It was Judi's birthday (she turned 25) and there were lots
of letters and fine poems on her behalf. None of them are
included; I'm simply turning the floor to Judi and one of
her posts in response to all the posts that came her way:
God, is this fun or what?? :-)
lalala, we travel along, singing our song, side by side.
What if the sky should fall...as long as we're together,
it doesn't matter at all.
The way you wear your hat
The way you sip your tea
The memory of all that
No they can't take that away from me
The way your smile just beams
The way you sing off key
The way you haunt my dreams
No, no, they can't take that away from me
Already this morning I had been noticing how difficult it
was to read yesterday's replies to my posts, and how much I
from under this child-like expression of hungry or needy
and how much I want to write something to the list that
would 'wow' people, or at least give an answer to something
instead of asking these questions.
Damn how I hate this feeling of appearing to others as 'less
than complete', or of 'lagging behind' the rest of the team!
I'm not surprised that there's someone like that living in
"Melody", there's someone similar living here in "Andrew".
He's a rather slippery and insubstantial guy, when I look
directly at him he kind of fades away. If I try to grab him
he slips right through my fingers, like grabbing at smoke.
He's always trying to get somewhere but he doesn't actually
ever go anywhere. His biggest concern is what beings he
calls 'other people' are thinking about him. These 'other
people' are smokelike slippery insubstantial beings like
him. No matter what he hears from these 'others' he's never
happy for long.
Perhaps the "best" thought is not a thought at all, but a
state PRIOR to any arising of thoughts, the state of pure
being, fully present awareness? The state of NOT KNOWING?
(not in the sense of "unconsciousness" but rather not yet
"contaminated" by any thought) And in that state, we have
Cyndy: Yes. Expanding on that.... The state of 'not
knowing' meaning uncontaminated by thought, is the original
state of 'knowing'.
Which is indeed insight. I also like what Bruce wrote..
"Where there is truly heartfelt understanding thought will
provide rightful service choicelessly, where the heart is
not so engaged thought will serve only it's own concocted
If a person is 'thinking choicelessly from the heart', that
Andrew: Could be the 'first best thought' is the thought
that hasn't yet been formed into part of the thinker.
Bruce: Yes, thought in service is not thought the master --
it is not "the thinker," which is itself a pattern of
thoughts. Insight is not of thought, but we need thought's
service to communicate even that!
TERRY MURPHY: SELECTIONS
The Buddha, when pressed, would say that the self neither
exists nor does not exist, the phenomenal world neither
exists nor does not exist. At other times he would flatly
say that the self is an illusion. I can say to you that
karma neither exists nor does not exist. *In essence*,
there are no actual discrete events that may be truely
abstracted from the flow of universal energy; on the other
hand, *in practice* it is useful to regard certain inputs as
being causally related to certain outputs. I can also say
that karma, like ego, is a genuine illusion, a self-created
prison for many people who constantly punish themselves for
imagined sins, and keep themselves down.
Jesus, the great nondualist, explicitly rejected karma,
considered absolute by the rabbis, and embraced
forgiveness. How could we be forgiven if karma were
Taoism embraces forgiveness, and buddhism does as well.
Karma is a fetter, and justice may be tempered by mercy.
Logic won't get you to heaven.
...there really aren't any phases, those are just words,
temporary expedients used at a particular time in a
particular place to make a particular point. There is no
difference between enlightened and unenlightened, these are
just words. There are no 'milestones,' no progress to be
I don't see practice as simply something the unenlightened
seeker does in order to achieve the goal of awakening, and
then abandons once the search is complete.
PETROS: 'HOLY SMOKE' AND OTHER MOVIES
This is a really cool movie which should be opening in wider
release this month. It stars Kate Winslet as a young
Australian girl who gets brainwashed by an Indian guru
(obviously modelled on Rajneesh from his Poona era), and is
kidnapped by her family and forced to undergo deprogramming
by a misogynistic American exit counsellor played by Harvel
Keitel. Three days in a desert hideaway turns into an
existential battle of the sexes, and the tables are turned
. . .
I saw this movie twice. The first time around I found
myself identifying with Keitel's character. The second time
I saw the story through the eyes of Winslet's character, and
it was like watching a whole different movie. (Kinda like
'Fight Club,' which seems like a different movie the second
The film is not primarily about spirituality or cults, but
focuses on the contrasting attitudes of men and women and
how society forces gender roles upon us. Emotionally it's a
very complex movie and there is no "good guy" and "bad
guy." I won't give away any plot twists, but it turns out
that the super-macho deprogrammer has a soft side, and the
'spiritual conversion' of Winslet's character is eventually
shown to be little more than a superficial defense covering
up her selfishness.
I thought 'Dogma' sucked, to be honest. 'Man on the Moon'
was intriguing but didn't go nearly far enough into
Kaufman's character. There's a lot to be said about the
nature of self-identity and role-playing, who we are, etc.,
that the film glossed over. 'The Third Miracle' (about a
faithless priest who investigates a potential saint in
modern-day Chicago) was somewhat hokey and redundant, but
maybe it'll get some folks thinking in new ways about what
spirituality may mean today.
PETROS ON THE GURU
The perfect devotee sees the Guru everywhere. For instance,
more than once I've called Death the greatest Guru of all.
Disease is also a great Guru. And having one's heart
broken. And suffering unjustly.
Basically, everything challenging to one's habits and
comfort zone is a great Guru.
If one had to choose between a Guru that rips you off, or
one that flatters and always makes one feel "good," go for
JOSHUA PRITIKIN: THE FOUR ORIGINS OF AWARENESS
The 0th person perspective:
I salute that which is revealed when thought ceases.
The 1th person perspective:
I salute myself.
The 2th person perspective:
I salute you.
The 3th person perspective:
I salute our predicament.
Everything else, the great illusion, I do not salute.
That moment that occurred.
This moment this occurred.
Every moment this or that is occurring.
These occurrings is my living
who would bother to understand Silence when it can be
enjoyed? The mind has this tenacious tendency, wanting to
describe and teach what is beyond its reach. No Silence to
enjoy while this tendency is lasting...
An excellent point, Jan. Mainstream American society found
ways to "co-opt" some of the concerns voiced by the
counter-culture during the 60's and 70's. Thus, the
mainstream focus on consumerism and materialism continued
unabated, while companies arranged to make profits from
organic teas, tie-dye tee shirts, drug paraphernalia,
music, etc., etc. In a similar way, "the mind" strives to
co-opt that which expresses from beyond the mind. If "the
can claim understanding (and describing and teaching may be
ways to validate such a claim), the "mind games" can
continue, and the "self" of the mind remains in its
artificial and illusory position of supremacy. However, if
"the mind" is honest with itself, its own limitations are
exposed even through its own descriptions and teaching
attempts. Thus, description and teaching can undermine
erroneous beliefs (such as a "me" in the mind, or an
existing entity called "mind", or descriptions as realities)
if awareness is alert to the very process of self-deception
that occurs as "mind" protects its investment in self.
Then, a "no-mind mind" is - a still mind, a noncomparing
mind - not invested in thoughts, descriptions, experiences,
Joshua: if there is a teacher then what is directly present
is competition. To compete optimally requires seeing the
situation "directly" from the 3rd person perspective, while
acting in the 1st person perspective. Masters are always
right because they can be themselves and detached from the
1st person perspective at the same time.
Dan: Joshua, you make a good point here, thank you.
Here are some other observations:
Masters are always right because they *never* obsess.
Masters are never trying to make a point, thus they can
assert any point that makes sense in the moment.
Masters are never trying to convince anyone of anything,
thus they are convincing.
Masters are aware that there are no "masters", therefore
they act spontaneously with no self-doubt.
Masters aren't "masters" to themselves, and they have no
investment in being seen as "masters" by others.
Except sometimes - when they're competing.
And by entering a competition to be seen as a "master"
they lose their "mastery". When one master challenges
another, the one who has the least investment in showing
self to be a master is the one who demonstrates mastery.
OSHO (contributed by Melody)
"You cannot bring the divine, but you can hinder its coming.
You cannot bring the sun into the house, but you can close
Negatively, mind can do much; positively, nothing.
Everything positive is a gift; everything positive is a
blessing. It comes to you, while everything negative is
your own doing.
Meditation (and all meditation devices) can do one thing:
push you away from your negative hindrances. It can bring
you out of the imprisonment that is the mind."
One dreams within the single dream of Us.
All things are connected.
Sometimes we get to notice.
I am rather skeptical regarding the undermining force of
teaching or knowledge; there are various anecdotes regarding
Ramana and celebrations. He taught that Self is the only
bliss that *is* and was an exponent of that. When disciples
would celebrate, he usually made a few funny remarks
(vaguely remember something like "decorating a corpse") or
wrote a poem on abusing the stomach :) I don't remember he
made remarks on Xmas but I do remember the remark a Buddhist
Sri Lankan driver made about it: "experiencing my blackest
day of the year". The mind is capable of digesting anything
but celebrations for instance are indicative of a comparing
I was in India in '98, visiting Ramanashram and other holy
sites. I felt that Sai was calling me to him, so I took an
all-day train trip (8 hot noisy uncomfortable hours) from
Chennai to Bangalore, stayed the night, dreamt of him, then
took a cab the next day to his ashram in Whitefields.
It was deserted. He was not there.
Some devotees told me he was in his summer retreat eight
hundred miles away in the opposite direction, and urged me
to go to him.
Instead, I thought, 'the heck with it,' and took a flight
from Bangalore airport back to Chennai.
Was I deluded? (Perhaps.) Did I waste two days and a
couple hundred bucks for nothing? (I could have felt so,
The real 'kicker' came when I got back to Chennai. On the
day I was to leave India, with a reserved paid flight for
Bangkok, I missed my damn flight. I still don't know how it
I ended up waiting around the airport, then on the beach at
Adyar, for twelve hours. Plane after plane came and went,
all full, no space for me.
The airline people couldn't care less. In desperation I
purchased a ticket through Singapore just to be sure I
caught my Bangkok connection in order to get back to the
USA. Eight hundred bucks, down the tubes.
(Was Sai punishing me? When I missed my first flight,
should I have taken that as a sign that I was supposed to
get a plane down to see him instead? Who knows.)
But wait, there's more.
After finally getting through security and all, minutes
before boarding, I realized that I had LOST my entire return
tickets, from Bangkok via Seoul and Tokyo to L.A. They just
disappeared. I ran back through the security gates and
looked all over but couldn't find them. I finally gave up,
got on the plane, and when I got to Bangkok the next day I
was able to have them reissued for a fee.
As absurd and irrational as it sounds (remembering that it
was India, after all), at the time there was no doubt in my
mind that all of this was Sai's doing. Sitting here typing
this feels very foolish now, and it doesn't make any sense
to me right now. But at the time there was no doubt in my
mind that 'the Guru' had quite mischeviously, even cruelly,
ripped me off.
The thing is, I do not regret a moment. I still can't
figure it out, though I do wish I had tried harder to go see
him. Who knows -- maybe I'd be dead. (There was a serious
bus accident near Tiruvannamalai while I was there. One
missed connection, one whimsical change in my sightseeing
itinerary, and I could very well have been on that bus.)
Such is the Guru's grace, such is . . . Stuff that
Happens. Dependent origination and all that.
Osho speaks on where G. got his strange methods and tells
stories of wierd situations he put his disciples through.
Arnold: "I've taught myself how to cook, sew, fix plumbing
and even give myself a pat on the back when necessary. The
only things I need from anyone is love and respect and
anyone who can't give me that has no place in my life"
The Mother:"You're throwing me out!?!?"-- Torch Song Trilogy
How is it possible to find meaning in a finite world, given
my waist and shirt size?-Woody Allen
Hannibal Lecter: How did you catch me, Will?
Will: You had disadvantages.
Hannibal Lecter: What disadvantages?
WIll: You're insane.--Manhunter
Ah, here it is, So-crates. 'The only true wisdom is in
knowing that you know nothing.' That's us, dude."
-Ted to Bill from "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure"
Customer : "An argument is a connected series of statements
intended to establish a proposition! It's not just saying
'no, it isn't'!"
"Pro" arguer : "Yes it is!
"Customer : "No it isn't!!"
- Monthy Python live in the Hollywood bowl
It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about
--Gilbert K. Chesterton
God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to
I knew that we were having problems when You put those
pirhanas in my bathtub again....
--Weird Al Yankovic
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