One day Sisman Tuccar was conversing with somebody at the teahouse when the man said, “You won’t believe it! I found this amazing sweet shop on the other side of town. The borma and the bulbul baklava are like nothing you’ve ever tasted before.”
Immediately interested Sisman Tuccar asked, “How did you find it?”
Replied the man, “Well, after wandering around for a while and taking a number of right turns and wrong turns, suddenly there it was!”
Said Sisman, “Tell me the wrong turns you took so that I can find it too.”
The word “banquet” comes from the old French word banc which was in turn derived from the old Italian banchetto and means “bench”. And so, it indicated a meal or repast that could be taken or shared together whilst sitting on a bench. Indeed, there is little in the world more delightful than the sharing of food and wine beautifully and delicately prepared. However, one of the many things that has rather gone out of fashion in this modern age is that small and inconsequential ritual of giving thanks before the meal. Today with such apparent abundance it seems rather redundant.
The ancient Greeks as well as other ancient cultures were well aware of the direct connection between food and life. But more than that they intuitively understood that it was the Earth that gave of itself to sustain all life forms upon it. And so, in the Hellenic world the Greeks gave thanks to Cybele known as the Mountain Mother, and to Gaia the Earth goddess as well as to Demeter the goddess of harvests.
Nowadays it is common to hear talk about wholeness. But what is wholeness? Have you ever considered what it means? Etymologically the word “whole” comes from the Norse word halla which means undamaged or unfractured. From this is derived the old English word hal which means whole or entire. And so whole-ness means having the characteristic of the whole or the entirety. We might say then that it is that which carries the attribute of the entirety. And the attribute of the entirety is that it is all of the thing. In other words it is complete. There is nothing lacking. It is without any absence.
In the Far East the characteristic of the entirety as completeness was indicated conceptually by the symbol of the circle. In the Near East it was symbolized by the ouroboros – the image of the snake eating its own tail.
Now if we consider the symbology of the circle we might notice that the space within the circle indicates an absence. At the same time the circumference of the circle indicates a continuity in relation to which no beginning or end can be discerned. Because no beginning or end can be found it represents an order of completeness which is incapable of further completion. And so you might say that in the symbol of the circle what you have is an empty completeness which is full because of the absence of any absence.
When people get religious sort of ideas in their head, sooner or later the delicate question of that moment of pure joy that everybody enjoys always crops up. Should I or shouldn’t I? As with most things, there are very different schools of thought regarding this. So let me explain. There are basically five schools of thought on this.
The first school says you should and in fact the more you do the better. The second school says we don’t so you shouldn’t either. The third school says you should but only when we say you should. The fourth school says you probably shouldn’t but if you do don’t tell anyone. And then the fifth school says you shouldn’t but that doesn’t apply to us. Now if you are deliberating on whether you should or you shouldn’t, this should help you to decide.
In the tantra that emerged during the first millennium in India it became customary to describe the different dimensions of the human being in terms of bodies or fields of function. This led to a proliferation of different esoteric theories and yogic ideas concerning these bodies. Some systems propounded five bodies, some seven, some nine and some even more. Whilst there are many equally plausible explanations of these bodies it really comes down to this.
The first body is the manifestation body. It is the body of form as the shape that you have assumed for yourself. The second body is the emotional body. It is the body of all the things you love and dislike. The third body is the mental body. It is the body of the multiplicity of all your beliefs, ideas and imaginings. The fourth body is the energy body as the wellspring of all your desires. And the fifth body is called no-body. It is called no-body because it’s the house where nobody lives.
If you put a doctorate thesis in front of a primary school child it will have no meaning to him. He will draw doodles and funny pictures all over the pages. There is a progression to things. One thing builds on another and leads to yet another. That’s how it goes. You can’t force a fruit to become ripe. It ripens in its own time. Each fruit hangs in a different spot and catches the sun differently. When there’s interest in life and what it is to be alive then understandings come of their own accord. That’s how it is. Understandings come when they come.
If one observes the human world one will quickly see that it is based upon commerce. That is to say it is held together by the web of transactions on different levels that take place between people of all kinds. I buy a cup of coffee from you and you buy a pie from me. There is of course nothing wrong at all with that, and indeed it’s the way things work.
However when it comes to the question of understanding things at a deeper level, one has to ask oneself whether the same thing applies. If it does, all well and good. Go to the market and buy your understanding. But if it doesn’t, then what are you going to do?
Now it’s certainly not my job to tell you what you should do. And I’m not selling any ointments or remedies either if that’s what you are after. I have nothing at all to sell you.
One of the reasons that there is an inability to come into the ease of undividedness is that the three main centres of the human being are not operating in alignment. The mind which is rational says one thing. The heart which operates on a totally different plane of resonance says another. And then the energy centre which is the repository of vitality is depleted and not working properly. And so, is it any wonder that the human being is running like a madman in three different directions at once?
Despite the vast differences that exist between people, there is one thing that everybody shares in common. Each person comes here, runs around for a while and then is called away. Now the curious thing about people today is that they seem to be under the impression that they know all there is to know about running around, and that those who came here and ran around before them knew nothing at all. It is true that people today certainly run around a lot faster than those who ran around before them. But whether all this fast running around means that they know anything more or are any better at running around, is another matter entirely.