The Dalai Lama has it -- but just what is 'it'?
- 'The Dalai Lama also said, 'Maybe science will figure these things out,
which would be very nice. Maybe it won't.' '
The Dalai Lama has it -- but just what is 'it'?
Los Angeles Times
By Louis Sahagun
December 08, 2006
If there was ever someone in need of good vibrations, it was Paul Ekman. The
UC San Francisco psychology professor was as gnarly as an old oak, with a
face hard-chiseled by a lifelong struggle with impulsive anger. All that
changed one spring day in 2000 after a brief exchange with His Holiness the Dalai
'He held my hands while we talked,' Ekman recalled, 'and I was filled with a
sense of goodness and a unique total body sensation that I have no words to
describe.' Now, the noted expert on human emotional expression understands
what it actually feels like to be cheery and optimistic almost every day.
'If I was 30 years younger, I'd take it on as a scientific task to try to
explain what happened that day,' said Ekman, 72. 'It was a great gift.' What is
that gift? Mind control? Charisma? A superhuman skill learned in some Tibetan
Shangri-La? A touch of magic? The Dalai Lama prefers not to talk of such
things. 'I have no extraordinary energy,' he insists with a dismissive wave his
hand. 'I'm just a Buddhist monk.' But some familiar with the Dalai Lama, and
those who study religious figures in history, agree that every so often,
people emerge who are perceived to offer proof of a higher authority,
understanding or wisdom. 'It - whatever it is - can't be defined and is not to be
confused with stardom or fame,' suggested someone who knows a lot about both, Maria
Shriver. 'I think the Dalai Lama would say look within because it's in you,
not someone else. It all comes down to whether you're open to being touched
in your heart.' Shriver, a member of the Kennedy clan and Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger's wife, knows the Dalai Lama and in September appeared onstage with
him at a conference in Long Beach on women's issues. She also knew Mother
Teresa and Pope John Paul II and said they too projected an aura. In India, one of
the most popular spiritual leaders today is Mata Amritanandamayi, a Hindu
woman who is said to impart divine energy with a hug. Over the years, according
to her followers, the 'Mother of Divine Bliss' has hugged more than 20
million people. 'Personally, I don't know what it is she has, but I don't think
it's a scam,' said Dara Mayers, an author who has written about her travels
with the guru. 'It reminded me a little of a quality I've seen in some
performers and politicians like Bill Clinton, who is famous for making the focus of
his attention feel like the only other person in the room.' But as Shriver
noted, this quality goes beyond charisma. What these special figures have in
common is their effect on others. They are perceived as being able to bring
people to a higher state of being through their example, teachings, sufferings or
touch. In Roman Catholicism, the lives of saints offer many examples, whether
from the distant past, as in St. Francis of Assisi, who died in 1226, or
more recent times. For example, the Italian priest Padre Pio, who died in 1968
and was canonized in 2002, was said to have a remarkable ability to sense
people's pains and to provide comfort. Thomas Craughwell, a devoted Catholic and
author of several books on saints, said an unquantifiable quality sets some
people apart from the rest of humanity. 'These people are operating at a level
most of us are not,' he said, 'and they're not limited by denominations. The
spirit blows where it will. 'We don't run into them very often,' he added,
'but when we do, we're rattled because it's like a brush with the divine, and
because we want a piece of what they have.' That was the case with two visits
in September to the Los Angeles area by the Dalai Lama. Hundreds of Tibetans
and Mongolians gathered at a Pasadena hotel to receive a personal blessing
that some believed would protect them in this life and ensure them a place in
heaven. The Dalai Lama is leader of the world's Buddhists, born in a cowshed
in a remote Tibetan village and chosen by a search party of monks at the age
of 2 to be head of his people.
B. Allan Wallace, who has served as a translator for the Dalai Lama since
1974, said there is 'a field of kindness' surrounding the spiritual leader that
is 'not hocus-pocus' and was developed 'after meditating four to six hours
each day for 55 years.' That kind of talk makes some scientists uncomfortable
but also hungry to know more. Anne Harrington, a professor of the history of
science at Harvard, still marvels at how her colleagues responded to the Dalai
Lama during a meeting with him in India a few years ago. 'There was one
physicist who, after a few days with the Dalai Lama, tearfully confessed that his
wife had cancer,' she recalled. 'He wanted a blessing. Specifically, he
wanted a red blessing string for his wife.' In late 2003, Harrington attended a
two-day conference at MIT between Western scientists and the Dalai Lama, who
'radiated an extraordinary openness and humor that was disarming and
inconsistent with the pomp and circumstance we normally associate with a world
figure.' 'At one point, during a sensitive moment in group discussion, the Dalai
Lama sneezed into the microphone,' Harrington recalled. 'It made a booming sound
that temporarily stopped the proceeding.' Afterward, she said, some of the
Buddhist monks and scholars in attendance 'talked about how skillful His
Holiness had been in clearing the air of meandering talk and getting us back onto
a more productive footing.' To Harrington, it was just a sneeze, but she
found the reaction to it striking.
'In other words,' she said, 'the assumption was that every sniffle and
twitch he makes is in meaningful service, whatever he is engaged in at any
particular moment. 'Clearly,' Harrington added, 'we don't all engage with the same
Dalai Lama. 'That's not to undermine the warm and loving personality he brings
to every occasion,' she said. 'But he is also believed by some to have the
ability to make wrong right, and heal, and make peace palpable. And that
teaches us as much about ourselves as it does about him.' And yet, how to explain
the experience of people like Ekman, the psychologist who learned to control
his anger? Years ago, stories about the Dalai Lama's healing presence would
have placed him squarely in Ekman's 'Oh, give me a break' camp. Now, Ekman
desperately wants to know how the Dalai Lama cured him literally overnight of
the explosive temper that had him in psychoanalysis for years. Ekman recently
interviewed eight others who experienced similar transformations after meeting
the Dalai Lama. All had revealing things in common, including emotionally
traumatic childhoods, Ekman said. In addition, all were facing a major turning
point in their lives around the time of their meeting. 'In my case, my mother
took her own life when I was 14,' Ekman said, 'and I was considering
retirement after monomaniacally pursuing a career in the psychology of emotion.' Last
May, Ekman crossed paths again with the Dalai Lama at a conference in
Illinois and popped the question: What is it? Without accepting credit for Ekman's
case, 'The Dalai Lama smiled and said there are things science can't explain,
but that doesn't mean it shouldn't try to,' he said. 'The Dalai Lama also
said, 'Maybe science will figure these things out, which would be very nice.
Maybe it won't.' '
Copyright © 2006 Los Angeles Times
The Jesus son of a hure is Jesus ben Pandira, see the cycle about the Matthew Gospel by RS.
Regards Gotthard in Melbourne AUSOn 1/18/07, dottie zold <dottie_z@...> wrote:--
I was just wondering which lineage is the one that has
the line of those called the Prostitute? Was that the
Solomon line or the Nathan line?
Selma Lagerlöf (1859-1940), 1909 Nobel Literature Laureate:"[Rudolf Steiner] taught a number of things in which I have long believed, among them that it is no longer possible in our time to offer a religion full of unsubstantiated miracles, but rather that religion must be a science which can be proven. It is no longer a question of belief, but of knowing. Further, we acquire knowledge of the spiritual world through steady, conscious, systematic thinking ... In years to come, his teachings will be proclaimed from the pulpits"
Rudolf Steiner: Only truth can bring us security in the development of our individual forces.
Whoever is tortured from doubts, his forces are paralysed.
In a world, enigmatic to one self, one can find no aim for one's working.
Motto of 'Philosophy of Spiritual Activity' 1894, Appendix II 1918