New on Katinka Hesselink Net
Keeping Elementals out of the Way, Katinka Hesselink
There's Enlightenment, and then there's Enlightenment (2) (various perspectives)
Honest Clairvoyants, Katinka Hesselink
Joke (Ken Wilber)
The earth doesn't belong to anyone. It is the land upon which
us are to live for many years, ploughing, reaping and destroying.
You are always a guest on this earth and have the austerity of a guest. Austerity is far deeper than owning only a few things. The very word austerity has been spoilt by the monks, by the sannyasis, by the hermits. Sitting on that high hill alone in the solitude of many things, many rocks and little animals and ants, that word has no meaning.
Countless sentient beings, I vow to
help to cross the ocean of existence.
Eternal Sufferings, I vow to end.
Innumerable spiritual methods, I vow to study and comprehend.
The buddha's unsurpassable supreme dharma, I vow to realize.
[Adapted from Kim Dieu's translation from the Vietnamese]
When talking about enlightenment, most people like to focus on what it looks like, what the experience is like. This is true especially where belief in the existence of something like enlightenment is absent. When one first hears of enlightenment the question 'what is it like?' is logical, because in the description of the state one can try and judge whether it is likely or not, whether it is worth fighting for, or not. The fact is though, there seems to be very little evidence that enlightenment is a state. What is it like to be a mathematician, one might ask my father. It must be remarkable to be able to understand so much. Having lived with my father all through my childhood I can tell you, it is not about what one knows, it is a lot of hard work and the satisfaction is in the work, in the search, in understanding more and more. A good mathematician will stop being a good mathematician almost as soon as he stops practising his craft, for the simple reason that though the talent is still there, and the knowledge is still there, the fire of investigation is gone. My guess is, enlightenment is also like that. This explains why the Dalai Lama in the fragment I publish here, focuses not so much on what enlightenment is like, but on the road to enlightenment. Krishnamurti does the same. Both talk not about how nice it is to experience oneness with the all, or how frightening it is. They don't talk about initiation, ritual, glowing lights and clairvoyant experiences. What they do talk about is much nearer to home: what is consciousness and how can one learn to keep it clear. They each approach the subject differently, but the thing they have in common is a focus on what there is here and now, and how we can deal with that which is.
John T. Houseman does talk about what an enlightened being is like. I guess we need to pay attention to that as well, not because it is important, but because it shows what isn't important in our daily lives. It shows which aspects of our lives will change and which will not.
In this issue of Lucifer7 I've submitted two articles of my
own; both on what one may call 'occult' matters. This wasn't planned;
it just worked out that way. The first is my interpretation of some
basic advice H.P.
Blavatsky gave to her esoteric students. This particular advice was
kept secret, so I guess I can write about it as well. The subject is
protection against elementals. It's a bit like writing an article on
to keep your bike from being stolen in
As always, contributions to this newsletter are invited.
Hesselink, Keeping Elementals out of the Way
Jiddu Krishnamurti, International Self-preparation Group - Manual (1925, 1926)
Golden Rules of Buddhism, Colonel H.S. Olcott
The Cauldren of Caridwen, Kenneth Morris
Fable for the New Year, John A. Royle
Once upon a time..., anonymous
Providence, L. Ram
The River of Becoming, Christman Humphreys
A Study of Two, C.L.D.
How much land does a man need?, Leo Tolstoy
Wadia, B.P. The Inner Ruler
The People of the Blue Mountains, H.P. Blavatsky
Two articles by Charles Danten have been added to my web site. They are too long for this e-zine, but I consider them important enough to give a fragment here, with a link to the full article.
One of the main obstacles is that animals
themselves willingly seek and appreciate our company. For many people
this seemingly natural attraction is the proof that animals and humans
have a noble,
natural inclination to love each other. It's all a con.
What we are confusing with a voluntary human-animal attraction can be explained by the imprint phenomena: a vital biological function discovered by Konrad Lorenz which makes any new born animal including humans automatically identify with the first moving object in his surroundings.
[The rest of this frankly shocking article. It will change the way you look at pets]
For the purposes of this essay elementals are the beings that swarm the astral, emotional and mental planes. Blavatsky tells us they are linked to planetary influences, thought, emotion and motive. They can also be described as semi-conscious forces in nature. Elementals are in essence neutral forces. Their moral colouring stems from mankind. Some take on positive form and become a positive influence in people's lives, because of loving thoughts, feelings and insights that some people 'breath out' as it were. Others, and these are more common, reflect humanities weaknesses: fear, a thirst for money, a hunger for alcohol or drugs, general selfishness, cruelty, envy, jealousy etc. Common human failings and faults that get reflected in the astral light. Unfortunately this reflection in the astral light isn't just a picture on a wall that most people don't notice. Many sensitive people do notice by getting a feel about a place: this is a good place; this is a bad place. Most other people get influenced by these things without even noticing the changes they make in their systems. The influence is deceptive because elementals only strengthen that which we already have in the germ. That may mean, as some say, that the only defence is a pure life. True, a pure life is the most fail-safemethod of protecting your aura. Still it is a bit hard to keep your aura clean if, living in a city, elementals keep coming in. Say there is a germ of envy in you. Left to your own devices (no elementals to mess things up) you would face it, see the foolishness of it and leave it. In short: you've cleaned up and grown a bit, spiritually. Now with elementals to strengthen the envy, facing it will be more necessary. This is the good part, you get to see the quality the elementals bring out. So you face it, but this costs more energy than in the previous example, while most of the envy isn't even your own responsibility. This means, whether you are able to conquer it or not, that energy gets wasted that might otherwise be used to help you grow in other ways. I have to remind you all that the elementals pray on our weak spots so in theory the person without weak spots won't have any problems. Still, H.P. Blavatsky said any initiate living in the hustle and bustle of normal life had the trouble of having to face all these elementals. It cost them their most spiritual of ‘powers’, she said. My personal interpretation of this is that even a waterproof raincoat won't keep the water out completely. In the same way, a high initiate will get his or her aura damp from the 'moist' of the elementals swarming our cities and malls.
On what to do, the rest of this article
"Consciousness" or "mind" has cognitive ability - there is something through which we know. Usually, we say: "I see, I learn, I know, I remember." There is one single element that acts as a medium for viewing all objects. At our level, the power or ability to know is very limited, but we have the potential to increase this ability to know. "Buddhahood" or "Buddhahood enlightenment" is when the potential of this ability to know has been fully developed. Merely increasing that capacity of knowing is also a level of enlightenment. So, the term "enlightenment" could refer to knowing something that you did not know or realizing something that you had not realized. But when we speak about enlightenment at the state of Buddhahood, we are speaking about a fully awakened state.
That is why, according to Buddhism, all our efforts ultimately should go to training or shaping our minds. Emotions such as hatred or strong attachment are destructive and harmful we call them "negative emotions." So how can we reduce these negative emotions? Not through prayer, not through physical exercise, but through training of mind. Through training of mind we try to increase the opposite qualities. When genuine compassion, infinite compassion, or unbiased compassion is increased, hatred is reduced. When equanimity is increased, attachment is reduced. All of these destructive emotions are based on ignorance, and the opposite, or antidote, of ignorance is enlightenment. This is why it is very important to analyse the world of the mind and find out what its basic nature is. What are the different categories of mind? Which minds are destructive? Which minds are constructive? and so on. Once we have analysed all these questions, then we should try to control our minds by adding more good and removing the bad. Some modern scholars describe Buddhism as a "science of mind" for this very reason.
Enlightenment ... is a whole new way of being. It is the way of unity, the way of oneness. It is the release of the illusion of separateness. It is the knowing that who we are is not limited by our physical body, but extends out infinitely in all directions. The separation of you vs. not you is gone. Instead, we experience ourselves as a beacon of consciousness, reaching out to the farthest edges of the universe. Enlightenment is a deep attunement to the ways of being, to the ways of the primordial elements – earth, water, fire, and air - that stand now as guides to our fulfilment rather than obstructions of it.
enlightened being knows with the absolute certainty of all their
senses, with a knowing that floods their awareness, that all is light,
all is love, all is truth, and all is bliss. And the knowing of this
of all truths purifies their being, releasing them from their fears,
ego desires, and their delusions of limitation. They know they are one
Nothing is lost in enlightenment except the illusion of separateness. An enlightened being is fully engaged in the passions of life, full of errors, heroism, fury, humour, wonder, compassion, disgust, fear, and tranquility, singing songs and playing musical instruments, doing what brings them the most joy. And yet they are different. Their attunement to Source is so deep that it brings them eternal fulfilment regardless of the outer consequences of their actions. They are ever open, ever unattached, and ever free.
Meditation is not for the immature. The immature can play with it as they do now, sitting cross-legged, breathing in a certain way, standing on their heads, taking drugs, in order to experience something original. Through drugs, through fasting, through any system, you can never find or come upon that which is eternal, timeless. There is no short cut to all this. One has to work hard; one has to become very aware of what one is doing, what one is thinking, without any distortion. And all that requires great maturity, not of age but maturity of the mind to be capable of observation, seeing the false as the false, the true in the false, and truth as truth. That is maturity, whether in the political scene, in the business world, or in your relationship.
Some months ago a bewildered questioner on one of the e-mailgroups asked: how does one distinguish between fantasy, clairvoyant perception and ones own thoughts. I answered her that this question was asked by any honest clairvoyant. Blavatsky has written about this in various ways. Based on that I will here put the dilemma in my own words.
Most of my readers will admit the possibility of clairvoyant perception. Still, it is also recognized (though perhaps not loudly enough proclaimed) that there are severe limits to the clairvoyance that is most common. Clairvoyance of the normal type is based on a larger than average sensitivity to the emotions, physical feelings and sometimes thoughts of others. We are aware of the limitations of our 'ordinary' senses. My eyes are pretty decent, yet I can't see through a wall. Self evident maybe, but the point is that psychic vision has similar limitations. The practice of clairvoyants being paid has unfortunately not stimulated them in informing the public of the limitations of their extra senses.
I'll just give an example that should make the issue clear. Blavatsky stated that there are two types of reading someone's mind. The first is seeing the thoughts of that person in their aura. The second is reading the impression those thoughts made on one's own brain. The first method is more reliable than the second, according to Blavatsky. In the second method the thoughts of the other person would get mixed in with one's own thoughts and therefore make the whole perception blurred. The first method was more reliable, still even there it would take concentration, honesty and a lack of prejudice to not only read correctly, but also interpret another's thought correctly. This can be illustrated by having a look at our own thought. When is our thought orderly enough to pass inspection from an outside viewer? Do we habitually finish thought sentences, or do we jump from one line of thought to the next? Are our thoughts even significant to an outsider at all? What would a clairvoyant have to do to get a consistent and interesting read out of most of our heads? They would have to do, what I suspect many do: not just observe, but dig into our brains to find some interesting titbit we weren't conscious of before. Which is what they usually get paid for in the first place: to help us clarify our present situation, or simply satisfy our curiosity. In this process interpretation becomes necessary and therefore preconceptions about how life works are going to play a large part.
Both clairvoyants and their clients need to watch out that they don't over estimate that which is being 'read' by a clairvoyant. It will be very rare that a clairvoyant taps into her inner wisdom to an extent that actually puts things in a new perspective, instead of the socially acceptable one. More often than not, a so-called clairvoyant will simply interpret what she sees in the same way the client would already have interpreted it. This doesn't mean going to a clairvoyant is always a bad thing. It may just help to put a new perspective on things. It may just be good to talk to somebody neutral about your problems.
The other point I want to make is that the clarity of vision of the usual clairvoyant isn't all that much clearer than that of most other people. In the end your own judgement is more important than anything anybody else can say. Listen to what others have to say, but decide for yourself what the value of that is. A good psychic will say: trust your intuition. So do that, even with regard to the psychic herself.
A man goes to an enlightened sage and
asks, of course, for the meaning of life. The sage gives a brief
summary of the Vedanta
view, namely, that this entire world is nothing but the supreme Brahman
or Godhead, and further, your own witnessing awareness is one with
Your very self is in a supreme identity with God. Since Brahman creates
all, and since your highest Self is one with Brahman, then your highest
Self creates all. So far, this definitely looks like New Age city.
Off goes the gentleman, convinced that he has understood the ultimate meaning of life, which is that his own deepest Self is actually God and creates all reality. On the way home, he decides to test this amazing notion. Heading right toward him is a man riding an elephant. The gentleman stands in the middle of the road, convinced that, if he's God, the elephant can't hurt him. The fellow riding the elephant keeps yelling, "Get out of the way! Get out of the way!" But the gentleman doesn't move - and gets perfectly flattened by the elephant.
Limping back to the sage, the gentleman explains that, since Brahman or God is everything, and since his Self is one with God, then the elephant should not have hurt him. "Oh yes, everything is indeed God," said the sage, "so why didn't you listen when God told you to get out of the way?"
I got mailed a copy of your "Lucifer" and see that you are treating the subjects of Anatman vs. Atman, and also enlightenment, so take the liberty to send some material which might be of interest. The paper by Merrill-Wolff has an excellent treatment of the Anatman doctrine I think (it has some theosophical technical errors in it, which probably got there by some previous transcriber, I think...).
Good wishes with your high-quality zine!
- Jake Jaqua
Jake sent me four excellent articles. Part of the above mentioned article by Franklin Merrell-Wolff will be published in the January issue of Lucifer7. A Richard Rose quote will be available in the February issue. The rest will be put on my web site somewhere in the coming months. A large percentage of the new material on my website listed above is also thanks to Jake's work.