When Literalism can be Beautiful….

Most people who claim they read Genesis 1 “literally” don’t. They believe that what they believe about Genesis 1 is literal. But they aren’t reading Genesis 1 literally.

If we read Genesis 1 literally, we come out with a very different picture than most literalists imagine. Indeed, we find ourselves firmly planted in the Hebrew worldview—an ancient worldview. And, if we know our history, we know that the Hebrews had no concept of a round earth that coursed around the sun. They believed the earth was flat, the sky was a dome, and the sun revolved around the earth.

—-Scribalishess, from “Reading Genesis 1 ‘Literally’

 

continuum-Fig-3-2-hebrew.preview

To try to wrestle with the ancient cosmological understandings of the day and shoehorn them into our modern, scientific understandings of the Universe, as we know them so far, is to rob such ancient texts of their beauty and poetry.

Read this wonderful article by Scriablishess in its entirety for all the details in understanding this beauty, from the cultural perspective of the ancient Hebrew writer of Genesis.

Click through the jump for some of my most favorite quotes from the article!

Continue reading “When Literalism can be Beautiful….”

The Freedom of Non-Self

My image of Self is not a "thing," it is only a "process"….

We look at a river, and call it "river"; we look at a table and call it "table"; we look at a rainbow and call it "rainbow." These labels we give to objects are a handy tool language has developed by which we might communicate to each other, and relate to, the nature of the things we see around us. However, isn’t fascinating that all these objects are truly a conglomeration of an infinite mass of smaller "things"? We all know of the molecular world, the particle world… the sub-particle world… atoms… empty space… quarks…. bosons…. etc, etc, ad infinitum! Yet, to communicate this particular conglomeration of stuff in one word, according to the manner in which we interact with it in daily life, is to label it according to its resultant whole as it effects us.

Now, the river, for example: the river is always flowing. At times, it is murky if the mud is stirred, at other times it is still and calm, at still other times it is violent and rushing…. It is never the "same" river, yet we still label it The (Blank) River. It is a process of ever-flowing life.

The rainbow: The only reason one can see it, is the result of a very precise arrangement of water droplets in the air to sunlight, to a receiving optical organ. And two people standing next to each other may see the rainbow in exactly the same way. However, another who may be standing at a certain direction, may not see the rainbow as clearly, if at all. So…. Is the rainbow there, or not? 😉

Recall, do not mistake the label for the thing…. Do not mistake the Idea for the Truth….

…Likewise, let us not mistake the "Me" for Me….

At any given moment – any given Now – "I" am a "different person"… My Ego doesn’t like to think so, and it routinely, subtly, glosses over the differences and variations to try and concoct a succinct whole persona of "Me." But, one day I am "a phenomenal musician," the next "a terrible one." One day I am "together and with-it," the next I am "a complete scatterbrain." So, which is it, then? Or am I not all things at all times for all occasions…. A Process of ever-flowing life, relating to my ever-changing environment. And do I not appear, as an illusion, differently to different people, within the context of different scenarios?

So… What am I? What part of me is Me? "Am I" at all?….

A Breathing Meditation for you:

I breathe in, and I am filled with the Earth…
…filled with the stars above….
…filled with the very cosmos.

I breathe out, and I empty myself….
…empty the illusions, the attachments and aversions…
…empty myself to give my spirit-life back to the Earth…
…empty myself that I may be ready to receive again from the cosmos with the next breath.

I am Nothing, then… And at the same time, I am Everything. Everything is Me.

None of us has ever seen our face. Truly! We’ve perceived the reflection of our face in a mirror, or relied on the comments and perceptions of others outside of ourselves. But, all of those perceptions are out there. From right here we have never ever seen our face. One can ask, then, do we have a face? Or is it only an ever-changing representation of us as a universal being? A label by which others can point to us and relate to us and describe us at any given moment. If so, then let us not fall into the delusion of identifying with any of these labels or ideas, for we are so much more than any of that – we are Nothing. :mrgreen:

It is not that we are trying to "get rid of Self." It’s that there is no Self to get rid of.

The Genius of the Noble Truths

The genius of the Buddha’s message at its heart is that we are ultimately creatures of perfection. Or, perhaps one might restate this in a manner devoid of duality, by saying… We are creatures, as we are… The concept is that we are already whole and bear the Buddha Nature within; there is nothing wrong with us. It is simply through the years of accumulating the Three Poisons of attachment, aversion, and ignorance (all which reinforce each other) that we cover and lose sight of and contact with this original pure form; by accumulating this junk we block our inherent happiness that is naturally ours. The delusion is that we simply don’t see this realization and too easily run after the thoughts in our mind as truth.

A host of other myths and culture proclaim that our beginning state of being is one of evil, or deficiency, or any other such form; and that only by way of some ritual or submission to a deity will we ever hope to achieve perfection.

When faced with these two very simple and subtle approaches of thought toward the human condition, I find myself overjoyed with the genius of the Buddha’s simple observation: the initial ground base of wholeness, and the hope and ease of letting our accumulated poisons go. What good news this is!

Breaking down segments of my reading from:

The Long Discourse on the Ways of Attending to Mindfulness (Mahāsatipaṭṭhānasuttaṁ, DN 22), Translated by Anandajoti Bhikkhu (3rd revised version, October 2011 – 2055)

I have created a series of charts for comparison and understanding of the Buddha’s words on The Four Noble Truths. You can find my abridged version of this text (as it pertains to my chart) here.

The Truths are:

  • The Truth of Suffering (or a better way to think of this word is unhappiness or inability to achieve and sustain satisfactoriness.)
  • The Truth of Origination of Suffering
  • The Truth of Cessation of Suffering
  • The Truth of the Path Leading to the Cessation of Suffering

Chart of Constituents and the Origination and Cessation of Suffering illustrates:

  1. At the basis of the suffering are the Five Constituents, which are the Fuel for Attachment.
    1. These are: form, feelings, perceptions, mental processes, and consciousness
  2. Based upon these Constituents, we can derive both the Truth of Origination and Cessation.
    1. These are located and found at certain points of contact: eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind.
    2. For example; from eye comes form, comes eye-consciousness and eye-contact, comes the feeling born of eye-contact, comes the perception of forms, comes the intention in regard to forms, comes the craving for forms, comes the thinking about forms, comes an examination of forms.
    3. Likewise, similar patterns follow at each of the other points of contact.
  3. Origination is the arising of Craving at these centers. Cessation is the complete fading away without reminder of the Craving at these centers.
  4. The beauty of recognizing the step-by-step nature of craving and cessation of craving at any given point at these centers, is to realize that at any given point within the process of grasping can the power of acknowledgment and cessation begin.

The second chart, the Eight Factors of the Truth of the Path Leading to the Cessation of Suffering, illustrates the following:

  1. What is commonly known as the Eightfold Path.
    1. Right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right endeavour, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
  2. Within the topic of Right Concentration falls the Four Absorptions:
    1. First: one is secluded from sense desires and unwholesome things, while having thinking, reflection, and joy
    2. Second: Calmed down thinking/reflection, without thinking, reflection, and joy
    3. Third: The fading away of joy; dwelling as equanimous, mindful, fully aware, and happy.
    4. Fourth: Abandonment of pleasure and pain; the previous passing away of happiness and sorrow; the purity of mindfulness owing to equanimity.

Engage joyfully in your meditation today, study and observe your mind, at all of its various points of grasping — whether for attachment or for aversion — and observe the beauty of the step-by-step unfolding of the Path.

Constituents

Origination and cessation

Eightfold Path

Mystery of Time

I’ve mentioned before the illusory nature of Time. I considered it further the other day while enjoying a most beautiful meditative day in the mountains. 🙂

Our senses depend upon change to take notice and develop interpretations of our state of being in relation to our environment. (Recall the science of color vision, for example:

…black and gray are not produced simply by absence of light coming from an object or surface but arise when and only when the light from the object is less than the average of the light coming from the surrounding regions. White arises only when the surround is darker and when no hue is present….an object’s whiteness, blackness, or grayness depends on the light that the object reflects from some source, relative to the light reflected by the other objects in the scene…experiments showed convincingly that the sensation produced in one part of the visual field depends on the light coming from that place and on the light coming from everywhere else in the visual field….

Etc…)

Consider this: Time, as we think of and relate to it, is only an arbitrary grid of numbers we’ve attached meaning to over the eons. And the attachment of meaning is made all the stronger through the vastness of shared unconsciousness, to the point that it becomes our Reality.

But, in truth, night and day are ruled by the rising and setting of the sun, the rotation of the earth. Our natural cycles that denote a passage of time to us, are only processes of Change that occur within the Now. We compare the change based upon recollections of the way things were before they changed, and label that The Past. We would do well to keep in mind the arbitrariness of labeling–that in a real sense, this is our collective mythology: a story to illuminate and make sense of what is occurring. Even aging is only a process of change, changing from Now…to Now…. 🙂 (Even our language reinforces the mythology of Time moving from place to place…) Remnants from those who came before us, what could be considered “evidence” of the Past, yet still exist Now, but in an altered state of being.

This is Evolution at its heart! This is the unity of Change as the Universe’s heartbeat, with the Heavenly Now. This is Transformation and a certain kind of immortality. I challenge you to contemplate and embrace the marriage of Change and the Now, rather than bemoaning a mythical passage of time.

A Breathing-Meditation

Surely a spirit is in man, And the breath of the Mighty One Doth cause them to understand. (Job 32:8, Young’s Literal Translation)

 

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7, KJV Cambridge Ed.)

 

Breath is… Spirit and Life…

 

As you ground yourself, slip your mindful awareness to your breath. It can be likened to your very spirit, rising and falling, flowing as a stream, within you. It flows from your toes to your head, and vice versa; it feeds every cell within–fueling and lighting your mini-verse.

Sense your breath–
Is it tight and restricted?
Is it free going in but short coming out?
Is it shallow coming in, leaving a sense of emptiness or constriction?
Is it quick, or slow?
Is your belly soft and relaxed?
Are your shoulders or chest tight and unmoving?

Your breathing-muscles are intimately attached to all that your body does and senses. Your breath may be an excellent mirror by which one can view the state of one’s mind– Is it preoccupied with the past or the future? Is it riddled with strong emotion? Is it fixated on thought, planning, contemplations? Chances are, then, the breath is also caught in this fixation and obsession, as the body reacts and holds the fixation in its muscles, and the flow of breath–of spirit–is affected in such a manner.

 

Breath is… Boring…

 
Consider how our minds tend to wander and frolic into areas of interest, whether it be areas of interest that are beneficial to us or not. The point is, watching our breath in silence is, well, boring; and how quickly our minds run off to play like little children! But, notice this: our bodies remain here, in the Now. Nevertheless, far too often, our minds and thoughts are elsewhere– either planning the future or regretting and remembering the past.

By focusing our attention on our breath and watching with acute awareness how our breath flows, we reunite our body and mind in the same place, in the here and now– and peaceful bliss will be the response. By bringing our awareness to immediate sensation rather than interpretive thought — which by necessity occurs after the impulse of sensation: the thing that occurs versus the mind’s interpretation of and associations with it — we are settling our mind on the immediacy of the sensation and the ever-changing nature of its impulses; we are taking refuge in what is happening here and now, reigning the mind in from its spastic wanderings to the past or future. We are realigning our full being and opening ourselves to unity, wholeness, and peace.

 

Breath is… Kinship with Nature…

 

“What a marvelous cooperative arrangement – plants and animals each inhaling each other’s exhalations, a kind of planet-wide mutual mouth-to-stoma resuscitation, the entire elegant cycle powered by a star 150 million kilometers away.” –Carl Sagan, Cosmos

  • close your eyes, settled in meditative position
  • begin the Grounding Meditation as your anchoring connection to Goddess Gaia
  • see the light of the universe from above pour into your form through your crown chakra as it unfurls, opening as a lotus flower
  • this pure light trickles down, filling your form with light until it streams outward from you through the surface of the earth upon which you sit, rushing down through the layers of crust below, flooding the Earth Heart Chakra with light — Gaia’s crystal at the center of the earth — until this light, enhanced by the power of the fiery crystal, bursts back up toward you, igniting the base of your spine with radiant energy! This pristine energy and light flow up the track of your spine, lighting every fiber of your being, until the mighty stream bursts upward from your opened Crown Chakra! It reignites the light source shining down upon you from above and envelops you in an aura of light and energy.

Up until this point, this is really only a simplified picture of the grounding meditation…. Now, let’s incorporate the intimacy of our breath and take this experience to another level….

  • Unite the flow of your breath with the stream of Light and Energy
  • feel the light enter your form from the earth’s heart below and travel upward along your spine with every breath drawn in; feel the light burst through the crown chakra and envelop you with every breath outward
  • your breath is the stream by which the light travels
  • Imagine the graceful give-and-take, the intricate balance of Nature: With each in-breath, gratefully acknowledge the gift of Sister Flora, Gaia’s grace and provision; with every out-breath, give back to Gaia and Sister Flora
  • Release your breath and pour all of yourself out as an offering, as you exhale and clear yourself of impurities
  • Accept the next breath with joy, feel it flood your cells with life, allow it to fill every abyss within, without force— simply open the floodgates and feel the life and spirit flow and rush to fill the emptinesses
  • we are each other’s survival, us and the earth, intricately joined together and intertwined

Oh, the stability, joy, life, and peace of the unhindered stream of Breath!

The question then remains:

Where do you end and the world begins?

When this becomes unanswerable, indeed nonsensical, you have rejoined the All in consciousness; you have returned home, and all of the universe is available to your intuition.

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Out of Our Heads and Other Musings

Over the past several days I’ve been enjoying the audiobook listening of Alva Noë‘s work, “Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain.” In it, Noë elaborates the philosophical rethinking of our definition of consciousness and how it isn’t merely the result of the neural crackle and pop inside of our brains– it is not found inside our skills and it is more than the simple wiring of synapses.

Since I’m musing here only on my initial thoughts and my personal intellectualizing connections through this work — and to be sure, I’m only halfway through! — I don’t have full-on quotes I’ll be referring to, but more overarching concepts, that are mine, based on my understanding of it thus far. I highly recommend this book to everyone; read it to fully understand Noë’s premises and to comprehend the numerous enlightening examples he gives! In the words of LeVar Burton, “…you don’t have to take my word for it…” 😉

Where do we end, and the world begins?

  • Consciousness is not to be found inside of us, through dissection and analysis of neuro physical workings, but via our reactions and interactions with our environment. We are so fully intertwined, ingrained, and at home in our surroundings, in our world, that we are a part of it and it is a part of us. Or, perhaps better, we are it, and it is us.
  • It is through our interactions and relationships with a culture and the rules and people inherent to it that we find who we are. We are defined by our place within a culture, and when we are forced to leave for one reason or another, we must change who we are; we are not ourselves any longer. This, to me, is a grand example of what we can call the Ego, and its choosing of who we are. And it’s not to say that we are one Ego-personification only; I’ve found that my Ego will transform to be a different Personality depending on the cultural situation in which I find myself. This is entirely natural. I am very much different depending on with whom I am speaking; there are cultural rules that govern which aspects of Personality our Ego reveals at any given moment.
  • To take this a step further, then, we can be and are all things. We are each other. It’s only a matter of recognizing this fact through meditation and practice. It is the idea (or myth) of embracing the Shadow.
  • Then, too, we are not beholden to merely one image of ourselves. Yes, it is our interaction to our surroundings–to others–that gives our Ego reason and ammunition in determining who we are at such a moment. But, in the basic understanding of karma, we realize that these Ego-Personifications will arise without us even realizing that it is not us, or that it is not merely us… When we are not in a position to observe and understand without attachment the given Ego-Personification at a given moment, we are only reacting to our surroundings via karmic habit.
  • Is this wrong? Well…I’d ask, is anything wrong? It is human. It is consciousness. It is what we do, thanks to evolution and our shared consciousness passed down to us for eons and generations who’ve gone before. It is only wrong if you say it is. We are creatures of habit. And knowledge is built upon the knowledge we’ve accumulated and absorbed into the fabric of our beings. Habit is good. Habit is what makes us the intelligent beings we are. BUT this also means, we are able to change and grow and acquire new habits and skills.
  • Noë describes a fascinating aspect of habit and knowledge and skill in our species of intelligence. Look at a novice acquiring a skill–his acquiring of it is vastly improved by his paying close attention to the mechanical details of that skill. Now consider the expert in that same skill. If she focuses her attention on the rudimentary mechanics of her skill, she will lose proficiency. Rather, her mind must occupy itself with the general, broad artistic world built upon those rudimentary mechanics which she has already achieved. She must go beyond and live in the grander fuller meaning of that skill.
  • Now, consider a musician who has been honing her craft for decades. In learning a new piece of music she has never before played, in a sense, she is reverting back to the focused mechanical detail of the novice. To accurately train her muscles to execute the notes and rhythms on the page, she must drill and repeat and pay close attention to every detail of motion in her body. However, when she has learned the piece well and seeks to perform it better and better each time she executes it, these must never focus on the beginner’s details, but must instead focus on the greater artistry derived from the very essence of the notes and patterns themselves…. Believe me, I experience this on a daily level…. 😉 It’s highly enlightening!!
  • So, when ascertaining our minds, and how we tend to react and integrate in this daily “grind,” we can use meditation to bring us back to the level of the “novice,” to train our Egos to react and transform differently than to that which we may be accustomed. Focusing on the details as we mold and shape our integrations and reactions will later free us to embark on the greater artistry and meaning of our daily working consciousness.
  • Vision and perception of our world is something that we unthinkingly take a critical part in. Think of this: how when we look at an object, how it appears to us depends not only on our physiological biology, but also on our physical relation, or placement, to that object! We are an active part of what we see, and we unknowingly influence our reality in vital ways! Likewise, then, what happens when we close our eyes in meditation? We are freed to ascertain our world in other ways. We are freed to clear our mind of visual distractions and simply feel… We are freed to feel the earth connecting to us with its energy, we are free to feel the wind on our skin, we are free to hear the soothing vibrations of peaceful sounds wafting over us…. We are freed to become detached and simply observe ourselves and our place in our environment.

These are only a few of my current musings! 🙂

Enjoy this short video of Noë speaking on this topic:

More of My Favorite Things…

Here are a couple more of life’s treasures that make me smile…. :mrgreen:

  • The smell of honeysuckle….
    Honeysuckle
    (The smell of rosemary, too!)
  • Dragons
    blue-dragon-black-design-1

…In fact, not long ago my own Divine Beloved took shape and introduced himself to me as a beautiful blue dragon; he called himself Malachi – meaning “Messenger”… I knew I always had a thing for dragons!!

Dragons can hold important mythological meaning:

Dragons and Snakes are symbols for human DNA. Fire representing soul sparks of light emanating from the flame of creation…The way through all things….A winged dragon – the volatile elements; without wings – the fixed elements…Guardian of the ‘Flaming Pearl’ symbol of spiritual perfection and powerful amulet of luck…The “spirit of the way” bringing eternal change…. in the Eastern world the dragon…was essentially benevolent, son of heaven, and controlled the watery elements of the universe. –(from “Dragons and Winged Serpents“)

And….

The most common message a Dragon totem carries to us is a need for strength, courage, and fortitude. Dragons are also messengers of balance, and magic – encouraging us to tap into our psychic nature and see the world through the eyes of mystery and wonder. More specifically, Dragons are the embodiment of primordial power – the ultimate ruler of all the elements. This is because the Dragon is the master of all the elements: Fire, Water, Earth, and Wind. As a totem, the Dragon serves as a powerful guardian and guide. (–from “Dragon Symbolism“)

Tap into the inner personages of your consciousness and receive wisdom today!

Loving Nature

Don’t miss the Forest for the Trees…
Behold all that is, as it is,
And it will appear, unhindered, as the most beautiful thing…

Examine and fall in love with Creation and all its mystery and intricacies around you, and you will inherently fall in love with the Creator —
Be that The One Who Is, quantum biology weirdness (very cool stuff!)… Call it what you will in a manner by which you can freely relate… It does not matter–Perception is Everything.

Ultimately, we find, we are all. And life is beautiful.

Vibrational Influences and Physiological Interpretation

The concept of the Chakra Energy Centers is a concept of great fascination and enlightenment indeed. I am just about ready to post a full chakra-chart I’ve compiled from various sources of information and share what I love about the study and meditation of the chakras. But, in preparation, I’ve stumbled across some very meaningful studies I was eager to share first!

The importance and value of the seven main chakra centers stems from the concept of wave frequency and vibrational influences on each of the chakras, which in turn influence our lives and existence in each their own fashion. Interestingly, both types of vibrational forms (sound and light) are said to influence our beings, each related to the chakras’ purpose.

Specifically:

It is said that our body contains hundred of chakras that are the key to the operation of our being. These “spinning wheels” draw-in coded information from our surroundings. Coded information can be anything from a color vibration to ultra-violet ray to a radio or micro wave to another person’s aura. In essence our chakras receive the health of our environment, including the people we are in contact with (that’s why other people’s moods have an affect on us!). As well our chakras also radiate an energy of vibration.

It is also believed that we have seven main chakra centers and that each main center is connected to our being on several different levels: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. On the physical level each chakra governs a main organ or gland, which is then connected to other body parts that resonate the same frequency.

Every organ, gland and body system is connected to a chakra and each chakra is connected to a color vibrational frequency….

In the study of the anatomy of the aura it is important to understand the significance of the chakra system and the language of colors expressed in the aura. —www.chakraenergy.com

On the other hand:

Emotions and mental states also have their own optimum resonance and with the recognition that every organ, and every cell, absorbs and emits sound, we can therefore understand how specific sounds and frequencies can be used as powerful healing tools. —www.hypnosisaudio.com

Solfeggio-ChartThus, we all tend to lump sound waves and light/color waves into the same “chakral basket,” and understandably so. It makes sense, on the surface. A wave is a wave, right? But what I love about science are the moments it reminds us of what we learned once, and suddenly reveals a truth more complex and beautiful than what we may have first anticipated… This is what I experienced through my delving deeper into the concept of the vibrational influences of the chakras.

Firstly, the most fundamental problem with this automatic synthesizing of the two wave forms is that light waves and sound are simply and fundamentally different:

There are two main differences between sound waves and light waves. The first difference is in velocity. Sound waves travel through air at the speed of approximately 1,100 feet per second; light waves travel through air and empty space at a speed of approximately 186,000 miles per second.

(You’ll see this striking difference in numbers when I release the soon-coming chart I mentioned above….)

The second difference is that sound is composed of longitudinal waves (alternate compressions and expansions of matter) and light is composed of transverse waves in an electromagnetic field.

Although both are forms of wave motion, sound requires a solid, liquid, or gaseous medium; whereas light travels through empty space. The denser the medium, the greater the speed of sound. The opposite is true of light. Light travels approximately one-third slower in water than in air. Sound travels through all substances, but light cannot pass through opaque materials. —above quotes from…

Indeed:

…sound cannot travel through a vacuum. If there are no molecules to vibrate, then there will be no sound. Sound can only travel through a material… On the other hand, a light wave is not made of vibrating particles. It is a wave of changing electric and magnetic fields which can exist in a vacuum. —quoted from…

…But, here is from where the temptation to yet consider the two forms ultimately one-and-the-same stems….

Frequency affects both sound and light. A certain range of sound frequencies produces sensations that you can hear. A slow vibration (low frequency) in sound gives the sensation of a low note. A more rapid sound vibration (higher frequency) produces a higher note. Likewise, a certain range of light frequencies produces sensations that you can see. Violet light is produced at the high-frequency end of the

light spectrum, while red light is produced at the low-frequency end of the light spectrum. —quote from…

Here’s the kicker (for me, at least)! Biologically, our eyes and ears have evolved enormously differing processes in the handling and conceptualizations of these two (ultimately different) wave forms. Therefore, we find that, at even our most basic and intuitive level, we interpret color/light differently than sound.

Enjoy this lengthy snippet from two mind-blowing articles on the subject of wave comparison from MathPages; these quotes have really struck me!

….Arguably our physio-muscular imaginations can conceive of something cycling 200 times a second, but the frequencies of light are far outside any macroscopic physiological processes we can viscerally imagine. It’s also worth noting that while the frequency range of audible sound covers a factor of 1000, (about 10 octaves), the range of visible light covers only a factor of 2 (just one octave).

The differences between our mechanisms of perception of sight and sound are also quite striking. For example, although there is a rough analogy between the pitch of a sound wave and the color of a light wave (since both are related to the frequency of the wave), our perceptual mechanisms for discerning pitch and color are very different. Most people are capable of distinguishing two different accoustical tones, and deciding which of them has the higher frequency, but almost no one can hear an isolated tone and identify its absolute frequency in terms of the corresponding musical note. (This ability is called perfect absolute pitch, and is extremely rare, even among trained musicians). In contrast, nearly everyone has perfect “absolute pitch” for optical frequencies, in the sense that we can be shown a red object and identify it as red, without the need to compare it with any reference color. In other words, we aren’t limited to making comparative evaluations of light frequencies, we experience each color as an absolutely identifiable sensation, with no direction sensation of higher or lower light frequencies. If people are asked whether red has a higher or a lower frequency than blue, they probably don’t know (indeed they might guess red, because red seems like a “hotter” color), and yet they can very accurately recognize red and blue as absolute sensations.

….if we are very familiar with the sight of a red apple next to a green leaf in full daylight, and if we then view this scene in the orange glow of a sunset, both the apple and the leaf reflect different absolute spectra, but to some extent our visual processing infers the shift in illumination and compensates for it, so that we still perceive the apple as red and the leaf as green, even though their spectra at sunset are quite different from their spectra at noon. It’s tempting to make an analogy with how we recognize a familiar melody played in a different key, but in the case of color perception we are not shifting the whole frequencies, we are filtering out a common spectral component from all the elements of a scene.

…..Of course, it’s not strictly accurate to say that colors correspond to frequencies, because most perceived colors actually represent a continuous spectral density profile with non-zero energy over the entire range of visible frequencies, …for typical profiles [of] light that is perceived as the colors blue, green, and red.

These three colors constitute an effective basis for many other colors of visible light, meaning that many (though not all) other color sensations can be induced by some linear combination of these three. By superimposing all of them in equal amounts we get a spectral profile with energy distributed more or less uniformly over the whole visible spectrum, so it is perceived as white light. Other combinations give different color perceptions….

…the spectral density profiles we perceive as pure colors are not, in general, monochromatic. A monochromatic wave has all of its energy concentrated at just a single frequency and wavelength. (In practice it’s impossible to produce a perfectly monochromatic beam of light, but we can come very close.) The dominant wavelengths associated with common sources of blue, green, and red light are 430, 530, and 670 nanometers respectively. Monochromatic light of these frequencies induces the sensations of blue, green and red, even though they don’t have the full spectral densities of typical light with those colors. Moreover, experiments have shown that if we combine three monochromatic beams with those frequencies, the result is perceived as white, even though the energy is not uniformly distributed….. For example, the sensation of pure yellow can be matched by superimposing pure red and pure green, even though this superposition is not “actually” monochromatic yellow.

….the three types of cones are effectively “tuned” to respond to certain absolute frequencies. Thus the signals sent to the brain do not consist of raw amplitudes in time, nor even of frequencies, but simply of the degrees to which each of the three types of cones have been stimulated. As a result, although we have no sense of frequency of optical waves, we can recognize absolutely a range of frequencies (and mixtures) based on the excitation states of the S, M, and L cones. It follows that our sense of color is essentially three-dimensional, i.e., every color we perceive corresponds to some combination of three scalars, representing the degree to which each of the three types of cones is being excited.

…..Given the smallness of these wavelengths and the slight variations between one color and the next, it’s remarkable that the tuning works so well, and is so uniformly accurate over our central field of vision. (Color perception is much less accute in our periferal vision, where rods predominate over cones.) It has been reported that humans can distinguish wavelength differences as small as 0.2 nano-meters. How is it that “red” receptors in one region of our retinas are so perfectly correlated with “red” receptors in other regions of our retinas, and from one eye to the other? And how is it that this tuning remains stable and accurate for decades, and in all different temperatures? It seems clear that psychological compensation processes (like the process to compensate for different illuminants) must be involved.

If our ears contained just a few individual sensing elements, each tuned to one particular absolute frequency, we might all be able to recognize the absolute “color” of audible tones just as well as we can recognize absolute red. However, the ear needs to respond over a much larger range of frequencies, and the dimensionality of the “space” of audible sensation is much greater, i.e., we can distinguish a much greater variety of spectral characteristics of sound than we can of light. Roughly speaking, the coiled cochlea of the human ear has a varying elasticity along its length, so it can be regarded as a series of oscillators of different resonant frequencies, and these perform a fairly detailed spectral analysis of incoming sound waves, transmitting to the brain something a 3000 point spectral profile. The detailed mechanics of how the cochlea responds to stimuli are very complicated, and the study of this function is hampered by the fact that the mechanical properties change significantly if a cochlea is removed for study. Nevertheless, it seems clear that whereas the spectral analysis of optical stimuli has only three dimensions, the spectral analysis of aural stimuli has at least 3000 dimensions. It is not surprising that we (most of us) don’t memorize the absolute sensations associated with tones over ten octaves. Instead, perhaps for more efficient processing, we rely on relative memories of frequencies. The rarity of perfect absolute pitch may also be due partly to a greater variability in the resonance characteristics of our aural sense organs than of our optical sense organs, whose reception frequencies are determined by fundamental atomic absorption properties of certain specific molecules. In contrast, the frequencies of the cochlea are determined by the fluid pressure in the inner ear, and many other factors that could be sensitive to temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and so on.

The color sensation resulting from a combination of blue and red in equal measures is called magenta or purple. Not surprisingly, there is no such thing as monochromatic purple, because this color sensation results from the superposition of two frequencies at opposite ends of the visible spectrum. No single frequency will excite both the S cones and the L cones (except at very low levels), because the absorption spectra of those cones do not overlap very much. This accounts for our ability to conceive of a cycle of colors (a “color wheel”) even though the underlying phenomenon is a linear sequence of frequencies. If we naively believed colors mapped directly to frequencies, the existence of a cycle of colors would be paradoxical. The resolution of the paradox is that the “fictitious” color we call purple effectively “wraps around” from the high-frequency to the low-frequency end of the optical spectrum, enabling us to conceive of the color spectrum as a closed loop.

…..Just as we can conceive of a cycle of colors, there are also cycles with regard to accoustical pitch, but the basis for these cycles is completely different than for the cycle of colors. We do not have a fictitious pitch sensation (like an audible purple) to wrap around from the high to low end of the audible spectrum. If there were such a thing, we might conceive of a sonic wheel of tones….

Instead of this, sense of the “cycle” of audible tones is based on the harmonic relations modulo the octave. We associate each tone with its “equivalent” in other octaves. Since the range of audible frequencies covers ten octaves, each tone has ten audible “equivalents”. Placing the frequencies on a logarithmic basis, each octave is subdivided into the twelve tones of our traditional musical scale (so the frequency of each semi- tone differs from that of its neighbors by the factor 21/12), and then we place all the tones into equivalence classes modulo twelve (i.e., modulo one octave). It’s possible, by combining tones into a sequence of chords, to create the impression of an endlessly rising (or falling) loop. For example, there is a piano exercise consisting of a melodic line that leads naturally to a repetition of itself, but shifted four semi-tones higher in pitch….

It’s interesting that our optical senses cover almost exactly one octave, from 380 trillion Hz for the lowest red to 760 trillion Hz for the highest violet. If the color sensing elements in our eyes were analagous to strings with tensions and lengths tuned to certain frequencies, we might speculate that the red sensors would also have some propensity to absorb energy in the extreme blue/violet range, just as a string has a second energy mode at twice the base frequency. Of course, cones are not strings, but even in terms of the excitation levels of atoms we find simple arithemtic sequences of preferred energy levels, e.g., the Balmer and Lyman series for the absorption and emission frequencies of hydrogen atoms. However, these kinds of series do not generally favor frequencies rations of 2 to 1, so apparently the musical octave analogy is not valid for our sense of color. Nevertheless, it so happens that the “red” cones in our eyes actually do have a secondary response characteristic in the extreme blue end of the spectrum, which accounts for why violet is perceived to have a reddish tint…. This wrap-around characteristic of the red cones contributes to our sense of a cycle (rather than a linear sequence) of colors. —from…

The energy distribution as a function of frequency (i.e., the power spectral density) of a beam of light can be regarded as an infinite-dimensional vector, specified by the values of the density at each of infinitely many frequencies. In other words, we can associate the spectrum of any beam of light with a unique point in an infinite-dimensional space. However, from the standpoint of human vision, the space of visible light sensations is only three-dimensional, meaning that the visual perception of any beam of light can be characterized by just three numbers. One possible basis for characterizing a beam of light consists of the intensities of a matching combination of three primary colors (e.g., red, green, blue). Another possible basis consists of hue, saturation, and intensity. Regardless of which basis we choose, the space of visual sensation has just three dimensions, rather than infinitely many.

The reason our optical sensations have only three dimensions is that our eyes contain just three kinds of cones, each with a characteristic absorption spectrum….

Physically every color sensation discernable to the human eye can be produced by some combination of positive amounts of the pure spectral colors, i.e., the monochromatic lights corresponding to the curved locus RuGvB….

One interesting aspect of our sense of color is that although red is normally associated with the low end of the range of visible frequencies, the color violet (at the high end of the frequency range) has a reddish-blue appearance. This is because the predominantly low-frequency cones in our eyes also have some absorption at the very high frequencies.

This wrap-around effect may be due to the “octave effect”, because the longest visible wavelengths are about 760 nm (extreme red) and the shortest are about 380 nm (extreme blue), which is a ratio of exactly 2 to 1. Thus the first harmonic of the extreme red absorption cones is in the extreme blue frequency range, so it isn’t surprising that the red cones resonate slightly in response to violet light. —from…

So, our chakra color system is built upon a system of wave-convergence and that which represents “a continuous spectral density profile with non-zero energy over the entire range of visible frequencies”; versus sound waves, which are immensely more specific and precise. Again, this is reflected in the hugely different numbering systems in the measurements of each vibrational form.

Where does all this leave us?

Ultimately, it’s some really meaty food to mull over and reflect upon in relation to the value of the chakras. 🙂

Perhaps, as with many facets of our experience and being, the chakra system provides a mythological picture of the integrated harmony and fellowship of the mind and body and consciousness: its emotions and behavior and outlook, and how we can relate to them and their functions on a particle-level, so to speak.

Or, perhaps this will lead us to re-evaluate how we utilize the traditional understandings of the energy centers, by way of integrating and valuing the differences in, not only the sound and color vibrations themselves, but in how we are naturally built to receive and interpret them.

Food for thought!

Gnosticism and Kundalini

This excerpt from the most informative and thoughtful article “Christ and the Kundalini” by Dr. Ramesh Manocha beautifully articulates the true essence of Christ’s long-misunderstood teachings, bringing light to an age-old problem of dogma and religious infighting. Enjoy this brief selection, and click on the link above to read through the entire article; I highly recommend it!

In the Gospel of Peace, Christ explains that the experience of spirituality is foremost. …He says “Seek not the law in your Scriptures for the law is life, whereas the Scripture is dead. I tell you truly Moses received not his laws from God as writing but through the living word. The law is living word for living God to living prophets for living men. In everything that is life to the law is the law written, for I tell you truly all living things are nearer to God than the Scripture which is without life. I tell you truly that the Scripture is the work of man, but life and all its hosts are the work of our God. Wherefore do you not listen to the words of God which are written in his works? And wherefore do you study the dead Scriptures which are from the hands of men?”

Thus Christ’s law is a living, cosmic and experiential one, and is actuated by the awakening of the spiritual experience within the seeker, not by intellectual study or by following those who themselves have not truly had the experience…. More so, self realisation is a process of genuine, inner spiritual transformation which must be experienced to be understood, since it lies beyond the domain of scriptural description or theological definition. Since it is gained by the grace of the Divine Mother( Holy Spirit) alone, it is most certainly not possible to organise or institutionalise this experience in human terms.

…Christ’s spirituality differed radically from our modern understanding. His teaching was dynamic and zen-like focusing on the experience of inner purification and transformation, the elevation of the seeker’s awareness into the state (not concept or dogma) of self-realisation. He sought to overthrow the immoral culture of the Romans and to deliver to the dogmatic, letter-bound Jews the mystic fulfilment promised to them in the Mosaic covenant.

Central to his teaching was the understanding that the feminine aspect of God, God the Mother, was the means by which self-realisation and spiritual evolution to god-awareness occurred. Christ venerated the Divine Mother as the Holy Spirit. It is this power, described in the East as residing in the human being as the Kundalini, that is the last vestige of the Goddess-tradition in the Christian West.

…..Why did the Churches suppress these true christian traditions? Partly because they are patriarchal institutions based on the questionable dogma of Paul who perceived women (and therefore the feminine principle) as inferior entities. Partly also because spirituality which focused on the Divine Feminine would also focus on the redemptive power of God the Mother and on Her role as the grantor and matriarch of mystical experience. This kind of understanding, like all mystics and mysticism, defies organisation, dogmatic hierarchies and institutions preferring the role of individual experience, revelation and progressive growth toward divine awareness.

The Holy Ghost, then, threatened to neutralise the fear-oriented dogma which the Churches have used, in the name of Christ and Spiritual Truth, to maintain their secular power and wealth.

…Consider Christ’s warning “he who has blasphemed against the holy ghost shall be damned forever”. What then of the Churches who have virtually edited the divine feminine out of the Western Cultural tradition in order to maintain their grip on the masses?

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