A Change in Perspective

            Consider the revelation that was experienced by Copernicus. He was a priest, scholar, and an astronomer, who had the benefit of the observations and notations made by many astronomers over several centuries.  Although they had meticulously plotted and noted the movements of the planets against the back ground of distant stars, yet they did so from the prospective that the center of the solar system was the earth, and that everything they could see in the evening sky revolved around the earth.  From this false prospective they could not discern the laws that governed planetary movements. Their path across the night sky seemed erratic and arbitrary. (the word ‘planet, means wanderer) At times the planets appeared to stop and move backwards. (this was due to their elliptical orbits around the sun.)  Copernicus believed the world was created by God and governed by law and principles that were omnipresent. He could not accept that the movements of the celestial bodies were random and chaotic. The path of the moon was predictable, how was it that he failed to discern the order in the movements of the other bodies he observed in the evening sky? His faith in a creation governed by a Universal Intelligence compelled him to seek the truth. Copernicus realized that the moon orbited the earth but the planets orbited the sun. He observed the same planets as his predecessors but with the true prospective he was able to calculate their orbits and predict their locations. Soon after the publication of Copernicus, other observers were able to discern the laws and principles where before they could only see random movements. Keplar wrote of the harmony of the celestial bodies.  He calculated all the ratios of the octave from his observations of the seven planetary bodies he could see. Isaac Newton then elucidated the laws that governed the movements of the planets and all matter.

            Our inability to discern the order and harmony intrinsic to our lives arises from our egocentric view, the view that the individual is separate and distinct from everything outside his body. From this self-centered prospective every impression is discerned from a desire to satisfy the individual’s wants and needs. The true prospective to be realized is that our true Self is consciousness, and the one consciousness is the essence of all and everything. Observation from an awareness of a larger sense of Self – of a Universal Consciousness, reveals order and law (Dharma) in every aspect of life.

P.D. Ouspensky, a Russian philosopher and teacher wrote Tertium Organum In it he explored the idea of a fourth dimension, relating it to infinity and time.     ‘Things are linked together not by time but by an inner connection, an inner relationship. And time cannot separate things which are inwardly close and follow one from another… Phenomena which appear to us totally unrelated may be seen by another wider consciousness as part of one whole. Side by side with our view of things, another view is possible, another method of perception, a new understanding that regards a phenomenon not as something isolated, but in conjunction with all the chains intersecting it.’

Carl Jung wrote of what he called The Law of Synchronicity – of events that are clearly connected though there is no apparent physical connection.  He used as an example: a woman orders a blue dress, a black dress is delivered and the same day a loved one dies. We have all had such experiences.  The obvious connection cannot be dismissed as random chance or ‘coincidence’, for it is known that on some level the events are connected. Such events are evidence of an underlying unity, a unity of which we have occasional glimpses that may reveal profound insights.

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Welcome to The Journey Back!

This is the second issue of a monthly journal of essays, stories, and quotes to help illuminate the way for men and women who travel this road toward Truth and Self-Discovery. We have the benefit of the conscious work, love, and sacrifice of the men and women who have searched for sacred knowledge, worked to realize that Truth in their life, and pass it on to other seekers.

 

The Vagabond

There was once a wanderer who spent his days walking from place to place in the search for his next meal and a place to rest.  Once, after a long night during which he had found neither food nor rest, he found himself, just before dawn, standing in front of a wall.  He was very hungry, tired, and dirty.  But most of all, he was hungry.  He realized that the king’s garden was on the other side of the wall and he thought, “Perhaps I will steal into the garden and eat some fruit.”

Desire, thought, action, is the usual progression, and so he climbed over the wall and fell into the garden.  He got up, waited a minute for his eyes to grow accustomed to the predawn light, and then walked to the center of the orchard where he hoped to pick some fruit.  He took a winding path through the garden and found his way to the fruit trees when he heard someone coming.  He looked around and was full of fear.  He was too far from the wall to get back without being seen, and there was no place to hide.  He was sure he would be seized and thrown into the king’s dungeon.   In an act of desperation, he sat down, crossed his legs, closed his eyes, and pretended to meditate.

          The king and his attendant were taking a morning walk.  When they entered the orchard they saw the man and the king stopped.  He said in a whisper, “Ah, a holy man has graced our garden with his presence, let us not disturb his morning meditation.”  He turned and walked down another path, he said to his servant, “Go and attend to his needs.”

          The vagabond sat in a terrible state of agitation while trying to sit still and appear calm and serene.  He had heard people approach, and now it seemed they had walked away.  He sat for a few minutes controlling his trembling.  He was about to open his eyes when he heard people coming back.  They came very close and then withdrew.  Whatever was happening?   After awhile he opened one eye a crack and saw that he was alone.  Before him were a, a bathing bowl filled with warm water, towels, soap, oil and brush for his hair, and a clean linen garment.  He sprang up, looked at the wall, and at the bath.  He had not bathed in a long time and so he removed his garment and bathed.  When he finished he put on the clean garment, he looked at the hanging fruit, and the wall.  But before he could decide he heard people returning.  Filled with terror he sat down and again pretended to meditate.  He was sure this time he would be seized and punished.

Again he heard people approach very close and then withdraw.  When he opened his eyes the bath and dirty linens were gone and on a blanket was a breakfast for a king.  There was fresh bread, fruits, juices and buttered tea, sweet meats and several delicacies.  It was a meal better than he had ever eaten.  When he was finished he pulled the blanket around him and fell into a deep sleep. 

          He awoke to the sounds of the birds, the late morning light illuminated the beautiful garden.  He stood up and stretched.  He was clean, well fed, and rested.  He looked around and stood in wonder at his good fortune and then he had a thought so surprising that he sat back down, “If all this happens from pretending to meditate, what would happen if I actually did meditate!”

                                                 

                                      ***

         

At times we sit to meditate and the mantra is overwhelmed with thoughts and imaginings. It is not enough to sit for awhile, to pretend to meditate.  We must take up this mantra we have been given, let it fill our heart and mind and lead us home to the Kings garden –  the kingdom of our Self.

 

                                          ***

 

I met a man on a hiking  trail.  He said he was out for a week.  He was traveling light.  He had no tent.

He said he liked to sleep in a hammock under the stars, and wake up looking at the sky.

It sounded very appealing.

Then I asked, ‘ But what if it rains?

He said, ‘ You take the bad with the good.’

            I suspect he was a happy man.

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Great Reviews for East Meets West!

“East Meets West is a fascinating story that is well told. The chapters reveal how that migration [of ancient spiritual knowledge] was precipitated by a few inspired men and women of uncommon courage and discipline.” —Vincent Dubiansky, President, Georgia Philosophy Foundation, Inc

“After reading East Meets West one feels as if one has been taken on a spiritual journey at high speed. [It] is packed with detailed information, striking quotes and lively dialogue … I highly recommend [it] to a wide audience.” —Dorine Tolley, author of The Way of Hermes and The Power of Now

“The transmission of Vedanta philosophy and the methods of Yoga from India to the West is one of the most important phenomena of the modern era. It has already transformed the way people understand religion and practice their spirituality, and that process seems destined to continue, just as the flow of Western technology and industry to India will continue. In East Meets West John Adago engagingly describes some of the most significant figures in this subtle and profound history. It is a welcome addition to the global conversation.” —Philip Goldberg, author of American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West

John Adago’s book, East Meets West in my personal opinion is the unequivocal “go-to” book for anyone wanting to learn the impact of Eastern spirituality on the Western world.  This book chronicles the history of when Eastern philosophy was first introduced along with projections of where this impact will take us in the future. Kudos John for your years of dedicated practice and research on this subject. (Philippe SHOCK Matthews: Host the Philippe Matthews Show -www.thePMshow.tv | Executive Director of the HOW Movement - www.HowMovement.org)

Shakespeake Ethic

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Interview with John Adago about East Meets West

This is a recent interview aired on Feburary 17, 2014 on WOCA 1370 Gainsville, Florida. If you’re interested in interviewing me about East Meets West you can email  me at johnadago@gmail.com

Enjoy

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Welcome to the Journey Back

This is the first issue of a monthly journal of essays, stories, and quotes to help illuminate the way for men and women who travel this road toward Truth and Self-discovery. We have the benefit of the conscious work, love, and sacrifice of the men and women who have searched for sacred knowledge, worked to realize that Truth in their life, and pass it on to other seekers.

This is an interactive journal.  Essays, stories, and quotes are welcome, also questions about the Work, philosophy, and the history of the Teachers as well as their organizations.  Submit material and questions to johnadago@gmail.com

East Meets West

Now available in bookstores. Ebook version is also available through www.amazon.com.

Excerpt from East Meets West by John Adago

I went to India in search of a school or schools. I realized that
personal or individual efforts were insufficient and it was
necessary to come in touch with the real and living thought
which must be in existence somewhere, but with which we had
lost touch. I was going to ‘seek the miraculous,’ I had come to the
conclusion that there was no escape from the labyrinth of contradictions
in which we live our life except by an entirely new road.
The ‘miraculous’ was a penetration beneath the thin film of
our superficial life to an unknown reality. And it seemed to me
that the way to that reality could be found in the East.

P. D. Ouspensky

 

***

EMOTIONS

Dr. Francis C. Roles said, “The meditation is half of the business; that, as the mystics say, you give up all of your willing and thinking, and then you will hear the truth. That is half of it. The rest of your life you have to be somebody of good thinking and good will, otherwise you get into frightful trouble! If you meditate and then go and think nasty things about people I am told God does not like it.”  

To be is to be positive. To be negative is to not be. Ouspensky spoke of the importance of not expressing negative emotions. Leon MacLaren wrote, “The expression of negative emotions leads to endless pain and suffering.” We are asked not to direct feelings that have a negative charge at other people. Anger, indignation, ridicule, jealousy, criticism, etc., are some of the negative emotions we direct at each other. 

A common response to this instruction is that it is unhealthy to suppress one’s feelings. Negativity that builds up in the emotional and physical body needs to be eliminated. Some is eliminated when we sleep. It can be eliminated by crying, laughter, meditation and one pointed attention, that is, devoting oneself completely to a task or activity. It is eliminated through exercise and strenuous activity. These means of eliminating negativity are beneficial and necessary. 

Directing an angry outburst at another is a different matter. The negativity is not eliminated, it is inflicted on another; and in the interaction it is magnified and increased. We have all witnessed an angry word grow into an argument. A loss of temper rarely results in action appropriate to the situation and generally has the opposite effect of what we intended. We may experience satisfaction from blowing our top but then we live with the negative consequences long after the incident. The outburst weakens the relationship, has a deleterious effect on health, burns up the subtle energy that is needed for wakefulness, and leaves a residue that is an impediment to meditation. This is common knowledge, so why is this behavior so prevalent? We take in impressions of light and sound and often convert them to coarse emotions and feelings. This conversion of a finer substance to a coarser substance serves nature and so we are compelled to do so even though the process does not benefit men and women or mankind. We have often noted that negative behavior is unbecoming, unreasonable, and destructive. It is the light of reason that will allow us to refrain from this habitual behavior. We need to cultivate the habit of never thinking of the defects of others, nor our own. Our attitude should be to look past them.  Let good thoughts prevail—this is the practice of purity in our daily life.  And so we “Forgive trespasses,” and are forgiven. 

        A part of this work is to convert negative emotions to positive, to return fine for course. We can meet anger with understanding, frustration with patience, hatred with empathy. Instead of reacting to the negative emotion we transform it within ourselves. The negativity is reduced instead of being amplified by our reaction.   

The key to everything we do is attention and intention. Both require presence, cognizance, playing an active part in the moment. When we act from habit with half-hearted attention, then the intention is always the same—it is self-serving.  We live much of our lives in a daydream, a melodrama. We are fascinated by this melodrama because the star of the story is always “me.”  Generally there is little we can change about the circumstances we find ourselves in. But we can change the emotional ground, the attitude, the purpose of the action we take in response to the situation. We can speak because we enjoy the attention and reaction of the listener or we can speak for the benefit of the listener. The former is habitual the latter is a conscious act.

The real work in a conversation takes place in the listening. Listening is a rare commodity today. People pay a therapist hundreds of dollars an hour to listen. It has always been the function of the doctor, the priest, or a true friend to provide this service. When one falls still, and gives whole-hearted attention to another, a space is provided that allows both people to grow in understanding. Dr. Roles said, “To fall still and listen without judgment is to Self remember.”

             This work is about knowledge that results in a change in being. The growth in being will result in us becoming what Leon MacLaren called “men and women of substance, who can be of service to humanity.” An action performed without love is a chore. Work with love becomes an act of devotion.

***

Words of The Wise

Inscribed above the entrance to temple at Delphi at Mt. Apollo

Know thyself

Measure is all, take nothing in excess.

Movement from movement is agitation, movement from stillness is creation. One learns to be happy without being excited and disappointed without being agitated.

– Sitaram Jaiswal

Readers are invited to submit essays and stories as well as questions that may arise from their spiritual pursuits; a group will attempt to provide answers.

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Welcome to The Journey Back

This is the first issue of a monthly journal of essays, stories, and quotes to help illuminate the way for men and women who travel this road toward Truth and Self-Discovery. We have the benefit of the conscious work, love, and sacrifice of the men and women who have searched for sacred knowledge, worked to realize that Truth in their life, and pass it on to other seekers.

This issue coincides with the publication of East Meets West by John Adago. Published by Shepheard-Walwyn Publishing, Ltd. of London, it is now available  in the US, Europe, and Australia

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Distributed by Independent Publishers Group (IPG), the book will be available in stores in paperback as well as in electronic book form from Amazon.

The journal will be posted on this site and can be emailed to you at no cost. Email johnadago@gmail.com to receive the e-journal. Your information will be held in confidence.

This is an interactive journal.  Essays, stories, and quotes are welcome, also questions about the Work, philosophy, and the history of the Teachers as well as their organizations.  Submit material and questions to the email address above.

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