Monday, July 29, 2002
#1150 - Monday, July 29, 2002 - Editor: Jerry
The shaktipetted hibiscus flowers in my garden last for
almost a week...
At sunset, a flower folds its petals as if to say "
honey shop closed for the rest of the day",
to open up again when bathing in the rays of the morning
The magic isn't less because of that...
BRUCE JOEL RUBIN
Screenwriter of Jacob's Ladder
from the documentary on the Jacob's Ladder DVD
"Jacob's Ladder", Oil 50" x 60", Painted 1999, Private Collection
©Copyright 2001 - 2002 Scott Switzer All Rights Reserved
<http:// scottswitzer.com/Picture_Pages/ Jacobs_Ladder.htm>
This movie is about the dissolution of a man who is
dying. And in that, ... the whole of existence is at
play in his mind and you are watching one story.
...what happens in that journey is the mind goes
thorugh this extraordinary kind of dissolution and
attempt at discovery of what is going on.
And I really believe that in this death process there is
enormous need at the final moment of one's existence to
know what it was, what your life was, what it meant,
how did it come to its conclusion... .
Jacobs Ladder began as a dream, and in the dream I was
on a subway in New York City, and I was travelling
rather rapidly through the bowels of New York, and the
train comes into a station and I get off and I go to
the exit and the exit is chained closed. The ultimate
trap of that dream is that there was no way out. The
only way out was through it and that I had to go down
into the darkeness of my own existence in order to find
a way to some kind of freedom and liberation. The great
adventures of all time take you into the underworld,
into the unseen, into the place you can't go. When
you're in the dark what you see is not outside you, it's
inside you, and that the images that start to arise
within you are from somewhere deep within your own
The movie is really a movie of Jacob holding on. it's
Jacob holding onto what he remembers, holding onto his
guilts, holding onto his pleasures, his desires.
Everything that makes us hold onto life and everyday
experience, holding onto your breath, holding onto your
identity, to your sense of self: these are the things
that keep us here. And as that starts to be taken away
from him, and as it's unravelled and he's watching the
unravelling of that, what he experiences is the end of
his being. And that end is something you can fight, or
you can finally say 'yes' to, and because it is so
inevitable in his case, as it will ultimately be in
every one of our cases, we all have to, at some moment,
learn that the release from the struggle is the letting
from the screenplay: "If you're frightened of dying and
you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life
away. But if you've made your peace, the devils are
really angels freeing you from the earth. It's just a
matter of how you look at it, that's all."
It is everyman's journey that we all go through, this
extraordinary process of dissolution in which we are
compelled to hold onto everything dear to us. We're
compelled to hold onto our children, we're compelled to
hold onto to those we love, we feel guilt about the
things we didn't do, we feel the pull of this dark force
coming at us and we don't want to go to it. There's
great denial in our struggle, in our death struggle, in
our movement out of our bodies, out of our familiarity,
out of our breath, out of our mind, out of our
personality. It's a hard leap to make.
Director Adrian Lynes:
"I've had a lot of people write to me about the film. I
had somebody with an AIDS society saying can I use
imagery from within the film because they thought that
the film had helped friends of theirs during the dying
process and that's immensely rewarding I think, if
that's the case, because I hope that the movie helps you
deal with that in some little way."
from The Other Syntax list
The Power Of Remembering
"The purpose of recapitulation is to break basic
assumptions we have accepted throughout our lives,"
Clara explained patiently. "Unless they are broken, we
can't prevent the power of remembering from clouding our
"What exactly do you mean by the power of remembering,
"The world is a huge screen of memories; if certain
assumptions are broken," she said, "the power of
remembering is not only held in check, but even canceled
'The Sorcerers' Crossing' (chapter 7)
To seek to escape suffering by escaping suffering, is to
suffer the effort of escape... and that is worse than
what is being fled.
To build a sequence of refuges... and to find each one
broached... only to flee to the next creation... defines
the very wheel of life and death, and infinite
incarnations into the world of suffering...
In a nondual universe, there is no place to hide, and no
A wonderful depiction of the wheel of birth and death.
Incarnation being the implementation of strategy, of the
"I-it" scenario, molded by thought, into always shifting
environments -- escape and the seeking of refuge, an
The taking form in a womb the attempt to gain refuge
through embodiment, and birth into suffering the
Action required by the impetus to gain and to avoid,
situations changing as the results of previous actions
bear fruit in various ways.
Death always the consequence of birth, and rebirth
always the implementation of whatever strategy is
"brought forward" into "now."
And thus, liberation is always only "now" alone, as it
is, with nothing brought into it.
Conditioning being the bringing into "this" of "the
past" -- unnessarily fogging the clarity of now with a
lens designed to serve a "me."
The "me" being the activity of condItioning.
The awareness which you mentioned, which situates itself
"in" or "through" an organism, not actually requiring
any situatedness in order to be -- but only in order to
"have" and needing to "have a place" in order to have.
And liberation always being only now, only already the
case. The end of the cycle always being now.
Postponement of the end is the definition of the
continuity of the cycle. Postponement being an imaginary
situation, the basis of the cycle is in illusion and
from Dzogchen list
Search as one will,
what is to be found
other than what
this clinging hunger
easier perhaps to
from Harsha Satsangh
Ramana Maharshi responds to questions:
Q: Does my realisation help others?
A: Yes, certainly. It is the best help possible. But
there are no others to be helped. For the realised being
sees only the Self, just like a goldsmith estimating
the gold in various items of jewelry sees only gold.
When you identify yourself with the body then only the
forms and shapes are there. But when you transcend your
body the others disappear along with your
Q: Is it so with plants, trees, etc.?
A: Do they exist at all apart from the Self? Find it
out. You think that you see them. The thought is
projected out from the Self. Find out from where it
rises. Thoughts will cease to rise and the Self alone
Q: I understand theoretically. But they are still there.
A: Yes. It is like a cinema show. There is the light on
the screen and the shadows fleeting across it impress
the audience as the enactment of some piece. If in the
same play an audience also is shown on the screen as
part of the performance, the seer and the seen will then
both be on the screen. Apply it to yourself. You are the
screen, the Self has created the ego, the ego has its
accretions of thoughts, which are displayed as the
world, the trees and the plants of which you are asking.
In reality, all these are nothing but the Self. If you
see the Self, the same will be found to be all,
everywhere and always. Nothing but the Self exists.