A reader asks:
"Have you studied much of his (Sri Dava Prakasha) writing, JJ?"
Just enough to get a flavor. I intend to read some more shortly. One thing, I do not see him as an incarnation of God any more than you or I are. Such claims only serve to establish oneself as an unearned authority.
"Now I can't let you just sit on the fence with that philosophical answer, can I?
"We know that there have been so-called 'God-men,' that is to say, God-Realized beings, such as Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, etc. These have sometimes been termed 'Avatars' by the Hindus, and the word 'Avatar' means 'Divine Incarnation,' which Dava appears to be claiming of himself without using the Sanskrit terminology."
Dava does not teach the theosophical doctrine of realizing God so your point is moot. He says: "Since you are completely other-than God, then, quite literally, you can never Realize God. Therefore, The Way of Freedom is not even about you Realizing God."
"Dava is an interesting teacher to me, not least because his very comprehensive Seven Foundational Principles of the Way of Freedom, given freely on the web, are almost impeccable (I have noticed a few points he makes that seem a bit off; e.g., 'Paramahansa Yogananda was innocently deluded.')."
At least he was right about Sai Baba and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. He said: "The lives of Sathya Sai Baba and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh represent the height of intentional fraud."
"Certainly Dava's is easily one of the most discerning teachings I have studied; he has a complete understanding of human psychology and the many thousand things that prevent mankind from moving closer to God and therefore Liberation.
"What I really wanted to know from you, JJ, is whether you feel that he is indeed God-Realized, a holy Teacher able to open up the Way like, for example, Jesus and Buddha did? For if he is, then would it not be prudent for us to attempt - nay, fly - to his feet? After all, if Jesus were here today would we not - if we are in earnest about God and the Path - be naturally and spiritually impelled to do the same?"
Most of his teachings leave me quite flat. For instance, he teaches there is no afterlife. When we die we are gone forever as the atheist believes. An truly inspired teacher will either present new principles or give new light on old ones. I cannot find any new principle or new light in his teachings. It is interesting that he presents his teachings in the name of seven principles, but instead of presenting principles he merely gives us data that is impossible for the mind to verify.
Let us go through them:
Every religion teaches this as a piece of data and there is a principle behind it but Dava does not reveal it.
Again, we have another piece of data. We have to take his word on the idea that he is that which he teaches just as we have to with Sai Baba.
Again he does not elaborate on any principle but gives us this piece of unverifiable data.
He tells us that God made creation purely for himself (it is "God's show") and not for us and that on very rare occasions he incarnates into it to reach a handful of followers. On this rare occasion he took over the body of a seeker who was previously named Nobileo. Nobileo no longer exists and is consigned to oblivion. In his place is God who is now present on the earth in his body with an apparent new name of Sri Dava Prakasha. Dava, as the God of the universe, teaches the one and only way and we must come to him or else it is curtains forever. In the midst of this fear based teaching he has the chutzpa to tell us he is the way to free us from fear.
Is this man then like the Christ that we should beat a path to his door?
Christ exemplified the Love of God. Dava never tells us that God is love but presents a mean selfish God who created the universe purely for his own ego and rules for long periods of time completely ignoring the suffering and needs of all life forms. On a whim he incarnates now and then to give a small handful the pleasure of his company. That's about all he has to offer us from what I have read.
Again, an invitation is not a principle. All the fundamentalists, Bible thumpers and good time rock-and-roll churches make an invitation to participate in God's grace. Dana goes a step further and indicates that God's grace is revealed through him -- since he is God.
At least this is good advice, but I see no elaboration of any principle here.
Here we have a version of the principle of duality. A principle is involved, but one that has been covered from every possible angle in the past.
"On a separate but related note, do you invest any faith in the biblical prophesy: 'When they tell you that Christ is in the wilderness or in the hidden places, believe them not. For when the Christ returns everyone will know'?
"Can you share your intuitions with us regarding this warning from the New Testament?"
I always give the scriptures a lot of weight, but like all things I run them by my soul. Here's the exact quote:
"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Matt 24:24-27)
The first part of this scripture has been obviously fulfilled. Over the past 2000 years there have been many false Christs and prophets. Unfortunately, this trend just continues and some very good people are deceived.
When Christ comes he will not hide out in some secret place where disciples will have to hunt him down (as in Creme's messiah) but will be available for all. He will generally come to us rather than we coming to him as some special being. Instead it will be similar to last time. Remember he traveled from place to place making himself available.
The last verse has several potential interpretations. One of them I have covered several times when talking about the atomic bomb being the sign of the Son of Man. Let me repeat the verse: "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
Why didn't he say that lightning comes out of the West and shines to the East? After all this happens in nature as often as lightning coming out of the East. He used this phraseology to imply a certain meaning.
Lightning, of course, lights up a dark sky and implies teachings of light and enlightenment itself.
In our present day most of the great teachings have come out of the east beginning with H. P. Blavatsky who worked with masters of the East and more recently Alice A. Bailey dictating for Djwhal Khul, again from the east. Many of the teachings of the ancient wisdom can be traced back to ancient Hindu and other writings from the East.
These teachings of course have shined to the West and are becoming as prevalent here as anywhere.
The scripture ends with: "so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
The word "coming" is from PAROUSIA which more literally means "presence." The scripture more correctly reads: "so shall also the presence of the Son of man be."
One of the main teachings of the new age which originated from the East are teachings of the presence of Christ in us, or the Christ consciousness.
It is interesting to note that "lightning" comes from the Greek ASTRAPE and is not always translated as "lightning." It more literally means a "bright light" as inferred in Luke 11:36 which reads: "Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining (ASTRAPE) of a candle doth give thee light."
Note here that ASTRAPE is translated as "the bright shining" and has no reference to lightning.
Also the Greek ANATOLE is not always translated as East. A phrase of interest here is "we have seen his star in the east." (Matt 2:2) "In the east," here comes from EN TE ANATOLE. When the singular "anatole" is used it's meaning means more than a literal "east" but in reference to a star takes on special astrological implications. The literal translation would be close to "star at the rising" or "Morning Star."
It is interesting that "at the rising" is a definite astrological term and would indicate the last star visible on the ascendant. The last star or planet visible in the morning was also called the "Morning Star."
Notice that the magi call the star "his star." Why would they call the Morning star "his (Christ's) star?"
The answer is quite simple. Jesus said: "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." (Rev 22:16) It is also interesting that Luke identifies Jesus using the word ANATOLE: "Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring (ANATOLE -- rising or morning star) from on high (from HUPSOS -- heavenly place) hath visited us." (Luke 1:78)
The morning star is "his star" because he is the "morning star" for us. He is the light that guides us to the heart of the Sun.
The Greek word for West is DUSME which literally means "sunset" or "to go down" or "sink."
Taking this into consideration let us give a translation very close to the Greek (Standard Translation): "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
New translation: "For as the bright light (enlightenment) is coming from the Morning Star and is seen as far as the west, so shall be the presence of the Son of man."
It is interesting to note that the revelations of Alice A. Bailey reveal that the Ancient of Days came from the Morning Star which is Venus. One could say that Jesus was called the Morning Star because the man of which he was the Son was this Planetary Logos from the Morning Star.
A Morning Star also refers to old souls who assisted at the morning of creation.
This scripture tells us that an aspect of the Second Coming involves not just a physical presence that we can go to the desert to see, but the presence of the Father and Son residing within us.
"This Mormon excerpt appears to be in contradistinction to Jesus' statement: 'Evil is not the lawful opposite of Goodness. Goodness is sufficient unto Itself. (Gospel of Thomas, I think)."
But the quote I gave does not contradict common sense or logic. This quote from Thomas may be a bad translation for I cannot make much sense of it. The term "lawful opposite" could imply a legal outlook and not a metaphysical or philosophical one.
"Perhaps God provided the matrix within which contrasts could arise, born of choices made by souls of free-will, so that the Game of Life could be played, but is it really morally or logically sensible for us to accept that a God of Love actually chooses to create evil together with all its horrific and terrible ramifications under which He then forces his children to suffer?"
This is the basic idea that Dava teaches. He says: "Why is creation the way it is? It is God's Show, and He can Do as He Will. God is the First Cause of existence, and no cause or reason exists prior to God. God is God, and it is His Will that the general Design of creation is as it is."
"God Creates nature to exist and operate as it does, and yet God is un-Involved in nature, and is therefore unnoticeable to humanity, until He Comes-Forth Into creation Through a part of creation. (Dava)"
According to this teacher you revere creation as it is, is God's will.
I teach differently. Things are the way they are not because of God's will, but because of God's experiment. He plunged into this universe, which is his physical body, and as he works his way to master the universe through the lives in it certain things just come into play that even he has no power to eliminate, except through time. One of these is suffering. This and other negative elements are just here to be dealt with and mastered by the participating lives.
The situation with God is like it is with a builder who is working on a beautiful house. He takes the risk of smashing his finger or falling off a ladder, but the possibility of suffering is worth the final result.
In the process of God's building many of us suffer some temporary injuries, but in the end all will agree the effort was worth the cost.
"I like what Gail's Taoist God said in her extract. And if God is eternally Blissful and does not require to experience the temptations, the evil and the suffering that mankind does, then why would a loving Father insist that His children DO suffer thus? As above, so below. Would you act in such a way on behalf of your own kids?"
God insists on nothing. A situation is created through the creative process itself and just is. We have to discover the laws and effects in the universe and work with them. There is no other way.
"For me this reasoning indicates a very demented and even sinister Father indeed and does not imply divine love at all, which as we all know includes wisdom and compassion."
Yet Dava teaches that God made us and ignores us in our suffering. According to him God has ignored humanity from Christ to Dava and all their suffering disease and death did not even call forth a finger to help for 2000 years.
"Does it seem wise or compassionate that a being would purposefully create evil and suffering and then send its offspring there just in order to play!?"
It seems compassionate to build a house when the enjoyment at the end will far outweigh the few scratches received.
"If this is God then it seems to be quite a reasonable thing to become a Satanist or mass murderer, no? For then we can give our 'God' ample experience of and play within the contrasts, and we can rest assured that he will lawfully reward us with a slice of His Glory. Right?"
I have always taught to have the courage "to follow the highest you know." Even if you are not sure you are making the best decisions things will work out in the end because he who has good intentions will correct himself. To create harm creates limitations and greatly delays the day of progress. To become a mass murder would never be a good idea. Of Judas, Jesus said it would have been better if he had not been born.
To become a mass murderer would be comparable to a carpenter assisting in building the house and then go crazy and set the whole thing on fire. This makes no sense for the carpenter or anyone else involved.
You seem very concerned with the idea that God has created us all and yet allows suffering. I am curious if you have found an answer which satisfies you. Dava teaches that God created us all yet ignores us most of the time. Do you accept this idea?
The truth is that we are all co-creators with God and suffering exists because we either allow it or have not yet learned to master it.
How many times has a brother or sister suffered when a small effort from our own hand could have helped? Because we are reflections of God one could say that God failed to eliminate suffering. As part of the One Great Life which is God we must all do our part to assist and then suffering will end.
"The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men."
-- George Eliot (1819 - 1880)
Copyright 2004 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved