Mana and magic in the 21 century

Is there any kind of magic on the earth? Or is it “something of the heavens”? Is magic always an omen from God? Or there are certain kinds of black magic, which belong to another, otherworldly, “other realm”? What is mana, and how it is related to our personal and spiritual presence, being living creatures that think and act, rather than just react as dull material objects do? What is magic in the realm of the soul, rather than the unusual workings of material nature, that appear contrary to the order that we contemplate in our daily life? Is there a spiritual connection that can be derived? What about the position of the self, how is its constitutional position related?

A central term that is used, the “mana”, has been appearing in masses and philosophical conversations of modern days’ minds since the beginning of the previous century. What is mana? A vocal equivalent of the Sanskrit “mana”, meaning “mind”, mana is not simply a force, that is acted upon, but “action, quality and circumstance”. It is said to be at the same time, a noun, a describing adjective and a verb. Mana is a collective term, which does not relate to an experience of some sort, rather, it is how the experience is consumed, paving the road for another experience. How can an experience be consumed, or rather, digested, is a point to understand the structure of society by the term Potlatch, which means, simply a sharing of gifts.

The sharing of gifts is an ancient custom, which appears as early as the Ramayana, or Mahabharata, especially Bhagavad Gita shows, that gifts are an inherent part of our human relations we live to, a vital ingredient without which only a stale experience may come up, repeating the same mind set within the relationship. Although gifts have a tendency to become consumed, their real value is present in the thought behind the gift. The gift may become a person, as Krishna has given itself as a gift to Arjuna, the great warrior, becoming his chariot driver, who later instructed him in the manner of self-realization in the most famous conversation in the realm of yoga.

kuruksetra1kuruksetra2

Since Arjuna took the gift spiritually, taking Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and his dearmost friend, Arjuna, although exhausted and consumed by the rival side’s politics, became inspired by the eternal instructions which enlivened him to take up to the battle, he thought as being lost, immoral and useless. His relationship with Krishna, having regretted calling him informal ways in the past, have proven to be a source of strength, in the moment of glory, when the gifts he had received, his Gandiva bow, his training, Krishna as chariot driver, all proved to be part of an eternal relationship, an eternal exchange that made Arjuna act to his utmost, in order to please Sri Krishna, the real Lord behind everything in the created universal world of phenomena.

Krishna-Arjuna

On the other hand, Ravana accepted a chariot from Siva, who as a powerful demigod gave a blessing according to Ravana’s immense sacrificial offerings, one that cannot be defeated anywhere in the universe. However, when Ravana tried to use it against the Personality of Godhead, who showed Himself incarnated as the righteous powerful king Rama, Siva, a great devotee of the Personality of Godhead, could not let the chariot be used against Him. Therefore, ironically, the gift was there, in the hands of Ravana, but the intent was to reform the receiver, into a self-realized person, gradually to become a devotee of the Personality of Godhead.  Finally, when Ravana tried it against Him, He was defeated and gained liberation from the miseries of material existence, losing his entire city of Lanka, and all the gold and women. An exchange of gifts was there, to liberate Ravana, but covered and masked with irony, in one extreme example there in the classic epoch.

ravana-chariotravana-attacked

Back to the Potlatch, which is an exchange of gifts in the material world. A reflection of the original exchange found on the plane of the absolute, that of a continuous blissful, eternal conscious exchange full of spiritual satisfaction, we see that also great societies and families in this world, only existed due to the exchange of gifts. The gift receiver, had to reciprocate the gift with the giver, or risk family, tribe or dynasty war. In the ancient times of this world, often disguised as an exchange with ancient gods, in modern times, the idea is the central thing that is given, perhaps because things cannot take place outside of this frame of exchange.

Described as being endowed with some kind of activity, a living being repeats his activities over and over in the material realm, unless given the mercy of a higher form of exchange. That exchange is the mana, and its consuming nature, simply propels the exchange upwards to the eternal realm or form. In this way, the idea that is shared, accepted and reciprocated cannot be separated from the actual act of giving. Receiving all technological breakthroughs and social revolutions, the process of gift-sharing on the personal realm, cannot be separated from us, but we may have the power to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead by it. How is it done?

“A devotee never loses sight of Me, nor am I lost to Him. It is possible for He sees everything in Me, and Me in everything.” – Bhagavad Gita 6.30

Therefore, whether one acts personally, in relationship to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or on the ordinary platform of social activity, if one pleases the Supreme Personality in his actions, one may remember and see Him in everything, as Krishna desired the Pandavas the rule the world, being righteous in the era of corrupt Kuru offsprings or descendants. That is the secret behind the mana, and of all magical inventions, that revolve around a central magician, who is unaffected by the state of affairs in the material platform.

“Whenever a devotee offers me with love and devotion a fruit, a flower, a leaf or some water, I accept his offering.” –
Bhagavad Gita 9.26

radha-offering

The main point about accepting a humble offering, is that Krishna accepts only the devotion and love of the devotee. He wants to reciprocate His love to the devotee, making him completely His own. Therefore, when the devotee offers a simple offering simply to please the Lord, whether simple or  complex, the offering tells the Lord, the devotee is ready to receive the Lord’s mercy out of gratitude. The ordinary man, however gifted in speculation and academic degrees, cannot receive such a blessing, because he does not spare any time to enliven his connection with Krishna. Having no appreciation for the exchange of relations, in a humble state of mind, an ordinary person cannot conceive of Krishna in his mind, and as a result, he is negligent of understanding how a simple offering of devotion and love, can have an endless impact, for by satisfying the Supreme whole, Sri Krishna, everybody becomes satisfied as a hand attached to the body is satisfied, by receiving food from the stomach.

The result of offering something to the Lord, through the knowledge gained by self-realized persons, is transcendental, and is experienced as boundless sweetness and pleasure derived through Krishna’s pleasure potency, that is entirely Sac-cid-ananda, full of eternity, knowledge and bliss. A regular exchange of gifts, however thoughtful and generous, or sometimes provoking, cannot have the original quality of exchange on the original spiritual platform, because it is based on thoughts that are limited, and whose results are depleted in due course.

krishna-cowherd-boys

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Archaeology at the edge vs. current theories about the origins of mankind

Where did the human race come from? Where did humanity spring from, on all its full splendors of civilization? Although the debate of what separates mankind from other species, such as the animal species, or more intelligent extraterrestrials, continues to bring forth questions about the civilized origins of man and its kind, what remains unclear to modern day empirical scientists is the question, how did an intelligent form of life has arisen, and whether such intelligent form of life, or indeed, any form of life, could come by accident from a spontaneous combination of chemicals. Proponents of such theory call it the theory of evolution, whose father is assumed to be Darwin, the father of evolution theory in modern day academics & schools.

What behooves the archaeologists of these modern days, or the ones who dig in order to find ancient evidence, inside the rocks, for what cannot possibly be other than our ancestors, is what may commonly termed by the finders as “Extreme human antiquity”.

As current day evolution theory proponents give no more than 2 million years before, a frame of time when ancient humans lived, supposedly in caves, who by hunting and gathering they nourished themselves, such edge findings in the science record of archaeology which find human traces date back no less and nonetheless as 300 million years ago, an age believed to be inhabited by plant life and the far ancestors of most popular dinosaurs. Such traces contain signs of a race of human beings nearly if not identical to modern human beings, termed homo sapiens by current day’s research, in an age thought to have been primitive and devolved in terms of evolution scale.

Not only did the ancient human being traces relating to a race of similar bodily complexion to today’s humans, items which are inseparable from our own civilized past, such as hammers, tools, bells, inscribed letters and other items have been discovered, which support the claim that humans did not evolve according to the current estimated timetable of evolution. Even the composition of metals, or the method used for creating such tools, is of an unknown combination to form a well-familiar result, in the eyes of present day humans.

How and why did such findings not rock the foundation of present day’s theories of evolution? Primarily because, of the limitations of the method of study set by empirical demands. As the method of dating findings of archaeology is bent on dating the chemical composition of rocks, such findings were available before the formulation of the theoretical present day timetable of so-called evolution, that needed to be “fine tuned” in terms of their exact dates. Doubts are cast not just into the dates of the rocks, although found the most reliable means of dating items of antiquity, but also as to the teams that classify the different findings, that go into the various phases of empirical research. Finally, admitting the limits of empirical knowledge by the practical constraints of human endeavor, theories are formed that do not take all findings into account, assuming a statistical factor of error into their so-called explanation. Gross averages are formed, until all the different groups inside the proponents of Darwinian theory of evolution are settled. Yet outside, many oppose the Darwinian view based on lack of consistent evidence, especially those ancient signs of civilization that read as old as 500 million years into the past, with signs that one expects from modern day humans, and not before. One of such researchers is Michael Cremo, who in his website and book series “Forbidden Archaeology” depicts the different findings that suggest a turn in their interpretation from the rigid theoretical formulas of the present, to acknowledge not just a different time table in scale, but a reconsideration of the very notion of the origins of life, which seem to follow consciousness, not matter, as a course of evolution of development.

Here is an article which explains a few of the findings and their interpretation by the column’s writer:
http://www.maltanow.com.mt/?p=2927

Michael Cremo can be experienced in his website and podcast radio:
http://www.mcremo.com/darwin.htm
http://www.mcremo.com/

The first of links among Michael Cremo also contains his view of the origins of life, based on Vedic evidence and documents, predating all other ancient records of civilization in their time chronology and expansiveness.

The Vedas contains information about the material creation, the spiritual foundation that lies beyond the material creation, the purpose of different social constructs, sciences and rituals from the viewpoint of spiritual self-realization, which all hint the living self is something different other than its body, rather the self or atma, is part of a greater whole of a culture of self-realization. Such a spiritual particle tends to be covered by illusion, therefore his eternal occupation is prescribed. Being pure consciousness, despite all illusory identification with matter, the self cannot be destroyed (evidence to the original line of thought is in Bhagavad Gita As It Is), by all kinds of weapons, and being indestructible, has the choice whether to serve the greater whole, dominated by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the original speaker of the Vedas and their conclusion, by all the great rsis and learned wise scholars, or keep his identification with matter, the cause of misery, strife and persistent struggle in the world of matter, a conception altogether foreign to the all-pervading consciousness of the spiritual self and Superself (Paramatma).

Each and every soul has his original loving relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna or Bhagavan, therefore, it is the role of each individual to revive this relationship using the items supplied by this material manifestation. That is also the purpose of the entire material creation, an indistinct corner in the vast spiritual sky of eternal cognizant & blissful existence. Such information supplied by the Vedas surpasses ordinary human capability of researching out the Absolute Truth, and besides being authoritative as the origin of most civilization constructs, arts and scientific knowledge we know of today, as well as before 500 million, the source of the Vedas cannot be an ordinary human speaker, but someone beyond the material creation and human limitations (Apaurusheya, or non-human).

Some see this Vedic source of evidence, who more than 5,000 years ago talked and wrote about extraterrestrial life, flying cars or wagons without horses, electricity from Alkaline chemical combinations, medicine & military art as well as the science of diplomacy and the ideal construct of human society in terms of different occupations, or varnas, who before Plato’s ideal made the level of intellectuals and priests (Brahmanas) above that of the ruling king and army (Kshatriyas), such a source of evidence must come from an extraterrestrial source, or indeed, outside of the entire material sphere. The story of creation is narrated in the Vedas as well, as being sprung for the purposes of self-realization, on all its different branches. Continued practice is the means for reaching the level of spiritual completeness, while the different items, classes of men, sacrifices and rituals are meant for elevation in that practice. All knowledge comes from the Supreme Personality Himself, free from any tendency for human undertaking, and is transferred via the demigods, the empowered representatives that fulfill all sorts of different functions in the material creation, to the ears of human beings.

In due course, some of the knowledge became covered, as many of the items in the Vedas cannot be found a correlation yet today, but such a phenomena is also recorded, and specifically with the rise of Bhagavad Gita, it is clear that when knowledge about self-realization is covered completely, the Supreme Personality of Godhead comes Himself to deliver that knowledge, assisted by His great & elevated pure devotees, such as Arjuna, who together with Krishna are the heroes of the narration of Bhagavad Gita. It is said there that with mundane or worldly knowledge one cannot understand the words of very confidential knowledge enlisted there, however with a simple attitude one can understand. The limitations of mundane knowledge and empirical research, being unable to penetrate into the deeper mysteries of the self (atma) as well as the Paramatma (Superself) are dealt in this book.