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11/27/01 Tuesday

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  • Gloria Lee
    ************** GENE POOLE Re: Eckhart, Ron, Pieter: Retrogression ... We can probably be a little more specific in an answer to Ron. Retrogress means to go
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 28, 2001
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      Re: Eckhart, Ron, Pieter: Retrogression

      >"When...the soul is aware that it is looking at God, loving
      him, and
      >knowing him, that is already a
      >What does retrogression mean in
      this context?

      We can probably be a little more specific in an answer to Ron.

      Retrogress means to 'go backwards'.

      One of the entries in the Tao Te Ching paraphrased:

      The sage observed:

      "When the Great Way is lost, filial piety is born"

      As indefinable as 'The Great Way' or 'Nonduality' may be,
      the principle which pertains is the one which is also outlined
      in Hawkin's book "Power VS Force":

      * Higher can see lower, but lower cannot see higher *

      Retrogression in this context is evidenced by _identification with_ a projected
      or imagined deity; the one doing the projecting is in a state of
      dissociation or
      as Pieter stated, "duality".

      One in this state of dissociation is helpless, but surrender
      of identity restores integrity of consciousness.

      Another way of looking at this is that everything which
      emanates from the source begins what is an endless
      descent into matter; that is, all that is manifest is essentially
      degenerate. Identification with/as body imposes a POV
      in which the source is regressing from the witness POV.

      The perennial behaviour of seeking is itself proposed as a
      remedy for this apparent disconnect or removal of seer
      from seen.

      The missing element in this drama of seeking and finding,
      is that the appearance of matter, of time and space and
      objects, is in no way separate from source; all of what is
      is equally valued, as the body of God. Faith is the generous
      allowance which is the personal counterpart of Grace.

      I have stated this in the context which I imagine that
      Meister Eckhart was using, which led to the question
      by Ron.

      ==Gene Poole==

      Read "Briefing For A Descent Into Hell"
      by Doris Lessing, for a beautiful allegory
      of this context of 'retrogression'.

      I'll force the coin. Looking in the dictionary, I see that retrogression in a less
      common usage means a return to a less complex or earlier condition. Yes, the
      implication is that it's a worse condition, but not necessarily. It is possible
      that retrogression could mean a step toward unity (toward God) and then nonduality
      (toward Godhead, using Eckhart's terms), if those states can be considered earlier
      or 'prior'. I can't find and am not about to look for the original quote, though
      I'm curious enough to ask Ron to type out the sermon it came from.

      Eckhart is very quotable. I can find where he says, "When I preach, I try to speak
      of letting go and that human beings should become unwed from themselves and from
      all things. Second I try to say that they should be conceived again in that simple
      good which is God. Third, I stress that people should reflect on that great
      nobility which God has put in their souls so that they might come to God in a
      wonderful manner. Fourth, I talk of the purity of the divine nature -- that
      brightness of the divine nature which is ineffable. God is a word, but an
      unexpressed Word."

      In this quote I can hear 'retrogression' being used in the sense that isn't
      negative. Are most of Eckhart's writings sermons? If so, I see them being positive
      and joyous. Apparently he used humor, Eckhart, and was joyous by nature: "In the
      same enjoyment in which God enjoys himself, he enjoys all things."

      I can't see him giving a sermon and saying that loving and knowing God is negative,
      a step toward a worse condition. Having said all that, I'd be surprised if I'm
      right! Just forcing the coin to land on the side it never lands on.

      Hey, Ron, type out more from where that quote came from. Thanks!



      "When...the soul is aware that it is looking at God, loving him,
      and knowing him, that is already a retrogression."

      The following quote I found by Eckhart supports the use of retrogression as a
      negative. But the last sentence could mean that retrogression is a return to
      emptiness, the desert, to wisdom, to the Godhead, since he talks about soul
      being aware. It's not possible to know whether the quote above is a movement
      toward or away from the desert, which I guess is why it found its way into a
      Zen calendar.

      In any case, Eckhart is fun to read and some of his stuff is very nondual.
      The first time I ran across him was that famous quote (from memory): "The eye
      through which man sees God is the eye through which God sees man." If a
      person reads that at the right time in their life, it can be powerful.


      " Thus, I say, a royal person derives and creates his or her whole being,
      life, and happiness only from God, through God, and in God -- not from
      realizing God, seeing God, loving God, or similar actions. Therefore, our
      Lord says in noteworthy words that eternal life is knowing God alone as the
      one, true God. He does not say that it is realizing that we know God. How can
      people who do not know themselves know themselves as knowing God? For surely
      people have no knowledge at all of themselves or of other things -- not to
      speak of God alone -- if they are happy in the root and depth of happiness.
      However, if the soul knows that it knows God, it gains at the same time a
      knowledge of God and of itself."

      No, if you are looking at God you have retrogressed into division, of 'me
      and God'.

      God can't see himself.

      I still see two points of view.  If one is fully identified with
      mind/body not seeing God.  If then one starts to see God they are
      regression to original source.

      Dictionary Definitions:
      1. return to a former and less complex level of development or

      2. to tend to approach or revert to a mean

      I agree with both ideas. Who knows what was originally meant.

      It was translated from German. How about this from Nisargadatta. What does he
      mean by recede?

      "When you are in consciousness, you understand the nature of consciousness
      and you recede. Your progress continues. This consciousness is slowly
      extinguishing itself; knowingly it is disappearing. But nothing affects You,
      because that is the Absolute. Just like when the flame is gone, the smoke is
      gone, the sky remains."

      'Recede' was translated from Nisargadatta's language.

      BOBBY G.
      Dear Ron
      I think this means that the ideas of knowing loving and looking at
      God are preceded by a brief realization of Oneness.  The idea
      immediately supplants the oneness.
      The idea is not that which it describes just as the word "cup" is not
      a real cup.


      ok, don't ask me how i did it, but i was breezing through a 600 page book on Eckhart's sermons put together by Matthew Fox, and I found another translation of your passage. The passage you delivered was:

      "When...the soul is aware that it is looking at God, loving him, and knowing him, that is already a retrogression."

      The translation I found is: "If the soul knows and realizes that it is seeing, knowing, and loving God, this means according to the natural order an interruption from this situation and a reversion to the first stage."

      Maybe that clarifies it. The portion leading up to the quote is: "The soul knows nothing about knowledge or love or anything else. It wishes to be completely at rest and exclusively in God's being. There it knows nothing but being and God." then your quote.

      Absolutely Clear

      Don't surrender your loneliness
      So quickly.
      Let it cut more

      Let it ferment and season you
      As few human
      Or even divine ingredients can.

      Something missing in my heart tonight
      Has made my eyes so soft,
      My voice so

      My need of God

      ("The Subject Tonight is Love" -- versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky; original presentation by David Williamson)


      Hi Friends,

      Thank you for letting me be a part of your elist conversations.  I'm
      about to log off the list because I'm leaving my apartment Friday and
      I'll let the email address lapse, as it was really part of the job I
      lost last August. (sheesh, I can't believe they let me keep using it so

      I'm not sure where I'm bound, but I hope to converse with you again
      someday. (Aw, heck, there's only one of it, so how could you get rid of

      Until then, be well,

      Pieter Schoonheim Samara

      The individual self (the non-self), which is based on the conception of an identity between a subject "I" and the body and impressions appearing in the mind of objects of the senses, is not real.  What is Real is simply the beginningless pulsation of the "I as I," which lights the body and mind with the pervasive awareness of "I."

      When the mind becomes pure, its substratum, the awareness of the single pervasive "I" emerges as Consciousness Itself, dissolving the idea of an identity with the body and impressions of the mind.

      For a while there seems to be an effort to purify the mind, as a means to realize the Truth.  Suddenly an inner awakening to the Truth pervades the consciousness and the idea of an identity to the body and impressions of the mind fades.

      When this identity begins to fade and the "I" is withdrawn to abide in It's own nature, the ideas such as attachment also fade.

      What is discovered is that the satvic mind, which reflects the inherent
      Intelligence within the "I," naturally attaches itself to the rajasic (actions) and tamasic mind (objects), but that these are never separate, but seem separate, from the perspective of the focusing lens of the mind, which is to say attention.  Attention is the power within the mind that binds thought impressions as a basis to formulate the idea of an identity between the subject (satvic mind) and object (tamasic mind), the continuous modification of these 2 being the activity of the rajasic mind.

      The substratum of these three, satvic (pure reflective consciousness),
      rajasic (active modifications) and tamasic (apparently solid objects), is
      the simple all pervasive awareness of "I as I."

      When through this special practice of Kundalini Yoga, the field of the body becomes charged and begins to resonate and balance, the vibration of the field begins to be of a higher frequency than thought impressions, such that the sense of identity begins to rest in that consciousness, where intuitive knowledge gives way to thought.

      Gradually, the entire field begins to resonate at this frequency for longer and longer periods of time, until the mind is so pure and
      electromagnetically balanced, that with the slightest exposure to the Truth (such as the reading of a spiritual text), the mind relinquishes its outgoing tendency, inverts and reflects the Self, pulsing "I as I" purely.

      This Self is recognized to be Truth.  One no longer says "I am this and that" but instead, if anything at all, "I am the Truth."

      This Truth is all-pervasive, without cause, without any conditions, without any link to time nor space, yet It is eternal and spacelike.
      Incomprehensible to the mind It abides as the single Truth of our Being.

      When we seem to think that the senses have focused in on an object (internal or external), what actually is happening is that the object is recognized within the field of the pervasive "I" consciousness and some knowledge is released as an intuition that gives way to thought images within the mind.  If we concentrate on the object with a still (concentrated) mind, the object becomes brighter within the pervasive field, which also reveals greater intuitive knowledge of the object within the mind.  A sense of realness is denoted to the object, which has no Reality of its own.

      The ignorant mind, which has no light of its own has the impression that there is a basis for an identity in this process of a subject in relation to an object, when actually the process is simply the satvic, rajasic and tamasic qualities attaching themselves to eachother variously.  We are told to give up attachments, and in the process, the ignorant mind has devised a whole category of higher and lower attachments to build a more comprehensive idea of an individual identity versus the real request of relinquishing attachment altogether.

      But, when the mind begins to become pure, and the Truth is heard inwardly, the whole range of identity to the process of attachments dissolves altogether, as the True Identity emerges and abides in Itself as all-pervasive single being.

      As long as we see and identify with the images appearing in the reflected consciousness of the mind, the consciousness appears to be limited and we seem to identify who we think we are with those reflections, but when the sun of the heart (Hrdayam) rises and pulls the sense of "I" into the Singularity of the "I" pulsing as soundless sound as "I," the moon of the mind, though continuing to appear in the all pervasive sky, is no longer needed for seeing, as notions of near and far - before and after have lost all meaning to the pervasive simplicity of the  Being Consciousness in which one now abides.

      With continued practice of Kundalini Yoga, this Truth and inward Knowledge emerges in the consciousness of the True Man and True Woman as simple pure Awareness of pervasive "I as I."

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