Friday, November 2
- We've put together some of Joseph Riley's
contributions to the Hafiz list (which Gloria has
sent to other lists), and made a little slide show,
I guess you'd call it. It's at
As you probably know, your Question "Where is the
border-line between compassionate acceptance and
voluntarily exposing oneself to psychic abuse, to
the point of psycho-somatic dis-ease, in the name
of compassion ?" is unanswerable. You want to know
when it is objectively acceptable to break off a
destructive relationship. It is a purely subjective
situation. You also seem to be saying that your
composure is suffering and that makes it reasonable
to break it off. This may have to do with
'spiritual growth'. You don't feel it is right for
her to impede your growth.
I personally believe that loving someone must
always grant them the freedom to exhibit a tendency
without labeling them because of it. I mean acting
a certain way does not mean you are that way. It is
just a tendency which may change. You don't love
the tendency, you love the person. And vice-versa.
If you can't do that or she can't do that now you
may be able to later. Who knows?
I broke off a relationship with a sweet but
irrational woman I had been seeing for a long time.
In order to 'convince me to come back' she felt
truthfullness would help. She confessed her
infidelities. It did not help.
The bigger picture which I believe relates to
non-dualism is the fact that I objectified all
women. It was something I had to realize before I
could grow. People can not be objects. People will
spontaneously change in an instant and no longer
act the same way. Therefore to act like they are a
thing is inaccurate.
The real problem is the tendency to objectify one's
quoting Wayne Liquorman:
From the standpoint of the ultimate understanding
that all there is, is Consciousness, then all of
the mechanisms, all of the appearances in
Consciousness in the manifestation, all of the so
called individuals are simply arisings in
Consciousness. They are expressions of
Consciousness. So in visual terms, imagine
Consciousness as a big ball of clay out of which
are pulled these various organisms so that they are
never separate, they never come apart from this
ball of clay, because the ball of clay is all there
is. It is a oneness.
Yet arising out of this are all of these body-mind
mechanisms that are given names such as Bill or
Karen or Abdul. When they arise we say they are
born. The reason this image is useful is that the
connection between that which is born and the
Consciousness from which it arises is visually in
tact. In the world there is the appearance of all
of these separate entities walking around. Their
connection to the Source is not readily seen.
When it is understood that there is this underlying
connection to everything-that everything springs
forth from this Oneness and is only an aspect of
the Oneness- then it is seen that each of these
forms is a temporary arising through which various
events happen, experiences happen, emotions arise,
thoughts arise, and memories are contained. At the
end of its span death happens, what we call death,
which is the returning of all of these elements
back into the Source.
It is the falling of the arising so that all of the
component elements "return" to the Source from
which they have never left in the first place. They
are no longer differentiated in any way. All of
these thoughts, experiences, memories, all of these
characteristics go back into this pool of
The important thing to realize is that the clay
figures that are extruded out of the whole are
never separate. They may appear to be separate, but
that is only because you can't always see the
tendril of connection back to the Oneness. Nothing
can be separate from the Oneness, then it would be
Matter, as the physicists say, is neither created
nor destroyed. There is this Oneness and there is a
continual arising of new body-mind mechanisms. If
in one of these body-minds there is a sense of
personal doership, then it will think that any
thought that arises in it is its own. It may be a
"new" thought or one that was thought by another
body-mind mechanism five hundred years ago. It may
be the memory of an experience experienced in a
previous body-mind mechanism. But if there is a
sense of personal doership there, the organism will
consider that thought, or that experience, or that
memory to be its own and will say "I" experienced
that, that was "my" previous birth, that was "my"
previous experience. But there is no separate
mechanism in the first place.
Bill or Karen or Abdul are merely names given to
particular temporary arisings in Consciousness. The
whole notion of reincarnation is based on the
notion of separateness. Once it is seen that all
there is is Consciousness then what incarnates and
reincarnates is also seen as Consciousness. From
the standpoint of the sage all is One, and all of
the expressions are an expression of the One.
This is what I entered on my live journal today:
For some reason, keeping a live journal, actually
has little appeal.I guess it is because there is
little personal consideration with the thoughts
that arise during the day. Thoughts come and go,
not as often as they used to. Still, though, most
of them don't have much value.
I have a habit of discarding most of what I think.
It is either silly or irrelevant. Very little tends
to be disconcerting anymore. Still, I see the
tendency to grasp at some of the things I do think
about. It is there, part of being a human.
When I am working, I do think. If I don't, using
power tools becomes quiet a dicey proposition. And
mistakes in workmanship will occur. My temporary
employer commented to me that it was good to have
someone around who could think. I just laughed and
said - sometimes! We both laughed at that.
There was a time, most of my life actually, that I
did identify with every thought. Especially when
the thought was coupled with emotion. Sure, doesn't
everybody? heeheehee Sure do!
There is something I would like to express. In
order to do so I use the intellect and allow
emotion to flow. That is, I don't try to stifle
emotion. If I do, the opening for what I want to
say closes. The poetry that flows out sometimes
astonishes me. No, I don't have any notions about a
higher cause coming through me as some sort of a
vessel. The poetry just comes.
Here is a poem that I wrote a year or so ago about
how the poems arrive.
>From the quiet placeWhere the un-struck bell resounds
Sweet poetry springs forth like nectar
Quenching the desert of desire.
Well, I did use change as a subject for this entry.
Might as well write a word or two about the subject
I have realized the absolute. That has had a
profound impact on me as a character in this great
game. These days I'll tell anybody that they are
god in the flesh. The other day after work the boss
took the two of us on the job site out for beers.
We met another person in the bar. She, new to me,
was an old business associate of the boss's.
Somewhere in the course of the conversation, it was
an appropriate moment, I said that the thing about
god is that everything and everybody is god. I
pointed to each of us at the table and said,"'he's
god, your god, he's god, everything is god - and do
you want to know what the big deal about it is?
There is no big deal about it." Robin, the woman we
met, just said, "I capiche!"
Then the subject matter drifted off to sports and
work and general stuff. What a hoot!
Drama, drama, drama. Like space, drama never seems
to end. It may be the quiet statment of a briiliant
autumn sunset in Northern New Mexico, or it may be
the fury of war in the world.
Even those folk deemed as saints by other folk, yup
- even the biggies like Jesus and Buddha, had
dramatic lives. I have no problems with it being
all so dramatic. Though I'll laugh or cry as quick
as the next person, somehow, the attachment to the
drama isn't there.
I don't know how to convey the way I am now. There
is a line from the Avadhut Gita that does a fair
job of explaining it.
"I am passionate with dispassion. Who can explain
As a character in this game of life I have been
looking for a way to convey to the other characters
who they really are. It is a great irony to those
like me, who see only god in all people and things,
to try to help other characters see themselves as
Ciao paesano, Michael
Your words are so wise and clear.
Drama is a seduction,
and becomes our identity when we attach to it.
May you keep writing your insightful thoughts.
They are received here with gratitude.