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Monday, January 30, 2006

Free from Desire,by Lao-Tse

Free from Desire, by Lao-tse

... Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations....
The Master leads
by emptying people's minds
and filling their cores,
by weakening their ambition
and toughening their resolve.
He helps people lose everything
they know, everything they desire,
and creates confusion
in those who think that they know....
In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don't try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present....
Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner....
Excerpts from the Tao Te Ching, translated by Stephen Mitchell

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Does God exist?..yes..but YOU don't!!

After the Absolute -- Chapter 1
The old man next to me focused his attention on them for a few moments before interrupting. "I'll tell you why you exist," he said in a voice loud enough to be heard over the other conversations. The room got suddenly quiet. "You're here to fertilize the female, work yourself to death, then drop dead and fertilize the earth." Several people laughed but this time the old man did not join in.

The tallest and most imposing of the three professors looked condescendingly at the "rube" in the flannel shirt who had interrupted him.

"Are you saying, then, that we're just sophisticated animals?" he asked.

"No," the old man smiled, "we’re not a bit sophisticated." There was loud laughter, most of it in our vicinity.

The professor shook his head with dramatic sadness. "We'll never build a better world with that kind of attitude."

"Spare me," the old man replied, his voice filled with disgust. "What are there, four billion ants on this ant hill? And you think they’re gonna get their heads together about anything except breeding?"

The same people laughed, Leigh the loudest, and I finally realized that the old man next to me was Richard Rose. So far I didn't think much of him, but he did have a novel way of beginning a meeting, or whatever this was. I turned sideways in my chair to get a better look at him. On the ride over Leigh had tried to explain to me that Rose had had some kind of "enlightenment" experience when he was thirty, and that he seemed to have some unusual powers. I had to admit that he had a commanding presence, but he looked more like a longshoreman than a mystic--short, broad shouldered, and powerfully built. He was in his late fifties or so, and mostly bald. What remained of his hair was white and cut close to his head. His clothes were clean, but well-worn, giving the impression of a man without much money. Leigh told me he'd written several books, but his thick, vein-lined hands looked like they'd be more at home with an ax than a typewriter. As I surveyed him, he glanced briefly over at me and I was struck by his piercing pale blue eyes. He had heavy, hooded eyelids, giving him an almost oriental look, and his sparse white goatee added to this impression.

The professor seemed irritated. "I am merely speaking of a simple desire to improve the world. A basic..."

"No one who has seen the Truth would want to change anything but his own erroneous view of things," Rose said forcefully. "Forget about changing the world. There's something much greater and more important to be done. Each person must be concerned with saving his own soul."

"That’s right," said a woman near the back of the room. She was in her forties, perhaps, with a few streaks of gray in her long black hair. She wore a lot of jewelry and a loose fitting dress that disguised her ample figure. "God placed us here on earth for a reason," she said in a slow, deliberate manner. "Every human is given the opportunity to learn the lessons necessary to become complete and rejoin God."

Rose looked at her. "That’s not what I said. If you believe that, you’re kidding yourself. The idea that life is an education for the glorification of God is absurd. Why would an omnipotent being create a bunch of ignorant people then torture them to make them better?" Rose spoke with the ease and manner of an educated man, but his accent and grammar had a slightly backwoods flavor, and he pronounced certain words with an unusual inflection, such as "glory-fee-cation."

The woman’s face reddened. "You have some rather unorthodox presumptions about God."

"What makes you think I have any presumptions about God at all? You're the one that used the word, not me." He looked away from her and spoke to everyone.

"The way people use the word 'God' is shameless name dropping, that's all. We take too big a step when we conjure up some cosmic intelligence who’s supposed to transcend all time and space, then pretend to know him on a first-name basis. Everyone tosses the word 'God' around like they know what it means, but they don’t know the first thing. Overuse has drained it of any power it once had. Everybody feels so comfortable with the word, ‘God,’ they don’t feel the need--the necessity--to actually go out and find God. To become God."

The professor spoke up again. "We'll, since you seem to be such an authority on the subject, perhaps you can settle an old philosophic question for us. Does God exist?"

"Yes," Rose said quietly, "but you don't."


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Donkey in the well

Donkey in the well

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal was too old, and the well needed to be covered anyway and that it just wasn't worth retrieving the donkey. So he invited all his neighbours to come over and help him.
They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement, he quietened down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer's neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off!
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up.

Author unknown

Monday, January 02, 2006

One is always "riding the horns of the paradox."

TAT Forum
WAKE UP
by Gary Harmon

Dear dreamers within my dream, something occurs to me.
Dreaming that one is awake is one thing,
Becoming awake to the fact of dreaming is another thing.

In the first, one is still stuck in the dream, subject to the rules
of the dream. In the second, the dream becomes plain, there is control
to move about and act within the dream consciously.
So waking up is becoming lucid within the waking world dream.

Discern that you exist as a dreamer.
Saying "wake up" is a first step. One becomes a
clear dreamer when one wakes up to the fact of the dream.

Some Things I Think are True
by M.R.J.

The only things in life worth striving for are things of spiritual value, which is mostly done indirectly. The soul grows through mundane experiences and constant effort and terrors of just trying to survive or make any progress. The essence of wisdom extracted from the experience becomes part of one's soul or individual self, and is carried from life to life. The only thing you "take with you" is not money but changes made in one's soul.

One's soul is his ray of individuality from the great ALL, from Spirit, from Parabrahman, the totally impersonal Principle or misnomered "God" in the exoteric religious sense - which is totally beyond and incapable of "caring" for anything or anyone in the personal sense. One would have better chance of results by sending his prayers to Winnie the Pooh. While prayer produces no results, Aspiration does. One must aspire in his personal self for a connection with his soul, to become his soul, his inner self, through inner efforts or outer good works. It is a one-way effort. One must aspire to his soul and spirit for his own salvation, it does not aspire to you. Persons who never do this, and never do this over life-times, lose their connection with their source, become a ray broken from the Absolute, a "lost soul." There are many.

The sensation of and connection with one's real self is in the heart region of the body. One should strive to be perpetually centered here and live from here. It is the source of true sanity, wisdom and peace and all latent knowledge of past experience. Centered in the Self one can be in peace in an earthly hell, and without it one may be in a hell while in an earthly paradise. Life is a constant battle and paradox between the soul's need to work and seek experience and develop in the outer world, while the result of this effort is a constant attack on one's ability to stay centered in the Self. One is always "riding the horns of the paradox."