Friday, February 8, 2002
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ERIC BLACKSTEAD: Jody, if you are actually able to sustain
the belief that the woman we are discussing here is
Enlightened, and that all my observations about her are my
projections, as you keep intimating, you are clearly
marching to a different drummer than I am.
JODY: No argument there.
ERIC B.: To buttress your very personal definition of
enlightenment by suggesting comparisons between the lady in
question and the Bengali saint, Ramakrishna, is a perverse
and ludicrous idea.
JODY: Opinion noted.
ERIC B.: It's something like comparing a flea with the sky
because the flea not only causes itching, but can also fly.
Are you sure you want to do this?
ERIC B.: Ramakrishna didn't promote himself with endless
self advertising, pumping himself up all over the local
media, seeking people out for the sole apparent object of
being rude to them, and thus inflating himself.
JODY: In fact he did. He claimed to his devotees that he
was an incarnation of God. This was clearly an act of self
disclosure, which is what the woman in question is doing.
However, your idea of our lady's "apparent object" is
clearly your projection and conjecture.
ERIC B.: You write as if all personal characteristics have
the same weight and moral valence. Where did you ever get
this idea? Surely not from the writings of anybody who has
ever been acknowledged to be a sage or a saint?
JODY: I've come to depend on internal sources for my
understanding, as well as advice from good friends and
ERIC B.: Haven't you noticed that, allowing for personal
variables and cultural differences, all saints and sages
share certain benign characteristics?
JODY: Absolutely not. First of all, by the time the stories
of the saints get to us, they have been thoroughly and
completely disinfected and whitewashed of their humanity
and historical accuracy. The phenomenon is called
hagiography, and it occurs whenever a saint has a devoted
following to carry on his/her work after they leave the
Secondly, there have been many, many more saints we know
nothing about because they didn't have a following, or at
least one that endeavored to keep their memory alive.
ERIC B.: Haven't you noticed as well, that with the
singular modern exception of Ramana Maharshi, that lineage
and a realized teacher usually plays a significant part in
the public acceptance of someone's claims to Enlightenment?
JODY: No. I know of a number of individuals who've come to
Self realization without the benefit of an established
ERIC B.: Jody, I know that you are friends, at least
literary friends, with many people on this list and others
like HS, who are personally familiar with the lady in
question. I suggest you try out your Ramakrishna comparison
with off-line with some of them, and see what they think.
It's my guess that you'll be met with howls of friendly
mirth and sent back to your drawing board for another look.
Equally, in the same line, if you ask them whether one of
us is projecting, I don't think they will encourage you to
think it's me.
JODY: They might not all like her or agree with her
methods, but those I've come to respect as being in
understanding can see that the lady in question has indeed
come to the same understanding.
GREG GOODE: Just to dip in for a quick point here ...
Jody's point about hagiography can't be overemphasized.
I've been in very close contact with some latter-day
subjects of worship, veneration and idealization, and I can
tell you these benign characteristics are either (i) a
facade, (ii) broadly exaggerated, or (iii) simply lacking.
Don't forget that there's a behind-the-scenes side to
almost anyone in the public eye. And quite often these
idealizations serve the interests of the ones believing and
projecting them. Another thing is that the reputation of
the deceased skyrockets soon after death. What also
mushrooms is also the number of folks popping up claiming
authorization by the recently departed.
And while the points about idealization and worship this is
true, it is also true that kindness, benevolence and
generosity are wonderful qualities, more wonderful the
deeper they go. It's nice to be nice. And it's nice when
the other is nice to you. But the kind of understanding
being spoken about in this thread -- there are no airtight
links between this understanding and any ethical or
character attributes. Look at it the other way around for a
moment. Just think, what about all the sincerely sweet,
generous, open-hearted people there are in the world?
Everyone has seen or known them. Assuming for six seconds
that Understanding is the kind of thing that one can
"have," would you say these kind folks have it or not??
Love, and in Understanding this morning where the company
coffee shop is,
"Just think, what about all the sincerely sweet, generous,
open- hearted people there are in the world? Everyone has
seen or known them. Assuming for six seconds that
Understanding is the kind of thing that one can "have,"
would you say these kind folks have it or not??" --Greg
Greg, that is an excellent question, actually. The answer
may be clear to you, but I DON'T KNOW.
Maybe yes. Maybe that is all there is. (Generosity,
open-heartedness, etc.--not "sweet"ness though. Sweetness
is not very deep, I think. No offense to the donut crowd. I
just had one myself. I can't even describe it, it was so
good. OK, I take it back. Maybe sweetness is all there is.)
Maybe I am just really a very bad Buddhist?
Hi Greg --
The overemphasis on being nice is
the road to neuroses of all sorts.
Fortune cookie says: when the people are emphasizing
how nice it is to be nice, not-niceness is
right at hand ... noted on lists as well
as daily life
You seem to imply that it is worthwhile to assume
that understanding is had -- and
that nice people have understanding
of some sort associated with niceness, implying
not-nice people don't or won't?
Putting it nicely,
GREG GOODE responds to DAN:
>The overemphasis on being nice is
> the road to neuroses of all sorts.
That's why they call it an *over*emphasis...
>You seem to imply that it is worthwhile to assume
> that understanding is had -- and
> that nice people have understanding
> of some sort associated with niceness, implying
> not-nice people don't or won't?
Not at all, it's a reductio based on something Eric said in
a previous post, viz.
> Haven't you noticed that, allowing for personal variables and
> cultural differences, all saints and sages share certain benign
If someone believes in (a) having Understanding, and (b)
niceness as a cause or consequence of Understanding, then
it might be worthwhile to consider whether Understanding
and niceness can independently of each other. And if one
sincerely encounters such an independence, then what does
that do to one's belief in (b)?
Drinking a nice cup of tea,
.........Prayer is praise of god, wanting nothing from god
, not even an answer to a question. .......matthew
Beautiful, Matthew. Still, listening is not a bad idea.
Lots to hear besides answers, admittedly rarely given.
nothing higher nothing lower
just this - abundance
there is more than enough for everybody
no one need go hungry or thirsty or lacking
yet many do only for lack of giving
lack of understanding
who is doing this?
what is the cause
where is the cure
awaken in the dream
and yet again awaken
all is dream
all is real
the absolute is right here
stop imagining and know
flesh and spirit are one
the universe is alive - is life itself
you are the universe
all that occurs in the world
occurs in you
all that occurs in you
occurs in the universe
with all the power you can muster
from your heart try to believe
in as many things at once as you can
really, truly, deeply believe
believe in all the good stuff
believe in things you don't want to believe in
believe in the stuff the other guy believes in
believe in stuff you never thought of before
see it as a spinning wheel going faster and
faster till it dissolves into a blur
then maybe you'll see that it is belief
alone that drives the illusion we call the
there isn't much to beliefs
they are just ideas held in the head
unless the ideas get ahold of the head
and the hands do things the heart would not
if you must believe,
believe this - you,
yes you, are the main cause for most of your own
suffering and bliss too!
nobody can stick it to you like you...
ain't it the pits? :-)
take care of yourself
treat each other well
it could work you know
loveya - michael
from Petros Truth
True method is to take the path as the goal; it is to begin
with enlightenment and grow deeper with that day after day.
True renunciation is to abandon any thought of 'self' and
'other,' or of 'path' and 'goal.'