Truth and understanding is forever the lovely, the good and the expanding

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."
-Albert Einstein
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Re: Truth and understanding is forever the lovely, the good and the expanding

Post by maggie »


Off Topic
well I have a sort of suggestion and

that is this that before we decide

either to save the planet or to destroy

it we pause for a moment of silence I

don't mean that kind of grim silence

which one observes when somebody says

such-and-such a famous person has just

died and will observe a moment of

silence in his honor

and everybody frowns and thinks very

serious thoughts

that's not silence at all I mean real

silence in which we stop thinking and

experience reality as reality is because

after all if I talk all the time I can't

hear what anyone else has to say and if

I think all the time and by that I mean

specifically talking to yourself sub

vocally inside your skull if I think all

the time I have nothing to think about

except thoughts and so I'm never in

touch with the real world now what is

the real world some people have the

theory that the real world is material

or physical as say it's made a kind of a

stuff other people have the theory that

the real world is spiritual or mental

but I want you to point out that both

those theories of the world are concepts

of words and the real world is not an

idea it is not words

reality is

you will find therefore that if you get

with reality all sorts of illusions

disappear and I will mention several

illusions that have not this kind of

existence let's begin with some very

down-to-earth ones like money money is a

very useful method of accounting it is a

measure of wealth in the same way as

inches are measures of length and grams

measures of weight you cannot eat money

you could have a fantastic quantity of

dollar bills and stock certificates on a

desert island and they would be useless

to you what you would need would be food

and animals and companions money simply

represents wealth in rather the same way

that the menu represents the dinner only

we are psychologically perverted in such

a way that we would some of us would

rather have money than real wealth but

you know you cannot drive in five cars

at once even though they be Cadillacs

you cannot live simultaneously in six

houses or eat twelve roasts of beef at

one meal there is a limit to what one

can consume so that's

one of the sort of confusions I'm

talking about another is that we confuse

ourselves as living organisms with our

idea of ourselves that is to say with a

conception of myself which is called the

personality or ego we that is what we

have been told we are and it's an

extremely crude and limited conception

of oneself of the actual unique living

organism and we get unhappy because we

are thinking of ourselves in this way

because we think well gee I'm gonna die

I once talked to a woman who came to me

and said she was afraid of death and we

went into it in a long conversation I

said what are you really afraid of and

she thought it over and thought it over

and he said do you know what I'm going

to be afraid of is what other people are

gonna say they're gonna say poor old

Gert she couldn't last it through

because you see who you think you are is

entirely dependent on who people have

told you you are you're not that then

another thing that bothers our bothers

us is time but most people nowadays say

I have no time course you don't because

you are not aware of the present you

know the present is represented on your

watch by a hairline that is as thin as

possible as is consistent with

visibility and so everybody thinks the

present is instead of

[Music]

now the present is the only real time

there is no past and there isn't a

future and there never will be we think

ordinarily of the present as an

infinitesimal point at which the future

changes into the past and we also do a

terrible thing we imagine ourselves to

be results of the past and we're always

passing the buck over our shoulders like

when God approached Adam in the Garden

of Eden and said hast thou eaten of the

fruit of the tree we're off I told thee

thou should not eat and Adam said this

woman thou gave us me she tempted me and

I did eat and God looked at he even said

hast thou eaten of the fruit of the tree

wear off I told thee thou shalt not eat

and she said the serpent beguiled me and

I did eat and guard out of the corner of

his eye looked at the serpent certainly

said nothing

so you see we're always passing the buck

and don't realize that the past is

caused by the present as the wake of a

ship flows back from the prow

now the wake doesn't drive the ship

anymore than the tail wags the dog but

we've all got excuses and my mother had

a fit while she was carrying me in the

womb they didn't bring me up right and

then they go to the mother and say how

is it that you could have been so

irresponsible with your children and she

says well it was my parents didn't bring

me up right even though everybody passes

the buck but the truth of the matter is

it all begins here this is where the

creation begins and you're doing it and

won't admit it because of course you're

all God in disguise Jesus found that out

and they crucified him for saying so

because the Jewish people had a sense of

God as the cosmic King the boss it was

modeled on pharaoh on cyrus of persia

the king of kings and the Lord of lords

was Cyrus's title Kira a Eleison means

Cyrus have mercy on us but you don't

have to think of God in that image when

modern Protestant theologians of the

sort of liberal type how saying God is

dead they mean not that literally they

mean a certain image of God is dead out

worn because it was after all an idol

and when it says thou shalt not make to

thyself any graven image it doesn't mean

merely images of wood

in stone which nobody took seriously

anyway it means above all images made of

imagination the image is made of

concepts and that one had feet of clay

but it doesn't mean that God is dead

that life is nothing more than a trip

from the maternity ward to the

crematorium it's much more spooky than

that

much more wonderful but you see

you can't conceive reality we could say

God is reality but if I call this the

sound of a gong it isn't the same as

this you see the sound of a gong is a

different sound from that sound the

sound of a gong the sound of a gong the

sound of a gong the sound of gong is not

[Music]

so then there is practiced throughout

the world rather more in Asia than here

although always by a minority of people

a discipline called meditation which is

to get in touch with reality the word

meditation in English doesn't have quite

the same meaning because when we talk of

someone meditating we think of deeply

pondering about something when the

Orientals are asked what do you meditate

on they look slightly puzzled

we don't meditate on anything we just

meditate in sanskrit it is called jhana

in Chinese it is called Chun in Japanese

it is called Zen and it means very

simply to stop thinking temporarily not

again that thinking is something bad

but if you don't you have to stop

thinking at certain times once you get

the knack of that you can do it even

while you're thinking so you can be a

scholar and practice meditation this is

not an anti intellectual point of view I

imagine that most of you here are either

in college or college educated and the

foundation of the intellectual life good

scholarship requires that you meditate

but in saying that I have got myself

into a linguistic trap because you see I

seem to be pitching it to you as if it

was something good for you as if it

would give you a better future as if it

would improve you now so long as such

motivations and considerations exist

you're not meditating we talk sometimes

about the practice of meditation as if

it were like practicing the piano

preparing for a concert it's much more

like the practice of medicine as when

you say well I practice medicine means

you do it every day it's your way of

life so you would this is a very odd

thing for Westerners to understand and

particularly for Americans because we

are so fixated on the future when we say

we want to put something down we say it

has no future well do you much better to

have a present because if you don't

it's useless to make plans because when

they work out you won't be there to

enjoy them you'll be thinking of

something else

so this is one activity which is

curiously different from all others it

has no purpose

it's rather like music or dancing in

that respect why do you listen to music

supposing there would be a culture with

no music would you consider that a high

culture but why do you do it well some

people say what we go to the concert to

improve our minds well if you do it that

you're not listening as you see music is

peculiar in that it is a marvelous

pattern of sounds that doesn't mean

anything

there is some inferior music that means

something what we call prog music like

the Tchaikovsky 1812 overture or some of

Debussy 's perpetration such as the in

glutted Cathedral where it's creating

visual pictures or imitating natural

noises the beat of horses hooves or

Rowling's of military drums and the

sound of the waves etc just imitation

now great music as composed by Bach or

Mozart or the Hindu music or some of the

great contemporary composers doesn't

mean anything except itself it isn't

going anywhere

otherwise the fastest orchestras would

be considered the best

so we in music become centered we come

into the present not a hairline present

mind you it's an expanded present

because if you had a hairline present

you wouldn't be able to hear one note

after another you wouldn't know what

note you'd heard before so you couldn't

hear melody

but in this you are released into

reality that's why it is said that the

angels in heaven have harps and why they

circle the throne of God and sing

alleluia alleluia alleluia which

although who does mean hail to the Lord

doesn't really mean anything when you

really get swinging with an Alleluia

it's just an Aloha you don't think of

the meaning of it you see because you

can't think of the meaning of God what

does God mean what is God useful for and

so in the same way you can ask what does

a tree mean what does a cloud mean what

does a fern mean what's it all about

well we've got on all kinds of weird

theories that the ferns exists in a

certain way in order to propagate

themselves like birds do all this thing

in order to lay eggs so more birds come

out and the whole point of that is that

there shall be more bird still this is a

purely engineering approach to life

which is completely senseless things

don't mean anything birds don't mean

anything trees don't mean anything words

mean something yes because they point to

something beyond themselves they're

signs but if you take words too

seriously or like a person who climbs a

signpost instead of going where it

points and so if you suddenly say but my

life has no meaning you're identifying

yourself with a word and that's what we

do when we are when if I would identify

myself with Alan Watts that would be

identifying myself with a concept with

words in a rather complicated mess of

words to be sure

but still I would have made that mistake

so then it has to be understood about

meditation that it's not an exercise

it's not a gymnastic it's not the

ordinary sort of self-improvement

procedure and one does it not to be good

for you but just because you dig it

because at last you find yourself in the

center the eternal now in which past and

future drop away in which divisions

created by words drop away can you point

to the division between my four by five

fingers can you

in other words touch the difference

between them can't be done because the

difference is conceptual true they can

all move independently but only because

yeah one with the body when the body is

one with its environment you cannot

separate those like bees and flowers

where there are no flowers there are no

bees where there are no bees there are

no flowers they look very different but

they are essentially one organism the

head and the feet look very different

but they are parts of one organism not

really parts parts is a mechanical word

like got any spare parts the organism

doesn't have parts it has features

now there's not very much a point in

merely talking about this you can

understand it only by doing it and I'm

sorry that our facilities do not allow

you to sit on the floor and to get a

sort of in the right relaxed awake

position but before we go into that I

just want to know if there are any

questions if I've made myself clear and

if there are any of you who find me

utterly unintelligible so if you wave a

hand at me I'll recognize you

you must be careful about that you

cannot smooth rough water with a flat

iron so don't try not to think you just

allow your thoughts to do whatever they

want to do but you listen to them like

you listen to birds chattering outside

the window

it would be the question is it sounds

like Brett brainwashing we're like when

in Vietnam they put prisoners of war in

front of blank walls and of course that

would be brainwashing to a person who

didn't know how to meditate and they

recognize perfectly well that we don't

and therefore forced you see it's forced

meditation which would be the horrors

the form of torture that's like people

don't like silence of the radio on or

something is he all the time have a

radio in your car and everywhere all

this chatter chatter chatter chatter we

don't like silence and therefore they

know it's a torture for us

it is for them for that matter - there's

not many of them are experienced

meditators they were they wouldn't be

involved in this mess

yes

yes

yes

well now you see you've got to realize

that we think of the world largely in

terms of Newtonian mechanics and that

goes back to Greek philosophy and all

their ideas of nature and by and large

these people were always thinking about

nature by analogy with the game of

billiards and so when a ball moves it

was hit by a cue and we say the ball

moves because it was hit by the cue so

when you do something people ask what

hit you what was your motivation that

caused you to behave in this way but you

must understand that cause and effect is

a defective way of describing nature

what happened was this that when we

separated events into separate bits you

see we forgot that we had done that in

order to talk about the event like when

you separate a wiggle and you give names

to different say Bay's or capes or

mountains on a territory that naming

doesn't actually separate them so when

you get motion time is only a measure of

motion we begin to think about bits of

motion and we forget we did that then we

suddenly asked the question but how did

this bit get there and then we say oh it

was because of that bit that came before

it

we don't see that it's all one after all

when a cat walks along its head comes

first and its tail follows now is the

head the cause of the tail or is the

tail the cause of the head well it's all

one cat the whole cat moves when a snake

moves which side moves first the left or

the right say it all goes together but

if you want to define yourself as a

billiard ball then you will play life

like the past was responsible for you

and if you believe it hard enough you'll

feel it and that's what's happened to

practically all of us so we don't leave

we realize that we are living out of now

and throwing the past behind us yes in

the back

I'm leery of ask answering such a

question

because I seem to be living in an area

where there is incomplete freedom of

speech yes sure I've made it pretty

clear and I think sober statement of the

powers and dangers of these things in

that book now it is due to the fact that

the meditator meditates and has

liberated himself from his past which

was an idea in his head

it's a little bit like that but language

is so structured that I cannot talk

without this implication we can practice

we can enter into the meditation state

and see why that would be so but we

would see it directly from that state

not from any explanation

that's merely an illusion of grammar

it's because there's certain languages

have the rule that all verbs have to

have subjects like in the sentence it is

raining what is the zip so how on earth

can one get a verb out of a noun a

process out of a thing so you just can't

do it it's the old problem - of spirit

and matter how can you get a spirit to

influence matter all good ghosts walk

straight through brick walls without

disturbing the bricks so how can a ghost

in your body lift an arm but I'm not

saying that there is no ghost I'm also

saying well if I'm saying there is no

ghost I'm also saying there is no body

it's just process or call it pattern

moving pattern pattern patterns of

motion patterning zuv motions patterning

zuv motioning x' so we are always you

see language keeps creating ghosts and

like the lightning flashed

well obviously the flashing was the same

as the lightning so we divided a single

process into two pieces one something

called lightning which does something

called flashing

yes gentleman in the white shirt

yes it is of course possible to meditate

without intending to do so but it's also

possible in retrospect to realize that

you were meditating you don't lose the

Faculty of discursive thought you don't

get your mind permanently wiped out in

that sense you still remember your name

address and telephone number your social

security number and who you're supposed

to be in what role you're supposed to be

playing but you know that's a big act

that's the difference between a crazy

person and an enlightened person a crazy

person might get by accident into some

of these states and get so lost that he

wouldn't know how to come back to the

world of ordinary normal conventions but

when meditation is properly practiced

you can also operate in the conventional

world yes the red arm I see over there

does the concept of will fit in not

really no I will try to show you

practically why it is an unnecessary

concept how you can have far more energy

without using your will than you can

with using it see the will implies a

separation of man and nature and

therefore we asked the question do we

have free will or are we determined that

means are you a bus or a tram and both

concepts are off the point because both

of them presuppose a fundamental

separation of the individual from the

universe does it kick you around or do

you kick it around and if you think in

that way you lose energy just as my

finger would lose energy if I separated

it from the hand

well now look we're going to take an

intermission for five minutes in case

any of you have to leave or tired or

bored and then we'll come back to the

real business of this gathering within

that time

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Re: Truth and understanding is forever the lovely, the good and the expanding

Post by maggie »

I just REALLY appreciate Dean Radin. This just in:
Off Topic
Alright Higherside Chatters, we've talked about magic enough by now to know that despite today's popular worldview that it's all silliness and superstition- we occupy just a small sliver of time in which that is the case- and humanity actually has a long, rich history of experimentation, documentation, and dramatic results when it comes to the lost art of magic.

But we do seem to be stumbling out of the darkness once again, and the tide does seem to be turning, as the materialist worldview starts to crumble and more main-streamers start to admit there is something more to this “consciousness” thing than they thought.

And the savvy ones among us realize this admission is just the first crack in the dam, and it's only a matter of time before pre-cognition, divination, the power of will, & communion with the spirit world all come seeping back into society from the proverbial Pandora's box that I suspect, powerful people would rather remain closed.

Well folks, these are the topics offered up on the Higherside alter today, as we welcome Dr. Dean Radin to the party as the guest of honor.

Dean is the currently the Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and Associated Distinguished Professor of Integral Trans-personal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. But along the way he's held appointments at AT&T Bell Labs, Princeton University, and SRI International just to name a few.

For nearly 4 decades he's been at the forefront of consciousness research and along the way He's authored over 250 articles, and 3 popular books entitled The Conscious Universe, Entangled Minds, & Super-normal.

He's been on dozen's of popular shows including Oprah, Larry King, and now The Higherside Chats- which we call the true trifecta around here.

Coming in hot with the release of his latest book, boldly spelling it out for his colleagues in the title so there's no mistake:

It's called: Real Magic: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science, and a Guide to the Secret Power of the Universe and I'm siked to talk to him about it.

Want more from our guest?

Dean's webiste: http://www.deanradin.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Dean at the INOS: http://noetic.org/profile/dean-radin" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

What if Dean Radin is Right? http://skepdic.com/essays/radin.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Get Real Magic: " onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
First hour here:

https://www.thehighersidechats.com/dr-d ... sychology/

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Re: Truth and understanding is forever the lovely, the good and the expanding

Post by maggie »

I think this is truly one of the far in reaching messages ......


Off Topic
OUT OF YOUR MIND, SESSION 06: THE INEVITABLE ECSTASY (2)
Alan Watts

http://www.organism.earth/library/document/21

SEEING BEYOND THE GAME

I was making a basic comparison between the state of consciousness of a baby and that of a so-called mature adult. Respectively, what we would call undifferentiated and differentiated. The adult consciousness being highly selective, and the baby consciousness being very open and hardly selective at all, and therefore unable to distinguish what adults consider to be the important things, which have to do with the conventions and rules that the positive aspects—whether they be called good, or pleasant, or life-giving, and so on—must prevail over the negative aspects. And I went on to show that this contrast between the two views of the world has another marked characteristic: that, in the case of the baby who hasn’t been trained or told about the difference between himself and all that is defined as ‘other’ than himself, doesn’t distinguish between voluntary behavior and involuntary occurrence.

01:47
And, of course, we think this is a very fundamental defect. But if we go back, you see, to a principle that underlies the whole universe with a kind of mathematical exactitude, we see that if we reduce things to a situation of primal simplicity, and we have a primordial ‘self’ and ‘other’ situation—that is to say, two balls in space—there is absolutely no way of telling, when they move, which one of them is moving or which one is still. They must necessarily appear to move mutually. There’s no point of reference—except each other—to determine which is moving and which is still.

02:45
Now, everything that goes on in the universe is simply a complication of that principle. Because the same thing holds true if you multiply the number of balls. You’ll see that that primordial principle—that all movement is mutual—still applies. And therefore, the baby’s failure to distinguish between the voluntary and the involuntary—the ‘I’ and the ‘other’—is, in a way, correct. Psychologists—psychoanalysts in particular—make a great deal of this contrast and consider that the baby’s view is inferior to the adult’s. And if an adult should acquire that view, in psychoanalysis this would be called ‘regression.’

03:43
The point that is missed is that the two ways of looking at things need each other to balance out. And that one needs the baby’s view as a basis for the adult view, because if you don’t have it you take the adult view too seriously; get completely carried away by it. And that would be analogous to a person who, in playing poker, loses his nerve because he doesn’t realize it’s only a game. So he becomes a very bad player.

04:30
In exactly the same way, we, in life, are only playing a game. But because we didn’t keep the baby view, we can’t see it. So what we would call a ‘Buddha-view’ is one that knows both, and therefore is not taken in by the adult games—although perfectly capable of playing them—but in so far as they are not regarded as finally and absolutely serious. He’s not captivated by them.

II

A CONSPIRACY WE PLAY ON OURSELVES

05:23
Now, therefore, one asks the question, That sounds very interesting, but how do I recapture the baby point of view? And I showed that that was the wrong question, because it arises entirely and exclusively out of the adult point of view. Because the adult point of view involves the fiction that ‘I’ exist as an agent independently of everything else that’s going on. And so ask, How can I do this? And the important thing is to realize that the feeling of there being this isolated ‘I’ is part of the game, and it has no fundamental reality—except as a convention. And so long as that isn’t clear, we’re confused.

06:34
I reiterated the point that, when we ask, To whom must it become clear? or To whom is it not clear? that this, too, was all part of the illusion of the world that the adult presents to the child. So the only way in which the child’s vision can come again is in the realization that the ‘I’ can’t do anything about it at all, and can’t even do nothing about it. All possibilities of vision for what we call I, myself are out. And this in, of course, is the same meaning—as the Christian or the Islamic mystics would say—that the mystical experience is the gift of God. And there’s nothing you can do to get it. That’s a clumsy way, really, of saying the same thing. Because so long as you are trying—or not trying—you are aggravating the sensation of the separate ego.

08:02
Now that, in itself, you see, as I talk about it, presents a certain difficulty. Or one thinks it’s difficult. There would be a second difficulty if we were to go on and say, It isn’t only the illusion of the ego, but the whole valuation system that we put on the complexity of vibrations we call ‘awareness of life’. All the various valuations that are put on this by the social game are māyā! That is to say, they are illusory—basically. Because it is only in play, as it were, that we say this is good and this is bad, this is advantageous, this is disadvantageous. And so we would go on to say, after this, But I cannot imagine anything more difficult than overcoming that hypnosis. I am so enchanted by this system that the idea of treating it as not really very serious seems to me unthinkable. Of course you have to think that. It’s like a hypnotist working on somebody and saying, You are not going to remember any of this conversation after you come to. And so he’s put the suggestion into you that you forget the whole thing. So, in the same way, the suggestion has been put into all of us that these rules that we have learned are sacrosanct. And that we—they don’t say that you will not be able to think otherwise, they say they are true! They are the truth, you see? And that is the same function as the hypnotic suggestion put into us ever since we were receptive children.

10:15
So, naturally, it’s all part of the conspiracy which we are playing on ourselves. We can’t blame our parents for this, because their parents played it on them, and they bought it. And don’t forget that time goes backwards. You see? You can’t blame this on the past because now, in the present, you are creating the values of the past, and you are buying them all along, you see? So there is no out on this. You see, in a way, psychoanalytically, one is given an out by saying, Well, the parents didn’t bring up their children properly. And American people are consumed with guilt about the way they bring up their children. So we must abandon, completely, the notion of blaming the past for any kind of situation we’re in, and reverse our thinking and see that the past always flows back from the present; that now is the creative point of life.

11:22
And so, you see, it’s like the idea of forgiving somebody. You change the meaning of the past by doing that. It’s like, also, when you watch the flow of music: the melody, as it is expressed, is changed by notes that come later. Just as the meaning of a sentence—especially, say, take German or Latin, where there’s the convention of placing a verb at the end of a sentence. You wait, in other words, till later to find out what the sentence means. According to our way of feeling it. So it is also, in our language, if I say, I love you, you don’t know when I said I what ‘I’ is doing. I could say, I hate you. So we don’t know until later. So, in other words, the word ‘love’ or the word ‘hate’ changes the function of the word ‘I.’ And then I was going to say, I love flowers. No, but I love you. You see? And so the word later changes the meaning of those that go before. The present is always changing the past.

12:59
So when you get the idea in your mind that the point of view that I am talking about is very difficult indeed to acquire—that idea is one you are putting there to stop yourself seeing the other point of view. And above all, you must not take that seriously. It is simply a method of postponing seeing the point now. So you have to see it now or never. Because there is only now. If you say, Well, tomorrow. The next day. Maybe in another dozen lifetimes, I’ll be ready. That means, simply and solely, I don’t want to be bothered with it now, I'm even not interested in it now, so I’ve got an excuse for putting it off. Which is fine; that’s perfectly okay. You can put it off. There is no reason, there is no compulsion, why you should come out of this illusion.

14:21
That’s why Oriental people do not tend—in the same way as Westerners—to be missionaries, and saying it’s very urgent that you be saved. It isn’t—unless you say so. I mean, unless you are so disturbed by the suffering, and the problem of suffering, that you’ve go to find some sort of escape. But if you don’t want to, you can stay there. It’s okay, there’s lots of time. And maybe you’ll see through it when you die. At least in the moment of death you’ll see that it was all fake. So don’t be scared about the idea of the difficulty of it. That’s a red-herring. And it’s quite irrelevant, and I don’t think that teachers should talk quite so much about this as they do, and saying, Oh, this is going to take a long, long time, and a lot of practice, and many years. Maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. But that’s beside the point, because it distracts. It’s like telling somebody that, This is a very difficult book to read and it requires immense powers of concentration. Well, that immediately kills your interest in it. Instead, if I were to say, Well now, this is a most extraordinary book. It’s just so fascinating. I’ve been working on it for years! And every time I just get so involved, I can’t drop the thing. You know? I mean, that’s a far more encouraging attitude to a student than Well, this is going to be very difficult. Except to very, very self-hating students who somehow, perversely, enjoy suffering through it. Now, I suppose that is, of course, a way, too.

III

THE ILLUSION OF THE EGO

16:32
Alright, now: if we can see the first part, which is that the ego is purely fictitious—that it is a symbol or image of oneself plus a sensation of muscular strain occasioned by trying to make the symbol an effective agent—to control emotion, to concentrate, to direct the nervous operations of the organism. Then, immediately, it is clear that what we have called ourselves, what we have thought of ourselves, isn’t able to do anything at all. There follows this kind of silence in which there is nothing to do except watch what happens. But what is happening is watching itself; there is nobody apart from it, watching it. And so we get into the state of meditation—or, as I prefer to call it, contemplation.

17:43
So then, the next problem that arises is: well, what about all the other illusions? Although they are somehow integrated and centered upon the illusion of ego, nevertheless the whole value system—of what is important, what is not important, what is good, what is bad, what is pleasant, what is painful—has to be called into question. Not in order to destroy the whole value system, but in order to see it for what it is. And that’s where we will object and say, Well, surely that’s a colossally difficult task, because we are so long habituated to it. And we have been taught to believe that the longer we have been habituated to something, the more difficult it is to change it. And that is true if you believe it. And if you don’t, it isn’t.

18:45
That’s why it’s always emphasized—at any rate, in Zen—that when anything is to be done, it should be done immediately, without thinking it over in advance. Act at once. And you find that characteristic of people trained in Zen; they always act immediately. They don’t say, Well, oh, uhmm… hmmm, well… mmm, when should we do this sort of thing? They just do it. Because that doesn’t build up. It gives no time for the building up of all this reflection of, Well, I’ve done this way for a long time, and I really feel kind of draggy about doing it another way. It’s like some people eat the same thing every day, and the idea of suddenly eating something else seems absolutely weird.

19:33
I remember when I used to have lunch in London—in the city of London—I used to go to a rather fancy sandwich bar. And there was a very square young man in a derby hat, who ordered exactly the same lunch every day. Fantastic. And so it came that the man who served the bar—the moment he saw him coming in at the door, he had it there. And he would’ve had a real qualm if somebody had suggested that instead of having a beef sandwich he should have the smoked salmon one.

20:19
Now then, we get to this: what we are aware of is a complex of vibrations. And we have been conditioned to call them, graduatedly, ‘good,’ ‘bad,’ ‘pleasant,’ ‘painful.’ Whereas, as a matter of fact, they are nothing but vibrations. And if you look at any one of them, by itself, you won’t know where it is. That is to say, if you only know ‘red,’ you can’t see that it’s red; you can only know that this is red by contrast with yellow and green and blue and violet. So you don’t know that a sound is loud unless you know soft sounds, or you don’t know that it’s soft unless you know loud. And it is that comparison which gives us the feeling of the spectrum as being varied. Otherwise we wouldn’t know.

21:40
For example, when you watch television you are actually seeing a single moving point moving over the screen. But it goes so fast that you see it in all these different places having different values of light. But let us—supposing there was someone whose retina was not retentive in this way, he would look at the screen and see the moving point of light, and say to human beings, I don’t see what you see in this.

22:17
Now can we, therefore, get back not only to the situation where we see that the ego is a mere construct, but also where we see that all the values we put on the vibrations are arbitrary. And that we get to a position where we see the vibrations simply as the vibrations. And we would say, then, Well, surely, all this is nonsense. Which is correct. The universe, I mean, is a kind of a Ba-doo-di-da, ba-doo-di-da, ba-doo-di-da, ba-doo-di-da, ba-doo-di-da, and going on in this fantastic way.

23:11
This is why music can be used as a meditative technique. Because a lot of music is nonsense; it doesn’t mean anything. But it can be very interesting. So, can you get back again to recollecting, from childhood, your pleasure in events that—from your present point of view—you would call entirely meaningless? That you could listen to a sound like twanging metal, and it goes boing, boing, boing, boing, and that’s fascinating. Boing. It’s just boing. And that’s all it is, see? Now, if you can really get with boing, you see, you can see the whole universe in boing. Really! Because every vibration that’s possible implies all the others. And so, likewise, with a candle flame, with a reflection, with grain in wood, anything can—from this child point of view—be completely fascinating. Not because it means anything, but just for what it is that it is shaped so.

IV

THE MEANINGLESS LIFE

25:07
There was a joke-in-punch some time ago—many years ago, I remember—of an Army doctor interviewing a private, and the private says, Every time I shake my leg like this it hurts! He said, Goddamnit, don’t shake it! But, you know, when one has something that hurts, there’s a subtle temptation to keep worrying it. Like if you have a filling out of a tooth, your tongue plays with the empty hole. And children will experiment with pain in this way; it’s like a dare. Children are always playing the game of daring each other to do something forbidden. Because the risk of disapproval involved—the calamity that may follow from it—it makes it so exciting.

26:10
And why on Earth do people challenge disaster the way they do? Doing all sorts of wildly adventurous things? Because, obviously, that gives a taste of quality to a vibration that is extremely interesting. Why the craving for speed? And it’s only if you look very carefully at a vibration that you can see this point.

26:47
That’s why meditative exercises often involve a repetition process. Oṃ, or saying a phrase, or doing an act like a mudra over and over and over again. After a while it becomes meaningless. You can say your own name like the Sufis do, and go on and on and on and on and on, and finally it doesn’t mean anything at all; it’s just a noise. But it isn’t just a noise, you see? The attitude of saying that something is just a noise, or just a wiggle, is an adult attitude. No wiggle, to the child, is just a wiggle. To the child, the elemental thing going on is, Bwwlllaaaaaaaah, you know? I mean, it’s just fantastic!

27:50
Now do you see why this is what mystics call ineffable? That is to say, you can’t really talk about it. When I try to explain what I mean by digging a sound, I suddenly realize that I’m not really saying anything. And yet there are states of consciousness in which you can listen to sound and realize that that is the whole point of being alive. Just to go with this particular energy manifestation that is happening right at this moment. To be it.

28:42
The whole world is the energy playing at doing all this, you see? Like a kaleidoscope jazzing. So if you watch that, and watch it that way, you will be accused, of course—by those who are guardians of the game—of doing something very dangerous. You’re going completely crazy. I mean, the number of theological texts I’ve read which express, in one way or another, this horror of everything becoming meaningless—the meaningless life, tale told by an idiot full of sound and furies signifying nothing. Those people, you see, have not dared to look at it.

29:49
Now, there’s another way of looking at it, of course, where—in states of acute depression—people see it all as meaningless, but not really meaningless; they see it all as a conspiracy of horror. Let’s imagine that everything is mechanical. There are no living beings at all. There are a lot of beings that are such good computers that you can’t tell the difference between them and what you thought were people. But everything going on is simply clockwork, and there’s nobody home—although it puts on a convincing show that there is. So you get the feeling that the entire world is enameled tin or patent leather or plastic, and tasteless, hollow, vulgar; like a Wurlitzer jukebox. That’s a very common feeling of people who get into acute depression.

31:18
But, you see, there is still, here, a valuation: you are associating the world with the mechanical as distinct from the organic. And we have a tendency, you see, to put down the mechanical because, obviously, a plastic flower doesn't have the scent, it doesn’t have the soft feeling, of a living flower. There will be perfume plastic flowers soon, but you know what it’ll do: it’ll smell vaguely like soap, and it won’t smell like a flower. So it’ll be plastic smell. Now, we know that, you see, and so we contrast it with the organic.

V

THIS IS THE GAME

32:13
In what we are doing now, we are getting to a feel of the world that is neither organic nor mechanical; simply what it is. We don’t—again—we don’t know the contrast, just as we don’t know the contrast voluntary/involuntary, we don’t know the contrast organic/mechanical. Neither. So we get to what the Buddhists call tathātā: ‘suchness.’ Tathātā, based on the word tat, ‘that,’ ‘da.’ Fundamentally da-da, see? Da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da. That’s what’s going on.

32:58
Well, now, this is what happens, you see, in the meditative state. As you are in that you see everything as ‘da.’ Da. And you are not saying anymore, Well, that doesn’t amount to anything, because you’ve learned that when people do take you to the place that does amount to something, eventually it all collapses. The price of being taken to the place seriously, you see—where it really does amount to something—this, at last, is the real thing. The price you paid for that, you see, is the horrors about its opposite. And to the degree you take that seriously, okay, you pay the price of the horrors. Now, that's not a matter of fact at all. So I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take it seriously—I mean, to be specific: you are tremendously in love with someone, and you plan and plan and plan how possibly you can get this person to return your love. And they do. And this is the great event, this is fantastic! But in the background of your mind is the thought that, What if this person should be killed, or some terrible thing happened? That always lurks behind the triumph of getting it so; of this intense, gorgeous feeling.

34:39
Now, if you know that this is—in a way—an illusion, you can allow yourself to take it quite seriously, but always having a Hintergedanke; a reservation, a thought, way back. This is the game. And having that—as a matter of fact, you can take it seriously—you can allow yourself to get involved in life to the most ridiculous degree because you know it’s alright. You know, it’s just these vibrations, and so… wowee! Let’s really get into it.

35:28
That is why a person who might be enlightened—a Bodhisattva— does not always present a kind of detached and indifferent attitude, but is perfectly free to allow emotions, attachments. Why, R. H. Blyth, who was a great Zen man, wrote to me once and said, How are you these days? As for me, I have abandoned satori altogether and I’m trying to become as deeply attached as I can to as many people and things as possible.

36:10
So what I’m pointing out to you is this basic seeing that it’s all da-da-da provides a possibility for you to become involved in it much more incautiously than you normally are. To express feeling, to love, to throw yourself at the mercy of the goings-on completely, you see? So that this very perception of the illusion makes it possible to live up the illusion! And so if someone, therefore, is always—in his attitude to life—detached and reserved, it indicates, you see, that there’s still a primordial fear of getting involved. And I must say that, you see, I can’t understand that very well. I don’t understand what people expect that a so-called ‘enlightened’ person should not need this, that, and the other. It might be beautiful surroundings, it might be the love of the opposite sex, it might be… I don’t know what. But you shouldn’t need that, in other words, you should scrub everything down to basic, basic. And the end of that is, you know, Let’s scrub the planet! Let’s get all this disease called life off it and have a nice, clean rock!

37:47
I believe in color, I believe in—if you are going to do anything in the way of the illusory dance, let’s live it up! Let’s really do it! And let’s not take ourselves so damn seriously that we have to be scrubbed all the time of any kind of ornamentation or frivolity. Oh, hooray! But you see what all this is dependent on: all this is dependent upon being able to get back to the point where it’s da-da-da-da-da-da-da. Now, that’s what comes in meditation.

38:26
Now, don’t misunderstand me if I say ‘practicing’ meditation. Don’t be in a state of expectation, working day after day to ‘improve’ your meditation. Meditation isn’t like that. You just do it. But it is true that, as time goes on and you are in that state of silence, you will see this quality of the world. Now, the most difficult pains and problems to deal with are those that are monotonous. Whereas you can see the possibility of a kind of ecstatic self-abandonment in a catastrophic agony. What really gets people down are those ones that drag on day after day after day after day, like having to lie with bed sores in a very uncomfortable situation; in traction, or something of that kind. Or just a perennial difficultly that drips, drips, drips, drips like a water torture everyday.

39:35
Now, this is the kind of situation in which meditation shows its value. That you are increasingly in a state of consciousness where the world is babbling. Every one of us has something, you know, that we say we don’t like to do: washing dishes, doing accounts. But when you get into the meditation consciousness, you see that nothing is more important than anything else—or less important. There is no way of wasting time, because what is time for except to be wasted? And, it would be—furthermore, you’re accustomed, now, to sitting and doing nothing. I mean, meditation itself is the perfect waste of time.

VI

SO WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?

40:48
Now, I want to get down to the simplest possible nitty-gritty of what we’ve been talking about in a very easy way, to ask ourselves the question, Quite fundamentally, what’s all the trouble about? In other words, what is your state of mind when you contemplate the possibility of everything becoming nothing? Alright, so the universe is a transitory system—like a bubble, like smoke, like foam on the water—and so, how easy! Just go along with it; dissolve.

41:46
So what’s the problem? Why don’t we want to give up? What do we think we are going to get by holding on, and by resisting the dissolution? Now, I’m not saying, at the moment, that I’m a sort of preacher advocating giving up. What I’m interested in for you to feel is: what do you really feel like inside at the prospect of there being nothing; of this whole thing being a bubble that dissolves?

42:23
You see—about death, the reality of approaching death—people are apt to feel chilly, cold, lonely, scared, because it’s an unknown. The most frightening thing about death is there might be something beyond it and you don’t know what it is. You remember, facing the world as a child—or at any time—the world is full of threats. Mostly from other people. And there are monsters. There are all sorts of things which scare you, but beyond every monster is death. Dissolution is the end of it all. And by and large, the art of government is to fill that void beyond death with threats of a rather unspecified nature so that we can rule people by saying, If you don’t do as I tell you, I’ll kill you. Or you’ll kill yourself. And so long as we can be scared of that, and so long as we can be made to think of death as a bad thing, then we can be ruled.

43:38
That is why no government likes mystics. Because if we define the mystic as the person who is no longer scared of death—because the mystic is, in the simplest possible language, the person who understands that you have to have nothing to have something. So you can’t fundamentally scare the mystic with death because, say, well, what end can it all come to? What’s all the trouble about? The most it can come to is nothing. I mean, there may be some troubles on the way of resisting this; basically resisting it. I mean, as you might say, the cells in your body resist their dissolution. And so in this resistance there’s an experience called pain, which we’ve been discussing. But beyond pain is annihilation—or so it seems, anyway.

44:40
What will it be like to go to sleep and never wake up? Nobody can think about it. But what is that state when you are teased out of thought? See, get with it: going to sleep and never waking up. This is not—as you would fantasize it—a state of being in the dark forever. It is not like being buried alive, because then there is an experience of darkness. Now, I remember a little while ago having at one of my seminars a girl who was born blind, and I had the most interesting discussion with her because she doesn’t know what darkness is. The word is absolutely meaningless to her because she’s never seen light.

45:41
Now so, when you really think about nothingness, it becomes like—what I’ve often referred to—is how your head looks to your eyes. And behind the eyes you don’t see darkness, do you? Right now. You’re not aware of a contrast of light here and black there. Behind the visual field, this way, you can’t see darkness; there is simply nothing conceivable at all. Neither darkness nor light, see? Alright, so: might one venture to say, almost, that that area of blankness we call ‘death’ is what lies behind the eyes? In other words, it is what we can’t think about that’s what’s watching.

46:44
In other words, the farthest we can go in thinking about nothing, you see—we get to the root of the matter. Let me put this in another way. The world is form. Now, you cannot look for the origin of form in form, because what you would get then would be a universe where you couldn’t make out any form at all because there was so much of it. It would be like writing a letter on top of a newspaper, and then putting a picture over that, and then doing something else until there wasn’t a single square millimeter of paper left of blank paper. Nobody could read anything. But one can read, one can see form, one can see the world, simply because there’s always emptiness behind it.

47:45
So you see, in this way, emptiness being the mother of form. And you can always say yes, only the form is there; that’s all that’s real. But that is only saying it is all that is figure. What about background? It always has to be there.

VII

EVERY INCARNATION IS THIS ONE

48:07
So let’s go on, then, into our visualization; our imagination. Use your imagination for all it’s worth to think yourself into the fact that this whole sense of importance of vitality, of aliveness, of being, is simply a sudden experience which was nothing before it started, and will be nothing after it’s over. That is the simplest possible thing you can believe in. It requires no intellectual effort. Nothing. Supposing that’s the way it is.

48:50
Now, I repeat, what’s your inside feeling about that? Supposing—let’s say you feel sorry. For whom is this sorrow? Who, when it’s all over, will there be to feel sorry? You may say, I regret now that this thing is going to come to an end. But when it’s come to an end nobody would either regret or be happy about it. That will be that. So, in a way, you can say, Well, this feeling of sorrow that I have—that is going to come to an end—is really rather irrelevant, because let me look at the thing from the other direction. Supposing it would never come to an end. In other words, here is this alternation of joy and sorrow, and however happy I am today, I’m always going to feel miserable later on. And then maybe happy again, but then, after that, miserable. And this is never, never going to stop; I just can’t get rid of the damn thing! Well, that’s pretty depressing isn’t it? I mean, when you think it through.

50:07
So you say, Well, let’s make a compromise between these two possibilities. One is that this compromise is, in other words, that it will disappear altogether, but then it’ll start again. Of course, when it starts again it will feel like it does now, which is that it never happened before. So you are always in the same place, just like you feel now.

50:38
Let’s suppose that the Hindus are right, that the universe lasts for 4,320,000 years, and then it vanishes, and then it starts and it runs for another 4,320,000 years, and then it vanishes, and it does it again. And it does it, and does it, and does it, and does it, and there is no end to this! But fortunately, because of the forgettery every 4,320,000 years, it doesn’t become a totally insufferable bore. There is this blank space, this trough, between the crests of the waves, you see? Now, the Hindus thought about that, and they got tired. And they thought about the possibility of mokṣa, ‘liberation,’ or nirvāṇa, from the everlasting cycle of appearing and disappearing.

51:30
But then, when they thought that through—the Buddhists for example, having really said, Now we’ve got the trick. As the Buddha said after his enlightenment, Now I found you out, you who build the house. I’m going to take the house apart. The roof beam is brought down. Desire is the builder of the house. See, I found you. Never again shall you build it. And the Buddhists thought that one over. That’s crazy, we found a way out of saṃsāra, the wheel of birth and death. And somebody one day said, But isn’t that rather selfish? You get yourself out; what about all the other people? Don’t you have any feeling of compassion? Oh yes, they said, of course; we forgot that, didn’t we? Let’s come back again and help all these people out! Then they got very sophisticated about it, and they said, Look, if nirvāṇa is release from birth and death, then they are opposed. And so, nirvāṇa and birth & death go together, and they will have to imply one another. So you are only really released if you see that; if you see that nirvāṇa and birth & death are the same thing.

52:53
Now, I’ve got to pull a fast one on you. So, every time an incarnation occurs it feels like this one. See? It might be quite different; we might be reincarnated in another universe as beings with an altogether different shape, see? Not at all like human beings. But because we were used to it, we would feel that that was the human shape. We would say, Well, that’s natural, obviously. Obviously, that’s the way things are. So naturally, if you appeared in the form of a spider, you would look around at other spiders and say, Well yes, of course, this is a natural place to be in. This is the human shape. Something that’s not us looks at us and thinks we look perfectly terrible. I mean, imagine how you look to a fish: clumsy, cumbersome, stupid looking thing, whereas a fish is so elegant and graceful and can slide through the water so beautifully. The human beings can’t even swim properly!

54:04
So, don’t you see that in every world that comes into being—or could come into being—it seems just like it seems now. And every species that you could belong to would seem like this one. It would have its up-end of what is highly intelligent and its low-end of what is not so intelligent. You would be aware of superior forces and inferior forces. Otherwise you wouldn’t have the idea of mastering a situation unless there were situations you couldn’t master. Now, we are not aware of species, of beings, above us—unless you cultivate those forms of psychic awareness where you think you’re in touch with angels, or something of that sort. But the things that appear to be above us are great natural processes. And we think that they’re rather stupid. Only very tough. Too strong for us. Earthquakes, the elements. Also some little ones, see? The virus is a very troublesome being. And this is where the human being really finds himself at his wits’ end in dealing with molecular biology.

55:29
So, you know, if the monsters don’t get you, the ministers will. The insects, you see? But at any rate, whatever level you’re on, it always appears to be the same one. Now, we—therefore, naturally, don’t we—we feel we’re in the middle. We feel—for example, with the telescope—that there is a world greater than us that is infinitely greater. We feel—with the microscope—there’s a world below us that’s infinitely smaller, and we seem to stand in the middle. Of course you seem to stand in the middle. Every creature stands in the middle. Because if you stand on a boat in the middle of the ocean and you turn around through an angle of 360 degrees, you will see the same distance in every direction. That’s because you see. And your sensitivity to sight, or the intensity of light, is the same in every direction. So you’re in the middle. You’re always in the middle. Where else would you be? In other words, anything that perceives, anywhere, is always in the middle. Anything that grows anywhere is always in the middle. It’s betwixt and between. And the middle always has, therefore, extremes. It has extremes in space: as far west and as far east as you can think; as far on and as far back. And there’s always a beginning, and there’s always an end. Just as there is a left and a right. Or a top and a bottom.

VIII

THE STATE OF NOTHING

57:10
So, also, if you are aware of a state which you call is,—or reality, or life—this implies another state called isn’t, or illusion, or unreality, or nothingness, or death. There it is. You can’t know one without the other. And so as to make life poignant it’s always going to come to an end. That is exactly—don’t you see—what makes it lively. Liveliness is change; is motion. And motion is going nnnnneeeeooooowww, like this, see? You’ve got to fall out and be gone. So you see, you’re always at the place where you always are. Only it keeps appearing to change. And you think, Wowee! A little further on we will get that thing! I hope we don’t go further down so that we lose what we already have. But that is built into every creature’s situation; no matter how high, no matter how low.

58:43
So, in this sense, all places are the same place. And the only time you ever notice any difference is in the moment of transition. When you go up a bit, you gain. When you go down a bit, you feel disappointed, gloomy, lost. You can go all the way down to death. Somehow there seems to be a difficulty in getting all the way up. Death seems so final. Nothingness seems so very, very irrevocable and permanent. But then, if it is, what about the nothingness that was before you started?

59:28
So, don’t you see, what we’ve left out of our logic—and this is part of the game rule of the game that we are playing—the way we hoodwink ourselves is by attributing powerlessness to nothingness. We don’t realize that is a complete logical fallacy. On the contrary. It takes nothing to have something, because you wouldn’t know what something was without nothing. You wouldn’t know what the form is without the background space. You wouldn’t be able to see anything unless there were nothing behind your eyes.

1:00:11
Now imagine yourself with a spherical eye. You see all around. Now, what’s in the middle? See? Even if I have all this behind me in view, suddenly I will find that there is something in the middle of it all. There’s a hole in the middle of reality. Like now—there seems to be not so much a hole but a wall. But any animal which had eyes in the back of its head would have the sensation I’m describing. Now, you may say to me, Well, all that’s wishful thinking. Because when you're dead, you're dead! See? Now, wait a minute, what’s that state of consciousness that talks in that way? This is somebody saying something—who wants to make a point. Now, what point does that sort of person want to make? Like When you're dead, you're dead! See? Why, that’s one of the people who want to rule the world; to frighten you about death. Death is real, see? Don’t indulge in wishful thinking. All you people who dream of an afterlife and heavens and Gods and mystical experiences and eternity—oh, you are just wishy-washy people. You don’t face the facts.

1:01:38
What facts? How can I face the fact of ‘nothing,’ which is, by definition, not a fact. You see? All this is toddle from whichever way you look at it. So if you really go the whole way, and see how you feel of the prospect of vanishing forever—of all your efforts, and all your achievements, and all your attainments turning into dust and nothingness—what is the feeling? What happens to you?

1:02:21
It’s a curious thing that, in the world’s poetry, this is a very common theme:

The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
Turns Ashes—or it prospers; and anon,
Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face
Lighting a little Hour or two—is gone.
—Omar Khayyám: Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
All kinds of poetry emphasizes the theme of transience. And there’s a kind of nostalgic beauty to it:

The banquet hall deserted
after the revelry, all the guests have left and gone their ways.
The table with overturned glasses, crumpled napkins, bread crumbs and dirty knives and forks lies empty
and the laughter echoes only in one’s mind.
And then the echo goes, the memory, the traces are all gone.
That’s the end you see.
1:03:40
Do you see, in a way, how that is saying, the most real state is the state of nothing? That’s what it’s all going to come to. Or these physicists, who think of the energy of the universe running down, dissipating in radiation gradually, gradually, gradually, gradually, until there’s nothing at all left. And for some reason or other, we are supposed to find this depressing. But if somebody is going to argue that the basic reality is nothingness, where does all this come from? Obviously from nothingness. Once again, you get how it looks behind your eyes, see?

1:04:37
So cheer up! You see? This is what is meant, in Buddhist philosophy, by saying, We are all basically nothing. When the 6th Patriarch says, The essence of your mind—that’s how it is behind your eyes—is intrinsically pure. The ‘pure’ doesn’t mean a non-dirty story state of mind, as it is apt to mean in the word ‘puritan.’ ‘Pure’ means clear; void. So you know the story, when the 6th Patriarch was given his office as successor—because he was truly enlightened, there was a poetry contest. And the losing one wrote the idea that the mind—the consciousness—was like a mirror which had to be polished. And constantly, one—I have to polish my mirror, I have to purify my mind! See? So that I’m detached, and calm, and clearheaded, you know, Buddha.

1:05:41
But the one who won the contest said, There is no mirror. And the nature of the mind is intrinsically void, so where is there anywhere for dust to collect? See? So in this way, by seeing that ‘nothingness’ is the fundamental reality—and you see that it’s your reality—then how can anything contaminate you? All the idea of you being scared, or put out, and worried and so on is just nothing; it’s a dream, because you are really nothing. But this is the most incredible nothing. And the 6th Patriarch, likewise, went on to contrast ‘emptiness of indifference’ which is sort of blank emptiness, see? If you think of this nothingness as mere blankness, and you hold on to the idea of blankness—and kind of grizzly about it—you haven’t understood it. He said, Nothingness is really like the nothingness of space, which contains the whole universe. All the suns and the stars, and the mountains and rivers, and the good men and the bad men, and the animals and the insects—the whole bit—all are contained in void.

So out of this void comes everything, and you’re it. What else could you be?

IX

THE LINE OF LEAST RESISTANCE

1:07:04
So what I’m showing you is that all this hocus-pocus about the fear of nothingness is that, truly speaking, ‘nothingness’ is what we want to talk about when we talk about the spiritual. Only, it’s all been ignored! It’s all been put down! You say, Oh, nothingness, blegh! Heaven preserve us from that! But that’s where the secret lies! And obviously the secret always lies in a place you never think of looking for it.

1:07:45
In mythology this comes again and again. Okay—this is Christmas—where is the Christ born? In a palace? No. Where no one would think of looking: in pigsty. Although, I have a Japanese friend who once said to me—he said, You know, the real difference between Christianity and Buddhism is that Christ was the son of a carpenter and Buddha the son of a prince. (I thought that was rather funny.) Well, we don’t know who the prince is without the carpenter, do we?

1:08:46
Now, it’s in that sense, really, that I could suggest to you that you meditate on nothingness. I know you can’t think about it. But yet, when it becomes perfectly clear to you that that’s what you are, and what you were before you were born, where can anybody stick a knife into you? Fundamentally, you see? Alright. Get it? Because this is really the secret to the whole thing. If you see that—now, we want to go on and be able to answer all the people who will come bug us about it, because whether you say anything about it to other people or not, people are going to bug you about this and say, Oh, no, no, no, no. Here—you really are something. You know, you—you’ll know it. Wowee! Life isn’t the way you think. La la la la la. It’s gonna be awful, see, I mean real! Woo! And they’ll say, Okay, where in such a philosophy as this is there any basis for the love of one’s fellow man? For joy in children? For cultivating gardens, for doing this and that and the other? See? There is no basis in it! That’s the same way there is no basis in emptiness for form; or so it seems. But only precisely to the degree that you have discovered the nothingness that you are, you find that you are suddenly full of energy. That is energy. It’s the source and origin of energy. So that when, you know, when there’s sort of nothing in your way, then you can do exactly what I was describing as having this glee for going into doing this, that, and the other thing, and being thoroughly creative.

1:11:05
But you can’t be creative out of just plain somethingness. You need nothingness to be creative. And that’s what we are. And this, too, is real nothingness; it’s not darkness, it’s not like being buried alive forever, it’s not like rest. Even when the Catholics sing:

Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord.
And let light perpetual shine upon them.
This isn’t rest, because it isn’t motion. Neither motion nor rest. What is it? Nobody can imagine. And it’s at that point, you see, where the imagination completely runs out and stops. there we’ve hit the thing. See, there you are, right at the fundamental mystical reality. Now, what this is we are talking about, is what mystics have quite often discussed. This isn’t read very much. It’s a state called agnosia, which means ‘unknowing.’

1:12:26
There’s a book called the Cloud of Unknowing, written by an English monk in the 14th Century. But it’s based on another book called Theologia Mystica, which was written in the 6th Century by an unknown Syrian monk who used the name of Dionysius the Areopagite. Absolutely fascinating, very short little book—which I translated long ago, back in 1943, and I’m about to reissue it. But this book ends up with a description of God which is all in negatives. Not any kind of anything you can imagine at all. Not light, not power, not spirit, not fathershood, not sonship, not this, that, and the other—all the way down the line. Everything that anybody’s ever said or thought about God is denied. Because God is infinite, and therefore beyond the reach of any conception at all. So he says that anybody who—having a vision—thought he saw God, would not have seen God but some creature that God has made who is less than God.

1:13:47
So again, you approach—in a Christian context, said in such a way that even Saint Thomas Aquinas bought it—that you can’t impute heresy to it. Because everybody’s got to agree that God is the which in which there is no whicher, and this guy spells it out. So, in the same way, you get Nagarjuna saying that the ultimate reality is śūnyatā, voidness.

1:14:17
So Shankara gets at it when he says, That which is the knower or the knowing in everything can never itself be an object of its own knowledge; for fire doesn’t burn itself, although it burns other things. So we never know what the Brahman is, just like the eyes don't ever see the head. If you put something there, you are stopping short of nothing and you don’t get the whole benefit of it, that’s all. If you insist that there is something there, that there is the Loving Father at the end of the line, or the Paradise Garden, you are really cheating yourself. Because it’s only when you have thorough emptiness and real downright nothingness at the end of the line, that you get the full impact. No holds. Look, mama, no hands! See?

1:15:27
Now, I really think that’s the simplest thing I can possibly tell you. I really don’t know what else there is to be said about this whole Zen project, or mysticism, Vedānta, what have you. It comes down to that, and there are infinitely many ways of evading. But what I’m trying to point out to you, you see, is the way in which you see the point [is] by taking the line of least resistance. By facing the facts. By not super-adding to truth something you contribute to it; your own business that you put up. But saying, If I follow what I can see, or can see with my senses, to be reality as far as we can look, it seems that this is sort of the inevitable conclusion. Which everybody has spent endless effort in arguing about and resisting. Not realizing that—if they went the whole way—how splendid it would be. And that’s all you have to do.

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Re: Truth and understanding is forever the lovely, the good and the expanding

Post by maggie »

Image
Off Topic
The Mul Mantra............ effects are deep and vast. This a mantra that can work directly with your karma and is said to be the "fate killer". When your fate is erased, you can live your destiny.

https://www.mantrasandmiracles.com/blog ... ate-killer
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http://www.spiritvoyage.com/blog/index. ... ul-mantra/

Snatam Kaur on the Mul Mantra
by Snatam Kaur | Feb 4, 2017

How do we as meditators, yogis, people of light and love enter into the reality of the times? I do believe that we will find a way, that we will collectively transform, and that it will be a beautiful story in our human history.

This morning as I sat meditating the thought came to mind to share with you the power of the Mul Mantra. This mantra was given to us by Guru Nanak, the first Guru of the Sikhs who walked this earth in the fifteenth century. It is a mantra that gives you the compass so that you may find your true self. This true self sits within the opening of your heart. Some say that the most difficult journey in life is moving from the energy of the navel center to the heart center.

The navel center is very important especially in its balanced state. The navel in a balanced state gives you the fire of courage to stand up for truth. It gives you the capacity to know your center, to be rooted in your inner truth. It gives you the basic energy of digestion… both in how we digest food, but also in how we digest energy. One beautiful teacher, Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati once said to me, “I eat pain for breakfast” referring to the energy that she dealt with after spending time with AIDS patients. Emotional or mental pain is a part of living life, especially for someone on a spiritual path. The drug companies and popular media make you believe that one should not have pain this kind of pain. Take a pill. Do something to shut yourself off. But the moment you go through the pain, the moment you digest it so to speak… you allow it to be… you embrace it… then that pain is healed forever and released. This takes a balanced navel center.

When our navel center is in an imbalanced state we are greedy, looking to acquire things and energy that we don’t really need. We look to fill up an abyss within that can never be filled. That abyss comes from all of the pain that we haven’t figured out how to digest. This energy I believe is prevalent in the world today. What is the remedy to bring us back into a balanced navel center which allows our heart to open? How can we be fulfilled without needing things from the outside? How can we find a simpler more sustainable way to live on this planet?

There are many tools to do just these things. A very powerful mantra tool is the Mul Mantra.

I invite you to chant it with me and let its energy unfold within you.

Here is the mantra with the translation. The translation is simply a reflection of my experience as a student of Yogi Bhajan, and as a seeker at the feet of Guru Nanak.

Ek ong kaar….
God is One, I am One with all beings

Sat Nam…
Truth is God’s Name… The vibration of God’s Name is what created all beings…. that vibration is within me…. therefore in my core I am true.

Karta Purkh…
God is the Doer…. God does all things… God works through me…. God works through everyone in my life.

Nirbhao…
God is fearless… I am fearless.

Nirvair…
God has no revenge…. I exist in my heart… I stay present… I don’t hold on to the past…. I live in this moment in full compassion and acceptance of what is.

Akal Murat…
God exists in the undying form… God is in the purity of our efforts to live in a spiritual way, and these efforts never die… these efforts live on forever.

Adjoonee…
God is unborn…. God does not relate to birth and death…. God is beyond the cycles of life…. God is infinite… I am infinite

Saibhang…
God is self illumined… I am self illumined. Within me I have the power to find light, to find love, to find joy. I don’t need anyone or anything for this.

Guru Prasaad…
It is by Guru’s Grace…. it is the Grace of the teachings of the Divine One…. the Guru…. Guru Nanak, Jesus, Mohammed, the Masters of all traditions that give us Grace.

Jap
Meditate!

Aad Sach
True in the Beginning

Jugaad Sach…
True throughout the ages

Haibhee Sach…
True here and now

Nanak Hosee Bhee Sach…
Oh Nanak, forever and always true. Spirit, Truth, Love, and Light…. these are the things that are true, that have always been true.

This is the Mul Mantra….

Let us chant it together.

Let us let go of the dream… and find the reality of our truth.

We can be free.

Chant it with me.

Sat Nam.

Love and Blessings,

Snatam Kaur

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Re: Truth and understanding is forever the lovely, the good and the expanding

Post by maggie »

maggie wrote: some people have the

theory that the real world is material

or physical as say it's made a kind of a

stuff other people have the theory that

the real world is spiritual or mental

but I want you to point out that both

those theories of the world are concepts

of words and the real world is not an

idea it is not words

reality is

you will find therefore that if you get

with reality all sorts of illusions

disappear and I will mention several

illusions that have not this kind of

existence let's begin with some very

down-to-earth ones like money money is a

very useful method of accounting it is a

measure of wealth in the same way as

inches are measures of length and grams

measures of weight you cannot eat money

you could have a fantastic quantity of

dollar bills and stock certificates on a

desert island and they would be useless

to you what you would need would be food

and animals and companions money simply

represents wealth in rather the same way

that the menu represents the dinner only

we are psychologically perverted in such

a way that we would some of us would

rather have money than real wealth
The lack of punctuation in this Alan Watts transcript makes it challenging to read. This particular section has been on my mind... especially contemplating that money is a sign of wealth just as a menu is a sign of a meal....

This is true of every concept, that it just is a signature standing for what is real. That is important in playing the game and I am approaching the dual sides of the coin real and signature as a token in my game.

I have had so many opportunities lately to give because I had wealth. I have even been picking up money as a sign of wealth.

For instance I have found money on the ground and I have received cash tips. I have had more clients. But my wealth comes first and I see the real energy that flows through my hands... the flow of my expectations and the receiving of more and more to have to give.

There isn't any heisitance to give when we have plenty. The game is about how to produce plenty in the "material" conceptuual "sign" that is representing our inner REAL world. So the game is played not in the material but in the metaphysical where we begin to expect and have PLENTY to share.

IMO this is not just an opinion and so I imagine it is a PRINCIPLE, a rock on which to build my material home. This is really really exciting to me because it is so unfraught, so not anxious, so pleasnat, so grounded feeling, so free, so rich, so full.

I have been sensing the silence under the sounds...
I cannot follow the thread to source with my mind or even with my feeling.
My experience is in the wake of something mind cannot define.
yet, I know I can touch this watery ether from which the wake arises to see.
It means that to be in the Silent to my ears EVERYTHING I will know nothing with my mind.
There is no emotion to pick out
It is so full that it is without contrast.
I am CERTAIN that faith is the sensation of that realm.
It is beyond emotion and thinking concepts...
But yet I work there by being faith.
Like money is the result of faith of vast wealth real beyond imagination
the faith produces ANYTHING at all.
But nothing can only be observed by some thing focusing as its signs and wonders.

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Re: Truth and understanding is forever the lovely, the good and the expanding

Post by maggie »

I just cannot stop being amazed at how much music I find on Youtube

The Bees Are Humming



And films like this one: Human's Music



And finding old favorites that I had on CD but lost

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8TTHKn ... dhpTU6J5Iy[/youtube]

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Re: Truth and understanding is forever the lovely, the good and the expanding

Post by maggie »

I read in passing that there is a distinction between patriotism and nationalism. If nationalism is the insistance that one's country is first and best and one should only be concerned with one's own welfare, patriotism is simply love of country. One who loves one's country can also love others' but we have a home and our community and that expands to a boundary that we can embrace which becomes "country". I love my home.

I think we have so much to love about being a citizen of the USA. As a woman, I really have felt as much freedom in society as I desire. I have felt I may pursue my dreams. I have so much freedom to focus in on what I value. I think discrimnation based on class is much less an issue in this society. People are very open hearted and generous. People, in crisis moments, want to reach out and help and share. People are so often kind EVERY DAY to one anothere despite the media presentations. This is IMO generally true that people are cooperative when people have opportunity and respect more than less. I like the theme of how we see America as being a place of opportunity of fulfillment of life and liberty.

The events that are creating chaos at the moment include the present California fires, the damage form hurricanes and instability in the weather generally. I am interested in how we will manage this nation wide series of evacuations and loss of homes and whole communities.

The criticism I feel is that we have structured the USA into imperatives that work against us. I think we have real conficts of interest driving decisions. War pofiteering should not be part of a GNP. Egoistic striving as the way to achieve "importance" selects sociopaths. Pathology is favored through the good ole boy system of buddy patronage. This self interest does show up at all levels.to harm our branches of governemt. Nothing is really accomplished when people are NOTin positions to serve others as much as to seek material power and positions.

In my concept of enlightened self interest, one realizes that what is good for "me" is also "good" for others. It goes back to first principles that I honor in our original ideals. I feel like we have the potential to grasp enlightened self interest in policies of living as citizens.I think we can easily feel confident. Most of us as people are GOOD.

Some of the way we have been diverted from pulling together on a nuts and bolts level have to do with a lack of fore sight. When elections come and go we are promised anything and then the promise is broken.

We have BASIC infrastructure needs which mean that a plan needs to be evolved but funding and accomplishing the work is all that counts in the end.I always looked to governemnt for civil services and that is IMO what is valuable. WE need to conserve our assets. Mixing up private corporate expectations with what citizens need is a disaster. I know this is a crisis moment happening now.
I am feeling optimistic that crisis is opportunity.

I think that we cannot look to media presentation of "Americans" and our diverse lives here in America. I liked the ideas presented in this administration that we need American manufacturing and commerce. Is it happening? That is what will matter. That is also where new ideas can sprout. I know we need new building materials, new ways to deliver poswer. These are potential industries.

I don't see an America walling off the world. What I do see is a global issue of trade and boundaries that need leadership. I think Americans are very intelligent and our common wealth knowledge has not been used well in the government leadership IMO.

I imagine a nurturing approach to handling the issues of being a country facing a global instability. We have LOTS of potential work to do. We really need to shore up our country wide systems ( example like roads, andbridges that will withstand earthquakes and hurricanes in zone s of instability.

We have no "place" to generate what America needs to stand as a healthy nation. The fruit IMO of America is that we have come to be divided over issues aside form what is needed at the most practical level.

I see this is whole country over sight requested. Lots of questions like do Americans need to move in form the coast lines and build in a different way?
How can we deal with all the future instability? What is already glaring calls for new approaches based on OLD AND SOLID principles.

For instance, we can we be engaged PATRIOTICALLY for a country that is committed to the pursuit of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

ALL new kinds of systems need to be developed in peace times. War is a constant turmoil. I wish PATRIOTICALLY that the US was a leader FOR what is necessary that we all have the opportunity we cherish.

I feel very lucky to be an American. I think that love of what may become a democracy has never had an easy path. It takes twists and turns. I see we have made great humanitarian stides as a nation here.

Maybe there is a truth in the failure of an Empire of America. That is not an end to the country and I wish we all loved America so much that we would make peace and work on being a shining beacon to the world. I like the idea that we show how people thrive.

At the same time, I dream of a global wise council made up of the most honorable humans we trust becase they are worthy. They are wise and we all follow advice given. These are not bosses but guides and sincerely are Philosopher Kings and Queens. They love their own countries enough to guide the world to a real peace where the focus is on what we need to learn to create heaven on earth.

This does not mean the end of a beloved country but the home land being home and many others having their own homes.

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Re: Truth and understanding is forever the lovely, the good and the expanding

Post by LostNFound »

Maggie, I agree with so much of what you say. We all, I think, want our country to be what it is suppose to be. We all want what was promised to us, so long ago. "The pursuit of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness." There is more to that and it has to do with owning our own land. Today and back into the past that and the other have been stolen from us by the Corporations, The Corporate Government. The Central bankers. We the People have failed to stand up and tell these flim flam men and women, These criminals that we do not consent to their trickery. We have failed our children by allowing the Government run educational systems to virtually destroy their young minds. We have failed ourselves by allowing the powers that be to destroy other sovereign nations for profit and imperialism. Yes you and I grew up believing we could do anything we set our minds to but in reality we didn't did we. We were pushed and pulled into the slave system just to survive like those before us and now we turn and look at the devastation and destruction behind us and in front of us and wonder, WTF happened. We forget that we are the ones that dropped the ball, became irresponsible. forgot who we really are. Our children today have nothing of what we thought we had. They have no hope. They do have the technology that keeps them locked away from themselves and all those around them. Something that reduces them into a small window in there hands. They are taught only how to be good little slaves in the education systems Economically they are in debt so deep that prosperity has no meaning. We are all the same now. The global mind set is the same and is this what we want?

" I feel very lucky to be an American. I think that love of what may become a democracy has never had an easy path. It takes twists and turns. I see we have made great humanitarian stides as a nation here."

I too feel lucky to be an American which is a dangerous thing to say and think in today's world of division. Our News sources are nothing more than shills for the Mocking bird media. There is no true journalism anymore. Everyone seems to hate the President simply because that is what the Narrative is on that little screen in everyone's hands. We continually go through death and destruction and no one knows anything about reality or truth anymore, only what is parroted from every direction. Who are these sycophants that think or pretend they know better for us? The little man behind the green curtain, who pulls all the levers and never wants anyone to see what he is doing. Look over there, Look this way, look that way but never look at me.

This country is not a democracy, yet everyone thinks it is because that is what we where taught in the Government schools. When the congress of 1776 or earlier declared America's independence, Benjamin Franklin walked out of the building in Philadelphia and a woman asked him what we had become. He told her "A Republic madam if you can keep it." Does that sound like (democracy)? Our founding fathers new better and did everything they could to stay away from a Democracy because it is pure destruction. It always destroys itself. History is so twisted is it not? I would say, "I think the love of what should be a Republic has never been an easy path." The rest of what you have stated is right on.

This is my rant and for God and Nation, we sincerely need to start becoming responsible again and throw the rift raft out.

Steven

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Re: Truth and understanding is forever the lovely, the good and the expanding

Post by maggie »

Thanks for responding Steven!

On a different note. i know Christine and others are interested in Rudolf Steiner. This channel is one of my favorites too.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/n7ohA8jp5DI[/youtube]

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Re: Truth and understanding is forever the lovely, the good and the expanding

Post by maggie »

I am adding this because it has been important for me since I heard it a few years ago. I dream of heaven, the new dream.... ahhhhhhhhhhhh

[youtube]https://youtu.be/1_xBLfBzVw0[/youtube]

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