Location: Louisville, KY
Interests: Spiritual evolution, books, meditation, nakedness, hiking, peanut butter, good music, good people, running, working out, DMB, Earth (the planet), hard work, no work, accomplishing something, helping & learning from others, staring in wonder at nature, friends & family, emotion, teeth brushing, NPR, clean sheets, trail mix, mountains, oceans, rivers, forests, electric scissors.
I am he who repeats the name of the nameless over and over in my thoughts, in my mantras, in my actions; ceaselessly I am he who prays to see and to know the face of the faceless. Also, I am he who loves his pillow at the end of a long day. O pillow, pillow, wherefore art thou pillow?
The Crown Is Already Upon The Head
"There is no greater mystery than the following: Ourselves being the reality, we seek to gain reality." - Ramana Maharshi
Intro To Ramana Maharshi: My Question Evolves
In brief, Ramana Maharshi was a sage born in India in the year 1879. In his mid to late teens, he had an enlightenment experience which blossomed into total and permanent self-realization. For some years during that time period, he was silent and solitary, absorbed in the blissful folds of timeless reality.
After living in solitude in the caves of a sacred hill by the name of Arunachala, he took up residence at the hill's base. Many came to ask him questions and an ashram began to form around him consisting of those who recognized and sought the stillness, the peace, the radiance, and the beauty of the divine energy emanating effortlessly from Ramana.
In the Introduction to Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, Matthew Greenblatt says:
"Ramana sat in a modest hall, available day and night to answer questions from sincere seekers. His only possessions were a loincloth and a towel. Maharshi never asked anything of anyone. He never traveled, gave formal talks, or wrote books. He spontaneously answered questions asked of him and was unconcerned regarding the comings and goings of visitors. ... What's more remarkable is that throughout all the years he lived at the ashram, he never had a private room or a separate accommodation. He slept and lived in the Hall - the same location that visitors occupied days and evenings with him."
My work of spiritual study and spiritual practice - which is not limited to a realm of a specific activity called "spiritual" but is rather a whole program for life, encompassing every nook and cranny of every moment - has largely been an effort and practice of the how question. How do I directly apprehend and abide within reality as it is? How may I awaken?
As a result of encountering Ramana Maharshi via the Law of One-esque philosophy of Ken Wilber, my how question found its destination, anchor, and end. Taking a quantum leap forward, how became who, the most important and quite literally the only question worth the asking more than once.
Again, from the Introduction:
"Throughout the more than fifty-four years that Maharshi guided seekers from various parts of the world, he never swerved from the essential task of bringing the questioner back to the truth of his or her own Existence. Whatever form the question would take, Ramana would patiently and gently lead the questioner back to the "one who questions".
This is basically all Ramana did. No matter the concern, the problem, the statement, or the question brought to him, Ramana would steer the attention of the seeker towards who, as in who wants to know?; who asks?; and to whom does this happen? The technique he gave the world, known as Self-Inquiry, leads the seeker to the heart of self, towards discovering who the self really is, first by discovering who the self is not.
I have divided up his teaching into three basic sections: Who We Are, Why We Do Not See, and Self-Inquiry: The Means For Removing Our Ignorance. I have a brief intro of my own words to offer each section. Afterword we will venture forward into words which cut directly through the divine and comic human madness, those simple, elegant, sparkling words of Ramana Maharshi. I will intersperse Ramana's words with the not unenlightened thinking from the one known as Ken Wilber. Bolstering this Ramana and Wilber will be other select gems of wisdom from those known to us as Ra.
What I present is not a "teaching" on my behalf, this is only a reporting of some of the sights and wonders of a new country I have barely begun to explore. I hope that by way of my humble report you will have a glimmer of what the promised land may be... and the means to becoming aware that you are already there... recognizing with a sigh of eternal relief that the ground upon which you now stand and have stood is none other than the promised land which you have sought. (Note: I do not regularly refer to supreme reality as "the promised land". It works, though.)
Who We Are
U.G. Krishnamurti once said something which could also have come from Ramana. "I would say there isn't anything to get from anybody. Who am I to give it to you? You have what I have. We are all at 25 Sannidhi Street, and you are asking me ‘Where is 25 Sannidhi Street?'"
What Krishnamurti describes seems to be our situation. Ra describes it this way in Session 49 of Book II, "Meanwhile the Creator lies within. In the north pole the crown is already upon the head and the entity is potentially a god. This energy is brought into being by the humble and trusting acceptance of this energy through meditation and contemplation of the self and of the Creator."
The key word which unlocks so much - that which is essential to both the Law of One and Ramana's and Wilber's teaching - is the word "already". There is nothing to gain because that which we seek is already here. Furiously poring Google Maps in search of our destination, we are constantly eluded because we are already at 25 Sannidhi Street.
This is the reality which Ramana knows and this is the premise from which his teaching springs. That being that we are already realized, that it is impossible not be the Self...
That which is born must die; that which is acquired must be lost. Were you born? You are ever existent. The Self can never be lost.
All are seeing God always, but they do not realize it.
If a person mistakes himself for the subject, objects must necessarily appear as being different from himself. ... If, on the other hand, a man feels himself to be the screen on which the subject and object are projected there can be no confusion, and he can remain watching their appearance and disappearance without any perturbation of the Self.
Realization is already there. Illusion alone is to be removed.
Never mind the mind. If its source is sought, it will vanish leaving the Self unaffected.
Q.: So one need not seek to control the mind?
M.: There is no mind to control if you realize the Self. The mind vanishing, the Self shines forth. In the realized man the mind may be active or inactive, the Self alone remains for him. For the mind, the body and the world are not separate from the Self. They rise from and sink into the Self. They do not remain apart from the Self. Can they be different from the Self? Only be aware of the Self. Why worry about these shadows? How do they affect the Self?
Bhagavan further explained: The Self is the Heart. The Heart is self-luminous. Light arises from the Heart and reaches the brain, which is the seat of the mind. The world is seen with the mind, that is, by the reflected light of the Self. It is perceived with the aid of the mind. When the mind is illumined it is aware of the world. When it is not itself so illumined, it is not aware of the world. If the mind is turned in towards the source of light, objective knowledge ceases and Self alone shines forth as the Heart.
The moon shines by the reflected light of the sun. When the sun has set, the moon is useful for revealing objects. When the sun has risen, no one needs the moon, although the pale disc of the moon is visible in the sky.
So it is with the mind and the Heart. The mind is useful because of its reflected light. It is used for seeing objects. When it is turned inwards, the source of illumination shines forth by itself, and the mind remains dim and useless like the moon in day-time.
...when the sun is risen there is no need of a lamp, and the objects are seen; and to see the sun no lamp is necessary, it is enough that you turn your eyes towards the self-luminous sun.
Similarly with the mind. To see the objects the reflected light of the mind is necessary. To see the Heart it is enough that the mind is turned towards it. Then the mind loses itself and the Heart shines forth.
D.: I see that I am coming round to ‘I'.
M.: Because you are always that and never away from that. There is nothing so simple as being the Self. It requires no effort, no aid. One has to leave off the wrong identity and be in his eternal, natural, inherent state.
Q: Please tell me the method of reaching the eternal Truth.
M: You are That. Can you ever remain apart from the Self? To be yourself requires no effort since you are always That.
M: Are the objects different from you? There can be no objects without subject.
The other worlds require the Self as a spectator or speculator. Their reality is only of the same degrees as that of the spectator or thinker. They cannot exist without the spectator, etc. Therefore they are not different from the Self. Even the ignorant man sees only the Self when he sees objects. But he is confused and identifies the Self with the object, i.e., the body and with the senses and plays in the world. Subject and object - all merge in the Self. There is no seer nor objects seen. The seer and the seen are the Self. There are not many selves either. All are only one Self.
It is the thought which builds up sheaths in so many ways. The shadow on the water is found to be shaking. Can anyone stop the shaking of the shadow? If it should cease to shake you would not notice the water but only the light. Similarly to take no notice of the ego and its activities, but see only the light behind. The ego is the I-thought. The true ‘I' is the Self.
D.: It is one step to realisation.
M.: Realisation is already there. The state free from thoughts is the only real state. There is no such action as Realisation. Is there anyone who is not realising the Self? Does anyone deny his own existence?
Reality is simply the loss of the ego. Destroy the ego by seeking its identity. Because the ego is no entity it will automatically vanish and Reality will shine forth by itself.
There is no greater mystery than the following: Ourselves being the reality, we seek to gain reality.
The ego is like one's shadow thrown on the ground. If one attempts to bury it, it will be foolish. The Self is only one. If limited, it is the ego. If unlimited, it is Infinite and is the Reality.
We are actually always experiencing the Reality only; still, we do not know it. Is it not a wonder of wonders?
Q: What is Guru's Grace? How does it work?
M.: Guru is the Self.
Q.: How does it lead to realisation?
M.: Isvaro gururatmeti ... (God is the same as Guru and Self ...). A person begins with dissatisfaction. Not content with the world he seeks satisfaction of desires by prayers to God; his mind is purified; he longs to know God more than to satisfy his carnal desires. Then God's Grace begins to manifest. God takes the form of a Guru and appears to the devotee; teaches him the Truth; purifies the mind by his teachings and contact; the mind gains strength, is able to turn inward; with meditation it is purified yet further, and eventually remains still without the least ripple. That stillness is the Self. The Guru is both exterior and interior. From the exterior he gives a push to the mind to turn inward; from the interior he pulls the mind towards the Self and helps the mind to achieve quietness. That is Grace. Hence there is no difference between God, Guru and Self.
All scriptures are only for the purpose of investigating if there are two consciousnesses. Everyone's experience proves the existence of only one consciousness. Can that one divide itself into two? Is any division felt in the Self?
Q: Does Bhagavan feel for us and show grace?
M.: You are neck-deep in water and yet cry for water. It is as good as saying that one neck-deep in water feels thirsty, or a fish in water feels thirsty, or that water feels thirsty.
The experience of I Am is to Be Still.
Q: What is the one Real thing?
M: That is what is; the others are only appearances. Diversity is not its nature. We are reading the printed characters on paper, but ignore the paper which is the background. Similarly, you are taken up by the manifestations of the mind and let go the background. Whose fault is it?
Language is only a medium for communicating one's thoughts to another. It is called in only after thoughts arise; other thoughts arise after the ‘I-thought' rises; the ‘I-thought' is the root of all conversation. When one remains without thinking one understands another by means of the universal language of silence.
Silence is ever-speaking; it is a perennial flow of language; it is interrupted by speaking. These words obstruct that mute language. There is electricity flowing in a wire. With resistance to its passage, it glows as a lamp or revolves as a fan. In the wire it remains as electric energy. Similarly also, silence is the eternal flow of language, obstructed by words.
What one fails to know by conversation extending to several years can be known in a trice in Silence, or in front of Silence
The real ‘I' is silent. One should not think ‘I am this - I am not that'. To say ‘this or that' is wrong. They are also limitations. Only ‘I am' is the truth. Silence is ‘I'. If one thinks ‘I am this', another thinks ‘I am this' and so on, there is a clash of thoughts and so many religions are the result. The truth remains as it is, not affected by any statements, conflicting or otherwise.
Why We Do Not See
Ramana says over and over that reality is not to be gained, attained, or gotten anew. Reality shines forth right now, right this very moment. Under no circumstance is there ever a moment when reality (or Self) is not. There is never a moment when we are not Self. It is only ignorance, doubt, and confusion which separate us from knowing what and who we already are. Remove that, Ramana says, and the Self will be known.
It's so profound a point that it's bears repeating: we have only to remove our ignorance, that error of sight which reduces and equates the Self to our body and our mind, both finite containers far too limited and small to accommodate the transcendent Self of which all mystics speak. These containers of body and mind, of false identity, Ramana calls the "ego". What the Confederation might call the personality shell.
The technique for the removal of this ignorance is simply to find the ego's source within us, the "I-thought" from which stems all illusion, and, through sustained inquiry and concentration, watch it vanish. But before we move onto Ramana's technique, we shall explore some of his statements about the nature of this ignorance.
Q: How does a householder fare in the scheme of liberation?
M: Why to you think you are a householder? If you out as a sannyasi (an ascetic, one who has taken the path of renunciation), a similar thought (that you are a sannyasi) will haunt you. Whether you continue in the household, or renounce it and go to the forest, your mind haunts you. The ego is the source of thoughts. It creates the body and the world and makes you think you are a householder. If you renounce the world, it will only substitute the thought sannyasi for householder and the environments of the forest for those of the household. But the mental obstacles always remain. They even increase in new surroundings. There is no help in a change of environment. The obstacle is the mind. It must be overcome whether at home or in the forest. If you can do it in the forest, why not in the home? Therefore, why change the environment? Your efforts can be made even now - whatever environment you may be in.
...Again, a woman wore a necklace round her neck but forgot it. She began to search for it and made enquiries. A friend of hers, finding out what she was looking for, pointed out the necklace round the seeker's neck. She felt it with her hands and was happy. Did she get the necklace anew? Here again ignorance caused grief and knowledge happiness.
Similarly also with the man and the Self. There is nothing to be gained anew. Ignorance of the Self is the cause of the present misery; knowledge of the Self brings about happiness.
All such confusion (in a letter Bhagavan received) was due to the non-differentiation of the real ‘I' from the false ‘I'. The attributes and modes pertain to the latter and not to the former. One's efforts are directed only to remove one's ignorance. Afterwards they cease, and the real Self is found to be always there. No effort is needed to remain as the Self.
Unbroken ‘I-I' is the ocean infinite, the ego, "I"-thought, remains only a bubble on it and is called jiva, i.e., individual soul. The bubble too is water; when it bursts it only mixes in the ocean. When it remains a bubble it is still a part of the ocean.
Ignorant of this simple truth, innumerable methods under different denominations, such as yoga, bhakti, karma....... each again with many modifications, are being taught with great skill and in intricate detail only to entice the seekers and confuse their minds. So also are the religions and sects and dogmas. What are they all for? Only for knowing the Self. They are aids and practices required for knowing the Self.
Objects perceived by the senses are spoken of as immediate knowledge (pratyaksha). Can anything be as direct as the Self - always experienced without the aid of the senses? Sense-perceptions can only be indirect knowledge, and not direct knowledge. Only one's own awareness is direct knowledge, as is the common experience of one and all. No aids are needed to know one's own Self, i.e., to be aware.
These limitations are the bondage; the feeling "The body is I" is the error. This false sense of "I" must go. The real "I" is always there. It is here and now.
The wrong knowledge of "I am the body" is the cause of the all the mischief. This wrong knowledge must go. That is realization. Realization is not acquisition of anything new, nor is it a new faculty; it is only removal of all camouflage.
M.: No attempt is made to destroy it. To think or wish it is itself a thought. If the thinker is sought, the thoughts will disappear.
D.: Will they disappear of themselves? It looks so difficult.
M.: They will disappear because they are unreal. The idea of difficulty is itself an obstacle to realisation. It must be overcome. To remain as the Self is not difficult.
M: Why should one think of birth and death? Are you really born? The rising of the mind is called birth.Realisation is nothing to be got afresh. It is already there. All that is necessary is to be rid of the thought: "I have not realised."
D.: Then one need not attempt it.
M.: No. Stillness of mind or peace is realisation. There is no moment when the Self is not. So long as there is doubt or the feeling of non-realisation, attempt must be made to rid oneself of these thoughts.
A woman, with her necklace round her neck, imagines that it has been lost and goes about searching for it, until she is reminded of it by a friend; she has created her own sense of loss, her own anxiety of search and then her own pleasure of recovery. Similarly the Self is all along there, whether you search for it or not. Again just as the woman feels as if the lost necklace has been regained, so also the removal of ignorance and the cessation of false identification reveal the Self which is always present - here and now. This is called realisation. It is not new. It amounts to elimination of ignorance and nothing more.
So I say, the Self is not reached. You are the Self. You are already That. The fact is that you are ignorant of your blissful state. Ignorance supervenes and draws a veil over the pure Bliss. Attempts are directed only to remove this ignorance. This ignorance consists in wrong knowledge. The wrong knowledge consists in the false identification of the Self with the body, the mind, etc. This false identity must go and there remains the Self.
Self-Inquiry: The Method of Removing Our Ignorance
The principal method for removing ignorance and recognizing the truth that is already looking through our eyes is called Self-Inquiry. In it, the seeker focuses constant attention upon what Ramana calls the source of both misery and illusion, the "I-thought", or the ego. Through this constant inquiry into the nature and the source of the I-thought, the personal, limited self vanishes, dissolving into the Heart. What remains? Well... that is the question, isn't it?
In the beginning this requires effort, so long as the "sense of doership persists", but eventually there is a presence that becomes effortless. In its place a current of universal, timeless awareness shines forth, shining not with the reflected light of the mind, but with the eternal self-luminous light of the Source, that which is nothing other than our true and only nature, what Ramana called the I-I, or the witness. That light which knows no subject and no object but knows only Isness or Suchness or One-ness.
Ra says in Session 15 that "the material for your understanding is the self". This - the only material of which Ramana Maharshi speaks - is the material which Self-inquiry targets.
In all my searching, I have never encountered so powerful, so simple, so resonant, and so effective a means of waking to reality. As far as I am concerned, this teaching is the rope out of the human wilderness, the signpost directing me to the end of me - a liberation long sought.
What it seems to do is to train the attention upon the awareness already present within you; to undue and discontinue identifying with the roaring multitude of objects which bombard our awareness in each moment. Whether those objects are thoughts, memories, sights, sounds, feelings, sensations, or experiences, Self-Inquiry asks us to doggedly seek out the seed source of each and every one of these objects of attention by locating and holding onto the single root cause, the I-thought.
From what I gather, as one differentiates Self from objects of attention, the awareness already present within the self becomes more apparent and more stable. In that awareness, it seems, we are not aware of anything in particular. We rest in the Witness, we rest in naked, unqualified awareness. Though I speak only of what I sense and understand in concept in reporting of these teachings, it seems that, as development continues along this pathless path, the whole notion of "other", of subject and object, vanishes altogether, leaving a resplendent awareness which is infinitely unitary and numerically One... without possibility of two-ness.
Self-inquiry is effected in one of two basic ways, to both of which concentration is a prerequisite.
One is to ask the self constantly, "Who am I?", and in the process engage in "neti, neti", not this, not that. Disidentifying from the objects of our awareness, those things in which we invest and limit our identity, we see that we are not our body, not our desires, not our thoughts, not bound to a physical location, and so on and so forth. The point is not to deny or repress or reject that which we notice. As in any good meditation practice, we simply accept that which comes into our awareness in the fashion of the mirror, reflecting everything without judgment, attachment, craving, or aversion.
This process of neti, neti¸ or "not this, not that", is apparently vital to Self-Inquiry and awakening in general. It is imperative that we know first what we are not in order to end our conflation of Self with the body and with the mind. (Apparently, according to these teachings, as this practice deepens there are stages so to speak beyond the witness in which we realize that there is no not. We realize that reality includes the body and includes the mind but is not limited to either. We again understand that body and mind are not other than God but are perfect gestures and expressions of ultimate reality. But the scope of this report does not extend to realms which the ego-me does not know.)
The other twist on the Who Am I? question is to ask, "To whom does this happen?" Everything that can be seen, can be heard, can be felt, can be sensed, can be experienced, no matter how "deep" we think the experience may go, happens IN our awareness and ultimately not to our true selves, the I-I, but to the surface self. By asking "to whom does this happen?", we pull our awareness back, disidentifying from the personality shell to whom things do happen, and resting as the ever-present, ever-loving, ever-inclusive, ever-aware Witness.
In the few months I have asked myself these questions, I can attest to their efficacy in helping me to step back into a larger awareness which understands to whom an experience is indeed happening. In this pulling back, I just begin to sense the heavenly aroma of inspiration and liberation wafting through the air --- a scent which speaks of freedom from the bondage which comes from the fusion (or non-differentiation) of Self with self. All suffering, it seems, is a result of this identification or bondage with a self which does not exist, a bundled collection of memories, thoughts, fears, limitations, worries, hopes, dreams, needs, desires, attachments, etc --- a creature held together and made real by our sleeping identification with it.
WHO AM I? The essence of Ramana's teaching is to direct the attention of the seeker to "Who". Who asks the question? Who wants to know? To whom is their doubt? To whom is there fear? To whom is the subject to which objects appear? WHO? Who are you?
As we apply these questions and this technique...
Surprisingly, we find the answer....
Generally people want to know about illusion and do not examine to whom it occurs.
D: What is practice?
M: Constant search for "I", the source of the ego. Find out "Who am I?". The pure "I" is the reality, the Absolute Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. When That is forgotten, all miseries crop up; when that is held fast, miseries do not affect the person.
The mind is by nature restless. Being liberating it from its restlessness; give it peace, make it free from distractions, train it to look inward, and make all this a habit.
If the mind is distracted, ask the question promptly, "To whom do these distracting thoughts arise?" That takes you back to the "I"-point immediately.
Q: Asks about sages possessing powers (siddhis) to make themselves invisible.
M: Visibility and invisibility refer to a seer. Who is the seer? Solve that first. Other matters are unimportant.
Q: Why was I born?
A: Who was born? The answer is the same to all of your questions.
(In response to questions about the ultimate nature of reality)
Let the man find out the Self. Then there will be time to find out if the Self should merge in the Supreme, is a part thereof, or remains different from it. Let us not forestall the conclusion. Keep an open mind, dive within and find out the Self. The truth will itself dawn upon you. Why should you determine beforehand if the finality is unity absolute or qualified, or duality? There is no meaning in it. The ascertainment is now made by logic and by intellect. The intellect derives light from the Self (the higher power)> How can the reflected and partial light of the intellect envisage the whole and the original Light. The intellect cannot reach the Self, how can it ascertain its nature?
Realise to whom the question arises. It can be answered if it arises after knowing the doubter. Can the world or the body say that it is? Or does the seer say that the world or the body is? The seer must be there to see the objects. Find out the seer first. Why worry yourself now with what will be in the hereafter?
Q: How to find the Atman?
M.: There is no investigation into the Atman. The investigation can only be into the non-self. Elimination of the non-self is alone possible. The Self being always self evident will shine forth of itself.
Though the ‘I' is always experienced, yet one's attention has to be drawn to it.
Identification with the Supreme is only another name for destruction of the ego.
Similarly, the Vedas also are eloquent in "neti-neti" (not this-not this) and then remain silent. Their silence is the Real State. This is the meaning of exposition by silence. When the source of the "I"-thought is reached, it vanishes and what remains is the Self.
Q:: If so, how do I remain ignorant of it (avarana)?
M.: For whom is this ignorance (veiling)? Does the Absolute tell you that it is veiled? It is the jiva who says that something veils the Absolute. Find out for whom this ignorance is.
D.: Why is there imperfection in Perfection? That is, how did the Absolute become relative?
For whom is this relativity? For whom is this imperfection? The Absolute is not imperfect and cannot ask. The insentient cannot ask the question. Between the two something has risen up which raises these questions and which feels this doubt. Who is it? Is it the one who has now arisen? Or is it the one who is eternal? Being perfect, why do you feel yourself imperfect? Such is the teaching of all the religions. Whatever may be the experiences, the experiencer is one and the same.
M.: What is maya?
D.: Maya is wrong knowledge, illusion.
M.: For whom is the illusion? There must be one to be deluded. Illusion is ignorance.
The awakened man says that he himself was in deep slumber but not aware. He does not say that the sleeper was different from the present one. There is only one Self. That Self is always aware. It is changeless. There is nothing but the Self.
The question "Who am I?" is the axe with which to cut off the ego.
Q: ‘I keep my mind blank without thoughts arising so that God might show Himself in His true Being. But I do not perceive anything.
M.: Be what you are. There is nothing to come down or become manifest. All that is needful is to lose the ego, That what is, is always there. Even now you are That. You are not apart from it. The blank is seen by you. You are there to see the blank. What do you wait for? The thought "I have not seen," the expectation to see and the desire of getting something, are all the working of the ego. You have fallen into the snares of the ego. The ego says all these and not you. Be yourself and nothing more!
But he will not admit that the seer, the seen and the sight are all manifestations of the same consciousness - namely, ‘I-I'. Contemplation helps one to overcome the illusion that the Self must be visual. In truth, there is nothing visual. How do you feel the ‘I' now? Do you hold a mirror before you to know your own being? The awareness is the ‘I'. Realise it and that is the truth.
M: After the rising up of this "I"-thought, all other thoughts arise. The "I"-thought is therefore the root-thought. If the root is pulled out, all others are uprooted at the same time.
D.: Even so, I do not understand. ‘I', you say, is the wrong ‘I' now.
How to eliminate this wrong ‘I'?
M.: You need not eliminate the wrong ‘I'. How can ‘I' eliminate itself? All that you need do is to find out its origin and abide there. Your efforts can extend only thus far. Then the Beyond will take care of itself. You are helpless there. No effort can reach it.
D.: If ‘I' am always - here and now, why do I not feel so?
M.: That is it. Who says it is not felt? Does the real ‘I' say it or the false ‘I'? Examine it. You will find it is the wrong ‘I'. The wrong ‘I' is the obstruction. It has to be removed in order that the true ‘I' may not be hidden. The feeling that I have not realised is the obstruction to realisation. In fact it is already realised; there is nothing more to be realised. Otherwise, the realisation will be new; it has not existed so far, it must take place hereafter. What is born will also die. If realisation be not eternal it is not worth having. Therefore what we seek is not that which must happen afresh. It is only that which is eternal but not now known due to obstructions; it is that we seek. All that we need do is to remove the obstruction. That which is eternal is not known to be so because of ignorance. Ignorance is the obstruction. Get over this ignorance and all will be well.
D.: Should we not find out the ultimate reality of the world, individual and God?
M.: These are all conceptions of the ‘I'. They arise only after the advent of the ‘I-thought'. Did you think of them in your deep sleep? You existed in deep sleep and the same you are now speaking. If they be real should they not be in your sleep also? They are only dependent upon the ‘I-thought'. Again does the world tell you ‘I am the world'? Does the body say ‘I am body'? You say, "This is the world", "this is body" and so on. So these are only your conceptions. Find out who you are and there will be an end of all your doubts.
Search for the source of the ‘I-thought'. That is all that one has to do. The universe exists on account of the ‘I-thought'. If that ends there is an end of misery also. The false ‘I' will end only when its source is sought.
Concentration - Determination - Persistence
Session 5, Book I of the Law of One:
The prerequisite of mental work is the ability to retain silence of self at a steady state when required by the self. The mind must be opened like a door. The key is silence.
Session 10, Book I of the Law of One:
The foundation or prerequisite of these exercises is a predilection towards what may be called meditation, contemplation, or prayer. With this attitude, these exercises can be processed. Without it, the data will not sink down into the roots of the tree of mind, thus enabling and ennobling the body and touching the spirit.
Eagerness must be equal to that of a man kept under water trying to rise to the surface for his life.
D: When an endeavor is made to lead the right life and to concentrate thought on the Self, there is often a downfall and break. What then is to be done?
M: It will come all right in the end. There is the steady impulse of your determination that sets you on your feet again after every downfall. Gradually the obstacles are all overcome and your current becomes stronger. Everything comes right in the end. Steady determination is what is required.
Become one-pointed. All will come out right. People think that freedom (moksha) is somewhere yonder and should be sought out. They are wrong. Freedom is only knowing the Self within you. Concentrate and you will get it. Your mind is the cycle of births and deaths. (Samsara)
Q: How may the mind be controlled?
M: There are two methods. The one is to see what the mind is; then it subsides.
The second is to fix your attention on something; then the mind remains quiet.
...just a little control of breath will suffice to control the mind. The mind is the rider and the breath the horse. Pranayama (breath control) is a check on the horse. By that check, the rider is checked.
M.: In the Bhagavad Gita it is said that it is the nature of the mind to wander. One must bring one's thoughts to bear on God. By long practice the mind is controlled and made steady.
The wavering of the mind is a weakness arising from the dissipation of its energy in the shape of thoughts. When one makes the mind stick to one thought the energy is conserved, and the mind becomes stronger.
D.: What is the meaning of the strength of the mind?
M.: Its ability to concentrate on one thought without being distracted.
D.: How is that achieved?
M.: By practice. A devotee concentrates on God; a seeker, follower of the jnana-marga, seeks the Self. The practice is equally difficult for both.
(Jnana-marga: The path of realizing the absolute through knowledge.)
D.: Even if the mind is brought to bear on the search for the Self, after a long struggle the mind begins to elude him and the man is not aware of the mischief until after some time.
M.: So it would be. In the earlier stages the mind reverts to the search at long intervals; with continued practice it reverts at shorter intervals until finally it does not wander at all. It is then that the dormant shakti manifests.
A man was worried because he could not succeed in concentrating the mind.
M: Is it not only One even now? It always remains One only. Diversity lies in your imagination only. Unitary Being need not be acquired.
Q: Why the mind cannot be turned inward in spite of repeated attempts.
M.: It is done by practice and dispassion and that succeeds only gradually. The mind, having been so long a cow accustomed to graze stealthily on others' estates, is not easily confined to her stall. However much her keeper tempts her with luscious grass
and fine fodder, she refuses the first time; then she takes a bit; but her innate tendency to stray away asserts itself; and she slips away; on being repeatedly tempted by the owner, she accustoms herself to the stall; finally even if let loose she would not stray away. Similarly with the mind. If once it finds its inner happiness it will not wander outward.
Session 97, Book IV of the Law of One:
To put this into perspective we must gaze then at the stunning mystery of the One Infinite Creator. The archetypical mind does not resolve any paradoxes or bring all into unity. This is not the property of any source which is of the third-density. Therefore, may we ask the student to look up from inward working and behold the glory, the might, the majesty, the mystery, and the peace of oneness. Let no consideration of bird or beast, darkness or light, shape or shadow keep any which seeks from the central consideration of unity.
You impose limitations on your true nature of Infinite Being, and then weep that you are but a finite creature. Then you take up this or that sadhana (spiritual practice) to transcend the nonexistent limitations. But if your sadhana itself assumes the existence of the limitations, how can it help you to transcend them?
Session 17, Book I of the Law of One:
We cannot offer shortcuts to enlightenment. Enlightenment is, of the moment, an opening to intelligent infinity. It can only be accomplished by the self, for the self. Another self cannot teach/learn enlightenment, but only teach/learn information, inspiration, or a sharing of love, of mystery, of the unknown that makes the other-self reach out and begin the seeking process that ends in a moment, but who can know when an entity will open the gate to the present?
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This is an essay I wrote for L/L Research's annual Homecoming event in September, 2008. Some but not much thought has evolved since then. Currently this essay is used as an anchor at the marina. I asked if I could have it back to post it to the Bring4th forums. Take ibuprofen before reading.
There is much to know about this universe, its structure, its single Law, the entities that populate it, and its infinite possibilities. I would like to begin by focusing on one of the most important factors in the experience of our lives, so important, in fact, that it shapes our experience in this very moment underneath this tent, has shaped and will shape our understanding of our identity throughout the whole of our sojourn in third density, and, the choice made possible because of it, will be the crux upon which turns the remainder of our evolutionary journey through the system of densities.
This is the veil. The veil, as most of you are intellectually aware, hides from us the truth and the mystery, much like, as Ra says, the mantle of this great planet hides Earth's many precious, beautiful, and varied jewels from the naked eye. The Earth's crust, while occasionally dropping a jewel or two in our lap by seemingly chance occurrence, holds these precious stones out of sight. These gems are obtained only by the entity who embarks upon a quest to pierce the surface in order to mine them from their subterranean holding places -- a metaphor for the process of bringing into conscious awareness those truths hidden underneath ancient and biographical layers of distortion and illusion, layers which, taken all together, form a very real geography or landscape of the self.
Once I gained a basic intellectual understanding of the fundamentals of Ra's unitary cosmology, especially of this veil, and synthesized those fundamentals with my other spiritual study, in other words, once I got a basic sense of the way in which evolution operates, the next and most important question to take shape within myself was the HOW question. Without mediation from external authority, how do I gain a direct and immediate experience of the Creator? How do I open my heart and faithfully experience the mystery inherent in this moment? How do I alchemically transform base metal into the gold of spiritual vision? How do I die to this self and become reborn to the Self with his feet planted on the ground but his heart and his mind anchored in the heavens?
In short, how do I pierce this veil which hides the truth from me and become conscious of what already IS: unity, love, light, joy, and perfection.
My life is my best response to that question. This essay is, in distilled form, the best that I can articulate my understanding.
Questioner: What techniques and methods of penetration of the veil were planned and are there any others that have occurred other that those planned?
Ra:. There were none planned by the first great experiment. As all experiments, this rested upon the nakedness of hypothesis. The outcome was unknown. It was discovered, experientially and empirically, that there were as many ways to penetrate the veil as the imagination of mind/body/spirit complexes could provide.
What is important to understand in Ra's statement, in my opinion, is that this veil which is an all-important determining factor in the make-up of each of our identities as we now perceive ourselves, is an *experiment*.
In the experiment, no pre-ordained systems of study or fail-safe techniques were provided to the entities within the experiment which, when applied, would yield certain discovery of truth. It appears to me that, once the veil was implemented, the entities under its delusive force were left to their own methods with respect to solving the puzzle. It was unknown how the puzzle would or could be solved.
As is true with us, those entities were not on their own and left to the dogs -- in the sense that they were not without help; what this universe seems to do better than anything else is to help itself. Whether they were aware of it or not, they could, like we can now, call upon help and expect to receive aid, but they were not given a road map. And no one single approach to piercing the veil, it seems, was struck upon which caused the universe to rejoice with a single collective "Ah hah!".
So infinite is the variety in the universe that methods for piercing the veil vary from locale to locale. This is a chief reason why the best channeled sources of information can generally speak only in terms of the spiritual principles of evolution. There are a basic set of spiritual principles which contain the keys to evolution, but those principles are uniquely interpreted, uniquely accessed, and uniquely applied to the unique circumstances of ones present moment.
Ra does say that the road to intelligent infinity is at the end of a straight and narrow path. I understand this in terms of the metaphor of the ascent to the summit of the mountain. The mountain, representing the spiritual quest, can be climbed from a multitude of starting points, but the higher one ascends, the less there is room for deviation, the less the options become, the less climbers there are for company, the more arduous is the climb, and the greater is the stamina and determination needed. This does not however mean that there are a finite number of ways to scale the mountain. There are certain basic requirements, I would imagine, but one has an infinite range of creative and imaginative methods to employ in getting their body up to the summit.
This understanding is evident here on Earth. Individuals from all across the board, from various cultural, historical, and religious backgrounds have discovered a unitary, mystical truth which sounds remarkably the same no matter their background or position in time. It is said of mystics that they all speak the same language, regardless of their native tongue. They achieved the Creator from such a diversity of starting points that one must conclude that God, the Creator, the Truth is not a Christian god, is not a Buddhist experience, nor a Hindu deity --- these are just a sampling of the multitude of different approaches and models for the seeker of truth to utilize on his ascent to the summit. These models never equate with the truth for which they provide only symbols, that truth which is living and flowing radiantly from the center of each moment. The Creator is beyond these models and approaches but is interpreted by the seeker of truth through the lens of his theological distortion.
Nevertheless, while the Creator transcends all systems of thought, it behooves the student of evolution to synthesize the many disparate nuggets of truth, which they extract from various wisdom traditions, into a relatively consistent and coherent system within which they will approach that which transcends all systems of thought.
On my particular evolutionary journey, there is one principle or understanding, one critically central and indispensable key whose unlimited power, when wielded appropriately, opens up the door to infinity, or unknowing.
Ra: Perhaps the most important and significant function that occurred due to the veiling of the mind from itself is not in itself a function of mind but rather is a product of the potential created by this veiling. This is the faculty of will or pure desire.
Ra: The will of the entity as it evolves is the sngle measure of the rate and fastidiousness of the activation and balancing of the various energy centers.
This is where a great deal of my own work lies at the moment. This, the will present within each of us, is the engine of evolution that powers evolution forward along the upward spiraling line at a speed in direct proportion to our careful and constant application of the will.
Ra: Acceptance of self, forgiveness of self, and the direction of the will; this is the path towards the disciplined personality. Your faculty of will is that which is powerful within you as co-Creator. You cannot ascribe to this faculty too much importance. Thus it must be carefully used and directed in service-to-others for those upon the positively oriented path.
There is great danger in the use of the will as the personality becomes stronger, for it may be used even subconsciously in ways reducing the polarity of the entity.
In the Law of One books, never would I say that Ra was prone to exaggeration. In fact, things which seem of such great magnitude and importance to us, like Earth changes and the varieties of the human drama, were to them inconsequential and trivial. Ra was so incredibly exact in selecting and placing each word in the appropriate context in order to elicit as precise a meaning as was possible within the built-in limits of the language. Thusly, when Ra says you cannot ascribe to this faculty too much importance, assigning no upper limit, it is no exaggeration. It means literally (in my interpretation) that no matter how much importance we place on this faculty, we can never exaggerate its importance in the cosmic scheme of things. Attributing importance to the will is forever open-ended. It is that important.
Not just important in the sense that its use through faith is the key to further evolution, but important in the sense that everything we experience, on one level or another, is a result of our desires and our conscious or unconscious use of our will. I believe that gaining a preliminary understanding of oneself and the circumstances about oneself begins with questions such as:
"What is it that I am seeking?
What do I want?
What do I desire?
What motivates my many actions and thoughts?
To what degree am I functioning as an instrument of my unconscious desires?
To what degree am I consciously choosing the focus of my desires?
And ultimately: WHO am I seeking?"
Look to the desires of an entity to gain an understanding of their life situation - because what we experience, *all of it*, traces back to our desires. We know ourselves to the extent that we know our desires.
III. INNER LIGHT
Ra: Firstly, there is the inner light which is Polaris of the self, the guiding star. This is the birthright and true nature of all entities. This energy dwells within.
The second point of ingress is the polar opposite of the North Star, shall we say, and may be seen, if you wish to use the physical body as an analog for the magnetic field, as coming through the feet from the earth and through the lower point of the spine. This point of ingress of the universal light energy is undifferentiated until it begins its filtering process through the energy centers. The requirements of each center and the efficiency with which the individual has learned to tap into the inner light determine the nature of the use made by the entity of these in-streamings.
We have addressed the filtering process by which in-coming energies are pulled upwards according to the distortions of each energy center and the strength of will or desire emanating from the awareness of inner light.
Our use of the will, then, is the measure of the efficiency with which we have learned to tap into that inner light. I hope not to oversimplify it when I say that the greater our awareness of the inner light, the greater our will; the greater our will, the greater our awareness of the inner light. The use and the strength of our will derives directly from an awareness of our inner light within, which may manifest itself within our life pattern as a progressively intensifying love of the truth and desire for the truth. In spiritual evolution, we become increasingly aware of that inner light already shining brightly within us. In the clarity of that light, we can see ever more clearly the power of our will to live who we are rather than unconsciously live the false vision of ourselves rooted in conditioned patterns.
Ra calls the inner light the "Polaris" of self because, like the North Star, it is fixed and there to navigate by when stumbling through the metaphysical darkness of the Earth plane. Exercising our will through faith, we *aim* all of our energies upon the One by keeping our eyes steady on Polaris.
Ra: Meanwhile the Creator lies within. In the north pole the crown is already upon the head and the entity is potentially a god. This energy is brought into being by the humble and trusting acceptance of this energy through meditation and contemplation of the self and of the Creator. 
The preceding selection was taken from a question and answer about kundalini. You can find the full quote at the end of this presentation. The full quote is a more sophisticated look at that which is echoed throughout spiritual literature, that being that we are already enlightened, already liberated, already perfect and whole and complete. The One is present in its entirety within the most infinitesimal part of ourselves. The circuit is already complete, the crown is already upon the head. It is the will that calls that energy upward and awakens the coiled serpent to begin its ascent through the energy system.
RA: The upward spiraling light developed in its path by the will, and ultimately reaching an high place of mating with the inward fire of the One Creator.
This upward spiraling line of light -- is the Original Desire -- is our inner light -- is the *deepest* universal evolutionary current moving the creation along the circle of being. I love seeing it as a current. It is intelligent energy moving from intelligent infinity to intelligent infinity. The alpha and the omega exist. They are. The current is in motion and our awareness of the current, our inner light, says Ra, is that which is your heart of being. Its strength equals your strength of will to seek the light.
When I speak of will, I do not necessarily mean the will to force the world to conform with your perceptions of it, to push oneself through rapid change, to force growth, to make oneself adopt a new configuration of energy by sheer will without having balanced, understood, and accepted that configuration of energy.
I speak of its consistent, gradual, compassionate, and gentle use over time. I speak of the vigilant and endlessly repeated attempts to bring the attention to rest upon what is happening within the moment. Will is ultimately, I believe, a leap of faith into the present moment, an act of surrender which says ‘yes' to the perfection of the moment, which, with intense presence, stares single-pointedly at the experience at hand without grasping and without aversion, without needing to manipulate, control, or change. In disciplined fashion, this will gazes lovingly and unflinchingly at the catalyst in front of us and the terror which the catalyst brings, and the will sees the okayness... or.... suchness of our experience *as it is*. As in meditation, the will is used ultimately to experience and become one with what is already there.
This state of mind is the result of a great deal of discipline. Keeping the attention lovingly focused on the actual catalyst of the moment, releasing any need for the catalyst to be other than it is, is the fruit of much self-work and retraining of the mind. The point I am trying to make here is that our adventure of being and becoming is inextricably tied to the use of our will in every single moment that we exist.
Even what is considered to be the highest expression of spiritual development, a state of surrender, is invariably an act of volition. It is an act of the will to release the personal will and say "yes" to that which initially can not be accepted. It is an act of will to place the attention upon the moment, rather than meander endlessly down the illusions of past and future running constantly through our minds. It is an act of will not to be fearful, to choose the invisible, to let down the defenses in order to be open and vulnerable, and to choose the higher road over the immediate sense gratifications of the lower. It is an act of the will to choose to attempt to understand, to attempt to seek the truth. It all begins with the will, including love itself. It is our power, it is our awareness of our own native inner light, it is our engine of evolution.
IV. ANALYSIS OF DESIRE/THE ORIGINAL DESIRE
Once one awakens to their will, it is best not to go about haphazardly willing things. You don't will yourself to be more intelligent, you don't will the red light to turn green, and, if you are polarizing positively, you don't will your co-worker into submission... unless they really, really deserve it. : )
Ra: The orientation develops due to analysis of desire. These desires become more and more distorted towards conscious application of love/light as the entity furnishes itself with distilled experience.
The Self is our material for study and our doorway to the infinite. What right use of will entails is coming to know and accept your self so that you might come face to face with your true desire and thus know in what direction you wish to aim your will. We all have a million and one desires, running the continuum from "I will kill you" to "I will make you sacred and cherish you"; from "This is mine, not yours, find your own glazed donut!", to "Here, I do not need my glazed donut, have mine." Our desires are often tangled like Christmas lights among one another, many of them often in opposition to or locked in battle with each other, but in the center of that complex chaos, in the heart of the wild jungle of the subconscious, there is a desire so central that it was with us before we were born and will persist after we die. It transcends and includes each and every one of our multi-layered and multi-directional desires. What is the king of all desires?
Stanislav Grof, in referencing the work of another great philosopher, Ken Wilber, says this:
In the most general sense, the deepest transpersonal roots of insatiable green can best be understood in terms of Ken Wilber's concept of the Atman Project. Our true nature is divine - God, Cosmic Christ, Allah, Buddha, Brahma, the Tao - and although the process of creation separates and alienates us from our source, the awareness of this fact is never completely lost. The deepest motivating force in the psyche on all levels of consciousness evolution is to return to the experience of our divinity.
Real transcendence [returning to our divinity] requires death of the separate self. Because of the fear of annihilation and because of grasping onto the ego, the individual has to settle for Atman substitutes or surrogates, which are specific for each particular stage. For the fetus and the newborn, this means the satisfaction experience in the good womb or on the good breast. For an infant, this is satisfaction of age-specific physiological needs. For the adult, the range of possible Atman projects is large; it includes besides food and sex and money, fame, power, appearance, knowledge, and many others.
Apparently, then, all these external things which we look to for comfort, security, pleasure, distraction, sleep, and identity, all of these "Atman Projects", are poor substitutes for a deeper and more fundamental, creation-wide need. All these lesser desires are fragments of a greater desire.
What Grof and Wilber describe is what Ra calls more simply, "The Original Desire'.
Ra: The Original Desire is that entities seek and become one.
If this is the "original" desire; if, as Ra says elsewhere in the Law of One, our seeking of love in the moment is so central an act of will that it empowers our progress by way of squaring, (even if there are flaws of insincerity); then pouring the energy of our will and our desire into the Original Desire is our safest bet.
Knowing that, on one level or another, we create our reality as a result of that which we desire - however fragmented and/or unconscious those desires may be - we can conclude that this universe is not a static and mechanistic universe of cold, lifeless matter but is an intelligent energy, an *intelligent* field of opportunity and response. We participate in this evolving cosmos and it participates with us. We receive feedback, we receive response, we receive that which we seek - eventually becoming that which we seek, the universe, the Creator.
Hatton: Desire, my friends, is the key to what you receive. If you desire it, you shall receive it. This was the Creator's plan, a plan in which all of His parts would receive exactly what they desire. My friends, often in the illusion which you now experience it seems that you do not acquire what you desire. In fact, the opposite seems to be the case in many, many instances. It is a paradox, it seems, that such a statement should be made and that such apparent results of desire are manifested, and yet we state, without exception, that man receives exactly what he desires. Perhaps, my friends, you do not understand desire. Perhaps this understanding is not within the intellectual mind. Perhaps it will be necessary to spend time in meditation to become aware of your real desire. For, my friends, there is much, much more of you and of the creation than you presently appreciate with your intellectual abilities in your present illusion.
If the Creator or the manifest Creator (i.e., the universe) fulfills our wayward and, for lack of a better term, "non-spiritual" desires, imagine the response to the Original Desire vibrating at full strength within us. Not knowing how to articulate this any better, it is as if the universe itself harmonizes or resonates with that foundational, central, whole-being desire to seek and to become one. In the act of honoring and bringing into conscious manifestation this Original Desire, it is as if every resource of the infinite universe begins to work closely with us in support of this desire.
Ra: At the point at which an entity, either by accident or design, reflects an archetype, the archetypical mind resonates.
Just so, as we reflect the Original Desire, the universe resonates. Imagine that the truth of unity is being broadcast like a radio signal omnipresently from every point in the universe. When we exercise the will consistently in the direction of the Original Desire, aiming or pointing our energies toward this end, we will of necessity magnetize our beings towards receiving and incorporating this signal. In so doing we will become the signal and be single, of one mind and of one purpose. (Much death will ensue within us, btw.)
In the cosmic sense of things, it is literally impossible to "go astray". There is no deviation from the Tao, we will awake at some moment in time to the Original Desire. The ultimate outcome is never in doubt. If we wish to begin the conscious portion of our journey towards this ultimate and inevitable conclusion, then we can attune the radio dial of ourselves to receive this omnipresent broadcast of unity, we can consciously and consistently and patiently and humbly and lovingly and gently express our desire to know the one in order to serve, in every moment of every day.
Pretend we are a structure made of stone blocks. Because are desires are scattered and non-unified, because they often seek the shallow and transitory, the blocks of our structure are dispersed and strewn about the ground; that or they are not put into place properly, individual blocks are out of alignment with one another and consequently our structure is not fitted according to our architectural design. Our building loses its functionality and its full ability to serve as an instrument. When we consistently exercise the will in the direction of the Original Desire, we route all of our criss-crossing desires into a single channel: the yearning for the Creator. As this happens, we put into place those structural elements which are misaligned, we gather our building blocks strewn about the ground and we create a unified structure.
It is helpful for me to conceive of this structure of energy as a pyramid, because a pyramid illustrates many desires moving upward from the ground of being to a central focus, the apex, the contact between the finite and the infinite. As we unify our desires through the constant application of will, we become a functional structure, such as the pyramid is.
We can exercise our will in attempting to see the One in the many. As we do this over a period of time, piece by tiny piece the illusion of a separate self is chipped away until infinity's signal is broadcast through the instrument of ourselves. We, as fragile and flawed as we are, become the infinitely crystalline, transparent broadcasters of this universal signal or frequency.
Scattered throughout the Law of One books are these gems of light which stand out above the others because they focus like a laser directly on the only true focus. These selections speak to the source and goal of the Original Desire, the One Infinite Creator.
V. THE SEEKER SEEKS THE ONE
- RA: In the experiences of the mystical search for unity, these need never be considered, for they are but part of an illusory system. The seeker seeks the One. The One is to be sought, as we have said, by the balanced and self-accepting self aware, both of its apparent distortions and its total perfection. Resting in this balanced awareness, the entity then opens the self to the universe which it is. The light energy of all things may then be attracted by this intense seeking, and wherever the inner seeking meets the attracted cosmic prana, realization of the One takes place.
The purpose of clearing each energy center is to allow that meeting place to occur at the indigo ray vibration, thus making contact with intelligent infinity and dissolving all illusions. Service-to-others is automatic at the released energy generated by this state of consciousness.
- You are aware of the concept of initiation and realize that it demands the centering of the being upon the seeking of the Creator. We have hoped to balance this understanding by enunciating the Law of One, that is, that all things are One Creator. Thus seeking the Creator is done not just in meditation and in the work of an adept but in the experiential nexus of each moment.
- The initiation of the Queen's Chamber has to do with the abandoning of self to such desire to know the Creator in full that the purified in-streaming light is drawn in balanced fashion through all energy centers, meeting in indigo and opening the gate to intelligent infinity. Thus the entity experiences true life or, as your people call it, resurrection.
- QUESTIONER: Is there then, from the point of view of an individual who wishes to follow the service-to-others path, anything of importance other than disciplines of personality, knowledge of self, and strengthening of will?
RA: I am Ra. This is technique. This is not the heart. Let us examine the heart of evolution.
Let us remember that we are all one. This is the great learning/teaching. In this unity lies love. This is a great learn/teaching. In this unity lies light. This is the fundamental teaching of all planes of existence in materialization. Unity, love, light, and joy; this is the heart of evolution of the spirit.
The second-ranking lessons are learn/taught in meditation and in service. At some point the mind/body/spirit complex is so smoothly activated and balanced by these central thoughts or distortions that the techniques you have mentioned become quite significant. However, the universe, its mystery unbroken, is one. Always begin and end in the Creator, not in technique.
- To put this into perspective we must gaze then at the stunning mystery of the One Infinite Creator. The archetypical mind does not resolve any paradoxes or bring all into unity. This is not the property of any source which is of the third-density. Therefore, may we ask the student to look up from inward working and behold the glory, the might, the majesty, the mystery, and the peace of oneness. Let no consideration of bird or beast, darkness or light, shape or shadow keep any which seeks from the central consideration of unity.
- It shall be understood that any portion, no matter how small, of any density or illusory pattern, contains, as in an holographic picture, the One Creator which is infinity. Thus all begins and ends in mystery.
- ...recognizing always that in the simplest iota of this complex exists in its entirety the One Infinite Creator. ----- The Original Desire is that entities seek and become one.
- We leave you in appreciation of the circumstances of the great illusion in which you now choose to play the pipe and timbrel and move in rhythm. We are also players upon a stage. The stage changes. The acts ring down. The lights come up once again. And throughout the grand illusion and the following and the following there is the undergirding majesty of the One Infinite Creator. All is well. Nothing is lost. Go forth rejoicing in the love and the light, the peace and the power of the One Infinite Creator.
- The understanding, experiencing, accepting, and merging of self with self and other-self, and finally with the Creator, is the path to the heart of self. In each infinitesimal part of your self resides the One in all of Its power. Therefore, we can only encourage these lines of contemplation or prayer as a means of subjectively/objectively using or combining various understandings to enhance the seeking process. Without such a method of reversing the analytical process, one could not integrate into unity the many understandings gained in such seeking.
- There is but one service. The Law is One. The offering of self to Creator is the greatest service, the unity, the fountainhead. The entity who seeks the One Creator is with infinite intelligence. From this seeking, from this offering, a great multiplicity of opportunities will evolve depending upon the mind/body/spirit complexes' distortions with regard to the various illusory aspects or energy centers of the various complexes of your illusion.
Thus, some become healers, some workers, some teachers, and so forth.
- This is why we iterate quite often, when asked for specific information, that it pales to insignificance, just as the grass withers and dies while the love and the light of the One Infinite Creator redounds to the very infinite realms of creation forever and ever, creating and creating itself in perpetuity.
Why then be concerned with the grass that blooms, withers and dies in its season only to grow once again due to the infinite love and light of the One Creator? This is the message we bring. Each entity is only superficially that which blooms and dies. In the deeper sense there is no end to being-ness.
- QUESTIONER: As you have stated, it is a straight and narrow path. There are many distractions.
Within the "Seeker Seeks the One" portion of this presentation, Ra shares what I personally feel to be one of the most important understandings one can take from the "Law of One".
The second-ranking lessons are learn/taught in meditation and in service. At some point the mind/body/spirit complex is so smoothly activated and balanced by these central thoughts or distortions that the techniques you have mentioned become quite significant. However, the universe, its mystery unbroken, is one. Always begin and end in the Creator, not in technique.
Meditation and service are extremely important techniques for the purpose of accelerating evolution. At the heart of that evolution are these fundamental teachings, not only within the third density illusion, but within all conceivable planes of existence: unity, love, light, and joy.
What the Creator is, what precisely love and wisdom are, I remain mostly in the dark. But knowing of the strength of the will or inner light within and its power to strip away the small self in order that I might be one with the Creator, I continually talk and pray and direct my energies toward the One which I do not know. This involves a great deal of faith and refusal to doubt the self and the rightness of the path because strong portions of myself within would have me believe that this is a pointless and useless pursuit which will end in my emptiness and unhappiness. Yet, I persist. I persist in asking the HOW question. HOW might I know and experience the truth for myself?
Always, always beginning and ending in Creator, in those fundamental teachings of all planes of existence, the how question moves into methodology. The question becomes, "What methods will be most efficacious in the uniting of my heart with the heart of the Creator?"
To begin with, I would like to draw an important distinction between methods and results. This distinction, made clear to me in the book "Wake Up to Your Life: Discovering the Path of Buddhist Attention" by Ken McLeod, has proven very helpful in my efforts and will likely continue to be helpful for a long time to come.
Ken McLeod: New students often tell me how frustrated they are with meditation. They've read a book or two, and the instructions include such phrases as "Open your mind," "Be centered," "Let your mind be empty," or "Be one with your body". They can't figure out what to do because these "instructions" are effects of practice, not methods.
When students sit down and try to feel centered, try to open their minds, and try to be one with their bodies, nothing happens and they end up feeling frustrated.
Tell a tense person to relax, and he will usually become tenser in the efforts. He is tense because he doesn't know how to relax. Tell him to take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and then take another breath, and let it out slowly. Then he will relax. The method is breathing slowly and deeply. The result is relaxation. In meditation, the method is resting attention on the breath. When you do this, you will at some point feel centered, your mind will open and relax, and you will feel more connected with your body"
We cannot make a flower grow. A flower or any other plant will grow of its own accord. What we can do is to provide the right conditions for the growth - such as water, good soil, sunlight, and protection from any animals or insects - and allow the flower to grow on its own.
Methods, as distinct from results, are much the same way. Evolution (or becoming the Creator) is the result; our practices of prayer and meditation and placing our attention upon the moment are the methods. When we put into practice our best efforts persistently, the upward spiraling line of light will of necessity blossom forth from the old energies of the separate or shadow self.
Ra: ...we may only offer that information useful to that particular caller. This is the basic difficulty. Entities receive the basic information about the Original Thought and the means, that is meditation and service-to-others, whereby this Original Thought may be obtained.
Once this basic information is received it is not put into practice in the heart and in the life experience but instead rattles about within the mind complex distortions as would a building block which has lost its place and simply rolls from side to side uselessly, yet still the entity calls. Therefore, the same basic information is repeated. Ultimately the entity decides that it is weary of this repetitive informatIion. However, if an entity puts into practice that which it is given, it will not find repetition except when needed.
To the best of my understanding, the first and most important method of reaching the One is in the simple exercise of the will. I have a great deal of faith that the naked, raw desire - as expressed in our yearning for the One - is our greatest ally. I do not know precisely how to chart a course to the One, but in simply affirming my seeking of the One, in expressing my desire for the One, and in harmonizing every aspect of my life to the fullest possible extent with this desire, I am certain that those opportunities for growth are being magnetically or resonantly drawn to me in the right proportion at the right time. As I said in my "Who Am I?" essay from Channeling Intensive One,
The intensification of the will is the intensification of a homing beacon, I feel. While I carry and bear the burden, the homing beacon does the bulk of the work because the will, carefully directed in service to others, operating largely below the threshold of conscious awareness, knows its way home. Though I am the caged bird who breathes free air but does not yet know freedom as an immediate experience, I am a creature possessed of will. The will, persistently exercised, intelligently calls to it those opportunities which unlock the self from its material prison with each act of self-sacrifice. As that bird, I use the will to seek the One and let go of the cage.
I have faith that the will does the work. We don't make the flower grow with our will, but we provide the right conditions for the growth to take place within us through the exercise of our will. Just as the flower will not survive being trampled by a crowd of three hundred people, just so we must approach this flower delicately, with great sensitivity and love. The inner truth is so subtle a matter when viewed against the gross sensory and conceptual distortions of third density. Though the highest truth is all inclusive, all encompassing, all strength, it wisps away with any attempt at force. Becoming consciously delicate in the inner movements is especially helpful for the male, as his cultural training may predispose him towards manhandling something which can not be grasped, controlled, or held onto.
For me, this involves primarily the exercise of the will on a daily, and to whatever extent possible, moment-by-moment basis. As the chariot (representing the spirit shuttle, I believe) in the "Great Way of the Mind" tarot image is drawn forward through time, just so is the will strengthened by its constant exercise over a period of consistent time, just so do we ripen and progress over the same period of time.
Ra: Patience is requested and suggested, for the catalyst is intense upon your plane and its use must be appreciated over a period of consistent learn/teaching.
That to me is the true strength of the will. The strength of will can indeed be expressed in a moment of crisis when the car is lifted to allow the person caught beneath it to extricate themselves, but I think that the true test is in the wills consistent and conscious exercise as often and frequently as possible. I constantly attempt to be constant in the attempt.
Ra: The principle which moves in accordance with the dynamics of teach/learning with most efficiency is constancy.
The best two words that express all that I am trying to say are "single" and "pointed", joined together to form the exquisite concept, single-pointed. To me, becoming single-pointed in the seeking of the Creator is the supreme use of will, the essential method at the foundation of all other methods.
If the mind is fixed on God and continues so, the senses will obey it. It is like hanging a needle on a magnet and then another needle onto that, and so on... As long as the first needle clings to the magnet, the rest will hang on to it; but if the first drops off, it will lose the rest. And so, as long as the mind is firmly fixed on God, the senses will obey it; but when the mind drops away from God, the senses drop off from the mind and are unruly. Meister Eckhart
The Yogi focuses his mind on God, and on naught else. Undecided dreamers dissipate their mental powers in the confusion of endless, many branched pathways of interests and desires. Paramahansa Yogananda
If an eye never falls asleep, All dreams will cease of themselves;
If the Mind retains its absoluteness, the ten thousand things are of one substance. From "The Perennial Philosophy"
Saints are neither double-minded nor half-hearted, but single and, however great their intellectual gifts, profoundly simple. The multiplicity of Legion has given place to one-pointedness - not to any of those evil one-pointednesses of ambition or covetousness, or lust for power and fame, not even to any of the nobler, but still all too human one-pointednesses of art, scholarship and science, regarded as ends in themselves, but to the supreme, more than human one-pointedness that is the very being of those souls who consciously and consistently pursue man's final end, the knowledge of Eternal Reality.
The cultivated and mentally active have an insatiable appetite for novelty, diversity and distraction. But the saints, however commanding their talents and whatever the nature of their professional activities, are all incessantly preoccupied with only one subject - spiritual Reality and the means by which they and their fellows can come to the unitive knowledge of that Reality. Aldous Huxley
Being single-pointed in seeking the Creator is like standing on the streets of New York City and, for a fleeting instant, hearing a birdsong somewhere far off in the distance. Standing on the street, taxi drivers honking their horns, throngs of people walking to and fro, jackhammers and car stereos, shop doors opening and closing, vendors selling their goods on the street, the endless monologue of your own thoughts running through your mind, you are not even sure if you caught that single note of the sparrow floating through the air. Yet you are compelled to search for it. This requires great dedication and single-pointedness. You must tune out all the distraction to focus exclusively on the subtle and delicate birdsong somewhere off in the distance, or you must submit to all the distraction and somehow select the birdsong from the noise and chaos. Either way, you must stay with the birdsong in each moment and learn to see through the distractions at hand. The man that bumps into you and provokes your anger, the half-naked woman that provokes something different, the hunger in your stomach for the candy you see in the window, the excitement in the air from the live band in the nearby bar, the cell phone's vibration from a friend calling, the memory of sorrow stirred up within you at the sight of a movie poster --- single-pointedness sees through all of this catalyst to the heart of your search, that being in this analogy, the discovery of the source of the birdsong.
With single-pointedness, we are constantly adjusting our attitude and our attention to vector towards the Creator. No matter which way catalyst spins us, no matter how lost we feel we are or whether we know up from down, with single-pointed attention on the creator, we are never lost and can never be disoriented, no matter the chaos of our outward circumstances. As suggested in the tarot image Experience of the Mind...
Ra: The figure is expressing the nature of experience by having its attention caught by what may be termed the left-hand catalyst. Meanwhile, the power, the magic, is available upon the right-hand path.
The nature of experience is such that the attention shall be constantly given varieties of experience. Those that are presumed to be negative, or interpreted as negative, may seem in abundance. It is a great challenge to take catalyst and devise the magical, positive experience.
...our attention will continually be caught by catalyst of the left hand path. We can however become conscious of our errant eyes and refocus them yet again on seeking the One. Keeping the mind and the senses fixed upon the Creator is none too easy a task, as you can imagine. I think I could successfully discipline a gymnasium full of wild four year olds on sugar, monkeys, ice cream trucks, and free bananas better than I could my own mind!
Huston Smith, in discussing the Eightfold Path of Buddhism in his book "The World's Religions", says of Right Intent, the second step of the Eightfold Path:
Whereas the first step summoned us to make up our mind as to what life's problem basically is, the second advises us to make up our hearts as to what we really want. Is it really enlightenment, or do our affections wing this way and that, dipping like kites with every current of distraction? If we are able to make appreciable headway, persistence is indispensable. People who achieve greatness are almost invariably passionately invested in some one thing. They do a thousand things each day, but behind these stands the one thing they count supreme. When people seek liberation with single-mindedness of this order, they may expect their steps to turn from sliding sandbank scrambles into ground-gripping strides.
To be able to keep your mind fixed upon the ever present Creator in this way involves not having the mind's attention taken away down other less useful paths by the constant bombardment from the stimuli around us. The Creator within the moment is not half as obvious nor immediate and blatant as are the million and one other signals within and around us that effectively and totally drown the Creator out. But with one-pointed attention, we gather all those signals - all that energy being expended in a million different ways - and we organize the agents of sleep and distraction into a disciplined and loving focus upon the Source of all of it. We gradually awaken.
If you would like to read more about active, conscious attention and how it alone is the alchemical agent responsible for transmuting darkness into light, I would recommend any of Eckhart Tolle's books. His work communicates the essence of this truth better than any, in my humble opinion. In the same spirit as Tolle, Ken McLeod offers an understanding about the transformative powers of using the will as attention upon the moment:
Attention acts on the wall of habituated patterns in the same way that the energy of sunlight acts on a block of ice. Heat from the sun raises the level of energy in the water molecules until they can no longer remain in the compact crystalline structure of ice. The crystal breaks up, and ice melts into water.
Love and Light,
 MCLEOD PG 88
Finally, there is one pitfall in meditation practice that you must avoid. Meditation practice raises the level of energy in your system in the form of active attention. The higher level of energy inevitably brings you into contact with reactive emotional patterns. If you now become selective and repress emotions, pushing them out of attention, two things happen. The higher level of energy in your system flows into the reactive pattern, making that stronger. Both the reactive patterns of the emotion and the repression are reinforced. You end up splitting in two. One part of you is capable of attention and response. The other part becomes increasingly rigid and inflexible. It takes over unpredictably whenever the repressed emotion is triggered by events or situation. Typically, a person becomes more arrogant, self-indulgent, obsessed with power, money, sex, security, or other fixations, and acts in ways to control or amass the object of obsession. Long-term practitioners and teachers who protect areas of their lives from their practice frequently run into this problem with unfortunate and sometimes tragic results. We run the risk of a similar fate if we protect any area of our personality or lives from the increased awareness that develops in meditation.
To protect against this problem, always have at least one person, a teacher, colleague, or friend, with whom you discuss all aspects of your practice and your life. The person needs to be someone you trust and to whom you will listen regardless of the state of mind you are in or what he or she says. The only way to be sure that you will not protect an area of your habituated personality from the effects of practice is to have such a person in your life.
 Session #49
RA: I am Ra. The metaphor of the coiled serpent being called upwards is vastly appropriate for consideration by your peoples. This is what you are attempting when you seek. There are, as we have stated, great misapprehensions concerning this metaphor and the nature of pursuing its goal. We must generalize and ask that you grasp the fact that this in effect renders far less useful that which we share. However, as each entity is unique, generalities are our lot when communicating for your possible edification.
We have two types of energy. We are attempting then, as entities in any true color of this octave, to move the meeting place of inner and outer natures further and further along or upward along the energy centers. The two methods of approaching this with sensible method are first, the seating within one's self of those experiences which are attracted to the entity through the south pole. Each experience will need to be observed, experienced, balanced, accepted, and seated within the individual. As the entity grows in self-acceptance and awareness of catalyst the location of the comfortable seating of these experiences will rise to the new true color entity. The experience, whatever it may be, will be seated in red ray and considered as to its survival content and so forth.
Each experience will be sequentially understood by the growing and seeking mind/body/spirit complex in terms of survival, then in terms of personal identity, then in terms of social relations, then in terms of universal love, then in terms of how the experience may beget free communication, then in terms of how the experience may be linked to universal energies, and finally in terms of the sacramental nature of each experience.
Meanwhile the Creator lies within. In the north pole the crown is already upon the head and the entity is potentially a god. This energy is brought into being by the humble and trusting acceptance of this energy through meditation and contemplation of the self and of the Creator.
Where these energies meet is where the serpent will have achieved its height. When this uncoiled energy approaches universal love and radiant being the entity is in a state whereby the harvestability of the entity comes nigh.
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Some time ago I was in a discussion with a great soul. She and I are both earnest and sincere seekers, each of us passionate to the core to - as best as I can say it in one word – evolve.
We were together exploring and articulating the various motivations for our seeking. What was it that prompted us to follow a slightly different path from the norm, ask questions which usually go unasked or unconsidered, and seek that which we don’t know?
To obtain the answers to these questions, I embarked upon a safari into the wild and distant regions of my conscious mind. Narrowly escaping death at the hands of the man-eating animals that populate the remote reaches of my psyche, I returned with some answers to these most provocative and central questions. Unfortunately I was not able to go deep enough into the bush – from which few return – to gaze into the abyss of unknowing and ask the timeless self: “Why is it that I, in this incarnation, intensely pursue that which offers no tangible or material reward, that which promises only a death for the personality self, and that which is from beginning to end a mystery of the highest order?”
What my inner adventure returned were these seven reasons for living the life I have lived since approximately 1998, for thinking the thoughts that I think, and for expending my energy in the attempt to unveil, understand, and become the mystery of truth.
These seven reasons are behind my seeking:
- The recognition that there is something terribly missing from my life for which the World can not provide. No amount of material satisfaction, possession, circumstance, pleasure, or gratification can properly substitute for.
In my ignorance and confusion, I still turn to these things as if they can fill that emptiness – every pleasant or pleasurable sensory experience does have its immediate and temporary rewards – but ultimately all attempts end with the emptiness with which they began. (Except for sex. Ninety-nine percent of the time, sex if phenomenal.)
Many, many a seeker who has found him or herself in this position (of becoming cognizant of the empty nature of all things) inevitably realizes that that which they truly hunger for can not be obtained from the external world. While all things external are as every bit the Creator as is the self, the problem is that the seeker has a false relationship with those things – be they people, jobs, material objects, etc. – as long as he or she is living a life of separation in which the self is perceived separate from all that it experiences.
Thus do I seek to heal this primal schism within the self, to find what is missing and much needed *not* within the poor substitutes of the material world, but exclusively in the Creator’s love, the Creator’s light, and the intelligent infinity of the Creator itself.
- The recognition that consensus reality is profoundly a realm of shadow, half truth, and untruth. That, while the essence of the Creator is contained within all things and IS all things, consensus reality – that system which we were raised in and which most call “life” – is a shadow of ultimate reality whose function is to hide rather than reveal the truth. (Coming to this realization, I am told by my friend, is an experience known in a Christian context as: “Ruined to the Ordinary”.)
The truths with which most identify, while containing great moral and ethical values integral to the pursuit of truth, nevertheless often fall very short of the universals and unconditionals of which eternal reality is composed. By and large they tend to be transient, superficial, and concerned with a life which will perish along with us at the time of our deaths.
Consensus reality is in the main an illusion because it has become opaque to the One Creator which it represents. It has become opaque because it was designed that way, I believe, so that we would come to the Creator by faith alone; and it has become increasingly opaque due to being caked with millennia of layer upon layer of cultural and collective distortion.
Thus what we perceive when gazing at the world around us is a false reality. We see projections of our own fears, beliefs, and misperceptions. We see things as being separate from us. We see a dream but do not realize that we are the dreamers dreaming the experience. We see that the Creator, which is all things, is incredibly *not* apparent in the everyday experience, in the environment in which we live our lives, and most markedly in the collective reality with which we all identify. (So true is this that one can be confronted by the Creator in every moment of every day and still go on debating within whether they should "believe" in God or not. Actually quite beautiful, if you think about it.)
From this can be extrapolated the understanding that something is real only insofar as it is transparent to the Creator within. That goes for a person, a thought, and a rock. Thus do I seek not to take consensus reality at face value and trust its wisdoms and its truth, but rather to see through this realm of shadow and to render consensus reality transparent to infinity.
---“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”
---“To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower To hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.”
- A response to a call or an invitation within. A response to a genuine, bone-aching need. The need to know for myself, on the level of experience, the truth of the highest order and magnitude, the mystical and unitary truth of the One.
This need, I imagine, is born from that pivotal experience in the seeker’s life called “awakening”. That moment or time period when the self realizes or sees for the first time that all it had previously known consists of empty forms, imbued only with relative and temporary meaning, devoid of true substance. That time wherein the self has the opportunity of the “peek through the curtain” and knows on a level beyond rational thought that it sees its destiny, its heart’s truest desire.
This need/hope/passion is something which first began sometime during my 18th year and which, over the subsequent years, I have gradually and increasingly become conscious of. I am not sure what triggered the alarm clock to go off within. What I do know is that once “awakened” – not necessarily to “the truth” but to the *possibility* of knowing the truth through systematic and disciplined self-exploration, healing, acceptance, and knowledge – I could never ever go back.
This modality I call “seeking” beginning with the so-called alarm clock experience, continues to drive me further into the unknown. It is a fire; it is a passion; and it is the substance of my soul. This passion is fueled continually by unexpected moments of inspiration, experienced either during contemplation, while reading spiritual literature, or as a result of loving interaction with another. While I often am out in search of inspiration, it at the same time often finds me when I don’t seem to be looking for it. Fairly frequently, I would estimate, inspiration strikes me and soar into the heart of infinite possibility I do.
Thus do I seek as a natural consequence of honoring – and following through with – the organic evolutionary impulse that makes its presence in my heart unmistakably felt.
- The inability to distract myself for very long from this calling of my heart. I do enjoy certain activities and do look forward to simply not attempting to climb Mt Everest in my mind, but it is not for long that I can keep my mind away from its natural inclination and center of gravity, from that central spring of desire which seeks to reach always upward.
So I suppose this would be an extension of the previous reason in that honoring the calling is frequently almost automatic because I can not distract my attention often or long enough. No activity can occupy my mind to the extent that it pushes out the desire for the Creator.
Thus do I seek as an inability to be in a non-seeking configuration for overly long.
- The need to heal myself of pain. The above mentioned reasons are positive in that I am seeking to gain or become or realize something, albeit through the loss and sacrifice of the small self. This reason, however, is a negative one in that I am motivated to seek the truth by virtue of the suffering I experience, in that I wish the suffering to end!
I am often in mental and/or emotional and/or spiritual pain, or, in its milder forms, discomfort. Why this is I am not entirely sure. It seems to be of (what I can only describe as) an existential nature. By that I mean that I can not link it to any particular outward circumstance. I can not say: “My spouse abuses me. I work three jobs to raise my family. I have leprosy. I am oppressed by a totalitarian government. I am the victim of a crime. I am constipated.” By all appearances, my outer world is in exceptional order and harmony. And I am luckily not constipated. I can’t thank the stars enough for the circumstances of my life. Yet there is a chronic level of pain which persists. (Which I understand to be in common with any who awaken to the truth of unity while living on a planet where separation (and often fear) reign supreme.)
Fortunately, being with Valerie for these past two and a half years has done a great, great deal to ameliorate the extremities of the hurt I had for many years slipped into. Being with her has stabilized my emotions and subdued much of the feeling of being totally, totally alone in the world.
What remains of this exquisite agony is a clarion call to seek the truth because it functions as a messenger which brings the world-shattering, confusion-bringing truth of the final unworkability of living the life of the ego. That is to say, it is the suffering which communicates to me more effectively than anything that living a life of chasing the endlessly shifting (and false) needs and desires of the so-called ego is a confused and limited path which must eventually be let go of - to meet its end in the light of day. Without that suffering, I suppose, I would be content not to make any changes but to continue on seeking that which is transient and not particularly related to the evolution of my spirit. Without the suffering, I might not notice the walls of the Matrix veiling the truth from me.
Thus do I seek to bring an end to the suffering, to find equanimity, tranquility, and peace within my heart.
- The recognition that The Beatles were great prophets. : ) "All You Need Is Love" is overlooked as a trite set of lyrics when in fact they speak to a supremely profound truth. Love, compassion, kindness, giving, selflessness, concern for others, open heartedness, or understanding --- whatever word or group of words which indicates this critically important, critically needed, and critically real energy which we call “love”.
Without it, we are as Paul describes in the Bible:
1 Cor 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
I believe that all of the lessons for every single person of the six billion plus on this planet all revolve around love. Multiple lessons we each have to learn in our lifetimes; not one of them is not in someway related to love. This is our goal. To love ourselves, others, and the Creator. To follow and honor this “greatest commandment” offered by Jesus:
When Jesus was asked, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" he replied, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind' - this is the great and foremost commandment, and there is a second like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'. The whole Law and Prophets hang on these two commands."
I have so much work to do in this department. I have more judgment and criticism and hard heartedness than I would care to admit. I know of the experience of love. I know how it improves every situation it meets. I know how wonderful it is to share it with someone, whether male or female, old or young, stranger of family. I know how much better the world we be if everyone gave it and shared it. I know how great it feels to love someone else and I know what a tear-jerker it is to see the selfless things that people do for love. I seek because of my love of the truth, which is another way to say, my love of the Creator. Thus do I seek to open my heart to that sweet flow of love ever more fully and deeply.
- The desire that runs very deep within me to serve others.
I see day in and day out – within my sphere of relationships and within the information I receive from abroad about the world in which I live – how many people suffer at the misunderstood energies of their own mind. I don’t mean necessarily physical suffering, though there is plenty of that to be beaten down by, but more so the suffering of depression, of feeling disempowered, of anxiety, stress, self-doubt, loneliness, confusion, and being the victim. The suffering that hatred and animosity and greed and all the other so-called deadly sins bring to the individual, as well as to those he inflicts his ignorance upon.
Many do I know and have met who, like most of us, are caught in this web of suffering and can not find the way out or the right combination to unlock the door into peaceful pastures. Not only are most of us “caught”, we even more fundamentally continue to perpetuate, endlessly, our own suffering. In our sheer ignorance, we spin new webs of pain and suffering for ourselves, all while in the pursuit of our own happiness.
While of course I see so many people experiencing moments of joy, gratitude, and well being; while I see a great deal of happiness, I also see the confusion and the pain running so strongly through many lives including my own, distorting our perceptions and leading us astray. I see it affecting the whole operation here on planet Earth. If we could bottle suffering up, it would be this planet's number one export.
What many I encounter in the throes of their own self-created pain lack is the basic awareness of the *possibility* of healing, transformation, and rebirth. Without that knowing, without that peak through the box to a vast and infinite universe outside of its tight and constricted walls, people are not motivated to seek the truth, to pray for it, and to ask for help. People do not understand that their conceptions of their identity and of the world in which they live are not the totality of themselves. The do not have the faith which leads one outside of the barriers of consensus reality and into an experience of the timeless nature of their true identity. They don't grasp that something greater than themselves can be appealed to and that something greater will respond.
I am drawn forward, as the above six reasons indicate, because of some undying hope of a life outside of this pain … I have an inkling of what could be. This inkling or hunch or whatever you would like to call it is the greatest blessing one could receive. Without the knowledge that there is much, much more to us than the life we experience inside the "Matrix", we are lost and doomed indefinitely to repeat our mistakes and perpetuate our suffering. Which is why waking to the illusory nature of life (as most experience it) is a precious gift. As a result of this realization, one will of necessity begin to develop the will and the faith to search for and inevitably discover their own answers.
I have this body-convulsing need written into the structure of my DNA itself to serve others, to help people out of their suffering. As I have moved along this path, I have more and more yearned to understand the true situation of the world. When I select what information I will take into myself, whether it be from a movie, a book, a website, or a live speaker, I am often looking for something that will help me to both intellectually but even more so emotionally connect with the world on a deeper and more profound level, especially to the true suffering and horrors of the world. When you really begin to look at the story of humans on this planet, you will soon meet with the inescapable reality of the brutality and cruelty and the mistreatment people have inflicted upon one another, both on the individual and the group level. I want to know this, to know the reality of the situation so that I might find a way through it to the higher reality.
This seemingly omnipresent suffering pains me. I desire intensely to help alleviate it… somehow. But despite my many and varied attempts to learn more about the truth, I realize that there is practically nothing that I can say that will really and truly help another to actually recognize their own native power to learn what they came here to learn and to experience the ability to consciously create their own universe.
I can offer my own philosophical understandings to another and tell them of the infinite nature of things, but no matter how heartfelt and sincere my expressions may be, without the corresponding level of experience to match the words, no combination of the most eloquent phrases from my mouth can really open another’s eyes to the possibility of mystery and infinity. If I myself am living by these spiritual principles (as I am now attempting) and would stand up and die for what I consider to be the highest truth, then this vivifies the words and increases their impact. But the ultimate way to reach people is to *become* the truth which I seek. I believe in this way I could be of the greatest service imaginable.
If I could realize experientially that unified reality of love within, then my very b-e-i-n-g would be the greatest testament to the truth. By simply radiating, on an energetic level, a pure flow of the Creator’s love and light, I would be of immense service because I would be sharing “information”, so to speak, about the true nature of reality, about the limitless nature of the self. I would be an advocate for unconditional love, limitless light, and a single, unified reality. This service would happen not by virtue of any action I could take in the outer world (though action is often a helpful concomitant of the service of being), nor by any words that I could speak, but by simply opening my heart to all with whom I came into contact. I could sit, and breathe, and be, metaphysically speaking, a lighthouse in this darkness.
I have a long… oh so incredibly long… way to go before I can let the Creator shine through my eyes, my hands, and my heart, but this is eventually the service I hope to offer to those about me and those out there so in need of aid. Thus do I seek to serve others, to help them open their eyes, if only just once, to their true and divine natures so that they may grasp the infinite possibilities that belong to one aware of universal truth.
I am open to the possibility that there is more within me of which I am unaware which motivates my seeking. For now and likely for a long time to come, this is the best understanding I have for embarking upon a path unlike any taken by any I knew – family, friend, or acquaintance – within the first 18 years of my life. That there is more to me is in fact what I seek to discover. The unlocked potential calling to me from behind the folds of the curtain and within the realities of my dreams is almost tangible some days. I can almost taste the delicious smells drifting through the air, emanating from the plates of food at an unseen but nearby banquet. Someday I will enjoy the feast itself and share it freely with others.
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Nearing the end of my reading of Valerie’s coffee table book “LIFE Millenium: The 100 Most Important Events & People of the Past 1,000 Years”, I read this about Isaac Newton:
“A passionately religious man in a time of great scientific discovery, Isaac Newton wanted to know how God’s universe worked. His quest for answers gave us the law of universal gravitation, calculus, a new theory of color and light, and the three laws of motion that form the basis of modern mechanics. Brilliant and creative, the English physicist and mathematician synthesized the discoveries of Galileo, Kepler and others, formalizing and transforming physical science.
Yet, looking back, Newton said, “I seem to have been only like a boy, playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
I suppose that this is another way to say, “The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know”. Isaac Newton, one of the most brilliant minds the world has ever known (he like *invented* calculus), understood that his unprecedented advances in science were as nothing in comparison to “the great ocean of truth” which lay undiscovered in his immediate proximity. He, like many scientists with mystical inclinations, I believe, was aware on some level that he was studying only the shadows on the cave wall, shadows which by their very existence hinted of sunshine and a greater world beyond, but which did not, in and of themselves, reveal the nature and purpose of the light.
The situation is no different for ourselves I believe. The sum of all of our accumulated knowledge is as the candle flame to the sun, it casts a small degree of light which dispels the darkness but itself is overwhelmed by the eternal light which formed and illuminates the created universe.
What’s even more interesting is to interpret Newton’s statement to mean the great ocean of truth within. In that sense, all that we know of ourselves is as the buoy floating upon a boundless ocean of infinite depth. We are not just immersed in a universe of mystery, but we are ourselves, to the ground of our beings, nothing less than infinite mystery unbroken. Yet how few of us can actually step outside of our tiny creative vortexes of narrow focus and self-interest long enough to plunge into and dance with that mystery, grasping our very own nature.
Jedi training continues.
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During the second week of April, Valerie, Ocean, and I visited some good friends in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, then spent the remainder of the time camping in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Otherwise known as the: Place Where Gary Injects His Heart with New Life.
We camped in our brand new ginormous (as Valerie likes to say) tent just a few miles into the main entrance on the North Carolina side of the park, north of the Qualla Boundary, a Cherokee Indian Reservation. We were in love, totally head-over-heels in love with this beautiful nature preserve. This particular patch of Earth speaks a language that I can understand. From the thickest part of the forest in the lowest valley to the heights of the mountain tops and their panoramic views, Beauty is a tangible, living presence here. It is heaven on Earth and it brings me home. It is like this...
Imagine that over the course of several years during the beginning of your adult life you wake to realize that you have been fast asleep in what conceptually feels like a foreign land filled with foreign people in a foreign culture operating in ways relatively foreign to your own intrinsic nature. From infancy to childhood to adolescence, you had for all intents and purposes become a foreigner yourself. You, rather blindly, (and understandably) adopted the thinking of the land, identified with it, made it your own, and, while being true to your service-to-others oriented nature as much as was possible, you buried your own truth in the pursuit of the acceptance of those about you, those within the culture whose collective values were in variance to the values of your own deeply sleeping soul. You strove to meet standards which were never your own to begin with, internalizing those perceived standards and turning them against yourself to initiate a life-long, deeply entrenched habit of self-judgment. Forgetting your true identity in so doing, you let the perceptions of others construct your identity for you.
In this process of living your life prior to awakening, you made friends, experienced family, earned money, had girlfriends, partied, went to school, experienced many of the available range of emotions, and you had figured out to some small degree how to function as smoothly as possible within the system; you learned to adapt by developing a sense of what can and can not be done within its parameters. And your thinking, for the most part, never ventured beyond those parameters.
At some point an alarm clock began to sound off within you. With a certain degree of crisis, confusion, and turmoil, your awakening begins. As your eyes truly begin to open to who you are and to the world about you, you awaken with a fire to reach for the infinite. You find new and ancient desires emerging within your being and your thinking. You begin to reflect intensely upon yourself and the nature of reality itself. Over a considerable span of time, an old self dies and a new self is born. A new sun arises within you, illuminating your heart with love and your vision with a sense of previously unthought-of possibility. With every fiber of your being you proceed forward, stumbling and tripping over yourself most of the time, to see through the illusion, discover that which you seek, become who you truly are, and realize the One.
Your environment for this growth is of course your own interior. But the field within which desires are manifested and tested, the environment which mirrors you to yourself is a life in a body on a planet composed of various groups of people who in general tend not to share your focus, your values, and your desire to seek the truth. Upon becoming more intimately familiar with “the world”, you are struck most by its profoundly deep-seated ignorance to the reality of love. Of consensus reality you observe that it seems to limit rather than promote free thought. You note sadly that it serves as a box through which many people can not see. Not that you can sum up the experience of six billion plus souls in your thoughts and writing, but if you could name two features of the planetary culture which stand out the most, you would note that what predominates is an absence of unconditional love and an almost permanent state of confusion as to the divine nature of reality and the human experience.
To answer your many questions about the way the world is, you open and study the pages of the available literature left by those who have seen beyond the societal thinking of their day. You pour over the words of those individuals who have had penetrating insight into, or who have experienced first hand for themselves, the unchangeable truth of the eternal reality. (An underlying reality which can be apprehended only by the open heart of unconditional love. A reality which, while including consensus reality, transcends it altogether.) In this reading, you grasp that the confusion and lost-ness of the world is, as all things are, a function of the divine will. And thus you develop a growing faith in the universal attitude of the mystics which says, “Always, all is well.”
But day in and day out there has been and continues to be a discomfort which stays with you... an out of place-ness… you feel disconnected and estranged from the world about you. Though you build a sturdy foundation of philosophical thought which amply includes within its internal and exquisite order all possible modes of being and categories of thought, and though you structure a cosmology (saturated with mystery) upon that foundation, you, nevertheless, as a being of compassion and caring, are still pained by the current state of affairs of the world you inhabit.
If you read the news the world seems stricken with madness. If you look deeply into the culture, behind and underneath the surface appearances, you realize how pervasive (and almost total, in some cases) is the influence of corporations, advertisers, political parties, and the "military-industrial complex" upon the collective thinking. You have this sense that those who run the world, the governments, the policy-makers, the autocrats, and the wealthy elite, while giving lip-service to the ideals of love, freedom, and truth, still manage to steer the collective thinking as far away from the light of unity as possible. You observe so many disempowered souls acting as unconscious mouthpieces for an agenda which is not their own and which ultimately serves humankind no good.
So pervasive is this sleep, apathy, and confusion which you perceive, so often does it seem that shadow is mistaken for light, that it seems the "good" occurs only in isolated instances. Those who act in love, kindness, and self-sacrifice to help another, those who stand up against the might of the status quo to speak of and embody the way of peace, seem few and far between.
Though technology has progressed to a point which would allow humans to completely annihilate themselves and their environment, though many of the challenges the world faces today are historically unprecedented, you realize that, by and large, things here are as they always have been on planet Earth. The spiritual situation of humankind, the opportunity of the moment to accept, reject, or ignore the Creator, and the interplay between darkness and light, is now as it was described thousands of years ago --- in the responses to the fundamental questions of existence which various historically situated cultures have produced, such as the ancient Vedas of India, the sutras of Buddhism, and the pages of the Bible.
So you persist - with ever greater focus, purity, and dedication - to go about that work in consciousness which you feel called to. Knowing (intellectually, at least) that all is "Lila", the divine play of the One hiding and forgetting itself within the shadows, you attempt to the best of your ability to see and to experience the Creator in all things. Yet the challenge of actually experiencing the One in the many, especially when the many seem to be so disoriented and adamantly opposed to recognizing the One within themselves, is enormous.
Then you return and hike along a mountain stream in a solid 800 square miles of dense woods in the oldest mountains of the world. With each step made on a tiny fraction of the hundreds of miles of hiking paths that criss-cross the Smokies, you step out of the illusions and delusions and self-perpetuated suffering of humankind and into the Creator's unspoiled world. And you feel the closest to home you've felt in ages.
You hike, you rest, and you contemplate the vibrancy of the many levels of life being carried out simultaneously in the stream, in the atmosphere, in the fauna, in the animal realm... all of it unconsciously in tune with a natural order to which man has separated himself. All of it alive with the life of the Creator that lives within every cell of your own being.
You contemplate and tune into this web of life happening underneath your feet and all around you and understand on a non-intellectual level that you are as intricate a part of that web as the tree growing next to you... you and it, the squirrel running up it, the bird laying eggs upon it, the soil from which it grows, the boulder planted next to it, the cloud shadowing the sun above it... all are varying forms of consciousness whose Source is the same... all partake in that single Source of all life. Intellectually you know that, on the physical level, as scientists will tell you, all began as and is made of light, and you know that the matter of which your body, the surrounding forest, and the planetary sphere are composed came literally from stardust.
And in this contemplation you take another step on the long road of knowing the metaphysical truth that all of which you can perceive and experience, whether "out there" or "in here"; all are sparks of the One Infinite Creator. You are not just part of a “web” of all that there is, even more so, you are one with all that there is. Literally as you take each step upon this particular hike and figuratively as you take each step upon your evolutionary journey, this understanding becomes more and more meaningful, resonant, and real to you.
Your second to last day camping you wake up in your tent (on an air mattress, the way to camp I tell you!) and you have the phrase "the answers are blowing in the wind" stuck in your head. Though it is indistinguishable from any other thought, you have the feeling that this particular thought (in no way related to the Dylan song, as far as you know) was planted there somehow. Whether placed there by your subconscious mind or some angel from above, you feel that this thought has special significance.
So you set out on a small four mile hike that day by yourself. While going uphill the first two miles you initiate your spiritual practice of repeating the Creator's name. You focus all your thoughts upon the single most important consideration your mind can put its energies to: unity. Your feet slow down, your mind slows down, and you finally, finally leave behind you the hectic hussle’n’bussle… the circus inside closes its tents... your heart rate slows, your body slows... all the many mental channels and the multitude of wayward distracted energies begin to converge into one strong, concentrated river of focused, coherent awareness... your mind, body, and spirit become unitary, acting as a single awareness... the mind continues to think but you, the awareness behind the thoughts, watch the thoughts pass by.
You use the thinking to observe the experience of the moment as it is... you note the three dead leaves twisting in the wind in front of you, you notice the raven flying high above in the peripheral, you hear the wind rustle the trees around you and feel the same wind caress your skin, you observe the sensation on your skin of the April sun shining down upon you, you hear the rushing waters of the mountain stream somewhere to your left, you feel each stone being pressed underneath your hiking boots and the feet that fill them, you hear a bird song behind you, and you observe the steady rhythm of your breath, the primary link between your mind, body, and spirit.
What happens is that you become the loving observer which the texts of meditation teach you to discover and cultivate. You note each sensation and experience with reverence and love, wishing not to change a single thing... Thus do you enter into a meditation on your hike, accepting the moment as it is, not craving something which is not within the moment, not running from anything unpleasant, not holding onto any perception but letting each one flow by.... your desire is not for the shallow craving of the chemical body but to experience the One, to enter more deeply into the moment as it is... and there could be no more a perfect setting to incline your energy in the direction of the already existing perfection than the Appalachian Mountains... God, I swear…
You contemplate the time scale in which birth, growth, and death unfold in the forest... the stillness of the trees towering above you... the almost edible beauty of the clear mountain water rushing down over boulders smoothed by years of contact with the downward moving water. You contemplate the massive span of time within which the geological processes took to form the mountains themselves. You wonder what it looked like when the violent collision of tectonic plates forced the (molten?) stone of the Earth thousands of vertical feet. You ask yourself how long it took to wear down these mighty mountains to six thousand, five thousand, four thousand feet. You, unschooled in the lessons of nature because you played video games and watched TV a great deal of your childhood, wish to sit and listen to all of nature's many lessons... to learn what the plants and leaves and rocks have to teach you... to study the ways in which they grow and reach for the light, the unconsciously and instinctually driven choices the entities of nature make to survive, reproduce, and interact. And on the spiritual level it is their beingness with which you wish to commune.
And then as you near your destination for the day's hike, you sit on a rock and you feel the sun filtering between the newly budding trees. At that moment the wind blows across you and as the phrase stuck in your head that morning indicated, you intuit something that feels like it goes deeper than bone, something so deep that you associate it with God’s truth. An “answer” is delivered to you by the wind. It is absolutely wonderful and amazing and euphoric and (who knows how to describe it) but you feel a kinship with the wind that blows through your hair and moves across your skin!!
You feel a personal connection to the sun, a loving embrace with the blue sky and the clouds that populate it, and a friendship with the trees. You wish to address them all as brother and sister, as did the Native Americans: brother tree, sister plant, father sun. You wish not only this once to address them and relate to them in such a manner, but to devote your entire life to interacting with nature with such love, familiarity, shared identity, and utter reverence for the sanctity of it all.
You feel at one with things... you feel a distant memory... it feels so damn good, so damned right...
The Creator is everywhere and is all things, but in those mountains and under that sky the Creator is somehow more apparent. Naturally and without effort the Creator shines through the dynamic bio-diversity of the relatively unspoiled mountains, much more so, to me at least, than the urban and sub-urban environments of concrete and construction material which so many of us occupy.
If it weren't for my commitment to L/L Research and my love of Jim and Carla, I would be planning my move with Valerie to be as near as possible to this majestic reflection of divine beauty. I swear that if I lived near these mountains I would, after seeing to my worldly responsibilities, move heaven and Earth to spend every free moment meditating upon unity and hiking in the mountain forests of the Smoky Mountains. I am more in love than I ever thought I could be.
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