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#1844 - Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - Editor: Jerry
10 minute audio sample from his Inner Directions appearance in 2003: http://www.sentientpublications.com/catalog/aware.php
Ultimately there is nothing to do because the pure absolute Self that we all are is not a doer. The Self is pure Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. There is no doing involved in pure Existence. In truth we are already completely free and perfect. I'm sure you must have heard this before, but just hearing the words does not make it your experience. So if you are not unreservedly free and you suffer even a little bit, then certainly there is something you can do! Your real nature is happiness. You deserve to be completely happy. Vedantic Scriptures tell us to do three simple things:
1) LISTEN to teachings of truth
2) PONDER those teachings, and
3) MEDITATE -- dive within yourself to realize.
If you are the one who is bound, then you are the only one who
can free yourself. It is the most fascinating thing you can
possibly do-finding out who you really are.
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Listen: You may have noticed that all great spiritual traditions are talking about the same truth. All rivers lead to the ocean, but if you keep changing rivers it may take you a very long time to get there! After you have checked out the spiritual supermarket, pick one teaching and stick with it. Then read sacred texts and associate with wise sages. Use all of your time wisely toward your own liberation.
Ponder: Contemplate and fully consider the teachings. Don't
just believe them. See if they hold true for you. Use your mind
like a sword to cut through illusion. Keep the teaching always in
mind. Try to get to the deepest meaning of the words.
How can this be so? How does it apply to me? Eventually you will cut through ALL limiting ideas and concepts.
The true meaning of the words will be understood directly without the limiting adjunct of the mind. The teaching will be your own.
Meditate: Set time aside every day just to sit and be with
yourself. Sit comfortably in a position such that you will not
fall asleep in. Bring your attention inward, away from all
worldly distractions. In our way, being with yourself involves
finding out who that self is! We ask ourselves the question
"Who Am I?" It is called self inquiry. It is not
watching thoughts. It is diving directly into who has the
thoughts. It is a systematic looking at who you believe yourself
to be. Are you really a body? Are you always a body? Are you any
of your thoughts, or all of your thoughts put together? If
something arises in meditation, to whom is it arising? Who you
are has to be true ALL the time. If something comes and goes
(like a body) it can't be you. If you hold onto your sense of
"I" and keep eliminating the "I" that is seen
as an object -- you will always come to a vaster, more formless
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Always come back to the seer and eliminate the seen. In this way you should be able to come to a thoughtless state. The thoughtless state is much closer to who you really are than the myriad web of thoughts. The innate peace and joy of the Self becomes uncovered in this manner.
THE SPEAKING TREE
Seeking Refuge in A Suitable Guru
ndian tradition sees God in the guru, as someone who can lead
from spiritual darkness to divine light. Can we acquire spiritual
knowledge merely by reading scriptures or listening to discourses,
without accepting any one learned person as one's guru? This question
is often posed by youth today, who feel that by restricting ourselves
to one guru, we would only get compartmentalised. To them I would
say, please try to understand the deep significance of a genuine
A guru is distinctly different from a teacher. While a teacher
us learn, a guru helps us to transform and become. It is just like
igniting candles from one kindled lamp. Our process of knowledge is
routed through ego or the sense of "I am"-ness, while divine wisdom
is assimilated only with the annihilation of the ego or the
fragmented sense of self. Hence absolute surrender of the ego to God
or the guru is a precondition for spiritual transformation.
In the Mahabharata , before the great battle, Arjuna went to
mountains to acquire secret weapons to win the battle. On the way he
saw a deer and killed it for food. Simultaneously a stranger
appeared, who said he had killed the deer, and laid claim to it. His
pride hurt, Arjuna refused to give up without a fight. But very soon,
to his utter surprise, the stranger set aside his arrows. Disarmed
and ashamed the great archer started praying to God with all humility
for help. Suddenly he found that his adversary was Lord Shiva himself
in disguise who had come to advise him not to undertake the great
venture without divine blessings. The power of the Creator must be
sought for winning over the unknown. "A man who bows down to nothing
can never bear the burden of himself" wrote Dostoevsky in The
Normally, we tend to behave like Arjuna; we want to win by
with our limited intellect and ego. But the rich storehouse of hidden
potentiality already within us is opened to us only when we are
humble, devoid of ego and possessed by a sense of total surrender,
which facilitate the receipt of divine grace. What exactly does a
guru do? He initiates the disciple to the exact path in view of his
existing spiritual position. He helps the disciple realise the
divinity already there within him. He keeps constant watch over his
progress. A guru therefore should be a realised master or at least
someone who is gifted with the blessings of a realised master through
lineage or tradition.
Learned people like Sri Ramakrishna would disclaim the status
for themselves, as according to them, the only way to achieve
spiritual enlightenment is thro-ugh individual effort. They believe
in listening to the inner voice. The question is, how does one set
about finding a good guru? There is an infallible spiritual law that
when the disciple is ready the guru is bound to come to him. It has
happened in the life of innumerable saints and sages. Aspiration of
the disciple and his inward receptivity attracts the right sort of
guru to him.
Complete surrender to God and guru is the greatest preparation
disciple. Egoistic consideration prevents us from accepting a human
being as guru. But the guru must be accepted as the image of God.
Intense urge may lead to realisation without any precondition. But in
the absence of that rare urge, it is better to take refuge in a guru.
Otherwise, one could end up walking the razor's edge, looking for the
An Alcoholic's Spiritual Experience
By Jerry D. Stribling
July 1, 2004
Alcoholics Anonymous wrote the 12 steps that have have saved the lives of millions drunks and addicts. They are used today in many anonymous groups; narcotics, overeaters, gamblers, sex, codependents, etc. The largest stumbling block in working the 12 steps is the word "God" which appears all the way through them. But a belief in a God is required for the addict to have a spiritual experience without which the steps are worthless. Freud described this experience as an emotional upheaval deep enough to change the person outwardly. I am an alcoholic and the following is the story of my spiritual experience.
I had been going to AA meetings for 7 and a half years. During this time I was hospitalized or put in drying out places or treatment centers as they are now called, 10 times. I would stay sober for periods of three to six months then have a slip, a return to drinking. Everyone gave up on me, including myself, except for one man, my AA sponsor, Duncan. He would let me drink five to six months then pick me up and at times literally throw me in a hospital or treatment center. He interrupted what I hope was my last drunk after six months. I was still in the original blackout when he came by my apartment early one morning and I was opening a bottle of vodka. He returned that night and I was still opening a bottle of Vodka, but there were five dead Indians lying around the apartment that had not been there that morning. He told me later there was an extra procedure that night at the hospital, before they put me in the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Ward. Since very few people can drink five fifths of whiskey in a 12 hour period, I am either one of them or I had a visitor during that day or they saved my life at the hospital. They pumped my stomach.
I had been dry for six months and after some minor problem, they are always minor, the alcoholic never gets drunk over a divorce, but a flat tire? Some small problem I dont remember what in my donut shop that morning and I had decided to hell with it. I left the shop at noon which was still a successful business because of my nineteen year-old daughter who would take over management when her dad was drunk. I left with every intention of getting drunk, but this time I said would be different. I would control the drinking. This is the same thought I had before every slip, knowing full well that I went into a blackout on the first drink. I stopped by my apartment to leave my brief case then headed out the door for the nearest bar when the phone rang. It was Duncan.
How are you, buddy?
Now Duncan was the last man on earth I wanted to talk to on my way to get drunk. Fine, Dunc.
There was a pause. No you're not. Im coming over. How he knew where I was going I have no idea. Sponsors just know those things.
He finally agreed to not come over if I would read the first part of Chapter five in the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous. I agreed immediately and hanging up the phone started again for the door and the nearest bar when I saw the big book lying by the phone. Now I knew I had a copy of this book given me by someone, but I certainly did not read it and there was no way it could be on the kitchen counter by the phone, but there it was. Without really thinking and only because I had just promised to read a part of this book I picked it up and scanned the two pages Dunc. had asked me to read.
My eyes stuck on a sentence, God could and would if he were sought. I'm a preachers boy, raised in the Bible belt in Southern Missouri in a charismatic religion. I had run from that religion as soon as I could get out of the State, but I never had a doubt there was a God. I also knew that he was the worlds biggest bastard and would never ever help someone who had lived the life I had. The third step of the 12 reads, Turn my life and will over to the care of God, as I understood him. There was no way I could work that step.
But something happened that day when I read that sentence. The phone was on an island between the kitchen and the dinning area and I was standing on the dinning area side. A chair was turned sideways at the table and I fell to my knees in front of it, my arms resting on the chair seat.
God you s.o.b., you m_____ f_____. I called him every four-letter word I knew. I blamed him for my brothers homosexuality and death from AIDs. I screamed at him and all the while a form stood behind that chair. Words came from that form.
Im not that way Jerry. I love you.
I somehow knew if I could make that form mad I had won and could run to the bar, but I couldnt. The only response I could get was the same thing over and over. Im not that way, and I love you.
I have no idea how long this went on. When I woke it was dark outside. I was on the sofa in the front room of that apartment. I woke with the knowledge that I could now work the second of the twelve steps. Second? My problem had been with the third step? I grabbed the big book and read the second step. Came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.
I started working the 12 steps that day. That day was over 25 years ago and I have not had a drop of alcohol in that time, nor have I had a strong desire for the drug alcohol. The drug that I had lived for for twenty years.
About the author Jerry Stribling: After I sobered up I quit NASA and moved to Spain to write my first novel. I have written four since, the last one three agents tried, but were unsuccessful in selling. I have not been published. I bought and lived on two different sailboats in the Caribean and Florida Keys and have spent the last twenty five years traveling and writing. I would stop when my money got low and buy another donut shop, of which I had three. I would keep it until I had enough money for my next dream. At present I live in Jerez, Zacatecas Mexico. Email: [email protected]
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Book Excerpts (re-printed with permission)
~ ~ ~
Aligning the Economic Cycle with the Time Cycle may be ordered through Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/yqosw
To order Sexual Dualism to Spiritual Oneness, please send your request to the author at [email protected]
~ ~ ~
About "Aligning the Economic Cycle with the Time Cycle" (back cover)
Have you ever wondered whether the changing economic and social scenario is
linked to a greater time cycle? Aligning the Economic Cycle with the Time
Cycle weaves a pattern in the changing face of our socio-economic lives
vis-à-vis time. Time, like the boom and fall of economies, also follows a
cyclic model. Social perceptions of time form the basis for economic action.
Aligning the Economic Cycle with the Time Cycle emphasizes that we cannot
understand our true self until we master the flow of time and familiarize
ourselves with the intricate nature of time. It presents a time study
lucidly and puts forward searching questions that need to be addressed
before we formulate an opinion about the origin of our world and our
current position in the time cycle.
There is more to time than we generally perceive; Aligning the Economic
Cycle with the Time Cycle fits many jigsaw pieces in the right place to
understand the time puzzle more fully. While a rational approach to science
and theology answers many questions, the average reader often does not get
so much material in one compilation to formulate a concurrent opinion.
Aligning the Economic Cycle with the Time Cycle is ideal reference material
for scholars of time studies, economics and human-consciousness studies.
~ ~ ~
An extract from "Aligning the Economic Cycle with the Time Cycle"
Our Current Position In The Time Cycle The Time For Change Is Now!
Quoting Chet B. Snow, 'Undertaking an 'internal spring cleaning' is never
easy; the vast majority of us have invested much time and energy in
creating all kinds of illusory thoughts, desires, fears and prejudices,
possible over several human lifetimes. As Jesus rightly remarked, it's much
easier to perceive a speck in someone else's eye than to notice the log
blocking one's own vision. Nonetheless, both outer and inner space
explorers agree that NOW is the time to quit dreaming, to wake up and set
our mental/spiritual house in order so that we can face whatever kind of
tomorrow is all too rapidly heading our way.'
Having briefly reviewed the nature of the self and critically analyzed the
origins of our world as propounded by scientists, the concept of linear
time does not seem wholly tenable. On the contrary, the concept of cyclic
time fits more easily into the scheme of our universe and offers a missing
link to our history and the future of humanity. What remains to be
considered is the point at which we stand today. Are we standing at the
threshold of a new age? The following analysis of prophecies provides
Prophecies about the quality of life in the twenty first century and the
fate of the earth around the turn of the century abound. Most of us would
have heard of Nostradamus, one of the greatest soothsayers there ever was.
Through his crystal ball, he saw the fate of the world and the accuracy of
his prophecies is amazing. His predictions of the first and second world
wars are uncanny, to say the least. Of course, our understanding of his
prophecies is linked to a correct and unbiased interpretation of his work.
Other theories of prophecy abound too, which if interpreted correctly in
the light of the greater time cycle may suggest our current position in the
time cycle. Quoting Chet B. Snow's words on the use of prophecy, 'it is
ever destined to serve as a warning. The Biblical prophets have always
presented either a picture of a modifiable future, provided current
deficiencies are corrected, or an unavoidable future that will result
because past warnings were not heeded in time.'
Perhaps the most famous prophecy, which apparently avoidable, proved all
too accurate, was that of the Roman diviner Spurinna Vestritius, who told
Julius Caesar that 'a great danger' awaited him around the Ides of March
(March 15, 44BC). According to the Roman historian Suetonis, Spurinna
issued his prediction some time ahead, as a warning to the ambitious
leader. The two men met in the street on the fateful day. A scoffing Caesar
derided the sage, saying that the Ides of March had come and that he was
'Yes', Spurinna is said to have replied, 'but they (the Ides of March) are
not yet gone.'
Shortly thereafter the overconfident Caesar was assassinated on the steps
of the Forum by his supposed friends Brutus and Cassius. He had failed to
heed the prophet's warning.
~ ~ ~
An extract from "Sexual Dualism to Spiritual Oneness"
Many myths and legends refer to the androgynous ancestors of present
humanity, to the separation of the sexes, and to the first Gods being
According to the Hindu Puranas, 'The mighty power became half male, half
female'. In one allegory, Brahma separates into two and recreates himself
as Viraj in one of his halves (the female Vach). Many Hindu images of Gods
are half male and half female, and have four arms. The ancient Persians
taught that humans were the product of the tree of life, growing in
androgynous pairs, till they were separated during a subsequent
modification of the human form. The Egyptian supreme God Ra is represented
as a perfect bisexual being, from which are derived the other Gods (Osiris,
Horus, Ptah, Ammon, etc.), representing Ra's various attributes, or the
powers of nature. Each of these lesser Gods had a female counterpart
representing the same individual in its female state. Similar ideas can be
found among the Chaldeans and the Assyrians. In the Hermetic books,
intelligence is said to be 'God possessing the double fecundity of the two
A higher man or woman must necessarily have awakened powers within
themselves that the ordinary person may perhaps, never even aspire to. The
'kundalini' power within humans and the power of 'kriyashakti' of humans
are other leads that seemed to explain this enigma further.
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