Good Morning and Welcome to VOXHERMES!
A quick review of our previous lessons will show that we have been giving you means and methods to better understand the relationship between your daily life and the internal activities that drive and shape it. These forces of body, thought/mind, intellect, and emotions are often attributed to the four lowest Spheres on the Tree of Life as depicted in several schools of modern Kabbalah. Because the symbolism, and therefore meaning, of each sphere is manifold, it implies that we have a certain degree of leeway to personalize the meaning we give these various aspects of our being to accomplish specific results. This is critical to understand, whether we are talking about the Tree of Life, an alchemical diagram, or even a three-dimensional temple or ritual pattern. These are but maps, guidelines – they are not the territory. They are to guide us and assist us; but in the end, it is our experiences that are our understanding of reality (even if only temporary) as we move on to greater understandings. Pay attention to your experiences and learn to trust them.
* Physical body and physical world we live in – Malkuth
* Brain/Mind-Body interface – Yesod
* Intellect (also movement and activity) – Hod
* Emotions and personal relationships – Netzach
The most personal and intimate understanding is the best, as that is the one you can work with and understand. Abstract metaphysical and cosmological understandings will inevitably come in time – but only if we work on ourselves first. This may not be as exciting, but it is both personally fulfilling and foundational to any future success.
What we have not discussed yet, but will continue to as we proceed, is the nature of self or our “I-ness.” This is in part realized through the energies of Tiphareth, amplified through Geburah and Chesed, and brought to fullness in realization and expression in the final Spheres of activity of Binah, Hockmah, and Kether.
Morality and Ethics – The Universe is Libertarian
Morality and ethics benefit us first and last; this is the understanding of Swami Vivekananda (student of Sri Ramakrishna, advocate of Indian nationalism, and Freemason) when he stated that we benefit only ourselves when we perform karma yoga. All that we do must work in and through us first; thus, we cannot escape the consequences of our actions. Therefore, we must be very clear about the reasons for our actions. This clarity is our own measure of wisdom, or personal insight into the nature of our own being.
The fundamental attitude required for success in any undertaking is that success is not only possible but probable, if not inevitable. However, attitude consists less of ideas and more of feelings than is often acknowledged. Our innermost feelings are what set us on the course of our life and its experiences. These feelings we often hide from others as well as ourselves, but they are still there, still active, and we can recognize them simply by paying attention to the words we use. Our language is the active, emotional, powerful aspect of our trinity of “Thought, Word, and Deed” or “Body, Speech, and Mind.” Pay attention to your thoughts, as well as the words and feelings that follow them. If they are consistent, then completion will follow.
Congruity is what makes for success, but it is wisdom that makes for enlightenment and any success that is lasting. The idea of “good” and getting your reward in heaven is a lie and a toxic myth that creates suffering rather than alleviating it. Heaven is not a reward for being “nice” or “good” any more than hell is a punishment for being “bad” or “evil.” They are states of awareness wherein we cannot hide from our deepest motivations and the fruits of our actions. We enter into them automatically when we sleep or die, just as water finds its own level. However, we are capable of realizing (achieving wisdom with regard to) the nature of our actions, and thereby can move between states of consciousness and, with that, between worlds.
The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.
This is a painful and difficult idea to comprehend, but one need only use reason to understand it. We say that God, Nature, the Cosmic is all powerful, and yet within that power, “it” (if we can even use that word) refuses to act to end suffering. This indifference is not a matter of coldness, like the clockmaker God of Newton, wherein the universe is made and God retires (perfectly reasonable from the monotheistic perspective), but more like the God or cosmos of Krishna or the Taoists, wherein personal illumination can only happen when we have friction to wake us up. For that to happen, each must be responsible for their own destiny – that is, true inner freedom, true spiritual awakening. If God, the Cosmos, or some other force could intervene in our lives without our cooperation or initiative, then we would always be “cosmic infants” under the care of a Heavenly Father or Mother, but not adults in the universe.
Like a good teacher, particularly of mathematics or the sciences, the enlightened intelligences of the universe – those we consider gods, angels, adepts, saints, and bodhisattvas – have concern, offer encouragement, and make assistance available to all, but students must participate in the learning process to benefit from it. Those who do not are not punished, but simply receive the fruits of their actions. Even those who do, but may not at the time have the necessary mental development, are not punished by receiving lower grades – these are, again, the fruits of their actions. Cosmic Indifference allows for impersonality, which allows for genuine justice. In fact, a simple way to look at this is that if God or the universe loves everyone equally, it loves no one in particular, or to the exclusion of others. Again, it is up to each of us as individuals to reach out and accept the help that is forever available to us, and to give our lives meaning through our own choices and actions.
 Stanley Kubrick, interviewed by Eric Nordern, Playboy (September 1968).
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