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NDhighlights # 1273 - Saturday, November 30, 2002 - Edited by John
Our struggle for a
sense of Self is very much shaped
By our deepest concepts of Brain Dynamics and Mind.
My BrainArt attempts to explore these interrelationships.
You see, a number of outspoken voices in today's spiritual culture are telling us that in order to face the complexity of a changing world that seems to be hurtling a little faster toward Omega every day, we must ourselves be ready to embrace the process of change, of development, of spiritual evolution and transformation. But unfortunately, there is no hope of doing that, they tell us, until we get beyond one very big obstacledifference without hierarchy. The once-revolutionary concept of "live and let live" that helped inspire the entire generation of baby boomers to make the world a kinder, gentler place for all shapes and sizes of people has, in its latest incarnation, we are told, spawned some rather unpleasant side effects, most notably an antihierarchical, antiauthoritarian, antievolutionary, politically correct, pseudo-spiritual world in which real transformation is paid only lip service and hardly anybody truly wants to change. Now if that seems like quite a mouthful, don't worry, because integral philosopher Ken Wilber has a simple term to describe this maladyboomeritis. And, as you will see in the pages that follow, he is hardly the only person with a few choice words to say about this culture-wide phenomenon.
Kiss it goodbye
With industry henchmen in complete control of Washington, the Clean Air Act, wilderness preserves and environmental enforcement are all endangered species.
"Inspired by the absolute hopelessness of everything, I felt relieved, as if a great burden had been lifted from my shoulders."
-- Henry Miller
When you look back on a failed relationship, you often wonder how it could have gone on for so long. For months you knew it wasn't working. Why didn't you get out before it became an irrevocable disaster? The answer is simple: Because it needed to end in catastrophe. You needed to poison the well and bludgeon your heart beyond repair. You needed to exhaust all your reserves. Anything less, and you'd still be holding out hope. You can always muddle along from minor disaster to minor disaster, but it takes truly heroic stamina to see things through to total catastrophe.
It's a catastrophe, but it's the one I need.
Milarepa's Last Testament
After the enlightened cave-yogi and songmaster Milarepa left this
world, a scrap of rice paper was found inscribed with his handwriting.
His ascetic followers were astounded, for it stated that beneath a
nearby boulder was buried all the gold that ascetic Mila had hoarded
during his life.
A few eager disciples dug around and under that large rock. In the earth they discovered a ragged cloth bundle. Opening the knotted bundle with shaking hands, they discovered only a lump of dried shit.
There was another scribbled note as well. It said: "If you understand
my teaching so little that you actually believed I ever valued or hoarded gold, you are truly heirs to my shit."
The note was signed "The Laughing Vajra, Milarepa."
As told by Lama Surya Das
If all there is is Consciousness, if there is only Consciousness,
then why or for what are you still seeking? If there is only
Consciousness then right now you must be that and everything
else that appears in and as awareness must also be that, including
your sense of separate self if that is how you appear now. Any
personal sense of I or 'doership' or ego must be Consciousness.
What else could it be?
I, ego, time, thought, separation, - if all there is is Consciousness
then is not all of this already Consciousness? Any appearance of
mundane, ordinary existence can be no less of Consciousness than
any appearance of unconditional love, wholeness, bliss, stillness,
silence or anything else, Does anything really need to be transcended,
found or let go of?
Why not live in this understanding, no longer requiring that you wait
for all the supposed signs of 'enlightenment' to appear?
consciousness is all
Before I did a mass deletion of e-mail a few days ago, I seem to remember your commenting on Wm Samuels and their website.
I've read several of his books, had correspondence with Sandy and seen the printed newsletter. William's approach is very sweet and inspirational. He was an American original, recasting the nondual vision into a vernacular all his own. I heard that he had come out of Christian Science in the 40s or 50s, along with Joseph Goldsmith. They each made very interesting contributions.
William's writings seem laced with a Christian aesthetic, which to me makes it seem even more American and folksy. What's great about this is that it makes it seem here and now and totally available. A good antidote to the normal way these teachings presented, that the resolution is almost impossible except in an isolated few cases, mostly in India or long ago in history....
Come to it empty-handed
Compassion is not hard to come by when the heart is not filled with the cunning things of the mind. It is the mind with its demands and fears, its attachments and denials, its determinations and urges, that destroys love. And how difficult it is to be simple about all this! You dont need philosophies and doctrines to be gentle and kind. The efficient and the powerful of the land will organize to feed and clothe the people, to provide them with shelter and medical care. This is inevitable with the rapid increase of production; it is the function of well-organized government and a balanced society. But organization does not give the generosity of the heart and hand. Generosity comes from quite a different source, a source beyond all measure. Ambition and envy destroy it as surely as fire burns. This source must be touched, but one must come to it empty-handed, without prayer, without sacrifice. Books cannot teach nor can any guru lead to this source. It cannot be reached through the cultivation of virtue, though virtue is necessary, nor through capacity and obedience. When the mind is serene, without any movement, it is there. Serenity is without motive, without the urge for the more.
There are no absolutes. Everything is bending, curving around, embracing. To define is to limit and there is no limit.
T.S. Eliot said that words slip, slide, decay with imprecision. This, from
one of the greatest and most precise users of language in the history of the written word.
Fundamental truths, principles, emerge in our lives and it seems there is a definable quality, an eternal verity or two floating within reach for us to pluck and hold, cling to and sanctify.
Yet when we seek to enshrine, we tend to distort, to limit. We encounter
humbling experiences that cause us to let go, worship before. Then we define God and limit the divine.
It is our history, our way, our consistent modus operandi. We come to
conclusions and think it is the end of the learning. But, in the infinite
variety of the divine we only limit ourselves and our ability to continue to learn.
Even in humility, as I realize that there is no absolute, an absolute is
formed. The paradox is complete. Truth is defined absolutely within me, a subjective sense that will drift wide of the original concept, yet seem the same.
When I say there are no absolutes, that, itself, is an absolute. Only in the
moment of understanding is everything clear. Beyond that we are lost again.
My love becomes more consistent, my knowledge ever more incomplete.
I find the absolute, yet nothing I say is it.
I am serious about the absolute. Another meaning of absolute shatters the windows, opens the doors, eyes, and ears.
I wander outside again, in search of the absolute.
Now I want to experience, not define.
Copyright © 2002 by John MacEnulty
11/29/2002, St. Louis, MO
A Net of Jewels
Ramesh S. Balsekar
The central point of the ultimate understanding is that at any and every
instant there is nothing but perfection in the totality of functioning that
is the universe. Thus, the present moment and whatever it offers is
accepted in total and uninhibited pure enjoyment.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Volition and responsibility are unnecessarily assumed by the individual for acts and events that are all really subject to determination by what is called causation or destiny.
but Diana, I thought Ms. Kalamara did look like Margaret Thatcher!
(who also resembles Margaret Thatcher)
"You can't step into the same list twice."
Sometimes you post and hit the nail on the head. At other times you know that your words failed to convey what you meant. It's a process of trial and error.
Like the river, it is flowing as it should.
The list is sometimes one thing, sometimes another and we are all contributing, even when we lurk. Sometimes it's fun and at other times it's serious. It's life entered into the computer. Today it's the Blue Danube--tomorrow Ole' Man River. I like to stand on the banks of the list and just jump right in. If I do a bellyflop, it hurts that day, but tomorrow I may do a beautiful swan dive. Come on in, the water's fine.
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