The Origin of Fundamental Qualities (Gunas)

feather

One of the fundamental principles of the Vedic perspective is the three gunas or qualities. I described them in some detail in About the Gunas but here is a basic outline: Sattva: purity or clarity of the flow (golden) Rajas: movement itself, energy or fire and transformation (red) Tamas: resistance or inertia, impediment to movement (blue) I’ve also explored them relative to awakening, karma, and emotions. A similar perspective is the cycle of creation, maintenance, and destruction. (Brahma, Vishnu, & Shiva) In fact, we may think of the gunas as coming from these principles. But they have a deeper, parallel … Continue Reading…

The Platform for Refinement

One of the key factors missing from a lot of modern spiritual dialog is the role of sattva. Without that progressive shift of energy from tamas (inertia) through rajas (fire of transformation) and into sattva (purity, clarity), there is a major limitation in our style of development. However, it’s important to understand that the development of sattva is cumulative through lifetimes. Some people will be born with well-developed sattva and some will develop it more later through good spiritual practices and such. It’s a spectrum that’s not always clear to us because of karmic shadows and cycles in life that … Continue Reading…

Remaining Shadows

I found a quote near the end of Kavitha Chinnaiyan‘s book Shakti Rising à propos, considering the discussion over on The Challenges of Teaching. This closely relates to the development of Sattva. “If we have the good fortune of interacting with wise and skilled teachers who have both a strong, compassionate, ethical foundation as well as non-dual insight, we notice that they seem to know what is best for everyone involved, from a universal perspective that is unconditionally loving and impartial. Although it is tempting to assign their abilities to non-dual insight alone, this is usually not the case. Opening … Continue Reading…

Rose List Follow-up

I’ve been asked about recent events on Rose Rosetree‘s blog so it seems I need to speak to this. Back in the spring of 2013, I wrote my first article on Rose’s work. The Rose List discussed her curious Enlightenment Life List. Curious because it includes both people I’d agree were enlightened and surprises like famous people who probably didn’t consider themselves so. It would be hard for someone clearly awake not to know they were. As I said at the time, I’d keep an open mind and explore her work further. I went on to write a series of … Continue Reading…

About the Gunas

I’ve written or commented on the gunas in a variety of articles. This includes The Gunas and Emotions, Karma and the Gunas, and The Gunas in Awakening. I talk about them regularly because they play a key roll in our style of awakening. The gunas are the fundamental qualities of consciousness as it begins to express. As vibration arises, it has 3 qualities: Sattva: purity or clarity of the flow (golden) balance, harmony, goodness, purity, universalizing, holistic, constructive, creative, building, positive, peaceful, virtuous, light, buoyant – Jupiter, Moon, Sun Rajas: movement itself, energy or fire and transformation (red) passion, activity, … Continue Reading…

Energy and Matter

Einstein’s famous equation E=mc2 was a revolution in its day. Even today we don’t really understand it. Most people still have a strong materialist world-view, putting their faith in what they can see and touch. Many physicists seek to find particles for any style of energy they discover. Does gravity really need a particle? And yet the equation tells us that energy and matter are just different states of the same thing. If we flip the equation, we can understand it in a different way. E/c2 = m The m stands for matter, which is a “substance that has mass and … Continue Reading…

The Soma Plant

Some old texts speak of rituals that “milk” the soma or they describe “flow soma through the filter” to create the nectar of the gods. Much of this is gestures that symbolize the real process that takes place right in our body. Samadhi happens, at first usually in meditation, when we go beyond the mind into pure consciousness. We settle into our true nature. This is often brief and foggy for a while. But at some point, we’ll have clear experiences of the process. We may also notice a wave of happiness when we cross in or out of pure consciousness … Continue Reading…

Why is there a Dark Side?

It’s good to consider – why does a world expressed by the Divine have evil? The answer is all about balance. In the Vedic perspective, there are 3 forces in creation: creation, maintenance, and destruction. Those 3 forces evolve into 3 qualities (gunas) which evolve into the 5 elements, 5 senses and so forth. The 3 qualities or gunas are: Sattva: creative, purity, clarity, smooth Rajas: fire, action, energy, transformation Tamas: inertia, rigidity, resistance Without inertia, we would have no form. In fact, nothing would last. As Dharma is that which sustains, tamas is required for the world to hang … Continue Reading…

Two Processes of Divinity

To embody Divinity post-Brahman, there may seem to be two distinct processes. This is akin to the 2 processes of development in consciousness – Atman and Sattva. One aspect is becoming where we recognize we gain a deeper relationship with consciousness. This is the Atman part of the equation. The other is Sattva, the refinement and polish that leads to deeper knowing and experience and  embodiment. Together, they are the primary purpose of spiritual techniques. But as is the way of all creation, this turns out to reflect deeper causal drivers. As above, so below. In embodying Divinity, the sense of divinity … Continue Reading…

Models of Development

Over the years, I’ve seen many models of spiritual development. Most of them follow a subjective process that one or a few people experienced that doesn’t reflect how it will unfold for many others. Fundamentally it is shifts in being – in who we recognize ourselves to be – that reflect the underlying process. This is why I’ve focused on that. Yet it can be instructive to see some of the other things that can shift that are reflected in other models. Categories like this can give you a sense of where they’re coming from. But there can be a … Continue Reading…

Stages of Refinement

Readers of this blog know I talk about the refinement process in parallel to the awakening and unfolding of consciousness to itself. Our first order is the transformation of tamas guna (inertia) into sattva (clarity, purity) through rajas (fire). We experience this process in various ways described with words like purification, release of stress, kriya, physical sensations, releasing, refinement, relaxing, and so forth. The net result is increased clarity, refined perception, and the awakening heart. I’ve mentioned before how when tamas is dominant, we experience the physical world as real and the subtle as unreal. When rajas becomes dominant, we … Continue Reading…

What is Enlightenment?

On this site, I originally avoided the term “enlightenment” as it is widely used to mean so many distinct things. The actual shift certainly didn’t meet my prior concepts of it either. More recently, I’ve been using “initial enlightenment” to mean Self Realization or Cosmic Consciousness and “full enlightenment” to refer to embodied Brahman. However, even Brahman is not an end to the process. Others use the term for everything from the recognition that I Am to exalted stages of development like that mentioned in the hilarious Robert Thurman interview. From my perspective, the first is a little premature while … Continue Reading…