Click here to go to the next issue
Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day
#1685 - Thursday, January 22, 2004 - Editor: Jerry
"Much of your pain is self-chosen.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your
"Therefore, trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and
tranquility; for his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the
tender hand of the Unseen. And the cup he brings, though it burn your
lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with
His own sacred lips."
From the book, "The Prophet," published by Knopf.
The Other Syntax
Four Stages of Intent
"I have described to you, in many ways, the different stages a
warrior passes through along the path of knowledge," he went on. "In
terms of his connection with intent, a warrior goes through four
stages. The first is when he has a rusty, untrustworthy link with
intent. The second is when he succeeds in cleaning it. The third is
when he learns to manipulate it. And the fourth is when he learns to
accept the designs of the abstract."
The Two One-Way Bridges
THE POWER OF SILENCE
In Search of 'Dark Matter'
Most of the matter in the universe is missing, and scientists
to find it. In 1932, when they began studying how stars behaved within
galaxies, astronomers found too few stars to account for the
gravitational pull necessary to keep a galaxy together. Something
unseen--termed "dark matter"--had to account for the missing mass, and
there had to be a lot of it. Most experts now estimate that 90 percent
of the universe is comprised of this elusive stuff.
"Dark matter" has escaped detection because it does
not emit enough
electromagnetic radiation--perhaps none at all. At first, scientists
inferred its existence by measuring its gravitational effects on nearby
stars and galaxies. But in 2000, scientists found evidence of
"cosmological shear," a phenomenon in which light from distant objects
bends under matter's gravitational pull.
Dark matter may be dying stars, brown dwarfs (objects nearly
as stars), or vast clouds of neutrinos--fundamental particles that are
very difficult to detect. One of the strongest candidates is the
hypothetical WIMP, or Weakly Interacting Massive Particle, perhaps 50
times heavier than a proton. Once dark matter is identified, the task
of determining how much exists would begin.
Some scientists believe there may not be enough dark matter to
universe's ever-accelerating expansion, and as stars burn off their
fuel (in about 10 trillion years), the universe will grow cold and
dark. Conversely, there may be enough dark matter to tip gravity's
scales, and start the universe on the road toward a "Big Crunch"--in
about 50 billion years--with everything contracting back into a cosmic
singularity similar to how the universe started.
Were a Big Crunch to occur, the resulting singularity could
another Big Bang. This hypothesis--of a universe that oscillates
between expansion and contraction--mirrors the creation myths found in
Hinduism's ancient Puranic texts. Perhaps their anonymous authors, who
presciently placed the age of the universe in the billions of years,
knew something we don't.
from Science Fiction Book Club: http://www.sfbc.com
from The Texture of Being
TEACHERS & ENLIGHTENMENT
When we are living in confusion, in suffering, in the ego, it
natural to deify or look up to those who appear to have all the
answers, who appear to be very spiritual - the gurus and teachers of
this world. Of course, they are a real and valuable asset to society
and the evolution of mankind, but we put them on a pedestal at our
peril. It may be true that someone who is widely regarded as being an
enlightened master has great clarity about life and, in many
respects, may appear to be light years ahead of everyone else, but in
essence his true nature and our true nature are no different. The
person may be different, the energy may be different - but essentially
what he is we are also, except that he is conscious of it and we are
not. His body will die and his mind will go, just as will happen with
our body and mind. He, as an individual, can no more escape death than
we can - except that we would like to and he is not bothered.
A truly enlightened master will never tell you
that he is great or
that he is enlightened. He will never tell you that he alone can
realize the ultimate, that he is a perfect master or avatar, whilst you
are an ordinary human being. There are people who will tell you these
things, who will make enlightenment out to be something exclusive.
There are people who will put themselves on a pedestal and encourage
you to bow down before them, to serve them, to idolize them. The world
is not short of a good supply of such teachers. But do these
teachers encourage you to awaken inwardly to the point where you
dont need them anymore?
When one goes with such a teacher, one instantly gives away
power, ones autonomy, and one becomes dependent on their grace, on
their goodwill, on their method of teaching. Of course, such teachers
do offer a refuge, a support and advice for those who, for whatever
reason, do not wish, or are not able, to take decisions or
responsibilities for themselves in this life. But if one is seeking
enlightenment, it is better to go to a teacher who does not have
pretensions about his or her status in life. It is better to go to
someone who offers you a pure and unconditional mirror in which to see
into your true nature, rather than one which is clouded with ego and
the spirit of control and manipulation.
We all have the potential to be awake, to be conscious, in the
emptiness of our true nature. However, there are thousands of us who
have studied spiritual writings and scriptures for decades and still
are unable to break through the enclosure of the mind, to taste the
nectar of realization directly. Thought cannot take us there. No
prescribed practices will jolt us into this realization. No book will
lead us there. The fact is that there is nowhere to go, nothing to
realize and no one to realize it. We have created this myth about
enlightenment and the enlightened seer, out of our own frustration and
confusion. We have set them apart from ourselves, as something to
achieve, something to reach out for, and in doing so have made them
Enlightenment is something we have put on a pedestal, knowing
is beyond our grasp. Even though the enlightened seer may tell us that
all we need to do is to rid ourselves of the notion that we are not
enlightened, still we are unable to put this notion, this concept
aside. So where do we go from here? Clearly, any move we make in any
direction is a mistake. So, we stay where we are, fully experiencing
our unclarity, our confusion, our frustration. But, instead of
indulging in emotional reaction and negative moods, we simply stay
where we are. We live our life, aware of our thoughts, our feelings,
our moods and emotions. We do our work, raise our family, whilst all
the time watching what arises in consciousness. We see the play of the
world, of life, and we stand back from any emotional involvement in it.
There are wars here and injustices there. We may work for
peace in the
world or try to put right injustices that are taking place, but we
continue to stand back from emotional involvement. In doing so,
compassion may arise in the heart. When we get involved emotionally,
there is a personal reaction. This personal reaction neither solves the
problem nor allows us to move on. When compassion arises, it comes with
an all-seeing awareness of the suffering of all humanity. It takes us
away from personal reaction into effective action. This compassion
spirits us closer to realization. It takes us out of the ego, out of
the personal, into the universal. We are then no longer concerned about
personal realization. The realization comes as a natural side effect of
the blossoming of compassion in our heart and mind.
It is natural to have respect for those who have greater
understanding and wisdom than ourselves. But it is also a mistake to
get pulled in by appearances. Be careful of the one who stands before
you offering sugar and spice. Whats in his other hand? Why is he so
keen to get your attention? There are many characters in life who have
learned how to act in order to get what they want. If someone keeps
telling you he is a good man, does it not arouse your suspicion? If
someone goes around under the banner of enlightened master, do you
not have a few questions to ask? Of course, the teacher doesnt always
go around claiming that hes an enlightened master (though some are not
ashamed to do this), but he often doesnt try to prevent his followers
from doing so.
In my own experience, every teacher I ever met who really
deeply, made no such claims. The moment that someone does make such
claims, it gives away the fact that they are living in duality, in
separation, in the ego. The bigger the guru, the more likely it is that
they have fallen into this trap. We take their advice at our peril.
Listening to the voice of our own true nature is what we really need to
trust in. Then we need no outward teacher. The outward teacher then
becomes, maybe, a source of inspiration and a motivating force rather
than someone on whom we become dependent.
Amritanubhav (The Nectar of Mystical Experience)
Chapter One: The Union of Shiva and Shakti (Selected verses)
I offer obeisance to the God and Goddess,
The limitless primal parents of the universe.
They are not entirely the same,
Nor are they not the same.
We cannot say exactly what they are.
How sweet is their union!
The whole world is too small to contain them,
Yet they live happily in the smallest particle.
When He awakes, the whole house disappears,
And nothing at all is left.
Two lutes: one note.
Two flowers: one fragrance.
Two lamps: one light.
Two lips: one word.
Two eyes: one sight.
These two: one universe.
In unity there is little to behold;
So She, the mother of abundance,
Brought forth the world as play.
He takes the role of Witness
Out of love of watching Her.
But when Her appearance is withdrawn,
The role of Witness is abandoned as well.
He assumes the form of the universe;
He is left naked.
If night and day were to approach the Sun,
Both would disappear.
In the same way, their duality would vanish
If their essential Unity were seen.
from "Jnaneshvar: The Life and Works of the Celebrated
Thirteenth Century Indian Mystic-Poet"
by S. Abhyayananda.
top of page