"Of what use is your learning and your devotions? Does a donkey become
wise through living in a library or a mouse acquire holiness from
"What is it, then, we need?"
"How does one get that?"
The Master would not say. What could he say that they wouldn't turn
subject to be learned or an object of devotion?
Anthony de Mello, SJ
So you have to make up your mind, you see.
So you have to make a firm decision. Nothing can
trouble you. If you are weak, then everything will
trouble you. Simply decide to sit quiet. Simply!
This will be a fire. Nothing can touch you.
Only your decision is weak.
Time is actually place, location. So what time it is is here; and here
is moving at a pretty good clip. So the question is where is here in
relation to somewhere else. But the somewhere else is also moving. Maybe
it would be easier to just look at a clock. I once had the idea of
making now the reference point and all other times "Ago" or "Till Then";
that way your watch would always say "zero" but your calendar of past
and future would be constantly changing. I abandoned the idea.
GENE POOLE about denial (snipped from a longer conversation between Gene and Melody):
Denial is taught by example; the ways of the parent/culture become
the ways of the child. By paying attention to inner disturbances,
such as those brought about by the behaviour of denial, we have an
opportunity to go beyond the criteria of culture.
I think the continuing effort is to change the 'default setting
of reaction' from denial to 'standing in the light of one's own
awareness'. And your points about how the body gives sensory feedback
are well stated. If one ignores this kind of biofeedback, eventually
the energies which are emanations of inner distress, become accepted
as 'normal'. To allow this to happen is to become desensitized to
oneself, which is not the same thing as 'nonattachment'. If we ignore
our feelings, we become deadened to the feelings of others; that is
how empathy is lost.
As (wounded) adults, we are faced with the task of 'changing canoes
in mid-stream'. This is less of a challenge if we are not in the
'white-water of emotion'. To allow calm to prevail, to become placid,
without denying, can be a challenge. It seems that 'there are those
who' deny the necessity of this kind of inner adjustment; skipping
the steps of confronting our denial, while counting on the arrival of
a type of overall fix, brought about by a higher-level 'adjustment'.
Spiritual aspirations which ignore the 'detail work' are in
themselves, subtle denials.
An individual who is plagued by fear and anxiety may pray for relief;
but it is the withheld reactions to what is fearful, that forms the
basic contraction that underlies fear and anxiety. That one 'should
not' be fearful, this ideal as hammered into us by our culture, puts
one into an untenable position; in order to be 'well', one must act
as though nothing is wrong. But this charade is itself, a re-burying
of the first order of reaction, and a compounding of denial. One can
keep shoveling 'hope' over the still-breathing corpse, but its
twitches persist, bring it back into view. Eventually, one will face
the music; it will all come to the surface, eventually. On that day,
desired/habitual 'identity' may be severely challenged.
It is well to observe just how the behaviour of denial, which is so
'close to home' as to be overlooked for its very closeness, ramifies
into the major conflicts which we assume are 'outside of ourselves'.
We define what we perceive in that way, as 'the condition of the
world'. Our cultural dramas (the World Dream) demand that we act as
though such perceptions are accurate, when in fact, they are 'merely'
our own compounded projections. Our culturally-enforced participation
in this synthetic 'virtual reality' guarantees that we will always
have access to 'circumstances' which serve to enforce our overlayed
identities; by means of 'going along with the crowd', we become one
of the crowd.
..... It is the product of our unknowing misgoverning of
our personal 'energy ecology' which seems to be evidence that the
world is indeed 'out to get us'; the 'slings and arrows of outrageous
fortune' are much more impactfull, when our immunity has been sapped
by the behaviour of denial.
In my view (which I admit is radical), denial is violence committed
against oneself. The automatic use of force against oneself brews an
inner hurricane of contrary reactions; "A house divided against
itself cannot stand". Nonduality is, in my view, the logical point of
arrival, after all such aggressions against oneself have been halted.
Self-domination is suicidal bullying, while the opposite, having
compassion for oneself, is how power is conserved and used for
healing and expansion.
"And once you have started listening, you will be able to listen to the sound of
running water, to the wind passing through the
trees. You will be able to listen to the music of silence in the dark night, to the
music of the birds in the early morning. You
will start listening to so many things that you will be in a state of immense
amazement that this world was available to you --and
so close--but you were not available to this world...."
The 'art' of listening has arisen for me in a number of ways
these past few days.
I refer to it now as an 'art' form because I have come to see
that it in order to do it well, one needs to be in a similar
state of consciousness as the great artists working in
any of a number of forms of expression.
For example, a great painter becomes so single-mindedly
focused on his work.....focused on the 'object' he is painting
...that after a while, the 'subject' of his painting and the 'canvas'
itself.... becomes One.
A dancer begins focusing so completely on the music,
letting the music sing through her, that as she moves
across the floor, the distinction between 'dancer' and
'dance' fall away.
This seems to me to be what is required of a good
listener. More importantly, it is the *opportunity*
given to me a hundred times or more during the course
of any given day..... the opportunity to melt into the
words shared by an other - until no sense of 'other'
If one were to give a list of choices to a group of young kids,
stressed-out moms, and solitary grandparents.
to list in order, " which 'act of love' would you appreciate
My guess is...
that "to be listened to"...with complete and undivided
attention....was what the majority would want.
I have certainly heard it said time and time again
from coworkers at the job, students complaining
about their teachers, my son Joseph complaining
to me even,
"I wish you would just LISTEN to me!"
I see that the art of listening is an act that 'gives'
both ways.....as Osho says above,
"....that you will be in a state of immense amazement..."
It's a pretty great state to be in.
What an opportunity.
And what a challenge
to be free of all 'self' referential thoughts
and desires long enough to truly 'start listening'
to the world around us.
I see that in order for one to listen to....and
really 'hear' an other, one needs to be clear of
their own hidden and silenced voices.
That's why I'm appreciating my dialogue
with Gene so well.
Until one is free to genuinely listen,
the 'echoes' of denial resound so
deeply around us that we wind up wanting
only to hear the sound of our own voices.
This is how I look at it, for what it is worth.
The transcendental Nirguna Brahman, somehow projects a dream, but it
is only a dream of a dream, for it didn't happen. No dreams!
However at the imminent level of Saguna Brahman or 'God'. The dream
has a certain validity to its constituent members. God being the sum
total of all the consciousnesses as a forest is made of trees.
As there is no time, all lives are lived at once in the greater
there can be no freewill.
As Brahman separated himself from himself, this being the illusion of
separation. The separated jiva is to realise this and wake up, to
So in the awakening process there are of course various levels of
To become aware, or lift the veil of illusion, one has to experience.
So the experience of action occurrs but because it all happens at
once, it is only an illusion of freewill. For the action or even the
thought that one grabs hold of, is already predestined. Only the jiva
or individual thinks that it is happening because of his action, not
realising it would all happen anyway. Kind of like an arm thinking it
So depending on the feeling of doing karma is incurred, and it is
rising above these karmas that awareness is all about. The problem
being that we think we are doing actions in a creation, whereas there
is only one being, and all happens at once in the dream. We are in it
but cannot see the wood for the trees,(jivas).
You can see this in sensitivity, or lack of, or rationalisation of
etc. I don't want to get into a food fight or eco war, but how many
connect the meat or whatever on their plate with the agony of the
beast that provided it. See there is a veil, Avarana.
So everything is about raising one's awarness to the point where one
realises nothing ever was dreamed or happened at all.
This is what ahimsa is about, not hurting anything, for anything is
oneself and that strengthens illusion, a turning away of the mind.
So to conclude my ramblings, freewill is only the illusion of action
and determination so one may gain or lose awareness, with the karmas.
If you don't understand this ramble or don't like my grammar, don't
blame me, the jiva ,for it was already written, or not written!!hahaha
Om Namah Sivaya, Tony.
Thanks to Greg's patient explanation and now your comments here, I begin to
understand. Maybe it's just thru more exposure to these new ideas or that once you
used words I can relate to like transcendental and immanent it becomes comprehensible
to me now. I finally get what you have been talking about lo these many months.
Hooray! Actually, very similar reasoning was used to explain predestination in the
Presbyterian church I went to for 20 years. Nothing surprises God. Nothing can happen
"outside" his will, etc.. Waking up would compare to realizing the Grace of God is
the source of everything, seeing this is the 'revelation' of God as experienced in
time in the outward manifestation of immanence ( your term is in "illusory maya"),
tho it is pre-ordained eternally as known from the beginning. I think all the pre-
and fore- stuff is just the Western mind has seldom been able to get outside the box
of linear time thinking models of reality. Eternity is not before or after..it just
...Again here, that one comes to 'believe' is not one's own doing, it is only
thru the Grace of God, so there is no credit or blame to anyone. You see, this is my
background..and I am not saying it is identical.. I realize there appear to be some
differences..but the basic concept is there. --------
...While it is good to speak of "how it really is"...UNTIL one can be aware
of the non-separation, their experience is illusorily one OF separation...so within
that model of how it is being experienced there is much struggle with making choices
and feeling suffering from the effects of actions... or karmas. This is why I say
that just telling someone that their individual identity and their suffering is only
an illusion goes over like a lead balloon. It's putting the cart before the horse to
simply deny the reality of what they experience..what they need is to first see or
understand the non-separation...even a glimmer of insight to begin seeing how it