The Light of the Masters
Emanations of Truth
By Val Jon Farris
In this article we continue our expedition to seven sacred peaks; a ring of summits that rise 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” 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. Join me now for an inspiring journey into the third dimension of knowing, Truth. Traveling to a remote mountainous monastery in Japan, we experience a magical encounter with a world-renowned Zen Master, Roshi Mumon Yamada. His transcendental insights and lightening wit will blaze new meaning for you into the notions of truth, integrity and self-esteem.
I awaken with the force of a lightning bolt. Still reverberating in my head are five haunting words whispered by a faceless dream-time orator, “Today, you meet the Master.” As I reflect on my lucid dream, I have a feeling something strange is about to happen. Getting dressed I head for the nearby open market for some breakfast where I meet an Englishman named Jacob Flemming. Over tea and rolls I learn he is a concert pianist who travels the world playing for royalty. Then he says something that floors me.
“Val Jon, yesterday I played for Reverend Mumon Yamada, the most renowned Zen Master in all Japan. Perhaps you should meet this Master.”
Mouth agape, Today, you meet the Master, roars in my head. “This is uncanny! Just this morning I heard those same words in a dream!” I blurt out.
Before I can respond, Jacob pulls a sleek, gold-trimmed pen from his shirt pocket and draws a musical scale on his tea-stained paper napkin. With each line of the scale he puts a letter of his first name, so they look like musical notes arranged within a bar of music.
“I’ll call the monastery and set up an appointment for you today. When you arrive, give the monks this napkin and they will grant you entrance to Reverend Mumon,” Jacob states softly.
Stunned by the sequence of events, I cannot recall how we parted, but prior to my sojourn into the remote snow-covered mountains I recall stopping briefly in the Ginza to purchase a single red rose for the Reverend. After three hours of winding through crystalline white forests I arrive at the monastery. As I enter the huge walled fortress, four black swans take flight from a pond in the central courtyard. Next to the pond is a three-story pagoda and nestled along the inner walls of the fortress, are a group of thatched roof buildings. Walking to the only open doorway, I step up into a bleak room where I find two monks. They greet me ceremoniously as I give them the rose and the “napkin of introduction.” The older monk picks up the rose and napkin and motions me to follow him. At the end of a narrow hallway two rice paper doors slide open and my gaze falls onto the face of Reverend Mumon Yamada.
In a split second, this Zen Master takes inventory of my entire life! It’s as if he is watching a movie of my history, learning everything there is to know about me. He sees where I was born, all the good and bad things I have ever done. Not only is he witnessing my life, he is also letting me in on the fact that he’s doing it. As the images stop, Mumon’s smiling face beams at me like a movie critic satisfied with a screening. On each side of the room sit a dozen dignitaries, many of whom appear to be of Japanese descent.
There is one seat left so I take it.
Reverend Mumon is a small and frail man in his late eighties. He has wispy, thin, white hair and a silver mustache and goatee, and is wearing an orange muslin kimono. After meeting with a few guests, he calls for me to sit in front of him. Our greeting is short as he reaches for the rose I brought him. Lifting it to his nose, he inhales deeply as his eyes twinkle with childlike delight.
“Let us address why you have come,” he whispers in broken English. “You seek truth, yet doubt its existence. This is all right, because in your culture, more importance is placed on ‘telling’ the truth than on ‘knowing’ it. How can the truth be told if it isn’t first known? You do not doubt truth as much as you doubt those who have espoused it. Rather than people asking you to tell the truth, it would be more honorable for them to ask you for what they wanted to hear. It is because of this deceit that you have become confused about the nature of truth.”
Mumon makes perfect sense. That’s exactly what happened. I have had few experiences knowing the truth, and often felt I had to endorse the “truths” of others. Not only did it confuse me, it also drove me to place more credibility in others than I placed in myself.
“Let us now examine the real nature of truth. Truth is ‘what is,’ exactly as it is. A lie, on the other hand, is taking ‘what is’ and trying to make it something it isn’t. The moment we allow something to be as it is, with nothing added or taken away, we are in the presence of truth.”
With his index finger extended, he alternately touches the rose petals and then one of the thorns protruding from the spindly stem. Eyes twinkling, he continues.
“Behold, the soft beauty of the petal and the sharp point of the thorn. ‘Petals’ and ‘thorns’ exist separately as I touch them. Yet they are not separate, because it is impossible to tell where ‘petal’ ends and ‘thorn’ begins. As both merge into the ‘stem,’ they become aspects of a single rose. So which is true? Are they separate things? Or are they one thing? The answer is paradoxical as they are both — and they are neither.”
Moving his index finger down to one of the thorns, he presses against it firmly until his flesh is indented.
“When you learn to embrace the paradox, you will know truth. Few embrace, many indulge. Let us examine the notion of pleasure and pain. While feeling the pain of the thorn, rather than embracing ‘what is,’ many avoid ‘what is’ by seeking ‘what isn’t’ — in this case, relief in the form of pleasure. Those who indulge in pleasure try to make it last beyond its time as a way to avoid discomfort. Like the rose with the perfection of its petals and thorns, life is filled with the perfection of pleasures and pains. When we can embrace all experiences with equal respect, not just those we crave, command quickly follows.”
He reaches behind him again, but this time has in his hand a small paperbound book with a flower design on the cover. It’s a book he has written called “A Flower in the Heart”. As he autographs and passes the book to me and bows down in reverence, I realize he is not just giving me a book, he is initiating me into the dimension of knowing called Truth. I bow in return and graciously accept . . . and now with honor, I pass this remarkable gift along to you.
The good news is you don’t have to sit in front of a Zen Master to experience the dimension of Truth. 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 Truth present in your daily life, engage with the three behaviors of Authenticity, Groundedness and Objectivity. Doing so will assist you in illuminating the wisdom and light within you. Let’s explore each of the behaviors.
Authenticity is the act of being genuine, real and honest. When we are authentic, we are trustworthy and straightforward in our deeds and actions. Authenticity requires the willingness to speak the truth and live by the truths we speak. Being authentic doesn’t equate with perfection. In fact, when we come clean about our dishonesty, we demonstrate authenticity. Increasing our level of authenticity requires a willingness to honestly express what we feel or think in a responsible manner.
Groundedness is having a solid foundation. It is developed through establishing a firm base and employing a consistent approach. Being grounded yields a sense of equanimity, peace and stability. When we are grounded, we can stretch out farther into the mysteries of life and reinvent aspects of personal creativity and freedom. Developing groundedness doesn’t require modesty or conservatism. Quite the contrary. Groundedness requires us to challenge the pillars of our faith, the legacy of our forefathers. It is the conscious act of doing violence to our mediocrity and predictability that crumbles our illusions of certainty, thus delivering us to the bedrock of our own soul.
Objectivity is being without bias or prejudice. It is the ability to distinguish between what one perceives as real and what is real. When we are objective, we function outside the influence of our own needs, agendas or desires. Objectivity gives us the ability to inquire, examine and explore with a commitment to empirical data rather than subjective interpretation.
Join me next time as we embrace the paradoxical power of the fourth dimension of the Light of the Masters, Passion. Together we will travel to a remote part of the high desert where mountain lions stalk us with their terrifying jaws of death. Torn between the primal drive to survive and the promise of divine empowerment, we forge an ability to open to the “widest possible embrace” for living our lives.
Val Jon Farris is a behavioral scientist and spiritual anthropologist who travels the world exploring ancient ruins and mystical cultures. This article has been excerpted from his new book “Inca Fire! Light of the Masters,” available at all bookstores, on the web at www.incafire.com , or toll free at (877) 462-2347.
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