I've spent much of my life studying esoterics. However, my intuitive process is infantile compared to my studies, where I have glimpses of my past where my intuition would be unknowingly providing me with long-ignored hunches. That may be the same for many of us who have been raised in a society ignorant of intuition, a society who has yet to begin to grasp the internal world of "know thy self". Nonetheless, we are all on our paths and all such occurrences and growth fall under divine timing, when we are ready to step up our mystic game, as plotted and planned by our expanded Selves. As I expand my own intuitive abilities, I'm left weary about the many intuitive that I once use to blindly believe. To sum it up, trust your own Self.
In following and communicating with others with intuitive abilities, ranging from astrologers, tarot readers, psychics, energy readers, among others, I noticed my constant inner shift has left me now ignoring many that I would have once followed and learned from. In fact, as I further my own growth, I'm constantly leaving teachers behind who I once thought were incredible. I feel that this is what many of us should strive for, or we will get lost in creating celebrities of these "gurus" which then leads to guru-worship, when really all these tools/permission slips should be forcing us to look at our own selves. Particularly when a teacher gets too cocky, stressing that they and their followers are the highest, that's usually my trigger to start seeking elsewhere. My Sagittarius roots has me constantly looking for deeper depths, my own true-essence, where I see many others attempting to emulate their guru or their gurus teachings as opposed to following their own inner resonance. Take what feels right, leave the rest in the dust, and explore as much as you can, particularly what feels to be the most blissful.
This is why Ma Kali has worked wonderfully for me, as my beloved she has me first and foremost looking towards myself as opposed to other gurus. She is the voice in my head that rings true by further asking me questions, and using my emotional body that truly navigates this ship. She is none other than the divine flame residing within our depths, dissolving the density of ignorance. Should I get too attached to a figure I find in separation/duality, something I find very often should a guru/yogi/magi display any special abilities (siddhis), Ma Kali will quickly cut those attachments for the brilliance of my own inner resonance. She is known as Adi Shakti for a reason, the first life force that permeates "All That Is". She is a wisdom Goddess first and foremost, that's in my head like Socrates asking questions as opposed to forcing me to accept something as truth. However, my interpretation of her may also be different since I sought her out beyond the typical Hindu belief structures, finding her in many differing traditions, and falling in line with my own expanded awareness through occult studies.
I see now why I was not born trusting my intuition for a reason, which was to develop my logic first. Though I was always scared of the dark despite being protected from horror movies, etc. (back then in the 80's, access to such was not as easy as today), my intuition would be chaotic knowing some-things are lingering behind the shadows as a child. Something I didn't realize and clear up until I conducted my first banishing ritual at the turn of the millennium in late high school. However, I do also realize that such fears may have been due to Christian fear programming from being raised in protestant elementary schools, who stressed the concepts of hell (most Christians adopt Dante's interpretation, since the Bible lacks description; even hel comes from the Vikings), or fear, guilt, shame of sin, enough limiting-beliefs to engage the law of attraction to manifest bullshit in one's life leading for one to beg for a messiah (a complete circle). Such has also permeated Hindu beliefs, and probably, historically strengthened by exoteric Islamic invading groups. Our Spirit has been ignorantly programmed by these exoteric groups, where in order to unleash more of our intuitive potential, a de-programming, a detachment to our limiting-shaming beliefs is required to truly grasp communication with Higher Self and proper guidance.
Hence, through my own seeking where I chose to move beyond what my educational systems, or major exoteric religious institutions were teaching, particularly dualist philosophies of separation, I managed to increase my logical abilities to sort through information that no longer resonates with where I am at in my spiritual development. Though, I understand such information may resonate with many others and are necessary for their growth, as they were once for me. Reading and studying as much esoterica as I possibly could in my short 32 years, yes, even as a child obsessed with the paranormal, I'm now noticing that I watch the plethora of youtube intuitives, teachers, gurus, all with their programming becoming more and more clear. For those who believe in separation, the concept of good vs. evil become clearly evident, where there is significant ego bashing as if it is the "new devil" to put one's blame. Similarly, they're plenty of light-workers in this category, who will tell you to be careful what you watch or listen with regards to the media, or will push the vegetarian/vegan agenda, without realizing that Spirit did not manifest into density to have limited experiences. We're not here to all fit within one box, but to hold numerous expressions for the expansion of Universal Consciousness. As Carl Sagan stated, "[w]e are a way for the cosmos to know itself". Hence, though such messages may come from attempting to better humanity, all should first and foremost ring true for the viewer before blindly accepting such information. What may be the correct way for one person's life may not be the correct way for mine, or others. Diversity is to be celebrated, even if it does not fit a particular agenda.
Hence, intuitives still grappling with these dualist notions tend to have their intuition limited by such programming, at least from what I feel. Particularly those that fall under exoteric limited religious organizations, where God simply cannot be a female for some limiting reason, or that which requires an opponent devil figure, such programming becomes easily exposed limiting the presenters ability to grasp a wider perspective ... and that's all "intuition" really is, the ability to see the bigger picture. Hence, with the intuition, the right hemisphere of the brain also known as the divine feminine (Christ the Sophia), is often limited by the divine masculine (Christ the Logos), the logical left hemisphere of the brain, because of beliefs including religious programming. Therefore, we have to be careful we don't fall into the "expert phenomena" where we render someone with a certificate to hold superior intelligence that turns off our own critical thinking and inner resonance. I am definitely guilty of such and it took me to become an attorney to see that, that a certificate doesn't render higher intelligence (especially in a world where "experts" can be bought), but I realize that it was a stepping stone for my own growth.
As an example, I use youtube "angel card" intuitive readers, particularly from those with a Christian dualist perspective. Even though such readers may be able to communicate with angels, I find the perspectives to be harshly limited by some individuals (not all) where the reader may not understand that the concept of angels and demons come from the greek "daemon", simply being a contracted entity. It is human notions that place these daemons, these gargoyles, into human dualist ethical standards. As a human is considered to be created in God's image and hold a position higher than these angels, it is because humans grasp the plethora of duality, both the light and dark, just as the unlimited One. Humans are a microcosm of the great macrocosm, as above so below. Even the devils of these religions are not necessarily all-evil beings, but are more likely the gods of the conquered cultures. Lucifer is the morning star, the lighted one, who later became the Christian opponent. Satan, or Sheitan, simply means "opposer", where again, this devil imagery is derived from Dante rather then biblical interpretations. In fact, from reading the Old Testament with beings (plural!) labelling themselves as YHVH who are constantly smiting groups and individuals to get their way, the "opposer" doesn't seem to be the figure to blame as expressed in the Lord's Prayer where you ask the "Father" to "lead us not into temptation", not the devil. Though one can explore the lower astral realms and find figures of "evil", my perspective for such travels is to understand why and what I was to learn from these experiences, as opposed to playing the blame game. Hence, from what I've found, logic must meet the intuition to see a wider perspective. It's a balance of the hemisphere's of the brain, wholeness, where your intuition will only take you as far as your logic can grasp.
That's just me, everyone's on their own path, and these readers are here for a particular group of individuals. Again, I take what resonates and leave the rest behind, where I guard myself from falling victim to the "expert phenomena" concept. Those intuitives that I trust the most are usually those whose majority words are aligned to my own inner resonance (logically built up from years of studying), leaving me at the edge of my seat with further anticipation. Piercing the veil is another game, another discernment, that we're forging, where it behooves us to not be quick to simply accept what is perceived, but remain in critical assessment to ever increase our understanding about these provided messages, as they are expressed through our filters, our programming.
Nonetheless, the intuitive to trust the most is your own Self, where the real Guru resides in the hidden energy center within the cranium, the Guru Chakra, the destroyer of ignorance. However, the energy flowing through from these external intuitives may be the real deal that you can also energetically tap into their frequency, but again, the wording expressed may be significantly filtered. Hence, always ask yourself, does it ring true for you. Follow your own inner guidance.
The Eastern world has numerous ideologies and concepts, where religions like Hinduism hold something for everyone, including the atheists (Samkhya). However, as the ages moved on beyond the time of the Rishis who channeled such deep philosophies, the light became dimmer as these ideologies moved down the line further away from those who perceived this information. Many Hindu/Vedic terms lost their meaning, where many words lost their true essence to meet the demands of the mundane world. As an example, the word Dharma has yet to be properly defined in Hinduism, though there will be many who counter-argue (all coming up with different interpretations). As Buddha Shakyamuni taught his way of life, calling it the "Dhamma", in fear of conversions, the Hindu priestly caste began to express that Shakyamuni was teaching a different Dharma, where Dharma ended up being synonymous with term "religion". Especially, since these countering religions do not stress the importance of the Vedas, to the priestly caste who profit from the ritualistic Vedic practice, such countering teachings were corrupted forms meant for outcastes (untouchables) who are too "filthy" to read the Vedas. Therefore, such beliefs lead to the idea that Buddha Shakyamuni was an incarnation of Visnu, who came to help lower castes from falling further (Srimad Bhagavatam), though my sentiments believe that such was solely done to stop conversion to a religion that lacked a caste system. Interestingly enough, Buddhists do not believe Buddha Shakyamuni to be Visnu, nor does the concept of Ahimsa (non-violence) seem to be a Hindu one where the Vedas stressed conquering of neighboring tribes (Ashvamedha which was also done in the Ramayana) and animal sacrifice (Yajur Veda), though Hindus have sought to own the concept. It seems that it was only after Asoka the Great where Buddhism reached the ruler-ship of the extensive Indian (Mauryan) empire that Ahimsa was politically practiced (I could be very wrong here), and the size of the empire only reached that extent while Asoka was still a conquering Hindu.
Hence, spiritual terms and concepts have evolved over time, where such evolution has caused differing interpretations. It is important to note that one's interpretation is expressed through the numerous religious and societal programmings that filter one's outlook and experiences and can potentially inhibit grasping the true essence. As an example, many will be triggered by my prior paragraph, particularly Hindus (as I was in restructuring my own programming), but really, that attachment to an "identity" as opposed to truth, or even the ability to ask these "dangerous" questions, is where the ego becomes faulty.
It was only through my experience of ego-death, that I began to understand what "ego" truly implies. A concept that is thrown around in spirituality to mean, "arrogance" by individuals who have this corrupted ideology of "humility" provided by religion, where "humility" implies a subservient attitude as opposed to using one's gifts to better humanity. Hence, "humility" should be the ability to properly express one's own strength, one own God-Self, without deterring others, another spiritual term gone awry.
My experience of ego-death left me feeling expanded, completely lost to my individual self. I couldn't remember my name, my gender, prior memories, and when they did began to sprout through fearful efforts where I thought I was losing my memory, it was like a Van Gogh painting-mirage showing me the illusory nature of what we deem to be "reality". From this experience and seeking thereafter, I began to realize that the world of form-tangible, is simply a result of the intangible realm of Spirit flowing through all. Nonetheless, thereafter experiencing the limitless, I began to understand how I perceive this "reality" through limitation, where I perceive as a male (not female), as an Indian (not any other ethnic), as an American (not any other nationality), etc. All of these expressions are limitations to the unlimited, this is our ego-identity.
Using the law of attraction, instead of seeking the new job or fancy car as depressingly propagated by many "teachers", I sought Higher Self, which led me to understanding my own intuition and the ability to filter through these "teachers" to find one's that fit my own resonance. Not one of the teachers that I would recommend to others would bash the "ego", but teach transmutation to liberate the ego attachments that no longer serve us. Nonetheless, these teachings of bashing the ego run rapidly through spiritual ideologies, and really sounds like an excuse to point the finger elsewhere (dualist concepts of separation) as opposed to owning one's own bullshit.
In definition, the channeled entity Lazaris describes the ego as the part of us that lost connection with Spirit, and has tirelessly attempted to support us. Hence, fear is simply a faulty protection mechanism where our ego was really trying to protect us from further harm based on its experiences (including past lives embedded in our subconscious). It is the child trying to figure out the world on its own, without proper guidance. Its done the best it could given the delusory circumstances we've all been plagued under creating suffering (the veil of maya in the age of Kali Yuga, the age of rapid wisdom). Panache Desai expresses similar sentiments, where without our ego, we would lack a personality, given that our programmings would all be cleared and there were be no need for expression. Hence, there is a reason for our individuated existence, for the infinite would not be infinite without each of our expressions and experiences. Therefore, the concept of being a drop attempting to return to the vast ocean is flipped, where the ocean requires the drops to be the ocean, and more esoterically, the ocean is within the drop. Our individuated ego expressions is simply a way for the infinite to get to know itself, hence, there is relevancy to all of our experiences, expressions, and limitations. They are relevant, something those that bash the "ego" are trying to negate.
In Saiva, the trinity would be Shiva (Father), Shakti(Holy Spirit/Shekinah), and Jiva (Son). Jiva is the individuated soul-expression, or jiva-atma, where the soul in the body and great spirit is compared to the Upanisad concept where the air inside of the jar is the same as the air outside of the jar. This is a way to connect to the infinite, but the jiva housed in the jar (ego-identity) is still Shiva, for the universe was created for Shiva's (ours; Shivoham's) delight. We created these limited expressions because these are the movies that we would like to watch. Just as every television show or movie may show you the vastness of human expression, not all of it is relevant to what we would like to experience (We don't attempt to watch every movie/show possible, but only those that are relevant). The same applies to our Jiva-Atma, our individuated-expression, though we can tap into the infinite to recoup, bring forth higher wisdom (Akashic Record), etc., our experiences are not meant to be completely absorbed into the infinite, but to have relevant expressions in our Jiva-Atma experiences. To think otherwise appears to deny the purpose of our individuated existence.
Often times, the trouble with channeling is not recognizing that you're in the flow. As the practice of mantra, when done right, becomes a geometric yantra symbolic of the essence being invoked, which then becomes a mandala housing the human vehicle with divine light, what mantra is to the tantrik is what spirit invocation is to the western occultist. Different tools for different cultures, similar outcomes, particularly when the human vehicle has been prepped with proper exercise (prana), nutrition, and mental stillness. The universe is our oyster, for when consciousness is not limited to the human-identity, one can be any among the many.
As my guide to the unknown has been none other than the divine mother, in her form resembling the darkest of nights as she is symbolic of not just the womb of creation, but that which is beyond, she is the protector of my consciousness, unveiling as much as my ego-form can handle and which is only relevant. The day began with my usual routine of typical morning awakening, which is now infused with deep breathing exercising attempting to relax the body and the mind, my limited expressions, with a mixture of vijnanabhairava, taoist, kriya, and new age techniques to ground out the flurry of thoughts lingering from the astral world. Moving into my typical exercise routines, with the rest of the day spent in simple errands and house chores listening to channeled lectures, the evening is ripe with the calmness to conjure storms.
With my bedroom hot-boxed with frankincense and myrrh, the scents of pure consciousness and death, I'm clutching a small copper yantra infused with the mantras of these ancient and mostly forgotten 64 Yoginis. Included to get me in the mood is my lemurian quartz, many pieces of moldavite hanging on my neck to raise my vibration, as I run through mantras to invoke these Shaktis under the guidance of my beloved. Without Adi Shakti, the first feminine, there is no entry into these mysteries, as she stands front and center, the key to the higher realms above the Qabalist Malkuth, or below into the depths of the Qlipha. She is kundalini, the flame that sparks all of our existence, either asleep deluding man further into his abyss, or risen to meet her consort, infinite Consciousness.
Easter was far from my mind, a time when mother nature resurrects herself to bloom in her glory. A beauty that limited man has attempted to subdue and control through his limited symbolism, as found through much of our history where man has attempted to subdue, control, and destroy one of our greatest teachers and healers, nature herself. Yet here I was, sitting in front of my ever growing altar, not to worship and submit as found completely incompatible under law of attraction techniques, but to invoke, equate, and self-empower, where kundalini unleashes our true essence. Where as the master who is glorified at this time stated, "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21 KJV). This Essene mystic new the mysteries, where Christ the Logos was to awaken the Christ the Sophia who fell into the pits to help those lost in the shadows (Pistis Sophia). Like the Christ, our beloved is none other than Wisdom herself, pure gnosis.
As my hand progresses through my japa beads, already embodying my beloved like two poets lost in the most brilliant night, where our energy centers meet and synchronize like two different musical notes vibrating to match each other, my sober psyche is drunk with what I can only consider to be nothing less than soma. Not wanting more than to simply give my gratitude to the Shaktis that have been guiding me for aeons, here, I wasn't expecting much from this experience other than a quick hello to what may unveil itself to me. I knew my ego-mind won't keep me here long before I get in the way, I haven't quite resolved to handle this connection, so I stepped out knowing my bodily fatigue will exhaust this experience.
As I stand and stretch, I began pacing back in forth in my bedroom before my altar attempting to maintain stillness of mind. Nonetheless, a fury of long-forgotten messages expel from my mouth into my lonely cave, messages of empowerment, words to run-a-fresh a broken soul who needed a new lease-on-life. All I did ask from myself is where these messages of a brighter future were coming from. The response did not identify itself by any name that would directed me to a form, nor did it disclose itself as my divine beloved, or any of the Shaktis that I was parlaying this dance. It was more like my divine beloved and her family brought me here. As I stood in awe in what I may have tapped into, and what this may possibly mean, the essence simply identified itself as one concept, "Source".
Never have I been able to ground something such as this while out of meditation. It's like the tables have turned, where instead of reaching out to something, this something is reaching out to me. Not only have I been gifted with a new sense of well-being, but the timing seems ripe during this holy cyclical event of resurrection. To tap into our original essence, our seed that matures into what we call "reality", I can't help but feel my search is over. Or, is it only beginning?
Higher Self is a concept talked about in almost all esoteric traditions, and some exoteric traditions such as Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. Communion with Higher Self is the initiation that is required to grasp divine will, which is the divine logos or masculine. Even the Gnostic Christian text, the Pistis Sophia, describes two (2) Christs: 1) Christ the Logos; and 2) Christ the Sophia, or the divine feminine. In all esoteric work, such communion is a stepping stone to fully engage in spiritual practices and it is what Aleister Crowley hinted towards with his motto, "Do What Thou Wilt". Do what thou "will" doesn't correlate to "doing whatever you want" as espoused by exoteric in their attempts to demonize Crowley, who was more than accepting of such backlash, but is an attempt to find one's divine will where Crowley concludes with "Love is the Law, Love under Will".
However, the appearance and location of such beings doesn't really attest to what "Higher Self" actually entails. We are to assume that such out-of-this-world type beings are extremely more advanced than humanity, or at least not tied to the wheel of samsara that perpetuates humanities suffering. Even going back in Hinduism under Puranic literature, we have the world filled with phenomenal beings with strange technology and weaponry that can only be described by our current human frame of thought as genetic manipulations, atomic-nuclear weaponry, and ufo-vimana based space crafts. However, these are all just external interpretations, that leave one wondering what Higher Self actually may be and its potential.
It took me probably two years of seeking, and using the law of attraction to manifest the highest information possible, to even get a glimpse of a logical understanding of what Higher Self may be. New Agers, Light-Workers, etc., all seem to discuss this expansive state of awareness, but can only describe it through how it makes them feel. Nonetheless, it is through Tantric Literature and wonderful commentaries posed by devotees, that I can begin to understand my Higher Self experiences from a logical perspective. After all, it is through these traditions that we have learned about Kundalini and the Chakras, stemming from secret Goddess traditions in India.
Shaivism (Christ the Logos; Divine Masculine):
Shaiva's and the likes are the shamanic traditions of India, where internal practices are stressed over ritualistic practices more closely aligned with the Vedic traditions. In addition, Bhakti (worship) is associated with Shiva, who is worshiped as Higher Self to be found and invoked within, as opposed to worshiped externally. But why Shiva, and not any other deity in the numerous pantheon found in Hinduism? Because Shiva is the ultimate yogi, the "yoke" between spirit and matter, who teaches the world to deify itself, or realize its own divinity. To take this one step further is what makes Shiva different, is his state of consciousness, Turiya aka Higher Self.
In these yogic teachings, there are three main states of consciousness: 1) Waking; 2) Dreaming; and 3) Deep Sleep. Deep sleep can be associated with the unconscious and subconscious, where also the collective consciousness plays a role. The realization that you are simply the "knower" or "experiencer" of all three (3) states of consciousness is the fourth state of consciousness, Turiya.
Within the unconscious subconscious, we tend to house quite a bit of ourselves, including issues we attempt to ignore only causing such issues to manifest in our external circumstances. To become aware of what lurks in this state of consciousness requires self-reflection, our own personal "judgment day". From hypnotherapy, we discover that we are controlled by hidden programming lurking deep within our psyche. With certain professionals, such as Dolores Cannon, we find that such issues can stem from prior life-times. Nonetheless, just as a candle flame dispels the darkness, our simple observatory awareness is enough to loosen the hold such issues pose on our psyche. Hence being awake/aware to what lurks within under deep sleep, our subconscious, is a key to unlocking who we are and why we have certain circumstances in our lives.
Dreaming is another state of consciousness, one that we can manipulate as taught by Tibetan Tantriks in teachings that create lucid dreams. From personal experience, lucidity begins within a dream where you realize you're dreaming. From there, one can proceed to move things around at will, though my experiences quickly diminish after such realization where I typically wake up thereafter. Nonetheless, here certain practitioners continue to do their spiritual work and exploration. Nonetheless, to be an observer within this state of mind seems to pose endless possibilities, where one quickly realizes that they control the dream matrix.
Lastly, the waking state is a bit odd and filled with numerous facets. We can choose to be the observer of our surrounding presence or our thoughts. Nonetheless, as opposed to looking at these state of consciousness as simply an observer, as observer of our surrounding and thoughts, we tend to get lost in our surrounding or thoughts letting the external circumstances control our awareness, as opposed to vice-versa (which is fine, we like to enjoy and get lost in our movies). Further, via law of attraction teachings, which I believe falls under "spanda" for Shaivas (though I still have quite a bit more to learn), our waking state can become like the lucid dream state, where we should be able to manifest the reality of our choosing, within the parameters of the collective belief systems. After all, the ancient mystics have consistently told us that what we deem to be reality is an illusion, or a holographic projection of consciousness, where law of attraction teaches to make this illusion lucid.
Therefore, to be Higher Self entails being awake/conscious/lucid of our awake state, dream state, and deep sleep state.
Shaktism (Christ the Sophia; Divine Feminine):
Kashmiri Shaivism seems to be solidified through the works of Abhinavagupta, who in his magnus opus, the Sri Tantraloka, indicates that if you can't find a human guru to help you with initiation, then turn to Adi-Shakti herself, Ma Kali, as she will initiate you. As someone who has astrological aspects that makes me despise guru worship, etc., as well as choosing to remove all societal-religious imposed limitations to seek to be unlimited, this was the best suited path for me. Given my love for this aspect of the divine, this path was probably the most easiest and most fun for me, my "permission slip" as Bashar would say.
Kali is associated with numerous Tantrik Goddesses (particularly Mahavidyas), where in Tantra, the wisdom and capabilities found in other deities should simply be instilled within the deity of your choice in order to evade being distracted. In other words, learn from other deities, but try to avoid constantly switching between them where the one chosen should hold the essence of all Tantrik deities. (Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Guide To Dakini Land). As has been my experience, Kali works at the roots of the issues, while other more common deities in the Hindu pantheon will take a calm approach. Hence, Tantrik deities are the fast pass, a "no pain no gain" type of initial experience. In other words, they don't hesitate to put you in your place.
Tantrik Goddesses are almost always associated with the Kundalini energy slumbering at the bottom of one's spine, where Higher Self may reside in the higher chakras, particularly the 8th chakra above the Crown. An even fiercer form of Kali is when she is three (3) times as vicious as Tripura Bhairavi. Bhairavi as the feminine counterpart to Bhairava (Shiva in his "terrible" form) consists of Tripura meaning the three state of consciousness described above, and three (3) words: Bhavana (to manage); Ravana (to draw within); and Vamana (to expand). Hence, the generator (G), operator (O) and destroyer (D) paradigm that is exoterically associated with Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, is esoterically found within Bhairavi(a). Hence, Bhairavi instills the G-O-D paradigm within the three (3) states of consciousness, which is the ability to create, manage, and destroy within the three (3) worlds.
Oddly, Tripura Sundari is not common for a Hindu household, though she permeates numerous other deities, including Krishna who is said to have invoked her essence, and Lakshmi similarly holds the title "Sri" and shares in the Sri Yantra. No doubt the Vaishnavas hold Krishna as their Tantrik deity, and Krishna is said to be the only essence to completely embody Brahman, or to fully accomplish the alchemical marriage within a human body. Moreover, Tripura Sundari is known to have a cult of her own as the Sri Vidya cult, with Vidya being sanskrit "vid" meaning to know (gnosis). Hence, just as the esoteric Christians had their Sophia, Tantriks have their Vidya. Often portrayed as a 16 year old as Sodashi, she represents the beauty of entering adulthood while still holding onto a childish heart, a Kumari, where as Jesus said, "...[t]ruly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3 NASB). Sodashi represents the pinnacle of spirituality, as she is symbolized as the peak of Mt. Meru, the abode of the Gods as expressed in her geometric form, the Sri Yantra.
In summation, the essence of Higher Self is to not only be awake/aware of the three (3) states of consciousness, but to be the most beautiful in all three (3). Law of attraction wise, to feel what it's like to be the most beautiful and consciously present in your waking state, in your dream state, and within your subconscious, seems to be the key to unlock our divine potential and manifest our very own heavenly abode, our own Mt. Meru.
In order to potentiate the experience, the ego-identity should be subdued to allow transmutation. In other words, our head can't get in the way, a typical problem that arises in attempting to unite with something more expansive. Hence, a practice geared towards stillness is key, where in order to experience the expansiveness of spirit, ego-death (removing the human/animal identity) is needed to experience a broader state of awareness. These states of consciousness are significantly broader than human constructs. Hence, typical traditional, cultural, and societal beliefs, all designed to manage our material world, hinder our conception of the spiritual world. That is why in Hinduism, four stages of life are depicted, with the first two stages geared towards management of the material world (including religion), and the last two stages geared towards discovering "Self". Hence, the final two stages are geared towards hermitage (getting away from society, tradition, culture), then as a wandering ascetic (to teach what has been experienced in a materially detached manner). Jesus, Siddhartha, and Mohammed practiced such hermitage, where what was learned was dispensed to the public thereafter. Do note, that none of these three taught or fully expressed themselves before their hermitage experience, nor were they attached the material world thereafter.
In order to understand spirit, what we know of and understand spirit to be needs to be diminished, where knowledge is also considered maya, an illusion. Those that have pierced beyond the veil, speak of it in terms above Chuck Palahniuk's "Fight Club", where it is not that you can't talk about it, it's more like there are no vocabulary terms to describe it, as it is simply an experience. Hence, terms like Brahman and the Tao are used to describe this expanse, but feels unknowable by the definitions provided by our masters. Even the term "Allah", which is an Arabic generic term for "God" used before Islam, and used today by Christians in the middle-east, means "No-Thing", as in the indescribable beyond the tangible world of form. Hence, once the tangible is blown-out, Nirvana, what remains is the experience of the formless, Samadhi.
Most exoteric religions and their practices fall under dualist teachings, the right hand path. Duality, or Dvaita-Vedanta beliefs are that we have an individual soul that is separate from the almighty soul aka God. Because of the separation, the human containing the soul has to follow righteous disciplines in order to purify oneself in order to liberate the soul. This is where concepts of morals, ethics, etc., all come into play creating external practices to avoid or cleanse oneself of "sin".
However, the majority of tantrik practices are non-dualist teachings, the left hand path (Within the left hand path, you have another grouping of right-hand/left-hand which is more akin to light/dark, hence, high tantra and low tantra). Nonduality, or Advaita-Vedanta holds that the individual spirit known as Atman is not separate, but the same as Brahman. As described in the Upanishads as well as the Shaivas practical text the Vijnanabhairava, Atman is like the air inside of a jar, and Brahman is the air outside of the jar. Hence, the whole purpose of higher tantrik practices is to associate with the air within and around the jar as opposed to the jar itself.
In the material world, our culture, traditions, societal structures, our learning, etc., is all associated with the jar. By identifying with the jar, what many label as the "ego", we perceive our relative existence with limitations, all of which have been defined and created by society. Hence, our minds become completely associated with the jar, and those of the dualist path seek external guidance [Deity(ies), Angels, Etc.]. We've (as in our Spirit) has gotten completely lost in the realm of matter, in the realm of separation, that even many in Advaita-Vedanta (including myself) use separate spiritual guidance to tap into one's own inner resonance. It's like dualist teachings are a stepping stone to recognize our connection with everything, the "all that is" permeating from source.
Again, so why the odd practices? To realize Advaita is to realize that spirit is always pure and pristine despite what occurs in matter. In other words, our soul has always been and remains untainted, despite what occurs in the material realm of density. Nonetheless, we're so psychologically ingrained with dualist cleansing teachings of pure and impurities, that "extreme" practices are needed in order for one to realize that Brahman still flows through you as it flows through all, within this illusory game that we're all playing (Maya-Lila). Add law of attraction beliefs in the mix where beliefs manifest in the material realm, imagine the experience one creates for his/herself with constantly labeling and believing oneself to be a "sinner". The majority of us walk around with such sentiments, not knowing that such beliefs manifests itself through our experiences. So long as one seeks "Self", the Brahman behind the jar labelled as Atman, sin is an illusory construct that must be removed not just consciously, but subconsciously, which becomes difficult given that Yogis (meditators; consciousness explorers) have realized that the subconscious is also tied to the collective conscious. Hence, the need for odd external practices are for those that cannot remove the psychological guilt of sin, shame, etc., that has been forced upon our psyche from birth (and prior life-times) given the dominance of dualist teachings, and the elites attempt to manage humanity.
I've been spending more time meditating, seems appropriate given the current political climate with opposing sides clashing every which way. Given certain calms and imaginings that spring from within, it's like an exercise where I'm trying to strengthen my ability to be aware of intangible realms, and request some form of healing. I've recently had an interesting meet and greet with Chinnamasta that I had hoped to strengthen through continuous use of her mantra. However, as I proceeded to invoke her imaginings last night, in the middle of moving through my japa beads, my mind made the gradual shift to another Mahavidya in which I remember in very little detail. Ma Dhumavati's mantra is very simple and mainly consists of her name. Hence, if you can remember her name, you'll most likely remember her mantra after seeing it once.
Slightly over a month ago, I took a short trip to the legendary Mt. Shasta, which had all sorts of obvious oddities occur unlike my prior trips. On the second night, before getting some shut-eye, I had taken out my copper yantra dedicated to the 10 Mahavidyas and lit a candle to watch over me as I slept. Given that our rental was very close to a late 1800's cemetery, the fear of beings messing with my slumber arose, where the copper yantra was enough to subdue such worries. While still adjusting myself to call it a night, I had the image of a decrepit elderly white woman with frizzy white hair pop into my mind, almost like a character from a zombie flick, but not as macabre. At first I brushed the image away as my imagination, but the image arose immediately afterwards, which engaged my analytical mind. Was this someone that I had seen earlier or maybe this is a lost soul from the cemetery requesting my assistance? My mind quickly went through numerous ideas no matter how absurd, but I just as quickly brushed it off to rest for the night. In waking, I lingered in the comfort of my rest with my back towards the Mahavidya copper yantra that I had propped up. As my mind quickly adjusted itself to my surroundings, I felt as if someone was standing behind me. That "presence" then rushed itself closer to me to the point where I felt like it plugged itself into me from behind me. Immediately, my sympathetic nervous system chose to mentally fight. I cursed this thing, this sensation moving inside me to damnation reminiscent of my Christian education upbringing. In my short battle, I heard numerous masculine and feminine voices speaking in strange tongues, and felt light glowing at my crown as I was lulled into my old enemy, sleep paralysis.
I've experienced sleep paralysis quite a bit in my life, particularly in my pre-adult years. There is one I remember in particular around my high school years. After a nap, my eyes and consciousness were awake to my room, but I couldn't twitch a muscle. Realizing that I was under paralysis, you basically tell yourself to wake up and move until you are able. In that process, I immediately felt a breathe on my neck with a subtle growl that grew louder as I focused my awareness on it. Again, fight or flight, where you fight for the ability to move and wake up out of the paralysis. At this time, I developed the opinion that sleep paralysis was simply the in-between state of the astral plane and physical reality. Hence, I was still dreaming and dreams were just dreams for me then.
After my recent Mt. Shasta incident, I kept that experience in mind and related that experience to my high school sleep-paralysis experience relayed above. As odd as this experience was, it was not the most odd event to occur on this trip, but that maybe another story. In understanding sleep paralysis, I remember a course called "Visions of the Sacred" in my early college years, where certain traditions associate sleep paralysis with an "old hag" that would paralyze a sleeping individual by sitting on his/her chest. This "old hag" carried vampiric succubus qualities that would feast on the victims energy. The correlation between the "old hag" and my "decrepit elderly white woman" image was too outstanding.
For all my reasoning, I could not portray this "old hag" visit as negative, though it was a frightening experience. My logic took me through an analysis: first showing me that the Mahavidyas were watching over me as the copper yantra was nearby; second, that given my association with Ma Kali I'm assuming that lower entities would not mess with me; and third, I also would not expect harmful entities to approach me when I had a few high vibrational gemstones around me. But still couldn't conjure an answer. Could this be something trying to reach out to me for assistance? Or, could this be a teacher given that the internal experience after plugging inside me was surreal?
This bout of sleep paralysis wasn't even my most recent, where I similarly had an experience last week. While coming out of sleep and jumping into paralysis, I felt as though something was trying to grab me and pick me up. I shook myself to the fully awakened state, and simply grunted, "fuck, again!". Though no visuals, there was still something about this "old hag" that just stuck with me believing it to have returned, but I couldn't settle on a reason. I had asked myself if she was a Mahavidya, but when I looked through my books, there were no images of an elderly frail woman. I know I have seen a form of the Indian Devi as a fierce elderly figure, but brushed it off as either a village Goddess, or a destructive Matrika (Mother) entity.
Going back to my meditation, as I honed in on the reverberations of Dhumavati's mantra, I immediately noticed the difference between Chinnamasta and Dhumavati. Chinnamasta was solid though decapitated, where you feel grounded in your body with the ability to be aware outside of your body. Dhumavati was more tied to the soul realm, where I was awareness not attached to a body. In fact, I appeared to be above the physical realm in this gloomy area looking down into the physical realm. In order not to confuse with the Atman/Spirit, this felt more like ghosts, or what we call fucking Bhoot.
As a child, I was really frightened of the dark, because I always felt there was something lurking and watching. Despite my utter fascination with the paranormal, these fears were hard to conquer, which I am confident to admit knowing that many share the same phobia. However, such fears have been drastically minimized due to my practice and acquaintance with Ma Kali. Seeing the "old hag" in Mt. Shasta, even just in my head, was unsettling. However, I was equipped with the ability to not let my fears pull me down. In my meditation, I felt the rush of fear as if knowing something frightening was about to be revealed, but I wasn't about to turn back. There she was, an old decrepit fierce woman, where in forgetting the mantra my mouth was uttering, I calmly paid attention to my fear. It was like the sensation of "oh, shit!", as I thought to myself, am I going to finally face one of my greatest childhood fears. Fear is always the opposite end of the spectrum where one should linger. It is the real root of all evil. And here I was.
In facing this "old hag", luckily the mantra to Ma Dhumavati was still being uttered, as I quickly remembered who I was attempting to contact. As a Mahavidya, I simply looked at her and realized she was just another form of my beloved Ma Kali. With the sensation of a child realizing that it is his mother behind a Halloween mask, I ran up to her and said "I know you are Ma, you can't scare me". I looked at her with the love as in the way a child looks at his/her mother with my arms thrown in the air expecting her to pick me up. I was held in her arms, fully protected from everything she was to show me. She showed me outside of myself, outside of the colorful existence that we call reality, to a gloomy realm a few notches above the physical reality where ghosts seemed to have their play. Though I wasn't much interested in the ghosts, I focused on the numerous layered realms that were above the visual Ma Dhumavati was showing me. It was expansive to see that there are other layers to what we perceive and to look down from this gloomy realm into the colorful physical reality. As it was most likely to release some fears, I was only able to quickly grasp a few moments before the imaginings quickly dissolved.
After meditation, I returned to my books and online images to re-discover Ma Dhumavati. Though I was more familiar with the "smoky image" shown above, Ma Dhumavati is associated with the elderly form of Kali, the "old hag". No doubt from my expression above, I felt her as Ma Kali more so than Tara and Chinnamasta. Dr. David Frawley defines her as the "Grandmother Spirit", or the ancestral guide to the Goddesses in his Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses. He further describes her as the "smoky one" where she obscures one thing to reveal another, like how she obscured physical reality for me to reveal something on the other side. She is the primordial energy before creation, Shakti before Shiva, where she exists as pure potential. Hence, she is considered to be the void. She is not revealed in the ordinary world, but exists in the background like a smoke screen.
With Ma Dhumavati, I feel blessed for the opportunity to be given a glimpse of what is behind the smoke screen. Moreover, I'm really realizing that there is more truth hidden within us, for those daring enough to seek for it.
Chinnamasta on the other hand, because I'm fairly new to her essence, I didn't know what to expect or how I would be internally triggered. Allowing her mantra to reverberate throughout my 12 chakra system, beginning from bottom upwards, I dissolved into her being one fateful night. Not knowing what was to come, along with the inability to actually imagine her as a real being given that she is decapitated, I thought I wasn't going to be able to experience her. She seemed unreal, like who goes around walking without a head. Hell, if it wasn't for Ma Kali, I'm not sure I would even invoke such a being out of fear. Not sure if it was due to my work with Ma Kali, but unlike Ma Kali and Ma Tara, Chinnamasta did not hold that terrifyingly terrific passionate flare. Actually, she may have, I could be just simply accustomed to it and look forward to the fiery spinal thrusts of dissolving my atomic structure.
Going up my chakras and allowing the seeds of mantra to expand my inner feeling, I wasn't expecting to see much but rather just linger in the intensity. However, once at the throat chakra, where judgment resides in search for the truth, I noticed that my head wasn't quite attached. In fact, my head was resting tilted upwards on my hands with my outstretched arm as if decapitated, with my mouth gaping wide open filling with Sushumna nectar. Moreover, I didn't just have one head, I had three, with my two other heads similarly placed in what I assumed to be my many arms. Similarly, the two heads drank of the Ida and Pingala Nadi's, the feminine and masculine psyche. At this point, I'm focusing on my head, which is quite not attached to my body, where I'm aware of the Kundalini flows into my three mouths. Not wanting my body to be left behind with the spiritual experience, I noticed that I held the ability to reverse the flow, where the channels would flow out of my mouth with a rush downwards into my body.
Moving into my crown, and into what could be higher with four remaining chakras above, I allowed my body to internally adjust itself, particularly in the cranial cavity where the right hemisphere (left side of the body) needed to relax and match the right hemisphere (left side of the body). Once balanced, I felt whole and complete within myself. No where left to run to with all my spiritual practices, no more mantras or other permission slips, just fully relaxed in either the sensation of holding infinity or within my own ego-self, it didn't matter what I chose as it was all perfect. It was my self-sacrifice that allowed my ego-self to surrender, but it was a surrender filled with the sensation of strength. Further, by seeing myself from the decapitated heads peering at my animal body, such only added credence to the idea that consciousness is not tied to the body, that what we deem to be our spirit is only awareness.
Again, I knew not what to expect and sure wasn't thinking I'd morph into this sensational experience. I guess I assumed there would be messages, but then what would a decapitated Goddess say? That won't stop me from trying, but at least I now feel she's willing to assist me. I may be pursuing her out of sheer curiosity, feeling safe guarded with Ma Kali's blessings. But I can't quite feel the emotional heart chakra expansion with her in comparison with Ma Kali. However, I can't feel that love with Ma Tara yet either. Nonetheless, I'll accept her wonderful blessing of a balanced healing knowing that it's all leading towards a bigger picture, one that I cannot currently fathom.
Overly educated and continuously exploring and revealing more behind the veil.
"It cannot be too highly emphasized that the mystic swims in the same waters in which the psychotic drowns."
-James Wasserman, The Mystery Traditions