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A Universal Spiritual Tradition…

In the last blog, I spoke about a universal spiritual tradition that was at the root of every major religion on earth, pagan or mainstream.This tradition, directly or indirectly and to a greater or lesser degree, speaks of a fall, a change from a higher to lower state of awareness. But unlike the fall depicted in Judeo-Christian traditions, the fallen, according to this wisdom, are never really separated or different from that from which they have fallen away, neither was there the concept of sin attached to this event. The fall, though apparently a mistake, was ultimately intentional, because the Source and the fallen were one.

The Source—call it God, the One, the Monad—permeates everything. Therefore, the fall was an act of conscious self-limitation, a dispersing of one Universal Consciousness into the appearance of many limited points of view. Limitation means ignorance of the whole, and ignorance is a form of shadow. So, shadow and error were inherent in human experience. This is why one often hears the world described as an illusion by offshoots of this tradition, illusion meaning that human consciousness is separated from the reality of its oneness not in fact but by misperception.

Central in this collective story is the recognition that the universe, both seen and unseen, was shaped by intelligent forces. In physics, we have gravity, electro-magnetism and the strong and weak nuclear forces. These unseen forces shape our physical world. But, according to the ancient wisdom, even these energies were controlled by higher forces that affected the human soul (the psyche) as well. Natural law had a mathematical precision; the psychic world of the mind and soul was chaotic, seemingly subject to random chance and full of suffering. It was order and chaos, good and evil, side by side. How is this duality possible when even the scientist and the religious believer instinctively sense a unity behind all things? The scientist searches for the holy grail of a grand unified field theory to unite all the natural forces. The religious person seeks God, and if God is everything, how can a loving god be the source of all the evil in the world? What kind of god toys with us by tempting us into evil with the gift of free will? More on this next time.

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