Consciousness is the Observer, the Watcher, the Intelligence that creates and participates within the illusions called life..
This Dream that we call 'real' was meant to be felt by senses within the life forms of this Dream..
The problem is that We forgot that We are not that which We are Watching..
We 'fell' into the lower heavier frequencies of matter as Consciousness and thus feel the pains of the physical plane and the pains of separation from Reality..
We are constantly reminded of Reality by the mental sensation of the longing for the feeling of Love..
This is the 'Door of God'..
This is placed within Divine Consciousness to lead us back to Reality when we become lost within the Dream..
As Jesus said; " Knock, and the Door shall be opened"...
For the Realized mind at one with the Way
all self-centered striving ceases.
Doubts and irresolutions vanish
and the Truth is confirmed in you.
With a single stroke you are freed from bondage;
nothing clings to you and you hold to nothing.
All is empty, clear, self-illuminating,
with no need to exert the mind.
Here, thinking, feeling, understanding, and imagination
are of no value.
In this world "as it really is"
there is neither self nor other-than-self.
- Seng-ts'an, Third Zen Patriarch
"Relinquish your negative habits and attitudes.
Strengthen your sincerity.
Live in the real word,
and extend your virtue to it without discrimination in the daily round.
Be the truest father or mother, the truest brother or sister,
the truest friend, and the truest disciple.
Humbly respect and serve your teacher,
and dedicate your entire being unwaveringly to self-cultivation.
Then you will surely attain self-mastery
and be able to help others in doing the same."
_Hua Hu Ching: The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu_, 80
Rendered by Brian Walker
HarperSanFrancisco, 1992, p. 105
According to his evolution, man knows truth.
Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
Every person's desire is according to his evolution. That for which he is ready
is desirable for him. Milk is a desirable food for the infant, other foods for
the grown-up person. Every stage in life has its own appropriate and desirable
When one realizes the ultimate truth, one comes to understand that one single
underlying current to which all the different religions, philosophies and faiths
are attached. These are all only different expressions of the same truth, and it
is the absence of that knowledge which causes all to be divided into so many
different sects and religions.
In India there is a well-known story exemplifying this fact: that some blind men
were very anxious to see an elephant. So a kind man one day took them to see
one. There, standing by its side, he said, "Now, here is the elephant, see what
you can make of it." Each one tried to make out by touch what the elephant
looked like, and afterwards when they met together they began to discuss its
appearance. One said, "It looks like the big pillar of a palace," another said,
"It looks like a fan." And so they differed and discussed amongst one another,
then they quarreled so much as to come to a hand-to-hand fight. Each one said,
"I have seen it, I know what it is; I have touched it." Then the man who took
them to the elephant came and said, "You are every one of you right, but you
have each seen only a part of the elephant."
So it is with the religions. A person says, "This religion is the one, this
doctrine is the only one, this truth is the only truth possible." That shows a
lack of knowledge of the ultimate truth. As soon as one comes to the realization
of the depth of truth, one begins to discern that it is the same truth which the
great ones have tried to express in words. They could not put it fully into
words. They have done their best to help humanity to evolve and reach to a point
at which it is able to understand what can never be explained in words.
Somebody can be praised by one and hated by another, and ten people may all have
a different idea of the same person, because each understands him according to
his state of evolution. Each sees that person according to his own point of
view, each looks at him through his own eyes, and therefore the same person is
different to each being. In the mind of one the person is a sinner, in the mind
of another he is a saint. The same person who is considered gentle and good by
one is considered the opposite by another. If this can be so in connection with
a living being, it is equally possible that various ideas of the deity should be
formed in each heart, and that each soul should mold his own deity according to
his own evolution and according to his way of idealizing and understanding.
Therefore the deity of every heart is different and is as that person has
imagined; but the God of every soul is one and the same, whatever people
imagine. It is the same God that they all imagine, but their imaginations are
different and it is the lack of understanding of this that has caused the
differences in religion.
The observation: 'Here I am' , does not signify there is a separate self.
The 'I' refers to consciousness.
What is it that makes consciousness seem personal?
Is it not thought? A habitual old thought accompanied with a feeling that 'I' is personal.
When you were a baby, did you experience yourself as a person? No, you did not. It is much later on that the separative thoughts settled in the body.
Consider the following: What is it that makes thought seem to be 'my thought'?
Is it not another thought?
The separate self is like a house of cards.
You are openness of being. Infinite and formless appearing as all forms. When this realization settles, the Self's radiance is revealed!
Magdi Em Be
A Mystic is someone that works daily to dissolve the false self and return to
the Reality of True Self..
And if they are completely serious in this mission,
they will surrender this false self (ego) while in meditation, and Awaken into
the Reality of Love,Light, Consciousness, and Wisdom..
This is True Self..
This is called Enlightenment...
This was the day that the great Mystic, Yeshua ben Yosef (Jesus)was tortured and murdered by the command of egoic entities that control the minds of some humans in positions of power..
They did not then, and they still do not want you to know that 'You and the Father are One'..
Anyone that tells many humans of this Truth will be attacked..
This is how the 'prison planet' works..
If you knew that you were always free and have mental powers of manifestation, you would not need these leaders of government and religion..
The only escape route from this prison of constant reincarnations and pain is to Realize that 'You'
are not the prisoner,
You are the observer of the manifestations..
your belief that You are the prisoner, keeps you in prison..
you must change your belief if manifestation is to occur..
Belief is something hoped for but Realization is something Known..
Thus enters Enlightenment..
Surrender of this false self called prisoner is essential for escape..
The amount of ego-self released from belief is equal to the amount of Unconditional Love that is found..
When all ego is dissolved or surrendered, Only Love exists..
We call this state of Reality... God
The free will that we have been given as illusions of separation is exactly
that which keeps us separate..
free will is the ability of the false identity of ego to remain as such..
Once the egoic consciousness is seen as false and is dissolved or surrendered,
the only thing left is Reality or what some call God..
"Take, O Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory,
my understanding, and my whole will.
Thou hast given
me all I am and all that I possess.
I surrender it all
to Thee that Thou mayest dispose of it according to
Give me but Thy love and Thy grace:
are sufficient for me, and I will have no more to
St. Ignatius of Loyola
in Whitall N. Perry
_A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom_
Varanasi: Indica, 1998 (1971), p. 179
The body is but our shadow. You should not be proud
of the body.
That is why a man who has realized Brahman has not
one iota of respect for rituals.
All rituals are performed because of
fear. Only those who are afraid perform various rituals. Loss is the
father and the mother of fear.
Fear is only of suffering a loss. If one
is having no fear, why should he perform any rituals? Fear is the
reason for all actions. One who is fearless has neither fear nor Karma.
The fearless man is beyond the body. He is formless.
Karma is born out of doubt. Doubt is the seed of Karma. To
be doubtless means to be seedless.
If roasted rice is sown, it does
not grow. Similarly, Karma does not give any gain or loss to one
who is wise.
When the Self is realized as formless and bodiless,
God is known to be formless. Such a Realized One, is Himself
Formless is His Town and formless is His House. He is
His own food and maintenance. Everything is the Self. This is the
achievement of Reality, which is imperishable.
Although Ramana said almost nothing to the author Paul Brunton during Brunton's visit in 1931, the publication of A Search In Secret India made them both famous. The notoriety brought Somerset Maugham, Mercedes de Acosta, Julian P. Johnson, Arthur Osborne, Maurice Frydman, Merston Ethel, Henri Cartier-Bresson and many others to Ramana's ashram from the West. The avalanche of publications they sparked, presented this unique and beloved sage to a wider world. Almost as unusual as his obviously spontaneous and beautiful realization was his willingness to overlook the tradition of caste in sharing it with Americans and Europeans.
The final truth, as Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj and all the sages before them have clearly stated, is that there is neither creation nor destruction, neither birth nor death, neither destiny nor free will, neither any path nor any achievement. All there is is Consciousness.
from Who Cares? by Ramesh Balsekar
In 1927 Ramana composed a thirty verse poem summarizing his teaching. Unlike other writings, he composed this as an integral work without revision. He considered it important enough to prepare in four of the major Indian languages. What follows is a portion of an English-language interpretation by Ramesh Balsekar's disciple Shirish Murthy.
Upadesa Saram "Teaching Essence"
In the vast ocean of cause and effect, actions happen and impermanent results follow. If one takes them as 'my' actions the idea of having a free will gets stronger. This sense of personal doership gives rise to a feeling of guilt or pride and effectively blocks the spiritual understanding that everything happens according to the will of God.
When there is total acceptance that all actions happen purely by the will of God, and if the fruits and the consequences are accepted as His grace, the mind gets purified and attains freedom from expectations.
Accepting and understanding that God has created the world for His sport and God is playing the lila through billions of body-mind organisms, is better than chanting the sacred names of the Lord, which in turn is superior to worshipping the image of the Lord with body, mind and speech.
When there is an understanding that God himself has become the manifestation; when, by His grace, one feels His presence in the phenomenal existence one obtains the blessings of worshipping the Lord of eight-fold forms without neglecting one's responsibilities.
Understanding that nothing happens according to 'my' will and merely witnessing the billions of body-mind organisms act under God's will is excellent. It is superior to singing the glories of the Lord or reciting His sacred names.
When there is an understanding that God's will prevails all the time and witnessing happens without any 'one' to witness, it is like the stream of ghee (clarified butter) or the flow of a river. This is true meditation. It is much better than meditating with an assumption that one has free will.
The nondualistic approach of understanding that 'I AM' is God is far more purifying and superior than the dualistic approach of assuming the difference between God and the 'me' and struggling to be one with Him.
By the grace of God or the Master when one is firmly established in the 'I AM,' devoid of the thinking mind, with an impersonal knowing that there is no 'me' to get involved, that is Supreme Devotion.
The dissolving of the thinking mind in the Heart, purely by the grace of God or the Master, is true devotion, Yoga and understanding.
Through the act of regulating breath the mind is subdued, just as a bird is restrained when caught in a net. This helps in checking the involvement of the thinking mind at that moment.
Thought and breath have their origin in Consciousness.
When the mind is absorbed, in work or otherwise, and the thinking mind is not active it may be said that the mind is in control temporarily, only to become active again. When, through the deep understanding that "God is the doer and no 'one' has any control over thoughts and actions" the thinking mind is totally annihilated, then it can be said that the thinking mind in that body-mind organism is dead and only the working mind remains.
The thinking mind can be temporarily suspended through the control of breath. It can be annihilated only when there is total understanding that God's will prevails all the time and the different forms are only puppets having no free will of their own. With this understanding three beautiful things happen: there is no 'one' to feel guilty or proud, to get frustrated or to have a sense of enmity. Life becomes simple.
The Sage, whose thinking mind has been destroyed by the total acceptance of the fact that nothing happens unless it is the will of God, and Who rests in the 'I AM' does all the actions with the knowledge that Consciousness alone functions through the billions of body-mind organisms.
When the enquiry, "What is the thinking mind?" occurs, the thinking mind understands intuitively that it has no free will and stops thinking itself to be the doer and gives way to the feeling of 'I AM.' This is the Direct path.
In the ordinary man when a thought occurs the ego takes delivery of it as 'my thought' and gets involved. The thinking mind is nothing but the ego identifying with a thought and getting involved.
In the enlightened Sage, when a thought arises, witnessing happens and involvement with the thought does not take place. Ramana Maharshi says, "The Sage has no thinking mind and therefore there are no 'others' for him."
When one enquires, "Where has the 'me' come from?" it will vanish into Consciousness revealing the truth that the 'me' has really come from Totality as part of the 'divine hypnosis'. Consciousness has created the ego and Consciousness will annihilate the ego by initiating the process of Self-enquiry.
When we accept that God's will prevails all the time and not the individual will, the 'me' as the doer gets smaller and smaller till it gets completely merged in Consciousness.
When the sense of personal doership disappears with the total acceptance that "All there is, is Consciousness," the thinking mind ceases to exist during the waking hours as in deep sleep.
What remains is the light of pure Consciousness, the indestructible 'I AM.'
"In the Beyond state, time, space and the whole world of phenomena are
Only in the phenomenal
world of duality is there space, time or operation of the law of cause and
"When the Master works in the sphere of duality for the upliftment of humanity,
his work becomes subject to the
laws of time, space and causality.
From the point of view of external work, at
times he appears to be limited,
though in reality he is all the time experiencing the oneness and infinity of
Though he himself is
beyond time, when he works for those who are in duality, time counts.
"The Master's universal work for humanity, in general, goes on without break
through the higher bodies.
When he works for the members of his Circle, his
action follows a timing which he himself fixes with utmost carefulness, for it
has to be a precise and definite intervention in the mechanical working out of
He works for the Circle at fixed times.
Therefore those who in
following the instructions received from the Master abide by the time given by
him, have the benefit of his special working."
Meher Baba, Discourses, 6th ed, v. 3, p. 49
In the moment that there dawns on his understanding
the fact of Mind's beginninglessness and deathlessness,
he gains the second illumination,
the first being that of the ego's illusoriness and transiency...
— Notebooks Category 28: The Alone > Chapter 2: Our Relation To the Absolute > # 106..
Teachers today refer to the first illumination as no-self or emptiness of self and the second illumination as Oneness ~Mark
"Once in the season of spring she (Rabi'a al
'Adawiyya) went into her chamber and bowed her head in
Her handmaid said,
'Oh, mistress, come
forth that thou mayst behold the wondrous works of
"'Nay,' she answered, 'do thou come within, that thou
mayst behold their Maker.
Contemplation of the Maker
hath turned me from contemplating that which He
in Whitall N. Perry
_A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom_
Varanasi: Indica, 1998 (1971), p. 154-155
To be aware is to be awake.
You are aware anyhow, you need not
try to be.
What you need is to be aware of
Be aware deliberately and
consciously, broaden and deepen the field
You are always conscious of
the mind, but you are not aware of yourself
as being conscious.
- Nisargadatta Maharaj
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
"I Am That"
Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
The Acorn Press, 1973
When the ego is there with the thought "I am doing this, I am doing that, I want this, I don't want that," then there is trouble, and there are mistakes also.
When you recognize yourself—as when a river discharges into the ocean and is no longer a river—all qualities are gone. Ocean has no limits. When you are free you are no longer a man with past habits. You are not functioning, because doer is not there; mind is not there.
No mind is functioning, so who is? The lord within is functioning through the person, for the good of others. Otherwise, it is no use.
After enlightenment your work is done. When you are free, freedom takes charges of you. Something else will arise instead of ego, instead of doer. I am doing will no longer be there.
Another power called prajna, transcendental function, will take charge of you. It will enter into all your nerves, and all the atoms of your body will be changed. You will no longer be the previous person.
You need not make any effort. Simply surrender to the lord seated in your heart. Then you will see how beautiful this lifespan—in dealing with people, your relationships—how beautiful it will become.
Action will not come from ego, but from that supreme Purusha [enlightened intelligence]. It will be in charge. Whenever you speak, it is speaking. Whatever you see, it is seeing. Your eyes will be changed. There will be no hatred; these eyes will see God everywhere.
Wake Up and Roar
He said, "Who is at my door?"
I said, "Your humble servant."
He said, "What business do you have?"
I said, "To greet you, 0 Lord."
He said, "How long will you journey on?"
I said, "Until you stop me."
He said, "How long will you boil in the fire?"
I said, "Until I am pure.
"This is my oath of love.
For the sake of love
I gave up wealth and position."
He said, "You have pleaded your case
but you have no witness."
I said, "My tears are my witness;
the pallor of my face is my proof.'
He said, "Your witness has no credibility;
your eyes are too wet to see."
I said, "By the splendor of your justice
my eyes are clear and faultless."
He said, "What do you seek?"
I said, "To have you as my constant friend."
He said, "What do you want from me?"
I said, "Your abundant grace."
He said, "Who was your companion on the journey?
I said, "The thought of you, 0 King."
He said, "What called you here?"
I said, "The fragrance of your wine."
He said, "What brings you the most fulfillment?"
I said, "The company of the Emperor."
He said, "What do you find there?"
I said, "A hundred miracles."
He said, "Why is the palace deserted?"
I said, "They all fear the thief."
He said, "Who is the thief?"
I said, "The one who keeps me from -you.
He said, "Where is there safety?"
I said, "In service and renunciation."
He said, "What is there to renounce?"
I said, "The hope of salvation."
He said, "Where is there calamity?"
I said, "In the presence of your love."
He said, "How do you benefit from this life?"
I said, "By keeping true to myself
Now it is time for silence.
If I told you about His true essence
You would fly from your self and be gone,
and neither door nor roof could hold you back!
Rumi - In the Arms of the Beloved, Jonathan Star
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York 1997
"All mystics speak the same language for they come
from the same country."
Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin
in Whitall N. Perry
_A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom_
Varansi: Indica, 1998 (1971), p. 796
"[God] listens only to the language of the heart,
which constitutes love. The most practical way for the
common man to express this language of the heart,
whilst attending to daily-life duties, is to speak
lovingly, think lovingly, and act lovingly towards all
mankind, irrespective of caste, creed and position,
taking God to be present in each and every one."
_The Path of Love_, p. 69-70
Live Unity, Celebrate Diversity
There are degrees of the ascent of consciousness.
You don't jump into something at once.
you move from the lesser, or the more external, to
the higher, and the more internal.
From the external,
you move to the internal; from the internal, you move
to the Universal.
These are the three stages of
- Swami Krishnananda
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
The Divine Life Trust Society, 1995
He who is filled with the knowledge of names and forms has no capacity for the
knowledge of God.
Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
A man filled with earthly knowledge -- and what he calls learning is often only
the knowledge of names and forms -- has no capacity for the knowledge of truth
or God. It is the innocent and pure soul who has a capacity for learning. When a
person comes to take a lesson on any subject, and he brings his own knowledge
with him, the teacher has little to teach him, for the doors of his heart are
not open. His heart that should be empty in order to receive knowledge is
occupied by the knowledge that he already had acquired.
Intellect is the knowledge of names and forms, their character and nature,
gathered from the external world. It shows in an infant from birth, when he
begins to be curious about all he sees; then, by storing in his mind the various
forms and figures he sees he recognizes them as an addition to his knowledge of
variety. Man thus gathers the knowledge of numberless forms of the whole world
in his mind and holds them... and calls that 'learning'. This becomes his world,
although it neither gives him a sense of unchanging comfort, nor does he thereby
gain an everlasting peace.
Wisdom is contrary to the above-named knowledge. It is the knowledge which is
illumined by the light within; it comes with the maturity of the soul, and opens
up the sight to the similarity of all things and beings, as well as the unity in
names and forms. The wise man penetrates the spirit of all things; he sees the
human in the male and female, and the racial origin which unites nations. He
sees the human in all people and the divine immanence in all things in the
universe, until the vision of the whole being becomes to him the vision of the
One Alone, the most beautiful and beloved God.
Every soul yearns for knowledge, that knowledge which will give exaltation. But
the soul cannot be satisfied by the knowledge one gathers from books, by
learning, or by the study of outside things. For instance the knowledge of
science, the knowledge of art, are outside knowledge. They give one a kind of
strength, a kind of satisfaction, but this does not last. It is another
knowledge that the soul is really seeking. The soul cannot be satisfied unless
it finds that knowledge, but that knowledge does not come by learning names and
We must enrich ourselves with thought, with that happiness which is spiritual
happiness, with that peace which belongs to our soul, with that liberty, that
freedom, for which our soul longs; and attain to that higher knowledge which
breaks all the fetters of life and raises our consciousness to look at life from
a different point of view. Once a person has realized this opportunity he has
fulfilled the purpose of Life
The Long Path gives many benefits
and bestows many virtues
but it does not give the vision of truth,
the realization of the Overself,
nor does it bestow Grace.
For these things we must turn to the Short Path.
— Notebooks Category 23: Advanced Contemplation > Chapter 2: Pitfalls and Limitations > # 156
The only way that worry will stop is
through the proper understanding that
change is the very basis of life,
cannot continuously have something we
We're got to be prepared to accept
things in life which may not be acceptable.
- Ramesh S. Balsekar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
A Net of Jewels
Ramesh S. Balsekar
Advaita Press, 1966
Whatever you do, you need courage.
Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.
There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.
To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs.
Peace has its victories,
but it takes brave men and women to win them..
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Everything I see,
I see as a dream!
But in spite of that,
I feel bothered about
it all because I have to work for
others to make them see it as a dream."
in Bhau Kalchuri
Lord Meher: The Biography of Avatar of the Age Meher Baba
Myrtle Beach, SC: Manifestation, v. 3, p. 815
Remedy for Pain: Three "Pills" of Inner Refuge
Let's explore how you could heal a painful experience by finding refuge through the three doors of body, speech, and mind. First, engage in a brief reflection and become aware of a challenge or issue in your life at this time. As you bring it to mind, notice how this issue lives in your body. Bring clear attention to any agitation or tension you may be experiencing. As you experience the sensations in your body, draw attention to being still. Focus on stillness. As you begin to feel stillness, the agitation begins to calm; as you continue to focus on stillness, the agitation releases. Continue to draw attention toward stillness and as you feel it, rest
there. Stillness can become the doorway to experience a glimpse of the unbounded space of being, a deeper stillness that is always present. That deeper stillness is the medicine, for it gives access to a sense of unbounded spaciousness. Your agitation has become the path for liberation, and it is a matter of fully realizing that stillness is the access or doorway to integrate unbounded spaciousness into everyday life. I actually refer to this medicine of stillness as a "white pill," and I encourage my students to take the white pill frequently throughout the day.
Another aspect of pain can be experienced as the internal voices we generate. As you turn your attention inward and simply look at any discomfort you may be experiencing, what happens? Maybe you are thinking, I am looking, but I'm not sure I really see it. That is a voice. You are talking to yourself. Or you are saying, It sounds very easy, but it is not that easy. Again, you are talking. Or perhaps you are thinking, Well, I can just look at my pain, but the other person never changes. I can look at my own experiences, but how does it help if the other person doesn't change? Again, more talking. If you are talking to yourself in this way, you are not paying proper attention to your pain. Can you hear this as pain speech? Pain is the one talking and you are identifying with the pain. You are confused as to who you truly are.
The moment you realize you are not the voice of your internal dialogue, you become free. How do you do that? You draw attention to the silence. Stillness and silence are two different doorways but lead to the same place—the inner refuge. Here, because of your internal dialogue, you listen to the silence. The moment you hear the silence, that voice of your pain has gone, and you can become aware of the unbounded space of being. That pain voice has become a path, and the silence is what you have realized. Now it is a question about maintaining that silence, nourishing that silence, fully realizing that silence, integrating silence with every voice and every sound. That is how you transform or turn that pain speech into the medicine of silence through which we recognize the unbounded spaciousness. I refer to the medicine of silence as the "red pill," and again, recommend that you take the red pill of silence frequently throughout the day.
At any given moment in which you look at your mind, it could probably be clearer than it is. Most of the time, we are not even aware of whether our mind is clear or not because we are focused on others or involved in inner stories or fantasies. When you bring your focus to your mind itself, even while feeling confused or disconnected, if you look at your mind in the right way, you can discover that the nature of mind is clear and luminous, and that it always has been. But if you are not looking directly at mind itself, if you are caught in the contents of your mind and identifying with the imagination of ego, you don't see the clear and luminous mind.
If you look at the mind itself, it is clear. It can never be any-thing other than clear. There is no force in the universe that can obscure the nature of mind. There is no force in the universe that can destroy space. Space is always here; it is just a matter of drawing your attention inward and discovering the unbounded spaciousness of being. When the mind moves into thinking, as you become aware of that, bring your attention back to the spaciousness itself. It is always right here; you just haven't noticed or valued it. That is how you turn the confusion of your moving, thinking mind, into the path. I refer to discovering the medicine of spaciousness as taking the "blue pill." Whatever challenging thoughts and emotions you are experiencing, whether individually or collectively, the medicine of spaciousness is always available.
Awakening the Luminous Mind
published by Hay House
If the thought of sorrow spoils your joy,
yet it prepares you for joy.
Sorrow sweeps the house fiercely, emptying
it of everything, then, coming from the Source
of goodness, a new joy enters.
Sorrow chases away the withered leaves in the
heart, then new green leaves can grow.
Sorrow uproots the previous joy, then a new
delight springs from beyond.
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
"Breathing Truth - Quotations from Jalaluddin Rumi"
Sanyar Press - London, 1997
A powerful king, ruler of many domains, was in a postion of such magnificence
that wise men were his mere employees. And yet one day he felt himself confused
and called the sages to him.
He said: "I do not know the cause, but something impels me to seek a certain
ring, one that will enable me to stabilize my state"
"I must have such a ring. And this ring must be one which, when I am unhappy,
will make me joyful. At the same time, if I am happy and look upon it, I must
be made sad."
The wise men consulted one another, and threw themselves into deep
contemplation, and finally they came to a decision as to the character of this
ring which would suit the king.
The ring which they devised was one upon which was inscribed the legend: THIS,
TOO, WILL PASS....
This notion that we must wait and wait while we slowly progress out of enslavement into liberation,
out of ignorance into knowledge, out of the present limitations into a future union with the Divine,
is only true if we let it be so.
But we need not.
We can shift our identification from the ego to the Overself in our habitual thinking,
in our daily reactions and attitudes, in our response to events and the world.
We have thought our way into this unsatisfactory state; we can unthink our way out of it.
By incessantly remembering what we really are,
here and now at this very moment, we set ourselves free.
Why wait for what already is?
— Notebooks Category 23: Advanced Contemplation > Chapter 1: Entering the Short Path > # 1
The ancient masters were subtle, mysterious, profound, responsive.
The depth of their knowledge is unfathomable.
Because it is unfathomable,
All we can do is describe their appearance.
Watchful, like men crossing a winter stream.
Alert, like men aware of danger.
Courteous, like visiting guests.
Yielding, like ice about to melt.
Simple, like the uncarved blocks of wood.
Hollow, like caves.
Opaque, like muddy pools.
Who can wait quietly while the mud settles?
Who can remain still until the moment of action?
Observers of the Tao do not seek fulfillment.
Not seeking fulfillment, they are not swayed by desire for change.
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Tao Te Ching
Translation by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English
Vintage Books Edition, September 1972
"The Besht [Baal Shem Tov] said:
If a man accepts everything that happens to him
in this world with love,
then he will have both the physical world and the
higher world of the soul."
Baal Shem Tov [abbreviated as Besht]
in Alan Unterman
_The Wisdom of the Jewish Mystics_
NY: New Directions, 1976, p. 48
["Baal Shem Tov means "the Master of the Good Name." It is the appellation of
Rabbi Yisrael (1698-1760). HIs holiness and teaching inspired the Hasidic
movement, although he wrote nothing himself. tjh]
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow Love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, Light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to Love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen, Amen, Amen
We sometimes talk about enlightened people or unenlightened people.
For the sake of discussion we use these terms. And, on a relative level, such people could be said to 'exist', but only on a relative level.
On an absolute level there is no such thing as 'enlightenment' and there are no such animals as enlightened people or unenlightened people.
Believing that these exist on an absolute level is to imply that you are lacking something right now, that you need to 'attain' something that you don't have. But there is really nothing wrong with you right now on an absolute level of being and you don't need to attain anything on that absolute level.
You are already complete and whole on that level. You always have been and always will be, perfect, on that level. What we call, enlightened people are simply noticing something that, what we call unenlightened people, are not.
What is that which they are noticing? The people we think of as enlightened are noticing that simple awareness is the one reality that is ALWAYS present and never changes or leaves, ever. What we call an unenlightened person is failing to notice this fact.
Otherwise, enlightened and unenlightened people are just the same. There is no essential difference between you and the most 'enlightened' person on the planet today. You both have all the same parts more or less, all the same human faculties, all the same possibilities and potentialities.
It's not at all that one has something that the other lacks. One is simply noticing this constant presence of awareness and the other is not.
Noticing awareness is not an attainment of anything whatsoever. You do not attain awareness because you have ALWAYS been aware.
How could you NOT be aware? Even if you are feeling very unaware right now, there is something/someone who is aware of that feeling! Is there not?
Noticing awarenes, becoming 'enlightened', is not a gaining of any quality or reality that you presently don't have. It is a simple waking up to a fact that has always been true!
There are egoic entities that survive on the energy of fear..
This is why, we are told not to feel the pain of fear..
Should we then, not pay attention to the events of the world ?..
Of course not, world events effect the lives of all that exist..
Do we not pay attention to the natural events that effect our lives ?..
I think that we can pay attention to the events of the world, both negative and positive events and still not feel the pain of fear..
To just not pay attention and refuse to speak and think of these events would be foolish..
As a wise man once said; " Those that do not remember the past, are doomed to repeat it"..
"Let your heart journey in simplicity.
Be one with that which is beyond definition.
Let things be what they are.
Have no personal views.
This is how everything under Heaven is ruled."
Martin Palmer with Elizabeth Breuilly, Tr.
_The Book of Chuang Tzu_
NY: Penguin Arkana, 1996, p. 61
The river and its waves are one surf: where
is the difference between the river and its waves?
When the wave rises, it is the water; and when
it falls, it is the same water again. Tell me, Sir,
where is the distinction?
Because it has been named a wave, shall it
no longer be considered as water?
Within the supreme Brahma, the worlds are
being told like beads:
Look upon that rosary with the eyes of wisdom.
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
"Songs of Kabir"
Translated by Rabindranath Tagore
Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1977
Whatever conclusion you arrive to, if it is from the mind, let it dissolve, until you remain empty handed.
Whatever arises at the body level, allow it to dissolve as well, inviting the body to be clear and transparent.
Allowing gross and subtle objects to dissolve is the recognition that they are not concrete, not set in stone.
The true nature of all forms is formless, seamless.
Careful not to create boundaries where none exists!
All the help you need is available to you when you open up to the divine.
The divine quality of bounty and love are available to the truth lover.
Divine qualities are not personal. They are universal.
Beauty, generosity, kindness, love, empathy, joy and happiness...are universal divine qualities that shine through anytime the heart is open.
Magdi Em Be
The Bliss of Growing to Spiritual Maturity
The reason Yeshua's message is so important to humanity is that our purpose in life is to grow in spiritual understanding and maturity, becoming blissful, unafraid of the transition called death, full of love and compassion toward others, and receiving the same love from others toward us. Every hour of every day of our lives should be filled with the warmth of love and peace with others—that is the Kingdom of God as Yeshua envisioned it.
Humankind should be evolving to having unconditional love for all others in brotherhood and harmony, without interpersonal conflict and war. "The Kingdom of God is spread out upon the face of the earth, and men do not see it," Yeshua said (Gospel of Thomas). The writer of the Gospel of Luke reported that Yeshua said, "The kingdom of God does not come visibly, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." Paradise isn't a place apart from Earth coming at a future time as the church describes it; Heaven is within us and spread out among all peoples upon the face of the earth and we're simply not living in it. Understanding and living the profound truths Yeshua, Buddha, and the other luminaries taught would open humankind's eyes to the Heaven, the Kingdom of God, that is already here—we just don't see it.
Misinterpretation of Yeshua's Message
Very soon after Yeshua died in around 30 CE, his followers gathered in Jerusalem to await his return to establish the Kingdom of Israel as promised in the Old Testament prophecies. In the years that followed Yeshua's death, they began to realize that the return of their Messiah might be delayed for a few more months or years, but surely not longer than that. And so they developed rules for the body of followers in a loosely formed organization.
By the time of the Council of Jerusalem, in around 48 or 49 CE, the groups in Jerusalem and outside in the Diaspora had become more formalized, and could be referred to individually as churches. However, all of the believers together would not have been called a "church" in the larger sense of the term. There was a great diversity of beliefs about Yeshua during the first three centuries after his death
Gradually, as Yeshua's return was delayed, syllables and words of an organized church began to be heard. A canon of texts had taken form by the end of the second century. Creeds had come into being stating the beliefs. More or less permanent meeting places had been established. It became obvious that Yeshua would not be returning imminently, so a church evolved.
At the Council of Nicea, in 325 CE, around 300 bishops from a number of the larger, more established churches around the Mediterranean assembled to settle issues having to do with Yeshua's nature in relationship to God the Father. The Roman emperor Constantine presided, having been converted (ostensibly) to belief in Yeshua (now Iesus Christos). Christianity had a name and had become the state religion in the Roman Empire by the end of the fourth century. The Nicene Creed, written and revised in the fourth century, refers to a "holy catholic and apostolic church."
Insignificant Christianity had grown from a persecuted sect to the most powerful religion in the empire. In the process, it had left the teachings of Yeshua in an archive and established its own structure, beliefs, and rules. The church created its own version of the Messiah, steadily embellishing the icon until all vestiges of the humble Jewish Rabbi, Yeshua, had been expunged. It promoted itself to the position of omnipotent earthly representative of the God it had created, thereby itself assuming the stature and power of God, with all the rights, status, infallibility, and absolute power characteristic of a God.
In the end, the church became the casing that held God, shielding God from humankind and serving up regulations and observances it required humankind to embrace. The church's functionaries, as the representatives of this God, eventually felt themselves to be demigods accountable only to the God they had created. They interpreted God for humankind, had license to commit any atrocities in the name of God and the church with impunity, and demanded that states and peoples defer to them in all matters of spirituality and human conduct.
The list of crimes against humanity grew, while the church's coffers swelled from enticements to give money to the church fabricated by church leaders. The church sold guarantees of salvation for people and their deceased loved ones, in contradiction of Yeshua's words about spiritual growth and the necessity of being born again for salvation, and implied that people who did not give money to the church would be punished for eternity. The money enhanced the church's power and supported its actions.
In the thick matrix of the church, Yeshua's teaching about love, forgiveness, peace, and humility were relegated to the ineffectual status of mindlessly repeated words that had become part of the liturgy. Yeshua's influence was purged from the church.
Much of the church with the name Christ in it does not represent Yeshua bar Yosef. In this twenty-first century, humankind, with all of its diverse religions and belief systems, needs to learn about the teachings and model of Yeshua before 30 CE without the ecclesiastical shrouds of myths and rituals enveloping them. Humankind must separate itself from the church that itself grew into a God over the two millennia after Yeshua's death, and see, for the first time, the truths in Yeshua's teaching that will help individuals and humankind evolve to spiritual maturity.
Yeshua's second coming will be in his being understood for the first time.
I was thinking of St. Patrick today and it occurred to me that most Italians and
those of Italian descent are not aware that Patrick was born in Italy and was
indeed an Italian..
I grew up in a small village near new york city where most of the inhabitants
were Italian and Irish..
My Italian friends appeared to be somewhat sullen and felt left out during the
festivities of St. Patricks Day..
If only they were taught the knowledge that St. Patricks Day is actually an
Yeshua (or Yahushua) bar Yosef (Yeshua, son of Joseph) is the original Aramaic name for Jesus the Nazarene.
His parents, siblings, disciples, and followers called him by that name.
The name "Jesus" is a misspelling and mispronunciation that resulted from the translation of Yeshua's name after his death, first into the Greek Iesous (pronounced "ee-ay-SUS"), and then from the Greek Iesous into the Latin Iesus.
The Latin Iesus ("ee-ay-SUS") wasn't pronounced as "Jesus" with a "J" because the letter "j" didn't come into the English language until the middle of the seventeenth century.
The King James Bible, written at the beginning of the seventeenth century, has the name Iesous ("ee-ay-sus"), with no "j."
So even in English, no one spoke the name "Jesus" until sometime after the middle of the seventeenth century.
When he lets the last active thoughts go,
the great Void may replace them.
And if he is fortunate,
the great Light will come and flash across the Void,
as point, ray, shaft, or space,
as pulsating dynamic energy or as focused stillness.
— Notebooks Category 23: Advanced Contemplation > Chapter 8: The Void As Contemplative Experience > # 39 ...Paul Brunton
I wearied myself searching for the Friend
with efforts beyond my strength.
I came to the door and saw how
powerfully the locks were bolted.
And the longing in me became that strong,
and then I saw that I was gazing
from within the presence.
With that waiting, and in giving up all trying,
only then did Lalla flow out
from where I knelt.
14th Century North Indian mystic
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
From "Naked Song"
Versions by Coleman Barks
Verily, he is victorious who has conquered himself.
Bowl of Saki, March 17, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
Our greatest enemy is ourself. All weakness, all ignorance keeps us from the
truth of our being, from all the virtues hidden in us and all perfection hidden
in our souls. The first self we realize is the false self. Unless the soul is
born again it will not see the kingdom of heaven. The soul is born into the
false self; it is blind. In the true self the soul opens its eyes. Unless the
false self is fought with, the true self cannot be realized.
The soul is a bird of paradise, a free dweller in the heavens. Its first prison
is the mind, then the body. In these it becomes not only limited, but also
captive. The whole endeavor of a Sufi in life is to liberate the soul from its
captivity, which he does by conquering both mind and body.
If a man has control over himself, he will smile and be patient even if he is
exposed to rages a thousand times. He will just wait. He who has spiritual
control has great control; but he who has it not can control neither spiritual
nor physical events. He cannot control his own sons and daughters, for he never
listens to himself first. If he listened to himself, not only persons but even
objects would listen to him.
There is a poem by the great Persian poet Iraqi in which he tells, 'When I went
to the gate of the divine Beloved and knocked at the door, a voice came and said
-- Who art thou?' When he had told, 'I am so and so', the answer came, 'There is
no place for anyone else in this abode. Go back to whence thou hast come'. He
turned back and then, after a long time, after having gone through the process
of the cross and of crucifixion, he again went there -- with the spirit of
selflessness. He knocked at the door; the word came, 'Who art thou? ', and he
said, 'Thyself alone, for no one else exists save Thee'. And God said, 'Enter
into this abode for now it belongs to thee'. It is such selflessness, to the
extent that the thought of self is not there, it is being dead to the self,
which is the recognition of God.
Patrick in Myth and History
No, Patrick never chased the snakes out of Ireland. Nor do we really know whether he used the shamrock to teach converts about the Trinity. But what we do know about St. Patrick is far more interesting than many of the legends that grew up around him.
And the fact that we know anything about him at all is as great a miracle as any that later traditions ascribe to him. For Patrick is literally the only individual we know from fifth-century Ireland or England. Not only do no other written records from Britain or Ireland exist from that century, but there are simply no written records at all from Ireland prior to Patrick's.
Surprisingly enough, however, scholarly debate about the authenticity of what Patrick left us is almost nonexistent. The chronology of his life is very confused. Indeed, we can't even identify for sure when he was born, ordained a bishop or died! Experts agree, however, that the two examples of his writing that we have are clearly written by the same man, the man we know as Patrick.
These two brief documents, Patrick's Confession and his "Letter to Coroticus," are the basis for all we know of the historical Patrick. The Confession, because its purpose was to recount his own call to convert the Irish and to justify his mission to an apparently unsympathetic audience in Britain, is not a traditional biography.
And the "Letter to Coroticus," apparently an Irish warlord whom Patrick was forced to excommunicate, is a wonderful illustration of Patrick's prowess as a preacher but doesn't tell us much by way of traditional biography either.
The uncontested, if somewhat unspecific, biographical facts about Patrick are as follows:
Patrick was born Patricius somewhere in Roman Britain to a relatively wealthy family. He was not religious as a youth and, in fact, claims to have practically renounced the faith of his family.
While in his teens, Patrick was kidnapped in a raid and transported to Ireland, where he was enslaved to a local warlord and worked as a shepherd until he escaped six years later.
He returned home and eventually undertook studies for the priesthood with the intention of returning to Ireland as a missionary to his former captors. It is not clear when he actually made it back to Ireland, or for how long he ministered there, but it was definitely for a number of years.
By the time he wrote the Confession and the "Letter to Coroticus," Patrick was recognized by both Irish natives and the Church hierarchy as the bishop of Ireland. By this time, also, he had clearly made a permanent commitment to Ireland and intended to die there. Scholars have no reason to doubt that he did.
Stranger in a Strange Land
Though Patrick's writings tell us little in terms of names and dates, they do reveal much about Patrick the man. But traditional biographies of Patrick, suggests Thomas Cahill, author and former religion editor for Doubleday, don't really do him justice.
"I think they missed a lot of what Patrick was about because they approached him as a kind of plaster-of-paris saint. Two things," he says, "really shine through his Confession: his humility and his strength. That strength is what has been missing in the earlier biographies and portraits of Patrick."
In fact, Cahill says, "The Patrick who came back to Ireland with the gospel was a real tough guy. He couldn't have been anything else—only a very tough man could have hoped to survive those people. I don't mean to say he wasn't a saint—he was a great saint—but he was a very rough, vigorous man."
And he was his own man, writes Noel Dermot O'Donoughue, O.D.C., in his 1987 biography Aristocracy of Soul: Patrick of Ireland. When Patrick receives the vision that he believes calls him to evangelize the Irish, he doesn't hesitate, despite the fact that in 400 years no one had taken the gospel beyond the boundaries of Roman civilization. "He goes his own way following his own dreams and divine 'responses,'" says O'Donoughue, even though by doing so he is challenging the structure and ordinances of the Church he serves.
It doesn't take a scholar to recognize how he was able to do this. Patrick was so certain that he had been specifically called by God to do exactly what he did—return to the land of his captivity and convert the barbarians to Christianity—that his Confession leaves even the modern reader little room for doubt. In this certainty, Patrick finds his strength—strength sufficient, in fact, to overcome every obstacle he will encounter in the remaining years of his life.
The first obstacle was his education. The six years Patrick was enslaved in Ireland put him permanently behind his peers in terms of his classical education. His Latin would always be poor. Later in life when he used Latin less frequently, it was practically unintelligible at times.
Despite the fact that Patrick would be self-conscious about his literary limitations to the end of his days, he was not uneducated. One suspects, however, that he was primarily self-educated. His use of biblical quotations, Cahill says, "is far more accurate and appropriate than many of the Fathers of the Church."
And although almost any other qualification pales by comparison to Patrick's zeal for his mission, he must have set off equipped with an intellect both subtle and supple. For he not only decided, unilaterally, to do what no man in 400 years of Christian history had done before him—to carry the gospel message to the ends of the earth—but he also found a way to do it.
It's hard to grasp just what an accomplishment that was, says Cahill. When Patrick decided to "willingly go back to the barbarians with the gospel," Cahill explains, "he had to figure out how to bring the values of the gospel he loved to such people. These were people who still practiced human sacrifice, who warred with each other constantly and who were renowned as the great slave traders of the day.
"That was not a simple thing. This was before courses were given to missionaries in what is now called inculturation—how to plant the gospel in such a culture," Cahill says. "No one had ever even thought about how to do it; Patrick had to work his way through it himself.
"I know that Paul is referred to as the first missionary," Cahill says, "but Paul never got out of the Greco-Roman world, nor did any of the apostles. And here we are, five centuries after Jesus, who had urged his disciples to preach to all nations. They just didn't do that. And the reason they didn't is because they did not consider the barbarians to be human."
Patron Saint of the Excluded
Patrick's enslavement as an adolescent had to have been a critical factor in the development of his unique attitude toward the Irish. Even in captivity, he must have come to know them as human, hence, deserving of the gospel. This set the stage for his call to convert them.
As a result of his enslavement, Cahill, whose particular interest is the "hinges of history," says, "Patrick grew into a man that he truly would not otherwise have become. So you would have to say that Patrick's kidnapping was a great grace, not just for the people of Ireland, but for all of Western history."
Had he never been kidnapped, it seems quite likely that it would have been decades, probably centuries, before Ireland was converted. It certainly would not have been in a position to "save civilization," as Cahill so dramatically puts it in his book, when the Roman Empire crumbled and literacy was lost—lost, that is, by all but the Irish monasteries planted by Patrick and his successors.
Not surprisingly, his own experience in captivity left Patrick with a virulent hatred of the institution of slavery, and he would later become the first human being in the history of the world to speak out unequivocally against it.
"The papacy did not condemn slavery as immoral until the end of the 19th century," Cahill says, "but here is Patrick in the fifth century seeing it for what it is. I think that shows enormous insight and courage and a tremendous 'fellow feeling'—the ability to suffer with other people, and to understand what other people's suffering is like."
In fact, although he is renowned as the patron saint of the country and the people he evangelized, a better advocate than Patrick cannot be found for anyone disadvantaged or living on the fringes of society.
"He really is one of the great saints of the downtrodden and excluded—people that no one else wants anything to do with," Cahill says.
Women find a great advocate in Patrick. Unlike his contemporary, St. Augustine, to whom actual women seemed more like personifications of the temptations of the flesh than persons, Patrick's Confession speaks of women as individuals. Cahill points out, for example, Patrick's account of "a blessed woman, Irish by birth, noble, extraordinarily beautiful—a true adult—whom I baptized."
Elsewhere, he lauds the strength and courage of Irish women: "But it is the women kept in slavery who suffer the most—and who keep their spirits up despite the menacing and terrorizing they must endure. The Lord gives grace to his many handmaids; and though they are forbidden to do so, they follow him with backbone." He is actually the first male Christian since Jesus, Cahill says, to speak well of women.
"The Fathers of the Church had the most horrible things to say—it's frightening to read what people like Augustine or John Chrysostom had to say about women. As remarkable as anything about Patrick is that in his writings there is never anything remotely like that."
In fact, there are clear instances of him saying warm and appreciative things about women. O'Donoughue adds, "It is clear that the man who wrote the Confession and "Coroticus" is deeply and sensitively open to women and womanhood....But he does not take refuge in either 'the pretentious asceticism, nor yet in that neurotic fear of and contempt for the feminine' that has entered so deeply into the attitudes and structures of the Christian Church....In this respect he is a complete man."
Patrick the Mystic
Modern Catholics might have a hard time reconciling the portrait of the rugged individualist that Cahill describes with the current notion of a mystic. Yet O'Donoughue says that in the Confession, "the main lines of Patrick's spiritual development show through, and they are unmistakably the lines of a mystical journey." In fact, his biography of Patrick is the first in a series of works edited by Michael Glazier called "The Way of the Christian Mystics."
So what makes Patrick a mystic?
First, as recounted in the Confession, most of the major events in Patrick's life are preceded by a dream or vision. The visions were usually simple—almost self-explanatory—but they were also very vivid and carried enormous emotional impact with Patrick.
The first vision, which he received after six years of servitude in Ireland, came by way of a mysterious voice, heard in his sleep. "Your hungers are rewarded: You are going home," the voice said. "Look, your ship is ready." Indeed, some 200 miles away, there it was. (Patrick was nothing if not tenacious.)
The second vision—the one that came to him after he'd returned home and that called him back to Ireland—was equally straightforward. Victoricus, a man Patrick knew in Ireland, appeared to him in this dream, holding countless letters, one of which he handed to Patrick. The letter was entitled "The Voice of the Irish." Upon reading just the title, he heard a multitude of voices crying out to him: "Holy boy, we beg you to come and walk among us once more." He was so moved by this that he was unable to read further and woke up.
But the dream recurred again and again. Eventually Patrick tells his dismayed family of his plans to return to evangelize Ireland and soon begins his preparations for the priesthood. What is interesting about this dream calling Patrick to his lifelong mission to the Irish is that it comes not as a directive from God, but as a plea from the Irish.
It is also significant, O'Donoughue says, that "the voices in the dream do not ask for preaching or baptism but only that Patrick as one specially endowed should come back and share their lives, come and walk once more with them." In other words, at least according to his recollections decades later, Patrick wasn't commanded to bring civilization or salvation to the heathens. He was invited to live among them as Christ's witness.
When he finally returns to Ireland, he proceeds to treat the barbarians with the respect implicit in his dream. From the outset, Patrick feels humbled and honored that God has selected him to convert the Irish. Apparently he never doubted that he would be able to do so.
Patrick even came to see his own kidnapping as a grace, Cahill says. From the time Patrick sets off on his 200-mile journey to his "waiting ship," he is convinced "once and for all that he is surrounded by Providence and that he is really in the hands of God. And that is what gets him through the rest of his life. That is what enables him to do the incredible thing that he does by returning to the barbarians." And that closeness to God in no way diminishes as the years progress.
"Patrick was a mystic who felt the presence of God in every turn of the road," Cahill says. "God was palpable to him, and his relationship to him was very, very close." In fact, he says, it was very much like the relationship in the Bible that Jesus has with God the Father. "It is very familiar and comfortable, and that is how Patrick saw God at work in the world."
Patrick's Lasting Legacy
When Patrick looked back at the end of his life on his service to Ireland, Cahill says, he must have been pleased with his accomplishments.
By the time of his death, or shortly thereafter, "the Irish stopped slave trading and they never took it up again." Human sacrifice had become unthinkable. And although the Irish never stopped warring on one another, "war became much more confined and limited by what we might call the 'rules of warfare.'
"I think that though he probably died knowing that he had succeeded [in his mission]," Cahill adds, "he also died hoping that success would be permanent and not temporary."
In fact, Patrick's success couldn't have been more permanent. Not only had he accomplished what he'd set out to do—convert the nation to Christ—but in the process he'd retrieved from obscurity the primary objective set by Christ for his apostles: the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth.
The inadvertent results of his conversion of Ireland, however, were equally astonishing and long-lasting.
First, as Cahill makes the strong case in How the Irish Saved Civilization, it is Patrick's conversion of Ireland that makes possible the preservation of Western thought through the early Dark Ages by the Irish monasteries founded by Patrick's successors. When the lights went out all over Europe, a candle still burned in Ireland. That candle was lit by Patrick.
Second, by converting the Irish pagans to Christianity without making any attempt to romanize them as well, he founded a new kind of Church, one that was both Catholic and primitive.
Third, with Patrick's introduction of Christianity to Ireland, Cahill says, the faith was introduced for the first time into a culture free of the sociopolitical baggage of Greco-Roman civilization. Prior to Patrick's gift of the faith to Ireland, to be Christian was to be Roman, or at least to be a product of Roman civilization.
The conversion of Ireland, however, sees the faith thrive in an entirely different environment—in a culture that celebrates rather than abnegates the natural, a culture in which, according to Cahill, there is a "sense of the world as holy, as the Book of God—as a healing mystery, fraught with divine messages."
In this tradition, Cahill explains, "there is a trust in the objects of sensory perception, which are seen as signposts from God. But there is also a sensuous reveling in the splendors of the created world, which would have made Roman Christians exceedingly uncomfortable."
As a result, Cahill says, "The early Irish Christianity planted in Ireland by Patrick is much more joyful and celebratory [than its Roman predecessor] in the way it approaches the natural world. It is really not a theology of sin but of the goodness of creation, and it really is intensely incarnational."
And since it was the Irish monks who served as the bridge between classical Christianity and the Middle Ages, medieval Christianity tends to reflect the celebratory nature of Irish spirituality rather than the gloom and sin-centeredness of its classical predecessor.
Finally, Patrick gave the Irish himself—knowingly, willingly, joyfully, proudly. He did this despite the fact that, even at the end of his life, "after 30 years of missionary activity," Cahill says, "he knows he's still living in a very scary place. You don't change people—people who offer human sacrifice and who war on one another constantly—you don't change them overnight."
But change them he eventually did. And the example of his life—his courage, his intelligence, his compassion and his incredible, indomitable faith—made the lives of all Catholics, even those living 1,500 years later, just a little easier.
To millions of modern-day Catholics, an Ireland without Patrick is unthinkable. But so, too, Cahill says, is the prospect of modern life without saints like him. The saints are for the ages, and ours no less than any other.
"Life would be almost unbearable without such people," he says. "I think it would be unbearable. The saints are for everyone—believer, unbeliever, Christian, non-Christian—it doesn't really matter. They are the people who say by their lives that human life is valuable—that my life is valuable—and that there is a reason for living. Without them, history would just be one horror after another."
Patrick at the Judgment
There is no question that Patrick taught us by his example that all life is, indeed, precious. Yet it's hard to imagine that there isn't a soft spot in his heart reserved just for the Irish.
In fact, there is an old legend that promises that on the last day, though Christ will judge all the other nations, it will be St. Patrick sitting in judgment on the Irish.
When asked whether that spelled good news or bad news for the Irish, Cahill doesn't hesitate.
"That's great news for the Irish," he says with a laugh.
Anita McGurn McSorley is associate editor of The Leaven, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas. She has also written for Columbia. Last year, she interviewed Father Edward Hays, founder of Shantivanam House of Prayer, for St. Anthony Messenger. She is a member of St. Patrick Parish in Kansas City.
The animals reveal, again, Rumi's grounded compassion, how meshed with the texture of living he is, as the wonderful Letters at the end of this volume also show. His deep surrender is one with a sure grasp of the practical and the daily. The edge of the wheel that touches the ground here, presses firmly into it. I don't mean to imply that he observes behavior like an experimental biologist, but he does watch closely, and always on the verge of laughter - the dog and the rooster, the mouse and the frog, and even the dream-puppies that bark inside the womb ( p. 41). What could they be barking about? To keep watch? To start game? Or do they want to be fed? The embryo pups have none of those reasons, so he concludes they're like people who talk about something before they have the actual experience, who make idle talk on spiritual matters. "Still blind, they act as though they see." Rumi is tough on hypocrisy, and very complex in his treatment of the nafs. Perhaps the best image of how the animal-soul energies should be controlled is that of Jesus on the spindly donkey (p. 65), Jesus being the clear, rational soul and the donkey the nafs-ammara, or animal-soul.
Consider the characteristics of the donkey: It's transportation for the poor. It can carry large loads up a narrow path. It has a modest, steadfast, calm nature. Of even energy, patient, surefooted, not easily spooked. Not noble, not splendid, not high-strung, not used for war, and generally unimpressed with human authority, the donkey is more known for what it is not, than for what it is. The thin donkey gives many clues for the uses of controlled energy.
Don't feed both sides of yourself equally.
The spirit and the body carry different loads
and require different attentions.
we put saddle bags on Jesus and let the donkey
run loose in the pasture.
Don't make the body do
what the Spirit does best, and don't put a big load
on the Spirit that the body could carry easily. (pp.71-2)
The snake, or the dragon, is Rumi's symbol for the nafs when they're frighteningly out of control. See "The Snake-Catcher and the Frozen Snake" (p. 67) as well as the snake-swallowing episode of "Jesus on the Lean Donkey" (p. 65).
Hazrat Inayat Khan, who brought Sufism to the West in this century , has this to say abut Rumi and the animal-soul energy, or as he calls it, the false ego.
Rumi says your worst enemy is hiding within yourself, and that enemy is your nafs or false ego. It is very difficult to explain the meaning of this "false ego." The best I can do is to say that every inclination which springs from disregard of love, harmony, and beauty and which is concerned with oneself and unconcerned with all others is the false ego.
This enemy, Rumi says, develops. The more it is fed, the stronger it becomes to fight with you; and the stronger it becomes, the more it dominates your better self. There comes a day when man is the slave of this enemy which is hidden within himself. The worst position is to have an enemy which one does not know. It is better to have a thousand known enemies before one than to have one within one and not to know it.
There are many meanings ascribed to the custom of sages in India to have snakes around their necks. One of those meanings is: "I have got it. It is still living, but now I know that it is there, and it is my ornament." What does this enemy breathe? This enemy breathes "I." Its breath is always calling out, "I, separate from you, separate from others, separate from everybody. My interest is mine; it has nothing to do with others. The interest of others is others' interest; it is not mine. I am a separate being."
Remember that no man is without it. If man was without it, he would never have said "I," because it is this enemy within him which is saying "I." The day this enemy is found and erased, or shed and crucified, that day the real "I" is found. But this "I" is a different "I." This "I" means you and I and everybody; it is an all "I."
Truth is simple and open to all.
Why do you
Truth is loving and lovable.
includes all, accepts all, purifies all.
It is untruth
that is difficult and a source of trouble.
always wants, expects, demands.
Being false, it is
empty, always in search of confirmation and
It is afraid of and avoids enquiry.
identifies itself with any support, however weak
Whatever it gets, it loses and asks
Therefore put no faith in the conscious.
Nothing you can see, feel, or think is so.
and virtue, merit and demerit are not what they
. Usually the bad and the good are matter of
convention and custom and are shunned or welcomed,
according to how the words are used.
- Nisargadatta Maharaj
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
"I Am That"
Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
The Acorn Press, 1973
When a person has an injury and is healing from that injury, We call that person
As 'Time' is a major ingredient in healing and requires 'Patience', which is
measured in 'Time'..
When you are naturally patient, you have no thought of being patient..
patience in the world, is the mind trying to control the pain of not receiving
what the ego demands..
often, the pain exists within the mind but the outward showing of this egoic
pain is hidden and is seen to others as patience..
Demand nothing and flow with the river, Patience will be your ship...
John: The bottom line is that you are that presence or awareness
When you first get exposed to this, the mind and all
the concepts want to rush in with 'What if?' and 'But ...' and
so on. Then you are pointed back again and again to the fact of
your own being.
Through force of habit, we instinctively look
to the thoughts as a gauge of where we are, but it is looking in
the wrong direction. Thoughts appear in awareness, which is
what you really are and always have been. It is like being above
the clouds and then looking down at the clouds searching for
You say, 'Look at all the clouds. They keep arising.
Where is the sun?' But if you turn around, you notice that the
sun is behind you, and it is illuminating the clouds. It is even
what is allowing you to see them. The sun really has nothing
to do with the appearance or configuration of the clouds. It is
a subtle shift, but has profound effects.
We have been looking
in the wrong direction, and this can be quickly remedied
once this gets pointed out. It is not really anything you need to
practice. You just notice it. The answer is not in the mind.
If you ask most people to look across a room and say what
they see, they will usually name the various objects. Few will
say they notice the space. But once this is pointed out, you
notice that everything takes place in space. It is the same with
awareness. Once you get a feel for it, the center of gravity
starts to shift from fixating on the thoughts to just relaxing
into your true being of self-knowing awareness.
Q: How do I get there (or here, as the case may be)?
John: You don't get there. You are there now. Your existence-awareness
is here and now always. If I can make a suggestion,
don't be concerned at all with thoughts. The rising of thought
has nothing to do with any of this.
Be more interested in what
thoughts appear in and on. That is the direction to explore.
Dealing with thoughts is interminable and there is no freedom
forthcoming from doing that. I know from experience,
Know your true nature and thoughts take care of
Just as a heads up (in case you are wondering),
thoughts will continue to arise for the rest of your life, just
as they did before. But, knowing your real nature, you will
not be concerned like you were before.
Peace does not lie in a
peaceful mind, but in establishing your identity in that which
is deeper than the mind. You are that even now. It just takes a
little looking to clarify this.
Supreme Work of the Hindu Mind
By Subhamoy Das
The Upanishads form the core of Indian philosophy. They are an amazing collection of writings from original oral transmissions, which have been aptly described by Shri Aurobindo as "the supreme work of the Indian mind". It is here that we find all the fundamental teachings that are central to Hinduism — the concepts of 'karma' (action), 'samsara' (reincarnation), 'moksha' (nirvana), the 'atman' (soul), and the 'Brahman' (Absolute Almighty). They also set forth the prime Vedic doctrines of self-realization, yoga and meditation. The Upanishads are summits of thought on mankind and the universe, designed to push human ideas to their very limit and beyond. They give us both spiritual vision and philosophical argument, and it is by a strictly personal effort that one can reach the truth.
Meaning of 'Upanishad'
The term 'Upanishad' literally means, "sitting down near" or "sitting close to", and implies listening closely to the mystic doctrines of a guru or a spiritual teacher, who has cognized the fundamental truths of the universe. It points to a period in time when groups of pupils sat near the teacher and learnt from him the secret teachings in the quietude of forest 'ashrams' or hermitages. In another sense of the term, 'Upanishad' means 'brahma-knowledge' by which ignorance is annihilated. Some other possible meanings of the compound word 'Upanishad' are "placing side by side" (equivalence or correlation), a "near approach" (to the Absolute Being), "secret wisdom" or even "sitting near the enlightened".
Time of Composition
Historians and Indologists have put the date of composition of the Upanishads from around 800 - 400 B.C., though many of the verse versions may have been written much later. In fact, they were written over a very long period of time and do not represent a coherent body of information or one particular system of belief. However, there is a commonality of thought and approach.
The Main Books
Although there are more than 200 Upanishads, only thirteen have been identified out as presenting the core teachings. They are the Chandogya, Kena, Aitareya, Kaushitaki, Katha, Mundaka, Taittriyaka, Brihadaranyaka, Svetasvatara, Isa, Prasna, Mandukya and the Maitri Upanishads. One of the oldest and longest of the Upanishads, the Brihadaranyaka says:
"From the unreal lead me to the real!
From darkness lead me to light!
From death lead me to immortality!"
The crux of the Upanishads is that this can be achieved by meditating with the awareness that one's soul ('atman') is one with all things, and that 'one' is 'Brahman', which becomes the 'all'.
Who wrote the Upanishads?
The authors of the Upanishads were many, but they were not solely from the priestly caste. They were poets prone to flashes of spiritual wisdom, and their aim was to guide a few chosen pupils to the point of liberation, which they themselves had attained. According to some scholars, the main figure in the Upanishads is Yajnavalkya, the great sage who propounded the doctrine of 'neti-neti', the view that "truth can be found only through the negation of all thoughts about it". Other important Upanishadic sages are Uddalaka Aruni, Shwetaketu, Shandilya, Aitareya, Pippalada, Sanat Kumara. Many earlier Vedic teachers like Manu, Brihaspati, Ayasya and Narada are also found in the Upanishads.
Someone went up to a madman who was weeping in the bitterest possible way.
said: "Why do you cry?"
The madman answered:
"I am crying to attract the pity of his heart."
The other told him:
"Your words are nonsense, for He had no physical heart."
The mad man answered:
"It is you who are wrong, for He is the owner of all the
hearts which exist.
Through the heart you can make your connection with God."
as collected by Idries Shah
And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also,
he said unto them,
Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself,
and take up his cross, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it;
but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
For what shall it profit a man,
if he shall gain the whole world,
and lose his own soul?
Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
As Jesus said; " whosoever will come after me, let him 'deny himself',
He was speaking of the denial of the egoic consciousness that keeps us trapped within the illusions of worlds and bodies..
This state of Humility is called Love, which is the normal state of Reality..
We left Reality when We fell into the delusion that we are a separate self or ego..
Eject the ego by practicing the mental state of Love..
Only Love will Free You... This is the Truth that He spoke of.....
"The seed of God is in us.
Given an intelligent and hardworking farmer,
thrive and grow up to God, whose seed it is;
and accordingly its fruits will be
Pear seeds grow into pear trees,
nut seeds into nut trees,
seed into God."
in Aldous Huxley
_The Perennial Philosophy_
NY: Harper, 1945, p. 39
"In the spiritual life it is not necessary to have a complete map of the path in
order to begin traveling.
On the contrary, insistence upon having such complete
knowledge may actually hinder rather than help the onward march.
secrets of spiritual life are unraveled to those who take risks and who make
bold experiments with it.
They are not meant for the idler who seeks guarantees
for every step.
Those who speculate from the shore about the ocean shall know
only its surface,
but those who would know the depths of the ocean must be
willing to plunge into it."
Myrtle Beach, SC: Sheriar Foundation, 1995 reprint of
2nd rev. ed., 1987 , p. 263
The eyes are our most sensitive organ,
you look and look and look into another person's
you are looking at the most beautiful jewels
in the universe.
And if you look down beyond that
it's the most beautiful jewel in the
because that's the universe looking at you.
We are the eyes of the cosmos.
So that in a way,
when you look deeply into somebody's eyes,
looking deeply into yourself,
and the other person is
looking deeply into the same self,
as the mask of Vishnu is many-faced,
is looking out
one energy playing myriads of different
- Alan Watts
Your spiritual journey can only begin when you
give up your attachment to the melodramatic
story that you’ve been calling your life.
Detachment doesn’t mean, however, that you’re
uninvolved with the illusory world.
Detachment only means that your involvement
with the world is at such a high level that you
have no demands about what…or how…it’s
Consequently, whatever happens in your life is
always 100% OK with you.
The last step, then, is to become detached from
- Chuck Hillig
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Seeds for the Soul
Black Dot Publications, 2003
People often ask how the mind is controlled.
I say to them,
'Show me the mind and then
you will know what to do.'
The fact is that
the mind is only a bundle of thoughts.
you extinguish it by the thought of doing so
or by a desire?
Your thoughts and desires are
part and parcel of the mind.
The mind is simply
fattened by new thoughts rising up.
it is foolish to attempt to kill the mind by
means of the mind.
The only way of doing it is
to find its source and hold on to it.
will then fade away of its own accord.
- Sri Ramana Maharshi
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"Be As You Are"
The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi
edited by David Godman
THE ESSENCE OF BUDDHA TEACHING
After his enlightenment, he went to the Deer Park near the holy city of Benares and shared his new understanding with five holy men. They understood immediately and became his disciples. This marked the beginning of the Buddhist community.
For the next forty-five years, the Buddha and his disciples went from place to place in India spreading the Dharma, his teachings. Their compassion knew no bounds, they helped everyone along the way, beggars, kings and slave girls. At night, they would sleep where they were; when hungry they would ask for a little food.
Whenever the Buddha went, he won the hearts of the people because he dealt with their true feelings. He advised them not to accept his words on blind faith, but to decide for themselves whether his teachings are right or wrong, then follow them. He encouraged everyone to have compassion for each other and develop their own virtue, "You should do your own work, for I can teach only the way."
He never became angry or impatient or spoke harshly to anyone, not even to those who opposed him. He always taught in such a way that everyone could understand. Each person thought the Buddha was speaking especially for him. The Buddha told his followers to help each other on the Way. Following is a story of the Buddha living as an example to his disciples.
Once the Buddha and Ananda visited a monastery where a monk was suffering from a contagious disease. The poor man lay in a mess with no one looking after him. The Buddha himself washed the sick monk and placed him on a new bed. Afterwards, he admonished the other monks. "Monks, you have neither mother nor father to look after you. If you do not look after each other, who will look after you? Whoever serves the sick and suffering, serves me."
Buddha set forth his teaching in the following doctrine.
THE THREE UNIVERSAL TRUTHS
One day, the Buddha sat down in the shade of a tree and noticed how beautiful the countryside was. Flowers were blooming and trees were putting on bright new leaves, but among all this beauty, he saw much unhappiness. A farmer beat his ox in the field. A bird pecked at an earthworm, and then an eagle swooped down on the bird. Deeply troubled, he asked, "Why does the farmer beat his ox? Why must one creature eat another to live?"
During his enlightenment, the Buddha found the answer to these questions. He discovered three great truths. He explained these truths in a simple way so that everyone could understand them.
1. BUDDHA TEACHING : Nothing is lost in the universe
The first truth is that nothing is lost in the universe. Matter turns into energy, energy turns into matter. A dead leaf turns into soil. A seed sprouts and becomes a new plant. Old solar systems disintegrate and turn into cosmic rays. We are born of our parents, our children are born of us.
We are the same as plants, as trees, as other people, as the rain that falls. We consist of that which is around us, we are the same as everything. If we destroy something around us, we destroy ourselves. If we cheat another, we cheat ourselves. Understanding this truth, the Buddha and his disciples never killed any animal.
2. BUDDHA TEACHING : Everything Changes
The second universal truth of the Buddha is that everything is continuously changing. Life is like a river flowing on and on, ever-changing. Sometimes it flows slowly and sometimes swiftly. It is smooth and gentle in some places, but later on snags and rocks crop up out of nowhere. As soon as we think we are safe, something unexpected happens.
Once dinosaurs, mammoths, and saber-toothed tigers roamed this earth. They all died out, yet this was not the end of life. Other life forms like smaller mammals appeared, and eventually humans, too. Now we can even see the Earth from space and understand the changes that have taken place on this planet. Our ideas about life also change. People once believed that the world was flat, but now we know that it is round.
3. BUDDHA TEACHING : Law of Cause and Effect
The third universal truth explained by the Buddha is that there is continuous changes due to the law of cause and effect. This is the same law of cause and effect found in every modern science textbook. In this way, science and Buddhism are alike.
The law of cause and effect is known as karma. Nothing ever happens to us unless we deserves it. We receive exactly what we earn, whether it is good or bad. We are the way we are now due to the things we have done in the past. Our thoughts and actions determine the kind of life we can have. If we do good things, in the future good things will happen to us. If we do bad things, in the future bad things will happen to us. Every moment we create new karma by what we say, do, and think. If we understand this, we do not need to fear karma. It becomes our friend. It teaches us to create a bright future.
The Buddha said,
"The kind of seed sown
will produce that kind of fruit.
Those who do good will reap good results.
Those who do evil will reap evil results.
If you carefully plant a good seed,
You will joyfully gather good fruit."