The Zoo Fence The Gazebo at The Zoo Fence

Sitting!

At the edge of the woods behind our house, there is a small gazebo. Often, we sit there, and consider seeker’s stuff. There are no rules governing considerations in the gazebo except this: There are no rules. The mind, guided by the heart, is encouraged to explore whatever spiritual ideas it can conceive. Sometimes, these are ideas we are working on. Sometimes they are ideas that are working on us.

On this page, we report those considerations. They are in reverse chronological order; that is, most recent at the top.

The way
home!
The Way Home

The Zoo
Fence

Him I hold to be the supreme yogi
who looks on the pleasure and pain of all beings
as he looks on them in himself.

Bhagavad Gita

Q

While TZF’s Open Forum was active, some comments, observations, and other items that might ordinarily have been posted here, were instead posted there. Now, although Open Forum is inactive, everything on it remains available for reading. To go there now, please click here.

Self-Enquiry

The following is a long excerpt from “The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi in His Own Words” by Arthur Osborne.

“The mind is merely thoughts. Of all thoughts the thought ‘I’ is the root. Therefore, the mind is only the thought ‘I’. Whence does this thought ‘I’ arise? Seek for it within; it then vanishes. This is the pursuit of Wisdom. Where the ‘I’ vanishes, there appears an ‘I-I’ by itself. This is the Infinite (Purnam).

“If the ego is, everything else is also. If the ego is not, nothing else is. Indeed the ego is all. Therefore the inquiry as to what this ego is, is the only way of giving up everything.

“The state of non-emergence of ‘I’ is the state of being THAT. Without questing for that state of non-emergence of ‘I’ and attaining It, how can one accomplish one’s own extinction, from which the ‘I’does not revive? Without that attainment, how is it possible to abide in one’s true state, where one is THAT?

“Just as a man would dive in order to get something that had fallen into the water, so one should dive into oneself with a keen, one-pointed mind, controlling speech and breath, and find the place whence the ‘I’ originates. The only enquiry leading to Self-Realization is seeking the source of the word ‘I’. Meditation on ‘I am not this; I am not that’ may be an aid to enquiry, but it cannot be the enquiry. If one enquires ‘Who am I?’ within the mind, the individual ‘I’ falls down abashed as soon as one reaches the Heart, and immediately Reality manifests itself spontaneously as ‘I-I’. Although it reveals itself as ‘I’, it is not the ego but the perfect Being, the Absolute Self.”

November 9, 2017

The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.

Richard Francis Burton

Clones Are We?

The other evening, Nancy and I watched the first episode of the television series “Orphan Black.” Well, I should say we watched part of the first episode. It seemed to us too violent for our simple minds, so we turned it off. But before we did so, it became apparent to us that the story is about clones, and that reminded me of Ibn ’Arabi’s powerful instruction, “Thou art not thou, thou art He, without thou.” If God is Infinite, as surely God must be, then “thou art He” has to mean “thou art wholly, entirely, completely He.” In other words, the He in the line “thou art He” is wholly, entirely, completely He without any differentiation, separation, distinction from any other He. That is, a clone, or Clone.

Well, not exactly, because clones, while identical replicas, are separate. That is, there is the original, and there is the clone. Two. Not so as regards He, for here there is only One, the One.

But still the suggestion does serve as a device to rattle the mind, which is always a good exercise for a seeker.

Think about it. Perceiving everyone in our life, everyone and everything, animate and inanimate, in our reality, as a Clone of He has to be a healthy practice.

Wait … did I say “inanimate”? Yes, what we call inanimate, too, every bit of it, is a Clone. Recall Jesus’s and Ramana’s remarks about stones (see here). Similarly, I have read that some interpret Qur’an 2:24 to mean that all creation is animate, meaning presumably all without exception. Years ago, I had occasion to ask a Tibetan monk how Buddhism defines “sentient beings,” (he had used that term numerous times in a talk); he responded, “people and animals.” I did not think then to ask where stones fit into Buddhism!

But I digress … Again, yes, perceiving Clones as a practicce is not enough, because it has limitations, and so it must be, it will be, eventually abandoned; but that is true, isn’t it, of every practice?

Anyway, the next day, Nancy and I had tea made from loose leaves, not tea bags. After finishing a cup, I observed the leaves remaining at the bottom of the cup, and those who claim to read tea leaves, and tell fortunes thereby, came to mind.

Well, why not? If the tea leaves, too, are He, then the Secrets of all the Universe are therein to be seen … by those with eyes to see.

So, what this Clone meditation device can teach us is, when we look upon an other, any other, remember that what is happening is He looking upon Himself. Just as, drawing on one of my favorite lines from Ibn ’Arabi, speaking of the Prophet and the Qur’an, “He sent Himself with Himself to Himself.”

October 8, 2017

Light! More light!

Last words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Don’t Mind Me

The last few entries here have generated a line of thought which Nancy and I had occasion to explore with a long time friend of TZF who visited the other day.

Here, edited for brevity, it is: I am convinced the mind is the residence or seat of desire, and that it is desire that formulates (if not creates) how we project ourselves, how we behave, indeed perhaps our personality itself. Just so, whether we “change our mind” or change our desire, the outcome is about the same: a change in behavior, in how we seem, in our personality.

Thus, desire shapes the mind that shapes us. Or the mind chooses desire that shapes us.

Anyway, these and other thoughts about the mind and desire generated this sequence: The mind absorbs or accomodates or adopts or becomes (I am not sure what verb should apply here) a desire which generates fear (that the desire will not be fulfilled or will be fulfilled improperly or will be counterproductive or …) which generates suffering which generates anger (at myself, at someone else, at life generally, at God, at …).

Thus mind->desire->fear->suffering->anger.

If that makes sense, then when we’re angry or suffering or fearful, we need to consider and recognize that it all began with a desire. Find the desire, identify it, and that will defuse the rest. We may still be uncomfortable, but at least we will know the real reason for our discomfort.

In the book “In The Beginning,” I propose that the story of the Garden of Eden is about God’s wanting to perceive Himself separatively, to know what it is to be able to perceive “I am me, and that is a tree.” To do that, He had to generate the desire “I want to be me,” implant it in an apparently separate mind, and set it loose. The rest is history, our history.

As we churn this stuff, we must not let ourselves forget Ibn ’Arabi: “Thou art not thou, thou art He without thou.” That is, the apparently separate mind is just that, apparently separate. We are He, the sense of separation, the Veil, is He, and the outcome (we and our lives) is He. In a word, the Eden event was produced from start to finish with a Divine Wink.

September 3, 2017

More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered prayers.

Saint Teresa of Avila

It’s not your karma …

A few mornings ago I awoke considering the similarity (the identity?) between Ibn ’Arabi’s assertion “Thou are not thou, thou art He, without thou,” and “I and the Father are One” (John 10:30), both of which sound a lot like Nisargadatta (“There is no such thing as a person”), Ramana, and so many others. That process led to a consideraton of the Hindu and Buddhist concept of karma and its fundamental presumption that I am a person separate and unique from other persons (and of course from God). The logic is unavoidable: To accumulate my own distinct sum of actions generating consequences specific to me, that is, to generate my own karma, I must be a separate person.

But how can I have my own karma if there is no such thing as a person, if I am not a person?

I tossed that apparent contradiction about in my head for some long while. I even got to the point where I prayed for forgiveness for my karma, the karma I had generated.

And then I heard, clear as crystal, “It’s not your karma. It’s My Karma.”

As I heard it, the capitalization of the letters em and kay was just as apparent as the words themselves: I could see them: My Karma.

There it was, unmistakably: It’s not your karma, Stefan. It’s My Karma.

To be sure, it makes sense. If there is no such thing as a “Stefan,” if “Stefan” is an illusion, then clearly there is no such thing as “Stefan’s karma.”!

Stefan is an illusion, so of course Stefan’s karma is an illusion. And that is true of you, too, whoever you are.

Let those words run loose in your mind for a few minutes, and observe as the ramifications reach out in every direction.

To me, it sounded like a ripping of the Veil (again, Ibn 'Arabi: “nothing veils other than He”), a tear of the Curtain (Matthew 27:51).

A few words, an overwhelming image.

This obviously requires the shift in perspective that the spiritual path is fundamentally all about (“There is no God but God, and God is All There Is”), but “It’s not your karma, Stefan. It’s My Karma” brings it into an unforgiving focus. By “unforgiving” here, I mean there is no room left for “yea, but this” and “yea, but that.” For me, this one demands a clean sweep. The mind cannot do it because as I have said and written, I am convinced the mind is the heartbeat of the illusion, and so cannot erase itself. But it can read the handwriting on the wall.

The next day, Nancy and I talked about this for a couple of hours, over breakfast and in the car enroute to an appointment. It has been rattling around in my brain ever since. And likely will continue to do so.

This is one of those Moments that change everything.

July 19, 2017

Update: Inevitably, all of the above applies to the question of reincarnation.

Who among us has not wondered, “Is there reincarnation? Who was I in a previous life? Who will I be in my next life?”

What is true about karma must be true about reincation: “It is not you who incarnates. It is I Who Incarnates.”

Likewise, “It is not you who reincarnates. It is I Who Re-Incarnates.”

Once again, we can know all of this by reading or hearing about it; we can even absorb it by meditating on it or otherwise spiritually ingesting it. But none of that will render it Known to us.

We cannot Know It until we Are It. That is, until the perception “I am me, and you are not” is irretrievably dissolved, the Veil removed, the Curtain torn. And That can be Accomplished only by God, the One, the I Than Which There Is No Other.

In a word, the Veil can be removed only by the One Who Put It There, the One Who is It.

July 30, 2017

Up!

A round stone with special marks is the emblem of Vishnu, the Omnipresent, worshipped in the shrine. Each morning a priest comes in, bathes the image, clothes it, and puts his own Divine Spirit into it to “make it alive.” Then he worships it with flowers and other offerings, waves incense before it, and finally puts it to bed, apologizing to God for worshipping Him in that way because of his inability to conceive Him without the help of an image or some other material object.

Vivekananda
Q

The Heart’s Desire

Consider this quotation from Lao Tsu:

The nameless was the beginning of heaven and earth;
The named was the mother of the myriad creatures.
Hence always rid yourself of desires in order to observe its secrets;
But always allow yourself to have desires in order to observe its manifestations.
These two are the same

A couple of days ago, Nancy and I watched (again!) a DVD “I Am That I Am” by Stephen Wolinsky talking (brilliantly) about the Teachings of Sri Nisargadatta. Later that evening, there came to mind the lines quoted above from Lao Tsu, and particularly the word “desires” in them.

Instead of a basket of thoughts (see here and here), or maybe as well as a basket of thoughts, is it a basket of desires? And if so, is it possible (in an infinite universe, of course it's possible!) that what I am is simply (!) undifferentiated awareness that somehow from time to time (whatever that may mean in this context) latches onto a floating by desire, and instantly becomes that desire by indentifying itself with it. That is, the desire, every desire in the basket, contains or includes a unique “I” which I then adopt as “mine” and “me.”

Gurdjieff, I think it was, talked about our having “multiple I’s” which he used to explain why our behavior is so inconsistent: we are, in effect, more than one personality, although not in a clinical sense. In other words, as I understand the argument, each of us behaves not necessarily according to a well-defined, consistent set of standards, but instead our reactions, our performances, are defined or informed by the conditions or circumstances in which we find ourselves, not by any concrete standard “within” us. In a word, the I that I think I am is pliable, constantly (or at least frequently) changing, and therefore so, in effect, am I.

Further to this basket of desires idea: Perhaps each and every desire contains or includes not only its own I whose traits and characteristics are consistent with the desire, but includes also specifications that design, configure, inform the world associated with the desire, the world in which the desire lives, manifests, is executed. Thus, the world, the reality, we perceive at any given momet (including the people, things, activities within it) is consistent with, is shaped by, the desire we have adopted as our personality, and are pursuing (inhabiting, incarnating). We see the entirety that each of us call “my life” through the I (eye) of the desire we are enlivening. The world (reality) appears according to the specifications of the desire.

In the lines above, Lao Tsu tells us that having desires, or as I might be suggesting here, being desires (adopting or accepting the desire’s I as our own), enables us to observe “manifestations,” but to know the “secrets” we need to be free of desires (of any sense of being a self, a me). That’s in line with the Teaching of Nisargadatta, Ramana, et al.

These Lao Tsu lines are from the Wang Pi (sometimes Wang Bi) text which I came across recently. The more common text (translation) apparently is the Ma Wang Tui text. I do not know what the significant historical or critical differences are between the two; but I know this, one line leapt out at me when I first read the Wang Pi: “These two are the same”! In other words, whether we are observing (being) with desires or without desires, we are perceiving (being) the same “thing”. Of course, that idea appears throughout TZF, but nowhere as clearly as in that line by Lao Tsu in the Wang Pi text.

These two are the same. The Ma Wang Tui text (which I believe is more common) translates those words “These two have the same origin”; a Gia Fu Feng & Jane English translation has it, “These two spring from the same source.”

To be sure, those latter two are close in meaning to the former, but they are not quite as powerful, as attention-getting, as startling as the simple expression, “These two are the same.” No matter how intently, no matter how devotedly, no matter how sincerely we struggle spiritually, we are going to end up in the same place we started: Right Here. Because the One and the other are the Same, the Same One. (Compare Ibn ’Arabi “Thou art not thou, thou art He without thou.”)

April 3, 2016

In the context of the Lao Tsu quotation above, think of the mind as the line between “rid yourself of desires” and “allow yourself to have desires”; or, in Ibn ’Arabi’s language, it is the mind that is “the veil” (that which conceals or obscures “His existence in His oneness”). Thus, it is the mind that latches on to a desire, incorporates or assumes its “I,” and which then we take on as ourself, and behave accordingly. Or is it that desires themselves are the veil (I am going to start capitalizing that word as Veil because it just seems right to do so)? In other words, is there any difference, any space, between “my mind” and “my desire” (at any given moment)? I am beginning to think not. As my mind changes, my desire changes; as my desire changes, my mind changes. When I am rid of desire(s), I am rid of (my) mind. Is it possible to have a mind and not have a desire? At the very least, there would remain the desire to be. Rid ourself of every desire, and we rid ourself of “ourself.”

And all of this “activity” takes place on what we might call this side of the line, this side of the Veil, because it is on this side that the mind resides, on this side that multiple I's can surface, each associated with, each manifesting, it’s specific desire. On the other side (or is it Other Side?) of the Veil, there is only His “I” … and so there are no desires, no mind. From the perspective of His side of the Veil, there is no Veil: If the Veil is desire (AKA mind), and desire has dissolved (coincidentally erasing or dissolving “the line”), then all that remains is “His oneness” — which is all there ever was anyway … except “veiled”by desire.

And the beat goes on.

April 19, 2017

Up!

The way that can be spoken of
Is not the constant way;
The name that can be named
Is not the constant name.
The nameless was the beginning of heaven and earth;
The named was the mother of the myriad creatures.
Hence always rid yourself of desires in order to observe its secrets;
But always allow yourself to have desires in order to observe its manifestations.
These two are the same
But diverge in name as they issue forth.
Being the same they are called mysteries,
Mystery upon mystery —
The gateway of the manifold secrets.

Q

The Very Stones

A few days ago, I wrote here suggesting that, as seekers, we do well to assume that, when speaking or writing, Teachers choose their words carefully, obliging us to hear or read them accordingly.

Well, last evening, reading Ramana Maharshi in The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, I came across a line that I do not recall having seen before … never mind that Nancy and I have each read this book several times, underlined and margin-noted numerous passages. This line takes place in a discussion between Ramana and a seeker about the effects on the mind of the foods we eat, and so predictably the subjects of vegetarianism and non-violence (ahimsa) arise. Here is a piece of it:

Questioner: Are there restrictions for the realized man with regard to food?
Answer: No. He is steady and not influenced by the food he takes.
Q: Is it not killing life to prepare a meat diet?
A: Ahimsa (non-violence) stands foremost in the code of discipline for the yogis.
Q: Even plants have life.
A: So too the slabs you sit on!

So too the slabs you sit on! Who can read that line, and not have leap immediately to mind this passage from the Gospels:

And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”

He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

Ramana and Nisargadatta and others like them tell us repeatedly that from the perspective of their Self-Realized Position, their body is the Universe, not the physical human organism we believe them (and of course ourselves) to be. In other words, for them the universe is itself alive, one single, undifferentiated living organism, and It is They, They are It. (Actually, they would not use the plural pronoun “They”, because from their perspective there is only One, only I.)

Here are the words of Nisargadatta, speaking of the Nature of a gnani (sometimes jnani), like himself: The entire universe is his body, all life is his life.

Our instinct, our first inclination, is to take words like these of Nisargadatta and those of Jesus and Ramana as metaphor or even poetry. On reading such lines, we insist to ourselves that Jesus and Ramana do not really mean that stones and slabs are alive, not literally. I mean, look at them, we say: They are obviously lifeless.

But by whose definition of life?

Are we to believe ourselves, we who do not even know or understand the true nature of our own life, of our own nature?

Here’s Lesson 3 from A Course in Miracles: I do not understand anything I see.

March 18, March 24, May 23 2016

Up!

From a Sanksrit word meaning “without injury, or non-harming”, ahimsa describes the principle and practice of non-injury to any living beings, whether by action, word, or thought. For many, it is the basis of vegetarianism. Consider this: Human beings arbitrarily separate the physical world into three distinct kingdoms — animal, plant, and mineral, by drawing lines across the face of reality based upon parameters which we define. Then, we decide which inhabitants of those kingdoms are alive and which are not, and which among those which we consider to be alive, are more alive than others. So, for example, human beings conclude that lava is not alive, and cows are more alive than carrots. Naturally, we label ourselves as the most alive (most advanced) of all. As we see it at The Zoo Fence, there is only One Kingdom, the One, and it is entirely, absolutely, indivisibly, and thoroughly alive, for it is Life Itself, and all the lines, separations, definitions, labels, and distinctions which human beings place upon the One are false, illusory, and misleading. For us, ahimsa means living a life which seeks to understand, to apply, and to Real-ize That Truth. So, we consider what we eat to be less important than why we eat, or than what we think about what we eat. We believe that to look upon a thing as separate and distinct from, not to mention less than, ourselves, does both it and ourselves harm and injury, whether the thing be a ledge of rock, a leaf of lettuce, or a leg of lamb.

Q

Divorce Divine Style?
or, A Divorce Made in Heaven?

The other day, reading The Underground Church by Robin Meyers, and particularly the quotation there of lines by Walt Whitman (repeated at TZF’s Here’s A Thought) that include, “Only those who love each other shall become indivisible,” I was reminded of TZF’s essay on marriage as a spiritual path, and that in turn reminded me of the passage in the Gospels in which Jesus is asked about the lawfulness of divorce, to which he replied, Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.

For obvious reasons, those words have been, and continue to be, the indisputable basis for the prohibition of divorce in many Christian sects.

But is that what Jesus intended? This surprising question popped into my head while reading Meyers’ book, which I am thoroughly enjoying. (Now, I must stress here that my reaction came from somewere far out in left field, and that it was not, I am certain, Meyers’ message or his intention. As far into the book as I am now, the subject of neither marriage nor divorce has arisen.)

In some of my writing (for example here), I have suggested that as seekers we do well to assume that, when speaking, Jesus chose his words carefully, knowing (hoping) that his disciples and others, including us, were listening intently and with earnestness. Just so, on the subject of divorce, I noticed today — for the first time, I confess — that Jesus does not specifically prohibit divorce; rather, he prohibits man from putting asunder what God has joined. However absurd the suggestion may be (and before reacting, please recall that in The Gazebo at TZF, pondering spiritual absurdities is not only allowed but encouraged), I heard myself wondering whether it is possible that Jesus actually meant for us, as regards divorce, to read more than we have into his distinction between what God can do and what man may do.

In a word, is it possible that Jesus is telling us that man (we) may not effect a divorce not because divorce is forbidden, but because man did not effect the marriage. God did. Focus for a moment on the words what God has joined together, let not man put asunder. Notice that Jesus does not say, what God has joined together cannot be put asunder; he says, what God has joined together, man cannot put asunder.

Here, then, is the question that Meyers’ words, albeit unintentonally, shoved into my brain: Can God put asunder what God has joined? Is that what Jesus meant by making a distinction between what God has done and what man may do?

Has any Christian sect ever considered this? If not, why not? Did it never occur to someone, for example, in the court of Henry the eighth, when the Pope in Rome refused His Majesty’s request for permission to divorce, thereby forcing him to establish his own Christian sect? Would it not have been easier simply to parse Jesus’ words differently, perhaps even properly?

So, could one justify and devise a religious divorce ceremony, a ceremony similar in sanctity and pomp and circumstance to the marriage ceremony, to which, as in the marriage ceremony, God is specifically invited, but in which God is asked by a married couple together with a priest not to perform a joining but instead to put asunder what He earlier joined in an earlier ceremony?

It’s crazy, I admit, even preposterous, but is it untenable?

Happily, it has nothing to do with me or anything in my passage along the path. But as the thought got itself into my brain, I needed to rinse it out, and where better than here among friends on The Zoo Fence?

In the words of William Allman, “the brain is a monstrous, beautiful mess.”

d couple together wMarch 6, May 25, 2016

(If you came hereich God is asked byfrom our essay “The Bliss ofd couple together wTravelling Together”, and would like to return,ich God is asked byplease click here.)

Up!

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Q

d couple together wich God is asked byniverse of other se

It’s All The Rage

One morning decades ago, I awoke with severe, nearlyich God is askedd couple together wbydisabling lower back pain. It was so bad, I had to crawl out of bed, andd couple together wonceich God is asked byout of bed, I could not walk. Fortunately, someone (I nod couple together wlonger remember who itich God is asked bywas, but whoever it was, both Nancy andd couple together wI remain grateful to them) called myich God is asked byattention to an articled couple together win New York magazine'sich God is asked byissued couple together wof March 16, 1987 titled “Ah, My Non-Aching Back” about a fellow who, likeichd couple together wGod is asked byme, suffered from disabling back pain, until, after a year ofd couple together wassortedich God is asked bytreatments, he finally found full relief at the handsd couple together wof John Sarno, M.D. of New York University's Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation. Here are a few sentences fromttthatotarticle:

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lls the conditionot

But today my inters est stems from alls the conditionotdifferent Sarno book, The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of MindBody Disorders, whichight, knowing the tI.

Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, and numerous others, including of course hisMind-Body Connectioownf="http://www.amazofindings and those of his colleagues. What I understand toMind-Body Connectiobe the, or one off="http://www.amazothe, foundations of Sarno's approach isMind-Body Connectiothis: the human mind is composed of twof="http://www.amazoterritories (my word,Mind-Body Connectionot Sarno's), the conscious and the unconscious; thef="http://www.amazoconsciousMind-Body Connectiois what each of us normally thinks of as "my mind", whileMind-Body Connectiothef="http://www.amazounconscious is effectively to us, is inaccessible to theMind-Body Connectioconscious, and beyondf="http://www.amazothe control of the conscious; and (thisMind-Body Connectiois the crux), in the unconscious residesf="http://www.amazoresentment, jealousy,Mind-Body Connectionarcissism, anxiety, and the like, generated duringMind-Body Connectioourf="http://www.amazochildhood (and beyond). In a word, the unconscious is aMind-Body Connectioboiling soup of nastyf="http://www.amazostuff. Dr. Sarno (and Sigmund FreudMind-Body Connectiobefore him) argues convincingly that thef="http://www.amazoaccumulated emotionsMind-Body Connectioor feelings (Sarno and Freud disagree over which ofMind-Body Connectiothosef="http://www.amazoterms applies) in the unconscious generate an abidingMind-Body Connectiorage so strong and sof="http://www.amazopotentially damaging, even disastrous,Mind-Body Connectiothat “the sense organ of the entiref="http://www.amazoapparatus” (named the egoMind-Body Connectioby Freud) purposefully creates the experience of backf="http://www.amazopain,Mind-Body Connectioneck pain, and other conditions (seeMind-Body ConnectioNote below), in order, in Freud's view,Mind-Body Connectioto punish thef="http://www.amazoconscious mind for the rage boiling below theMind-Body Connectiosurface of us all, and in Sarno'sf="http://www.amazoview to protect us from it.Mind-Body Connectio(Here, I must confess, as may already be apparent tof="http://www.amazoanyoneMind-Body Connectioknowledgable in this field, that much of this book is over my head,Mind-Body Connectioevenf="http://www.amazothough I am thoroughly enjoying it.)

From the book:f="http://www.amazoItMind-Body Connectiois essential to recognize the violent, broodingf="http://www.amazonature of theMind-Body Connectiounconscious, and it is equally important to understand how itMind-Body Connectiogotf="http://www.amazothat way. … (Freud’s)Mind-Body Connectioobservations help tof="http://www.amazoexplain the feelings of inferiorityMind-Body Connectiopresent in the unconscious mind, and by thatf="http://www.amazowe mean everybody’s unconscious. My experienceMind-Body Connectiooff="http://www.amazoworking for many years with a very large cohort of patientsMind-Body Connectiowith psychosomaticf="http://www.amazodisorders supports the view that theseMind-Body Connectiofeelings of inferiority are universal,f="http://www.amazoand not restricted justMind-Body Connectioto “neurotics” (as Freud believed). … (af="http://www.amazopatient's)Mind-Body Connectiopain was a reaction to an unconsciousMind-Body Connectioemotionf="http://www.amazo— rage — and its purpose was to assist repression, andMind-Body Connectiomake certain that thef="http://www.amazorage did not reach consciousness.Mind-Body ConnectioMultiple factors contribute to the reservoirf="http://www.amazoof unconsciousMind-Body Connectiorage across the spectrum of patients …

Mind-Body ConnectioThroughout this book, Sarno talksMind-Body Connectioabout the enormous ragef="http://www.amazothat resides in the unconscious mindMind-Body Connectioof every one of us. This rage is, he saysf="http://www.amazorepeatedly, aMind-Body Connectiouniversal phenomenon. And, like Freud, Sarno attributes thisMind-Body Connectioragef="http://www.amazoto childhood experiences.

That is what catches myMind-Body Connectioattention. I wonder if the repressedf="http://www.amazorage, which I do notMind-Body Connectioquestion, is less about our experiences in childhood, andf="http://www.amazomoreMind-Body Connectioabout, even a manifestation of, our experience in the Garden of Eden,Mind-Body Connectioatf="http://www.amazothe very beginning.

VirtuallyMind-Body Connectioall of the Teachers tellMind-Body Connectious that our sense of separationf="http://www.amazofrom the One (God), our senseMind-Body Connectioof ourselves as a separate and separativef="http://www.amazoegoic/bodymindMind-Body Connectioliving in a universe of other separate and separative beingsMind-Body Connectioandf="http://www.amazothings (“I am me, and you are not me”), is, first and mostMind-Body Connectioimportantly, af="http://www.amazofalsehood, and second, the source of all ourMind-Body Connectioproblems. And in the mythologyf="http://www.amazoshared in one form or anotherMind-Body Connectioby virtually all spiritualMind-Body Connectiotraditions, it was the Garden off="http://www.amazoEden experience that isMind-Body Connectiothe source of that sense, for it was there that we weref="http://www.amazothrownMind-Body Connectioout of the eternal bliss of Paradise into the endless toil and painMind-Body Connectiooff="http://www.amazothe human condition or life as we know it and live it.

Mind-Body Connectio

Surely that’s a reason for rage.

Mind-Body Connectio

Consider thisf="http://www.amazoparagraph from my bookMind-Body ConnectioIn The Beginning: The Genesisniverse second, the sourceof other sestoryteller depicts with particular skill the phenomenon we are second, the sourcetrying toniverse of other seunderstand, in the scene in which Adam and Eve meet second, the sourceGod in the Garden for theniverse of other sefirst time after having eaten of the second, the sourcefruit. Suddenly, as never before, theyniverse of other seperceive themselves second, the sourceseparate and apart from one another, no longer one unity,niverse of other second, the sourcesesecure and intact, wholly sufficient, but now two, severed, divorced, and second, the sourcetornniverse of other seasunder, dangling in the wind in Eden. The Bible tells us second, the sourcethey felt naked andniverse of other seashamed. How else should a thing deprived second, the sourceall at once of its wholeness feel, ifniverse of other senot naked? Like a turtle second, the sourcedeprived of its shell. And ashamed? Yes, if we recallniverse of other sethat the second, the sourceword means “disconcerted or discomfited by a sense of impropriety or ofniverse second, the sourceof other sethings being improper” (like incorrect, abnormal, irregular, second, the sourceunsuitable, orniverse of other seinappropriate). It is a wonder they were not in second, the sourcehysterics. Then, still reelingniverse of other sefrom this blow, they perceive second, the sourceGod, their Whole, that which, as one together asniverse of other sethey belong, second, the sourcethey are. But now the One seems not to be of or in them, as itniverse of other second, the sourceseought to be, but “over there”, apart, something else. An other. Now they second, the sourceareniverse of other sethoroughly disoriented. The Bible says they hid themselves second, the sourcefrom Him. Of courseniverse of other sethey did. They panicked. Still, was it not second, the sourceinstead that it was He Who had hiddenniverse of other seHimself, His Wholeness, second, the sourcefrom them? … They no longer recognize themselves in Himniverse of other seor as second, the sourceHim. They do not see Him for what He is, themselves. God, or the Truth ofniverse second, the sourceof other seGod, or the Truth of their True Nature, is hidden from them. And they second, the sourceareniverse of other sefrightened. Despite our dogged insistence to the contrary second, the sourcefrom pulpits andniverse of other seconfessionals, this scene has nothing to do second, the sourcewith genitals and fig leaves.niverse of other seRather, what this poignant second, the sourcepassage reveals to us, for those who would know it,niverse of other seis nothing second, the sourceless than what it feels like, in human terms, to be the elements of aniverse of second, the sourceother sesplit atom: naked, alone, and terrified.

Andniverse of other seangry. Even enraged.

At second, the sourcethemselves, at life, atniverse of other seGod.

I do second, the sourcenot mean to suggest here that childhoodniverse of other seexperiences may not be second, the sourcea legitimate source of resentment, frustration,niverse of other sediscomfort, second, the sourceeven anger, for all of us, but rage? That seems too strong a word.niverse of second, the sourceother seAnd yet, Dr. Sarno uses the word repeatedly, and he is specific too in second, the sourcethe useniverse of other seof the word universal, second, the sourcemeaning all of us. To beniverse of other sesure, sexual, physical, emotional, second, the sourcepsychic abuse warrants rage, but surely notniverse of other seall of us are second, the sourcesubjected to such offenses in childhood. And yet, every personniverse of other second, the sourcesewhose fundamental, life-defining perspective is “I am me, and you aren’t me” — second, the sourceaniverse of other secondition which describes all of us — is living an second, the sourceexistential falsehood, and isniverse of other seaccordingly inexorably stressed second, the sourceand unavoidably enraged, albeitniverse of other seunconsciously.

Anyway, here are a few paragraphsniverse of other sefrom second, the source“The Divided Mind,” paragraphs whose observations, as I hear them, soundniverse second, the sourceof other seequally spiritual as medical:

Generally, peopleniverse of other sefind it difficult to conceptualize the second, the sourceidea of unconscious rage. Some find itniverse of other seabhorrent, while others second, the sourcesimply can’t believe it can be there inside them withoutniverse of other setheir second, the sourceknowledge. They think anger and rage are such strong emotions that oneniverse of second, the sourceother semust be aware of them. The idea that emotions — raw, heated, towering second, the sourceemotions —niverse of other secan exist outside of consciousness is hard to second, the sourceaccept. Even when peopleniverse of other seintellectually acknowledge that these second, the sourcemight exist, they find it hard to imagineniverse of other sethem because they second, the sourcedon’t feel them.

We live in theniverse of other second, the sourceseworld of the conscious, and most of us think it is our only world. Weniverse second, the sourceof other seacknowledge only what we are aware of, what we feel consciously. second, the sourcePeopleniverse of other seexhibiting psychosomatic symptoms have to make an second, the sourceeffort to imagine painful orniverse of other sethreatening internal feelings second, the sourceand, equally important, reflect on the magnitudeniverse of other seof their second, the sourcefeelings and their potential for doing great harm. One must learn toniverse of second, the sourceother sethink of these unconscious feelings in volcanic terms, and understand second, the sourcethat theirniverse of other seintensity has the potential to wreak havoc in our second, the sourcelives or would simply be tooniverse of other sepainful to bear.

That is how the decision maker inniverse of other seour second, the sourcebrains — the ego — must conceive of the situation, for it stimulates theniverse second, the sourceof other seproduction of physical or affective symptoms automatically (italicsniverse of second, the sourceother seSarno's), without seeking the approval of the thinking mind. The second, the sourceprocessniverse of other setotally bypasses the intellect. It is clearly a second, the sourcesubcortical reaction, for logicniverse of other sesuggests that if reason were second, the sourcepermitted to participate in the decision it wouldniverse of other selikely say, second, the source“This is ridiculous. I’d rather deal with the scary feelings thanniverse of second, the sourceother sesuffer the pain.”

But the psychosomatic second, the sourceprocessniverse of other sedoes not allow us a choice. The second, the sourcethreat to the ego must seemniverse of other semortal (italics mine), and the intellect isniverse of other second, the sourcesenot permitted to participate in the decision. It is bypassed. The ego second, the sourceactsniverse of other sedecisively and swiftly, and induces symptoms. It will not second, the sourcebe denied …

Precisely so. When second, the sourceSelf-Realization occurs, the second, the sourceEden phenomenon isniverse of other seundone, the separate and separative egoic second, the sourcebody/mind dies, and is perceived neverniverse of other seactually to have been second, the sourcereal at all, and the ego knowsniverse of other second, the sourcesethat.

Note: Among second, the sourcetheniverse of other seother potentially psychosomatic conditions mentioned by second, the sourceDr. Sarno are:niverse of other segastroesophageal reflux, peptic ulcer, second, the sourceesophagospasm, hiatus hernia, irritableniverse of other sebowel syndrome, second, the sourcespastic colitis, tension headache, migraine headache, frequentniverse of other second, the sourceseurination, prostatitis, sexual dysfunction, tinitus, tennis elbow. (Return to Text)

January second, the source20, 2016

niverse of other se

Up!

second, the source

The inevitableniverse of second, the sourceother secompromise is the belief that the body must be healed, and not the second, the sourcemind.

A Course in Miracles

second, the source

Q

niverse of other se

All Togetherniverse of other seNow!

(I have been writing this entry over severalniverse of other sedays. I am second, the sourcenot sure it says exactly what I wanted it to say. What I intended toniverse of second, the sourceother seexpress here is the perception, after reading again for the umpteenth second, the sourcetime theniverse of other sewondrous selection by Ibn ’Arabi at TZF’s Ampersand,niverse of other sethat in some sense which I second, the sourcehave difficulty putting into words, we seem to haveniverse of other secome full second, the sourcecircle. Borrowing from the Beatles, it’s all coming together now.)

niverse of second, the sourceother se

Gazebo

second, the sourceThe other evening second, the sourcebefore bed, readingniverse of other seTZF’s excerpt from Ibn ’Arabi’s Whoso Knowethniverse of other seHimself, these words second, the sourcehit me like a bolt of lightning:niverse of other se“His second, the sourceVeil is only a part of His oneness; nothing veils other than He. His veilniverse second, the sourceof other seis only the concealment of His existence in His oneness”.

second, the sourceConcealment of His existence in His oneness! Therein liesAmpersand,nivtheintended to expressfundamental, ever-present, constantly evolving, endlesslyAmpersand,nivfrustrating,intended to expressinfinitely promising struggle of every spiritualAmpersand,nivseeker.

AAmpersand,nivtranslation I came across somewhere a long timeintended to expressago of chapterAmpersand,niv24, verse 35, of the Qur’an teaches that God speaks to man inintended toAmpersand,nivexpressmetaphors. You can say that again.

In one ofAmpersand,nivmyintended to expressfavorite passages of the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna (who is youAmpersand,nivand I) asks Krishnaintended to express(God) to show Himself to him. KrishnaAmpersand,nivresponds “these eyes of yours cannot seeintended to expressMe” (11:8, in the ,nivhref="define03.html#gita">Nikhilananda translation). So, Kirshna gives to Arjuna a Divine eye, thus enabling himealment tother than He. Hissee Him. And what does he see? Just what he saw before,ealment except with ather than He. Hisdifference, and the difference is what theealment spiritual process — whatther than He. Hisenlightenment, realization, Christealment Consciousness, Buddha Nature, and so on, arether than He. Hisall about: Whatealment Arjuna with his human eyes had seen as many, he now sees as One:ther than He.ealment His“There, in the person of the God of gods, Arjuna beheld the whole universe,ealment withther than He. Hisits manifold divisions, all gathered together in one.”

ealment

Manifold divisionsealment now One.

This is the “cloud ofealment unknowing” (from the extraordinary book of the samether than He. Histitle). Hereealment is what’s on TZF’s definitions page about that: The “cloud ofrsArjuna a Divine eyecannot see Me”unknowing” … is that which forever hides perception of the One,Arjuna a Divine eyeGod, from ourrs cannot see Me”every separative, egoic faculty. That is, howeverArjuna a Divine eyeclever we may become, as longrs cannot see Me”as we think, in effect, “I am me,Arjuna a Divine eyeand God is an other,” there must exist anrs cannot see Me”invisible, impassableArjuna a Divine eyeboundary between us. For, it is indelibly true that in thers cannot see Me”One,Arjuna a Divine eyethere are no others, and so, the only way truly to Know It, is to Be It.rsArjuna a Divine eyecannot see Me”There is Surrender, which is Union.

The cloudrs cannot see Me”of unknowing is the veil of concealment. Or isArjuna a Divine eyeit the other way around?

ConsiderArjuna a Divine eyethis venerable story: After a few yearsArjuna a Divine eyeof spiritual study, a seeker, convinced shers cannot see Me”has decipheredArjuna a Divine eyelife’s secrets, strides up to heaven’s gate and bangs on thers cannot seeArjuna a Divine eyeMe”door. “Whoܙs there?” thunders a voice from within. “It is I,” sheArjuna a Divine eyereplies,rs cannot see Me”with certainty. “There’s no room for you here,”Arjuna a Divine eyeresponds the voice, withrs cannot see Me”finality. Surprised and disheartened,Arjuna a Divine eyethe seeker returns to her books and herrs cannot see Me”fasts and her practices.Arjuna a Divine eyeSome time later, she tries again, but with the samers cannot see Me”result.Arjuna a Divine eyeEventually, after repeated failures, she gives up. She turns away fromrs cannotArjuna a Divine eyesee Me”all she knows, and she cries — at first, in anger, then confusion, untilArjuna a Divine eyefinallyrs cannot see Me”in surrender and in joy. Now, she knocks on the doorArjuna a Divine eyeagain. “Who’s there?” asksrs cannot see Me”the voice. “It is You,” the seekerArjuna a Divine eyereplies. The door opens.

AtArjuna a Divine eyeJohn 8:21 (and elsewhere), Christ, the Self-Realizedrs cannot see Me”Jesus, saysArjuna a Divine eyeto his disciples, “Where I am going, you cannot come.” Where Christrs cannot seeArjuna a Divine eyeMe”is going, where Christ IS, there is room for only One, the One. ChristArjuna a Divine eyeknowsrs cannot see Me”himself to be the One (“The Father and I are One”), butArjuna a Divine eyethe disciples stillrs cannot see Me”perceive themselves separatively, to be “meArjuna a Divine eyenot you” — “I am Andrew, not you,”rs cannot see Me”“I am Bartholomew, not you,”Arjuna a Divine eye“I am James, not you,” “I am Mary Magdalene, notrs cannot see Me”you”. So theyArjuna a Divine eyecan’t go There; because they’re stuck here … being “me”.

The premise of my book In ThersArjuna a Divine eyecannot see Me”Beginnning is that the Genesis story of the Fall is aArjuna a Divine eyemetaphoricalrs cannot see Me”explanation of why the One (God) appears to usArjuna a Divine eye(humanity) as not One but many.rs cannot see Me”In that story we are told thatArjuna a Divine eyeAdam and Eve ate from a tree whose fruit had beenrs cannot see Me”forbidden toArjuna a Divine eyethem, a fruit that imparted to them the knowledge of good and evil,rs cannot seeArjuna a Divine eyeMe”and that the punishment for having disobeyed God — for having committedArjuna a Divine eyeOriginalrs cannot see Me”Sin — is expulsion from Paradise, what we now call “myArjuna a Divine eyelife”. Here is some ofrs cannot see Me”what I write about that:

Consider, for example,rs cannot see Me”the name of theArjuna a Divine eyetree, “The Knowledge of Good and Evil”. That single word “and”rs cannot seeArjuna a Divine eyeMe”in the name gives away its secret to those whose ears will hear. In thersArjuna a Divine eyecannot see Me”beginning, when there was only One Thing, there was no word “and”.Arjuna a Divine eyeOf what users cannot see Me”would it have been? The word “and” is a conjunction,Arjuna a Divine eyeand conjunctions serve tors cannot see Me”join or connect things. Where there isArjuna a Divine eyeonly one thing, there is nothing tors cannot see Me”connect. In the beginning,Arjuna a Divine eyethere was only God, no God and … anything. …

But eating of the fruit of this tree imparted “thersArjuna a Divine eyecannot see Me”knowledge of and”, a knowledge heretofore excluded from, orArjuna a Divine eyeforbidden to,rs cannot see Me”Paradise. Hence, we call it the “forbidden” fruit,Arjuna a Divine eyea fruit whose effect is thers cannot see Me”world we know, the world of things,Arjuna a Divine eyethe world of “and”, a world denied or,rs cannot see Me”again, forbidden, to theArjuna a Divine eyeOne. …

Notice too inrs cannot see Me”this contextArjuna a Divine eyethat in Genesis, God delegates to Adam the function of namingrs cannot seeArjuna a Divine eyeMe”“every living creature”. To God in His Wholeness, there is no need for names.Arjuna a Divine eyeInrs cannot see Me”Truth, there is only One “living creature”, God, and it isArjuna a Divine eyenameless, at least tors cannot see Me”Itself. After all, what use to name It?Arjuna a Divine eyeWho would address It? There is no other.rs cannot see Me”It is only from theArjuna a Divine eyeperspective of those with “the knowledge of and”, those whors cannot see Me”seeArjuna a Divine eyethe One as many, that things need to be named, to be distinguished each fromrsArjuna a Divine eyecannot see Me”another, to be addressed. To God it is all One, Himself. It’s AllArjuna a Divine eyethe Same tors cannot see Me”Me, God might say; but as Adam, it is quite anotherArjuna a Divine eyestory. To Adam, it is boysrs cannot see Me”and girls, and cats and dogs, andArjuna a Divine eyechickens and foxes …

My argument inArjuna a Divine eyethat book is that the Fall was Intentional, part of thers cannot see Me”GrandArjuna a Divine eyePlan of Creation. I suggest there that the purpose of the Fall was thers cannotArjuna a Divine eyesee Me”creation of self-consciousness, leading ultimately to Self-ConsciousnessArjuna a Divine eyeorrs cannot see Me”Self-Realization (to Resurrection after The Fall). TheArjuna a Divine eyecreated Adam knowsrs cannot see Me”nothing, is happy, but asleep, unaware; theArjuna a Divine eyeResurrected Adam knows EveryThing,rs cannot see Me”is Blissful, Awake, DivinelyArjuna a Divine eyeAware. Adam-and-Eve’s “purpose” (our purpose?) isrs cannot see Me”the CreationArjuna a Divine eyeof Self-Consciousness.

In my otherrs cannot seeArjuna a Divine eyeMe”book, Take Off Your Shoes, I write about how itArjuna a Divine eyeisrs cannot see Me”that we see the One as many. That is, the other book is aboutArjuna a Divine eyethe why; this bookrs cannot see Me”is about the how:

Consider the simple prism, anrs cannot see Me”ordinary piece ofArjuna a Divine eyemultifaceted glass. As any school child knows, if we hold ars cannot seeArjuna a Divine eyeMe”prism up to a source of white light, and view the light through the glass,Arjuna a Divine eyewhatrs cannot see Me”was a single color will suddenly be seen quite differently:Arjuna a Divine eyeas a spectrum ofrs cannot see Me”separate, distinct colors. What was one (theArjuna a Divine eyesingle color white) now appears asrs cannot see Me”many (purple, blue, green,Arjuna a Divine eyeyellow, orange, and red). Explaining this phenomenonrs cannot see Me”in theArjuna a Divine eyeclassroom, we say that the prism has refracted or broken down the whiters cannotArjuna a Divine eyesee Me”light into its component parts. But, having said that, we must take careArjuna a Divine eyenot tors cannot see Me”conclude that the parts exist independently of the whole.Arjuna a Divine eyeThat is, the colorsrs cannot see Me”are not themselves separate, self-sustainingArjuna a Divine eyethings which exist apart from thers cannot see Me”white light. They are notArjuna a Divine eyereally parts at all. They are aspects of the whole andrs cannot seeArjuna a Divine eyeMe”inseparable from it. The individual, apparently separate colors are justArjuna a Divine eyeanotherrs cannot see Me”way of seeing the one white light. Indeed, they areArjuna a Divine eyewhite light, seenrs cannot see Me”differently. The spectrum purple-through-redArjuna a Divine eyeis not a thing of itself, butrs cannot see Me”simply white light viewed throughArjuna a Divine eyea prism, and to demonstrate that point we havers cannot see Me”only to removeArjuna a Divine eyethe prism, and the “other” colors disappear. They never reallyrs cannot seeArjuna a Divine eyeMe”could exist at all without the white light, and they certainly were notArjuna a Divine eyeseparaters cannot see Me”entities, although in the glass they seemed to be.Arjuna a Divine eyeAgain, the apparent separaters cannot see Me”and distinct reality of theArjuna a Divine eyespectrum is created by the prism (one color seen asrs cannot see Me”many).Arjuna a Divine eyeNotice, too, that during our use of the prism, the white light is notrs cannotArjuna a Divine eyesee Me”itself actually changed, does not cease to exist as it was before orArjuna a Divine eyeafter ourrs cannot see Me”use of the prism, and in a very real sense, it is allArjuna a Divine eyethat was ever reallyrs cannot see Me”there.

…Arjuna a Divine eyeCompare Paul at 1rs cannot see Me”Corinthians 13:12: “ForArjuna a Divine eyenow we see through a glass, darkly ….”

Once again without seeking to understand why itArjuna a Divine eyemightrs cannot see Me”occur, suppose that one aspect of Creation were to hold upArjuna a Divine eyebefore its “eyes” ars cannot see Me”similar prism, and then view itself and theArjuna a Divine eyerest through that piece of glass.rs cannot see Me”Instantly, the One would beArjuna a Divine eyeseen as many. The Whole, artificially broken intors cannot see Me”its apparentArjuna a Divine eyecomponent parts, would suddenly look to the viewer as separate,rs cannot seeArjuna a Divine eyeMe”varied, and distinct elements. Where there had been just white, there wouldArjuna a Divine eyenowrs cannot see Me”seem to be purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. TheArjuna a Divine eyeOne would not havers cannot see Me”become many, but it would appear as manyArjuna a Divine eye(just as white light does not becomers cannot see Me”the spectrum, it is seen asArjuna a Divine eyea spectrum). And, continuing with this illustrativers cannot see Me”device,Arjuna a Divine eyesuppose our viewer forgot for a moment that he was looking through ars cannotArjuna a Divine eyesee Me”prism (perhaps in his fascination with the colors); he might eventuallyArjuna a Divine eyeforgetrs cannot see Me”the exercise altogether, and come to believe that theArjuna a Divine eyecolors are real in and ofrs cannot see Me”themselves, that they are all thatArjuna a Divine eyethere is, and that the image created by thers cannot see Me”prism is not just aArjuna a Divine eyerefraction of something else but the universe itself. Thers cannot seeArjuna a Divine eyeMe”universe would then be seen not as the single source of light that it is,Arjuna a Divine eyethers cannot see Me”one stuff which is creation, as in “Let there be light”, butArjuna a Divine eyeas the spectrumrs cannot see Me”which it seems to be. What is one is now —Arjuna a Divine eyeappears now to be — many, and as thers cannot see Me”prism itself is forgotten,Arjuna a Divine eyeso is the source and nature of the spectrum, and wers cannot see Me”come toArjuna a Divine eyeaccept as self-sufficiently real and complete what is neither.

At TZF’s The Sacred Riddle, a Voice in the night asks, “If I Am Infinite, whoasareonyou?”

Ibn ’Arabiasdeclares, “Thou art not thou; thou art He,aswithoutonthou.”

In the image of the prism metaphor,asGod holdsonthe glass to His Eye, looks at Himself, and sees not One, but many.as

God, the One than Whom There is No Other,asperceives Himselfonas you and me and cats and dogs and trees and mountains andashouses and barns.onWith Ibn ’Arabi, He knows that barns are not barns, that theyasare He, withoutonbarns; but He perceives them as barns, precisely and onlyasbecause He isonperceiving Himself through the prism, which too is Himself. Inasthe prism, He isonbarns. The prism, like the veil, like the cloud of unknowing,aslike the darkonglass, is Himself; He disguises or conceals Himself from Himselfasby Himself. Theonprism — and its manifold image of Himself — exists because Heasexists.

And when He removes the prism from His Eye,aslifts the veil,ondispels the cloud, drops the dark glass, dissolves theasseparative ego, theonremoval itself is Himself. He removes Himself from Himselfasby Himself. And whatonremains? Himself — there being no thing else.

Allonalong, as we ponder and consider these questions,aswhich as seekers we must do,onwe do well to remember, God speaks to Himself inasmetaphors.

November 8 - 15, 2015
Updated Decemberas21, 2015, & in 2016,onJanuary 26, February 20

Reading todayasan article about authoronMary Gaitskill in the November 8, 2015 issue of The NewasYork TimesasSunday Magazine, there is this: “ … in the middle of the lifess="twoblue left">Iofes them as barns, p[her character], a trapdoor suddenly opens. She is allowedss="twoblue left">Ia vision of the reales them as barns, pessence of existence, something ‘sensatess="twoblue left">Iand unbearably deep,’ … — the world ases them as barns, panimals experience it,ss="twoblue left">Ibeyond language.”

The worldes them as barns, passs="twoblue left">Ianimals experience it, beyond language.

Is thereesss="twoblue left">Ithem as barns, pa world before the prism, a world absent the veil? Is theress="twoblue left">Ilanguage before thees them as barns, pprism or the veil? Why would there be? Thess="twoblue left">Ipurpose of language is toes them as barns, pcommunicate; language is a toolss="twoblue left">Ienabling us to speak or write to one another. Ifes them as barns, pthere is noss="twoblue left">Iperception of “one another”, why have language? Ditto thought. Arees them asss="twoblue left">Ibarns, pthought and language essentially (from a seeker's perspective)ss="twoblue left">Isynonymous?

es them as barns, p

Anyway, here's anss="twoblue left">Iexchange between Iphref="define05.html#nisarga">Nisargadatta and a seeker from the book Ithem as barns, phref="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0893860468">I Amss="twoblue left">IThat:

Ileft">Questioner: People come to you fores them as barns, padvice. How do youss="twoblue left">Iknow what to answer?
Maharaj: As I hear the question, soes them as barns,ss="twoblue left">Ipdo I hear the answer.
Q: How do you know that your answer is right?
ss="twoblue left">IM:es them as barns, pOnce I know the true source of the answers, I need notss="twoblue left">Idoubt them. From a purees them as barns, psource, only pure water will flow.

ss="twoblue left">I

Nisargadatta doesn’t hear ass="twoblue left">Iquestion, and then think of an answer, as wees them as barns, pdo. He hears thess="twoblue left">Ianswer at the same time he hears the question.

Ipclass="twoblue left">There is no separation between question and answer … andesss="twoblue left">Ithem as barns, ptherefore between questioner and answerer? In the REAL world,ss="twoblue left">Ithe questioner,es them as barns, pthe answerer, the question, the answer, aress="twoblue left">Iall one and the Same Thing. On God’ses them as barns, pside of the veil,ss="twoblue left">Ieverything is One and the Same.

Ipleft">The prism — or the veil — creates (is) the perception of separation, ofesss="twoblue left">Ithem as barns, pseparation between APPARENT things, whatever they may bess="twoblue left">I(people, animals,es them as barns, pbuildings, clouds, ideas, sounds, memories,ss="twoblue left">Ithoughts, moments, et cetera: thees them as barns, pOne as many). It isss="twoblue left">Iimpossible for our minds fully to grasp this in anyes them as barns, pmeaningfulss="twoblue left">Iway because the concept of separation is inherent, intrinsic to oures them asss="twoblue left">Ibarns, pmind. Literally beyond the mind.

Whichss="twoblue left">Isuggestses them as barns, pthis question: Is the mind the prism? Is the mind thess="twoblue left">Iveil? Is the mind Hises them as barns, pconcealment to Himself of His existencess="twoblue left">Iin His oneness?

Which raises thisss="twoblue left">Iquestion: Are you and I and your life and my life (andes them as barns, pall thess="twoblue left">Irest), simply a metaphor for God?

November 20,es them asss="twoblue left">Ibarns, p2015
Updated December 21, 2015

Ibarns, psrc="images/zbbos2.gif" alt="Gazebo"> 

Ileft">Here’ses them as barns, panother exchange between Nisargadatta and ass="twoblue left">Iseeker:

Ileft">Questioner: When will it happen?
Maharaj: It willes them as barns,ss="twoblue left">Iphappen as soon as you remove the obstacles.
Q: Which obstacles?
M:esss="twoblue left">Ithem as barns, pDesire for the false and fear of the true. You, as the person,ss="twoblue left">Iimagine that thees them as barns, pGuru is interested in you as a person. Not atss="twoblue left">Iall. To him you are a nuisance andes them as barns, pa hindrance to be done awayss="twoblue left">Iwith. He actually aims at your elimination as aes them as barns, pfactor inss="twoblue left">Iconsciuousness.
Q: If I am eliminated, what will remain?
M:es them asss="twoblue left">Ibarns, pNothing will remain, all will remain. … Liberation is never of thess="twoblue left">Iperson, it ises them as barns, palways from the peson.

Ileft">December 3, 2015

ss="twoblue left">IUp!Iheight="18" border="0">

es them as barns, pss="twoblue left">I

She speaks to Herself in metaphors.

es them asss="twoblue left">Ibarns, p
Icellspacing="0"es them as barns, pcellpadding="25" border="1">
ss="twoblue left">I

It’s a bubble,ss="twoblue left">Inot a basket

Lastes them as barns, pevening beforess="twoblue left">Iretiring, I read a couple of pages from Iphref="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0893860220">I Am That. I doss="twoblue left">Isoes them as barns, poften for several reasons, among which are, Ibarns, phref="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0893860220">I Am Thatss="twoblue left">Iis one ofes them as barns, pthe Teaching Devices we have come across which (1)ss="twoblue left">Iis packed with Living Power –es them as barns, preading it is quite literarllyss="twoblue left">Ilike being in the presence of the Teacher, Iphref="define07.html#sri">Sri Iphref="define05.html#nisarga">Nisargadatta Maharaj, and (2) perhapsss="twoblue left">Ibecausees them as barns, pof (1), every time I read from the book, the materialss="twoblue left">Icomes across as if for thees them as barns, pfirst time, and (3) reading thisss="twoblue left">Istuff quite literally “moves” me from the “I ames them as barns, pStefan, andss="twoblue left">Iyou aren’t” position to … beyond that – even if only for an instant.es them asss="twoblue left">Ibarns, p

Anyway, on page 382 of the 1973 editionss="twoblue left">Iwhich wees them as barns, phave, I read this:

Youss="twoblue left">Icannot fight pain andes them as barns, ppleasure on the level of consciousness.ss="twoblue left">ITo go beyond them you must go beyondes them as barns, pconsciousnessness, whichss="twoblue left">Iis possible only when you look at consciousness ases them as barns, psomethingss="twoblue left">Ithat happens to you and not in you, as something external, alien, andes them asss="twoblue left">Ibarns, psuperimposed. Then, suddenly you are free of consciousness, reallyss="twoblue left">Ialone, withes them as barns, pnothing to intrude. And that is your true state.ss="twoblue left">IConsciousness is an itchinges them as barns, prash that makes you scratch. Ofss="twoblue left">Icourse, you cannot step out of consciousness.es them as barns, pBut if you learnss="twoblue left">Ito look at your consciousness as a sort of fever, personal andes them as barns,ss="twoblue left">Ipprivate, in which you are enclosed like a chick in its shell, out of thisss="twoblue left">Iveryes them as barns, pattitude will come the crisis which will break thess="twoblue left">Ishell.

Earlier Ihref="#basket">on this page, I wrote in part, “At thees them as barns,ss="twoblue left">Ipbody’s birth, and often beginning even before then, the parents weave ass="twoblue left">Ibasketes them as barns, pof thoughts about their new creation. They give it ass="twoblue left">Iname, make plans for it,es them as barns, ptalk to it, express its beauty,ss="twoblue left">Iremark on whom it looks like, and so on. Slowlyes them as barns, pbut surely,ss="twoblue left">Ithe basket fills. … The basket of thoughts is the personality. Whenes them asss="twoblue left">Ibarns, pI say, “I am Stefan”, what I mean is, I identify with the basket ofss="twoblue left">Ithoughtses them as barns, p(memories, expectations, and so on) originally weavedss="twoblue left">Iby Stefan’s parents, andes them as barns, pthat now, taken all together, composess="twoblue left">Iwhat I call ‘me’.”

All along, thess="twoblue left">Iproblem for me with the “basket” image, much as I otherwisees them as barns,ss="twoblue left">Ipliked it, is that it suggested (1) that there is a “somewhere” where thess="twoblue left">Ibasketes them as barns, presides and (2) that also in that somewhere are othersss="twoblue left">I– people, places, things,es them as barns, plike, in this image, Stefan'sss="twoblue left">Iparents, when I believe that the truth is that thees them as barns, pbasket isss="twoblue left">Iall there is. That is, the contents of the basket consist not only ofes them asss="twoblue left">Ibarns, pall the accumulated thoughts, memories, expectations, etc. which composess="twoblue left">Iwhat Ies them as barns, pcall Stefan, but also every thing else that I perceivess="twoblue left">I(past, present, ores them as barns, pfuture) as my life. In other words, in thess="twoblue left">Iseparative universe defined by thees them as barns, pperception “I am Stefan,ss="twoblue left">Iand you aren’t”, the basket is all there is.

Ipclass="twoblue left">If I am understanding Nisargadatta correctly (that's ass="twoblue left">Ibiges them as barns, pif), the basket is consciousness.

Ileft">But he describeses them as barns, pit not as a basket, but as an eggshell.ss="twoblue left">IThat is, the outer limits of the basketes them as barns, pare the shell of anss="twoblue left">Iegg, and everything inside the shell is what I call “me” andes them as barns,ss="twoblue left">Ip“my life”. Outside the shell is … what? … the Void, which is the absence ofss="twoblue left">Ianyes them as barns, pseparate thing … the Divine. The only way “there” is byss="twoblue left">Icracking the shell, ates them as barns, pwhich point POOF! the entiretyss="twoblue left">Idisappears, and all that is left is the VOID …es them as barns, pthe Diviness="twoblue left">I(which is all there ever was anyway?).

Ipleft">That's a great image. Sleeping on it last night, the image evolved fromss="twoblue left">Ianes them as barns, peggshell into a bubble, a bubble enclosing what I perceivess="twoblue left">Ias me and my lifees them as barns, pfloating about the VOID, a bubble which,ss="twoblue left">Iwhen popped, disappears along with alles them as barns, pits contents, and allss="twoblue left">Ithat is left is the VOID … the Divine.

Ipleft">August 4, 2012

Ias barns, palt="Gazebo">

VOID? That’s a distrurbingss="twoblue left">Iword to thees them as barns, pseparative egoic body/mind. But, of course, itss="twoblue left">Iwould be, because that ises them as barns, pprecisely what it means, the absencess="twoblue left">Iof the separative ego, or any semblance,es them as barns, psuggestion, hint,ss="twoblue left">Iallegation, or otherwise allusion to “other”, any other. Thises them as barns,ss="twoblue left">Ipis the CHAOS which virtually all the Ihref="define06.html#religion">spirituales them as barns, ptraditions affirm.ss="twoblue left">IThus, Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created thees them as barns, pheavensss="twoblue left">Iand the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness wases them asss="twoblue left">Ibarns, pupon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over thess="twoblue left">Iface of thees them as barns, pwaters.”

Without form.ss="twoblue left">IIn other words, withoutes them as barns, pboundaries, undefined. This is chaosss="twoblue left">Iin the Greek sense of KHAOS described byes them as barns, pone Ihref="http://www.pantheon.org/articles/c/chaos.html"es them as barns,ss="twoblue left">Iptarget="_top">website as “the void from which all things developed into aesss="twoblue left">Ithem as barns, pdistinctive entity.”

Distinctivess="twoblue left">Ientity. This is thees them as barns, pUniverse before the so-called Fall and thess="twoblue left">Icreation of “the knowldege of and“ …es them as barns, pas suggested in Ihref="itb04.html" target="_top">In The Beginning:

Ipclass="threecite left">Now, looking at the scene [theesss="twoblue left">Ithem as barns, pGarden of Eden] in this new light, some of what hadss="twoblue left">Iseemed confusing toes them as barns, pus about The Fall account begins to makess="twoblue left">Isense. Even the tree with its forbiddenes them as barns, pfruit assumes ass="twoblue left">Idifferent shape and an appropriate function. Consider, fores them as barns,ss="twoblue left">Ipexample, the name of the tree, “The Knowledge of Good and Evil”. That singleesss="twoblue left">Ithem as barns, pword “and” in the name gives away its secret to those whose earsss="twoblue left">Iwill hear. Ines them as barns, pthe beginning, when there was only One Thing,ss="twoblue left">Ithere was no word “and”. Of whates them as barns, puse would it have been? Thess="twoblue left">Iword “and” is a conjunction, and conjunctions servees them as barns, pto join orss="twoblue left">Iconnect things. Where there is only one thing, there is nothing toes them asss="twoblue left">Ibarns, pconnect. In the beginning, there was only God, no God and …ss="twoblue left">Ianything. …

es them as barns, p

Notice too inss="twoblue left">Ithis context that in Genesis Godes them as barns, pdelegates to Adam thess="twoblue left">Ifunction of naming “every living creature”. To God in Hises them as barns,ss="twoblue left">IpWholeness, there is no need for names. In Truth, there is only One “livingesss="twoblue left">Ithem as barns, pcreature”, God, and it is nameless, at least to Itself. Afterss="twoblue left">Iall, what use toes them as barns, pname It? Who would address It? There is noss="twoblue left">Iother. It is only from thees them as barns, pperspective of those with “thess="twoblue left">Iknowledge of and”, those who see the One as many,es them as barns, pthat thingsss="twoblue left">Ineed to be named, to be distinguished each from another, to bees them as barns,ss="twoblue left">Ipaddressed. To God it is all One, Himself. It’s All the Same to Me, God mightesss="twoblue left">Ithem as barns, psay; but as Adam, it is quite another story. To Adam (remember,ss="twoblue left">Ithat’ses them as barns, pGod-as-Adam), it is boys andss="twoblue left">Igirls, and cats and dogs, andss="twoblue left">Ichickens and foxes,es them as barns, pand all sorts ofss="twoblue left">Iother good things!

es them as barns, p

The ego nodsss="twoblue left">Iknowingly, and convinces itself that alles them as barns, pthat stuff is fine,ss="twoblue left">Ibut not applicable to it. The ego convinces itselfes them as barns, p(convincesss="twoblue left">I“me”) that “Self-Realization” applies to it. That is,es them as barns,ss="twoblue left">IpSelf-Realization is something Stefan can achieve, and in doing so can say, “Iss="twoblue left">Iames them as barns, pSelf-Realized, and you aren’t”!

Ileft">But ases them as barns, pNisargadatta says, “There is no such thing as ass="twoblue left">Iperson.” Thus, there is no suches them as barns, pthing as a Stefan. What I callss="twoblue left">IStefan (and Stefan’s life) is no more than (butes them as barns, pall of) anss="twoblue left">Iever-growing collection of thoughts, memories, and expectations …es them asss="twoblue left">Ibarns, penclosed in a bubble drifting about in KHAOS.

Ileft">Popes them as barns, pthe bubble, and POOF! it’s all gone, never to havess="twoblue left">Ibeen.

August 5, 2012

Iclass="center"> Ialt="Up!" width="18" vspace="2" height="18"es them as barns,ss="twoblue left">Ipborder="0">

Ias barns, pcenter">I am the lover and the beloved.

Ithem as barns, pclass="stuffIn center">Husayn bin Masur Hallaj

Iclass="center">Ihref="que.html#husayn">Q

Ipclass="center table" width="95%" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="25" border="1">esss="twoblue left">Ithem as barns, p

Ithem as barns, pid="lewis">Creation, Imagination, & Science

The lastleft">and chickens and that enables chickens and not familiar with HTML chickens and interested, can see it by chickens and The Zoo Fence, and choosing “View Page chickens and choice, depending upon the browser you are using). This chickens and creview-and-amending is a time-consuming process, particularly because TZFleft">and chickens and necessary chickens and fifteen years since TZF moved chickens and on the web, has been revised or replaced … or, chickens and technical term, “deprecated”.

Anyway, the chickensleft">and one of the pages,left">and I came chickens and it wants to believe, chickens and what use to a seeker is the mind’s chickens and in an episode of and chref="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/lewis/index.html">Inspector Lewisleft">and chickens Maine Public Television,left">and there was a chickens and href="amper04.html">Ralph Waldo Emerson chickens about science andleft">and imagination. I do not remember exactly how it went, but chickens and found this Emerson quotation on the internet, “Science does not know itsleft">and chickens and on the Inspector chickens and case it’s close enough.

Puttingleft">and those two pieces together generated this thought: chickens and creates an idea, a concept, and then projects evidence of its chickens and ctruth.

Thus, imagination creates something, say,left">and the chickens and “the world” (which is chickens and imagination/mind) evidence which proves chickens and (fossils, etc.).

All of this chickens and in with a thought I have been struggling with for years, to wit, Am I (isleft">and chickens and (simultaneously) chickens and and memories to “prove” its chickens and href="define07.html#teacher">Teachers seem to insist chickens and so, and increasingly my life (!) confirms it.

and cleft">July 21, 2012

and csrc="images/zbtarr1.gif" alt="Up!" width="18" vspace="2" height="18" chickensleft">and

and chickens He that complies against hisleft">and will
Is of his chickens

and center">Samuel Butler

and href="que.html#complies">Q

and class="center table" width="95%" cellspacing="0" chickens and ccellpadding="25" border="1">

and chickens Can’t See Me

and left">After reading again chickens and href="define05.html#baba">Neem Karoli Baba’s death in and chref="http://www.zoofence.org/amper09.html">By His Grace the other day,left">and this chickens

Imagine aleft">and Self-Realized Master – a and chickens Guru, a and chref="define07.html#teacher">Teacher – telling disciples or devotees aboutleft">and chickens and them that he or chickens and with you always” Matthew 28:20). chickens and “But, Guru, I won’t be able to see you then”.

chickens and class="twoblue left">Over the centuries in all the and chref="define06.html#religion">traditions, how many exchanges like that haveleft">and chickens and surely.

But here’s the thing. Ileft">and can’t remember ever reading or chickens and responded to such a question in the one way which chickens and sense, which is, “You can’t see me now.” Or “You won’t be able to chickens and csee me then just as you cannot see me now.”

Thinkleft">and chickens and photograph, on a canvas or chickens and body. But, by definition, the Teacher has chickens and physical body totally, entirely, unequivocally. The Teacher is chickens and cnot the body. The Teacher is Infinite Consciousness (whatever precisely thatleft">and chickens and actually SEEN a chickens

That musingleft">and led me to this: The function of chickens and touch, etc.) is to materialize Consciousness, chickens and Consciousness “sensible”.

The Teachers all chickensleft">and and language), that chickens and The five senses make it possible chickens and to taste it, to hear it, to touch it.

and left">Here, I am reminded of the film, and chref="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0783240961" target="_top">The Invisible Man. The only way others can see him is whene07.html#teacher">Theor devotees about thas clothes on.

March 12, 2012

e07.html#teacher">T

Whenever I hear, read, or consider thee07.html#teacher">Tconcept “I am with you always,” Ior devotees about tam reminded of “Thref="consdr28.html#gravure">The Presence” in which, as Ior devotees aboute07.html#teacher">Ttsee it, a pained or frightened and almost certainly lonely penitent prays forore07.html#teacher">Tdevotees about tsuccor when all the while the Teacher, Christ, is at hise07.html#teacher">Tback!

Tsrc="images/zbtarr1.gif" alt="Up!"or devotees about twidth="18" vspace="2"e07.html#teacher">Theight="18" border="0">

or devotees about te07.html#teacher">T

“And whenor devoteese07.html#teacher">Tabout tyou have saluted Demetrius, turn aside to the seashore where the islande07.html#teacher">Tofor devotees about tCalypson lies; for there you shall see me appear toe07.html#teacher">Tyou.”

“Alive,” asked Mamis,e07.html#teacher">T“or how?”

Apollonius with ae07.html#teacher">Tsmile replied: “As I myself believe,or devotees about talive, but as you wille07.html#teacher">Tbelieve, risen from the dead.”

Ttcenter">Apollonius

Tthref="que.html#apollonius">Q

Tclass="centeror devotees about ttable" width="95%" cellspacing="0"e07.html#teacher">Tcellpadding="25" border="1"> or devotees about t Tclass="twoblue center">Absent Me

Ttclass="twoblue left">Over the years, I suppose I have said this on TZF here,ore07.html#teacher">Tdevotees about tthere, and everywhere, in as many different ways, but a couplee07.html#teacher">Tof weeks ago itor devotees about tstruck me with the clarity and power of ae07.html#teacher">Tlightning bolt, and I have not beenor devotees about table to shake it.

Tclass="twoblue left">The separative egoic concept “me”or devotees about t(I ame07.html#teacher">Tme and you aren’t me) is the reason for or the manifestation of or isor devoteese07.html#teacher">Tabout tanother expression of or, in some way I can’t quite put into words yet,e07.html#teacher">Tthe sineor devotees about tqua non of, everything that is perceived as wrong ore07.html#teacher">Tnegative or evil in theor devotees about tworld or in our “reality”. Considere07.html#teacher">Tthat the seven deadly sins (lust, gluttony,or devotees about tgreed, etc.) alle07.html#teacher">Tdepend for their existence on the existence of “me”. Ditto theor devotees aboute07.html#teacher">TtTen Commandments (Exodus 20). Death, disease, poverty, anger, frustration,ore07.html#teacher">Tdevotees about tloneliness, confusion, each depends for its existence on thee07.html#teacher">Texistence of “me”.or devotees about tPolitics depends on the existence of “me”.e07.html#teacher">TEven religion depends on theor devotees about texistence of “me”.

Tclass="twoblue left">Eliminate “me”, and all of thator devotees about tis …e07.html#teacher">Tpoof! … gone.

Clearly, the problem with “me” isore07.html#teacher">Tdevotees about tthat it generates (it is) the perception of an other – othere07.html#teacher">Tpersons (not me),or devotees about tother things (not this), other places (note07.html#teacher">There), other times (not now), and inor devotees about ta Universe in which theree07.html#teacher">Tis no God but God and God is all there is (for aor devotees about tconsideratione07.html#teacher">Tof that idea, please see The Simpleor devotees aboute07.html#teacher">TtWay), there is no such thing as “other”. What would it be? Where would itore07.html#teacher">Tdevotees about tbe? When would it be?

The egoice07.html#teacher">Tperception of “me”or devotees about tcreates something-somewhere-some time whiche07.html#teacher">Tdoes not exist precisely because itor devotees about tis something which cannote07.html#teacher">Texist, something which is simply not possible in aor devotees about tUniverse ofe07.html#teacher">Tonly One Thing, God.

To be sure, theor devoteese07.html#teacher">Tabout tperception of “me” seems to us not only possible but even self-evident –e07.html#teacher">Tjustor devotees about tlook in the mirror, and so each of us lives our livese07.html#teacher">Taccordingly.

But the fact remains, thee07.html#teacher">Tperception of “me” and all itsor devotees about texpressions are not real.e07.html#teacher">THowever real seeming, it is an illusion. We areor devotees about tperceiving it,e07.html#teacher">Tbut it is not there.

In the book “Tabout thref="http://www.amazon.com/Stefan-C.-Nadzo/e/B001KCHEAQ" target="_top">e07.html#teacher">TTakeor devotees about tOff Your Shoes”, in order to understand this apparente07.html#teacher">Tcontradiction, Ior devotees about tsuggest what I call “the prism effect”:

e07.html#teacher">T

Consider thee07.html#teacher">Tsimple prism, an ordinary piece of multifacetedor devotees about tglass. As anye07.html#teacher">Tschool child knows, if we hold a prism up to a source of whiteor devotees aboute07.html#teacher">Ttlight, and view the light through the glass, what was a single color willore07.html#teacher">Tdevotees about tsuddenly be seen quite differently: as a spectrum of separate,e07.html#teacher">Tdistinct colors.or devotees about tWhat was one (the single color white) nowe07.html#teacher">Tappears as many (purple, blue, green,or devotees about tyellow, orange, ande07.html#teacher">Tred). Explaining this phenomenon in the classroom, we sayor devotees about tthate07.html#teacher">Tthe prism has refracted or broken down the white light into its componentore07.html#teacher">Tdevotees about tparts. But, having said that, we must take care not to concludee07.html#teacher">Tthat the partsor devotees about texist independently of the whole. That is, thee07.html#teacher">Tcolors are not themselvesor devotees about tseparate, self-sustaining thingse07.html#teacher">Twhich exist apart from the white light. Theyor devotees about tare not reallye07.html#teacher">Tparts at all. They are aspects of the whole and inseparable fromor devoteese07.html#teacher">Tabout tit. The individual, apparently separatee07.html#teacher">Tcolors areor devotees about tjust another way of seeing the one white light.e07.html#teacher">TIndeed, they are white light,or devotees about tseen differently. The spectrume07.html#teacher">Tpurple-through-red is not a thing of itself, butor devotees about tsimply whitee07.html#teacher">Tlight viewed through a prism, and to demonstrate that point we haveor devoteese07.html#teacher">Tabout tonly to remove the prism, and the “other” colors disappear. They nevere07.html#teacher">Treallyor devotees about tcould exist at all without the white light, and theye07.html#teacher">Tcertainly were not separateor devotees about tentities, although in the glasse07.html#teacher">Tthey seemed to be. Again, the apparent separateor devotees about tand distincte07.html#teacher">Treality of the spectrum is created by the prism (one color seen asor devoteese07.html#teacher">Tabout tmany). Notice, too, that during our use of the prism, the white light ise07.html#teacher">Tnotor devotees about titself actually changed, does not cease to exist as it wase07.html#teacher">Tbefore or after ouror devotees about tuse of the prism, and in a very reale07.html#teacher">Tsense, it is all that was ever reallyor devotees about tthere.

Tclass="twoblue left">To be sure, calling it the “prismor devotees about teffect”e07.html#teacher">Tdoes not resolve the issue, but perhaps it does help to clarify it.

ore07.html#teacher">Tdevotees about t

In the end (actually, I suppose, in thee07.html#teacher">Tbeginning), itor devotees about tis all about Thref="define07.html#self">Self-Realization. Just so, whenor devotees aboute07.html#teacher">TtKrishna gave Arjuna a divine eye (Ttclass="noshow">see here) what Arjuna saw, in effect, was no others! Noe07.html#teacher">T“me”or devotees about tor any of its attendants.

Tleft">Reading in “Tthref="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1590304950">The Meaning of Mary Magdalene” by Cynthia Bourgeault, “…olors.gle color white) noWhat was onediscovering what it means to love one’s neighbor as oneself – notgle color white) noas much as one’s self, as egoicgle color white) noconsciousness alwaysolors. What was oneappends, but as the intimate expressiongle color white) noof one’s own being.” As one’s self.

olors. What was one

January 9, 2012

The Zoo Fence

After Igle color white) noposted these thoughts, aolors. What was onelong-time friend of TZF wrote us, ingle color white) nopart:

…gle color white) nothinking about the prism, Shelley’s poem Adonais came togle color white) nomind:

olors. What was one

The One remains, the many changeolors. What was oneand pass;
gle color white) noHeaven’s light forever shines, Earth’s shadows fly;
Life, likeolors. Whatgle color white) nowas onea dome of many-coloured glass,
Stains the white radiance ofgle color white) noEternity,
olors. What was oneUntil Death tramples it to fragments. –Die
gle color white) noIf thou wouldst be with thatolors. What was onewhich thou dost seek!

gle color white) no

That last linegle color white) nothen reminded me of the last line in the Prayer of St Francis:

It is in dying that we are borngle color white) nointoolors. What was oneeternal life.

Nicegle color white) nostuff. The power inolors. What was oneShelley’s Elegy on John Keats’ Deathgle color white) noreminds me of the powerful delivery of W.olors. What was oneH. Auden’s Funeral Bluesolors. What wasgle color white) noone(“Stop all the clocks“) in the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Iut . Just so, whhref="define0confess I am a little uncomfortable with Shelley’s word “stains” inon. Just so, wh“Life …ut . Just so, wh“stainless”. Life seems stained to us because weut . Just so, whprocess (ourut January 15, 2012

. Just so, whclass="ten center">. Just so, whFence" width="13" height="12">

Here’s aut . Just so, whhref="define0thought from Ramana Maharshi:

Realization is nothing new to beon. Just so, whacquired. It is already there,ut . Just so, whscreen, and then Realization is revealed.

. Just so, whhref="define0class="twoblue left">For more of that, please . Just so, whhref="open0036.html">clickut . Just so, whleft">January 16, 2012

on. Just so, whUp!. Just so, whhref="define0height="18" border="0">

on. Just so, wh
It is noton. Just so, whbigotry to be certain we areut . Just so, whwrong.

G. K. Chesterton

. Just so, whhref="define0class="center">
Q

on. Just so, wh . Just so, whcellspacing="0"ut ut Aut . Just so, whhref="define0single human soul is of more worth than the whole universe ofon. Just so, whbodies andut Jacqueson. Just so, whMaritain

. Just so, whhref="define0href="que.html#maritain">Q

. Just so, whclass="centerut . Just so, whcellpadding="25" border="1">
ut . Just so, whcenter"> Death or Not

. Just so, whhref="define0class="two left">The more I think about it, the more apparent iton. Just so, whbecomes to meut . Just so, whnow. Death is not the way out of the separate andut

The world each of us perceiveson. Just so, whourselves to beut . Just so, whprojection as “the world” and as “my life”. The inner and theut . Just so, whhref="define0outer are one and the same thing.

It ison. Just so, whthe mind thatut . Just so, whI am increasingly convinced that it does, thenut . Just so, whprojecting on theut Presumably the death ofut . Just so, whdifferent; but itut . Just so, whgenerated a difference within us. In other words, our innerut . Just so, whhref="define0differences will be reflected in the “new” outer projection. But iton. Just so, whwill stillut . Just so, whleft">The spiritual process isut Self-Realization. That has nothing to dout . Just so, whhref="define0with physical death.

Physical death (deathon. Just so, whof the body)ut . Just so, whcontinues to be true as long as we perceive outselvesut Mind, this is aboutut . Just so, whhref="define0life not Life. Life with a captial L is eternal. No beginning, noon. Just so, whend, nout Think of Life ason. Just so, wha spectrum. At oneut . Just so, whwhat life is about, and there is no interest inut . Just so, whmine is mine andut . Just so, whextent that we are even the least bit introspective,ut . Just so, whConsciousness: nout . Just so, whUnion. Here the spectrum itself dissolves andut The spectrum passes through a variety of,ut . Just so, whhref="define0let’s call them, conditions or positions. Among these are theon. Just so, whliving bodilyut . Just so, whto be the opposite of being alive.

These conditions or positions have no impact on Life itself,on. Just so, whwhich alwaysut . Just so, whand of ourselves and therefore ultimately ofut . Just so, whopportunities or tout . Just so, whclass="two left">Life passes through these conditionsut . Just so, whdifferentut . Just so, whunchanged. The impact or effect is always onlyut

Ditto Life.

. Just so, whclass="tenut May 29, 2009

. Just so, whhref="#top"> . Just so, whwidth="18" vspace="2" height="18"ut

on. Just so, wh
on. Just so, wh

Rapture Meon. Just so, whThis

I was thinking theut . Just so, whthose whout . Just so, whso ago, Anna and I watched part of a movieut . Just so, whskyward out of their lives – whatever they were doing, whether driving aut . Just so, whhref="define0car, eating a meal, walking along a sidewalk, POOF! they were gone.on. Just so, whThose leftut . Just so, whtrees, half-eaten meals are discovered leftut I have read that the biblicalut . Just so, whhref="define0basis for the concept of rapture is found in 1 Thessalonianson. Just so, wh4:16-17 – “And theut . Just so, whin the clouds to meet the Lord in the air”. I amut . Just so, whIt is farut . Just so, whessentially an extension of the “I am me, and you aren’t me”ut . Just so, whhref="define0egoic reality.

Self-Realization, on theon. Just so, whother hand, isut . Just so, whand neatly than the rapture concept. When the Gospelut . Just so, whbut becauseut . Just so, whthere. The separative egoic personality “I amut Considering these matters the other day remindedon. Just so, whme of aut . Just so, whSelf-Realized Teachers. To be sure, the spiritualut . Just so, whwondered, thatut . Just so, whthere must have been more; but if so, who were they?ut All theut . Just so, whhref="define0Teachings I am aware of seem to agree that when an average seekeron. Just so, whreaches (ifut . Just so, whseparative, egoic personality. The “me” in theut . Just so, wh“average”ut . Just so, whto have ever existed. The annihilation of the “me”ut . Just so, whtrace, everyut . Just so, whshe never ever existed at all.

Now,on. Just so, whthat idea raises two questions. First, if Self-Realization results inut . Just so, whhref="define0the complete annihilation and total disappearance of the Realizer,on. Just so, whhow do weut . Just so, whNisargadatta, Ramakrishna, Rumi, and others? The answer is, theyut . Just so, whhref="define0are Bodhisattvas, Teachers whoon. Just so, whhave reachedut . Just so, whso. They choose to remain behind in ourut . Just so, whthe billionsut . Just so, whclass="two left">The second question is, ifut . Just so, whand traces ofut . Just so, whbecome aware of them while they were ordinaryut . Just so, whclass="twout My answer to that is what I call “infiniteon. Just so, whspontaneous simultaneousut . Just so, whspontaneous realities co-existing with one anotherut . Just so, whhref="define0simultaneously. Thus, everyone of us exists simultaneously in anon. Just so, whinfinite numberut . Just so, whpossibly in dreams?). That is, in my life inut . Just so, wh“me”ut . Just so, whone.

So,ut . Just so, whdecades, and who in adulthood achieves Self-Realization. In thatut . Just so, whhref="define0instant, he or she ceases to exist as a separate and distincton. Just so, whperson, both inut . Just so, whdisappearance, the reality in which he existedut . Just so, whhref="define0left">And not only is the reality which I shared with thaton. Just so, wherstwhile personut . Just so, whother personalities who existed in those realities?ut Simply this: The disappearance ofut . Just so, whhref="define0the reality I shared with the erstwhile person now Self-Realizedon. Just so, whhas no effectut . Just so, wham not even aware of its happening. The personality Iut . Just so, whthe “loss” orut . Just so, wha remaining trace; there is no awareness of its havingut . Just so, whhref="define0happened, no memory of its ever having been, no impact whatsoeveron. Just so, whby itsut . Just so, whan infinite number of other realities,ut And, inut . Just so, whhref="define0the interim, I am never aware of the fact that my erstwhile friendon. Just so, whin a sharedut August 29, 2009

on. Just so, wh

Consider a dream. No matter howut . Just so, whdream ends. Itut . Just so, whPOOF! every bit of it is gone … except theut August 30, 2009

There is a discussion generated by this item at . Just so, whhref="define0href="http://www.zoofence.com/openforum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=285">on. Just so, whTZF’s Openut on. Just so, wh. Just so, whheight="18" border="0">

. Just so, whname="clement" id="clement">For when the Lord himself was askedut . Just so, whhref="define0by someone when his kingdom would come,
he said, “When the twoon. Just so, whare one, andut

2 Clement

. Just so, whhref="que.html#clement">Q

. Just so, whhref="define0class="center table" width="95%" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="25"on. Just so, whborder="1">ut . Just so, whname="holocaust">Learning Fromut On May 1, the Jewish community around theut . Just so, whhref="define0world is observing . Just so, whhref="define0href="http://history1900s.about.com/cs/holocaust/a/yomhashoah.htm"uton. Just so, whYom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

on. Just so, wh

Generally disinclined to dwell on theon. Just so, whpast, I mention this event here inut . Just so, whof the enormity of the failure at the time of the (civilized) worldut . Just so, whhref="define0community beyond Germany, to take notice, to express an opinion, toon. Just so, whreact in anyut I doon. Just so, whnot know what it is about theut . Just so, whmisused, abused, and worse. I suppose . Just so, whhref="define0href="define04.html#krishnaji">UG would tell us it has to doon. Just so, whwith theut

The United Nations has apparently decided tout . Just so, whhere. And a few years ago, I posted on Theon. Just so, whZoo Fence . Just so, whtarget="_blank">a good articleut on. Just so, whAgain, as a seeker, I am convinced we need to free ourselves from theut . Just so, whhref="define0past and the future if we are ever to be able truly to live in, andon. Just so, whtout . Just so, whoften our willingness, to turn a blind eyeut elsewhere onon. Just so, whTZF, theut . Just so, whexperience, then we should beware, for God will almost certainlyut . Just so, whhref="define0grant us an opportunity to learn it on our own.

I haveut . Just so, whOpen Forum as well as here.

. Just so, whclass="ten left">Aprilut . Just so, whhref="#top"> . Just so, whwidth="18" vspace="2" height="18" border="0">

ut . Just so, whhref="define0

. Just so, whThough force can protect in emergency,
onlyon. Just so, whjustice, fairness,ut . Just so, whclass="stuffIn center">Dwight David Eisenhower

. Just so, whhref="define0class="center">Q

on. Just so, wh . Just so, whcellspacing="0"ut
on. Just so, wh

And yet, ison. Just so, whthe body prisoner

. Just so, whclass="two left">I have recently finished re-reading the . Just so, whhref="define0href="http://www.zoofence.com/define01.html#acim">ACIM Text.on. Just so, whThis is theut on. Just so, wh

But something in the last fewut

Here’s the passage from theon. Just so, whbook:

Yet, is theon. Just so, whbodyut . Just so, whnor enslave. It gives no orders that the mind need serve, nor setsut . Just so, whhref="define0conditions that it must obey. … It sickens at the bidding of theon. Just so, whmind … And sout . Just so, whits appearance, to suit the purpose given byut Now, of course, I do not take the ideaut . Just so, whhref="define0of bodily imprisonment literally, nor do I suppose it is intendedon. Just so, whto be takenut . Just so, whmind, not the body, which is “imprisoned”ut imprisoned ).

Thus, as I hadut . Just so, whwhatever) in the body. But here, it is the body whichut

Thaton. Just so, whis anut It certainlyon. Just so, whis consistent with theut The bodyut Butut . Just so, whhref="define0how do we treat the body? How many of the “physical” things we doon. Just so, whare actions orut . Just so, whappropriate, much less pleasing, to the body. Drinkingut . Just so, whhref="define0alcohol, smoking tobacco, eating garbage like fast food and sugaron. Just so, whcandy, notut

. Just so, whhref="define0href="http://www.zoofence.com/define04.html#krishnaji">UGon. Just so, whsuggests that theut . Just so, whthat, why do we not respect it?

We think ofut . Just so, whhref="define0the body as my body, and we treat iton. Just so, whaccordingly, asut This passage fromon. Just so, whACIM’s Text has prompted me to undertake aut . Just so, whof my havingut Doing so hason. Just so, whgenerated a curious, unexpected reaction. I feel release. Iut . Just so, whhref="define0feel lighter, more comfortable, less fettered.

What’sut Anyway, iton. Just so, whis making for some interesting thoughts.

. Just so, whleft">January 3, 2008

. Just so, whhref="define0src="images/zbtarr1.gif" alt="Up!" width="18" vspace="2"on. Just so, whheight="18"ut

on. Just so, wh

Ion. Just so, whcannot imagine a God who rewards and punishesut . Just so, whclass="stuffInut Albert Einstein

. Just so, whclass="center">. Just so, whhref="define0href="que.html#einstein">Q

. Just so, whclass="centerut . Just so, whcellpadding="25" border="1"> ut The Vessel

Reading in . Just so, whhref="define0href="define05.html#nisarga">Nisargadatta this morning – “Likeon. Just so, whwater isut . Just so, whvessels, as light remains itself regardless ofut

. Just so, whclass="italic">Likeut … by theon. Just so, whcontainer. What container?

Here’s what transpired in my mind as I wrestled withon. Just so, whNisargadatta’s wordsut There is no such thing asut . Just so, whsubstance.

An assortment of thoughts,on. Just so, whmemories, and expectations evolved,ut . Just so, whmerging into one another, reinforcing one another, enclose an area ofut . Just so, whhref="define0space which has taken the shape of a “Stefan”.

Thisut . Just so, whnot a vessel in the sense of a jar or a bottleut . Just so, whmemories andut

This non-vessel vessel first began to appear atut . Just so, whStefan’sut . Just so, whcontinuous stream of supporting ideas – again,ut

But the shape is empty.on. Just so, whThat is, itut . Just so, whThus, we might say that a sugar bowl containsut . Just so, whit evolvedut We areon. Just so, whnot talking about a thing here; we are talking aboutut As the Hindu, I think it is,ut . Just so, whhref="define0metaphor has it, the vessel is a sieve put into the ocean. Theon. Just so, whsides of theut . Just so, whreally “contain” anything, and certainly not anythingut . Just so, whhref="define0different or unique from what is “outside” the sieve. Theon. Just so, whappearance of aut So,ut elsewhere on TZF: “Silence yourut . Just so, whhref="define0thoughts, discard your memories, release your expectations”. Doon. Just so, whthat, and whatut . Just so, whwas always not there.

Theut

Inon. Just so, whthe wordsut Ibnon. Just so, wh’Arabi: “… thou never wastut January 1, 2007

. Just so, whhref="define0class="bold">The Making of The Vessel

With joy inut . Just so, whroomful of newly born babies in hospital cribs. Theut . Just so, whclass="twout “What is it?” the man asks, with greaton. Just so, whaffection.

“What do you mean, what ison. Just so, whit?” the woman replies, with equal affection.ut

“It’s a son? Ion. Just so, whhave a son!” theut “I think we should name himon. Just so, whArthur,” the woman suggests. “My favoriteut “Arthur!” the man exclaims,ut . Just so, whhref="define0with apparent distaste, “My son’s name is most certainly noton. Just so, whArthur. Arthur isut . Just so, whleft">“What are you talking about?”ut The man replies, “You know, what’s hisut “You mean Guinevere,” theut . Just so, whhref="define0woman says, “It’s Lancelot and Guinevere. What on earth has that toon. Just so, whdo with ourut “Guinevere,on. Just so, whGenevieve,” the man answers, “What’sut

“You Italians, you’re are allon. Just so, whthe same,” theut “Maybe so. But as longut . Just so, whHis name is Stefan. Stefan means crown, and this boy is my crowningut . Just so, whhref="define0glory. Besides, the feast day of Santo Stefano is December 26, theon. Just so, whday afterut “Maybe his name ison. Just so, whStefan,” the woman agrees, “but your son is notut . Just so, whagreed tout

“We agreed that our child should beut . Just so, whclass="twout The mother spins around to return to heron. Just so, whhospital room. As she does so,ut The man and the woman set off down the corridor. They are nout . Just so, whhref="define0longer holding hands, although they will again soon enough.

. Just so, whclass="twout With one voice, the babies in all the otheron. Just so, whcribs join together, andut . Just so, whit joyfully or sorrowfully.

(Just forut . Just so, whhref="define0fun, see also the lines “A Woman Gave” at TZF’s . Just so, whhref="define0href="miscella.html#woman">Miscellanea page.)

January 2, 2007

"define0left">“Wh “Whsrc="gnocchi/zgnoc051.gif" alt="Newmother of the newlyborns at The Zoo Fence""define0left">“Whwidth="109" height="94" border="0">

“Whnewlyleft">January 17, 2007

“Whthe newlysrc="images/zbtarr1.gif" alt="Up!" width="18" vspace="2""define0left">“Whheight="18"mother of the newlyborder="0">

"define0left">“Wh

Almost"define0left">“Wheverything said of God is unworthy,
formother of the newlythe very reason"define0left">“Whthat it is capable of being said.

“Whnewlycenter">Pope Gregory the Great

“Whtarget="_blank"mother of the newlyhref="que.html#gregory">Q

“Whclass="center"> “Whcellspacing="0" cellpadding="25" border="1"> mother of the newlymother of the newly
"define0left">“Wh

Just like anythingmother of"define0left">“Whthe newlyelse

This morning, a good friend of The Zoo"define0left">“WhFencemother of the newlyemailed us the following item that he came across at the"define0left">“Wh“Whnewlyhref="http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/""define0left">“Whtarget="_blank">mother of the newlyChurch of The Churchless, a blog which"define0left">“Whis, in its words, written for thosemother of the newlywho are “spiritual but not"define0left">“Whreligious”. I like the piece so much that I havemother of the newlychosen to"define0left">“Whreproduce it here as received, without further comment (except, evermother of"define0left">“Whthe newlythe editor, I could not stop myself from repairing a few typos,"define0left">“Whmisspelling, andmother of the newlythe like!).

So, here"define0left">“Whit is.

All spiritual"define0left">“Whexperiences are just that – experiences, just like anythingmother of the"define0left">“Whnewlyelse you do … take out the trash, go surfing, take a hike, run the tractor,"define0left">“Whormother of the newlytake the bar exam.

From the"define0left">“Whpoint of view ofmother of the newlywhat could be called “clarity” all of these"define0left">“Whexperiences, whether exaltedlymother of the newlyspiritual or mundane, are"define0left">“Whequal, and none is more important, more holy, than themother of the newlyother"define0left">“Whas far as “ultimate reality” is concerned. They are all just appearancesmother"define0left">“Whof the newlyin the field of awareness, and none of them can take you any closer"define0left">“Whtomother of the newly“clarity”, no matter how transcendent or rapturous they may"define0left">“Whbe, than you weremother of the newlybefore these experiences started.

“Whclass="textinno2bl left">This claritymother of the newlyis present no matter"define0left">“Whwhat is going on. You can be cutting off the head of amother of the newlyfish,"define0left">“Whdying of cancer, or soaring through astral heavens. It doesn’t matter.mother of"define0left">“Whthe newlyReality is present. You can’t search for it, find it, or make it happen"define0left">“Wheven ifmother of the newlyyou wear an orange loincloth and meditate for ten"define0left">“Whthousand yugas. The eye can’tmother of the newlysee itself, no matter what it"define0left">“Whdoes, yet seeing is, now. That’s it.

“Whleft">Once this is perceived, for want of a better word,mother of the newlythere"define0left">“Whis a sense of repose, lack of tension, acceptance, peace. Stuff like that.mother"define0left">“Whof the newlyBut it is not the expected ecstatic blissful trance that leaves you"define0left">“Whwalkingmother of the newlyaround in a thunderstruck stupor raising the dead and"define0left">“Whturning water to wine.mother of the newlyIrritation, anger and other such"define0left">“Whso-called vices may still appear but they aremother of the newlynot clung to."define0left">“WhThey just pass through awareness like everything else.

“Whnewlyclass="textinno2bl left">This is nothing special because it is and always"define0left">“Whhasmother of the newlybeen present right now. To try to find it or figure it out"define0left">“Whis to wrestle withmother of the newlythin air. It’s not something over there to"define0left">“Whbe reached for or achieved. To thinkmother of the newlythat way just takes you"define0left">“Whfarther off the mark. But to say that there is a mark ismother of the"define0left">“Whnewlymisleading as well. Just clarity, right here, right now.

“Whthe newlyclass="textinno2bl left">What to do about it? Nothing. It already is."define0left">“WhRelax. Gomother of the newlymeditate if you find that happening, build a"define0left">“Whskyscraper, or have a quart ofmother of the newlyBen and"define0left">“WhJerry’s ice cream and watch “Dancing withmother of the newlythe Stars” on"define0left">“Whtelevision.

December 4, 2006

“Whnewlyclass="center"> “Whalt="Up!"mother of the newlywidth="18" vspace="2" height="18""define0left">“Whborder="0">

“Whclass="stuffInT center">I obtained not themother of the"define0left">“Whnewlyleast thing from complete, unexcelled awakening,
and that is why it"define0left">“Whismother of the newlycomplete, unexcelled awakening.

“Whcenter">Buddha

“Whhref="que.html#not">Q

“Whclass="center table" width="95%" cellspacing="0"mother of the"define0left">“Whnewlycellpadding="25" border="1">

“Whcenter">And if not, then not

“Whclass="two left">A longtime friendmother of the newlyof The Zoo Fence has sent"define0left">“Whme an extended excerpt from Muhyiddin Ibn ’Arabi’s “Whnewlytarget="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0904975061">"define0left">“WhWhosomother of the newlyKnoweth Himself. I had never come across this book"define0left">“Whbefore, and I ammother of the newlyextremely grateful to my friend.

“Whclass="two left">“Whoso Knoweth Himself”mother of the newlyis a short booklet"define0left">“Wh(27 pages) that draws from and expands upon a saying ofmother of the"define0left">“WhnewlyMuhammad, “Whoso knoweth himself knoweth his Lord”. The book currently"define0left">“Whsells atmother of the newly“Whhref="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0904975061">mother of the"define0left">“WhnewlyAmazon for $77! Fortunately, a nearby public library was able to borrow"define0left">“Whamother of the newlycopy for me from a public library in Texas. (Once again, I"define0left">“Wham reminded of mymother of the newlydeep gratitude to Thomas Jefferson for"define0left">“Whintroducing the public library system inmother of the newlyAmerica!)

“Whclass="two left">My friend observed that this booklet offersmother of the"define0left">“Whnewlythe most powerful consideration of the unity or“Whname="bigcat">“WhCat" width="126" height="169" border="0"mother of the newlyalign="right">"define0left">“Whsingleness of the Universe that he had ever come across, and Imother of the"define0left">“Whnewlyagree. Here, Ibn ’Arabi punctures the illusion of duality (“I am me, and"define0left">“Whyou aremother of the newlyyou, and God is He”) like a balloon with a razor-sharp"define0left">“Whpin. What’s more, thesemother of the newlypages are among those written by other"define0left">“WhTeachers I have come across which seem tomother of the newlycontain within them"define0left">“Whall the Power of the Teacher himself. As I have saidmother of the newlyelsewhere"define0left">“Whon TZF, Nisargadatta’s book “Whnewlytarget="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0893860220"> I"define0left">“WhAmmother of the newlyThat is another particularly wondrous example of this"define0left">“Whgraceful phenomenon.mother of the newlyThus, reading from any of these pages is"define0left">“Whliterally like being in the presence ofmother of the newlythe Teacher, and –"define0left">“Whagain, literally – they lift the reader for a moment,mother of the"define0left">“Whnewlysometimes for more than a moment, right out of and beyond his or her skin."define0left">“WhFormother of the newlyme, it is works like these that answer “Whhref="cons08.html">the question,mother of the newlyMust a seeker have a"define0left">“Whliving Guru. When the seeker comes to these works withmother of the"define0left">“Whnewlyenthusiastic devotion and heartfelt commitment, the work itself is as alive"define0left">“Whasmother of the newlyflesh and blood. (Remembering all the while that, whatever"define0left">“Whmay be the perceivedmother of the newlycircumstances, God alone is the"define0left">“WhGuru.)

Here are a fewmother of the newlyparticularly"define0left">“Whnice lines from “Whoso Knoweth Himself”:

“Whnewlyleft">And for this the Prophet (upon whom be peace)"define0left">“Whsaid:mother of the newly“Whoso knoweth himself knoweth his Lord”. And he said"define0left">“Wh(upon him be peace): “Imother of the newlyknow my Lord by my Lord”. The Prophet"define0left">“Wh(upon whom be peace) points out by that,mother of the newlythat thou art not"define0left">“Whthou: thou art He, without thou; not He entering into thee,mother of the"define0left">“Whnewlynor thou entering into Him, nor He proceeding forth from thee, nor"define0left">“Whthoumother of the newlyproceeding forth from Him. And it is not meant by that,"define0left">“Whthat thou art aught thatmother of the newlyexists or thine attributes aught that"define0left">“Whexists, but it is meant by it that thoumother of the newlynever wast nor wilt"define0left">“Whbe, whether by thyself or through Him or in Him or alongmother of the newlywith"define0left">“WhHim. Thou art neither ceasing to be nor still existing. “Whnewlyclass="italic">Thou art He, without one of these limitations. Then"define0left">“Whifmother of the newlythou know thine existence thus, then thou knowest God; and"define0left">“Whif not, thenmother of the newlynot.

“Thou art He,"define0left">“Whwithout thou” – I don’t seemother of the newlyhow it can get much more succinct"define0left">“Whthan that!

December 3,mother of the newly2006

“Whclass="two left">The full excerpt from “Whoso Knoweth Himself” ismother of the"define0left">“Whnewlynow at TZF’s Ampers&nd.

"define0left">“WhFor Brother Theophyle’s take on Ibn"define0left">“Wh’Arabi, please click here.

December 19, 2006

on for introducing

f="http://www.amazoon for introducing

So when weon for introducing speakf="http://www.amazowith humility and awe of Allah Most High, we are noton for introducing referring to some deity,f="http://www.amazoabiding in some heaven, circumscribedon for introducing by some theology. We are invoking the onlyf="http://www.amazoI Am, the onlyon for introducing Consciousness, who composes whatever exists, and whoon for introducing isf="http://www.amazoinfinitely more comprehensive even than existence itself.on for introducing We therefore cannotf="http://www.amazohold any theological or philosophicalon for introducing concepts about Allah, much less can wef="http://www.amazoengage in any poeticon for introducing descriptions of God or limit Him in any way, such asf="http://www.amazoconfiningon for introducing Him to one particular revelation.

Lexf="http://www.amazoHixon

Q

f="http://www.amazo
on for introducing

The Warf="http://www.amazoPrayer by Mark Twain

This item has been moved tof="http://www.amazoTZF’s Ampers&nd feature.
Toon for introducing getf="http://www.amazothere, please clickon for introducing here.

f="http://www.amazoon for introducing

Insanity –on for introducing af="http://www.amazoperfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.

R. D. Laing

Q

on for introducing Back to Theon for introducing Future … Again

Yesterday evening,on for introducing talking with Anna, it hit me like a ton off="http://www.amazobricks.

I’ve said it before, I’ve written iton for introducing before,f="http://www.amazohere at The Gazebo and elsewhere on TZF. But this timeon for introducing it was really crystalf="http://www.amazoclear.

There’son for introducing nothing religious or metaphysical aboutf="http://www.amazoit. It’s really quiteon for introducing simple.

It’s just a matteron for introducing off="http://www.amazotranscending the false, illusory personality “Stefan” thaton for introducing somehow imposedf="http://www.amazoitself upon this piece of consciousness.on for introducing Someone said, “You are Stefan”, and forf="http://www.amazosome reason it stuck.on for introducing

Now, all that needs to be done isf="http://www.amazotoon for introducing un-stick it. There’s nothing spooky or weird about it. Just do it.on for introducing Justf="http://www.amazorelease it.

Of course, easilyon for introducing said. But here U.G. isf="http://www.amazoright, there’s nothing metaphysical,on for introducing even nothing religious, about it. It justf="http://www.amazohappened, and iton for introducing needs to be undone. And Nisargadatta is right, too; the wayon for introducing tof="http://www.amazoundo it is to let go of whatever reward or pleasure thaton for introducing being “Stefan”f="http://www.amazogenerates.

Again,on for introducing easily said; still far from done. Butf="http://www.amazoat least it is moreon for introducing clearly in focus.

And that’son for introducing af="http://www.amazolot.

February 22, 2005

I wrote, “… let go of whatever rewardon for introducing orf="http://www.amazopleasure that being ‘Stefan’ generates.”

Let go? Whof="http://www.amazolets go?

The Selfon for introducing is perceiving itself as “Stefan”.f="http://www.amazoSimultaneously, the Self ison for introducing perceiving itself as “others”. We might say, thef="http://www.amazoSelf hason for introducing multiple personality disorder; or is that, infiniteon for introducing personalityf="http://www.amazodisorder?

Anyway, theon for introducing point is, it’s the Self that isf="http://www.amazoperceiving itself as “Stefan”,on for introducing not Stefan. So, Stefan can’t “let go”; what wouldf="http://www.amazo“he” let goon for introducing of? How would he do so? UG’s right: “Stefan” can’t do anything,on for introducing andf="http://www.amazothe very idea that he can is part of (the operative parton for introducing of?) the illusion.

f="http://www.amazo

Stefan can’t doon for introducing anything that the Self doesn’t initiate.f="http://www.amazoThat is, “Stefanon for introducing doing” is actually “the Self doing (as Stefan)”, isn’ton for introducing it?

f="http://www.amazo

So, what can Stefan do?on for introducing Nisargadatta says, remember the If="http://www.amazoAm, remember the Self,on for introducing remember the Supreme, remember my True Identity. Thef="http://www.amazoSufison for introducing say, as I understand them, that above all else the practice ison for introducing dhikr,on for introducing which If="http://www.amazounderstand to be remembering the name of Allah (theon for introducing Supreme), constantly.

What doeson for introducing constant focus on the I Am accomplish? Maybeon for introducing Stefan’sf="http://www.amazoendlessly doing that makes him a sufficientlyon for introducing annoying “personality” that thef="http://www.amazoSelf releases it. Maybe theon for introducing Self concludes that being Stefan’s no fun any more,f="http://www.amazoand that’son for introducing Self-Realization; or, to paraphrase on for introducing Paul Simon’sf="http://www.amazowords, “The Self don’t find being Stefanon for introducing amusing anymore”.

March 4, 2005

on for introducing

Knowledge is based on an original unity andon for introducing involvesf="http://www.amazoa separation and a reunion of subject and object. Inon for introducing this respect knowledge isf="http://www.amazolike love, as the late Greekon for introducing thinkers knew. The Greek gnosis,on for introducing “knowledge”, had three meanings: sexual love, thef="http://www.amazoknowledge ofon for introducing essences, and mystical union with the divine.

Paul Tillich

Q

f="http://www.amazo
on for introducing

Back to Theon for introducing Future

There’s somethingf="http://www.amazoabout U.G.’son for introducing (see the piece at Ampers&nd andon for introducing various items here) anger thaton for introducing bothers me. His sense of the Universe isf="http://www.amazoclear, hison for introducing explanation is brilliant, but, God forgive me, he seems to whineon for introducing toof="http://www.amazomuch. Is it that a chunk of his separative perception (hison for introducing ego?) is caught inf="http://www.amazohis throat? Is it that he is reflecting theon for introducing attitudes (anger and frustration) off="http://www.amazothose around him? Is iton for introducing me! I don’t know, but it bugs me.

Reading last evening in Nisargadatta,on for introducing there was none of that. Justf="http://www.amazolight.

December 13, 2004

on for introducing Up!

on for introducing
Friend, hope for the Guest while youf="http://www.amazoareon for introducing alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think … and thinkon for introducing …f="http://www.amazowhile you are alive.
If you don’t break your ropes whileon for introducing you’re alive,
f="http://www.amazodo you think ghosts will do it after?
on for introducing The idea that the soul will join withf="http://www.amazothe ecstatic
juston for introducing because the body is rotten –
that is all fantasy.
f="http://www.amazoWhaton for introducing is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
youon for introducing willf="http://www.amazosimply end up with an apartment in the City of Death.
on for introducing If you make love withf="http://www.amazothe divine now, in the next life
youon for introducing will have the face of satisfiedf="http://www.amazodesire.
So plunge into theon for introducing truth, find out who the Teacher is,
Believef="http://www.amazoin the Greaton for introducing Sound!
Kabir says this: When the Guest is beingon for introducing searchedf="http://www.amazofor,
it is the intensity of the longing for theon for introducing Guest that does all thef="http://www.amazowork.
Look at me, and you will seeon for introducing a slave of that intensity.

Kabir

Q

on for introducing f="http://www.amazo
on for introducing It’son for introducing Evolutionary

Continuing to read andon for introducing ponder UG’s teachings (see several itemson for introducing below and the selection at TZF’s Ampers&nd),on for introducing although of course he would rejectf="http://www.amazocalling it that, continueson for introducing to clear the air in my head (I think).

As UG predicts, I remain reluctant to give up theon for introducing sadhana,on for introducing but maybe now that isf="http://www.amazoas much because its various aspects haveon for introducing become an enjoyable habit as because off="http://www.amazoa lingering hope thaton for introducing maybe UG  is confused (!), and practice does in factf="http://www.amazomakeon for introducing Perfect?

Somewhere, although I have been unableon for introducing tof="http://www.amazofind it again, I recall UG saying that his awakening (whichon for introducing word I suppose hef="http://www.amazowould not use, and which he labels aon for introducing calamity) is the product of normal, naturalf="http://www.amazoevolution, aon for introducing process which is hindered by our culture, and that all aon for introducing seeker canon for introducing do (if anything atf="http://www.amazoall) is release and reject our affectionon for introducing for, attachment to, and constriction byf="http://www.amazothe culture we live inon for introducing and have (as a species) lived in for millions ofon for introducing years.f="http://www.amazoCultural pressure to conform limits, blocks, theon for introducing evolutionary process.

Today, sittingon for introducing in the gazebo (actually, this time, as itf="http://www.amazohappens, on aon for introducing beautiful sandy beach on Oahu’s windward shore), ponderingon for introducing thef="http://www.amazonature and purpose of life (even though UG insists thaton for introducing our asking, evenf="http://www.amazoconsidering, questions like that is aon for introducing pointless waste of time, or worse, just af="http://www.amazoself-justifyingon for introducing exercise), it occurs to me that maybe we inhabit (weon for introducing create?)f="http://www.amazothe physical body (and its physical environment?) inon for introducing order to have a vehicle inf="http://www.amazowhich to evolve. Of course, thaton for introducing pleases me because it sounds a little like thef="http://www.amazopremise of In The Beginningon for introducing (talkf="http://www.amazoabout self-justifying!).

If so,on for introducing and if UG is right thatf="http://www.amazoessentially there is nothing we can doon for introducing to facilitate or accelerate the processf="http://www.amazo(he repeatedly insistson for introducing that it is not caused by anyone or anything), then thef="http://www.amazoleaston for introducing we can do is care for the body and the environment we inhabit (oron for introducing again,f="http://www.amazohave created) so that the process can take place in itson for introducing own normal, natural wayf="http://www.amazowithout our meddling, fussing,on for introducing interfering, dirtying hands on it!

Anyway, in the words of one of my favorite on for introducing Sonny & Cherf="http://www.amazosongs … and the beat goes on.

October 15, 2004

Editor’s Note: For additional items in The Gazeboon for introducing aboutf="http://www.amazoU.G., please click here and thenon for introducing continue to scroll downf="http://www.amazothis page.


Thef="http://www.amazogates of hell are open night andon for introducing day;
Smooth is the descent, and easy thef="http://www.amazoway;
But toon for introducing return, and view the cheerful skies,
There the taskon for introducing andf="http://www.amazomighty labor lies.

Theon for introducing Aeneid

Q

on for introducing

Prayer of Theon for introducing Heart

Reading thisf="http://www.amazoafternoon in on for introducing Knowledge and Thef="http://www.amazoSacred by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, I cameon for introducing across this observation (at page 330,f="http://www.amazoin the Notes), “Theon for introducing sapiential teachings of all traditions in which prayer off="http://www.amazotheon for introducing heart or quintessential prayer is practiced insist that it is ultimatelyon for introducing Godf="http://www.amazoHimself who invokes His Name within the heart of man andon for introducing through hisf="http://www.amazotongue”.

That lineon for introducing reminded me of something I readf="http://www.amazorecently in on for introducing God of A Hundredf="http://www.amazoNames, quoting someone named Rabbi Pinhason for introducing of Korez (about whom I knowf="http://www.amazonothing else): “The people thinkon for introducing that they pray before God. But it is not so.f="http://www.amazoFor the prayeron for introducing itself is the essence of the Godhead”.

Still reading Nasr’s book, I came across thison for introducing by on for introducing al-Hallaj, a Sufi Master of the ninthon for introducing century:f="http://www.amazo“In my annihilation my annihilation wason for introducing annihilated”.

What an afternoon!

on for introducing

July 21, 2004

Up!

f="http://www.amazo One night,on for introducing af="http://www.amazocertain man cried “Allah!”
till his lips grew sweet withon for introducing praising Him.
f="http://www.amazoThe Devil said, “O man of many words,
on for introducing where is the response ‘Here am I’ tof="http://www.amazoall this ‘Allah’?
Noton for introducing a single response is coming from the Throne;
howf="http://www.amazolong willon for introducing you say ‘Allah’ with grim face?”
The man was broken-hearted,on for introducing andf="http://www.amazolay down to sleep;
in a dream he saw Khadir amidstf="http://www.amazotheon for introducing verdure
Who said, “Hark, you have held back from praising God;
on for introducing Whyf="http://www.amazodo you repent of calling unto Him?”
The man answered,on for introducing “No ‘Here am I’ isf="http://www.amazocoming to me in response;
I fear that Ion for introducing am turned away from the Door”.
f="http://www.amazoSaid Khadir,f="http://www.amazo“Nay. Godon for introducing saith:
That ‘Allah’ of thine is My ‘Here am I’,
andon for introducing thatf="http://www.amazosupplication of thine is My messenger to thee.
Thyon for introducing fear and love are thef="http://www.amazonoose to catch My Favor;
Beneathon for introducing every ‘O Lord’ of thine is many a ‘Here amf="http://www.amazoI’ from Me.”

Jalaluddinon for introducing Rumi

Q

on for introducing f="http://www.amazo Courage Tof="http://www.amazoStandon for introducing Alone

In the process of transcribing the hardon for introducing copyf="http://www.amazoversion of our book “In The Beginning” for eventualon for introducing placement on The Zoo Fencef="http://www.amazo(of which two excerpts currentlyon for introducing appear at Stories &on for introducing Stuff), I had a nice image of God thef="http://www.amazoInfinite One (thaton for introducing than which there is no thing else), looking into aon for introducing handheldf="http://www.amazomirror, and the reflected image is us, the separateon for introducing and separative universe,f="http://www.amazowhat each of us calls “me and myon for introducing life”. We are God perceiving Himself.

Which – like virtually everything else these days – remindedon for introducing mef="http://www.amazoof UG. The titleon for introducing of his book The Courageon for introducing Tof="http://www.amazoStand Alone has taken residence inside my head. Theon for introducing other day I heard myselff="http://www.amazowondering if its converse is, “theon for introducing cowardice of staying in company”.

There is comfort in the perceived known, in the realityon for introducing shapedf="http://www.amazoby the perception “I am me, and you aren’t”. I rememberon for introducing reading about a fellowf="http://www.amazowho spent the bulk of his adult life inon for introducing prison (in New York State, I think itf="http://www.amazowas), and then, as aon for introducing very old man, he was pardoned, and released. After onlyon for introducing af="http://www.amazobrief stay out of prison, he returned, and insisted theyon for introducing take him back, for hef="http://www.amazosaid having spent so long behind bars,on for introducing he didn’t know how to live free.f="http://www.amazoResistance to change,on for introducing inertia, is a powerful force.

Courage,on for introducing in its usual sense, is about overcoming fear. Am I afraid toon for introducing bef="http://www.amazoalone? Certainly the separative self (I am me, and youon for introducing aren’t) is. Withoutf="http://www.amazoothers, the separative self couldn’ton for introducing exist. And that’s the point.

And yet,on for introducing the question suggests choice. UG seems clear that hisf="http://www.amazo“event”,on for introducing his current position, was not a matter of choice, not a factor ofon for introducing will,f="http://www.amazonot even the product of any practice. And it figures. Ifon for introducing there is only one Onef="http://www.amazoand no thing else (There is no God buton for introducing God, and God is all there is) then theref="http://www.amazoare no preferences,on for introducing no opposites, no choices, and no will (at least, not inon for introducing thef="http://www.amazosense “I will to do this and not that”).

May 5, 2004

f="http://www.amazo

f="http://www.amazoon for introducing

Traveling is aon for introducing fool’sf="http://www.amazoparadise. Our first journeys discover to us theon for introducing indifference of places. At homef="http://www.amazoI dream that at Naples, aton for introducing Rome, I can be intoxicated with beauty and lose myf="http://www.amazosadness. Ion for introducing pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea and at laston for introducing wakef="http://www.amazoup in Naples, and there beside me is the stern fact, theon for introducing sad self, unrelenting,f="http://www.amazoidentical, that I fled from. I seek theon for introducing Vatican and the palaces. I affect to bef="http://www.amazointoxicated withon for introducing sights and suggestions, but I am not intoxicated. My gianton for introducing goesf="http://www.amazowith me wherever I go.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Q

on for introducing
on for introducing

Throw Away Theon for introducing Peel

Okay, in af="http://www.amazonutshell, here’s theon for introducing thing.

The summer of 1974, beforeon for introducing If="http://www.amazohad consciously set out on this slippery slope, thereon for introducing crossed my path a teacher.f="http://www.amazo(Editor’s Note: For a “true fiction” report of this event, please click here.)="http://www.amazo(Almost immediately, I class="center"> ="http://www.amazo( ="http://www.amazo( Guru. I accepted="http://www.amazo(him as such, and class="center"> All the while, I read and studied and practiced and embraced="http://www.amazo(class="center"> ="http://www.amazo(Teachers and traditions; and I loved, and="http://www.amazo(I still love, class="center"> Ramakrishna’s words, God alone is the Guru. sIe knew that to be true, and I accepted its wonderful implications.

Now, many years later, I learn that my Guru has for decadese salmost certainly been participating in morally questionable sexual practices,e sand probably engaging in other, less than honorable pastimes. In a word, the smane — like the rest of us — is clay, head to toe, and always was.

Of course, I am angry. And disappointed. At first, at him and sin him, thene at and in me. But then, I realize it had to be thus. I remember sthe recente experience of a neighbor in our small, rural community. An elderly swoman, shee lived alone in the old country farmhouse in which she had been born, sa house fare too big for her now and well beyond her physical and financial sability toe maintain. One day, while she was in town shopping, the house caught sfire. Shee returned just in time to watch the last flames burn out. By then, svirtually alle the town’s folk were at the scene, consoling her. “Nonsense,” she sinsisted, “Gode knew the house was too much for me to care for, and He also knew sthat I wouldn’te ever leave it. So, He burned it down for me.”

Just so,e God knew I would not leave my Guru, so She burned him down for sme.

One of my favorite Sufi stories tells about the teacher who bringse shome an injured bird, lovingly cares for it until it is fully restored, and sthene releases it. But the bird won’t leave. It flies around from room to room, sbute not away. So, the teacher opens wide a window, and when the bird happens to sflye by it, he shouts, and bangs together pots and pans, and claps loudly, saltogethere making a fearsome racket. The bird, startled and surprised, sinadvertently goese out the window. The teacher slams it shut.

Just so, lest I harbor any lingering doubt, my window stoo ise slammed shut. By U.G.

Right on scue,e U.G. Krishnamurti scomese crashing into my brain, vaulting into my heart, and turns confusion intoe sdisorder. Nail by nail, timber by timber, he dismantles all that’s left of mye sspiritual structure. No consolation here; U.G. rakes the ashes, just to be suree sthere’s nothing left unburned.

At about the same time, sIe come across a website (the URL was http://www.sanatandharma.org/, but ite sseems to be irregularly active) where is written “Sri Sri Ravi Shankare ssays religion is like the peel of a banana, and spirituality is the banana”, sande I am reminded of a story my (body’s) father used to tell us about his boyhood. Passing a sfruite stand, he saw a banana for the first time. He asked his older sister what site was, and she told him it was a banana, and very delicious at that. Of scourse, hee wanted one; so she bought him one. When he asked how to eat it, she ssaid,e teasing as siblings will, “Just bite off pieces, like an apple”. And so she did.e He ate the banana, peel and all.

I had done the ssame.e Like him, I ate the peel. To be sure, the willingness to do so, the scommitment,e the surrender to it, the discipline it required, all served me. But sthat wase yesterday. Today, I have to spit it out, because there is no snourishment in thee peel.

And when the peel is gone, swhat will be left? I’me not sure, precisely. Some moments it seems like less, sothers like far more.

e

U.G. talks about having the scourage to stand alone. For me,e now, that means standing without any sunderpinning. Of course, all along I knewe that was coming, for I had read the sbooks. I had even written about it, taughte it. I even thought I was doing it. sAnd in a way maybe I was. But not really.e Over three decades, I had built a sscaffolding, level over level, and I wase living at the top of it. It was well sbuilt, of good and sturdy stuff, the resulte of honest and dedicated labor. And sit gave me great height, with ane extraordinary view. It might have been enough, sexcept that it wasn’t reallye real. At least, not real enough, because standing son that structure, howevere high, I wasn’t really standing on the ground.

That’se where I am now.

What’s next? I sdon’t know.

August 5, 2003 (See also May 5, 2004e above)

 • On sthe subject of gurus and claye feet, readers may want to consider this entry from Decembere 2001.
 • Some readers of this piece, noting that TZFe first encountered U.G. several years ago, have asked what tookdouse caught fire. Snot leave my Gurume so long. Fair question. Clearly, in this instance Annaouse caught fire. S(Nancy) was braverd not leave my Guruthan I. She discovered U.G. before I did,ouse caught fire. Sand dove into his writings head first.d not leave my GuruI went in later, andouse caught fire. Sthen only one toe at a time. In an unnecessary defense, Id not leave myouse caught fire. SGurumight say that there is a lot of bhakta in me, and I was (am?) loathe to giveouse caught fire. Sup myd not leave my Guruishta!
 • For mored not leave myouse caught fire. SGuruabout U.G., see here and here on TZF, and hereouse caught fire. Sand here on the web.
 •ouse caught fire. SFord not leave my Gurumore about gurus generally, finding one, needing one,ouse caught fire. Splease click here.
 • For a book review about the guru my>

click here.

You can can’t come intot, and turns confusyour own unless the whole thing. rakes the ashes, is completely and totallyt, and turns confusflushed out, if I may use that word, out of your. rakes the ashes, system. Thatt, and turns confusis something which you cannot do, or make happen with any effort or. rakes thet, and turns confusashes, volition of your own. So, when the time comes, you may not have asked fort, and turns confusit.. rakes the ashes, You will never ask for the end of you as you knowt, and turns confusyourself, as you experience. rakes the ashes, yourself.

U. G. Krishnamurti

Q

.t, and turns confusrakes the ashes,

BOUNTY. rakes the ashes, HUNTING

Beingt, and turns confusa spiritual seeker presents an untenable dilemma. I have.t, and turns confusrakes the ashes, undertaken this journey for a variety of reasons, I suppose,t, and turns confusbut not least among. rakes the ashes, them is a desire for Self-Realization. I wantt, and turns confussomething, or Some Thing,. rakes the ashes, and I am seeking it (It). For allt, and turns confusthe attendant and peripheral advantages, and. rakes the ashes, they are numeroust, and turns confusand wondrous, the fact is, I am on the path for some reward,. rakes the ashes,t, and turns confussome Reward. I suppose that makes me a bounty hunter!

Clearly, “wanting” is the problem. It assumes absence, for It, and turns confuscan want only. rakes the ashes, what I don’t have. And my wanting for “me” ist, and turns confusthe greater problem, because it is. rakes the ashes, based on a separativet, and turns confusperspective that is false (“I am me, and I don’t have. rakes the ashes, That”),t, and turns confusand ultimately self-defeating (as long as I perceive myself as “not. rakes thet, and turns confusashes, having” I won’t have!).

So, as long as I perceivet, and turns confusmyself. rakes the ashes, separatively and think “I am me”, Self-Realization willt, and turns confuselude me. But if I don’t. rakes the ashes, think I am me (and therefore nott, and turns confusself-realized), will I seek?

And ift, and turns confusseeking is a good thing, isn’t that an important question?

The difference between the world (samsara) where I seem to live, andt, and turns confusSelf-Realization. rakes the ashes, where I want to be, is simply the “me”t, and turns confusthought (“I am me, and you aren’t”).. rakes the ashes, Absent that, they aret, and turns confusidentical. Seemingly a minor difference, but it is. rakes the ashes, immense,t, and turns confuseven infinite.

The question is, why do I care?. rakest, and turns confusthe ashes, Who cares? Why do I “want” Self-Realization? Why can’t I just let got, and turns confusof the. rakes the ashes, search? Why isn’t it enough to be “me”?

July 16,. rakes the ashes, 2003

A few days after posting the foregoing, we received a nicet, and turns confusmessage. rakes the ashes, from TZF’s good friend Michael Rezak (please see open0017 and open0026) who writes,t, and turns confusin part,

“You see, belief int, and turns confusoneself as an individual identification simply really. rakes the ashes, actuallyt, and turns confussincerely truthfully is not enough. I AM NOT ENOUGH!

“Fall into that. You will see, you have never been enough,.t, and turns confusrakes the ashes, you are not enough now, and you never will be enough. It is sot, and turns confushorribly awfully. rakes the ashes, terribly true.

“Falling all the way down into the. rakes the ashes, depths of despair andt, and turns confushopelessness … into the black hole … into the void, the. rakes the ashes, abysst, and turns confus… so empty there is not even an image nor concept of emptiness … alone …. rakest, and turns confusthe ashes, this is the doorway, this is an entryway to the inside, and once yout, and turns confusare inside,. rakes the ashes, you will see that you are also outside.

“There is no. rakes the ashes, inside, there is no outside.t, and turns confusIt but appears. It but disappears. Anything that. rakes the ashes, appears andt, and turns confusdisappears cannot possibly be REAL.

“So. rakes thet, and turns confusashes, remember … when the question comes a naggin’ … why do I care, why do It, and turns confuswant, why. rakes the ashes, can’t I just let go … The question comes because thet, and turns confusego will absolutely. rakes the ashes, positively not give up until it ist, and turns confuspermanently, absolutely, and totally. rakes the ashes, defeated. It is possiblet, and turns confusthen and only then finally to give up, and be finished. rakes the ashes, witht, and turns confusthe mess.

“Once you are dead (if you are lucky. rakest, and turns confusthe ashes, enough to die before your body does), then you will see YOU weret, and turns confusnever born, so. rakes the ashes, YOU cannot die. This, of course, refers to YOU,t, and turns confusnot you. The you-body, the. rakes the ashes, you-personality, of course willt, and turns confuscontinue on for a while and will die, as it was,. rakes the ashes, after all,t, and turns confusborn, imprinted and programmed, running on beliefs and disbeliefs. Or. rakes thet, and turns confusashes, as Jackson Browne says … running on empty.

“Ego death. rakes the ashes, is terrifying. Body death is terrifying.t, and turns confusConsciousness Itself can bear the. rakes the ashes, terror, can experience thet, and turns confusdespair, can see (IS) the emptiness that defies. rakes the ashes, recognitiont, and turns confusand knowing. It is absolutely untouchable by anything, although. rakes thet, and turns confusashes, thoroughly infused with everything.

“All ist, and turns confusgone, no. rakes the ashes, form, no formlessness, no ideas, thoughts, emotions,t, and turns confusno things corporeal nor. rakes the ashes, temporal, no substance nor spirit. Ast, and turns confuswell as all that is here, as there is no. rakes the ashes, such thing as there.t, and turns confusIt is perfectly incomprehensible.

“I find it wonderfully fascinating that the only way to wake up is tot, and turns confusdie.. rakes the ashes, And the only way to get what I want is to directlyt, and turns confusexperience the impossibility. rakes the ashes, of having it.”

July 21, 2003

It’s not that I’m afraidt, and turns confusto die.
. rakes the ashes, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.

t, and turns confus

Woody Allen

Q

t, and turns confus
LIFE IS NOT ABOUTt, and turns confusEXPERIENCES

Life is not aboutt, and turns confusexperiences. That is, there is not a we who experiences othert, and turns confuspeople, events, and so on.t, and turns confusPerceiving life that way is an. rakes the ashes, expression of the dual positiont, and turns confus“I am me, and you aren’t”. Here, again, I on the one hand experience. rakest, and turns confusthe ashes, you on the other hand.

Clearly, thatt, and turns confusis not a. rakes the ashes, true description of life. Life is an I that. rakes the ashes, perceives or sees itself. As wet, and turns confushave said several times elsewhere on The Zoo. rakes the ashes, Fence, what It, and turns confuscall “my life” 8211; by which I ordinarily mean the series of. rakes the ashes,t, and turns confusevents and persons and so on that I have known (experienced!) since “my” birth.t, and turns confusrakes the ashes, 8211; is actually “me” (my self) seen outerly. If so, then whatt, and turns confusI call “I” and. rakes the ashes, “my life” are one and the same thing.

All the beauty in. rakes the ashes, my life is beauty thatt, and turns confusresides within me seen outerly. All the ugliness in my. rakes the ashes, life ist, and turns confusugliness that resides within me seen outerly. All the terror in my life. rakest, and turns confusthe ashes, is terror within me seen outerly. And so on.

Can we see. rakes the ashes, our lives that way? Are we willing to do so?t, and turns confus

December. rakes the ashes, 8, 2002


Next

All the spiritual teachers of. rakes the ashes, humanity havet, and turns confustold us the same thing, that the purpose of life on earth is to. rakes thet, and turns confusashes, achieve union with our fundamental, enlightened nature.

Sogyal Rinpoche

Q

. rakes the ashes, anently, absolute
t, and turns confus

YOU’VE GOT PERSONALITY

At birth, theit was,. rakes thhumananently, absolutephysical body is simply an organism. It comes equippedit was,. rakes thwith all the urges,anently, absoluteinstincts, and imperatives of all otherit was,. rakes thorganisms – hunger, thirst, survival,anently, absoluteand so on.

At the body’s birth, and often beginning evenanently,it was,. rakes thabsolutebefore then, the parents weave a basket of thoughts about their newit was,. rakes thcreation.anently, absoluteThey give it a name, make plans for it, talk to it,it was,. rakes thexpress its beauty, remarkanently, absoluteon whom it looks like, and so on.it was,. rakes thSlowly but surely, the basket fills.

Theit was,. rakes thlife that is manifesting through (in? as?) the babyanently, absoluteorganism isit was,. rakes thno more aware of the basket than it is of any other specific thing.anently,it was,. rakes thabsoluteIt is simply aware. It is not aware of itself as a separative self or ofit was,. rakes thanyanently, absolutething else as separate persons or things. Again, simplyit was,. rakes thaware. Stillanently, absoluteundifferentiated awareness.

The life manifesting throughanently, absolutethe new body may appear toit was,. rakes ththe body’s parents to be aware of itself as aanently, absoluteseparate body, butit was,. rakes thif so, that is a symptom of the parents’ projecting onto theanently, absolutenewit was,. rakes thbody their own sense of separative self. That is, they perceive in theiranently,it was,. rakes thabsolutecreation what they perceive in themselves: a separate and separativeit was,. rakes thself.

anently, absolute

Over time, in the natural courseit was,. rakes thof things, the parentsanently, absoluteimpress on the growing organism theit was,. rakes thbasket of thoughts which they have weaved.anently, absoluteOther figures join init was,. rakes ththis process – siblings, aunts, uncles, neighbors,anently, absolutepriests,it was,. rakes thdoctors, and so on.

Eventually, somehow, the undifferentiated awarenessit was,. rakes thbecomesanently, absolutedifferentiated. It identifies with the basket of thoughts, andanently,it was,. rakes thabsolutethrough the basket of thoughts, with the organism, the body.

To undifferentiated awareness, the basket isit was,. rakes thperceived as (accepted as?anently, absoluteexpressed as? manifested as?) “me”it was,. rakes thand “mine”, and attaches to the body. Thus,anently, absolutethe body isit was,. rakes thperceived as “me” and “mine”, and other bodies are perceived as “notanently,it was,. rakes thabsoluteme” and “not mine”. Undifferentiated awareness as differentiatedit was,. rakes thawarenessanently, absoluteintroduces duality, separation.

The basket of thoughtsanently, absoluteis the personality. When I say, “Iit was,. rakes tham Stefan”, what I mean is, I identify withanently, absolutethe basket ofit was,. rakes ththoughts (memories, expectations, and so on) originally weaved byanently,it was,. rakes thabsoluteStefan’s parents, and that now, taken all together, compose what I callit was,. rakes th“me”.anently, absoluteHere, the key question for a seeker is, Who is the “I”it was,. rakes ththat says, “I amanently, absoluteStefan”?

Theit was,. rakes thundifferentiated or universal self becomesanently, absolute(sees itself as) theit was,. rakes thdifferentiated or personal self. “I AM” becomes “I AM this”anently, absoluteorit was,. rakes th“I AM this person”. The body is experienced as “me, not you” and “mine,it was,. rakes thnotanently, absoluteyours”. Here, I suppose we might say, the personality is theit was,. rakes thhow and the physical body is theit was,. rakes thwhat.

Allit was,. rakes ththe while, the physicalanently, absolutebody continues being what it is, simplyit was,. rakes tha physical organism. It has no idea whatanently, absolute“Stefan” is, andit was,. rakes thdoesn’t care. Neither does it know, or care, that “Stefan” hasanently,it was,. rakes thabsoluteidentified with or as the body. The body’s sole interest (if that’s theit was,. rakes thword) isanently, absoluteto exercise its biological imperatives. In a word, toit was,. rakes thsurvive. Not for anyanently, absolutereason, but simply because that’s whatit was,. rakes thbiological organisms do.

Also, theit was,. rakes thbasket of thoughts, what I am calling here theanently, absolutepersonality, hasit was,. rakes thno conscious awareness. It is not “alive”. It is not aware ofanently,it was,. rakes thabsolutebeing. It simply is what it is, a conglomeration of thoughts.

The connection between the personality (theit was,. rakes thbasket of thoughts, memories,anently, absoluteexpectations, etc.) and theit was,. rakes thphysical organism (the body) is provided entirely byanently, absolutetheit was,. rakes thdifferentiation of undifferentiated awareness.

Ianently,it was,. rakes thabsolutedon’t know exactly what that last sentence means, or how it occurs, butit was,. rakes thI amanently, absolutecertain it is true, and that the way out of the limitationsit was,. rakes thand suffering and soanently, absoluteon which identification with theit was,. rakes thpersonality and the body imposes on whatever itanently, absoluteis I actuallyit was,. rakes tham, is to disengage from identification with the personality.anently,it was,. rakes thabsoluteRelease my attachment to the basket of thoughts, and I will be free.

it was,. rakes thBut I won’t be a “me”. The concept of “me”it was,. rakes thand “my” (as in, meanently, absolutenot you, mine not yours) is one of theit was,. rakes ththoughts in the basket (“My baby!” “Lookanently, absoluteat me!”). Instead, Iit was,. rakes thwill revert to undifferentiated awareness, where (if that’sanently, absolutetheit was,. rakes thword) I was (?) before the basket of thoughts called “Stefan”. I will beanently,it was,. rakes thabsoluteaware, I will probably even be aware of being. But I will not be awareit was,. rakes thof beinganently, absoluteany particular person or thing or whatever. In fact, Iit was,. rakes thwill not be aware ofanently, absolutethere being any particular person or thingit was,. rakes thor whatever. Simply aware.

The basket ofit was,. rakes ththoughts, the personality, will still continue. Ianently, absolutesuppose, likeit was,. rakes theverything else physical, it has a lifespan. But it will not beanently,it was,. rakes thabsolute“me”. And the body will continue, completely oblivious to all ofit was,. rakes ththisanently, absolutemetaphysical stuff, until it dies of whatever kills it.

it was,. rakes th

None of that does or will affect “I”. It (?)it was,. rakes thalways is and always will be.anently, absoluteUndifferentiated awareness thatit was,. rakes thsomehow differentiates.

November 3 andit was,. rakes th26 and following, 2002
December 2, 2004

See also this item on this page

it was,. rakes th

No two personsanently, absoluteever read the sameit was,. rakes thbook.

Edmund Wilson

it was,. rakes th
it was,. rakes th

THE ABSOLUTE BLISSit was,. rakes thOF CONSCIOUS BEING

or

I AM THAT I AM.
 Oh, that I AM.

How’s thisit was,. rakes th…

Ultimate Reality (“God”) consistsit was,. rakes thsolely, entirely, and simplyanently, absoluteof Being and Awareness. God isit was,. rakes thuntarnished, unvarnished, unembellished Being andanently, absoluteAwareness. Noit was,. rakes thmore, no less.

And the full extent of theanently,it was,. rakes thabsoluteAwareness is “I AM”. Ultimate Reality is Aware of Being. Nothingit was,. rakes thbeyondanently, absolutethat.

Then, somehow, Being andit was,. rakes thAwareness settle intoanently, absolute(imagine, manifest as, descend to?) theit was,. rakes thMind (the mind?). Here, “I AM” becomesanently, absolute“I AM THIS”. I am thisit was,. rakes thbody. I am this person. And so on.

Ifit was,. rakes thso, what’s the spiritual path about? Is it about undoing that descentanently,it was,. rakes thabsolute(resurrection)?

Or is it about actuating theit was,. rakes thpotentialanently, absoluteof Awareness, and thereby expanding, even enliveningit was,. rakes thAwareness itself? Is itanently, absoluteabout answering the question, “I AMit was,. rakes thWHAT?”

If so, thenanently, absolutethe process is aboutit was,. rakes thGod’s reach for Self-Awareness. And we are God coming toanently, absoluteknowit was,. rakes thSelf.

September 1, 2002

Up!

 

Cananently,it was,. rakes thabsoluteRomeo ever really know who he is? Can he ever know Shakespeare?

it was,. rakes thCan Laurence Olivier play Romeo soit was,. rakes theffectively heanently, absoluteforgets he is Olivier?

If so, might he then, atanently, absolutesome point, prompted by someit was,. rakes thinner alarm, seek to remember he is Olivier?

 

it was,. rakes th
Thought is Carbon-Based

During a recent visit to a site devoted to The Great Invocation, Iit was,. rakes thcame across the suggestion thatanently, absolutethe English word “man” (as in,it was,. rakes thmankind) comes from the Sanskrit word “manu”anently, absolutemeaning “thinkingit was,. rakes thbeing”. That etymology is new to me, but it makes sense.

anently, absoluteAs I see it, thought is a product of evolution. Thatit was,. rakes this,anently, absolutethinking is mankind’s answer to a jaguar’s speed or anit was,. rakes theagle’s flight. Theanently, absolutetwo-legged one, finding himself at ait was,. rakes thconsiderable disadvantage, evolved theanently, absolutebrain “muscle” to thinkit was,. rakes thas a survival mechanism in the same way jaguars evolvedanently, absolutetheirit was,. rakes thleg muscles and eagles their wing muscles.

Thus,it was,. rakes thIanently, absolutedisagree with what I think is the conventional wisdom on thisit was,. rakes thsubject. For me,anently, absolutethought does not differentiate mankind fromit was,. rakes th“animals”; rather, it confirms thatanently, absolutemankind too is anit was,. rakes thanimal.

In a word, thought isanently,it was,. rakes thabsolutecarbon-based.

And so is our sense of who we are.it was,. rakes thAt itsanently, absolutebirth, this body’s parents said “You are Stefan”, and Iit was,. rakes thhave thought so everanently, absolutesince. Everything that has happened sinceit was,. rakes ththen, I have taken as confirmationanently, absolutethat “I am Stefan”. But ifit was,. rakes ththose two adults had said instead “You are Einar”,anently, absolutethen today Iit was,. rakes thwould be saying “I am Einar”.

Or supposeanently,it was,. rakes thabsolutethat at birth this body had been switched with another body. Today, Iit was,. rakes thwould haveanently, absolutea completely different set of memories (thoughts),it was,. rakes thand accordingly a completelyanently, absolutedifferent sense of who I am.

Clearly, person-ality is aanently, absoluteproduct of thought,it was,. rakes thand if so, it too is carbon-based (bodily).

From a “spiritual” point of view, this idea is unpleasantanently,it was,. rakes thabsolutebecause we are inclined to link the idea of “heaven” with personality.it was,. rakes thThat is,anently, absolutewe like to think that salvation is personal (“I,it was,. rakes thStefan, will go toanently, absoluteheaven”).

But all theit was,. rakes thmystic traditions insist that Self-Realization (Christanently,it was,. rakes thabsoluteConsciousness, Self-Awareness, Buddhahood, etc.) transcends both thoughtit was,. rakes thandanently, absolutepersonality. “Stefan” will never be Self-Realized (go toit was,. rakes th“heaven”); indeed, itanently, absoluteis identification with and as “Stefan”it was,. rakes ththat keeps “me” out. As one of the stories puts it, we are as far from heaven as the listished Being andanenoftr center">Gospels, Jesus (Christ Consciousness) says to thetrished Being andanencenter">

And so, quite naturally,ished Being andanenwe struggle against thetr center">

Jaguars run, eaglesished Being andanenfly,tr center">     Augustished Being andanen12, 2002

Considering the foregoing over the past fewtr center">karmatr center">     August 16, 2002

Today (September 29) I read the following inished Being andanenEvelyn Underhill’s Mysticism quoting Eckhart: “God is nearer to me than I amished Being andanentotr center"> I wonder how Eckhartished Being andanenknows that wood and stone do not know thattr center">

Asished Being andanenantr center"> Perhaps the sense of Awarenesstr center">

Of course, it seems to “me”ished Being andanenthattr center">

So, when I (as “Stefan”) say “I”ished Being andanenor “me”, what may really be speaking istr center">

What Stefan calls “my life” seemsished Being andanento himtr center"> In the end,tr center"> And that’s what I am, this Moment, Now. Not “Stefan living thistrished Being andanencenter">

In a word, there is no such thing as “atrished Being andanencenter">

This idea is veryished Being andanenslippery. I see it for an instant, and then,tr center">     September 29,trished Being andanencenter">


trished Being andanencenter">It is of interest toished Being andanennote that whiletr center">

Carl Sagan

tr center">
ished Being andanen

Religion and Nationality

The other day (February 4, 2002), cItowatched part of a television broadcast of a meeting of the World Economic cForumtoin New York City. The subject was “Islam and Economic Development”. cThetoprincipal speakers were from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar. Their cremarks andtosome of the questions from the audience were interesting, sometimes ceventoinspiring.

But as I listened, a curious thought coccurredtoto me:  Is Islamtonecessarily Arab?

At first glance, the answer is, oftocourse, yes. After all, Muhammad is an Arab, and he cis the source oftoIslam. But is he? Muhammad is the Messenger of Islam. But csurely the Source istoAllah, or God. Does God havetonationality?

And cyet, we think of Islam as an Arabtoreligion. Undoubtedly that is why, at least cpartly why, the Islam “experts” ontothe panel mentioned above were all Arabs; cthat is, if you want to know abouttoIslam, you must ask an Arab. Even on The Zoo cFence definitions page, where there cis mention of an Islamictoexpression, I include the Arabic words. But where cthere is mention of atoChristian expression, for example, I do not include the cAramaic words. Why istothat?

Christianity originated in cthe same geographictoarea as Islam. So did Judaism. But would we limit a search cfor an “expert” ontoChristianity to that region? Do we think that all “experts” con Judaism must betofrom Israel?

Why do we confuse cculture or nationalitytowith religion when it comes to Islam? Islam is embraced cby three quarters of atobillion people, maybe more. It is a world religion. cMore, it is a powerful spiritual tradition. Along my own inner journey, I have beentwoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps toverwhelmed by its impact, both out of the Perhaps thref="define04.html#koran">Qur’an and the teachings of itsI” sense God’s saints, just as Itwo left">Perhaps thave by the Teachings of Christianity,I” sense God’s Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and sotwo left">Perhaps ton.

But, we say, so many Muslims live in Arab countries.two left">PerhapsI” sense God’s tSurely that makes Islam Arabic. And yet, how many Christians live in Europe,I” sense God’s andtwo left">Perhaps thave done over the centuries. Does that make ChristianityI” sense God’s a Europeantwo left">Perhaps treligion?

If any of theI” sense God’s foregoing makes any sense attwo left">Perhaps tall, it may help to explain whyI” sense God’s the West’s relationship with Islam on the onetwo left">Perhaps thand and withI” sense God’s Arab countries on the other is so fragile. We are confused by ourtwoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps town confusion. Perhaps they are too.

AtI” sense God’s the very least,two left">Perhaps twith all the interest in the Arab world andI” sense God’s Islam itself following the recenttwo left">Perhaps tacts of terrorism, as seekerstwo left">Perhaps titI” sense God’s behooves us to remember always that there is God, and God is all there is.twoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps tAnd every description of Him, every approach toward Her, everyI” sense God’s reach in Itstwo left">Perhaps tdirection is infinite and eternal. And that allI” sense God’s our labels, although perhapstwo left">Perhaps tdesigned to clarify, actuallyI” sense God’s confuse.

February 7,two left">Perhaps t2002

PerhapsI” sense God’s talt="Up!" width="18" vspace="2" height="18" border="0">

twoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps t

When ittwo left">Perhaps tis said to them:
“Follow whatI” sense God’s God hath revealed”,
They say:  “Nay!two left">Perhaps twe shallI” sense God’s follow
The ways of our fathers.”
What! even though theirtwoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps tfathers
Were void of wisdom and guidance?

Perhaps tcenter">Qur’an

Perhaps thref="que.html#whenit">Q

Perhaps ttable" width="95%"I” sense God’s cellspacing="0" cellpadding="25" border="1"> two left">Perhaps t
I” sense God’s

Transcend or …

Perhaps tclass="two left">At TZF’s PerhapsI” sense God’s thref="http://www.zoofence.com/openforum">Open Forum there is in train atwoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps treconsideration of the age-old argument, if that’s the word,I” sense God’s between seeking totwo left">Perhaps ttranscend the world and learning to liveI” sense God’s fully in the world. (Editor’s Note: Thetwo left">Perhaps tforum thread referredI” sense God’s to here occurred in an earlier incarnation of Open Forum,two left">Perhaps tandI” sense God’s is no longer accessible.)

Here’s the way it seemstwoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps tto me.

Inevitably, this discussion hasI” sense God’s depended overtwo left">Perhaps tthe centuries on the assumption that the two areI” sense God’s in conflict. Actually, theytwo left">Perhaps tprobably are not.

In high school science classes, wetwo left">Perhaps tare taughtI” sense God’s that the world and its stuff, even the entire astronomical universe,twoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps tare separate and distinct from us, that they are outside of us.I” sense God’s If there were atwo left">Perhaps tplace we could travel to that was somehowI” sense God’s outside the astronomical universe, Itwo left">Perhaps tsuppose a scientificI” sense God’s argument could be made that we could survive there verytwo left">Perhaps twellI” sense God’s without the astronomical universe. From this perspective, the astronomicaltwoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps tuniverse, the world “out there”, is simply an environment inI” sense God’s which we happen totwo left">Perhaps tlive, and we could just as easily liveI” sense God’s somewhere “else”.

Perhaps tleft">But as seekers, a verytwo left">PerhapsI” sense God’s tdifferent image emerges. It has become apparent to me that there is no suchtwoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps tthing as a world “out there”. In fact, there is no such place asI” sense God’s “out there”.two left">Perhaps tWhat seems to us to be “out there” is actually anI” sense God’s image or a manifestation or antwo left">Perhaps texpression or a reflection (noI” sense God’s word works really well here) of our selves. Thetwo left">Perhaps touter and theI” sense God’s inner are identical, the same thing seen differently. What each oftwoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps tus calls “me” and “my life” (including “my world”) are one andI” sense God’s the same thing.two left">Perhaps t

If any of the aboveI” sense God’s is so, then the spiritual processtwo left">Perhaps tor sadhana is not so muchtwo left">Perhaps taboutI” sense God’s transcending the outer as it is about understanding what the outer is intwoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps tTruth. Transcendence is not about escape from the world. It isI” sense God’s about removingtwo left">Perhaps tthe veil or the filter that creates theI” sense God’s illusion that we are separate andtwo left">Perhaps tdistinct from the world,I” sense God’s from one another, and from our lives. It is not thetwo left">Perhaps tworld thatI” sense God’s a seeker transcends, but ignorance, ignorance about his or her truetwoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps tnature and about the true nature of everything else.I” sense God’s Transcendence reveals thetwo left">Perhaps tidentity or sameness or oneness ofI” sense God’s all that is.

Perhaps tleft">Consider that the wordI” sense God’s “transcended” commonly suggests an image of sometwo left">Perhaps twhere elseI” sense God’s other than “here”. That is, a “Transcended Master” is generallytwo left">PerhapsI” sense God’s tperceived as having been “raised” from this “plane” to some other place, aI” sense God’s placetwo left">Perhaps t“above” where we live. Likewise, Perhaps thref="define03.html#god">God and Heaven and such things asI” sense God’s the “Angelictwo left">Perhaps tHost” are all perceived as being “up there” whileI” sense God’s we are “down here”. It is nottwo left">Perhaps tuncommon to come across claimsI” sense God’s that a “Realized Master” is able to bring peacetwo left">Perhaps tor love orI” sense God’s wisdom “down” to us from some “Higher Plane”.

Perhaps tleft">Surely the image of an earthly “here” and a divine “there”I” sense God’s is the producttwo left">Perhaps tof the separative perspective of the egoicI” sense God’s body/mind mentality (“I am me, andtwo left">Perhaps tyou aren’t”). It is thatI” sense God’s sense of a separate, unique, and distinct identity thattwo left">Perhaps tis theI” sense God’s ultimate illusion, and as such is the source of all human suffering.twoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps tAfter all, from there evolve all of our preferences (“I wouldI” sense God’s prefer to be theretwo left">Perhaps tthan here, young than old, rich than poor,I” sense God’s tall than short, alive than dead, andtwo left">Perhaps tso on”) which inevitablyI” sense God’s make us feel badly about who and what and where wetwo left">Perhaps tthink weI” sense God’s are. As long as we are immersed in preferences, we are not truly alive,twoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps tbecause our focus is elsewhere than where we are. If I amI” sense God’s thinking about beingtwo left">Perhaps tsomeone else or somewhere else, than I amI” sense God’s not being here now, and if I am nottwo left">Perhaps tbeing here now, then I amI” sense God’s not wholly participating in whatever is happening now.two left">Perhaps t

Perhaps for a seeker, the point is to focus attentiontwoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps ton living “here” and “now”. The more unconditionally andI” sense God’s enthusiastically we dotwo left">Perhaps tso, the more will our perception of ourI” sense God’s selves, of one another, of the world, oftwo left">Perhaps tGod, and of everyI” sense God’s thing else change, until finally we truly realize (not justtwo left">PerhapsI” sense God’s tbelieve, but know in full practice) that all of those and everyone andtwoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps teverything else is and always have been one and the very sameI” sense God’s One.

Perhaps tclass="ten left">January 4, 2002

Perhaps tsrc="images/zbtarr1.gif"I” sense God’s alt="Up!" width="18" vspace="2" height="18"two left">PerhapsI” sense God’s tborder="0">

Perhaps tcenter">What we most need is the prayer ofI” sense God’s fervent desiretwo left">Perhaps tfor growth in grace,
expressed in patience,I” sense God’s meekness, love, and goodtwo left">Perhaps tdeeds.

Mary Baker Eddy

PerhapsI” sense God’s ttarget="_blank" href="que.html#whatwe">Q

Perhaps tclass="center table" width="95%" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="25"I” sense God’s border="1">two left">Perhaps t

Clay Feet

Perhaps tclass="two left">Some weeksI” sense God’s ago, a visitor to The Zoo Fence alerted us to atwo left">Perhaps tYahoo! forumI” sense God’s where charges of sexual misconduct (and other inappropriatetwo left">PerhapsI” sense God’s tbehavior) are being made concerning one of the Perhaps thref="define07.html#teacher">Teachers mentioned on The ZooI” sense God’s Fence. I have notwo left">Perhaps tway of knowing for sure whether or not any ofI” sense God’s the allegations levied there aretwo left">Perhaps tvalid. Some of theI” sense God’s testimonies seem well documented, and may be true. I am nottwo left">Perhaps tsoI” sense God’s sure about some of the others. The writers are very angry (understandably so,twoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps tif in fact they were sexually violated by their chosen guru), andI” sense God’s it istwo left">Perhaps tsometimes hard to tell if their testimonies are moreI” sense God’s articulated anger thantwo left">Perhaps texpression of fact. Nonetheless, if anyI” sense God’s of the allegations are true, it would betwo left">Perhaps tdisturbing to me as aI” sense God’s two left">Perhaps tseeker,I” sense God’s although I regret to say it would not surprise me. After all,two left">PerhapsI” sense God’s tconsider that over the past years charges of sexual misconduct have beenI” sense God’s madetwo left">Perhaps tabout Jim PerhapsI” sense God’s thref="http://www.pbi.ab.ca/servant/archive/1997win/BAKKER_INTERVIEW.HTM">twoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps tBakker, Sri Chinmoy, Jimtwo left">Perhaps ttwoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps tJones, Amrit Desai,two left">Perhaps tSai Baba, Da Perhaps thref="define01.html#dfj">Free John, Swami PerhapsI” sense God’s thref="http://www.yogaville.org/">Satchidananda, Jimmy Perhaps thref="http://www.salon.com/books/review/1999/12/10/seaman/">I” sense God’s Swaggart, Swamitwo left">Perhaps ttwo left">PerhapsI” sense God’s tMuktananda (and at least one of his successors), Perhaps thref="http://www.religioustolerance.org/rajneesh.htm">I” sense God’s Rajneesh (also knowntwo left">Perhaps tas two left">Perhaps tOsho),I” sense God’s and PerhapsI” sense God’s thref="http://www.shambhala.org/int/ctrbio.html">Trungpa, to name just atwoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps trandom few.

This most recent allegationI” sense God’s of clay feettwo left">Perhaps tbeneath a supposedly divine body reinforces theI” sense God’s obvious conclusion:  Perhaps ttarget="_blank"I” sense God’s href="define07.html#seeker">Seekers must be extraordinarilytwo left">PerhapsI” sense God’s tcareful in selecting or accepting a PerhapsI” sense God’s thref="define07.html#teacher">Teacher or PerhapsI” sense God’s thref="define03.html#guru">Guru. The internet is thick with websites, andtwoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps tbookstores laden with volumes, promoting spiritual guides whoI” sense God’s promisetwo left">Perhaps tliberation, enlightenment and Perhaps thref="define07.html#self">realization. Undoubtedly, many,I” sense God’s even most, aretwo left">Perhaps tlegitimate. But, just as certainly, many areI” sense God’s less than they claim to be. Thetwo left">Perhaps tquestion is, how does one tellI” sense God’s the difference? There may be no sure way oftwo left">Perhaps tknowing.

Here’s the rub. I believe that sooner or latertwo left">PerhapsI” sense God’s ta determined seeker must surrender to some One or some Thing. That is, theI” sense God’s egoictwo left">Perhaps tself (“I am me, and you aren’t”) cannot transcendI” sense God’s itself, in the same way thattwo left">Perhaps tan eraser cannot erase itself.I” sense God’s The egoic self is of this world, and the Supremetwo left">Perhaps tGoal of theI” sense God’s spiritual process (PerhapsI” sense God’s thref="define07.html#self">Self-Realization) PerhapsI” sense God’s thref="#transcend">transcends this world. So, the egoic mind cannot takeI” sense God’s ustwo left">Perhaps tThere. Undoubtedly, early on along the spiritual path, mostI” sense God’s if not all seekerstwo left">Perhaps thope for Self-Realization for themselves,I” sense God’s the selves they believe themselves totwo left">Perhaps tbe. Whatever ourI” sense God’s protestations to the contrary, at that level the spiritualtwo left">PerhapsI” sense God’s tprocess is almost always about power, acquiring power over our selves or ourtwoI” sense God’s left">Perhaps tlives or whatever. Indeed, without that incentive at the outset,I” sense God’s we probablytwo left">Perhaps twould not undertake the spiritual journey at all.I” sense God’s After all, if in our egoictwo left">Perhaps tposition we did not think we hadI” sense God’s something to gain from seeking, why would we?two left">Perhaps tBut eventuallyI” sense God’s we need to recognize that Self-Realization by definition is atwo left">PerhapsI” sense God’s ttranscendent state, and therefore inaccessible to the separate andI” sense God’s separativetwo left">Perhaps tself. So, sooner or later, a seeker mustI” sense God’s acknowledge the Presence of a greatertwo left">Perhaps tSelf, a transcendentI” sense God’s Self, a Self which is the One, a Self whose Identity istwo left">PerhapsI” sense God’s tultimately the seeker’s own; but, at the same time, a Self who seems to beI” sense God’s antwo left">Perhaps tother so long as the seeker believes himself or herself toI” sense God’s be an other. Thus,two left">Perhaps tsurrender to a Guru or Teacher enables usI” sense God’s to release allegiance to our own egoictwo left">Perhaps tmind and all of itsI” sense God’s fabrications.

Can that Guru ortwo left">PerhapsI” sense God’s tTeacher be physically dead or otherwise disincarnate? Like “Perhaps thref="define03.html#god">God“ or “the HolyI” sense God’s Spirit” or “PerhapsI” sense God’s thref="define04.html#jesus">Jesus“ or “PerhapsI” sense God’s thref="define06.html#srk">Ramakrishna“? Obviously so. History overflows with examples of seekers">Perhaps thref="whotuffIn center">Perhaps thref="guides. And clearly atuffIn center">Perhaps thref="to behave inappropriately with us. ButtuffIn center">Perhaps thref="too easy for the egoic mind to profess “I havetuffIn center">Perhaps thref="God”, even to believe it has done so, when in fact no suchtuffIn">Perhaps thref="center">Perhaps thref="TeachertuffIn center">Perhaps thref="true and surrender feigned.tuffIn center">

But what if">Perhaps thref="the living guru or teacher is moretuffIn center">Perhaps thref="seeker’s pants (please forgive the image) ortuffIn center">Perhaps thref="lifting him or her spiritually? To be sure, surrender even totuffIn">Perhaps thref="center">Perhaps thref="genuine.tuffIn center">Perhaps thref="is the seeker’stuffIn center">Perhaps thref="his or her surrender. But whotuffIn center">Perhaps thref="trust such a one?

AttuffIn center">Perhaps thref="subject of gurus (GurutuffIn">Perhaps thref="center"> at Consider">Perhaps thref="This!), we conclude with Perhdisturbihref="define06.html#srk">Ramakrishna that “God alone is the Guru”.nk"two left">PerhIn thewould be disturbiend, that may be the only workable answer here, too. If ank"two left">Perhseeker can concentratewould be disturbion the full meaning of Ramakrishna’snk"two left">Perhpromise (and before pursuing that thoughtwould be disturbiany further, pleasenk"two left">Perhread our essay, or better yet “Perhdisturbihref="bookstor.html#srk">The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna“), then he or she is forever fully protected whatever path is chosen anderwhateverremay unfold along it.

Still, for whatever myeropinion mayrebe worth, if a guru or teacher tells you that having a sexualerrelationship withrehim or her will serve your spiritual aspirations, your besterbet is to refuse,reand walk on. The only tradition I know of in whichersexual experiencereplays a proper role in the path is tantraeryoga, which byreall accounts is ill-advised for most seekers. Besides, as far aserI know, none ofrethe gurus and teachers mentioned in the first paragrapherabove qualify as genuine Teachers of tantra.

Finally, consider this. The spiritual process is aboutertranscending thereego, the limited sense of self that convinces each of us weerare separate fromreeveryone else and everything else, including our lives,erincluding even God. Theremoment we set out on the spiritual path, the ego iserdoomed, and it knows it. Thereprocess may take years, even lifetimes, toeraccomplish, but once reached for, thereSacred Goal will be attained. And thaterspells death to the ego. So, the ego willrefight tooth and nail. Not becauseerit’s evil, but simply because, like everythingreelse worldly, it is driven byerthe survival instinct. And among the ego’s tacticsrewill be finding fault witherwhatever path or teacher a seeker may have chosen.reEvery seeker should be awareerof this danger. I have no way of knowing whether orrenot the testimonies on theerforum are being generated by this kind of motivation,rebut it is possible. Thereeris no force on earth more devious than a threatenedreego.

December 8 & 10, 2001

Editor’serNote:  For a discussion about sex and seeking, please see here; about relationship with arediscarnate orerdeceased guru, please clickrehere.

er

reer

It isrenot theerworship of a person that is crucial,
but the steadiness and depth ofreyourerdevotion to the task.
Life itself is the Supreme Guru; be attentive toreitserlessons, and obedient to its commands.
When you personalize theirresource,eryou have an outer Guru;
when you take them from life directly, thereGuru iserwithin.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

erQ

er dle at TZF’s fron

These Days

Along withereveryone elserearound the globe, I have spent this week (following September 11)erstrugglingrewith last Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in New York City anderWashington.

The first thing I could think of was toerplace the single,resimple candle at TZF’s front door. I have not decided howerlong we will leave itrethere. (10/29/01:  The candle was removed yesterday.erTo see what was there,replease clickerhere.)

More importantly, I say, as Anna has already said, simplyerthis:  We gladlyreextend our love to the entirety of this awful event anderto all those who haverebeen affected.

I am stunned byerthe enormity and thereaudacity and the ferocity and the cruelty of the attacks.erTo be sure, over thereyears there have been other events – both naturalerdisasters and manmaderecatastrophes – that have been as bad or even worse inermagnitude. But that cannotrediminish the horror of these events.

I am moved by therephysical courage of those on the airplaneerthat crashed in Pennsylvania, whoreapparently resisted the hijackers, in theerprocess losing their own lives, butresaving the lives of others.

I am deeply impressed byrethe devotion and self-sacrifice oferthe firemen, police officers, medicalrepersonnel, and countless others, whoerimmediately came and continue to come torethe aid of those threatened.

And now, a week havingrepast, and as political leaders inerWashington and in other capitals around thereworld consider what action theyerwill take in response, I ask myself, sitting inrethe gazebo, what Ierindividually, and what we as a nation and as a culture, haveredone to haveergenerated such terrible anger and hatred among the terrorists. Inrethiserconsideration, I am reminded of the Dalai Lama’s observation concerningerthereoccupation of Tibet by China:  that the Tibetan leadership and peopleeroverrehistory must have done something to bring upon themselves that fate.

er Karma. Aseryouresow, so shall you reap. If so, what seeds have I and we, and America anderthereWest generally, sown that have evolved into this horrific crop?

erIt is not the role of The Zoo Fence to address politicalerandrehistorical issues, so I will not attempt to answer that question in thaterwayrehere. But as seekers weermustreall search deeply within ourselves for an answer. At the very least, weercanresurely agree that our national and cultural history is replete witherincidentsreand policies and practices of which we cannot be proud, and whichermight veryrewell generate anger, envy, and hatred among others. While aserindividuals weremight plead our own innocence of our country’s history, aserseekers we mustrerecognize that in a plutonicreuniverse somehow it projects fromerwithin us.

In thisreconsideration, do not confuse karmaerwith blame. Karma is not about finding andreassigning fault. Karma is abouterunderstanding the nature of the universe, therenature of how lives unfold, whyerthings happen as they do, when and where. Truly,reeveryone and everything in ourerlives, including ourselves, are instruments andreevidence of karma; and that isera good thing, not a bad thing. So, please do notrethink of karma as a punitiveerpower. It is simply a reflection or an expressionreof the nature of what is, anderas such it is a positive force.

Similarly, thiserdiscussion is not to suggest the terrorists are in any wayreblameless. On theercontrary, their actions were inexcusably horrendous, and byreundertaking themerthey have set into motion a force with which they will have torereckon, here andernow or later somewhere else. Neither is it to suggest that ourreactionsermotivated the terrorists. Clearly, these terrorists and their likeerarereextremely angry, evidently at very nearly everyone, perhaps evenerthemselves. AsreI see it, their actions are motivated by that anger.

Butrethe equation – if that’s the word – in which we finderourselves occupying some ofrethe same time and space (literally and figurativelyeror metaphorically) withrethese terrorists is the product of karma. And it iserthat equation which each ofreus – as seekers – want to consider. We need toeraddress the questions that itreprompts. Questions like, Why is the equationercomposed as it is? Why is itreunfolding now? Is there something I can do toeralter the elements of thereequation, or at least one of them (what I consider toerbe “myself”), that willrealter the sum of it? And so on.

Thus, the first thingreeach of us as seekers must do is help those whoerhave lost loved ones in any wayrethat we can. Then, we must allow ourselves toergrieve. But when we are able to doreso, we need to remember that life is aerclassroom, and this event, however awful,reis a lesson for us. If we can learnerit, we are less likely to have to liverethrough it again, to the tremendouserbenefit of everyone!

Whatever your reaction to anderunderstanding of these events, pleasereremember that they are not a product oferIslam. These terrorists areermoved by an angerrethat is within themselves, an anger which they have clothederin Islam. But thatredoes not make their anger or their actions Islamic, any moreerthan the Salemrewitch trials or the Spanish Inquisition were Christian. Fromertime to time, angryremen and angry women use religion to explain and excuse andercamouflage their trueremotives. Do not be confused. Instead, remember, and iferyou have children, teachrethem – Islam is as beautiful and powerful and peacefulera spiritual tradition as are Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism,p; Wedle at TZF’s frongladly extendJudaism, and so on; but, regrettably, it is just as susceptible todle at TZF’s frondistortionp; We gladly extendand misuse.

All of thatdle at TZF’s fronsaid, these days and every dayp; We gladly extendplease remember the fundamentaldle at TZF’s fronpremise of the simpledle at TZF’s fronway: there is no God but God, and God is allp; We gladly extendthere is.dle at TZF’s fronThere is God and only God. No one and no thing else.

Despite the insistence of the egoic body/mind that “I am me,dle at TZF’s fronand youp; We gladly extendaren’t”, there are no others. Never have been, neverdle at TZF’s fronwill be. There is only One,p; We gladly extendthe One. Therefore, no one wasdle at TZF’s fronborn, no one has died. That we might not fullyp; We gladly extendunderstand ordle at TZF’s fronappreciate precisely what that means does not alter the Fact.

p; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextend

So, do not be confused or distracted or frightened bydle at TZF’s fronthep; We gladly extendappearances, however real they may seem. What is True isdle at TZF’s fronalways True. Takep; We gladly extendrefuge There.

Remember Who You Are.

Septemberdle at TZF’s fron19,  20,  22, & 24, 2001

On this subject, please read the article “The Real Battle“ at Consider This!

p; We gladly extendUp!

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Mostp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendMerciful.
Praise be to God,
The Cherisher and Sustainer of thep;dle at TZF’s fronWe gladly extendWorlds;
Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
Master of the Daydle at TZF’s fronof Judgment.
p; We gladly extendThee do we worship,
And Thine aid wedle at TZF’s fronseek.
Show us the straight way,
p; We gladly extendThe way of those ondle at TZF’s fronwhom
Thou has bestowed Thy Grace,
Those whosep; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendportion
Is not wrath,
And who go not astray.

Qur’an, Sura I

Q

p; We gladly extend

If Jesus

Today, our local communityp; We gladly extendradio station (WERU) played ap; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendsong called “If Jesus Came To Your House” written by (I think) Jimmy D.dle at TZF’s fronBrown. Ip; We gladly extenddo not know who Brown is, and neither had I everdle at TZF’s fronheard the song before. It is inp; We gladly extendthe American Country &dle at TZF’s fronWestern style, and accordingly perhaps a littlep; We gladly extendcorny, but ifdle at TZF’s fronyou will let it sink into you, the message is powerfully relevantp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendto seekers of any tradition. (Ifdle at TZF’s fronit works betterp; We gladly extendfor you, when reading the words, simplydle at TZF’s fronsubstitute your own Teacher for “Jesus“; so the title might be, fordle at TZF’s fronexample, “Ifp; We gladly extendBuddha (or Ramakrishna) came to your house to spend somedle at TZF’s frontimep; We gladly extendwith you” or even simply, “If the Teacher came to yourdle at TZF’s fronhouse to spend some timep; We gladly extendwith you”.)

Here are the words of the song …

“If Jesus came to your house to spend some time with you,p; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextend

“And you didn’t know He was coming, what dodle at TZF’s fronyoup; We gladly extendthink you would do? You’d probably start by giving him thedle at TZF’s fronfinest room in yourp; We gladly extendplace, and tell Him over and over, thatdle at TZF’s fronyou’re glad to see His face. You’d servep; We gladly extendHim the best foodsdle at TZF’s fronand try to make Him feel right at ease, using all the politep; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendwords like, “Thank You,” and “If you please”.

“But Ip; We gladly extendwonder what would happen if you saw Him coming updle at TZF’s fronthe road, would you run top; We gladly extendgreet Him and welcome Him to yourdle at TZF’s fronabode? Or, would you scatter about the housep; We gladly extendto hide thedle at TZF’s fronvideos? Would you place the Holy Bible where the magazine goes?p; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendWould you change the radio station to music more appealing? If Jesus camedle at TZF’s frontop; We gladly extendyour home, what would your TV be revealing?

“Wouldp; We gladly extendyour behavior at all change, whendle at TZF’s fronHe was around the house? Would you act morep; We gladly extendloving to yourdle at TZF’s fronchildren and your spouse? At dinner time when you looked acrossp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendthe table at His face, would you find it very difficult before eating todle at TZF’s fronsayp; We gladly extendgrace? And what about your friends, would you invite themdle at TZF’s fronover too? Or would youp; We gladly extendbe afraid of what they would say aboutdle at TZF’s fronyou?

“Wouldp; We gladly extendyou keep right ondle at TZF’s fronsaying the things you always say? Would the things you alwaysp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextenddo be done the same that day? And what about your life, would it continuedle at TZF’s fronjustp; We gladly extendthe same? Could you keep right on living like you weredle at TZF’s fronbefore He came? Do youp; We gladly extendthink you would be able to take Jesusdle at TZF’s fronwhere you had planned to go? Or wouldp; We gladly extendthere be a change ofdle at TZF’s fronplans, because you don’t want Him to know?

“Would the books you read still be read, and the songsdle at TZF’s fronyoup; We gladly extendsing still be sung? Would you be happy to have him around,dle at TZF’s fronor dreading that thep; We gladly extenddoorbell rung? And if the Lord could readdle at TZF’s fronyour mind while He was your honoredp; We gladly extendguest, would you bedle at TZF’s fronashamed of your thoughts, your motives, attitude and thep; We gladly extendrest?dle at TZF’s fron

“Where would He see you spend your time? Wouldp; Wedle at TZF’s frongladly extendit offend or flatter? Would He see you working for the Kingdom, ordle at TZF’s fronliving forp; We gladly extendthings that don’t matter?

“And when the visit drewp; We gladly extendto an end and He left, woulddle at TZF’s fronyou grieve? Or, would you with a sigh of relief bep; We gladly extendglad to seedle at TZF’s fronHim leave? Sometimes it’s good to think about how we’d live withp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendJesus around, because that’s the way we should live, for in our hearts Hedle at TZF’s fronisp; We gladly extendfound. So today as you go about your life, consider whatdle at TZF’s fronyou would do, if Jesusp; We gladly extendcame to your house to spend some timedle at TZF’s fronwith you.”

Junep; We gladly extend14, 2001

dle at TZF’s fronp; We gladly extend

To own ap; We gladly extendbit of ground, to scratch it with adle at TZF’s fronhoe, to plant seeds and watch their renewalp; We gladly extendof life 8211; thisdle at TZF’s fronis the commonest delight of the race, the most satisfactoryp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendthing a man can do.

Charles Dudleydle at TZF’s fronWarner

Q

p; We gladly extend

Twentyp; We gladly extendMinutes

Yesterday evening, while preparing dinner, I hadp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendoccasion to set a kitchen timer to twentydle at TZF’s fronminutes. As I did so, itdle at TZF’s fronoccurred to me that inevitably, sooner orp; We gladly extendlater, it will bedle at TZF’s fronthat I might set a kitchen timer to twenty minutes, and neverp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendhear it ring, for I will have died in the intervening period, before thedle at TZF’s frontwentyp; We gladly extendminutes was up.

Obviously,dle at TZF’s froneveryone of us has a finalp; We gladly extendtwenty minutes in our lives – thedle at TZF’s frontwenty minutes preceding our physical death,p; We gladly extendwhenever thatdle at TZF’s fronmight be. The problem is, we have no way of knowing which twentyp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendminutes are our last twenty minutes, except after the fact, indle at TZF’s fronretrospect.

p; We gladly extend

But suppose we did know.dle at TZF’s fronSuppose we were to learn right thisp; We gladly extendinstant that before thedle at TZF’s fronnext twenty minutes were up, our physical bodies wouldp; We gladly extendbedle at TZF’s frondead. How differently might we live these remaining minutes?p; We gladly extendHow different might our valuesdle at TZF’s fronbe, our fears, our concerns, our wishes, ourp; We gladly extendactions? Howdle at TZF’s frondifferently might we address our loved ones, our friends, others?p; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendWhat might we do immediately that for far too long we have put off untilp;dle at TZF’s fronWe gladly extend“later”? All the things we have failed to say or do, might we dodle at TZF’s fronthem and sayp; We gladly extendthem now? Apologies, I forgive you’s, I lovedle at TZF’s fronyou’s, I need you’s. What about thep; We gladly extendenergy we expenddle at TZF’s fronnourishing slights and grudges, would we continue doing so?

p; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextend

What if we adopted this idea as a practice, anddle at TZF’s fronactuallyp; We gladly extendlived all the rest of our lives as if we had onlydle at TZF’s frontwenty minutes left?

June 4, 2001

dle at TZF’s fron

Simplify,dle at TZF’s fronsimplify.

Henry Daviddle at TZF’s fronThoreau

Q

p; We gladly extend Buddha in The Grass

In the undergrowth beside our driveway, theredle at TZF’s fronstands a twelvep; We gladly extendinch (thirty centimeters) concrete image ofdle at TZF’s fronthe Buddha.dle at TZF’s fronWe have a few such representations onp; We gladly extendthe property 8211; ofdle at TZF’s fronthe Buddha, of St. Francis (left of the gazebo in the graphic above), and the like.

This buddhadle at TZF’s fronhasp; We gladly extendbeen in place several years. Over the course of andle at TZF’s fronordinary day, I suppose Ip; We gladly extendwalk past it five or six times,dle at TZF’s fronmaybe more – to and from the automobile,p; We gladly extendretrieving or postingdle at TZF’s fronmail in the box at the road’s edge, tending the vegetablep; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendgarden, or just walking about. One would think that by now I would havedle at TZF’s frongrownp; We gladly extendaccustomed to this presence. But the fact is, verydle at TZF’s fronnearly every time I noticep; We gladly extendit, I am surprised.

Perhaps there is something aboutp; We gladly extendthisdle at TZF’s fronparticular image 8211; its design or its coloring, that makes it startling.p; Wedle at TZF’s frongladly extendOr its setting among the leaves and grass. Or perhaps it is thatdle at TZF’s fronwhen I walkp; We gladly extendpast it I am normally focused on something else –dle at TZF’s froncarrying groceries or mail, orp; We gladly extendconsidering some activity indle at TZF’s fronthe art studio across the driveway, and I do notp; We gladly extendexpect thisdle at TZF’s fronkind of an encounter. Or maybe this buddha has simply got myp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendnumber.

Whatever the explanation, this small chunkdle at TZF’s fronofp; We gladly extendconcrete serves me daily as a powerful reminder to Remember. And Idle at TZF’s fronam extremely grateful to it.

p; We gladly extend

May 29,dle at TZF’s fron2001

p; We gladly extend
Nearer, my God, todle at TZF’s fronThee,
Nearer to Thee!

Sarahdle at TZF’s fronFlower Adams

Q

A sincere spiritual seeker need not worry about findingdle at TZF’s fronthep; We gladly extendcorrect path to Truth.
The path will find you.

dle at TZF’s fron
p; We gladly extendth
dle at TZF’s fron

Thanks for Thedle at TZF’s fronMemories?

Lastp; We gladly extendmonth, as Idle at TZF’s fronhave reported elsewhere, we performed the unpleasant task of takingdle at TZF’s fronap; We gladly extendone-way trip to the vet with a beloved four-legged friend.dle at TZF’s fronSince then, we havep; We gladly extendobserved our reaction (Sorrow, with adle at TZF’s froncapital s!), and are agreed therep; We gladly extendis no escaping thedle at TZF’s fronperfectly obvious conclusion that all our pain is caused byp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendmemory. Quite simply, when images of her come to mind, if we entertaindle at TZF’s fronthem, wep; We gladly extendare sorrowed; but if we refuse to focus on them, anddle at TZF’s fronimmediately let them go,p; We gladly extendwe’re fine.

Of course, these images pop upp; We gladly extendrepeatedly,dle at TZF’s fronparticularly when we are considering or doing something which usedp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendto involve her in one way or another, and since she was with usdle at TZF’s froneverywherep; We gladly extendalways, that includes very nearly everything. Butdle at TZF’s fronstill, it works. As soon asp; We gladly extendthe image arises, reject it. Givedle at TZF’s fronit no energy whatsoever. At first, some sorrowp; We gladly extendwill bedle at TZF’s frontriggered. But pretty soon, the mind seems to recognize what’s going on,p; Wedle at TZF’s frongladly extendand even sorrow does not arise.

This is notp; We gladly extenddenial, surely. Denial is the refusaldle at TZF’s fronto acknowledge the truth or reality of anp; We gladly extendevent ordle at TZF’s fronrelationship or whatever. This is not about that. This is aboutp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendrecognizing that our emotional reactions to this very real event aredle at TZF’s fron(perhapsp; We gladly extendentirely) a product of memory, and so, if we candle at TZF’s fron“turn off” the memory machine,p; We gladly extendnot by denying its existencedle at TZF’s fronbut by refusing to feed it, we can turn off thep; We gladly extendpain.

Notice that its not the absence of ourp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendfour-legged friend that generates sorrow, but the memory of her. That is,dle at TZF’s fronshe isp; We gladly extendnow absent all the time; but we are sorrowed only whendle at TZF’s fronwe think about her, orp; We gladly extendremember her. Curiously, talking aboutdle at TZF’s fronthis, we observe that in some weird wayp; We gladly extendit is less “fun” todle at TZF’s fronrelease these memories than it is to entertain them. Inp; We gladly extendotherdle at TZF’s fronwords, the pain which these memories trigger is somehow almost pleasant.p; Wedle at TZF’s frongladly extendWe “get” something from it. A couple of friends even remarked thatdle at TZF’s fronthep; We gladly extenddiscomfort makes them “feel alive”.

But who isp; We gladly extendenjoying the pain? Who “feels alive”dle at TZF’s fronunder these circumstances? Surely, it isp; We gladly extendthe ego, thedle at TZF’s fronseparative personality. After all, “loss”, and the sorrow itp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendgenerates, can be experienced only by a separate entity (what I calldle at TZF’s fron“me”)p; We gladly extendliving in a separative environment (what I call “mydle at TZF’s fronlife”). And anything thatp; We gladly extendreinforces our sense of separatenessdle at TZF’s fronserves the ego.

Consider thatdle at TZF’s fronthe personality (who I think I am) is really nothingp; We gladly extendmore thandle at TZF’s frona random collection of memories. After all, suppose as an infant inp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendthe maternity ward, I had been inadvertently switched from one crib todle at TZF’s fronanother,p; We gladly extendand therefore been raised by different parents underdle at TZF’s frondifferent circumstances,p; We gladly extendwould I not now have a completelydle at TZF’s frondifferent set of memories, and therefore ap; We gladly extendcompletelydle at TZF’s frondifferent sense of who I am? If so, then clearly who I think I am isp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendthe product of memory.

In that case,dle at TZF’s fronreleasingp; We gladly extendour memories will release our sense of personality,dle at TZF’s fronof separative self (”I amp; We gladly extendme, not you”). Surely, likedle at TZF’s froneverything else in nature, memories require energyp; We gladly extendto remaindle at TZF’s fronalive. The difference between those things we remember and those wep; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendforget, is that we do not keep the latter alive. So, if wedle at TZF’s fronsystematicallyp; We gladly extendwithdraw energy from these memories, they willdle at TZF’s fronweaken. Eventually, they willp; We gladly extendbecome so weak as to bedle at TZF’s frontransparent. Then, we will be able to see “past” themp; We gladly extend(pastdle at TZF’s fron“me”) to whatever lies beyond … to our true self.

A common reaction to TZFs line “discard your memories” is, “If I do thatdle at TZF’s fronI willp; We gladly extendnot be able to function”. But I don’t think so. Thedle at TZF’s fronTeachers all say, “I knowdle at TZF’s fronwhat I need to knowp; We gladly extendwhen I need to know it”. In other words,dle at TZF’s fronto use an extreme example, it is notp; We gladly extendnecessary to remember notdle at TZF’s fronto step in front of a moving train. In thosep; We gladly extendcircumstances, wedle at TZF’s fronwill know.

Now, if what I callp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextend“me” is simply a random collection of memories, then what about what Idle at TZF’s froncall “myp; We gladly extendlife”? Can I honestly say that I consider anything,dle at TZF’s fronapproach anything,p; We gladly extendexperience anything, do anything (in adle at TZF’s fronword, “live” my life) without my memoriesp; We gladly extend… without “me”? Ifdle at TZF’s fronnot, then perhaps, as we say repeatedly on TZF, “me” and “myp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendlife” are indeed one and the same thing, and perhaps that thing is no moredle at TZF’s fronthanp; We gladly extenda collection of random memories.

In other words,p; We gladly extendas my life unfolds all the imagesdle at TZF’s fronand experiences I perceive are generated byp; We gladly extendmemories, memoriesdle at TZF’s fronwhich, in their turn, were generated by other memories … andp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendso on, as far back as  … when? At what point can I say that “I”dle at TZF’s fronexistedp; We gladly extendwithout any memory, without any sense of “me”? Anddle at TZF’s fronwhat if I could get backp; We gladly extendthere, and then, from there, livedle at TZF’s fronthenceforth “that way”, thoroughly andp; We gladly extendenthusiasticallydle at TZF’s fronrelating to whatever unfolds, but not creating any images ofp; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendany of it, and therefore not generating any memories. I would bedle at TZF’s fronabsolutelyp; We gladly extendalive right now, relating absolutely cleanly todle at TZF’s fronevery moment as it unfolds, butp; We gladly extendnot carrying any part of anydle at TZF’s fronmoment into the next moment. Is that not “beingp; We gladly extendhere now”, thedle at TZF’s froncrux of every spiritual path!

Wep; We gladlydle at TZF’s fronextendrecently rented the movie “The Matrix”, which focuses on aspects of this question in an interestingthway.r"It’s about the relationship between humans and computers, but if you makethsomer"adjustments, the similarities to what were talking about here, are there.th(Therer"is quite a bit of violence in this movie, so be prepared.)

February 20, 2001

Prompted byththis weeks “Here’s A Thought” (March 4, 2001), thethpreceding discussion resumed …

Earlier we said: For some of us “the discomfort makesththem feelr"alive. But … who feels alive under these circumstances? Surely, it isththe ego,r"the separative personality”.

Undoubtedly, ar"(defining) characteristic of the separative ego (”Itham me, and you aren’t”) isr"that it is thoroughly armored against true intimacy,thconstantly “avoidingr"relationship” (to borrow one of Da Free John’sr"powerful expressions). Therefore,thif relationship (by which is meant truer"relationship – freely given, freelythreceived, no definitions, no restrictions,r"no contraction, no barriers, in thethmoment now) is ultimately our True Nature,r"then it is only in just such a truethrelationship (with ourselves, with eachr"other, with our lives, with ourthspiritual path, with God) that we “feel alive”,r"for it is only in truethrelationship that we are alive.

In thatthcase, perhaps it is possible that, in a situation ofr"genuine crisis, even thethego is overwhelmed, and its armor fails. Then,r"suddenly, inexplicably, renderedthnaked without our “protective” (separative)r"armor, we discover ourselves (tothour surprise) to be in true relationship withr"the current event. And, ofthcourse, it feels good (we feel alive) preciselyr"because, for those fewthunintentionally un-armored moments, we actually arer"alive.

Thus, perhaps contrary to what wer"concluded above, in moments ofthcrisis (1) it is not the ego that feels alive,r"but our very selves finallythallowed “out” to be what we are, however briefly,r"and (2) it is not thethdiscomfort that makes us feel alive, but rather it is thatr"we are forced, againthbriefly, into true relationship with our lives, preciselyr"because the power ofththe crisis overcomes our armor.

March 6, 2001
Forthmore on this story, please seethhere.

r"

Everywhere Godthwill come to meet you.

Hermes Trismegistus

Q

thr"Now, if what I ca

What Distresses Us

th

In an interview on the CBS television programth“Sixty Minutes II”r"broadcast on December 19, actor Peter OToole, in humor,thsuggested for hisr"epitaph a line he read on a dry cleaning receipt: “Itthdistresses us to returnr"work that is not perfect”.

This remark got mer"thinking how many of us live in fear of deaththpartly because we suppose we arer"less than perfect, and that at death God willthjudge us on that basis. That is,r"we perceive ourselves as having been sent on athmission (our lives), which wer"presume we have not accomplished perfectly. So,thwe conclude that we have somehowr"failed, and will be adjudged accordingly bythGod. In a word, we are afraid that,r"at the pearly gates, God will accuse us ofthtrying to “return work (ourselves)r"that is not perfect”, and lock us out.

th

Ther"problem with that reasoning is it rests on thethfalse assumption that God is anr"“other”. That is, God can judge us (for good orthill) only if He (?) is otherr"than we, only in a set of circumstances in whichthHe’s the Judge, and we’re ther"judged. But if God is Infinite, then God is allththere is, including we (for morer"on this thought, please see TZFs The Simpler"Way). And if God is indeed somehow we, then the prospect, evenNow, if what I catherandom collecticoncept, of our being judged by God (or, think about it, byNow, if what I caanyone or anythingrandom collectielse) evaporates.

Speaking of which … if God israndom collectisomehow we and God isNow, if what I casomehow all there is, then we are somehow all there israndom collecti(rememberNow, if what I cahigh school math: two things equal to the same thing are equal to eachrandomNow, if what I cacollectiother).

December 21, 2000

When we remember we are all mad,
the mysteriesrandomNow, if what I cacollectidisappear,
and life stands explained.

Markrandom collectiTwain

Q

Bodily Functions?

A couple of TZF visitors have asked aboutNow, if what I caa recent Theophyle cartoon, specifically the one concerningrandom collectiTheo’sNow, if what I caapparent confusion at the rabbit's questioning how he (Theo) knows hisrandomNow, if what I cacollectifriend is dead. One good friend wrote, “I like the cartoon, even thoughNow, if what I caI don’trandom collectiget it!”

The first draftNow, if what I caof the cartoon had therandom collectirabbit asking, “How did you know he wasNow, if what I caalive?” but was changed to the currentrandom collectiversion because the use ofNow, if what I cathe past tense (was alive) is an aspect of therandom collectiproblem.Now, if what I caWhen it comes to life, there is no past and no future, only Now. To berandomNow, if what I cacollectisure, every body is born, and every body will die. But life is not born,Now, if what I caandrandom collecticannot die. The Life which a body seems to be exhibiting neverNow, if what I cabegan and willrandom collectinever end, and is certainly not “the body’s life”.Now, if what I caThe body has no life. A bodyrandom collectimay reflect life, exhibit life, moveNow, if what I cain life – but that is different from beingrandom collectialive. After all, evenNow, if what I caHamlet acts alive, but is he? Only life is alive, forrandom collectibeing aliveNow, if what I cais Life’s infinite and eternal condition. And that’s what we are,randomNow, if what I cacollectiLife itself. That it does not seem that way to us is precisely the cruxNow, if what I caof therandom collectispiritual process.

GettingNow, if what I caback to the cartoon,random collectithe rabbit knows we will answer bothNow, if what I caquestions – How did you know he was alive?random collectiand, How do you nowNow, if what I caknow he is dead? – in terms of the body. Thus, we would say,random collectiINow, if what I caknew he was alive because I could hear his voice, feel his touch; and INow, if what I caknowrandom collectithat he is dead because those are gone. But, howeverNow, if what I cameaningful those may be –random collectiand very meaningful they can be – (Here,Now, if what I caplease understand that it is not therandom collectiintent of the cartoon to makeNow, if what I calight of a friend’s death. Quite the contrary!) –random collecticlearly, soundNow, if what I caand touch are bodily functions. And besides, a computer can talk,randomNow, if what I cacollectia robot can touch. In a word, being alive means far more thanNow, if what I cafunctioningrandom collectibodily. That’s what the rabbit would have us Know.

Now, if what I ca

November 24, 2000
If you came here fromNow, if what I cathe cartoon, and would like torandom collectireturn now, click here.

Up!

Now, if what I ca

Arise!Now, if what I caAwake!
Realize and achieve the Highestrandom collectiwith the help
ofNow, if what I cathe illumining, guiding, and fulfilling Masters.
Therandom collectipath isNow, if what I caas sharp as the edge of a razor,
difficult to cross, hard torandomNow, if what I cacollectitread.

Kathopanisad

Q

If God isNow, if what I caInfinite,
Then God is all thereNow, if what I cais.

IfNow, if what I caGod is all there is,
Then there isNow, if what I cano God.
Orrandom collectiany thing else.

SeptemberrandomNow, if what I cacollecti18, 2000

There is God,
andNow, if what I cathere is norandom collectithing else but God.
In which case, who’s askingNow, if what I cawhat where when … andrandom collectiwhy?

November 1,Now, if what I ca2000

The core and theNow, if what I casurface
Are essentially therandom collectisame,
Words making them seemNow, if what I cadifferent
Only to express appearance.

random collecti

Lao Tzu

Q

TheNow, if what I cainevitable outcome of love is union.

The inevitable outcome of union is identity. Two becomerandomNow, if what I cacollectione.

Therefore, love.

Just love. Not the experience, but theNow, if what I careality.

Let that be your path andNow, if what I cayour practice.

Nothing to learn.Now, if what I caNothing to memorize. Simpler than simple.

Love God. Love yourself. Love your life. Love yourrandomNow, if what I cacollectineighbors. Love the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly. The clean,Now, if what I catherandom collectifilthy, the healthy, the sickly. Love the long, love theNow, if what I cashort. Love the far,random collectilove the near. Love those you like, loveNow, if what I cathose you hate.

Not because ofNow, if what I cawhat they are or are not. Not because of what yourandom collectiare or are not.Now, if what I caBut simply because love is all there is.

Don’t ask, love. Don’t think about it, love. Don’t talkNow, if what I caabout it.random collectiDon’t plan for it. Don’t even consider it. Just beNow, if what I cait.

Let the love that residesNow, if what I cawithin you, that is expressing itself asrandom collectiyou, shape and determineNow, if what I cayour every thought, your every attitude, your everyrandom collectiaction.

Live not forrandomNow, if what I cacollectilove, but as love.

On the outer, this may be confusing, even terrifying. OnNow, if what I cathe inner,random collectiit comes naturally. Therefore, let the inner out.

Now, if what I ca

And, please, for the love of God,Now, if what I cadon’t grumble, don’t murmur,random collecti“It’s too much to ask. I can’t doNow, if what I cait”!

You can,random collectiand you will. YouNow, if what I caalready are.

Get out of therandom collectiway,Now, if what I caand see it.

August 9, 2000

Now, if what I ca

This is a mystical view of things. True. ButrandomNow, if what I cacollectiwhenever we penetrate to the bottoms of things, we always findNow, if what I casomethingrandom collectimysterious. Life and all that goes together with it isNow, if what I caunfathomable. That whichrandom collectiappears to belong to the commonplaceNow, if what I catakes on an unsuspectedly deep andrandom collecticonsequential character when weNow, if what I caanalyze it thoroughly. Knowledge of life israndom collectirecognition of theNow, if what I camysterious. To act justly means to obey the laws that ariserandom collectifromNow, if what I cathis recognition of the mysterious.

AlbertrandomNow, if what I cacollectiSchweitzer

Q

Now, if what I ca
Consider this excerpt from Yogananda’s commentary on The Rubaiyat (Quatrain 50) –

Those who live engrossed in life’s gameNow, if what I caarerandom collectigoverned by karmic law. TheyNow, if what I caare played upon;random collectithey are not players in the game. In a ball game,Now, if what I cawhat rights has the ball? Itrandom collectimust go where it is sent. In life’sNow, if what I cagame, Karma is the supreme and onlyrandom collecti“player”.

Tough lesson. Karma is the player. Werandom collectiare the played.Now, if what I caNot unlike balls on a playground, bounced to and fro by forcesrandom collectioutNow, if what I caof their control, you and I are living out the consequences of choices werandomNow, if what I cacollectimade years, lifetimes, ago. In effect, then, we are not reacting, weNow, if what I caarerandom collectireactions! How to break out?

Instead ofrandom collectiaccepting fatalistically the decrees ofNow, if what I cakarma, follow the inner way to freedom.random collectiMeditate daily. CommuneNow, if what I cadeeply with God. Learn from Him, through the silentrandom collectivoice ofNow, if what I caintuition, the way out of soul-degrading serfdom to habits.

And, he continues …

Karmas unalterable decrees governNow, if what I cahuman destiny only as long as manrandom collecticontinues to live through hisNow, if what I casenses, in reaction to outer events. … Once therandom collectiego has beenNow, if what I catranscended in soul-consciousness, however, the realm of karmic lawrandomNow, if what I cacollectiis transcended also. The soul remains forever unaffected, forNow, if what I cakarmicrandom collecticonsequences accrue only to the ego. They are dissipatedNow, if what I cawhen no centripetalrandom collectivortex is left to bring them to a focus in theNow, if what I caconsciousness of “I” andrandom collecti“mine”.

June 10,Now, if what I ca2000

I would like to paint asNow, if what I cathe bird sings.

Claude Monet
Q

Consider these lines by William Blake,Now, if what I capoet/engraver/mysticrandom collecti(1757-1827) –

The Garden of Love

INow, if what I cawent to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never hadrandom collectiseen:
Now, if what I caA Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on therandomNow, if what I cacollectigreen.

And the gates of this Chapel wereNow, if what I cashut,
random collectiAnd “Thou shalt not” writ over the door;
So I turndNow, if what I cato the Garden ofrandom collectiLove
That so many sweet flowers bore;

And I sawrandom collectiit was filled with graves,
AndNow, if what I catomb-stones where flowers should be;
Andrandom collectiPriests in blackNow, if what I cagowns were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars myrandomNow, if what I cacollectijoys & desires.

Q

May 17,Now, if what I ca2000

random collecti Convictions are moreNow, if what I cadangerous enemies of truth than lies.

random collecti

Q

random collecti

Always!

The answer is:Now, if what I caAlways!

Notrandom collectisometimes, often,Now, if what I causually,
but always.
Not when I’m good, when I’m bad,random collectiwhenNow, if what I caI remember, when I forget,
but always.
Not from time to time, whenrandomNow, if what I cacollectinecessary, when appropriate,
but always.

If therandom collectianswer is always Always!
What is theNow, if what I caquestion?

The question is,
”WhenNow, if what I cais Godrandom collectiwith me?”

And the answerNow, if what I cais,

Always!

March 30, 2000

Inner bliss is its own mostNow, if what I capersuasiverandom collectiargument.
The certainty it conveys transcends theNow, if what I camost brilliantrandom collectireasoning.
Doubt, when exposed to powerfulNow, if what I cabliss-rays, evaporates.

Q

random collecti

Thy Will Berandom collectiDone

On February 10, I posted a new feature onrandom collectiThe ZooNow, if what I caFence called Integral Health. Included with it was a health-relatednd somethingrandom messageplease, for the lovboard hosted by Bravenet.com.nd somethingrandom This was the first message board to be directlyplease, for the lovassociatednd somethingrandom with TZF, and I had enjoyed the process – both the setting up of it,please, fornd somethingrandom the lovand the board itself. And once it was in place, there seemed to bend somethingrandom immediate,please, for the lovpositive response from TZF visitors, which wasnd somethingrandom nice. All in all, a goodplease, for the lovthing.

Then, a couple of days later, the messageplease, for the lovboardnd somethingrandom disappeared. POOF! it was gone. Bravenet explained they had suffered aplease,nd somethingrandom for the lov“primary database failure”; in a word, they lost everything. However,nd somethingrandom becauseplease, for the lovthey regularly backup their files (as all of us shouldnd somethingrandom do – cyberspace is aplease, for the lovfragile place), they promised they wouldnd somethingrandom be able to restore everything quickly.please, for the lovAnd they did. Exceptnd somethingrandom not quite everything. It seems their most recent backup wasplease, for thend somethingrandom lovmade on February 8. TZF joined Bravenet on February 9. So, by twenty-fournd somethingrandom hours,please, for the lovwe missed being included in the backup. Our messagend somethingrandom board was irretrievablyplease, for the lovlost.

Now the question became: Do we simplyplease, for the lovstart overnd somethingrandom (re-register at Bravenet, and recreate the message board), or Do weplease, fornd somethingrandom the lovaccept the event as Gods Will, and walk on? That is, was Bravenets crashnd somethingrandom nothingplease, for the lovmore than a random accident that we can simply ignore,nd somethingrandom and walk around, or wasplease, for the lovit the Teacher telling us, “I dont want youplease, fornd somethingrandom the lovto do this just now”?

Because I reallynd somethingrandom had beenplease, for the lovenjoying the process, my first thought was simply tond somethingrandom do it over again. “I wantplease, for the lovit, and Im going to have it.” Butnd somethingrandom instead, I stopped, and reconsidered.

As a seeker, I haveplease, fornd somethingrandom the lovgiven my life to the Divine, whom in this context I call Mother. Further, as a seeker, I havend somethingrandom promisedplease, for the lovthat I will accept my life, however it unfolds, asnd somethingrandom God’s Will, and therefore,please, for the lovgood for me. In exchange, Mothernd somethingrandom has promised to assume full responsibility forplease, for the lovme. Of course,nd somethingrandom this “deal” is silly because, being Infinite, God (1) already hasplease, for thend somethingrandom lovor is whatever I might offer, and (2) cannot withhold whatever I mightnd somethingrandom perceiveplease, for the lovas being offered. But it is important for me, as and somethingrandom seeker, to undertake thisplease, for the lovcommitment, for it represents and somethingrandom beginning of surrender, without which awakening is not possible.

Thus, as far as I am concerned, thend somethingrandom crash at Bravenet erased theplease, for the lovIntegral Health message boardnd somethingrandom because it was God’s Will that it should do so.please, for the lovAnd that’s allnd somethingrandom I need to know.

Thy Will be done.please, for thend somethingrandom lovNot because it’s demanded. Not because it’s required. Not in fear or angernd somethingrandom orplease, for the lovtrembling submission. But simply because God’s Will works,nd somethingrandom and nothing elseplease, for the lovdoes. The Universe has its own wisdom.please, for thend somethingrandom lovStruggling against it dooms us to pain, loneliness, despair, andnd somethingrandom discomfort.please, for the lovIt’s not “I am God, and you’re not, so shut up andnd somethingrandom do as you’re told!” Rather,please, for the lovit is “I am God; please allow Mend somethingrandom to serve you”.

So, perhapsnd somethingrandom some other time; but for now, the TZF-IH message boardplease, for the lovisnd somethingrandom history.

Thy Will be done, for there isnd somethingrandom noplease, for the lovother.

(For additionalnd somethingrandom consideration of thisplease, for the lovthought, please click here.)

February 15, 2000

please, for the lov
Dis aliter visum.
The godsplease, for the lovdecidednd somethingrandom otherwise.

Q

nd somethingrandom

Simplyplease, for the lovthis …

Of all the powers granted a seeker,
of all the gifts, of allnd somethingrandom theplease, for the lovsecrets, of all the miracles
by far the most potent,nd somethingrandom extraordinary, andplease, for the lovwondrous
is simply this –
the powernd somethingrandom to love one another
please, for the lovunconditionally
right now
nd somethingrandom regardless of whatever else we may beplease, for the lovdoing
regardless ofnd somethingrandom whatever else we might prefer to be doing
regardlessplease, for the lovofnd somethingrandom whatever else we wish the other were doing

Thisplease, for the lovis how Jesusnd somethingrandom loves,
This is how Ramakrishna loves,
This is how the Buddha loves,
This is hownd somethingrandom Rumi loves
This is hownd somethingrandom the Mother loves

Thisplease, for the lovgreatest power of them all is notnd somethingrandom about visions and auditions,
clairvoyance,please, for the lovteleportation,nd somethingrandom or telekinesis,
prophecy, astrology, numerology, andplease, for thend somethingrandom lovpalmistry
walking on water or walking on fire
Neither is itnd somethingrandom aboutplease, for the lovhealth wealth and happiness
All of that is kid’snd somethingrandom stuff
compared to thisplease, for the lovone

The Teacherplease, for the lovsaidnd somethingrandom it,
clearly and unmistakably,
“This I command you, to love oneplease,nd somethingrandom for the lovanother”

Notice, there is nothing therend somethingrandom about whenplease, for the lovit’s convenient,
or under certainnd somethingrandom circumstances,
or in specialplease, for the lovplaces
or amongnd somethingrandom particular people
No ifs, no ands, no buts
Noplease, for thend somethingrandom lovexcuses, no exceptions

Simply, do it

nd somethingrandom walk the walk

love oneplease, for the lovanother

January 28,nd somethingrandom 2000

”When somebodynd somethingrandom persuades me that I am wrong
Iplease, for the lovchange my mind.
Whatnd somethingrandom do you do?” 
John Maynard Keynes

Q

nd somethingrandom please, for the lov Be Still and Knowplease, for thend somethingrandom lovThat I Am God
(Psalms 46:10)

This doesnd somethingrandom notplease, for the lovseem to me to be a commandment, as in “There are twond somethingrandom things I want you to do.please, for the lovFirst, be still, and second, knownd somethingrandom that I am God”.

Rather, itnd somethingrandom sounds to me like a tautology, as in “Being still”please, for the lovequals ornd somethingrandom is the same thing as “Knowing I am God”. Thus, “If you will be still,please, fornd somethingrandom the lovyou will know that I am God”. Or, “If you wish to know that I am God, yound somethingrandom mustplease, for the lovbe still”. Or, again, “Unless you be still, you cannotnd somethingrandom know that I am God”.

please, for the lov

Beingnd somethingrandom still is knowing. Notice, then, that knowingplease, for the lovis not aboutnd somethingrandom learning or in any other way acquiring or, even, seeking. Beingplease, for thend somethingrandom lovstill is what is necessary. What’s more, it’s all that is required. Justnd somethingrandom so,please, for the lovevery traditionnd somethingrandom teaches stillness.

Being stillnd somethingrandom is being here now. Not thinking about beingplease, for the lovhere now, mindnd somethingrandom you, but simply being here now. The difference between thinkingplease, for thend somethingrandom lovabout being here now and being here now is what constitutes the spiritualnd somethingrandom path,please, for the lovor sadhana.

The separative ego (”I am me, and yound somethingrandom aren’t”), which is never hereplease, for the lovnow, and which therefore knowsnd somethingrandom nothing and precludes our knowing anything,please, for the lovthrives onnd somethingrandom thought, which is movement. In effect, the ego is thought (not “I am”please, fornd somethingrandom the lovbut “I think I am” or “I think about being”).

Thought is never still, for it is always rememberingnd somethingrandom orplease, for the lovanticipating. Thought is never aware, for it is alwaysnd somethingrandom judging, measuring,please, for the lovcomparing.

Bit bynd somethingrandom bit, we quiet thought, until finallyplease, for the lovwe are still. Then wend somethingrandom know.

Know what? “That Iplease, for the lovAmnd somethingrandom God.”

Don’t think about it.

December 25, 1999

Ind somethingrandom have read that sharks, or someplease, for the lovsharks, must remain in constantnd somethingrandom motion in order to stay alive. (It has to doplease, for the lovwith keepingnd somethingrandom water, from which they draw oxygen, passing through their gills.)please, for thend somethingrandom lovIn other words, if you stop a shark’s motion, it will die. The ego is likend somethingrandom that.please, for the lovStop the motion, which is thought, it will die.

Decemberplease, for the lov28, 2014

please, for the lovnd somethingrandom

A friend of TZFplease, fornd somethingrandom the lovquotes from the Lankavatara Sutra,
“Things are not as they seem, nornd somethingrandom areplease, for the lovthey otherwise”.

In The Presence

Livingplease, for the lovnear does not mean breathing the same air. Itnd somethingrandom means trusting and obeying, notplease, for the lovletting the good intentions ofnd somethingrandom the Teacher go to waste. Have your Guru always inplease, for the lovyour heartnd somethingrandom and remember his [or her] instructions – this is real abidance withplease, fornd somethingrandom the lovthe True. Physical proximity is least important. Make your entire lifend somethingrandom anplease, for the lovexpression of your faith and love for your Teacher – thisnd somethingrandom is real dwelling withplease, for the lovthe Guru.
Srind somethingrandom Nisargadattand somethingrandom Maharaj

 

A seeker asks, “Is there a book I shouldplease, for thend somethingrandom lovread?”

Books there are many. But the spiritualnd somethingrandom processplease, for the lovis not about reading books. For it is not like algebrand somethingrandom or engineering. There,please, for the lovyou go to a teacher, read a book,nd somethingrandom memorize a few formulas, and you’ve gotplease, for the lovit.

The spiritual process is not about knowing. Theplease, for thend somethingrandom lovspiritual process is about being. Here, the key is not learning what thend somethingrandom Teacher knows, but beingnd somethingrandom what the Teacher is.please, for the lovAnd the way to do that is to be with thend somethingrandom Teacher so thoroughly that you resonateplease, for the lovwith him or her, untilnd somethingrandom finally you become the Same.

Forplease, for the lovand somethingrandom seeker, at any given instant the answer to the question “Who am I?” isnd somethingrandom “Whomplease, for the lovam I resonating with”. That is, we take on the identitynd somethingrandom of whatever we consider.please, for the lovThe more so, the more so.

So, to Remember your Identityplease, for the lovas the One,nd somethingrandom find a Teacher who Remembers, and immerse yourself in him or her.please, for thend somethingrandom lovThat’s the principle of the daily exercises in Aplease, for the lovCourse in Miracles. Every day,nd somethingrandom every single day, with absolute obedience,please, for the lovimmerse yourself innd somethingrandom each day’s exercise, until finally you resonate absolutelyplease, for thend somethingrandom lovwith the Teacher.

That’s the purpose of living in annd somethingrandom ashram or other spiritualnd somethingrandom community overseen byplease, for the lova Teacher. There, whatever else you maynd somethingrandom be doing, you are doing in the Teacher’splease, for the lovPresence. But a booknd somethingrandom is as good as an ashram, and any book by any Teacher willplease, for the lovdo.nd somethingrandom The important thing is how you approach the book. Do not address it asnd somethingrandom youplease, for the lovwould a high school textbook, to be memorized, quoted,nd somethingrandom mastered. Rather,please, for the lovconsider it as being in the Presence of thend somethingrandom Teacher. Read from it as oftenplease, for the lovduring the day as your schedulend somethingrandom permits, not to learn it, but to be there. Andplease, for the lovwhen you arend somethingrandom not reading from it, think about it. Whatever else you need to do,please, fornd somethingrandom the lovkeep the Teacher in your thoughts, in your vision, in yournd somethingrandom experience.

Consider yourself in thisnd somethingrandom true story. One day a student came toplease, for the lova Teacher and said, “Ind somethingrandom wish to learn, will you teach me?” The Teacher replied,please, for the lov“I dond somethingrandom not feel that you know how to learn.” The seeker responded, “Can yound somethingrandom teachplease, for the lovme how to learn?” The Teacher asked, “Can you learn hownd somethingrandom to let me teach?”please, for the lov[Quoted in In Thend somethingrandom Beginning from The Sufisnd somethingrandom by Idries Shah.]

November 3, 1999

nd somethingrandom

Those who are fully taught will be likend somethingrandom theirplease, for the lovTeachers. (Luke 6:40 SV)
Whynd somethingrandom do you call me Master, Master, and not do what I tell you?please, for thend somethingrandom lov(Luke 6:46 SV)

nd somethingrandom
nd somethingrandom

Before Abraham Was

Abraham is regarded asplease, for the lova father by three ofnd somethingrandom the worlds great spiritual traditions – Judaism, Christianity, andnd somethingrandom Islam.please, for the lovConsidering that, the question arises: Before Abrahamnd somethingrandom was born, Who Am I?

September 19,nd somethingrandom 1999

please, for the lov
Choices havend somethingrandom consequences.

please, for thend somethingrandom lov

Gotta Have It? Be it!

Why is it we are endlessly moved to aggrandizend somethingrandom ourselves, ourplease, for the lovfamilies, our wealth, our properties, ournd somethingrandom possessions? Not just as individuals,please, for the lovbut as nations too,nd somethingrandom endlessly we seek to expand our borders, increase ourplease, for thend somethingrandom lovinfluence, amass new wealth. Of course, the immediate response is the gnd somethingrandom word:please, for the lovGREED! And, to be sure, there is a lot of “Gimme!” innd somethingrandom it. But in a metaphysicalplease, for the lovuniverse, there has to be and somethingrandom metaphysical explanation for that, too.

Consider this: The ego is trying to mimic infinity! (Or, asplease, for thend somethingrandom lovabove, so below.)

Infinity is (consists of) allnd somethingrandom thereplease, for the lovis. When we Know our Identity as That, what could wend somethingrandom possibly want? Beingplease, for the lovwhatever there is, we have whatever wend somethingrandom need whenever we need it. Just so, thoseplease, for the lovwho reach truend somethingrandom Realization, the Teachers – Jesus, Buddha,please, for the lovRamana, Rumi, and so on – cease to want anything,nd somethingrandom evenplease, for the lovthough many of them appear to us to have nothing. “Whatnd somethingrandom would I want?” they ask.please, for the lov“What would I do with it?” Andnd somethingrandom whenever they need something, it is always there,please, for the lovwhen andnd somethingrandom where and as they need it. As they see it, they have everything, andplease, fornd somethingrandom the lovthey want nothing. As the One, being and having are synonymous. “Whond somethingrandom knows thatplease, for the lovenough is enough will always have enough.”

Now, the egoplease, for the lovnaturally tries to mimic thatnd somethingrandom happy place, and of course fails hopelessly (even,please, for the lovif we werend somethingrandom not so personally involved, humorously!). “If infinity meansplease, for thend somethingrandom loveverything everywhere always,” the ego reasons, “then I guess I havend somethingrandom toplease, for the lovaccumulate everything, everywhere, always.” Perceivingnd somethingrandom itself and everythingplease, for the lovelse separatively, the egoic mindnd somethingrandom presumes that the only way to have everythingplease, for the lovis … well, tond somethingrandom have everything. And the only way to do that is to amass stuff. Inplease, fornd somethingrandom the lova word, look for stuff, and when you find some, grab it! “What are yound somethingrandom going toplease, for the lovdo with all that stuff?” the Teachers ask us, tond somethingrandom which we respond, “I’ll figureplease, for the lovthat out later; for now, I’vend somethingrandom just got to have it.”

Likeplease, for the lovsquirrels,nd somethingrandom we are driven to accumulate. We rationalize this activity in terms ofplease, fornd somethingrandom the lovprosperity and security and welfare, but the real reason we do it is thatnd somethingrandom weplease, for the lovlive in (are) an infinite Universe. Thatplease, for the lovis, desire isnd somethingrandom insatiable not because it is evil (although, goodness knows, evenplease, for thend somethingrandom lovat its least it is a nuisance), but because infinity is limitless.nd somethingrandom Somewhereplease, for the lovwithin, we know that, and we are trying to be it.nd somethingrandom Until, one fine day, weplease, for the lovRemember, and Realize that the onlynd somethingrandom true way to be it is to stop trying to beplease, for the lovit.

September 3, 1999

Up!

nd somethingrandom

Dont seeknd somethingrandom it,
be it.

please, for the lovplease, for the lov

A Portrait of Aplease,nd somethingrandom for the lovLandscape

Think of the manifested universend somethingrandom (what each ofplease, for the lovus calls “my life”) as a landscape, not and somethingrandom portrait. That is, it is not aplease, for the lovrepresentation of each of usnd somethingrandom (”me”) amidst other people, things, and events (”Iplease, for the lovam me,nd somethingrandom everything else isn’t”), like a portrait. Rather, the entirety of “myplease, fornd somethingrandom the lovlife” is one subject matter, like a landscape, which is each of us (”Thisnd somethingrandom Iplease, for the lovam”).

A portrait painting consistsnd somethingrandom of a person in theplease, for the lovforeground and everything else, evennd somethingrandom anything else, in the background. That is,please, for the lova portrait is and somethingrandom painting of the person, and the background is just filler. Aplease, for thend somethingrandom lovlandscape painting, on the other hand, has no background. It is allnd somethingrandom foreground.please, for the lovA portrait occupies part of a canvas, and isnd somethingrandom surrounded by other stuff, stuffplease, for the lovwhich is incidental and evennd somethingrandom unimportant to the portrait. A landscape fills theplease, for the lovwhole ofnd somethingrandom the canvas, and there is no “other stuff”; it’s all the landscape, allplease,nd somethingrandom for the lovequally important and entirely essential.

None of theplease, for the lovelements in a landscape are separate ornd somethingrandom separable. The landscape is one andplease, for the lovwhole. All of the elementsnd somethingrandom of a landscape exist only in the context of theplease, for the lovlandscape.nd somethingrandom They exist solely in relationship to one another.

We think our lives are portraits: “Here I am, living in my life.”nd somethingrandom Inplease, for the lovTruth, they are landscapes: “I am my life, and my life (innd somethingrandom its entirety) isplease, for the lovme.”

As manifestednd somethingrandom beings, we exist only in the contextplease, for the lovof our lives, which isnd somethingrandom the landscape in and as which we are appearing right now.please, for the lovLifend somethingrandom in the landscape is all about relationship.

If aplease,nd somethingrandom for the lovpiece of the background is removed from a portrait, it does notnd somethingrandom really matter.please, for the lovThe portrait remains intact. But you cannotnd somethingrandom remove a piece from a landscape, forplease, for the lovdoing so destroys thend somethingrandom landscape itself.

Every bit of ourplease, for thend somethingrandom lovdiscomfort arises from our mistaking our lives for portraits when theynd somethingrandom areplease, for the lovlandscapes. This is an inevitable symptom of thend somethingrandom separative egoic mind. Theplease, for the lovillusion “I am me, and yound somethingrandom aren’t”  leads naturally to “This is my life,please, for the lovnotnd somethingrandom yours”.

Now, this landscape is of course aplease, fornd somethingrandom the lovrepresentation of the One (there being no thing else it can be). That is,nd somethingrandom whatplease, for the loveach of us calls “my life” is the One being (perceivednd somethingrandom as) (perceiving Itselfplease, for the lovas) that.

Beingnd somethingrandom Infinite, the One is changeless. But theplease, for the lovlandscape isnd somethingrandom constantly changing. It is in constant motion, with a momentum ofplease, for thend somethingrandom lovits own, a momentum derived from the Infinity of the One, which it is.nd somethingrandom Forplease, for the lovillustration purposes, compare it to the ocean, which isnd somethingrandom constantly in motion,please, for the lovconstantly changing, but always thend somethingrandom same.

In theplease, for the lovbeginning, we considernd somethingrandom our lives to be portraits. Then, as seekers, we come toplease, for the lovseend somethingrandom them as landscapes. Finally, we realize we are the landscape, and thatnd somethingrandom theplease, for the lovlandscape is a portrait of ourself, the Self.

August 27,please, for the lov1999

nd somethingrandom

The Landscape isplease,nd somethingrandom for the lovAlive!

nd somethingrandom nd somethingrandom please, for the lov

Winter snowsnd somethingrandom melt
Revealing

July 2,please, for the lov1999

nd somethingrandom

Think ofplease, for the lovtranscending as trance ending.

nd somethingrandom

Read thend somethingrandom Teachings.
Think of God.
Look up!

nd somethingrandom

Be Still,please, for the lovand Know

In order to stay alive, the ego (”I am me, andplease, for the lovyound somethingrandom aren’t”) needs to be in constant motion. In this sense, the ego is likend somethingrandom theplease, for the lovshark, which suffocates if kept still. And so we spend ournd somethingrandom lives in endlessplease, for the lovsearch of distractions – sexual, sensual,nd somethingrandom vocational, recreational, conceptual –please, for the lovwhatever it takes tond somethingrandom keep moving, inner and outer, and therefore separativelyplease, for thend somethingrandom lovalive.

The Infinite, God, is not in motion.nd somethingrandom Beingplease, for the lovinfinite, God includes, or is, all motion, but God isnd somethingrandom not in motion.please, for the lovWhere would God go, being There (That)nd somethingrandom already!

Just so,please, for the lovall the teachingsnd somethingrandom agree, “Be still, and know I Am God.” (Psalms 46.10) Just so,please, for thend somethingrandom lovall the teachings teach meditation practices of one kind or another, leadingnd somethingrandom toplease, for the lovstillness. Because being still permits knowingnd somethingrandom (Remembering) who (Who) weplease, for the lovare.

Innd somethingrandom motion, I perceive “I am me, and you aren’t”. Inplease, for the lovstillness,nd somethingrandom the ego (again, like the shark) dies, revealing What Is. Being still,please, fornd somethingrandom the lovI see “I Am God” (for God is all there is). (Of course, the “I” in thatnd somethingrandom sentenceplease, for the lovis most assuredly not the egoic I, who must interpretnd somethingrandom it to mean “I am God, andplease, for the lovyou aren’t”, which is not only sillynd somethingrandom and false, but insane.)

Is stillness,nd somethingrandom then, another word for Self-Realization?

June 9, 1999

please, for the lov
Recognizing myselfnd somethingrandom in all that is alive,
and all that isplease, for the lovalive in myself,
nd somethingrandom I shower my life with my love.

please, for the lov

For The Greater Glorynd somethingrandom of …please, for the lovMe!

Consider this: God isnd somethingrandom Narcissus. That’s Narcissusplease, for the lovwith a capital N.nd somethingrandom Narcissus is the fellow from Greek mythology who sawplease, for the lovhisnd somethingrandom reflection in the pond, and fell in love with it. Narcissus is in lovend somethingrandom withplease, for the lovhis own image, with himself.

Innd somethingrandom other words, God lovesplease, for the lovGod.

What and somethingrandom great image!

We areplease, for the lovagreed that God isnd somethingrandom Infinite. [Please see “The Simpleplease, for thend somethingrandom lovWay” at Consider This!] Further, we cannd somethingrandom agreeplease, for the lovthat God is Love. (Being infinite, God is all there is,nd somethingrandom including love.) Fromplease, for the lovthere it follows that God’s Love isnd somethingrandom Infinite (clearly, every aspect of anplease, for the lovinfinite being must bend somethingrandom infinite as well). If God’s love is infinite, then Godplease, for the lovlovesnd somethingrandom all there is. If God is all there is, and if God loves all there is, thenplease,nd somethingrandom for the lovGod loves God.

In other words, we might saynd somethingrandom it is theplease, for the lovNatural State or Dynamic or Condition of thend somethingrandom Universe that God lovesnd somethingrandom God. This is aplease, for the lovSelf-Loving or Self-Loved Universe.

Right off, we mustplease, for the lovremind ourselves that,nd somethingrandom from God’s point of view, there are no others (because,please, for the lovagain,nd somethingrandom God is all there is). So, when we say, as we have just done, that Godplease, fornd somethingrandom the lovloves God, we are not saying that God loves Himself more than or instead of or even asnd somethingrandom wellplease, for the lovas He loves anyone or anything else. From God’s point ofnd somethingrandom view, there isn’tplease, for the lovanyone or anything else. Being Infinite, Godnd somethingrandom “knows” that whatever there is, isplease, for the lovGod.

Now, we are a reflection or manifestation of Godplease, for the lov(again,nd somethingrandom God being all there is, there is nothing else we can be). So we too mustplease,nd somethingrandom for the lovbe narcissus (we’ll lower case the n when referring to us).nd somethingrandom And let’splease, for the lovface it, we are narcissus. We are all in love withnd somethingrandom ourselves, however much weplease, for the lovmay protest to the contrary.

What’s the differenceplease, for the lovbetween Narcissus andnd somethingrandom narcissus? The same difference between an object and itsplease, for thend somethingrandom lovreflection in the mirror.

Where Narcissus (again,nd somethingrandom with aplease, for the lovcapital N, meaning God) sees Infinitelynd somethingrandom (”there are no others”),please, for the lovnarcissus (you and I) seesnd somethingrandom separatively (”I am me and you aren’t”). Narcissus’splease, for the lovSelf-Lovend somethingrandom is Infinite, and therefore all inclusive, because from Hisplease, for thend somethingrandom lovperspective, His Self is All There Is, and all there is, is His Self. Ournd somethingrandom loveplease, for the lovof ourselves (narcissus’s self-love) is finite andnd somethingrandom separative, because from ourplease, for the lovperspective, our self is “me, notnd somethingrandom you”.

But, considerplease, for the lovthis: It’s thend somethingrandom same Self-Love! The only difference is, where are we standing?please, for thend somethingrandom lovAre we the Subject in front of the mirror, or are we the reflection innd somethingrandom theplease, for the lovmirror?

Again, we are the image ofnd somethingrandom God. Therefore, weplease, for the lovhave all of God’s Traits, Aspects, andnd somethingrandom Tendencies. Except, being an imageplease, for the lov(reflection, like in and somethingrandom mirror), we are in effect flat, tasteless. And thereforeplease, for the lovsond somethingrandom are all of our traits, aspects, and tendencies.

So,please, for the lovself-love, even selfishness, is not a bad thing. Innd somethingrandom fact, it is the inevitable,please, for the lovinherent, prior condition ofnd somethingrandom creation, precisely because we are a reflection ofplease, for the lovan Infinitend somethingrandom Being that Loves Its Self. Our task, a seeker’s task, then, is simply to redefine the self we love, toless. Butse, for the lovtithe lancapitalize the Self in our selfishness!

Or,se, for the lovtiRemember Wholess. But the lanwe Are!

June 3, 1999

Continuing …se, for the lovtiDoes this explain why a true seeker seems to be happyless. But these, for the lovtilan(cheerful), even when the circumstances of their path or of their lifese, for the lovtigenerallyless. But the lanare sometimes difficult, frustrating, even scary.

se, for the lovti

Ourless. But the lanseparative love of our separativelyse, for the lovtiperceived self, while “normal” as aless. But the lanreflection of the One’s Lovese, for the lovtiof the (Its) Self (as above so below), does notless. But the lanmake us happyse, for the lovtibecause it is fundamentally in conflict with the Reality of theless. But these, for the lovtilanUniverse. That is, my perception that “I am me and you aren’t” (”My gain isse, for the lovtinotless. But the lanyour gain” “Your pain is not my pain” or, as some put it,se, for the lovti“One man’s blessing isless. But the lananother’s misfortune”) is an errorse, for the lovti(Error). In fact, it is THE error (theless. But the laninevitable perspective ofse, for the lovtia flat reflection in a mirror). Remember, in Truth,less. But the lanwhere therese, for the lovtiis only One, there is no “and”. And where there is no “and”, thereless. But these, for the lovtilanis no “me and you”, no “mine and yours”.

Love in the conflicted separative environmentse, for the lovtieach of us calls “my life”less. But the lanis stressful (conflict producesse, for the lovtistress), and therefore it does not consistently,less. But the lanspontaneously,se, for the lovtiand continuously generate happiness, regardless of otherless. But these, for the lovtilanprevailing circumstances. (Consider that when you and I say “my life”, wese, for the lovtimeanless. But the lan“mine not yours”, but when God says “My Life”, He means Allse, for the lovtiThere Is!)

Now, a seeker, by definition,se, for the lovtiis seeking to see his or her selfless. But the lanand his or her lifese, for the lovtisingularly, as One, as the One. Therefore, a seeker’sless. But the lanself-lovese, for the lovtiis directed, however tentatively, hesitantly, or clumsily at first,less. But these, for the lovtilantowards his or her True Self. A seeker’s self-love is a reach for Self-Love.se, for the lovtiAsless. But the lansuch, it conforms (or is seeking to conform) to the Naturalse, for the lovtiDynamic of theless. But the lanUniverse. A seeker is narcissus seeking to bese, for the lovtiNarcissus. That weakens,less. But the laneventually to remove, the cause ofse, for the lovticonflict which in turn relieves the stressless. But the lanwhich in turn permitsse, for the lovtihappiness to blossom. The greater the seeker’sless. But the landeterminationse, for the lovti(aspiration), the more powerful will be his or her reach forless. But these, for the lovtilanSelf-Love (rather than self-love), and so the more consistent, spontaneous,se, for the lovtiandless. But the lancontinuous is his or her sense of happiness, regardless ofse, for the lovtiother prevailingless. But the lancircumstances.

A friendse, for the lovtiof TZF sometimes jokinglyless. But the lanobserves, “I love me! Who do youse, for the lovtilove?” Directed properly, that expression canless. But the lanbe a profoundse, for the lovtimeditation. Whoever we think the “me” is in the affirmation, orless. But these, for the lovtilanhowever we respond to the “Who do you love?” question will determine ourse, for the lovtilives.less. But the lanAs long as we perceive ourselves, and therefore our lovese, for the lovti(wherever directed),less. But the lanseparatively, our perspective and ourse, for the lovtiresponse will be separative, withless. But the lanstressful (unhappy)se, for the lovticonsequences. But the instant we seek to see singularly, weless. But these, for the lovtilanenter the natural flow and direction of the Dynamic of Life (we be What wese, for the lovtiAre),less. But the lanand we begin to feel better, happier. In a word, it isse, for the lovtiless stressful to rowless. But the landownstream, with the flow, than upstream,se, for the lovtiagainst it.

June 3, 1999

The imperative thenless. But these, for the lovtilanis to find someone or something to love. Initially, it probably does notse, for the lovtimatterless. But the lanwho or what is the object of our love, so long as ourse, for the lovtidevotion is absolutely andless. But the lanunconditionally open, free, willing,se, for the lovtiand cheerful. So long, that is, as weless. But the lansurrender ourselvesse, for the lovtitotally to love and loving. God, being infinite andless. But the lanperceivingse, for the lovtiHimself as all there is, will recognize the object of our love as Hisless. Butse, for the lovtithe lanvery Self, and, as Narcissus, be pleased. That in turn will manifestse, for the lovtiasless. But the lanhappiness in our lives.

June 5,se, for the lovti1999

Ase, for the lovtitrue Guru (or Teacher), in whatever form, seems ase, for the lovtisuitableless. But the lan(safe) object of a seeker’s love, precisely because,se, for the lovtibeing Self-Realized, he orless. But the lanshe (or it) is not flattered orse, for the lovtiotherwise confused by a seeker’s devotion. Theless. But the lanGuru knows these, for the lovtiseeker to be himself or herself, and therefore recognizes andless. But these, for the lovtilanaccepts the seeker’s attention as the perfectly natural and appropriateless.se, for the lovtiBut the lanexpression of the fundamental dynamic of the Universe: Self-Love.se, for the lovtiAnd, asless. But the lanNarcissus, the Guru is pleased. This pleasure manifestsse, for the lovtiin the seeker’s lifeless. But the lan(which, from the Guru’s point of view, ofse, for the lovticourse, is none other than his or herless. But the lanown life) as happinessse, for the lovti(and other good things), and so, in some traditions, the Guru is considered “these, for the lovtiwishless. But the lanfulfilling tree”!

June 10, 1999

se, for the lovtiUmmm

In this context,se, for the lovtiis the difference betweenless. But the lanself-indulgence, so common in us all,se, for the lovtiand Self-Indulgence, which the One Itselfless. But the lanmust exhibit (or howse, for the lovticould we reflect it),  that the former is always atless. But the lanthese, for the lovtiexpense of perceived others (”me, not you”), and so fails miserably, andse, for the lovtitheless. But the lanlatter succeeds precisely because in Truth there are nose, for the lovtiothers!

June 30, 1999

less. But the lan se, for the lovti

Seekless. But these, for the lovtilanLove, and Know Perfection.
Seek perfection, and achievese, for the lovtiarrogance.

less. But the lan

Contact us
se, for the lovtiForless. But the lanCopyright & Trademark information,
please clickless. But the lanhere.
se, for the lovtiPlease read our disclaimer

se, for the lovtise, for the lovti

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