Tuesday, August 21
- GARY MERRILL
It strikes me how it is that at first we seem to be
someone going somewhere as if in a line going from
A to B. Later the journey seems more like a circle
as we discover that we are not going anywhere
except returning home, where we started. (lots of
little going round in circles meantime :-))
Intesting that the circle is symbol of completion
and wholeness. Everyone and everything in its place
on the circle are equally worthy and no one is
really in front of anyone else. The first will be
last. Its a different kind of 'non-dual' insight
that allows for all forms to be as one and as none.
In a culture where 'progress' is taken as the be
all of everything we are rare birds that don't
follow any way. That cycles speak of harmony is
easy to see, though in practise we behave as if we
won't be happy until we find a way of having
Love speaks of the wholeness of life, and at the
end of the day maybe that's all we ever wanted or
Is the progression always linear? There are
different kinds of answers to this.
1. Broad strokes - Like Maslow's Hierarchy, one
tends to seek food, and shelter before
psychological fulfillment, and this before what he
called "self actualization." But that is a
description of broad strokes, overall tendencies.
There are interpenetrations within the hirerarchy.
One can do spiritual practices and chanting and
meditation and therapy the same day or same week
that one inquires into the nature of the Self.
2. In the old days, before Barnes and Noble and
Amazon - the teacher could enforce things to be
linear. Buddhism - one of the pre-requisites for
being given the teachings on emptiness (no-self) is
that the student would break out in tears of joy
and goosebumps when they hear the very word
"emptiness." If they are exposed to the teachings
beforehand, then this could lead to dodging,
inauthenticity, and a nihilistic attitude, where
the student misunderstands, thinking, "Things are
empty, so it doesn't matter what I do..." In
Advaita Vedanta - it teaches that in the old days
of India, the family guru would teach ethics and
the proper form for worship and duties. If the guru
saw that one of the family members had the
pre-requisites for learning the non-dual teachings,
*only then* would the teaching begin. Shankara was
pretty specific about laying out the what he called
the "four-fold qualifications" for the study of
advaita. Without these, the student wouldn't
receive the non-dual teachings:
1. Being able to discriminate between the eternal and the timebound;
between the unlimited and the limited.
2. Absence of craving; and dispassion towards likes and dislikes.
3. Control of the mind, control of the tongue and limbs from
actions, observance of one's duty according to their station in life (a
lesson in the Bhagavad Gita), faith in the words of the teacher and
the ability to have one-pointedness of mind towards a single object.
4. The burning desire for liberation.
3. In the days of the Internet, there's the
invisible-hand effect that makes for some linearity
- people tend to try everthing, and stick with what
works. So one time try what is billed as "the
highest teaching," but later they find themselves
often going back, pulled as if by an invisible
hand, to what might have been considered a "lower"
teaching. Like my friends, who 4 years ago would
have scoffed at EMDR. Now they have done it and are
great proponents of it!
Yes, I've heard of Jon Welwood. Here's a quote from
something he said I think in an interview (thanks
He uses the term "spiritual bypassing" here.
There's something similar - Andrew Cohen coined it,
"The Advaita Shuffle."
He says, "I see many people who do very
sophisticated spiritual practices, but at the same
time they are functioning at a very low level of
personal development. They have compartmentalized
spirituality rather than integrated it into their
everyday lives. This kind of 'spiritual bypassing'
can be used so that you don't have to deal with
personal and interpersonal difficulties. I think
this kind of work needs to be integrated into our
lives if the planet is to survive."
"melody" <melody@s...> wrote:
> Only then could I begin to question whoMelody, this is a very interesting thought... this
> this "I" was....and begin to let go of some
> of my most precious self 'defining' patterns
> of identity.
perspective of "progression". Though I can see
elements of "progression" within my own experience,
as a whole, I would say it has been very different
For me, it has been the sort of "drop her in and
see what she does" experiment... and it has been
going on for years. Should I get used to this
rubber band? Perhaps... but each time is a new
I am typically totally unprepared for most of the
"big events"... :) forget not being able to hear...
think: completely overstimulated... hehe... or
"understimulated", if you prefer.
If my essence came
From causes and conditions,
It would have been constructed---
Essences are neither contingent nor contrived.
If I have no essence, how can you?
What is other for me is for you your own---
How can you not be
Yourself or someone else?
There could be no nothing---
Do not people say:
A thing becomes nothing
When it changes into something else?
You who behold
Somethings and nothings,
Yourselves and others,
Are blind to what the Buddha taught.
Somethings and nothings,
Gautama told Katyayana
To relinquish being and nothingness.
If I had an essence,
I would never cease to be me---
My nature could never be anything else.
If I had no essence,
Whose nature would it be to be anything else?
"I am me, I will never not be"---
The longing for eternity.
"I used to be, I am not any more"---
The cut of annihilation.
The sage avoids being and nothingness.
I'm saying there is Awareness ....a state of
'being', if you will......in which the 'thought' of
self as separate and distinct from any 'other' does
not ever occur.
It does not 'order' all this.....it just 'sees' all
this, experiences all this....without ever naming
it, or discecting it or making any distinctions
I'll give an example of one of my first experiences
of such an awareness. Some call it an experience of
(For those of you who have heard this story, please
forgive the repeat.)
I used to work as a hypnotherapist. One day I had
scheduled much heaving than was my custom.
I had scheduled 3 clients back to back, without a
break, to be followed by a session with a peer...in
which we took turns 'working' with each other.
After my third one and a half to two hour sessions,
my girlfriend rang the door, and I invited her in.
Almost immediately she asked, "What do you need to
Her question stunned me. I couldn't answer it it at
first because I first had to find this 'you' she
was talking to. I had absolutely no sense of this
'me' she was talking to....much less any sense of
any accompanying 'neediness'.
It took only moments....what felt like minutes...
to finally 'find' and then reconnect with, a sense
of 'me' .
And when I found it....and connected to it.... I
was immediately disappointed. It was as if a 'wide
angle lens' had snapped shut, and I was left with
very narrow one.
Looking back I could see that I had gone quite some
time that day without a single thought of my self -
no self referencing at all....not even to think of
being thirsty, or wondering when I will get a
break, or thinking that her story "reminds me
of".....none of that.
And the clients tell me those were some of the most
effective sessions they had had with me....even
though "I"....that sense of "I"....with all my good
intentions....was not present.
Horse with black and white paint? They said I was a
Jesus earned his stripes... How did Buddha get his?
Wow. That is freedom. Wow. That is power.
Karma builds energy as it comes around. Therefore,
get out of the habit of 'letting it slide' (this
drains the source energy) rather, learn to 'let it
go'... your movement to the source is all that is
required. No need to take short cuts or go
around... it adjusts as it goes.
It may be funny that you have stolen my money and
yet the joke is what you stole well,... those funds
were given to purchase your souls. Now I am broke.
There is no room for lazy people in social
services. Lazy people are for profit organization.
Just like those that leech social services funding
to support their flandering coffee businesses.
No one understands the help as they have forgotten
The name may be stolen and destroyed but the being
I am remains eternal and everlasting. Canada is the
merging of all cultures. Is it any wonder than that
I, Jesus Christ, would be found amoung them?
My defence? Mission: Conquer death. Style to be
used? Escape and Evasion. I took what I needed when
I needed it as I needed it. I said what I needed to
say when I needed to say it as 'it needed to be
o -- hobbes; 0,0,0,0:00.00 Nao
The process of 'thinking' is a comparison/negation
of what you do not know as it relates to what you
do know creating a natural erosion of the purity of
Who and what we are lives in the moment without
fear. At the same time it also appears as distinct
characters in the play. Deep down we know that to,
as the saying goes, merge with god means the end of
the character. We do not want the play to end and
so tend to shy away from that which we seek. Ironic
I gaurantee that if and when 'you' do 'merge' with
the infinite conciousness and know beyond a doubt,
belief, or concept who you really are - you will
come back and continue in the play.
Ah, will the play then hold the same charm? Or,
will your participation be free and joyous?! That's
what you really want to know.
Peace - at play in the fields of eternity - Michael