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01/06/02 Sunday

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  • Gloria Lee
    ************ JAN SULTAN Everybody living from Who they really are - Douglas Harding Well, before I try and answer that one, let me get something out of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 7, 2002
       Everybody living from 'Who they really are' - Douglas Harding

      Well, before I try and answer that one, let me get something out of the
      way. I don't use the word enlightened anymore; it's a buzz word, it's a
      word which is a very, very tricky one, and I don't say I'm enlightened and
      you're endarkened. I do not say that. In fact, I don't feel that way. I
      don't feel myself to be enlightened in a world of endarkened people. That
      distinction is not real for me, it does not feel like that. I meet people.
      I don't think 'you don't see what I do'. It is the last thing I think and I
      swear that it is my experience and you see-the way I think of other people
      vis-à-vis myself-they and I living are living from the same place, in the
      same way and in the same fashion.
      All of us are living from who we really, really, really are and we couldn't
      do otherwise. And if they wish-and certainly most people wish to overlook
      this fact or to ignore this fact; of what they're looking out of, of who
      they really, really, really are-it doesn't prevent them living in that
      place, and so one cannot feel enlightened or superior to them at all. It's
      just that I happen to be interested in observing what I'm looking out of,
      interested in making this 180º U-turn to be awake, not only to the object
      as object, but to the subject as object. In fact, I'm not content with
      one-way looking but with two-way looking, but other people have the right
      to delay that. Why should I really feel superior to all that?

      Douglas Harding

      ..... I know. I think he's just immersed in this world and he has no
      escape. Not escape -it's the wrong word- he has no peace, no stillness at
      his center. He imagines he hasn't -because he is- he is that. This is not
      an achievement. This is what he is. Everyone of us is doing it, doing it
      right, living it from who we really, really, really are - everyone of us is
      doing it right, but he is not cashing it. It's like having a million pounds
      in the bank and thinking you are a pauper - and writing no cheques on it.

      Douglas Harding

      Q: Papaji, you recommend that we don't read books about awakening because
      it just creates the preconception and expectation of what awakening will
      feel like, taste like, of what it will be like. What then do you hope to
      convey about it in an interview?

      PAPAJI: I don't recommend that you read any sacred books or books about
      saints. When you read a spiritual book, you will probably like some part of
      it. If you read it and like it, you store it in the memory. Later, you sit
      in meditation, trying to get freedom. You want to be free, and you have a
      conception of freedom which you have acquired from your books. When you
      meditate, this preconceived idea will manifest and you will experience it.
      You forget that what you are experiencing is something that is stored in
      your memory. What you get is a past experience, not enlightenment. The real
      experience is not an experience of a past memory. The mind deceives you
      when you meditate. The mind is always going to deceive you and cheat you,
      so don't depend on the mind. If the mind wants or likes something, don't
      listen to it. Whatever the mind likes, dislike it. Memory means past. When
      you meditate, you are trying to execute a plan which is in your mind: 'I
      have to arrive at the place I have read about.' Your later experience is
      therefore preplanned and that is what you get, because whatever the mind
      thinks, it manifests.
      When you have a thought of samsara, manifestation arises. This is your
      thought, your wish. That is why the world manifests. It looks so real to
      you because you have faith in its reality. Once you experience that Reality
      is somewhere else, you will reject samsara instantly. You will have a very
      new, very fresh experience. Each moment will be new. You will not
      experience it with the mind. Then there will be no mind, you will be all
      alone. This and this alone is called 'experience'. I won't use the word
      experience again because all experiences are planned from the past. It is
      not really going to be an experience, it is going to be a very direct
      meeting. For the first time you will meet That. You will go to meet It
      after denuding your mind, after denuding all the concepts of the mind. You
      have to go there undressed. Undress everything. Be nude. Even denude
      yourself of the nudity. Do you understand? The chamber of this Beloved is
      so sacred, this is the only way you can enter. If you want to meet your
      Beloved, go there. Who stops you? Do it now itself. It is so simple. To
      dress up takes time. To undress is much easier.


      After fifteen years at the Abbey of Gethsemani, Father Louis
      Merton began to realize the complexity of his earlier desire
      for sanctity. Becoming a saint for him meant, in some ways,
      to realize the we are fools for Christ's sake. He wrote about
      the following is from the Merton list:


      this maturing realization in 1958 to his New York friend,
      Catherine de Hueck Doherty:

      "After so boldly advertising to the world that I was out to
      become a saint, I find I am doing a pretty bum job of it...
      But it certainly is a wonderful thing to wake up suddenly in
      the solitude of the woods and look up at the sky and see the
      utter nonsense of everything, including all the solemn stuff
      given out by professional asses about the spiritual life: and
      simply to burst out laughing, and laugh and laugh, with the
      sky and the trees because God is not in words, and not in
      systems, and not in liturgical movements, and not in
      'Contemplation' with a big C, or in asceticism or in anything
      like that, not even in the apostolate. Certainly not in
      books. I can go on writing them, for all that, but one might
      as well make paper airplanes out of the whole lot."
      (Catherine de Hueck Doherty, September 18, 1958)


      To me, the key to this paragraph is the phrase 'wake up suddenly'. If
      that happens in any setting, whether it's the woods or at the desk, he
      could have written that paragraph.


      Laura Johnston Randolph
      I'm looking for a book to read that attempts to describe the Absolute in
      terms of spirit,space, time, matter etc.  Does anybody know of a good one?
      Try ON HAVING NO HEAD by Dougla Harding.  Or THE CONSCIOUS UNIVERSE by Amit Goswami.  Or any of Tarthang Tulku's books, which are available in most large bookstores.

      Good hunting.

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