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15411541 - Monday, September 1, 2003

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  • Jerry Katz
    Sep 3, 2003
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      Issue #1541 - Monday, September 1, 2003 - Editor: Jerry
       
       
       "You should roam in places that are your own, that arise in accordance with your own true nature.

      And what is the place that is your own? It's the pasture of ardent clearness and mindfulness, where discontent and greed are put aside for the sake of the world. That is your own place, your natural range."

      -Samyutta Nikaya
       

       
      Apel
      Live Journal
       
      To Autumn
      John Keats (1795-1821)

      Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
      Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
      Conspiring with him how to load and bless
      With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
      To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
      And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
      To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
      With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
      And still more, late flowers for the bees,
      Until they think warm days will never cease,
      For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

      Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

      Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
      Sometimes whoever seeks abroad my find
      Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
      They hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
      Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
      Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
      Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
      And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
      Steady thy laden head across a brook;
      Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
      Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

      Hedge-crickets sing

      Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
      Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, --
      While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
      And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
      Then in wailful choir the small gnats mourn
      Among the river sallows, borne aloft
      Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
      And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
      Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
      The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
      And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
       

       
      Someone wrote and asked...
       
      Dear editor,
       
      I'm puzzled by something in all the stuff on enlightenment
      that I have looked at on the Internet. I know this is not a
      discussion group but despite this I submit the following.
       
      Something's missing. Most if not all the material I see is
      about how to gain enlighenment. (And I know this is badly
      worded - it isn't something you gain - more something false
      you lose.) Personally I feel the attraction. I'm pulled to
      this as everything I read about it makes so much sense to me.
      But my wife doesn't understand (sounds like I'm talking to my
      mistress!). She wants to know how it will affect my life in
      the world practically and also specifically our relationship,
      as she isn't following this path. Good question I thought.
      And one I can't answer myself. I can make guesses but the
      more I thought about this the less satisfactory I found my
      understanding. So I have compiled a few points and questions
      below and would appreciate if there is anyone reading this
      who can throw some light in this. And maybe some more
      questions.
       
      Assume in the discussion below I am newly enlightened.
       
      1.  If I lose my sense of individuality who am I talking
          about when I say "I"? "I love you". "I agree to do ....".
          "This is my bank account and you've overcharged me". Am I
          playing a game here? Do I stop using the word "I" except
          to mean my bodymind?
       
      2.  If I don't have any personal wants or needs anymore, what
          gets me out of bed and decides what I shall do today / at
          any moment?
       
      3.  Further to 2. if, say, I make an arrangement with a
          friend to go bowling. Come the time to go, why should I
          go? Maybe I'll go - or not. I don't need to go to prove
          my ability or man(/woman)hood or anything else. I might
          be content just sitting at home enjoying the succession
          of moments. Do I go to avoid annoying my friend or to
          avoid getting a reputation for unreliability (which I
          wouldn't care about). If I get a reputation for
          unreliability will it start to alienate me from some of
          my current friends? Perhaps I never go bowling again. Or
          play basketball / golf /tennis / etc.
       
      4.  Maybe I need to change or abandon my job. Ok this seems
          to be obvious as my whole outlook will change.
       
      5.  But what do I do with my life? Do I naturally become a
          teacher/guru? I would have thought that this isn't the
          only calling - presumably I can other things which I
          would "want" to do. (But I don't have any wants!). I'm
          not looking for a job to "do good" as I don't have any
          sense of good and bad - it's just all as it is.
       
      6.  If I look at love as an impersonal love what does this
          mean for my relationship with my wife? Further if I
          wasn't with a partner when becoming enlightened, how
          would one come to be with me? By random chance? If
          there's no personal love could I have a meaningful
          relationship with just anyone who walks into the room or
          is there something which would make a particular person
          special to me?
       
      7.  On a more mundane level, can I watch a movie (other than
          the Matrix) or TV entertainment? Presumably it wouldn't
          be possible to mentally put oneself in the position of
          the film's hero as most people apparently do when they
          watch. Can I suspend my disbelief to be entertained? As I
          don't need entertainment maybe I never watch films or TV
          again.
       
      8.  Similarly do I watch the news on TV or read the
          newspaper? Isn't 99% of the news irrelevant in reality?
          It is what is, and most is just another form of
          entertainment.
       
      9.  I presumably don't drink alcohol. No going to the bar
          with mates then. Also no drugs. (This bit was easy).
       
      10. How do I choose what to eat?
       
      11. Do I bother to do anything which is "good for me" like
          eating vegetables or taking exercise? I'm not looking for
          any results - I'm perfect as I am. Do I not comb my hair
          or appear well dressed as I don't need to make an
          impression on anyone?
       
      12. Do I change/ditch my car? Am I concerned what it is doing
          to the earth?
       
      13. Do I try to persuade my wife / family to change something
          they are doing? Like not being aware. Or watching soap
          operas while I am in the room.
       
      14. Do I go to my friends funeral? Or do I tell people
          his/her life is in the past and now irrelevant.
       
      Do you see the problems? Has anyone written about how their
      practical life in the world changed as a result of
      enlightenment?
       
      Russell
       
      Jerry
       
      > 1. If I lose my sense of individuality who am I talking about when I
      say
      > "I"? "I love you". "I agree to do ....". "This is my bank account
      and
      > you've overcharged me". Am I playing a game here? Do I stop using
      the
      > word "I" except to mean my bodymind?
       
      You keep your natural commitments.
       
      > 2. If I don't have any personal wants or needs anymore, what gets me
      out
      > of bed and decides what I shall do today / at any
      moment?
       
      Time and cycles smooth out. The choppiness of chronology calms down.
       
      > 3. Further to 2. if, say, I make an arrangement with a friend to
      go
      > bowling. Come the time to go, why should I go? Maybe I'll go - or
      not. I
      > don't need to go to prove my ability or man(/woman)hood or
      anything
      > else. I might be content just sitting at home enjoying the
      succession of
      > moments. Do I go to avoid annoying my friend or to avoid
      getting a
      > reputation for unreliability (which I wouldn't care about). If
      I get a
      > reputation for unreliability will it start to alienate me from
      some of
      > my current friends? Perhaps I never go bowling again. Or play
      basketball
      > / golf /tennis / etc.
       
      True. This could happen. Some friends and social activities
      could fade from your life.
       
      > 4. Maybe I need to change or abandon my job. Ok this seems to be
      obvious
      > as my whole outlook will change.
       
      You may.
       
      > 5. But what do I do with my life? Do I naturally become a
      teacher/guru?
      > I would have thought that this isn't the only calling -
      presumably I can
      > other things which I would "want" to do. (But I don't
      have any wants!).
      > I'm not looking for a job to "do good" as I don't have
      any sense of good
      > and bad - it's just all as it is.
       
      It is likely your wife will want you to get a decent job.
      Your wife is your greatest teacher because of the demands of
      marriage.
       
      > 6. If I look at love as an impersonal love what does this mean for
      my
      > relationship with my wife?
       
      You're not going to become ignorant of what it is to be a
      husband. You'll fulfill that commitment.
       
       
      >Further if I wasn't with a partner when
      > becoming
      enlightened, how would one come to be with me? By random
      > chance? If
      there's no personal love could I have a meaningful
      > relationship with
      just anyone who walks into the room or is there
      > something which would
      make a particular person special to me?
       
      > 7. On a more mundane
      level, can I watch a movie (other than the Matrix)
      > or TV entertainment?
      Presumably it wouldn't be possible to mentally put
      > oneself in the
      position of the film's hero as most people apparently do
      > when they
      watch. Can I suspend my disbelief to be entertained? As I
      > don't need
      entertainment maybe I never watch films or TV again.
       
      It's natural to want to be entertained. It goes back to
      natural commitments, which are met in each person's own way
      and now from a different point of view.
       
       
      > 8. Similarly do I watch the news on TV or read the
      newspaper? Isn't 99%
      > of the news irrelevant in reality? It is what is,
      and most is just
      > another form of entertainment.
       
      yes, goes back to entertainment being a natural thing for
      people to pursue and enjoy.
       
      > 9. I presumably don't drink alcohol. No going to the bar with
      mates
      > then. Also no drugs. (This bit was easy).
      > 10. How do I
      choose what to eat?
       
      Diet could change as the spiritual experiences one goes
      through do cause changes in the physiology.
       

      > 11. Do I bother to do anything which is "good for me" like
      eating
      > vegetables or taking exercise? I'm not looking for any results -
      I'm
      > perfect as I am. Do I not comb my hair or appear well dressed as I
      don't
      > need to make an impression on anyone?
       
      Ask yourself whether its natural for human beings to eat well
      and groom themselves. If it seems natural and you do it now,
      you'll always do it, but from a new point of view and
      possibly with certain changes. 
       
      > 12. Do I change/ditch my car? Am I concerned what it is doing to
      the
      > earth?
       
      Maybe. This is the kind of thing that could change.
       
      > 13. Do I try to persuade my wife / family to change something they
      are
      > doing? Like not being aware. Or watching soap operas while I am in
      the
      > room.
       
      If it's the nature of your personality to push people toward
      your way of seeing things, then you'll continue to do that.
      Otherwise, unless there's a calling to verbally teach, your
      presence alone may or may not have an influence. Not to
      worry!
       

      > 14. Do I go to my friends funeral? Or do I tell people his/her
      life is
      > in the past and now irrelevant.
       
      Where do you hear any enlightened people speaking like that?
       
      > Do you see the problems? Has anyone written about how their
      practical
      > life in the world changed as a result of enlightenment?
       
      People write about how their life changes as the result of
      spiritual experiences. There are some lives you could read
      about.
       
      Jeff Belyea
       
      >    > Assume in the discussion below I am newly
      enlightened.

      If you were newly enlightened,
      you wouldn't have any of these
      questions, Russell. But I tease...

      >    >
      >    > 1. If I lose my sense of individuality who
      am I talking about
      when I say
      >    > "I"? "I love
      you". "I agree to do ....". "This is my bank
      account and
      >    > you've overcharged me". Am I playing a game
      here? Do I stop
      using the
      >    > word "I" except to
      mean my bodymind?

      You don't lose your sense of individuality,
      you lose your sense of separateness. The
      rational, logical you is sweetened, tuned
      up. Your independence is strengthened, yet
      you feel a part of everyone and everything
      else at the same time.

      What you lose is your attachment to the outcome
      of events, and your inner joy is not dependent
      on anything external. You come to trust your
      own judgment, first and foremost. You feel
      as though you are witnessing your own life,
      without any emotional attachment to how it
      goes. There is a sense of acceptance of all
      is well.

      As Goethe said, "As soon as you trust
      yourself, you will know how to live."



      >    > 2. If I don't
      have any personal wants or needs anymore, what
      gets me out
      >    > of bed and decides what I shall do today / at
      any moment?

      The joy being alive. A realization
      that you are the field of joy and
      love and all of life's experiences.
      You plan less and know spontaneity
      more, put you do not go into a
      stupefied state of beatitude. You
      make decisions without the ambivalence
      of should I or shouldn't I, because
      you have complete trust in your right action.

      You find that your energy is renewed
      more quickly and your interest in
      even minor events is one of awesome
      fascination. Goals that looked
      unattainable are easily reached.
      Things seem to fall into place.
      People melt and smile. You are
      surrounded by mercy and grace.

      Enlightenment is a joy unspeakable,
      a peace that passes understanding. It
      is a new way of perceiving who you
      are and what you are in this life.

      >    > 3. Further to 2. if, say, I make an
      arrangement with a friend to go
      >    > bowling. Come the
      time to go, why should I go? Maybe I'll go -
      or not. I
      >    > don't need to go to prove my ability or
      man(/woman)hood or anything
      >    > else. I might be
      content just sitting at home enjoying the
      succession of
      >    > moments. Do I go to avoid annoying my friend
      or to avoid getting a
      >    > reputation for
      unreliability (which I wouldn't care about). If I
      get a
      >    > reputation for unreliability will it start to
      alienate me from
      some of
      >    > my current friends?
      Perhaps I never go bowling again. Or play
      basketball
      >    > / golf /tennis /
      etc.

      That's right. You do what
      you what for your own health
      and happiness, taking complete
      responsibility, and you realize
      that by attending to your own
      health and happiness as first
      priority that you are then the
      best friend, lover, neighbor
      you've ever been -- because you are
      healthy and happy, and filled
      with an all-pervading peace
      and sense of love for life.

      Yes, your new independence may
      alienate you from friends. The
      problem is that you are not longer
      able to be manipulated emotionally,
      and those who build relationships
      this way will be stunned and angry.

      But enlightenment and realization
      blossoms, if you will, from the heart --
      the seat of kindness and compassion.
      These become more keen, but without the
      sentimental immaturity that makes
      you open to manipulation.


      >    > 4. Maybe I need to change
      or abandon my job. Ok this seems to be
      obvious
      >    >
      as my whole outlook will change.

      Count on it.

      >    > 5. But what do I do with my life? Do I
      naturally become a
      teacher/guru?

      Yes, but the form of that role can be in a most mundane occupation.
      Your personality will determine in part how you choose to fulfill
      the heart' desire that makes you naturally want to share this
      good news of freedom available to those who seek it.

      >    > I would have thought that this isn't the
      only calling -
      presumably I can
      >    > other things
      which I would "want" to do. (But I don't have any
      wants!).
      >    > I'm not looking for a job to "do
      good" as I don't have any sense
      of good
      >    > and
      bad - it's just all as it is.

      A knowledge of what is right and what
      is wrong is inherent, as is our natural
      "goodness", Enlightenment brightens
      this sense, it doesn't dull it.

      >    >
      6. If I look at love as an impersonal love what does this mean
      for my
      >    > relationship with my wife? Further if I wasn't
      with a partner when
      >    > becoming enlightened, how
      would one come to be with me? By random
      >    > chance?
      If there's no personal love could I have a meaningful
      >    > relationship with just anyone who walks into the room or is
      there
      >    > something which would make a particular
      person special to me?

      Lover's choice. Your own sense of propriety and civility, loyalty,
      devotion will be sharpened. Romantic love is enhanced by
      enlightenment. But enlightenment and realization is more fulfilling
      than any sex, drugs and rock and roll - even those all of these
      may be enjoyed in a new "light".

      >    > 7.
      On a more mundane level, can I watch a movie (other than the
      Matrix)
      >    > or TV entertainment? Presumably it
      wouldn't be possible to
      mentally put
      >    > oneself
      in the position of the film's hero as most people
      apparently do
      >    > when they watch. Can I suspend my disbelief to
      be entertained?

      You'll find that the core
      message often is about awakening
      and enlightenment, built on
      some metaphor. Yes, you do change
      your fantasy about being the hero,
      but only in your new perspective of
      how you see the role of hero. All
      sensory apparatus is heightened.
      Enjoyment is on a higher level.
      You can still enjoy the movie
      and appreciate entertainment.

         As I
      >    > don't need entertainment maybe I never watch
      films or TV again.

      Maybe.

      >    > 8. Similarly
      do I watch the news on TV or read the newspaper?
      Isn't 99%
      >    > of the news irrelevant in reality? It is what
      is, and most is just
      >    > another form of
      entertainment.

      Life goes on and your interests in it go on.

      >    > 9. I presumably don't drink alcohol. No
      going to the bar with mates
      >    > then. Also no drugs.
      (This bit was easy).

      Doesn't matter. No peer pressure.

      >    > 10. How do I choose what to
      eat?

      Same way you always did, except possibly
      with a new sense of respect for your
      physical "temple" in which you found
      this treasure.

      >    > 11. Do I bother to do anything
      which is "good for me" like eating
      >    > vegetables or
      taking exercise? I'm not looking for any results - I'm
      >    > perfect as I am. Do I not comb my hair or appear well dressed as
      I don't
      >    > need to make an impression on
      anyone?

      You enjoy the art form. You appearance may become impeccable
      because you enjoy the process and feeling of dressing up. You
      just don't do it to impress, you do it because you enjoy it.

      >    > 12. Do I change/ditch my car? Am I
      concerned what it is doing to the
      >    >
      earth?

      Maybe.

      >    > 13. Do I try to persuade
      my wife / family to change something
      they are
      >    >
      doing? Like not being aware. Or watching soap operas while I am
      in the
      >    > room.

      An early reaction can be to mentally machine gun
      everyone you meet into discovering this exciting
      new enlightenment, but for the most part, all
      is taken in stride, and soap opera or not is
      of no consequence.

      >    > 14. Do I go
      to my friends funeral? Or do I tell people his/her
      life is
      >    > in the past and now irrelevant.

      No, you feel emotion and love on a deeper level.
      You become kinder and sweeter, not detached and indifferent.
      >    >
      >    > Do you see the problems? Has anyone written
      about how their
      practical
      >    > life in the world
      changed as a result of enlightenment?

      Volumes. Yogananda Paramhansa wrote
      a lot about balancing practical life
      and enlightenment. As did, Jesus.

      Always in love, Jeff
      Gene Poole
       
      > > Dear editor,
      > >
      > > I'm puzzled by something
      in all the stuff on enlightenment that I have
      > > looked at on the
      Internet. I know this is not a discussion group but
      > > despite this I
      submit the following.
      > >
      > > Something's missing. Most if
      not all the material I see is about how to
      > > gain enlighenment. (And
      I know this is badly worded - it isn't something
      > > you gain - more
      something false you lose.) Personally I feel the
      > > attraction. I'm
      pulled to this as everything I read about it makes so
      > > much sense to
      me. But my wife doesn't understand (sounds like I'm
      > > talking to my
      mistress!). She wants to know how it will affect my life
      > > in the
      world practically and also specifically our relationship, as she
      > >
      isn't following this path. Good question I thought. And one I can't
      > >
      answer myself. I can make guesses but the more I thought about this the
      > > less satisfactory I found my understanding. So I have compiled a
      few
      > > points and questions below and would appreciate if there is
      anyone
      > > reading this who can throw some light in this. And maybe
      some more
      > > questions.
      > >
      > > Assume in the
      discussion below I am newly enlightened.

      Here is the easy shortcut answer: (easy for me to give)

      If you were newly 'enlightened', you would
      get a very strong impression that the world
      is a very different place, than you had known
      'before'.

      There is now a very powerful ability to
      'negotiate' with your 'host'; you discover
      that every act you 'do' does initiate an
      outward-ramifying field of force, which
      produces an immediate 'feedback' with
      no delay AT ALL. You know that the entire
      universe is ALIVE, but that the most
      important and rewarding aspect of the
      universe to negotiate with is usually
      OTHER PEOPLE.

      You learn quickly to easily differentiate
      between the 'cosmic feedback' and the
      learned, idiosyncratic stuff that is of the
      'person'. So it is possible to communicate
      with the living universe by communicating
      'with' a person. The person you are interacting
      with does not necessarily know what you are
      experiencing, and you will not necessarily
      tell them. You will practice this until you
      are 'natively proficient'.

      The universe does not need to be pushed,
      and it does not LIKE to be pushed. Basically,
      it will respect you just to the degree that you
      respect it.

      It is possible for you to find peace (ha ha... lets
      narrow that down!) or a very neutral and quiet
      place 'within yourself'. If you do, the whole universe
      will become just that quiet and 'peaceful'.

      You understand that the universe does NOT play
      favorites. You are one of many 'units', and it is
      your 'place' (not pushing!) to simply wait to be
      contacted by an intelligence agent of the living
      universe. On the other hand, you are that agent.

      Because the entire  universe is alive, you may
      be deeply surprised to find that inanimate objects
      can be animated, and made to display themselves
      to you in unusual ways. The living universe will
      give you as much as you can take; but you also realize,
      that if you have blockages and ignorance, that
      you must submit yourself to the universe's rapid
      development forces. This is like a very compressed
      course  in 'how things work', and if you learn, you
      will be spared many failures-by-experiment.

      Consciousness will be known as a mutable 'force'
      or energy, which can be dense, light, empty, dry,
      moist, and/or 'still' and 'moving'. You will learn how
      to manipulate your local atmosphere (the energy of
      the space around you), to correct or take advantage
      of these properties of consciousness.

      Now... as to your many questions about social
      propriety (because that is what your issue is),
      remember that you know that everything in every
      moment is a 'negotiation'. How you 'hold yourself'
      (including letting go) is a 'signal' to the living
      universe and the feedback is immediate and can
      be felt... profoundly so.

      So 'propriety' is AWAYS a matter of negotiation;
      there are few relationships (potentials of interaction)
      that can be stated as 'law'. What you 'do' will come
      back to you, and you are not confused about this;
      it is simply the way things are. You negotiate not with
      'people' but with the cosmos; and the feedback of the
      cosmos can express through others. But it always
      expresses 'in your self' as a presence that is 'pro' or
      'con' to whatever impulse you are tempted to enact.

      Finally, you realize that the true 'balance of nature'
      expresses itself 'geometrically'; that is, given the
      forms of the moment, things either fit or not. You
      know that in the next moment, what fit before will
      not now, and vice versa. You appreciate the great
      beauty of the flow  of continual change, and you
      accept your own changing nature as that.

      You see clearly that the universe is itself 'evolving'
      as an 'entity'; and that it is quite busy, but not too
      busy to share  itself with you. You learn by its
      example; you learn to emulate the ways of the
      universe. You may be shocked to actually  see
      that you are the universe.

      You finally (and suddenly) understand that the
      universe  expresses itself everywhere, always;
      and you finally 'get' why nobody could succeed
      in pushing around the David Carradine character
      (Cain?) in the TV series 'Kung Fu'. You see how the
      principle of negotiation in ALWAYS enforced; there
      are no exceptions. Selfish 'doings' do not 'fit' and
      the 'clash' will reverberate within you, as evidence
      of error.

      On the other hand... it is possible  (you see) to
      simply live in simple harmony, you as your own
      nature, in the living universe with its nature. There
      are no mysteries, because the ongoing way of Being
      is a harmonious flow, which relieves you of 'having to
      figure it out'. There is little if any reward offered for
      being or having a 'personality'.

      Somewhere along the way, if you learn from the
      experiences that are offered to you, you may gain
      'administrative privileges'. You may be called upon
      from time to time to perform important acts of
      arbitration in certain 'hot spots' that can arise,
      due to the ongoing theme of 'evolution' (learning
      the effects of ignorance).

      You will learn what it feels like to be 'wrong'; and
      that it usually feels like nothing at all to be 'right'
      (right is "not wrong", not right). Peace is your
      'reward' for staying in balance, and every thought,
      every impulse you have, creates immediate and
      profound 'feedback' that you feel. You discover that
      it is quite easy to 'stay on the path', because if you
      stray a bit to either side, you feel the burn.

      Awareness is not a matter of figuring it out, or
      of interpretation; it is an ongoing negotiation,
      which if allowed, can be so subtle as to draw
      you into its very heart...
      Hur Guler
       
      > > Assume in the discussion below I am newly enlightened.

      and i'll answer as an unenlightened spectator in the guru field...a
      sort of market analyst, specializing in things of unpractical nature.

      > >
      > > 1. If I lose my sense of individuality who am I talking about
      when I say
      > > "I"? "I love you". "I agree to do ....". "This is my
      bank account
      and
      > > you've overcharged me". Am I playing a game
      here? Do I stop using
      the
      > > word "I" except to mean my
      bodymind?

      i'm not overly fond of ramesh's concepts but i find myself using them
      often.  he has a useful expression:  "act as if." 

      "act as if" you are an individual, especially when it comes to your
      bank account.

      > > 2. If I don't have any personal wants or
      needs anymore, what gets
      me out
      > > of bed and decides what I shall
      do today / at any moment?


      'cause usually it's easier to walk to the bathroom than putting one's
      hand in the bedpan?


      > > 3.
      Further to 2. if, say, I make an arrangement with a friend to
      go
      > > bowling. Come the time to go, why should I go? Maybe I'll go - or
      not. I
      > > don't need to go to prove my ability or man(/woman)hood or
      anything
      > > else. I might be content just sitting at home enjoying
      the
      succession of
      > > moments. Do I go to avoid annoying my friend
      or to avoid getting a
      > > reputation for unreliability (which I
      wouldn't care about). If I
      get a
      > > reputation for unreliability
      will it start to alienate me from
      some of
      > > my current friends?
      Perhaps I never go bowling again. Or play
      basketball
      > > / golf
      /tennis / etc.


      it depends where you get the better offer from.  even if a "highly
      experienced enlightened" guru got a better offer than the satsang in
      your town s/he'd be there instead.

      > > 4. Maybe I
      need to change or abandon my job. Ok this seems to be
      obvious
      > >
      as my whole outlook will change.

      i know where you're going with this.  don't even think about being a
      guru.  at this rate there are two enlightened gurus for every nondual
      seekers in the market.  it's always the same 20 people who show up
      for the satsangs and just as you think you're winning them over,
      they'll make passing references to their (other) teacher.
       
      > > 5. But what do I do with my life? Do I
      naturally become a
      teacher/guru?

      ok since you insist...yes, you can naturally become a successful guru
      IF you have tons of shakti (and if you did, you'd already know by the
      psychic shakti vampires eager to suck the energy all around you).  if
      talk alone was enough, trust me, most of us on this are more than 
      qualified.

      > > 6. If I look at love
      as an impersonal love what does this mean
      for my
      > > relationship
      with my wife? Further if I wasn't with a partner when
      > > becoming
      enlightened, how would one come to be with me? By random
      > > chance? If
      there's no personal love could I have a meaningful
      > > relationship
      with just anyone who walks into the room or is there
      > > something
      which would make a particular person special to me?

      enlightened people say there's no lover, no beloved but love
      itself...yet if you are lucky enough to find her, you'd be a fool to
      let go off the beloved in the flesh just because she's
      an "illusion."  what an illusion though...oh la la

      > > 7. On a more mundane level, can I watch a movie (other than
      the
      Matrix)
      > > or TV entertainment? Presumably it wouldn't be
      possible to
      mentally put
      > > oneself in the position of the film's
      hero as most people
      apparently do
      > > when they watch. Can I
      suspend my disbelief to be entertained? As
      I
      > > don't need
      entertainment maybe I never watch films or TV again.

      your life as a movie, imagined in another movie, dreamer waking up in
      the dream and waking up again and again, finding oneself in the
      dream, it happens all the time. 

      > > 8. Similarly do I watch the news on TV or read the
      newspaper?
      Isn't 99%
      > > of the news irrelevant in reality? It is
      what is, and most is just
      > > another form of entertainment.

      you never read the story of ramana handing ug krishnamurti the comic
      pages from the newspaper he was reading when ug asked him for
      enlightenment?  save the comic pages and hand them out as your 
      teachings.

      > >
      9. I presumably don't drink alcohol. No going to the bar with
      mates
      > > then. Also no drugs. (This bit was easy).


      spiritual wine is cheaper too...just bread and water and voila...the
      brain turns it into non-toxic intoxicant, which some celebrate as the
      Truth.  what year were you enlightened?  2002?  it was a very good
      year.

      > > 10. How do I choose what to eat?

      ask for the menu

      > >
      11. Do I bother to do anything which is "good for me" like eating
      > >
      vegetables or taking exercise? I'm not looking for any results -
      I'm
      > > perfect as I am. Do I not comb my hair or appear well dressed as
      I don't
      > > need to make an impression on anyone?

      sure, if you're looking for a date or need job.

      > > 12. Do I change/ditch my car?
      Am I concerned what it is doing to
      the
      > >
      earth?

      what?  you already expect your imaginary seekers to drive you??? 
      wait till you have seekers who're ready to drive you in a new rolls
      royce.  i'd even settle for a toyota since the guru market is very
      tough nowadays.

      > > 13. Do I try to persuade my wife /
      family to change something
      they are
      > > doing? Like not being
      aware. Or watching soap operas while I am
      in the
      > >
      room.

      now that you're enlightened you know that you never had any power
      over your wife...especially over watching soap operas.

      > > 14.
      Do I go to my friends funeral? Or do I tell people his/her
      life is
      > > in the past and now irrelevant.

      no, instead you say things like, "he was never born. what was never
      born, never dies," while you wipe your tears.

      > >
      > > Do you see the problems? Has anyone
      written about how their
      practical
      > > life in the world changed as
      a result of enlightenment?

      practical guide to enlightened living?  now that's an interesting
      idea for a new age book.
       

       
      Another Question and Answer
       
      Someone asked:
      why not make up a full inventory of sayings by nisargadatta,
      Ramana maharshi, krishnamurti and ramesh balsekar that
      coincide with remarkable similarity. I have noticed such
      parallels of articulation in i am that, ramesh's books and
      ramana and the other chap.
       
      Jan Barendrecht

      The suggestion reminds of  questions like
      "why is chocolate with
      milk
      fruits
      nuts
      pure
      but never without sugar?"
       
      The chocolate is similar to the Upanishads
      in works regarding Advaita Vedanta,
      and the Patanjali sutras regarding texts on
      raja yoga.
       
      The sugar is a way to seduce those, disliking
      a bitter taste, or not hungry.
       
      Good appetite!
       :-)
       
      Hur Guler
       
      rather than getting into a passionate philosophical debate or an
      aloof advaitin response of "who" would be concerned with such mind
      categorizations, i'd like to point a more mundane handicap:
      possibility of running into copyright violations when one tries to
      make up a "full inventory."  yet for a scholarly seeker who has such
      capability, this may present an interesting challenge if done in a
      limited scope that didn't violate the fair use laws.

      and they can always use the nonduality related discussion groups to
      publish/publicize their comparative jewels of remembrance (or the
      broken pieces of glass as someone pointed on another group). 


       
      svcs
      I Am list
       
      Question: Should we not also consider his teachings?

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: He who instructs an ardent seeker to do this or
      that is not a true master. The seeker is already afflicted by his
      activities and wants peace and rest. In other words he wants
      cessation of his activities. If a teacher tells him to do something
      in addition to, or in place of, his other activities, can that be a
      help to the seeker?

      Activity is creation. Activity is the destruction of one's inherent
      happiness. If activity is advocated the adviser is not a master but a
      killer. In such circumstances either the Creator (Brahma) or death
      (Yama) may be said to have come in the guise of a master. Such a
      person cannot liberate the aspirant; he can only strengthen his
      fetters.

      Question: How can I find my own Guru?

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: By intense meditation.
       

       
      Akilesh Ayyar & Swami Bodhananda
      NDS
       
      Hello. Swami Bodhananda Saraswati and I recently wrote a book of
      dialogues on a number of spiritual and philosophical topics of
      interest, from consciousness and reality to the daily application of
      spiritual principles. The Swami's perspective is of the
      Hindu "advaita," or "non-dualistic" school, with of course his own
      unique interpretation of that tradition. I was the "young american"
      skeptic in the talks, and he was the teacher and respondent.

      Currently we have posted two chapters from our manuscript online, at
      http://tinyurl.com/lqqu .

      We would really appreciate any critiques or thoughtful feedback you
      may have. Are the ideas clear? Does the book interest you? If you
      are familiar with the hindu philosophy of vedanta, does it enrich
      the global understanding of that topic? If you aren't, did it give
      you a clear and interesting new perspective on non-duality?

      Our apologies in advance for any spelling or grammar mistakes -- if
      you point them out, we would be grateful. Anything else of value you
      could add would be much appreciated.

      Swami Bodhananda Saraswati is the spiritual director of The Sambodh
      Society, USA, and is a well-known vedantic scholar and sannyasi. I
      am currently completing a master's in information systems at
      Carnegie Mellon.

      Thank you very much.

      Hari Om,

      Akilesh Ayyar & Swami Bodhananda
       

       
      Petros
      Petros Truth
       
      'The entire universe is doing zazen in the same way that your body is doing
      zazen. When all parts of your body are practicing zazen, then that is how
      the whole universe practices zazen. Each mountain is standing and each river
      is flowing independently. All parts of the universe are participating in
      their practice.'

      -- Shunryu Suzuki
      from 'Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness: Zen Talks on the Sandokai'
       

       
      Karta
      NDS
       
      "My whole life has been spent waiting
       for an epiphany, a manifestation of
      God's presence, the kind of transcendent,
       magical experience that lets you see
       your place in the big picture. And
      that is what I had with my first
      compost heap." 

      -Bette Midler,

      Los Angeles Times, May 8, 1996
       

       
      SeraphimSigrist
      Live Journal
       
      The DIVISION OF THE WATERS: Then and Perhaps Now Also.
      .
      Friends,
      userinfopockawida sent me a link to a gallery of paintings by
      Michael O'Brien. I am struck in particular by one titled
      Angel Dividing the Waters. The thumbnail of it is here, but
      it looks better in a larger form which however is not linkable.

      Now this leads me to think a little about the division of the waters
      which is the event of the Second Day of Creation where it is said
      Let there be an expanse(the word firmament is used in some
      translations but it conveys not much to the mind)which divides the
      waters below that expanse from those above it...


      I then do a little reading on and off the internet and come to
      some idea about what this is all about and perhaps you will join
      me in considering the matter, which is finally not as remote
      as it seems I think... .
      .

      I will use my form of loosly linked paragraphs as being
      quicker and more condensed in some ways by leaving gaps.


      THE DIVISION OF THE WATERS

      (1)Now the image of the universe in ancient times ,as knowledge
      developed, became one of the earth as the center looking upwards
      into the night sky at spheres of planets and beyond that the
      stars. It is not an inaccurate image, but it is much more
      cumbersome for astronomic calculation than the Copernican. However
      it does have its own quality of awe and of a sense of the Height
      of things.

      (2)The image of the dividing waters is still more ancient than this
      largely discarded image even, and is that of earth and above
      it a sort of dome, expanse we have called it or firmament in
      an old word, which is in effect a weather maker for one thing...
      dividing water above from the waters which surround the
      inhabited earth.

      (3)Before that we have an undifferentiated vast water with
      no land... a primitive chaos. In the Babylonian version of this
      image of the world the separation of things into clarity is
      represented by the victory of the sky god Marduk (Marduk by
      the way appears as a travelling peddler in the wonderful
      cult film The legend of Hillbilly John which I have
      spoken of before and is based on the Silver John stories of
      Manly Wade Wellman which I love, but anyway...where were we,
      Marduk's victory over the sea dragon Tiamat whom he kills
      and divides. Although it comes from the same level of science
      as it were, the same cosmic image, the Genesis story is concise
      and without mythological material(the Angel of the Division is the
      painters concept in fact not the Biblical).

      (4)What is represented here?
      I suppose the dividing the actualized from the imagined possible
      is an important labor for all of us isnt it?
      Each starts with a sense of possiblities, and we may imagine them
      at first to be without limit. Suppose for example I have the idea
      that I can be a writer.
      I will likely start with a sense of almost unlimited talent
      and unless I allow myself to actually write something and submit
      it to some judgement, by sending it to an editor or showing it to
      people not too kind to make serious critical comment, I will not
      go beyond this stage of feeling oceanic but with no limits, no
      form, nothing created.
      Similarly with any sort of possibility, including for that matter
      the spiritual ways...one may easily at the start feel onself an
      at least potential saint or living Buddha or Mage of the of course
      most powerful sort... without any evidence at all beyond this undefined
      oceanic feeling.

      (5)
      So Melville remarks that the watch in the crows nest atop the ship
      looking out over the sea, can easily stop seeing anything at all
      beyond the merging of everything into one...and yet all that one
      seeks, the whales, is in making the distinction and seeing
      the realities not the dreams enduced by the sea...

      (6)
      Of course this division is a kind of end for the imaginary
      spirituality and the imaginary action and creation...
      Eliot puts it...

      Between the idea
      And the reality
      Between the motion
      And the act
      Falls the Shadow

      (7)
      But at the division of the waters the
      possibility of a world appears... a real
      creativity, a real life, a real spiritual
      way. Not what we dreamed in the aeons of
      sleep of the undivided sea, but precisely
      beyond all our dreams...

      Just these thoughts on this theme, with thanks
      to userinfopockawida for the image which you may
      see in larger form at:
      http://studiobrien.com/gallery/profiled/index_forsale2.html

      Now I will try to find an image or two further to represent
      this matter of the waters divided...

      And welcome all shared thought, ideas, questions even the
      floor always open, and am yours
      +Seraphim
      .
      .
      .
      .
      The Brilliance of the Sea by Robert Meyers
      .
      .
      " The great firmament:The heavens are shown as a
      double circle around two intersecting ellipses. On the inner
      circle are twelve smaller circles inscribed with the names of the
      signs of the zodiac. Scientific instructions in the Mashal
      ha-Kadmoni."
      .

      .
      Firmament: Barbara Howard.


       
      Wildgarden
      Live Journal
       
      After my son caught a back-to school-cold, and then a long weekend, I find my self blessedly alone this morning. The hardest thing about family life is the constant demands on my attention. My husband has 5 planets in Leo, ha, and while he is the kindest soul in the world he needs a lot of attention. My son makes a lot of noise, some of it is beautiful noise, he often sings spontaneously, melodic little songs which are a pleasure. He also squawks and bumps into things and wants to play the television and noisy video games which cut right through whatever thread of thought I am following.
      I find it to be impossible to write unless I am alone. I envy those who can write in a cafe, in a public place. I used to be able to, but now I need silence.

      Last night there was a firefly on the screen. I've seen them outside of town but that was a first in the 6 years I've been living in the city. When I was a child my sister and I ran through a fairyland of insect flourescense every summer evening, while the chatter from the baseball game on the television drifted through the open windows.

      I was writing about etheric engineering and there's a lot I mean by this. But it basically comes down to spiritual approaches to medicine and to agriculture. I have always been spiritually inclined, somewhat mystical even, but I am not religious. I have not met a religion that I could feel free within. This could be because I am a woman who does not easily submit, but assumes an equal balance of power with man.

      Even Buddhism has a strong patriarchal tradition although it looks to me that contemporary Buddhism is a field in which women can participate to fullest potential. But I don't even feel as if I could say that I 'am' a Buddhist. I never approached Buddhism particularly as a religion anyway but as a practice, a strategy. I was never so much interested in the scriptures as I was in meditation and the flowering of the self within. And to follow the self within has been for me the means of seeking God.

      But God has always been most evident to me in the face of creation. When I first became involved with Buddhist meditation I fell prey to a sort of nihilistic depression that I also recognize in many others even long time meditation friends in the Theravadin tradition. It's as if by realizing the illusory nature of phenomena one begins to dismiss phenomena as being unimportant.

      An epiphany occurred for me when I heard Chogyam Trungpa say something to the effect that
      the ultimate spiritual realm and the physical realm are the same, and that by conscious and compassionate attention to the physical environment one honors spiritual reality. Elementary right? But I am perhaps not as deep as I like to think that I am. This statement liberated me to live in the sacred world, right here and now.

      RobertsTheology
      Live Journal
       
      The Wounded Healer, by Henri Nouwen
       


      But the more I think about loneliness, the more I think that
      the wound of loneliness is like the Grand Canyon - a deep
      incision in the surface of our existence which has become an
      inexhaustible source of beauty and self-understanding.
       
      Therefore I would like to voice loudly and clearly what might
      seem unpopular and maybe even disturbing: The Christian way
      of life does not take away our loneliness; it protects and
      cherishes it as a precious gift. Sometimes it seems as if we
      do everything possible to avoid the painful confrontation
      with our basic human loneliness, and allow ourselves to be
      trapped by false gods promising immediate satisfaction and
      quick relief.
       
      But perhaps the painful awareness of loneliness is an
      invitation to transcend our limitations and look beyond the
      boundaries of our existence. The awareness of loneliness
      might be a gift we must protect and guard, because our
      loneliness reveals to us an inner emptiness that can be
      destructive when misunderstood, but filled with promise for
      him who can tolerate its sweet pain. -Henri Nouwen