The Light of the Masters
Emanations of Humility
By Val Jon Farris
Join me now for an expedition to seven sacred peaks; a ring of summits rising to the heavens like a jeweled crown of the Gods. From this luminous formation emanates the most powerful spiritual light in the world, the “Light of the Masters”. Like gravity holds together the universe’s celestial bodies, the “Light of the Masters” infuses an omnipotent unifying wisdom into every living entity. Its golden gem-like radiance dwells within all things and its presence is visible through the window of all the world’s religions and faiths.
Moses witnessed its power in the burning bush of “I am that I am.” The Gnostics beheld it as “Gnosis,” or inspired knowledge. The Hindus experience it as “Kundalini,” an intense light energy that moves through the physical body. The common message among all the scriptures of antiquity is that this Master’s Light exists within us and all we need do is access it.
The secret to accessing this wisdom and light lies in the “ring of seven summits” I mentioned above. Each “summit” represents a facet of spiritual wisdom, or a “dimension of knowing”. When all seven facets are accessed simultaneously the landscape of the soul is illuminated, revealing the infinite power of the “Light of the Masters”. The seven dimensions of knowing are Humility, Eternality, Truth, Passion, Sovereignty, Faith and Service. Why these seven and not others? Because they encompass the full spectrum of human experience and generate the core behaviors needed to embrace the infinite.
The good news is that the seven dimensions of knowing already exist within us. The challenging news is that revealing their secrets can be an intense emotional experience. Contrary to popular belief, spiritual wisdom isn’t always bestowed through blissful or peaceful means. It sometimes takes an act of God, a tragedy or loss, or a humbling blow to the ego before we open to the Divine. Like the cosmic forces that create, maintain and destroy stars, the “Light of the Masters” casts its lessons into the human soul with both grace and fury. It is through acts of devotion, trials of misfortune, expressions of love and onslaughts of pain that we are endowed with the Master’s Light. The challenge is to sift through the trauma and the drama of our lives until the gems of wisdom are revealed to us.
I’m going to share a real life experience with you now that illuminates how to access a dimension of knowing and how to apply its wisdom. It was during a life-threatening climb to the summit of Mount Shasta in Northern California that I discovered where and when the first dimension of knowing was blazed into my soul. Get ready for an illuminating encounter with the “Light of the Masters” as we enter the dimension of Humility.
The full moon casts a bluish glow over the near-vertical glacier. At about twelve thousand feet, the climb team spots a massive fissure running diagonally across the ice. We traverse around its left edge and then cross back above it. Climbing to the center of the open slope, we gain some distance and all seems well. Suddenly the cramp-on on my left boot pops loose and I lose my footing.
I instinctively grab for my ice axe and prepare to brake, but I land hard on my back and it bounces loose from my hands. White terror engulfs my mind as I careen out of control toward my death!
Suddenly I smash into something hard and stop abruptly. Blinded by snow and numb with fear, I lay helpless. Then I realize my team just saved my life. Forming a human net below me, they caught my sliding body just a few feet before hurling over the edge into the abyss. At this point I am stunned, embarrassed and feeling very vulnerable. Needing help always seems like a sign of weakness, so this incident is deeply disturbing for me.
“We’ve got ya! Hold on buddy, we’re not gonna let you fall!”
“Thanks everybody, I can take it from here,” I respond.
“Lay still, you’re pushing us back into the crevasse!” Hank barks at me.
“No, really, I’m okay now. I’ll be fine now.”
“Stop wiggling around or you’re gonna push us all over the edge,” another climber shouts.
Finally getting the message, I relax and let them take care of me. As they stand me up, I realize it is almost impossible for people to support me. Tears come to my eyes as I see how many times in my life I haven’t let others help me. I would always say, “No problem, I can do it myself.” I didn’t want to burden anyone or put anyone out. Most of all, I worried that if I let someone support me, I would be obligated to them in the future. Looking into the faces of my climbing partners I see superimposed images of family members, friends and past relationships that I had alienated with my stubborn independence. I reflect on the pain and frustration that not being able to help me must have caused them. In this humbling moment I realize I have a choice: I can hide behind my rugged armor, or I can open myself to their concern and love. I choose to open up, and as I do, a flood of emotion fills me.
For the first time in my life I am able to see that accepting help from someone is not a sign of weakness, but rather a demonstration of humility. I also realize that rather than being a burden to people when I am in need, it allows others to feel worthwhile through offering their support. My armor of rugged individualism is finally cracking. I now understand that being open and accepting support is a very important part of life. It doesn’t mean that I am weak; it simply means I am human.
Regrouping and without further incident, we make our way to the summit where a crystalline blue sky embraces the curve of the earth. Shining faces beam in a blissful exchange of laughter and tears. After celebrating, we begin the ritual of reading and signing the register book that rests atop most climbable mountains on earth. Each member of our team, like those before us, takes the opportunity to write a dedication. I flip through the book’s yellowed pages and my eyes fall on a passage written October 23, 1972. I will never forget what I read:
I dedicate this climb to you, Father. I am standing at the top of Mount Shasta today because of the love and support you gave me as I was growing up. It is through your commitment and dedication to me as your son that I am able to view the beauty before me. And although you lost your legs in the Korean War and have never been able to stand beside me, Dad, I want you to know that today I stand on the top of this mountain for both of us. I love you with all my heart and all my soul, your son John.
Clutching the register book to my chest, my throat constricts and a flood of humility fills me. I now see that my arrogance, my need to be strong and my rugged individualism gets in the way of creating rich and meaningful relationships. When I come down from this mountaintop, I am going to remember my encounter with humility and live it into every day of my life.
The good news is you don’t have to climb a mountain to experience the dimension of Humility. If my story spoke to you, use your feelings to identify where it was imprinted into your soul. Once open to the dimension, to help keep Humility present in your daily life, engage with the three behaviors of Openness, Vulnerability and Compassion. Doing so will assist you in illuminating the wisdom and light contained within you. Let’s explore each of the behaviors.
Openness permits access, entrance or exit. When we are open, we possess unconstrained freedom. Emotional openness expresses itself as a willingness to experience, listen, feel, engage and interact. Openness applies to oneself as well as to being with others. Being open with oneself is being in touch with inner feelings, senses and capabilities. When we are open to ourselves, we are honest and forthright. Denial, rationalization and justification play only a minor role in our behavior, and we pay little or no attention to our self-image or how others perceive us. Part of being open is assessing the degree of openness we possess in any moment. Next time you find yourself closed, try opening to the question, “Is being closed what I really want in this moment?”
Vulnerability is being open to attack or criticism, during which hurt, pain and emotional damage can occur. Vulnerability is being susceptible to what others may say or do and includes sharing the “inside” of yourself with what is “outside” yourself. There is an inherent connection between all things, and vulnerability is the state in which that connection is visible and tangible. When I am vulnerable, I expose the invisible relationship between myself and another or others. The ability to say “Ouch, that hurts,” is an expression of vulnerability and recognition of the fact that we are connected at some level. If I withhold my feelings, I am saying that we are not connected and that others have no influence over me. If being vulnerable opens us to attack or criticism, then why would we want to develop this behavior? Without some degree of vulnerability, humility is impossible.
Compassion is empathy and understanding for the plight of others. Although many would think that sympathy fits into this definition, it actually doesn’t. Sympathy says, “I feel sorry for you that you are so sad.” Empathy says, “I feel sadness with you.” It is this “with you” experience that defines the true nature of compassion. Compassion says, “Sadness fills us, let us embrace it together.” When we have compassion for others, we are acknowledging our relatedness and connection with them. We understand that we either have already experienced something similar, or may in the future have to confront the very thing they are now dealing with. To deepen our sense of compassion, we must have a direct connection with a deeper part of ourselves, a divine part that knows we are intrinsically connected to others and that embracing our pains, joys and sorrows is a collaborative challenge.
Join me next time for a mysterious journey into the second dimension of the “Light of the Masters”, Eternality. Together we will travel to the far-off lands of Southern India where holy master, Sai Baba defies the laws of physics and enraptures multitudes of spiritual seekers.
Val Jon Farris is a behavioral scientist and spiritual anthropologist who travels the world exploring ancient ruins and mystical cultures. This article is excerpted from his new book “Inca Fire! Light of the Masters,” available at bookstores, www.incafire.com or toll-free at (877) 462-2347.
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