Highlights Tues. 16 Nov
hi everyone it's aleks. i will go by my common name now: gen. here's
a poem to say hi with:
"when to the sessions of sweet silent thought
i summon up remembrance of things past,
i sigh the lack of many a thing i sought,
and with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:
then can i drown an eye, unused to flow
for precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
and weep afresh love's long since canceled woe.
then can i grieve at greivances foregone,
and heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
the sad account of fore bemoaned moan,
which i new pay as if not paid before.
but if the while i think on thee, dear friend,
all losses are restored and sorrows end."
you are all my heart, each moment anew.
i love you!
all 'round duality
love sees everything as art
- works in progress -
even the pain
whatever the color of your collar
and whether you know it or not
You are perfect consciousness.
what is there to celebrate
but the return of awareness
to That - This - Heart - Being
- Full Emptiness - Life
still happening seems to happen
we seem to do
and think, laugh, communicate
except now you know
what you are eternally
that changes everything
JUDI recommends this book:
> We should adjust to the Master, and not vice-versa.MIRROR
If 'we' are supposed to adjust to the master, 'we' would first have to
establish who this 'we' is and who this 'master' is, thus locating an
actual separation between the two. As long as one is convinced of an
actual existent difference, I agree it is best that 'we' adjust to the
'master'. However, in case one is unable to locate and detect such
difference and separation between 'we' and the 'master', a statement of
adjustment makes no sense to 'we'.
Often it isn't a matter of adjusting but (silent) recognition. The
recognition is mutual but as a rule the master will recognize first. One
such example is Ramana Maharshi and Paul Brunton; it took a while before
Paul Brunton recognized "his" master, another example is Ramakrishna and
Vivekananda. Kabir is a Sufi and in Sufism, confrontation is functional.
Sufism is a path of love and true love won't decrease through
confrontation, but (after having painfully become aware of "ego") will
actually increase. The diary of Irina Tweedie describes this very well.
So it is incorrect to compare masters of different systems.
People have many different reasons for either reaching out
to a master or not.
I have had a few masters and teachers in this lifetime. In each
case I did not feel I was choosing to go to him/her. I felt drawn,
invited and compelled but not by anything specific they said or
did. There was a subtle and strong heart connection which I
sometimes initially resisted, but to no avail.
I have received so much through these beautiful deep and powerful
connections, and I am full of gratitude for their presence in my life.
Someone asked Ramana what he saw when people came to him. He said,
"Someone who doesn't know what he is."
>Glo:Dan: Glo, you posted this on two lists, so I'm replying on both. This
>The reason why psychology is sterile and most therapy doesn't work is >that the "self" that mainstream psychologies describe and purport to >heal doesn't exist. It is a social fiction.
reply is only slightly different then my reply on Harsha Satsangh.
As a practicing psychologist, I don't feel psychology is sterile, and I
wouldn't be continuing to do this work if I didn't receive consistent
feedback about therapy "working" (there are many different ways it can
work). Is awareness a fiction, too? Does therapy not deal with
awareness? And what of "social fictions" such as self and other? Is
not our social fabric an important aspect of how we humans live and
express - much like water to a fish, no? Our social fictions affect us
in various ways, so it's useful to look at the effects. We can look at
racism, sexism, agism, classism as well. Social fictions. Yet perhaps
Now, this self that is a "social fiction"... who is it that is able to
look at this and determine it's a fiction? Who are you writing this
letter and who am I who am responding? Zen Buddhism, which clearly
points to recognizing the self as social fiction, also clearly points to
the following: if you don't get it from yourself, where will you get
It seems there is a paradox at the heart of Buddhism, a paradox that
isn't fully or truely resolved by saying there is no self, or the self
is a social fiction. The self can't be said to exist or not exist.
This isn't the same thing as saying there is no self. There is no
continuing, permanent self identity. This doesn't mean there is no
Buddhism indicates that karma is constructed and "carried". Constructed
and carried by whom? Buddhism points us in a direction where
conceputalization doesn't "fit" anymore, where ideas about self or
not-self don't "get it". Similar moments can occur in therapy (although
the aims of Buddhism can be considered somewhat different) - when a
person reaches an instant where the old concepts don't work and new
concepts are not in place. This "creative void" was an important aspect
of Fritz Perls's(flawed as he was) contribution to theory about therapy.
A unique and valuable aspect of counseling is that it provides an
ongoing dialogue as a means for self-examination, a unique kind of
mirror is provided (hopefully with compassion). In fact, counseling can
be done from a nondual perspective, in my opinion and experience. A
nondual perspective means being able to resonate with persons, be able
to recognize the "shared ground," as well as the ways that "illusory
concepts" can affect lives. Therapy in some ways can be viewed as an
encounter in a bardo-realm.
I've found that therapy can provide a useful dialogue about decisions in
relationships (do I stay or invest energy?), the effects of past
experience in the present, and abilities to deal with life "presently".
It can be helpful to see how emotions from the "past" function
"presently". This might be related to the idea of "seeds" in Abidharma
Buddhism. Recognizing what planted the seeds and how they tend to
sprout can be considered an enhancement of awareness. Such recognition
might help differentiate "then" and "now" leading to new actions "now"
that don't continue the past pattern. Although we tend to say "then"
and "now" aren't separate, differentiating "then" from "now" has its
uses. Just as when we differentiate "memory" from "presentness." As I
you pointed out previously, nonduality doesn't mean "unity" or
"oneness". This is a very useful observation from my perspective. It
points to that "mythical point" *between* "unity" and "disunity",
between "differentiation" and "non-differentiation" (the Middle Way, the
Turning of the Tao). I am in full agreement that mistaking nonduality
for unity tends to blur the issue.
Therapy that works leads a person toward greater balance, awareness of
how they direct energy, ability to notice the consequences of thoughts
and feelings; often there are positive effects from releasing distorted
self-thoughts, such as self-blame, over-responsibility, guilt,
negativity toward self and others. Good therapy enhances openness,
supports questioning, and is compatible with spiritual awakening,
although its focus is definitely more "worldly". Being able to function
well in the world (according to one's own perspective of this) has
value, even if the person decides later to "renounce the world". I'd go
so far as to say that it is possible to live well in the world
simultaneously with renouncing it. There is no need to retreat to a
monastery, forest, or cave - perhaps that isn't even the most useful
form of "renunciation" in our present age.
>In reality the human personality exists at the intersection of the >ancient cycles of air and water and soil. Without these there is no >self and any attempt to heal the personality that doesn'tTherapists simply provide a service. They don't have the power to
>acknowledge this fundamental fact is doomed to failure. There is no >"self" without air and water and soil. Incredible amounts of energy go >into futile attempts to heal what is really a fictitious self while our >actual, ecological self suffocates. Some of the best thinking on >Ecopsychology comes from the neo-Jungian James Hillman. In his "100 >Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse", Hillman blames a >lot of the social and environmental problems that we face on the fact >that the people who should be out there changing the world are in >therapy instead. They treat their pain as a symptom of a personal
>pathology rather than as a goad to political action to bring about >social change. Therapists create patients instead of citizens.
"make" someone into anything. The people I work with are clients and
I'm a consultant. I'm not a medical doctor and they aren't my patients.
A great deal of harm has been done by those claiming their "political
action" would improve the world, so I'm quite leery of "calls to arms".
>People are willing to die by the millions in defense of one social >fiction after another - a religion or political system or ideology. Yet >attacks on the Earth which gave rise to all of these and without which >none could exist, leave us numb.I like that quote. It's very much to the point. Thanks.
>Because we haven't learned to identify with the living Earth, She fails >to ignite in us anything near the passion and commitment that some of >her lesser works manage to do. Though we are born, live and die in her, >we have made ourselves unconscious of this. As Woody Allen said: "The >Earth and I are two." As long as the environment is "out there", we may >leave it to some special interest group like environmentalists to >protect while we look after our "selves". The matter changes when we >deeply realise that the nature "out there" and the nature "in here" are >one and the same, that the sense of separation no matter how pervasive, >is nonetheless totally illusory. I would call the need for such >realisation the central psychological or spiritual challenge of our >age. "
O.K. Climbing down from my soapbox, now. Whew. But heck, I do this
for a living. I like to kid myself that it's "right livelihood" (i.e.,
By the way, I found your letter on this topic very stimulating and
thoughtful. Don't be put off by my "self-serving" reaction. I take
James Hillman's prescriptions about what people "should be doing" with a
grain of salt, as I take all prescriptions about what we "should be
doing" "should be capable of" "should be striving for" etc. (these
shoulds often substitute for compassion within and between "selves"). I
like the tradition from which he comes and he's a good writer. Jung's
theory was a helpful guide for dreamwork, although my greatest guide was
a wisewoman named Betty who led a dream group I was in once.
By the way - jumps in world population, nationalism, industrialization,
technology, and individual and collective frustration and greed might
all be worth considering as one looks at the situation of the world.
And who's to say that the world is "getting worse"? Perhaps if one saw
the "big picture" everything would be seen to be quite in place.
By the way, your point about our sexuality being an aspect of our
connection with the earth rings true to me. And it's a connection with
the fire of life, too. Not to mention opening to our connection with
the endless sky of awareness/beingness. And our connection with the sky
...Sometimes the more intellectual ones here on this list also pierce to
the quick of my heart and head with their clarity, clarity of thought
can be so beautiful and also moves the heart! Sure, other times it is so
far over my head or discussing sanskrit or knowledge with which I am not
familiar, but I am not *against* such learning, it too can be a doorway
for some persons. There is just no one right way to experience or know
or describe this. That is all I have been struggling to express here.
There is a place for a 101 course for those who do not care for
intellectualized versions, something understandable for the Bubbas, as
you say..or something for those who aremost approachable from the heart.
I simply want to broaden our recognition of ways this awareness gets
expressed, and I am learning to see *it* (as truth) in other people who
are *being it* and *expressing it* who may never have even thought to
articulate this in any way whatsoever. Its just not in their
vocabulary, yet it is in their being. Only our limited definitions keep
can keep us from seeing this everywhere. So I say I want a silent
awareness that is portable and goes everywhere..yet if someone came to
me looking for some "how to" directions, I would sooner and better
direct them to listen to Xan than the to look at the grocery store.
Whew! Hope this is a bit clearer now. Obviously, verbal fluency and
clarity is not my forte, Ben. Some say you have to be able to put words
to show you do understand anything, and I want to question that
assumption. The waitress I mentioned is just as much "poetry in motion"
as the finest ballet dance, if we can drop the discrimination that
labels and truly see.
So Ben, what works for me is like paying deeper attention, seeing
deeper, because I am more visual than verbal. Much like how an artist
learns to train their eye to see more and notice more..exactly how the
light falls and changes the colors..till one is painting only light.
What may be intuitively felt is somehow expressed in a painting.
Peaceful solitude in a landscape, yearning, a still life of overwhelming
gratitude and appreciation. At my first glance of Van Gogh's Field of
Crows I felt stabbed in the heart with pain, sorrow and despair such
that I began to weep. I could not explain in words why I stood there
crying.. I had no need of training in art history to see and feel what
he expressed in this painting and only afterwards learned it was his
last painting as he neared his suicidal death. He spoke to me without
words. When I look in this way at life going on around me and really
see what is really there, it speaks to me this way as well.
My first experience of such deeper seeing is actually one of my earliest
memories from childhood. My mother had taken me on a bus ride and I was
looking back over her shoulder at some people on the bus. Suddenly the
old woman I was staring at appeared dazzlingly beautiful, not that her
appearance actually changed. And I truly felt I was seeing this beauty I
had never yet seen in my short life. Something that was always there
just unnoticed by me till that time. It was deeply thrilling and made
me very happy to see this way, so it made this memorable impresssion.
People are not just different faces, each one is beautiful. It still
makes me incredibly happy to see this way. People are just as beautiful
when crying with sorrow. I cannot limit this seeing to just artworks or
only people.. it is a way of being. And I see this way of being
happening all around me, people and trees and animals..it is
heartbreaking and tenderly moving and joyous..it is every word and yet
no word can name this.
TIM H. replying to ANTOINE:
Yes indeed these eyes of love become the cages
themselves and I find, when I find them, I am trapped
forever.... alas, what a fate for a warrior such as
and is my 'self'... :o)
--- I almost never say never, except to say that the
fragmentation of pure beingness that is thought can
never know the wholeness of its own source - that which
it arises from. Essential Self can only be known by/as
itself. Thought can know *about* but not *as* anything
other than thought. The great illusion is that it
thinks it can.
I want a "blue collar" working person's "silent stillness" that travels
with me wherever I am, even to the grocery store, to work, to the
bathroom, to the hospital, everywhere. What is the bottom line on all
of this, or does it depend on how it is approached?>
The absolute bottom line is, this 'silent stillness' is what you are
and always have been in essence. How individuals awaken to this
forgotten reality is varied. As a rule, whatever comes to you naturally
is your best approach. One simple and direct way is by self-enquiry,
asking "Who am I?" or "From where does this thought/feeling arise?"
As I go on I realize how much simpler awakened awareness is than I
thought when I was full of spiritual concepts. I also see that much of
my life I had this simple awareness but did not think of it as
anything special - took it for granted, so to say - and so went on a
long involved search to find what had been named with fancy names. I am
often surprised to run across people who are awake *and who know it*
at the laundramat or the gas station. Wordless mutual recognition.
I love this feeling of silent laughter.
The Pathway of Nonduality
Q. What are the qualitities we spoke about?
A. The qualities -- sattva, rajas, tamas -- are allotropical
states of prakriti (substance-matter). An instinct, a
desire, a passion, etc., are prakritic qualities; these
qualities manifest themselves in a body-vehicle and, if
coagulated, survive the body. The fragrance lives on in the
air even when, for example, a flower has disappeared or the
bottle of perfume is broken. A pain-pleasure caused by an
event remains even when the event has vanished.
While the soma-sthulasarira or jivabhuta supplies the
instrument of pain-pleasure or of the qualities, the latter,
when they survive, cling to that reflection of consciousness
represented by the experiencer. Let us say that ideal,
feelings, instincts, etc., can survive physical death. And
as these qualities belong to the psychic dimension we can
conclude that the psychic vehicle (which is not the Self)
can survive the physical one.
Q. How might we express ourselves in psychological terms?
A. A crystallized psychic content can survive the
dissolution of the physical compound. The Vedanta speaks in
fact of vasanas, of samskaras, that represent the 'colours',
the 'odours', the tendencies, the psychic qualitative
predispositions. These tendencies, stored up in our own
spatiality and not dissolved, survive the death of the body.
Q. How do vasanas arise?
A. When the reflection of consciousness experiences and
adheres to a quality it produces a vasana, or a content; the
energy coagulates and becomes mass. It is obvious that in
this condition the experiencer is determined by the content
which, being continually nourished, grows powerful and
capable of dominating the experiencer himself. The energetic
power of the dream dominates the dreamer.
Q. Why do we transmigrate then?
A. We transmigrate because the unresolved qualitative
mass-contents demand expression on the existential plane
best suited to their maturity and relief.
Q. But is it the same individual who transmigrates?
A. That individual, with a name and a form, cannot
transmigrate because he no longer subsists on the death of
his vehicles. The empirical self is the outcome of the
ahamkara vehicle combination; when the vehicle disappears
the ahamkara returns to its potential state. And when both
disappear there is no individuality. There is the person in
his supraindividual state.
The qualities in themselves have no name, not has the
reflection of consciousness a name. The qualities become
individualized through the vehicles and the sense of ego
(ahamkara). A name is the indication of an energetic complex
which has assumed individuality, which has determined
itself, which has forced upon itself a circumference. We can
say that in most cases individuals are simply passive
mediums in the hands of 'entities-qualities' (gunas) in
search of expression or maturity.
Q. Is embodiment a school needed to advance and evolve
towards the atman?
A. The one Tradition has never taught the evolutionary
concept. Let us examine the problem in metaphysical terms.
The atman or Being 'is' and does not become, therefore it
The qualities do not evolve but simply change aspect. Cold
and heat do not evolve, just as hate and love do not.
Individuality, with any name or from, does not evolve (it
may undergo some adaptation) because it is the synthesis of
an energetic compound which expresses itself through various
qualitative aspects (gunas). It is born and it dies.
Q. Is is proper to speak of reincarnation?
A. It depends on the meaning one wishes to give to the word.
Let us say that the question may be posed in different
terms. As we have already seen, the universe or the
manifestation is composed of three vibratory states or
levels which, however, represent a whole. The jivatman is
now on one now on another existential level. It passes
through 'changes of state', of condition, and those passages
-- we may call them transmigrations -- are caused by the
gunas and by the individualizaed and crystallized vasanas.
Again, we may say that just as an individual urged by
certain needs and qualities migrate, for example, from
Europe to America, therefore changing his life style, so the
reflection of consciousness, urged by certain qualities,
transmigrates from one state to another or from one world
(loka) to another.
There is nothing dramatic or tragic in all this; it is an
event that occurs automatically (in the case of the majority
of beings), innocently and naturally. If the event is held
to be dramatic, often tragic, it is because the entity is
not aware of the process of transmigration, or else is a
prisoner of a simple fear or 'change'.
Q. Therefore, it is not the 'I' of this time-space that
A. The empirical self is simple phenomenon connected with
time-space. The empirical self of one particular moment is
not the self of another.
In a particular time-space we can say: 'I am happy', in
another time-space, following that one, we may say: 'I am in
conflict'. The two egos are not the same, because they annul
one another in their contradiction. The empirical self is a
contingent factor, an expressive moment of certain qualities
Q. Therefore it is the Soul that reincarnates or
A. According to the Tradition, the Soul itself is a mere
relection of the pure Spirit or atman, and it is
non-absolute; it dwells in a dimension which is not the
dense physical one; from that dimension, as we mentioned
before, it manifests itself on the lower jaijasa plane ( the
astral plane in Western Occultism) and on the visva (dense
physical) plane through one of its rays of Consciousness.
Its movement (transmigration) produces expressions of
qualities, causes and effects. If the empirical self --
related to the dense physical body, to the vital body
(prana) and to the mental body -- is a simple contingent
factor, the jivatman is relatively persistent, so as to
appear eternal to the empirical ego. But the
transmigration-movement of a quality occurs also within the
Q. How can this be possible?
A. For example, a desire is born (the beginning of the
movement), it tends towards a particular object (path of
motion) and it dies with its satisfaction and maturity. If
we assume that the seed-germ of desire is not resolved,
gradually a new desire is born and transmigrates towards as
new object to die in it.
As long as the root or germ of desire exists, the quality
(guna) transmigrates from one object to another, from a
space to another. And obviously the ego-desire of one
movement is no that of another because the empirical self,
being becoming-movement, is not constant; in other words it
is not Being, just as the jivatman itself is not Being.
Q. Must these qualities-entities transmigrate necessarily on
to the dense physical plane?
A. These crystallized qualities-entities transmigrate
wherever they can express and manifest themselves, following
the Law of attraction-repulsion of syntonizaation. In the
multiple states of Being there is room for expression of all
the possible prakritic qualities.
Q. Is there reincarnation for the Liberated?
A. If one is Liberated one can no longer transmigrate. For
the Liberated all becoming-movement has ceased; he has
returned to his true Homeland ('my Kingdom is not of this
world'), and he does not wish to go anywhere; having no
vasanas nor individualized qualities to express, he has no
desire, no past and no future.
Transmigration implies that something has been left
unfinished, incomplete, but for him who stands still, like a
hub of a wheel, there is no more coming or going, no birth
or death because such events belong to a consciousness that
has not yet grasped its own essence.
A man sits with a pretty girl for an hour and it seems shorter than a
minute. But tell that same man to sit on a hot stove for a minute, it is
longer than any hour. That's relativity.