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  • andrew macnab
    *Editor s note* Hello everyone, the NDS is extremely busy these days, and to make a selection of highlights of reasonable length it is inevitable that lots of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 11, 2000
      *Editor's note*

      Hello everyone, the NDS is extremely busy these days, and to make a selection of
      highlights of reasonable length it is inevitable that lots of great posts get left
      out. In particular, an ongoing series of posts on Monday and Tuesday from Dan, Greg,
      Harsha, Sarlo and others about leaders and followers, the charisma of Gurus, the
      psychology of followers, failed gurus, minor teachers, etc. is fascinating reading and
      highly recommended, but I have been unable to fit it into the highlights format. Of
      course it is available in the NDS message archive. See posts headed False teachers,
      Charisma, Self-esteem, ego inflated leaders, Osho and other gurus. You have to join
      the NDSalon to read the archives but you can set your membership to 'web only' if you
      don't want to be deluged with e-mail. You might also like to check out Gene's
      beautiful star mandalas in the files section.



      xan: "We'll never be able to explain it."

      In a way you just have explained it. One is able to experience
      the grace of the guru because one has come to regard the
      guru as the living Self. It is one's openness to Grace
      that Grace seems to respond to, not one's needs or desires.


      ~ Ramana Maharshi said Self and Grace and Guru are all one thing.
      Inquiring into one's source all is there, all is given.

      ~ The phenomenon of awakening from the dream of limited identity is both
      more complex and simpler than the intellect can grasp. How it happens is
      unique and intimate for each person.


      <snip> I myself know
      this inner voice. When I've first "discovered"
      it, I was literally amazed: "Hey, it's
      fantastic, you're always enlightened!" :-)

      Yeah, because this inner voice KNOWS
      BY ITSELF perfectly what is RIGHT or
      WRONG for ANY problem and without
      the need of the intellect's intervention.
      Intellect's intervention is only a reaction
      of a conditioning accumulated knowledge.

      But the difficulty persists because it's
      very difficult to distinguish this inner
      voice from a subtle but conditioned

      FIRST THOUGHT, BEST THOUGHT (Chogyam Trungpa)

      First thought, OK, but which one? :-)



      Anyone can have a flash in the pan,
      and then another flash, ad nauseum, but getting to the bottom
      of identity and cutting that is where I think the real work is. Someone
      used the analogy, which I think is a good one about crossing a
      bridge. And people can cross the bridge back and forth, back and
      forth their whole lives, but crossing the bridge and burning
      the damn thing down is another story. That's Understanding.

      Happy Days,

      ~ Yep. Down to the root of identity, for sure.
      For some it is not crossing and recrossing a bridge
      but cutting a path through thick forest. Each step
      may seem like the others but is freshly taken.


      Dear Neo and Xan,

      This short exchange really grabbed my attention.

      Neo: As to the fear of being alone, when you finally turn around and
      face it, it is really quite a joke. All this time we have been striving for
      unity, for oneness, and yet we are afraid of it so we push it away. It
      really is funny. It is another trick of the ego to keep the veil over our

      Xan: Being in a solitary time in my life I went through a similar facing of
      loneliness. I discovered that my fear of being alone was actually an
      anticipation of future loniness. Being present now, all that other
      stuff disappears.

      Neo: Yes. For me as well.

      [Jay gets up on his soapbox...]

      The periods of perceived aloneness in my life (and I mean the nobody-around
      as loneliness *and* the
      swarmed-by-people-but-I-still-feel-like-nobody's-around as otherness), in
      retrospect, were pregnant with opportunity.

      During the more lucid periods (e.g., when I wasn't feeling sorry for
      myself), feelings of aloneness were peaceful, an exquisite lightness of
      being (not a reference in any way to Kundera's book). When I embraced
      aloneness, I was also able to be more present with others than usual. They
      noticed it, too. Sometimes the most extraordinary communication would take
      place -- without a word being said. Every movement of the eyes, mouth,
      hands, each breath, the wind, even traffic seemed to be in just the right
      place at just the right time. The
      words, when there were words, were like bells ringing in defining clarity --
      not in the lexical or cognitive sense, but in awareness. Total
      synchronicity. Beautiful.

      My perception of aloneness was seamlessly transformed into something greater
      that allowed me to be in another's being, so to speak. The veils seemed to
      lift in those moments and the clamorous ego became quiet, letting the
      fluidity of the moment in as if the moment itself were alive.

      While I was aware in the moment, it was when I recognized this awareness and
      distilled it into "knowledge" that it disappeared as seamlessly as it came.
      perhaps my powers of perception weren't so acute as to allow me to discern
      the seams where one state met the other, or even if they were discrete
      states? I wish I knew what mechanism it was that triggers recognition in me.
      I have to answer that question for myself, as it is probably different for
      me than it is for you. The question itself is a good start, I suppose.

      [Jay steps down from his soapbox...]

      As I read your words, I was touched by the fullness of the exchange -- how
      it encompassed so much of many of the clearer experiences of aloneness I
      have had with such spare efficiency. That I should find such gems here is,
      of course, appropriate and timely.

      Neo, I have shared this compulsion to strive and suffered its consequences,
      along with the rest of the veils. Xan, that we should all be so
      being and leaving the becoming to whatever it is that weaves the Grand

      Thank you both. What a team!




      The apparently paradoxical
      beauty of it that we are at
      one, but never "assimilated."
      As for the use of "we,"
      aren't "we" all "vast,"
      don't "we" all "contain
      multitudes?" :-)

      ~ As my friend said, "Isn't it great there is only one of us?!"
      As I said, "I am all of it."



      My reading of the Old Testament is obviously not
      as thorough as yours. However, I stand by my
      conviction that the descriptions of a "God" who
      is judgemental, jealous, wrathful and smites
      those he doesn't like do not match my experience
      of the pure beingness and silent love of Self.
      It's too funny, isn't it, to believe this smiting powerhouse
      could be meant as a true image of God?
      I mean, this God who is
      judgmental, wrathful, jealous - why he behaves
      exactly like a person. How about that? Perhaps,
      such stories can be understood as saying
      that when you try to see God, you will end up seeing
      yourself, and seeing what you want and believe
      you need to see.

      The sages that constructed
      the Hebrew text shouldn't be taken as believing
      the Unthinkable and Unspeakable One (and the Hebrew
      tradition is that the name of G-d cannot be spoken
      and that G-d cannot be seen or represented) that gave
      form to the universe was a human man who carried
      on with various emotional states. Another
      explanation seems likely - that the average member
      of the Hebrew tribe needed to believe that they had
      support of a diety who was tough and who would protect
      them as they struggled to carry on in their rough, extremely
      war-oriented neighborhood. (Not so much has changed
      in five thousand years, huh?) These stories about
      a wrathful God gave them something to believe
      in that they could relate to - a father-figure -
      and this is simplistic to we here in this generation
      and time, and with our education and scientific knowledge, no doubt.

      That the Hebrew
      Bible is considered difficult to understand, has
      layers of meaning, and much of that meaning is
      imparted directly from teacher to student is a time-
      honored tradition. (Yes, its similar to the Tibetan
      tradition in having direct teacher to student transmission,
      "secrets" not given to the general public, and a belief
      that there need to be "levels" of meaning and understanding
      when spiritual knowledge is concerned.) Also, certainly,
      different books had different authors, and were written
      to impart different aspects of Truth, and were written
      with different images and metaphors.

      By the way, Xan, do you believe that God
      has blue skin, or many arms and legs? Does this
      keep you from looking more deeply into the Hindu
      tradition? Kali has been pictured with a necklace
      of skulls. Does this mean I have to believe
      that Hindus think God is a bloodthirsty woman
      who has bad taste in jewelry?

      By the way, my conviction is that *no* image
      can match or substitute for direct experience.
      And that includes words like "love" "beingness"
      and various other words that are no more of
      a substitute for Reality than the image
      of an angry old man smiting people he didn't like.
      This conviction of mine seems quite in line with Hebrew
      tradition that warns that no image be understood
      as representing ultimate Reality, and that no
      easy explanation of Reality is possible. Please note
      that the God of Abraham was considered a transformative
      God, that face to face encounters left one changed forever,
      that he was associated with ideas such as not keeping slaves,
      forgiveness for transgressions, mercy to the weak, caring
      for strangers, and lovingkindness in relationships.
      My only point here is that This, as you are wont to say,
      is a God that is too simple and too complex for words and
      images - so the Bible is a struggle to constructively use words
      and images for That which far surpasses these meager vehicles.

      -- Love -- Dan

      I was searching for Him with a lamp in my hand,
      He was laughing,
      When i couldnt find Him,
      i changed the lamps
      He was laughing more,
      I discovered finally when I threw the lamps,
      that I am Him.

      He came from nowhere,
      He has no start,
      He has no end.
      I confined him to shackles, walls
      The walls of idelogy, religion, money, spirtuality, relations
      Shackles think they can bind Him.
      When he is ready to leave,
      the walls are afraid for they are going to crumble,
      the chains are scared for they are going to rust.
      They start speaking logic, for they think have come in contact with Him.
      When He leaves there is no more walls, no more chains

      He showed me a glimpse of Him.
      Then He is hiding again and I am out.
      I am in not seeking anything seeking Him again
      I am seeking, I am Trying,
      I am searching for Him everywhere,
      There are Trees, There are Bushes
      I Search for Him behind the Trees, behind the Bushes
      I Search for Him in Clouds.
      I try to Clear the Clouds.
      Finally, I am tired by the Search
      I Giveup. I say He is nowhere.
      I sit relaxed and He Enters into ME.

      - Prabhu

      Accepting that "my" process of life is natural
      is my unique gift from life itself.

      Denying that my process of life is natural is
      a form of non-acceptance of myself and
      is therefore a rejection of myself.

      My only fear in life is acceptance of myself.

      Not accepting that I am enough is at the
      root of judgment of others and ultimately

      Self-esteem comes from accepting that
      I am enough.

      As long as I reject who I am now,
      I will continue to live in a state of dependency
      or want others to be dependent on me.
      I wll not have self-esteem or
      the ability to support another's growth.

      I am learning to trust my own feelings
      and my own experiences and
      not give that away to others.

      My self-esteem...indeed my very
      life depend on it.



      Thanks for these insights. It sounds like you've done a lot of inquiry and
      thought, and come through a great deal with it.

      With love,



      You are very perceptive, indeed.

      I have come through the
      "dark night of the soul",
      to find love and light was there
      all along, just waiting for me
      to accept it.

      I have denied myself,
      my life process for 50 years,
      and there is something in me,
      that is me, that is saying,
      NO MORE!.

      No more denying!
      No more giveaways!
      No more comparisons!
      No more judgments!
      No more pipe dreams!
      No more illusions!
      No more....more!

      The veil of illusions is
      lifting and showing me
      who I am...
      who I have been all along.

      I will probably always
      carry my stuff with me,
      conditioned patterns do not
      fall away easily.
      Yet, I know I have come very far
      on my path, which is just one of
      many paths we all travel on to
      reach one destination,
      one home, waiting for us to
      acknowledge and accept.

      Warm Regards,


      One morning a famous swami of Ahmedabad arrived at the ashram. I understood
      he had many wealthy disciples and was himself attired in a costly silk,
      ochre-colored cloth. He also had several pieces of luggage, which clearly
      indicated he was a man of some means. The swami came into the Guest House
      for Gentlemen and introduced himself to me. He wanted to know when he could
      see the Maharshi. I told him at 10 a.m. I would be going to the hall and he
      could accompany me and at that time I would introduce him to the Maharshi.

      During that period, between 10 and 11 a.m. every morning in the Old Hall,
      Devaraja Mudaliar, Munagala Venkataramiah and I were going through
      Venkataramiah's English translation of a Tamil scripture. Bhagavan would
      open and hold the Tamil book in his hand and we would read the English
      translation for each verse. Then we would discuss it until we found it
      acceptable to Bhagavan.

      The swami entered the hall with me at 10 a.m. and I introduced him to
      Bhagavan. He was fluent in Sanskrit and other languages, and also was well
      versed in all the scriptures. He inquired if he was allowed to ask a
      question. The consent was given and he asked Bhagavan if Ishwara, the
      personal God, actually existed. The Maharshi replied with one of his
      standard rejoinders: "We do not know about Ishwara or whether he exists or
      not. But what we do know is that we exist. Find out who that 'I' is that
      exists. That is all that is required."

      The swami was not satisfied with this answer and continued to discuss the
      matter, quoting from various scriptures. Bhagavan then said, "If the
      scriptures say all this about it, why question me further ?"

      This also was not acceptable to the swami and he proceeded with more
      elucidation, at which point Bhagavan cut him off by turning to us and
      saying, "Come on. Let us begin our work." It is needless to say that the
      swami became quite annoyed and soon left the hall.

      Later in the day I met him and he told me that my Maharshi doesn't seem to
      know very much. I simply replied, "Yes." And although this visitor was
      originally planning on staying for three days, he cut his visit short and
      left that very afternoon, without ever going back into the hall to see the
      Maharshi. Bhagavan later asked me what the swami said before leaving. When I
      told him, he simply smiled.

      I remember when another similar incident occurred with a famous swami from
      Bombay, brought to the ashram by Mr. Bose. Although this swami too was
      well-known, had numerous disciples and was always given high honors wherever
      he went, in Bhagavan's presence he was just like everyone else: given no
      special seat, no special attention and made to sit on the floor with all the

      When the swami had asked his first question, Bhagavan remained silent for a
      long time. He must have been wondering why there was no answer. Probably no
      one had ever, seemingly, ignored him like that before. The question was:
      "Which Avatar (incarnation) are you?" After sometime the Mauni (Srinivasa
      Rao) came into the hall and Bhagavan said to him, "He wants to know which
      Avatar I am. What can I say to him? Some people say I am this and some say I
      am that. I have nothing to say about it."

      This was followed by a barrage of questions from the swami, who asked about
      Bhagavan's state of realization, about samadhi, the Bhakti school, etc.
      Bhagavan answered him very patiently, point by point. The swami listened and
      whether or not he was satisfied is hard for me to say. Before leaving the
      hall, the swami touched Bhagavan's couch, joined his palms in salutation and
      took leave.

      In Day by Day with Bhagavan more conversations with this swami have been
      recorded. Mr. Bose reported that before the swami boarded his departing
      train in town he told him, "I have truly gained something from this visit to
      the Maharshi." Bhagavan also commented after his departure, "It will work."
      Whenever he made this observation we understood it to mean that the
      conversation the person had with Bhagavan will sink in and ultimately have
      positive effects.

      Now verses 38-40 follow.

      38. As long as a man is the doer, he also reaps the fruit of his deeds, but,
      as soon as he realizes the Self through enquiry as to who is the doer his
      sense of being the doer falls away and the triple karma2 is ended. This is
      the state of eternal Liberation.

      39. Only so long as one considers oneself bound, do thoughts of bondage and
      Liberation continue. When one enquires who is bound the Self is realized,
      eternally attained, and eternally free. When thought of bondage comes to an
      end, can thought of Liberation survive?

      40. If it is said, that Liberation is of three kinds, with form or without
      form or with and without form, then let me tell you that the extinction of
      three forms of Liberation is the only true Liberation.
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