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Archive for September 20th, 2006

This blog has a number of detailed posts on spiritual symbols. So a few people have asked how they relate to our novel. Nexus has many aspects to it and as a narrative it is primarily focused on a fast-paced plotline, though symbols are explicitly mentioned by Chandra Singh, a teacher in our story, to illustrate spiritual wisdom. Here is a passage where symbols find clear expression:

Another pause, and Chandra notes: The wisdom of this wholeness is conveyed succinctly in the Taoist yin-yang, the Hindu symbol, the Sri Yantra with its multiple interlocking triangles emerging from the center-point. A Kabbalistic interpretation of the Star of David also called the Seal of Solomon suggests that it is a harmony of two principles like heaven and earth. The pentagram also represents wholeness with each point representing one of the five elements.”

“The main point of all these symbols, except for the yin-yang, is the meeting-point at the center of two aspects. We are at the outer edges and our journey is to find the center. The yin-yang goes a step further in showing that polar opposites, rather than being exclusive, form the composite whole.

On this website, I have tried to explore some of the deeper aspects of symbols, which I hope will prove insightful for visitors. The common theme of wholeness and connectedness is expressed by many of them.

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The first verse of the Sikh Morning Prayer, Japuji Sahib, has always held a special meaning for me. So I would like to share it:

By rituals mind is not made pure even with a million rituals

Silence of the tongue does not silence the mind even when prolonged

Inwardly unsatisified do not find satisfaction even with all the world’s goods

Even with a million clever thoughts not even one accompanies you (at death)

How to become truthful? How to break the veil of illusion?

Says Nanak: “Accept the Will (Hukam) enshrined within”

This passage shows the futility of certain practices as paths to find truth, including ritual, asceticism (silence), materialism and empiricism (clever thoughts). So given that all these attempts fail, then how can one become truthful?

The veil of illusion mentioned is created by the ego-influenced mind that does not realize its connection with all life. The Will (Hukam) mentioned is similar in nature to the Tao in Taoism. Something that is subtle yet all are within it. When we search within ourselves, we find the understanding of the Hukam within. Then ego-based illusion of duality gives way to a vision of oneness.

The important aspect found throughout this passage is the contrast between outer practice and the inner state of mind. So that no matter what you attempt on the outside, it has little merit unless you can actually change the inner state of your mind. So Guru Nanak recommends that we look within our consciousness for the truth that we seek. The positive affirmation is that if we search within, we will find what we seek.

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i in nothingness exist

No black or white

No good or evil

No happiness or sorrow

No attachment or detachment

Neither this nor that

Yet connected to all

 

Permanent in temporality

 

All suffering

The product of dualities

Is overcome

By an integration of polarities

 

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