Sunday, October 11, 2009

Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol, 33 Little Steps To Enlightenment

Some of you may remember just how popular and how controversial Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown was, a few years back. For most people, Brown's newest endeavor, The Lost Symbol won't be as "Earth-shattering", primarily due to the lack of amazing disclosures about Jesus' personal life. However, this book actually digs deeper into the potential benefits of esoteric symbols, but in some very "pulp fiction"-y ways. The book is not that well-written (standard top-forty fiction type of thing), the story is okay, but kind of formulaic.

However, the esoteric symbolism itself, and what Dan Brown indicates it points to -- goes pretty deep, but stops just short of "full disclosure". Is this because Brown doesn't know ... or because he doesn't want to disclose more? I'm guessing it's the former.

Fortunately, I don't have that same constraint ... so I'll give you an example:

In The Lost Word, Brown mentions that the reason the Masonic tradition has 33 Degrees (levels of initiation), is because the spine has 33 vertebrae. So far, so good. He indicates that Heaven actually refers to "higher" mind, and that the Masonic symbolism of the staircase represents the journey from animal nature and base instincts, up the spine, to the Heaven of higher mind.

This is all fine, but the impression the book gives is that this is purely a symbolic representation -- that the spine simply "represents" the distance, or steps, between animal nature, and the spiritual awakening of higher mind.

The "little detail" that he fails to mention in his book, is that there's a daily practice you can do, which actually facilitates the neurobiology of spiritual awakening.

It's been around for thousands of years; it's one of the eight limbs of yoga, and is well understood by other mystical traditions around the world, as well; it's known as pranayama, or breath control.

One specific type of pranayama practice is known as "spinal breathing".

It's amazing, and it works -- and the results are beyond description, literally. Once I integrated this practice with daily meditation a few years back, I experienced more results, in terms of spiritual awakening in a few short months -- than I had experienced in years, without it.

It's all about knowing how to integrate and balance -- and there's at least one group I know of (which I participate in, and recommend highly and without reservation) who can help you do exactly that -- even if you've never meditated or done yoga before (and no, "yoga" doesn't mean "making like a pretzel" - if you can sit and breath, you can do this practice.)

And, as I can and do attest, it can change your life.

All that interesting esoteric symbolism is ... well, interesting ... to some .... but once you realize that spiritual awakening, much like physical exercise and nutrition, has literally been a (somewhat hidden, partially lost and/or misunderstood but still one hundred percent actual) science for thousands of years ... and that the results of practicing this science are the promises of all the great spiritual traditions (peace beyond all understanding, freedom beyond imagination, nirvana, spiritual liberation, self-realization, enlightenment; whatever else it's called ---- it's the fulfillment of human consciousness, it's real ... and you can have it.)

For more information, please visit the Advanced Yoga Practices Community.

Tell 'em Kirtanman sent you.

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