From the Editor
On Sunday afternoon, 21st April, Phiroz Mehta gave a talk at Dilkusha. He said that we must wake up, we are all responsible, and that groups like ours have a specific task, our concern being the coming to fruition of the human race. He also spoke of the meaning of the word “human”, and of Holistic Consciousness as being inclusive of everything manifest and unmanifest, of the difference between Pro-Creation and Creation, and the Silence in which Creation takes place. The Other is me, I am the Other. When the brain stops talking, then Pure Mind will function. One will become a benediction to one’s family, the whole environment and the world.
On Saturday afternoon, 6th July, a talk was given by Dylan Warren-Davis at Dilkusha. The first part was concerned with the Rose, how it symbolizes the unfolding of love, relating to the goddess Venus and to the birth of the Christ-image within ourselves. He then showed us some fascinating Kirlian photographs, and the talk concluded with a necessarily brief but riveting exposition of the art of Cheiromancy. Later a T’ai Chi Ch’uan group, led by Laila de Lys, was held on the lawn at Dilkusha, after which Phiroz Mehta spoke a few words in appreciation of Dylan’s work.
By George Piggott
The object of the Trust is flowing in gentle movement due to the combined efforts of the Trustees and group members. Their participation and committed contributions on open Days held at 47, Lillian Road and special gatherings at Dilkusha, not forgetting the enthusiastic and helpful response to the much welcomed Newsletters, have been most encouraging.
This is the Aim of the Trust “in action” — in other words, active participation, group members giving of their time, abilities, expertise and natural gifts to share with others, thus expressing the spirit of the Trust, as Phiroz’s message implies. This movement should bring joy to the heart of Phiroz who has given us so much over many years.
We have listened and digested his words of wisdom and compassion. We have also asked many questions, not only on religious subjects but also covering a wide range of topics. The answers have always been a complete explanation, and on various occasions many words have been given detailed study to allow us a better understanding. His humble dedication to our well-being has always involved a sense of humour, endless patience, and above all a selfless, caring love of humanity. An academic and intellectual of small physical stature, but in the hearts of the group members an enlightened, compassionate giant.
May he relax in peace in the knowledge that the seeds of wisdom he has sown may be nurtured and brought into flowering blooms through the ever-growing gentle movements of the Phiroz Mehta Trust — no better way to show our appreciation and gratitude to one who has guided many of us along the pathways of enquiry and fulfilment with selfless endurance.
By Phiroz Mehta
Of all the animal species in the world, only homo sapiens understands the meaning of Virtue and can live the virtuous life as taught by the Founders of the Religions.
Today, the Zarathushtrian fold is very small, consisting of only about 130,000 souls scattered throughout the world. Nevertheless, Zarathushtrianism, a monotheism firmly based on Virtue, flourishes as one of the major religions.
The short prayer of only twelve words, probably the first to be taught to each Zarathushtrian child, is the Ashem Vohu, which means “Virtue is good”, emphasised superlatively by the next two words, Vahishtem asti, meaning it is the best (holy). The next two words, ushta asti, affirm “it is (perfect) happiness.” The Zarathushtrian conception of Virtue (its essential ethic) is summed up in a very short and simple triad which forms: humata, good thoughts, hukhta, good words, and huvarshta, good actions. It rests with each person to decide what is good for him or her and for society.
The remaining six words, ushta ahmai hyat ashai vahishtai ashem, mean “supreme happiness comes to him who is virtuous for the sake of Virtue (the best or holy).”
The living human body is a psycho-physical organism. “Human” means happily creative. Virtue is the strength and health of the psyche. The well-being of one’s physique depends upon food and drink, air and sunshine, sleep and exercise and all physical activities. When all these factors are in balance, in harmony, oneself as a psycho-physical organism is an integrated person, in the right condition for being human, i.e. happily creative. If parents, educators and companions are wise, perceptive, and capable, homo sapiens will be a true description of the human race.
Goodness and Happiness are twins. Nature brings the body to maturity in a score of years or so. The maturing of the psyche is each one’s personal responsibility. Only a minority fulfil this responsibility. The majority ignorantly pursue sensational excitement and remain the slaves of their pleasure-drive. Hence the problems and sorrows besetting mankind.
By Patricia Chown
On a dull November Day
As I went down the lane,
Noting the sad denuded trees
Their last dry shabby leaves
Strewn beneath my feet,
The slim branch of a sycamore
Leaned out to touch my cheek.
And then I wondering saw
Small nodules lay along the branch
All glossy chestnut brown.
And nestling within their shelter slept
The leaves of next year’s Spring.
As I gazed the knowledge came
That though I shared with them
The slow dying of the year,
I too sheltered in my heart
The joyful promise of another Spring,
A bright Spring still to come.
A Spring to outshine other Springs.
This I knew and this I know!
By Alan Thurley
Science is the great seeker of our age. (In past times Religion performed this function, but at the present time the various fragments of the formal religions are too involved in internecine warfare and the seeking of pre-eminence.
What is it that used to be sought by Religion which is now sought by Science? The answer would seem to be knowledge of the initial state of the World and of what preceded it and brought the World into being.
Most religions have some kind of Creation Myth. Science also has such a teaching. I any such description of how the World came into being is to be acceptable today, it should conform to the latest scientific knowledge and be presented in as traditional a form as possible.
Now science has been saying for some decades that the Universe started with a Big Bang between 10 and 20 billion earth-years ago. Somewhat more recently there has been much speculation as to what happened at the beginning. The situation now is that some scientists, notably Professor Stephen Hawking, are actively considering the conditions that might have obtained immediately prior to the Big Bang. It has been suggested that the time taken to form the Universe from an initial Singularity is of the order of 10-35 (one, preceded by 34 zeros and the decimal point) second! Hawking defines the minimum energy of the Singularity, suggests that it need only be a single very massive particle, and affirms that the resultant Universe after the Big Bang must inevitably expand due to the Exclusion Principal. This states that no two particles may occupy the same position in space.
It must be fairly evident that the three dimensions of space have no logical existence prior to the formation of the Universe. It must be equally evident that in order to have any meaning, the dimension of Time pre-existed the formation of the Universe, if only by 10-35 seconds.
This introduces questions as to how many dimensions there are, and as to the definitive quality of a dimension, its character.
First a consideration of what constitutes Dimension. Space would be the obvious place to start, since it is commonly said to consist of three dimensions, and indeed embodies all that is known about Dimension.
Space then consists of three dimensions, commonly recognised as up-down, left-right, and forward-backward, relative to the observer. First can these three shown to exist independently of each other, and what exactly do we mean by one, two, and three-dimensional objects? Also are there any other spatial dimensions?
A three-dimensional object, as we all know, has volume and a measurable extent in three directions mutually at right angles; height, width, and depth.
A two-dimensional object has (conventionally) no height. The nearest approach to this in the real world is an infinitely thin sheet of paper. It is interesting and instructive to note that the two-dimensional character of the paper is preserved even when it is bent into the third dimension. It still retains the characteristic of length, breadth, and no thickness whilst occupying three dimensions. If the sheet were to be intelligent it would not be aware of the third dimension in normal circumstances.
As with the two-dimensional sheet of paper, a one-dimensional object has only length, like a piece of infinitely thin string. Again it retains its one-dimensionality when aid randomly on a flat surface, and also when screwed into a tangled ball.
So we can say that one characteristic of a dimension is that it retains its integrity in higher dimensional frames of reference. What then of a point? In what dimension can this be said to lie? It has no length, breadth, or height, yet it cannot be ignored; it exists. Surely then, the dimension appropriate to a point is the dimension of time. It has a durability, an “is-ness”, a time at which it began, and a time at which it will cease to exist. So Time then must be a dimension. The dimension of duration and relationship. Thus it follows that since the line, plane, and solid all also share the quality of duration, then Time is a prior dimension to Form. Time, in fact, encompasses Form.
Is there then a possibility of further, as yet not commonly recognised dimensions? Can anything deduced from current knowledge of Time
and Space to indicate any fundamental property of Dimension?
One such property would surely be that it had existed unchanged from the beginning of the Universe or before. We have seen already t at rime has so existed; it should be obvious that the dimensions of Space have also. So what else has the property of existing unchanged from the beginning, and of being fundamental to the Universe as we know it?
Modern science has been searching for the fundamental particles of matter that make up our Universe. They have discovered in their search that
with regard to these elementary particles it is impossible to define their position and their energy at the same time. They cannot be captured and measured. There is a ways an uncertainty. These particles and their
interactions can only be described in terms of probabilities. Everything all of matter, is subject to this uncertainty. It’s just that in the world we consider to be normal, there are so very many billions of particles interacting that the overall probability becomes what we would call a normal event with a normally expected outcome.
Now at the dawn of the Universe there were immense numbers of particles (all deriving from the one pre-existent Singularity) and all possible interactions undoubtedly occurred; some more probably than
others. At this point the possible futures of the Universe were essentially infinite. In order for all possibilities to be manifested, a dimension of Space
beyond and above the three known would be needed to “hold” the plurality of possible Universes. This concept of multiple probability Universes is not new. Hawking and his contemporaries have wondered why the Universe should have produced Life in general, and rational Human life in particular. Did the Universe have to develop the way it did, or did it do so in order to produce Man? This latter postulate is referred to as the “Anthropic Principal” and is a perfectly respectable scientific question. The validity of any such plurality of Universal possibility as a dimension as such, is somewhat
harder to justify since it is much harder to recognise and detect. Any such plurality would necessarily have initiated at the same moment as the birth of the Universe, and remained unchanged in its properties thenceforward.
There is another test for a dimension in that humans are endowed with at least one sense which can directly perceive the essence of a dimension. For instance touch can investigate the three dimensions of Space, individually and collectively. Hearing can investigate Time, since sounds are time-dependent vibrations. The eye can do so too with light, and with form. What other sense organs are there? Taste and Smell are specialised touch mechanisms.
The Brain perhaps is a sense organ. Certainly it makes contact with the Universe indirectly through the five senses, but what else does it do? Well now, it is where the process of thought goes on, and is also a channel in contact with the Mind. Note carefully, it is not itself Mind. Mind is something else; something related to thought but not thought; something
accessed by the brain, but not the brain. Is the brain then a sense organ, detecting dimensions unrecognised? Is it that Mind is a dimension?
Mind is a difficult thing to quantify; seems boundless, to extend to the plant kingdom and even to the whole planet (see Gaia — Lovelock). It can
not be said to conform to spatio-temporal co-ordinates, (that is Mind cannot be isolated). Thus Mind shares most of the attributes of a dimension. It only remains to discover whether Mind was present at the Beginning.
At the birth of the Universe all was apparently chaos. But ordered chaos, for it was at this state also that the fundamental physical Laws and Principles occurred which determined the continuation of the Universe. To us today, Laws and Principles are accepted as of the realm of Mind. It is difficult then to deny that Mind was present at the Beginning.
A consequence of this admission is that all things properly the domain of Mind are indeed lodged in this dimension. Thus it could be argued that all knowledge from all of time is already resident in Mind; awaiting access. Hence our common statement regarding an Idea, that “Its Time has come”; that it should be found in Time now. Just such a delving into Mind must have produced the “Creation” myth presented here, for certainly it expressed itself sequentially, and in its present form, spontaneously.
Hierarchically, Mind must have pre-existed even Time, since the pre-existent Singularity conformed to Law. Hawking has pointed out that such a Singularity need only consist of one single particle, and has even ascribed to it a minimum energy (and hence mass) at the point immediately prior to the Big Bang.
What else can be said? Interestingly, all the pronouncements of Religion regarding the Creation have ascribed the process of creation to a Creator who is supposed to have pre-existed “His” creation. Now that Science has delved into the Origin and discovered a Singularity pre-existing creation, one must assume surely, that Science has found God. Are all of the definitions of the Creator now satisfied? One may well suppose so, and yet Science would not claim this, and perhaps on reflection neither would Religion. There seems something unsatisfactory here. A lack of purpose. Religion has persistently claimed that the Creation was a conscious act, that Go had a pre-existent Self-Knowledge or Awareness.
How does this tie up with a pre-existent Singularity as defined by Science? What attribute can be apportioned to such a singularly fundamental object, which equally applies to the concept of a Creator God?
Surely “Is-ness”; an unstructured fundamental “Awareness” of being, is the only valid answer. That this Awareness pre-exists all else, and extends to the present moment essentially unchanged, unmodified, all encompassing, and at the same time unknowable and means it has all the characteristics of a dimension. Perhaps it is even the fundamental dimension? Then prior to Awareness, God, or the Singularity, was Not.
Then all was Void surely?
Void is unknowable, by definition. But it is important, even though it is Not. There is a saying in the Tao Te Ching which perfectly expresses is:
Thirty spokes share the wheel’s hub.
It is the hole that makes it useful.
Thirty spokes share the wheel’s hub.
It is the hole that makes it useful.
The Void cannot be said to cease when Awareness Is, nor yet when Mind, Time, or any other Dimension Is, either singly or collectively. Thus it is undeniable that Void is Dimension. The fundamental, all pervading, original dimension, supporting all other dimensions. Permitting the Now!
Returning to our present condition, an overall test of validity for the new Creation Myth would surely be that it is to be applicable in the everyday “Real World”. Let us therefore consider the process of waking up, or regaining consciousness after an anaesthetic. If you can remember these occasions in crystal clear detail, you will realise that the sequence of the Myth is the sequence of physical awakening. Unawareness, followed by awareness of Being, of Mind and thought, of Time. Then the sudden awareness sequence of Movement, Expansion, Space, and Uncertainty. And then the involvement in the world of “Normality” and forgetfulness of the process of arriving there. The process of failing asleep, or going under an anaesthetic, is the reverse of course. Awareness of Space precedes Time in falling away, and “Is-ness” is the last to go “into the Void” as it were. These sequences should also be expected to apply to the Birth and Death of the organism, although these processes are not amenable to observation and report.
Why then are we all so unaware, in normal life, of the constant process of creation around us? It is because we know all the things around us, isn’t it? We have given these things, lifeforms, each other, Name. We don’t truly see anything any more; we only deal with Names, and the concepts we have attached to the Names. We see Phiroz as a complex construct of personal memories, and expect him to conform accordingly. The Name, “Phiroz”, is our persona! handle for him; our personal prison for him; our personal set of blinkers to view him through. Is it any surprise that we so rarely understand or truly communicate with him? How much more then, is it difficult to live in the “Real World” and not be enslaved by Name? For to renounce Name is to accept Uncertainty, the reality of the final dimension of the Myth. The uncertainty of every known thing, of every known process, of every relationship.
The only certainty, that Nothing Is Certain.
So to practicalities. Can we experience anything of this re-existent “Is-ness”, is penultimate dimension? (it is perhaps unreasonable to expect to experience Void, since it Is Not.)
We can experience all the other dimensions, and as should be expected, we can also experience the “Is-ness” dimension as well. This again uses the brain as the sense organ. Perhaps “doesn’t use” is a better description, for all that is needed is to be quiet and Be Here Now!
“Now”, of course, is that instant between the Past, which is no longer, and the Future, which is not et. It is the only place where we can be; the only place that is. It is paradox. It is that infinitely short interface between Past and Future, and yet it is Absolute and Eternal. It is not dependent on Time, Space, or Mind, or on any of the attributes of these, such as Form or Thought. Neither does it exclude any of these, for they also are. Now is the realm of the is.
Awareness Is Now!
And yet there is still the Unknown; for there is still the Void, pre-existing even Awareness. It also has all the characteristics of Dimension. Perhaps it is the all-pervading Original Dimension supporting all other dimensions?
Is there no end to this mystery?
© 1991 Alan Thurley
By Eileen Benson
Congratulations on the first Newsletter. It was like receiving a joint letter from many friends.
We are living in very troubled times and we are all reacting. As we express our horror and disgust at what is going on, we are expressing our own form of hate and violence. This is simply adding to the disturbance.
How then do we respond? Naturally with great sadness, with compassion for our Mother the Earth, for the kingdoms of nature, and far the folly of us human beings who have to learn so slowly and so painfully. We are all responsible.
Let us, as a group, be very still, very silent, absorbing all that is happening, not with indifference, but not upset, just understanding. All we can do is to be peaceful within ourselves and then each one of us will be spreading peace throughout the world.
By Farīd ud-Dīn ‘Attār
The Sun of my Perfection is a Glass
Wherein from Seeing into Being pass
All who, reflecting as reflected, see
Themselves in Me, and Me in Them: not Me
But all of Me that a contracted Eye
Is comprehensive of Infinity:
Nor yet Themselves: no Selves, but of The All
Fractions, from which they split and whither fall.
As water lifted from the Deep, again
Falls back in individual Drops of Rain
Then melts into the Universal Main.
All you have been, and seen, and done, and thought,
Not You but I, have seen and been and wrought:
I was the Sin that from Myself rebell’d;
I the Remorse that tow’rd Myself compell’d:
I was the Tajidar who led the Track:
I was the little Briar that pull’d you back:
Sin and Contrition — Retribution owed,
And Cancell’d — Pilgrim, Pilgrimage and Road,
Was but Myself toward Myself: and Your
Arrival but Myself at my own door:
Who in your Fraction of Myself behold
Myself within the Mirror Myself hold
To see Myself in, and each part of Me
That sees himself, though drown’ d shall ever see.
Come you lost Atoms to your Centre draw,
And be the Eternal Mirror that you saw:
Rays that have wander’d into Darkness wide
Return, and back into your Sun subside.
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