentially Light Beings in material bodies, and that we return to Source with what we have learned.  But his Native American orientation shows up in his emphasis on living in the present moment, aware we are connected to all of our relations, the human ones in this world and in the world of spirit, as well as all the animals and plants living upon the body of our Mother, the Earth.  He recommends we live with awareness that our actions will make an impact on the present and the future, our next incarnations, and the generations to come.

None of what White Eagle teaches is new.  Those of us on the Red Road of indigenous cultures understand these teachings.  Our elders have been saying these things for centuries.  What is interesting is that White Eagle chose to communicate with the people inhabiting Hugo’s world.  The ageless teachings of the Avatars from Turtle Island are just as relevant now as they were 100 years ago.

Native American Circle quatered by the Cross, with Solomon's Seal and the White Rose superimposed. White Eagle's Teachings in Symbolic Form

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Arriving in the late afternoon, I did some pruning and transplanted some iris.  Then I let the water trickle onto the flower bed while I had dinner.  Returning after dark I noticed there was a small lake forming, about two or three inches deep in the bed.  I turned off the water and heard a rustling in the palm tree over head, right where it touched the edge of the Church.  I looked up at the spot light and suddenly a flicker landed on the wall.  It seemed to be watching me.  When I moved to enter the Church the bird flew away, up over my head, but then returned and landed at my feet, directly in front of where I stood and in the small lake I had created.  I stood quietly admiring the woodpecker on the ground, noticed its dark tail and the light orange tips of its feathers.  Then it flew up to the light and perched on a palm frond.  And today is Ash Wednesday.

Sunday after Church I was having coffee with the Priest’s wife when we heard a knocking, drumming on the social hall.  “What’s that?” she asked.  “I think it’s a kind of woodpecker, a flicker.  They drum on buildings, trees, poles, even windows to mark their territory at this time of year.”  She wanted to know what they look like, so I went out to my car and brought back my cedar box.  My spirit son had given me a flicker tail fan for my sixty-ninth birthday.  Flicker feathers are doctoring feathers.  They are family birds, so a lot of their magic has to do with relationship.  It turned out that there were several people with birthdays there.  My friend told me it was her grandson’s second birthday and the day before was his daddy’s.  The family had come down for the weekend.  And the other Priest’s daughter had the same birthday as him.  So I got out my flicker feather fan, cleaned the past off of her and then blessed her with my eagle feather.  I did the same to the father and his son.  My intention was to free them up to follow their destiny with joy and hope, to believe in themselves fully, the way the flickers do about their children.  The young woman remarked, “I feel really light.  I had no idea how much I was carrying until you removed it.  Thank you.”

And before driving back to the Church, I had finished Peter Kingsley’s book entitled Reality (2003).  He took me back to ancient Greece, to the time of Parmenides, Zeno, and Empedocles, through the eyes and understanding of the shamans they were.  Kingsley said, “Everything is inside you now, rooted deep into your being.  And with the entire universe inside of you, where in reality it always has been, you can sense for the first time how much power you hold in the palm of your hand.  For the whole world–whatever you experience or perceive–is just buds on the tree that you are (p. 556).”  Those mystical words preluded the appearance of the flicker on the wall, the first one I have seen since Easter morning of 2003, when it was drumming on the window beside my kitchen table.  That time it too fluttered to the ground.  And when I went to look more closely, flew to safety.  Not only am I the tree, but the bird as well.  Synchronous magic indeed.  Thank you Empedocles, for your 2500 year old teaching, and Peter for your fascinating scholarship and interpretation of the ancient poetry.

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The prophetic aspects of Carl Jung’s Red Book, published in 2009, was the topic of Stephan A. Hoeller’s lectures at the Theosophical Society’s Krotona Institute in Ojai.  Hoeller, an ordained priest in the Liberal Catholic Church and now Bishop of the Gnostic Catholic Church in America “Ecclesia Gnostica”, spoke of Jung’s vision of the coming new religion.  In Jung’s visionary experience in 1913, the time frame was one Platonic month or 800 years.  Jung referred to the God Within, which resides in each and everyone of us humans.  He called it the Self The Work of humanity is to become Individuated, to become whole through our encounter with the Unconscious Divine dimensions of the human psyche.  Through a process of confronting the Shadow and other archetypes it is possible to reach a state of integration of the opposites within us.  When the ego learns to serve the Self, the God Within, in fact this has always been the relationship, so it is more when the ego, the “I” of consciousness, becomes aware that the Self has always been guiding and creating our experiences, the ego changes its perspective.  The attitude is one of reverent awe in the face of the overwhelming synchronicity.

According to Jung the Self will finally become enthroned in  human consciousness during the Zodiacal Age of Aquarius.  Jung told Max Zeller in 1949, in response to Zeller’s sharing of a dream,  that the Temple of the new religion would be 600 years in the building and that people of all cultures are working on its structure.  This process is an experiential one.  One can only become aware of the archetypes through encountering them personally.  We can read about other people’s experiences, but ultimately we have to attain knowledge through our own experience.  That is the definition of gnosis in Greek philosophy, so it is no wonder that a Gnostic Bishop would find support in Jung’s prophetic visions.

Most of Jung’s early insights came through visions recorded in his Red Book and were expressed in his privately published Seven Sermons to the Dead attributed to the pre-Nicene Gnostic Bishop of Alexandria, Basilides.  Hoeller’s insight on this matter is correct.  I too noticed this in 1977 when I was studying with Russell Lockhart and Malcolm Dana at the Jung Institute in Los Angeles.  In fact I had a dream at the time in which Basilides and his wife Sophia told me “what you do is Hermeneutics”.  That is precisely what the early Christian gnostics were doing, Hermetic philosophy.  They were studying the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistes.  An interesting personal interchange with Bishop Hoeller came just as we were returning from lunch.

Stephan spied the Santo Daime sparkling rhinestone cross on my coat.  “Oh, le croix de Lorainne,” he said.  “Yes, but also Santo Daime,” I responded.  The Bishop lifted his right hand, on which his Bishop’s ring shone forth, and said, “I probably shouldn’t say this, but that [the Santo Daime tradition] is where the promise lies.”  As a teacher of world religions he would know that the Santo Daime Brazilian Christian tradition is based on personal visions of the founder Mestre Ireneu, Padrinho Sebastiao, and all of us who drink the ayuaska, which is called Daime.  Through the Holy Sacrament we have an individual and personal relationship with the Divine.  This is much the same as the Gnostic tradition.  The Bishop has the ancient manuscripts discovered in 1949 at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, the ancient gnostic library.  The Santo Daime tradition has been evolving through visionary experiences since its beginning in 1930.  Whether or not Jung’s visions of 1913 foretold of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi library 35 years later, he did predict the coming of three phases: war, magic, and religion.

As Hoeller noted in his lecture, we all have experienced war.  The present technological age and the amazing things our cell phones can do would be described as “magic” in earlier times.  The coming of the new world religion is based upon our personal encounters with the Divine which occur every night in our dreams.  It is building the Temple of the New Religion.  Some of us build with medicines like peyote and ayuaska.  Others with yoga and meditation practices.  As the Theosophists have been saying for years, all religions lead to the same place, the Source, the Creator.  Some are arriving sooner than others, but we all get to the goal eventually.

Jung's Shadow in the Red Book

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As we drove up the winding mountain road to dance with our Santo Daime Tradition family, I told my nephew the morning dream.   I was meditating, laying down, covered with blankets, when I decided to get up to use the bathroom.  I thought I was in my waking life bedroom.  But then I noticed two other elders laying there beside me.  This was confusing.  Two interpenetrating dimensions were merged. Throwing off the bed covers and swinging my legs over the side of the bed, I noticed there were several people sitting, meditating around the base of the raised bed.  The dreamspace was not my bedroom.  Rather it was a very large open room, where about 40 people, all blond (they looked like David Wilcock, although I had never seen a photo of him at the time) were sitting.  They were wrapped in one seamless piece of emerald-green fabric, which smoothly stretched around each person, covering everything except their heads.  I couldn’t see their eyes.  When my nephew asked me to describe the people, all blond, he felt he understood the images. “They are meditating to help you wake up, to remember who you are.  They are the Sons of Ra.  You are one of them Uncle.  Like them, Uncle, you are one of the sons of Ra.” That got me telling him about remembering my soul’s journey through several different incarnations, Buddhist, Greek, Native American, French Canadian, to mention a few, so I found his suggestion inviting and decided to explore David Wilcock’s blog.

When we got home from the Santo Daime Work, I consulted our modern Oracle, the Internet, and found Wilcock’s Divine Cosmos site.  There I discovered a younger version of myself (I used to wear that same East Indian style jacket when I was his age).  In David’s Occupy your Self video is an excellent summary of David’s research over the past 20 years.  It also reflects my research over the past 50 years, including the importance and meaning of Dreams. His blog on Human ETs in the 1950s has a pdf transcript of telepathic communication and evidence which has a strikingly familiar ring for anyone who is familiar with Theosophical literature. The ETs of the mid-20th century have the same message and magic technology as C.W. Leadbeater reports his experience of the Masters/Adepts of the late 19th century. The similarities are astounding. Could Leadbeater’s Master Kuthumi be a human ET? Wilcock’s video reports Voltaire’s letter to Count Germain.  Evidently Germain had  similar technology in the 18th century and demonstrated it to Voltaire in many of the ways the Italian Friendship Group experienced their technology in the mid 1950s.  The teachings of Blavatsky, Leadbeater, and Besant are seamless antecedents to Wilcock’s discoveries.

Evidently we have been tapping into the Divine Source.  Carl Jung called it the Collective Unconscious, because It is independent of human consciousness, something we can experience, however we cannot “know” It as an object of science.  He later wanted to focus on the objectiveness of the Collective Unconscious and started talking about the Objective Psyche.  In his final years he referred to it as the Psychoid (Reality).  Wilcock reflects Jung’s emphasis when he calls it the Source Field.  All of these people appear to be talking about the same phenomena.  Jung stressed working on our personal spiritual evolution in the process he called Individuation.  If we all do the Work of Individuation, the Collective Spirit evolves.  The Theosophists teach Service to Others, Meditation, Spiritual Evolution and talk of 7 interpenetrating dimensions.  Wilcock adds Love of oneself and Love of others, a reflective mirror of the God Within.  His Source Field has 12 interpenetrating dimensions. That’s similar to the message of Gnostic Christianity, Alchemy, and the Liberal Catholic Church, which the Theosophists’ created in 1916.  Each path leads to the same place.  Amazing!

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In 1909 Theosophists, Charles Leadbeater and Annie Besant, thought Juddi Krishnamurti might be the person who was destined to bring a new cycle for humanity. But, as Richard Smoley (2011) says in his introduction to Leadbeater’s Christian Gnosis, this belief was thwarted by Krishnamurti himself, who, in 1929, dissolved The Order of the Star, the organization set up by the Theosophists to promote his works. Although very influential in the spiritual development of the twentieth century, Krishnamurti was not the reincarnation of the World Teacher. That is what happens when one is looking on the wrong continent. Leadbeater moved to Australia in 1915. He was finally in the right hemisphere to find the man he was looking for, but like many men two thousand years ago, who were looking for the Messiah, Leadbeater was looking for a Spiritual leader among the Brahmins, the Hindu’s highest caste. He expected to find the Christ among the Wizard Kings of the Orient. But as we know from reading the Gospel account in the Christian Scriptures, one doesn’t find the Messiah among the rich, wise and famous. Like many nineteenth century Victorians, Leadbeater couldn’t imagine that a man of humble origins could be the man to usher in the new era. He was in love with the ancient Indian gurus and believed spiritual evolution was a mark of civilization and education. Leadbeater wasn’t looking in the right place.  Had Leadbeater looked in the Amazon rain forest of Brazil, he would have found his Order of the Star and the reincarnated teacher for whom he was looking.

Who might that be? According to Alex Polari de Alverga’s account in Forest of Visions: Ayahuasca, Amazonian Spirituality, and the Santo Daime Tradition, (1999) the reincarnation of St. John the Baptist was an illiterate rubber tapper. Sebastiao Mota de Melo was one of the first Brazilian leaders of the Santo Daime Tradition, which was started by another illiterate man, Raimundo Irineu Serra, who discovered the indigenous people of the rain forest used ayahuasca to heal themselves and to connect themselves to the Divine. In 1930 Krishnamurti had dissolved the Order of the Star and Leadbeater started talking about the World Mother. That was the same year the Queen of the Forest, the Theotokos or Mother of God, the Virgin Mary appeared to Irineu and told him to start a new church to usher in the new era. If Sebastiao is St. John, the prophet of this new church, then where is the Christ? He is embodied in the Holy Medicine, where He has been for the last two thousand years, waiting to come again through direct connection within the person of those who drink his body and blood, the Santo (Holy) Daime (Giving). The Divine Being dwells in the plant medicine which has been used in South America for thousands of years. According to oral tradition it was the drink of the pre-Columbian gods.

The Inca High Priest, Ayahuasca, fled from the Spanish Conquistadores with his people, abandoning the sky city of Machu Pichu for the protection of the rain forest, where his name was given to the sacred drink. The people of the forest are the children of this man and his royal family. They are the children of god, within whom Jesus of Nazareth is resurrected. And in the Santo Daime Tradition, which is the Church of the Universal Flowing Light, Charles Leadbeater’s vision of the Order of the Star has become a reality. Leadbeater believed in testing things with one’s own experience, one’s own gnosis as the Greeks called experiential knowing. That is why he started the Liberal (free thinking) Catholic Church in 1916. He was right about the new World Teacher reincarnating at that time, he just got the location wrong. I recommend you read about the evidence in Forest of Visions and decide for yourself.

Raimundo Irineu Serra

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When Eric Neumann wrote Depth Psychology and a New Ethic, Carl Jung was annoyed with him. Although I don’t remember the source, I do remember Jung saying something like “We don’t need a new ethic; we just need to use the one we have”. I was teaching Ethics at Golden West College, in Orange County, CA in the late 1970s and used Neumann’s book as one of the course texts. I wanted to see Philosophy become relevant by acknowledging psychological discoveries about the nature of the human psyche, at least where they affected the concept of human nature. As you might guess, I was way ahead of my colleagues and of the times, a crime for which academia ruthlessly punishes. So it was with delight that I hermeneutically picked John A. Sanford’s book (1981) Evil The Shadow Side of Reality off my bookshelf and opened it: to the importance of integrating the Shadow into our personal consciousness.

Human nature is aptly described with the metaphor of the floating iceberg. Our consciousness is the part above the surface of the water. Most of our humanness is unconscious, below the water level. We have been successfully operating that way for millions of years. Our body and instincts, intuition, and impulses are very capable aspects of our organism. We run, walk, work, and talk without having to use our thinking function very often. Of course the amusing thing about this is that we tend to identify with the conscious aspect, to which Descartes referred using the Latin word “ego”. Imagine the iceberg above water saying to the ironclad steamship Titanic, “Come closer my dear, so that I can see you better.” The ship, not remembering what grandma told her about icebergs, does just that, gets too close to the talking head, and gets broken apart. We similarly suffer when we forget about what’s under the surface of consciousness.

John Sanford, an Episcopal Priest and Jungian Therapist, asks the important question

What do we do with our Shadow? How much expression in our lives do we allow our dark side? To deny the life of the Shadow entirely, as we have pointed out, is to run the risk of having our life energies dry up. There are times when we must allow some of the unlived life within us to live if we are to get new energies for living. Moreover, if we strive to be only good and perfect, we become hateful, for too much of the vital energy within us is being denied. For this reason, there are few people more dangerous in life than those who set out to do good. It can even be said that whenever we try to exceed our capacity for natural goodness we bring about evil, not more good, because our unnatural stance generates an accumulation of darkness in the unconscious. Nevertheless, becoming a whole person does not mean giving license to the Shadow. We do not integrate our personalities if we change from being a person who is too righteous to a person who lives every impulse out without any moral or social restrictions.  (p. 65)

My young friend the Fox was raised in a fundamentalist Christian home which emphasized collective morality over self-knowledge, group social control at the expense of finding one’s own way. His family sided with St. Paul in the matter of repression of the evil, “sinful” side of the personality. As Sanford said above, this stance pushes more and more darkness into the unconscious, literally empowering the Shadow. When I met the Fox, he was questioning authority, especially the doctrines of the Protestant Church. He was leaning more and more toward Gnostic Christianity and Hindu yoga, experimenting with Tantric meditation practices, and hiding from his family’s judgmental vision. Then he started using mind altering substances, went to Burning Man, and snapped into his opposite. He became “a person who lives every impulse out without any moral or social restrictions.” Wanting to be helpful, and, not knowing how to access my friend’s psyche, I invited him into my home and my life. I thought my experience of integrating my Shadow could be communicated to him through living together, “in the present moment” as Tolle is fond of saying. We did have a lot of fun and I certainly allowed myself to live out some fantasies. I discovered Ecstatic Dance in Oakland, where I could express myself through movement in a totally supportive environment. But I re-discovered what I already knew: the work can only be done on oneself. We can companion others in their journey, but they have to do the work. The Fox went home to his family and flipped into his opposite, the Pauline Christian.  With the support of his family’s repressive stance, he projected his Shadow onto his friend and teacher.  Ouch! That hurt, but, as every guru knows, it comes with the territory.  You have to maintain relationship and open communication if projections are to be worked through and integrated.

So what are the benefits of being honest, by acknowledging our Shadow side? Sanford puts it clearly. “For one thing, it greatly aids our humility, our sense of humor, and our capacity to be less judgmental of others. It is essential in developing a conscious personality, and therefore of individuation. It can also be said to be the basis for a truly individual morality (p. 65).” And that’s what I was trying to teach my students back in the late 1970s before Sanford wrote his book. In order to own our ethical position, we have to individualize it. This is not Relativism or Situational Ethics, although my ex-wife would probably not agree with me on this point. There must be a balance of the collective conscious morality with the integrated unconscious; and that can only be done on an individual basis.

I find more agreement with my colleagues in this area than one might expect. We talk about the situation, the context and the variables, the basic developmental processes of human beings, and apply all of this to our personal experiences. Often we are in agreement about what would be best to do. Of course we are free to choose otherwise, but we are also going to experience the consequences, the karma of our actions.

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