Previous info on Law of Attraction has showed the importance of what you think and feel in order to create the life you want. Both are important yet at a deeper layer we need to go beyond surface thoughts and feelings to deeper states of peace from which character qualities are formed. Character in fact is what attracts the best into our life. In this you and the universe are co-creators.
Archive for the ‘Life & Death’ Category
Posted in Blogging, Creativity, Culture, Entertainment, General, Life, Life & Death, Media, News, Opinion, Personal, Reflections, Sensationalism, tagged Death, Jackson 5, King of Pop, Legacy, Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson Fans, michael jackson history, michaeljackson, MJ, mj jackson, Pop Music on June 26, 2009| 3 Comments »
Reflecting on the Life of Michael Jackson is bittersweet experience. On the one hand, his music is full of life and vitality, yet you have an artist whose life becomes increasingly isolated and tormented.
We can look at his life in decades:
60s Talented and adorable singer of the Jackson 5
70s Raw energy and vitality
80s Creative and innovative peak, earning the title “the King of Pop”
90s Increasing isolation and media sensationalism
00s Legal and financial controversies overshadowed his music
10s Tragic because he dies in 2009 never making it to the next decade or having a comeback as so many artists do in their later years…..though the music lives on.
The controversies may also live on given our obsession with rumours but I hope the music is what is remembered most and we leave aside looking at a life gone suddenly as voyeurs.
One idea that I’ve had given the debt Michael has supposedly accumulated along with the fact that MJ never got to do the planned comeback tour. I suggest that the tour continue as a remembrance of the King of Pop with performances by musicians who have a connection with him and want to honour him. Some or most of the proceeds can pay the debts, set a fund for his children and help pay for the cost of the concerts.
I have no idea how plausible this idea is but if Band Aid can be done, then maybe this is also possible with enough committed people who want to do it.
In this article I will analyze, from my own perspective, the merits and demerits of the book ‘Gandhian Mysticism’ by Mohit Chakrabarti. I will consider the quality of the book in terms of its contribution to the understanding of mysticism, by means of its structure and content. Finally, I will conclude whether I feel the author has accomplished his task; –that being a scholarly study of Gandhian mysticism.
Chakrabarti defines mysticism as a “beyonding of consciousness” (Chakrabarti, 1). Further, Chakrabarti refers to Gandhian mysticism as “growth eternal from Truth to Truth” (Chakrabarti, 1). Chakrabarti’s main focus of his book ‘Gandhian Mysticism’ is to study Gandhi’s understanding of mysticism from various avenues of Gandhian thought. Gandhian Mysticism is further explained in relation to non-violence, in terms of the concept of joy, as well as in view of its practical application in face of social tension.
Firstly, the author attempts to explain Gandhi’s ideas on the various dimensions of mysticism. Gandhi thinks that “service is the symbol of self-sacrifice and self-purification leading to enlightenment in the mystic vision” (Chakrabarti, 2). Gandhi believes in living a life based on simplicity, non-violence, and Truth, as revealed by his mystical vision. Gandhi suggests that all persons have the potential and ability to live likewise. Gandhian mysticism may be termed “spirituality in action” (Chakrabarti, 2). Gandhi’s mysticism as spirituality in action is further described as:
“Spirituality in its essence is the direct experience in one’s own consciousness and one’s whole being, of Oneness of all Existence without the least doubt or wavering. Awareness of such oneness in one’s own consciousness without any feeling of separateness with any thing in the universe…such awareness is said to have two stages, not necessarily one after the other: the perception of Oneness…which is attended by a momentary sense of fulfillment and ecstatic joy.” (Chakrabarti, 3)
Gandhi’s personal aspiration and ambition, in terms of mysticism is described as wanting to “see God face to face” (Chakrabarti, 3). In order to achieve this mystical experience, Gandhi takes on the spiritual discipline of maintaining vows, for the purpose of self purification. By the process of self purification the ego is transcended. Thus Gandhi is able to experience the mystical state of being called Superconsciousness. Gandhi considers mysticism as “the essence of the human soul” (Chakrabarti, 6). Also Gandhi prescribes the practise of self purification as a means of hearing the voice of God within:
“Having made a ceaseless effort to attain self-purification, I have developed some little capacity to hear correctly and clearly the still small voice within” (Chakrabarti, 8)
To be a continual visualizer in the mystic vision, Gandhi gives prominence to the “still small voice within” (Chakrabarti, 8). The Gandhian concept of mysticism suggests a “return to the roots of consciousness, as mysticism makes inroads to higher feeling” (Chakrabarti, 9). Love, not hatred, is the single factor that has, as Gandhi points out “an abiding force to see inwardly and see in fullness” (Chakrabarti, 10). The mystic merges in Love, and Love merges in the mystic.
Gandhian mysticism in general then progresses to a study of Gandhian mysticism in relation to specifics such as non-violence, the concept of joy and practical applications in face of social tension.
In relation to non-violence, Gandhian mysticism has a practical application of approaching life in terms of “action based on the refusal to harm deliberately” (Chakrabarti, 36). Gandhi understands non-violence to be the “law of our being” (Charkrabarti, 36). Gandhi’s mystic vision is that materialism be transformed in the vision of spiritual harmony. According to Gandhian mysticism, the spirit is more important than matter. Through the practise of non-violence the spirit can transform matter, by means of the Truth-force or Soul-force generated. Thus the mysticism of Gandhi aims at a philosophy based on non-violent action.
As a seeker of non-violence, Gandhi always makes an inward journey into his own consciousness. This inner journey, according to Gandhian mysticism, enables one to become more self-aware and to discern right from wrong. What is remarkable in Gandhian mysticism, is the pursuit of the benevolence of humankind as the means toward achievement of mystic fulfillment. One begins the journey inwardly, by the process of inward vision. However, through the observance of outward activities based on non-violence, one continues the journey. Gandhi always affirms goodness and welfare to all living beings. He equates non-violence as the means to achieve his mystical vision of Truth, Peace, and Love.
In relation to the concept of joy, Gandhian mysticism highlights the conscious awareness “to feel within oneself the spirit of joy arising out of the sense of goodness and love derived by means of non-violence as the symbol of mystic contentment” (Chakrabarti, 99). Gandhi mystically visualizes the joy in humanity that must manifest itself in brilliant radiance. Gandhi’s testimony to the world reveals his mystic concept of joy:
“There is a spirit which, I feel, delights to do no evil, nor to revenge any wrong, but delights to endure all things…as it bears no evil in itself, so it conceives none in thought to any other. If it be betrayed it bears it: for its ground and spring is the mercies and forgiveness of God” (Chakrabarti, 100). Gandhi believes that as soon as one achieves control over oneself, the joy in oneself comes out (Chakrabarti, 101). Gandhi, the mystic visionary, embraces the world as the eternal fountain of joy. Gandhi insists that we ‘illumine or perish’ (Chakrabarti, 103). Gandhi says that the ‘gateway to the world of joy is always open for those who come to have an unhindered entry through the vision of joy’ (Chakrabarti, 103).
Finally the book on ‘Gandhian Mysticism’‘ relates Gandhi’s mysticism to practical applications in face of social tension. Gandhi thinks that the modern social pattern of utilitarianism necessitates a mystic breakthrough. Gandhi feels that much of the modern world is devoid of mutual co-operation, cohesion and of feeling for one and all (Chakrabarti, 105). Gandhi envisions mankind as becoming “conscious of the inner worth of humanity and so alleviate the sorrows and sufferings consequential to poverty (Chakrabarti, 106). Gandhi believes that social change can be achieved through a “silent inward revolution” (Chakrabarti, 107). This inward revolution teaches humanity how to live honestly and with devotion to Truth and goodness. As a mystic visionary, Gandhi delves deep into social miseries, suffering and poverty. Gandhi believes and actualises in his activities the fact that Love is the cure for all wrongs and sufferings of distressed humanity (Chakrabarti, 111).
The above dimensions of Gandhian mysicism, from the standpoint of his unique strategy of non-violence, brings forth a new awareness of the future potential of humanity. The potential of social progress, Love and Truth manifest in the world. Gandhian mysticism encompasses the two aspects of firstly an inwardness of vision and secondly an outward action in response to one’s vision. Gandhian mysticism thus becomes second to none as a technique of applying the inner essence of humanity toward the good of one and all.
I feel that the merits or strengths of the book ‘Gandhian Mysticism’ are found primarily in the depth of insight within the content of the text. The author has a refined understanding of Gandhi’s mystical understanding and visions. Furthermore, the author supports his views well with direct quotes from Gandhi, in order to strenghen the content of the text.
The structure of the text is good; beginning with an overview of Gandhian mysticism, then focusing on specifics in terms of modern day social tensions. I feel that the author has accomplished his aim of enhancing the reader’s understanding of Ganhian mysticism.
However, I think the text has the demerit of being somewhat too short in length. An in depth analysis of Gandhian mysticism in relation to Satyagraha (passive resistance) would have enhanced the quality of the text. Nevertheless, in view of the strengths found in the text, I would recommend ‘Gandhian Mysticism’ as excellent reading.
Chakrabarti, Mohit ‘Ganhian Mysticism’ 1989.
Atlantic Publishers and Distributors,
New Delhi, India.
After a thorough perusal of the Book of Job, one can only conclude that Job learns a great deal from his experience. Of significance is Job’s theophany, his mystical religious experience of communicating with God. Job’s religious experience results in his new awareness of God’s omniscience and omnipotence. Job learns to be theocentric, rather than anthropocentric. In contrast, Job never does learn about the generic cause of his suffering. The cause being the wager between Satan and God.
Job had always been a pious man and had lived a life of material comfort. Throughout chapters one to thirty-seven in the Book of Job, Job experiences misfortune. As a reaction to the extreme suffering that Job must contend with, he falls into a deep and continual state of despair. A despair that threatens his faith in God.
Job repeatedly proclaims his innocence. He feels as if he were being punished by God, with no just cause. Where there is faith there is hope. However, Job’s faith in God becomes progressively weak. Job begins to lose all hope. The weakening of Job’s faith becomes apparent when he says:
“I tell you that God has wronged me and enveloped me in his net” (Job 19, 6)
As Job’s faith in God becomes weaker, it is evident that Job begins to lose hope of ever seeing happiness again. Job replies to Eliphaz:
“My days are over, so are my plans, my heart-strings are broken… Where then is my hope? Who can see any happiness for me?” (17, 11-15)
Friends and relatives give advice to Job. However, everyone believes that Job must have sinned and is being punished. Job proclaims his innocence and finds no comfort from others. God seems far away and evil appears to be triumphant. Evidently, until chapter thirty-seven of the Book of Job, Job maintains an anthropocentric perspective. If human beings were the centre of everything, then Job’s understanding of his suffering might bring some light to his situation. However, Job has more to learn.
The three sages, the friends of Job, have failed to justify God. Thus, Job is in a state of ever deepening despair, until God speaks to him. The discourses of Yahweh are a major turning point for Job. Job’s theophany, (mystical religious experience), is his direct discourses with God, where he learns the most. Job’s profound learning restores his faith in the Divine.
The first discourse with Yahweh teaches Job about the Creator’s wisdom. Job learns that God is omiscient, all knowing. Yahweh asks Job many questions:
“Have you grasped the celestial laws?” (38, 33)
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations? Tell me since you are so well informed!” (38, 4)
“Who decided its dimensions, do you know?” (38, 5)
Job begins to realize that the human intellect is limited in understanding. Job replies to Yahweh:
“My words have been frivolous! What can I reply? I had better lay down my hand over my mouth, I have spoken once, I shall not speak again: I have spoken twice, I have nothing more to say.” (40, 4-5)
Thus, Job acknowledges God’s omniscience. Job realizes that perhaps he doesn’t understand his own suffering completely. However, God being all knowing, would have the absolute wisdom necessary to understand Job’s suffering.
Secondly, through the discourses of Yahweh, Job learns that God is omnipotent. God asks Job:
“Do you really want to reverse my judgement, Put me in the wrong and yourself in the right? Has your arm the strength of God’s, Can your voice thunder as loud?” (40, 8-9)
Yahweh reminds Job that he is not strong enough to save himself, let alone anyone else. Yahweh challenges Job by stating:
“Let the fury of your anger burst forth, humble the haughty at a glance. At a glance bring down all the proud, strike down the wicked where they stand.” (40, 11-12)
Job finds comfort, as a result of his mystical religious experience, communicating directly with God. Job comes to know God more completely. Job has overcome his weakening faith. Now, he has a stronger faith and a deeper understanding of God.
Job also learns of God’s omnipotence. Yahweh reminds Job of the strength of Divine power. Through faith in God, Job’s hope is restored. The suffering that Job experiences must be temporary. Eventually, Job will experience happiness once again. The progress of Job’s learning is portrayed in his final answer to Yahweh:
“Before, I knew only by hearsay, but now, having seen you with my own eyes, I retract what I have said, and repent in dust and ashes.” (42, 5-6)
Job’s learning is progressive; from an anthropocentric (human centered) to a theocentric (God centered) perspective. By understanding that God is in the centre, Job begins to see himself as a small unit within a larger, yet Divine plan. Job realizes that everything cannot happen for his benefit alone. By means of God’s omniscience and omnipotence, eventually Divine justice will reign supreme. Job reaffirms what he has learned through his experience by answering Yahweh:
“I know that You are all-powerful; what You conceive: You can perform. I was the man who misrepresented your intentions with my ignorant words.” (42, 2-3)
In contrast to all the profound learning that Job gains through his experience, Job has learned nothing about the generic cause of his suffering. Initially, there was a wager established between Satan and God. Misfortune and suffering, were originally thrust upon Job due to Satan challenging God. Satan, was sure that Job would lose faith in God, if tested by severe suffering. Both Satan and Yahweh knew all along about the wager that led to Job’s suffering. Even after Yahweh’s discourses, Job never learns about the wager between Satan and God. The real purpose behind Job’s suffering is never revealed to him.
One can only conclude that Job’s theophany, his mystical religious experience of speaking directly with God, results in a progressive learning experience. Before his religious experience, Job understands his suffering from an anthropocentric perspective. After learning from his mystical religious experience, Job becomes theocentric, or God centered. In contrast, Job never learns anything about the real cause of his suffering– the wager between Satan and God. In the heart of the tempest, while in the depths of despair, Job’s faith and hope are restored. Job learns more about the Divine nature of Yahweh–the attributes of omniscience and omnipotence. Profound learning results from Job’s experiences, both the suffering and the theophany. Job’s happiness is re-established, and his love for God deepens.
All references to the book of Job in this article refer to:
The New Jerusalem Bible. 1990. Bantam Publishing Ltd., London
We felt this was an important article on emotions to share with our readers. Our novel “Nexus: A Neo Novel” also deals with uncovering layers of emotions and learning to deal with them. The following insights about your emotions presented by Aymen Fares are helpful and worth noting:
We have covered our thoughts and we have touched upon ego. This month we look at emotions. Emotions control most peoples lives. They are an inexplicable force that the majority of us have to deal with on a daily basis.
Think of your emotions in terms of energy currents. Imagine an energy field around you which changes shape, colour and texture as your emotions change. In spiritual terms this is called your astral body. Some people call this your emotional body or energy field.
Generally, your emotions serve your personality or your ego. If you wish to achieve a measure of personal development you must learn to master your emotions and not be ruled by them. This personal development is one of the first steps on the spiritual path of initiation and is also known as spiritually evolving. The goal of our personal development is to exercise control of our emotions. Energetically this is like calming the stormy sea and symbolically, emotions are represented by water.
This doesn’t mean that we do not ‘feel’ or that we should ‘shut off’ as many people do, on the contrary the only way to master your emotions is to get closer to them and actually find out what you really are feeling.
Our emotional needs are often manifested in physical form. A simple example would be; eating, many people eat too many sweets. Sweets are often used as a reward by parents or eaten at celebrations and may be associated with happiness. People who are not happy have a subconscious craving to eat sweets. Emotions control this behaviour.
Other ways in which emotions dominate are numerous. You may seek to satisfy desire in many ways, food, money and sex are common ways to do this. Your subconscious emotional needs dominate and cause behaviour which is not ‘good’ for you.
We measure ‘good’ from a reference point of what you, the soul behind your ego, thoughts and personality wants. Through the veil of emotion and ego, a clear path is often needed before your true self is discovered.
The way to still the waters is to
1. Find out what you are thinking.
2. Respond, rather than react.
Reacting means you are usually expressing a negative emotion such as anger and jealousy. Please notice how I said expressing. If we respond rather than react we will still feel the emotion. We do not however have to express it in a negative fashion. This two step process is simple, but hard to put into practice, the heat of the moment often providing a difficult training ground.
A common way to overcome this difficulty is to work backwards. Start with the moments that cause you to react. Look at incidents that cause you to get emotional, situations where people ‘push your buttons’. Anger and Jealousy are easy places to start.
Look for the message about yourself, don’t just react.
Your emotions originate from thoughts. Unravel the thread. Find the thought pattern behind the emotion. All negative emotions start with a fear.
Take jealousy for instance. This is based on the fear of losing your partner. It also has it’s origins from the incorrect assumption that you posses your partner. This shows up as issues of self worth and it means that you are comparing yourself to another person and judging yourself as less.
Envy is another negative emotion and again the origin is fear. The focus with envy is on what we are lacking. What you are really thinking is “The other person has what I want” This is based on one of two ideas;
There is not enough for everyone and I might be inadequate
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I am not happy with myself or my situation.
This manifests with you launching an attack or belittling the person or object of your envy. Statements such as “I didn’t want that anyway” “That’s no good because…” mean you are focusing on what you don’t have.
Change your thoughts, focus instead on what you do have.
Once you are aware of the mechanics which come into play when your negative emotions are aroused, you have come a long way. What is required to finish the task at hand is a willingness to confront yourself. Remember, when emotions are raised in YOU, that is the signal for you to look inside. A common trap along the way is failure to look at yourself and instead look to the other person involved. This means you are not taking responsibility for your self. You need to shift the focus back onto you.
Finding and facing your fears is not always easy. All you need is light. Once you illuminate your fears to yourself, they quickly dissolve along with the accompanying emotion.
By Aymen Fares
Aymen Fares is an International Life Coach with clients all over the world. He is based in Melbourne Australia. Article originally posted on spiritual.com.au