Posts Tagged Dharma

Chakana – The Incan Cross

Chakana, the Incan Cross, are equivalent to the Yin-Yang symbol and the Zodiac. Through a central axis a shaman journeyed in trance to the lower plane or Underworld and the higher levels inhabited by the superior gods. The snake, puma, and condor are totemic representatives of the three levels. (Axis Mundi)

From Wikipedia:

The stepped cross is made up of an equal-armed cross indicating the cardinal points of the compass and a superimposed square.

The square represents the other two levels of existence. The three levels of existence are Hana Pacha (the upper world inhabited by the superior gods), Kay Pacha, (the world of our everyday existence) and Ucu or Urin Pacha (the underworld inhabited by spirits of the dead, the ancestors, their overlords and various deities having close contact to the Earth plane). The hole through the center of the cross is the Axis by means of which the shaman transits the cosmic vault to the other levels.

The cross has 12 points and legend has it that these points represent the following sayings, affirmations and life points: I live, I work, I love, The underworld, The current world, The upper world, The cougar, The Eagle, The snake, Don’t Lie, Don’t Cheat, Don’t Steal.

The four flat sides represent the elements Water Air Earth Fire

North is air, south is water, east is fire and west is earth. The top arm is held in the East with the fire. The centre is the 5th element, the force of love emanating from the void.

The three rectangles could represent the physical world, the ether world, and the astral world, with each side representing one of the four elements in each world.

The three worlds are known all over the world:

  • with Uku Pacha as the lower Chthonic underworld, with the snake as symbol, the Fixed modality of astrology, Tamas of the Gunas,
  • the middle world, Kay Pacha, in which we live, have the puma as symbol, the Mutable modality of astrology, Sattva of the Gunas,
  • and the higher world Hanan Pacha with the condor as symbol, the Cardinal modality of astrology, Rajas of the Gunas.

These three animals Snake, Puma and Condor are equivalent to Ox, Lion and Eagle as we know from the European and Asian continent.

Chakana-Medium

I have written more about these relations in Serpents of the Kundalini Fire, especially in connection to the Gunas, the Chakras, and the Kaballah Tree of Life.

From Oder of Incari:

The top section is the Hanag Pacha which is the upper world (super conscious) and the animal symbol for the upper world is the condor. It holds, within the steps, the principles of the tradition. They are Yachay, Llankay and Munay.

Yachay means knowledge in its basic expression, but its higher expression is wisdom. It is knowledge, which has been integrated through experience and is externalized as wisdom. We must live what we know and master it in our daily lives. Llankay (pronounced ylang kai) Llankay relates to work, labour and productivity. It is to work in an honest way and to be honest in your work. It is to work for the betterment and greater good of yourself and your family, your community and humanity (your greater family). Munay is a word that simply means love and is the principle present in all others. It is not simply the love between a man and a woman, a mother and a child, although these interactions can contain the infinite expressions of Munay. It is the expression of unconditional love. It contains a deep- seated compassion for all livings things and their suffering.

From A Dictionary of Symbols By Juan Eduardo Cirlot

Chthonian Demons
Various beings mentioned in mythologies come under this heading, such as the Greek harpies and Erinyes, the Hindu Rakshasas, the Arabic djinns, the Germanic elves and Valkyries, etc.

Chthonian Snake Goddess

In Aztec mythology, Cihuacoatl  (”snake woman”; also Cihuacóatl, Chihucoatl, Ciucoatl) was a motherhood and fertility goddess, haunting crossroads at night to take children. She also helped Quetzalcoatl create humanity by grinding the bones of our ancestors and mixing the result with Quetzalcoatl’s blood to form the clay from which humanity were molded. Here the soul (Quetzalcoatl’s blood) is born into the physical (the bones), giving the body of man (the clay) with the Ego.

Cihuacoatl – Snake Woman

The Naga Kanya (Cobra Women) are a race of fairy-like demigods born of the Nāga, which are water deities. They have the form of beautiful maidens, but usually maidens only from the waist up, while from the waist down they are serpents.

Nāga kanya – Hindu Snake Woman

The Japanese have Nure-onna (“wet woman”), here in an illustration from the Edo Period, by Sawaki Suushi.

Nure-onna – Snake Woman

The snake loa (spirit) are known in Benin and Haiti, she is the companion of the most popular god, Damballah-Wedo, also a serpent:

Aida Wedo – Haiti

From Pink Tentacle:

“Nure-onna is typically seen at the water’s edge, washing her long, flowing hair. In some stories, she carries a small child, which she uses to attract potential victims. When a well-intentioned person offers to hold the baby for Nure-onna, the child attached itself to the victim’s hands and grows heavy, making it nearly impossible to flee. In some stories, Nure-onna uses her long, powerful tongue to suck all the blood from her victim’s body.”

In Ancient Myth Steiner writes about the Greek Mysteries:

The Greeks revered in the Mysteries other Gods as well as the celestial Gods, namely, the Chthonic Gods. And of one who was initiated in the Mysteries one could say with truth: he learns to know the upper and the lower Gods, the Upper and the Lower Gods. The upper Gods were those of the Zeus-circle; but they only have rulership over what is spread out before the senses, and what the intellect can understand. The human being is more than this. Man is rooted with his being in the kingdom of the lower Gods, in the kingdom of the Chthonic Gods.

This Chthonic world consists of twelve elemental groups of beings, which are the real foundation of the visible physical world, and all kinds of magical systems around the Earth try to influence the physical world through these beings. Don Juan talk about the flyers, inorganic beings, in Castanedas books, the Gnostics talk about the Archons, alien predators, the wise Greek healer Daskalos talks bout the Elementals, and Jung talks about the Shadow.

See “Gnostic Parallels in the Writings of Carlos Castaneda” which are good and the best contribution on that web-address. I have collected some texts on Elementals building on the Christian view of Daskalos here.

Steiner writes in “The East in the Light of the West” about the cosmogony of Pherecydes:

In most remarkable words, Pherecydes spoke of the holy primordial triad, of Zeus, Kronos and Chthon, principles fundamental to the earth, having come over from pre-terrestrial ages; he also speaks of a further evolution. But in ancient times men did not clothe matters of this kind in such dry, crude concepts as they do today, they drew vivid pictures of what they saw and recognised in spiritual realms. Pherecydes said: ‘Chthon becomes Gea (today called earth), because of the gift of Zeus whereby she came to be covered as with a garment.’ This is a wonderful description of that evolution which I have just outlined in a few short words. The earth was alone; outside it were the sun and the moon, the spiritual kingdoms of Zeus and of Kronos. The sun from without began to work upon the earth and to fructify it in its then chaotic state; or, in the language of the old Greek sage, Zeus fructified Chthon. The beneficent influences of the kingdom of Zeus were sent down to the physical earth in the warmth and light of the sun. This was the gift made by Zeus to the earth. The earth covered herself with the garment of plant and animal forms, and with the forms of physical men. Chthon becomes Gea; therefore, because of the gift of Zeus the earth covers herself with a garment.

In Relation to Astrology

In  “Astrology, Psychology, and The Four Elements” writes Stephen Arroyo  about Zodiacal Signs as Energy Patterns:

The four elements of astrology (fire, earth, air, and water) are the basic building blocks of all material structures and organic wholes. Each element represents a basic kind of energy and consciousness that operates within each of us. Just as modern physics has shown that energy is matter, these four elements interweave and combine to form all matter. When the spark of life leaves a human body at death, the four elements all dissociate and return to their primal state. It is only life itself, manifesting in an organized, living whole, that holds together the four elements. All four are in every person, although each person is consciously more attuned to some types of energy than others. Each of the four elements manifests in three vibrational modalities: cardinal, fixed, and mutable. Hence, when we combine the four elements with the three modalities, we have twelve primary patterns of energy which are called the zodiacal signs.

Rahu and Ketu

From Rahu and Ketu in Hindu Mythology:

“According to mythological tales Rahu is the head of the dragon. Head as we know contain the brain and controls the functioning of the entire body. This suggests that Rahu is the controlling and active node. Ketu rules of the body, sends feelings and sensations to the brain. To analyse those sensations and take action if necessary is within the jurisdiction of Rahu. More precisely Ketu has the power of transforming the events into experience which turn into wisdom.”

Rahu and KetuRahu and Ketu

The head is the Luciferic and the tail is the Ahrimanic, where Rahu relates to Dharma, and Ketu to Karma.

Literature

Wikipedia have a good reference article on the symbolism of serpents:

Wikipedia – Serpent(symbolism)

I look at the snake in European mythology in The Snake and the Heel in Mythos which build on Steiner’s lectures.

More on Incan religion in

Andean Mysticism and Healing the Plane(pdf) by Oakley E. Gordon, Ph.D.

North and South Node in AstrologyRahu and Ketu

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Good and Evil, Sin and Karma

Good is Love, and Evil is lack of Love, and Love is Christ (Son of God in the hexagram).

Love is the equilibrium of the Father and the Mother, and lack of Love is when we are out of equilibrium, that is, either the Father or the Mother are dominating. On Earth this condition is called evil, or to be precise, Lucifer and Ahriman (Satan, Mammon, …) to show what dominates.

ahrimanlucifer

Sinning creates karma, karma and sin is the same, and you sin when you do something you know is evil/wrong, so a cannibal living in a cannibalistic tribe didn’t create karma because of cannibalism, before the christian priests came and told him it was sinful to kill. This is also one of the reasons why children don’t create karma, they don’t yet know what is right or wrong.

Remember, karma helps us to grow, it’s our memory from life to life.

A Rosicrucian once said: “We are on this Earth to sin, so sin, until you is tired of it, then stop, don’t continue as per habit.”. Or, in other words: It’s OK to fall, but not to stay down.

Those who don’t live because they are afraid to Sin don’t learn, they don’t create the necessary equilibrium between Chaos and Order, Feelings and Thinking, giving Love, Wisdom, and Will.

Free Will ?

We share karma with a lot of people, and to work with our karma we have to meet these people, so we can’t run around freely following our whims, we need a path through life leading us to those we share our fate with, dharma, the wisdom of our life.

Karma is the sea where we are sailing in our ship, dharma is the wind blowing us from one karmic relation to the next. How we handle our karma is our obligation and here we have free will, but the path we follow between the people we have to meet is handled by our higher I, prepared while we sleep.

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The Eightfold Path

The Eightfold Path

The Eightfold Path

The Wheel of Dharma

1. Right View –

I view things from what appears to me outwardly.

Man attains this kind of knowledge about the world when he acquires a right view of things, a view that has nothing to do with sympathy or antipathy or preference of any sort. He must strive as best he can to acquire the right view of each thing, purely according to what presents itself to him outwardly. That is the first principle: the Right View of things.

Lotus
2. Right Intent –

I judge in accordance with my right view.

Secondly, man must become independent of what has remained from earlier incarnations; he must also endeavor to judge in accordance with his right view of a thing and not be swayed by any other influences. Thus Right Judgment is the second principle.

Lotus
3. Right Speech –

I give true expression of my right view and judgment.

The third is that he must strive to give true expression to what he desires to communicate to the world, having first acquired the right view and right judgment of it; not only his words but every manifestation of his being must express his own right view, that and that alone. This is Right Speech.

Lotus
4. Right Focus –

I let my right view, judgment, and speech become deed.

The fourth principle is that man must strive to act, not according to his sympathies and antipathies, not according to the dark forces of Samskara within him, but in such a way that he lets his right view, right judgment and right speech become deed. This is Right Action.

Lotus
5. Right Alertness –

I act in my highest and best line of work.

The fifth principle, enabling a man to liberate himself from what is within him, is that he should acquire the right vocation and station in the world. We may best understand what Buddha meant by this, if we remember how many people are dissatisfied with the tasks devolving upon them, believing that some other position would be more advantageous. But a man should be able to derive from the situation into which he is born or into which fate has placed him, the best that is possible, i.e. to acquire the right `occupation’ or `vocation’. Whoever finds no satisfaction in the situation in which he is placed, will not be able to derive from it the power to unfold right activity in the world. This is what Buddha called Right Vocation.

Lotus
6. Right Purpose –

I work steadily till right action becomes a habit in me.

The sixth principle is that a man should make increasing efforts to ensure that what he acquires through right views, right judgment and so forth, shall become habit in him. He is born into the world with certain habits. A child gives evidence of this or that inclination or habit. But man’s endeavors should be directed, not towards retaining the habits, proceeding from Samskara but towards acquiring those that gradually become his own as the result of right views, right judgment, right speech, and so on. These are the Right Habits.

Lotus
7. Right Effort –

I link the present with the past and thus account for what I have already learned in previous lives.

The seventh principle is that a man should bring order into his life through not invariably forgetting yesterday when he has to act to-day. He would never accomplish anything if he had to learn his skills anew each time. He must strive to develop recollectedness, mindfulness, regarding everything in his life. He must always turn to account what he has already learned, he must link the present with the past. Thus along the Eightfold Path man must acquire Right Mindfulness in the sense of Buddha’s teaching.

Lotus
8. Right Motivation –

I let the things of the world speak directly to me without partiality to views of other humans or my former incarnations.

The eighth quality is acquired when, without partiality for one view or another and without being influenced by any element remaining in him from former incarnations, he surrenders himself with pure devotion to the things of the world, immerses himself in them and lets them alone speak to him. This is Right Contemplation.

Buddha - Mercury, by Jane Adams.Buddha – Mercury

This is the Eightfold Path, of which Buddha said to his disciples that if followed it would gradually lead to the extinction of the thirst for existence with its attendant suffering, and impart to the soul something that brings liberation from elements enslaving it from past lives.

lotusflower1x2

Throat Chakra, the Sixteen Petaled Lotus

The Eightfold Path is connected to the Vishuddha, the throat Chakra or the Sixteen Petaled Lotus as Rudolf Steiner Calls the astral organ.

In “Knowledge of the Higher Worlds And Its Attainment” Rudolf Steiner goes more in depth with the Eightfold Path. The Initial words from the text about the Sixteen Petaled Lotus:

The organ in the vicinity of the larynx has sixteen petals or spokes; the one in the region of the heart twelve, and the one in the pit of the stomach ten.

Now certain activities of the soul are connected with the development of these organs, and anyone devoting himself to them in a certain definite way contributes something to the development of the corresponding organs. In the sixteen-petaled lotus, eight of its sixteen petals were developed in the remote past during an earlier stage of human evolution. Man himself contributed nothing to this development; he received them as a gift from nature, at a time when his consciousness was in a dull, dreamy condition. At that stage of human evolution they were in active use, but the manner of their activity was only compatible with that dull state of consciousness. As consciousness became clearer and brighter, the petals became obscured and ceased their activity. Man himself can now develop the remaining eight petals by means of conscious exercises, and thereby the whole lotus flower becomes luminous and mobile. The acquisition of certain faculties depends on the development of each one of the sixteen petals. Yet, as already shown, only eight can be consciously developed; the remainder then appear of their own accord.

The development proceeds in the following manner. The student must first apply himself with care and attention to certain functions of the soul hitherto exercised by him in a careless and inattentive manner.   There are eight such functions

Throat Chakra

[In Danish: “Hvordan når man til erkendelse af de højere verdener?” af Rudolf Steiner.]

References

I have made the presentation of Buddhas Eightfold Path from Rudolf Steiners lectures on The Gospel of Luke.

The goal was to make a short and simple description of the path, followed with references for deeper understanding of the why.

Se also the Twelf Petaled Lotus, Ahanhata, The Heart Chakra:

Heart Chakra

And the Six Petaled Lotus, Svadhistana, The Sacral Chakra:

Sakral Chakra

Kristina Kaine has elaborated over the theme in “Eightfold Path of Buddha in the Gospel of St John“.

A meditation for modern man: Meditation as contemplative inquiry : when knowing becomes love / Arthur Zajonc

See also The Noble Eightfold Path at Wikipedia.

The Path

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Tao – The Equilibrium of Yin and Yang

When looking for the Caduceus Staff I thought about the Yin-Yang symbol, as they also have the curves of the serpents. As the Staff in Caduceus and the Middle Pillar of the Kabbalah Tree of Life, the symbol of Yin and Yang has an imaginary line separating the two sides: Tao! In Christianity we call the line for The Golden Middle Way and in India its called the “Middle Way” by the Buddhists and the “razor-edged path” in the Upanishads. Our way through life is lead by two powers, dharma and karma, where dharma is the idea behind our life, the plan that we follow, that lead us to the people we share karma with and karma is what gives form to the idea, what we have to transform to wisdom through understanding.

The Taiji Diagram's Early History by Francois Louis.

Yin – Tao – Yang

Dharma is the white half, our super-conscious with our higher I, and karma is the black half, in our subconscious with lower feelings, desires and instincts. The line separating the two are TAO, the soul with the I.

All creation starts with the unity splitting in two and later unifies again. From The Gold Egg Model:

According to Chinese myth, before the world began there was chaos shaped like a hen’s egg. The huge Pan Gu separated this egg into Yin and Yang. Yin formed the earth, Yang formed the sky. Yin stood for all the female, wet, dark things of nature, while Yang stood for all the male, dry and bright things. There could be no perfect happiness till there was a balance between Yin and Yang.

Wuji is the uncreated, the primordial, limitless void, the possibility for the created and Taiji is the created, Yang and Yin, heaven and earth. From the interaction between Yin and Yang emanates the soul of man, binding Heaven and Earth together.

TAO-Yin-Yang-Creation
Creation

The description of Tao (from“About the Tao”):

It is so very deep
So tranquil
It seems to barely exist at all.
Its origin is unknown
It preceded the Gods themselves.

Matches the Sephira Keter, which represents the infinite, and is found in the first triangle of the Tree of Life,  separated from Man by the Abyss.

YinAndYang2

From WikiPedia

“Dion Fortune describes Keter as pure consciousness, beyond all categories, timeless, a point that crystallises out of the Ein Soph, and commences the process of emanation that ends in Malkuth.”

From “The Middle Way” byRadha Burnier:

Hearing the term “the razor-edged path,” one might think it is the most dangerous, but it is the safest of all paths because it is where a complete equilibrium is preserved and therefore there is complete security. It is a path where there is a profound peace, a path where there is absolute harmony. If you stray from that path, get lost in the surroundings, and find other paths, there maybe conflict, there may be hesitation, but when you tread the middle path, it is secure, because it is one-pointed and in it, harmony can be found from the beginning to the end.

Rudolf  Steiner calls Yin for Ahriman and Yang for Lucifer, and the imaginary separating line for Christ.

All things in the universe are either Yin or Yang, but there are no absolutes:  nothing is ever all Yin or all Yang, but a balance between the two forces, when for example day changes into night, it is an example of Yang changing into Yin; when winter turns into spring; it is considered a changing from Yin to Yang. These forces are opposite and yet complementary, and share an interdependent relationship; without Yin, there is no Yang, and without Yang, no Yin. Yang is generally associated with what are bright, warm, and in motion. Yin is generally associated with what are dark, still and cold.

Neijing says,

“Yin and yang are the law of Heaven and Earth, the outline of everything, the parents of change, the origin of birth and destruction, and the house of shen ming( God or higher consciousness, the spirit, Tao), when curing sicknesses we should base our point of view on the roots (Yin and Yang)”.

The principle of Yin and Yang is the basic principle of the entire universe. It is the principle of everything in creation.”

If Yin and Yang change the people will change likewise and their destiny can then be prefigured. … In ancient times those people who understood Tao patterned themselves upon the Yin and the Yang and they lived in harmony with the arts of divination.”

Obedience to the laws of Yin and Yang means life; disobedience means death.”

In Heaven there are ethereal spirits; upon earth there is form and shape.”

Heaven was created by an accumulation of Yang, the element of light; Earth was created by an accumulation of Yin, the element of darkness.”

From I Ching

In the heavens phenomena take form; on earth shapes take form.”

“Since in this way man comes to resemble heaven and earth, he is not in conflict with them. His wisdom embraces all things, and his Tao brings order into the whole world; therefore he does not err.”

From A Holistic Look at an ancient Chinese Energy Modality I have

According to the Daoists the left of the body is Yang and the right is Yin . Yang represents the male aspects of the human being. Males according to Traditional Chinese Medicine mostly have anger issues . That would mean the acupressure therapist should start on the left side of the male body. All emotional issues , like anger, fear, worry, sadness and joy are functional aspects that involve an output of energy and are therefore described as Yang. Yin represents the female aspects of the human being . Traditionally women have mostly Yin related issues that have to do with blood, lymph and all the fluids . These are structural issues. In this case, the therapist starts on the right side of the body . Also, the area above the navel is described as Yang, while the area below is described as Yin.

Relating Yin and Yang to the sides and up and down of the body. Other traditions work with the same notion:  Serpents of the Kundalini Fire. Not all Chinese texts are in agreement here, just as many new age authors have it reversed.

Chart of the Great Ultimate (Taiji tu)

Rudolf Steiner on TAO:

“The Tao gives expression to the highest to which a large part of humanity can look up and has revered for thousands of years.It is something which was considered as a distant goal of the world and of humanity, the highest element which man carried as a germ within him, which would one day develop into a fully opened blossom from the innermost depths of human nature.

Tao signifies both a deeply hidden basis of the soul and at the same time an exulted future. Not only the name Tao, but the very thought of Tao filled those who had insight into it with timid reverence. The Tao religion is based on the principle of development, and it proclaims:

‘That by which I am surrounded today is but a stage which has to be overcome. I must clearly see that this development in which I am involved has a Goal, that I am going to work towards an exulted Goal and that within me there lives a power which spurs me on to come to the Great Goal of Tao.

If I can feel this great force within me and if I can feel that all creatures are aiming towards this great goal, then this force becomes the guiding force rushing towards me in the wind, sounding out of the stones, flashing its light to me from the sun. In the plant it is revealed as the force of growth, in the animal as feeling and perception. It is the force which will continually create form after form for every exulted aim, through which I know myself to be at one with the whole of nature, which flows out from me and into me with every breath I take, the symbol for the highest evolving spirit which I experience as life itself. I feel this force as Tao.” (November 16, 1905)

In Korea they have the Taegeuk, where Red symbolizes heaven and blue the material world, Earth.

From Wikipedia:

Taegeuk refers to the ultimate reality from which all things and values originate according to oriental philosophy.

The taegeuk is from the Eastern Zhou Dynasty in ancient China.The taegeuk design dates back to the 7th century BC in China but recent excavations go back even further. This shows that the taegeuk design and thought were utilized earlier in China than in elsewhere. There is a stone carved with the taegeuk design in the compound of Gameunsa Temple, built in 628 AD during the reign of Silla’s King Jinpyeong. Traces of taegeuk design have been found in the remains of the ancient cultures in China: in Longmen Grottoes and in YuyuanTai Chi village astrology. The taegeuk design was also used to drive off evil spirits. In the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties, the design was later used to represent Korean taoism and to express the hope for harmony of eun and yang to enable the people to live happy lives with good government. The blue and red swirling semicircles of the Taegeuk pattern have existed since ancient times.

Celtic Yin yang swirls on bronze plaque from Mairy, Marne, dated to 4th century BC; on display at Musée des Antiquités nationales in Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

Celtic bronze plaque

Roman shield pattern of the Roman Mauri Osismiaci (ca. AD 430), with the dots in each part kept in the same shade of color

Roman shield pattern

A Japanese futatsudomoe (two-fold tomoe)

Japanese Futatsudomoe

References

Doctrine of the Mean, Wikipedia.

Golden Mean(philosophy), Wikipedia.

Yin and Yang in medicine.

The Taiji Diagram’s Early History by Francois Louis

Dragon

According to the
Daoists the left of the body is Yang and the right is Yin . Yang represents the male
aspects of the human being. Males according to Traditional Chinese Medicine mostly
have anger issues . That would mean the acupressure therapist should start on the left side
of the male body. All emotional issues , like anger, fear, worry, sadness and joy are
functional aspects that involve an output of energy and are therefore described as Yang.
Yin represents the female aspects of the human being . Traditionally women have mostly
Yin related issues that have to do with blood, lymph and all the fluids . These are
structural issues. In this case, the therapist starts on the right side of the body . Also, the
area above the navel is described as Yang, while the area below is described as Yin.

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