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#1613 - Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - Editor: Jerry

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  • Jerry Katz
    #1613 - Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - Editor: Jerry ... Petros from Petros-Truth Sudden or Gradual Enlightenment People speak of sudden versus gradual
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 13, 2003

      #1613 - Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - Editor: Jerry

      from Petros-Truth
      Sudden or Gradual Enlightenment
      People speak of "sudden" versus "gradual" enlightenment as if these were two
      different qualities of enlightenment, or two different and mutually
      exclusive types of enlightenment. Even sects have been formed around one or
      the other of these imagined possibilities, as if the opposite possibility
      were illusory. In fact, the difference has to do with the person making the
      distinction, not any inherent quality of enlightenment itself. People who
      cannot bear the implication of "sudden" enlightenment will believe in the
      gradual variety, and people who are impatient of "gradual" enlightenment
      will believe in the sudden form. In truth, enlightenment is always here,
      under the cover of your beliefs.

      Movie Review: Matrix Revolutions
      Hi everyone,

      "Everything that has a beginning must have an end."

      Or does it?

      The groundbreaking MATRIX series (but not its impact) comes to a conclusion with MATRIX: REVOLUTIONS and I believe that it will be remembered for decades to come as a seminal step forward in the potential of Spiritual Cinema to remind us of the complex beauty and paradox of our humanity. So, please, see it yourself. Regardless of what you may hear or have heard to the contrary-regardless of what you may have felt about MATRIX: RELOADED. There is magic and mystery in this film that rivals and, in some ways such as its brilliant and paradoxical ending, surpasses the original MATRIX.

      The symbolism and fascination of the film start with the title itself: REVOLUTIONS. Plural. Not just the standoff between humanity and technology, but multiple meanings such as evolving and becoming a society where the ascension of racial equality and feminine energy has reached such an apogee that the heroes of the film are, save for Neo, women and people of color. With a nod to John Lennon, imagine that. "It`s easy if you try."

      The visuals in MATRIX are dazzling and majestic but it is has always been the philosophical and metaphysical musings of the MATRIX trilogy that have made the series so extraordinary. REVOLUTIONS illuminates both the challenges and breathtaking opportunities of humanity on the brink of knowing the unknowable. On the brink of, but not yet ever quite complete. As is said in the film-"I didn`t know.but I did believe." The human experiment, the "illusion" of life, the ephemeral nature of our notions of reality. Emotions and glimpses of the potential answers to our existence, tantalizing yet never so obvious as to rob us of our individual right to create and interpret our own reality.

      For these reasons and more, I feel that this column must take on a more unconventional form than any of my other columns. Challenges to us as an audience abound in REVOLUTIONS, not in plot "turnings," which we will leave for the viewer to discover, but rather in the fascinating ambiguities of the tantalizing clues that lead Neo and Trinity to their destinies. We could discuss this for hours and hours--and will as the years unfold--but space here allows us only to examine one of the film`s most exhilarating complexities.

      The crux of Neo`s journey in REVOLUTIONS is explained early on to him by the Oracle who tells him that "no one can see beyond a choice that they don`t understand." Choice. The word and concept behind it lie at the center of the MATRIX and have also become perhaps one of the key concepts of our evolving humanity. We have chosen a path of destruction before. Atlantis. Maya. Egypt. One of the crucial tenets of the new spirituality of the last half-century has been our recognition that fate is not indeed thrust upon us. We have choices. Opportunity can present itself, yes, but our fate is never forced upon us as an inevitability.  We can CHOOSE to hear the clarion call of our soul`s call to adventure or choose to ignore it. We have the final say as to whether or not we actually move into that eternal flow of our own destiny. When we do make that leap, we almost immediately sense at the core of our beings that the choice is made from a deep well within our own hearts and consciousness and yet it remains just beyond our ability to totally comprehend; nevertheless, we are forevermore drawn forward by the choice we have made to engage the world of mystery and paradox. Neo and Trinity have a passionate love for each other and yet both have a knowing on a deep soul level that they must each moment choose to push inexorably forward, regardless of the consequences. As the Merovingian notes early on about them: "Remarkable how close the pattern of love is to the pattern of insanity." Neo even comments much later in the film that he persists in his quest simply because he so CHOOSES. If for no other reason than the spotlight that the film focuses on our freedom-and responsibility- to choose, REVOLUTIONS deserves our attention and respect as it mirrors an agonizing and seemingly insoluble problem of our own modernity. The right to choose. Conception. Birth. Freedom. Reality itself.

      The Wachowski brothers who conceived, wrote, and directed the MATRIX trilogy have been faulted recently for making concessions to commerciality. Being given $300 million to make RELOADED and REVOLUTIONS created a daunting balancing act and I personally believe that they deserve our awe and respect as true visionaries who have introduced concepts into mainstream culture that could never have been even imagined before they began our journey into the world of MATRIX. And they saved the best for last because not since 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY has there been a more intricate and fascinating closing ten minutes than REVOLUTIONS. I believe that film classes will be discussing the ending for years to come and the interpretations will be as varied as they were for 2001. The Wachowskis will not discuss their interpretation of the ending of the series. They respect our right to CHOOSE...Somewhere, Stanley Kubrick must be smiling.

      In gratitude.

      Stephen Simon
      Copyright 2003 Stephen Simon.

      Daily Dharma
      "What is meant by nonduality, Mahatmi? It means that light and
      shade, long and sort, black and white, can only be experienced in
      relation to each other, light is not independent of shade, nor black
      of white."

      "There are no opposites, only relationships. In the same way,
      nirvana and the ordinary world of suffering are not two things but
      related to each other. There is no nirvana except where the world of
      suffering is; there is no world of suffering apart from nirvana. For
      existence is not mutually exclusive."
      ~Lankavatara Sutra

      Jan Barendrecht
      from Nonduality Salon
      mind the empty sky
      hardly visible her web
      mistress of the maze
      from a web where's no escape
      but through the spider's mouth

      Michael L.
      from Nonduality Salon
      This is one of my favorite dialogues with Sri Ramana Maharshi;

      Q:  Swami, it is good to love God, is it not? Then why not follow the path of love?

      Maharshi:  "Who said you couldn't follow it? You can do so.
      But when you talk of love, there is duality, is there not?-
      the person who loves and the entity called God who is loved?
      The individual is not separate from God.
      Hence love means one has love towards one's own Self."

      Q:  That is why I am asking you whether God could be worshipped
      through the path of love.

      "That is exactly what I have been saying. Love itself is the actual form of God.
      If by saying, 'I do not love this, I do not love that', you reject all things,
      that which remains is the real form of the Self. That is pure bliss. Call it pure
      bliss, God, Self, or what you will. That is devotion, that is realization and
      that is everything. If you thus reject everything, what remains is the Self
      alone. That is real love. One who knows the secret of that love finds the world
      itself full of universal love. The experience of not forgetting consciousness,
      alone, is the state of devotion which is the relationship of unfading real love,
      because the real knowledge of Self, which shines as the undivided supreme bliss itself,
      surges up as the nature of love. Only if one knows the truth of love,
      which is the real nature of Self, will the strong entangled knot of life be
      untied. Only if one attains the height of love will liberation be attained. Such
      is the heart of all religions. The experience of Self is only love, which is
      seeing only love, hearing only love, feeling only love, tasting only love and
      smelling only love, which is bliss."

      Gill Eardley
      from AllspiritInspiration
      Create the atmosphere

      "Recently I am emphasizing that due to the modern economy,
      and also due to information and education, the world is now
      heavily interdependent, interconnected. Under such circum-
      stances, the concept of 'we' and 'they' is gone: harming your
      neighbor is actually harming yourself. If you do negative
      things towards your neighbor, that is actually creating
      your own suffering. And helping them, showing concern
      about others' welfare -- actually these are the major factors
      of your own happiness. If you want a community full of joy,
      full of friendship, you should create that possibility. If you
      remain negative, and meantime want more smiles and friendship
      from your neighbors, that's illogical. If you want a more friendly
      neighbor, you must create the atmosphere. They they will respond."

      ~His Holiness the Dalai Lama

      Daily Dharma
      Two kinds of fears
      "We have two kinds of fears. One is a fear that whatever is
      going on is going to go on forever. It's just not true -
      nothing goes on forever. The other is the fear that, even if
      it doesn't go on forever, the pain of whatever is happening
      will be so terrible we won't be able to stand it. There is a
      gut level of truth about this fear. It would be ridiculous to
      pretend that in our lives, in these physical bodies, which
      can hurt very much, and in relationships that can hurt very
      much, there aren't some very, very painful times. Even so, I
      think we underestimate ourselves. Terrible as times may be, I
      believe we can stand them.

      "Because we become frightened as soon as a difficult mind
      state blows into the mind, we start to fight with it. We try
      to change it, or we try to get rid of it. The frenzy of the
      struggle makes the mind state even more unpleasant. The
      familiar image is a children's cartoon character, like Daffy
      Duck, walking along freely and suddenly stepping into taffy.
      In a hasty, awkward attempt to extricate himself, he might
      fall forward and backward and eventually be totally stuck in
      the taffy. Even children see a better solution. The best
      solution would be the non-alarmed recognition, 'This is
      taffy. I didn't see it as I stepped into it, but I felt it
      after I got stuck. It's just taffy. The whole world is not
      made out of taffy. What would be a wise thing for me to do
      ~ Sylvia Boorstei

      From the book, "It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way
      to Happiness," published by Harper.


      FROM: Nothing Personal: seeing beyond the illusion of a separate self
      By Nirmala
      Forward (by Adyashanti)
      After years of Zen practice my teacher asked me to begin teaching, and
      she gave me these words of advice: Always tell the truth and speak from
      you own experience… By inquiring into truth, we are led ever deeper
      into the unknown – beyond beliefs and ideas to the very core of who and
      what we are. This inquiry takes the highest degree of integrity and
      fearlessness we can muster; it challenges us by taking us out of our
      heads and into the heart of our deepest experience of being, which is
      beyond limitations of body, mind, and conditioning. Telling the truth
      is the secret of all true spirituality, and in order to tell the truth
      you must find out what truth is. It is my experience of Nirmala that he
      embodies my teacher’s advice both as an individual and as a teacher.
      The beauty of this collection of Nirmala’s talks and dialogues is that
      it coves much of the spectrum of spiritual awakening, from the initial
      experience of one’s true nature to the practical challenges, which
      always call for a deeper seeing and deeper understanding of how spirit
      manifests as all of life and beyond. Within these talks and dialogues
      you will find Nirmala to be a living invitation to look within.
      What is appealing about Nirmala is his humility and lack of pretense,
      which welcomes whatever arises in the field of experience… Again and
      again Nirmala points the questions back to the questioner and beyond to
      the very source of existence itself – to the faceless awareness that
      holds both the question and the questioner in a timeless embrace.
      I invite you into these talks and dialogues – not as a spectator, but
      as an intimate participant. Look within and see exactly who is doing
      the looking… become aware of yourself as awareness itself.
      On contraction and expansion of consciousness
      When you are honest, you see that, in spite of all the psychological
      and spiritual techniques you know, you don’t have control over whether
      your consciousness is spacious or narrowly focused… Even when the focus
      is very narrow, Awareness is having fun. It loves all of this. It loves
      the expanded experiences and the contracted ones. It’s having a blast.
      That is what I mean by being more honest.
      On not knowing
      The invitation is to find out what is left when you let go of knowing
      everything you think you know. Dive into knowing less than you have
      ever known – less than you knew when you were born. (p.114)
      From the chapter titled ‘Paying Attention’
      The invitation is to look beyond this ongoing flow of thoughts,
      feelings and desires and to discover what is even truer than those.
      What is trustworthy? What is always present? What does not come and go?
      Because it has always been here, what you find turns out to be very
      ordinary and familiar – but a complete mystery. What is it that is
      hearing these words? What is it that is feeling the feelings? What is
      it that is desiring a relationship or distance from one or, more often,
      both at the same time? What is this mystery in which all that happens?
      When we are willing to look, what we find is something that can’t be
      grasped with the mind. Just like you can’t take a picture of a camera
      with the camera, this mystery underlying everything, including
      spiritual experiences, can’t be found in the same way that you’ve found
      everything else…
      That which is aware doesn’t come and go. Once you realize that, then
      anything can become a doorway to the recognition of that Awareness.
      The invitation is to get really curious about this Awareness that is
      always present. Nothing else is worthy of your trust or attention.
      On Oneness
      How does this Oneness show up in so many forms? Not one of them is
      separate from it, no matter how different it is – and there are some
      pretty wild things in this ever-unfolding mystery… The Mystery seems to
      delight in differences. It extends itself outward into countless forms
      and doesn’t even make two snowflakes alike. This is how into
      differences it is. Yet when you look with your heart at any aspect of
      the Mystery rather than with your thoughts and feelings, you will
      discover the Oneness underlying all the differences. (p.43)

      Mary Bianco
      from Nonduality Salon
      Janine Antoni is an interesting artist.
      View the walking on water clip on the web site.
      I practiced tightroping for about an hour a day and after about a week I started to feel like I’m now getting my balance. And as I was walking I started to notice that it wasn’t that I was getting more balanced, but that I was getting more comfortable with being out of balance. I would let the pendulum swing a little bit further and rather than getting nervous and overcompensating by leaning too much to one side I could compensate just enough. And I thought, I wish I could do that in my life when things are getting out of balance. You know when you have a hard day and one bad thing happens after another? I sort of learned that I could just breathe in and sort of set myself back up onto the rope. The other thing that was really fascinating is I started to learn the bottom of my feet in a way that I had never learned before. If the wire is just a millimeter to one side or the other I can feel it in my arms. I started to learn all kinds of things about the skeletal structure. About my sternum and my sacrum and how to keep them in balance. It was quite a beautiful process, learning to walk on the rope.
      you may also want to explore:
      http://www.pbs.org/art21/series/seasonone/spirituality.html, for more video clips on art and spirituality.

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