Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Project Elysium wants to use VR to revive deceased loved ones

 

Oculus VR Jam entry promises a "personalized afterlife experience."

Paranormal Games
How far is too far when it comes to pushing the boundaries of virtual reality? As VR devices grow ever more sophisticated—and the tools to create software for them ever more accessible—where do we draw the line between what’s ethically acceptable in the real world and what’s ethically acceptable in the virtual world?
One of the developers putting this question to the test is Australia-based Paranormal Games. Project Elysium, its entry into the upcoming Oculus VR Jam 2015, treads some shaky moral ground by promising to create a "personalized afterlife experience," reuniting people with loved ones who have passed on. Exactly how the developer hopes to do this isn’t clear at this point (it will be required to showcase screenshots by April 27, followed by video footage the week after to be eligible for the jam’s grand prize), although a screenshot from Project Elysium’s development does show a friend of the studio being transformed into a 3D model.
Naturally, this raises more questions. Would potential users of Project Elysium have to send pictures and video of the deceased to the developer in order to have him or her mapped into the game? And what about that person’s personality? How much data would the developer need in order to create a realistic representation of that person rather than just a robotic and potentially distressing facsimile? Perhaps you'll be able to do it yourself, using a character editor a la Skyrim. 
Most importantly of all, though, what effect would seeing the deceased in a virtual world have on the mental health of the user?
Enlarge / A development screenshot from Project Elysium.
Perhaps there will be a subset of people for whom Project Elysium provides real comfort and support in times of grief. We’d hope that if Paranormal Games is truly serious about its "personalized afterlife experience" of helping people, it makes a real effort to study the potential mental health effects of its software. For now, it seems VR remains a wild west of unregulated innovation, where things like Project Elysium can push the applications of VR without necessarily following real world rules.
Undoubtedly things will change in the future, for better or worse, if we see VR used more frequently in this way. At the very least, Project Elysium will add to the growing discussion of what is and isn’t appropriate in VR, whether that’s violent gameplay, reviving the dead or otherwise, and whether we’re all at risk of losing our grip on reality.

Relational Spirituality

John Heron on the concept and history of relational spirituality

Blogger Ref http://www.p2pfoundation.net/Multi-Dimensional_Science



Contents

 [hide

Definition

Relational spirituality defines itself in contrast to the vertical spirituality that focuses on inner transformation alone, in abstraction from the relational basis of human life; and in contrast to the authoritarian aspects of many traditional and contemporary spiritual paths. The following can serve as a good introduction to the topic.
Authors who have pioneered the concept and practice are John Heron and Jorge Ferrer. See the entry on Participatory Spirituality for their views.

Citations

Here are three excerpts from John Heron, introducing the topic:
Relational spirituality
A convincing account of spirituality for me is that it is about multi-faceted integral development explored by persons in relation. This is because many basic modes of human development - e.g. those to do with gender, psychosexuality, emotional and interpersonal skills, communicative competence, morality, to name but a few - unfold through engagement with other people. A person cannot develop these on their own, but through mutual co-inquiry. The spirituality that is the fullest development of these modes can only be achieved through relational forms of practice that unveil the spirituality implicit in them (Heron 1998, 2005, 2006).
In short, the spirituality of persons is developed and revealed primarily in their relations with other persons. If you regard spirituality primarily as the fruit of individual practices, such as meditative attainment, then you can have the gross anomaly of a “spiritual" person who is an interpersonal oppressor, and the possibility of “spiritual" traditions that are oppression-prone (Heron, 1998; Kramer and Alstad, 1993; Trimondi and Trimondi, 2003). If you regard spirituality as centrally about liberating relations between people, then a new era of participative religion opens up, and this calls for a radical restructuring and reappraisal of traditional spiritual maps and routes.
Certainly there are important individualistic modes of development that do not necessarily directly involve engagement with other people, such as contemplative competence, and physical fitness. But these are secondary and supportive of those that do, and are in turn enhanced by co-inquiry with others.
On this overall view, spirituality is located in the interpersonal heart of the human condition where people co-operate to explore meaning, build relationship and manifest creativity through collaborative action inquiry into multi-modal integration and consummation. I propose one possible model of such collegial applied spirituality with at least eight distinguishing characteristics.
(1) It is developmentally holistic, involving diverse major modes of human development; and the holism is both within each mode and as between the modes. Prime value is put on relational modes, such as gender, psychosexuality, emotional and interpersonal skills, communicative competence, peer communion, peer decision-making, morality, human ecology, and more, supported by the individualistic, such as contemplative competence, physical fitness.
(2) It is psychosomatically holistic, embracing a fully embodied and vitalized expression of spirit. Spirituality is found not just at the ‘top end’ of a developmental mode, but in the ground, the living root of its embodied form, in the relational heart of its current level of unfolding, and in the transcendent awareness embracing it.
(3) It is epistemologically holistic, embracing many ways of knowing: knowing by presence with, by intuiting significant form and process, by conceptualizing, by practising. Such holistic knowing is intrinsically dialogic, action- and inquiry-oriented. It is fulfilled in peer-to-peer participative inquiry, and the participation is both epistemic and political.
(4) It is ontologically holistic, open to the manifest as nature, culture and the subtle, and to spirit as immanent life, the situational present, and transcendent mind. It sees our social relations in this present situation – our process in this place - as the immediate locus of the unfolding integration of immanent and transcendent spirit (Heron, 1998, 2005, 2006).
(5) It is focussed on worthwhile practical purposes that promote a flourishing humanity-cum-ecosystem; that is, it is rooted in an extended doctrine of rights with regard to social and ecological liberation.
(6) It embraces peer-to-peer, participatory forms of decision-making. The latter in particular can be seen as a core discipline in relational spirituality, burning up a lot of the privatized ego. Participatory decision-making involves the integration of autonomy (deciding for oneself), co-operation (deciding with others) and hierarchy (deciding for others). As the bedrock of relational spirituality, I return to it at the end of the paper.
(7) It honours the gradual emergence and development of peer-to-peer forms of association and practice, in every walk of life, in industry, in knowledge generation, in religion, and many more.
(8) It affirms the role of both initiating hierarchy, and spontaneously surfacing and rotating hierarchy among the peers, in such emergence. More on this later on.
Once it is grasped that the spirituality of persons is developed and revealed primarily in the spirituality of their relations with other persons, that as such it is a form of participative peer-to-peer inquiry, and that all this is a new religious dawn, without historical precedent, then it is reasonable to suppose that any authentic development of human spirituality in the future can only emerge within the light of this dawn. In other words, if a form of spirituality is not co-created and co-authenticated by those who practise it, it involves some kind of indoctrination, and is therefore, in this day and age, of questionable worth.
References
Heron, J. (1997) 'A Self-generating Practitioner Community' in R. House and N. Totton (Eds), Implausible Professions: Arguments for Pluralism and Autonomy in Psychotherapy and Counselling, Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books..
Heron, J. (1998) Sacred Science: Person-centred Inquiry into the Spiritual and the Subtle, Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books.
Heron, J. (1999) The Complete Facilitator’s Handbook, London: Kogan Page.
Heron, J, (2005) Papers on the Inquiry Group, www.human-inquiry.com/igroup0.htm
Heron, J, (2006) ‘Spiritual inquiry: a handbook of radical practice’, www.human-inquiry.com/thoughts.htm
Kramer, J. and Alstad, D. (1993) The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power, Berkeley: Frog Ltd.
Trimondi, V. and Trimondi, V. (2003) The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism, http://www.trimondi.de


Relational spirituality as primary in dipolar spiritual development By John Heron: (Adapted from pp. 99-101 of Heron, J. Sacred Science: Person-centred Inquiry into the Spiritual and the Subtle, Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books, 1998.)
“My own view of spiritual development is:
(1) That it is dipolar, to do (a) with moral life committed to the empowerment of ourselves and other people in relationship, to the full flowering of our immanent life, in community embracing diversity in free unity, and (b) with the inner transformation of consciousness.
(2) That (a) is primary and the consummation of (b).
The tendency of the eastern mystic has been to reduce his involvement with other people to directing the vertical transformation of their consciousness. His commitment to his own transformation as an end-in-itself overflows into guiding other people to do the same. His moral goal has been to enable the unenlightened to become enlightened and so attain moksha, release from the treadmill of reincarnation in the phenomenal world, regarded for the most part as an illusion grounded on ignorance, want of discrimination. However, I regard the phenomenal world as an innovative process of divine becoming, within which we humans are co-creators of global transformation, a planetary civilization.
On this view, my spiritual development has these two interdependent aspects, primary and secondary. The secondary and supportive aspect is that it works to foster and facilitate, with others, the inner transformation of human consciousness, so that we may celebrate the integrated fullness of creation in its physical, subtle and spiritual dimensions (not so that we can get release from it all).
The primary aspect is that it works to release the life-potential of persons-in-relation, to facilitate social empowerment and social justice in every sphere of human activity. For persons to become full co-creators of a planetary civilization, each one has an all-pervasive right to participate in any decision that affects the fulfilment of their needs and interests, the expression of their preferences and values. This universal right has a claim not only within political institutions, but in every sphere of human association where decisions are being taken: in industry, education, ecology, medicine, the family, and, of course, in research and in religion . The fulfilment of this claim throughout our planet in all these spheres has hardly begun. Moreover, the fact that there is so much spiritual authoritarianism in the world, in creeds and cults both old and new, creates a deep attitudinal warp in people which makes them susceptible to oppression by many other kinds of external authority. In reviewing criticisms of the traditional hierarchical model of spiritual reality, promoted by current adherents of the perennial philosophy,
Donald Rothberg writes: Hierarchical ontologies are commonly ideological expressions of social and psychological relations involving domination and exploitation - of most humans (especially women, workers, and tribal people), of nature, and of certain parts of the self. Such domination limits drastically the autonomy and potential of most of the inhabitants of the human and natural worlds, justifying material inequalities and preventing that free and open discourse which is the end of a free society. It distorts psychological life by repressing, albeit in the name of wisdom and sanctity, aspects of ourselves whose full expression is necessary to full psychological health and well-being (Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 1986, 18(1): 1-34).
My spiritual development, then, cannot be measured simply in terms of hours of meditation or number of extended retreats or stabilized attainment of some inner, transcendent state of mind, as I ascend the hierarchical spiritual ladder. On its own, this is vertical flight from full spiritual development, which I believe finds its primary consummation in the unfolding of my immanent spiritual life. And this, fully followed through, involves attention to social change and social justice through promoting participative forms of decision-making in every kind of human association with which I am involved, including the religious.
To summarize and restate the above: spiritual transformation of human beings has two complementary forms. The first form is about how persons realize in their exterior daily lives their immanent spiritual life and its potential. I believe this means developing the fulness of relational living, of expressive personal autonomy-in-connectedness, in terms of:
· Emotional and interpersonal competence: empowering self, the other and the relationship.
· The exercise of self-determination and co-operation in every situation of decision-making.
· The external expression of imaginative, creative skills .
· Commitment to social and planetary transformation.
· The grounding of life-style management in a co-creating relation with immanent spiritual life.
The second form is about how people open to a progressive interior transfiguration by a transcendent spiritual consciousness interdependent with immanent spiritual life. I believe this is secondary to, supportive of, and consummated in, the first form.
The following extract from my keynote talk at an international conference on “Living Spirit – New Dimensions in Work and Learning" at the University of Surrey, UK, in 2002, elaborates further the immanent relational pole of dipolar spiritual development.
Living spirit in the dawn of the age of immanence What I believe all this really shows is the newly emerging power of the human spirit, the dawning age of divine immanence, of the indwelling spirit that is the ground of human motivation. I think that living spirit is active within us, the very deep source of all human aspiration, both the will to live as a distinct individual, and the will to live as a universal participant – the will to be one of the creative Many and to be engaged with the creative One. These profound impulses have for the past 3,000 years been predominantly subordinate to the authoritative control of religious traditions, teachers and texts which have promoted spirit as primarily transcendent. And where these impulses have been emancipated from such control they have been reduced to secular status. Secular modernity has delivered huge gains in terms of relatively autonomous ethics, politics, science, knowledge generally, and art.
Yet it has championed the autonomy of the isolated Cartesian ego, separated off from the world it seeks to categorize, codify and manage. I do think this is the century of the spirit that is living deep within: the self-actualizing tendency of Rogers (1959, 1980), Maslow (1970), Gendlin (1981), embedded within the body-mind; the bio-spiritual experience of grace in the body of McMahon and Campbell (1991); Jean Houston’s entelechy self, the ground of one’s being, the root self whence all our possibilities emerge (Houston, 1987); Washburn’s dynamic ground of libido, psychic energy, numinous power or spirit (Washburn, 1995); Wilber’s ground unconscious, Eros, spirit-in-action (Wilber, 2000a).
Instead of appealing to the spiritual authority of teacher, tradition and text, an increasing number of people respond co-creatively with this divine dynamic moving within. Spiritual authority is found in the exercise of a deep kind of inner discrimination, where human autonomy and divine animation marry.
Nikolai Berdyaev (1874-1948), in the great tradition of European personalism, with which I align myself, was on to it with his affirmation of human personhood as manifesting the creative process of spirit. For he defined spirit as self-determining human subjectivity engaged in the realization of value and achieved in true community. He used the excellent Russian word sobornost to name such a community: it means diversity in free unity. Berdyaev also had a wonderful vision of the impending era, which he called the third epoch. The third epoch is the epoch of divine-human co-creation of a transformed planet, transformed persons, transformed social relationships (Berdyaev, 1937). Translated into my conceptual system, Berdyaev’s account means that living spirit manifests as a dynamic interplay between autonomy, hierarchy and co-operation. It emerges through autonomous people each of whom who can identify their own idiosyncratic true needs and interests; each of whom can also think hierarchically in terms of what values promote the true needs and interests of the whole community; and each of whom can co-operate with – that is, listen to, engage with, and negotiate agreed decisions with - their peers, celebrating diversity and difference as integral to genuine unity. Hierarchy here is the creative leadership which seeks to promote the values of autonomy and co-operation in a peer to peer association. Such leadership, as in the free software movement mentioned earlier, is exercised in two ways. First, by the one or more people who take initiatives to set up such an association. And second, once the association is up and running, as spontaneous rotating leadership among the peers, when anyone takes initiatives that further enhance the autonomy and co-operation of other participating members. The autonomy of participants is not that of the old Cartesian ego, isolated and cut off from the world. Descartes sat inside a big stove to get at his cogito, ergo sum - I think, therefore I am – and while his exclusively subjective self provided a necessary leverage against traditional dogmatisms to help found the modern worldview, it left the modern self alienated from the separated world it commands. The autonomy of those who flourish within sobornost, by contrast, is an autonomy that is rounded and enriched by a profound kind of inner animation, that develops and flourishes only in felt interconnectedness, participative engagement, with other persons, and with the biodiversity and integral ecology of our planet (Spretnak, 1995). This is the participatory worldview, expressed also in the extended epistemology I mentioned earlier on: our conceptual knowing of the world is grounded in our experiential knowing – a felt resonance with the world and imaginal participation in it. This epistemic participation is the ground for political participation in social processes that integrate autonomy, hierachy and co-operation. What we are now about is a whole collaborative regeneration of our world through co-creative engagement with the spirit that animates it and us.
For just a few of the many contributors to the participatory worldview see: Abram (1996); Bateson, 1979; Berman, 1981; Ferrer (2001); Heron, 1992, 1996a, 1998; Merleau-Ponty, 1962; Skolimowski (1994); Spretnak, 1991; Reason, 1994; Reason and Rowan, 1981; Tarnas (1991); Varela, Thompson and Rosch, (1991).


References from John Heron

Abram, D. (1996) The Spell of the Sensuous. New York: Vintage Books.
Baldwin, C. and Linnea, A. (2000) A Guide to PeerSpirit Circling. Langley, WA: PeerSpirit Inc.
Bateson, G. (1979) Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity. New York: Dutton.
Bauwens, M. (2003) ‘Peer to Peer: from Technology to Politics’. http://noosphere.cc/peerToPeer.html
Berdyaev, N. (1937) The Destiny of Man. London: Ayer.
Berman, M. (1981) The Reenchantment of the World. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press,
Bloom, W. (2001) The Endorphin Effect. London: Piatkus.
Blum, W. (2002) Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower. London: Zed Books.
Campbell, J. (1996) Traveler in Space: In Search of Female Identity in Tibetan Buddhism. New York: George Braziller.
Crook, J. (1996) ‘Authenticity and the practice of Zen’, New Ch’an Forum, 13: 15-30.
Ferrer, J. (2002) Revisioning Transpersonal Theory: A Participatory Vision of Human Spirituality. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
angaji (1995) You Are That. Novato, CA: Gangaji Foundation.
Gendlin, E. (1981) Focusing. London: Bantam Press.
Govinda, L.A. (1960) The Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism. London: Rider.
Green Party of Utah (2002) ‘A happy ‘how to’ of formal consensus decision-making’ at www.greenpartyofutah.org
Heron, J. (1984) ‘Holistic endeavour in postgraduate medical eduction’ in The British Journal of Holistic Medicine, 1:1, 80-91.
Heron, J. (1988) ‘Assessment revisited’ in Boud, D. (ed) Developing Student Autonomy in Learning. London: Kogan Page.
Heron, J. (1992) Feeling and Personhood: Psychology in Another Key. London: Sage.
Heron, J. (1996a) Co-operative Inquiry: Research into the Human Condition. London: Sage.
Heron, J. (1996b) ‘Helping Whole People Learn’ in Boud D. and Miller N. (eds), Working with Experience: Promoting Learning. London: Routledge, 1996.
Heron, J. (1998) Sacred Science: Person-centred Inquiry into the Spiritual and the Subtle. Ross on Wye: PCCS Books.
Heron, J. (1999) The Complete Facilitator’s Handbook. London: Kogan Page.
Heron, J. (2001) Helping the Client: A Creative, Practical Guide. London: Sage.
Heron, J. (2002) ‘A revisionary perspective on human spirituality’, at www.human-inquiry.com
Heron, J. and Reason, P. (1985) Whole Person Medicine: A Co-operative Inquiry. London: British Postgraduate Medical Federation.
Houston, J. (1987) The Search for the Beloved. Los Angeles: Tarcher.
Maslow, A. (1970) Motivation and Personality. New York: Harper & Row.
McMahon, E. and Campbell, P. (1991) The Focusing Steps. Kansas City, MO: Sheed and Ward.
Merleau-Ponty, M. (1962) Phenomenology of Perception. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Monroe, R.A. (1972) Journeys Out of the Body. London: Souvenir Press.
Peat, F.D. (1996) Blackfoot Physics. London: Fourth Estate.
Peat, F.D. (1997) Infinite Potential: The Life and Times of David Bohm. New York: Addison Wesley.
Reason, P. (1994) (ed) Participation in Human Inquiry. London: Sage.
Reason, P. and Bradbury, H. (eds) (2001) Handbook of Action Research. London: Sage.
Reason, P. (ed) (2002) Special issue, ‘The Practice of Co-operative Inquiry’, Systemic Practice and Action Research, 14(6).
Reason, P. and Rowan, J. (eds) (1981) Human Inquiry: A Sourcebook of New Paradigm Research. Chichester: Wiley.
Tarnas, R. (1991) The Passion of the Western Mind. New York: Ballantine.
Rogers, C. (1959) ‘A theory of therapy, personality, and interpersonal relationships, as developed in the client-centred framework’, in S. Koch (ed) Psychology: A Study of a Science, Vol 3. New York: Penguin.
Rogers, C. (1980) A Way of Being. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Skolimowski, H. (1994) The Participatory Mind. London: Arkana.
Spretnak, C. (1991) States of Grace: The Recovery of Meaning in the Postmodern Age. San Francisco: Harper-Collins.
Spretnak, C. (1995) ‘Embodied, embedded philosophy’, Open Eye, California Institute for Integral Studies, 12(1): 4-5.
Varela, F. J., Thompson, E. and Rosch, E. (1991) The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Washburn, M. (1995) The Ego and the Dynamic Ground. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
Wilber, K. (2000a) Integral Psychology. Boston: Shambhala.
Wilber, K. (2000b) One Taste: Daily Reflections on Integral Spirituality. Boston: Shambhala.
Yorks, L. and Kasl, E. (eds) (2002) Collaborative Inquiry as a Learning Strategy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

More Information

John Heron and the critique of Wilber's Integral Theory approach, at http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/?p=10


Key Books to Read:

1. Jorge Ferrer. Revisioning Transpersonal Psychology. A Participatory Vision of Human Spirituality. SUNY, 2001
This is the key classic to have reformulated a participatory vision of spirituality from out of the transpersonal psychology tradition. The first part deconstructs the non-relational biases of transpersonal psychology, while the second part attempts to reconstruct a new vision based on participation. Strongly recommended.
2. John Heron. Sacred Science: Person-centered inquiry into the spiritual and the subtle. PCCS Books, 1998
Together with Ferrer, John Heron is the second contemporary author to have reformulated a participatory vision of relational spirituality. This book is more practically oriented towards the practice of cooperative inquiry into the spiritual, but reviews the theoretical grounding that founds the practice as well. Part 1, ‘Perspectives of Lived Inquiry’ focuses on the issue of spiritual authority; Part 2, ‘Co-operative Inquiry Reports’, explains the process, and Part 3, reviews the theoretical grounding of such practice.
3. Henryk Skolimowski. The Participatory Mind : A New Theory of Knowledge and of the Universe. Arkana ,1995
Foundational critique of the mechanistic view of the human mind, with a historical reconstruction of the participatory worldview.


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Shaktipat

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia/Blogger Ref http://www.p2pfoundation.net/Multi-Dimensional_Science
 
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Shaktipat or Śaktipāta (Sanskrit, from shakti - "(psychic) energy" - and pāta, "to fall")[1] refers in Hinduism to the conferring of spiritual "energy" upon one person by another. Shaktipat can be transmitted with a sacred word or mantra, or by a look, thought or touch – the last usually to the ajna chakra or third eye of the recipient.
Saktipat is considered an act of grace (anugraha) on the part of the guru or the divine. It cannot be imposed by force, nor can a receiver make it happen.[2] The very consciousness of the god or guru is held to enter into the Self of the disciple, constituting an initiation into the school or the spiritual family (kula) of the guru.[3] It is held that Shaktipat can be transmitted in person or at a distance, through an object such as a flower or fruit or else by telephone or letter.[4]


Levels of intensity[edit]

Levels[edit]

In Kashmir Shaivism, depending on its intensity, Śaktipāt can be classified as:
  • tīvra-tīvra-śaktipāta - the so-called "Super Supreme Grace" - produces immediate identity with Śiva and liberation; such a being goes on to become a siddha master and bestows grace from his abode (Siddhaloka), directly into the heart of deserving aspirants[5]
  • tīvra-madhya-śaktipāta - "Supreme Medium Grace" - such a being becomes spiritually illuminated and liberated on his own, relying directly on Śiva, not needing initiation or instruction from other exterior guru. This is facilitated by an intense awakening of his spiritual intuition (pratibhā) which immediately eliminates ignorance[5]
  • tīvra-manda-śaktipāta - "Supreme Inferior Grace" - the person who received this grace strongly desires to find an appropriate guru, but he does not need instruction, but a simple touch, a look or simply being in the presence of his master is enough to trigger in him to the state of illumination[5]
  • madhya-tīvra-śaktipāta - "Medium Supreme Grace" - a disciple who receives this grace desires to have the instruction and initiation of a perfect guru; in time he becomes enlightened. However, he is not totally absorbed into this state during his lifetime and receives a permanent state of fusion with Śiva after the end of his life[6]
  • madhya-madhya-śaktipāta - "Medium Middle Grace" - such a disciple will receive initiation from his guru and have an intense desire to attain liberation, but at the same time he still has desire for various enjoyments and pleasure; after the end of his life, he continues to a paradise where he fulfills all his desires and after that he receives again initiation from his master and realizes permanent union with Śiva[7]
  • madhya-manda-śaktipāta - "Medium Inferior Grace" - is similar to "Medium Middle Grace" except that in this case the aspirant desires worldly pleasures more than union with Śiva; he needs to be reincarnated again as a spiritual seeker to attain liberation[7]
  • manda - "Inferior Grace" - for those who receive this level of grace, the aspiration to be united with Śiva is present only in times of distress and suffering; the grace of Śiva needs to work in them for many lifetimes before spiritual liberation occurs[8]

Table[edit]

Type of spiritual graceWhen is the moment of liberation?What one needs in order
to attain liberation?
What is the defining quality
of the recipient?
tīvra-tīvra-śaktipāta Super Supreme Graceimmediatenothing exterior, only
the grace of Śiva
capability to abandon duality
tīvra-madhya-śaktipāta Supreme Medium Graceimmediatenothing exterior, only
the grace of Śiva
intuition of nonduality[note 1]
tīvra-manda-śaktipāta Supreme Inferior Graceafter meeting a perfect guruthe presence of
a physical guru
total surrender for his guru
madhya-tīvra-śaktipāta Medium Supreme Graceat the end of life in this physical planethe initiation
and instruction of a guru
intense spiritual aspiration
madhya-madhya-śaktipāta Medium Middle Graceafter living for some time in a paradisethe initiation
and instruction of a guru
spiritual aspiration is more intense than worldly desires
madhya-manda-śaktipāta Medium Inferior Gracein the next physical incarnationthe initiation
and instruction of a guru
lower aspiration than
worldly desires
manda Inferior Graceafter many lifetimes of incremental progressthe initiation
and instruction of a guru and lots of time

Descriptions[edit]

Swami Muktananda, in his book, Play of Consciousness, describes in great detail his experience of receiving shaktipat initiation from his guru Bhagavan Nityananda and his spiritual development that unfolded after this event. [9]
Paul Zweig has written of his experience of receiving shaktipat from Muktananda.[10] In the same book Itzhak Bentov describes his laboratory measurements of kundalini-awakening through shaktipat,[11] a study held in high regard by the late Satyananda Saraswati, founder of the Bihar School of Yoga, and by Hiroshi Motoyama, author of Theories of the Chakras.
Barbara Brennan describes shaktipat as the projection of the guru's "aura" on the disciple who thereby acquires the same mental state, hence the importance of the high spiritual level of the guru. The physiological phenomena of rising kundalini then naturally manifest.[12]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Jump up ^ Abhinavagupta distinguishes here between two sublevels:
    • those whose intuition (pratibhā) is firm
    • those whose intuition is hesitant, who need more practice in order to stabilize; they would take a guru, study the scriptures or practice yoga[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jump up to: a b Abhinavagupta, The Kula Ritual, as Elaborated in Chapter 29 of the Tantrāloka, John R. Dupuche, page 155
  2. Jump up ^ Abhinavagupta, The Kula Ritual, as Elaborated in Chapter 29 of the Tantrāloka, John R. Dupuche, page 154
  3. Jump up ^ Abhinavagupta: The Kula Ritual, as Elaborated in Chapter 29 of the Tantrāloka, John R. Dupuche, Page 131
  4. Jump up ^ Satyananda Saraswati, Kundalini Tantra, Yoga Publications Trust (1984), p. 46.
  5. ^ Jump up to: a b c Kashmir Shaivism, The Secret Supreme, Lakshman Joo, Page 66
  6. Jump up ^ Kashmir Shaivism, The Secret Supreme, Lakshman Joo, Page 67
  7. ^ Jump up to: a b Kashmir Shaivism, The Secret Supreme, Lakshman Joo, Page 68
  8. Jump up ^ Kashmir Shaivism, The Secret Supreme, Lakshman Jee, Page 69
  9. Jump up ^ Muktananda, Swami (1978). Play of Consciousness. Siddha Yoga Publications. ISBN 0-911307-81-8. 
  10. Jump up ^ Paul Zweig, in John White (editor), Kundalini, Evolution, and Enlightenment (ISBN 1-55778-303-9)
  11. Jump up ^ Itzhak Bentov, Micromotions of the body as a factor in the development of the nervous system, in John White (editor), Kundalini, Evolution, and Enlightenment (ISBN 1-55778-303-9)
  12. Jump up ^ Barbara Brennan, Hands of Light

Structure of spiritual Hierarchy in Metasocmos

 

Arkady G. Aseev, Dmitry N. Fonarev
 

Noocomology is the science which describes structure of the Universe, based on the works of the Russian Cosmic scholarship (cosmists). In the middle of 1990ths Soviet military specialists not only worked out the possibility of information exchange at the extrasensorial level (technology of «metacontact»), but confirmed the ideology of great Russian cosmists. Developing their ideology, engaging leading Russian and soviet scientists, the military specialists came closer to the bases of modern science, which is named Noocosmology
Stages of this work and results of experiments are described in details in the book series «Chronicles of the Real World». These books contain reports of the operators of informational channels (the people, who due to their talents and experience, under the guidance of military specialists, are able to get unique data about the structure of the Universe.
Certainly the question of data origin was always of top interest for investigators. Any information must be not only comprehensive, but trustworthy as well. Validity check of source and method was done meticulously. Validity of information received from high-class specialists reached 95%. Source at each channel asked to call him a Patron [acting guardian, protector]. Each operator has his own Patron, and there was no even thought to change him. No man establishes rules of this game. Quality was the only thing dependant on a specialist. Information received by operators was transferred verbally of via automatic writing. Images and terms depended on operator, his efficiency and capabilities, education and abstract thinking. Specialists, who checked operators, learned to ask questions and follow the rules, established for them. Patrons have rather direct told what Metacosmos is and how it is organized. We have taken Chapter 20 from the book «Eternity Guide» as a basis in order to describe structure of Metacosmic Hierarchies, to which patrons belong.
Where is the place for each of us? Who we are from Their point of view? Why they allow the contact? What they teach us? Is there anyone else between operator and the patron? What is the role and place of patron? Who is above patrons? One can ask endless questions, being simply curious. But if you have a goal, then cognitive vector sets the limit, and natural logic will help. So ahead with logic!
Noocosmology is describing a man as energoinformational system, which is inseparably bound to the whole Hierarchy structure of the Universe. This point of view is based on thesis that at this planet a man himself should be priority object for learning. If we observe a man as a system (Greek work «systema» means «whole, constructed of elements; conjunction»), conjunction of interdependent elements, which forms entity according to the creation task, then the main question of this Noocosmology division will turn as following: origin (creation) of a man on the planet. A man, as a system, could be described by well known methods, using standard measures. Certainly this is not pretending to be description of absolute system. But each created system (created by someone) is created (based on something) at a purpose. Nothing is done without a purpose. An accident is just unknown law. Absence of distinct explanation for the reason and genesis of a man at the planet does not mean that he just «accidentally» arrived. If something happens, then somebody needs this to happen. So we have to find out, who and for what reason wanted us to appear on Earth.
Metacosmic Hierarchy is the absolute ruling system, which controls its development. Role of Hierarchy is clear management for all systems of Metacosmos. Tasks of Hierarchy vary from multiplication of common intelligence [by this accumulation of common sense is meant] to progressive development in each point of the Universe, with the goal to upgrade Metacosmos as an environment, in which Hierarchy exists. Form of Hierarchy life being is constant and purposeful work, which differs from the vanity, because reality must improve as a result of this work.
Energoinformational substances are the fundamental elements (constructive foundations) of Hierarchy. Let us use the word «Hierarch» to build appropriate image. Hierarch is at a higher level of development and place at energoinformational level (used term is «psy-level»), Hierarch is Patron and Teacher for the one below him. Hierarch suggests his mentees ways of life, behavior, development, destruction. He is responsible for the particular part of the work with regard to the planets, planet systems or just a human life. Each mentee, living creature, has a right to choose the particular way of his existence.
Main rule of patrons is — do no harm, not interfere in other life. But in terms of common sense — to avoid his mentees interfere.
The better is the system organized, it is strong and stable. Role of Hierarchy consists of clear management of all systems of Metacosmos.
Hierarchy tasks — multiplication of common intelligence, development, progress. Intelligent [reasonable] Metasosmos should embrace everything, be mighty and indivisible. Core of intelligence knowledge must be protected from invasions. Core of intelligence knowledge contains all valuable thoughts, might and power of intelligence..
Brain is the main thing for living creature, one cannot go without brain. The head, which contains brain, must be protected above all, as existence of unprotected brain — without skull and body — is impossible. Thus core of Intelligence is the cumulative treasury of thinking Metacosmos.
Structure of Hierarchies could be described as following.
The Lord [God] is on top of All. Below are executives, responsible for main trends of development and management. Farther they are from the management Center, less possibilities and obligations they have.
Initially the Lord was firstborn. It is considered that He is self-born and self-realized, and there was nobody to teach him.
It is not obligatory that everything is created by somebody. Could be self-origin and self-birth. For this there was the primary ethereal source, which contained the first thought. It started spiraling in all directions. This spiral was build according to the laws, which we know as Fibonacci numbers. Each whorl generated new substances, assistants of the Lord.
In the beginning the Lord artificially created thinking intelligence for assistance, as there was nowhere to get it, except via self-multiplication.
This was how He created Firstborn, because they were the first. We can consider that they were created by the Lord via division. Further on there was no need to divide. But to grow and educate his kin, to start gathering spiritual mass, grown from the very beginning. They represent forces, who manage the whole set of works, in which the Lord does not need to interfere. The same process of energy exchange is with the people: first parents give to the children, then children — to the parents.
Then come the second. They are very appreciated by gained intelligence and life experience. Man cannot enter the level of connection with the Firstborns; connection with the Second is possible, but rare due to their small amount and overload.
The Thirds are at the lower level. They have wonderful natural education, adjusted to the high grade. Connection to that level is rather often. Structure of Hierarchies could be presented as follows:
Structure of Energo-Informational Hierarchies of Metacosmos according to Noocosmology
Obedience starts from the low est rank of the high level — the Eighths. They are young entity, who reached high spiritual level.
All lower spiritual structures must obey to the higher; themselves they have partial power, single and mutual. Those lower than the Eighths, are Obeying, higher — are administrated.
The Firstborns did not undergo hard living experience. They are great from their birth and their spiritual building. The Firstborns are responsible for the structural agglomerations of the Universes and for some old Universes. All other Hierarchies are in their subordination.
The Firstborns do not have mass or body. Their intelligence is mighty and full of love to God, and for this they are loved. Second are grown in hard crossings and examinations, they are chosen for this level for their hard work, character, faith, dedication and virtue. This position is granted by Firstborns to their stewards. Sphere of their work is huge: creation and birth of the new Universe, Galactic work, work on the planets, in human souls and souls of other beings. Their main task is to form new Galaxies in a proper place of the Universe and at a proper time, also they supervise the order of Galactic formation. They also administrate all other lower Hierarchies; observe the work of those under subordination. Other levels report to them. High is demand for the refusal in subordination. They are mighty to punish and to raise those who deserve it up to their level (but not higher).
But this is not their single job. More important is self-improvement. You cannot demand from the others, if you are on the same level, if you do not develop, do not fulfill a new work. If you are given the right to demand from the others, please ask from yourself, first of all.
Higher is the position, higher is responsibility before the others.
It would be useful for the administrators on Earth at the high rank — to tend to further knowledge and improvement, not just fight for their position. Then their subordinates will follow their example, and develop.
Thirds and Fourths also undergo the way of crosses and examinations, and obey to the Seconds, as well as lower Hierarchies. Fourths are responsible for the Galaxies, and all that happens there. Special attention is to the speed of Galaxy whirling. Origin of life, in particular, depends on this. Also these Hierarchies are responsible for the spiritual development of thinking structures, and storage of positive energy. Work is highly specialized, to find out, who is responsible for what. Lower structures also obey to the Fourths. They have large power over humans, live or dead. Higher than the Fourths are God, Firstborns, Seconds and Thirds.
The Thirds differ from Fourths non-significantly, but are more responsible for themselves and the others. They have to overview the life of Galaxy conglomerations, their inner connections and transfers. This is high position and high rank.
A man can become the Third, if he had a large responsibility, significant task on Earth, did it with honor, and took other people’s problems and crosses on his own will, not for the benefits.
From far away, everything is seen — you cannot hide, cannot lie. Only sincerity is valued at the highest value. For example, Alexander Nevsky was hard in his deeds, and not always right. He did a lot for himself, but thought about others more.
Fifths are responsible for star agglomerations, their connections and transfers from one to another star.
Sixths are responsible for the stars, their temperature, circling and life on them.
Sevenths are responsible for the star systems. There are many Sevenths by each star system.
Eighths and Sevenths are needed for the work with a man.
The Eighth shows the way from birth of a child. His role is to preserve a man, alive and healthy. If this is not done, there will be no development. He defends a child at his birth, brings his soul straight forward until application to a «higher school». Seventh leads a child before birth. His will is — child’s birth with illnesses, spots, which will attract other people attention. For a man this is a test for his soul. Seventh can stop child’s life for his parent’s sins in their thoughts or opposite — give birth to a child, but punish his parents.
This is so called «all is in God’s will».
So, to summarize, Metacosmos consists of seven levels: agglomerations of the Universes, Universes, agglomerations of Galaxies, Galaxies, star agglomerations, stars and planets.
See schematic picture.

Circles of higher Hierarchies doeth not diminish in the battle with Evil Forces. In general, there is more Good, and will it not come little of cunning thoughts. Wilth not black fury dragon knock down the white holy mantle. Can this not be from the beginning of beginnings! Will not eternal failure be!
Higher intermediate level is the level of dead souls, who stepped over mental layer. Each soul stays there not more than a year.
Only dead souls stay here.
Soul is energoinformational identifier of a man in the hierarchy, soul is able to grow and develop. Soul is temporarily in human body or similar constructions, which have intellect and mind, able for self-development and self-regulation. Soul has ability to change its place and to reincarnate from generation to generation to achieve its main goal — high moral potential, able to lead other souls.
Everything in Cosmos consists of aether. What one calls soul is condensed universal aetheric organization, which develops up to highest level of «the thought-energy».
Mental level is higher than astral level, it is intermediate between astral and high-spiritual. Its inhabitants are souls, first time born at the mental level. In comparison to astral level they are more spiritual, strong in the rules of spirituality, following the way of development.
More highly organized souls, which made more self-development, live at the mental level. They are given opportunity to teach human souls. As usual they are main to guide people. They have power at the lower level and obey to the highest. Mental is the most continuous level.
There live highly spiritual human souls, which have possibility to enter higher level.
When channel operators contacted extraterrestrials via metacontact, they failed to do this directly. Discussion was held via the leader. Leaders are at the Eighth level. If extraterrestrials were at the higher Hierarchie levels, they would contact operators directly. One should take in consideration that development of extraterrestrials is greater than of the humans. They can visit our Earth, but we cannot visit them. As their level of development is lower than Eights, we can consider they belong to Mental layer.
Intermediate level. Reason for this level is the same as between Highest and Mental ones. Selection, self-assessment is done there.
Astral is very interesting level. Everything is gathered here: from nothingness to genius, what is top needed and what is useless. In the astral layer in the form of unseen energy everything is collected, which died at the physical layer. Part of energy is used for utilization of the physical body, its disintegration. But not only inner energy is used here. Environment comes for help. One living being comes to help another and destroys it for the prolongation of life. So astral layer is the level of souls of the dead and spirits.
Spirit is low-spiritualized material, originated from low-development beings. Spirit does not have a soul. Spirit also is self-developing, self-regulating and evolutionizing.
Spirits are in the astral layer only. Entrance to the higher levels is closed for them.
Astral consists of the following levels:
  • arrival;
  • understanding;
  • exiting.
But these are rather not levels, but temporary shelter.
Reason or Arrival level is clear.
Level of understanding is the level where self-assessment is done. Only soups of dead people do this. Animals are thinking creatures, but they are not allowed here are not do that important work after physical death. Moment of the transfer by animal, man and plant differs. Man enters this level after consideration or at the necessity in his soul.
One can ask why only man has the right of birth of the higher levels, and born a spider will not turn highly spiritual being?
That is because only man always undergoes spiritual choices, the tests.
Only a man has the right of choice between good and evil. Animals has only right for life. And this right they use even to bring harm to the others.
Thus the lowest level and the nearest to the Earth in comparison to other layers, «populated» by the beings, is called Astral.
Astral is the first layer of the spirits and souls after living body. Willing or unwilling to enter this level means nothing, because all souls come here, if not entered the body of the higher rank. In this case, soul immediately after the physical death, not entering astral, goes to the higher level. All the others enter astral level, where self-assessment of life and assessment of the achieved level of soul development is going on. Here the soul stays until the moment of transfer to the new physical body, which soul has not reached intermediate or mental layer. For most of people this is during the whole first ear after death. One but should not think that souls of bad people are those who just entered from physical layer, new-born or not reached higher level of spiritual development. They have no right yet to guide the others or enter the Councils, their work is self-education and apphrehension.
Low astral layer is the layer of dead people, who had bad recommendation during their life and lived in hatred and malice.
More rough the energy is, nearer to the Earth it is situated. Staggering ghosts, demons, evil spirits, who holds human souls down, all these spirits are at the lowest level. They are nearer to the people, brings them to temptations every day, pushing them to do bad things and fight their thoughts and feelings. These beings are required for the examination during evolution of the soul. If the Lord wanted, He would easily deal with all enemies of the man. But this is not to be done: otherwise where would be examinations, if everything is goodness.
There is a layer of many unpacified souls, which did not find explanation to their deeds on Earth. These souls have high negative energy, directed for harm.
Further on the layer is changing for better, and in its highest part, near intermediate to mental, consists of the human sould, who lived their life as normal people with ordinary sins and downsides.
Spirits will never enter higher levels. Here they are forever to stay. But souls can.
In the layers and interlayers between levels there are so called Paradise, Hell and limbo.
Everybody wants to come to Paradise and forever enjoy without any worries, live for pleasure.
But what is pleasure? Each man has his own understanding, while here «different» is not accepted.
Paradise is a place, where every day difficult but joyful work for the benefit of others is done. Paradise is the home of Spiritual forces, and their work is top happiness.
Hell is opposite to the paradise. It is the place where unpacified souls are, who lived their lives bad, who assessed their lives as obscene, and now wait for disintegration. Not incubation period is that horrible, but the process of apprehension itself. This is the time when soul is in pain, and thoughts become clear, which should be horrible.
Limbo actually does not exist. Intermediate levels could become limbo, as they are transfer and assessment elements between layers.
All is created by the Lord to reach the main goal — high spiritual development, not for horror or stimulation.
This structure of Hierarchies of the Universe was given to the Russian military specialists in the 90th of the XX century via metacontact. Wonderful is that the same structure is known in the USA. On the one-dollar banknote thirteen-steps pyramid is painted with an eye on top.
Nowadays there is much speculation to create the new religion, but better talk not of «new religion», but of mutual religion. Many might not accept it, which happened with different religions not once, and resulted in not good results, lead to concern, disgust and opposition.
Much evil comes of difference between religions. One religion seems like our, but is not ours.
At the end of the day, there should be no religion as it is. Should be high spiritual science, which combines moral and serving the Lord. Serving different gods — is rubbish, like serving sun, moon, stone, etc. Still there is sense in this service. Better serve somebody or anybody, than just yourself.
Question of good and evil is difficult to answer, it sounds strange. Every man must give his own answer, as it depends on the spiritual level of the man.
Good is given freely, with pleasure and without greed. Good is the sign of delicacy, love, sacrifice — for the other people. Good from intent — is the present for others.
It is that: more gets the one who gives, than who accepts.
Source of evil is in evil intent. Horrible is that all people have possibility to realize the intent: evil and good. Evil in its growth cannot exist, if is not constantly brought up by wars, anger, quarrel, envy, and so on.
Evil in the man is born by his own dissatisfaction, may-have-been dreams, ambition, self-assessment as of unrecognized genius, huge egoism. Envy warms up all this. Envy — is the snake with deathly bite, which bites often healthy and clever people. Envy is unlimited, it gives birth to other defects and deeds actions (roguery, intrigues, slander, wrongful accusations). Envy can kill.
Righteous men quickly come to the Lord, not requiring any evidences. Sky sign is often granted to them. One has to seek ways of knowledge, investigate yourself and nature, but complete picture will not come out.
If spiritual leader find necessity for man to receive information, he will bring this himself to the brain of a man, while a man cannot get information from the data bank himself, because Absolute is «not talkative». Those lie, who say they speak to Absolute. May be they would like to say, they talk to the Lord, but have scruples: feel uncomfortable to glorify themselves, but do not agree for the less, because they are the most of the most. And thus say about Absolute.
So getting information is prerogative of the leaders, not a man himself, this is practically impossible.
One has to believe. Life without faith returns simple existence.
Even hunting animal believes in success. Not only because of hunger and instincts, but belief that his worries are not in vain, otherwise there is no sense to go. With absence of faith in success, absence of will to do mutual work, compatriots start killing each other. Man must have faith. At the first steps it was equal for him, in what to believe. Good and evil with the same fear related to good or evil force. Later they started to choose, what is more worth believing, what is easier for realization, what is unexplained and mysterious. Multiple believes arrived. Faith must be single, and it is just some time to wait until multiple believes disappear, now they bring bitter fruits.
We from our side suggest the following. Let us consider that
The Lord is Unlimited [Living] Soul of Harmony.
The Lord does not need to be «found» by somebody. He is, and everyone founds Him for himself. He is single, but different for everyone.
From the beginning man did not need religion, as he had stable connection with Cosmos. He received information from his leaders directly. While losing this connection, his consciousness started creating systems of self-development, which he called religions. Then cults, societies, churches arrived as instruments of exploitation of faith that religion is the only way of development. What we have now — you can see. Pastors, mullahs, rabbins got the place of the Leaders, usurped the right to serve to the Lord (Cosmos). But each of us can do it himself. Truth cannot be marked by crux, half moon, Magen David or anything else.