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Our next presenter is Fr. Cyprian Concilio, who is a monk and priest here at New Caledonia Hermitage. Cyprian is our choir master, teaches here in the formation program and to the community at large, and is a valued member of the formation team. He received his Master of Arts degree from St. John's School of Theology in Camarillo, and his thesis there was The Space in the Heart of the Lotus on the Anthropological Use of Spirit Based on the Writings of Dom B. Griffiths. Cyprian is also a noted composer, recording artist, and performer, and often travels giving concerts as well as leading workshops, retreats, and missions. Cyprian's topic is The Space in the Heart of the Lotus and the Anthropological Spirit in the Writings of Dom B. Griffiths. Cyprian. [...] Since Sister Chaparra mentioned it also, I thought that we would begin singing the

[01:07]

Gayatri Mantra. And could you give us again a translation for this? Oh, may we meditate on the glory of that Supreme Being who dwells in the hearts of all, may He enlighten our minds. Om Bhur Bhava Svaha, Tad Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Deva Shalini Mahi, Yogyakarta Chodayat.

[02:10]

Om Bhur Bhava Svaha, Tad Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Deva Shalini Mahi, Yogyakarta Chodayat. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. I don't know that many need an introduction to who B. Griffiths was, but just in case. I think half the people in this room knew him quite well, and I only met him once in this very room. As a matter of fact, to prepare myself, I listened again to the cassette tape of the talk he gave that day. Father Bede was an Oxford-educated English Benedictine monk who had always been interested

[03:13]

in Eastern philosophy and religion. In 1955, he moved to India, to Kerala, and helped in the foundation of Kuru Sambhala Ashram, a monastery in Syria. And then in 1968, he and two other monks from Kuru Sambhala went and took over the leadership of Satchitananda Ashram, which had been founded, as Father Thomas mentioned, by Jomol Shnet and the soul of Shitananda. Both of these foundations were attempts to found Benedictine communities that followed as closely as possible the customs of a Hindu ashram and the Hindu ways of life. Now, Father Bede, as well, sought through the practice of studying various writers from different traditions to find the common source that underlined all religions, and certainly

[04:13]

became known as an internationally known figure in inter-religious dialogue. As a matter of fact, his last book was called Universal Wisdom, which is a compilation of sacred texts with his own introduction and commentaries. At the beginning of his autobiographical work, The Golden String, Father Bede had written about his awakening to the mystery of existence. Now, this was written before he moved to India. This awakening had come to him specifically through the experience of nature, an experience that he felt was best expressed and interpreted by the words of the romantic poets that he loved so much, Wordsworth and Shelley and Keats. This is a quote from The Marriage of East and West. Wordsworth taught me to find in nature the presence of a power which pervades both the universe and the human mind. Shelley awakened me to the platonic ideal of an eternal world, of which the world we

[05:15]

see is but a dim reflection. Keats set before me the values of the holiness of the heart's affections and the truth of the imagination. These ideas lay dormant in Father Bede during his years as a monk in England, but were reawakened specifically after his move to India, where he says he discovered that his own intuition about nature and the intuition of his favorite poets was the common faith of the Indian culture and had been for centuries, especially as revealed through the Vedas, centuries before the birth of Christ. This power which pervades the universe and the human mind. According to Father Bede, the greatest insight of the Vedic philosophers was their understanding of the threefold nature of reality, that the world is at once physical, psychological

[06:25]

and spiritual. These three realms, the physical, the psychological and the spiritual, are always interdependent and interwoven. In other words, according to Vedic philosophy, every physical reality also has a psychological aspect, and then both the psychological and the physical realms have an underlying reality, which is actually the source of both other realities, and that is spiritual reality. And the Vedic philosophers would never speak of one without the other. This notion of the being interpenetrating is so important. It's not just add one other separate element, but that they were interpenetrated and interwoven. So here's again Father Bede from Marriage of East and West.

[07:29]

This understanding of the threefold nature of the world underlies not only the Vedas but all ancient thought. In the primitive mind, which is also the natural mind, there is no substantism, merely physical object. Every material thing has a psychological aspect, a relationship to consciousness, and this in turn is related to the Supreme Spirit, which pervades both the physical world and human consciousness. Father Bede also called this the Oriental view of the universe, which is in fact, he I think here he's referring to Aldous Huxley, the cosmic vision, which is common to all religious traditions, from the most primitive childhood religions to the great world religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. That was my search through this to see if he was right, actually.

[08:34]

What I did is I traced this notion of the threefold nature of reality from the Hebrew scriptures all the way on up into modern Orthodox thought to see if he was actually right in saying this. And I found, I'm glad to say, many people agree with him. But it's not common in the Western mind to say this. So just as in creative reality, there's spiritual, psychological, and physical. So also, each human being is spirit, soul, and body, not as separate elements, though, as interwoven elements. This tripartite anthropology, if you'll excuse the term, becomes the core of Father Bede's latest teachings before he died. He says at one point, this is the focus of all my teaching at this point. This is an interview shortly before he died. This is not the typical Western way of speaking.

[09:36]

We usually talk about body and soul, or body and spirit, or sometimes body, mind, and soul. Now in this notion, soul includes mind. And spirit is something yet beyond. Father Bede found the notion of the bipartite, if you will, just the body and soul anthropology very lacking. He blames it on Aristotle. He blames it on Titus, Aquinas. He blames it on Plato. He blames it on everybody. But on the one hand, he saw the need always to distinguish between the spirit and the soul, between the spiritual and the psychic. On the other hand, he saw the need specifically to understand and to accentuate the importance of the spiritual realm as that which brings everything else to its fruition. The awakening for him came, though, not through the study of Christian scriptures, not through

[10:46]

the study of Hebrew scriptures, but through his own study of the Vedanta. And then that discovery opened him to see this anthropology in Hebrew and Christian spirituality as well. Now what's going to follow here is my own attempt to explain Father Bede's explanation of the Godhead through Vedanta. But I think it's very instructive. And Billy and I, with Sister Vajrapala, already offered us. So in Hebrew theology, there are many different ways to speak about the Godhead. Here are two of Father Bede's favorites. At first glance, Hinduism appears to be polytheistic. But ultimately, all of gods are manifestations of the One God, the Supreme One. And there are generally three different names given for the Supreme Being.

[11:46]

The first and most typical is Brahman. The word Brahman roughly means fullness or the ultimate, the reality behind everything. A second name for the ultimate reality is Atman. Now whereas Brahman has the nuance of reality, Atman has the nuance of essence. It's very important. Atman is the spirit within everything. A third name for God is Bhusha. This is God as personal God, God as person, God as supreme person. Another way to express the same reality is to say that even to say that Brahman is manifested at three separate levels. First, God is Nirguna Brahman. God is the ultimate, transcendent mystery beyond all word and thought.

[12:49]

God is infinite, transcendent reality. God without qualities, without attributes, beyond everything that can be conceived. And then there's Saguna Brahman. God with attributes. God as related to the universe. This is God in the sense of creator, God in the sense of source of reality. And finally, God is Atman. God is manifested as indwelling, not only in everything and pervading everything, but more importantly, as indwelling each person. God as Atman dwells in each person as one's own spirit, in our language, as one's own Atman. This is the spirit of God in the human person, the spirit of God's self-communication

[13:56]

in the human person. Also then, this is Atman, spirit as the third of the interpenetrating realms of reality, that which brings the psychological and the material to their fruition. Atman also as a person's highest and truest self. The word self is important here because the Sanskrit word Atman is usually translated as self. And it, in turn, is derived from two Sanskrit words, forgive me if I'm wrong on this now, meaning to move constantly and to pervade everything. And because of that meaning, of course, Bede sees immediately the connection with the Greek Noima, with the Hebrew Ruah, both having this complex meaning all at the same time of moving, of pervading, of essence. So it's not without reason that Father Bede then will see the Hindu use of Atman as very

[15:00]

similar to the Hebrew Christian use of Ruah, of Noima, of spirit. What's interesting is that, just objectively speaking, the nuances of Atman in the Sanskrit correspond almost exactly with the nuances of spirit or Noima in St. Paul. For example, Paul uses Noima, spirit, to mean spirit of God, or we would say the third person to bless in Trinity. Paul uses Noima to mean apportioned spirit, which is also used in Hebrew Scriptures. The spirit that's poured out on a people or on a person, apportioned spirit. And third, Paul uses spirit to refer to my spirit or your spirit, especially to say, in Stessal, one of the spies, the famous one, may God preserve you whole and entire, spirit, soul, and body. And often referring to your spirit, my spirit.

[16:01]

So, in Hindu theology, there is Paramatman, the supreme spirit, beyond word and thought. But the Paramatman is also present in each human being, in the depths of one's own being. This is the apportioned spirit. This is the spirit poured out, perhaps. And finally, the third nuance, Atman also can refer to a human being's own spirit. We'll see a little later as I quote the Bible and the Gita. I just took five minutes off. The next necessary step is to distinguish the spirit from the soul, which may not be so tricky in Hindu, but it's a little trickier for us. In Hindu, it's done, in Hindu anthropology, it's done with the use of the preface Jiva,

[17:07]

Jiva Atman. Still Atman, but Jiva Atman. The Jiva Atman is the individual self, or the soul. The ultimate reality in the individual. It's the individual self as opposed to the great self, but it's not the individual spirit. Father Bee and this guy, Sharma, both agree on this. It's equivalent to our term, soul, Jiva Atman. Father Bee uses the sense that's in the latest of Vedic and Sanskrit literature, referring to the Jiva Atman as the lower self, or if you will, the self of the small s. But here, remember, the soul includes broad perspective, the mind, the senses, the ego, the intellect, which are all separate components, of course, in Hindu psychology. What's of most importance, though, is the buddhi, as you mentioned, the intellect, because it's at the point of the intellect, and this is where we agree in Christian theology, that

[18:13]

is our point of capacity of self-transcendence. This is where we go beyond ourselves, through choice, to humanity, by virtue of the intellectual soul belongs the psychological world that, if you will, stands between the spiritual world and the material world, or, I like better, is the bridge between the world of matter and the world of the spirit, the intellect. And the conscious mind is only one aspect of it. There's the preconscious, the subconscious, and Father Bee loved to talk about the collective unconscious, all the higher forms of consciousness. These all form this bridge, this very subtle bridge, the world of the spirit. But let us remember, they're not three, they're not two, they're interpenetrated, they're interwoven, they're interdependent, because the spirit is that which always brings the

[19:14]

other two to their fruition. Always, beyond the lower self, beyond the soul, there is this higher self, the atman, which is actually the true self, the self of our striving. And here is Father Bee paraphrasing the Bhagavad Gita. With the help of your spirit, haram, lift up your soul. Do not allow your soul to fall. With the help of your spirit, lift up your soul. Your soul can be your friend, and your soul can be your enemy. A person's soul is a friend when, by the spirit, one has conquered the soul. But when one is now Lord of one's soul, the soul becomes one's enemy. Now, this would take a little chance that I would say this in front of St. Mary Cunnington as a nine o'clock mass. The dynamic here between the soul and the spirit is fascinating.

[20:16]

The spirit is the force. The spirit is the vitality of the soul's striving for perfection. But the soul can be the enemy of the spirit. The lower self can be the enemy of the truer, higher self. The soul stands between the atman and the world of the senses, passions, and activities. It's the soul with its intellect that makes the choice either to turn toward the world and the body, or to turn toward the spirit within and live by the spirit's law. This is not to say the body is bad. It's not to say matter is bad. But Paul in theology would tell us it's the way of the flesh, and the way of the flesh leads to corruption. It dies. What is eternal is the spirit. So if you start with the spirit, you can have both the psychological and the material back, but in their proper relationship. We don't understand this very well, often, I must say.

[21:18]

It's not to say the flesh is bad. It's to say that what's in charge, what's meant to be in charge, is the spirit. It's the function of the soul, then, to choose between the world of sense and activity and the world of the spirit. This is where the translators Donner and B. Griffiths both agreed. This is Paul's meaning of anthropos psychikos, anthropos nomadikos, which we usually translate as the natural person or the spiritual person. So the natural person is the one who lives by the psyche. The spiritual person is the one who lives by the spirit. It's better to be the spirit. Anthropos psychikos is the person that's leading to corruption because it's going away in the flesh. Anthropos nomadikos is the one who's living by the spirit. The Atman is the point of meeting between God and a human person. The Atman is our real self.

[22:20]

We would say imago deus, the image of God, implanted in the depths of us. And when body and soul are under control of the inner Atman, we are integrated, we are lukedam, we are realized. Or, anthropos nomadikos, in Paulian anthropology. Here's Bede's own explanation of the goal of yoga from Return to the Sun. Yoga is a means of union. Union of the powers of the body in harmony. Union of the body and soul in harmony. Union of body and soul with the inner spirit. But this is only attained when the body and soul are sacrificed to the spirit. This is the debt that the body and the soul have to undergo. Sacrifice to the spirit. The sacrifice of their autonomy. Their surrender to the inner spirit. The very subtle area is the relationship between the great spirit and the spirit in me.

[23:33]

And Father Bede never left a systematic treatment of that, which I think I'm relieved to hear. Except to say that they meet. The individual spirit and the supreme spirit meet. And where do they meet? At the still point in the heart, through meditation. And when they really meet, they are no longer two. The Parapan is present in each human being in the depths of one's own spirit. The human spirit meets the spirit of God, and we experience the presence of God. When we enter into the depths of our own soul, or rather the depths of our own spirit, we discover the depths of God. We discover the Lord dwelling within us. Special resonances with the writing of the Hesychast on this here. The human spirit is the dynamic point. It's the point where the human being becomes open to God.

[24:38]

It's the point of human self-transcendence. At one point, Father Bede wrote that he admired Karl Rahner above everyone else. Father Joseph is our Rahner scholar. And he quotes especially Rahner's notion of the supernatural existential. Rahner says that in every human being, there is the capacity for self-transcendence. Now he relates this to his own explanation of the human spirit. Beyond our body, quote again this language, beyond the normal faculties of the soul, we are open to transcendent reality. The capacity is in us at all times, and it can grow and become total. So it is possible for the human being to give oneself totally to God. Through the power of the soul, we can turn and be open to the divine within us, or we can turn away. The good news is that we can turn. In another place, Father Bede goes so far as to link together

[25:43]

Rahner's supernatural existential, Altmann, Neuner, and Buddha nature. I'll quote directly, so I'm not misquoting. The article on Zodjian and Christian meditation. In Christian terms, we have to say you have your body, your physical organism, and you have learned to control a great deal of that energy. You have your psychological organism, senses, feeling, imagination, reason, will. And then you go beyond your body, beyond your psyche, to your anointment, your spirit, the Atman. There you open to the divine, the transcendent, the infinite, what Saint Francis de Sales called the fine point of the soul. The point which Karl Rahner mentions is the point of self-transcendence. It is in every human being. It is what is called Buddha nature. How do I do that? You have... 450, so you've got 20 minutes.

[26:44]

Oh, good. So, that'll be the full 45 minutes. I think I can do it. What I'd like to do then, I'd like to sum up. For some reasons, I think I have seven shortcomings. Why I think this anthropology is important, and some reasons why Father Beat thought this anthropology was important. First of all, it is an antidote to dualism. To the dualism that Father Beat says we inherited from Aristotle, that Thomas Aquinas also inherited. By dualism here, I mean the notion that the body is trapped in the soul, that the soul is in a tomb, that somehow the body is bad and the soul is good. So, as I said, not to introduce just another separate element, but this notion of interpenetrating, interweaving, this notion that the spirit brings the psychological and the material to their fruition, to me is a marvelous commentary on the beauty of matter,

[27:49]

on the beauty of all created reality. So, far from the notion of casting off the body to achieve liberation, the truly enlightened person integrates. The truly enlightened person is one who is in tune with all these aspects of reality. One who is in tune with the material, but not just to the material. One who is in tune with the psychic, but not just to the psychic. In tune mainly to the spiritual, which brings the psychological and material to their fruition. And, in a sense, points to the incipient sacredness of all matter. And that goes right back to the beginning, where Father Beat's first intuition of this comes through his understanding of the mystery of nature. And this intuition of the romantic powers. Now, I find this a profoundly Christian idea.

[28:53]

That created things, material things and psychic things, find it in the spiritual. And could this not be the deepest meaning of, for instance, the Transfiguration, the Resurrection, the Ascension? Not that the body is cast off, but that the body is glorified when integrated, marvelous. The second reason why I think this distinction is important. It points out that Christians and non-Christians alike, that there's something beyond the psychic realm. This is kind of a subtle point, and it's a thing that, outside of this room perhaps, people do not like to hear. People are very attached to their psychic phenomena. For a generation, an age now that's attracted to, you know, astrology, channeling, occult practices, even angels. It's important to point out that these are all, Father Beat would say, psychic phenomena. The common practice is to call these things spiritual.

[29:56]

But they're not properly of the spiritual realm. They're still within the realm of created things. They still need to be brought farther. We still need to go farther, to the realm of the spirit, to the realm of that which is not explainable. I heard Father Beat a few times in the paper, hear and read that this is the problem with the use of hallucinogenic drugs, to which people claim to have spiritual awakenings. Well, they're opening areas of the unconscious, even maybe higher forms of consciousness. They're breaking ego boundaries. They're going and unlocking secrets. But these are not spiritual things per se. And not only that, they're dangerous. Because the psychic powers are neutral. They're not all good. And they need to be directed and focused. And I warn you, people, don't go out there by yourself. It's a dangerous place to be. Either way, there still needs to be movement

[30:58]

beyond the realm of the psyche to the spiritual. Now, this applies to Christians too, when we're so fascinated with visions, with locutions, with so-called gifts. They may indeed be manifestations of authentic spiritual blessings, or not. But either way, Father Beat, they're still in the realm of psychic phenomena. They're not properly in the realm of spiritual phenomena. There has to still be a movement beyond to the realm of the spirit. So one thinks of the warnings of St. John of the Cross, not to settle for phenomena, but to press on to the darkness. This quote is from LaSalle, a Jesuit sandmaster. The same thing is expressed in the Jesus Prayer that has a cast where one is enjoined not to give in, even should Christ or the Mother of God or angels appear. The true Christian mystics have always advised against paying attention to any psychic phenomena, inner voices, similar experiences. We get very attached to our psychic phenomena.

[32:00]

This teaching would say we must go beyond those phenomena. Third reason ties in with the last point. In the West, we are desperately recovering our mystical tradition, and it's happening. I can't say it's not. Over the past 20 years, we've had great mothers and fathers leading us to recover our spiritual tradition of mysticism. But this realm of the spirit, the realm of unknowing, is a place where there are not clear-cut answers. It can be a little specific to those who want to make it their rules, but it's an invitation to recover our own depth in the Christian tradition, as Paul Addockumoff calls it here. Apophatic anthropology leading to an apophatic theology in the apophatic depths of our own hearts. I said the word apophatic three times in a second. That's pretty good. Our contemplative prayer calls us

[33:03]

to our own apophatic depths, to the space in the lotus of our heart. And it's our lack of nurturing our own apophatic, mystical, contemplative tradition that causes us to lose many of our own Christians who are not satisfied just with doctrine, just with ritual. On the other hand, to distinguish the spiritual from the psychic actually also gives a new appreciation of the psychic realm itself. It may be that we Christians have been so afraid of the psychic realm, that's why psychology has become the religion of the West instead of Christianity. Now, I'm not calling for a dabbling in the occult. I'm not calling for Christian eternity therapy. But, I found a beat again. I heard this in a tape I listened to last night. I think he said it just this way.

[34:05]

We have to get in touch with our feelings. We can't be afraid of that. We can't be afraid of all the psychological stuff. We're learning this certainly in formation. We have to do that work. We can't skip that work as well. So, to be able to distinguish between the psychic and the spiritual gives us a new appreciation of the psychic, of psychology, of psychiatry, of depth psychology. We don't have to be afraid of the journey into the unconscious. And we don't have to be afraid of the psychic gifts either. Call them evil immediately. When somebody comes to us and says they're experiencing psychic gifts, maybe the temptation would be to say, oh, that's from the devil. We don't have to say that. If we appreciate that the psychic realm is a very real realm, and sometimes just neutral. Fourth, perhaps the most profound implication, is that I think that this does provide a wonderful meeting point for dialogue with other spiritual traditions.

[35:06]

It's undeniable that the seers of the Upanishads, the Buddhas, the Samadhis, the Sufis, the Hindu mystics, have all had very real, in many ways, similar experiences of this mystical presence beyond all phenomena, brought about by meditation and the inner journey. Perhaps, before we start comparing habits, and comparing doctrines and dogmas, we could start there, in the silence, which isn't just the end, it's also the beginning. And therefore go together from the known to the unknown, from the real, starting from the real, so that everything else becomes real. One last reason. I personally think this is so important, it's summed up in that phrase. Within that space is the fulfillment of our desires.

[36:09]

What is within that space should be longed for and realized. As great as the infinite space beyond, is the space within the lotus of the heart. There is something wonderful inside of us. This is the good news. This is good news, that we should be yelling from the rooftops to each other. There is a place where God ignites a spark, implants the word, breathes into us God's own breath of life. This image of God is imprinted in the deepest part of our being. This could be our whole mission in life, to find this for ourselves, to point each other to, to this space in the lotus of the heart. While the rest of the presenters have fair warning

[37:22]

that they can make some shifts in their presentations, Siprian had one minute, and he reduced his time by ten minutes in order so that we can have more discussion time. Dr. Pasquale Coff will be the respondent. She's a Benedictine sister of perpetual adoration, who in the year 2001 will celebrate 50 years of professionalism. Thank you. She has a PhD in theology from St. Mary's, Notre Dame, and lived for a year at Shantivanam in India as a disciple of Fr. Beat Griffiths. She's the past co-chair of the Beat Griffiths Trust and the present editor of their website, which is quite a beautiful place to visit. She's one of the founders and pioneers of the MID and was its coordinating secretary for nine years and created and edited its East-West Bulletin for nine years. And she's the founderess of the American monastic ashram

[38:25]

Osage Monastery Forest of Peace. Sister Pasquale. Thank you. With all that, I still couldn't find out what a discussant was. And after asking many people and not getting anything very satisfactory, I've decided that a discussant is one who discusses with the presenter. So if you don't mind, I'm going to discuss with Cyprian, and you can listen. Cyprian, thank you so much for what you have uncovered. You have almost the same enthusiasm as Fr. Bede about this tripartite anthropology. And they didn't know at home what that meant either. Everybody's been quoting Meister Eckhart, so I choose to do the same.

[39:27]

Fr. Bede loved Eckhart. And this quote of what he says about purity of heart has in it both something about the self and something about the pure heart. He says, A pure heart is one that's unencumbered, uncommitted, and unworried, and doesn't want its way about anything except to be submerged in the divine will, having denied self. I pasted that on my mirror at home years ago. Fr. Cyprian, you were so pithy that you took out the quote I was going to respond to. So I'm going to put it back in since he has ten more minutes. I guess you two have ten minutes. No, nice try. These were quotes from the Chandogya Upanishad. And to me they say it all about the meditator. One who meditates on and realizes the self

[40:27]

discovers that everything in the cosmos all comes from the self. And then the last, there were three lines, the last one says, Control the senses and purify the mind. In a pure mind there's a constant awareness of the self. I have actually two observations for you and one question. And I'm going to try to respond, at least give a suggestion to that as an answer. My first observation was that this line in the Chandogya Upanishad must be translated somewhere in regard to the heart. So I went to the Radhakrishna translation which I brought home from India years ago, and I was just delighted to find, we go back to the memory, it says, when the memory remains firm there is release from all the knots of the heart.

[41:28]

And the next line with that, to such a one who has his or her stains wiped away, the venerable Sanat Kumara shows the further shore of darkness. I just think that could be a fantastic point for dialogue, maybe a whole other session sometime. But that surely is to have a pure heart, which is the umbrella theme of our whole gathering. My second observation is this decisive moment in the history which you explained so well, the history of the Hindus, was the discovery of the identity of Brahman and Atman. And Father Bede, under the ashram coconut trees, would say over and over again, he believed this was the greatest gift that India has given to the human family, this understanding of how the self-same spirit is uniquely in every one of us.

[42:33]

And so it's building on that, that I want to respond, my answer kind of responds from that. My question is, what did Father Bede offer in his teachings, as you listened and read, regarding what were to do about this great discovery or the recovery of the oneness and the interconnectedness and interrelatedness? And my suggestion is going to draw from a wonderful little Jesuit from Kerala who came to us a year ago, and it's going to bring in both the self and the heart, and many things that we've already mentioned. You said just a few minutes ago, what's meant to be in charge is the spirit. Allow me to... Should I bring this along? I think you can hear me. Yeah, it should pick up okay. Father Bede,

[43:36]

at the beginning of his life, at the beginning of his conversion, wrote in his Golden Strain that the most important thing that we have to do in spiritual life is to surrender our ego, the self, the small self. And then I found, and I didn't record where I found this, but toward the end of his life, he said, the most difficult thing we have to do in the spiritual life is to surrender our ego. So this is something which is called a Gita Sadhana, which this little Jesuit has done many times in India, and someone came his way over to do this for us. All right. Father Sebastian Taneda, first of all, he started out by saying that spirituality is the awakening to the grasp of the spirit. And that's as pithy as you can get. From that, he said,

[44:39]

is the symbolic articulation. The symbolic articulation of that is really what religion is. And he said every religion has like four flanks. What we believe, how we worship, how we behave in our community. So he gave C words to all of those. Creed, code, cult, and community. And from there then, he gave us kind of a triangle on the board. And he said that the top 15% of us, we all know it, is our conscious life. That's in our usual consciousness. And he said over here is the ego. And the Sanskrit for this is the ahamkara. A-H-A-M-K-A-R-A

[45:44]

Hindus translate that as the eye maker. You can call it the eye, me, mind. I think this makes a marvelous mental mandala that you can carry in your head as a help. Over here is the manas. The rational mind. And this is where our judging function is. The majority of the human race is stuck right here. This is where all our wars are coming from. Eye, me, mind. And judging, this is bad, that's good, I'm good and you're bad, whatever. But this is where we're stuck. The only way off of this level, this is all based on the Gita, the teachings in the Gita.

[46:48]

The only way off of this level is by surrendering this ego. Connected here. Through love. And there are many, many places and quotes both in our Christian scriptures and in the Gita. Once we surrender this ego, we come to like a rope that would symbolize meditation. We can say it symbolizes Christ. And in all this, is all this leftover, tucked away things that need to be purified. We talked about the things we remember. This takes a long time to come down through this. But when we get down here, then this is where the true self, the true ego, self-consciousness,

[47:50]

this is where we're grasped by the spirit. And it's only from here that we can truly go out to help others. From here. But that's starting from here. But we know that we need the ego when we're out. So it needs to be a surrendered ego. And this is just my own little addition to this. It's so easy to get pulled up here. As soon as somebody does something, and I listen to myself saying, I don't like that. Or this is mine. Whatever. This is like a fireman's pole, I think. We can jump and slide down. We can use that little Christmas carol. Do you see what I see? Alright, the surrender of the ego in love plunges us into that inner realm of the psyche,

[48:53]

the soul, where so much unfinished, unhealed, unexamined leftovers are tucked away for posterity in the knots of the heart, no doubt. The surrender puts us on a rope. I mentioned that. As Hindus remind us, and Christians in our scriptures, unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone, only a single grain. And from the Gita, give me your mind, give me your heart, and your sacrifice and your adoration. This is my word of promise. You shall in truth come to me, for you are dear to me. Only by love can you see me and know me and come to me. And so, our end is our beginning. A pure heart is one that is unencumbered, unworried, uncommitted, and does not want its own will in anything except to be submerged in the divine will, having denied self. So, Pranasithi, I would appreciate your... I do appreciate your reasons

[49:55]

for the importance of knowing this tripartite anthropology of D. Griffith, but what have you found that would be ways of integrating it from some of his other teachings? Thank you very much. Thank you. So, three minutes for your response to her and then we'll open it up for discussion. I think I need it very quickly. You know, the title of that talk, it became the one that I was here for, Sticks With Me, Sticks With You, we used it as the title of the B. Griffiths retreats for them for the next five years, the universal call and contemplation that, it seemed to me, his mission was to convince, to reawaken in everybody this call to that depth, this call to that apathetic depth. From where everything, where everything comes from there,

[50:56]

this is beautiful, this is beautifully done. And then the idea that it comes, it comes out of love. And it comes, I'm thinking again of the Bhagavad Gita, we don't own the fruit of our labors, we just have the right to the labor. It comes out of a freedom that all giving comes out of a freedom where we go beyond, we're beyond the ego, because whatever is done in the midst of the ego still has its hooks in it. But the deeper we go in meditation, the more we surrender the ego, the freer all the actions become. And then I had another quote I left out that was, in love we go out of ourselves, we offer ourselves to another, each gives oneself to the other, but we don't lose ourselves in the other, we find ourselves in the other. It's enough for me. Is that enough? Thank you. Can I say one last thing? One last thing. Don't think that the Lord, the Spirit is just down at the bottom. No. He's in the hole.

[51:57]

He's up there too. So he's all, he or she is all over. Yeah. Well, and this must be, I mean, the spatial images, at some point, don't work. That's why I like the idea of the inner penetrating and the inner woven. It's not like God is there, God is here. What'd I say? It's that it is, I'm thinking of webs here. Bruno and I came up with some kind of a diagram about eight years ago that probably doesn't work either. Remember of our cones, the inner penetrating cones? Thank you. Okay, so we'll have some time for discussion in actually 35 more minutes. This first, David has his hand up. But here's a quick clarification. Did you teach him from Sri Lanka, give a name to the bottom point of the triangle? You mean like consciousness? Well, the one is the rational mind and the other is the me mind. No, he just said that's the point at which we're grasped by the Spirit and we're awake to that. He didn't say the name. Did you say true self?

[53:02]

At the bottom is the emergence of the true self? Right, it's the surrendered self and that is the true self grasped by the Spirit, which we've all been talking about. Yeah, so maybe the name for the bottom can be the true self grasped by the Spirit, something like that. Right. One question. I'm reading what you said here and also what I see here. It's three-fold nature of reality. The world's at once physical, psychological and spiritual and these three realms of reality are always interdependent. I have a question about the word interdependent because in traditional Hindu thought we wouldn't say that Brahma is dependent on anything. Everything is dependent on Brahma. If we don't have that screen the images can't reflect on it. So I'm not quite sure if I simply misunderstood what you were saying and maybe you can explain it further. I probably cannot. I would say that

[54:04]

the psychological and the physical are dependent upon Brahman, upon the ultimate reality and that the psychological and the physical are interdependent and both in turn dependent upon the ultimate source. I'm trying to think about how I can express... I was very interested in these three parts because lately I've been having a lot of suffering and grief because of... I have two friends who are... It will take me a while to get around to this. Two friends who are really in trouble. Spiritual practitioners of deep experience and sincerity who are really in trouble

[55:04]

because, you could put it like this, their soul has called them to activities and events that have been disastrous and they were compelled to go in that way and it really was a calling. You know what I mean? It was really a calling, not something falling into sin or something like that, but a true calling that they... And I know, talking to them, that they were called in this way. They had to do this, but listening to them and my thinking, oh, this is going to be tremendous suffering and disaster for you. But yet, because of their spiritual experience, they could discern that this was something, not just temptation or something trivial, but something very deeply calling them in this disastrous direction. So I really perked up when you... Because the soul, psyche, is not something trivial. It's not like the physical, which maybe you could say, well, we all can understand temptation

[56:06]

and maybe it's difficult to overcome it, but it can be overcome and we know what it is. But this psychic level or soul level is something deeper. And yet... And so if you have a double, two-part reality, then there's, you know, you fall and you go this way. But with the third-part reality, you can say, well, this may be something very real and very true, and yet the spirit is not there. This is when you said the soul can be your friend or your enemy. Yeah, that's very interesting. Of course, then the problem is, and here's where the question for everybody comes up here, because then you also said, which I found also quite helpful in this regard, that, and yet, the spirit is not... You can't really define it or reduce it to even moral rules or it's beyond that. It's beyond speakability in a way. So you're still left with the great difficulty of discerning

[57:08]

what that is in your life or where that's taking you, but just the whole concept of distinguishing that from the soul and the psyche gives some light in the tunnel there, even though, like I say, you're still left with confusion as to how to live and which way to go when you're in that difficulty. So I don't know if this makes sense to anybody, but... It does, yeah. But that's why this... What you said there, these concepts raised it above the conceptual level to make it something that very deeply felt, because just lately I'm suffering with these people. And of course, it's interesting, when I speak to them, they will say to me, they'll say, and I'm not asking you for advice. And I'm... Because in this realm, it's not like somebody can give you advice. You can get advice, but so what? It's meaningless. So they say, I'm not asking for advice. This is too dark a space for me to be seeking advice, but I can hear,

[58:09]

so I'm not offering advice, but I'm hearing a kind of tremendous disaster that is going to unfold, which they themselves realize, and yet they feel compelled to go in this direction. So it's quite interesting, you know, how this would be useful in trying to discern and think about these kinds of events. And because it's so subtle, it's automatically perceived to be spiritual. It could, in fact, be what? It could be, you know, a neutral psychic. Yeah, or quite negative. Yeah, or it could be very negative. Even though real, even though real and powerful. Yeah. That's the scary part of it. And in Christianity, we use the word spirit in a much lighter way, too. We talk about the discernment of spirits. It doesn't cause, of course, we figure on examining every thought, saying, where do you come from? Yeah, yeah, yeah. But without cutting too fine a point on it, it's really interesting to point out to people

[59:10]

that there's something beyond the phenomenal level. There's something beyond all this calling. But this also, especially, is appealing to artists. You know, the great work that Thomas Moore has done in The Care of the Soul. Have you seen the book? He did two books, Soulmates. Beautiful writings on the soul. And interesting, Richard Rohr says he was on a panel with Thomas Moore, who's actually a former Catholic religious himself. Oh, you know him. No, I don't know him, but I know that that's him. And Richard kept trying to get him to go beyond soul to spirit, and he wouldn't go there. Now, I mean, this is secondhand, but Richard was telling us the story himself. Richard was trying to point to the spiritual, and Thomas Moore wouldn't go there. Yeah. And he's doing marvelous work, I think, on the realm of the soul. Well, this is exactly what I'm talking about. This realm. Yeah, right. There's something missing in just the soul. But this gives a good key as to what that is

[60:10]

that's missing. What to do with it, though. This is the problem. How to work with it. It's not so simple. Kevin, Tom, Lawrence, and Tom Haines. The Tournament of Independence struck me also. And has Bede, in his Anthropology, said anything about what we traditionally would call transcendence and mystery? Because the way you explained it, it sounded almost as if the tripod idea or view of the human person, of humanity, was almost exhaustive. And so, has he said anything

[61:13]

about the infinite, about transcendent, how it opens on, how this interpenetrates us, how we open to it? Because in the Christian tradition, mystery and transcendence, as in the Judaic tradition, are of supreme importance. Yeah. I'm sorry I didn't make that clear. So the Atman is a mystery, and it's that which cannot be explained or defined. So our opening to the Spirit is our opening up to the mystery, to the transcendent. And again, as Ronner says, it's the point of self-transcendence, the transcendence beyond self. I don't know about exhaustive, but it's certainly nothing that we can pigeonhole or name. It's the total mystery, which is the dangerous part of it.

[62:15]

Perhaps in spirituality, I remember I was giving a talk for young people, and the woman who was sponsoring it afterwards, she heard some of this stuff translated as much as I could. She says, Well, I would think that the Church would be very nervous about this, because it opens up into something that can't be defined at all. It opens up into a kind of an unmediated experience of the divine that's actually in us itself. And of course, my favorite image is St. Paul, the Spirit herself, within us, praying, Abba, Father. So it's God praying. It's God's own voice within us. That's marvelous. And certainly, Beat always talks about... I remember seeing the image of a mirror. I don't know that he said it there, but there was this image of pointing toward the light and opening ourselves to the light. And then the light floods through us. We become transfused by light. Ultimately, of course,

[63:16]

we have to talk about grace at some point. Even the strength to do that turning comes from beyond as well. The danger is that we come up with a technique or a technology. We come up with a self-powered... a self-powered something. That is the danger. I never redoubled with things like this. Thomas? Yes, I'd like to pick up on that and go back to what you said at the beginning about Father Beat's use of the expression perennial philosophy. And I do think you're right that he does pick that up from all his talk today. And universal wisdom. Another expression that he uses to speak of the same thing is primordial revelation. And that's very much out of fashion, especially in Roman theology. They don't like to hear about

[64:18]

a revelation which is really primordial and which is common to all humanity and expressed in many different ways. But you will continue with what Father Beat says about the absolute mystery. And it is ineffable. It is expressed, though, through these different revelations. And there he sees a complementarity of religions, which is very important for the dialogue. I know that there are a lot of people who feel he's just going a little step farther than they would want to go. But I think he does remind us of something very important. Yeah. Clarence? Thank you. What you were saying, it simply reminded me of a wonderful experience I had with Father Beat. About a month before he died, I spent a week with him at a hospital, a diabetic hospital.

[65:20]

And it was quite painful to see him in pain. Some of the treatment he was getting was agony for him, actually. And when he would go back to his bed, he would take time to get over the physical pain. But what was even more amazing was to see him and hear him be conscious of what he was going through. So he would say, he was obviously in pain, but he was talking about the transformation, the change that was taking place in him. And he kept on saying, it's not just the mind, it's the body, too. And I thought it was so incredible that something you'd be going through, that physical pain, would be so conscious of that physical pain itself as part of the process of total transformation. And it's always stayed in my mind as part of his, that wonderful sense of the human person

[66:24]

as body, mind and spirit. I wonder whether you, if there's anything in his writings, either published or unpublished, that you know, where he speaks more about that process of transformation. Because although it's true that we're body, mind and spirit, the physical, the gross form of the body is going to, the energy of that anyway, we're told that energy cannot be destroyed, but it's certainly going to be transformed. And ultimately, we would say, I suppose everything becomes spirit. That translation or transformation of physical and psychic forms of energy into spirit is probably what we're all about this week, too. The spiritual journey or the meditation of the process of transformation. And also,

[67:24]

you use the word resurrection, which is often not used by Christians in inter-religious dialogue, although it's the pivot of Christian thinking, of Christian experience, too. Without the resurrection experience of the first disciples, there wouldn't be any Christianity to have any dialogue with. And I remember speaking to Father Mead about resurrection, and he spoke about the subtle body appearance of Jesus in his immediate grasp of resurrection. And then the ascension was the sublimation into pure spirit. So he is now a spiritual body. And he also said a very interesting one about Aurobindo waiting at 1.4 for the resurrection event to happen, the spirit descent. And he said, in his own Christian case,

[68:27]

he didn't say it in any rejecting way, but he said, that of course, it has happened already. This is the resurrection. This has happened. So, it's about energy, and different forms of energy, on that whole. What thoughts do you have about this process of transformation? Others might be able to quote better. I was thinking of some sections in the vision of reality, the very last one, where he had just read Ken Wilber, dealing with quantum physics. You know that. Someone else may be able to point better. But I specifically also remember the writings on the resurrection and the ascension, and events like that. And for me, in my post-modern mind, with the historical critical method, you know, I'm studying scripture, I believed in the resurrection for the first time. When he explained it that way, it made perfect sense to me

[69:29]

that there was all this possible, because the psychic was in charge of the material, and the spiritual was in charge of the psychic. And these three things together, marvelous things can happen. I remember being profoundly converted by understanding that explanation, which is also part of why I was so fascinated in this. My second point to that was, but also, he was quick to say that these are all in the realm of psychic phenomena, that the resurrection was not a spiritual phenomena, per se, because it was still in the realm of something that could be seen and experienced. So there was like this smile and frown at the same time you hear it. Now what does that mean? I believe in it, but unfortunately it's only a psychic experience. But just a psychic experience, of course, is pretty profound as well. Do you need to point to anything else?

[70:31]

No, I think Peter's intention, when he wrote No Vision of Reality, he was struggling trying to get two perspectives together. One is the perspective of incarnation and resurrection. The other is the typical ascent of the paths that he included in the book. Ascent into divinity, I think that's what he said in one chapter. And it wasn't all reconciled at the end. To answer both Kevin and Lawrence, Fr. Beeck has a wonderful little study that's on the website. If you go to Satsang with the Guru, he does the development of the body, soul, and spirit. And he said that this breakthrough to the transcendent is ordinarily at the age of 40, but it can come sooner, it can come later. And he said this is the hope of humankind, and people don't know this, because our culture is saying that at 40, haha, you're over the hill. But we need to know that these first two stages of development of the body and the soul

[71:32]

are what are to bring us to this transcendent stage. And it's meant for all of us, here and now. So try to tune in on the website. www.beeckgriffiths.com He was very interested in the new physics, too, in what he wrote, especially. But I don't think there was a place in his writing where he applied the concept of energy from that field to spiritual, theological Again, I think some of that's in the vision of reality. Energy was his strongest concept kind of synthetic concept all the way up to now. And that's psychology? Yes. He'd go from cosmology to the development of consciousness, maybe talking about energy and then to talking about

[72:32]

something like the resurrection. I'm going to play the devil's advocate. I feel that this mixture of spirit together with body and psyche is a confusion. And I would say that you're trying to put like apples, say, together with a collie dog. In other words, they're not on the same level. I relate, actually, everything to the Trinity. And in the Trinity we have a source, we have movement into form, which is the divine pattern, the Word. And so you've got, then, a movement which has no form. And the spirit has no form. The only form is the Word

[73:34]

and the various manifestations of the Word, but there's only one spirit. And so if you use spirit together with body and all the huge levels of what we call psyche, the psyche, you're into you're cutting away the spirit from the body. The body is nothing but the material form, the dense form of the energy that we call the divine energy, we call the spirit. And so I think also that we should learn more from the anthropology of chakras and the all those levels of the psychic and the subtle bodies and the astral bodies and all that are all forms of one spirit, one movement. And so that I think it's a confusion

[74:35]

to divide this into you've got body, which is a form. You've got all these various levels of psyche, which are forms. There's only one spirit. I couldn't disagree with that at all. And I don't think, forgive me if I said there were different spirits. My whole point is that there is one spirit, that's the core of it. But that it's also used in an anthropological sense. And again, not everybody agrees on this, even scripture scholars, that St. Paul uses it that way. But St. Paul refers to the sword that separates soul from spirit and refers to the human spirit. And it also really is the basis of Greek Orthodox anthropology. Kallistos Ware writes about it wide at length from pretty far back. We've traced it as far as back as origin, the first example. I can't remember. But anyway, certainly as far back as origin,

[75:35]

using spirit as an anthropological term, but never denying that there's different, never denying that it's only one spirit. But again, not everybody agrees with it. It's actually a matter of terms, words. It all depends on what you mean by spirit. And in the paradigm that I'm working out, spirit only means movement. For instance, the discernment of spirits is to discern the movements. What form are they? And that, I agree, there's real confusion around the word spirit. And I would like to kind of be more simple and get rid of the confusion. To me that doesn't get rid of the confusion though, it just adds to it because when you talk about movement of spirits, that again, that confuses me. Are we talking about the Holy Spirit? Are we talking about

[76:38]

psychic phenomena? So, to me, this does actually get rid of, in my mind, this only works for me, this actually clarifies the confusion. The Holy Spirit is only found in form. It's working in psychic phenomena, it's working in meditation, it's working in the higher levels of the worlds, the whole realm. Absolutely. But it's still distinct from those forms. But it's still distinct from those forms, yes. That's... It's not distinct. Joseph, once again, thank you for answering. We'll still get to you, but we're going to have a fight or something. Joseph, if you're hungry for this, you mentioned it this morning, remember? We had some very good discussion going here. I'm happy here. Thank you. Actually, I was going to make the same question. And since you made it, I think it's better that I enter into this discussion instead of

[77:38]

moving to another issue. I always have a question about what Dieter really has in mind when he said it's a trapezoid anthropology. Spirit... about what

[77:52]