The Subtle Body: A Bridge Between the Divine and Human Realms

The subtle body, a concept steeped in history and spirituality, weaves a compelling narrative about the link between our physical presence and our more ethereal, spiritual essence. By shedding light on this non-material body that coexists with our physical form, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, our consciousness, and our connection to the divine.

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Becoming Seers: Navigating Life Through the Lens of Compassionate Awareness

The profound words of Gilles Deleuze resonate with clarity, “The artist is a seer, a becomer.” An invitation to perceive life in its raw, unfiltered essence, to become artists of our existence, and above all, to evolve into seers. It is through this transformative lens that we can learn to engage with the world, seeing through the eyes of compassionate awareness.

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The Journey Within: Discovering Our True Nature Beyond Ego

The way we perceive the world is largely influenced by our egoic consciousness, a framework that assigns objects a location, category, and place within a hierarchy. However, when faced with something that cannot be objectified, our ego consciousness struggles to understand and recognize it.

Our True Self, the pure essence of who we are – consciousness – cannot be pinpointed within time and space. It isn’t quantifiable nor does it fit into any predefined category. It’s here that we encounter a paradox: we inhabit a world defined by time, space, and objects, yet the essence of our identity transcends these parameters.

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The Symbolic Leap: A Metaphor for Enlightenment and Embracing the Unknown

To leap is to make a sudden movement, often into the unknown. In the realm of spirituality and consciousness, this act holds deep symbolic significance. It represents a transformative shift from our familiar comfort zones, pushing us to embrace the vast and enigmatic mysteries of existence. Such a courageous leap mirrors the spiritual journey towards enlightenment.

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The Vale of Soul-Making: Embracing the World as a Womb for the Soul

John Keats, one of the most influential figures of the Romantic period, posited a unique and captivating view of the world and human existence in his letters. Among these, a letter written to his brother and sister stands out. In it, he presents the world not as a “vale of tears,” a perspective held by many during his time, but as a “vale of Soul-making.” This metaphorical concept likens the world to a “womb of the soul,” a nurturing space where the soul is cultivated, grows, and matures, driven by the trials, tribulations, and experiences of life.

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Mindful Contemplation: A Journey Towards Compassionate Awareness

“The one who knows how to observe the mind with the mind is the best of contemplatives” – a profound insight from the Questions of King Dewa Sutra, underpins the essence of mindfulness and compassionate awareness.

Mindfulness, in its truest form, embodies the ability to utilize the mind as an observer of itself. The cognitive function of our mind typically leans towards action and doing, guided by a spectrum of desires and aversions. The ego steers this reality, continuously interacting with an array of stimuli, both pleasurable and painful.

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Sacred Visions of the Ordinary

Spiritual awakening entails an opening of sacred vision, as the capacity to see with the spiritual organs of perception. Sacred vision entails an ability to perceive the sacred depths of life, rather than just the superficial appearances.

Spiritual vision opens to the depths of life, into the sacred terrain. It is a vision of life beyond material reality. Spiritual vision is the opening of what the Sufi poets call the sacred organ of perception. With this sacred organ one can see the divine within Life, as it exists all around us and within us.

Through the eyes of the sacred organ, the world is known as it exists beyond the polarities of good and evil, light and dark, pain and pleasure. One sees beyond the rigid oppositions of duality.

Sacred vision is the perceiving of a vision of Life as it exists beyond all the static binary opposition. This is the gift of human consciousness. We are the ones who are the seers of the sacred.  We are the sacred perceivers of the divine. We can learn to perceive the world anew.

Weaving the Threads of Self-Compassion: The Guiding Wisdom of the Three Fates

The expansive realm of Greek mythology teems with myriad tales, each narrative brimming with the wisdom of ancient deities. Among these, the divine trinity known as the Moirai, or the Fates, stands out. This trio—Lachesis, Clotho, and Atropos—each plays an integral role in directing the course of life: Past, Present, and Future, respectively. By interpreting their roles as spiritual guides, we can delve into a profound understanding of self-compassion.

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The Divine in Everyday Life

Spiritual awakening is the realization of the divine within life. With awakening, we perceive the sacred nature of life.

Often we think of the divine as somewhere beyond life, as something to we may achieve at the end of life.  The divine is synonymous with the idea of other-worldliness, and of lofty heights. Spiritual enlightenment is all too often based upon our ideals of achievement, perfection, and excellence.

The experience of spiritual awakening opens our perception of the divine in our everyday life. The entire world is sacred. We do not have to wait until we are perfect to experience the divine. We can meditate on this state of awareness and perceive the divinity that is all around us and within us.

For example, we can experience the divine in our relationships with those we love, in their empathy and tenderness— even when it is not always perfect. Sometimes our loved ones are there for us, and other times they may be busy or tired or just plain grumpy.  But what is divine about love is the constancy of it: we can hold it in our hearts and know that it is a sacred part of our lives.

We can take a walk or go for a stroll downtown, and like a treasure hunt, we can seek out the divine and find it hidden in the all nooks and crannies of life.

To open to the divine in everyday life is to begin the process of seeing. It is a new vision. And with this visionary capacity, a creative relationship with life opens, offering a new horizon of possibility and potential.

A Living and Unstable Synthesis

Written by Contributor Edward Phillips

Immanence could be described as continuous synthesis without a resting place, without a fixed standing above or apart. Immanence as a concept is impossible to nail down, and difficult to grasp, in part because it is the ground out of which concepts emerge.

It can, however, be grasped in the failures of transcendence. The efforts of transcendence and the desire to transcend are a part of a larger movement in immanence. The very impatience and grandiosity of transcendence is but the intimation of immanence, a limitlessness which one can begin to grasp within the experience of impatience with limits.  An individual’s ability to struggle with limits is the very condition for lived freedom and generosity of spirit.

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