P

 

Path Plato
Pluto
Pythagoras

 

 


 

Path: 

Path is an esoteric term for the spiritual journey towards enlightenment and self-realization. It is variously known as Way, Path of perfection, Marga, Tariqa etc. In Hinduism there are various ways that the term is used: (1) Path of enlightenment: The way to the ultimate goals of self-realization and liberation. (2) The two paths: The way of the monk and that of the householder, a choice to be made by each Hindu young man. (3) Path of Dharma: Following principles of good conduct and virtue. (4) Straight path: The way that goes directly to the goal, without distraction or carmic detour. (5) Highest path: The spiritual path or the path of renunciation as the noblest of human undertaking. (6) Universal path: The spiritual path conceived as being followed by all of existence, marching on its way to Godhood. In the vedantic and yogic paths, the shishya or aspirant is usually advised to find a guru, or teacher, who may prescribe spiritual exercises (siddhis) or be credited with the ability to transmit sakti, divine energy.

Hinduism. Hinduism identifies four ways - mārga or yoga - of spiritual practice. The first way is Jñāna yoga, the way of knowledge. The second way is Bhakti yoga, the way of devotion. The third way is Karma yoga, the way of works. The fourth way is Rāja yoga, the way of contemplation and meditation. Rāja marga is the path of cultivating necessary virtues, self-discipline (tapas), meditation, contemplation and self-reflection sometimes with isolation and renunciation of the world, to a pinnacle state called samadhi. This state of samādhi has been compared to peak experience of yoga or union with the higher Self (Atman).

Sufism. A tariqa ("way, path") is the term for a school or order of Sufism, or especially for the mystical teaching and spiritual practices of such an order with the aim of seeking haqiqah "ultimate truth". A tariqa has a Sheikh (guide) who plays the role of leader or spiritual director. The members or followers of a tariqa are known as murshid, meaning zealot, viz. "desiring the knowledge of knowing God and loving God".

Buddhism. Buddhism is the religion based on the teachings of Gautama Siddhartha. The main goal in Buddhism is not some sort of "union", but insight into reality, which leads to liberation. The path to liberation is the Noble Eightfold Path: (a). Right view, (b) right intention, (c) right speech, (d) right action, (e) right livelihood, (f) concentration, (g) right effort, (h) right meditation and (i) right contemplation.

Ch'an or Zen. The Linchi Ch’an tradition or Rinzai-Zen in Japanese stresses the need of further training after attaining awakening. Practice is to be continued to deepen the insight and to express it in daily life. To deepen the initial insight of awakening, contemplation and kōan-study are necessary. This trajectory of initial insight followed by a gradual deepening and ripening is expressed by the master Linchi in his Three mysterious Gates, and the Ten Ox-Herding Pictures which detail the steps on the Path.

 

1. In Search of the Bull

In the pasture of the world,

I endlessly push aside the tall

grasses in search of the Ox.

Following unnamed rivers,

lost upon the interpenetrating

paths of distant mountains,

My strength failing and my vitality exhausted, I cannot find the Ox.

 

2. Discovery of the Footprints 

Along the riverbank under the trees,

I discover footprints.

Even under the fragrant grass,

I see his prints.

Deep in remote mountains they are found.

These traces can no more be hidden

than one's nose, looking heavenward.

 

3. Perceiving the Bull

I hear the song of the nightingale.

The sun is warm, the wind is mild,

willows are green along the shore –

Here no Ox can hide!

What artist can draw that massive head,

those majestic horns?

 

4. Catching the Bull

I seize him with a terrific struggle.

His great will and power

are inexhaustible.

He charges to the high plateau

far above the cloud-mists,

Or in an impenetrable ravine he stands.

 

  5. Taming the Bull

The whip and rope are necessary,

Else he might stray off down

some dusty road.

Being well-trained, he becomes

naturally gentle.

Then, unfettered, he obeys his master.

 

6. Riding the Bull Home

Mounting the Ox, slowly

I return homeward.

The voice of my flute intones

through the evening.

Measuring with hand-beats

the pulsating harmony,

I direct the endless rhythm.

Whoever hears this melody

will join me.

 

7. The Bull Transcended

Astride the Ox, I reach home.

I am serene. The Ox too can rest.

The dawn has come. In blissful repose,

Within my thatched dwelling

I have abandoned the whip and ropes.

 

8. Both Bull and Self Transcended

Whip, rope, person, and Ox –

all merge in No Thing.

This heaven is so vast,

no message can stain it.

How may a snowflake exist

in a raging fire.

Here are the footprints of

the Ancestors.

 

9. Reaching the Source

Too many steps have been taken

returning to the root and the source.

Better to have been blind and deaf

from the beginning!

Dwelling in one's true abode,

unconcerned with and without –

The river flows tranquilly on

and the flowers are red.

 

10. Return to Society

Barefooted and naked of breast,

I mingle with the people of the world.

My clothes are ragged and dust-laden,

and I am ever blissful.

I use no magic to extend my life;

Now, before me, the dead trees

become alive.

 

 

 

 

 

Plato:  

Plato (428-347 BC) was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science. Plato was originally a student of Socrates, and was as much influenced by his thinking as by his apparently unjust execution.

Plato became a disciple of Socrates when he was twenty years of age and remained with him for about eight years. At the trial of Socrates he attempted to defend his master and later offered to secure the necessary funds to purchase the liberty of Socrates, but this old Athenian sage would not permit.

Having dedicated his life to the discovery of truth, Plato was resolved to travel into any country where wisdom might be found, even if it be to the furthermost parts of the earth. Therefore it was natural that he should go to Italy where he could attach himself to the disciplines of the Pythagoreans. There is evidence that from the Pythagoreans he gained much of natural and divine philosophy. He discovered that Pythagoreans in turn had gained much from other nations, so he traveled to Cyrene where he studied geometry with Theodorus. Next he went to Egypt to study astrology with the priests, for Cicero says, “he learned from the barbarians (Egyptians) arithmetic and celestial speculations”.  Having surveyed the whole of Egypt he settled finally in the province of Sais, where he studied with the wise men concerning the origin of the universe, the immortality of the soul and the transmigrations of the soul through earthly bodies. This accomplished, he returned to his own nation.

Having returned to Athens Plato established his school in the Academy, a wooded place of exercise in the suburbs of the city. It was this Academy that his school secured its name. Over the entrance to his school he placed the words: “Let none ignorant of geometry enter here”. By geometry he inferred the whole science of universal mechanics.

Plato derived his philosophical inspiration from a variety of sources. Knowledge came to him not as a revelation but through an unfolding of the reasoning powers within himself. The remote source of his knowledge was the Orphic Mysteries, which were brought to Greece from Asia many centuries before his birth. Without a knowledge of the Orphic Mysteries it is impossible to interpret  the more profound aspects of Plato’s thoughts. His gods were the Orphic divinities and the whole framework of his metaphysical system was derived from the sublimity of the Orphic conception. 

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. -Plato.

The Platonic philosophy may be regarded as summary of the best and noblest in Greek thought, but it should not be accepted as a mere compilation. Everywhere throughout his writings is evidence of a master intellect digesting, assimilating and arranging, so that all ideas become part of one idea, and all knowledge becomes part of one magnificent summary. Plato was an inclusive thinker, the finest type of mind the race has yet produced. He synthesized the arts, philosophies and religions and uniting them all and forming their compound the enlightened man’s philosophy of life.

Plato’s philosophy surrounds the principle of unity. To him the concept of unity was all-pervading, everywhere present and evident. Division was illusion. To accept a philosophy of division was ignorance. Unity was reality and the doctrine of unity was truth. Ignorance sees many separate things in the world; wisdom sees only the many parts of one thing. Plato acknowledged no principle of evil. What appears to be evil is only a form of truth that we cannot understand – a single circumstance, which we have not been able to fit into the general plan because of the inadequacy of our own understanding. Truth, being not mechanical fact but living fact, is the spiritual principle that animated all living creatures. Thus there is truth in everything. To discover the truth in the universe and the truth in self – these are the duties of such as desire to be wise. 

The Thinker (Plato) pointed out many times that the mind should be combined with the heart. Supermundane I, 235.

Plato does not conceive that the “world” is eternal; therefore he does not apply to it the term “being” inasmuch as being cannot be qualified by a concept of beginning and end. He therefore visions vast cycles of time, inconceivable to human reason but a necessary to the hypothesis of eternal growth. Of course it is not forms that grow. It is life growing through forms.

The Platonists recognize three orders of beings dwelling together in the ample nature of truth and participating to various degrees in its effulgence. The first order is the gods, in whom truth is most perfectly manifested. The second order is the heroes, enlightened men who having lifted themselves above ordinary human estate have become a race of demigods less than divine but more than mortal. The third order embraces mankind and the rest of the diversified material creation.

The purpose of philosophical education is to release the indwelling integrity so that it may practice dominion over the inferior and unenlightened instincts. Plato writes that learning is remembering. By this he not only means that education rescues from the subconscious mind of the individual the wisdom and experience of precious lives; he also means that through education the memory of self is released, the divine origin is once more discovered by the intellect, and man comes to know the origin, purpose, and destiny of himself. 

 

Pluto:  

Pluto is the most distant planet, discovered (1930) by Clyde Tonbaugh. The rotation period of Pluto amounts to 6,3 days; the sidereal period of revolution is 248 years; and the mean distance to the Sun is 39.52 A.U. Pluto has five known moons: Charon (the largest, with a diameter just over half that of Pluto), Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra.

 

The glyph of Pluto – the circle of spirit above the crescent of soul, both above the cross of mater – signified the urges of the body and the desires of the soul under the dominance of the spirit’s will. Pluto, a higher octave of Mars, will promote idealism and the realization of divine. These ideals will not be fully understand until humanity recognizes the interdependence of all and cooperates to create more universal outlooks and realities. Pluto asks us to transcend that which we know, redeem ourselves in the process, and come out stronger as a result.

 

In astrology the trans-Saturnian planets appear to rule the subtle bodies and perhaps have connections to the pineal and pituitary glands. These planets function more at the collective than the personal level. Generally, the Pluto represents the power of the masses, totalitarian, compulsive collective pressures, forces of elimination, regeneration and resurgence. Relates to emerging nations and nations in a state of renaissance and reconstruction. Some contemporary occultists believe that Pluto should be recognized as the ruler of Scorpio and Pisces.

 

Pluto or Ades was the son of Cronos and therefore brother of Zeus and Poseidon. When the world was divided between the three brothers, the underworld fell to Pluto while Zeus took the heavens and Poseidon the sea. The Cyclopes gave Pluto a helmet which made him invisible. He was formidable in battle and took part in the fight against Titans. Pluto ruled the dead, and assisted by demons over whom he has authority. He forbade his subjects to leave his domain and became enraged when anyone tried to teak his prey from him. Although forbidden by him to enter underworld, Heracles, Theseus, Orpheus and Dionysos went in his region and return safe and sound. 

 

Pythagoras: 

After many centuries, Pythagoras’ name still flares across the conscious horizon of learned men. He was a polydynamic figure whose encyclopedic understanding influenced the ancient world in a strange and powerful way. Born in Samos, Greece, about 580 B.C., the impact of his life and work is felt, even today in the areas of science, mathematics, music, religion, mysticism and philosophy. It is said that his father Mnesarchus, engraver of rings, with his wife Pythais, visited the oracle of Delphi and were told that she would bear a son who would excel in grace and wisdom. Mnesarchus returning from Syria to Samos, with much wealth and abundance of merchandise, built a Temple, which be dedicated to Apollo the Pythian and brought his son in several excellent disciplines, commiting his sometimes to Creophilus, sometimes to Pherecydes of Syros and to almost all the Prefects of the Temple.

Having at an early age distinguished himself in the Olympic games, and obtained the prize for wrestling, he began his travels in pursuit of knowledge; retiring into the East, he visited Chaldea and Egypt, the seats of learning and philosophy, and gaining the confidence of the priests, he obtained from them a knowledge of then: mysteries and their symbolic writings.

Pythagoras was an initiate not only into the Mysteries of his own native state, but also into those of the ancient Orient, where he had pursued extensive studies. His special work was to translate his esoteric knowledge into terms of the Grecian thought of that period. He shows the ultimate derivation of his wisdom and consequent teaching both by the content of his philosophical doctrines and by his insistence upon purity and self-mastery in life as a prime requisite to the attainment of wisdom. After returning he settled in Crotona, in Magna Grecia, where he established a college to which very soon resorted all the best intellects of the civilized centers.

Pythagoras believed that ultimately man would reach a state where he would cast off his gross nature and function in a body of spiritualized ether. From this he would ascend into the realm of the immortals, where by divine birthright he belonged. – Manly P. Hall.

Pythagoras is famous for his use of numerical and geometrical keys, which he illustrated by reference to the geometrical figures, the musical scale, astronomy, etc. He has “discovered” the Divine Section, the regular polyhedra, and the proposition relating to the square of the hypotenuse; what he did was to show that these were keys to the interpretation of mysteries. Porphyry reports that the numerals of Pythagoras were “hieroglyphical symbols by means whereof he explained ideas concerning the nature of things. His tetraktys is a gem of condensed esoteric symbolism. The influence of his school may be traced in subsequent Greek history. “It was Pythagoras who was the first to teach the heliocentric system, and who was the greatest proficient in geometry of his century. It was he also who created the word ‘philosopher,’ composed of two words meaning a ‘lover of wisdom’—philosophos. As the greatest mathematician, geometer and astronomer of historical antiquity, and also the highest of the metaphysicians and scholars.