Sunday, June 28, 2009

Learning (Lessons)


"If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well,
one has at the same time, insight into and understanding of
many things."

-Vincent van Gogh

Learning, Seeking out knowledge, and un-Veiling the intricate
Cycles and patterns of the universe is a lifelong Adventure.

All great Seekers of Wisdom and knowledge understand that the
more we learn, the more we realize just how little we really know.
The further we extend our minds, the more we thirst for the
knowledge and Insights that lay just beyond our current mental
Horizon. And although we realize that what we can learn is but a
microscopic fraction of All That Is, we still embrace our Great
Adventure into uncharted realms as we pursue the undiscovered
knowledge which beckons us.

When we begin a Journey which requires us to learn something new,
the task can seem overwhelming. Where do we begin? How do we
acquire the skills that we feel are so far beyond our reach?

To quote an ancient Chinese proverb, "The longest journey begins
with a single step." We simply take the first step. We don't worry
about it. We don't allow it to intimidate us. We simply "take the
first step". Upon doing so we begin to acquire the new skills and
knowledge which we have been seeking.

Once we embark upon our pursuit of knowledge we come to realize
that each new discovery leads us to a new realm, which leads us to
more questions, which leads to another discovery, which leads to yet
another new realm. We find that The Road "goes ever on and on":
leading us further and further, and higher and higher, until we
eventually reach that which we have been pursuing.

In addition, for us to master one skill we find that we must also
master a number of additional skills. A great scientist must not only
be a master of Science, but also a master of mathematics, physics
and numerous other skills which are naturally inter-Woven with
the field of Science. A great orator must not only master the the art
of Speaking but must also be a great word-smith, writer, persuader,
promoter and Thinker. So, as we can see, Learning is not only a skill
that we must continually cultivate, it is also a skill that embraces
many additional fields.

Formal education is merely the first step in our continual pursuit
of knowledge. All Master Teachers, great philosophers and
Spiritual Explorers understand this Eternal Truth. Therefore,
in our pursuit of knowledge, and eventually Wisdom, we must not
only expand our minds into new ideas and new fields, but we must
also keep an open mind. An open mind enables us to hear the
messages, ideas and information which the Universe is continually
sending us. Messages, ideas and information which often come to
us from the most unusual sources.

And, finally, we must understand that Learning is a process and not
a destination. It is a process which, if properly pursued, eventually
leads us to that most coveted and enchanting realm of all: The Realm
Enlightenment and Wisdom!

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
it to other like-minded individuals, organizations and sites.

Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2009
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Spiritual Explorer


"Follow your bliss and the universe will
open doors where there were only walls."
-Joseph Campbell

To find what has never been found, we must journey where no-one
has ventured before. To see what has never been seen, we must
gaze where no-one has looked before. To Learn what has never been
learned, we must imagine what has never been considered before.

All new inventions, ideas and discoveries are the result of a Spiritual
Explorer; a Trailblazer, who dared to venture into new, mysterious
and unknown realms; a Great Achiever who dared to boldly imagine
what no-one else dared to think about. Spiritual Explorers are the
"Changers of History" whose works and biographies line the book-
shelves of every library on the planet.

Einstein...Newton...daVinci...Aristotle...Pythagoras...Mozart,
just to name a few. We refer to them by a single name, yet we are
all aware of who they are and what they have accomplished.

These Spiritual Explorers understood that all New Discoveries
are found at the outer limits, the outer realms, of conventional
knowledge and Thought. These Spiritual Explorers chose to ignore
the stagnant conventions of their time and boldly ventured beyond
the visible Horizon of their Age.

In doing so they brought knowledge and Wisdom to a higher level.

Ridiculed and discredited at first, yet worshipped as Genius' at the
end, these Spiritual Explorers provided us with the Gift of Change
and re-wrote History. And, in doing so, they achieved Immortality.

Great Achievements are the most difficult to accomplish. They
require Great Awareness, Imagination, Enthusiasm and Courage.
That is why they are called Great Achievements. It is also why so
very few people dare to attempt them.

Each one of us has been sent into our Current Incarnation with the
ability to be great Spiritual Explorer. And though we may not change
the world, we have all the Spiritual Tools necessary to change our
world.

Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Yes!

Everything of value has a price. The higher the value, the higher the
price. Should we pay this price? That is a question which only we,
individually, can answer to ourselves. For those of us who Choose
to enter the unknown, uncharted and wondrous realm of Adventure
and Imagination, we will have the opportunity to experience what
Einstein called "The Beauty of the Mysterious".

And, in our Travels to new and unexplored realms we may just find
ourselves enjoying a life and Destiny that many people only read
about in borrowed books.

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
it to other like-minded individuals, organizations and sites.

Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2009
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Our Inner Demons


What are our Inner Demons?

They are the fears, despairs, frustrations, disappointments, and
heartaches we carry within ourselves. They are the Thoughts,
Feelings and Personal Issues which reside within us that bind us,
torment us and prevent us from experiencing Peace, Harmony,
Contentment and Spiritual Freedom. They are negative energies.

We have two Choices when it comes to handling our Inner Demons.
We can either confront them face-to-face and conquer them, or we
can attempt to "run away" and hide from them.

Because our Inner Demons reside within us, as hard as we may try,
we can never run away and hide from them. To attempt to do so
sentences us to a life of fear and bondage because our Inner Demons
will never run and hide from us. Our Inner Demons are the
schoolyard and neighborhood bully that will never leave us alone
and permit us to live in peace. Should we attempt to run and hide
from our Inner Demons we will live a life of misery because we can
never run away from that which resides within us.

Therefore, the only true option we have is to confront our Inner
Demons, whatever they may be, and eliminate them. This is an
inner battle that is the most up-close and personal battle we will
ever experience. It is a battle which takes place on the emotional
and psychological battlefield within us. It is a battle which no one
else can fight for us; we must face our Inner Demons alone.

However, although we must face these Demons alone, we are not
really alone. Within each one of us there is an Inner Guide, our
God Within, our Atman who is with us at all times to offer Divine
Guidance and Spiritual Direction.

A wonderful metaphor describing this Inner Battle in handed down
to us in the Bhagavad Gita. In it Arjuna, the warrior, is having a
discussion with Krishna, his charioteer. Arjuna is about to go into
a great battle against his relatives and kinsmen on the plane of
Kurukshetra the following morning.

The discussion between Arjuna and Krishna involves the inner
conflicts which Arjuna is experiencing having to do with slaying
his relatives and kinsmen in this great upcoming battle. Krishna
counsels Arjuna and explains to him why he must fight this battle,
slay his relatives and kinsmen, and emerge victorious.

As a story, this sounds like a cruel and inhumane venture which
Arjuna is about to embark upon. However, as a Metaphor, it is a
classic lesson about Personal Enlightenment achieved with the aid
of Divine Guidance.

The Symbolism contained within the Bhagavad Gita is a beautiful
Lesson as to how, and why, we must confront, and slay, our Inner
Demons.

Arjuna symbolizes our Self.

Krishna, the charioteer, is our Inner Guide, our God Within, our
Atman.

The Chariot signifies that the confrontation will be up-close,
personal and face-to-face.

The Relatives and Kinsmen represent our Inner Demons. Our
Inner Demons are those personal, and related, parts of our
consciousness which we are attempting to conquer and oust.

Kurukshetra is our inner battlefield. This is the only place where
we can confront, do battle with, and vanquish our Inner Demons.
The Bhagavad Gita is the story of invoking and trusting Divine
Guidance in order to gain Peace and Enlightenment. And, although
we must fight this battle alone, we are not truly alone. We have
Divine Guidance, our personal Charioteer, our Krishna, our Atman
assisting us throughout every battle we must fight with each of our
Inner Demons.

Another Symbolic Metaphor which pertains to slaying our Inner
Demons is the hidden meaning contained within the Image of
Saint George Slaying The Dragon. In this painting Saint George,
riding upon a white horse, thrusts his spear into the Dragon.

The Horse is a Symbol of travel; a journey.

The color White symbolizes Purity and Enlightenment.

The Lance symbolizes battle at close quarters.

The Dragon symbolizes an Inner Demon.

Saint George represents our Self.

Again, we have the Lesson that throughout our Journey toward
Enlightenment we will occasionally have to confront, and slay, our
Inner Demons. A battle which can only be fought alone, and at close
quarters. However, we are never truly alone as we always have
Divine Enlightenment to Guide us throughout our Journey.
We must never lose sight of the fact that our Inner Demons are
merely the Specters and Ghosts which we have allowed to enter
into our minds and feelings. Once we understand our Inner Demons
for what they are we can confront them, defeat them, and forever
banish them from our Personal Domain.

(Image via Wikipedia)

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
it to other like-minded individuals, organizations and sites.

Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2009
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Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Seeker


"Of all the communities available to us,
there is not one I would want to devote
myself to except for the society of the
true seekers, which has very few living
members at any one time."

-Albert Einstein

The personality, spirituality and actions of The True Seeker can
easily be Symbolized by two cards in the Tarot deck: "The Fool"
and "The Hermit". The True Seeker is a union of these two
archetypes: combining aspiration, imagination and Adventure
with Insight, Awareness and Wisdom: a rare combination indeed!

True Seekers Travel their own Path. Although they may appear
to be simply prancing through life with excitement on their face
and a gleam in their eyes they are always alert and aware. And,
because the Decisions and Actions of The True Seeker are based
upon Awareness, Insight and Wisdom he, or she, is not easily
swayed by the slogans, cliches and false-crusades which govern,
and bog down, the masses. The True Seeker harkens only to the
call of new Adventures, new imaginings and new Wisdoms.

The True Seeker understands the Cycles of Eternity and realizes
that Change is eternal, that everything created by man is short-
lived, and that today's fact is but tomorrow's fallacy.

True Seekers understand the importance of being "true to their
Word", their Promises. This characteristic enables them to attract
like-minded others into their lives while also preventing undesirable
Consequences from disturbing their Journey.

The True Seeker is a Lone Wolf who is highly protective of his, or
her, personal Sovereignty while at the same time understanding and
respecting the individual Sovereignty of others.

The True Seeker is Aware of the many Destinies that he, or she,
will encounter during their Travels. These include the Destinies of
cities, factions, nations and worlds. This Awareness provides The
True Seeker the Wisdom to Choose whether or not to participate
in the Adventures and Destinies of others.

The True Seeker understands that he, or she, was placed into
their Current Incarnation in order to experience and enjoy the
Fruits, pleasures and comforts of their earthly Journey. However,
the True Seeker also realizes that these Fruits, pleasures and
comforts are but short-lived material enjoyments that must be
Balanced by the pursuit of Spiritual Wisdom.

And finally, The True Seeker knows that there are only a few
other True Seekers occupying this planet at any given Time.
Therefore, The True Seeker takes comfort in his, or her, own
aloneness, Thoughts, imaginings, Adventures, pursuits and dreams.

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
it to other like-minded individuals, organizations and sites.

Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2009
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Monday, June 1, 2009

The Tarot Hermit - Symbol of Wisdom


"Bear in mind that those who are finer and nobler are
always alone-and necessarily so-and that because of
this they can enjoy the purity of their own atmosphere."
-Albert Einstein

                                                  (Image via Wikipedia)

The tarot card of "The Hermit" presents us with the overpowering
sensation of Wisdom and aloneness. The Hermit stands atop a lone
mountain peak clad in his long gray robes. He holds his Wizard's
Staff in his left hand while in his right hand he holds a lighted
lantern. He is looking downward.

In contrast to the tarot card of "The Fool", in which The Fool still
has higher mountains to climb and higher realms of consciousness
to achieve, The Hermit stands alone atop the highest mountain peak.

Mountains Symbolize higher realms of consciousness. The higher
the mountain, the higher the realm of consciousness. Having
reached the highest peak, The Hermit has attained the highest
level of consciousness.

The Hermit is also standing upon a blanket of white snow. The
color White symbolizes Purity and Enlightenment. Therefore, The
Hermit, in addition to achieving the highest level of consciousness,
has also attained Enlightenment.

The Hermit is heavily cloaked in long gray robes. Symbolically,
when something is cloaked, or Veiled, this informs us that either
an Eternal Truth or Divine Principle is being concealed from
anyone who is not Initiated or well-qualified. Therefore, we can
only imagine, and wonder, what Ancient Wisdom and Hidden
Secrets reside within this Lone Wanderer.

The color gray is the combination of the colors white and black.
When held in contrast to one another, white and black represent
Duality: white represents the masculine consciousness and black
represents the feminine subconscious. When Blended together,
white and black create the gray color of The Hermit's robes. This
signifies that The Hermit has mastered, and fully understands,
both the masculine and feminine Principles of Duality.

(For further insights on mastering Duality, please refer to:
Union of Duality and Transcending Duality.)

Next, we come to the Symbolism of the Wizard's Staff and the
lighted lantern:

Symbolically, the left hand represents the act of accepting or
receiving. Therefore, it is in his left hand that The Hermit holds
The Wizard's Staff. The Wizard's Staff represents the contents
of Sacred Books and Lessons which The Hermit leans on in order
to receive Divine Guidance throughout his many Journeys.

Symbolically, the right hand represents the act of bestowing or
offering. Therefore, it is in his right hand that The Hermit holds
a lighted lantern, which contains a Shining Golden Star, which he
offers as an "Untarnishable Guiding Light" to other Seekers.

And finally, The Hermit is looking downward from his lofty
mountain peak. He is looking down from whence he came while
at the same Time standing as a Beacon for any who may Choose
to follow. In effect, he is saying to those below: "Here I am. So,
too, you can be".

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
Also: If you found value in this article please feel free to forward
it to other like-minded individuals, organizations and sites.

Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2009
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