Utility

Most Recent Blog Posts

By davidspero 8 years 8 months ago

davidspero's picture

Initiation and the Nature of the Absolute
by David Spero

Within the Absolute arises Its own Power of Initiation. You might ask, "Why?" That's like asking, "Why does the sun rise?" The answer is: it's in Its Nature to initiate, to fire out of Itself, to spread Its glory. That’s the nature of the Self, the Absolute.

The Absolute often is wrongly assumed to have merely a void-like nature. There’s a tendency in certain spiritual discourses to reduce the Absolute to something that is merely silent, that “witnesses” and so forth. Such understandings are only partially true, for there is a void-like aspect to the Absolute, but to confine the Absolute to just voidness, or nothingness, is to do injustice to It. Without Its own Initiatory Power, Its Shakti -- that arises from within Itself -- It would remain separate from the movement of life. It would never come into relativity.

Certainly, there is an aspect that always is transcendent to all relative functioning within the Absolute -- most certainly, but that quality does not define some kind of preferential nature about It. In other words, the Absolute does not have a bias towards Its own unmanifest quality. It shines in, or flashes into, the relative where It insinuates Itself, where It causes humans like us to have an awakening about Its nature, Its transcendent, glorified, Absolute Nature. And in that way we can, as living human beings, also reside in that Condition which transcends everything.

But certain schools have arisen, certain spiritual schools, you can call them patriarchal schools of thought, in which there is a motive present to separate out the Absolute completely from the world to such an extent that they want to deny the world, deny the existence of a world, deny the reality of the world, deny the whole universe, in fact. Why? Their rationale is plain and simple: because it appears, because it exists. So there’s a bifurcation between Being and existence in these teachings, these patriarchal teachings where the Absolute is considered to be something on a scale that goes up and up and up and never comes down.

Does it sound like there's a rift, now, between the physical and the spiritual? That's exactly what these teachings are rooted in and what they are set out to accomplish in the world. They are non-feminine, or even better, anti-feminine teachings, anti-Shakti teachings, anti-Initiatory teachings. They are all about abiding in that quality of the Absolute which is beyond everything, which silences, nullifies, or negates the active mind and encourages a kind of lifestyle based on that realization.

So you hear such proponents of these teachings talking about "no-mind," "no-body,” "no-self." They're “anti” all those things. Why? Because they are trying to run away from the suffering built into embodiment. They don't want to explore what embodiment is, they want to deny It and get away from It, as fast and as far as possible -- head for the hills! Because once you open up the door of relative life, it's highly confusing to the linear mind, the mind that creates these sorts of hierarchical and highly prejudicial teachings in favor of a non-active Absolute.

If you want to understand what is animating nature, what nature is in relationship to Being, you must encounter the Shakti, which is Divine Energy. Just as the Absolute can be called Divine Nothingness, Shakti can be called Divine Energy. It's animistic: it animates, enters into beings and lives them. And the truth is that it’s really a side of the Absolute. It's Its “shadow side,” Its repressed side. It's the side that goes in the opposite direction of total transcendence. It goes into total imminence, total embodiment.

So the Face of God shines two ways: It shines toward Absolute, Transcendent Nothingness and Relative Beingness -- Body-Minds. It loves migrating into a body-mind. All of that is within the nature of the Absolute, via Its Initiatory Power. And it's to that same Initiatory Power that we can come to recognize, as embodied beings, what our Transcendent Nature is, as It tilts inward, and what our relative nature is, as It expresses Itself outward. That outer domain exists within the jurisdiction of Energy.

So, a full teaching would include both Absolute and Shakti-based, or Energy-based, understandings.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A video of the unedited version of this talk can be seen at http://friendsofdavidspero.org/videos/initiationandnatureabsolute

By beatchk 8 years 8 months ago

beatchk's picture

Two things that David has mentioned in recent satsangs have been of ongoing use as potent dhyanams, or focal points of meditation for me. The first is:

"A yogi's mind should be like a steady candle flame in a quiet room."

As soon as David said that, I envisioned seeing, feeling and becoming that still flame and superimposed its quiescence over the detritus of my mental chit chat--which jabbers like a circus barker, sorry to say, even in the presence of a Master.
Indeed, sometimes I feel the shakti, but without my mind slowing down to even take a breather. This is akin to unencumbered bliss in the Times Square of the mind.

When contemplating the flame, my breathing slowed. This gave it some well deserved rest. Like a primordial mandala, contemplating the mind as a still flame, a point of light, is an amazingly effective way to draw the senses back inward toward illumination and stillness...and of course, it is true that the art of trataka, or candle flame gazing, is an ancient and well known yogic technique for stilling the mind, and giving it something useful to do.

Thank you David for this means of putting a mute button on the peanut gallery with this timeless light filled contemplation.

Perhaps much more dramatically revealing in my evolving understanding was a statement David made at a subsequent satsang:

"I'm teaching you from the inside out, not from the outside".

These words and the feeling expressed collapsed into a moment of Recognition. The feeling, the shakti, when in satsang with a Master always emanates from within the Heart. Its not seeping in through your skin, just radiating from without...it is more like an inner correspondence of Love (Being Consciousness Bliss) recognizing its full blossoming in the Master and chirping and singing from the "cage" of the human heart. An a-spatial a-temporal a-transference of inner wisdom. The cage bursts and evaporates---was it ever really there? This Recognition continues to expand and impress itself further into an integration. The recognition comes and goes, but statements like this one which David made helps to cut through seemingly endless cycles of contraction and avoidance.

And it helps to make sense of certain tantric practices wherein one visualizes their Ishta Devata (chosen deity) or one's Guru seated in the cave of the heart---because that is where they already are!

Humble pranams to David for sparking light in the mind and in our Heart that we may surrender to the Beloved with juicy gusto--and true gnosis.

By paul 8 years 9 months ago

paul's picture

I thought you all would enjoy this photo I took of David's feet during a recent Friday night event in Larkspur, CA. I must have snapped a dozen shots of David that night but the picture he was most fond of is the picture posted below. Notice how David's feet come together in a mudra.

As you all probably know, the Guru's feet are very significant in many traditions. The feet of the Guru is where the "Divine in form" touches the earth. In Hinduism it's very common to see devotees performing puja on the Guru's feet. It is widely understood (and experienced) that the Guru's feet are a tremendously potent channel of Spiritual Transmission.

I found the following definition of Guru's feet from a Siddha Yoga Glossary at http://www.siddhayoga.org/glossary.aspx

The Indian scriptures revere the Guru's feet, which are said to embody Shiva and Shakti, knowledge and action, the emission and reabsorption of creation. Powerful vibrations of shakti flow from the Guru's feet. They are a mystical source of grace and illumination, and a figurative term for the Guru's teachings.

By ocean 8 years 10 months ago

ocean's picture

My desire to meet David in person became very strong over time. I was immersed in Bhakti, my heart was overflowing with longing. I felt as if David had given me everything, even though I live overseas. I knew that sudden realizations are spontaneous and when I had been given the grace to meet David, I came without expectations or assumptions about what might happen.

Before meeting David, I travelled in the United States and had some experiences that others might consider exciting. I however, felt quite the opposite - that my dispassion (Viragya) towards life only grew during my travels, and it did not matter whether I was "having fun" or not. It mattered only what state of consciousness I was in. Only the Self can bring divinity into an experience, otherwise it would be shallow, and there will always be a bitter taste to it of dissatisfaction.

So actually, during my travels and before meeting David, the highlights of those travels were the internet satsangs with him. This was the only thing that felt deep enough. Internet satsangs were a beautiful gift and release to the mind that could not be initiated by any other experience. Even an intense practice could not lead to this degree of intoxication.
It was quite remarkable how I managed to attend those meetings on time, as I have been in isolated places where I thought I would never find a Wi-Fi connection. It was grace. The universe helped me fulfill my desire to be around David.

During most of my travels, and months before it, I had been waiting to attend a live meeting with David. I was totally excited about seeing David, and couldn't think of anything else.
Finally, this moment came and I saw David before me. God, this was a divine moment, I felt like meeting "the Mother". I will not forget this sacred moment of meeting him after so much longing. David was looking beautiful, with hypnotizing blue eyes. I thought that his lovely image represented divinity. There is always something different about the eyes of enlightened persons, but with David it is hard to miss those unworldly eyes.

In these meetings, I met Orley and other people that I have known "virtually" online, and was very delighted to see them. The Sangah is lovely and I was surprised to find out how mature the people are in their spiritual processes. The strong Bhakti of this group touched me very deeply. I also enjoyed talking to David. How can it be more perfect? A spiritual teacher who is open minded, not a bit conservative, with a developed social awareness. It seems like he was contemplating deeply every aspect of worldly life, and gained a lot of knowledge, which resulted in an evolved and unique personality. I felt as if my thinking, conclusion process and views about the world are similar to David's, and it was pleasant to feel close to him also in this way.

My mind was for a period of time in the foreground area of awareness during meetings. It is usually more active when there are people around (however nice they may be). But even at times when the Shakti intoxication was partial during meetings, it always became full a few hours later, when the mind became relaxed. The energies were very fiery in those meetings! I cannot even describe verbally the intensity I felt.

David is divine, the greatest master….

There were also strong longings for David between satsangs. Not being around David, I literally felt as if a part of me was missing. The sweet pain of craving the divine was sensed through the heart and the whole body. I remember one time when these longings were unbearable, my heart was overflowing, crying for David. That day I was driving to Jenner, moving from beach to beach. I knew that David likes Goat Rock Beach, and was curious to find out what might happen there. When I arrived at night, something extraordinary happened - the Shakti, sensed as pure fire, washed over and through me. I felt as if I was that Source of Fire, or an enourmous power station. It was amazingly strong. I was just sitting in my car in the mysterious night near the exploding waves of the ocean, and sensed my head exploding with fire (or maybe there was no head at all).
At the very start of this Shakti activation, the unbearable longings stopped and turned into a deep sweetness of security and relaxation. I knew that David was there with me, and that form or distance didn't matter.

When my travel was close to its end, I felt sad, even a kind of grief. I felt like crying every time I passed through the area where David lives. There was too much intensity of feeling! Sometimes I wished to drive south and not deal with the pain of seeing those road signs. My mind started to plan how to come back and there was a tension to set everything up. But every time I remembered the grace that brought me to David, there was faith in life again, that it will unfold right, without planning on my behalf. When I came back to Israel, I felt more relaxed about it. I realized how much I missed sitting at night (4 or 5 AM) with my computer in solitude and feel the Shakti in the utter silence of the night. The intensity of Shakti, as I experience it, is not weaker through the internet. For me it is even stronger at times, since my mind enables the Shakti, under these conditions, to freely circulate. So I suppose that it depends on one's tendencies, rather than on distance (I was curious about this, since some devotees commented that a personal meeting is more intense).
However, one thing that I feel is hard to deal with from a distance is the lack of intensives and more frequent meetings. There is so much longing from Fridays to Wednesdays. I am so grateful with the gift of meeting David twice a week through webcasts. So much has already been given. I'm still wishing to fill the rest of the week with David's living presence.

I still can't tell how the experience of being a month with David influenced me, and I'm not sure if I will ever know. I'm endlessly grateful for this grace. It was unforgettable. It was a dreamlike experience. It truly took me time to believe and feel that it all really happened. I feel that I was drawn by David into a different reality, a colorful one of light, love and circulating Shakti. When David was talking about himself as "the Mother", I suddenly felt that this was the name to all my recent experiences. When he was talking about the Avatar and the Guru, it made sense why I was feeling that something was lacking with other teachers. The intensive in Petaluma was unforgettable, David's lovely craziness reached a peak.
Reality is crazy with the Mother, and I like it. This is the fullness of life. Focusing merely on Shiva is indeed a compromise. The amazement from David's realization and teachings just grows over time. I love everything about him.
It seems strange that spiritual seekers around the world do not recognize the treasure in front of them, the ultimate gift given with much love for anyone who would like to recieve it (but maybe it's better this way ;)).

By michael ortega 8 years 10 months ago

michael ortega's picture

I excerpt this quote from David's writing, 'The Fire Beyond Self-Realization'( which is available to be read at DavidSpero.org).

"In Self-realization the emotions were transcended. In a sense, there was nothing you could really feel in that Self-realized state that could really make a significant impact, any significant impact in your Awareness. But once the Self “fades,” then the identification with the Absolute dissolves. By the way, it doesn’t dissolve existentially. I want to be very clear about this. It doesn’t dissolve in reality. Only the sensation, the experience of It fades. Okay? You’ve got it? Only the experience of It fades.

The emotions are then set free in that vast silence, where they panic - the feelings panic because the nature of feeling is to want an object. Feeling always wants an object. It’s its nature; it’s its beautiful, exquisite, relational nature. So it craves “the Other.” It craves, really, the Beloved, at that point, the forgotten Beloved Self. But if existentially you are nothing but the Self, what can the feelings really do? Where really can they go to find this “Other,” this Beloved?

The feelings begin to combust. It’s really the introduction to a maddening state. Have you ever been in love? I mean, have you ever really been taken with someone? You know what happens! You can’t get them out of your head. You can’t get them out of your mind. It’s just like the Absolute that you once experienced in nirvana and the processes leading up to nirvana – the whole process of glimpsing, re-glimpsing until you become the Glimpser. Now this whole thing gets re-enacted in the field of feeling. Feeling is craving the Supreme Beloved, the Adorable One. But, it’s already in a nondual state (that was achieved in Self-realization, right?). I’m going to keep going back and forth so you understand. I don’t want to lose you.

The emotions begin to heat up, profoundly. It’s a discomforting state of aggravated feeling. In fact, you could even say, that the essential aspects of every emotion are activated – anger, fear, sorrow – but in an illumined state.

The human being naturally begins to be turned on itself in a most enthralling manner. You’ve felt deep sexual passion, deep sexual desire? It’s like that. Only, where is it going to go? There’s no “other.” So the feelings begin to really feel themselves for the very first time."

I am noticing this exact experience. I noticed yesterday in the intensive, and today. I felt it while sitting with David, yesterday, and on the break when speaking with people, and alone today while meditating. My feelings go into an intense craving for an unknowable expression, like craving an “Other”, but this desire is bewildering, because no action with an Other, would satisfy this desire, at least not in any conventional sense. It’s like wanting to reach out to different people and commune with them in ecstatic, primal joy (not to be taken too literally!), a thoroughly deconditioned ecstasy that is boundless. But the desire doesn’t work out in any concrete sense because such desire in the physical world wouldn’t be plausible, or rational, or even real. It's a reaching out through Consciousness for an unknown culmination. David's metaphor of the child going crazy with joy playing with the toy is quite apt. No expression I can think of will satisfy this feeling, but it remains. It really is “ a discomforting state of aggravated feeling." So I suppose I am "feeling feelings feeling themselves," as David says. There is nothing to do with with it, which is bewildering. It is directionless.

I shared this with David and his response was:

"Yes, what is described here is the equivalancy of utter Self-Expansion (read "Realization" here) on the level of the emotions, or, you could also say, the Self beginning to filter in into the feeling-body. It's what the Self 'feels like' to that part of the being."

Pages