|Dr. Robert Puff|
Click here to go to the next issue
Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nonduality Highlights each day
How to submit material to the Highlights
The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nonduality
First the Twilights (Twitter Highlights), then a cool article by Rob Rabbin.
Rhea11 "I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world." ~ Muhammad Ali
ultrafeel "Art always has something of the unconscious about it." (D.T. Suzuki)
blueoceantiger joy IS the little things
guruphiliac So much of culture and society (including spirituality) is laboring under the repression of Descarte's error about human consciousness.
qjohn What if, as Krishnamurti wrote ad nauseum, the observer is the observed? Logically? It/they don't exist.
Pick of the Day:
MonkMojo The Death Coach is the New Life Coach - http://is.gd/rEKF
Now Is My Homey
Facebook. Can't live with it. Can't live without it. Our lives are being mutated by the wild and
uncontrollable fornication between actual and virtual worlds. Who are their weird children who run
all over hell and back? Do they come from wombs or websites?
Yes, I'm on there, along with more than 175 million others. You never know who will find you.
Ghosts and legends and rumors. People claiming to know you. Recently someone sent me a message,
"Hey! How ya doin'? What are you up to?" I didn't know the person. My sisters, Gina and Sandra,
told me this person is a cousin who has a legitimate (according to my sisters) place on the Rabbin
family tree. Of course, they say the same about me. I humor them. I don't know if I have a place on
this, or any, tree. I don't know if they're my sisters, or if I'm their brother. I don't think I
have a cousin with three kids whose husband died and who wants to know what I've been up to in the
half-century since she last allegedly saw me.
In the actual world in which I live now, I don't have long life-spans. I experience sudden short
lives and brief histories, followed by death and reincarnation. I feel that sometimes I am alive in
multiple distinct lives at once, but in different time zones and places. I'm present in all of
them, but that's all I can do: be present. I've given up multi-tasking, since that would be too
hard in all these simultaneous lives.
I know where I am and what I'm doing. I know what I'm saying and how I'm saying it, while I'm
saying it. I listen ferociously, like a fiend. I hear what people don't even know they're saying.
My friend Linda Amburgey, a brilliant astrologer who lives in San Francisco, once called me a
shadow-digger. She said that I'm an eccentric with fetishes (oh stop!) and that my DNA compels me
to go places where others won't, in order to say things others can't.
How cool is that? A shadow-digger! I thought about that. Where do I go? The only place in town,
honey. I get down with now. I rock in the present. As a shadow-digger, I have to dig around in the
shadows, that basement place where all our fears and doubts and suppressed desires and wildness are
stored. The way to the basement is through the door of now, down the staircase of being present.
Then, once in the basement, you've got to find the light. Then turn it on. Whoa! Who put all this
shit down here?? Yesterday, I opened an old soggy box with "god is a superstition" on it.
Unlike others, I'm not advising that you get down with now and become present. It's tricky if you
really do it. Most people who say they do are playing dress up. Most be-in-the-now teachers really
serve tea and cucumber sandwiches, all the while having sex on the side with their students, or
being so inept they have to have drivers to get them from one place to another. Being in the now is
all so chic, isn't it? Such the it thing. The rage. And, a big commercial hit. But the real now is
like a whiteout that leaves you with nothing. Nowhere to hide. Nothing to hold onto. All your
certainties go down the gulley. There's no longer a now, or being present. That's why it's so
tricky. You can't have the life you want, only the life that's waiting for you as brother Joseph
Of course, if you really want to find out what the now is all about, if you really want to be
present, you'll have to go through the basement and rummage around in the shadows. The only light
worth having is the one you find in the shadows and dark. The other light is just a mirage.
Another Facebook encounter: "Hi Rob! (My name is Robert.) Remember when we drove to Middletown to
get that CD, what, in 1975?" This is a person who said they knew me from when we were (allegedly)
together as students of our meditation teacher. I was supposed to have spent 11 years living with a
meditation master. I don't actually remember him or those years. That's because I did not
experience that time; one of my ancestors did. The story of who he was and what happened to a young
seeker was handed down to me from my ancestors, passed from one generation to another with the
usual distortion, until it reached me. To tell the truth, the old stories aren't that interesting.
We gotta move along, don't we?
The woman who wrote to me has a big Facebook page full of pictures of that teacher. She wrote a few
more notes to me about those years, about that time and place. I think she's living there, trapped
in history because she doesn't know how to get out. Or doesn't want to. Most people don't. They are
stuck in a time and place that doesn't exist, except in their internal virtual world of old hopes,
promises way past the "use by" date. I'd talk to my ancestors about this, but they are all dead and
not easy to reach.
Not long ago, I was invited to speak at a spiritual center in Perth, Australia. The people there
were part of the "non-dual" club, a kind of retro-fundamentalism where instead of Jesus being the
answer, "consciousness does everything" is the answer. The books and photos on the walls were of
teachers, I was told, some of whose names were Eckhart Tolle, Ganga-ji, Adyashanti, Ramesh
Balsekar, Ramana Maharshi. I smiled at one picture of Mr. Tolle, with a kitty perched on his
shoulder. I asked the proprietor of the center why they had these photos on the wall. He said to
remind them of the truth. I suggested they put pictures of themselves.
On the strength of some books I allegedly wrote, they thought I was a member of that
consciousness-is-all club. (Shadow-diggers are not permitted to join clubs, or let clubs form
around them.) I was introduced as a person with spiritual credentials and a resume, including the
above-mentioned years of study with a renowned teacher. When it was my turn to speak, I said, "I'm
sorry, but most of what was said about me isn't true. I didn't spend any time at all with that
teacher. I don't remember writing those things, and I don't own the insights they suggest. All
those things happened to one or another of my ancestors. I've just heard stories about those years
and those things, but it's all gossip. I can only speak to you from who I am now, and whatever I
may know and say just comes from me. Here. Now. There is no lineage behind me. I have not been
certified by anyone. I am not reputable. I have no credentials or resume. I'm just here, now. I'll
respond to any questions you may have."
People were very quiet for a long time, which was just fine with me. Then some intrepid soul asked,
"What do you mean?" As it happened, during the time the audience was silently processing my
introductory words, I died and was re-born, so I didn't know what he was referring to. That's OK,
because I was still present, down with the now, my trans-time homeboy.
Something did happen to me that I'd like to mention. I was walking along Stinson Beach, north of
San Francisco. I was trying to figure out how to raise some money for a project I wanted to launch.
I was trying to figure out how to get the money. Suddenly, right there in mid-day, on the sandy
crescent of Stinson Beach, a tall nearly-naked Indian man appeared. I recognized him from pictures.
He was called Bhagawan Nityananda, and lived here on Earth up until 1961. He was supposed to have
been a great sage, an avadhut. An out there guy, to be sure.
He stood in front of me and said, "You have reached a place in your sadhana (spiritual practice)
where you no longer have to reach to get. You only have to open to receive." Whoosh. Then he was
Receive how? From where? When? What about will, and intention, and effort? What about planning and
strategies? Who's sending the stuff I'm supposed to open to receive? What if it doesn't come? What
if it's not what I want? Hey, come back here!
He didn't. I never saw him again.
But a few minutes later, I was in a new life. I was nothing. I had nothing. I knew nothing. I
Except it was, and is, now. I was, and am, present. Here. Now.
The basement is well-lit. I receive a steady stream of letters and packages. That's it.
© Robert Rabbin 2009
Robert Rabbin is a mesmerizing keynote speaker and groundbreaking author, leadership adviser, and
self-awareness teacher. He is the creator of RealTime Speaking and a sought-after public speaking
guru, message master, and communication strategist. For more information about Robert and his
programs of personal and professional mastery, visit www.robertrabbin.com .
Reprinted with permission.
top of page