Book excerpts from the Spirit and Flesh religion and spirituality online library.
Shiva, Shakti, Jesus, Mary, Krishna, Radha: cosmic consciousness and terrestrial matter
excerpted from OM, baby! a pilgrimage to the eternal self, by Jack Haas
When seen from the immense, untroubled distance of the cosmic eye, everything on earth seems placid, well-balanced, fluid, and as it should be. It's like when we look upon a city at night from a distant hill and see only beautiful lights twinkling serenely off in the distance. From such a remote outlook none of the noise nor pandemonium, none of the violence nor anguish, none of the sex nor seduction, nor the dance, the merriment, the corruption, congestion, nor confusion is betrayed for the actuality that it is. From such a distance one may quickly draw the conclusion that nothing really happens there but a gentle and calm twinkling of pretty lights.
It is the same when we look up into the glorious night sky. Above us we see only a breathtaking display of brilliant stars consuming an immensity that is well beyond our ability to comprehend. We can see nothing of the warfare, the plunder, the thrashing, the sorrow, the rage, nor the ecstasy, the love, nor the celebration. From our distance even the apocalyptic violence of a supernova appears as a gorgeous spectacle. We do not hear nor feel the agony of the billions of souls incinerated in the inferno.
Our distance has created an 'object' from which we are detached, and with which we are therefore no longer intimate.
It is for this reason that in this era of new age ideas and spiritual charlatans, there are many individuals who claim that all of life is illusion- that existence as we know it is nothing but a dream of the mind. And I now realize this to be an understandable conclusion for anyone who has awoken to transcendental consciousness, but who has yet to awaken to the immanent soul of matter. For when transcendental consciousness happens, and one is suddenly 'outside' of all that is, and one can thus see from a detached perspective that all is but a divine drama which is acted out by sleeping actors, it is quite understandable that one would fall away with a great sigh of relief, having found a safe distance from the turmoil of existence, and remain there, comfortable in the knowledge that all of life is an illusion, and that they are now thankfully free from that illusion. However, I now know this to be a disastrous conclusion.
For whether it be a distant cosmic happening, or a nearby earthly event, none of it matters a scratch to consciousness until the spirit descends into the awaiting maelstrom, and learns for itself the truth and actuality of what it means to truly be. This is the Christ born into matter.
It is true that human existence, when looked at from afar, appears to be of the nature of a divine drama, a play, a lila, as it is called in India, which runs on eternally. But it is only from such a remote perspective of the cosmic eye that life on earth may then be called an illusion. A more appropriate term for the nature of such a perspective would be 'misperception', in that such a distant consciousness 'misperceives' the true nature of what it means to be human.
To conclude, therefore, that all matter is unreal simply because the human drama is dreamlike is like assuming that simply because a television show is fictitious, the television is unreal as well.
The difficulty for the mind comes in recognizing that the world is real not at the level of the human drama, but at the level of the soul; and therefore to attain transcendental consciousness is to be liberated from the profane paradigm, from maya, but not from the divinity of matter itself.
True liberation is to be 'liberated' from the drama, but not from existence itself, for existence is the essence of the soul, and consciousness is the essence of the spirit, and peace is the essence of their union.
In the attainment of one's wholeness and true nature, the projected outpouring of one's existence transforms out of a drama and into a documentary; for now all of one's actions within the paradigm are actual and true expressions of the eternal self, rather than mere entertainments looked upon from a detached creator.
In this sense we descend from the metaphor into the actual, and from the projection onto the scene. The only illusion is illusion. Alchemical individuation is the moment when we become real, and not merely phantom actors in the show, for we must come to earth completely, if we are ever to be completed.
To emanate as the sun emanates is to have no relationship to that which has a relationship to you, for the sun would exist without us, but not we without the sun. This is the great transcendence from this plane. However, it is only when the sun and moon- the male and female- are in union, and the sun is energetically drawn into creation, that creation becomes one with the sun.
The sun must love the moon for such a cosmic marriage to bring redemption to the dark world. And so we only truly rise up in our perfection by first descending as God onto Earth, and then rising as the Earth up with God. 
As I have said, to stand apart from being, emancipated into transcendental consciousness, is an immensely important function for humanity to become capable of, though no more important than our descent into the very core and absoluteness of this earthly paradigm of flesh.
In the end we must expand in both directions if we are to have the wisdom of a cosmic spirit, and the heart of an earthly soul. We must unite revelation with actualization, jnana with bhakti, and so catalyze the transfiguration arising from the union of spirit and flesh.
I accept that I am a part of this process- the process of merging the spirit into the earth- as most of us likely are. I have in the past had many dreams in which my body and the bodies of a few other individuals were covered completely in a layer of green leaves. I had no idea what this symbol indicated until I came upon information about The Green Man, a mythological character who arrives to resuscitate mankind's intimacy with the earth. In mythological pictures he is shown covered in leaves.
I can therefore declare with awe and humility that we are not here to abandon the mystic flesh, but to exalt it. We are not here to be liberated from this realm, but to be liberated within this realm.
To bring infinity into the finite is to transform the great cosmic stillness into the great cosmic dance; it is to combine into oneself the dual energies of Vishnu and Lakshmi, Radha and Krishna, Shiva and Shakti, Jesus and Mary, and to merge these within oneself, all the while flowing in, and of, and through the light and dark turmoil of this mad, marvelous mystery.
To mix the infinite into the finite is to blend the finite into the infinite until they are interwoven and indistinguishable.
To be the emptiness that is a living bridge between the Mother and Father is to mix consciousness and matter into one indistinguishable, viscous fluidity, and so to merge into and become an ocean of beingness, lighter than matter, and denser than mind.
The archetypical and eternal forces then awaken in the drama. The invisible Self animating the visible self becomes everything. The macrocosm becomes the microcosm, the word is made flesh, and all that is mundane becomes transmorgified into the song of the Divine. Om, baby!
 It is foretold that the next incarnation of Vishnu- following Krishna and the Buddha- will be Kalki, the one who will complete the work that both Krishna and Buddha began, thus bringing the divine firmly down to earth, to Avalon. It is said that he/she will be the one to bring ..."the kingdom of the Divine upon Earth." (Sri Aurobindo, Sri Krishna, p30. SABCL, Vol. 22), and "...the last Avatar, Kalki, only accomplishes the work Krishna began..." (Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, p157). If this is an odd bit of news to swallow, let us remember that the Buddha himself touched the earth as a witness to his enlightenment, and therefore validated matter as a true actuality.
 jnana is the Sanskrit word for wisdom, or knowledge; bhakti is the Sanskrit word for devotion. Thus one represents the mind, the other the heart.
by Jack Haas