• Stefanosis

In the Beginning was the Sound...

Updated: May 17

...and that Sound was, beyond any descriptive category of human language ? Is it possible that the 'big-bang' was actually a sound ? Perhaps an 'unstruck' sound ?...

Welcome to my premier blog post - the first 'key'. I plan to follow up with posts on the topic of spirituality, theology, and personal philosophy of life. I have no titles nor claims about myself other than my Bachelors degree in language arts, a deep interest in esoteric music, art and spirituality combined with a constant desire to share what I know. About a decade ago, I took a deep plunge into yoga lifestyle and philosophy. This in turn has greatly influenced my world-view and my perception of cultural, spiritual and religious practices. For any readers sharing these interests, please know that I will be blogging in more detail as separate topics. For now, let's discuss the Beginning.

Of course, I refuse to delve into creation theory, because without any actual records, the topic only leads to speculation, arguments, and ever worse, religious fanaticism. I am not an atheist, because we humans are too complex to be random. I try to avoid labels and identities as much as possible, but for the sake of understanding, I would be something of a gnostic yogi who embraces elements of mysticism, shamanism and Buddhism. Yes, perhaps I'm your typical American neo-pagan, but with one exception - that I actually took some time to read and reflect on sacred texts. The Bible, the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita and the Dhamapada all have wisdom and insight to offer, but it's necessary to read them with an open and objective mind !

All the prophets, sages, masters, avatars, (insert preferred title here) agree on one thing regarding "God", and regardless of the language of the messenger, they all agree that this "God" is indefinable, invisible and eternal. Interestingly, there's a term for this concept in India, which is called 'nirguna' and literally means "without attributes". Some people may regard this as energy, and some may regard this as consciousness. Life-force and 'breath of Life' are terms which probably come to mind as well. The opposite of this concept is 'saguna' - "with attributes". This is the common aspect of "God" that we find worldwide, but especially in the west - God as the savior incarnate. Hinduism also comes to mind, with forms such as Krishna, Shiva and the multitudes of gods and goddesses.

A very strong and logical argument from the saguna side is that we humans - as sense dependent beings - require a type of form to understand and worship accordingly. A similar aspect comes from pantheism - "God" is in everything, therefore, everything should be worshiped. Personally, I gravitate towards the nirguna aspect, being influenced by Kabir, Buddha Siddartha and even Native Americans to some extent, who regard "God" as 'the Great Spirit'. The issue with saguna is that once something is created, it has a beginning and an ending. Accordingly, a formless Creator is not subject to time and material existence. This makes sense to me, and reinforces my view that "God" is not affected by human biases, limitations and attempts to be defined by any of these attributes. If religion is failing, it is because humans have logical and questioning minds. I speak from personal experience, as one who tried to embrace three, distinct religions in my earlier years.

Despite this, I do not consider myself as "anti-religious" because I've learned so much from respective religions and their sacred texts. From the Bible, I learned that "God" balances love and justice perfectly, humans are served by angels from other dimensions, and because there are other angels who despise us, apparently a celestial war is taking place in our midst. From Sikhism, I learned that "God" is perfect Truth, formless and birthless, without beginning nor ending, and free from fear and hatred. From an ancient, Muslim song with roots in Egypt, I learned that although "God" is one, It has 99 different attributes. This makes sense to me also, as a shaman who embraces the divinity of Earth. She is kind and benevolent to the creatures within her, but She can also bring wrath and destruction, especially in response to humans who defy Her ways. From Buddhism, I learned that "God" is also within us, and we all have capacity to greater love, empathy and compassion with this realization - which is called 'Samadhi'. From Hinduism, I learned that "God" causes humans to return to Earth multiples times, in multiple lives to learn many lessons. This topic in itself is so profound to me, that it will be a separate blog-post. In fact, reincarnation is considered the greatest obstacle to overcome during a human lifetime ! The treadmill of existences - which I've been instructed to term "womb-hopping" - is known as 'samsara' in India.

As I've stated earlier, we can learn a lot about ourselves from religion, but only from an open and objective mindset. A famous sage once said that "God" cannot simply be taught, but It must be experienced. If you have ever fallen in love with another human, or tried your favorite fruit for the first time, and you had to explain this to somebody else, it would seem near impossible. You would rather have that person experience these things for his/her own self. Honey is sweet, but so is sugar. Both of them are very distinct. How do you describe their differences ? It's much easier to tell somebody "taste and know !" From this perspective, it also requires the seeker to take initiative. The word "God" in and of itself contains no power, since it's just a vague word. The teacher can point to the path, but the student must actually walk it.

In summary... do I believe in "God" ? Yes. Can I describe, prove or expound on this God ?

No. You must taste and know for yourself. I can only speak of my own experience and what I know. My next blog post will address the question of human existence, which also attempts to explain our life's purpose. Here's a hint: a classroom has a diversity of students, but despite their backgrounds, genders and races, their goals are relatively the same. Is life a school ? Definitely ! However, this school is very different from the schools of humans. For starters, everybody is a teacher, and there's no competition. More about this in the next blog post - the second key. Be advised ! These keys may destroy your concept of reality.


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