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Thursday November 2nd

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  • andrew macnab
    ... I do not think that there is a stronger world dream pressure for parents to deal with than non-parents. The world dream pressure as you call it is the
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 2000
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      >Ed: I have often wondered if there wasn't some significant
      > divide between those on this list with children involved
      > in the education system, and those who had no children.
      >
      > It seems to me as a parent concerned with the pressures
      > my daughter faces in memorizing information, following
      > strict schedules, and meeting standards, that there isn't
      > a stronger world dream pressure to deal with by parents
      > than those who are not parents.
      >
      > What do you parents have to say about this, and to what
      > extent do you non-parents enpathize with this issue?
      >
      > Wondering parent
      ---------------------------
      I do not think that there is a stronger "world dream pressure" for
      parents to deal with than non-parents. The "world dream pressure" as
      you call it is the same for every one. Like living at the bottom of
      the ocean the pressure is the same for all. We just all deal with
      that pressure differently and have different capacities to keep from
      being crushed by it. The strongest role models for children are
      adults in their environment, usually parents, so if we are looking to
      find a way for our children to deal with the "world dream pressure"
      then we need first to look to ourselves to be examples. I have been
      fortunate with my girls (21+13)in that we raised them in a communal
      setting where they had other adults than just the two of us to choose
      from for role models. We home schooled them till they were 13, raised
      them as vegetarians, have no TV, introduced them to meditation and
      devotional practices, have travelled widely with them to europe and
      india, they have studied classical ballet and aikido, and are both
      exceptional artists. But all this is just experience / form. The most
      beneficial thing in terms of the "world dream pressure" has been for
      them to live amongst people who are committed to piercing the
      illusion of separation, the identification with "me". That kind of
      thing is just picked up by them through "osmosis".

      =======================================

      >>>Ed: What concerns me, and I don't think it was addressed by
      >Marcia was: knowing that to be caught in the world dream
      >is to suffer, and for the child to be seen by the parent
      >as separate and suffering, what thoughts, if any, arise
      >in the parent to address that issue?
      --------------------------

      The way i look at it is that just by the fact of incarnating we are
      all caught by the world dream. Another name for the world dream is
      identification, or the illusion of separation. And it is painful to
      see our children suffering the illusion of separation. All humans
      suffer this way no matter what the form of our lives. The most
      beneficial thing we can do for our children is to Work to pierce that
      illusion in ourselves. Seeing our own children suffer is a good
      stepping stone for the developement of Compassion toward all sentient
      beings.If perhaps you are wondering whether just madly loving them is
      enough,it isn't.

      ............matthew

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Ed,

      My feeling is that if I can connect with my child and be
      real with my child, that is all that there is. All that there is
      is what there is in the moment. It doesn't seem like there
      is a problem to be solved. I can be with my child.

      I think there is going to be suffering whether I am caught
      in the world dream or not. I think what changes is that it
      is not personal anymore. I see just how universal it really
      is. To be concerned about the suffering of one's child
      is so very common. All parents feel this. You can put the
      clothes on it of "world dream" but it is plain old fashioned
      unconditional parental love.

      All I can do is to live my life. My children are a big part
      of my life.

      Marcia
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      >... do you talk about "this stuff" with your children?
      >
      > Ed


      I do sometimes. My son and I have talked at length and
      he has read several books I recommended and we have
      worked with the application to his life. I can talk straight
      across with him. The middle child watches me and comes
      to me with relationship issues. She considers me uneducated
      on world issues and goes to her father for help with homework.
      She has joined a rather fundamentalist church but I still use
      the gospels. I talk to her about the inner meaning. I talk
      to her about the exoteric meaning that she is learning and then
      we talk about the inner meaning and other ways to see with
      the heart. She is quite popular at her church for coming up
      with unique ways of seeing the gospels in action. The youngest
      is an actress and super creative. We sit back together and
      watch life as it flows and exchange impressions of the multiple
      and varied levels. Both girls say they don't want me to analyze.
      What they want which they don't say is for me to be with them.
      You know hang out. They want me when they need me. What
      I am finding is that they don't want me to tell them anything.
      They want me to be with them. I don't know how to say it any
      differently. It is the difference between telling them how things
      are and sharing my life with them. In the sharing they see how
      things are. In the sharing is the telling.

      My husband tends to be more judgmental. They put up
      defenses almost immediately. Don't talk me. They go
      to him if they need help especially if something needs to
      be fixed or if they need help thinking about something
      especially for homework.

      It seems to me that kids needs to get an identity before
      they can sacrifice it.

      Marcia

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      yes we do talk about "this stuff" at times.Though usually just very
      loose and informal, slipped in around dealing with everyday life
      things. Kids don't need to be fed ideas about what "IT" is all about,
      ideas just clutter things up. Most of the time (specially in the
      teens) they just say "don't talk that spiritual stuff to me dad" and
      role their eyes. But since words are the least part of communicating
      it doesn't bother me too much, cause i can see what is taking root.
      Then at times, when they WANT to know, the talking is wonderful. Kids
      can smell a "preacher" a mile a way. And a hippocrate at two miles.
      Now my eldest has friends who are getting interested in spirituality
      (buddhism,yoga and such) and they ask her questions, cause they know
      that she knows something, but she says to me she can't explain things
      very well even though she grew up in the environment. And i tell her
      thats ok, she has it in her body, she can learn the language of it as
      she needs.
      ............matthew

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      How long does it take
      to recover
      from what ails?
      But a single instant
      in time
      this very moment
      now
      and another
      and yet more
      as many single instants
      as your heart desires
      or you mind demands.
      That is called
      choice.

      Tony B.

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      Announcing a new eclectic online magazine on spirituality, based in Nepal

      http://www.tradimodern.com/

      Love, Sarlo

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      My boss's father, an 88 year old gentlemen, flew in from Denver
      yesterday, at 2:30 in the afternoon, here to Las Vegas to visit his son.
      Stephen, my boss, had a business meeting at 3pm and instead of taking
      his father to the meeting with him, said he would probably just drop him
      off at a casino while he was at his meeting. And he asked his Dad if he
      would like that, and his Dad said, yes, I'm ready! :-) So I told Stephen
      to give him a bunch of quarters, which he did. :-)

      So I go to work this morning, we work out of his home, and his Dad is
      sitting at the kitchen table reading the paper and he says 'you must be
      Judi' and I said, yes, hello, and we small talked a bit and I asked him
      how he did at the casino yesterday. Stephen hollars out from the back
      room 'tell her how you did Dad!' Turns out, he won a $1,000 on about ten
      dollars in quarters. :-) So, as the morning goes on Stephen asked his
      father if he would come in and help us. In the business we've been
      running this drawing out of about 5,000 of our internet list members for
      a free trip to Las Vegas will all the trimmings and we had to pick a
      winner. So, he asked his Dad to come in and click the mouse a couple
      times that would randomly draw a winner out of our database, beings how
      he's so lucky. :-) So, his Dad, still in his pajamas, comes in, sits
      down and clicks the mouse. And the winner is this woman from this little
      town in Ohio. His Dad gets up, saunters out of the room, with this look
      on his face, like 'well this is a bunch of happy horseshit' :-) and
      then turns his head back around and says with this smirk on his face
      'let me know what she looks like.' :-) My mouth falls open, I look at
      Stephen and he's grinning, and he says 'he takes after his son.' :-)

      Two very precious men. Father and son. Adorable.

      Judi
      PS. And then he took his Dad on a business lunch meeting he had today
      with this woman.
      I said, oh he'll like that! He says, oh yes! :-)

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      Dear Andrew,

      Awareness is extremely "deep".
      There is no end to it.
      As a "thinking being" we are
      limited by our thought-constructs,
      including constructed sense of "meaning".
      This doesn't mean thought is erroneous.
      It means that Awareness transcends
      thought - even while thought is occurring.

      The word Awareness is just language,
      it could be the word God, or "isness",
      or no-thingness...

      There is indeed a truly amazing "mystery",
      not the kind of mystery that can be
      figured out, although figuring things
      out is an aspect of its "doing".
      But beyond figuring anything out is
      its full "doing/being", what some have called
      its "action without doing". This is
      instantaneous, so nothing to be figured
      out or not figured out.

      It is more amazing than enlightenment,
      more amazing than ending suffering -
      those are only aspects of what it is.

      This entire universe is "assembled"
      in and as "Consciousness".
      Infinite births and deaths arise
      in and as "Consciousness".

      Look, I don't know what we're dealing
      with here.
      I don't have a clue.

      I just know it's totally mind-boggling.

      -- Dan

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Dear Dan,

      As the sutras say, thinking is one of the senses. Thinking is limited to what can be
      thought, as seeing is limited to what can be seen, hearing to what can be heard... But
      at the same time there is no limit to what can be seen heard or thought. The senses
      are ways for Being to reveal itself. There is a play going on, of concealment and
      revealing, of hide and seek, and Being hides in beings. It is a love story.

      love,
      andrew

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Hey Andrew -

      Dig it.

      The senses aren't sensing anything.
      No one is using the senses.
      So what are the senses?
      Just "energy-awareness".
      The senses aren't reporting anything.
      The senses aren't connecting with each other.

      There's just one sense.
      And it's ... you guessed it ...
      non-sense.

      Dig it!

      -- Dan


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      Dan:

      ...Awareness is
      nothing but shit itself.
      It transcends shit by
      fully being shit.


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      Our new poet Laureate, the active young 95 year old gardener and poet,
      Stanley Kunitz, wrote the following, in the 70's, after losing some long
      time friends and relatives.

      The Layers

      I have walked through many lives
      some of them my own,
      and I am not who I was,
      though some principle of being
      abides, from which I struggle
      not to stray.
      When I look behind,
      as I am compelled t look
      before I can gather strength
      to proceed on my journey,
      I see the milestones dwindling
      toward the horizon
      and the slow fires trailing
      from the abandoned camp-sites,
      over which scavenger angels
      wheel on heavy wings.
      Oh, I have made myself a tribe
      out of my true affections,
      and my tribe is scattered!
      How shall the heart be reconciled
      to its feast of losses?
      In a rising wind
      the manic dust of my friends,
      those who fell along the way,
      bitterly stings my face.
      Yet I turn, I turn,
      exulting somewhat,
      with my will intact to go
      wherever I need to go,
      and every stone on the road
      precious to me.
      In my darkest night,
      when the moon was covered
      and I roamed through wreckage,
      a nimbus-clouded voice
      directed me:
      "Live in the layers,
      not on the litter."
      Though I lack the art
      to decipher it.
      no doubt the next chapter
      in my book of transformations
      is already written.
      I am not done with my changes

      What do you make of this cryptic quotation Kunitz gleaned from a
      dream, and which he admits to not having understood? And what kind of
      "litter" is he talking about?

      To me, the answer is that we cannot rely on the tangible for our
      ultimate well being. For that which sustains us is always in the
      subtlety betwixt and between all things: the "litter" is thingness,
      tangibility, intensity, the "knowable." But only between the layers of
      so called certainty, in the indefinable space, that lace without a face,
      that grace of ineffable trace, without a base.

      That ever present and forever evanescent, invisible tree of
      unspeakable bounty:

      The fruit of

      Infinite Subtlety.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Ah, a very beautiful poem, sky. Although he never outright says what it is, the
      litter is compatible with the images of the abandoned campfires, the scavenger
      angels, and the wreckage. But more than things are left behind, the tribe of his
      true affections is gone, and the heart's feast of losses might also include that
      he is not who he was, either. Along with the tangible, leaving those other
      lives, some his own, suggests that only this very "being" survives.

      By saying as he turns that every stone in the road is precious to him, he gives
      a very strong affirmation of appreciating the present moment, to live in the
      layer of now not what is left over. The layers also suggests sedimentary rock,
      and the milestones which are the eras left behind in one's life, but also that
      next chapter in his book of transformations is yet another layer. The poem also
      has that lack of definition which conveys the subtlety you mention, with similar
      images suggesting without saying exactly, so that one is free to fill in the
      blanks.

      I find significance in the fact that this voice spoke to him in his darkest
      night. He may even attribute his will to go on, his strength to that message he
      received. The "art to decipher" might be applied as much to the next phrase
      following it about the next chapter. This line itself is another way of shifting
      layers, of being betwixt and between.

      Thanks, do I pass?
      Gloria

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


      Thanks to Gloria and Sky for a very edifying discussion of poetry. It takes
      me back to my not-so-long-ago poetry workshop days, when we grad students
      would sit around discussing - some would say ripping apart - each other's
      poems.

      Gloria, your explication of the poem was wonderful, sensitive, thoughtful.
      Sky, thanks for appreciating and posting this poem. I could be wrong, but I
      don't find that "Infinite Subtlety" in Kunitz - not to say it isn't there,
      just that I don't read him that way. To me he is always pretty
      straightforward on what he says, including in this poem, which is a
      meditation on life and loss. As such, and in other poems of his, Kunitz
      excells at writing the poetry of the old man. This is a special and much
      revered (by me) category of poetry that includes King Lear, the haiku of
      Basho, Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Ilyich", and so on. Old men have this
      Saturnian capacity for muttering deep truths within their aged depths, and
      this is just such a poem.

      If Kunitz were in my poetry workshop I would tell him to lose the images in
      the last few lines. "the book of transformations" and "I am not done with
      my changes" turn the pathos of the poem into bathos. I.e., the intense
      emotion becomes cheapened, a platitude about "changes" like a 60's folk song.

      But in the main the poem is powerful, dignified, full of emotion. The "slow
      fires" and the "abandoned watch camps" and the "scavenger angels" I think
      are an allusion to the Civil War, or perhaps more specifically to the
      Battle Hymn of the Republic, in the lines from that song:

      "I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps
      They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps
      l can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps
      His day is marching on. "

      But also he talks about a "tribe", and a tribe that is "scattered",
      probably referring to the 12 tribes of Judah. So we get an image of an old
      man walking down the lonely road of his exile, the wreckage of his past
      burning in the background like the Cities of the Plain, the Angel of the
      Lord swooping about dangerously overhead, and then, Old Testament like,
      God, or at least a voice, speaks from the clouds ("nimbus-clouded") and
      gives him an oracular message about how to live.

      This, in my humble opinion, is where the poem should end. I think Gloria
      and Sky have caught the various shades of meaning of the word "litter" in
      the context of the poem. Sticking still with the context of the poem for
      the word "layers", we can think of the layers of feathers in the angels
      wings, the layers of sediment that go up to make up arcgeological history
      on battlefields, the layers of feeling and emotion, memory and loss that
      fill the bottom depths of an old man's heart.

      Another "Old Man" poet, William Butler Yeats, has a different take on the
      "litter vs layer" theme. For him the litter IS the layer. Here is the last
      stanza of his poem "The Circus Animal's Desertion":

      "Those masterful images because complete
      Grew in pure mind, but out of what began?
      A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street,
      Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can,
      Old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving slut
      Who keeps the till. Now that my ladder's gone,
      I must lie down where all the ladders start,
      In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart. "


      Thanks again for the great discussion!
      David
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      Speaking of William Butler Yeats, here is a short poem of his that some of
      you might enjoy:

      My fiftieth year had come and gone,
      I sat, a solitary man, in a crowded London shop,
      An open book and empty cup
      On the marble table-top.

      While on the shop and street I gazed
      My body of a sudden blazed;
      And twenty minutes more or less
      It seemed, so great my happiness,
      That I was blessed and could bless.


      --David

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Harsha:


      A favorite of mine from college days by William Butler Yeats:

      Went something like?

      "When you are old and gray and full of sleep
      and sitting by the fire
      Take down this book and think of the soft look
      your eyes had once and their shadows deep....."

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
      And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
      And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
      Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

      How many loved your moments of glad grace,
      And loved your beauty with love false or true;
      But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
      And loved the sorrows of your changing face.

      And bending down beside the glowing bars
      Murmur a little sadly, how love fled
      And paced upon the mountains overhead
      And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
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