Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Readjustment

Awakening is a readjustment. The state is always present, it is our normal, permanent, real nature - as the Masters of all the doctrines never tire of telling us - but the conscious experience of it is denied us by a deviation of subjectivity on to a concept that, as such, is unreal, an object in consciousness appearing as its own subject. Until this phantom is exorcised by being exposed, subjectivity appears to be bound, and we cannot experience it as it is in reality. When this anomalous situation is understood, we need to start putting this understanding into practice, that is not just thinking about it, but experiencing it. There have been people, apparently born 'ready', for whom the fact of understanding has been sufficient in itself to produce the experience, but for the rest of us habit and practice are a necessary prelude to conscious experience of our reality. However it is important to understand that there is nothing to acquire, but only an error to be exposed, because acquiring necessarily involves using, and so strengthening that spurious 'I' whose dissolution we require. For this merely a readjustment is needed, such readjustment being the abandonment of identification with an nonexistent individual self, an abandonment which leaves us unblindfolded and awake in our eternal nature. To seek to persuade ourselves that we do not exist as individual entities is, however, to ask an eye to believe that what it is looking at is not there. But it is not we alone who have no existence as entities: there are not any anywhere in the reality of the cosmos, never have been, and never could be. Only whole-mind can reveal this knowledge as direct cognition which, once realised, is obvious. That is the total readjustment. And only 'I' remains. - Wei Wu Wei from Ask the Awakened: The Negative Way

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Forgiveness is a Rebellion Against the Ego's Self-importance.

The path of forgiveness
is the path of freedom

Ivan M. Granger

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saint Patricks 17 Mar 2009

The Lake of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

W. B. Yeats

Resting in the Paradox of Opposites

From one of the best Buddhist blogs on
the innerwebs.
Here . . . MonkMojo's 1000 Cuts.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

"To know itself the self must be faced with its opposite - the not-self. Desire leads to experience. Experience leads to discrimination, detachment, self-knowledge - liberation. And what is liberation after all? To know that you are beyond birth and death. By forgetting who you are and imagining yourself a mortal creature, you created so much trouble for yourself that you have to wake up, like from a bad dream. "
~Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

The Freaks at Spurgin Road Field

The dim boy claps because the others clap.
The polite word, handicapped, is muttered in the stands.

Isn't it wrong, the way the mind moves back.

One whole day I sit, contrite, dirt, L.A.

Union Station, '46, sweating through last night.
The dim boy claps because the others clap.

Score, 5 to 3. Pitcher fading badly in the heat.

Isn't it wrong to be or not be spastic?

Isn't it wrong, the way the mind moves back.

I'm laughing at a neighbor girl beaten to scream

by a savage father and I'm ashamed to look.

The dim boy claps because the others clap.

The score is always close, the rally always short.

I've left more wreckage than a quake.

Isn't it wrong, the way the mind moves back.

The afflicted never cheer in unison.

Isn't it wrong, the way the mind moves back
to stammering pastures where the picnic should have worked.

The dim boy claps because the others clap.
~Richard Hugo

Alice Walker's Open Letter to Obama

"We must learn actually not to have enemies,

but only confused adversaries who are ourselves
in disguise."
Full letter here. . . . .

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"Edgy, Oxford-Educated Karen"

"METTA" ~Pali

An arresting part of a dialogue between Karen Armstrong and Bill Moyers:

KAREN ARMSTRONG: I used, you know, to be a really spiteful human being.


KAREN ARMSTRONG: I learned a vicious form of rhetoric from my religious superiors, and also, from my teachers at Oxford. You know? And people used to say to me, "I would really hate to be your enemy," because I have this very sharp tongue that I knew how to use it. And I get in first before someone put me down, that kind of thing.

I found that, in my studies I had to practice, what I found called in a footnote, the "science of compassion." There was a phrase coined by great Islamist, Louis Massignon. Science, not in the sense of physics or chemistry, but in the sense of knowledge, scientia, the Latin word for knowledge.

And Latin--the knowledge acquired by compassion. Feeling with the other. Putting yourself in the position of the other. And this footnote said that a religious historian, like myself, must not approach the spiritualities of the past from the vantage point of post enlightenment rationalism. You mustn't look on this in a superior way and look at the author of "The Cloud of Unknowing," a 14th century text as, poor soul, you know. And you had to recreate in a scholarly fashion, all the circumstances which had resulted in this spirituality or this teaching and not leave it, or certainly not write about it, until you can imagine yourself putting yourself in that position. Imagine yourself feeling the same. So when I wrote about Muhammad, for example, I had to put myself in the position of a man living in the hell of seventh century Arabia, who sincerely believed he had been touched by God.

And unless I did that, I would miss Muhammad. I had to put clever Karen, edgy Oxford educated Karen on the back burner. And go out of myself and enter into the mind of the other. And I found, much to my astonishment, it started changing me.

I couldn't any longer be quite as vicious as I was or dismissive as I was in the kind of clever conversations -

BILL MOYERS: Why? This is the first time I've heard of a born again experience beginning with a footnote. Was it your imagination that said, "I have to see this world the way Muhammad saw it and experienced it?"

KAREN ARMSTRONG: I said that this footnote is right. If I go on writing, as I had been doing up to this point for saying, "This is all rubbish." You know, I know it all. These poor benighted souls in the past didn't know what they were talking about. I was not fulfilling my job as a historian.

It was my job to go in and recreate it, enter into that spirit. Leave myself behind and enter into the mind and society and outlook of the other. It's a form of what the Greeks called ekstasis. Ecstasy. That doesn't mean you go into a trance or have a vision. It means-- ekstasis means standing outside yourself. Putting yourself behind. And it is self, it's ego that hold us back from what we call God.

BILL MOYERS: You speak of the change in you. You're talking about a personal transformation. But take the next step. What would bring about the kind of real change in society and in politics that would be an extrapolation of or a continuation in community of what you're talking about?

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Okay. Not to treat other nations or other... in a way that we would not wish to be treated ourselves.

BILL MOYERS: Unless they've attacked you.

KAREN ARMSTRONG: Even so, I mean, there was a chance after 9/11, you know, when something different could have been done...

Hat tip

The Daily Dish

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

On Barbie's Birthday

Buddhist Barbie

In the 5th century B.C.
an Indian philosopher
Gautama teaches "All is emptiness"
and "There is no self."
In the 20th century A.D.
Barbie agrees, but wonders how a man
with such a belly could pose,
smiling, and without a shirt.

~ Denise Duhamel ~