Peace begins in the Heart
On Saturday, 21st of September, Copenhagen saw hundreds of peaceful people marching through its streets, flying banners for peace. In these days when every news-broadcast includes reports of death and destruction, it is not at all usual to see people taking time and effort to stand for peace and harmony.
The Peace-Walk was organized by Tænk Med Hjertet, on the occasion of the Annual United-Nations Peace Day.
Hundreds of people gathered in front of Christian Borg and then marched through the city till Nørrebrohallen, where stands were erected, speeches were delivered and finally the event concluded with music performances.
Liv Bangsbo Petersen of Tænk Med Hjertet is one of organizers of the Peace Walk: ‘’the purpose of the Peace Walk was to gather people of all kinds and to show each other and the world that we want to live in peace and love, and that we are ready for change. To show that we are ready to stand for other places around the world which are not enjoying the peace which is in Denmark. It is important to remove our fears of each other and the barriers between us and to build trust and unity among us. If more and more people around the world will do what they can to make this a better world, then at some time, there will not be anyone left to pull the trigger, and the governments will have to fight their own wars, because the people will not agree to fight against each other.
‘’We are not against any nation or people, but rather we are for peace. It is easier to get people to do something out of anger against something, then it is to inspire them to act for something – but this is our approach and in the long run this will give results.
‘’In Tænk Med Hjertet we want to open people’s eyes to see that there is another way of living, we can be more open, more united, we can help and be there for each other. In Denmark one out of 4 people is lonely. We are a society where we often look away, we are too focused on our own lives that we forget the people around us who need a smile, a hand, help or to be listened to.’’
Among the organizations participating in the event was also Natha Yogacenter, being a long time promoter of peace and harmony in any life-situation. Natha operated a stand at the rally’s gathering place in Nørrebrohallen.
Soren Gannik is an engineer and yoga teacher in natha and was present at Nørrebrohallen : ‘‘In the stand I was explaining that peace starts with us. Different scientific studies already prove what yogis have been saying for many years – that our thoughts affect the reality around us; we can say that we create our destiny with our thoughts and emotions. Our thoughts spread as a sort of magnetic waves all around us. When we feel hate or fear – we are polluting the planet with these awful energies. But when we love and give love – these are the impulses that spread far and wide, affecting the people around us and even many far away from us. It is documented that the magnetic impulses that come from the heart are many times more powerful than those which come from the brain – and in regards to traditional science this signifies that love can be much more powerful than the negative states, which are often lived in a subconscious manner’’.
Another Yoga teacher from Natha who was present in the rally is Arthur Lederer: ‘’It is wonderful to participate in such a heartfelt event, with people who wish for peace and are willing to act for it. We all have to realize that we have a responsibility towards the world we live in and to the entire humanity. Our minds keep getting away from us – while our hearts are left behind. We are constantly creating problems with our minds, because we do not know how to control our own thoughts. The answer to these problems can come from the heart.
‘‘If we follow the heart and act from the heart, then there are many things that we can do to help bring peace. For example, a simple meditation that anyone can do every day, to help promote peace in us and in the world:
Close the eyes and relax, keeping the spine strait and vertical. Focus your attention at the level of the Spiritual Heart, in the middle of the chest. Evoke a state of love – it can be the face of a loved person, a memory of a moment when you felt overwhelming love or a piece of music that awakens love in you. Now realize that you are feeling this love NOW and that it is in you and is not dependent on anything exterior. Go deeper into this love, in your heart. Gradually expand this love, from the heart, until it is a sphere all around you. Expand this love, from the heart, until it is enveloping the entire room, the entire building, the neighborhood, the city, the country, the planet. Now come back slowly and become aware of the special state of love, freedom and peace which appears in your heart.
‘’We can take every day some time and offer love back to the planet which gives us life and sustains us, we can reaffirm our responsibility to the family of humanity in which we are all sons and daughters.’’
- (Legal and Media Cases)
Who are you calling a sect?
When we think of sects, immediately associations of manipulation and abuse arise. Who among us didn’t meet such accounts on newspapers or TV?
‘Sect’ is the new ‘S’ word – as it is today one of the most degrading slurs that can be used against a group or an organization. And the ‘S’ word is used with great ease, regardless of the devastating effect it has on those that it is flung upon. But apart from the pejorative meaning given to this word, the journalist is committing another big error (crime?): replacing journalism with an aggressive form of activism that risk to threaten the very essence of this important work. Especially when the object of the journalistic attention is a social group that is engaged into a spiritual work … the deviation can be immense and consequences bigger than one can estimate.
Indeed, at one point or another, almost any spiritual movement has been accused of being a sect. And this severe error was not made by journalists that were not informed enough on the significance of the term but by journalists turn into activists that tried to impose their one-sidedness to their public.
If it wasn't that the media represent today one of the powers of the state, it would have been just another “error in the matrix”. But with the importance and power the media is gaining from us, it is our duty also to correct its actions and point out any dangerous patterns when they appear. I have seen and directly encountered, few times already, the strange phenomenon of journalists changed into activists of one-sidedness, monologuers that refuse to learn from and listen to the other one's opinion with genuine openness just because they consider already knowing the truth.
And to the victims of such activists are given only the chance of trying to find their justice into the labyrinth of media-defenders bureaucracy, an institution that can easily rival the mythical Labyrinth of Minos. If one can make it out of this journey alive, they will drop the charges and will be happy to have survived the deadly poisonous bites of these media hyenas.
The case I know
One such case is that of Natha Yogacenter in Denmark. Natha Yogacenter was founded in 1990 and is one of Denmark’s oldest and largest schools of Yoga, Tantra and Meditation. However, in 2009 Jyllands-Posten published a series of high-profile articles by Orla Borg, accusing Natha Yogacenter of being a manipulative sex-sect. In order to make the accusations more credible, the journalist was presenting insinuations that the financial support that the Yoga school was receiving from Copenhagen commune was misused by the sect. And of course, to make his claims a little more credible he gave even some numbers (a cheap trick used to show you have done your homework and you know what you are talking about when you do not have a clue).
These articles, which stretched over 3 weeks, were soon indiscriminately picked up by over a dozen other media.
Following the media reports, the Copenhagen Municipality investigated Natha Yogacenter’s accounting and administration for evidence of the claims of Orla Borg. However, their investigation found no evidence of that, and the support continues until this day. After one month of serious investigation they have cleared all the accusations from the already big media campaign. Needless to say, the media never reported the results of this real investigation and the failure of the journalist/activist.
One must ask then – why is it that claims which had such an extensive public echo could not be certified at all when investigated? How come that the journalist failed to investigate such a simple aspect?
The bizarre metamorphic change: journalist turn one-side activist
When contacted to show him the story from Natha's perspective, the journalist clearly told me (in a recorded phone conversation): “No matter what is your story I will not publish it ...”.
This is where the ugly face of the one-sidedness starts to appear and Orla Borg the journalist shows clear signs of a strange metamorphic change into an activist of his own truth. I leave it to another time to talk about the reasons for such bizarre change to appear. Here we only point out the dangerous pattern that sometimes – not so seldom – surface into the media even here in Denmark.
Now I can see that same accusation of being a sect and misusing the public fonds by Natha Yoga center appear into a show on TV2 that was probably running out of sensationalism: “Denmark according to Bubber”. He is trying some old tricks that for sure sell: sex, sect and corruption.
The fact that the production company failed to offer minimum conditions for cooperation, trying constantly to trick me and Natha into a strange deal was already addressed here (link to the article “An incoming media case?”). They even lied to us by saying that they never used but only one kind of contract that it was offered to us also. When checking around we found more than one different (much better) deal that they offered to others. And here is again the same face of the activist showing up from the smokescreen created to hide it.
All these shows to the attentive observer that there is something behind the scene and the journalist is nothing more in this case but just an activist of his own truth, in a crusade of one-sidedness. After all, even the real crusades were just the extreme end of a one-side journey of their own truth being forced on the others.
And here is the interesting part: the important question that all of the media reports failed to ask was ‘what is a sect?’. What are the criteria of defining a sect, and is Natha Yogacenter fitting these criteria?
“This is an important story” tells Bubber to BT's journalist Jan Eriksen. But what he fails to show is a responsible investigation since it is such an important story. Then, is it important because your truth is the only one to be heard?
As it turns out, such criteria for analyzing a sect are clearly defined and can be easily found after even a short investigation.
One of the world’s leading experts on the topic of sects and spiritual movements is Swedish vicar Karl Erik Nylund. Nylund says that for a movement to be defined as a manipulative sect, it has to manifest at least 3 of 4 characteristics:
- Aggression – punishment of the members criticizing the leader or the movement.
- Aversion – criticism and persecution of the people outside the group such as parents for instance.
- Alienation – closed circuit inside the sect, as a geographical or ideological group. The sect becomes the new family.
- Absolute truth – only exists within the sect, and the leader/leaders are entitled to the absolute right of interpreting the truth.
Back to the case of Natha Yogacenter and the ‘S’ word: Nylund had actually made an investigation of Natha Yogacenter already at 2005. This investigation was done by request of the Swedish Supreme Court for the purpose of the case of Yoga Teacher Gregorian Bivolaru (Spiritual mentor of Natha and all its sister schools around the world) who had requested not to be extradited to his native country of Romania on grounds that he was persecuted there for his spiritual beliefs. In a precedent making verdict, the Supreme Court decided not to extradite Bivolaru and later he was granted political asylum in Sweden. This decision relied in part on Nylund’s report that was clearly stating: Natha Yogacenter and its sister school in Romania M.I.S.A. were absolutely not sects.
In Nylund’s word’s: ‘’During my conversations with the MISA practitioners and teachers, I found nothing of the first two A-s (Aggression and Aversion). With regard to the ashram life, only a part of the persons live there and the activities are not the closed circuit type. The courses are accessible to anyone from the outside. Anyone may attend the courses. Therefore we ARE NOT talking about alienation. Some of those who are more dedicated might have a minimum contact with the outside world, however leaders actively seek to oppose this form of alienation, by encouraging them to return to their work and family. Gregorian Bivolaru DOES NOT claim to be in undeniable possession of the absolute truth. Together with other people, he is a spiritual guide and is convinced he is a man with a mission in the society. On the other hand he displayed and still displays no political claims. If people will transform through the lacto-vegetarian diet and through meditation, this will occur gradually. Bivolaru’s power resides in his very humbleness. Therefore in the MISA case, we can find none of the criteria defining manipulative sects.’’
As we can see, in the case of Natha Yogacenter, not only did the one-sidedness activist Orla Borg fail to question whether Natha is a sect by checking the criteria, but he even neglected to mention any expert opinion on the topic. He skipped over this strait to the verdict, ignoring all evidence that did not support his claim, resting instead, entirely on rumors and gossip. Following in his footprints, Bubber is bringing the same people that the JP journalist was using in 2009 to make his own one-sided truth campaign. Same pattern of actively ignoring the obviousness and trying to show only one side of a story that otherwise would prove very interesting in its entirety … but this story would also prove threatening for the sleep of ignorance of some people.
The ‘s’ word is used today far too easily. In the absence of aiming to find the truth by looking into the reality according to clear criteria – ‘Sect’ is reduced to just a painfully harmful insult which is directed at organizations whose only fault may very well be that they offer an alternative to the social norms. In other words – it is just a reaction of fear or aggression towards what we do not understand.
But for me more worrying is the reoccurring pattern in the media of activism of one-sidedness. How can we rely on the discernment of people that prove to actively choose to ignore a part of the reality in order to prove that their truth is the only one? And when these people have the power that a journalist is given by us, the citizens, the problem can be very big for everyone. Can anyone protect us from such strange deviations?
- (Legal and Media Cases)
“Journalism is a guardian that never sleeps and protects the freedom of the people” – Winston Churchill”
Celebrating the fact that the Mayans apparently got their calculus wrong, elements from the Danish press are preparing to balance the things by putting an end to their loudly praised deontology. Appointed as the watch dog of our society in its highly important role of providing a voice for the public, the mass media is bound by a code of ethics and is accountable for its actions. However, the human element in this equation gives room for all the possible nuances of subjectivity to enter into the apparent search for truth and personal agendas and ulterior motives often dictate the outcome. The idea of an institution which correctly, ethically and objectively informs the people is utopic to say the least.
The level of consciousness of a society dictates the possibilities for ethics and rightfulness to be properly adhered to. And as we all bear witness to on a daily basis, the current level of consciousness is a far cry from the spiritually enlightened consciousness needed for the spontaneous following of ethics and principles. Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that “public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy”. However, how can an unenlightened media enlighten its society? If the media would stick to its obligation of providing “mediation” as an “information service” without becoming personally involved then it would correctly fulfill its purpose and serve the role given to it within our democratic society.
I have recently had firsthand experience of dealing with a part of the Danish media which has unfortunately only once again led me to conclude that this institution still has a long way to go before it is truly living up to its professional obligations. For those of you unfamiliar with Danish TV, ‘Danmark ifølge Bubber’ (‘Denmark According to Bubber’) is an ongoing documentary show on TV2. It is hosted by the eponymous Bubber who gained popularity in the Danish media for his career in children’s television.
Now ‘Danmark ifølge Bubber’ is going into its 5th season and according to Bubber it promises to be “even wilder and even better.” He says that “Denmark is incredible in every way possible, both for the worse and better.” So far the show has covered topics such as bestiality, transvestites, swingers clubs, men in women’s clothing, Nazism, porn, prison and prostitution. It makes me wonder – how much wilder can it get?! As wild as Natha Yogacenter? It seems they think we fit into this category. Should we be flattered?
Where Is the Balance Between Rights and Duties?
Maybe we would be if we were not already acquainted with how the media likes to portray us in such an unflattering light. Correlating this piece of information with the fact that Bubber has said that in the new season he moves “into a new area where people lose good judgment,” and that the story has come about because of reports by ex-members of the school, we can be sure of the type of story ‘Danmark ifølge Bubber’ has up their sleeve.
After explaining to Bubber that I am busy for most of December and would probably not be able to do the interview until January, he asked for the interview to take place on the 15th January. However, in his next email he suddenly changed his tune and wrote: “I suggest that I call you/Mihai on Tuesday the 18. or Wednedsday the 19. next week to do the interview (by phone). If I don´t hear anything from you before Tuesday the 18th of December 2012, I must conclude that Mihai Stoian don´t want to participate in the programme and answer my questions.” Which has left me wondering why the sudden change of date and why the urgency to get the interview done now instead of in one month’s time?
I wanted to give the interview, but told Bubber that I would only do it in certain conditions, as I needed a minimum insurance that my words would not be misused or misinterpreted. Having learnt from previous dealings with the media, we drew up a contract stipulating these conditions in which we would agree to do the interview.
“The recorded material with me as a participant may be wholly or partly included in the final version of this production. Eyeworks/TV 2 have no right to use or broadcast publically the material regardless of format and method of presentation without my written approval and accept. Eyeworks/TV 2 is aware that in case they do not obtain my written approval and accept of broadcasting, they submit to paying me a penalty fee of 500.000 dkr. pr. broadcast or released example of a production material including wholly or partly my participation. Due to any concern that my rights could be violated, I can anytime cancel any kind of accept or declaration I have previously given for broadcasting material containing my participation, no matter the circumstances and the consequences Eyeworks/ TV 2 will suffer from this decision.”
Eyeworks however declined, stating that “We are aware that you have asked for the right to choose which part of the interview we afterwards can use. This is unfortunately not a request we can accomodate, as we would then compromise on our constitutional right of the press to collect, treat and pass on information. Also TV2/DK will never accept that these rights to edit the programme are granted to participants, in a programme like this.”Unfortunately this is not just a singular case. The entire mass media is riddled with this kind of hypocritical attitude.
On one hand they speak of their rights, and on the other they do not care about their obligations to protect the fundamental rights of the people, such as the right of their own image, the property of their words. The right of publicity, often called personality rights, is the right of an individual to control the commercial use of his or her name, image, likeness, or other unequivocal aspects of one’s identity.
The contract Eyeworks asked me to sign states:
“I accept that recorded material with me as a participant may be wholly or partly included in the final version of this production. I also accept that Eyeworks/TV 2 have indefinite and unlimited exclusive right to use the material all over the world, regardless of format and method of presentation. I have no rights to the material and can never raise claims based on my participation.”Through our correspondence Bubber is twisting his obligation to allow the right of reply.
The spirit of the law is that we have the right to reply and he has to give it to us. All that we have asked is that we can make sure that our reply will be put as we intended it, without it being manipulated through editing by them. As he has total freedom in most of the program to say whatever he wants, for giving a fair right of reply we should have the same freedom in the short segment that he gives us a right to reply. Otherwise, what is the point of giving a reply if it is cut out of context or even important parts of it are omitted?
It became glaringly obvious in this communication that he is not allowing us the proper right for reply which is free from his own interests of displaying Natha in a critical way. As he wrote to me: “I have to say that this is not an offer of cooperation. It is an offer to Mihai Stoian/Natha Yoga to answer to critique that will be raised in my program”. He also stated: “The program will be broadcasted on TV2 whether he participates or not, which is why this is to be regarded as an offer and I´m afraid the above terms are not open for discussion.”
The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics states that “The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.”The intentions of Bubber and his program are obviously not in accordance with this code of ethical conduct and it is for this reason that I will not participate in a potential immoral attempt to vilify and degrade my person and the school of which I am a part.
Here is an excerpt from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Resolution 1003 on the Ethics of Journalism, which I think speaks for itself.
The right to information as a fundamental human right – Publishers, proprietors and journalists
7. The media’s work is one of “mediation”, providing an information service, and the rights which they own in connection with freedom of information depends on its addressees, that is the citizens.
8. Information is a fundamental right which has been highlighted by the case-law of the European Commission and Court of Human Rights relating to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and recognized under Article 9 of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, as well as in all democratic constitutions. The owner of the right is the citizen, who also has the related right to demand that the information supplied by journalists be conveyed truthfully, in the case of news, and honestly, in the case of opinions, without outside interference by either the public authorities or the private sector.
9. The public authorities must not consider that they own information.
The representativeness of such authorities provides the legal basis for efforts to guarantee and extend pluralism in the media and to ensure that the necessary conditions are created for exercising freedom of expression and the right to information and precluding censorship. Moreover, the Committee of Ministers is aware of this fact, as demonstrated by its Declaration on the Freedom of Expression and Information adopted on 29 April 1982.
If there is nothing to hide Mr Bubber, then why do you not allow such an agreement that is only aiming to secure our side of the story? I didn’t ask for full disclosure of the sources or even of the content of all the other filmed material before talking, I have only asked for my rights to present my point of view in the way I consider fits into this context to be respected.
Refusing to accede to this simple agreement clearly shows another interest behind the stage. Why should one be afraid of the story that one is telling since he is free to ask other opinions also? Unless of course he wants a certain result, and not the truth…
As a conclusion, what kind of search for the Truth is that where you are not interested to protect all the opinions in an equal manner? If this is the way one is searching for the Truth, can we call that person honest?
The coming days will tell if these are only some theoretical ideas or the reality will prove them to be right. I dare to anticipate, however, that I will get more lessons from these guys about their constitutional rights, but nothing about their constitutional duties (for which they are paid anyway), and in the end they will anyway tell only the story they were intending to tell from the very beginning. But this is nothing new. When it is an order from … one has to comply with it … and there is no place for negotiation with the victim. So much for professional journalism.
I can foresee that they will not stop here because their orders are aiming to create more trouble. Therefore they will start to question more about our school, trying to take all the old ghosts out of the closet in order to ensure their story has more consistency. … In this way they will prove that it is not the truth they are after but their truth suggested by the hand that feeds them…
- (Legal and Media Cases)
We, the teachers and students of Natha Yogacenter wish to express our concern over the flagrant abuse of spiritual practitioners and the violation of spiritual values by fundamentalist-religious groups and certain parts of the media in India.
The target of this abuse is Satya Esoteric Integral Yoga – a member of the Atman International Federation of Yoga and Meditation, of which Natha Yogacenter Denmark is a full member.
On Friday 3rd June, an attack upon the Indian yoga school – Satya Esoteric Integral Yoga was started. It began with a high profile article on the front page of The Times of India (one of India’s biggest newspapers) falsely denouncing the yoga school as a European sex cult which is dealing in pornography and is aiming to spread throughout India and corrupt its youth. Such ridiculous claims appear even worse in light of the fact that the journalist had a long and friendly talk with the people of Satya Yoga during which they exposed wide segments of their curriculum as well as complete explanations regarding the specificities of their teachings. In the article later published, the journalist wrote misleading facts and lies, completely ignoring all that was said to him and focusing only on the ridiculous accusation of pornography while trying to shed doubt upon the legality of the visas of the teachers of Satya Yoga.
It is peculiar that an article about a small group of volunteers sharing their knowledge of yoga reaches the front page of a paper which is read by millions of people, unless it is inspired by some ill-intended people who are hiding in the shadows. We state this fact as an indirect proof of the hidden interest that exists behind this smear campaign against Satya Yoga since the events that followed also took the same direction.
This article was quickly followed by more “reports” in other media, all of them extremely biased, gravely breaching the professional journalistic code of conduct and civic ethics. This was done through deliberate misquotes and misrepresentation as well as the citing of false and deceiving information. For example, one reporter published a fictional interview with one of the volunteers of Satya Yoga which never actually took place. This reporter put together different, unrelated pieces of information combined with blatant lies so that it looked like the Satya volunteer was confessing to dealing with pornography despite the fact that this person had never said anything of the sort. This act is both libelous and fraudulent and highly illegal according to Indian law. Yet none of these journalists were taken to court or even investigated, which would be the usual procedure for such crimes.
As a consequence of these unlawful actions, the media persecution, led by the Times of India, stirred up a fundamental-religious group called Hindu Makkal Katchi and they in turn filed a complaint accusing Satya Yoga of providing sexual therapy and distributing obscene materials. This is another false accusation against a group of people whose only guilt was to practice yoga with dedication and perseverance.
The ensuing police investigation has disrupted the lives of the students and volunteers of Satya Yoga and attempted to shut down the entire activities of this spiritual school. The police officers abusively warned the people of Satya Yoga that they might be harmed by followers of Hindu Makkal Katchi if they continue to meet in the yoga center. Such behaviour from those who are supposed to maintain the peace and order in a country and to protect people from pressure and threats is a severe deviation that we deeply regret and assert as fraudulent.
This activity of aggressive intimidation (by using the pressure of extremist groups) by the Indian police forced the people of Satya Yoga school to temporarily leave the premises. Consequently, we are sad to realize that all the evidence shows that Times of India, guided by the hidden agendas of people from above them, initiated a witch hunt upon yoga practitioners from Satya Yoga school which was carried out by the local police and based solely on false and libelous claims.
These events began during a spiritual gathering attended also by several teachers and students from Natha Yogacenter, Denmark. The gathering was disrupted by these events. Several participants were even afraid to come back to the spiritual gathering. Mihai Stoian, the coordinating teacher of Natha Yogacenter, was also taking part of this spiritual gathering, and became a target of the defamatory campaign of the Indian media. Our students and teachers returned home safely, yet shocked by the events.
This is not the first time that such incidents have taken place. Spiritual schools and practitioners have been wrongfully attacked and derogated throughout the world at least in the past 2 decades. This is also not the first time that such things have happened in India; for instance, there are the cases of Muktananda and the spiritual community of Auroville which were both wrongfully accused without any evidence. In fact, we find striking similarities between these events – the manner with which all media turned against the spiritual movement without showing the other side of the story at all, clear misrepresentation of facts, and the focusing on those accusations of a sexual nature. Also the timing is common to all cases – being chosen for when a certain spiritual movement is growing beyond a certain level. It is significant for us to notice that this campaign started a few days before the new groups of practice were starting in Satya Yoga school, clearly aiming to disrupt this process.
We have found proof that other cases of harassment of some spiritual movements around the world were orchestrated by certain corrupt power circles which oppose genuine spirituality. This is because genuine spirituality is of a real threat to social corruption and helps the ordinary man or woman to spiritually awaken and thus get free from the manipulation that is exerted in most cases by the power holders in the society. We have cause to believe that this is also the case now, due to the striking similarities between these cases as well as some information coming from insiders.
We stand by our Indian colleagues in this time of tests and trials, and offer them our experience in dealing with such defamatory accusations. We wish to reinforce your faith in your success, on account of our success in dealing with such anti-spiritual campaigns. For example, in Romania the court has discharged all accusations made against the spiritual movement and its spiritual guide Gregorian Bivolaru; and in Denmark several media have apologized and the others are now being taken to court for defamation. In both countries, as in others, the spiritual schools thrive and grow, long after the echoes of calumny have subsided.
We stand by you, our brothers and sisters of Yoga, in your quest for truth, justice and love, and we know that good and purity will always eventually win, even though the path may at times be long and hard.
In conclusion, we remember that darkness exists only due to the absence of light, and injustice prevails only when good people don’t stand up for truth. Therefore, we call upon all lovers of spirituality in India, Denmark and all over the world to rise and stand for the spiritual values – write to the Times of India, to other Indian papers, to Human Rights organizations and even to kind and morally oriented politicians who can influence public opinion, express your protest, comment on the articles on-line, and support Satya Esoteric Integral Yoga.
Together, with brotherhood, until Truth and decency will prevail,
The teachers and students of Natha Yogacenter
Message from Satya Esoteric Integral Yoga
Dear Satya Yoga Students and Friends.
We are very sorry to announce you that due to the recent slanderous campaign supported by pressure exerted by some extremist groups upon our school we have to cease the renting contract for the rooms in Teynampet. Therefore until further notice the classes are temporarily on hold. All of you that have been following this yoga school for years now will have the chance to continue with the practice sessions as soon as possible.
We stand up for the truth against all the false allegations and slanderous lies against our school first brought forth by Times of India and followed up by other media without any kind of investigations. We published also a press release as an answer to the accusations the same day as the first article in the Times of India appeared, but no media wanted to print it even if we personally delivered it to them and they reported about this situation but with their own lies. This fact itself is showing to everyone the real ill-intention that stand behind this smearing campaign against Satya Yoga school.
We firmly state:
Satya Yoga has never shown or produced any pornographic or erotic movies. The teachings do not contain any sexual therapies, nude activities nor any acts of intimacy. This is of cause very well known by all of you who have attended our activities.
On the 3rd of June Times of India claims in a front page article that Satya Yoga mixes sex, yoga and pornography. All of you who have practiced in Satya Yoga know that we practice asanas and meditation very seriously in its genuine, traditional form and that also in the yoga and tantra classes there is absolutely no erotic practices nor acts of intimacy. It is in fact a common misunderstanding that is specific to layman to obsessively associate tantra with sex and lust, and it seems that this is what the TOI reporter is trying to use in order to create a deliberate confusion among his readers.
Tuesday the 7th of June NDTV broadcasts a completely manipulative program showing clips from the Cosmic Spiral Meditation mixed with other clips from other yoga schools from abroad and an unknown couple embracing each other, thus insinuating that acts of intimacy were happening during the Spiral. There is also a fake interview where a reporter seemingly asks if it is true that all the teachers in Satya Yoga have been acting in porn movies and a recorded voice replies “yes yes – it is absolutely correct”. But the amazing fact is that this interview, only supported by still pictures, has never taken place! It is 100% fabricated by the news channel NDTV. Even if this is a criminal act the police was never trying to act against the people that are behind such fraudulent action.
Instead a Police Inspector is interviewed saying publicly that the allegations (mixing sex with yoga) against Satya Yoga are found to be true. This statement was shown only one day after the police started the investigation based on a complaint of the fundamentalist movement Hindu Makkal Katchi. How can an organ of justice – as the police is supposed to be – publicly find an accusation to be true, while they just started investigating about it? What kind of base for finding the truth is that? Apparently the police supports the slanderous campaign against Satya Yoga by spreading rumours and discrediting our school.
For all the friends of truth we have to say that the journalist from TOI was also trying in several cases to threaten the teachers team of Satya Yoga and even to induce all kind of suggestions in order to obtain some specific easy to manipulate answers. Fortunately we have recorded the talks with him and we will soon disclose publicly with video evidence the hypocritical and completely unprofessional behavior of the journalist from TOI.
On the 8th of June came another slanderous article in The Times of India stating that Tuesday the 7th of June 5 foreigners, associated with Satya Yoga, 3 of them mentioned by name, were questioned by the police about their visa situation and their practices. Here is another proof of the unprofessional work done by the journalist and the hidden agenda that is becoming every day more visible behind this campaign: these people mentioned in the article left the country Monday the 6th of June and none of them have been interrogated by the police before that. The journalist is just trying to create more confusion on top of his initial lies in order to convince people about them. Yet we consider that our students and friends are intelligent people and they will not accept such manipulations that are made by people with a weak intellect.
The same day a completely sensationalistic-fictional article appeared in the Tamil yellow press magazine “Nakkeeran” (or something like this). In the same style as TOI article, this article basically springs forth from the imagination of the reporter and has nothing to do with reality. He even lied about the spiral, telling how it took place in a farmhouse and how Mihai was talking about tantric sexuality and how to become one with each other and nature. Those of you who participated to the spiral all know that this is pure fantasy of the “journalist” and this can be proven since the whole event was video recorded. Yet the fact that other media channels are starting to behave in the same way (we can call it the TOI syndrome) proves once again without error the existence of the same hand that is coordinating this campaign and is covering it no matter how many laws (moral and social laws) will be broken for this.
Friday the 10th of June Times of India is publishing yet another article where the police seemingly announce that they have a warrant and that most likely they will search the school the following day. For any careful reader the blatant manipulation jumps up immediately: since when is the police announcing through the media to the potential criminals that they will search their place? Is this a joke or is it just another way of throwing suspicion on Satya Yoga, criminalizing our spiritual activities for some hidden interests? The answer sadly comes out more and more with its ugly face.
There are several statements in the media that Mihai Stoian and Adina Stoian went absconding after the police started the investigation. This is another proof of the hidden interest of these media parrots that are only repeating what they are told. In reality Mihai, Adina and the other visitors left the country on the 6th of June BECAUSE THEY HAD FLIGHT TICKETS WITH FIXED DATES OF DEPARTURE, WHICH WERE BOUGHT MONTHS AGO. This fact can easily be checked.
Moreover members of the Satya Yoga team were attending in person and through legal advisors several meetings with the police investigators, offering them all the cooperation requested. This information could be easily found with a direct call to the police station and not insinuating all kind of “sources” from the inside of police. Therefore the statements from the media that the Satya Yoga team was hiding are once again proving (if it was necessary to have more proofs) that this campaign is conducted by people that know the immoral behavior of some journalists and they count on this. We are even ready to make a bet that our statements will not reach the media that otherwise claim to be so keen to find us and to hear our side of this fantastic story.
It is obvious for us that some forces with hidden agendas against Satya Esoteric Integral Yoga are trying to scare people away from the school. Their facts (superficially concealed by their actions but disclosed for any careful observer of the events) are proving this again and again. It is not the first time in history that a school or an organization, teaching genuine spirituality, has been attacked by anti-spiritual forces: remember Osho, Swami Rama, Muktananda etc. In such hostile climate and irresponsible and unprofessional media coverage (with easily proven lies in practically all the news fabricated until now on the Satya Yoga subject) we have been deliberately choosing to communicate our statements on the website only and avoid any contact with the journalists for the moment. Should any media channel prove willing to reflect in a fair way the story, without manipulations and lies (is that a fantastic request?) the team is willing to meet and have an open dialogue because we do not have anything to hide.
Yet we stand for the Truth and we will not stop until these lies and manipulations will not be completely disclosed together with the people that are behind them, the real responsible for the actual state of things in the Indian nation and worldwide.
We thank all of you who have been helping and supporting and praying for us in these last days even if it is difficult and challenging. It is also very challenging to us. Please keep up your spirit, and remember that you can do a lot even as an individual when you know the Truth and act in its name because this is the common ground (making the unison) of many. We are with you, and our actions are directed towards our success together. We ask you all to support and stand up for the Truth without fear, shame and inhibitions. Whenever you are confronted with the lies against Satya Yoga we ask you to come forward with wisdom and discernment, raise your voice and tell the truth.
Ultimately let us not forget the ancient saying “to know and act as if you don't know is the supreme cowardice”.
May God bless You all!
With Love and Peace
Satya Esoteric Integral Yoga
- (Spiritual Masters)
by Melania Radu
“Should there be 1% out of the world population to practice meditation, there wouldn’t be any wars.”- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the international program named the Transcendental Meditation is mostly known for his results in his declared goal: spiritual regeneration of the world. Starting from a simple yoga technique that he began to teach 50 years ago, he reached six millions disciples, building up a real spiritual empire, with centres all over the world.
The main idea he promoted is that, due to failure to using the entire capacity, the integral brain ability of functioning is wasted. Hence, there emerge all sorts of frustration. Instead, if the entire potential of the brain is used, the cosmic potential of the being is thereby powered and the human fate is accomplished. Here we are at humankind crossroad. This is a moment for man to learn how to use his potential so that the human race may upgrade to a superior level of evolution.
A life full of achievements
was born on January 12, 1917 in a family of Shiva worshippers, belonging to the cast of scribes (KAYASTHA), in Central India. By birth he was named Mahesh Prasad Varma. In 1939 he became disciple of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati that he owes his learning to. When the later died he retreated in the Himalaya for two years, and since 1955 he started to teach a traditional technique of yogi meditation, which he would call later on the Transcendental Meditation.
The Movement for Spiritual Regeneration was born in 1957 in Madras, India, and it continued in 1958 with many world tours that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi performed in order to teach his technique of spiritual transformation. He became famous in the West chiefly to his interaction to The Beatles and other celebs (Beach Boys, Clint Eastwood, David Lynch), who learned the meditation technique from him.
Since1961 he started to organise training courses for meditation, which have been attended by 40.000 persons so far. Maharishi has written many books to promote his teachings. The first publication was in 1964: Science of Being and Art of Living – the Transcendental Meditation, which presents his vision about a “new humanity, developed in all aspects of life”. The book has been sold in more than 1 million issues and translated in 15 languages.
Since 1990 he set down in Vlodrop in Holland, where he left the physical world on February 5, 2008 in a state of perfect awareness, in meditation. He had retreated from all managerial activities, and started MAUNA (the vouch of silence) on January 11, 2008. His corpse was then taken to India, in Rishikesh and traditionally burnt on pyre. His last message was „Live long the world in peace, happiness, prosperity, and freedom from suffering.”
Transcendental Meditation and its effects
This is a simple meditation technique which works with a MANTRA. It can only be learned from an acknowledged teacher; it is bound to be exercised 20 minutes twice a day, it is natural (no connection to mind manipulation or suggestion), no efforts required for practice, it is appropriate for anyone (it is not a religion), it is not philosophy, but a scientific technique, it does not require changing lifestyle.
Sampled effects of the meditation under scientific validation:
- physiological effects: deep relaxation, which induces ALPHA waves prevalence and a state of transcendent consciousness, then a state of relaxation even out of meditation, which helps swift recovering from stress, better functioning of the brain, enhancement of creativity and intelligence, health improvement, decrease of heart disease risks, reduction of biological age (rejuvenation), rise of living hope.
- psychological and spiritual effects: achievement of the Divine Self, perception of a beneficial whole upon world; enhancement of the power of understanding, of memory, intelligence, of the concentration power, creativity, emotional ripeness, wisdom.
- social benefits: decrease of drugs and alcohol rates, reduction of post-trauma stress, improvement of work efficiency, reduction and prevention of violence and criminality.
- ecological modifications: development of a unitary collective consciousness (which results in decrease of individual problems), decrease of criminality rate and life improvement; as for the world peace, reports have been made to assess that meditation of a large group of people, in average 1% out of the world population results in improvement of international relationships and decrease of world conflicts.
Scientific evidence: the Maharishi effect
The first scientific research of the practical effects on the Transcendental Meditation was issued in 1970 in the Scientific American magazine. 600 similar searches have been carried out since in 200 universities and search institutions from 30 other countries. The evaluation has been published in more than 100 reference magazines, which turned the Transcendental Meditation in the most studied human development program in the history of modern science.
Conclusions point out that Maharishi program has practical effects and it is an efficient remedy for modern life disorders. By all levels enhancement meditation operates at the basic functional program of nature, which reflects the unifying field of the Nature Law into the individual and collective consciousness, so that life can be lived in consonance to the Natural Law. Reports rated at 1% the minimum share of population to practice meditation or the technique of SIDDHIs enhancement, which is enough to trigger positive changes for the entire society. Scientists have denominated this phenomenon as the Maharishi Effect.
SIDDHIs Enhancement and the Extended Maharishi Effect
Researchers reported that the Maharishi Effect is all the more powerful in the SIDDHIs enhancement program. Therefore, it is enough for a group as less than 1% out of the total population, (the square root of a share) to practice this program in order to enable the Maharishi Effect. This effect has been denominated the Extended Maharishi Effect.
The program for SIDDHIs enhancement urges the mind functioning at the peaceful level, which makes thinking and action much more powerful. The peaceful level of mind represents the maximum potential of energy, creativity and intelligence, which mind displays also out of the meditation time. Basically meditation mediates nurturing of all human sides: mind, body and spirit.
The peaceful mind level is reached by meditation and it is connected to the transcendental consciousness. It represents the fourth state of consciousness, where the other three are the dreaming sleep state, the deep sleep state and the state of awareness. It can be scientifically detected by brain waves, breath frequency and metabolism monitoring.
Meditation makes mind as calm as a lake without waves. Then by the SIDDHIs enhancement program it becomes active inside itself as if fine waves had been created to reach to the furthest shore. Maharishi would say: “The logic is simple: as much as mind can restlessly stir till it gets tired, it can also stay still and be calm. We can skilfully bring it to its peaceful level. This means to collect the mind. This means yoga”.
The most important part of the program is Yogic Flying, which comprises three stages. At the first stage, the body in the lotus pose starts taking small leaps ahead. At further stages the body is supposed to float in the air and even move at will. The inner state is a euphoric one, lacking body weight in bliss.
The scientific researches have reported that the SIDDHIs enhancement program determines an optimum functioning of the brain. The state of brain unity and integration is at the maximum at the moments the body lifts up in the air. “The SIDDHIs enhancement program is a key to the heavenly life on earth”, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi would say.
The Peace Palaces – sources of peace and harmony in the world
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi initiated the construction of Peace Palaces, where the teaching activities: learning, meditation, veda science and SIDDHIs development programs bring about good consonant effects in the town and by extension in the entire world. There have been 3,000 similar constructions in the world, out of which 100 occur in the USA.
Starting from the premise that the attempt to stop criminality and terrorism and the world evil tendencies by punishing the criminals failed Maharishi suggests precautions which prove more intelligent and creative for the scientific times we are living. These measures are bound to set up a permanent steady ground for world peace.
Therefore there are 200 experts working in each Peace Palace. Researches have been made to prove that the spiritual activities of such a group can neutralize the negative influences in the area collective consciousness and also engender a strong positive harmonising influence. This influence will echo in the entire world consciousness.
Vedas Science as promoted by Maharishi
Besides the Transcendental Meditation, which is currently studied as seven stages technique, Maharishi also refreshed a large array of practical methods from the Vedas science, which are nowadays applied in business, public institutions or private life.
The Vedas Science of Maharishi is inspired form India Vedas tradition with reference to the Natural Law in the Maharishi approach. It represents the science of consciousness and all the practical programs (in health, education, architecture, agriculture, astrology, music) have been set for complete use of mind body and consciousness and eventually enable the state of illumination. Maharishi would say that every single person has its birth right to live in harmony to the Natural Law, avoiding the errors that bring suffering to himself or to the world.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi opened thousands of research centres all over the world and founded hundreds of schools, colleges, universities. He created a television on spiritual lines, programs to fight poverty, he applied practical ways to create and maintain world peace.
- (World Events)
by Sahajananda Porslund
Recent archaeological discoveries in Bosnia question the officially recognized history of our ancestors and even the official theories of the origin of mankind. Even though the proofs regarding this discovery are significant nobody from the Danish press or media were present to the meeting at the local (Bosnian Society House) in Copenhagen. Except Natha.net and Logos magazine.
Sunday 10th of February the founder of the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun Foundation Semir Osmanagic visited Copenhagen. Semir Osmanagic is also the project leader of an archaeological investigation of the so-called 'pyramid valley' in Visoko in Bosnia-Herzegovina. A research programme that might turn out to be significant in the disclosure of our cultural past and origin.
The Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun Foundation claims nothing less than to have discovered the existence of ancient pyramids in the old Kingstown Visoko in the heart of the Balkans.
Amrita Hansen and Semir Osmanagic
Not a single Danish journalist from the mainstream media was present at the lecture, even though more than 120 people of Danish and Bosnian origin attended Semir Osmanagic´s presentation of the material about the investigation of the Visoko-phenomena.
Semir Osmanagic started his lecture by denying the popular belief that pyramids from former civilizations only exist in Egypt and Mexico. Studies of ancient cultures across the world are telling us that evidence of pyramid structure can be found in almost any ancient civilisation. Semir Osmanagic then demonstrated how more than 1000 pyramids can be pointed out on satellite photos: Many hundreds in Egypt, Mexico and Central America, more than one hundred and fifty in China and Mongolia, many more hundreds in Peru, Bolivia and the South American Amazon and even subaquatic pyramids near to the coast of Japan have been found.
From where do the pyramids originate? What is the purpose of building a pyramids? And is there a connection between the pyramids found in different parts of the world? These are still some of the fundamental enigmas in the study of the civilizations of our ancestors.
Semir Osmanagic is not in doubt: "The excavations at the Visoko Valley will eventually reveal that the world's biggest pyramid is to be found in Bosnia - the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun."
Touring the capitals of Europe, Osmanagic has explained to an audience who unlike himself have not studied pyramids for the last 20 years, that nobody believed there were pyramids in Mexico and Guatemala until almost 150 years after they were actually discovered. "The Great Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, near to Mexico City was 200 years ago, covered by a thick layer of dirt, clay and vegetation exactly like the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun is today. It was a historical revolution." At the moment the most crucial question is if the pyramids are manmade or if they are results of a natural geological process of transformation.
On the homepage of the foundation, the evidence of the Bosnian pyramid valley is explained as follows: Numerous layers of evidence indicate that the mound Visoko represents an ancient colossal structure with a readily recognizable pyramid shape, because of:
• Visually symmetric geometry;
• Precise orientation to all four cardinal directions;
• Geo-sedimentary composition of evidence from the ground;
• Analysis of satellite images;
• Analysis of satellite thermal images which suggests the characteristics of an artificial construction;
• Resident reports revealed the presence of massive, shaped stone blocks, bound with crumbly mortar, covered "passageways" and "holes" in the vicinity of home foundations that were erected near the base of the hill;
• Complex of underground tunnels: Ravne-Visocica-Plješevica-Krstac;
• Peculiar fluvial/erosive geomorphology observed on the Visocica hill.;
• Characteristic "resonance" of Visocica under shelling during the last war;
• Symmetric terraces on a high-resolution geodesic elevation map.
Even though the evidence is growing every day, Semir Osmanagic and the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun Foundation still have to deal with critics and skepticism. Though the arguments are seldom directed towards the archaeological and scientific disclosures. It surfs mostly on the speculative level that the Bosnian 'pyramid valley' are a hoax and only representing a Bosnian dream of tourism and western material welfare. But since most of the criticism> comes from some of the most prominent Egyptian archaeologists and Egyptologists sent to research on behalf of the Egyptian ministry of tourism, the opposite counts as well. Namely, that from all countries the discovery holds the biggest threat against Egypt because of the sudden tourist competition. The voice of the critics has been drastically diminished the last 12 months since six of the most upfront Egyptologists have visited the Visoko valley and recognized that what they saw there is indeed manmade.
Visitors in the pyramid valley now have the chance to see the pavement surrounding the down-most plateau of the Pyramid of the Sun, the massive stone edge of the eastern corner of the pyramid, the inscriptions on a stone, which in fact is an old map of the Visoko valley and the ten kilometre long secret tunnel system underneath the valley and much more.
"The moment in our investigation we are all waiting for is of course when we will find a passage to get inside the pyramid and to find the sacred chambers or what ever will be there." says Semir.
About the future
Semir Osmanagic has been called 'the Indiana Jones of the Balcan' and yet he might soon be entitled to call himself the Colombo of the Balcan, if his visions about the pyramid project are shown to be in alignment with the facts.
"My idea for the future of this project is that it will stay completely open to the public, as it has been so far. Day by day more archaeologists will gather here with their students from universities from all over the world: Americans, Europeans, Egyptians, Russians and so on. We will create a chain of intellectual force and thereby also the attention from economical resources to our pyramids." says Semir to Natha.net.
The consequences of the Bosnian pyramids discovery for our writing of history will not be known before we have a clear dating of the pyramids and who built them. The archaeological establishment and the official historical texts can still hide behind the usual uncertainty of historical sites. Nonetheless if Semir Osmanagic is right and the Bosnian pyramids turn out to be older than the Giza constructions it will demand nothing less than a complete re-evaluation of the world history and the history of mankind. And it will create a new opening towards the non-Darwinist theories of origin and different alternative theories about the beginning of our civilization.
And according to Semir, what is even more fundamental will be the revelation of our own culture and history as being far from the highlight of a much longer history of the existence of human civilizations than what we recognize today:
"How dare we pretend even to understand what these devices or structures were used for. They managed to build something which even with our most advanced technology we can not build today, so how can we pretend to grasp their perspective on life from their superior state of being" concludes Semir.
Semir Osmanagic and Sead Maslo,
Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Since there is almost nothing in the mainstream media about the Bosnian pyramid valley and the development of the site, we encourage you to follow the project and the daily news on the homepage of the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun Foundation:
In this article we bring you a glimpse of the divine, as experienced by Farther Arseny, an orthodox Russian priest, while he was imprisoned in one of the prison camps in Russia, in the days of Stalin. The following excerpts are taken from the book "Father Arseny - Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father", which is a collection of letters, memoirs and stories told by people who knew Father Arseny, collection put together by "the servant of God, Alexander".
Father Arseny's description of his own death, followed by his coming back to life, is very similar to other out-of-the-body descriptions of yogis, experienced in states of deep meditation. In the case of Father Arseny, deep faith in God and complete surrendering to His will have opened for him the gates towards the beyond, towards the Supreme Reality.
"Father Arseny was a kind and simple man, with an honest, open face, a man who was not influenced by the convictions nor the habits of the world that surrounded him - a world impregnated with lies, self-interest, vanity and cruelty - a world that fashioned and warped so many of us into its own image and likeness. Father Arseny was uncompromising, courageous and unswervingly committed to what he believed to be right and fair. He did not fall victim to the cruel and passionate powers that had consigned him to heavy suffering and persecution, instead he was a man who chose freely his path toward God, in the name of God. He walked this path to the end with a rare dignity, selflessness, and simplicity. He always tried to find a path to the hearts of everyone, including some of the most fearsome and cruel people who surrounded him, ignite in their souls the spark of God, correct their ways and direct them to do good. He saved and supported many people through the most difficult periods of their lives, at times in their last hours on this earth."
"O Mother of God! Do Not Abandon Them!"
"This story is based on one Father Arseny himself retold to his closest spiritual children; I was one of them.
The reports I heard when I met Avsenkov, Sazikov, and Alexei (the student, who was by then already out of camp) helped me to describe what follows. These people were present when Father Arseny physically died in the barracks, and they witnessed how he came back to life.
When I finished writing all this, I felt I had to show the manuscript to Father Arseny. He read it, was silent for a long while and when he heard my question "Was it not really so?" he answered:
"I was granted great mercy by the Lord and by the Mother of God, who showed me the most sacred and magnificent treasure - that of the human soul, filled with faith, love and kindness. They showed me that faith will never die on earth. Many people carry it within them - some with ardor, others with a trembling respect, others again just carry a spark - and it is essential for them that a good priest help them as a pastor to turn this spark into an unquenchable flame of faith. The Lord showed me that the people who carry the faith, and especially the shepherds of human souls, must help fight for each person to the end of their own strength, until their last breath. The basis of the fight for a soul is love, kindness and helping your neighbour, help given not for one's own sake, but for the sake of one's brother. People judge faith and judge even Jesus Christ Himself, based on the behavior of others. It is also written: 'By your words you will be saved, and by your words you will be condemned' (Matthew 12:37) and, 'Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ' (Galatians 6:2).
"What happened to me was for me an enormous lesson and an admonition. It put me back in my place. Having lived in camps for so long, and having been saved so many times by the mercy of God, I began to believe that I was strong in faith. When I died the Lord and the Mother of God showed me that I am not worthy even to touch the clothes of many of those who are also in camps. I have much to learn from them.
"The Lord humbled me, put me in my place, the place where I should have been all along. He showed me my great unworthiness and granted me rime to improve myself, to correct my mistakes and errors. But have I? O Lord, help me!"
Having said this Father Arseny took my manuscript and returned it to me in a few days. Rereading it, I saw that he had changed a few words and added others. The manuscript he gave back to me is what is before you now.
Returning the manuscript to me, Father Arseny said, "Please, while I am alive, do nor show this to anybody. When I die - let people read it."
The exhausting hot summer with its clouds of mosquitoes had been replaced by a rainy, humid, and cold autumn. The ground was sometimes frozen and sometimes streaming with rivers of melted mud. It was damp and cold in the barracks, which made life particularly difficult. The clothing of the prisoners never could dry out, their feet were constantly wet and covered with blisters. A flu epidemic began. Every day three to five people died. It was now Father Arseny's turn. He could not rise from his bunk. His temperature was 104°, he had chills, he was coughing, he was congested, his heart refused to function.
In the special camp, during such epidemics of flu, patients were nor even put in the hospital. Only if your skull was cracked or if your leg or arm was cur off or broken were you taken to the hospital. Flu had to be dealt with within the barracks. The rule of the camp was - if you can stand, you work; if you can’t stand, then prove you are nor faking an illness. If you prove it, they will take care of you, if the authorities approve.
In the camp there is a plan as to how much work must be done by each prisoner. If he is made to do more more work than expected, the authorities are remunerated. Of course the prisoner himself did not even know it, but his work brought money to somebody. The authorities exist to keep to their plan, so there is no rime for softheartedness.
When a prisoner is sick or has a high fever, he has to ask permission to go to the infirmary. There they will take his temperature. If it is below 103°, he is sent back to work; should he argue, they will send him to the punishment cell, and on top of it the supervisor will hit him in the face to remind him of his responsibilities. If the fever is higher than 103°, he may stay in the barracks in bed, bur he must appear every day in the infirmary. If he becomes unconscious in the barracks, the medic will come to check his temperature and throw some medicine onto his bunk. Then he can stay in bed; but take care he doesn’t remain there after his temperature drops below 102°.
So this was the general rule: if you can walk, walk to work; don't use the camp doctors. They are usually hired by the government, and know their job. It doesn't take much for them to shout, "You're faking - off to work! If you don't I’ll send you to the punishment cell!" It is true that many of the prisoners had been doctors before they were arrested, but those were never allowed to practice in camp. They had to do physical work like anybody else, and particularly hard work at that.
On the third day after Father Arseny became ill, one of the doctors among the prisoners looked him over and called a lung specialist to discuss the case. They called Avsenkov over and told him, "The patient has pneumonia, complete exhaustion, a serious vitamin deficiency, and his heart is worn out. It looks very bad. We do not think he can last more than two days. We would need medication, oxygen, care. But under these circumstances, there is nothing we can do."
Father Arseny was almost an old man. He had lived in this camp for a number of years and over that time many people in the barracks had died and been replaced by new ones. Only perhaps twelve people were such "veterans" as he was. Everybody looked at these old-timers with surprise - how and why were these patriarchs still alive?
A medic was called in. He looked at Father Arseny from a distance of two meters, tossed some aspirin onto his bunk, gave Avsenkov a thermometer to check his temperature, saw that it was over 104°, and saying, "He has the flu," he left.
Father Arseny grew steadily worse. His friends could see that it was the end, that his time had come. They sent a man to the hospital to try and get help; his friends from among the criminals tried to soften up the supervisors; they managed to obtain some mustard powder for a plaster, and some raspberry jam; they brought anything they could. A messenger managed to get into the hospital with great difficulty, and with the help of some true friends he begged for help, for medicine, and explained what was going on with Father Arseny.
The doctor listened and asked the messenger, "How old is the zek, and how long has he been in this camp?" The messenger answered that the patient was 49 years old and had been in the camp for three years now.
The doctor answered, "Do you think that a special camp is a sanatorium, and the zeks in it should live until they are 100 years old? Your patient has beaten the odds, and it is time for him to go. He has lived long enough. There is no medicine for him, it is needed for the army."
The fever rose higher and higher, Father Arseny lost consciousness more and more often. Avsenkov tried to give him aspirin with raspberry jam to drink. Sazikov put a rag with mustard powder on his chest and back. The doctors among the prisoners helped as much as only they could the minute they returned from their labor; but Father Arseny grew worse and worse; at times he was nearly motionless. He was dying.
Death is a common occurrence in camp, everyone is used to it. But in this case everyone felt it in a special way. (From one end of the barracks to the other you could hear, "Father Arseny is dying! Piotr Andreyevich is dying!" For each one of them he had done something good, something kind. A most unusual man was dying; this was something the politicals as well as the criminals understood) - [This last sentence, in parentheses, I added to his memoirs already after Father Arseny's death; it was contributed by Sazikov and by Alexei - the student.]
Father Arseny prayed on and on, and felt the support and help of his friends. Gradually he grew silent.
"He is going," said someone. Father Arseny felt also that he was dying; the barracks, Sazikov, Avsenkov, Alexei, the doctor Boris Petrovich - he could see them no longer, everything had disappeared, had faded away ...
After some time Father Arseny felt an unusual lightness grip him and heard an absolute silence surrounding him. He grew calm. His difficulty in breathing, the mucus that had blocked his throat, the fever that had been burning his body, his weakness and helplessness all disappeared. He felt healthy and energetic.
Now Father Arseny stood by his own bunk, and on it he saw a thin, exhausted, unshaven, almost white haired man with pinched lips and half open eyes. Near the man he could see Avsenkov, Sazikov, Alexei and a few more of the prisoners whom he, Father Arseny, especially knew and loved. Father Arseny looked attentively at the man on the bunk and suddenly realized with amazement that the man on the bunk was himself.
His friends who were gathered near his bunk, the enormous barracks with its numerous population, the whole vast camp - Father Arseny was suddenly seeing it all with absolute clarity. He understood that just now he could see not only their physical appearance, but their souls.
Through the silence that was in him, he saw the movements of the prisoners, and although he could not hear them, he could somehow understand clearly what they were saying and thinking. With awe, he realized that he could see the state of each of their souls, but he knew that he was no longer with them in this world.
An invisible line separated him from this world, and he was unable to cross it. Now Sazikov brought a cup to "his" lips, and tried to pour something into his mouth, but could not. The water spilled over his face. Avsenkov and Alexei were talking about something with a few of the others. Father Arseny stood at the foot of his own body looking at himself and at the other people as though he were an outsider. And suddenly he understood that his soul had left his body, and he, the Priest Arseny, was physically dead.
Father Arseny turned around in wonder; the barracks was disappearing into darkness, but somewhere in the distance there was a blinding light.
Recollecting himself, Father Arseny started to pray and immediately was at peace; he understood that there was somewhere he had to go. He started walking towards the blinding light, but having made a few steps, he turned back into the barracks, and went up to his bunk. Looking at Alexei, Alexander Pavlovich, Ivanov, Sazikov, Avsenkov and the many, many others with whom he had shared the thorny path of suffering, he understood that he could not leave these people. He could not leave them.
He kneeled, and began to pray, begging God not to leave Alexei, Avsenkov, Alexander, Theodore, Sazikov and all of the others with whom he had lived in this camp.
"O Lord, O my Lord! Do not leave them. Help them and save them!" he prayed. And especially he asked for the intercession of the Mother of God, begging her in her mercy not to abandon the prisoners of the special camp.
As he prayed, he cried, begging God, the Mother of God, and all the Saints to have mercy on them all. But his prayer was wordless. And now the barracks and the entire camp appeared before his spiritual eyes in a very different way. He saw the whole camp with all its prisoners and its prison guards as if from inside. Each person carried within himself a soul which was now distinctly visible to Father Arseny. The souls of some were afire with faith which kindled the people around them; the souls of others, like Sazikov and Avsenkov, burned with a smaller but ever growing flame; others had only small sparks of faith and only needed the arrival of a shepherd to fan these sparks into a real flame. There were also people whose souls were dark and sad, without even the least a spark of Light. Now, looking into the souls of the people which God had allowed him to see, Father Arseny was extremely moved. "O, Lord! I lived among these people and did not even notice them. How much beauty they carry within them. So many are true ascetics in the faith. Although they are surrounded by such spiritual darkness and unbearable human suffering, they not only save themselves, but give their life and their love to the people around them, helping others by word and by deed.
"Lord! Where was I? I was blinded by pride and mistook my own small deeds for something grand."
Father Arseny saw that the Light of faith burned not only in the prisoners, but also in some of the guards and administrators, who, within the limits of what they could do, performed good deeds. For them this was extremely difficult, because it was very dangerous.
"What is all this for?" flew through the mind of Father Arseny. "What is it all for?"
He stood and observed the spiritual world of the people, the same people with whom he had lived, talked, or had only just seen. How surprisingly varied and spiritually beautiful this world appeared before him. People who in the crowd of others had seemed to Father Arseny to be spiritually empty and depersonalized, he now saw anew. He saw that they carried so much faith, so much inexhaustible love for others, did so much good and bore their cross without complaint. And he, Father Arseny, living among them, he, the Priest and Hieromonk Arseny, had not seen them, had not noticed them, had not connected with them.
"O Lord! Where was I? Pardon me and have mercy on me. I only saw myself. I was deluded, I did not have enough faith in people."
Bowing down, Father Arseny prayed for a long time. When he stood up he saw that he still was in the camp, but he no longer had his new perception of it; the bunks and the barracks had disappeared. Father Arseny stood at the gate of the camp. The sharp beams of the search lights were sweeping the region and by the gate stood a sentry. lt was night. The camp was asleep.
Father Arseny turned towards the camp, blessed it and prayed for all those still living in it.
"Lord! How can I leave them? How will I be without them? Do not leave all those who live here without your mercy. Help them!" And kneeling in the snow, he prayed.
It was cold, the wind threw clumps of snow but Father Arseny felt none of it. He prayed for a long time, then stood up and left the camp. He passed the sentries and walked along the road. Somewhere far away he saw a bright, inviting light and walked towards it. He walked easily and calmly. He passed the forest and the village and suddenly found himself in his own town, the one with his church, his very church, the church where he first served as a new priest, where he with the help of his many spiritual children had worked hard to restore its ancient beauty. "How can this be, my Lord? Why am I here?" he murmured, and entered into the church.
The first thing he saw was the familiar icon of the Mother of God, the ancient miracle-working one whose sorrowful face looked deeply and attentively at each who approached her. Everything in this church was as he had left it, but now it was full of people, even overflowing with people. The faces of the people praying were joyous and they looked at the icon of the Mother of God.
As Father Arseny walked towards the altar, the people squeezed right and left to leave a passage for him. He walked towards the altar with a light and happy step. Having entered the altar, he wanted to vest himself and began to remove his camp jacket for the service, but someone who was standing nearby said firmly to him, "Don't take it off! These clothes are also vestments for service."
Father Arseny looked at his padded cotton prison jacket. It was shining and blindingly white. He put on his priest's stole to begin serving and he was amazed. The altar was flooded with a bright light, the whole church gave out light, and the icons looked quite extraordinary on the walls; they seemed almost alive. There were many praying people; they were praying deeply and joyously.
Serving the liturgy, Father Arseny saw that together with him served the Hieromonk Herman, the priest Amvrosy, the Deacon Piorr and several more priests. And he, Father Arseny, knew all those who served with him now. At the side of the altar quietly stood Bishops Jonah, Anthony, Boris, his spiritual father and friend Bishop Theophil, and they all looked at him with joy.
"Lord," thought Father Arseny. "They all died a long time ago, and now they are here. It is so good to be here together!"
Father Arseny served and his soul was full of joy; prayer filled all his being and uplifted him.
Blessing the people praying with him he understood that he knows them all as well. They are his spiritual children, his parishioners, and others he had met in different places, in different camps: he had shared his life with these people. And all these people were praying for someone, they were asking for something. And looking more carefully at them, he realized that just like the priests serving with him and the bishops standing in the altar, all these people had died, some a long time ago and some more recently.
"O, Mother of God, how can this be?" thought Father Arseny. He did not wait for an answer, but he entered deeply into the service, into prayer. As he served the liturgy he felt that he was burning with joy and inner warmth. He received Communion, finished the liturgy, and knelt before the icon of the Mother of God of Vladimir asking her to forgive all his sins.
"O, Mother of God, the Heavenly Father has called me to judgment, because I have died. Do not leave me; be my intercessor before your Son. Do not leave me. I put my trust in You: I am an unworthy sinner." As he prayed for the forgiveness of his own sins, he also begged the Mother of God not to leave all those who were still alive. He prayed for his spiritual children, for the prisoners with whom he had lived and who were still in camps. He prayed for Alexei (the student), for Avsenkov, for Sazikov, for Abrosimov, for Alchevsky and for many, many others. He lost the concept of time and prayed so hard that he felt that all those praying in this church prayed with him; repeating again and again, "O, Birthgiver of God! Do not forget them, the longsuffering!" He cried, he sobbed and tears flowed all over his face.
Father Arseny's heart ached and was tight in his chest - how would they survive, all those who were there? Again he asked the Mother of God not to forget them, whose suffering is beyond what man can bear ... And suddenly, he heard a voice, a clear extremely gentle, but firm clear voice, saying, "The time of your death has not yet come, Arseny. You must serve people some time longer. God is sending you back to help His people! Go and serve. I will not leave you."
Father Arseny lifted his head, looked at the icon and saw that the Mother of God seemed to have come down from the icon and stood in its place. He fell on his knees at her feet and could only repeat, "Mother of God, do not leave them. And have mercy on me a sinner!" And again he heard her voice:
"Lift up your face, Arseny, look at me and tell me what you want to tell me, tell me your thoughts!"
Father Arseny lifted his face, looked at the Mother of God and, overcome by her kindness and her unearthly greatness, bowed low, and said:
"Mother of God, your will be done, yours and the Lord's, but I am old and ill. Will I be able to serve these people as you, the sovereign one, want me to?"
"You are not alone, Arseny, there are many people serving me. You will serve alongside them. And, together with them you will help many. God has just shown you that He has many people helping Him. He has shown you the souls of the people who live in the camps. Faith does live in many of them, faith and love. You are not alone in the kindness you bestow. Go, serve me. I will help you!" And Father Arseny felt the hand of the Mother of God touch his head.
Father Arseny arose, took off his priest's stole, bowed to all those gathered, the priests and the people, and saw once again that he knew them all, and that he had accompanied most them to their eternal rest; his life was in some way tied to each of them. He approached the Royal Doors, knelt, arose, and asked the congregation gathered there not to forget him in their prayers, and walked to the door of the church. As he was walking by them, the people blessed him. He came out of the church with his soul overflowing with joy. It was easy to walk. He was walking towards the camp, towards his barracks. The forest, the road, the houses, all raced by him. He passed the sentries, entered his barracks, walked to his bunk, saw his body on it, with the people gathered around it. He lay down on his bunk and heard someone say, "It's all over! He is getting cold. Our Father Arseny has died. It's almost five o' clock, and will soon be time for reveille; we will have to inform the supervisors."
Someone added, "We all have been orphaned: he helped so many of us. I fought against God my whole life, but he showed Him to me. He revealed Him by his own actions. "
Father Arseny sighed deeply - it surprised them all and it frightened many - he calmly said, "I was in my church, and now you see the Mother of God has sent me back to you!" And nobody felt that these words were strange, although they were still amazed at his return. Some two weeks later Father Arseny was able to get up. Everything seemed strange to him: life in general and people, all looked different. Each person wanted to help, each brought him a little bit of his own ration. Even the Fair One brought some butter and gave it to Sazikov for Father Arseny.
Father Arseny got up, came to life. The terrible illness left him. The Lord and the Mother of God had sent him to serve people, had sent him back into the world.
- (Various Topics)
by Gregorian Bivolaru
The revealed secrets of the Golden Ratio explain the Mysterious Intelligence of Nature and in the same time they allow us to discover the fascinating mysteries of the Divine Proportions.
Without a doubt all of us have wondered about the secret of beauty, harmony and diversity of the wonderful forms that appear in nature. Aren’t they governed by the mysterious Sphere of force of the Great Cosmic Power Tripura Sundari that only the initiates have access to?Man has always asked himself these questions and through certain revelations offered to him in elevated states of consciousness, he thus obtained many stirring answers. In reality, all the amazingly beautiful creations of nature are manifestations of a divine harmony which makes us perceive intuitively that behind any form there is a constant necessity. From the Golden Ratio to the mystery of the beauty of the forms of nature, to natural selection, passing through genetics, fractal geometry and art, we offer you through this book new answers to this search, which is as old as human kind.
Many geniuses, visionaries with the eyes wide open and with effervescent minds, as well as many scientists aimed to decode the secret of beauty and harmony of forms in the natural world. Fascinated by the diversity of beauty and the harmony of all structures created continuously by nature – the shells’ spiral, the shape of fish or of the human body, etc. – the initiates, geniuses, artists, philosophers, mathematicians, naturalists, physicists or informaticians have always aspired to remove the veil of appearances. They were and are still convinced that eventually they will discover, beyond any manifestation, a mysterious general and generating principle, the universal law of natural morphology, the essential “formula” that creates the beautiful form: The Golden Ratio. This mythical number – The Golden Ratio– is in fact the expression of existence and manifestation of the secret Sphere of force of the Great Cosmic Power TRIPURA SUNDARI.
A divine revelation regarding the Golden Ratio
The Golden Ratio is the Mysterious number after which all species of life that have appeared in water, earth and air, were made. It is the same fundamental Number (?) that man was based upon and it is the same as the Number of Grace and Love and as the Number of Salvation and final Resurrection into Spirit.
Listen carefully and try to understand as well as possible that which no one until you has understood: this Golden Ratio is the mysterious essence of eternal Love. At the same time, it is the expression of Universal Order and of the Divine Law of Love, Order and Law which exists now and will always exist, forever expressing God’s beauty, greatness and endless power.
And then Love took ground, which was like the cream on the milk and, with the mysterious power of Her hands, kneaded it properly and made the first human out of it, according to the Golden Ratio of Her Order. Then, She blew upon him the Breath of Life. And Her Breath became Soul in the man, which spread immediately in man’s entire being, forever sealing his connection with the Golden Ratio of Order, after which man was created. But know that not only man was created after this Ratio, but all the spirits and all the worlds that exist in the Infinite Space (Macrocosm), including both the Earth, with everything on it, as well as the Moon and the Stars.
The words full of wisdom of Jesus Christ, dictated to the famous prophet Jacob Lorber.
“Everything is a sign. Moving from sign to the signified thing means entering the mysterious depths of the World, which reveals God.” Andre Malraux
In the western world, arithmological and geometrical symbolism is almost inevitably associated to Pythagoras’s name and to his followers, the Pythagoreans and the Platonists. Long after the age of the original Pythagorean schools, the so-called “mysticism of numbers” was highly cultivated in the circles of the cabalists and Christian mystics. It is a less-known fact that the Fathers of the Church such as Saint Augustine, Maxim the Confessor (see the Philokalia), or Christians such as Jan van Ruusbroec (1293 – 1381) believed that Numbers are symbols and paradigms of the Divine Principles.
For the Greeks, arithmology has a long history. It was studied and applied practically together with “the scientific number”, far from the market trade of the “vulgar number”, being respected as the pure science of the universal laws of the Cosmos.
Even today the idea according to which the laws that govern the Universe are “numerical” is very present, even if many claim to be more satisfied with “exact and scientific” formulas. Most of the time, the latter do not realize that the Numbers appear here also, though dissimilated. The difference is only in the language, because after all the Truth is only one. Thus, most of us remain fascinated by mysterious mathematical phenomena such as Fibonacci’s sequence of integers or Titius-Bode’s law of planetary distances (see fig 0.1). In ancient times, people tended to give special significance to Numbers, by analogy with the structure of the World, thus searching for a deeper meaning for all things and beings. Paradoxically, nowadays, when so many secrets of nature have been revealed and so many modern technologies have developed, yet we are flooded with spiritist and occult approaches, which popularize a pseudo-science of Numbers, full of superstitions such as “13 brings bad luck” and all sorts of mental patterns. In this mixture of contradictory information, many get the idea that the Pythagorean metaphysics of Numbers was just simple, ungrounded speculation, and the repeated warnings of Plato regarding an unwritten, oral, secret doctrine are hardly taken into consideration.
The natural logaritm of the planet's
period of rotation around the Sun
The order number of the planet
Fig 0.1 – In 1750, Titius and Bode discovered a simple law that made it possible to obtain a proportion between the measures of the planetary orbits. Thus, it starts from the numbers of the row: 0, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 192 and 384 (we notice that starting from 3, the next term is obtained by doubling the previous one) and then number 4 is added. The resulting row: 4, 7, 10, 16, 28, 52, 100, 388 corresponds to the planetary orbits, except Neptune. The formula predicted a missing planet at 28 units between Mars and Jupiter. Later, on January 1st, 1801, Piazzi discovered the asteroid Ceres, the biggest one from the asteroid belt, which corresponds exactly to the missing planet.
History says very little about “the beginnings” of Arithmology; its method of study seems to aim rather to transmitting knowledge from one civilization to another, over time. But the spiritual approach is less concerned with the purely historical aspects, and more interested in the metaphysical principles and significance. Etymologically speaking, the word “beginning” comes from “in-caput” (which in Latin means: “in principle”, “in essence”). From this point of view, authentic spiritual traditions (and together with them the Pythagorean tradition, which Arithmology is part of) are asserted from the “in-caput” of the revelation offered by “gods” to a “founder”. The famous initiate Rene Guenon said that the Primordial Tradition is the divine, atemporal thesaurus of the Supreme knowledge, which nourishes all spiritual schools. Each spiritual school nuances it according to its specific time and place, but without altering its essence. This is where the confusion appears: according to certain thinking patterns, many would rather “somebody” “had invented” Arithmology (the Hindus, the Chaldeans, the Egyptians, the Greeks…), while all wise men say that it already existed in the mind of God, together with all the divine laws; “the founders” are those exceptional beings which (re)discovered it through the Grace of revelation. It is not by chance that we easily find the same laws of Numbers in the Chinese, Hindu, Egyptian, Greek, and Arabic traditions. In some situations the name is different, or the elements of the specifics, or at least the point of view. The correlations and analogies that can be made clearly reveal the common body of all doctrines: the Primordial Tradition.
The most convincing way to prove this is to aim at gaining some practical knowledge of Arithmology ourselves. Genuine individual search is the only way to experiment and understand, because we should not forget that “he who seeks, shall find” and “he who knocks, it shall be opened to him”.
In the following, we will outline some ideas and guidelines which, hopefully, will make us more pervious to the arithmological symbolism, at the same time revealing its intimate connection with the Divine Proportion.
The term “number” (defined through the word arythmos or rythmos in Greek) comes from the root rheo, which means “to flow”. In this way, it stands for the rhythm and vibration. Heraclites allegorical expression “everything flows” corresponds to the ancient Eastern saying “everything is vibration”. First of all, the Ratio signifies the steps of resonance or, in other words, of vibration of the Universe, which are manifested in the specific cycles of Multiplicity.
Within the Absolute or, in other words, within the Whole, the Number Decade is the archetypal cycle, the symbol of the non-separation between Being and Non-Being (associated to 1 and 0, respectively, in the arithmological symbolism) glyph of the perpetual return of things and beings to their Creative principle (One) and to the omnipresence of the Ultimate Essence (Zero), which sustains any emanation and resorption. Knowing this, we can correctly say that the Decade represents God the Father.
In this way, it resumes and synthesizes all the other Numbers (principles). Having this knowledge, the Pythagoreans experienced the living presence of the Decade in the world so intensely that they used to swear on Her Name. It is not by chance that Philo of Alexandria noted in “Quaestiones et Solutiones in Genesim”, 4.110, that “in the world as well as in the man, the Decade is everything”. With the same meaning, in the Pythagorean environment it was said that “the fundamental nature of the Number is the Decade”. The symbolic representation of the Decade through the ten points arranged in a triangular shape, called Tetraktys by the Greeks (see fig 0.2), is probably the most revealing manifestation that underlines the intimate connection between the Numbers of the decimal cycle. Paradoxically, its essential simplicity allows, among others, the understanding of the universal laws of resonance.
Fig. 0.2 - The Pythagorean Tetraktys
The point is the symbol of Unity, of the seminal principle of things. Therefore, the paradigm of the Tetraktys is that of the Decade of the first reflections of the emanating Power of God the Father. In this way it constitutes itself in an essential model, which reveals the intimate structure and the unity of all phenomena in the Universe to the one who knows the law of analogies and of subtle correspondences.
The Pythagoreans said that “the Decade is fulfilled by Four” (or, if we “develop” the metaphor, explaining it at length: the Decade is the fulfilment of a triangular growth in four steps), in this way outlining the fact that the fundamental cosmic cycles mutually sustain and generate themselves through the harmonious triplet of the process of expansion (emanation), balance (maintenance) and contraction (resorption); in such a vision, Four and Ten cannot be conceived separately. In fact, they are limit-thresholds of the unique Flow of the Divine number.
If we evoke some of the projections of this Archetypal Four in the world, we are amazed to find four seasons, four cardinal points, fours intermediary directions, the cross of the four elements, four ages of humanity, four fundamental states, etc. Thus, we intuit their mysterious and indestructible communion with the ten Great Cosmic Powers.
But, at the same time, we can see it differently: the Central point and the Cycle of its nine exterior points represents Transcendence and Immanence, Eternity and cyclic Time, which polarize each other and are always joined in the bosom of the Whole.
Seen from a different perspective, the tops of the big Triangle symbolize the Cycle of the three Worlds and the three bodies, the three phases of any phenomenon, while the six remaining points remind of the six days of the Creation and the six universal levels of polar vibration. The central point can be considered as the fixed FOCUS that governs the fundamental laws of Three and Seven.
We can continue the metaphysical and arithmological meditation indefinitely, because the correlations are many and all connect the Principle–Numbers into a Unique Flow, which converges at the Spring of Eternity. The simplicity of the symbol gives it force and magnetism which are worthy of Pythagoras’s name. At the same time, Tetraktys is the model of triangular “growth”, fruit of the transcendent Trinity, which thus contains, implicitly, the Secret and the Force of the Golden Proportion, which manifests as a perfect connection between any two things, as median or mediator term, as the core of all creatures.
Let us have a closer look at what it is that actually allows us to say that the Trinity and the Divine Proportion are so tightly united.
The term “proportion” comes from the Latin “proportio”, which has the same meaning as the Greek word “analogia”, which was essential in the metaphysic doctrine of the Pythagoreans. The etymologies of the two words are very helpful for understanding the original meaning of the concept of proportion. Thus, the term “analogia” comes from “ana” (which in Greek means “up”, “superior”, “corresponding to”, “which is reflected through”) and logos (meaning “raport”, but also “seed”, “germ”, “essence”, “word”). At the same time, the word “legein” is translated as “to connect”, “to unite”, “to gather”. In a metaphysical interpretation, we could say that what is up, in the world beyond, connects, gathers, brings back to the bed of the Primordial Spring – through the cause-effect relationship or even beyond the necessity – the fruit spread into the world of the Spirit. Thus, in a broader meaning, “analogia” signifies the similitude that connects and unites things and beings, the reflection of Ideas (infinite seeds) into the Manifestation, the law of the mysterious subtle correspondences between Whole and Part, between Earth and Sky, between Up and Down, between essential and substantial, between Macrocosm and Microcosm.
Fig.O.3 – The stages of the triangular growth of the Tetraktys
First Stage: a “little stone”
Second stage: we add a row with an extra “little stone”
Third stage: we add the third row and another “little stone”
Fourth Stage: the last one completes the decade (10 “little stones”)
In Latin, the term “proportion” (“pro” means “before”, “which offers grace and favours”, and “portio” means “part of the Whole”) refers to what is – ontologically speaking – before the part, meaning the Whole which sacrifices itself through partition and in this way it makes holy and divine the part it generated. If we look carefully, we notice that, indeed, the part is never separated from the Whole, like a wave that appears, for one moment, on the mirror surface of the Ocean, only to melt back in and to return to its Unique Plenitude. Analogically speaking, the proportion expresses both the uniqueness of individual manifestations (which can be seen as part) and the fundamental unity of the Creation (which can be seen as Whole).
The radical “logos” from the term “analogy” at the same time signifies the quantitative relationship between two measures, the actual rapport, so that the proportion is intimately connected to the equivalence of the relations. Here we make reference to the relation in the general understanding of the word, as being that which allows the perception of the secret connection between things, beings and ideas, in the vast space of the discriminating intellect.
For the Pythagoreans – philosophers, as well as mathematicians – the representation in numerical terms of the proportion was an enumeration such as:
1, 2, 4, 8, or, more generally, a, b, c, d,
which today would be written as the equality between two reports:
1/2=4/8 or, more generally, a/b=c/d.
In this way it is represented the fact that 1 is the same for 2 as 4 is for 8, and a is the same for b as c is for d, so that the rapport between 1 and 2 and the rapport between 4 and 8 is the same. At the same time, a and b are in the same rapport as c and d. Thus, the rapport between the consecutive terms of the proportion is the same and it underlines in a more realistic way the reflection, analogy, the “flow” of an identical secret vibration through the two rapport-relations, the one between 1 and 2 and the one between 4 and. Or, generally speaking, the relation between a and b and c and d. Of course, this flow is the effect of triggering a phenomenon of resonance, which tends to maintain the rapport between pairs of terms of the same kind. This rapport is the expression of a certain directive model, mirrored through a corresponding relation between the terms. Thus, proportion is intimately related to the phenomenon of resonance.
In Jesus’ parables we find a very good materialization of the archetypal model of proportion, which can help us understand it in a way, with an application in life. Jesus wisely pictured the law of karmic reward through the words “Do to people as you wish to be done unto you”, “He who lifts the sword, by sword shall he perish”, and “Give and it shall be given to you”, “It will be measured for you with the same measure you measure”, “Do not judge and you shall not be judged”, “Forgive and you shall be forgiven”, “He who sows wind, shall reap storm”. The old proverbs “Do good and you shall find good”, “You sleep as you make you bed” and especially “What you reap is what you sow”, also make reference to the same phenomenon. In any of these sayings, the maintenance of a certain relation is obvious, and of a certain proportion in the relationships between man and the world, but also between man and other people. Each one of them outlines the vivid way the principle of analogy functions. Thus, in the future, the others will behave towards us exactly in the way we behave now with the others and what we do to them, they will do to us. As we lift our sword against them, they will also lift the sword against us; as we give to them, they will give to us. In the same way, our attitude towards the others will be reflected in the other’s attitude towards us.
New Moon First Square Full Moon Last Square
Fig.0.4 – The quaternary division of the lunar cycle is one of the most known applications of the Tetraktys, seen as a 4 stage process. Each of the four stages of the Moon corresponds to the relative position of the Moon (seen from the Earth) in relation to the Sun. Thus, the New Moon stage corresponds to the conjunction (0º) Sun-Moon; the First and the Last square correspond to the two quadrants (90º) and the Full Moon corresponds to the opposition (180º).
In the sayings above, we have underlined the existence of a relation between “us” and “the others”, between “us” and “them”, exactly as before we had relations between 1 and 2 or between a and b. We notice that the divine laws (such as the karmic law) fully respect the principle of analogy and proportion: always, the karmic answer is proportional with our deed. We always obtain results according to the actions we have done. Everything in the universe “flows” according to the law of analogy and proportion. The “mathema”-tic model of proportion only establishes this universal truth through a symbolic mark, much more synthetic and concise and, necessarily, more abstract. It leaves us to awaken our attention more and more and to notice the overall presence of the proportion in our life. This will help us understand that nothing happens at random in the world, that everything has a cause and it is according to the divine rules. In this way, we will always be able to act correctly and to be perfectly integrated.
The proportion with four terms - a, b, c, d (which today is written a/b=c/d), which was called “disjunctive” by the Greeks, in fact represents the model of quaternary development, the model of projection of the Principle at the level of the Earth. The extreme terms (a and d) and the median terms (b and c are polarized two by two, complementing each other and at the same time being symbols of the opposite manifestations - “discordant”, according to the Pythagorean expression. The divine harmony naturally implies “the approval of the discordant”, meaning the unification of the polarities. Its model is that of One-into-Three, of the Middle - essence which unites the opposite ends (principles) through the law of Trinity. Here is how Plato introduces, in Timaios, the notion of ideal proportion, which unites three terms: “… it is not possible for two separated terms (and thus, broken from the Harmony of the Whole) to form a beautiful composition without a third. Because a secret connection must exist between them that brings them closer to one another. And out of all connections, the most beautiful is the one that gives the most perfect Unity to the terms it connects. This is the proportion that connects in the most beautiful way.”
The consonance between parts taken two by two and, respectively, between each part and the Whole, is thus the harmonious result of the connection of the things that make the Whole. Coming back to the proportion with four terms, complementary two by two, a/b=c/d or a, b, c, d, its harmonization is done through the fusion of the denominator of the first fraction and the numerator of the second into one unique factor of connection, according to the scheme of the middle, which unifies the extremities through the power of Trinity.
Thus, the proportion with four terms transforms into “continuous” proportion, with three terms
which, in an enumerative notation, becomes the series a, b, c. Here a and c are the symbols of the “discordant” terms, as the Pythagoreans call it, or of the polar opposed forces, of the complementary phenomena, feminine and masculine, Yin and Yang, + and -, while b is the symbol of the median term and at the same time of the essence which realizes the balance and the harmonization or the “accord of the discordants”.
Maybe many have wondered – reading about “The Golden Ratio” – why is it marked with ? and why it equals 1.6180339…, where does this value come from and what is the guarantee that beauty has any connection with it. The notation with the Greek letter ? (phi) was adopted as a sign of homage to the Greek sculptor Phidias, who was harmonizing the effects of his works of art using the Divine proportion. Regarding the numerical value 1.6180339…, it comes from the continuous proportion. The “Golden” proportion (and at the same time the most beautiful proportion) is, according to Plato, the one to which the “connection”, the median term, gives the most complete Unity. Here we speak about that ideal beauty that the Creator insufflates through the likeness with Him, meaning through reflection and analogy, to the entire Creation. Any emanating process starts from the unique Being of the Creator, which is also called the non-separated godly Whole; because of this, we will make a scheme of the calculation (symbolic, of course, and with metaphysical implications) which allows us to find what is, in fact, the numerical expression of the most beautiful, ideal, harmonious, perfect connection between the Creative Whole and the created part.
In chapter III of this book we will show (using the means of elementary mathematics) the way in which this condition of complete unity leads us to the Divine Proportion and to the Golden Ratio. Thus, these appear as being intimately related to the idea of middle and perfect mediation between two things (or two beings), as well as to that of core, essence which connects, knits together, unites. Etymologically speaking, the term “middle” comes from Latin (medius + locus) or, in other words, “the location” of the core, of the essence.
The calculations are not strictly necessary for understanding the idea of Divine Proportion. But they make the above principles more concrete in a numerical form. Those who have forgotten the way in which such calculations are made must only remember that the divine law of analogy and unity of the Creation – as well as the principle of Unity in Trinity exposed by Plato – allows us, as a concretely numerical application, to find again the value ?=1.6180339… Practically, all we do is rediscover the symbolic explanation of the reason why such a long line of Pythagoreans present this Proportion and this rapport (and not another) as the absolute canon of Beauty in a modern context. Thus, instead of being, like many contemporary “Pythagoreans”, just enthusiastic about the idea of Golden Proportion, we also have the metaphysical key of the principle upon which it is based, even if this is not in itself a demonstration with hypothesis and conclusion, as in academic mathematics.
Aside from this, we can also metaphysically interpret the fact that the median term of the continuous proportion is geometrical mean of the extremities (b2 = a.c). In this way, the idea of Unity appears more and more clear, expressed in multiplicative marking (which, symbolically, is the correspondent of the creative process that leads from Unity to Multiplicity).
The Law of Trinity governs Creation doubly: thus, we have a transcendental Three, immovable and unchanged, Three-in-One, which corresponds to perfect Balance, Stillness and Repose and actually constitutes the archetypal Unity and Harmony of the principle, in which no part is separated from the Creative Whole; at the same time, we also have an immanent, dynamic Three, which expresses the growth and asymmetric Movement of life in Manifestation through the number ?, constantly related to the unchanging Pole of perfect Divine Harmony and Symmetry.
The Divine Proportion exactly reflects that unique superior force which creates and in the same time reabsorbs, which gives life and destroys, which materializes and sublimates, which ascends and descends, which unites and divides, most often represented through the model of Three in One and of One in Three of the Holy Trinity. This is present in Christianity, in the Sri Vidya tradition or in the Trika school of Kashmir, in different specific visions, of course, which can not be assimilated or overlapped mechanically. The divine Logos, the secret creative Word, is the median term, therefore being represented in manifestation by the Golden Proportion. This can be understood as the vivid, all-present and perfect connection that mysteriously governs all harmonious relationships. Philo of Alexandria said very beautifully that “God the Father gave Logos both the power to mediate between Him and the Creation, as well as the power to make the difference between Him and the Creation.” This means that actually the Logos is the seed of the Divine Consciousness from the belly of the Manifestation, the threshold between Transcendence and Immanence, the Point in which the universal emanation and resorption merge. It is profoundly significant that we find the line in the Bible: “Where Two or Three are gathered in My Name, I will be with them!” (Matthew, 18:20)
Symbolically, and not at random, the Hindu tradition places Brahma the Creator in the Navel of the World, and the ancient Greeks were worshipping the Omphalos as the Centre of the World, from the same metaphysical considerations.
Fig. O5 – The diagram from the Hermetic manuscript of Giorgi allows the construction of the succession of musical octaves, quadruples and quintuples that form the harmonic system given by Plato in the Timaeus dialogue (a modern representation is shown on the right side)
The notion “mean” (the geometric – harmonic – arithmetic triad) is closely connected to the Divine Proportion and the Tetraktys, the Perfect Decade. Dividing a segment in the Golden rapport also implies the geometrical mean: the rapport between a/b and b/c leads to the formula b2=a.c. In fact, this means that b is the geometrical mean between a and c.
Fig. 0.6 The Lambda from Plato's Timaeus
Fig. 07 The numbers that complete the Lambda by keeping the law of formation unaltered
When Plato suggested dividing the primordial Mixture (the Triad of the Identical, the Different and the Being) through the Number (Resonance) (Timaeus, 35b-c), he also presented the scheme that was later on called Lambda (see figure 0.6). On the left side we have the powers of 2 and on the right side, those of 3. The Feminine, Earth (2) and the Masculine, Sky (3) merge together in the Unique Principle (1) and thus they emanate the three levels of the World that complement each other. The division of the Soul of the World is a profound subject in itself, so we will not develop it further here, but those who want to deepen it can find it in the Timaeus dialogue, together with the way of forming the musical chords (see figure 0.5). What is amazing is that, without much difficulty, Lambda appears as being “extracted” from Tetraktys, the fundamental archetype of the Pythagoreans, thus starting the formation of the Tetraktys by adding the three missing “stones”. Now our problem is what numbers complete the Tetraktys, at the same time keeping its law of formation unaltered. The answer is a new confirmation of our hypothesis and it is provided by the very law of triangular growth, a real archetype of fractal development (which reproduces a unique model through the quality of so-called “auto similarity”, repeated over infinite iterations) or holographic (in which the parts are copies on scale of the whole): The original triangle 1-2-3 must be reflected (proportionally) in all the others. Thus, between 4 and 9 appears 6, because the progressions 2-4-6 and 3-6-9 both hide the triplet 1-2-3. They are obtained from this by multiplying the terms with 2 and 3, respectively. In the bottom line, out of similar reasons, we complete with 12 and 18 (4-8-12), 6-12-18 and 9-18-27 also keep the 1-2-3 rapport). In this way we obtain the scheme from figure 0.7.
Besides, we notice that 6 is the geometrical mean and middle of the pairs 2-18, 4-9, 3-12, in the centre of which it is (62=2.18=4.9=3.12) and at the same time for the triads 1-8-27 (63=1.8.27), 2-12-9 (63=2.12.9) and 3-4-18 (63=3.4.18).
It is indeed unexpected, but the respective “coincidences” only strengthen the idea of an extremely coherent metaphysical-mathematical system (for the initiates) of Pythagorism. Here is another impulse for a better reflection upon the significance of the arithmetical operations and to a more profound focus upon the numeric symbolism, which can open unexpected gates for us.
Coming back to the Divine Proportion, we notice that in fact the complementarity of the Identical and of the Different is fulfilled through the unifying Principle of the Being, and after portioning Unity through the powers of 2 and 3, the sequence 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 8, 27 is obtained. Plato describes the filling of the intervals through the use of arithmetic and harmonic mean. Thus, they regulate the proportional (comm)union of the extreme terms, becoming “representatives” of the mediating principle (connected to psyche – the soul) between the spiritual – causal (intelligible) domain and the physical one (sensitive). In this direction, it is significant that the means correspond analogically to the three Worlds. Thus, we can say that the Causal world corresponds to the arithmetic mean, the Astral world corresponds to the harmonic mean and the Physical world corresponds to the geometrical mean.
Therefore, we have outlined a specific way of metaphysical interpretation, which allows very special correlations between Arithmology and the Golden Proportion, all these being revealed to us as the elements of a structure that is impossible to break.
For the ancient Greeks the Trinity (truly Holy) was the carring force of the Concordia, Harmony and “marriage”. At the same time, it was the cohesive, unifying factor of the opposite and discordant pairs of terms. Homer (Iliad, 15.189) said that “Everything was divided into three”; according to Nicomah of Gerasa, the virtues were somewhere in the middle between two vicious states (one through excess, the other one through the lacking) and reciprocally opposite. The virtues are under the incidence of the monad, thus being something wise and defined – because the mean is one – while the vices are governed by the dyad and are indefinite and meaningless.
Expression of the Great Cosmic Power TRIPURA SUNDARI, the Trinity of the Divine Proportion appears as being the unique Canon of Harmony in the three worlds, each fundamental level reflecting its light, as much as it given through the Universal Order.
As far as we are concerned, we must know how to apply this canon in different ways, because if in the physical level we can use the measure of lengths and the value 1.618033… in order to outline the harmonic rapport, at the emotional level we must live fully and to integrate inner states. With regard to the causal level we must reveal within ourselves, as intensely and profoundly as possible, an ineffable overview which secretly synthesizes and unifies the ideas. The arithmological model for this way of acting is the mean, which corresponds, analogically speaking, to “the middle way”. Not by chance, Jesus said of Himself that he is “the Way, the Truth and the Life”, and Buddha found the “median way”. Also, in folklore there is the wise saying: “The Truth is in the middle”. Therefore, for the lover of wisdom, the arithmetic, harmonic and geometric means are tools which symbolically evoke the integration of all tendencies and latent imprints of the being, as well as of the inferior tendencies (corresponding to the extremes, and to the discordant) through the cultivation of the state of neutrality (which corresponds to the Mean, Balance, Harmony and Unity).
Though it might appear ordinary, the simple measurement and comparison of some relations to the 1.618033… value is a good start, because even if this constitutes a minor application of the Divine Proportion, it has the power to gradually awaken something mysterious within us.
Quoting the inspired words of the apostle Paul, we could say that by doing this, “[now] partly we know, and partly we foretell. But when that which is divine and perfect will be revealed to us COMPLETELY, than that which is offered to us as part will transfigure us.” Knowing all this, we just have to get involved with our entire being, body, soul and mind in this fruitful search that gradually leads us to finding our essential Unity. In this way, at one point we will fully, completely and profoundly experience the inspired saying from the ISA UPANISHAD:
“That is perfect. This is truly perfect. Perfection brings perfection. Beauty calls for beauty. Take perfection from perfection and thus you will see that what is left is perfection.”
Published by natha.net
- (Spiritual Masters)
Gurdjieff - the Unknown Man
by Kenneth Walker, M. D
The Russian philosopher P. D. Ouspensky illustrated the difficulty of recognizing a teacher of esoteric knowledge, with two stories. The first told of a German who journeyed to India in search of a guru and returned without having found one. He had not realized that the native servant who looked after him while he was in that country was the man for whom he was seeking. The second story referred to a dealer in parrots living in Bordeaux, who, quite unbeknown to his fellow townsmen, was a teacher of esoteric knowledge.
I shall assume that esoteric knowledge exists and shall discuss Ouspensky’s statement that teachers of this knowledge are usually difficult to recognize. I shall do so because the two stories with which he illustrates his thesis are of great interest when they are taken in conjunction with Ouspensky’s account of his own search for a teacher.
Even as a schoolboy Ouspensky was interested in the idea of the miraculous, and as he grew to manhood his interest increased. When he was working as a journalist on the staff of a Moscow paper, his desk was stacked with books with such strange titles as Life After Death, Dogma et Rituel de la Haute Magie, The Sincere Narrations of a Pilgrim, and many others of a kindred nature.
A few years later he began experimenting on himself in the hope that by altering his state of consciousness he would be able to gain knowledge of a kind different from that which one acquires in an ordinary state. The difficulty was to discover how this change of consciousness could be brought about.
He knew that drugs such as opium and hashish produced a change and experimented with hashish. But the method was unreliable and he soon became dissatisfied with it, although it allowed him “to look over the garden wall,” as he called it. It was clear that something was missing, something that he needed before he could go any further with his experiments in changes of consciousness.
“I know it is not a dream,” he stated. “In these experiments and experiences there is a taste of reality which cannot be imitated and about which one cannot make a mistake. I know that all This is there. I have become convinced of it. Unity exists. But how to link what is above with what is below?”
Something, as Ouspensky rightly said, was missing, something had to be known before he could go further. “I feel,” he continued, “that a method is necessary.… And more and more often I begin to think that this method can be given by those schools of yogis and Sufis about which one reads and hears.” (P. D. Ouspensky, A New Model of the Universe.)
He allowed nothing to stand in the way of finding a method by which he could overcome the difficulties he had encountered, and a few years later he abandoned work on a book he was writing and went East. This was in 1913, an unpropitious date for such a journey as his, for the Kaiser was displaying a bellicose spirit and was building an ominously large navy for Germany.
In 1914 the storm broke over Europe, and without having had time to find what he had been seeking, Ouspensky was compelled to hurry home, comforting himself with the thought that he would return to the East. Two years later and in the most unlikely quarter - the old city of Moscow in his own country - he discovered what he had failed to find in Ceylon and India. He found Gurdjieff. Or did Gurdjieff find him? It is difficult to say. Gurdjieff had a wonderful capacity for giving the appearance of accident to what he had deliberately contrived.
What happened in Moscow in 1916 is narrated in Ouspensky’s later book In Search of the Miraculous. He recounts how, while he was giving lectures in Moscow on the subject of his prewar Eastern journey, a friend persuaded him to meet a certain Caucasian Greek, the leader of a Moscow group that was engaged in various “occult” studies and experiments.
“Persuaded” is the correct word, for on principle Ouspensky was suspicious of groups engaged in parlour yogi-tricks. He was therefore inclined to be extremely critical of this group and its teacher, but eventually he agreed to meet him at a small café. In his posthumous book he writes:
I remember this meeting very well, I saw a man of oriental type, no longer young, with a black moustache and piercing eyes, who astonished me first of all because he seemed to be disguised and completely out of keeping with the place and its atmosphere…. And this man with the face of an Indian rajah or an Arab sheik, whom I at once seemed to see in a white burnous or a gilded turban, seated here in this little café where small dealers and commission agents met together, in a black overcoat with a velvet collar and bowler hat, produced the strange, unexpected and almost alarming impression of a man poorly disguised, the sight of whom embarrasses you because you see he is not what he pretends to be, yet you have to speak and behave as though you did not see it. He spoke Russian incorrectly with a strong Caucasian accent; and this accent, with which we are accustomed to associate anything apart from philosophical ideas, strengthened still further the strangeness and unexpectedness of the impression.…
He sat on a sofa, with one leg tucked beneath him, drinking black coffee from a tumbler, smoking and sometimes glancing at me. I liked his movements, which had a great deal of a kind of feline grace and assurance; even to his silence there was something which distinguished him from others.
I have quoted this account of Ouspensky’s first meeting with Gurdjieff at length because I want to compare his first impressions with my own on meeting Gurdjieff, some thirty years later. Not that our situations were similar, for whereas Gurdjieff was a stranger to Ouspensky, I was familiar with both his ideas and his methods and had been studying them for a quarter of a century. Although I had never met him, I had long ago accepted him as a great teacher. But we all have our preconceived notions of what a great teacher should look like and how he should speak and behave, and Gurdjieff did not fit into the pigeonhole I had prepared for him.
When I met him in 1948 Gurdjieff was living in a flat in Rue du Colonel Reynard, near the Arc de Triomphe, Paris. It was a small flat suited to the needs of a small French bourgeois family, and its furnishings were not to my taste.
We - and by “we” I mean those many people who were now studying his ideas - were crowded into a tiny drawing room and were either perched uncomfortably on small wooden stools or else were squatting on the floor, listening to a reading from a manuscript entitled Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson.
The words were difficult to follow, and as sentences sometimes sprawled inelegantly over a quarter of the page of the manuscript from which one of us was reading, my attention often wandered toward the door leading into the lobby.
What kind of man would push open that glass-panelled door before the reading had finished? I had been led to expect that he would eventually join us, and it was as had been foretold. At the end of an hour’s reading the door moved forward a foot, stopped there for a full minute, and then was opened wide to admit Gurdjieff.
He stood there, looked around the room, his dark eyes taking everybody in, and then sat down on the chair that had been left vacant for him. Oriental, yes, for even without the tall kalmak that he was wearing nobody could have mistaken him for a Westerner. “Dark piercing eyes” as Ouspensky had described? No, they were dark, but kindly rather than piercing, eyes that noted everything without staring, eyes which were very much alive, but not piercing. What struck me more forcibly than the eyes was the height of the brow and the fact that although Gurdjieff was said to be over eighty years of age there was not a line on his face.
Gurdjieff believed very strongly in the good effect that eating together has on personal relationships, and the sharing of meals, cooked by himself, was a daily ritual in his flat.
It was in the small dining room into which we crowded an hour later that I was able to examine him more closely, and as I had the good fortune to sit directly opposite him, separated only by the breadth of a narrow table, I was in an excellent position to follow his every movement. And some things unusual in these movements immediately struck me.
Here was an old man, and old men are inclined to hesitate and to fumble; not only were these signs of old age entirely absent, but Gurdjieff possessed an extraordinary control over his body.
He was preparing a salad for us and was cutting slices off a cucumber, fishing for small onions in a bottle, dividing up gourds, and he was doing all this with the assurance of a skilled surgeon engaged in his favorite operation. The whole work of preparing the salad was done without one false or unnecessary movement. It was also done speedily, but without any vestige of hurry.
Nor was this the only evidence of his mastery over his body, for I had already noticed his movements as he entered the drawing room and again when he had preceded us into the dining room at the end of the reading. He was a heavy man with a very protuberant abdomen, yet he had moved with the quietness and smoothness of a cat. A cat, yes; Ouspensky had been right in talking about this “feline grace,” and although thirty-odd years had passed, his movements were still pleasing to watch.
The meal proceeded. It resembled an oriental feast rather than a European dinner. The dishes were strange to me and I often had no knowledge of what I was eating. The vodka was fiery and, to one who never took more than an occasional glass of wine, exceedingly difficult to swallow. I had been warned, however, that the toasts were obligatory, and knowing, as I did, that one had to pay for everything one received, I gulped it down bravely.
Gurdjieff spoke in a mixture of English, Russian and French, and even if I had not been obliged to swallow vodka I would have had difficulty in understanding him. But what an astonishing man he was!
Now that the kalmak had been removed, the full splendor of his clean-shaven head was fully revealed to me. It rose to an immense height above the level of his ears, reaching its zenith halfway between the frontal region and the occiput. His olive-coloured face was as smooth, forceful and serene as that of the Lohan figure which had impressed me so at the recent Chinese exhibition in London. The dark eyes rested on me momentarily from time to time, and in that brief glance he seemed to have absorbed all that there was to be learned about me.
“But why,” he suddenly asked of me, “why do you not eat more? Do you not like the food? Here, I give you something very special,” and he handed me, between finger and thumb, a small piece of dried sturgeon.
“I like it very much,” I answered him, “but you see I have just arrived from England and - ”
“Ah, yes, in England everyone is starved. What is it named?” A word was suggested by somebody farther down the table. “Yes, they are rationed. They pick here and pick there,” and he enacted so faithfully a sparrow picking up crumbs that I seemed to see it hopping about among the dishes. He was an excellent mimic, and he used the gift frequently in revealing to us our own personalities.
Dish followed dish, toast followed toast, and finally to my immense relief, came coffee and cigarettes. There had been a great deal of laughter and too much to eat and drink, but all the time he had been watching us and teaching us, even while joking. Nothing had happened accidentally; everything had been deliberately contrived by him. With a few words, a gesture, or by the mimicry of some personal peculiarity that someone was trying vainly to hide, he had been showing us to ourselves.
I fully realized at this, my first, meal in his flat the futility of any pretence. It was utterly useless to pretend to be otherwise than one was. “You are turkey cock trying to be peacock,” he had said to somebody during the meal, and when I glanced at the person I realized how fitting the remark was. So, apparently had the person to whom it had been made, for his manner immediately changed.
That was the first of many visits to the flat in the Rue du Colonel Reynard, and of many meals in the company of those who had come to Paris to learn wisdom from the man whose silence “was unlike the silence of anyone else.”
What varied company it was that squeezed, elbow to elbow, around his table: supporters from America, including the widow of a world-famous tenor; English and French doctors; businessmen and lawyers; a British peer; Americans, British, French and Russians of different classes, education and upbringing, and all of whom were held together by their mutual respect for this man who seemed to radiate power from his person.
No one can be so different from his fellow men or can flout convention so freely as Gurdjieff flouted it, without arousing hostility. All sorts of things were said about him: that he cast a hypnotic spell over his followers and fleeced them (and in a sense this was true); that he was a black magician and an irreligious and unscrupulous man. It is quite understandable that such reports as these should have been spread, for he was utterly ruthless in carrying out his mission - to attack without pity all that stood in the way of man’s spiritual development.
Gurdjieff used to say that a man revealed himself most clearly in his reactions to sexuality and to money. I could add yet another signpost to a man’s personality, namely, his reaction to Gurdjieff himself. Many reactions were possible, but it was impossible to be indifferent to him or to forget that he was there. One could be disturbed by him, dislike him, be scandalized by what he did and said, deem him a charlatan or a wise man, be frightened of him or grow fond of him, and one could do all these things in turn; but it was impossible to neglect him. Whatever he was, he was something on a much bigger scale than one had ever seen before, or is ever likely to see again.
Gurdjieff had a very wide range of knowledge, which embraced modern Western scientific theories as well as the special knowledge he had learned in his years of wandering in the East. But it was not so much what he said or what he did that impressed as what he was. Gurdjieff was a living example of the outcome of his own teaching, which he summed up in the words “the harmonious development of man.”
Man, he said, was an unfinished product. Nature had evolved him up to a certain stage and had then left him to his own devices, to struggle to a higher level of consciousness, or to remain as he was, an incomplete being. The distinguishing mark of Gurdjieff is the distinguishing mark of all great teachers. They are remarkable for their being, for what they are, rather than what they do. And it is this which makes it difficult to recognize them, for here in the West we grade men by what they do, not by what they have achieved in their own persons.
There is no need to be surprised, therefore, that Ouspensky’s German returned from India without having found a teacher, or that his dealer in parrots had no local following in Bordeaux.
Published by natha.net
These excerpts are published with the permission of Gurdjieff International Review. You can find the original article and other related articles on: www.gurdjieff.org
Yoga considers the balanced lacto-vegetarian food that had completely excluded meat as a source of perfect health that will generate as inner reflex of our psyche an euphoric, complex state, quite consonant, consequent to the resonance to the subtle cosmic energies more or less in our proximity (i.e. up to a cosmic scale). Besides, the lacto-vegetarian food will trigger the complete balance of the being and its integration in the universal harmony, hence ineffable spiritual experiences will emerge in our inner universe.
The ancient wisdom of yoga states that we mostly are what we eat. The delicious meals that we relish finally reach our cells in a form more or less changed and keep staying there for a while, weighting on our vitality and health but also on our manner of thinking and on our spiritual experiences.
The scientific studies confirm the lacto-vegetarian food
Recent scientific researches proved quite clearly how some food may directly break the brain activity, and have a chemical impact upon the conveying neurons involved in mental and physical processes such as the memory, the sleep, motion, pain, depression, the ability of learning and even the perception of reality. Lecithin, for instance (contained in the soja beans or in the raw yolk) may highly increase memory, whereas a meal rich in carbon hydrates and scarce in proteins may trigger brain torpidity for hours, with systematic effects shown on a large amount of persons. Besides, it’s known for a fact that the carbon hydrates stimulate the insulin secretion that increases the brain serotonin, which makes our sleep longer.
Systematic researches proved that even the symptoms of schizophrenia, the hyperactivity and other mental disorders may be gradually removed by proper diet. Thousands of years ago, the wise yogis realized the huge importance of the lacto-vegetarian food in health, as well as its multiple effects both over the body vitality and regeneration and over the mind.
At thorough analysis it gets quite obvious that the man is not a carnivore in himself; both his anatomy and his digestive system proved that he evolved in great conditions along millions of years, by eating only fruits, oleaginous, cereals and vegetables. Just like the anthropoid monk, man’s bowls are 12 long than the body height. Therefore, it’s quite clear they are adopted for the slow digestion of the fruits and vegetables that decompose slowly. In a recent article issued in the “Medical Counter Point” magazine, William S. Collins said: “man is obviously gifted with teeth that resemble to the herbivores rather than to the carnivores: the former have sharp incisive teeth to cut the herbs, flat molar teeth to smash the fruits and vegetables and short round canine teeth unable to tear and smash meat”.
Collins also reports on studies that seriously doubt the theory claiming that human beings have a carnivore physiology. The carnivores basically have no limits in assimilating the saturate grease of cholesterol. Dogs, for instance can eat 250g butter together with their usual share of meat and not even the slightest change occurs in their veins. Such amount of cholesterol is almost 100 times more than the average amount in our meals. If the cholesterol amount increases 2g per day in the case of the rabbits, their veins undergo incredible changes. At minute analysis it turns obvious that our natural instinct does not draw to meat. Just think now what may seem the most interesting to each of us: walking in an orchard or in a vegetables garden or facing the blood and the terror hurls of agony of the animals in butcheries.
The physical energy as compared to the vegetarian food
The vegetarian food was unexpectedly acknowledged during the Denmark embargo in the World War 1. At that time, the Danish were compelled to eat only vegetables, fruits, cereals, honey and dairy products. During the first year the mortality rate incredibly decreased down to 17%. On the whole the extraordinary effects of this regime were: much better health and low mortality. Between 1940 - 1945 Norway was subjected to such an experience, too, as they wanted to inflict high restrictions on meat. The immediate decrease of heart disease mortality was followed by the same rate of mortality as before the war recovered for those who resumed eating meat.
What makes the real support and source for the subtle vitality?
In order to stay young and full of vitality we must eat living food instead of dead food. The great initiate Pythagoras appraised the importance of the food vitality 2500 years ago “the living fresh food can only help man stay healthy, happy and feel the truth”. There is nothing living in nature to be eternal and unchanged. Everything that is alive undergoes whether growth and regeneration or decomposition. The fresh fruits, the oleaginous, the cereals, they are all able to germinate and grow up and therefore liable to provide vitality, energy as well as suitable amount of proteins.
Since thousands of years ago the yogis said to those willing to understand that this is the only food that should be eaten. In order to keep alive and give birth there is another life required and this perfectly works for our food. A great yogi master said: “The human body is made up of countless living cells which grow up and develop by means of similar entities. The subtle energy of our living cells will be shaped by our prevailing food. All these can basically influence our vitality psyche and mind at a certain extent. If the human body cells grow up and feed on barely living food that is rotten and disgusting coming from the utterly instinctive animals man will naturally incline to the lower levels of life”.
Meat as compared to morals and spirituality
Since we can afford living a healthy life with no meat we should wonder whether being carnivore is a moral and human custom. It’s quite obvious that animals do not deliberately give their lives for us to enjoy the luxury of eating their flesh. There have been countless religious and spiritual groups to support vegetarianism in the name of a sacred life without pain. Vegetarian food is strongly recommended by the yogis, Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Taoists, Esseniens, by the Theosophical Society, the Adventist Church, the Unitarian Church, the Cross Order, the Benedictines, the Traipses, by the Universal Christian Gnostic Movement, by the Rose Croix Order. In early Christian times many spiritual groups opposed eating meat, which they considered an expensive, barbarian and dangerous luxury.
If anyone ever saw a slaughter house very well knows that animals experience terrible pain before and as being chopped. Here is how SRI AUROBINDO, a great yogi master, explained the ahimsa yoga principle (non violence, no harming): as much as food is concerned ahimsa means that our food should mostly consist of the living entities, which display lowest consciousness. Therefore if we have enough vegetables, fruits, cereals and different dairy products, animals should never be killed in order to provide our food. Anyway, before killing an animal, which may evince more or less a high level of consciousness, we must attentively consider if we might live even much healthier without killing that animal.
The risks of eating meat
The Eskimos who mostly eat meat grow old rather fast and their life average age is 27. The kirges a nomad tribe in the eastern Russia who also eat meat grow old prematurely and die soon, as they barely go over 40.
The poisoning: Just before and particularly after their agony in the butchery, the useless fight of the animals striving to save their life triggers serious biochemical changes in their bodies. This will cause the appearance of some toxic sub-products and huge amount of adrenaline spread in the whole body now poisoned by pain. The terror of the animal basically poisons it with terrible pain. According to the Britannic Encyclopaedia there are lots of toxins in the killed animals, such as the uric acids or the toxic remains both in their bodies and in their textures.
Cancer: Recent researches on 50.000 lacto-vegetarian people highlighted incredible results that shocked the cancer researchers. The studies report incredible low rate of persons suffering from cancer as compared to a similar group, same age and sex, eating meat. The study also shows that the life-expectation for the lacto-vegetarians is much higher and all heart and blood circulations diseases are extremely rare in this case.
Why might people fond of meat be more vulnerable to cancer? First, the fact that few days only after the animal is killed the meatloaf gets a grey green olive colour and in order to prevent this, the industry usually makes use of different substances that jeopardize people’s health such as nitrates or other preservatives to keep meat red in an artificial and unhealthy way.
Many researches during the last few years also repeatedly proved that these substances represent high cancer risk. On the other hand, in order to grow up as soon as possible and bring high profit, animals are engulfed with hormones stimulating their growth at random. They are given stimulus for excessive appetite, antibiotics, sedatives and chemical food mixtures.
The heart diseases: the animal fats such as cholesterol cover the veins and the older we get the more veins shrink. The pressure upon the heart is bigger, which triggers heart problems and high blood pressure. One person per two eating meat will get a heart disease due to the veins pressure, whereas such diseases are basically unknown in the countries with low meat consume. The autopsy on the American soldiers killed in the Korean War showed that at 22 they already evinced arteriosclerosis signs, which were completely inexistent in the case of the Korean soldiers, mainly lacto-vegetarian.
Putrefaction: unlike plants which have a stiff cell membrane and a simple circulation system, the animal cells die quite soon after the circulation is stopped. Right after death, the animal proteins are coagulated and self-destructive enzymes start being secreted. A new substance emerges: “ptomaine”.
Meat, fish and eggs have a common feature: they decompose and putrefy quickly. Meat is usually consumed within a week whereas it must be stressed that putrefaction and bacteria start growing immediately after death. The habit of eating such animal meat in its specific quick decomposing triggers violent poisons in the colon and the intestines grow old prematurely.
I like to taste meat, what shall I do?
An old principle in the yoga wisdom says that the safest way to change an attitude deeply anchored in our being is not to uproot it, but rather cultivate and feed a deeply beneficial habit, opposite to the former one and be careful and loving to the new one as if cultivating a rose. We shall soon see that the new habit will grow up in force and beauty and the weed (here the habit of eating meat) will wither and vanish all of a sudden.
Here are a few smart ideas to cultivate the new rose: buy some vegetarian food books. This strategy shall help us save money: a various original delicious vegetarian diet with lots of proteins can generally decrease our expenses down to 50%. Then we have two or three platefuls of vegetarian food, quite light and nutritious instead of a meat meal.
Changing a meat diet for a lacto-vegetarian one, made up of living, fresh, pure and nutritious food is easier than we might previously think. For there are lots of delicious lacto-vegetarian specialities, with a rich nutritious value, which we had never had the chance to taste due to ignorance, to the lack of information, to the conventional habits and the prejudice conditioning. Many people shall be quite surprised to discover various meals quite rich in proteins that are based only on vegetal ingredients.
In case you fail despite all these, you should go visit the slaughter house, which will be enough to encourage you. You might face some difficulties at the beginning, indeed, but not that much as when you quit smoking, for instance. There are many determined persons who quickly attain satisfying results (a higher level of vitality and energy, healthier digestion and clearer mind) so that changing diet becomes an existential stage to trigger exuberance and purity.
The radiant health to emerge quite soon will not be just at a physical level. We’ll gain plain joy in fulfilling charity actions and also feel the overwhelming kindness beaming from our permanent state of love conveyed to all creatures (humans or not). The vegetarianism can be justified from a medical, biological, psychic, mental and spiritual point of view. We must keep in mind that there is no valuable intelligent argument against it.
Here is a list, not at all exhaustive, of famous people known as vegetarian: Pythagoras, Plato, Socrates, Empedocles, Ovidius, Seneca, Plutarch, Crysostom, Clement of Alexandria, Leonardo da Vinci, Tolstoy, Sir Isaac Newton, Milton, Sir Isaac Pitman, William Shakespeare, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, Charles Darwin, Richard Wagner, William Booth, Henry David Thoreau, Alexander Pope, Rabindranath Tagore, H. G. Wells, George Bernard Show, Ghandi, Albert Schweiter, Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan.
Published by natha.net
Taken from www.yogaesoteric.net
A gram of practice equals tons of theory!