Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Difference Between 6th and 7th level Awareness

I have been reading In the Vision of God, the autobiography of the travels of "Papa" Ram Dass, the Indian saint who inspired many of the later spiritual teachers of my generation (including Richard Alpert, who was given the same name). He was a great influence on Samuel Lewis, the founder of the Ruhaniat Sufi Order, my spiritual path. In his book, Ran Dass explains the difference between those that see the world as maya, all illusion (the 6th level), and those who come to understand that this "illusion" is something we co-create with the divine.

He tells the story of wise pandits who respond to Sri Shankaracharya, "who looked upon the world as illusion," with the observation that, "the world does exist; it is the expression of divine Shakti, the supreme cause of creation, protection and destruction of all the visible forms that comprise the universe... Shakti is sporting in the vast phenomena of life, change and movement in the universe." [From, In the Vision of God, Vol. II, p. 85-86.]

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The "relationship power" of the cellphone in Saudi Arabia

Today's New York Times has a front-page story about young people in Saudi Arabia. In this most conservative (and repressive) gender-segregated social system, the one tool for connecting young men and women is the cellphone. All a young woman has to to is turn on her phone's Bluetooth feature and within seconds it is bombarded with "love poems and photos of flowers" sent by nearby young men. Some men are even buying high-powered Bluetooth belts to extend their wooing range!

Recognizing the difference between (1st-chakra) texting and (2nd-chakra) voice communications, one girl told the Times reporter that online messaging was a somewhat safer tactic, in that "online he only sees your writing."

For more discussion of the 2nd-Chakra power of the telephone, see my related blog article (and comments) below. You can also read a chapter excerpt on the emotional power of the telephone from my book, Digital Dharma, at my website.