“The struggle to know who I am, in truth and in spirit, is the spiritual quest. The movement in myself from the mask to the face, from the personality to the true person, from my performing actor to the ruler of my inner soul chamber, is the spiritual journey.”
(by Ravi Ravindra)
“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”
(by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
“Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for love, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.”
(by Bertrand Russell)
I knew a woman once who made love to men to take the war out of their hearts. When she told me this, I smiled; and she, sensing that I understood asked me if I should like to hear more. “Oh, yes, I said, please do.” “OK…, she said, here goes.”
“For a woman to be happy, she needs a place for her moon to rest. She goes all about the everywhere in seeking a stopping and resting place for her inner moon from which her essence comes; but there is none to be found. For the men are all somewhere else and otherwise– seeking to dominate, and to win their spoils and trophies from the land of me and mine, from the myth, and movie, and madness of the marketplace.
The members of the male tribe of the species, Homo sapiens think that this is human nature and a necessary part of the human condition. They will look at you smugly and site the appropriate latest scientific study that says that war is in the killer gene which is number 13,313 in the DNA spiral loop located in the left side pocket of the fourteen hypo-foreskin of the brain. They will assume that their knowledgeable argument has captured the day while their little minds sit there spinning out another wet web of spin-speak.”
“You will stand there like a tiger on fire waiting for this fool to look you in the eyes so that you can deliver your blow of true words from a peaceful warrior of the female tribe of the species, Homo sapiens. For a real woman, who acts in alignment and accord with that which is transcendent to her from below (as Earth or Gaia consciousness) and above (as the divine aspect) knows that this is more pap, and piss, and vinegar from their propaganda machine. You know in your heart of hearts that this woman deep on the inside of her lake of soul knows nothing of war. There the waters are still and sweet and simple. Here, the fire in her belly is pure and powerful. Here, there is always the time and place to make bread, to feed the children, to dance and sing, to talk story with the other women of the circle while the men are all somewhere else, and somewhere otherwise doing their undoing to one another.”
“It is this war on the inside of the man that keeps the woman’s moon away from herself. It is this war that drives the man wild from the bottom up and the top down from which there seems to be no solution except a long and difficult heavy storm. The clouds have been gathering for thousands of years now. Can you feel them ?? Can you sense them now, she asked ??”
She paused here and looked deep into my inner to measure the width and depth of the person to whom she was gifting with her true words. Satisfied that she had encountered quite by happenstance a “bonne homme” a good man, a true member of the male tribe of the species, Homo sapiens; she smiled and continued with her story so precious and deep. I looked at her and felt a thin stream of salted water fall gracefully from my eyes. This was a blessing point, and we both knew it. This was a rare moment on the game board of life when something greater than ourselves, something transcendent to us all waits for us to open our hearts and our minds, in just the “right way.” Something divine and wonderful, something ever so profound waits for us to open our heart-minds– that we may receive what waits for us to be and become. Let us make ourselves ready to receive. Let us all learn how to become feminine to the Great Mystery, the divinity within us all. Let us all learn how to consciously receive spirit. That is a great truth about what it means for us to become more fully human. We are the divinity resting within us– waiting for us simply to realize this singular truth, and to become more fully human. Consciousness is evolving. A new order of humanity waits offstage for its cue to enter.
“It is only when the man begins to wake up and to see that there are other options- that the moon of the woman can find her resting place. He must first learn to embrace co-operation and the spirit of kindness and nurturance for all living things. He must not think that these sentiments are naive and foolish in the face of the obvious horrors and the struggle for survival that is apparent in the natural order. No one is saying that life is not cruel at times, or that competition is a bad thing, or that the other classical male aspects of character do not have their proper place and perspective in the natural order, and in the civilizations of humankind. However, the deep feminine wisdom of the day and age in which we live says that only by fully embracing cooperation, kindness, nurture, and a reverence for all living things that we will, as a world civilization be able to sustain ourselves.”
“Show me such a man,” she said, “and I will show you a new member of the male tribe of the latest, but not necessarily last species of mammal, Homo sapiens. This is what is now happening this transition; and let me assure you from the bottom of my soul, that this is as certain as you standing now before me with your listening ears and open heart. The river of fate and flow, Mother Gaia’s own manner of throwing the dice and moving forward in her dance step of diversity called evolution is doing this. She does this because it has now become essential and must be done.
There is an old saying that “necessity is the mother of invention.” Changes will occur because changes must occur. We are moving out from a time of the domination of the masculine principle to a time of honoring and re-embracing of the deep feminine principle and polarity.”
“I tell you truly that nature loves crisis. Crisis calls forth the necessity to change. Do you understand that, my brother ?? Nature loves crisis. This is her window of opportunity to pull out the hat trick of many options in order to find the combination of factors that will move things forward toward the center of the balance beam away from chaos into harmony. From chaos and confusion change occurs. There is a tipping point. The tipping point for the return to the light occurs at the midnight hour when the night is in full strength over the day. The tipping point for the return to the darkness occurs at high noon when the sun is highest in sky. The tipping point is reached at the moment of greatest extremity– when an opposite and counter movement is required into its complementary state. Please consider that simple and singular understanding. Nature when confronted with the widespread disaster of rape, pillage, and burn– that is the standard of the modern day puts on all manner of hats, dresses, shoes, and costumes. Nature is the master of change. She is the queen of form; and nature also is the ultimate pragmatist. If it works don’t fix it, she says to no one in particular. If it doesn’t, she pulls out all the stops 24/7 (in the current language) to alter the condition to where everything works ‘nicey-nicey’ again.”
“So she goes to her drawing board which is the genetic process of DNA inheritance and begins to experiment with what works. She is willing to make lots of mistakes until she gets it right. It is all trial and error with the Great Mother. It could be said meaningfully that nature doesn’t give much of a hoot about the single individual. She is concerned with her design, her species. She wants at all costs to protect her species. Lots of species have come and gone. Millions of species have come and gone and been retired forever. Forever !! Once she breaks the mold. She does not change her mind. In fact, she cannot. She is a river that can only flow downstream. One direction only …… forward !! Once a species goes extinct, it is retired forever. And forever is a very, very long time, my friend.”
“Finding this, she said, I should no longer have to make love to men to take the war out from their hearts. Neither would I need to light a candle at dusk to my frozen dreams that wait.”
The consequences of the inevitable estrangement from one’s inner being, one’s soul, is apparent in the contemporary world for all who choose (and are able) to see. This is a cultural crisis of the first magnitude. This is precisely the pattern in which the modern world finds itself. It is a progressive emergence and unfolding.
Something we do not and cannot understand is doing something we know not what.
Unless a culture is willing to come to terms with this, to see, identify, and name the problem, it will never be able to move from the level of the problem to the level of the solution. Western culture has increasingly and progressively separated itself from the existential awareness of the soul. It sees the soul as a naive vestige from the past, or a religious doctrine that has no basis in fact. Its existence can neither be confirmed or verified by standard empirical scientific methodologies.
Therefore, we have been led down a one way road to a blind alley on a road that is fast approaching a cliff. The chasm is wide and deep. We will not turn around. That gesture would be anti- progress. We will not admit defeat. We cannot, must not ( for that would admit that we are wrong.) And more than anything, we hate to admit that we were wrong. We know we are right, so they say, so they say.
A little further down the road, just a little further down the road, and everything will be swell again, so we say… so we say. After all, after all, we have international corporations on our side. We have government on our side. We have international finance on our side. We have the media on our side. We have education on our side. We have science and technology on our side. We have our interpretation of history on our side. We have progress on our side.
And they look at each other, and smile that smile of self-satisfaction. It is their field, and they know it. They own the football, and the rules, and the players, and the crowds. They own the commercials, and the announcers, and the planes flying overhead at half time. They own today. They have owned yesterday as far back as anyone can ever remember. They know they will own tomorrow, so they say, so they say. And so why should anything change, they ask themselves.
It is hard to find just the right answer to them. It is simple. It is right before our eyes. It is in the air that we breathe. Every time we take an in-breath, we animate ourselves with spirit and source and substance. The in-breath is the first act that we do that initiates our life and ‘livingness.’
The answer is there; but it must not be simply words. If it were merely words, it could be no more that ‘the finger pointing at the moon.’ Words are symbols. They stand in place of the reality that they, as words, do not, and cannot touch. We must answer those who always win on their field by their rules with their football with reality itself. We ourselves must transform ourselves and become that reality.
We ourselves must now learn how to become transparent to the transcendent
“Carry no stones down to the banks of the river. Speak to the river on tongues of light. For we are hollow bamboo reeds that carry no memory now floating down and across this river called, Life.”
“Spirit is the doer. And spirit is the deed to be done as well. And spirit is the doing of the deed to be done by the doer. We human beings are the blessing point in which the doer, and the doing, and the deed become one.”
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and found that life was service. I acted and, behold, service was joy.”
(by Rabindranath Tagore)
Commentary: Tagore was a sage and a giant of both character and literature in the first half of the 20th century. He was the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize in literature. He was a famous educator by establishing a most remarkable ‘school’ in which students were both free and inspired to learn. He was unquestionably one of the great personalities of the 20th century due to his spiritual, emotional, mental maturity and passion for being. His legacy to us in the field of education, literature, and religious and spiritual writing is vast and wide.
A Dialogue Between Aum and Maya
Aum: Are you asleep, my son, or do you still dream away your life ??
Maya: Ask me no questions. Tell me no lies.
Aum: A fitting response.
Maya: What is the one true value that remains ??
Aum: In the valley of the blind, the one-eyed Jack becomes awake. Let us call it then awareness, understanding, courage, a greater consciousness.
Maya: Understanding of what ??
Aum: Of the human condition— which is the fit place to begin, but not end our inquiry into life and meaning. We realize the absurdity of self-satisfaction and hubris in the face of eternity. The courage to overcome one’s own conditioning. The willingness to establish the Self in one’s ‘lake of soul.’ To become that which one most truly is. And finally, my son, to die with nobility, grace, and peace. To die as one integrated whole person rather than this multiplicity of personages within us– languishing within the human heart, each unfinished, each unsatisfied, each full of doubt, and denial, and the dogma of someone else’s truth.
Maya: The task is enormous is it not ??
Aum: The task is enormous, and in a very real sense it is fit only for the very few who persist all their lives because they realize with all their whole-heartedness and intention of will, that this is the most important thing that they can do with their lives.
Maya: Who is capable of such an effort ??
Aum: Almost no one; and certainly no one is capable at the beginning of the interior path of ‘the long way’ home, the inner journey within one’s lake of soul.
Maya: Then why would one begin ??
Aum: Because one must.
Maya: And then what ??
Aum: One simply begins knowing that each act of real consciousness and will is irrevocable. One need be utterly sincere with oneself through the process of self-observation because self-knowledge is never finished. It requires this pre-condition of self-observation. In effect we take a series of mental ‘candid snapshots’ of ourselves at different moments, and under different conditions. It should be noted that no one can dive the full depth of the waters into their lake of soul. We can, however learn to stop needing to swim on the surface and to progressively learn how to go deeper into our psyche and spirit. Self-knowledge is the key to the apparent lock on this door. Once the key is turned and the door is opened, we find new access to other rooms and upper stories in our house. Our house is our consciousness matrix, You could liken it to a great hotel with many rooms on many floors. We have the opportunity to knock on many doors if we have fulfilled the prior conditions. Without having fulfilled the ‘requirements,’ the door does not open.
A very simple example is the ethical foundation to any emotionally and spiritually mature life. If the ethics are undeveloped or come from a position of mere whim and fancy (as is the modern custom all too often), the door will remain shut to us– because we are not worthy and equal to its contents. This happens at a very subtle level. I am not speaking in terms of a set of rules. What I am offering to you is a deeper understanding of how the inner domains operate in reality. Choose. Test. Form your own conclusions from the evidence of your life— that is what is important; that you take these words in and work with them, assimilate and digest them— then put them into action and use in your life. Test and find out for yourself. You must do this work yourself. No one can do it for you.
Maya: Yes. I want to know what I know from my own experience and realizations.
Aum: One thing more. Be aware that people do not want self-knowledge. They think they have it already. They know they like this and not that. They want one thing and not another. Liking— not liking, wanting— not wanting, agreement— disagreement. That is what people think self-knowledge is. These are merely preferences, and tastes that change. People will avoid at all costs the true process of self-knowledge– which is a life time of work. We learn to turn our gaze and attention inward– as an inner glance of our thoughts, our feelings, our mood. This is what the work of self-observation really entails. People all too often will consider this work as a morbid act of self-indulgence. We will have to give up a great deal in order to take upon ourselves this task in deep sincerity. Much must be sacrificed.
Maya: And what is it that must be sacrificed ??
Aum: One will need to become as ‘objective’ as possible in their process. One needs to learn how to release our personal reactions and patterns of response. At a minimum to note our reactions, to be responsible for them, and not to project them on to other. Such is the custom of the day. We will need to give up, as best we can, our aversions and attachments. We will need to give up our judgments, our self-justifications, our self-indulgences and 101 other ways that we persist in keeping ourselves ‘asleep’ and only partially present to life. All of us have moments of psychic and emotional suffering– this is a part of being human; but we can learn to give up our involvement and identification with those times of suffering. We stop identifying with them as ‘us’ as mine. Therein lies the key. We learn to sacrifice these inner states on the alter of wisdom. One learns to go through those difficult moments and phases of our life with as much equanimity and good will as possible. One learn to do so with consciousness and intention.
Image from: Zen Gardener
Maya: Will you say something about the day and age in which we live ??
Aum: Indeed. Your generation lives in immense times. In the 6,000 years covering the historical and cultural record, no period of time appears as self-destructive as this present moment. And remember we are speaking on a global level in these matters. No historical period has ever been so violent, so empty of soul, so unable to establish ethical and ontological foundations. It is like a cancer that is spreading over the face of the Earth. What will stop this insane impulse towards annihilation ?? That is the question, is it not, that confronts your generation— how to apply the breaks, and how to bend the course to the left, how to apply wisdom and right understanding into the present catastrophe.
We will need to learn how to develop and sustain an ecological harmony and inter-connectedness to all living things. The governance of the 21st century that is most needed is a ‘biocracy’ in which human beings are the conscious stewards and caretakers of the biosphere— that thin and fragile envelop of life. The patient (humanity) is very ill; the prognosis for cure is not good, my son. How your generation will summon the courage the will, the intelligence to this enormous challenge is the great educational question of the day. All future generations will be given that same task as the primary issue to be resolved. It must be resolved. It is not about alternative methods or new technological wizardry. You are fooling yourselves. It is a crisis that must be faced now directly. Every person alive today lives within an inter-connected global network with a crisis that must be resolved at a higher order of thought, response, activity, consciousness than your present economic-political-corporate structure will allow.
Maya: What is that higher order of thought ??
Aum: It will need to be a synthesis of many streams and rivers. The new creative thought need occur on multiple levels. One example would be that the economic paradigm must change to where the wealth is distributed with a sense of justice. There are many people who have thought this out and developed methods and structures that would allow this to occur. The hat trick is to get the nations of the world and the rich and powerful to agree to it. Power and wealth never relinquish their ‘status quo’ position voluntarily. Yet, that is what must occur. The same re-thinking need occur in our educational system— especially what is called, ‘higher education.’ People are trained to take on social and economic roles. It is as if the educational system is proceeding in its ‘business as usual mode’ as if there were no world wide crisis. This is a major location where the denial is nurtured. This is where new insights, methods, and understandings can be taught to our young and beautiful ones.
Maya: And religion and spirituality– what would that look like ??
Aum: In a very real sense, all that need be understood is already been spoken about for many hundreds or thousands of years. We need to become better people. People need to understand how corrupted over time much of the religious institutions have become. They distort the original teaching. The institution is really about the establishment and consolidation of its power. Like all institutions, its primary motive is self-perpetuation. A thorough house cleaning would need to occur. But, who among you has the credibility and inner authority to begin such a monumental change ?? Nothing new needs to be added to the great truths or to the revealed mystical tradition. It has all be said before. What need occur is to begin to apply this wealth of realization on the meaning of being human both individually and collectively. What does it truly mean to be a human being ?? And let me emphasize that we must learn how to embrace our depths in order that we may reach up and receive this new emergent consciousness that is present and available to those who make themselves truly available to its resonance. This is no easy task, I assure you; but this is what need be undertaken now by those who are awake and aware of what is happening now on the Earth stage and why.
Maya: What we have out there is anything but conducive to that. There are so many separate and discordant voices promising great things, but with few tangible results. It is especially sad to note how the religious-spiritual traditions in their writings, teachings, methods have been co-opted by the marketplace. There is a growing sense of inner emptiness. People are lost and without foundation and desperate for someone to give them what they do not have. There are all manner of persons selling their knowledge wares to anyone who will open their wallet to them. People are searching from a place of great need today.
Aum: Indeed, a sad, but true commentary on the state of affairs in that tent. The issues are everywhere for those who choose to see. The injunction and need for massive change is undeniable. Why is it that we continue to move in the opposite direction ?? Why do people embrace and consolidate in upon the problem rather than the solution ?? I am asking for your opinions in these matters. What do you think about what I am saying ??
Maya: I have come to conclude that we have a great deal of information and very little aptitude for knowledge on a broad scale— as an integration of understanding within the many disciplines. As such, there are few people who are authentic examples of what I would call real understanding. People’s knowledge is limited to their field of interest or specialization. Few are the one’s who have the depth as well as the span of knowledge to move into becoming a person who is an authentic holder of real understanding. I would call that person a wisdom carrier. That is most uncommon today.
Aum: Yes, a fine insight. Our old ones had the historical function of being the wisdom carriers within the group. Now, our ‘olders” (historically our elders) seldom embrace a real understanding and wisdom– they simply have long years of experience. What can a man teach his son if that man works for thirty years in a small box, behind a desk, spending countless hours looking at an electronic screen. His entire function is to find out how to buy a pound of hamburger for ½ cent less by getting Brazil to compete with Argentina.
Maya: Yes, every son wants his father’s teaching; but our fathers no longer have a teaching to pass on to us. When we ask them what they do when they are away all day– we want to know what they do with their bodies, we want to know what they are doing with their minds. We want to know what thoughts are they thinking about and if they are remembering their family. We want to know what they are doing with their hands. When we ask these questions– they give us a brief description of their job title, the name of the corporation, or what the business of their corporation is. This is not a teaching. We want to know how to do things. We want to be taught how to make things. We want to be taught how a man becomes a man. We want to know the history of our lineage. We want to know how to go outside under the night sky, look up and see stars that we know can guide our way. This is called, progress, I ask you ?? This is not progress— this is the way that a culture destroys itself from the inside out by choosing to actively remove itself from everything that really matters. Now people work for paper money. They do not have enough; and so many, many people are increasingly overwhelmed by the circumstances of their lives.
Aum: Soon there will be a renting of this fabric. You will see a time of great fracturing that will affect all societies and cultures. It is all one soup today; and it is becoming increasingly bitter. I suspect nothing can really occur until after things that prop up this present absurdity ‘hit the wall’ and can no longer continue. The ‘beast’ of the market economy requires a continuous offering to be sacrificed to its greed and insatiable hunger. That is the function of what is called ‘the third world’ and the peasants and poor people, the working class. They are the ones that are being offered to be sacrificed and made yet another casualty of the system. I am reluctant to share more on this matter; but I assure you I have thought this matter through for quite some time– and I am a studied observer of the human condition.
Maya: Indeed you are. I would like to talk today about education. What do you see as important to understand now ??
Aum: I think that essentially the school curriculum for the 21st century need to be about relationship. That is my ‘skinny’ on it. It is a good thing to have a single criterion as our star to guide on. Let me develop that idea. Relationship, as I understand it has three faces. One is the relationship we have with ourselves. We have to be able to effectively teach our young and beautiful ones how to become better people. We will need, of course, first to educate the educators. We will need to choose the people who stand before our children and youth upon a much different criterion that their ability to score well on tests. Today, increasingly we have education from the ‘top down’ that is being standardized at the highest levels of government. They offer a carrot, of course, which is always money. They will also have a stick if you do not ‘perform’ on task to the standards they have set. It is simply carrots and sticks depending upon your performance.
Maya: Yes, I see. This causes a fear based response on all levels at the state, district, school, etc. Everyone is frightened that their children will not measure up to the standards that have been set for them. The teachers are in the ‘crunch position’ and mainly responsible for delivering the goods. The teachers are the ones most responsible for making most certain that the children pass, the classroom passes, the school passes, the district passes, the state passes.
Aum: Is there anything wrong with this state of affairs in your thinking ?? I am asking again for your thoughtful opinion about a subject, I know, that is close to your heart– namely, education.
Maya: If we give the matter some thought, and think the issue through– which I see very few people have done; we will see that this situation is perhaps the worst possible process for the education our children. I have wondered a good deal if this strange absurdity is not by design because no one could be so stupid as to create a system like that. What has happened, and what can only continue is that the teachers will teach in such a manner that supports good scores on their tests. These tests have been developed all too often by people who probably have not set foot in a classroom in 10 years– and know next to nothing about what is really going on in the minds of our children and youth. The quality of what was once called, education, can only be significantly decreased. Fear is not a proper motivation under sustained conditions. Everyone will be put under pressure for good numbers and scores: students, teachers, principals, superintendents. And the more they try and fix it by creating new standards of control, the worse it will get.
Aum: I trust you will receive my words gracefully and not be offended. They are certainly not directed at you. I am all too aware that young people, for the most part, (and that is the only qualifying phrase I will use) are being ‘dumbed down.’ What they know is what has happened since they were born, but they do not know the story of mankind and nations and civilization. The have been, with rare exceptions, fed the pap of commercial non sense that is the function of today’s media. A false sense of desire and dissatisfaction is created with great awareness and intention by the experts with all the answers. This is necessary because a continuous demand for goods and services (with conspicuous consumption, as icing on the cake) is necessary for ‘progress.’ The young are being trained to fulfill their primary function– to be docile consumers. The prime tool for this is the media in all its enormous forms and faces. In fact it could rightly be said that your generation has been completely and quite successfully mediated. The primary tool for this is TV. What is quite ironic here is that people have paid good money for the opportunity to put the media’s major broadcast receiving station (TV) in their own living room. I think of what my grandfather would say if he were to view these present state of affairs being played out on the world’s stage.
Maya: He would have wondered how we could have possibly allowed this state of affairs to put its noose around our necks.
Aum: Yes, that says it quite nicely, does it not ?? Let us return to the core curriculum which is simply: relationship. Let us move on to the second face of relationship which is our relationship with others in all its many forms and manifestations. This includes relationship within the family, group, nation, and world. There are certain long studied principles that order the rules of engagement when two people meet and exchange time/space, words, opinions, emotions, needs, wants and wishes, hopes and dreams, fears and strength. If you will note the list is almost endless. Each of us, will need to know the rules on the field, and be willing to play at the game when called upon. This is, of course, a long learning process. This second face of relationship includes war and diplomacy, economic systems, all governing bodies and institutions, travel, transportation, energy, etc., again the list is endless. This area has now been captured, for the most part, and re-directed away from the tradit-ional ‘rules of the road’ to where it is all now in service to great power and money. People still interact with each other according to the cultural standards they grew up with— but the ends and goals have now been greatly shifted by an economic-political paradigm that is always hungry for more.
Maya: So it is necessary that we agree to agree at the widest possible level on new life affirming parameters and rules of the road– the principles that are governing the play of the game on the field of life upon Earth. We would have to learn to ‘agree to agree’ when disagreement and discord, conflict and contention are everywhere. Where would the authority arise to establish such a fundamental shifting of the meaning and purpose of life ?? Everyone now seems to have their own self-interest firmly in place. If self-interest, money and power, are in control of the board game– and have no history of ever voluntarily relinquishing their privileged position, how could an enormous changing of this magnitude occur ?? This is a very important question to ponder and consider in its magnitude and depth.
Aum: I suspect it will only arise from a condition of dire necessity when those who are dealing out the cards see only a continuing and worsening condition of chaos and confusing spreading over the Earth with enormous consequences to everyone and everything. There is an old Greek maxim which says that: “Necessity is the mother of invention.” We do not seem to be either willing, or able to make the widespread course corrections that so many know are necessary and needed. It seems like things will need to go right up to, or over the edge before there is the necessary political will to change. How absurd and insane, don’t you think ??
Maya: I suspect this is the third face of relationship you are speaking of.
Aum: Exactly. This is the individual’s relationship to the greater whole at the widest possible level. This is thinking globally— which is something we must now do. This is the person-planet relationship. We must learn a new role for ourselves as human beings.
Up to now we have been simply a species of takers. We took from the Mother all that we could and then some. We did not consider the well being of other species and their right to their ‘beingness.’ We need to recognize that we are self-conscious, with the capacity for reason, reflection, abstraction, among the number of unique attributes we share with no other species of animal– in order for us to become the kindly caretaker of the garden, Planet Earth. We are here to be stewards and caretakers. It seems to me that is our real species function. I believe that we are on the cusp of realizing our great task and common purpose. This we must now do if much of life, as we know it, is to survive. We are at that point now in the river of life, and time, and history. How immense these times, my son.
Maya: Thank you for your words and understanding.
Aum: And thank you for your willingness and efforts to understand.
He knows the gift of his giving~ness
He knows not what they receive.
A brief bio on myself: 74++ years ago, he was born there. Now, he lives here.
And, in between there and then, and here and now… everything happened; and then again, nothing (no~thing) happened.
My father was my father. My mother was my mother. I was schooled and trained… fell asleep in a world of sleeping cats and dogs, just like everyone else. And yet, and yet, somehow… somehow, I found the intention, attention & awareness, the long will and patience to wake~up to the ‘human condition.’
Now, what do you say to a ‘talking stone’ when he/they whispers in your ear ?? An interesting question is it not, my friend ??
NOTE: Use the right slide bar to access the documents full length. It is deep, creative and asks for your focus, attention, and awareness.
It seems to me that martial law is inevitable and forthcoming. It will be
‘sold’ to us as for our own security. I suggest to you that this is much sooner in time than you think.
This is a deep conversation that asks for reflection. Much is contained in it. NOTE: Use the right slide bar to further access its length. Consider this a real dialogue. 11 Pages in length. Excellent.
In seeing you, I find my own face.
In knowing you, I become myself.
“Keep death always before your eyes.” (Saint Benedict)
One reason why Christian tradition has always steered me away from preoccupation with reincarnation has not so much to do with doctrine as with spiritual practice.
The finality of death is meant to challenge us to decision, the decision to be fully present here now, and so begin eternal life. For eternity rightly under–stood is not the perpetuation of time, on and on; but rather the overcoming of time by the now that does not pass away. We are always looking for opportunities to postpone the decision. That is the human condition and dilemma.
So if you say: “Oh, after this I will have another life and another life,” you might never live, but keep dragging along half dead because you never face death.
Don Juan says to Carlos Castaneda, “That is why you are so moody and not fully alive, because you forget you are to die; you live as if you were going to live forever.”
What remembrance of death is meant to do, as I understand it, is to help us make the decision. Don Juan stresses death as the adviser. Death makes us warriors.
(by Brother David Steindl-Rast, from “Learning to Die”)
Walking the Narrow Road
It is essential to understand that a new synthesis of knowledge as a New Emergent Worldview (N.E.W.) can only occur if we will continue to hold the problem in our mind’s eye in the spirit of humility and deep openness.
And… something we do not and cannot understand… is doing something we know not what. It is an emergent process.
It is facile (easy) to speak of openness and humility. Words are everywhere in this time. All too often we seduce ourselves and think that to express ideas with words is to point towards ourselves as exemplars of those words. We will need to walk our talk and that is never easy or simple. In fact, it is quite uncommon.
Essentially, in regard to this N.E.W– as the New Emergent Worldview, there are very, very few examples.
Essentially, only the very few ‘get it.’ It is not a static wisdom; but a process of emergent evolution of consciousness. It is not some half eyed, dreamily spoken, warmed over love the mother, ecological, back to the earth, love is the answer, feel good magic mantra that is being sold in the marketplaces of modernity. Blah….Blah….Blah.
However, we are definitely moving into that N.E.W. It is a birthing process that is underway. Life will mature this process if it is allowed and encouraged, watered and honored by people just like you the reader.
“Everyone is invited to become; but mis-direction inhibits our becoming.”
The ‘chosen people’ are those that choose to maintain the sacrifice. What is the sacrifice ?? What has it ever been but the self offering itself up on the alter of the true Self for the benefit of all and everything (as the diety, the God of our understanding, Mind, Tao, the ‘Great Mystery,’ consciousness itself. The name is secondary. What is central and most uncommon is to realize within oneself the connection. Perhaps, that is the great higher meaning for all human beings; and perhaps especially so in this period of huge change and transition.
Our real work is our sacrifice. We finally come to understand that deep within each and every moment of one’s life— within each ‘now~ever’ and forever present moment of one’s life, it is possible to make conscious connection between one’s self and that which is transcendent to it.
It seems to me that it is easy to say. Perhaps this is both the most important and difficult achievement of one’s life. For “Life is short and truth is long.” Thus we choose to walk the narrow road. Thus we choose.
Introductory Remarks on Religion and Religio’
Religio’ is a latin word from which our word, “religion” comes from. The word itself (religio’) means to “re-connect, to re-bind” (with our source). I find it useful to consider that I am speaking to you and serving in the role of an educator by pointing to religio’ as well as religion as a concern and focus for my teaching and your edification. I think this is useful.
It seems to me that ALL religions occur within these two conditions and parameters; (1) at a certain period of time (3,000 y/a (years ago), or 2,500 y/a, or 2,000 y/a, or 1,400 y/a; and, (2) within a certain cultural heritage to give people the wisdom and the tools and techniques to be able to do that. In my way of thinking ALL religions are strongly influenced by this period of time in which they originate, and the culture in which they originate from. They are wisdom teachings that are designed to assist people who are seeking under–standing of HOW to re-connect with source. We could call source as “the God of our understanding.” This allows for great diversity of opinion.
Certainly there is also a central figure from whom the teaching was first introduced or revealed. Historically the examples include; but are not limited to: Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Lao Tsu, The Buddha (which is a title not a name). There is always central teachings by the founder; and there is always a book that follows in which the teaching or revelation is contained. This is where we begin to set the stage for controversy and contention. This is the fertile ground for arguments and religious wars in which everyone loses, in my way of thinking.
It seems to me that (for many reasons historically) we do not remember that. We all know that the religious conflicts go back 1000’s of years and have an enormous body of tragic interactions with others. There are many reasons for this.
In our post-modern frame of reference, even speaking about religion is considered naïve by many. Religion (like politics) can be a very controversial subject for discussion. We will want to avoid that at all costs within the classroom environment.
That is one of the reasons why I suggest to you the following thought: “No one is 100% right, or 100% wrong about anything.” That allows us to step aside from our self-righteous attitudes (a condition we encounter all too often in religious conversations) about our religion vs. other people’s religion.
We seek to listen to each other. If we disagree, we are slow to assert our opinion on top of another person’s belief system, or structure of thought. This is respect and speaks loudly to others about who we are. A little phrase that helps me to remember is the following thought: “Listen twice before speaking.” Think about what that means…. ‘to listen twice before speaking.’ It is a useful idea, I assure you.
Please see me as being a facilitator about religio’ rather than religion. I am interested in your growth as a person. Religion is a primary vehicle in which this development can occur. Other means to augment that in our lives may be thought of as psychological or spiritual methods or principles.
Allow me to suggest to you that there is something in us that seeks to become a better person. The difference is in how we consider that. Some want to be successful, or wealthier, or famous. Regardless there is something in us that is striving for a fuller and more comprehensive you. Something in you is seeking to evolve and emerge into higher levels of awareness, consciousness, understanding. The disagreement, it seeks to me, is in how and with what we are aiming at.
May I say also that I am reluctant to speak about what I refer to as, ‘the diety,’ with the word, God. Some of you may find that odd. Let me explain my thinking and seek to justify this to you. When we use the word God, it is all to easy to think that what I mean when I use that word is also what you mean when you use that word. Also, what are we to do when someone concludes that they do not believe that there is a God (as a Being who created the universe).
That idea is further complicated by the fact that our western science is hugely adverse to that supposition. Science can demonstrate quite nicely to itself that the agency of evolution (in the form of mother nature) over four billion years of trial and error worked it out. So our science is in large disagreement with our fundamental religious teachings. This is not a wise idea for a culture– to have your religion in conflict with each other.
Perhaps that is why many wise elders of other cultures have concluded that our present western culture is so obsessed, so driven, with so much inherent conflict, and lacking in direction. We cannot agree where we are going. We do not agree on fundamentals and foundations that are part of any integrated culture over time.
Nothing and no one appears to be ‘driving the bus’ (a metaphor I am fond of) except want, desire, the search for success and power. Certainly, there are people of great wealth and power who hold great influence; but this influence is self-seeking and in non-accord with the greater good of the culture all too often.
I suggest to you that the early years of the 21st century are marked by the need for direction, and authentic leadership
The Martial Law Act of 2006
(By James Bovard, 15 April, 2008, blog: “Lew Rockwell”)
Martial law is perhaps the ultimate stomping of freedom. And yet, on September 30, 2006, Congress passed a provision in a 591-page bill that will make it easy for President Bush to impose martial law in response to a terrorist “incident.” It also empowers him to effectively declare martial law in response to what he or other federal officials label a shortfall of “public order” (whatever that means). It took only a few paragraphs in a $500 billion, 591-page bill to raze one of the most important limits on federal power. Congress passed the
“Insurrection Act” in 1807 to severely restrict the president’s ability to deploy the military within the United States. The “Posse Comitatus Act” of 1878 tightened those restrictions, imposing a two-year prison sentence on anyone who used the military within the United States without the express permission of Congress. note: This act was passed after the horrid depredations of the U.S. military throughout the Southern states during Reconstruction.
There is a loophole (note: there is always a loophole) as “Posse Comitatus” can be waived if the president invokes the “Insurrection Act.” The Insurrection Act and “Posse Comitatus Act” aim to deter dictatorship while permitting a narrow window for the president to temporarily use the military at home. The 2006 reforms basically threw any concern about dictatorial abuses out the window. Section 1076 of the Defense Authorization Act of 2006 changed the name of the key provision in the statute book from “Insurrection Act” to “Enforcement of the Laws to Restore Public Order Act.” The Insurrection Act of 1807 stated that the president could deploy troops within the United States only “to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy.” The new law expands the list of pretexts to include “natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition” (note: “condition” not defined or limited). One might think that given the experience with the “USA Patriot
Act” and many other abuses of power that followed that Congress would have been very leery about giving this president his biggest blank check yet to suspend the Constitution. That would have been naive. This legislation was put in place in response to the human disaster that
was the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina. The absurdity of this was that an enormous increase of power to the source of the problem, the President, the “decider,’ himself. As such the politicians could “do the Pontius Pilate hand was” and maintain that they had addressed the problem with new legislation.
The new law also empowers the President to commandeer the National Guard of one state to send to another state for as many as 365 days. Bush could send the South Carolina National Guard to suppress anti-war protests in New Haven. Or the next president could send the Massachusetts National Guard to disarm the residents of Wyoming, if they resisted a federal law that prohibited private ownership of semi-automatic weapons. The State Governors’ control of the National Guard can be trumped with a simple Presidential declaration. Section 1076 of the legislation had bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, including support from Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
On the other hand, every governor in the country opposed the changes. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, warned on September 19, 2006, that “We certainly do not need to make it easier for Presidents to declare martial law.” Leahy’s alarm got no response. Ten days later, he commented in the Congressional Record, “Using the military for law enforcement goes against one of the founding tenets of our democracy.” The new law vastly increases the danger from the actions of government provocateurs. If there is an incident now like the first bombing of the World Trade Center in February 1993, it would be far easier for the president to declare martial law – even if, as then, it was an FBI informant who taught the culprits how to make the bomb (which is clear and demonstrative evidence at this time). Even if the FBI master-minds a protest that turns violent, the President could invoke the new legislation to suspend the Constitution. “Martial law” is a euphemism for military dictatorship ( the ‘juanta‘ seizes power seeking to maintain itself ‘ad infinitum’ )
When foreign democracies are overthrown and a junta establishes martial law, we recognize that a fundamental change has occurred. Section 1076 is more ominous in light of the Bush administration’s long record of “Posse Comitatus“ violations.
There is no Honesty-in-Absolute-Power mandate in the federal statute books. The more power government seizes, the more easily it can sup–press the truth. There is nothing to prevent a President from declaring martial law on false pretexts – any more than there is to prevent him from launching a foreign war on false pretenses. And when the lies become exposed years later, it could be far too late to resurrect lost liberty.
Note: This Article was written by James Bovard, author of the just-released: “Attention Deficit Democracy, The Bush Betrayal, and Terrorism and Tyranny: Trampling Freedom, Justice, and Peace to Rid the World of Evil.” He serves as a policy advisor for “The Future of Freedom Foundation.”
We are entering into a period of time (the early years of the 21st century) where we are surrounded by an ever increasing number of problems that have no solutions. It seems to me that it is useful to understand that we are dealing with predicaments and not problems. Problems have solutions given the right leadership, resources, application, etc. Predicaments are different in that all too often they do not have simple solutions and must be lived through. They require fortitude and the courage to endure. One learns to ‘suffer consciously’ the burning issues of the day and age into which one is born as well as one’s own personal burden- so that one does not increase the gathering storm.
Predicaments are unique. Therefore, there is no map or set of answers waiting to be introduced. Something within our souls, spirits, and character must be located and be strengthened in order for authentic growth and passage down this corridor of time to occur. We are now being forced to wake up and grow up.
Nature is imposing suffering, tragedy, obstruction, difficulty in order to force us to find a new and higher order of thought. That new emerging worldview (N.E.W) is singing to us. It comes to us from the past, the present, and the future. It is calling to us. Can we hear it ?? Can we align with it ?? What then do we do, we ask ?? It is enough to ask that question to set processes into motion that need be discovered with intelligence and right intention.
“I am blind and do not see the things of this world; but when the Light comes from Above, it enlightens my heart and I can see, for the Eye of my heart sees everything.
The heart is a sanctuary at the center of which there is a little space, wherein the Great Spirit dwells, and this is the Eye. This is the Eye of the Great Spirit by which He sees all things and through which we see Him.
If the heart is not pure, the Great Spirit cannot be seen, and if you should die in this ignorance, your soul cannot return immediately to the Great Spirit, but it must be purified by wandering about in the world.
In order to know the center of the heart where the Great Spirit dwells you must be pure and good, and live in the manner that the Great Spirit has taught us. The man who is thus pure contains the Universe in the pocket of his heart.”
(by Black Elk, from the book of Joseph Epes Brown, “The Spiritual Legacy of the American Indian”)
“The high office of the President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the American’s freedom and before I leave office, I must inform the citizens of this plight.”
(by President John F. Kennedy, 1963)
Commentary: This is an excerpt from a speech that President Kennedy made at Columbia University (NYC) on 12 November, 1963. Ten days later Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
“For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence– on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.”
(by President John F. Kennedy, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, April 27, 1961)
“This is the central principle of meditation: we become what we meditate on.” (by Eknath Easwaran)
Commentary: By contemplation, we create pathways and ‘habit tracks’ first in the biological brain and that in the mind. “Nerves that wire together fire together.” We do become what we think about over time, consistently, and with focus, attention, repetition. This is the basis in the success of prayer also.
“U.S. taxpayers are paying the ‘Orwellian’ Department of Homeland Security $56.3 billion this year to porno-scan and grope them and otherwise invade their privacy, while millions of Americans are foreclosed out of their homes.” (by Paul Craig Roberts)
Commentary: Paul Craig Roberts (1939- present) was an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the early part of the Reagan Administration, editor and an author for the Wall Street Journal, as well as a noted academic, and think tank research fellow. As such, he has very impressive conservative credentials. Yet, he has evolved to become a highly respected voice for the alternative press in large variance of US administration policy since the second Bush administration. He has morphed into a valuable resource in our search for greater understanding of the economic and political ‘burning issues of the day.’ This is a matter of integrity and personal responsibility. Bravo, Paul.
“The most beautiful emotion that we can experience is the mystical. It is the sower of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger … is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms- this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center to true religiousness.”
17 Tools for Living by the Dalai Lama
(1) Realize that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
(2) When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
(3) Follow the three R’s: Respect for one self, Respect for others, and Responsibility for self and others.
(4) Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
(5) Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
(6) Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
(7) When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
(8) Spend some time alone every day.
(9) Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
(10) Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
(11) Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you will be able to enjoy it a second time.
(12) A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
(13) In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
(14) Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
(15) Be gentle with the earth.
(16) Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
(17) Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each.
“Whenever people agree with me, I always feel I must be wrong.” (by Oscar Wilde)
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” (by Mark Twain)
“Just look at us. Everything is backwards. Everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information, and religion destroys spirituality.”
(by Michael Ellner)
In seeing you, I find my own face. In knowing you, I become myself.
Commentary: In some ways, this is an appropriate understanding of our great inheritance and debt to what are often called, primal cultures. Another way would be to consider them to be, “First People.” Or, the original inhabitants of their native land be it in North America (Amerindians) or the aboriginal people of Australia, or anywhere else that people lived before the great migrations of mostly European people who explored other lands in the inhabit other lands for their resources. This is not a good way to start a relationship (conquest and exploitation).
We live in a period of time when this pattern of conquest and exploitation is seen for what it was. However, following the conquest comes the soft cultural change which is more subtle and may last centuries. This will include the economic paradigm (based upon paper currency as money) of the conquering nation as well as their religions and other foundations. The result is the ‘diminishment’ of the host culture to which many primal cultures have simply vanished, or, at best, lost their vitality. This tragic outcome is being reversed with the recognition of the huge cultural and natural wisdom of many of these primal peoples.
They lived lives that were uncluttered, They had time to think, to follow natural rhythms of weather, of animal, of vegetation. They lived in accord with their environment that points to a wisdom that modern cultures have yet to learn. We have much to learn from them. This requires an open mind that is willing and able to see and learn from a very different mode of thought, or religious foundation and see the wisdom, value and meaning within it.
In essence, we say to them: “In seeing you, I find my own face. In knowing you, I become myself.”
Give purity to our minds, Aspiration to our hearts, Light to our eyes.
Out of thy grace and bounty, Give us that which thou considers best. Cure the ills of our life.
(by Ansari of Herat, 11th century, Persian Sufi mystic)
A brief bio on myself: 70 ++ years ago, he was born there. Now, he lives here. And, in between there and then, and here and now… everything happened; and then again, nothing (no~thing) happened.
My father was my father. My mother was my mother. I was schooled and trained… fell asleep in a world of sleeping cats and dogs, just like everyone else. And yet, and yet, somehow… somehow, I found the intention, attention, awareness, the long will and patience to wake~up to the ‘human condition.’
Now, what do you say to a ‘talking stone’ when he/they whispers in your ear ?? An interesting question, is it not, my friend ??