Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

NDS Highlights for Sunday, 12/31/00 the last day of 2000

Expand Messages
  • Mark W. Otter
    Melody continued describing her process with support from several NDSers (Ed note - I left some redundancy in to maintain the context in which posts were
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      Melody continued describing her process with support from several NDSers
      (Ed note - I left some redundancy in to maintain the context in which
      posts were made):


      Melody: This morning I utilized some creative imagery techniques....in
      attempt to bring to my conscious awareness this [up until last evening]
      unconscious fear of that dark space I touched last evening.

      Picturing myself outside, seated at a table in the woods.....feeling the
      cold air against my cheeks, feeling the rough wood of the table,
      smelling the nearby fires burning, and hearing the crackling of leaves
      as squirrels scampered from tree to tree, I sat and awaited for my
      someone to come to the table, and speak to me of my fear.

      Instead I felt someone approach from behind....a very large shadowy
      figure looming large from my back side. And when I turned to look at it,
      it would move, as if it was stuck to my back.

      I realized that I could not look directly at it, but would have to look
      at it thru a mirror. Holding up a mirror revealed nothing.....only what
      looked to be a dark transparent shadow.

      Looking I could see that there was really nothing 'in there'.....inside
      those dark shadows....and yet it's presence felt so ominous and
      foreboding.

      I could feel it attach itself to my back side....back by spine....at
      just about at, or below, my third chakra region.

      I cannot 'get at it'...to confront it...because everytime I move, it
      moves with me.

      And now I cannot seem to 'lose' that feeling of that dark shadow being
      attached to me. I want so much to lose it, to cut it away from me, and
      yet I know that trying to separate myself from it is not the way to go.

      I know I must somehow make peace with it... to quit trying to cut it
      away from me....and to let it embrace, or swallow me, somehow.

      I have such a sense of dread, and at the same time, inevitability, right
      now.

      John Duff contributed:

      M: Sitting with the 'discomfiture'....with the aid of a little creative
      imagery....I find that it says, "I'm afraid".

      J: Fear enters into it deeply. In my first post I edited out the
      section I had written on fear thinking it would do no good to project
      this occurrence. It would happen and be recognized in the natural
      course of this process. What I can say, however, is that this will not
      kill you.

      M: I discover I'm afraid..... that the 'emptiness' which surrounds me
      now is that same 'empty place' I used to split off to when I would be
      raped as a child.

      J: Cannot, obviously, speak to this. This 'emptiness' seems common
      however. Our individual circumstances that bring us to this place
      differ. The place seems the same.

      M: I always knew that I had 'split off' as a child during those
      times.....having very few memories of the 'act' itself. Tonight I
      revisited that place...just put my big toe into that space.... that I
      used to visit when I split away from the 'reality' of my life. It was
      a place rightly named 'the void'. A place absent any sounds, absent
      any thoughts, any feelings....absent any light.

      J: From my tradition one aim is to make all of one's life as conscious
      as possible. This seems a fun idea. It is and it is not. This is the
      'is not fun' part. It is, nevertheless, a part of 'owning' one's life,
      that is to begin ceasing to be victimized [unconsciously] by what
      occurred in one's life.

      Additionally, I might offer that you would not get these experiences if
      you did not have the tools to digest them. It seems a relatively rare
      occurrence in life. At least, if it is not rare, people don't often
      talk about it. If it is not rare, then, people either discount these
      experiences, or do their best to push them away.

      The 'mid-life crisis' springs to mind as being a refection of this
      phenomenon as a common occurrence, perhaps in support of broad
      experience of these sorts. How people, in general, deal with this
      'event', seems to indicate the 'pushing away' by some, if not many.

      I remember a corvette, new young girlfriend and gold chains presenting
      themselves to me, during my time, as a possible alternative. I thought
      this funny and pathetic at the same time as the images were quite
      caricatured and stilted.

      In fact 'mid-life crisis' was how I characterized my own experience.
      One seeming danger here is to apply this mundane interpretation to
      something so intimate and deeply personal.

      Like I said, the questioning, for me, was about desires.

      While I would not like to offer any advice or directional indicators, it
      might be useful to experiment with this idea in the seeming absence and
      flatness of our 'normal' day-to-day desires and fulfillments.

      The essence of the question put to me during these experiences was "What
      is it that you want?".

      All of us, I would hazard, have some unspoken answer.

      Our unspoken answers come to [our] light in this process.

      M: It was like being in a dark box.

      J: Yes. Indeed it is. Nothing that formerly fulfilled us holds any
      meaning. Useless toys. Childish things.

      It is truly a vacuum of meaning.

      M: Touching that place again I realized what all the tears have been
      about these past days: tears of fear that asks: is that all that's
      left for me.

      J: I recall, not surprisingly, having the same impression. The answer
      to your [my] question was, "Yes, potentially. This is one path, it is
      the destination of the path your are currently on. There are other
      paths and destinations open to you. What is it that you want?"

      M: I associate that dark box with Hell. And I'm scared to death that
      Hell is the Emptiness that awaits me.

      J: This is the 'dark night of the soul', Melody. One need not look far
      to see this thread running through a variety of religious teachings and
      the lives of realizers. But, as mentioned before, theory is one thing,
      actual experience is something far different.

      What is it that you want?

      Even in this void this question can be answered. One might even say
      that it can truly only be answered here, in the crushing absence of
      distraction.

      For myself part of the answer was "I want to know. Whatever it takes, I
      want to see this through and to understand. I want to stop running."

      If you bear this experience you will be able to bear anything. The
      strange thing is that, fully experienced, the impression is always
      available, most available in times of stress.

      Sounds frightening, but look at it this way, nothing that occurs in
      day-to-day life bears faint comparison to the depth to which this
      experience took me. When daily pain, or embarrassment or shame are
      encountered this yardstick is invoked. Occurrences that would normally
      have unbalanced me are immediately put in perspective as, worthy of
      registration and attention, but truly meaningless on a grander scale.

      And even when one is unbalanced or shattered it is the recollection of
      this experience that reintegrates, in a new pattern, what is of value
      from the remnants of such shattering.

      From my heart to your heart. Be strong. Be courageous. Make this
      experience your own. Confront this fear. You are not that which drives
      you. You are something else.

      All my love and support along with the standard Warm regards,
      John

      John also offered this:

      M: I know I must somehow make peace with it... to quit trying to cut it
      away from me....and to let it embrace, or swallow me, somehow.

      J: Yes. This is a good characterization of this experience. Whichever
      process happens doesn't matter, only the occurrence of this integration
      is important. That, and the maintenance of awareness [witnessing] of
      this process through an effort of will.

      The word 'surrender' comes to mind. Which may or may not be appropriate
      to you.

      M: I have such a sense of dread, and at the same time, inevitability,
      right now.

      J: Understood. It is not easy. It is not comfortable. It is possible,
      however.

      I would offer at this juncture that this other is actually yourself.
      Objectified as 'rejected' and 'apart', the 'other' or the 'dark self',
      in either rejected pictures or experiences too painful to consciously
      confront.

      In this part lies tremendous personal energy, locked up, as it were.
      These are the 'holes' in your awareness, your unconscious motivations,
      self-sabotaging routines, the 'you will never make it', the 'I am not
      worthy', the 'I deserve this pain'.

      Do you have it in you to embrace the leper? Can you love the rejected
      and damaged parts of yourself? Can you comfort and accept the one thus
      seen and formerly abused? Can you stroke her hair and tell her it is
      over? That she is loved - and then bear the explosion of rage,
      frustration, pain and hopelessness this other will express. Can you be
      with torrent and know that it is yours and it must be endured?

      For a moment forget non-dualism. Just as I, for a moment, must forget a
      dualistic existence. For in this experience there needs to exist you and
      the other. There needs to be an opening and acceptance of one for the
      comfort of the 'other'.

      So long as the 'one' exists so will the 'other' and if we think we are
      one already, however true this statement may ultimately be, we will
      reject experiences that we have mechanically associated with not being
      appropriate to the 'one' we take ourselves to be. Sacrifice this 'all is
      everything' for a moment. You may always pick it back up again.

      Comfort yourself as a being of infinite love and compassion would
      comfort one of its children, a diligent and honest child, and for a
      moment be that child.

      Warm regards,
      John

      Jerry offered:

      Thanks John and Melody. I enjoyed your response, John. Somewhere
      recently I read a quote by Eckhart Tolle in which he says to welcome
      whatever arises as though you chose for it to be. For all time people
      have said, in one form or another, 'no resistance'. It's what you're
      saying too John.

      Ironically, it's what's needed in order to fight, because 'no
      resistance' doesn't mean 'no action, no fight.' 'No resistance' doesn't
      mean to not resist; it doesn't mean to lay back and die. To resist most
      fully and effectively, there must be no resistance to the resistance, to
      the details along the way, and to the outcome. That's the only way a
      person, whose nature it is to fight, can fight and in that way they'll
      be fighting for everyone.

      Jerry

      Melody responded to John:

      Dear John,

      I cannot begin to express my appreciation for you, and your willingness
      to walk alongside me these past couple of days. I appreciate the
      presence of so many others from this list as well.....and I see that
      it's been like a touchstone for me during this process.

      You said, in part: The essence of the question put to me during these
      experiences was "What is it that you want?".

      I let that question sit on me awhile.

      The answer that arose, when I sat quietly to listen was, "To breathe".

      On the surface this may seem like a silly answer, but I can hear it
      resonate in so many 'bodies': physical, emotional, mental, etc.

      Today I opened curtains I hadn't opened in months at my house. I
      cleaned closets and cleared out stacks of clutter that had been stacking
      up over the months from neglect.

      So much has been tossed away today...or loaded to be given away.

      Colors are brighter today, my house is 'lighter'.

      When my body 'breathes' I can feel air circulate....like a breeze is
      moving thru the body.

      It's about 5 degrees outside, and yet it feels like springtime.

      And tonight, when I am still again, I will invite that 'shadow' to touch
      me. I have no idea if I'll be afraid or not, or what my response will
      be. I do know I feel a whole lot readier to 'receive' it now today.

      <snip>

      M (earlier): It was like being in a dark box..

      J: Yes. Indeed it is. Nothing that formerly fulfilled us holds any
      meaning. Useless toys. Childish things.

      It is truly a vacuum of meaning.

      M: (now) Yes. Not only a vacuum of meaning, but an absence of
      EVERYTHING.....as if a veil was covering all senses. There was even an
      absence of ME.

      Just nothing. Absolutely nothing.....as if life before a single act of
      creation.

      I wonder if it will terrify me so tonight.

      <snip>

      J: This is the 'dark night of the soul', Melody. One need not look far
      to see this thread running through a variety of religious teachings and
      the lives of realizers. But, as mentioned before, theory is one thing,
      actual experience is something far different. What is it that you
      want?

      M: An answer that arises just as I read your question again is: I
      want to not be afraid anymore.

      But that really isn't so. <Tears welling up as I 'see' this just now.>

      It's okay if I'm afraid.

      I DO still want to breathe, however - and I hadn't done so...not
      really... in a very long time.

      in gratitude,
      Melody

      Melody continued the thread:

      Hi John,

      Continuing.... you said, in part:

      J: I would offer at this juncture that this other is actually
      yourself. Objectified as 'rejected' and 'apart', the 'other' or the
      'dark self', in either rejected pictures or experiences too painful to
      consciously confront.

      M: Perhaps. In the sense that All is me, certainly so.

      At this point my experience of it is purely sensory. And I prefer to
      leave it that way for the moment ....not making any conclusions about
      it, or bringing any expectations into my 'encounter'. ...or at least as
      little as possible. I suspect you understand this, and I appreciate
      the spirit in which this is offered.


      J: In this part lies tremendous personal energy, locked up, as it were.
      These are the 'holes' in your awareness, your unconscious motivations,
      self-sabotaging routines, the 'you will never make it', the 'I am not
      worthy', the 'I deserve this pain'.

      Do you have it in you to embrace the leper? Can you love the rejected
      and damaged parts of yourself? Can you comfort and accept the one thus
      seen and formerly abused? Can you stroke her hair and tell her it is
      over? That she is loved - and then bear the explosion of rage,
      frustration, pain and hopelessness this other will express. Can you be
      with torrent and know that it is yours and it must be endured?

      M: I suspect what you have written above has served more than a few
      subscribers here today.

      This 'darkness' ....this 'shadow' does not feel like rejected and
      damaged aspects of myself. (I'm willing to be mistaken here, though.)

      I have done so much of what you describe so well above, that this does
      not feel the same.

      It feels very much like a 'God' thing....or rather a 'fear of God'
      thing.

      But then I guess it could be said that 'God' is a rejected aspect of
      'me', no?

      I'll sit with that a little longer.

      Again, thank you so much for your presence, and you 'hand' here today,
      John.

      much love,
      Melody

      In other news, Gene posted a four-part "rant":

      NDS

      What it is:

      The question and the answer

      For reference, please read this web-page:

      < http://www.gurdjieff-legacy.org/40articles/bognor.htm>

      Another in a continuing series of rants by Gene Poole

      This for the new year and the new millennia 12/31/2000

      Perhaps it is time to exit the closet, so to speak, and speaking for
      myself 'personally'. Perhaps it is time, to let the cat out of the bag,
      and to dig up the bone, and the long-buried dog as well.

      Perhaps it is time, to unleash certain forces; perhaps it is time to
      detail just how it is, that these certain forces have become
      restrained, and also "how to" give these certain forces, free and
      unconstrained play in this human universe.

      As you may suspect, it all began very long ago, but that is of minor
      import. The 'long ago' concept holds no meaning for one, who is not
      embedded in the time-frames of human (or geologic) history.

      Indeed, it is this "assumed to be reality" historical timeframe, which
      is what I refer to as the 'world-dream'. This collective memory of
      'history', is the foundation of all contemporary 'identity-structure' of
      any human. Humans feel secure and 'right' when they reference current
      events, to this historical timeframe-structure. Without this constant,
      self-refreshing database of 'history', contemporary identity-structure
      would be quite sparse, as sparse as that of any of the historical
      'masters of consciousness', such as Ramana.

      "Who am I" is designed to parse history from identity, leaving...
      nothing. History, occupying memory, is the 'dog in the manger'.

      But this is a magnificent watchdog! Have you noticed, that 'everyone'
      wants to have a dog? And that dog 'ownership' is not only justified, but
      expected? The dog has become, the universal symbol of what it is, that
      occupies contemporary time and space. Limited yes, which is the nature
      of the dog, perhaps a burden at times, but loveable and 'cute', and
      endlessly entertaining, or should I say, distracting?

      As Da Free John has mentioned, social talk usually is about the dog.
      The dog symbolizes what occupies consciousness, as 'identity'. As long
      as this 'dog' is allowed to take up all space and time, its antics will
      cover over what is already here, going on anyway and eternally. The dog
      of identity is essentially disabled, however; it cannot exist apart from
      its 'host', and thus it can be seen clearly, as 'parasitic'. The
      'manger' of consciousness, the host of this 'dog', would otherwise be
      hosting the opposite of 'dog', which is 'God'. But dog owners, are
      notorious for their proud fetish, and thus defend, never knowing 'God'
      but as an abstraction.

      "Better the devil we know, than the devil we do not know". This is the
      feeling-mantra of fear, recited by those who reject 'God' in favor of
      'dog', and it is validated on every screen of the world-dream. "God" is
      the 'devil we do not know', and are in mortal fear of meeting.

      Those who favor history over the indefinable present-time, mount the
      idol on the alter, and call each-other to worship. The unknown itself,
      is placated and charmed into a favorable repetition of 'the best of
      times', or so the effort is bent. History is the only database
      available, from which to derive 'how things should be'. And for this
      'idol/dog/identity' to have any potency, history must be affirmed above
      all else.

      Recall, how according to history, Moses returned from his meeting with
      God, to find his people embroiled in idol-worship. The irony was not
      lost on Moses, according to the story; his message from 'G-d', if
      understood, would have eliminated the idol/dog-in-the-manger/identity.
      This historical message, if itself understood, would disassemble the
      historical database which is the world-dream, and in the same action,
      would also eliminate the 'dog', or identity, which is itself composed
      entirely of 'history'.

      At his point, to avoid confusion, I will say that 'identity' is not to
      be understood as 'ego'. In my perspective, 'ego' is simply a natural
      mechanism which is assigned the task of maintaining identity; 'ego' can
      do many things, but as long as 'identity' is the prime requirement of
      those who dwell exclusively in the world-dream, the mechanism of 'ego'
      will be in service of maintenance of identity, even unto the failure of
      all other otherwise supported functions of the human.

      This viewpoint may be confusing in itself, because it is 'against' most
      traditions. But consider, that it is the literal 'worship of history'
      which is the error; there is no error in 'ego' doing what it is told to
      do. My intention is to take the heat off of 'ego' and put it where it
      belongs, to deprive 'history' of its hypnotic fascination for the human.
      Nothing can be 'done about' ego, but everything can be done about the
      common human trance-state of idol-worship, which is what is, 'having
      identity'.

      Part 2 (continued from part one)


      The Trance of History, also called "The Black Iron Prison" by author
      Phillip K Dick, is a virtual realm only. This is to say, that history is
      only 'real' when it is being remembered. Otherwise, it does not exist.

      History is for most humans, an unpleasant trance-state; it contains the
      'reasons' for paranoia and dread, but also contains the 'reasons' for
      hope. The common human activity of the moment, it to pit the paranoia
      against the hope; the optimist stakes his bets on hope, the pessimist
      wagers in favor of the paranoid version. In this, we are able to glimpse
      a certain insight; the 'virtual realm' of history, is made real by hope,
      as well as by paranoia. Otherwise, with no effort to reference it, this
      'database of history' would have no influence; in this eventuality, the
      dog leaves the manger.

      I will leave it to you, to discover exactly what is the nature of the
      human addiction to history. If you are honest with yourself, you will
      find the answer to this seldom-asked question.

      It has come to my attention, that the human can live well and
      profitably, with no identity, and thus no history, no paranoia, and no
      hope. The constant retelling of history, personal and collective, is the
      endocrine-wringing trance which conveys membership in human
      consensus-reality; let one socially-active person be free of this
      compulsion, and the world-dream will eventually evaporate.

      How is it possible, as an 'activist', to plot and execute the demolition
      of the world-dream? This question should be asked, so I am asking. If
      you do not have an answer of your own, perhaps you will enjoy my
      offering, given here at this time.

      There are several principles which can be understood, for the purpose
      of abolishing _personal_ history. By this microcosmic process and
      example, one may understand how the world-dream may be made harmless:

      Principle #1: We live at the end of history; 'these are the end-times'.

      Explanation: Envision history as a fountain of water, and yourself as a
      ping-pong ball, constantly buoyed by the uprising of that powerful jet.
      Bounced and jounced, yet balanced carefully, always held aloft, this
      little ball demonstrates our common relationship with the world-dream.
      Supported thus, the rough ride is seen as preferable to the collapse of
      the geyser. But why?

      We occupy 'this moment'; all history has passed, and is no more, except
      in memory. Is this correct to say? We now and always, live at 'the end
      of history'; it is only memory, which conveys history to this moment,
      and to the next moment, and so on.

      By remembering principle #1, 'we live at the end of history', a
      wonderful apocalypse may dawn for the individual, and for every
      individual. This considering, is the work of the individual; any
      'activism', is simply this 'realized individual' living socially, free
      of history.

      We may also consider history to be a sequence of frames, like a very
      long and deep deck of cards, and you are facing the latest one right
      now. Looking at it, you understand its significance only by your own
      experience of having looked at each previous card as it appeared. But
      what you may not notice, is that you are actually NOT IN this sequence
      of frames; you are actually outside of any frame, looking at the latest
      frame, right now. If you can see this relationship, you succeed in
      removing yourself from history; you are the observer of memory, you are
      not the memory.

      Here is another significant question: "Am I in my own memories?"

      Identity is memory, only; identity is memory, (pre-) occupying
      consciousness, and (parasitically) displacing current real-time vision
      of 'what is'. If I am 'in' my own memory, it is not the 'I' of this
      moment, but the 'I' of a previous moment. If 'I' was a 'certain way' in
      the past, that 'past I' is now memory only, but it is possible to 'bring
      forward' the 'I of the past' to occupy this moment. It is this 'I of the
      past' which is the 'dog in the manger'.

      Because memory is 'volatile' (changeable), the 'current 'I' structure'
      can reach into the sequence of historical frames, and re-order the past
      'I' to a version which matches the current one; this is particularly
      troublesome, and is the basis for what is called in psychiatric
      practice, 'confabulation'. Confabulation literally means 'imagining an
      imagined reality to be real', and is seen as a symptom of serious
      brain-disorder. But how different, is the world-dream dweller, such as
      yourself, who constantly reconfigures memory to match current criteria
      of personality? Is not denial and re-making of 'self'/identity a
      constant activity? Is not the 'search for a better way', simply this
      very activity of re-arranging the pieces, into a more favorable version?
      Is this the true meaning of 'reformation'?

      Part three

      Q: "Do I exist in memory?"

      A: No.

      You exist here and now only. If you doubt this, find yourself in memory,
      right now.

      Look carefully and leave no stone unturned. Do you find yourself in
      memory?

      Principle #2: "There is only self".

      Explanation: There is only self; this encompasses 'everything', yet what
      is it?

      It is everything, and everything is in constant motion; there is space
      between things, in fact, more space than things. Space is vast, and
      contains everything; the things (objects and events) are easy to see,
      but the space between, is invisible. No-one has ever 'seen' space.

      To assume that you 'can see space' is natural, due to the conventions of
      speech and thought, but actually, we 'see' space by an act of
      calculation. We 'extrapolate' the existence of space, by the differences
      between objects, in space and in time.

      Difference in space is easy to understand; one thing is here, another is
      there. But in time, what of that? One thing is now, and before, that
      thing was now, before; the 'now' of the past, exists only in memory;
      only in memory does the past exist, and only in imagination does exists
      the future.

      So to say, 'elsewhere' has meaning, but to say 'elsewhen' is quite odd.
      Yet, we do this frequently, in reference to the past of future, do we
      not? To imagine 'a better world' is to exercise this peculiar talent of
      blending memory and imagination; to compare 'how it was' with 'how it
      is' and then with 'how it should be' or 'how it might be'.

      But we must remember self; self is what is. Self is what 'has memory and
      imagination'; it has the ability to make adjustments to an imagined
      future, by relying on memory of the past.

      Consider the archer, shooting at a moving target; it is this ability to
      extrapolate the factors of movement, space, and time, which allows
      accurate marksmanship. Similarly, one who desires to see self, must take
      into account all of the apparent variables, and then both include and
      discount each one. Self is 'everything', yet, it is nothing 'in
      particular', rather, it is 'all particulars', and the space (and time)
      in which all particles reside. In 'particular', self is the unchanging
      space (and time) in which all changing things reside.

      As space, self is the consciousness in which all things appear, and in
      which all change seems to occur; self is the memory of past, the
      imagination of the future, and of course, it is the point of reference
      independent of all past and future; it is referenced to itself only, for
      there is nothing to which to compare self to. Yet, self 'sees' itself in
      the past and the future. Self spans all of time and space, encompasses
      all change, and is aware of itself as space, or 'emptiness'.

      'Emptiness' is the arena of consciousness, in which all events occur;
      all events, known (as contrasted to) the past, or simply observed
      without any knowing whatsoever, in the present. It is also possible to
      observe the past (memory) without any knowing; by this means, is past
      released, and thus also is identity allowed to dis-integrate and return
      to the dream-realm from which it arose 'in the beginning'.

      What is 'remaining' in this operation of removing all meaning from
      memory, is 'simply' the observer. Now released from identification as a
      historical figure, self is now the space of awareness itself. All
      'functions' of self, arise within this special 'emptiness'. To say
      emptiness is 'void' is to say the same thing as saying, 'nothing', which
      itself is the same error as referring to natural space as 'the
      out-of-doors'. What was it, before the invention of doors?

      In the same regard, we need a way of describing self, without reference
      to what it is not. Self is said to be 'not this and not that', but this
      only dismisses particulars. Self is said to be 'everything', but this
      dismisses space, which certainly 'exists'. So for these reasons, is
      self referred to as 'primordial emptiness', from which all things arise.
      But to say 'from which all things arise, may imply that these things
      which arise, go somewhere. Not being the case, as there is nowhere for
      anything to arise 'to' or 'from'; rather, self is emptiness and all
      change occurring within that emptiness, yet the 'original' emptiness
      'itself' does not change.

      Memory is then, the most volatile and ephemeral of all 'things', yet, it
      is also the 'foundation of sand' upon which identity is built; it is no
      wonder, that it is the work of a lifetime, to establish and maintain
      identity. It is this constant work, which is the 'confabulation' of the
      human, who seeks to maintain not only individual identity, but also
      group-identity. Tribal affiliations require shared memory; tribal
      members share this burden of work, and in part, this work is the
      constant purging of what is not 'of the tribe'. This drive to homogenize
      the world into the memory-criteria of the tribe, is what is behind most
      human conflicts; the easy way to avoid conflict, is to remember that all
      memory is ephemeral, and that it is simply a story that self tells to
      itself; so that to hold, or reject, any version of memory (tradition) is
      to invite conflict.

      Those willing attention to activism, remember; there is only self. Self
      is the arena of awareness in which all change occurs; only self is able
      to resist or motivate self; yet, it is all self-same.

      The journey begins as emptiness in emptiness, arises as apparent change
      in emptiness, and returns as emptiness to emptiness.

      Ask this: "What is doing, less the maintenance of identity?"

      [end of part three, continued in part four]


      Finally, Terry posted some Hafiz:

      *I Vote For You For God*

      When your eyes have found the strength
      To constantly speak to the world
      All that is most dear
      To your own
      Life,

      When your hands, feet, and tongue
      Can perform in that rare unison
      That comforts this longing earth
      With the knowledge

      Your soul,
      Your soul has been groomed
      In His city of love;

      And when you make others laugh
      With jokes
      That belittle no one
      And your words always unite,

      Hafiz,
      Does vote for you.

      Hafiz will vote for you to be
      The minister of every country in
      This universe.

      Hafiz does vote for you my dear.
      I vote for you
      To be
      God.

      Hafiz, trans Ladinsky, "The Gift"

      *Why Aren't We Screaming Drunks?*

      The sun once glimpsed God's true nature
      And has never been the same.

      Thus that radiant sphere
      Constantly pours its energy
      Upon this earth
      As does He from behind
      The veil.

      With a wonderful God like that
      Why isn't everyone a screaming drunk?

      Hafiz's guess is this:

      Any thought that you are better or less
      Than another man

      Quickly
      Breaks the wine
      Glass.

      hafiz/ladinsky

      Humbly contributed,
      Mark
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.