Click here to go to the next issue
Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day
#1723 - Saturday, March 6, 2004 - Editor: michael
Brain Squirts by Frank Cummings http://www.comicssherpa.com/site/feature?uc_comic=cskjh&uc_full_date=20040126
Holding Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand
The Moebius Strip
A moebius strip is a loop of paper with a half twist in it.
1. Take a strip of paper.
2. Give it a half twist (turn one end over).
3. Tape the ends together.
After you make your moebius strip, take a pencil and draw a line along the length. How many sides does the moebius strip have?
Take a pair of scissors and cut the moebius strip along the line you have drawn. What happened?
What do you think will happen if you cut it down the middle again? Try it.
Moebius was a mathematician and astronomer in the 1800s.
Nothing to Achieve, Nowhere to Go When I attained Absolute Perfect Enlightenment, I attained absolutely nothing. That is why it is called 'Absolute Perfect Enlightenment.' I obtained not the least thing from unexcelled, complete awakening, and for this very reason it is called 'unexcelled, complete awakening.' Siddhartha Gautama, Two translations of text from the Vajracchedika You are all Buddhas. There is nothing that you need to achieve. Just open your eyes. Siddhartha Gautama When you speak of a path, where are you now? And where do you want to go? If these are known, then we can talk of a path. Know first where you are and what you are. There is nothing to be reached. There is no goal to be reached. There is nothing to be attained. The conception that there is a goal and a path to it is wrong. We are the goal or peace always. You are the Self. You exist always. Sri Ramana Maharshi To reach truth is not to accumulate knowledge, but to awaken to the heart of reality. Reality reveals itself complete and whole at the moment of awakening. In the light of awakening, nothing is added and nothing is lost. Thich Nhat Hanh Zen Keys, p. 44 This is what enlightenment is all about: a deep understanding that there is no problem. Then, with no problem to solve, what will you do? Immediately you start living. You will eat, you will sleep, you will love, you will work, you will have a chit-chat, you will sing, you will dance. What else is there to do? Osho To find the Tao, there is nowhere you need to search. If it is not inside you, it is not the Tao. Confucious Truth is a country without road. J. Krishnamurti Wanderer, there is no path. You lay a path in walking. A Spanish poet There is really nothing you must be. And there is nothing you must do. There is really nothing you must have. And there is nothing you must know. There is really nothing you must become. However, it helps to understand that fire burns, and when it rains, the earth gets wet. Japanese Zen scroll
Ed.note: an interview with the author can be found here -
The Spiritual ChicksSM Speak Out!
Where do we come from?
"He who knows himself, will also know from whence he was derived."
--Plotinus, vi, 9, 8
The other day during a radio interview, we were asked the question, "Where do we come from?" To be honest, we were a bit taken aback because we weren't expecting to engage in a deep philosophical discussion during the last few seconds of our short segment on drive time radio. But after the shock wore off, we replied that we come from God. It's no mystery how we came up with this pithy answer. The underlying idea behind most religions is that God is everywhere, filling all conceivable space, seen and unseen. We come from God because there is nothing but God. Great, but then who are we? Well, when we accept the omnipresence of God, it's a snap to answer this question too. If there is nothing but God, then we are all manifestations of God. Great, we're done, right? Not quite. Before we put our philosophy books away and turn the television back on, we need to ask ourselves, what exactly is "God"?
The word "God" is thrown around by every Tom, Dick and Harriet to describe the indescribable but everyone seems to mean a different thing. According to Merriam Webster, God is defined as "the supreme or ultimate reality; the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe." And while most of us are familiar with the second definition-the idea of God as a perfect Being whom we worship, like an exalted Big Daddy or Mama who rewards those who follow orders and punishes those who don't-many of us have no clue as to what is meant by "the supreme or ultimate reality." And it is just this idea that is the key to understanding where we come from and who we really are.
While it is admittedly hard to believe while watching the evening news, the big three Western religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, all agree that there is but one God, one Creator, one ultimate reality of which we are all a part. In the East, there is an entire pantheon of Hindu gods, but Brahman is recognized as the source of all. In Buddhism, the idea of the "absolute" replaces the idea of "God" and the goal of Buddhists is to attain nirvana or union with this supreme essence. At their core, all religions accept the idea that "all is one" or what we Spiritual Chicks like to call The One Life Principle, which says that there is a single underlying power in the universe, but the expression of this power takes many forms-baseball players, puppies, exotic dancers, Supreme Court Justices, rocks, trees, even criminals. This "God" then is Life itself, a sort of spiritual electricity that runs everything and everyone.
If we accept this definition of God, then God cannot be a personal divinity. Rather, it is the job of each and every one of us as manifestations of the One Life to express the personal aspects of the divine. Interestingly enough, the words person and personal come from the Latin word persona, which means an actor's mask or a character in a play. It seems Shakespeare was right when in As you Like It he said, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." Something cannot come from nothing. Life can only come from life. At the end of our personal performance, when we take off our masks, we need not be surprised to find the face of God.
There is only Source appearing. All that manifests is always and only the appearance of Source ... the apparent universe, the world, the life story, the body mind, feelings, the sense of separation, the search for enlightenment, is all the one appearing as two, the no thing appearing as everything. The drama of the search is totally without meaning or purpose. It is a dream awakening. There is no deeper intelligence weaving a destiny and no choice functioning at any level.
Nothing is born and nothing dies. Nothing is happening. But this, as it is, invites the apparent seeker to rediscover its origin. When the invitation is accepted by no-one, then it is seen that there is only Source ... the uncaused, unchanging, impersonal stillness from which unconditional love overflows and celebrates.
It is the wonderful mystery.
The Open Secret
I am the divine expression exactly as I am, right here, right now. You are the divine expression exactly as you are, right here, right now. It is the divine expression exactly as it is, right here, right now. Nothing, absolutely nothing, needs to be added or taken away. Nothing is more valid or sacred than anything else. No conditions need to be fulfilled. The infinite is not somewhere else waiting for us to become worthy.
SAYINGS OF OLD CH'ENG
on the nature of original mind
translated by Mike Dickman
This is an English translation by Mike Dickman of a text of unknown provenance, given to a Frenchman by a Buddhist monk in old colonial Indochina. In this text, Old Ch'eng points to the self existing reality that is free from mental fabrications - a state free from religious dogma.
original mind has always been right before your eyes. There is
nothing for you to discover or achieve. Nor have you ever lacked
that which would enable you to see it."
- from The Sayings of Old Ch'eng
Finally, the book for spiritual seekers who are tired of seeking -the book for spiritual followers who are tired of following.
http://www.integralscience.org/einsteinbuddha/ New from Ulysses Press: A collection of parallel quotations from the scientific and spiritual traditions. . .
Thomas J. McFarlane
Einstein A N D Buddha
This remarkable book contains over 120 sayings from the founders of modern physics paired with parallel sayings from the seminal works of Buddhist, Hindu and Taoist contemplatives. Einstein and Buddha is a fascinating collection of quotes that challenges us to think deeper about the relationship between modern physics and mystical insight. Although these two ways of understanding and investigating reality have significant differences, the parallels suggest that they share a mysterious and profound connection.
The parallel sayings are organized by theme and touch upon the nature of matter and energy, the relationship between subject and object, the understanding of time and space, the importance of direct experience, the role of paradox and contradiction in our understanding, the limits of language in describing reality, and the interdependence of all created things. Each section is accompanied by a brief introduction to how these concepts relate to the scientific and spiritual ways of knowing. On each page is an insightful quote from an eminent physicist such as Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, or David Bohm, together with a surprisingly similar statement from a renown authority of Eastern religion such as the Buddha, Chaung Tzu, the Upanishads, D. T. Suzuki, or the Dalai Lama.
|According to general relativity, the concept of space detached from any physical content does not exist. -Einstein||If there is only empty space, with no suns nor planets in it, then space loses its substantiality. -Buddha|
|Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world. -Einstein||All such notions as causation, succession, atoms, primary elements...are all figments of the imagination and manifestations of the mind. -Buddha|
|Time and again the passion for understanding has led to the illusion that man is able to comprehend the objective world rationally by pure thought without any empirical foundationsóin short, by metaphysics. -Einstein||By becoming attached to names and forms, not realising that they have no more basis than the activities of the mind itself, error risesÖand the way to emancipation is blocked. -Buddha|
more from Tony Parsons
|Life is the only teacher
Excerpts from the book As It Is by Tony Parsons.
Question: There have been enlightened masters who have had great charisma and who've also been capable of magic, manifestation and so on. People have reported very powerful physical, emotional and mental experiences not only in the masters presence, but even thousands of miles away. Whats that all about?
Tony Parsons: [...] Its about someone who has a lot of charisma and the gift of manifestation or magic. Its about nothing more than anything else of any relevance inside the wheel of life. Someone recently told me that she looked into the eyes of a so-called master and vanished for a moment. But if it meant anything, why was she still asking questions? Nothing of any relevance is happening here with these phenomena that is any different or more liberating than selling hamburgers in the market place. The difficulty arises when people believe that these kind of events somehow vindicate some sort of personal enlightenment... they then also come to revere these people, and this creates a schism. They see these apparently magnificent beings and immediately come to believe that they can never attain such a level of importance. This is another way in which awakening is avoided. It is of course the infinite expression again wishing to have this experience, but so is my response to this question, and so is your sitting there and hearing it. [...]
[...] What we are talking about here today is the ordinary and the incredibly breathtaking magnificence of the ordinary. It is only ever and always simple, seemingly unremarkable and yet we pass it by and look for magic. Immediately, here, is the seeing of what we are. If there is a need in people to see magic there will always be magicians to fulfill that need, but none of this is relevant to awakening. [...]
[...] So what do we look for in a teacher?
Someone who gives you absolutely nothing and leaves you feeling helpless. Then it is possible that you are left only with what is. If someone tells you that theres something that you can do or there is a certain way that you can be in order for awakening to happen, they are simply feeding your own avoidance.
What do you mean by that?
We all have a deep longing and a deep fear of the
discovery of what we are, and the mind devises any way it can to
avoid this discovery. The most effective way it avoids awakening
is to seek it. When there begins to be an opening up to the
revolutionary possibility that is being communicated here, then
the mind sees this as a threat. I am finding with some people
that for a time their strongest fears arise and they feel they
want to run away or try to do something about being overwhelmed
by those fears. This can be a pivotal period, and often escape
routes are sought.
Some who hear this message will move away at some point to find a teacher who seems to be giving them something... a process or way of being such as transcending thought, vanquishing the ego, being honest, being moral, and so on. Others will also be very attracted to those who will offer to help them attain something they call enlightenment. Usually these teachers imply that in some way or other they are especially unique, and they will often act in such a way as to create a dependency in the follower. All of this personalized teaching is irrelevant to awakening, but it intrigues and satisfied the mind enormously, for a while. [...]
[...] Is a guru needed at all?
Life is the only guru. Everything that has so far happened for you is your teaching and is absolutely appropriate for your awakening. At this moment it is sitting in this room and hearing these words and possibly allowing them to go deeply inside. It is the seed that is scattered and drops onto fertile or infertile ground. You are ready to hear when you are ready to hear. You dont need anything except that which you have. isn't that wonderful? So dont get worried about what you need or dont need. All is provided. Let go and rest in that which is and you will surely meet the beloved and rediscover your original nature. [...]
and now, just for something a bit scary!
The Death Clock!
Imagine there's no
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...
You may say I'm a
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one
IMAGINE - JOHN LENNON
(c) 1971 Lenono Music
release date :may 2003
Religion and Morality:
by William Edelen
God Talking To You
"Now hear this. Now hear this. This is your Captain speaking."
Every Navy and Marine person has heard that blare out over the loudspeakers of a ship or station.
Now, we are in real trouble when the men wackos (I emphasize men), crazies and loonies start thinking they hear that call from "God."
I knew a guy in seminary who always said "God" was telling him what to do. He was a guy who didn't have both oars in the water; he was a half bubble off plumb; his elevator didn't go to the top floor; he was two tacos short of a combination plate. You get the picture? He told his wife God told him to go to Africa as a missionary. His wife said, "Fine . . . GO," but that God had not told her to go with him so she was getting a divorce and staying in the good ole United States.
Unfortunately, theological seminaries attract too many of those flaky types, as recent studies from both Roman Catholicism and Protestantism have well documented. If God is unknown and beyond human comprehension, then "theology" is a pseudo-science without a subject matter, and the "theologian" is simply a person who has no idea what he is talking about.
How much of the horror and brutality of history has come from men who used God as an excuse for every kind of obscenity and psychotic behavior.
ed. note: the res of it at:
spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds.
The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly
submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."
top of page