Vegetarianism, Veganism, and Sant Mat, by James Bean, Plus a Compilation of Veg Quotes of the East & West
It’s hard to reach more subtle states of tranquility in meditation on an animal flesh diet based on the suffering of other beings.
“I must point out that animal food, even if a single particle is eaten, is detrimental to spiritual progress.” (Huzur Baba Sawan Singh)
The Way of the Saints and Mystics, Getting Back to Eden: “And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.’” (Hebrew Bible, Genesis 1:29, New International Version)
Master Kirpal Singh speaking about Rumi and the other most advanced Murshids (spiritual masters) of Sufi mysticism once said: “Those who take up the practices concerning the lower centers in the body, do take meat – the Mohammedans and people of other religions also. But those who are anxious to rise above body consciousness and go into the Beyond have of necessity to eschew all that. This is the Path I have put before you. Liberation or salvation is something which starts only when you rise above body consciousness. For that reason, vegetarianism is the first essential.” (The Night is a Jungle, published by Ruhani Satsang)
The harshest words that Guru Kabir ever spoke were directed against the slaughter or consumption of innocent animals: “The man who eats meat is a demon in human form. Keep away from him – his company will ruin your meditation.”
Ahimsa (Non-Violence) and Diet
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” (Albert Einstein)
The following, on the reason why we in Santmat advocate following the vegetarian diet, is by Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj from the book, The Harmony of All Religions (Sarvadharma Samanvy), published by Maharshi Mehi Ashram:
“The saints have addressed the sin of violence with particular attention to the foods which are eaten. Foods which are produced by killing living beings, as well as foods which are not pure and fresh, are considered tamasic. Consumption of these is prohibited by the teachings of the saints. This includes animal products such as meat, fish, and eggs. These foods inhibit the clarity of the mind and the health of the body. There is an old saying: 'Whatever kind of food we take in, its properties will also fill our mind.’ A parallel saying is, 'Whatever we eat, just so will our breath smell [indicates the visible effect of food].’
Further, Kabir Sahab says: 'The kind of food and drink which we consume directly influences how our mind will become. Even the quality of water which we drink will influence our speech.’ These words of Kabir Sahib are not merely rhetorical conjecture, but represent direct experience…
"A great yogi named Bhupendranath Ji Sanyal has said: 'It is preferable to always avoid the consumption of flesh and fish. This is because in the very cells of these animals there might be bad diseases. But even more significantly, the natural vibration of these creatures is absorbed into the blood. This can create agitation and even sickness, and will destroy the natural calmness of the mind. Also, one must not take intoxicants, as this is a great breach of the spiritual path and natural duty (dharma). [Under the influence of intoxicants people are unable to discern the right path of action].’
"Therefore, we must be disciplined in what we eat and drink, and by being disciplined, our wealth and spiritual path are protected. This world becomes agreeable, and so does the next world, since we won’t be incurring the karmas from killing other living beings.” (Beloved Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj, Sant Mat, the Path of the Masters)
All past and present Masters of Sant Mat, the most advanced Saints of Inner Light and Sound, advocate following the vegetarian diet. In fact, being vegetarian is a requirement in order to be initiated into the meditation practice of Sant Mat, Surat Shabd Yoga, Meditation upon the inner Light and Sound of God.
Sant Mat is a vegetarian Path for mystical, spiritual, ethical and theological reasons. The Masters teach that foods are of three kinds: Satvik, Rajsik, and Tamsik. This last category of foods, which includes all flesh foods, is to be completely avoided. Satvik (pure foods), the first category, includes: grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts. Satvik foods are considered by Mystics to promote relaxation, meditation, and spiritual experience.
The bad karma and other negative effects of flesh-eating darkens one’s vision of inner Light, interfering with concentration and meditation. It’s interesting to notice that the Satvik diet of Sant Mat, of Hinduism and the Yoga Philosophy of India is also: the life-extension diet, the anti-cancer diet, the diet for antioxidants and most of the other plant-based nutrients, AND the diet of the Light & Sound mystics, East and West.
A Young Kirpal Singh Meditating at an Early Age
“Kirpal began meditating at the age of four. When other boys and girls of his age were busy playing, he would be busy meditating. He never wasted his time with sports. He would sit quiet with eyes closed. He would see spiritual sights within and would traverse on spiritual planes. He would remain lost in ecstasy. But whenever this absorption in meditation would break after intervals of 2 to 3 months, he would feel very restless. His spiritual ﬂights would, however, start again shortly afterwards.
Abstinence from Meat
"His family was non-vegetarian But he was averse to taking meat even as a child. While his brothers and sisters would ask for more, he would have none at all. He was content with bread and vegetables. His father asked, 'Pal, why don’t you take meat? It will do you good.’ He sweetly replied, 'It is very well, father, but is not meat dead ﬂesh, and would you have me make a burial ground of my body?’ The father could only smile and the child had his own way.” (The Beloved Master – Some Glimpses from the Life of Sant Kirpal Singh, by Bhadra Sena)
The notion that vegetarianism is “cultural” and confined mostly to India is the inaccurate assumption of some new age or esoteric teachers in the West. It is true that many conventional world religions condone flesh-eating, but if you do some comparative mysticism you’ll soon discover that the serious esoteric traditions which have practiced Light mysticism, Sound mysticism, and Ascension mysticism through higher planes of heavens are all in agreement about the need for contemplative mystics to abstain from the flesh. The list of Western vegetarian paths includes: Pythagoreans, followers of the Hermetic philosophy of Egypt, the Sethian Gnostics, Theraputae, Essenes (and other Light-mystics within Judaism), the original Jewish Christians called Ebionites (see The Gospel of Jesus – In Search of His Original Teachings, by John Davidson), the Gnostic religions, Manichaeans, some Catholic monasteries, monasteries of the Orthodox Church – including the great mystery school atop Mount Athos in Greece, and the Sufi mystics of Islam who practice Zikhr of the Spirit, Light, and Sound. Most every path that advocates a present-tense spirituality about reentering Paradise or going Back to Eden during this life teaches vegetarianism.
A Western Master of Sound & Light by the name of Pythagoras once said, “Our Earth has abundance of such pure and harmless foods and there is no need for us to partake of meals for which blood has to be shed and innocent life sacrificed.”
Pythagoras also said: “As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”
Just like the Pythagoreas gathered together at sunrise, so did members of a Jewish sect of antiquity known as the Therapeutae, and like the Essene branch of Judaism, they were vegetarians. Josephus and Philo wrote about the Essenes and Therapeutae. Philo of Alexandria describes meals at a Therapeutae monastic community in Alexandria: “…And the table, too, is kept clear of animal flesh, nothing which has blood, but there is placed upon it bread for food and salt for seasoning, to which also hyssop is sometimes added…”
John the Baptist Ate Locust (Carob) BEANS, NOT BUGS
“John the Baptist belonged to a group of ascetics who believed in repentance and in leading an austere lifestyle. The carob bean was seen as the diet of the lower class who normally endured hardship and exploitation from the priestly class. So we can conclude that JTB ate (locust plant) seed from the carob tree.” (Wiki Answers Website) Also according to the Gospel of the Ebionites, John the Baptist ate carob beans, bread or cakes made from carob bean (locust bean) flour.
In recent years some of us have noticed the vegetarianism and even veganism present in the original teachings of Jesus and Original Jesus Movement or Hebrew Christians (Ebionites, Nasoreans) found in the Gospel of the Hebrews, Aramaic texts, and other scriptures once used during the early centuries.
Vegetarian Sayings of the Historic Jesus and His Spiritual Successors (Apostles) in the Original Jesus Movement (Ebionites of Israel)
“Be on guard, so that your hearts do not become heavy with the eating of flesh and with the intoxication of wine and with the anxiety of the world, and that day come upon you suddenly; for as a snare it will come upon all who dwell upon the surface of the earth.” (Jesus, Luke 21:34, Evangelion Da-Mepharreshe — Old Syriac-Aramaic Manuscript of the Gospel of Luke)
Like the Essenes, Jesus, his family, and the original followers were also vegetarians and opposed to all sacrifice of animals in the Jewish temple.
“I am come to do away with sacrifices, and if you cease not sacrificing, the wrath of God will not cease from you.” (saying of Jesus in the Gospel of the Hebrews)
Stopping Animal Sacrifice in the Temple of Jerusalem
During the First Century AD, the Essenes were one of the three main branches of Judaism. They were opposed to animal sacrifices being made in the Jewish temple and they were also known to be vegetarians. The Essenes were the group that Jesus and the first Christians, the Ebionites, were closest to, sharing with them many of the same values and sacred texts. Unlike the Sadducees and Pharisees, the Essenes are never criticized in the New Testament.
“When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords and drove all from the Temple, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said: 'Get out of here.’ (John 2:13-16)
According to the Gospel of the Ebionites, Jesus also rejected the Passover meal:
"Where wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the Passover?”
To which he replied:
“I have no desire to eat the flesh of this Paschal Lamb with you.”
The first followers of Jesus, also known as Ebionites or Nasoreans, were not only kosher, but also strictly adhered to a vegetarian diet. The largest surviving collection of Ebionite scriptures is the Clementine Homilies and the Recognitions of Clement, which are vegetarian gospels that condemn animal sacrifice in any form. For example, the Book of Homilies states that God does not want animals killed at all (3.45), and condemns those who eat meat (7.4, 7.8). And the passages below also show that the diet of the Original Jesus Movement was vegan – plant-based (no eggs, no dairy, and no animal products), as plants are the only foods mentioned in all the texts!
Peter said, “I live on olives and bread, to which I rarely only add vegetables.” (Clementine Homilies 12,6; also see, Recognitions 7,6)
“And happiness is found in the practice of virtue. Accordingly, the Apostle Matthew partook of seeds, and nuts, hard-shelled fruits, and vegetables, without flesh.” (Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, Book 2, Chapter 1)
“John never ate meat.” (Church historian Hegesipp according to Eusebius, History of the Church II 2:3)
“James, the brother of the Lord, lived on seeds and plants and touched neither meat nor wine.” (Epistulae ad Faustum XXII, 3)
“James, the brother of the Lord was holy from his mothers womb; and he drank no wine nor strong drink, nor did he eat flesh.” (Hegesippus, quoted in The Church History of Eusebius, book 2, chapter 23)
“James was a vegetarian.” (Biblical scholar Dr. Robert Eisenman, author of, “James, the Brother of Jesus”)
The following passage is from the Recognitions of Clement, another “Book of Acts”, an important scripture of early Christianity. This Ebionite Christian author has very nice things to say about those in India who worship One God, follow peaceful customs and laws, and are vegetarian or vegan, seeing parallels between his own religion and that of his brothers and sisters “in the Indian countries” of two thousand years ago:
“There are likewise amongst the Bactrians, in the Indian countries, immense multitudes of Brahmans, who also themselves, from the tradition of their ancestors, and peaceful customs and laws, neither commit murder nor adultery, nor worship idols, nor have the practice of eating animal food, are never drunk, never do anything maliciously, but always revere God.”
(Recognitions of Clement, Book 9, Chapter 22, Brahmans, Volume Eight, in a New Testament Apocrypha Section of, “The Ante-Nicene Fathers”)
“The consumption of animal flesh was unknown up until the great flood. But since the great flood, we have had animal flesh stuffed into our mouths. Jesus, the Christ, who appeared when the time was fulfilled, again joined the end to the beginning, so that we are now no longer allowed to eat animal flesh.” (pro-vegetarian early church father Hieronymus)
Gnostic Vegetarianism and the Vegetarian Prayer of Thanksgiving in the Nag Hammadi Library (Gnostic Gospels)
The ethics of Jewish and Christian Gnostic sects of antiquity included vegetarianism. The Prayer of Thanksgiving, one of the Nag Hammadi scriptures unearthed in Egypt, describes a vegetarian communal meal as being part of Gnostic worship. The Manichaean Gnostics were known to be vegetarians. The Prophet Mani’s parents were followers of the Elkasites, which was a Jewish-Christian sect related to the Ebionites and Essenes. They were veg. Mani was the founder of Manichaean Gnosis and was vegetarian, and his inner circle of followers or initiates were as well. A group in China known as the Church of the Light , related to the Manichaeans and Syriac-Aramaic branch of Eastern Christianity, were vegetarians. Their beautiful scriptures are known as the Jesus Sutras.
The Gnostic and Hermetic Prayer of Thanksgiving in the Nag Hammadi Library, also a text found in the Corpus Hermetica of Egypt, describes a vegetarian communal meal or Gnostic love feast. At the end of the prayer the final verse reads:
“When they had said these things in the prayer, they embraced each other and they went to eat their holy food, which has no blood in it.”*
* “Vegetarian food” — footnote from the Marvin Meyer’s translation of this in, “The Gnostic Scriptures”.
* A vegetarian meal. This passage is also found in the Epilogue of Asclepius, in “HERMETICA,” translated by Sir Walter Scott: “Having prayed thus, let us betake ourselves to a meal unpolluted by flesh [animalia] of living things.”
* The G.R.S. Mead translation of the same passage: “With this desire we now betake us to our pure and fleshless meal.”
* “With such hopes we turn to a pure meal that includes no living thing.” (Asclepius, translated in “Hermetica”, Brian Copenhaver, Cambridge University Press)
The Vegan Evolution of Humanity: Vegetarianism is Going Vegan
Traditionally, Santmat and the yoga philosophy have advocated the lacto-vegetarian diet: abstinence from meat, fish, fowl, and eggs, but allowed dairy. Vegan means complete abstinence from all animal products and strictly adhering to a plant-based diet: no dairy, eggs, or meat of any kind, or products made from animals. Based on the current cruel practices of the dairy industry in India and around the world that violate the principle of ahimsa or non-violence, plus all the scores of medical studies showing that dairy consumption adversely affects our health and well-being, I believe if they were here today, the classic Saints such as Mahavira, Guru Kabir, Guru Nanak, Tukarama, Ravidas, Tulsi Das, Namdev, Dariya Sahib, etc… would not only be advocating a vegetarian diet, but a vegan diet. These days, many are making this transition to vegan, including a growing percentage of those following Sant Mat. This is the compassionate direction that the vegetarian movement is headed in. Vegetarianism is going vegan.
For the medical, human health aspects of veganism, see the research of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of, “The China Study”, and Dr. Michael Greger, author of, “How Not To Die”, and creator of the NutritionFacts dot ORG website, a great online resource.
The Reality of Dairy Cruelty – the Final Destination of Dairy Cows is the Slaughterhouse
The following is excerpted from a document called, “My Visit to a Dairy Farm”, published by Pravin K. Shah of the Jaina Education Committee of Jainism (the vegan Jain movement), Jain e-Library, and the Jain Study Center:
“I visited a dairy farm located on Route 2 north of Burlington, Vermont (USA) in May of 1995. The dairy owns approximately 150 cows. All of its milk production is used to make ice cream.
"Here is the summary of what I saw and learnt:
"It was milking time (5:00 PM) and the cows were being milked in 3.5 minutes each by a machine. This is done without regard to how hard it is on the cow. It was extremely difficult to watch the cows’ sufferings during the milking. The machine has no feeling. To extract the last drop of milk sometimes traces of blood get mixed with the milk.
"Since cows produce the most milk after pregnancy, they are kept pregnant for their entire fertile life through artificial insemination.
"Every morning hormones or drugs are injected into the cows. They are also fed a diet geared toward high production of milk. The dairy cow produces about 8 times the amount of milk a cow on the traditional family farm produces.
"The gestation period of cow is 9 months same as human does. If a male calf, of no use to the dairy industry, is born, he is shipped to the veal industry within two or three days of birth. The evening I was there, the farm was shipping three baby calves in a truck to a veal factory. The mother cows were crying when their babies were separated from them. I cannot forget the scene and can still hear the cries of the mother cows.
"The veal industry is the most cruel meat industry in the world. It produces very tender meat that is considered a delicacy. The baby calves are raised in darkness in a very confining crate, which allows practically no movements. They are fed an iron-deficient diet. This way the meat gets very tender and properly textured. They slaughter the baby calves after six months. There is much literature available about cruelty in the veal industry.
"Within two months of delivery, the cows are impregnated again. I did not have the stamina to watch the process of artificial insemination that the farm was showing off.
"About four to five times a year, this farm would take the cows outside for a walk. Otherwise, the cows are tied in one place and they have no choice but to defecate where they are confined. It badly stunk when I was there; the farm would wash the confinement areas once or twice a day, and the remaining times the cows would live in their own waste.
"The life expectancy of cows is about 15 to 20 years. However, after about 4 to 5 years, their milk production capacity drops significantly so these cows are sent to the slaughterhouse for cheap meat which is used in fast food restaurants, hot dog filler, dog & cat food and a variety of other 'foodstuffs’. The rest of the body material (by products) turns up in the products like floor wax, pet-food, medicines, insulin, gelatin, footwear, upholstery, taco filling, cosmetics, candles, and soaps.”
“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” (Jiddu Krishnamurti)
Compassionate Vegan and Vegetarian Quotes From Supreme Master Ching Hai, and Buddhism
“A true vegetarian diet is vegan: Most of the milk production causes suffering, first of all because the babies of the mother cows are taken away at birth. Deprived from mother’s milk and mother’s love, they’ll be killed as soon as they’re taken away. Then, the mother is forcefully hooked up to a machine that can cause tormenting pain along with illness, just so that humans can take her milk.”
“This killing of other beings must be stopped for humanity to evolve as a civilization.”
“Making a vegan choice is thus a true advancement in the evolution and goodness of our humanity. And then we also know that like attracts like, goodness attracts more goodness. As we share this compassionate truth with others, not only will our own humanity be further uplifted, so will the world’s.”
“It’s the high time that the human race should rise to a higher level of consciousness. They should be noble, kind and compassionate. Go veg, be green, do good, is not just for the planet, it’s for the whole human race ennobling, spiritual merit and quality. They should do it, just for the sake of being noble.”
“We have to turn back to our caring and compassionate nature inside our heart. That’s very simple. We are that. We are compassion. We are merciful; we are caring.”
“If we truly wish to see real harmony born between humans and animals and nature and Heaven, we must be the harmony, we must live in harmony and act also in harmony, which includes the act of eating harmoniously each time we come to the table.”
“Even if the world reduces greenhouse gas emissions, the planet will take time to recover from the gases already in the atmosphere. This is why it is necessary to focus on short-lived gases, namely methane. Organic vegan will produce a beneficial, cooling effect as it will cut down methane and other greenhouse gases which are fatal to our survival.”
Change the World by Changing Ourselves: “It begins with us. Since time immemorial, evolution always begins with the individual. If we want to change the world, we change ourselves first. Now, even if the government forbids smoking or drinking or drugs, but if people individually continue, then we have not made much difference. So now, we have to change.“
“The more people who eliminate meat and, indeed, all animal products from their lives, the more we have a chance to save the planet and not only that, to actually restore our earthly home to her original grace and beauty and even more so, more than what we have known, more beautiful, more abundant, more peace, more gladness than what we have known up to now.”
– Quotes above are from Supreme Master Ching Hai, SMCH Association, from the online book: “From Crisis To Peace: The Organic Vegan Way is the Answer”
“The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion.” (The Buddha, “Mahaparinirvana Sutra”)
“Veganism is simply letting compassion guide our choice of food. As such, it is a basic Buddhist practice that ought to be expected of everyone who takes refuge vows.” (Norm Phelps, “The Great Compassion: Buddhism & Animal Rights”)
“The Buddha’s teaching leads us to the realization that we must always strive to harm no sentient being, human or nonhuman, whether or not it is in our selfish interest to do so.” (Norm Phelps, “The Great Compassion: Buddhism & Animal Rights”)
“Meat eating and a compassionate religion do not go hand in hand.” (Bodo Balsys, “Ahimsa: Buddhism and the Vegetarian Ideal”)
Vegetarian Diet, Guru Nanak, Guru Kabir, Other Sikh Gurus and Scriptures
Nanak abstained from animal food and enjoined against cruelty to animals: “Having prohibited his disciples to drink wine and eat pork, he (Nanak) himself abstained from eating flesh and ordered not to hurt any living being.” (the Persian historian Mohsin Fani, DABISTAN-E-MAZAHIB)
“To take what rightfully belongs to another, is like a Muslim eating pork, or a Hindu eating beef. Our Guru, our Spiritual Guide, stands by us if we do not eat those carcasses. By mere talk, people do not earn Liberation. Salvation only comes from the practice of truth. By adding spices to forbidden foods, they are not made acceptable. O Nanak, from false talk, only falsehood is obtained”. (Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 141)
“Countless are the cutthroats who trade in violence. Countless are sinners who keep on sinning. Countless are liars, wandering lost in their lies. Countless are the impious who live on unwholesome food.” (Guru Nanak, Jap Ji, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 4)
“Living by neglect and greed, the world eats dead carcasses. Like a goblin or a beast, they kill and eat the forbidden carcasses of meat. Control your urges, or else you will be thrown into the tortures of hell.” (Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 723).
“Kabeer says, the dinner of beans and rice is excellent when flavored with salt. Who would cut throats to have meat with his bread?” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1374)
“Kabeer: for those who consume marijuana, fish and wine, no matter what pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow, they will all be consigned to hell”. (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1377)
“You keep your fasts to please Allah, while you murder other beings for pleasure. You look after your own interests, and so not see the interests of others. What good is your word? O Qazi, the One Lord is within you, but you do not think or contemplation on Him. You do not care for others, you are mad about religion, this is why your life is wasting away.” (Kabir, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 483)
“You kill living beings, and call it a righteous action. Tell me, brother, what would you call an unrighteous action? You call yourself the excellent sage; then whom would you call a butcher?” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1103).
Bhai Gurdaas Ji said: “They eat meat by cutting throats, what will their own condition be?” (Vaar 24, Pauree 17)
“One who does not steal, commit adultery, slander anyone, gamble, eat meat or drink wine will be liberated in this very life (i.e. Jeewan Mukt)”. (Guru Gobind Singh, 10th Sikh Guru, “Sudharam Marag Granth”)
“I see no reason that a man should have any issue with worshiping a goddess any more than a woman would in worshiping a male deity. It is undeniable that women, particularly in the Abrahamic faiths, have been doing just that for thousands of years, though they do like to sneak in the divine feminine under the cloak of the Virgin Mary.” • Thomm Quackenbush
Many of you will undoubtedly have heard of the mysterious Apollonius of Tyana, who was active in the world at the beginning of our era. In encyclopedias he is described as a philosopher of the neo-Pythagorean school who the enemies of Christianity not only compared with Jesus, but even placed above him, his birth having likewise been announced by the Holy Spirit.
He traveled and taught in the countries surrounding the ocean of the ancients, the Mediterranean of our times. People came to listen to him from all sides, and by contemporary standards the number of his followers was immense. He performed numerous miracles and effected many cures; his influence was such that wherever he went, warring nations ceased their struggles. He suffered relentless persecution, imprisonment, and torture at the hands of allegedly spiritual authorities, and when, in the end, ravenous dogs were set on him to render him asunder, he vanished mysteriously.
Upon his departure from the stage of this world, an account of his life was written, ultimately becoming a gospel of eight massive volumes, a gospel so great and mighty that the so-called young Christian Church and its founders feared it acutely. They were quite beyond holding their own with such a competitor, on any footing of equality and love, and they accordingly resorted to the classical remedy of the Church—murder, persecution, and destruction.
The ‘Bridal Chamber’ sacrament need not have to be becoming a bride to the Lord. One can become a bride of the Lady as one can be a bridegroom to the Lord. In any case, two are joined and the Child of Light is born from love.
I honestly think I could take or leave calling myself a Gnostic, and even ‘Christian’ seems a misnomer the way most people think of one. I love Yeshua but I look to other ‘Christ’ figures or Light-Bearers from other religions for guidance just as much, if not more.
But I am 100% a Sophian. Her Wisdom is what inspired all of them, regardless of religion or philosophy. She’s been my rock for over a decade now and I am completely Hers.
Out of the lead gray mist surrounding us, a voice sounds, a voice out of our primeval past:
“All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises. The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns. All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again. All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, ‘See, this is new’? It has been already in the ages before us. I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted.”
I watch a lot of documentaries. I think they are incredible tools for learning and increasing our awareness of important issues. The power of an interesting documentary is that it can open our minds to new possibilities and deepen our understanding of the world.
On this list of mind expanding documentaries you will find different viewpoints, controversial opinions and even contradictory ideas. Critical thinking is recommended. I’m not a big fan of conspiracy documentaries but I do like films that challenge consensus reality and provoke us to question the everyday ideas, opinions and practices we usually take for granted.
Watching documentaries is one of my favorite methods of self-education. If I find a documentary inspiring, I usually spend more time researching the different ideas and interesting people interviewed in the film. I hope you find these documentaries as enlightening as I did!
 Life In The Biosphere
Explore the wonder and interconnectedness of the biosphere through the magic of technology.
Home How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth The Magical Forest Ants: Nature’s Secret Power Mt. Everest: How It Was Made Mariana’s Trench: The Deepest Spot On Earth Natural World: The Andes Shining Mountains: The Rockies Grand Canyon: How It Was Made The Intelligence of Plants
 Creativity and Design:Advertisements
Learn about all the amazing things that people create with their imaginations.
Everything Is A Remix The Creative Brain: How Insight Works Design: The New Business PressPausePlay: Art and Creativity in the Digital Age Infamy: A Graffiti Documentary Influencers: How Trends and Creativity Become Contagious RIP: A Remix Manifesto Design: e² – Sustainable Architecture The Genius Of Design
 The Education Industrial Complex:
The modern school where young minds are moulded into standardized citizens by the state.
The College Conspiracy Declining by Degrees: Higher Education at Risk The Forbidden Education Default: The Student Loan Documentary College Inc. Education For A Sustainable Future Networked Society: The Future of Learning The Ultimate History Lesson With John Taylor Gatto The Education System in Communist China The War On Kids
 The Digital Revolution:
The Internet is now the driving force behind change and innovation in the world.
The Age of Big Data Resonance: Beings of Frequency Life In A Day Networked Society: On The Brink Us Now: Social Media and Mass Collaboration WikiRebels: The WikiLeaks Story The Virtual Revolution: The Cost of Free How Hackers Changed the World
 A New Civilization:
We are at the dawn of a new golden age of human inventiveness.
THRIVE: What On Earth Will It Take? Zeitgeist III: Moving Forward Paradise or Oblivion 2012: Time For Change The Crisis of Civilization The Collective Evolution II The Quickening: Awakening As One 2012 Crossing Over: A New Beginning Collapse The Awakening
Explore the politics of power and control and how it affects your life.
Owned and Operated UnGrip The Power Principle The True Story of Che Guevara Earth Days Capitalism Is The Crisis WikiLeaks: The Secret Life of a Superpower The Putin System The War On Democracy Rise Like Lions: Occupy Wall Street and the Seeds of Revolution
 Biographies of Genius:
The biographies of modern geniuses who pushed humanity forward.
Isaac Newton: The Last Magician The Unlimited Energy of Nikola Tesla The Missing Secrets Of Nikola Tesla Richard Feynman: No Ordinary Genius How Albert Einstein’s Brain Worked The Extraordinary Genius of Albert Einstein Leonardo Da Vinci: The Man Who Wanted to Know Everything
War is history’s oldest racket for stealing from the powerless and redistributing resources to the powerful.
Psywar: The Real Battlefield Is Your Mind The Secret History of 9/11 Robot Armies in the Future The Never Ending War in Afghanistan Shadow Company: Mercenaries In The Modern World Why We Fight The Fog Of War The Oil Factor: Behind The War On Terror
Learn about the financial system works and how people and societies are enslaved through debt.
The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of The World The One Percent Quants: The Alchemists of Wall Street The Last Days Of Lehman Brothers The Four Horsemen Inside Job: The Biggest Robbery In Human History Capitalism A Love Story Money and Life
 Digital Entrepreneurship:
Profiles of the entrepreneurs who used technology to change the world.
The Life Of A Young Entrepreneur Profile: Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin Profile: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Starting-Up in America Steve Jobs: One Last Thing Steve Jobs: The Billion Dollar Hippy Elon Musk: Risk Takers The Story of Twitter
Watch the inspiring stories of amazing athletes.
Fearless: The Jeb Corliss Story Carts of Darkness Usain Bolt: The World’s Fastest Man Wayne Gretzky: The Life and Times Mike Tyson: Beyond the Glory Birdmen The Legacy Of Michael Jordan We Ride: The Story of Snowboarding
Find out more about the impact of exponential growth and the approaching Singularity.
Ray Kurzweil: The Transcendent Man How Robots Will Change the World Human 2.0 Trance-Formation: The Future of Humanity The Venus Project: Future By Design Bionics, Transhumanism And The End Of Evolution The Singularity Is Near Car Technology Of The Future
 Origins of Religion:
Explore the original religious experience of mankind at the dawn of civilization.
Entheogen: Awakening the Divine Within Manifesting the Mind: Footprints of the Shaman Ancient Egypt and The Alternative Story of Mankind’s Origins The Hidden Knowledge of the Supernatural Re-Awaken: Open Your Heart, Expand Your Mind Shamans of the Amazon The Root of All Evil: The God Delusion Ancient Knowledge The Naked Truth Before Babel: In Search of the First Language
 Western Religion:
The fascinating history of the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Secret Quest: The Path of the Christian Gnostics The Secret Gate of Eden Forbidden Knowledge: Lost Secrets of the Bible Banned From The Bible: Secrets Of The Apostles The Road To Armageddon Muhammad: The Legacy of a Prophet A Complete History of God Gnosis: The Untold History of the Bible
 Eastern Religion:
Expand your mind by also studying the entirely different religious worldviews of the East.
Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds The Life Of The Buddha The Seven Wonders of the Buddhist World Mysteries of the Cosmic OM: Ancient Vedic Science Where Science and Buddhism Meet The Yogis of Tibet Taj Mahal: Secrets To Blow Your Mind Light at the Edge of the World: Tibetan Science of the Mind Myths of Mankind: The Mahabharata Ayurveda: The Art of Being
Learn about the basic unity of existence and the miracle of consciousness.
Athene’s Theory of Everything Theory of Everything: GOD, Devils, Dimensions, Dragons & The Illusion of Reality The God Within: Physics, Cosmology and Consciousness 5 Gateways: The Five Key Expansions of Consciousness Return to the Source: Philosophy and The Matrix The Holographic Universe DMT: The Spirit Molecule Kymatica Neuroplasticity: The Brain That Changes Itself
Indiana Jones-style explorations into the unsolved mysteries of the past.
Alchemy: Sacred Secrets Revealed The Day Before Disclosure The Pyramid Code The Secret Design of the Egyptian Pyramids Decoding the Past: Secrets of the Dollar Bill Origins of the Da Vinci Code Forbidden Knowledge: Ancient Medical Secrets Secret Mysteries of America’s Beginnings: The New Atlantis Secrets in Plain Sight
 Mass Culture:
Learn about how our thoughts and opinions are influenced by mass culture.
The Century of the Self All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace The Power Of Nightmares Starsuckers: A Culture Obsessed By Celebrity Human Resources: Social Engineering in the 20th Century Obey: The Death of the Liberal Class Motivational Guru: The Story of Tony Robbins Bob Marley: Freedom Road Radiant City
 Corporate Media:
Discover how the mass media and advertisers channel our irrational impulses.
Weapons of Mass Deceptions Secrets of the Superbrands Orwell Rolls in his Grave The Esoteric Agenda Propaganda The Myth of the Liberal Media: The Propaganda Model of News Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media Symbolism in Logos: Subliminal Messages or Ancient Archetypes Edward Snowden: A Truth Unveiled Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism
 Art and Literature:
Explore the lives of famous artists and how art opens people’s minds.
Cosm: Alex Gray’s Visionary Art Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop New Art and the Young Artists Behind It Salvador Dali: A Master of the Modern Era The Day Pictures Were Born Off-Book: Digital Age Creativity This Is Modern Art
Explore issues in health, how our bodies work and the incredible power of our brains.
The Human Brain The Truth About Vitamins How To Live To 101 America’s Obesity Epidemic The War On Health The Beautiful Truth Food Inc. The Truth About Food The Living Matrix
Documentaries on the effect of drugs — legal and illegal — on the body and mind.
The Union: The Business Behind Getting High The Drugging Of Our Children How Marijuana Affects Your Health Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging Clearing the Smoke: The Science of Cannabis LSD: The Beyond Within The War on Drugs: The Prison Industrial Complex Are Illegal Drugs More Dangerous Than Legal Drugs? The Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic Run From The Cure: The Rick Simpson Story
Thought-provoking documentaries on the environmental movement and the growing threats to our biosphere.
Earthlings Blue Gold: World Water Wars Shift: Beyond the Numbers of the Climate Crisis All Things Are Connected The Fight For Amazonia Flow: For Love Of Water Here Comes the Sun The World According To Monsanto The Story of Stuff
Expand your mind by exploring our indescribably large and beautiful Cosmos.
The Search for Planets Similar to Earth Cosmic Journeys : The Largest Black Holes in the Universe The Mystery of the Milky Way Fractals: The Hidden Dimension Into The Universe With Stephen Hawking: The Story of Everything Pioneer Science: Discovering Deep Space Carl Sagan’s Cosmos The Strangest Things In The Universe
The history of scientific discovery and how scientific instruments expand our perception.
The Complete History of Science Secret Universe: The Hidden Life of the Cell Stephen Hawking: A Brief History of Time Quantum Mechanics: Fabric of the Cosmos The Light Fantastic DNA: The Secret of Life Parallel Universes, Alternative Timelines & Multiverse What Is The Higgs Boson? Infinity
The story of our evolution and the emergence of self-aware human beings.
The Origin of Life Homo Sapiens: The Birth of Humanity Beyond Me The Global Brain Metanoia: A New Vision of Nature Birth Of A New Humanity Samsara Ape Man: Adventures in Human Evolution The Incredible Human Journey The Human Family Tree
 Psychology and The Brain:
New research is shining a spotlight on how we can improve our brains.
How Smart Can We Get? The Science of Lust The Secret You What Are Dreams? A Virus Called Fear Beyond Thought (Awareness Itself) The Human Brain Superconscious Mind: How To Double Your Brain’s Performance How Does Your Memory Work? Secrets of the Mind
 Modern History:
The story of the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the modern world.
History of the World in Two Hours The Industrial Revolution The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich The French Revolution Big Sugar The American Revolution
 Pre-Modern History:
The story of the Americas and European history in the pre-modern world.
Socrates, Aristotle and Plato The Medici: The Most Influencial Family In The World A History of Celtic Britain The Crusades: Victory and Defeat The Vikings: Voyage To America Copernicus and the Scientific Revolution
 Current Events:
Become more informed about current events that are shaping the world.
Syria: The Reckoning Empire: Putin’s Russia The New Arms Race The Killing of Yasser Arafat Egypt In Crisis Inside Obama’s Presidency The Untouchables: How Obama Protected Wall Street Behind The Rhetoric: The Real Iran A History of the Middle East since WWII Climate Wars
 Ancient Civilizations:
Fascination explorations into the ancient civilizations of our past.
The Persian Empire : Most Mysterious Civilization in the Ancient World What The Ancients Did For Us What the Ancients Knew Egypt: Beyond the Pyramids Secrets of the Ancient Empires Graham Hancock’s Quest For The Lost Civilization Atlantis: The Lost Continent Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
I hope you enjoy watching some of these mind expanding documentaries! If you have a personal favorite, please share it with everyone in the comments.
God As Mother — The Feminine Divine in the World Scriptures and Spiritual Classics
As one whom his mother comforts,
so will I comfort you;
You shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
(Hebrew Bible, Isaiah 66.13)
Wisdom (Sophia) cries out in the street;
in the squares she raises her voice…
(Book of Proverbs, 1:20, Hebrew Bible)
Just now my mother, the Holy Spirit, took me by one of my hairs and brought me to Tabor, the great mountain.
(Jesus in, The Gospel of the Hebrews. Note: “ruach” is a Hebrew word for spirit and is feminine)
I rested on the Spirit of the Lord, and She lifted me up to heaven. (Odes of Solomon, 36: 1, James Charlesworth translation, Jewish Christian psalms)
A cup of milk was offered to me, and I drank it in the sweetness of
the Lord’s kindness.
The Son is the cup, and the Father is He who was milked; and the Holy
Spirit is She who milked Him;
Because His breasts were full, and it was undesirable that His milk
should be ineffectually released.
The Holy Spirit opened Her bosom, and mixed the milk of the two
breasts of the Father.
Then She gave the mixture to the generation without their knowing,
and those who have received it are in the perfection of the right
The womb of the Virgin took it, and she received conception and gave
So the Virgin became a mother with great mercies.
And she labored and bore the Son but without pain, because it did not
occur without purpose.
And she did not require a midwife, because He caused her to give life.
(Odes of Solomon, 19: 1–9, James Charlesworth translation, Jewish Christian psalms)
Three powers came forth from him; they are the Father, the Mother, (and) the Son, from the living silence, what came forth from the incorruptible Father. These came forth from the silence of the unknown Father.
(Gospel of the Egyptians, Gnostic Gospel, Nag Hammadi Library)
Behold, I have revealed to you the name of the Perfect One, the whole will of the Mother of the Holy Angels, that the masculine multitude may be completed here, that there might appear in the aeons, the infinities and those that came to be in the untraceable wealth of the Great Invisible Spirit….
(The Book of the Sophia of Jesus Christ, Gnostic Gospel, Nag Hammadi Library)
For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.
I am the mother and the daughter.
I am the members of my mother.
I am the barren one
and many are her sons.
I am she whose wedding is great,
and I have not taken a husband.
I am the midwife and she who does not bear.
I am the solace of my labor pains.
I am the bride and the bridegroom,
and it is my husband who begot me.
I am the mother of my father
and the sister of my husband
and he is my offspring.
I am the slave of him who prepared me.
I am the ruler of my offspring.
But he is the one who begot me before the time on a birthday.
And he is my offspring in (due) time,
and my power is from him.
I am the staff of his power in his youth,
and he is the rod of my old age.
And whatever he wills happens to me.
I am the silence that is incomprehensible
and the idea whose remembrance is frequent.
I am the voice whose sound is manifold
and the word whose appearance is multiple.
I am the utterance of my name……..
I am the hearing that is attainable to everything;
I am the speech that cannot be grasped.
I am the name of the sound
and the sound of the name.
(Thunder, Perfect Mind, Gnostic Gospel, Nag Hammadi Library)
The Radhasoami Faith recognizes three Grand Personages and a sincere and affectionate disciple the fourth, namely,
1. The Supreme Father,
2. The Supreme Mother or Original Spirit or Word Current emanating from the Supreme Father,
3. The Supreme Son or Sant Sat Guru, the representative of the Supreme Father in human form.
4. The disciple or the son or human spirit.
(“Radhasoami Mat Prakash” by Huzur Maharaj Rai Salig Ram, Sant Mat and Radhasoami, India)
I am Father and Mother of the world.
Bhagavad Gita 9.17, Hindu)
I’m Thy child O Thou, my Father and Mother!
(Adi Granth, Sikh and Sant Mat)
Thou art Father, Mother, Friend, Brother.
With Thee as succorer in all places, what fear have I?
(Adi Granth, Sikh and Sant Mat)
That breast of Thine which is inexhaustible, health-giving, by which Thou nursest all that is noble, containing treasure, bearing wealth, bestowed freely; lay that bare, Sarasvati [divine Mother], for our nurture.
(Rig Veda 1.164.49, Hinduism)
Love, the divine Principle, is the Father and Mother of the universe, including man.
(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science)
Mother Earth have pity on us and give us food to eat! Father, the Sun, bless all our children and may our paths be straight!
(Native American Religions. Blackfoot Prayer)
O Mother of Imupa, advocate for the whole [feminine] world!
What a remarkable Mother I have!
O Mother, a pillar, a refuge!
O Mother, to whom all prostrate in greeting
Before one enters her habitation!
I am justly proud of my Mother.
O Mother who arrives,
Who arrives majestic and offers water to all!
(African Traditional Religions. Yoruba Prayer, Nigeria)
The Valley Spirit never dies.
It is named the Mysterious Female.
And the Doorway of the Mysterious Female
Is the base from which sprang Heaven and Earth.
It is there within us all the while;
Draw upon it as you will, it never runs dry.
(Tao Te Ching 6, Taoism)
Divine Mother, with the language of my soul I demand realization of Thy presence. Thou art the essence of everything. Make me see Thee in every fiber of my being, in every wisp of thought. Awaken my heart!
Divine Mother, open wide the bud of my devotion and release its fragrance, that it may spread from my soul to the souls of all others, ever whispering of Thee.
Divine Mother, I have heard Thy voice whispering in the fragrance of the rose. I touched Thy tenderness in the softness of the lily. In the whispers of my devotion, it was Thy love that answered.
In the temple of my earthly mother’s love I will worship the incarnated love of the Divine Mother.
Cosmic Mother, take this darkness away! When I sit with eyes closed, enveloped in self-created shadows, cause Thou to blaze upon me in splendor the aurora of intuition.
In the hall of creation, 0 Divine Mother, everywhere I hear the rhythm of Thy foot-steps, dancing wildly in the booming thunder and softly in the song of atoms.
I laugh at all fears, for my Father-Mother, beloved God, is attentively awake and present everywhere with the deliberate purpose of protecting me from the temptations of evil.
(verses from, Metaphysical Meditations, by Paramhansa Yogananda, SRF Books)
The thundering resonance of the Word
has liberated me while living -
Now I am entitled to serve the Lord!
How can I ever repay you, 0 my benefactor?
You are my Mother, you are my Father,
you are my generous Lord.
TO YOU the Lord we pray.
Soul and body are your gifts to us.
You are the Mother, and the Father,
We are your children,
With your grace,
There are countless blessings.
(Guru Arjan, Adi Granth, Sukhmani Sahib)
With hands joined in prayer
I beseech you, Radhasoami,
to listen to my supplication.
You are the true Lord, my benevolent Master!
You are Father, you are Mother,
you are the Creator of all beings.
Be merciful to me, accept me
and set me free from the snare of Kal.
(Swami Ji Maharaj, Sar Bachan Poetry)
Thou art my beloved Mother,
Thou art my only shelter;
I long for Thee,
I await Thy arrival, 0 Lord.
Thou alone art my Father,
Thou alone my loving Son,
Thou art my closest Friend and Relative.
My heart and my soul I lay
At Thy lotus feet, 0 Lord.
The whole creation without Thee,
Says Tuka is a barren desert.
(Sant Tukarama, Gatha. 2607)
Thou art our kind and affectionate Mother, O God, and bearest all our burdens. We know no fear, nor any anxiety……I cannot know the night from day, and the unceasing illumination exists at all times.
Thou art our merciful Mother, O Vitthala, a shadow to thy suppliant; the milk of love ever flows in thy breast, thy sight is pure and sweet as nectar. O Mother Vitthala is like a cool shadow; her breast is ever filled with love; seated in her lap I shall seek her bosom and drink as much as I desire. 0 yield the milk of thy mercy and nourish my frame; a stream of nectar flows from thee. My spirit cannot contain this joy; what is the whole sea compared to it?
Tagged: god, goddess, mother, feminine, holy spirit, world scriptures, old testament, hebrew bible, wisdom, sophia, magdalene, gnostic, nag hammadi library, ruach, odes of solomon, sant mat, radhasoami, bhagavad gita, buddhism, hinduism, adi granth, sikh, rig veda, Mary Baker Eddy, ellen white, native american, blackfoot prayer, tao, tao te ching, yogananda,
Once a human being has drunk deeply enough from the cup of bitterness, and has eaten long enough from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, a new inner need develops, a powerful urge to discover the purpose of their life, the plan that lies at the foundation of their existence.
I focus little on the Divine Masculine in comparison to the Divine Feminine, as my soul feels called to restore reverence of God in feminine form, after that side of Her has been shunned and repressed for so long. Also as, being a cis lesbian female, I feel I resonate more with seeing God in her female majesty.
But still, now and then, I take a moment to sit and remember God in male images without the toxic masculinity the world has sadly become familiar with.
I remember my Lord Yeshua, whose divine Christ spirit was androgynous, still became incarnate in a male body. A man who stood up for justice and peace, who defended women and the poor and mentally ill, who was full of courage and wisdom. Which of these qualities were masculine and which were feminine? For me the answer is neither. They are qualities of divine humanity; the best of what we are capable of becoming - be we male or female or neither.
The same goes for Lord Buddha and Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The same for female Light Bearers from the Magdalene to White Tara.
I remember God as Father, not the cruel arbiter of blind faith, but the source of all love and goodness. Almost every book on the ‘Sacred Feminine in Christianity’ speaks of the idea that the Mother is all gentleness, warmth and nurture while the Father is strength, intelligence and distance. But the Father is as soft and nurturing to me as the Mother is intelligent and powerful. Putting these ‘traditional gender’ qualities to God feels incredibly limiting to Them, let alone what it does to us humans who are told from before we can walk that 'boys wear blue and play with trucks and girls wear pink and play with dolls’.
Well I’m here to say that Mother God wears a blue crown and wields Her flaming sword, while Father God wears a pink sweater as He sings His baby to sleep. Get over it.
“This is a depiction of the Gnostic crucifixion. This is a symbol… If you look at Jesus as The Savior, the Light of the World, the One who is the redeemer of Consciousness…not saying that I necessarily believe in the man Jesus in that realm, we are looking at this as a symbol.
He is crucified at Golgotha, a Greek word which means ‘the place of the skull’. So the Light of the World - the awakened consciousness, the Savior of the World, our consciousness - that is born in the prefrontal neocortex of the brain - the third eye, the Light - is crucified. He’s put to death at the place of the skull. This means that the Light of the World can be put to death in the mind through psychologically being identified with time.
So psychological time is represented by the two thieves that the Light of the World is crucified among. This [left side] is the thief of the past. He robs from the present moment awareness, what is happening Now, the present moment, the gift moment. This [right side] thief is the future. He also robs from the present moment.
So if you can keep people’s consciousness identified with time, they are always either in regret over the past or in anxiety over the future. They are never really rooted or grounded in the present moment. The Gift of Consciousness is the Light of the World - understanding what’s going on within you now and around you at any given time. True present moment awareness.”
Spirituality is not a set of any dogmatic rules, beliefs, or practices. One may choose to meditate, pray, collect crystals, perform rituals, and/or eat vegan. These all can be beneficial, but these things do not make a person spiritual. We are all spiritual beings by Nature, so to embrace spirituality is simply being conscious of and drawing closer to your true nature. It is knowledge of Self.
Each person’s path to self-realization is uniquely their own and no one will have the same journey as someone else. What you may perceive as a sin may in fact be the spiritual liberation for another, and your own spiritual liberation may be seen as a sin to someone else. A loosely defined dichotomy is made within Esotericism between the different spiritual paths towards self-realization. These are known as the Right hand path (or Dakṣiṇācāra in Eastern tradition) and the Left hand path (Vāmācāra in Eastern tradition).
Many are already familiar with the characteristics of the Right hand path. The RHP is defined as being any system where the ultimate goal is uniting with the Godhead or Source in the afterlife. This is believed to be done by believing in and obeying the Will and Laws of God. Therefore, all mainstream religions by default fall under the RHP classification. Other characteristics of the RHP are a belief in a universal moral code that clearly defines good and evil, belief in the concepts of karma or divine judgement based on moral decisions made during one’s lifetime, and the acceptance of social norms.
The Left hand path is defined as those traditions that teach that the individual Self can be akin to God through spiritual insight, and reject the idea of needing to accept or obey a higher power. If belief in a higher power exist, LHP adherents view their relationship with it as a partnership, or an alliance which does not require subservience. Good and evil are relative in the LHP’s view and social convention is rejected, therefore taboos are often embraced as being legitimate practices for spiritual liberation. Magic, especially sex magic, is often used in ritual and it is believed that the forces of the universe can be harnessed to one’s personal Will by magical means, and that power gained and wielded in such a manner is an aid to self-realization or enlightenment.
Gnosticism can be viewed as a Left hand path tradition, for it rejects mainstream religion, its dogma, and its idea that one needs to submit to the Will of a deity. However, the ultimate goal within Gnosticism is to escape the prison of the material world/materialism and reunite with the Divine, which is the ultimate goal within RHP traditions. In truth, characteristics of both the LHP and the RHP exist within all spiritual traditions, just like how there is a little “yin” in the light side of the circle and a little “yang” in the dark side of the circle. The RHP and the LHP is often seen as being “good” and “bad” or “light” and “dark”, but they should not be treated as such. Both paths are equally as valid for attaining self-realization. Remember, no one’s path will be the same. What works for you may not work for others, and vice versa.
The most important thing within spirituality is following your heart or your True Will. Within the Teachings of Ptahhotep, the oldest wisdom texts in the world coming from Kmt (Ancient Egypt), it is written:
“Follow your heart as long as you live. Do not make a loss on what is said, do not subtract time from following the heart. Harming its time is an offence to the Ka (spirit). Do not deflect the moment of every day beyond establishing your heart. As things happen, follow your heart. There is no profit in things if it is stifled.”
The heart is where your spirit, your True Divine Essence, is located. To get more in tune with your heart space is what spirituality is all about. When you are able to know, understand, and follow whatever is your heart’s True Will and Desire, then you are on the correct spiritual path towards self-realization. Let me briefly add that to follow the “True Will” within your heart does not mean to do whatever you want, nor does it mean to impose your Will onto someone else. The heart produces Love and therefore your True Will will always manifest itself through Love and operate in harmony with Nature. Any desires that would harm yourself and/or others is a product of a faculty within the mind (the Ego). Perhaps this is a concept I will address in a future post…