Plato: Limited Mind of an Infinite Soul

Enchanted we are by the colorful swirls of mind, just as we are enchanted with the evening sunset; except in the case of mind, we fear what happens when night falls and the colors begin to fade. And that is how our monsters are born and continue to live in mind, inside our days.

The Limited Labyrinth of Mind

Plato’s dialogues are a labyrinth of the possibilities of mind, but mind is a limited energetic system. It can only comprehend so much and in so many ways. That means that the patterns it uses can be mapped, understood, detected – and manipulated by sources both outside and inside. The simplicity of the mind is concealed by its sheer imagination and its ability to reflect the truth as a mirror reflects the true face. Plato’s works are an attempt to give us that mirror, so that we can see our illusion more clearly, more wondrously, more precisely – for the purpose of letting it all go. Plato’s dialogues are of such depth and beauty that the philosopher, Alfred Whitehead, once said:

“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”


There is literally nothing that you can think that does not have its paradigm in Plato’s dialogues.  And there is nothing stopping you from mastering the nuances of your own mind, enough to free yourself from its powerful spell, a spell that makes you think the problem is “out there” or “in here”; the spell that thinks you “can’t survive” or “deal” with something. The spell that says you are “unworthy” or “not smart enough”. The universe is infinite and so are you. Your soul is an unstoppable, ever present force. But your mind? It is always limited and it will keep you limited if you live inside of it, at the expense of everything else. Unfortunately, most of modern mankind lives in the mind and lives in the limitation of mind. And it’s only fear? Is “trespassing” over its own self-imposed limitations. Yes, we are a strange bunch. We self-harm by means of the mind and it is the mind that we are afraid to violate by ceasing our self-harm.

That is because you trust the mind. And the tricky thing about your mind, is that it can convince you it has all the bases covered – that you have “everything handled”. The mind, after all, imagines it can talk about the “whole” or “unity” or “love” or “self” simply because it has a definition of it. But the mind also has definitions of “half” or “separation” or “fear”, simply because it has to. The mind cannot really see anything as whole because it always has “half” to accompany it. It cannot understand any black without white or any loud without soft. And when we live in the mind, we will have to ride those waves of up and down, in and out, without any rest. When we find love, we will find also fear. When we find dark, we will find light. We will feel unstable. And we will be unstable. That is why, Socrates says:

How strange it seems to be, men, this thing men call pleasure: how amazingly it grows into seeming to be its opposite, pain; yet, for the human being, both never occur together at the same time; if someone should pursue and seize one, they will always be required to take the other as well, as if both, though two, are bound to a single source. And it seems to me, he said, that if Aesop recognized this phenomenon, he would have put together a story like this: The god, in being unable to make the two enemies friendly with each other, attached both of their heads to the same head, and because of this whenever one would emerge, the other one follow later. At any rate, that is how it seems to be to me: For there appeared to be pain in my leg from the shackles, and now pleasure has arrived in its turn.

Plato, Phaedo, 59c

The See-Saw of Mind

All of our suffering in life is caused by our attachment to mind in some fashion or form. We are constantly taken on a thrilling ride by its see-saw, of one extreme to the other. And inside this polarity of opposites, we formulate our opinions and judgments of acceptance and avoidance. One minute we like someone, the next minute we don’t. We become confused, unstable, and unable to be constant in our relationships to others or ourselves. It all might feel chaotic and often times depressing or exhilarating, but it is not chaotic. The mind is at work here and the mind always follows rules and the rule in particular, is the rule of polarity. It is the rule of polarity that makes us afraid to reach out and commit, for we know that we will suffer the opposite feelings soon enough. We are ecstatic one day but soon we fall into disappointment. This is what causes most people to give up on their dreams, their hopes, the true destiny.

Identity as Prison

Plato refers to the mind as prison of noetic (noos, mind) or mental laws.  To learn about these laws you can refer to the Seven Hermetic Principles. For the purpose of this article, the best way to begin to understand what Plato means when he talks about mental prisons is to watch young children playing. They can pretend they are doctors, but they can do this in full awareness that they are just playing. They are enjoying the imagination that their mind fashions for them without attachment. When they stop the playtime, they go back to being empty of those playful/false identities. Meanwhile, as we age, we begin to formulate identities that stick. These identities are formulated in the mind. We start to “know who we are” and in this certainty we find a bit of strength and independence. We are told, after all, that “knowledge is power” and so we figure “self-knowledge” is absolute power. We begin to say “this is not me” and “that is me”.  However, that independence and strength is an illusion created inside yet another polarity, me vs. them or self vs others. We are not really knowing who we are. That self that is outside of “others” is an illusory self. It becomes a prison of our own making. We are only knowing what our mind says we are, and we are surrendering to it. Before we know it, we are approaching aged fifty, and we have become a paradigm of habit, hardened opinions, and unresolved dreams and anxieties. And if something happens in the world that forces us to release ourselves from habits, we feel as if we were a drug addict separated from his or her drug.

The mind is a mechanism for spell-casting and illusions. It can shape and mold our mental patterns, and so our emotions, and our entire lives. It is at its most powerful when we, as human beings or as friends or as countries or as clubs or religions, agree with each other. When we agree, the spell is nearly impenetrable except by those who have great mental power and conditioning to withstand the “herd”. The bird who strays from the flock will have to take on the challenge of cultivating his or her own will, to reach deep within to find their own true direction. Every one of us has that innate ability, that birthright to self expression and absolute freedom and bliss. The only reason we doubt that we have access to bliss is because we are trapped and addicted to the life that mind has cultivated for us.

Mind as Addiction

In the modern world, we are completely ruled by the mind. But this hegemony of mind in the modern world is simply an imbalance, a kind of indulgence similar to our indulgence in pleasures such as entertainment or food and drink. The mind, like food and drink and entertainment, is not a bad thing by itself. The mind is a tool for sorting, estimating, organizing, knowing. We cannot function without the mind and its ability to categorize and understand. But Plato, in the mouth of Socrates and throughout many of his dialogues, describes knowledge as being a like a boat that works for a while. But he cautions that we should always be on the lookout for a better boat. In other words, the search for knowledge should continue. We should not stay in one boat or identity forever. This is why philosophy means “the love of wisdom”. We are not the possessors of wisdom, but always the seeker; forever the seeker. The lover of science or the lover of art should always make sure to keep seeking the true, the good, and the beautiful. To stop doing this is to fall into the illusion of mind, back into the prison, back into the polarities.

And the modern world loves its illusions and feels “alive” in its illusions. We love excitement and business and stimulation. We have a very low tolerance for neutrality, peace, quiet, slowness. We instead prefer to be addicted to a world that loves to make impressions and loves to make itself popular, known, heard, and wanted. We find power in the busi-ness of mind. We need to find a way to market ourselves or make what we have popular in order to achieve money, fame, relevance. We live inside the mind, not only in our waking moments, but in our dream-time and in times when it would be best to not be in our mind, but to be perhaps in our hearts or our bellies.  We are very fearful of leaving our minds and we are very possessive over what we think we “have” in them. It doesn’t matter whether the mind is working in the subconscious or the conscious. It doesn’t matter if you experience feelings or ideas. It is all from the same place, the fluctuation of the mind. In the Yoga Sutras, it is said that:

Union or wholeness (yoga) is restraining the fluctuations natural to the mind.

Yoga Sutras, 1.1. Patanjali,

And it doesn’t help you that people around us are also in their minds and think that what their minds contain IS them. When we reach out to each other, we are mostly doing it in terms of the way the mind can understand and assess. Is this person “good for me”? Does this person have “what I want”? What should I say? In a digital world, this becomes even more apparent, as we are no longer interacting energetically with each other or through the heart-space. We are simply reading or hearing words/speech most of the time and as we are doing that, we are just processing, assessing, judging, ignoring, taking note. We become disheartened, or obsessive, we desire and we fear, we feel pain or pleasure. Rarely are we able to just be, to just enjoy another’s company or our own without experiencing the drama, the see-saw of polarity that the mind is addicted to and finds comfort in, the chasing and making things happen, the running and the fear of things happening at all. We do all this, and never really find powerful intimate connection. We just bump into each other, and fall away from each other and move on along, as if nothing significant happened. We don’t see the birds or hear the rain or hear each other. We are just pushed along with the tides, occasionally glancing at scattered memories and vague impressions.

Neutral in the Heart Space

So many people feel alive in these dramas of mind. A sense of peace and neutrality would actually scare them. This is a sad affliction because inside that neutrality is where we find the holy grail: unconditional love and acceptance. It is where we are closer to our hearts and our divine nature and the divine itself.

Some who read this might think that they are different, especially those who think of themselves as being spiritually awakened. But much of what is considered to be spiritual is just more of the mind. The mind is the seat of the imagination, of any kind of comprehension whatsoever, the “knowing” of the divine or the human things. The psychic or the seer “knows” things.  Now, there is nothing wrong or false about this kind of seeing, but the distinction must be made. Are we knowing what mind is telling us, or are we knowing what the heart is telling us? How many know the difference? Some seers will say that “they just know or they have a feeling”.  Actually, all of us speak this way. But feelings are undifferentiated and undistinguished mind-games. How do you know that you are not just expressing an impression of mind?

One way of knowing whether or not you are sourcing from mind or heart is to determine whether or not you are in a state of neutrality. When you are neutral, you see or hear or know things despite your opinions, tastes, desires, fears, and expectations. When you see from the heart, you see it with complete openness and acceptance. You cannot tell a lie. You don’t say things in order to please your make yourself look powerful. Even the feeling of being powerful, is a sign that you are in a delusion.  Ask yourself, if your powers of insight were gone tomorrow, would you feel bad about yourself? Would you be neutral? If the answer is “neutral”, you are seeing from the heart.

However, even when we see from the heart – and we always have those moments – it is easy to quickly slip back into the mind as soon as you start assessing and judging. That subtle slip back into mind is like a cloud that suddenly conceals the light of the sunny day. Socrates, the philosopher in Plato’s dialogue, represents this Zen state of consciousness. He doesn’t ever react to those who speak with them. He doesn’t become enraged or disheartened. He actually usually doesn’t want to be talking to anyone at all. The Republic, for example, begins with Socrates just wanting to go home. He is not interested in selling his philosophy or his powers of intuition. He is very, as Nietzsche said, “boring”. Socrates is the one balancing in the middle of the see-saw, always attempting to lead both sides to balance, no matter what they hurl at him. He is always neutral, almost in a state of bliss, that is beyond the comprehension of most people. Phaedo remarks about him, at his deathbed:


Truly I experienced wondrous things while I was there. For although I was present for the death of a man dear to me, pity never occurred to me: the man appeared quite happy to me, Execrates, both in his manner and his words; and he came to his end so fearlessly and nobly that he seemed to me to be going to Hades by divine fate, and when he would get there,  he would do quite well if indeed anyone ever could.

Plato, Phaedo, 58e.

The Way out of the Prison

The way out of the prison that is mind, is to allow what is in mind to come to an end. To put a ceasefire on the addictions, the desire to be loved, the desire to be seen, the attachment to one’s own powers, the need for excitement, drama, and feelings of empowerment. Zen Buddhists might talk about the thoughts of being like clouds in the sky. You can watch them, but you must learn how to let them pass. You must learn how to let the false-self pass. Do not attach yourself to it. Each time a cloud passes, you might look at it, and even engage in it, but you must also, if you want to remain free and happy, let them go. This “letting go” might even feel like a death if the attachment is strong. In Plato’s Phaedo, this death is called teleusis, an ending, perfection, completion. In our modern world, we would call it “ego-death”. But I don’t like the concept of ego-death, because there is no death or end of the ego. The ego itself is simply a mental construct, a way to understand ourselves inside a particular branch of knowledge called psychology. To understand yourself as an ego, is not going to help you to let go of ego, because you are still in the mind, fighting the so-called ego – which doesn’t even exist.  The only way out of the prison of the mind is to learn how it works, just like the only way out of a labyrinth is to pay attention, do not succumb to fear and desire, learn how it works, to remember the patterns and the wrong turns.  You can see these patterns if you spend time in occupations of the mind: logic, philosophy, computer programming, the sciences, music, the arts, rhetoric, story telling, dream analysis. All structure, all plot, all story relies on patterns, logic, simile, metaphor, and/or demonstration in order to be convincing. Practice catching the mind in the act. The more you do that, the more you start to feel and experience the self that is you. For you are the consciousness that is watching mind and its tricks and is actually separate from it. You are the one who can change,add, subtract from the presentation of mind. You are the conductor, the maker of your own world, the sound of your music.

So to become Zen or neutral does not mean you shouldn’t experience polarity or excitement or disappointment. It just means that you attempt to avoid becoming attached to the polarities. You can use the presence of a polarity or an extreme to alert you that you should come back into balance. Coming back into balance means being able to be the child at heart. To be still in bliss even as the world is falling apart; to see the sun when the rain clouds arrive; to love unconditionally when all seems to shun you. You realize that you are powerful with the tool that is your mind, instead of being a victim of it, and so you are able to create with more depth, power, and wisdom than you could have ever dreamed and with a peace and control of presence that is as powerful as the shining sun. For your soul is who you actually are; the unlimited infinite soul that is not the mind but uses the mind; you, the pure light of consciousness who love unconditional, and holds a presence that is as free and sure as the space that is all the universe.

When the attributes cease mutative association with awareness, they resolve into dormancy in Nature, and the indweller shines forth as pure consciousness. This is absolute freedom.

Yoga Sutras, Patanjali, 4.34

Phaedo: Socrates, the Master of Linguistic Transmutation

Language is magic. But like so much else on the planet, including ourselves, we have lost touch with that fact. For not only is language magic, it is divine magic, and it is that which enables us to be the masters of our own world. The Platonic dialogue, and the Phaedo in particular, is designed to teach you about the magic of language, which is completely accessible to every single human on the planet. But we are not just talking about letters and words. Letters and words, are the means, but they are not the essence of the magic. Letters and words can actually be detached from the magic, just like bodies can be detached from the soul when they die. Even though we need them to express divine magic on this plane, they are only instruments or encapsulations. The actual magic behind the words is light energy. It is in fact divine energy. Words are extremely powerful when the energy behind them is present. They are not powerful when it is not. That is why some people are effective writers, and some are not effective. It has to do with how they harness the energy behind the words, whether they are conscious of this or not. Those who are conscious of it can become incredibly powerful.  This is one of the secrets in mystical teachings throughout the ages. Nikola Tesla remarked that “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” In the case of words, it is no different. It is no mistake that the name, Phaedo, means “bright, and shining”, and that the god Socrates mentions in the dialogue is Apollo, the god of light and the sun.

Ancient Greek, the language Plato used to write his dialogues, was never a spoken language. It was a so-called ‘literary’ language.  What did that mean? Did that mean that it was a secret code for intellectuals? Not quite. It was no more secret code that Egyptian hieroglyphics and Sanskrit, both of which used language to express the divine on earth. In that sense, language is used to manifest the divine on earth. That is why, in John 1:1 it says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”. The word in this case is the logos, the very same word that Plato uses to express speech that goes beyond ordinary chit-chat type of speech.

The logos is the energy behind the words and the letters. Words and letters cannot create anything. The logos creates everything. You can, if you harness that kind of energy, literally create your world. Hard to believe, isn’t it. Well, it isn’t when you consider that you have already done it, are doing it, and will continue to do so in the future. The question is not can you do it, but can you stop and get a hold of those wild horses before they continue to run you into the ground? Can you be the driver here of the logos, or are you going to continue being the one who is unconsciously driven to believe that your world isn’t something you have created?

In my translation of Plato’s Phaedo, which will be available at the end of the year, I am attempting to help English readers comprehend the magic in Plato’s language, which is designed to help you access your own.  Words in Ancient Greek are like trees, with roots, branches, and leaves of various colors, depending on the season, the author, the work. The beauty of Ancient Greek is that it preserves these trees as they are. For example, in English the word ‘truth’ seems pretty straightforward. How would you define it? Something that is real? Something that is honest? Something that does not deceive?  In Greek, there is no such word for truth. The word in Greek is alethēia, which means unforgetting, or remembering. The root of the truth is –lēth– which means forgetfulness, as in the River of Lēthē, the River of Forgetfulness. The truth about truth is that it is always something we remember. It is not something that we get from outside of ourselves at all.  It is not even a ‘thing’, but is a process of uncovering what is within ourselves. That is it. The English word allows us to place ‘truth’ on anything we want and so we can conceptually remove ourselves from the process of truth and remove ourselves from the responsibility of unveiling that truth. The Greek does not. The word is quite specific. You don’t seek truth. You don’t uncover the truth. You just remember. If you do not do this, you remain in the same state, which is false, pseudē, from where we get our English prefix, pseudo-. This is why Socrates talks about the non-philosopher as being one who lives a lie. The same is also said of the one who does not practice yoga. For the one who lives in lies is the one who lives in ignorance and ego:

Ignorance is taking the non-eternal for the eternal, the impure for the pure, evil for good and non-self as self.

Egoism is the identification of the power that knows with the instruments of knowing.

Patanjali, Yoga Sutras 2.5-6

The instruments of knowing are the mind and its judgments. Both are not of the soul, but are instead instruments of the ego. In other words, it is not an instrument of our true divine nature. Plato’s language as logos is an instrument of the divine. But he goes one step further than the logos. The logos is the divine energy of speech as it comes out of our mouth, but the dia-logos or the dialogue is what allows for the transmutation of energy from one frequency to another. In Socrates case, he always transmutes from a lower to a higher frequency. In fact, you can actually read the Platonic dialogue at different levels of frequencies. This is no easy task, and it is bit like dialing into different radio frequencies. You can get very confused very quickly if you do not do this with consciousness, because if you jump around to much without control, the stations start to sound as if they are on top of another, mixing one frequency with another in a very unharmonic way. And most of us don’t need a Platonic dialogue to get confused like that. We get confused all the time! For example, if we say “all is one”, it makes no sense on lower frequencies. But if we say it on higher frequencies, it has substance. This is why political speech rings false most of the time. It confuses the frequencies and pulls them down lower. You can tell they are lying because the energy behind the words is too low. They end up sounding distorted.

Now when you read a dialogue, there are passages that are more geared towards the high frequencies and they are very difficult to understand if you are dialed in at a lower one. Or if you are dialed in too high, you will have difficulty hearing the lower notes. But if you try to jump back in forth, forget it, you will get very confused. It is not that you can’t do both, like a symphony orchestra, but you just have to get the rhythm and timing correct. And that, as Plato says, requires some musical education. The true reason why musical education was important to Plato and why Socrates constantly refers to music in the dialogues is that Plato saw that if we do not each learn how to play our own proper “instrument” as directed by the divine, the we will not be able to find peace and beauty in the symphony that is our world.

But back to dialogue. So “dialogue” in Plato doesn’t mean just “conversations”.  It means transformation so that conversations are possible. And you are not the only one who is asked to take this roller-coaster ride up and down the frequency scale of language. The characters are there to help you along, as they too are mystified when they begin with one opinion and end up having a new opinion they couldn’t even have imagined before. Its like they started with a violin and ended up with a tuba, or as if they started as a tenor and ended up soprano. Some start with the music of fear, and end with courage. Some begin with arrogance and finish with humility. Most of the time, they relinquish their original opinion that they started out with, because Socrates – unbeknownst to them – turned up the frequency dial to a part more suitable to them! And they are happier for it, because when we cling to our false opinions they generally become great and painful burdens, not only to ourselves, but to others. Our opinions, the ones that are not able to withstand the test of the divine symphony of the dialogue, are the ones that get put aside, especially the ones that don’t play well in the symphony of the whole.

So it is the case that whoever speaks with Socrates ends up finding that Socrates has been able to turn his logos (opinion) to the opposite polarity or to a completely different frequency of consciousness. If you, as the reader of a dialogue, follow along with your own opinions (logoi), you will find that what you once thought was true beyond a doubt, is subject to more doubt than you thought.  Socrates is a master of alchemy, and at the highest levels. He uses something that goes way beyond natural language in order to transmute the most difficult personalities into pussycats. He is able to transform the darkness into light, the pain into pleasure, the chaotic into the calm. The truth about the divine logos is that is not something that can actually be written in a linear way. At the end of the dialogue, all the speeches are getting along, and nearly sound together like a symphony of sound, a frequency of friends, despite their differences. I suppose you could say that Socrates, in addition to being a great alchemist of light energy, was also a great conductor of music. After all, that is what he says, in the Phaedo, the god told him to do:

…The dreams went something like this. Many times, the dream would occur throughout my life, appearing in different ways and in different aspects , but saying the same exact thing, “Socrates”, it said “make music and make it your work.” And during all that time, the very thing I had been doing is what I assumed it was encouraging and commanding me to do, just as those who encourage and cheer on runners in a race. And so, I assumed that what I was doing was that which it commanded, namely, to make music, and philosophy is the greatest type of music, which is what I was doing.

Phaedo, Translation by Anastasia Harris, 60e

So how does he do this? Well, In the Phaedo, Plato has Socrates talking about music and magic and spells. He does this throughout the dialogue, serving as clues to those who start to become aware of the nature of Socrates’ powers. As Tesla says, all things are energy and all logos is energy. There is in fact a language that is behind all languages, modern or ancient, an this is language is of a higher vibration than anything we can ever physically write down. Some people call this “light language”, and it is still something I have been exploring during my deeper meditations. Light language is something that is not conceivable by the mind. It is experienced through the soul. Most creatives do not realize that they are receiving light language, but that is exactly what they are doing, when they receive “information” that is neither concept, word or anything in the conceivable universe. In fact, the experience they have is “I don’t know where it comes from” or “it came from a god”. You can say it came from the Quantum field, or light language, or source, or whatever you want to call it in our earthly tongues, it still remains to be the same thing: logos at its deepest levels is energy. The dialogue of Plato is at its deepest levels the manipulation and transmutation of that energy. And finally, Plato’s intent at the deepest levels is to show us how to find the power of that magic within ourselves, for he saw personal responsibility, personal knowledge, and inner strength and truth to be the only way out of all unhappiness, all suffering, and all evil in the world.

Truly, Echecrates, so many times I have marveled at Socrates but never as great as I had at that time.  Now to already have what he was going to say was nothing out of the ordinary, but I most of all marveled first how he pleasantly and with calmness and with respect, received the argument of these young men, and then how keenly he sensed what we were suffering due to their speeches, and then how well he healed us and as those who have run away in fear and have felt defeated, he called us back into courage, and encouraged us to walk with him and to as a group look at the speech.

Phaedo, 88d, Translation by Anastasia Harris

Phaedo: On Suffering

I will tell you, he said. Because those who love to learn know that philosophy , upon taking hold of their soul- their soul, which has hitherto been completely bound up all around by and stuck to the physical body, and so forced, as if it were in a prison, to perceive the beings, not by itself through itself, but through that prison in which it is spun round with every kind of ignorance; that philosophy, upon recognizing the terrible nature of that prison as being caused by desire – inasmuch as he who is imprisoned is ever an accomplice in his own imprisonment – the very things I have been just now saying – that those who love to learn know that philosophy, by gently taking hold of their soul, attempts to coax and persuade them to set their soul free, showing them that perception through the eyes is rife with deception, and of deception is also the perception through the ears and the other senses, and so it persuades the soul to begin to withdraw from the senses, except to the extent that it is necessary to use them, and instead to recover the soul back to itself and call it to retrieve its pieces back together, and to trust in nothing other than herself by herself, so that she might be able to intellect by herself through herself each of the beings as they are according to themselves: and that should it perceive something outside of itself in things outside of itself through means outside of it, it should regard that something as untrue, and that it is what is perceived through the senses and seen, while which is true is invisible and is that which she herself sees through intellect. And the soul of one who is truly a philosopher, in believing that one must do nothing to avoid this process of freedom, keeps away as much as she can from pleasures and desires and pains and fears, reckoning that, whenever someone experiences extreme pleasure or fear or pain or desire, they have not suffered as a great an evil as some have been wont to believe, like getting sick or wasting away due to desire, but that the greatest and extreme of all evils, is that they are not able to understand what they are suffering.

Phaedo, 82e -Translation by Anastasia Harris

Phaedo: Consciousness of the Soul, Consciousness of Now, Consciousness of You

Were you yourself, Phaedo, present with Socrates on the day where he drank the potion in the prison, or did you hear about it from another?

αὐτός, ὦ Φαίδων, παρεγένου Σωκράτει ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ᾗ τὸ φάρμακον ἔπιεν ἐν τῷ δεσμωτηρίῳ, ἢ ἄλλου του ἤκουσας;

Phaedo, 57a

Introduction

The Phaedo is a conversation about the soul. But not only that. It is also a conversation about the nature of the body. In Ancient Greek, soul (psyche) means spirit and life force, but it also means breath. In that sense it is both the physical and spiritual animator of the body. For Plato, the soul is the self, the true nature of the human being. The soul is also infinite. It is not defined by its physical connections or appearances. That is to say, it is not defined or limited by the body. Yes, your soul, yes YOU, is everywhere at all times. The essence of all mystery schools is this teaching, that we are all capable of experiencing eternity through our soul in this life and the life to come. The source of all mystery schools, both ancient and modern, is written in the peculiar Emerald Tablets of Thoth:

Yea, to the highest worlds may ye pass.
See your own possible heights of unfoldment,
know all earthly futures of Soul.

Bound are ye in your body,
but by the power ye may be free.
This is the Secret whereby bondage
shall be replaced by freedom for thee.

Emerald Tablets of Thoth, XV, Secret of Secrets



So let’s start seeking out this “Secret” by taking a look at the Phaedo.

My late professor at Boston University, Dr. Motzkin, always used to say that if you can deeply comprehend the first introductory part of any Platonic dialogue, you will comprehend the whole. That is the way the dialogue works. I will constantly remind the reader that Plato follows the Seven Hermetic Principles both in terms of the content of the dialogue and the dialogue itself. The principle I am reminded of here is the Principle of Correspondence, which states that all beings contain the entire universe, and that the entire universe contains all beings. Each part of the dialogue contains the essence of the whole.  If you deeply understand a part of nature, you will easily grasp the whole.  Why is this? Because the nature of the soul is the nature of the universe. It is not formed or limited by physical appearances. That is the illusion that all students must learn to overcome.

“Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.”

Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:1 (22a)

And Rumi,

Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.

Rumi

Ego (Body)

Now, in Phaedo, the self or the soul shows up in different ways, and that is because our relationship to self, in this life, is mostly illusion.  We think that the soul is in a place, in a body, with a name, and in a certain time or not in a certain time. The soul is in a jail or the soul drank something on a certain day and died. Don’t you believe that that is what you are right now as you read this article? The reason for this is simple. When the soul incarnates inside a body it is surrounded by its influences and preoccupations, rather than its own. It looks outside of itself for confirmation. And low and behold, other souls are looking outside for confirmation as well. That is what is called collective appearances, which are always at face value. However, for Plato, the soul is by nature autonomous. It doesn’t need outside confirmation. It resists the illusion.

Yet when the soul becomes absorbed in the preoccupations of the body, it loses that autonomy.

Isn’t this what we were saying before, that the soul, whenever it makes use of the body to contemplate something either through vision or through hearing or through any other sense – for this is the way of the body, to contemplate a thing through sense perception – at that very moment the soul is dragged by the body into those things that are never the same, and so the soul herself wanders and is agitated, and becomes dizzy as if drunk in as much as she is overcome by these things?

Phaedo, Translation by Anastasia Harris

You can say that when someone does this, they are giving away their power. This is why many people seek out a shaman to “retrieve their souls”. Their soul becomes fragmented and lost as they give their power away piecemeal to illusions.  The ego does this gladly because it feels like it is actually gaining and seeking power by becoming absorbed in more things, people, circumstances. The Greek word for ego in Plato is simply “body”. The ego’s or body’s primary and only intention is to survive, to win, to gain the advantage, to get more, feel more. Why? It knows it will die and wants to avoid it. It is no wonder that the Greek word for body is sōmata, which is near cognate to the word sōs, meaning safe. The ego wants to protect itself. It is always in defensive or offensive mode. Meanwhile, soul is always just being. It doesn’t need to save itself, because, again, it is deathless and limitless. This is why Jesus says in John 8:23 that “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.”

I want to make it clear that Plato’s notion of “body” qua ego does not intend to lead us to the conclusion that we should not take care of it. The physical body, in the way Plato views it, is that it is like a wild horse that must be tamed. The soul, through its powers of consciousness with mind, is the only one fit to do this. If the soul is left undeveloped, it will be consumed by the body in away that leads to bad health, obsessive compulsiveness, anxiety, depression, and various others diseases and ailments.


Self: First Word of the Dialogue

It is no wonder that a dialogue about the soul begins with the Greek word autós. Autós, is from where derive our English “autonomous”, “automatic”, “automobile”. All of those words suggest independence, without outside force or influence. An autonomous country is one that runs under its own laws without outside control.   An automatic response is something you don’t have to think about. It just happens by itself with or without your consent. The last and most interesting one is automobile. An automobile doesn’t drive itself, does it?  Well, it does if you consider that previous to the automobile, you needed horses in order to move your carriage!  The automobile gives both the horses and us freedom.

Now autós in Ancient Greek is generally emphatic. Greek verbs contain the subject of the verb. For example, ἤκουσας, means “you heard”.  You don’t need a separate word for “you”. However, if that pronoun is present, it is only there for emphasis. In English we would use italics to express this.  ‘He is the singer’ vs. ‘He is the singer’. It is a difference of tone. autós can also mean same, when paired syntactically with a specific noun. It also can mean “itself”, like the dog itself or the table itself.  The emphatic nature of autós however does not overwrite the fact that autós means self-same. It represents a being that has an independent form. In Plato, it is the soul and the self as it is without the body or as master of the body. The implication is that the soul is infinite and self-same. It is not divisible and it is not limited by the limitations of the body.

A Quest/Question: First Sentence of the Dialogue

While the first word of the dialogue is autós, the first sentence of the dialogue is a question. This is also no surprise as questioning and answering are the primary motions of the Socratic dialogue. Contrast the questioning/answering nature of the dialogue, the constant back and forth and movement, to lecturing or declaring. Dialogic conversations are transformative. If you make a statement in your head about something, you question it, or remain open about its possible falsity. Eventually, as you find more information, that statement will transform into something else. Declarations or argumentation is the opposite. It is either one person making a statement about something and other people arguing. Argumentation is a like ping pong match that lasts for infinity. When we do this in our bodies, we create strife and lack of resolution, we store it in our bodies and our children’s bodies. This is called Epigenetics Inheritance. In dialogue, the winner is chosen after healthy interchange, and both go out for drinks after. They will even come back for a second round, to see if they can improve. They don’t hold on to things. The “battle” between them is dissolved. This is called detachment. However, when you are in a state of argumentation, you are not engaging the true nature of your soul. You are attached to your opinions like a miser attached to his gold. What you are doing is simply entertaining the ego or as Plato would say, the body. And remember, the ego is always the false soul. It is an impostor, as it is always making us think that we “are it”, instead of the soul.  It is always making you think that you are your body, its wants, needs, etc.

And most of what you talk about to yourself comes from ego. Ask yourself if your self-talk, the talk that generally goes on in your head about yourself, others, and the world at large, is in the form of questions or declarations and judgments? Do you question yourself when you make statements about something or someone? Or do you assume that what you are saying is true? Most of what goes on in our head is not dialogue, but something else. And it is that something else that causes us to become even more distant from our soul. For Plato, the essence of the soul is dialogic. The soul works with the logos in a way so that it can learn and grow. It will look at statements and assumptions and questions them until it can find the truth. And even then, it will continue to question, until it reaches that truth it is seeking. The soul by itself is not attached to the results. It only cares about truth. That is the nature of yoga. That is the nature of Platonic philosophy.

So that is the reason why Plato starts this dialogue with a question that starts with autós.

The War with Others

Now it is time to have a quick look at allos, other. The idea of the allos/autós polarity shows up all over this dialogue. I am not writing this commentary in order to cover every place it occurs. That would take years. I will however write a different piece on its polarity. So I am just going to stick with how it shows up in this first question of the Phaedo. Here is the question again for reference:

Were you yourself, Phaedo, present with Socrates on the day where he drank the potion in the prison, or did you hear about it from another?

Did you hear it from someone else (allos), or were you present there yourself (autós)? allos is essentially the opposite of autós. It means “other”. Pretty straightforward. Whatever is considered to be outside of the self is put into the camp of “other”. It implies that there is something outside the self at all, as if it were not an illusion. I will get back to this point in a minute. First, let’s just look at the question being asked.

It would seem that it is very easy for Phaedo to answer this question. He replies “autós”. Don’t you answer things in this way? If you were listening to a speech given by a politician, and at a later date someone asked you if you were present or if you heard about from someone else, wouldn’t you reply “autos”? Okay, you don’t speak Greek. So, you would probably “Yes, I was present myself”.  Obvious isn’t it? But is it so obvious what “being present” means?

Now, in the dialogue, we don’t know what Execrates would have said, had Phaedo replied that he heard about Socrates’ death from someone else. Would he have turned around and walked away, taking his friends with him? One thing we do know is that Execrates is content with himself hearing from someone else (allos). After all, what choice would he have? The death of Socrates occurred in a time that has already passed and Phaedo was actually present at the time of his death. But alas, the soul can be present to the past, because it can be present everywhere, and you have intuitive awareness that it can. That is the real reason why you trust the account of a person who was present at a past event versus a person who was not. They were present in the “now”. The only thing we get wrong, is that we assume that the person with the body was paying attention and was consciously present in his soul, rather than his body. The reason? The body only perceives through senses. The soul perceives in another way all together and most of us, except some very advanced yogis and psychics, are able to travel beyond the confines of time and space in a conscious way. The rest of us do it, but we are generally not aware of it. The practice of philosophy and yoga both aim to achieve this kind of consciousness, because it is simply pure soul consciousness, the ultimate truth of who you are.

We are, as long as we are in our body, limited in our experiences, not only in time and place and our understanding of time and space, but also in the scope and clarity of our consciousness. When it comes to the five senses, we can only perceive the things that are in proximity to our self (autós) as ego. And they are always experienced as being “outside” self. We think that world is outside of us, that people are outside, that everything we see, hear,feel, and touch is outside. Doesn’t matter if it is “mine” or not “mine. It is all there outside of me. And that is where all our suffering truly comes from.

Furthermore, our perceptions are very very limited and restricted to what is in front of us or immediately around us. And even then, we (autós), are not able to perceive everything around us. Do you perceive everyone’s fingernails? Can you hear their hearts beat? Can you see everyone’s eye color? In essence, whatever is outside the self (autós) is perceived as other (allos) and it is never a complete picture. It gets even more confusing when you start to remember that each other (allos) is also a self (autós), just like you. But we often avoid that kind of confusion by convincing ourselves that others are just others and don’t relate to our self at all, or only do so by accident or coincidence or by attribute (likes, dislikes, other similarities). How do we convince ourselves that they are separate from our self? They are not always with us and most of them eventually leave our side. Their bodies are separate from ours. Physical perception completely informs us. Later in the dialogue Socrates points out that all wars are caused by the body (ego) but because through the body we perceive ourselves as completely separate and so different from the “others”. “Others”, in fact, only appear so because of the body. The physical senses create “others”. The implication is that if we did not possess a body, we would see ourselves through the perception of the soul, which he calls phronesis or consciousness, as a single self, a single soul.

For what causes wars and factions and fights is nothing other than the body and its desires. It is due to the possession of things that all wars come into being, and we are forced to possess things due to the body, being slaves to its service.

Phaedo, 66c, translation by Anastasia Harris

And this bring us to another interesting point. Phaedo and Execrates are actually supposed to be enemies. Phaedo is an Athenian. Execrates is of a small polis that allied itself with Sparta against Athens in the Peloponnesian War. To make matters worse, it is due to this devastating loss by the hands of Sparta, that the Athenian dream of democracy fell into a corrupt and bloody tyranny. That tyranny, the Tyranny of the Twelve, is what brought Socrates the verdict of death by poison.  So here we have Execrates asking to hear the story of Socrates from an “other”, a “foreigner”, not because Socrates was Spartan or because Socrates was Athenian, but simply because Socrates was himself (autós).  Philosophy, the interest in reaching awareness of self is universal. It is through the soul that we find our humanity and our connection, not with others, but with others as soul. It is through dialogue, not judgement that we find peace.

After Phaedo agrees to tell Execrates what happened at Socrates’ death, he first gives Execrates a short summary of his emotional impressions. Phaedo remarks the following:

Truly I experienced thaumasia (wonder) while I was there. For although I was present for the death of a man dear to me, pity never occurred to me: the man appeared quite happy to me, Execrates, both in his manner and his words; and he came to his end so fearlessly and nobly, that he seemed to me to be going to Hades by divine fate, and when he would get there, he would do quite well if indeed anyone ever could. Because of this, in no way did pity sweep over me, as is usually the case in an experience like this, but neither did I take any of the usual pleasure in philosophy- for the speeches were of a philosophical nature –but instead there was an uncanny affliction that came over me, a strange mixture that contained equal portion of pain and pleasure, knowing full well in my heart that he was destined to end his life (teleusis). And so, all of us present were also constituted in the same way, at one time laughing, and another time crying, each one of us and most especially Apollodorus, for you know the man and his ways.

Phaedo, 58e, Translation by Anastasia Harris

Phaedo describes his emotional state and impressions during that day. The marvel and wonder that he felt was the state of bliss Socrates displayed, despite everyone else being on a see-saw of both despair and joy. It is very important to remember Socrates state of consciousness, for it is the state that all practitioners of the mysteries schools wish to achieve: not just fearlessness before death, but the absolute awareness that the end of the body is not the end of the soul at all. Socrates repeats this often in the beginning of the dialogue to explain why he is not upset about the verdict of his death. However, none of those present are quite convinced in the eternity of the soul. They do not yet have that kind of level of consciousness.

Now Execrates doesn’t really appear to be interested in Phaedo’s physical impressions. Execrates specifically asks for the logoi. “What were the logoi?, he asks. What he wishes to hear are the logoi that weave together into the dialogue, the dialogue that is the natural conversation of the soul, where all wars, all “others” dissolve into one beautiful and most just conversation, a conversation and a gathering where we experience ourselves, each other, as one. In this case, the conversations are a conversation about the nature of the soul as eternal and everlasting, a place that we would all like to be aware of, for in that state of eternity there are no fears and no desires, only bliss, only peace. And that is why the last line of the dialogue complements the first word of the dialogue. Socrates is the manifestation of the purified soul on earth, in the form of the philosopher, around whom all souls gathered to dialogue in order to seek within themselves truth, justice (balance), and, above all Being herself.

We all “relate” to Socrates in our soul. Because we are THAT. सो ऽहम्  ( “I am That”)

The final line of the dialogue refers to his “end” as teleutē. That word doesn’t mean death as much as initiation (as into the mysteries), as much as reaching perfection, as much as reaching the highest state of consciousness (nirvana). Unfortunately, there is no word in English that captures the idea of initiation/end/perfection/death all in one.



ἥδε ἡ τελευτή, ὦ Ἐχέκρατες, τοῦ ἑταίρου ἡμῖν ἐγένετο, ἀνδρός, ὡς ἡμεῖς φαῖμεν ἄν, τῶν τότε ὧν ἐπειράθημεν ἀρίστου καὶ ἄλλως φρονιμωτάτου καὶ δικαιοτάτου.

So here the end has come, Execrates, of a friend, of a man, whom we would say, of all those we had made proof of at the time, to be the most noble, and beyond all others, the most conscious and the most balanced.

Phaedo, 118a.

And so between the first question to the last answer of the dialogue, we have a journey that takes us from question to answer. The question is always: are you listening for yourself or through others? Are their others at all? Are you present in body or present in soul? Are you present to both? The answer will not come until the final perfection of higher consciousness on earth, until you reach that state of perfection where all dissolves in the one and one dissolves into all, beyond body, beyond what mind can comprehend, namely, what you truly are, always were and always will be. Perfection is now in the now, for eternity. Our only job is to become conscious of it – now.

Phaedo: The Swans of Death

It would be impossible to persuade other human beings that my present death sentence is a form of luck if I cannot persuade you two, Simmias and Cebes…yet I am not inferior to the swans in relation to prophecy when they sense that is time for them to die and upon that last hour before their death, they sing most beautifully and with great abundance, rejoicing that they are soon to arrive in the realm of the divine where they may be of service to the divine. Human beings, however, due to their fear of death, lie about the swans, and say that they are singing dirges in pain due to their death; but they do not understand that no bird sings when it is hungry or cold or experiences any kind of pain, not the nightingale; not the swallow; not the hoopoe, the birds they say who sing lamentations for their death. But these do not seem to me to sing lamentations, and neither do the swans, for I believe they are of Apollo, and are prophets and soothsayers who sing of the good things in the realm we cannot see, and they delight in that day of arrival there far more than in their previous time in life. I myself believe that I am a fellow servant with the swans and a priest of the god himself, and that I am not an inferior prophet of our master, nor more melancholy than the swans are when they leave their bodies.

Phaedo, 84e. Translation by Anastasia Harris.

The Fate of the Impure Soul

No one would believe the things that she sees at night. For while others struggle to sleep with restless dreams and worries, she sees the spirits who wander about, generating fear and worry in those who would be better off being free to sleep, to heal and dream of the beautiful day that awaits them. But instead, they only feel depletion and rely on coffee or tea to get them by. Some seek out doctors and medications, herbs and various other salves, in hopes to find a better way to find rest. While she is the one who knows, that no drug will free them from the spirits that haunt and feed of whatever light they have left to provide. In order to solve their sleep problem, they would have to arise in the midst of their own darkness, where what haunts them lurks, playing tricks on them in dreams and visions. Souls who have died that refuse to leave the body and so feed off the ones who are still living. For when we sleep, the souls of the dead cling, still wanting to feel, to be, to exist. We do not see them, because we have become blind. We have forgotten the way and path to the underworld, for we have rejected our true purpose as custodians of the lands, the earth and heaven that we have inherited. We have rejected our duty to continue to keep our earth pure, our heart and soul clean, and our intentions in the divine.

One must consider this to be a very weighty and serious matter, this material consciousness of the visible realm: The soul that is attached to its physical manifestation is very weighed down and is dragged back into the visible realm due to fear of the invisible and Hades, as it is said, and being tossed about from tombstone to tombstone and grave to grave, around which are always seen the dark shadows and phantoms of souls, the kind of phantoms that these same attached souls themselves project, the souls that have not cleanly freed themselves the body, but still hold onto the visible realm, through which they still can be seen.

Plato, Phaedo, 81d

ἐμβριθὲς δέ γε, ὦ φίλε, τοῦτο οἴεσθαι χρὴ εἶναι καὶ βαρὺ καὶ γεῶδες καὶ ὁρατόν: ὃ δὴ καὶ ἔχουσα ἡ τοιαύτη ψυχὴ βαρύνεταί τε καὶ ἕλκεται πάλιν εἰς τὸν ὁρατὸν τόπον φόβῳ τοῦ ἀιδοῦς τε καὶ Ἅιδου, ὥσπερ λέγεται, περὶ τὰ [81δ] μνήματά τε καὶ τοὺς τάφους κυλινδουμένη, περὶ ἃ δὴ καὶ ὤφθη ἄττα ψυχῶν σκιοειδῆ φαντάσματα, οἷα παρέχονται αἱ τοιαῦται ψυχαὶ εἴδωλα, αἱ μὴ καθαρῶς ἀπολυθεῖσαι ἀλλὰ τοῦ ὁρατοῦ μετέχουσαι, διὸ καὶ ὁρῶνται.

Plato, Phaedo, 81δ

Oblivious

But like infection is the petty thought: it creeps and hides, and wants to be nowhere–until the whole body is decayed and withered by the petty infection… Thus spoke Zarathustra.


Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

as if a hundred little fish in the sky are singing
radio waves ringing to keep anxious minds afloat
upon petty tunes popular popping corks in the ocean
pretending to support those wounded mental bones
and by some strange magic that driftwood survives
without fear, without awe, without wondering why
for death’s embrace is their most willing surrender
flowing in a sea of living love they can’t remember.

Love Be The Dragon

1. Shame and guilt are sibling twins, both born in love and raised by fear – and they spend their adult lives burying their parents in their own blindness.

2. When people feel stuck in life it is usually due to shame or guilt. The obsession with a past action or thought that seems now to be unjust, inappropriate or wrong conceals the motivation of that action. That the regretful past action occurred out of fear escapes them. And what escapes them even more is that there is love hidden behind the protective body of their fear. All of this stuff gets completely buried not only one’s own lifetime, but in generations of lifetimes. The individual sadly only sees and feels the surface shame and guilt and doesn’t even become aware of the fear and love buried beneath, unless of course the individual has a spiritual awakening – a miraculous – and very painful disorienting process.

3. Shame, guilt, regret: all hide and thus prevent open inquiry, self-discovery, the realization that you have acted out fear because you love. Society loves to promote this low vibrational emotions because it keeps the individual in a slave-like posture within its own systems. It is the feeling of powerless you recognize in yourself.

4. Fear is not the opposite of love. Fear is an expression of love that believes itself to be weak and impotent. An animal acts out in fear when it feels threatened. What in you feels threatened when you act in fear? Ask yourself: What are you trying to protect? What do you love? Chances are you have forgotten.

5. When we are born, we have forgotten our soul. We begin again on the material plane, but we carry with us burdens beyond measure which will surface in good measure as fear, shame, and guilt. None of this is conscious, for we have forgotten our soul and the soul forgotten is the mind who believes the way is clear.

6. The soul (Greek, psyche) is not breath or some living anima. Your soul is a living universal consciousness that most of us don’t even recall, let alone have explored.

7. Plato describes our state of awareness in his famous cave metaphor. Yet, as famous as it is, no one understands it because they spend more time thinking it is a clever philosophical presentation. It is impossible to feel the sunlight if you stay in the house. It is impossible to feel poetry in your soul if you don’t open your heart.

8. Knowledge will not give you self awareness. You could read every book ever written. You could spend hours studying ancient texts and religious scriptures, but you will get nowhere if you cannot sit with yourself and witness who you are, not with your eyes, your ears, your taste, your touch, but with your heart.

9. The heart is the seat of wisdom and the seat of truth. The mind is only a filter for heart energy, a translation, an intellectual analysis of its song.

10. The mind wishes to judge songs, not to enjoy them. It will only allow the songs it judges positively. The mind never wants to learn, for by itself it contains no desire, no wonder, no longing.

11. You can tell when someone’s heart is blocked or closed either because you can see auras or because they show no curiosity, no passion for anything around them or within them. The ones who run from distraction to distraction – they are building a wall around their heart.

12. Modern society celebrates the closure of the heart. It is how you “get things done”.

13. Slowing down the pace of life is essential if you wish to deeply master something, whether that be an art, hobby, or career. But most people have no time for that. And the suffering continues.

14. Modern society has no time or patience for love. Love will turn your world upside down and inside out – it will systematically or maybe even chaotically remove every lie or concealment in your life. All will fall and you will not be able to resist the power of that storm.

15. No man and no woman is ever ready for love. Love will take you and lead you back to yourself and while at first it will seem like it is destroying you, you will soon realize that you were the one destroying you before love pierced your heart. Love is just hear to remove the destruction and start you out once again, free as a bird, light as a feather, swift as the wind.

16. There is no opposite of love. We like to think that there is an opposite, because it satisfies our need for duality, division, and even hate. We imagine we know what love is when are not yet pierced by the arrows of love, which is an awakening of the soul. And many become bitter about their idea of love, because it has never has served them well. And it will never serve them because what they think as being love isn’t it all.

17. There is light even in the darkest of places. And the tiniest speck of light is no less significant from the speck that is our sun in the infinite universe. Only love can help you see this, the beauty and majesty of all beings. Namaste.

18. For as long as mankind has ruled upon this earth, we have generally agreed with the idea that punishment is an appropriate form of justice. It doesn’t matter the crime or the offense, we think we need to return it in kind or in greater than kind. But even though there are those who see that there is gold in the darkest parts of earth, humanity has not yet found a way to allow that gold to be brought to the surface. It remains trapped there as they walk and spit upon what conceals it.

19. Science, knowledge, education will offer no real change within the human heart who is lost in darkness. What such a one requires is an inspiration of the light that is living within them. Nothing else: not money, not food, not shelter, not celebrity visitations will help them to transform their lives.

20. If you want to give to people, give first to yourself. You cannot be light for others if you don’t know how to be that for yourself. If love is not overflowing as an ocean through you and into what is outside you, you do not yet see infinite abundance, and therefore you do not yet stand in love.

21. There are too many people trying to do good things in order to feel good about themselves. This is not love. It is called co-dependence and ego trips. It further enslaves and debilitates everyone involved.

22. There is not a single book that will enlighten you to yourself. Every book is the author’s epitaph or autobiography, not yours.

23. Getting to know yourself does not mean figuring out what career you want to pursue or what kind of hobbies you are good at. Those are just results of getting to know yourself. Who you are doesn’t depend on what you do. What you do depends on who you are. So what are you doing and what does it say about who you are?

24. There are many people who think “going with the flow” means being mindless, buffeted from one wave to the next. In other words, they forsake their own will and consciousness. Such an attitude often poses as being enlightened, but it is actually the extreme opposite of enlightened – it is a surrendering to death; for a surrendering of one’s will and life force energy is a conscious act of spiritual suicide.


25. To love oneself includes loving one’s will. Because love of self is a union (yoga) of the divine Self which is God and God’s will. The true “going with the flow” is going with the divine will and aligning with it.

26. In the Yoga Sutras there is an entire chapter devoted to the special powers that emerge out of practicing this union with the divine. We moderns find the chapter to be very strange and hard to believe, much like we find Jesus walking on water hard to believe. Most of us pass it off as some kind of metaphor and imaginary rhetoric designed to influence the masses. I will only say that our disbelief betrays the massive ignorance we commit against ourselves on a daily basis.

27. Modern popular science is identical to blind religious faith and just as ignorant.

28. Even those who consider themselves to artistic are more scientifically minded than creative. They are also quite immersed in public relation strategies.

29. What is more important to you: What you are expressing or the way you are expressing it?

30. I distrust people who are obsessed with form and presentation more than they are with what they are forming and presenting.

31. There are poets and readers of poetry who enjoy words more than who is speaking the words. They don’t even know that such a being exist and even if they do have an inclination, it is not without a good deal of loathing.

32. The ancient authors always began their writings with invocations to a muse or deity. This was not just formulaic. How you can you write or express from within your true self without invoking the gods or spirits who empower you to do so? You say you don’t have such empowerment. I say you just don’t notice.

33. When you complete a work of art, make sure you thank that powers that have illuminated your expression inside of you. Gratitude is not just for posturing, but for reminding yourself of who you truly are.

34. From love is born all flowers, all trees, all animals, all humans, all universes. From love, is born all things mighty and strong and wild. There is a misconception that love is weakness and to feel love is weakness. This is what men have been taught for many generations and that is why they suffer and act out of fear when faced with feelings of true love.

35. False love and co-dependence fit into our ordinary lives inside society, making us feel comfortable and secure. But those loves are weak and filled with fear, fear of loss, fear of abandonment, and fear of betrayal.

36. True love is so strong that neither distance nor disagreement destroys it. True love is the ultimate super power and gives birth to all the others. It is a dragon who burns all shame and guilt and regret to ash and forgetfulness.

I love you as sure as the rivers swirl into the sea
and I don’t have to wonder if you’ll ever see me,
for we meet upon the ethereal plains ever wandering
from human lovers into majestic dragon transforming
how many times we’ve kissed beneath double moonlight
even when hissing Saturn sun glares us his sight
you hold me inside the darker reaches of that night

Eternal Return


The greatest weight.— What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: “This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence – even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!”
Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus?… Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?


Nietzsche’s The Gay Science, s.341, Walter Kaufmann transl.

old leaves fall so easily from the ancient wisdom trees
the wizened skin by the snake is so effortless to leave
but for the snake the new will be no different as before
even trees will offer similar life at springtime’s door

year after year we abandon to which we soon return
winter’s cold tears ever arouse in our summer’s burn
yet joy enrages the one smoldering in sorrow’s wrongs
for when he feels the sun he clings to shadows gone

Addicere, Addici, Addictum

“But I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.”


J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

1. Addiction sells.

2. The English word for addiction derives from the Latin addicere, meaning to pass legal sentence, doom, assign over to, enslave (to creditor). Today we attach the notion of addiction to substance and sexual abuse. But, while those aforementioned types of addictions carry their own dangers, there are other kinds of addictions that are far more profound and difficult to overcome, simply because they are considered good form in our societies.

3. The very essence and survival of society demands that we become addicted to a good deal of its thoughts and activities. When we become addicted to society, we become its best soldiers and defenders. Letting go becomes nearly impossible for most people even if such letting go is necessary for the survival of the community. This is why the courage required to “go against the grain” is both enormous and dangerous.

4. When we become addicted, we become attached to the repetition of an experience or feeling that is produced by a certain activity or interaction. This fact proves to be financially beneficial to certain entities that seek a reliable source of income. The repetitive nature of music, film, and art in general is a repetition of particular forms of sentiment in which the public is addicted to indulging itself. The money stream becomes reliable because the public is entirely predictable and mindlessly accepting in relation to its inclinations. The more powerfully addicted the individuals become, the more mindless and dangerous the society becomes to itself.

5. Society appears to be a constant in our life because it repeats and imitates both ideas and sentiments throughout all hierarchies of itself. However, as time goes by and generations pass, most particular ideas and sentiment lose their original power, becoming “old fashioned” and “outdated”. This letting gold of old mores marks the death of an era, and those ideas and sentiments are buried once and for all in social studies and history books. Current generations cannot imagine what they were thinking. Well, the answer is that they weren’t thinking – and neither is the current generation.

6. The most prevalent of addictions is the addiction to certain emotions and feelings. Emotions make us feel more alive than our thoughts about ourselves, and so we easily fall into the trap of believing that our emotions constitute who we are and that they have more power and validity in relation to the formation of our identity. Little do we realize that we have simply fallen prey to some sentiment or other, usually not even originating from within our own heart. This is often called the “self” and we strengthen it through talk of self-empowerment. Many women fall prey to this kind of self-empowerment, in order to be free from the pain they believe men have caused them.

7. There are huge numbers of people who cull their ideas of love from television and movies and books written by those who get their ideas of love from television and movies. Even worse, many of the ideas and sentiments we embrace were approved by ourselves when we were ten years old.

8. At the heart of every addiction is the experience of our own powerlessness. External-seeking, external-validating, listening to the opinions of society and other people: the more we indulge in such things, the less we practice faith in the power of our own soul. And faith – make no mistake – is a muscle that, if gone unused, weakens into a useless organ. But it is exactly faith- faith in our intuition, in our own guidance, which will lead us to ever more certainty and strength from within instead of assigning power to others.

9. When fortune disappoints our expectation, we might want to have learned how to laugh at our addiction to our own expectations.

10. Laughter is a sublime divine gift. But comedy has been relegated to the basement or the toilet. The power of comedy, to cure and heal the sickness that is our own self-importance, has long since been forgotten.

11. Lying, cheating, stealing is what we justify doing in order to make it in the world. We justify bad behavior because we believe that “faking it” in the beginning will somehow allow us to achieve truth later. It is a ridiculous assumption, this “fake it till you make it” , for you are teaching yourself and others how to walk outside of integrity, outside of your own gifts, and to lie to those wish to believe in you. You think you need to fake something because you don’t have “it” but need money and/or fame. That alone is enough to tell you that you are more blind than those you have managed to fool.

12. Music that doesn’t lie, music that is sourced from the heart, is a bridge that allows the listener to pass from earth to the heavens. They will never know where they are going and they will be transported outside of their expectations and all their memory into a place of magic, wonder, and uncanny power and beauty.

13. We believe that when we are home alone at night, that we are free from the stresses of the world. Nothing could be further of the truth. Most of us take the entire world into bed, into our dreams, into our anxieties of the days to come. We are so crowded, we cannot even hear our own song.

14. The history of Western religion is a history of lies, concealment, and disempowerment.

15. Repentance is a poor English translation of the Greek, metanoia which simply means “a transformation of the mind”. There is no guilt, shame, or punishment associated with it.

16. Religion in Western history became an instrument of power instituted by the Holy Roman Empire that continues unto this day. Spiritualism of all kinds are forbidden not because they are evil, but because they are threat to religion.

17. It is a hard pill to swallow that many of the “well intentioned institutions” of the public are at best ill advised or at worst charities for the rich and powerful. The medical industry for example is an institution of corruption, shame, and holistic ignorance particularly in the United States. Charity groups that manage to convince the public that their money will stop abuse and homelessness are equally misguided. Money does nothing to solve these problems. But we are addicted to our failed solutions, as much as we are addicted to our problems.

18. There is no argument or amount of money that will save ourselves. The only thing that can save ourselves is the light that we are within. The brighter we shine, the more the darkness recedes. It is no match for the power of the human soul, for the human soul is a gateway to the truest stars, unconditional love, the ethereal heavens, the planes that only a few experience and the many have only imagined and many more have forsaken.

“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”


J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring