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Tuesday, December 5

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  • umbada@ns.sympatico.ca
    We hear from Poland, Bombay, Hawaii, the Heartland of America, the Canary Islands, Nova Scotia, the U.K., in these brilliant and startling posts. You ll have
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 6, 2000
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      We hear from Poland, Bombay, Hawaii, the Heartland of America, the
      Canary Islands, Nova Scotia, the U.K., in these brilliant and startling
      posts. You'll have to join the list to see a photo Jan's broken foot and
      to see and hear all about his cat, or to find out everything you wanted
      to know about nontriality, and to read more of what is here.



      Jan had asked of the spiritual experiences of people in the presence of
      Ramana Maharshi. Here are selected portions of Professor Krishnamoorthy
      Aiyer's description of what happened when he visited the Sage Ramana
      again for the second time after many years. The Kundalini experiences
      might be interesting to some and may appear bizarre to others. To the
      Hindu mystics, they are pretty normal. The description of the Shakti
      being finally sucked into the Spiritual Heart and the perception of the
      universe being permeated with awareness is a beautiful account from a
      genuine mystic and devotee of Sri Ramana.

      Love to all


      Professor N. R. Krishnamoorthy Aiyer . MY NEXT VISIT to the Maharshi
      was in 1934 on a Jayanti Day. He was sitting on a raised platform under
      a pondal (thatched roof), specially constructed in front of the
      Mother's Shrine. As the celebration was going on, all the devotees were
      seated around him. While sitting there, my eyes were intensely fixed
      upon the Maharshi and I saw his form assume different manifestations.
      It first changed to the Avatar of Vishnu ( Vahar Avatar ). Then his
      form changed into that of Ganesha, the elephant God. Next it suddenly
      changed and I saw Ramana and Arunachala as one. Then I had the vision
      of the whole Arunachala Hill - the top of the Hill was transparent and
      inside it I saw a Shiva Lingam, similar to what we see in temples.

      Devotees were singing the Marital Garland of Letters. When they began
      singing the last couplet, "My Lord let us exchange garlands - the
      devotee (the bride) garlands the Lord Arunachala (the groom), and the
      Lord garlands the devotee," I suddenly saw garlands of flowers all over
      the pondal. The Maharshi had a string of flowers garlanded around his
      neck, and all the devotees (including myself) had a string of flowers
      around their necks. I saw a large garland around the Shiva Lingam on
      the hill top. All these garlands were shining with a dazzling
      brilliance. This experience convinced me of the existence of the
      deities mentioned in our ancient scriptures.

      Later that evening in the Old Hall I sat at the feet of the Maharshi.
      He was reclining on the couch gazing westward and I sat on the floor
      facing him. Our eyes fixed, one upon the other, were pinned together
      for quite a long time. I then saw the form of the Maharshi take the
      shape of Ardhanareswara.

      Ardhanareswara is one aspect of Shiva - one half is the Mother and the
      other half is the Father; one half of the form had a breast and the
      other had a trident. Around us the pundits were reciting Sanskrit
      verses. As it went on, I began to witness certain changes in my body
      taking place. I saw a pair of serpents rising from the base of my spine
      in a criss-cross, spiralling manner. They rose to the crown of my head
      and spread their hoods. One was red; the other blue. The whole cranium
      became suffused with a bright light. My attention was fixed upon the
      point between my eyebrows where the serpents' heads were pointed.

      All of a sudden there was a splitting of the skull from the top front
      to the back. This was followed by an upward gush of a reddish flame
      shooting out from the top of my head. While this was flowing out, a
      stream of nectar issued from the single breast of the Ardhanareswara
      form of the Maharshi and a second stream of nectar flowed out from the
      top of Arunachala. Both streams landed on my head and sealed the break
      in my skull.

      When the skull was sealed I experienced a brilliant light, like that of
      an arc lamp, and an indescribable joy and coolness filled my being.
      This light and joy continued for several hours. During this time I
      didn't move about and I was unconscious of what was going on around me.
      You may have seen a light focused on to a concave mirror. Its light is
      reflected with a single beam onto a point. Well, sometime about
      midnight all the light, like a concave mirror, was focused onto the
      Heart. Then all the light drained into the Heart. The Kundalini was
      completely sucked into the Heart and the Heart was opened - that is the
      seat of Arunachala Ramana.

      The Heart is normally closed, but when it was opened - I never knew any
      of these things and never read any theory. These are all practical
      experiences - a flood of nectar gushed forth and drenched every pore of
      my skin, drenched my whole physical system. It poured out, out, went on
      coming out in a great flood. The whole Universe was filled with that

      The wonder of it was that my awareness was not in the body - my
      awareness was over the whole of the space filled with that Nectar. The
      whole Universe was Nectar. I call it Nectar; you could call it Ether,
      something very subtle, attached with awareness at every point. And
      everything living and non-living was like snow flakes floating in that
      ocean of Nectar.

      If you ask me what my body was, my body was the whole universe of
      Nectar, attached to awareness at every point. No particular association
      from the one body from where it started - this body was like every
      other body. By morning everything subsided, though the underlying
      experience remained. I was totally unconscious of my body. I was moving
      around like an automaton, unaware of my body. In that state I returned
      to Madurai where I was a physics professor.

      This was during a Christmas vacation. For the next two weeks I remained
      in that state. With the opening of college I was scheduled to give
      lectures and my relatives became rather concerned, for my behavior had
      changed considerably.

      Professor N. R. Krishnamoorthy Aiyer




      Last week someone to me said, "Melody, you don't have to be happy".

      Those words shook my whole body like a thunder bolt. And then they
      brought tears of joy.....and a tremendous sense of relief.....and

      Up until that moment I hadn't a clue that the " pursuit of happiness"
      (one of the principal values held dear by our founding fathers, for
      crying out loud) was what tended to *enslave* me, rather than open me
      towards more and more liberty.

      Identity tends to be built up - based on how well (or how poorly) one
      measures their happiness quotient.... a quotient rarely of one's own



      Hi Melody,

      Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you.

      I know what you mean about seeing the belief behind the emotion. The
      unconscious belief. It is like an axis which the personality or parts
      of the personality revolve around but it, itself, is not in the
      conscious mind.

      For myself, I have begun to get glimpses of the idea behind the
      emotional reactions I have towards conflict. Somehow I believe that I
      am supposed to reconcile the conflict. And if I can't, for whatever
      reason, then I fall apart. The idea that I don't have to take care of
      it or settle is the thunderbolt experience.





      Dear Dan,

      You write of productive thought, problem solving thought,
      thought that is a means to an end like getting the car running.
      You call it appropriate and so it is.

      There is also idle thought, frivolous, apparently addressing

      A breakthrough in understanding might very well come with
      the metaphysical thoughts arising around the car breaking down.
      What the mechanic says about how the car runs might be part of it,
      something profound about fuel and spark and timing maybe.


      Hi Andrew,

      With interest I followed this discussion and although there is no
      "right" or wrong", it is correct to state that action is possible
      without being conscious of thoughts pertaining to that action. Thoughts
      can be compared to the sound of a wooden mast, bending due to the
      force, the wind is exerting on the sail. A perfectly flexible mast will
      bend but won't give off a sound nor will a perfectly rigid mast.
      Whether there is a sound produced by the mast or not, the boat will be
      propelled by the wind (action taking place) - unless the mast breaks
      down with a very loud sound :) I hope the analogy is clear.


      Jan's analogy is useful and
      resonant with what I hear Andrew saying.

      -- the flexible mast is like the Taoist idea
      of the excellent craftsperson,
      such as the carpenter who
      "thoughtlessly" cuts
      each piece of wood to
      perfection, then assembles
      a flawless chair - all without
      thinking about it (however,
      after years of practice, one
      may add).

      In fact, one might say this:
      the infant grows hair without thought
      and moves without thinking about it.
      later thought is learned.
      the carpenter spent years learning to
      cut wood and assemble items.
      ultimately, thought subsides as
      "chair-making" is now beyond
      technology and in the realm of art.

      one might guess that earlier in his career,
      neuronal activity would be measured as more
      extensive. as a "master carpenter" brain
      waves are concise, specific to the moment,
      and aren't self-consciously critiqued.

      And to continue the analogy of the ship:
      The "action" which is the wind,
      ship, and water as gestalt occurs
      with no thought whatsoever.

      The people on the deck who are
      trimming the sails are "using
      thought" -- if you equate thought
      with neural activity.

      The sail-trimmer who is "master sailor", is as if the
      sails trim themselves, the movements of
      hands are always in the right
      place without having to think about it.

      It's instantaneous and "on-target".

      For the whole, or scene-as-gestalt, it
      doesn't depend on thought (or as Andrew might say, no thought
      needs to occur). Within the gestalt, thoughts
      may be occurring as the deck hands
      scramble around. No thought is or can be out
      of place in the total gestalt -
      The thoughts of individuals
      on deck are simply "blips" or ripples
      forming within the gestalt.

      So, I may or may not be a master carpenter.
      I may be a beginning student who thinks excessively about
      how to assemble a chair that will "come out right".
      I may be a master carpenter who thoughtlessly creates
      flawless works.
      Yet, as the gestalt which includes student, master, wood,
      forest, chair, chair-buyer -- no thought is required.
      If the student or master loses any sense of existing separately
      from the "scene as gestalt", then for that one, nothing
      is out of place, actions are not thought-dependent,
      and in fact, thoughts themsevles are actions that
      are not thought-dependent.

      Water ripples, air ripples on masts,
      and the ripples
      that are brain waves -- all
      aspects of vibrant seamless scene.


      > o.k., i know

      Who knows?

      > there's no one to go anywhere,

      Is there anywhere to go?

      > but here goes
      > going all the way
      > not all the way:
      > you think you are somebody

      Who does?

      > you come and go

      Who comes and goes?

      > you are in an environment

      Who is? What environment?

      > you imagine others

      Who does?

      > you suffer

      Who suffers?

      > you let perception create your reality

      Who does? What does 'letting perception create your reality' actually
      mean? Could you explain how those you are referring to here do that?
      Are you saying you don't do that? Is that maybe *your* perception?

      > all the way:
      > experience is singular
      > there is never a moment when you are not
      > you are birthless and deathless

      Who is?

      > you are free from every kind of thought

      Isn't that a thought?

      > you rest in the bliss of being

      Who does? Is there anybody to rest?

      > love,
      > cee
      > p.s. you talk to yourself?

      Who else is there to talk to?

      Forgive me, I don't usually respond to posts in this way. I don't want
      answers to the questions above, but am just pointing out how easy it is
      to take a post and imply that somebody doesn't understand by virtue of
      the language used which is necessarily dualistic; and how difficult it
      is to actually really listen when someone is saying something worth
      listening to.

      love, gill




      Hi Sandeep,

      I didn't travel around nor as much as I would like to. Out of my 3
      months stay I spent two and a half at Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Institute
      in Pune, practising yoga. Then I went to Gangotri and Himalaya where I
      left my heart :)


      Well, well, well. You reached Gangotri!!!! That's something.

      Did you stay for a few days and see the evening lamp ceremony in the
      Goddess temple surrounded by the dark looming mountains.

      There is no electricity and the only light illuminating the whole place
      is the 200 lit lamps, in the hand of the dancing priest, with the
      druming beating surrounded by the stupendous thunder noise of the
      gushing Ganga.

      Could you trek upto Gaumukh from Gangotri?


      I had so little time (I traveled by train) and was so altitude sick
      that I didn't manage to see the valey of flowers or other Ganga sources
      in the area. Didn't even climb the glacier. But what I saw changed my
      life and warms my heart even now. Although it was "only" the mountains
      and the river.


      Yes, raw nature. And yes the "awesomeness" of only mountains and


      There are some pictures from this trip in the archives. I also saw
      Ajanta and Ellora, one of the world's wonders.


      Ah, so you were at Aurangabad. You must have come from Pune.


      At the beginning of my stay I had the appetite for the whole pilgrimage
      along the Ganga. But you cannot eat the cake and have it, and I had to
      choose. I decided my practise in Puna was more important at the time. I
      will be back one day, also to go South, to places like Chiddambarram
      and all the wonders of sculpture and achitecture there.


      Yes. And you would be entering a totally different country. Don't
      forget to move in the back-waters of Kerala. And also the temples of
      Madurai, KanyaKumari, Kanchepuram. Unbelievable what can be done with
      rock, when you see these structures.


      A visit to India is difficult for a foreigner from another climatic
      zone. All your senses are overwhelmed by new, strong, often not
      pleasant stimuli. Your body pays climatic tribute, you have to watch
      what you eat, drink, where you walk or sit.


      You are being polite.<s>

      India is very difficult, with several centuries of civilization
      existing simultaneously.

      Mineral water and careful selection of the type of food and the eating
      place is a must for overseas visitor.

      Also the very mode of travel is an adventure of survival, eh?

      Helps if you have an Indian companion.


      So visitors' reactions are usually distinct accordingly. For me, it was
      like comming home :)

      Whereabouts do you live?



      (later Liliana responded to Sandeep's question: Could you trek up to
      Gaumukh from Gangotri?

      I treked to Gaumukh, it was the goal of my trip to Himalayas. I didn't
      trek over the glacier though - was too sick. I stayed in a hotel in
      Gangotri right across the river from the Goddess temple and each night
      I could hear the evening ceremonies performed. They have had installed
      the loudspeakers at the temple that bring the chants outside, now. I
      sleep very lightly and am easily disturbed but this time I didn't mind
      :) I didn't see the lamp ceremony you mention, there. I saw the evening
      light ceremonies at Haridvar. Yes, you used the right words: "the
      stupendous thunder noise of the gushing Ganga". And yet it sounds like
      a lullaby :)

      But I saw sth very beautiful in Gangotri. On my descend from Gaumukh I
      could see the temple-yard from the distance in the early dusk. And then
      I saw those beautifull, rich and clear colours, patches of them,
      scattered on the Temple's white background. I couldn't figure out what
      it was until I was close enough to recognize figures of the villagers
      from the surrounding area that arrived to celebrate Lord Krishna's
      birthday. Their attires were in those incredible rich, colours like
      red, orange, purple, yellow, green. And they didn't have any design on
      them, the colours were not combined together in any elaborate
      compositions or cuts, just huge patches of clear, intensive colour they
      wrapped in a sophisticated yet simple way around themselves. In this
      place with its austere atmosphere it looked exceptionally beautifull.


      Ellora already brings you to your knees when you think that all those
      chambers, pillars and lace ornaments (especially in Jain temples) were
      curved from a solid rock wall. I know the places you mention from art
      books, they are all on my list :)



      Terry Murphy asked: "Why in particular don't enlightened people get
      together to open Taverns or break into Prisons?"

      hi terry,

      this makes me giggle. and i love your "innocent" question about why
      doesn't everyone love each other.

      from "my" point of view there are no enlightened people. if you think
      you are a person, you aren't enlightened! do you get all the characters
      in your dream together to open a tavern? -- hey, wait a minute, isn't
      that what is happening right here?--

      to me, saving the world is a goofy proposition. it is the seeming
      importance of trying to do something in or to your "world" that keeps
      one in it. ( and keeps one from knowing the truth) the world is in you,
      you are not in a world.

      to always be quoting the maharshi seems redundant but as far as i can
      see his "method" is the most direct. "who sees a world?" "who sees that
      people don't love each other?" does that one really exist? does this
      world really exit? finding the answer does not leave you with nothing,
      it leaves you perfectly whole and only bliss is served at your tavern.

      love, cee




      Responding as one who has done much teaching
      in "live" arenas:
      Let "them" talk, let "them" hear themselves talk.
      Perhaps in hearing themselves talk, the speaker
      will dissolve.
      Perhaps the opportunity to hear oneself speak,
      reflected back, will give pause.
      In this pause is wisdom.


      Who is the one who talks?
      Who is the one who hears?
      When listening, really listen.
      Be "listening".

      I don't think you are hearing what I am saying.
      Any holding of opinion is inhibition of
      "I" must be there as the one who reacts,
      the one who holds opinion, the one
      who knows what is "right" for the world.


      I never said I knew what was right for the world. In fact, I take a
      very dim view of the possibilities. My idea was that the human race
      does have a 'right' function in the world ecology, if it is not simply
      to be a cancer on the planet. You may well be aiding that function with
      your insight and willingness to speak about it. There may be other ways
      to aid that function other than the commitment to personally work on
      setting individuals free from the confines of ego.


      If "I" am not being constructed, nor held,
      what cherishing of opinion is there?
      If "I" am not being held, what reaction
      would there be about whether words might
      elevate some unknown listener, or whether
      words are said for the speaker?


      "I" am not attached to what I am saying, it is my providence, as your
      work is yours. "I" am not being constructed or held by what I am
      saying, quite the contrary. You are hanging on to your individuality
      here in this conversation, where as I am trying to point to the
      possibility of enlightened minds *consciously* working together to
      *create* values for the future. Submerging their individuality.


      When there is speech with no speaker,
      then all that is said is, "love" ...

      Saying it and being it are not quite the same. Love goes far
      beyond words.


      We should not be providing answers, we should be helping people find
      the right questions.

      This was the essential point. You certainly are one of the 'masters'
      (or pundits? - can you describe your self?) on this list. You generate
      reams of material which all speak to the same point you make above. For
      the most part, that sort of material is probably useful to many people,
      because people tend to make a lot of assumptions and then rush off to
      save the world with them. Causes like, 'save the children' attract
      them, when actually there are way too many people on the planet
      already. The vast majority of people need to examine their inner
      territory and learn who they are before trying to exercise their
      powers. "Creators are cold" says Nietzsche. The tao te ching speaks of
      the people as 'straw dogs' and notes that "nature faces with equanimity
      the decay of its fruits." None of these "I"s has any particular
      significance, yours or mine or anyones. I know this. I have spent many
      years speaking of spiritual subjects to people, speaking of the
      emptiness of the ego. I also spent many years living in a commune where
      we had some success actually *living* brotherhood. There is individual
      talk to other individuals aimed at reducing their attachment to
      individuality; there certainly is a place for that sort of 'preaching.'
      There are many on the list to whom such ideas are liberating, so god
      bless you in your work and I hope you carry on with it. What I am
      trying to do is something different. Like Nietzsche, like the I Ching,
      I am talking to the superior man, to the enlightened ones (as well as
      the little ones, who will inherit). Unlike the ancient masters or the
      modern ones, it appears to me that there are actual enlightened beings
      walking around with us, that there have been many people who have
      awakened in the last twenty-five years, even a few on the nds list.
      People like yourself. The sort of teaching that you do, while
      technically correct, may be something of a rut, my friend. Some of us
      are not dominated by our egos and don't need to be informed of the
      insight that you exclusively promote. Some of us may have something for
      *you* to listen to (recall the HIK quote about us all being disciples
      and there being no individual teachers).

      My experiences in communal living have convinced me that group action
      is *far* more powerful in altering minds (raising consciousness) than
      individuals preaching out of their own enlightenment. Jesus, Muhammad
      and the Buddha all had groups around them, but their groups had very
      little effectiveness, except as support for their guys. I mentioned
      Vivekananda because of the extraordinary interaction between
      Vivekananda and Ramakrishna, and the success of their 'poor boys' even
      in the political arena. That two such congenial and elevated minds were
      able to coordinate their energies was a foreshadowing of the
      possibilites that may exist when numbers of enlightened people can work
      together, in a practical way, to elevate the spirituality of humankind.
      Practical aspects of this idea include the buddhist style promotion of
      goodness in accordance with the individual's own lights (this is
      'skillful means,' of course). Further than this is the idea that whole
      communities, even nations could be based on spiritual principles (the
      Sarvodaya Self-Help Movement, tragically cut short by the Sri Lankan
      civil war, comes to mind).

      This is visionary stuff, Dan. Not preaching or poetry or suggestive
      ideas. Can you see the difference? If your philosophy has you so high
      that practicality is lost, then you are putting all your energy into
      foliage and none into your roots; ideally the roots go as deep as the
      tree goes high. I am speaking of possibilities that have never before
      been possible, because too few people could understand the sort of
      thing you were saying above, and no internet to bring them together.
      But the fact that you feel it desirable to say it *to me* makes me feel
      that you are missing the point, not seeing me clearly. I saw completely
      through my ego more than thirty years ago, when virtually no one knew
      what I was talking about.

      You are perhaps familiar with the sutra of Hui-Neng; perhaps with the
      philosophy of Hegel. The 'dialectic' recommended by hui-neng to his
      disciples involved bringing up the 'other side' to anything that was
      being expressed, thus to complete a whole. Talk of the absolute and he
      would bring up the phenomenal; speak of the phenomenal and he would
      bring up the absolute. Philosophies such as yours dominate this list,
      and when I approach my natural tendency is to try to turn some of this
      lovely energy into practical channels, because that is what I see as
      dialectically the antidote or completion of these ideas. At this point,
      'practical channels' does *not* refer to going out and saving the
      children, without thinking about it. The start of practicality for
      spiritual movements in the global village is for enlightened people to
      begin to examine the scope of the problem, not as individuals but as
      participating members of a greater whole, a 'more-than-human' (vs
      'all-too-human') construct of originally separated minds who realize
      they are separate no more. I know you think this is a step behind where
      you are coming from, but I would say it is a step beyond (as a cart
      follows a wheel, or a shadow follows a form). New ideas are never
      understood and accepted very quickly. You have a fixed view and you
      cling to it. That which frees us, in the course of time, may become a
      hindrance; the buddhist metaphor is of a man who constructs a raft to
      cross a river, and once across, insists on carrying the now useless
      raft on his back. I hope you are getting a glimmer of what I am saying

      aloha, terry



      Nietzsche said (pardon my German), from the mouth of Zarathustra:

      "And life itself told me this secret: 'Behold,' it said, 'I am that
      *which must overcome itself again and again.* [italics in original]

      The words are not the teaching, indeed, but *the teaching is not the
      teaching* either. I once knew a guy who had a computer program which
      would replace words in a sentence. He programmed it with the first line
      of the Tao Te Ching, "The Name that can be Named is not the true Name"
      and used his program to replace 'Name' with random nouns: The Horse
      that may be Horsed is not the true Horse; The Wheel that can be Wheeled
      is not the true Wheel. And so on. He wrote a very amusing letter about
      playing with this, the insight has stuck with me that arose from it. In
      Zen they say that nothing is what it seems, but neither is it
      otherwise. Names, each of them, are like a path through the meadow or
      the woods, a common way where the going is easy, where a Thing is
      generally recognizable. Naming a thing brings it into our world, makes
      it tameable; something felt but unnameable is frightening, as the
      Unknown is frightening. Yet the Unknown is the Mother of all Things.

      The words are not the teaching, the teaching is the motive or Will of
      the being who is communicating. That Will, to be genuine teaching, is
      always at the point of self-overcoming.

      The tao te ching often indicates that the teaching is not in words. In
      Chapter 15, they explain that the truth is beyond expression, and that
      it might be partly communicated by describing the appearance of the
      masters of the Way themselves.

      Tao Te Ching (feng/english)

      The ancient masters were subtle, mysterious, profound, reponsive.
      The depth of their knowledge is unfathomable.
      Because it is unfathomable,
      All we can do is describe their appearance.
      Watchful, like men crossing a winter stream.
      Alert, like men aware of danger.
      Courteous, like visiting guests.
      Yielding, like ice about to melt.
      Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood.
      Hollow, like caves.
      Opaque, like muddy pools.

      Who can wait quietly while the mud settles?
      Who can remain still until the moment of action?
      Observers of the Tao do not seek fulfillment.
      Not seeking fulfillment, they are not swayed by a desire for change.

      "Not swayed by a desire for change." The sage seeks, like water, the
      common level. In chapter 80, the ideal land is pictured, a land where
      the people's "food is plain and good, their clothes fine but simple,
      their homes secure; they are happy in their ways." A place where the
      seasons come and go and time is counted only cyclicly, never linearly,
      a land where no one is swayed by the desire for change, where people
      are fulfilled, complete. The sage is the teaching, and the
      savior-continually-being-saved, the uncarved block & melting ice. Words
      are no more than birdsong.

      aloha, terry
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