Saturday, April 18, 2020

Vow of Poverty
(Spirituality and Mythology):

The ancient lore of our planet consists of myths, legends, fables,
proverbs and expressions which seem to be clouded in mystery.
And the reason they "seem" to be clouded in mystery is because
they "are" clouded in mystery.

Each one of the above mentioned methods serve as verbal
vehicles for preserving and  transporting secret and sacred Wisdom
from generation to generation. Furthermore, as these verbal vehicles
are easy to remember, and are integral components of our various
cultures, their repetitive telling allows Wisdom to be transmitted
flawlessly into the future.

Every myth, legend, fable, and proverb is an exoteric story that
Veils an esoteric Truth which is hidden within them. Exoteric means
outward or external. Esoteric means secret, or hidden within.

The exoteric story is designed to amuse and entertain the masses;
this is why it is so easy to remember and then transmit. Exoteric
stories are also often used to keep the masses satisfied and under

The esoteric Truth, however, is the secret, sacred Wisdom hidden
within the exoteric story. The esoteric Truth is only available to those
who "have the eyes to see, and the ears to hear".

With all that being said, let us now begin our exploration of the
Vow of Poverty.

Let us begin with the understanding that all ancient spiritual messages
are delivered in two forms: exoteric and esoteric.

Again, the exoteric form is the surface story that is meant for
the masses. And though the exoteric form allows the message to
easily be remembered and delivered to future generations, it is the
form that is most easily to be mis-understood, mis-interpreted,
abused, and corrupted. The esoteric Truth Veiled within the exoteric
message or statement is the Lesson meant for the few.

The Vow of Poverty is one such spiritual message which has been
corrupted by the numerous societies and the many self-serving
factions of this planet. It is not the purpose of this article to explore this
particular issue. However, by referring to my article on Sacrifice, a
more in-depth explanation of this kind of corruption can be found.

Let us keep in mind that no ancient Master Teacher ever preached
complete self-deprivation in order to attain Enlightenment. They may
have Instructed their Initiates in the value of moderation, bodily
purification, and occasional fasting, but not complete self-deprivation
in either its physical or material sense

As the story goes, The Buddha initially practiced self-deprivation
as an attempt to attain Enlightenment and Ascension. However,
he soon found out that self-deprivation was seriously affecting his
health, and thereby, his ability to contemplate, reflect, and meditate.
Therefore, he soon gave this up and was careful to insure that his
body was well nourished so that he could continue, un-impeded,
on his Quest for Enlightenment.

Images of The Buddha depict him as well-fed and content.

Great Buddha (Bodh Gaya) - Wikipedia
     ( Image via Wikipedia )

A similar reference to the word "poverty" can be found in the
title used for the Knights Templar who were referred to as
"Poor Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon".
Yet, as history reveals to us, the Knights Templar were
certainly not poor in the common usage of the word.

Here we see that the words "poor" and "poverty" - which are
quite similar - are not being used in their common, everyday
context; they are representing something entirely different.
In other words, in these instances, they are exoteric expressions
which are Veiling esoteric principles

Keeping all of the above-mentioned in mind, and continuing to
explore the esoteric message contained in the statement of
Vow of Poverty, let us now make a minor change.

Let us replace the exoteric "Vow of Poverty" with the esoteric
"Vow of Non Self-Attachment".This immediately changes the entire
essence of the phrase.

Now we can get to the heart of the message:

To enjoy material "things" is OK. For whatever reason, we are
here to experience, enjoy, and learn from the many aspects,
essences, achievements and materialisms of the physical realm.

However, what leads us astray, and into bondage, is allowing
ourselves to be possessed and obsessed with the many
different "things" we encounter during our physical Incarnation.

It is OK to make a lot of money. However, it is detrimental to
be obsessed with it.

It is OK to live in a fine, comfortable home. However, it is
detrimental to be egotistically obsessed with it.

It is OK to achieve status. However, it is detrimental to allow our
ego to flaunt it, and live solely for it.

These are just a few examples.

Obsessive materialism - in all of its negative aspects - is
attachment and bondage. Obsessive materialism includes,
but is not limited to: greed, gossip, fanaticism, politics, dogma,
control of others, and something called "the principle of the thing".
These, among others, is what chain us to the material realm and
prevent us from achieving the higher State of Enlightenment.

Poverty, now translated as Non-Self Attachment, is the release
of possessiveness, obsessiveness, greed, etc.; it is
non-attachment and non-bondage to the material realm; it is
control of self; it is to be "in the material realm, but not of it".

Perhaps the most beautiful and noble way to describe the
Vow of Non Self-Attachment is to revel in the words of Lady
Galadriel from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

Upon his leaving Lorien - the domain of the Elves, Lady Galadriel
- the Queen of the Elves - gave to Gimli, the Dwarf, this parting

"I say to you, Gimli son of Gloin, that your hands shall flow with gold, 
and yet over you gold shall have no dominion."

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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 2020
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