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#1863 - Monday, July 19, 2004 - Editor: Jerry
Mark Otter meets NDS: February 2, 2000
I just joined you today, and I'm enjoying the discussions. My name is
Mark, and the discussion of trying to realize versus realizing is very
interesting to me.
"I was reading something from Ramana Maharishi last night. He was saying
the effort is necessary right up to the point of realization."
, and I have noticed that when I try to relax, it often helps to first
tense the muscles I want relaxed, to get a feel for tension, so that I
recognize the absence of tension as I let go. I wonder if this may be a
metaphor for that grand finale we are calling "the moment of
realization"? I think that in the course of waking up, one discovers
that things as they are - with our personalities fully armed for defense
is unacceptable, and one begins trying to let go of the tension of all
that defense. For awhile, that works by itself, because the tension is
HUGE. As we let go and let go and let go, it becomes subtle, but there
is still letting go to be done. Perhaps the effort is simply helping us
remember what effort feels like so we can then allow effort to fall
away, just as I clench my jaw more tightly than normal to remember how
to unclench my jaw when I want to relax that bit of the effort.
"I sure wish someone would have stepped up and explained to me the
difference between self confirmation and Self realization."
Is this not the same idea? The reason we are not "realized" is that we
are so busy confirming our being. (applying effort to be). Realization
is dropping that struggle to be and accepting that we don't really "be"
after all. We think we are human "beings", but we are concerned that
maybe we aren't, so we practice being on a constant basis. Indeed, as
we get closer to not being (the "true" state of affairs), it may well be
increasingly frightening, so validating oneself at Satsang is making use
of that all important defense against dissolution in the place it is
most important to use it - the very place where there is the pregnant
possibility of dissolution. It's not surprising that people want to do
that, and it is also quite appropriate to try to get them to stop it if
they want realization. That's why it is so useful to make everywhere
and everywhen into Satsang. The Sangha is the entire Universe, and
everything points to your identity with the whole thing, if you
cultivate that way of looking. Cultivating that way of looking is of
course the effort that finally exhausts you so you finally give up and
realize the thing you were working so hard to find has been there all
along. (Whew!) I don't think it IS a paradox. I just think we've
become so accustomed to the trying (the tension) we've forgotten that
it's possible to relax, so we don't know how to anymore.
One more metaphor and I will quiet down awhile. I think it's like
spinning when we were kids. The effort is the using our muscles to spin
around and around, and realization is the letting go and falling to the
ground to enjoy the ride. You've all been spinning long enough, so let
go and enjoy. (Aren't those great words for it? "Let go (let what
go?)" "en-joy". Letting yourself go IS joyous.)
I hope this helps. May all beings be free.
you asked about compassion/dispassion
Compassion is natural in relations with others. But before spending too much time on it, and if you are ready, why not inspect the whole matter in a much deeper way.
When you have compassion for another, a big assumption has already been made. You are assuming that there is someone else that is (different from) not you. You have assumed you are somebody or something or you wouldnt be cognizing someone or something else. Before you go about trying to correct or help the apparent others, it is wise to see if there really are any others and who it is that is assuming such a thing. In order to know if there are any others you should first see who it is that cognizes them.
Who sees the others? This seems like such a remedial question, yet to honestly and sincerely ask it could change your whole outlook to the point of radical joy. Understanding the truth of your own existence will clear up the question of how to treat others.
If you inspect the conceiving of those others, who perhaps need your compassion, you may come to the understanding that there are no others unless you imagine them.
Consider your dream state. You may have deep compassion for the others in your dreams, and go about all kinds of maneuvering to help them out, yet upon waking you see the whole thing was a bunch of mind fluff. Not only were the others unreal, but yourself as a dream character was unreal. Is it ultimately important to spend time nursing phantoms? Is dispassion called for?
Teachings about dispassion toward the world and others are meant to turn your attention inward toward the source of all arising phenomena. The whole notion of others depends on who you are taking yourself to be. If you are an ant, the others will appear to be ants. If you are a dream character of some kind, the others will appear accordingly. Instead of looking outward towards the others, try looking at yourself. If it is obvious you are not an ant or a dream character, what makes you think you are a human being? Is a human body your real identity? When attention is turned inward toward the essence of your own existence it is possible to discover the wonderful truth of who you really are. Dispassion towards what seems to be outside of you is simply a tool to quiet the mind and thus wake up to what is real about yourself and others.
Dispassion gets interesting when it is directed at your own assumed identity. The real dispassion should be toward your own persona because all the others stem from that initial assumption. Instead of assuming an identity as a human being and then trying to be compassionate toward the apparently human others, it is more wise to question your own identity.
When you deeply and thoroughly look at your self, where do you find your self? If you find yourself objectively, can it really be you? To be dispassionate toward what you have wrongly taken to be yourself will allow you great clarity and freedom. When there are no notions about yourself and others, what remains? To find this out for yourself is liberation.
Once found, it is so enjoyable that no dispassion is needed! When you know who you really are, it is clear that there is only one Self with no others. If there appear to be others they are yourself. From this point of view where is the need for compassion?
These are downloadable mp3 audios of Mokshananda, Marlies
Cocheret, Mary Winslow and others, who each give satsang, mostly
in and around Santa
Site is maintained by Andrew Burgess (Andy), he sends out the Satsang
Newletter email for Santa Cruz area
from the newsletter:
Why don't monks vacuum the monastery?
They have no attachments.
"The foolish reject what they see,
not what they think,
the wise reject what they think,
not what they see."
From the book "Buddhism Is Not What You Think,"
written by Steve Hagen, published by
HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
~ ~ ~
"Clear mind is like the full moon in the sky.
Sometimes clouds come and cover it, but the moon
is always behind them. Clouds go away, then the
moon shines brightly. So don't worry about clear
mind - it is always there. When thinking comes,
behind it is clear mind. When thinking goes,
there is only clear mind. Thinking comes and
goes, comes and goes. You must not be attached to
the coming or the going."
~Zen Master Seung Sahn
From the website, "Twilight Bridge,"
The Other Syntax
Our mentality is still so primitive that only certain
areas have outgrown the primary mystic identity with the object.
Primitive man has a minimum of self-awareness combined with a maximum
of attachment to the object; hence the object can exercise a direct
magical compulsion upon him.
GENERAL ASPECTS OF DREAM PSYCHOLOGY
Carl Gustav Jung
the world we know is something we
For no particular reason except that it appealed to me, I picked this book from the shelf to read again.
de Mille was a terrific critic of Casteneda. Last night I read-
"Casteneda was kicking some very big true ideas around;
There is more than one kind of reality. There is magic that is not illusion. The world is what comes out of what can be. The world we know is something we are doing. Part of you is not in this world. Part of you knows what the rest of you doesn't. If you trust your silent self, your talking self won't have to stay so ignorant. A wise man knows his time to act is short. Say hello to Death: he has some good advice for you. Responsibility gives power. But greater than power- is knowledge."
Richard de Mille- Casteneda's Journey
Paths. Where Heidegger and Frank and Washington Irving Meet.
Today I drove just a couple of miles to Washington Irving's home
by the Hudson called Sunnyside and I took a couple of
pictures of the woods there. Washington Irving was a moderate man
who avoided extremes in everything and whose style has the charm
of balance and serenity. the more I have considered politics,the
more I find it full of perplexity... I have contented myself with
the faith in which I was brought up and left to abler hands the task
of making converts.
I am thinking of paths in the woods because I read that Simeon
Frank became more favorable to the work of Martin Heidegger
after reading his book of essays Holzwege or Forestpaths
(woodpaths or fieldpaths are alternative translations. Of course
they likely would not have hit it off in person considering that
Heidegger dismissed his mentor Edmund Husserl (in fact by choice
a Catholic I believe) as "the Jew Husserl". But it suggests perhaps
something about Frank's philosophy which I suspect in any case.
You see the title essay Forestpaths is my own favorite
piece of Heidegger and that for its being a prose poem, and I
suspect Frank (although no doubt he read, understood and weighed
the whole book carefully) of this same orientation. Philosophy
as music, as prose poem.
I am happy that I was able to find on the internet this little
Forestpath and I invite you to join me in walking it, in seeing
a bit of Washington Irving's forest and in also seeing a portrait
of Simeon Frank by his half brother the great artist Leon Zack
which was sent me today by Peter Scorer. It is diverse content
and I think many of you may find something good and I will
invite your response to this little walk in the woods too.
For these things please click to the right here.
On Heidgegger my own sense is that his best elements are those things
which he wished to be and began moving towards, to the priesthood and
to being a poet, and that in some measure--incomplete and flawed but
real and being who he was, his partial failure might be more than another
man's full success--he became those things.
The relation of Heidegger to God is not simple or in
any case there are those who regard him as a non-Theistic thinker and
those who see him as a Theist, I am not qualified but my sense is that
as a poet he is most himself and as a poet he begins to be a priest.
Here is the Path-- walk it if you will...I am delighted to find it on
the internet having lost it in print.
FORESTPATH Martin Heidegger
It runs from the court-garden gate to Ehnried. The old linden trees of the castle-garden gaze after it over the wall, whether it shines brightly between the growing crops and awakening meadows at Easter time, or disappears under snowdrifts behind the next hill at Christmas time. From the fieldcross it bends toward the forest. Onward, past its edge it greets a tall oak, under which a roughly hewn bench stands .
Occasionally there lay on the bench some writing or other of the great thinkers, which a young awkwardness attempted to decipher. Whenever the riddles pressed upon each other and no way out was in sight, the Forestpath helped, for it quietly guided the foot on a turning path through the expanse of the barren land.
Time and again, thinking follows in the same writings, or goes by its own attempts on the trail where the Forestpath passes through the field. The Forestpath remains as close to the step of the Thinker as to that of the farmer who walks to his mowing in the early morning. As the years pass, the oak in its path more often carries one off to reminiscence of early play and first choices. Occasionally when an oak fell under the blow of a wood axe in the middle of the forest, Father, crossing through woodland and over sunny clearings, was seeking the cord allotted him for his workshop. Here he spent the time, thoughtfully, during pauses in his service at the tower clock and the bell, which keep their own relation-ship to time and temporality.
From the oak's bark, however, the boys cut out their ships which, equipped with rudder and tiller, floated in the Metten brook or in the school well. The worldwide voyages still reached their goal easily and returned to shore again. The reverie in such voyages remained concealed in an erstwhile yet hardly visible splendour which lay over all things. Mother's eye and hand surrounded their empire. It was as if her unspoken care watched over all beings1. These journeys of play did not yet know of wanderings in which all shores remain behind. Meanwhile, the hardness and scent of the oakwood began to speak more distinctly of the slowness and steadiness with which the tree grows. The oak itself said that. In such growth alone is grounded that which lasts and fructifies ; growing means : to open oneself to the expanse of the heavens as one takes root in the darkness of the earth ; that everything genuine thrives only when man is both in right measure : ready for the claim of the highest heavens and elevated in the protection of the bearing earth. Again and again the oak says it to the Forestpath passing securely by. Whatever has its being coming-to-presence2 around the Forestpath it gathers, and to each who walks on it, it bears what is his. The same fields and meadow slopes follow the Fieldpath each season with a constantly changing nearness. Whether the mountains of the Alps above the forest sink away into the evening twilight, whether there where the Forestpath swings itself over a hilly ridge a lark ascends in the summer morning, whether the wind from the East roars across from the region where Mother's native village lies, whether a woodcutter lugs his faggot to the hearth at nightfall, whether a harvesting wagon plods homeward in the furrows of the Fieldpath, whether children pluck the first cowslips on the edge of the meadow, whether day after day the mist casts its gloom and burden over the fields, always and from everywhere there is around the Fieldpath the message of the Same.
The Simple preserves the riddle of the abiding and the great. Spontaneously it takes abode in men, yet needs a long time for growth. In the unpretentiousness of the Ever-Same it conceals its blessing. The expanse of all grown things which dwell around the Fieldpath bestows the world. It is only in the unspoken of their language that, as the old master of letter and life, Eckhart, says, God is God.
But the message of the Forestpath speaks only as long as there are human beings who, born in its air, are able to hear it. They are hearers of their Origin, but not servants of machination. Man in vain attempts to bring the globe in order through his plans whenever he is not in harmony with the message of the Fieldpath. The danger threatens that men of today remain hard of hearing to its language. They have ears only for the noise of the media, which they take to be almost the voice of God. So man becomes fragmented and pathless. To the fragmented the Simple seems monotonous. The monotonous becomes wearisome. Those who are weary find only uniformity. The Simple has fled. Its quiet power is exhausted.
Indeed, the number of those who still recognize the Simple as their acquired possession is quickly diminishing. But the few will everywhere be the abiding. From the gentle might of the Fieldpath they will some day be able to outlast the gigantic power of atomic energy, which human calculation has artifacted for itself and made into a fetter of its own doing.
The message of the Forestpath awakens a spirit which loves the open air and, at a favourable place, leaps over even heaviness into an ultimate serenity. This protects against the nuisance of mere toil , which promotes only futility when pursued for itself.
In the seasonally changing air of the Forestpath the knowing serenity, whose expression often seems melancholy, thrives. This serene knowing is a Kuinzige. Nobody gains it, who does not have it. Those who have it, have it from the Fieldpath. On its trail the storm of winter and the day of harvest encounter each other, the agile thrill of springtime and the calm demise of fall meet each other, the play of youth and the wisdom of the aged behold each other. But in one single harmony, whose echo the Fieldpath carries with it silently to and fro, everything is made serene.
The knowing serenity is a gate to the eternal. Its doors swing on hinges which were once forged from the riddles of existence3 by a skilful smith . From Ehnried the way turns back to the court-garden gate. After passing over the last hill its narrow ribbon leads through an even slope till it reaches the town wall. Dimly it shines in the starlight. Behind the castle soars the tower of St. Martin's Church. Slowly, almost hesitatingly, eleven strokes of the hour fade away in the night. The old bell, on whose ropes boys' hands often were rubbed hot, trembles under the striking of the hour hammer, whose dark-droll face no one forgets.
The silence becomes, with the last stroke, more silent. It reaches those who were sacrificed before time through two world wars. The Simple has become yet simpler. The Ever-Same appears strange and releases. The message of the Forestpath is now quite clear. Is the soul speaking ? Is the world speaking ? Is God speaking ?
Everything speaks the renunciation unto the Same. The renunciation does not take. The renunciation gives. It gives the inexhaustible power of the Simple. The message makes us feel at home in a long Origin.
I have simply by preference changed Fieldpath to Forestpath
as rendering here.
Heidegger was no moderate, and yet perhaps he and Washington Irving could
have walked a path together and Simeon Frank too...
Here are the photos of the woods at Irving's home and the Zack portrait
of Frank, it seems that Zack was commited to finding the unity of
the monotheistic faiths and so he too perhaps belongs on this path
feeling in the pealing bell, the "inexhaustible power of the Simple".
These, and inviting your thought as always on anything at all ,and
Simeon Frank by Leon Zack
Our Lady of the Poor by L. Zack
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