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The Seven Pillars: Journey Toward Wisdom

A multimedia e-book exploration of the Seven Pillars process



CD: The Seven Pillars Soundscape


Music and meditations to take you on the Seven Pillars Journey

 
Seven Pillars

Tag: divine

Song of Creation

The drive to express ourselves, to create in the world, is an innate need like beauty, love, and the search for truth. It seems almost biological, like the need for food and water. In the Nazi concentration camps of World War II, deprived of nearly every- thing, many prisoners composed songs, wrote poetry, and even found ways to paint. A concentration camp survivor himself, Victor Frankl suggested that these were meaning-making activities but ones that were not so much consciously planned as spontaneous outpourings from that deep current, that creative impulse.

Goethe in Marienbad

Appropriately, if only by name, the legendary Bohemian Spa of Marienbad is a place of alchemical associations, harking back as it does to the legendary alchemist Maria the Jewess, “divine Maria” or Maria Prophetissa, the supposed sister of Moses, who was the inventor, among other alchemical apparatuses, of the celebrated balneum Mariae or the bain Marie:  the double boiler.

Reimagining the Arts in a Material(ist) World

Do we live actually in a dualistic world, a world of matter and spirit,  mind and body? To treat matter as separate already makes it so. Matter,  as we know it, is the matter of materialism (egotism, dualism). Yet it really didn’t come into being until Descartes divided the world into res cogitans and res extensa,  thinking things—minds—thought of as spiritual, and extended things—bodies—thought of as mechanical.

Reflections on the Life of a Mystic

When I first met my teacher, Irina Tweedie, I sat in her small room, looked into her blue eyes and I knew that she knew.  From that moment, without knowing why, more than anything, I wanted what she had. Much later I understood this as the knowledge that can only come from direct inner experience, which for the Sufi is imaged as Khidr. Khidr is the most important Sufi figure, the archetype of direct revelation.

The Wall

In deep meditation I come to a wall. I know this wall. I have seen it many times before in meditation and waking visions. It is a high brick wall. I know what is on the other side of the wall: a world of light.  But there is no way through; there is no doorway, no ladder, no break in the wall. When I come to the wall I walk along it, and then I have to turn away, back to the narrow streets of this world.

Report on Sufi-Yogi Dialogue

On Feb. 7, 2011, the fourth in a series of Sufi-Yogi Dialogues organized by the Global Peace Initiative of Women was held at the burial shrine,  or dargah, of Hazrat Inayat Khan in New Delhi, India. The gathering,  entitled “A Sufi-Yogi Dialogue: The Nature of Oneness,” brought together fifteen leaders from the Sufi and Yogi traditions to deepen exploration of the nature of ultimate reality as represented by these two ancient traditions, and its relevance in meeting the critical global challenges facing us all today.

Compass of Truth

The execution of the Mughal crown prince Dara Shikuh by order of his brother Aurangzib was a crime that sent ripples down through the ages. A religious pluralist with a deep commitment to mystical hermeneutics,  Dara Shikuh had the makings of a brilliant ‘philosopher king.’ His religious, cultural, and political outlook was profoundly imbued with the legacy of his great-grandfather Akbar, who elevated the Mughal Empire to the status of a premodern superpower by uniting Hindus and Muslims under the principle of sulh-i kull, ‘universal peace.’ As heir apparent, Dara Shikuh awaited the day when he would mount the Peacock Throne and revive Akbar’s syncretic vision.

Spiritual Ecology

Finally we are waking up to our ecological imbalance, to the realities of global warming and its catastrophic consequences. It is also beginning to dawn upon us that these environmental changes are accelerating, that time is running out more quickly than we may realize.

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