Ramesh Balsekar...

A commerce graduate from the University of London, Ramesh S. Balsekar worked as the General Manager of a leading nationalized Bank and retired as its President in 1977. Even during his working life, he always felt he was enacting some role in a play that must, and would, end soon. Deep within, he believed that there had to be more to life than merely getting ahead of the other man.

What was he seeking? The answer came soon after his retirement when he had an encounter, which soon led to daily meetings, with the well-known sage, and his Guru, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. The total understanding that 'no one does anything' happened in 1979. Ramesh began translating most of the daily talks held by Nisargadatta Maharaj. He himself began teaching in 1982. The 'command' to talk was given by his Guru. These talks or 'conversations' began on the day when an Australian man showed up at his door early one morning. The next day, this Australian returned with a few of his friends. Gradually, the number of visitors who came to listen to Ramesh began to grow. Since then, he has written over 20 books and held several seminars in Europe and the USA and, while he is in Mumbai, the talks continue every morning at his residence. As Ramesh says, "No one is invited, and everyone is welcome."

Recognized as one of the foremost contemporary sages and considered a Master of pure Advaita around the world, Ramesh, who is married and a father of three children, is widely regarded as a 'householder' Guru. He elaborates his own concepts with those of his Guru Nisargadatta Maharaj, the Buddha, Ramana Maharshi, selected Hindu scriptures as well as the teachings of Taoist Masters and Wei Wui Wei. All serve as pointers to the Truth - The Ultimate Understanding.

"What is the Ultimate Understanding?" asks Ramesh, and answers it by saying, "That there is no one to understand anything." He emphasizes that everything he says is a concept and, moreover, it does not matter whether the concept is accepted or not. "Whether the acceptance happens or not is the Will of God, and the destiny of the individual concerned." According to Ramesh, many spiritual Masters instruct their disciples to "kill the ego" which results in a lot of confusion. In striking contrast, the point of his teaching is that it 'converts' the ego. With this teaching it can be observed, from one's own personal experience, the simple truth as enunciated by the Buddha that "Events happen, deeds are done, but there is no individual doer thereof."

Ramesh further points out that the main confusion arises with the question "Who seeks what? What is the ego and what is the ego seeking?" The ego wants self-realization and the ego can only be satisfied with something that can be understood and appreciated in this life. Self-realization is simply the realization by the ego that the ego itself is not a separate doer, that the doing is merely a happening through a human mechanism or instrument. This understanding annihilates the guilt and shame, pride and arrogance that accompany the sense of personal doership. The result is an enormous sense of freedom, of peace and harmony.

The teachings that emanate from Ramesh are pure Advaita: 'Consciousness is all there is'. The impact of the teachings is fuelled with the force of his 'Total Understanding'. From his own life experiences, Ramesh makes the teachings relevant - for the here and now..........from Rameshbalsekar.com

The Way Out of Pain by Eckhart Tolle...

Stay Present,
Stay Conscious,
Be the ever-alert guardian
of your inner space.
You need to be present enought
to be able to watch
the pain-body directly and feel
its energy.
It then cannot control
your thinking.

Spirituality...

‘Spirituality is the very breath of the inner life. It is an essential resource in the transformation of consciousness on our planet, and it will be enormously beneficial in our attempts to build a new universal society. Spirituality ... is the quality that we most require in our time and in the ages to come, but it is a quality refined only in the mystic heart, in the steady cultivation of compassion and a love that risks all for the sake of others. It is these resources that we desperately need as we build the civilization with a heart, a universal society capable of embracing all that is, putting it to service in the transformation of the world. May the mystics lead the way to this rebirth of the human community that will harmonize itself with the cosmos and finally make peace with all beings.’.....Brother Wayne Teasdale.."The Mystic Heart"

In Meditation...

In meditation, don't expect anything. Just sit back and see what
happens. Treat the whole thing as an experiment. Take an active
interest in the test itself, but don't get distracted by your
expectations about the results. For that matter, don't be anxious for
any result whatsoever.

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, "Mindfulness in Plain English"

End of Your World ( Adyashanti)...

The truth of our being is not content until it has freed itself of its own misunderstanding, its own fixations, its own illusions.

To allow that to happen, as a human being, we have to be willing to be honest with ourselves. While not denying what we've seen, we also have to see how things are, right here and right now. We need to look. We need to ask: "What in me can still go into division? What in me can still go into hate, into ignorance, into greed? What in me can cause me to feel divided, isolated, full of sorrow? Where are those spots in me that are less awakened?

We need to see these places, because that which is awakened in us is compassionate. Its nature is undivided, unconditioned love. It doesn't move away from that which is unawakened; it moves toward it. That within us which is awakened doesn't move away from the contradictions in our thought patterns or behaviors. It doesn't move away from fixations, it doesn't move away from pain, but quite the opposite. It moves toward it…

The Bhagavad Gita...

"'Whoever perceives the same supreme Lord
situated in all beings, not perishing in their perishings,
this one perceives;
for perceiving the same Lord established everywhere,
one does not hurt the soul with the soul.
Then one goes to the supreme goal.

"'And whoever perceives actions
completely performed by nature,
the soul thus the non-doer, this one perceives.
When one discerns various states of being situated in one
and spreading out from that, then one attains God.

"'Because this imperishable supreme soul
dwelling in the body
is beginningless and free of qualities also, Kaunteya,
it does not act nor is it stained.
As omnipresent space from its subtlety is not stained,
so the soul situated in the body is not ever stained.

"'As the one sun illumines this entire world,
so the Lord of the field illumines the entire field, Bharata.
Those who know by the eye of knowledge
this distinction between the field and the field knower
and the liberation of being from nature
go to the supreme.'

The Thinking Mind is the Ego...

The thinking mind, the ego, the "me" are all the same. They are different names for the same thing, which is an illusion.


It is the nature of the monkey-mind to jump about and chatter.


Ego is the thinking mind.


Mind is merely a collection of thoughts, or a collection of impressions which makes up this "me", this self image.


The ego is the identified consciousness. When the impersonal Consciousness identifies itself with the personal organism, the ego arises.


Identification with the body is so total that it gives one a sense of separate identity. Now, the separate identity is merely a concept, a concept based on the individual body appearing solid.


All there is is consciousness. That is the Source from which the manifestation has come.


The only truth is I AM - I Exist. That is the only truth. Everything else is a concept. Rebirth is a concept. Your karma is a concept.


What is seeking? Seeking is "you" wanting to know God.


Consciousness is the only Reality.


Seekers continue to practice all kinds of self-torture without realizing that such 'spiritual practice' is a reinforcement of the very ego that prevents them from their natural, free state.


Enlightenment is total emptiness of mind. There is nothing you can do to get it. Any effort you make can only be an obstruction to it.


The same Consciousness prevails at rest as the Absolute and in motion as duality. When the sense of "me" disappears completely, duality vanishes in ecstasy.


Ramesh Balsekar Quotes

A New Awareness...

Kept down to his little cares and petty interests, confined within his own ego held under delusion that this is all there is of him, of his being and consciousness, and finally stupefied by the power of sexuality, what wonder that he is ignorant of his higher nature, his connection with the divine? He can come into this knowledge by correct deep thought or by purified cleansed faith or by the influence of someone else who has discovered it. Whatever the way, he has the practical possibility of lifting himself up to a new awareness........Paul Brunton

From the Unreal to the Real...

O lord! Lead me from unreal to the Real, from darkness to Light, and Lead me from the fear of death to Immortality.” -- Brihad Aranyakam Upanishad

When Thought is Stopped...

AD: When the time comes, and your thought is stopped, you'll see that it is a higher power that does it. But that doesn't mean that you won't succeed in slowing it down considerably.

S: But the actual cessation?

AD: But the actual cessation of all thought is something that the higher power -- the higher self in you does that. Its sheer presence alone will stop everything.

-- Anthony Damiani 8/29/84

Investigation...

We grow through investigation, and to investigate we need experience. We tend to repeat what we have not understood. If we are sensitive and intelligent, we need not suffer. Pain is a call for attention and the penalty of carelessness. Intelligent and compassionate action is the only remedy.

from I Am That ch. 90...Nisargadatta Maharaj

The Ideal of God...

The ideal of God is preached in order to make the perfect Being intelligible.
However, the limitless God cannot be made intelligible to the limited self
unless He is first made limited. Unfortunately most people cannot raise their
imagination above what they are used to and cannot reach beyond their
imagination to where the being of God is.

From the Teachings of
HAZRAT INAYAT KHAN

Ego...

When all thoughts vanish into the Stillness, the ego-personality vanishes too. This is Buddha's meaning that there is no self, also Ramana Maharshi's meaning that ego is only a collection of thoughts.

.......Paul Brunton

Wind, Flag, or Mind...

Before the thirty-third Buddha-ancestor Ta-chien (Hui-neng) became a full-fledged monk, he was staying at the Fa-shih Temple of Kuang-chou, when two monks crossed words with each other.

One of them said, "A flag is fluttering."

The other said, "No, the wind is blowing."

There seemed to be no end to their discussion.

Then Ta-chien (Hui-neng) said, '"Neither of them is moving. Your minds are moving."

On hearing this, they agreed with him........

frederick franck author of the zen of seeing

Love is the Law...

Love is the law of God. When we are in tune with divine love, loving whether it be friend or enemy, then love is a gentle thing bringing peace. But it is gentle only while we are in tune with it. It is like electricity. Electricity is very gentle and kind, giving light, warmth, and energy, as long as the laws of electricity are obeyed. The minute they are violated or played with, electricity becomes a double-edged sword. The law of love is as inexorable as the law of electricity.

Joel S. Goldsmith, Practicing The Presence

Drop the Labels...

A disciple complained about the Master's habit
of knocking down all the disciple's beliefs.

Said the Master, "I set fire to the temple of your beliefs,
for when it is destroyed,
you will have an unimpeded view
of the vast, unbounded sky."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


"Why don't I see goodness and beauty everywhere?
Because you cannot see outside of you
what you fail to see inside.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


".As the great Confucius said,
"The one who would be in constant happiness must frequently change."
Flow. But we keep looking back, don't we?
We cling to things in the past and cling to things in the present...
Do you want to enjoy a symphony?
Don't hold on to a few bars of the music.
Don't hold on to a couple of notes.
Let them pass, let them flow.
The whole enjoyment of a symphony lies in your readiness
to allow the notes to pass..."


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"The important thing is not to know who "I" is or what "I" is.
You'll never succeed.
There are no words for it.

The important thing is to drop the labels.

As the Japanese Zen masters say, "Don't seek the truth; just drop your
opinions."
Drop your theories; don't seek the truth. Truth isn't something you search
for.
If you stop being opinionated, you would know....
If you drop your labels, you would know. What do I mean by labels?
Every label you can conceive of except perhaps that of human being.
I am a human being. Fair enough; doesn't say very much.
But when you say, "I am successful," that's crazy.
Success is not part of the "I".

Success is something that comes and goes; it could be here today and gone
tomorrow.
That's not "I".
When you said, "I was a success," you were in error; you were plunged into
darkness.
You identified yourself with success.
The same thing when you said, "I am a failure, a lawyer, a businessman."
You know what's going to happen to you if you identify yourself with these
things.
You're going to cling to them, you're going to be worried that they may fall
apart,
and that's where your suffering comes in.
That is what I meant earlier when I said to you, "If you're suffering,
you're asleep."
Do you want a sign that you're asleep? Here it is: You're suffering.
Suffering is a sign that you're out of touch with the truth.
Suffering is given to you that you might open your eyes to the truth,
that you might understand that there's falsehood somewhere,
just as physical pain is given to you so you will understand
that there is disease or illness somewhere.
Suffering points out that there is falsehood somewhere.

Suffering occurs when you clash with reality.

When your illusions clash with reality when your falsehoods clash with the
truth,
then you have suffering.

Otherwise there is no suffering."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



"If it is peace you want, seek to change yourself, not other people.
It is easier to protect your feet with slippers
than to carpet the whole of the earth."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Rare indeed, is the relationship
in which the other is not cultivated
for what one can get for oneself."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"You have within yourself

the answer to every question you propose --

if you only knew how to look for it.

In the Land of the spirit,

you cannot walk by the light of someone else's lamp.

You want to borrow mine.

I'd rather teach you how to make your own."



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



"Said the river to the seeker,

"Does one really have to fret about enlightenment?

No matter which way I turn, I'm homeward bound."





~ Anthony de Mello, S.J.

The Path to God...

Do
we need a "Path to God" or do we merely need to Realize that the belief in the
false ego prevents us from Knowing that we need no path since there is no
distance from Us and God.. Love is the very essence of God and Love is hidden
from us by this belief in the individual ego.. the brokenness that you speak of
is the broken ego or what is called humility.. this is the door to Reality..
Spirituality not Religion is the search for Truth.. Religion is just a group of
people that wish to control you and make you pay for this privledge.. If you
contemplate upon the meaning of Love, you will Realize that it only appears when
you are selfless.. or in other words, when you are without ego.. This feeling of
happiness through Love is the very essence of You and is the very essence of
God..................namaste, thomas

To Grow...

“You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.”........
Swami Vivekananda

One Idea...

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, that is way great spiritual giants are produced.”.....
Swami Vivekananda

Purity of Heart...

All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
Dhammapada V. 1-2

Disdain for Material Things...

He who lives looking for pleasures only, his senses uncontrolled, immoderate in his food, idle, and weak, Mara (the Tempter) will certainly overthrow him, as the wind throws down a weak tree. He who lives without looking for pleasures, his senses well controlled, moderate in his food, faithful and strong, him Mara will certainly not overthrow, any more than the wind throws down a strong mountain........
Dhammapada V. 7-8

True Conscience...

"Commented Ray W., 'You say that both sides of any human debate
are wrong, that we should take neither side. But if we do this,
where are we, and how can society go forward?' Reply: 'With the
exception of science, society never goes forward; it only re-
arranges the chaos. Taking a side is like cleaning only one side
of a dusty window and then wondering why you can't see through it.
When you deeply see that both sides are wrong, which happens when
you cease to identify with either side, a third way of thinking
enters your mind. This third way is true conscience.'"

Secrets for Higher Success, p. 172.......Vernon Howard

The Maniac...

People want to drive you crazy, for this is how they
dominate and control you. One evil method is to give you permis-
sion to hate others. Anyone who tells you that you are a persecuted
victim who has a right to rage is trying to make you a victim of his
vicious lies. Giving you danger gives him a devilish smile of triumph.
Having lost his own life he is eager to make you lose yours. Detect
this maniac. As a clue, he publicly appears normal, even noble."...

Vernon Howard...... Live Above This Crazy World, # 62

Clarity...

There are these 2 aspects of retreat. One is satsang we do where we're questioning and looking deeply and inquiring. And it's not just satsang. That's just the outer manifestation. This deep looking at things, at the true nature of things. It's always available to you. We just kick-start it here. The rest is up to you. That requires some energy, some risk-taking, some courage, some willingness to look at something very clearly as, something suggested to you as to actually get clear on what your question may be. You'd be amazed, once you get really clear on your question, really clear on your issue, 9 times out of 10 becoming clear about it solves it. It disappears.

So even getting very clear what's happening. There's a question, what is it, what is it really?



I had a teacher when I was in college. Great guy! He taught many classes but I took some class on Greek literature. What I was doing in a Greek literature class I'll never know. But I loved it. Mostly because I liked the teacher. And I liked what we studied. But from the very beginning he'd have us do this very challenging thing. He would have us read these Greek plays, epics...you know the Greek epics are monstrous and difficult. And he'd have us read huge sections, 200 pages or a whole play and he'd go 'Okay now tell me exactly what that was about and do it in 1 hand-written page. No fair cheating by using the back of the page.' And of course we all did what we did which was insisted it was impossible. How could you possibly put down such complicated literature? And what it's saying an what its aiming at, the underlying theme and the point, how could you possibly do that in one handwritten page, it's impossible.

He'd say, "Nonsense! You can do it."



And so the first pages we did, almost all of us cheated, we like turned in front and back even though he said we couldn't do it. Eh, he'll let us. You know front and half of the back. Every time he's hand it back. He's say simply, "Do you want a real grade or do you want to have a fail? This isn't good enough, come back tomorrow. One side of 1 page, I wasn't joking. I wasn't kidding. You can do it, give it another shot."



I'll tell you some thing, this taught me a very very valuable lesson. It taught me what it means to get clear about something. That it's actually possible. To summarize something or say something very succinctly. But I had to really digest what I was reading. I had to understand it completely. Otherwise there was no possibility I was going to have to write, you ever notice what you write about something, the longer you write, shows you the less you know about it? The longer it takes you to explain something, the less you actually know about it. And this was proven in this class amazingly clearly. But I realized It wasn't about learning how to write very concisely. That was a very minor thing. It was actually I had to understand what was being said.



Now this was very useful spiritually as well, cause it taught me there's a difference between looking at something and LOOKING at something. There's a difference between understanding and UNDERSTANDING. There's a difference between looking into yourself at what's happening and really looking into yourself at what's happening. And I would never have known the difference unless I was forced to know the difference by this teacher. It is possible and how to do it. He didn't tell us how to do it, he just said, "Do it." And we all figured it out. But it had alot of spillover effect. It taught many of us how to get clear. It taught us to not be lazy. To not take (accept) unclarity. 'Oh, I'm a little fuzzy on this point.' Wasn't good enough. Came in very very handy. When I learned that and took it into the spiritual, into the inner seeing, I realized it was completely different. All I had to do was to commit to it. That what seems internally hazy, foggy or not so clear is often unclear because we are not actually committing to seeing it clearly.



So I just share that with you because I think it's very important to, I know this is sort of a hip modern phrase but its very important to empower people so that all of us realize the gifts and the abilities that we actually have. That we do have these abilities to look into ourselves very clearly. To look at something very simply until it becomes very clear. And if there's a question to actually know what it is.



Adyashanti... Mount Madonna Retreat 5-29 to 6-3 2007

Enlightenment and Freedom...

The degree of enlightenment which a mystic has reached corresponds also to the degree of freedom from the ego which he or she has reached.

— Notebooks Category 16: The Sensitives > Chapter 2: Phases of Mystical Development > # 216....Paul Brunton

The Christines in Jerusalem. They meet a man blind from birth...

THE Lord with Peter, James and John were in Jerusalem; it was the Sabbath day. 2 And as they walked along the way they saw a man who could not see; he had been blind from birth. 3 And Peter said, Lord, if disease and imperfections all are caused by sin, who was the sinner in this case? the parents or the man himself? 4 And Jesus said, Afflictions all are partial payments on a debt, or debts, that have been made. 5 There is a law of recompense that never fails, and it is summarised in that true rule of life: 6 Whatsoever man shall do to any other man some other man will do to him. 7 In this we find the meaning of the Jewish law, expressed concisely in the words, Tooth for a tooth; life for a life. 8 He who shall injure any one in thought, or word, or deed, is judged a debtor to the law, and some one else shall, likewise, injure him in thought, or word or deed. 9 And he who shed the blood of any man will come upon the time when his blood shall be shed by man. 10 Affliction is a prison cell in which a man must stay until he pays his debts unless a master sets him free that he may have a better chance to pay his debts. 11 Affliction is a certain sign that one has debts to pay. 12 Behold this man! Once in another life he was a cruel man, and in a cruel way destroyed the eyes of one, a fellow man. 13 The parents of this man once turned their faces on a blind and helpless man, and drove him from their door. 14 Then Peter asked, Do we pay off the debts of other men when by the Word we heal them, drive the unclean spirits out, or rescue them from any form of sore distress? 15 And Jesus said, We cannot pay the debts of any man, but by the Word we may release a man from his afflictions and distress, 16 And make him free, that he may pay the debts he owes, by giving up his life in willing sacrifice for men, or other living things. 17 Behold, we may make free this man that he may better serve the race and pay his debts. 18 Then Jesus called the man and said, Would you be free? would you receive your sight? 19 The man replied, All that I have would I most freely give if I could see. 20 And Jesus took saliva and a bit of clay and make a salve, and put it on the blind man's eyes. 21 He spoke the Word and then he said, Go to Siloam and wash, and as you wash say, Jahhevahe. This do for seven times and you shall see. 22 The man was led unto Siloam; he washed his eyes and spoke the word, and instantly his eyes were opened and he saw. 23 The people who had seen the man for many years sit by the way and beg, were much surprised to see him see. 24 They said, Is not this man the Job that was born blind, who sat beside the way and begged? 25 He heard them talk among themselves; he said, Yes I am he. 26 The people asked, How were you healed? who opened up your eyes? 27 He said, A man whom men call Jesus, made a salve of clay and put it on my eyes, and bade me say a word and wash in Siloam seven times; I did as he commanded me, and now I see. 28 A certain scribe was passing, and he saw the man and heard him say that Jesus, by the Word, had opened up his eyes. 29 He therefore took the man up to the synagogue, and told the story to the priests, who asked the man about the miracle. 30 The man replied, I never saw the light until to-day, for I was blind from birth. 31 This morning as I sat beside Siloam, a man I never knew put on my eyes a salve that people say he made of clay; he bade me say a word and bathe my eyes in water seven times; I did as he commanded and I saw. 32 A lawyer asked the man, Who was it opened up your eyes? 33 The man replied, Some people say, His name is Jesus and that he came from Galilee; but others say, He is the son of God. 34 A Pharisee came up and said, This is the Sabbath day; a man who does a work like this, regarding not the Sabbath day, is not from God. 35 Some of the priests were much amazed and said, A wicked man could never do a miracle like this; he must possess the power of God. And so they strove among themselves. 36 They asked the man, What do you think about this man from Galilee? 37 He said, He is a prophet sent from God. 38 Now, many of the Jews did not believe the man was blind from birth; they said, There is no power to open up the eyes of one born blind. 39 And then they brought the parents of the man before the Pharisees that they might testify. 40 They said, This is our son who was born blind; we do not know how he received his sight; he is of age and he can tell ; ask him. 41 They were afraid to say what they believed, that Jesus is the Christ who came to manifest the power of God, lest they offend the priests and be cast from the synagogue. 42 Again the rulers said, This Jesus is a wicked man. The man who had been healed stood forth again and said, 43 This Jesus may be sinner or be saint, I do not know; but this one thing I know; I once was blind, but now I see. 44 And then the scribes and Pharisees reviled the man and said, You are a follower of this man from Galilee. We follow Moses, but this man, we know him not, and know not whence he is. 45 The man replied, It is a marvel that you know not whence he is, and yet he opened up my eyes. 46 You know that nothing but the power of God can do such things. 47 God hears not sinners pray, and you must know that he is not a wicked man who can employ the power of God. 48 The Pharisees replied, You wretch! you were begotten and were born in sin, and now you try to teach the law to us. And then they cast him from the synagogue.........from The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ by Levi..

Who Lives...

"One day, almost as if by accident, I rediscovered the secret that I
had known as a small child; or perhaps it rediscovered me."

"To explain what happened is quite impossible. The description that
comes nearest to it is that of being overwhelmed with a love and a
total comprehension that is absolutely beyond imagination."

"The revelation that accompanied this rediscovery was so simple and
yet so revolutionary that it swept away in a stroke all that I had
been taught or had come to believe."

"Part of the realization was that enlightenment is absolutely beyond
my effort to change the way I live, or even of changing life at all.
It has to do with a total shift in the realization of 'who' it is that
lives."

"For I am already that which I seek. Whatever I seek or think I want,
however long the shopping list may be, all of my desires are only a
reflection of my longing to come home. And home is oneness; home is my
original nature. It is right here, simple in 'what is.' There is
nowhere else I have to go, and nothing else I have to become."

Tony Parsons

Personal Happiness...

"Personal happiness arises from personal goodness. Only when
you are an internally good man or woman can you be a carefree
man or woman.".........Vernon Howard

Immortality...

From Joel S. Goldsmith
(The Infinite Way - Chapter "Putting on Immortality)..........
Immortality is attained in proportion as personal sense is overcome, whether here or hereafter. As we put off the personal ego and attain the consciousness of our real Self--the Reality of us, divine Consciousness--we attain immortality. And that can be achieved here and now.
The desire to perpetuate our false sense of body and wealth ensnares us into death, or mortality.
The first step in the attainment of immortality is living out from the center of our being, as in the idea of unfoldment from within, rather than accretion: It is the giving sense rather than getting; being rather than attaining. In this consciousness, there is no condemnation, judgment, hatred, or fear, but rather a continuous feeling of love and forgiveness.
It is not a simple matter to show forth the joy and peace of immortality, because to those intent on preserving their present concepts of being, immortality would appear to be extinction. This is not the case: It is the eternal preservation of all that is real, fine, noble, harmonious, gracious, unselfish, and peaceful. It is reality brought to light in place of the illusion of sense. It is the conscious awareness of the infinity of individual being replacing the finite sense of existence.
Selfishness and conceit fall away in the realization of the divinity of our being.
This realization brings forth patience and forbearance with those still struggling in mortal, material consciousness. It is being in the world but not of it.

The Quest...

His quest for God has reached its terminus but his quest in God will now start its course. Henceforth his life, experience, and consciousness are wrapped in mystery........Paul Brunton

The Ten Commandments...

I find a Duality in these words of the Commandments that keep the falsehood of separation alive..
Keeping the idea of God above you and something to attain will keep you in
bondage.. God is your very Self, but this concept of trying to reach something
that is already within you is a circular exploration that leads you back to your
Self.. All of the Laws of Moses are unnecessary when all you need, is to feel
the energy of Love, which is God.. you have the free will to feel Love or
Selfishness (ego), the ego is the only wall of ignorance that you must destroy..
Forget all of the Laws of Religions and begin to Realize that there is only One
Law.. "The Law of Unselfish Love"...............namaste, thomas

Silence...

The Wise Man believes profoundly in silence - the sign of a perfect equilibrium. Silence is the absolute poise or balance of body, mind and spirit. The man who preserves his selfhood ever calm and unshaken by the storms of existence - not a leaf, as it were, astire on the tree, not a ripple upon the surface of the shinning pool - his, in the mind of the unlettered sage, is the ideal attitude and conduct of life. Silence is the cornerstone of character.

Silence is the absolute poise or balance of body, mind and spirit. The man who preserves his selfhood is ever calm and unshaken by the storms of existence ... What are the fruits of silence? They are self-control, true courage or endurance, patience, dignity and reverence. Silence is the cornerstone of character.

It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome. Its appeal is to the material part, and if allowed its way, it will in time disturb one's spiritual balance. Therefore, children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving..........Ohiyesa, Wahpeton Santee Sioux....(American Indian Mystic)

Famous Quotes from an American Indian Leader...

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and Demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, Beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and Its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, Even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and Bow to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and For the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, The fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing, For abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts Are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes They weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again In a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home..........Tecumseh - Shawnee

A New Awareness...

Kept down to his little cares and petty interests, confined within his own ego held under delusion that this is all there is of him, of his being and consciousness, and finally stupefied by the power of sexuality, what wonder that he is ignorant of his higher nature, his connection with the divine? He can come into this knowledge by correct deep thought or by purified cleansed faith or by the influence of someone else who has discovered it. Whatever the way, he has the practical possibility of lifting himself up to a new awareness.........Paul Brunton

Universe...

"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in
time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something
separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This
delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and
to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves
from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living
creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."..........Albert Einstein

Being and Knowing...

AD: In philosophy you have things like epistemology, axiology, ontology. Now, what does ontology mean?

S: The study of being.

AD: All right, what does epistemology mean?

S: The study of knowledge.

AD: Of knowing. Okay. So then, if I say epistemology, I'm referring to the analysis directed towards knowledge. If I say ontology, the analysis is towards being. I'll be analyzing the nature of the world, not the nature of knowing the world. So when the Buddhists are speaking about egoless being, they're speaking about the nature of the World Idea. They're not speaking about the knower of the World Idea.

S: So you're not making a hierarchy between the principle of awareness and the principle of being. You're just speaking of two complementary principles. Is that correct?

AD: They're not even complementary; that's only one way of looking at it.

S: What would be a better way of saying it?

AD: Well, they're different aspects of the total picture that philosophy can give you. You can approach it through value. You can approach it through knowing. You can approach it through being. Any of these approaches are legitimate. So the Vedantist is approaching it through knowledge; the Buddhist is approaching it through being. You end up calling it Nirvana; the Vedantists will end up calling it Atma.

-- Anthony Damiani and student 8/2/84

The True Self...

"You are the Self.
The Self is eternally realized.
Otherwise, there will be no pleasure in it.
If it is not eternal,
it must have a beginning;
what begins will also end,
so it is only transient.
There is no use seeking for a temporary state of affairs.
The fact is, that it is the state of effort-less,
ever alert Peace.
Effortlessness while remaining aware is the state of Bliss;
and THAT is the state of REALIZATION.

[from] Talks with Ramana Maharshi

-recorded, Dec 16, 1936-

Thus Spake Ramana ...

"By association with Sages comes non-attachment,
from non-attachment comes freedom from desire;
from desirelessness comes mental stillness,
from mental stillness comes freedom from the ego."

"The Self is always pure and unaffected,
the impurities affect only the ego."

[from] Talks with Ramana Maharshi

-recorded, Nov 16, 1936-

A Matter of Harmony...

Sagehood has nothing to do with governing others
but is a matter of ordering oneself. Nobility has

nothing to do with power and rank but is a matter
of self realization. Attain self-realization, and the

whole world is found in the self. Happiness has
nothing to do with wealth and status, but is a matter

of harmony.
- Lao-tze

Enlightenment...

For enlightenment to happen the perceiver must turn right around
and wake up to the fact that he is face to face with his own nature -
that HE IS IT. The spiritual seeker ultimately finds that he was

already at the destination, that he himself IS what he had been
seeking and he was in fact already home.

~Ramesh S. Balsekar
A NET OF JEWELS

Jesus meets and instructs the man who was blind. ...Unfolds the mysteries of the kingdom.

WHEN Jesus heard what had been done and how the priests had cast the man whom he had healed, out of the synagogue he found the man and said to him, 2 Do you believe in God and in the son of God? 3 The man replied, I do believe in God; but who is he, the son of God, of whom you speak? 4 And Jesus said, The son of God is he who speaks to you. 5 The man inquired then, Why do you say, The son of God? Is there but one? 6 And Jesus said, All men are sons of God by birth; God is the Father of the race; but all are not the sons of God by faith. 7 He who attains the victory over self is son of God by faith, and he who speaks to you has overcome, and he is called son of God, because he is the pattern for the sons of men. 8 He who believes and does the will of God is son of God by faith. 9 The man in joy exclaimed, Lord, I believe in God, and in the son of God. 10 And Jesus said, I came to open prison doors, to make the blind to see; but, lo, the Pharisees are blind from birth. 11 And when I put the salve of truth upon their eyes, and bid them go and wash, and speak the sacred Word they will not go; they love the dark. 12 A multitude of people pressed about the Lord, and he stood forth and said, 13 You men of Israel, I say to you, The fold of God is large; its walls are strong, it has a gateway in the east, and he who does not enter by the gate into the fold, but climbs into the fold some other way, is thief and comes to rob. 14 The shepherd of the sheep stands by the gate; he gives the secret sign; he knocks; the watchman opens up the gate. 15 And then the shepherd calls his sheep by name; they hear his voice and follow him; they enter through the gate into the fold. 16 The sheep know not a stranger's voice; they will not follow him; they flee away. 17 The people did not understand the parable that Jesus spoke; and then he said, 18 Christ is the gateway of the fold; I am the shepherd of the sheep, and he who follows me through Christ shall come into the fold where living waters flow, and where rich pastures are. 19 False prophets come and go; they claim to be the shepherds of the sheep; they claim to know the way; but they know not the word of power; the watchman opens not the gate; the sheep heed not their call. 20 The shepherd of the sheep will give his life to save the sheep. 21 A hireling flees to save his life when wolves infest the fold; and then the tender lambs are snatched away, the sheep are scattered everywhere. 22 I am the shepherd of the sheep; I know the sheep of God; they know my voice, as God knows me and I know him. 23 The Father loves me with a deathless love, because I lay my life down for the sheep. 24 I lay my life down when I will, but I may take it up again; for every son of God by faith has power to lay his mortal flesh aside and take it up again. These words I have received from God. 25 Again the people strove among themselves; they were divided in their views concerning Christ. They could not comprehend the words that Jesus spoke. 26 Some said again, He is obsessed, or he is mad; why listen to his words? 27 And others said, His words are not the words of one obsessed. Can unclean spirits open up the eyes of one born blind? 28 Then Jesus left Jerusalem and with Massalian he tarried certain days.........from "The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ" by Levi

I Am Awake...

When the Buddha began his wanderings shortly after his enlightenment, he
encountered several men who recognized him to be a very extraordinary being.
They asked him, "Are you a god?"
"No," he replied.
"Are you a reincarnation of god?"
"No," he replied.
"Are you a wizard, then?"
"No."
"Well, are you a man?"
"No."
"So what are you?" they asked, being very perplexed.
"I am awake."

Happiness...

This much is certain: when a man is happy, happy to the core and root of beatitude, he is no longer conscious of himself or anything else.

He is conscious only of God...To be conscious of knowing God is to know about God and self.
Meister Eckhart

Christian Reincarnation...

The Council of Nicea

In June 325 the council opened and continued for two months, with Constantine attending. The bishops modified an existing creed to fit their purposes. The creed, with some changes made at a later fourth century council, is still given today in many churches. The Nicene Creed, as it came to be called, takes elaborate care by repeating several redundancies to identify the Son with the Father rather than with the creation:

"We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father. By whom all things were made ... Who ... was incarnate and was made human ..."

Only two bishops, along with Arius, refused to sign the creed. Constantine banished them from the empire, while the other bishops went on to celebrate their unity in a great feast at the imperial palace.

The creed is much more than an affirmation of Jesus' divinity. It is also an affirmation of our separation from God and Christ. It takes great pains to describe Jesus as God in order to deny that he is part of God's creation. He is "begotten, not made," therefore totally separate from us, the created beings. As scholar George Leonard Prestige writes, the Nicene Creed's description of Jesus tells us "that the Son of God bears no resemblance to the ... creatures."

The description of Jesus as the only Son of God is carried forward in the Apostles' Creed, which is used in many Protestant churches today. It reads: "I believe in God, the Father Almighty... I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord." But even that language - calling Jesus God's only Son - denies that we can ever attain the sonship that Jesus did.

Christians may be interested to know that many scholars analyzing the Bible now believe that Jesus never claimed to be the only Son of God. This was a later development based on a misinterpretation of the gospel of John.

There is further evidence to suggest that Jesus believed all people could achieve the goal of becoming Sons of God. But the churches, by retaining these creeds, remain in bondage to Constantine and his three hundred bishops.

Some of the bishops who attended the council were uncomfortable with the council's definition of the Son and thought they might have gone too far. But the emperor, in a letter sent to the bishops who were not in attendance at Nicea, required that they accept "this truly Divine injunction."

Constantine said that since the council's decision had been "determined in the holy assemblies of the bishops," the Church officials must regard it as "indicative of the Divine will."

The Roman god Constantine had spoken. Clearly, he had concluded that the orthodox position was more conducive to a strong and unified Church than the Arian position and that it therefore must be upheld.

Constantine also took the opportunity to inaugurate the first systematic government persecution of dissident Christians. He issued an edict against "heretics," calling them "haters and enemies of truth and life, in league with destruction."

Even though he had begun his reign with an edict of religious toleration, he now forbade the heretics (mostly Arians) to assemble in any public or private place, including private homes, and ordered that they be deprived of "every gathering point for [their] superstitious meetings," including "all the houses of prayer." These were to be given to the orthodox Church.

There heretical teachers were forced to flee, and many of their students were coerced back into the orthodox fold. The emperor also ordered a search for their books, which were to be confiscated and destroyed. Hiding the works of Arius carried a severe penalty - the death sentence.

Nicea, nevertheless, marked the beginning of the end of the concepts of both preexistence, reincarnation, and salvation through union with God in Christian doctrine. It took another two hundred years for the ideas to be expunged.

But Constantine had given the Church the tools with which to do it when he molded Christianity in his own image and made Jesus the only Son of God. From now on, the Church would become representative of a capricious and autocratic God - a God who was not unlike Constantine and other Roman emperors.

Tertullian, a stanch anti-Origenian and a father of the Church, had this to say about those who believed in reincarnation and not the resurrection of the dead: "What a panorama of spectacle on that day [the Resurrection]! What sight should I turn to first to laugh and applaud? ... Wise philosophers, blushing before their students as they burn together, the followers to whom they taught that the world is no concern of God's, whom they assured that either they had no souls at all or that what souls they had would never return to their former bodies? .... These are things of greater delight, I believe, than a circus, both kinds of theater, and any stadium." Tertullian was a great influence in having so-called "heretics" put to death........from the Reluctant Messenger

The Virgin Birth Doctrine By Jocelyn Rhys - Published 1922...

THE VIRGIN BIRTH STORY
OTHER STORIES OF VIRGIN BIRTHS

It may be thought that the story of a virgin birth is too wonderful to have been invented merely to show that a misunderstood prophecy had been fulfilled, and that so miraculous a doctrine could not, without some basis of fact, suddenly be created by any brain, however fertile. But a study of ancient literature discloses the fact that myths of virgin births were part of many if not of all the surrounding pagan religions in the place where, and at the time when, Christianity arose.

"The gods have lived on earth in the likeness of men" was a common saying among ancient pagans, and supernatural events were believed in as explanations of the god's arrival upon earth in human guise.

About two thousand years before the Christian era Mut-em-ua, the virgin Queen of Egypt, was said to have given birth to the Pharaoh Amenkept (or Amenophis) III, who built the temple of Luxor, on the walls of which were represented:-

1. The Annunciation: the god Taht announcing to the virgin Queen that she is about to become a mother.

2. The Immaculate Conception: the god Kneph (the Holy Spirit) mystically impregnating the virgin by holding a cross, the symbol of life, to her mouth.

3. The Birth of the Man-god.

4. The Adoration of the newly born infant by gods and men, including three kings (or Magi ?), who are offering him gifts. In this sculpture the cross again appears as a symbol.

In another Egyptian temple, one dedicated to Hathor, at Denderah, one of the chambers was called "The Hall of the Child in his Cradle"; and in a painting which was once on the walls of that temple, and is now in Paris, we can see represented the Holy Virgin Mother with her Divine Child in her arms. The temple and the painting are undoubtedly pre-Christian.

Thus we find that long before the Christian era there were already pictured in pagan places of worship virgin mothers and their divine children, and that such pictures included scenes of an Annunciation, an Incarnation, and a Birth and Adoration, just as the Gospels written in the second century A.D. describe them, and that these events were in some way connected with the God Taht, who was identified by Gnostics with the Logos.

And, besides these myths about Mut-em-ua and Hathor, many other origins of a virgin birth story can be traced in Egypt.

Horus was said to be the parthenogenetic child of the Virgin Mother, Isis. In the catacombs of Rome black statues of this Egyptian divine Mother and Infant still survive from the early Christian worship of the Virgin and Child to which they were converted. In these the Virgin Mary is represented as a black regress, and often with the face veiled in the true Isis fashion. When Christianity absorbed the pagan myths and rites it adopted also the pagan statues, and renamed them as saints, or even as apostles.

Statues of the goddess Isis with the child Horus in her arms were common in Egypt, and were exported to all neighbouring and to many remote countries, where they are still to be found with new names attached to them-Christian in Europe, Buddhist in Turkestan, Taoist in China and Japan. Figures of the virgin Isis do duty as representations of Mary, of Hariti, of Kuan-Yin, of Kwannon, and of other virgin mothers of gods.

And these were not the only pre-Christian statuettes and engravings of divine mothers and children. On very ancient Athenian coins such figures were stamped. Among the oldest relics of Carthage, of Cyprus, and of Assyria figures of a divine mother and her babe-god are found. Such figures were known under a great variety of names to the followers of various sects; the mothers as Venus, Juno, Mother-Earth, Fortune, etc., and the children as Hercules, Dionysos, Jove, Wealth, etc. In India similar figures are not uncommon, many of them representing Devaki with the babe Krishna at her breast, others representing various less well-known Indian divinities.

In Egypt we also find that "Apis, the sacred bull of Memphis, was believed to have been begotten by a deity descending as a ray of moonlight on the cow which was to become the mother of the sacred beast; hence he was regarded as the son of the god."

This miracle was said to be constantly repeated.

An Apis-so, according to Plutarch, said the Mathematici-was conceived every time a cow "in season" happened to be struck by a beam of light from the moon.

The Mathematici, of course, realized that the light of the moon was really the reflection of the light of the sun, and they therefore believed that the moon received her male generative power as proxy for the sun, the creator of all things.

Apis, the living calf, was regarded as a re-incarnation of Osiris, or at any rate as an emblem of the spirit or soul of Osiris.

It is difficult to assign the exact position in the divine hierarchy which polytheists believed their various gods to occupy. Their beliefs probably differed, and were certainly vague. The better-educated classes were doubtless then, as at all times, inclined to be sceptical, and to regard all these stories of different manifestations of divinity as more or less allegorical or symbolic; and, when they were not sceptical, their minds became so entangled in the complexities of metaphysical speculation that the stories they told grew very confused. On the other hand, the ignorant classes, both rich and poor, certainly believed in the most miraculous explanations of the pantheon which the priests could invent. By such people, the more improbable the alleged fact, the better was the story liked.

From this myth of a cow impregnated by a ray from the moon probably originated the story of the rape of Europa by Jove in the guise of a bull; the idea of a god incarnate in a bull easily giving rise to variants of that kind.

Perhaps the most curious and best known variant of the bull-lover theme is the story about Pasiphae, the wife of Minos. She was said to have conceived a violent passion for the bull which Poseidon (Neptune) had sent to her husband. So, with the aid of an artist, named Daedalus, she disguised herself as a cow, and resorted to the meadow in which the bull grazed. The fruit of her union with the bull was the celebrated Minotaur, partly human, partly bovine, which Minos shut up in the Labyrinth. The ancient superstition that monsters have been born from the union of human beings and animals survived until quite recently, and probably still exists among the uneducated and semi-educated. Exact, or comparatively exact, knowledge of the possibilities of hybridization is a science of quite recent growth.

It will be observed that the Minotaur was named after the husband of his mother, as well as after his real father the Tauros. That is a peculiarity of many of these stories.

Another Egyptian god, Ra (the Sun), was said to have been born of a virgin mother, Net (or Neith), and to have had no father.

In many other countries besides Egypt similar stories of the virgin birth of gods were told.

Attis, the Phrygian god, was said to be the son of the virgin Nana, who conceived him by putting in her bosom a ripe almond or pomegranate.

Dionysos, the Grecian God, was said in one version of the myth concerning him to be the son of Zeus out of the virgin goddess Persephone, and in another version to be the miraculously begotten son of Zeus out of the mortal woman Semele. He, according to this story, was taken from his mother's womb before the full period of gestation had expired, and completed his embryonic life in Zeus's thigh. Dionysos was thus half human and half divine, born of a woman and also of a god.

His myth, which was current long before the Christian era, is a remarkable example of the kind of story which could be, and was, invented about a man-god. He was said to have been persecuted by Pentheus, :King of Thebes, the home of his mother; to have been rejected in his own country; and, when bound, to have asserted that his father, God, would set him free whenever he chose to appeal to him. He disappears from earth, but re-appears as a light shining more brightly than the sun, and speaks to his trembling disciples; and he subsequently visits Hades. The story of his birth is alluded to, and the story of his persecution related, in "The Bacchae," which Euripides wrote about 410 B.C., when the myth was already very old and very well known.

Jason, who was slain by Zeus, was said to have been another son of the virgin Persephone, and to have had no father, either human or divine.

Perseus was also said to have been born of a virgin; and it is this story which Justin Martyr, the second-century Christian "Father of the Church," stigmatizes as an invention of the Devil, who, knowing that Christ would subsequently be born of a virgin, counterfeited the miracle before it really took place.

The "Fathers of the Church" frequently gave this explanation of the numerous pre-Christian virgin birth stories to which their rivals tauntingly referred.

Adonis, the Syrian god; Osiris, the first person of the principal Egyptian Trinity; and Mithra, the Persian god whom so many of the Roman soldiers worshipped-all had strange tales told about their births.

At the time when Christianity arose all these gods were worshipped in various parts of the Roman empire.

Attis, Adonis, Dionysos, Osiris, and Mithra were the principal gods in their respective countries; and those countries together formed the greater part of the Eastern provinces of the Roman empire, and of its great rival, the Persian empire.

Classical mythology is full of kindred stories, and the idea of a virgin birth was familiar to all men of that time.

Of Plato it was related that his mother Perictione was a virgin who conceived him immaculately by the god Apollo. Apollo himself revealed the circumstances of this conception to Ariston, the affianced husband of the virgin.

Virginity, perhaps on account of its rarity in those days among women of a marriageable age, had always a halo of sanctity cast over it by barbaric and semi-civilized tribes; and even in civilized Rome itself the Vestal Virgins were looked upon as peculiarly sacred.

This reverence for virginity seems to have sometimes been contemporaneous with the institution of religious prostitution on a large scale. There is, indeed, no reason why this should not have been the case, incongruous though it seems to us, as such religious prostitution was looked upon very differently from the way in which it would now be regarded.

In origin it was an institution designed to bring fertility to the fields (by sympathetic magic). The sacrifice of chastity in the service of the goddess was an act of devotion, and not an act of licentiousness. Once again the reader must be reminded that when studying these customs we must remember that we are dealing with men and women brought up in an entirely different psychological climate from our own. A veneration for chastity was with them not incompatible with periodic orgies, nor with places set aside for sacred prostitution, asceticism and such prostitution being regarded as alternative ways of making a sacrifice for the public good.

Doubtless an historian of the future may find it difficult to reconcile our own professions and our own practice in kindred matters, and will be confused by the protestations of virtuous horror which he reads alongside of accounts given by the same authors of conspicuous lapses from virtue.

The conventions of romance are not always the same as the customs of the people. They reflect the theory rather than the practice. Extremes are always more conspicuous than the mean.

An old story which curiously illustrates this same reverence felt for virginity by the ancients, in romance rather than in reality, is the myth about the children of AEgyptus and of Danaus.

The former had fifty sons; the latter fifty daughters. The former ruled over Arabia; the latter over Libya. They quarrelled over the kingdom of Egypt which the former had conquered, and when AEgyptus tried to patch up the quarrel by sending his sons to marry the daughters of Danaus the latter pretended to consent, but provided his daughters with daggers and with instructions how to use them. On their wedding night all the daughters of Danaus, save one, murdered their husbands in their sleep. Hypermnestra spared her husband Lyncous because he had respected her virginity, and not availed himself of his marital privileges.

So Lynceus survived the slaughter of his brethren, and lived happily ever after with Hypermnestra, by whom he had at least one son.

It is not possible here to enter at length into the origin and history of the curious veneration for virginity which was current at this period, but it is of interest to note that the belief that some occult power was attached to this state of unblemished purity survived even up to the Middle Ages of our era.

For example, it was thought that virgins were peculiarly efficient as bait for Unicorns. The Unicorn, or rather his congener, the Monoceros-for it is of him that our present authority writes-was evidently a fastidious beast; only a virgin could attract him. On finding one tied up in the forest as a lure he was wont to kiss her, and then to fall asleep on her breast. Whereupon the brave hunter came up and slew him in his sleep. If the young woman was not really a virgin, the Monoceros immediately killed her, and disappeared before the hunter arrived.

This method of hunting the Monoceros is described in the "Bestiary" of Philip de Thaun, written in the twelfth century, and is but one of the many strange facts alleged by authors of that period in support of the theory that virginity had special virtues when dealings were had with animals, with demons, and with human beings.

It was a semi-romantic, semi-religious halo which was cast over this particular physical condition.

To the Vestal Virgins in Rome were attributed the faculty of prophesying and many sacred virtues. All virgins were immune from death at the hand of the executioner, and the Vestals enjoyed many other privileges so long as they preserved their chastity.

The same idea is found "in the histories of miraculous virgins that are so numerous in the mythologies of Asia. Such, for example, was the Chinese legend that tells how, when there was but one man with one woman upon earth, the woman refused to sacrifice her virginity even in order to people the globe; and the gods, honouring her purity, granted that she should conceive beneath the gaze of her lover's eyes, and a virgin-mother became the parent of humanity."

One of the legends which arose as Buddhism degenerated from its original lofty idealism was to the effect that the Buddha Gautama was given birth to by Maya, an immaculate virgin who conceived him through a divine influence.

Gautama, the Buddha, was the son of a Hindu rajah named Suddhodana, and was born, in the ordinary course of nature, in 563 B.C. He never claimed to be a god, neither did either he himself or his disciples claim that his birth was miraculous.

But in after years a myth arose among Buddhists to the effect that his mother Maya, having been divinely chosen to give birth to the Buddha, was borne away by spirits to the Himalayas, where she underwent ceremonial purifications at the hands of four queens. The Bodhisattva then appeared to her, and walked round her three times. At the moment when he completed his peregrinations the Buddha (the incarnate Bodhisattva) entered her womb, and great wonders took place in heaven, on earth, and in hell.

Immortality...

From Joel S. Goldsmith
(The Infinite Way - Chapter "Putting on Immortality)
Immortality is attained in proportion as personal sense is overcome, whether here or hereafter. As we put off the personal ego and attain the consciousness of our real Self--the Reality of us, divine Consciousness--we attain immortality. And that can be achieved here and now.
The desire to perpetuate our false sense of body and wealth ensnares us into death, or mortality.
The first step in the attainment of immortality is living out from the center of our being, as in the idea of unfoldment from within, rather than accretion: It is the giving sense rather than getting; being rather than attaining. In this consciousness, there is no condemnation, judgment, hatred, or fear, but rather a continuous feeling of love and forgiveness.
It is not a simple matter to show forth the joy and peace of immortality, because to those intent on preserving their present concepts of being, immortality would appear to be extinction. This is not the case: It is the eternal preservation of all that is real, fine, noble, harmonious, gracious, unselfish, and peaceful. It is reality brought to light in place of the illusion of sense. It is the conscious awareness of the infinity of individual being replacing the finite sense of existence.
Selfishness and conceit fall away in the realization of the divinity of our being.
This realization brings forth patience and forbearance with those still struggling in mortal, material consciousness. It is being in the world but not of it.

A Leap in Perception...

"The only likely effect of extreme effort to become 'that which I already am,' is that eventually I will drop to the ground, exhausted, and let go. In that letting go, another possibility may arise. But the temptation to avoid freedom through the sanctification of struggle is very attractive. Struggle in time does not invite liberation."

"Life is not a task. There is absolutely nothing to attain except the realization that there is nothing to attain."

"No amount of effort will ever persuade oneness to appear. All that is needed is a leap in perception, a different seeing, already inherent but unrecognized."........

Tony Parsons

[The_Now2] Adyashanti and Nisargadatta and e.e.cummings ...

The light of consciousness has no mind to change or alter anything. When you start to see the light that you really are, the light waking up in you, the radiance, you realize it has no intention to change you. It has no intention to harmonize. It has no agenda. It just happens. The Truth is the only thing you'll ever run into that has no agenda. Everything else will have an agenda.

Adyashanti

The mind cannot know what is beyond the mind, but the mind is known by what is beyond it.

Nisargadatta

The snow doesn't give a soft white damn whom it touches.

~e.e. cummings

Adyashanti...

Adyashanti dares all seekers of peace and freedom to take the possibility of liberation in this life seriously. He began teaching in 1996, at the request of his Zen teacher with whom he had been studying for 14 years. Since then many spiritual seekers have awakened to their true nature while spending time with Adyashanti.

The author of The End of Your World, Emptiness Dancing, and True Meditation, Adyashanti offers spontaneous and direct nondual teachings that have been compared to those of the early Zen masters and Advaita Vedanta sages. However, Adya says, “If you filter my words through any tradition or ‘-ism’, you will miss altogether what I am saying. The liberating truth is not static; it is alive. It cannot be put into concepts and be understood by the mind. The truth lies beyond all forms of conceptual fundamentalism. What you are is the beyond—awake and present, here and now already. I am simply helping you to realize that.”

A native of Northern California, Adyashanti lives with his wife, Mukti, and teaches extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area offering satsangs, weekend intensives, and silent retreats. He also travels to teach in other areas of the United States and Canada.

“Adyashanti” means primordial peace.

Dominion...

God gave us dominion over every circumstance, but we must exercise that dominion by an active, continuous consciousness of truth of our oneness with God, and by the conscious and specific knowing of the impersonal and impotent nature of the source of error. To lay the ax at the root of material existence is to understand it as a product of mental suggestion, having no law or authority.

To live the life of Grace is to realize consciously that <<<"I">>> is God, and <<<"I">>> in the midst of me is the meat the world knows not of~ the hidden mystery of life eternal, harmonious, and spiritual.

~ Joel S. Goldsmith, Our Spiritual Resources

The Perfect Society...

Sri Aurobindo's hopeful view about the establishment of a perfect society on this earth is one which, I must humbly say, does not seem quite in accord with realities. I wish he were right and I were wrong, for it would be delightful to expect such a Utopia to be realized one day. But the raising of human consciousness to the level of superman will not guarantee unity of outlook and attitude. Differences in these respects and, consequently, differences in action will still remain. Take, for example, the difference in attitude towards the world war shown by Sri Aurobindo himself, Sri Ramana Maharshi, and Swami Ramdas. If unity is to be really attained it could only be attained by evolving to a level even higher still than that of superman. And this indeed is the ultimate goal. But there is a further reason for the difficulty of realizing Utopia. When such a goal has been attained there will be no need to reincarnate on this earth, which is, in some ways, a purgatorial planet. That is to say, it is the natural residence for imperfect persons and not for perfect ones..........Paul Brunton

Mysticism...

This is a belief in or the pursuit in the unification with the One or some other principle; the immediate consciousness of God; or the direct experience of religious truth. Mysticism is nearly universal and unites most religions in the quest for divinity. It can also be a sense of mystical knowledge. Dionysius the Areopagite was the first to introduce the concept "unknown knowing" to the Western World. In areas of the occult and psychic it denotes an additional domain of esoteric knowledge and paranormal communication. Even though it is thought that just monks and ascetics can become mystics, mysticism usually touches all people at least once in their lives.

The term "mysticism" comes from the classical Greco-Roman mystery cults. Perhaps it came from myein meaning "to close the lips and eyes, and refers to the sacred oath of the initiates, the mystes, to keep secret about the inner workings of the religion." In Neo-platonism "mysticism" came to be associated with secrecy of any kind. The term mystica appeared in the Christian treatise, Mystica Theologia, of an anonymous Syrian Neoplatonist monk of the late fifth or early sixth century, who was known pseudonymously as Dionysius the Areopagite. In this work mysticism was described as the secrecy of the mind.

Despite the various approaches to mysticism it seems to possess some common characteristics. Such were the findings of the philosopher W. T. Stace, who discovered seven common themes of mysticism when studying Roman Catholic, Protestant, ancient classical, Hindu, and American agnostic mystical experiences. They were (1) a unifying vision and perception of the One by the senses and through many objects; (2) the apprehension of the One as an inner life; (3) and objective and true sense of reality; (4) feelings of satisfaction, joy, and bliss; (5) a religious element that is a feeling of the holy and sacred; (6) a paradoxical feeling; (7) and inexpressible feelings.

From the above is can easily be seen that mysticism is not the same to every person experiencing it. Therefore, there are various kinds or types. Various mystics subscribe to one of two theories of Divine Reality: emanation or immanence. In the emanation view, all things in the universe are overflowing from God. In the immanence view, the universe is not projected from God, but is immersed in God.

Mysticism is usually thought of as being of a religious nature, which can be either monistic or theistic. The objective of monistic mysticism is to seek unity and identity with a universal principle; while theistic mysticism seeks unity, but not identity, with God.

The ultimate expression of monistic mysticism is perhaps best displayed in the Upanishads of India, as in the concepts of "I am Brahman" (the all-pervading principle) and tat tram asi "that thou art," meaning that the soul is the eternal and Absolute Being. Monistic mysticism is also found in Taoism,, which seeks unity with Tao, the ineffable way. Theistic mysticism, unity with God, characterizes Christianity, Judaism (in the Kabbalah), and Islam (the Sufi sect), and is also found in Hinduism.

There are other forms of mysticism throughout the world. Many assume a religious nature according to the beliefs and practices of the practitioners. Most of these states of mysticism commonly possess what is deemed a mystical communion with what is considered sacred which varies from group to group, even subgroup to subgroup, and includes dance, song and chant, the sacred pipe, purifying sweats (a preliminary for undertakings), fasts, dreams, vision quests, and the occasional use of psychotropic drugs.

Apart from religious mysticism, but not entirely separated from it, is nonreligious mysticism. This is more of an experiencing mysticism through, or from, Nature, although some have discovered God or the Absolute of Nature through such experiences. An authentic experience of mysticism derive from Nature is essentially the unity of the subject and the object. In other words, the person becomes one with Nature; all boundaries or separation between the person and Nature disappears. The person becomes part of nature and is not separate from it.

This is clearly seen in the Goddess religion, which includes neo-Paganism and neo-Pagan Witchcraft, which worships Nature. Such worship includes love where the separation between the subject and object vanishes. Starhawk, in The Spiral Dance, defines it as immanence. Immanence is one of the three core principles of the Goddess religion, the other two being interconnection and community. "Immanence means that the Goddess, the Gods, are embodied, that we are each a manifestation of the living being of the earth, that nature, culture, and life in all their diversity are sacred. Immanence calls us to live our spirituality here in the world, to take action to preserve the life of the earth, to live with integrity and responsibility."

A similar point was made in the description of Gaea, previously called Terrebie, or the planet Earth by Otter Zell (formerly Tim Zell), founder and high priest of the Church of All Worlds in Ukiah, California. He redefined divinity and deity as the fulfillment of potential as "the highest level of aware consciousness accessible to each living being, manifesting itself in the self-actualization of that being." So, the cell is thought of as God by its components; the tissue is God to the cells, and so on. The human being manifests a whole new level of awareness, organization, and "emergent wholeness." When describing this level of organization Zell wrote, "We find it appropriate to express recognition of this Unity in the phrase: 'Thou art God.'" And as all things are connected biologically, all eco-systems express a new level of awareness. Therefore, Mother Earth is seen as God. Of this, Zell wrote:

Indeed, even though yet unawakened, the embryonic slumbering subconscious mind of Terrebria is experienced intuitively by us all, and has been referred to instinctively by us as Mother Earth, Mother Nature (The Goddess, The Lady.)

Instinctively every one has done what the neo-Pagan openly admit doing, calling Earth, Mother. This recognition of Earth as our Mother is justified because we all are dependent on her for our survival. Just as the child comes to love the mother who cares and nurtures him, so too, we love Mother Earth who we know loves and nurtures humankind as her children. By definition, this is mysticism. A.G.H.

Continuous Thoughts...

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives....
Henry David Thoreau

A Good Book...

A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.....
Henry David Thoreau

What is it like to live an awakened life?...

While the world is trying to solve its problems and everyone around you is engaged in the same, you're not. While everybody around you is trying to figure it out, trying to arrive, trying to "get there," trying to be worthy, you're not. While everyone thinks that awakening is a grand, noble, halo-enshrouded thing, for you it's not. While everybody is running from this life right now, in this moment, to try to get there, you're not. Where everybody has an argument with somebody else, mostly everybody else, starting with themselves, you don't. Where everybody is so sure that happiness will come when something is different than it is now, you know that it won't. When everybody else is looking to achieve the perfect state and hold on to it, you're not.

When everybody around you has a whole host of ideas and beliefs about a whole variety of things, you don't. Everyone on the path is getting there; you haven't gotten anywhere. Everyone is climbing the mountain; you're selling hiking boots and picks at the foot in the hope that if they climb it and come back down, they may be too exhausted to do it again. When everybody else is looking to the next book, to the next teacher, to the next guru to be told what's real, to be given the secret key to an awakened life, you're not. You don't have a key because there's not a lock to put it in.

When you're living what you are in an awakened way, being simply what you've always been, you're actually very simple. You basically sit around wondering what all the fuss is about.

Found in Now2......Adyashanti

The Awakening of Ralph Waldo Emerson...

Emerson's simple account of his awakening
from Nature....

"Standing on the bare ground, — my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, — all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God."

The Double Standpoint...

There are two viewpoints: a qualified truth for the lower stage of aspirants which admits duality; and the complete viewpoint of nonduality for the highest student; thus for practical life, when dealing with other people or when engaged in some activity, those in the first stage must accept the notion of the world being real, because of expediency; yet even so, when they are alone or when keeping quiet, inactive, they ought to revert back to regarding the world, which includes one's own body as a part of it, as idea. Only for the sage is the truth always present, no matter whether he is with others, whether he is working, or whether he is in trance, and this truth is continuous awareness of one Reality alone and one Self alone.

— Notebooks Category 19: The Reign of Relativity > Chapter 2: The Double Standpoint > # 40.....Paul Brunton

Hearing Your True Self...

Candace: You said that Jesus experienced the Truth of Who He was and restored Himself back to the One Child of God. Can you tell us a little bit about Jesus’s relationship to the Holy Spirit during that lifetime.

When you had the thought that you wanted your autonomy and made the ego, while God simultaneously created the Holy Spirit, there was the understanding that this was a temporary experiment and that it would have an end. That end would be when all of God’s children were restored to God. Eventually, there came a time when someone stepped into the world with the hope, the dream, and the goal of hearing only the Holy Spirit and not hearing anything else. That person was Jesus.

Jesus has been referred to as God’s Son, and yet every person in the world is God’s Son. There is no distinction here. The only difference between Jesus and you is the desire, commitment, and follow through to hear only the Holy Spirit and to not engage with the ego. This did not happen instantaneously, spontaneously, or at birth. It happened over time, as you know it in the world, with practice and dedication and the desire to think only Truth, speak only Truth, and hear only Truth. As a result of this desire and commitment, Jesus came to hear only the Holy Spirit and came to speak only the words of the Holy Spirit.

If you want to know how God’s Voice sounds or what Right‑Mindedness is, it is the words that Jesus spoke in the world. When Jesus shared certain truths, perspectives, and Right-Mindedness, this came directly from the Holy Spirit. Jesus could have kept those thoughts to himself and not shared them, and yet what would be the point of that?

It is important to note how many wanted to hear Jesus speak. People would flock to hear what he had to say. Many years after his death, people wrote down what they remember he said, and for two thousand years afterward, people continue to read those words. The power of those words comes from the Truth being brought into the world through God’s Voice as spoken to Jesus. Jesus’s body was used as a tool for communication and served no other purpose—that is how the Holy Spirit would use the body.

Everyone desires to hear the Truth because that is what they are. They have nearly forgotten, and yet they desire that reminder completely. When one brings God’s Words into the world, many will flock to hear them. One cannot help but want to hear Truth. It is a part of you. The same Voice for God exists within every child, with the same message to deliver, and every child wants that message. The staying power that Jesus has in the world comes from a single-mindedness, the single focus upon Truth and conveying only Truth. That is very attractive indeed. Jesus has not swayed for an instant since then and continues to hold only Right-Mindedness and continues to be joined in perfect clarity with the Holy Spirit. He has overcome perception altogether, so all that is left is Knowledge.

One often asks, “How can I maintain this perception of Right-Mindedness?” It would be a challenge indeed to try to fight for that perception of Reality throughout eternity. When one hears this Voice for Truth within them more and more and the ego less and less, eventually only God’s Voice is heard. The ego was never real to begin with and once Reality has taken hold of the mind, all that is not real falls away. That is when True Knowledge exists rather than perception.

Jesus has True Knowledge, not a perception of Truth, and is able to maintain that Knowledge completely and perfectly for all of eternity because that is all there is. There is no fight to attain and maintain that Knowledge. It becomes effortless because Knowledge is all there is. Jesus does not have to question or wonder about the Truth of who you are, ever, regardless of your belief that you are something other than a Child of God. Jesus does not have to waste a thought wondering if you might be right about that. He has only perfect Knowledge.

As a Child of God, having walked in the world in a body, there is the ability for Jesus to understand his brothers and sisters in the world and why they think the way they do, and just like the Holy Spirit, he does not believe what they think. One can therefore use Jesus in the same way as the Holy Spirit by asking Jesus to work with their mind to be restored to Right-Mindedness. Jesus will deny you nothing, though you must ask for it. Jesus’s function is to nudge His brothers and sisters out of their sleep and to assist them in whatever ways possible in their awakening, and He does this by only seeing their Perfection.

Jesus eventually became the embodiment of the Holy Spirit and you will too. You will become the embodiment of the Voice for God, the Voice of your true Self. It is only a matter of time, and the wonderful news is that there is no such thing as time. So in an instant, having remembered the Truth of who you are and where you have come from, you too will be the embodiment of the One that is.........from thevoiceforlove.com

Discovering Your Higher Self...

When we are born, there is no sense of self, no sense of differentiation or separation from anything else in our awareness. As we grow older, we become identified with our bodies, personalities, families, and all of the thoughts and beliefs that make up our experience of life. As time progresses, we take on new identities: husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, managers, lawyers, office workers, computer programmers, basketball players, and the list goes on and on.

As one begins to earnestly pursue a spiritual path, it's natural to question these roles and identities and try on new ones. As we move deeper and deeper into experiencing the truth of who we are, beyond what we can see with our eyes, hear with our ears, or believe with our mind, the pursuit of a direct and personal experience with our True Nature begins to grow, until experiencing and knowing this True Self eventually becomes the primary goal of our lives.

What is your Higher Self?
There are many great words to describe Who or What your highest identity or Self truly is. Below are just a few:

Higher Self
I Am Presence
I Am That I Am
Pure Being
Love
Spirit
Essence of Life
Cosmic Consciousness
Universal Mind
The Tao
God
Christ
Holy Spirit
And the list goes on...

Depending upon your spiritual path, background, or religious influence, you may be attracted to one or more of these terms. Ultimately, these words are only ideas that point to the unlimited and infinite nature of your True Self. In the end, it does not matter which words you use. It is directly experiencing your Higher Self that you ultimately seek in your heart.

Cosmic Consciousness, Universal Mind, and your Higher Self
Incorporating new beliefs about your Higher Self or true identity is an important aspect of spiritual growth, but no matter how powerful, inspiring, or life-changing these new ideas and beliefs may be, they eventually run out of steam because Who you are is beyond thought or belief.

When one reaches this stage of desire and intention, developing a spiritual practice that can consistently restore you to a direct experience of your Higher Self becomes essential. One realizes that spiritual belief is essentially meaningless and hollow without a personal and direct experience of the Divine.

There are countless practices in the world that serve the purpose of restoring your awareness to one of Pure Being. Ultimately, it does not matter which practice you choose, but choosing one and applying it consistently is what will lead you to a continual and ever-present state of enlightenment ... the state of directly experiencing your God Self in every moment.

The path that has led us to this direct experience of Self on an ongoing basis, and that countless others share along with us, is the path of hearing God's Voice within as a means of restoring our awareness to the Truth of Who we are—in every moment.

Below is an excerpt from our book, The Voice for Love: Accessing Your Inner Voice To Fulfill Your Life's Purpose.

Your Higher Self
DavidPaul: So if I am One with God, One with all that is, why use the term Holy Spirit instead of Higher Self? The term Holy Spirit makes me think of something other than myself.

God’s Voice within you is not a word or a term. It is a Presence, a state of Being, a way of thinking that gives you the experience of Who and What you truly are … of what your True Nature is. It does not matter what words you use to describe this aspect of yourself, this quality or state of Being. It is merely to call It something so that you can put your attention on It. You can call It the Holy Spirit, God’s Voice, the Voice of your true Self, the Voice for Love and Peace within you, or any other name you like.

In Truth, this Presence or state of Mind is your Voice, and yet who you think you are in the world is usually much less than what this Voice truly is and what You truly are. You think you are a person walking around in the world—possibly a husband, a partner, a friend, a business associate—and you become identified with these things, with these forms and concepts. It is possible to use the term Highest Self when thinking of this Voice within you, and yet for most people, the term Higher Self would be associated with a wiser aspect of their personality, a part within their heart or mind that is more connected with Truth or with the big picture. For some, the term Higher Self might even be the voice of their own soul, and yet few would believe that they are much greater than the concept of a soul and that their true Voice is much grander than that of their soul. One still perceives them self to be separate, and for many, the highest concept that they can come up with for who they truly are is that of an individualized soul. The Truth is, you are much grander than that. You are, in fact, One with your Creator, One with All That Is, One with this Voice for God within you.

When you come to see your own Voice as the Voice for God or the Voice for Love, then indeed it does not matter what you call this Voice. Call It by any name you choose. Until then, it can be helpful to make the distinction between one’s Higher Self and the Voice of your true Self, the Voice for God, because this distinction assists one in joining with the Self that is beyond what the mind identifies with. It helps them to connect with the deepest part of their real Self, beyond the forms, beyond the concepts, beyond what your mind can imagine … to transcend all of it and experience your true Being. That is what the Holy Spirit is and the Purpose it fulfills. You are Love. You are God. You are One with All That Is. And that is what this Voice for God and Love and Peace will teach you............from thevoiceforlove.com

The Four Temptations ...

1. THEN was Iesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil. And the wild beasts of the desert were around him, and became subject unto him. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights he was afterwards an hungered.
2. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread, for it is written, I will feed thee with the finest of wheat and with honey, out of the rock will I satisfy thee.
3. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God.
4. Then the Devil placeth before him a woman, of exceeding beauty and comeliness and of subtle wit, and a ready understanding withal, and he said unto him. Take her as thou wilt, for her desire is unto thee, and thou shalt have love and happiness and comfort all thy life, and see thy children’s children, yea is it not written, It is not good for man that he should be alone?
5. And Iesu-Maria said, Get thee behind me, for it is written, Be not led away by the beauty of woman, yea, all flesh is as grass and the flower of the field; the grass withereth and the flower fadeth away, but the Word of the Eternal endureth for ever. My work is to teach and to heal the children of men, and he that is born of God keepeth his seed within him.
6. And the Devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the Temple. And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down; for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee; and in their hands they shall bear thee up lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7. And Iesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8. Then the Devil took him up into an exceeding high mountain in the midst of a great plain and, round about, twelve cities and their peoples, and shown from thence he shown unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the Devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will, I give it: for it is written, thou shalt have dominion from sea to sea, so thou shalt judge thy people with righteousness and thy poor with mercy, and. make a full end of oppression. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
9. And Iesu-Maria answered and said unto him, get thee behind me, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve. Without the power of God, the end of evil cannot come.
10. Then the Devil having ended all the temptations leaveth him and departed for a season. And behold, angels of God came and ministered unto him.

LECTION 9. 1 -The Essenes or Nazarenes, somewhat like the Indian Yogi, sought to attain divine union by solitary meditation in unfrequented places. In the monastery of our Lord on the summit of Quarantania, a cell is shown with rude frescoes of the event. This mountain is about 18,000 feet high, in a barren and desolate region east of Ierusalem, north of the road to Iericho, overlooking the valley of the Iordan.
v. 2-9 -Observe, the temptations are addressed to the fourfold nature of man, as recognised by the ancient Egyptians. 1st.-To the outer body, with its physical needs. 2nd. -To the inner body, the seat of the senses and desires. 3rd.-To the soul, the seat of the intellect.

LECTION 9. 3 -In all the ancient initiations woman was one of the temptations placed in the way of the aspirant. That this was not omitted in the trial of the "Perfect Man" we may be certain, and we are expressly told in the Epistle to the Hebrews that "he was in all points tempted even as we are." Why the writers of the Canonical Gospels omitted this trial, or whether it was dropped out of the original by accident we cannot say, but here we have it restored in its place. It is evidently inculcated by Iesus in this second temptation (what has always been known to the wise) that adepts should store up their physical strength for work on a higher plane, and this Iesus did for the work of the ministry as an example for all who would follow him and heal the bodies and souls of others.
Here we have one of the many passages which show that the words attributed to the writers of the Epistles are quotations from this Gospel, and that such portions at least were extant in their time.-e.g., I. Iohn iii. 9. (A. V.)..........from the nazareneway.com

NOTHINGNESS by Alan Watts...

When I consider the weirdest of all things I can think of, do you know what it is? Nothing. The whole idea of nothing is something that has bugged people for centuries, especially in the Western world. We have a saying in Latin, Ex nihilo nihil fit, which means, "Out of nothing comes nothing." In other words, you can't get something out of nothing. It's occurred to me that this is a fallacy of tremendous proportions. It lies at the root of all our common sense, not only in the West, but in many parts of the East as well. It manifests as a kind of terror of nothing, a putdown on nothing, a putdown on everything associated with nothing such as sleep, passivity, rest, and even the feminine principle which is often equated with the negative principle (although women's lib people don't like that kind of thing, when they understand what I'm saying I don't think they'll object). To me, nothing—the negative, the empty—is exceedingly powerful. I would say, not Ex nihilo nihil fit, but, "You can't have something without nothing."

How do we basically begin to think about the difference between something and nothing? When I say there is a cigar in my right hand and there is no cigar in my left hand, we get the idea of is, something, and isn't, nothing. At the basis of this reasoning lies the far more obvious contrast of solid and space. We tend to think of space as nothing; when we talk about the conquest of space there's a little element of hostility. But actually, we're talking about the conquest of distance. Space or whatever it is that lies between the earth and the moon, and the earth and the sun, is considered to be just nothing at all.

But to suggest how very powerful and important this nothing at all is, let me point out that if you didn't have space, you couldn't have anything solid. Without space outside the solid you wouldn't know where the solid's edges were. For example, you can see me in a photograph because you see a background and that background shows up my outline. But if it weren't there, then I and everything around me would merge into a single, rather peculiar mass. You always have to have a background of space to see a figure. The figure and the background, the solid and the space, are inseparable and go together.

We find this very commonly in the phenomenon of magnetism. A magnet has a north pole and a south pole— there is no such thing as a magnet with one pole only. Supposing we equate north with is and south with isn't. You can chop the magnet into two pieces, if it's a bar magnet, and just get another north pole and south pole, another is and isn't, on the end of each piece.

What I am trying to get into basic logic is that there isn't a sort of fight between something and nothing. Everyone is familiar with the famous words of Hamlet, "To be or not to be, that is the question." It isn't; to be or not to be is not the question. Because you can't have a solid without space. You can't have an is without an isn't, a something without a nothing, a figure without a background. And we can turn that round, and say, "You can't have space without solid."

Imagine nothing but space, space, space, space with nothing in it, forever. But there you are imagining it and you're something in it. The whole idea of there being only space, and nothing else at all, is not only inconceivable but perfectly meaningless, because we always know what we mean by contrast.

We know what we mean by white in comparison with black. We know life in comparison with death. We know pleasure in comparison with pain, up in comparison with down. But all these things must come into being together. You don't have first something and then nothing or first nothing and then something. Something and nothing are two sides of the same coin. If you file away the tails side of a coin completely, the heads side of it will disappear as well. So in this sense, the positive and negative, the something and the nothing, are inseparable—they go together. The nothing is the force whereby the something can be manifested.

We think that matter is basic to the physical world. And matter has various shapes. We think of tables as made of wood as we think of pots as made of clay. But is a tree made of wood in the same way a table is? No, a tree is wood; it isn't made of wood. Wood and tree are two different names for the same thing.

But there is in the back of our mind, the notion, as a root of common sense, that everything in the world is made of some kind of basic stuff. Physicists, through centuries, have wanted to know what that was. Indeed, physics began as a quest to discover the basic stuff out of which the world is made. And with all our advances in physics we've never found it. What we have found is not stuff but form. We have found shapes. We have found structures. When you turn up the microscope and look at things expecting to see some sort of stuff, you find instead form, pattern, structure. You find the shape of crystals, beyond the shapes of crystals you find molecules, beyond molecules you find atoms, beyond atoms you find electrons and positrons between which there are vast spaces. We can't decide whether these electrons are waves or particles and so we call them wavicles.

What we will come up with will never be stuff, it will always be a pattern. This pattern can be described, measured, but we never get to any stuff for the simple reason there isn't any. Actually, stuff is when you see something unclearly or out of focus, fuzzy. When we look at it with the naked eye it looks just like goo. We can't make out any significant shape to it. But when you put it under the microscope, you suddenly see shapes. It comes into clear focus as shape.

And you can go on and on, looking into the nature of the world and you will never find anything except form. Think of stuff; basic substance. You wouldn't know how to talk '' about it; even if you found it, how would you describe what it was like? You couldn't say anything about a structure in it, you couldn't say anything about a pattern or a process in it, because it would be absolute, primordial goo.

What else is there besides form in the world? Obviously, between the significant shapes of any form there is space. And space and form go together as the fundamental things we're dealing with in this universe. The whole of Buddhism is based on a saying, "That which is void is precisely form, and that which is form is precisely void." Let me illustrate this to you in an extremely simple way. When you use the word clarity, what do you mean? It might mean a perfectly polished lens, or mirror, or a clear day when there's no smog and the air is perfectly transparent like space.

What's the next thing clarity makes you think of? You think of form in clear focus, all the details articulate and perfect. So the one word clarity suggests to you these two apparently completely different things: the clarity of the lens or the mirror, and the clarity of articulate form. In this sense, we can take the saying "Form is void, void is form" and instead of saying is, say implies, or the word that I invented, goeswith. Form always goeswith void. And there really isn't, in this whole universe, any substance.

Form, indeed, is inseparable from the idea of energy, and form, especially when it's moving in a very circumscribed area, appears to us as solid. For example, when you spin an electric fan the empty spaces between the blades sort of disappear into a blur, and you can't push a pencil, much less your finger, through the fan. So in the same way, you can't push your finger through the floor because the floor's going too fast. Basically, what you have down there is nothing and form in motion.

I knew of a physicist at the University of Chicago who was rather crazy like some scientists, and the idea of the insolidity, the instability of the physcial world, impressed him so much that he used to go around in enormous padded slippers for fear he should fall through the floor. So this commonsense notion that the world is made of some kind of substance is a nonsense idea—it isn't there at all but is, instead, form and emptiness.

Most forms of energy are vibration, pulsation. The energy of light or the energy of sound are always on and off. In the case of very fast light, very strong light, even with alternating current you don't notice the discontinuity because your retina retains the impression of the on pulse and you can't notice the off pulse except in very slow light like an arc lamp. It's exactly the same thing with sound. A high note seems more continuous because the vibrations are faster than a low note. In the low note you hear a kind of graininess because of the slower alternations of on and off.

All wave motion is this process, and when we think of waves, we think about crests. The crests stand out from the underlying, uniform bed of water. These crests are perceived as the things, the forms, the waves. But you cannot have the emphasis called a crest, the concave, without the de-emphasis, or convex, called the trough. So to have anything standing out, there must be something standing down or standing back. We must realize that if you had this part alone, the up part, that would not excite your senses because there would be no contrast.

The same thing is true of all life together. We shouldn't really contrast existence with nonexistence, because actually, existence is the alternation of now-you-see-it/now-you-don't, now-you-see-it/now-you-don't, now-you-see-it/now-you-don't. It is that contrast that presents the sensation of there being anything at all.

Now, in light and sound the waves are extraordinarily rapid so that we don't hear or see the interval between them. But there are other circumstances in which the waves are extraordinarily slow, as in the alternation of day and night, light and darkness, and the much vaster alternations of life and death. But these alternations are just as necessary to the being of the universe as in the very fast motions of light and sound, and in the sense of solid contact when it's going so rapidly that we notice only continuity or the is side. We ignore the intervention of the isn't side, but it's there just the same, just as there are vast spaces within the very heart of the atom.

Another thing that goes along with all this is that it's perfectly obvious that the universe is a system which is aware of itself. In other words, we, as living organisms, are forms of the energy of the universe just as much as the stars and the galaxies, and, through our sense organs, this system of energy becomes aware of itself.

But to understand this we must again relate back to our basic contrast between on and off, something and nothing, which is that the aspect of the universe which is aware of itself, which does the awaring, does not see itself. In other words, you can't look at your eyes with your eyes. You can't observe yourself in the act of observing. You can't touch the tip of a finger with the tip of the same finger no matter how hard you try. Therefore, there is on the reverse side of all observation a blank spot; for example, behind your eyes from the point of view of your eyes. However you look around there is blankness behind them. That's unknown. That's the part of the universe which does not see itself because it is seeing.

We always get this division of experience into one-half known, one-half unknown. We would like to know, if we could, this always unknown. If we examine the brain and the structure of the nerves behind the eyes, we're always looking at somebody else's brain. We're never able to look at our own brain at the same time we're investigating somebody else's brain.

So there is always this blank side of experience. What I'm suggesting is that the blank side of experience has the same relationship to the conscious side as the off principle of vibration has to the on principle. There's a fundamental division. The Chinese call them the yang, the positive side, and the yin, the negative side. This corresponds to the idea of one and zero. All numbers can be made of one and zero as in the binary system of numbers which is used for computers.

And so it's all made up of off and on, and conscious and unconscious. But the unconscious is the part of experience which is doing consciousness, just as the trough manifests the wave, the space manifests the solid, the background manifests the figure. And so all that side of life which you call unconscious, unknown, impenetrable, is unconscious, unknown, impenetrable because it's really you. In other words, the deepest you is the nothing side, is the side which you don't know.

So, don't be afraid of nothing. I could say, "There's nothing in nothing to be afraid of." But people in our culture are terrified of nothing. They're terrified of death; they are uneasy about sleep, because they think it's a waste of time. They have a lurking fear in the back of their minds that the universe is eventually going to run down and end in nothing, and it will all be forgotten, buried and dead. But this is a completely unreasonable fear, because it is just precisely this nothing which is always the source of something.

Think once again of the image of clarity, crystal clear. Nothing is what brings something into focus. This nothing, symbolized by the crystal, is your own eyeball, your own consciousness.