|Dr. Robert Puff||
Click here to go to the next issue
Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day
HIGHLIGHTS #1310 Sunday, January 5, 2003 Edited by Gloria Lee
by Leonardo DaVinci
Observing one place flowers
at a headstone,
may lead to a speculation
of profound loss,
or undying love.
do not necessarily
produce an accurate
affect of reality.
And one is left,
with an observation,
which, as a component
may prove ultimately
in the apprehension
Harsha Satsangh T
The Direct vs. Gradual Approach
The dichotomy suggesting
that there are two approaches to the Truth (gradual
versus direct) is illusionary.
Vedas declare with authority, "I Am That."
Sri Ramana has said that the Truth of the
Self Is Simple and is within everyone's grasp. However, the spiritual effort needed
in terms of meditation and inquiry to make the mind subtle and to refine the
intellect cannot be dismissed as trivial. If some people feel that they do not need
such efforts and can grasp the Truth immediately by hearing someone restate or
paraphrase what the ancient sages have said, that is wonderful indeed.
The state of the Self is
natural. Sages called it the Sahaj state. It means easy and
natural. So, you have to see what is easy and natural for you and what comes
natural to you. What practice and path are natural differ according to the needs of
people. You need not seek or follow some "advaita expert or master" as such a
person may simply be a novice. It is not difficult to sound like an advaita master. So
do not focus on whether a path is direct or gradual and be in a rush towards
enlightenment. It is all silly talk.
Wedded to either the
"direct" approach or the "gradual" approach,
one misses the
obvious. Both the "direct" and "gradual" depend on each other for meaning and
have no basis in the Reality of the Self. The Self Always Is. It is not seen by
"another" Directly. Neither is it approached by "another" gradually. Self Reveals It
Self Alone to It Self.
You Are the Self.
Love to all
Bhagavan- That is where you fail.
Q: I am an inmate of
the ashram. Nevertheless,
it does occasionally happen that something
disturbs for a while, why do such interruptions
come? Does it mean that I have ceased to have
Bhagavan s grace at that time?
A: You crazy fellow! The
trouble or want of peace comes only
because of Grace. You people are glad and grateful to God
when things you regard as good come to you. That is right,
but you should be equally grateful when things you regard
as bad come to you. That is where you fail.
Bhagavan: ...People began to pester me
I never knew of these
philosophical conundrums and controversies and problems
until I came to Tiruvannamalai and people began to pester me. Up till then I have
never concerned myself with them. I never knew any system of philosophy. All
these systems have evolved out of the one simple fact of realization. Therefore,
seek realization, practice vichara, and do not worry about philosophies and systems
Vichara: Enquiry This snip from Conscious Immortality
A Net of Jewels
A Net of Jewels
Ramesh S. Balsekar
The source of Consciousness is Consciousness. Consciousness is all there
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The universe goes on its merry, mystical, magical way until you start
observing it and you, by observing it, create problems. The working of the
universe has no problems.
stilled my restless mind and
my heart is radiant,
for in Thatness I have seen
in company I have seen
the Comrade Himself,
Living in bondage, I have set myself free,
I have broken away from
the clutch of all narrowness,
I have attained the unattainable, and
my heart is colored with the color of love."
From the book, "The Mystic Path," compiled by Amrita Nadi, published by
Brevard Community College.
Blessings to all. May peace and peace and peace be everywhere.
Arriving at Silence
A great German
philosopher and theologian wrote a whole book specifically
on the silence of St. Thomas. He simply went silent. Wouldn't talk. In
the prologue of his Summa Theologica, which was the summary of all his
theology, he says, "About God, we cannot say what He is but rather what He
is not. And so we cannot speak about how He is but rather how He is
not." And in his famous commentary on Boethius' De Sancta Trinitate he
says there are three ways of knowing God: (1) in the creation, (2) in God's
actions through history, and (3) in the highest form of the knowledge of
God -- to know God tamquam ignotum (to know God as the unknown). The
highest form of talking about the Trinity is to know that one does not
know. Now, this is not an Oriental Zen master speaking. This is a
canonized saint of the Roman Catholic Church, the prince of theologians for
centuries. To know God as unknown. In another place St. Thomas even says:
as unknowable. Reality, God, divinity, truth, love are unknowable; that
means they cannot be comprehended by the thinking mind. That would set at
rest so many questions people have because we're always living under the
illusion that we know. We don't. We cannot know.
What is scripture, then? It's a hint, a clue, not a description. The
fanaticism of one sincere believer who thinks he knows causes more evil
than the united efforts of two hundred rogues. It's terrifying to see what
sincere believers will do because they think they know. Wouldn't it be
wonderful if we had a world where everybody said, "We don't know"? One big
barrier dropped. Wouldn't that be marvelous?
Trip out, man, but my favorite is still "The Mystic Nature of Life: Good, evil and donuts"
from "One Taste" by Ken Wiber
student: I was
discussing an integral view with some other students and
that because I was making judgements I was showing real lack of compassion. I
didn't think so.
kw: Yes, there is
probably more confusion about this issue than any other in
spiritual circles. Basically most of the trouble comes from confusing compassion
with idiot compassion, which are the terms Trungpa Rinpoche used for this crucial
distinction. We in this country-and especially in new-age circles- have a type of
tepid egalitarianism and political correctness that says no view is really any better
than another, and therefore all views are to be cherished equally, as a sign of rich
diversity. If we don't make any judgemennts about better or worse, then we are
showing real compassion So we have judgemental versus compassion and that is
the common understanding. But, you see, that stance is a massive
self-contradiction. On the one hand, it says that all views are equally part of a rich
diversity, and thus no view is better than another. On the other hand, it strongly
claims that this view itself is *better* than the alternatives. So this "compassion"
states that no view is better than another, *except its own view*, which is superior
in a world where nothing is superior at all. It is a ranking that denies ranking and a
judgement thtat all judgements are bad. That hypocrisy has nothing to do with real
compassion; in fact, that is idiot compassion. Idiot compassion thinks it is being
kind, but it's really being very cruel. If you have an alcoholic friend and you
know that one more drink might kill him, and yet he begs you for a drink, does
real compassion say that you should give it to him? After all, to be kind you should
give him waht he wants, right? Who are you to impose your views on him , right?
Giving him the drink would therefore show compassion yes? No, Absolurtrly not.
Real compassion includes wisdom and so it makes judgements of care and
concern: it says some things are good and some things are bad and I will choose to
act only on those things that are informed by wisdom and care. Zen calls this the
difference between "grandmother zen" and "real zen" In order to awaken from the
dream of samsara, the ego itself must be really kicked around, often severely.
Otherwise you will simply continue to play your favorite games. Grandmother zen
doesn't challenge you. In order to be "kind" grandmother zen will let you sleep a
little late if you want, and stop meditating early if you don't like how it is going,
and allow you to wallow in you. What most people mean by "compassion" is:
please be kind to my ego. Now maybe you and I aren't accomplished masters, and
so maybe we don't always know what is real compassion and what is not. But we
must start to try to learn to exercise real compassion instead of idiot compassion.
We need to learn to make qualitative distinctions. These are hierarchical
judgements that involve the ranking of values.If you don't like hierarchy, well
fine, that is your hierarchy: you hierarchically value nonhierarchies more than you
value hierarchies. Just be honest enough to to correctly label what you are really
doing. If you don't like value rankings and want to avoid them, fine, that is your
value ranking-you rank nonranking as better than ranking-and that itself is a
ranking, your ranking. At least be honest about this. The fact is, ranking is
unavoidable in values, so at least do it consciously,honestly, and above board, and
stop this hypocritical stance that you are being nonjudgemental which is itself a
student: But isn't choicless awareness without judgements?
awareness accepts absolutely everything that arises,
judging and not judging. You see, nonjudgemental, is itself a choice between two
opposites-judging versus not judging-which is why "nonjudgemental is not at all
the same as choicless awareness. Choiceless awareness is the absolute mirror that
effortlessly reflects whatever arises- it does not try to choose not-judging versus
judging. Choiceless awareness really refers to what the bBuddhists call Absolute
Bodhichitta, or Emptiness; whereas making judgements is refered to as Relative
Bodhichitta or compassion. This means ral compassion, not idiot compassion and
real compassion uses wisdom to make judgements. So in neither case, absolute or
relative, is "nonjudgemental" a wise stance. In the absolute, we rest in Emptiness,
which doesn't care if we make judgements or not since both arise equally in pure
Emptiness. In the relative, we make judgements based on wisdom and
compassion, and that means judgements based on qualitative distinctions, value
rankings, and depth.
The Conscpiracy of
I hope everyone here at least reads it. It is a long one, this is just an
excerpt. If you don't think it applies to you, well..you're wrong LOL!!
The Conspiracy of Mediocrity
Ken Wilber: Let me just say that in a student who's got a really bad
case of boomeritis which is to say, pretty much any cultural creative
out there, all fifty million strong the internal stance is, "I'm
holding on to my position and nobody can tell me what to do. My
state, just as it is, has the same worth as any other." And that
stance effectively aborts any real transformation.
And so, for example, most of the people involved with what I call
Boomeritis Buddhism even deny the importance of satori or
Enlightenment or Awakening. Because that's saying some states are
higher than others and we shouldn't be judgmental. But guess what?
Some states are higher. And so the entire raison d'etre of Buddhism
gets tossed out the door because it offends the pluralistic ego.
Andrew Cohen: So the whole point is that with boomeritis, real
radical transformation is against the rules.
KW: Yes. Well, it has to be.
AC: To dare to even speak about radical transformation, let alone
call other people to a higher level, is against the unstated rules.
And of course, one's definitely going to be put in one's place for
doing something like that. But unless the possibility of genuine
transformation is actually declared, unless one is willing to
demonstrate it publicly and to call other people to the same, no one
is even going to know that it's possible. And then unknowingly,
everybody's going to be participating in the conspiracy of
What you send in these two posts is from the current issue
of What Is Enlightenment. Like all issues, it's very interesting. I enjoyed
it. The next issue will about something else altogether, like just another
post to just another email list.
Whatever structure is set up is in the path of the tide. Andrew Cohen and
Ken Wilber, a hundred years from now, and the rest of boomers will be long
washed away. Only the photos will survive. Does the above have the ring of
eternity? Does it sound locked in time? Is there a sense that these guys
open a void? Is there an attempt to do some convincing? Is the back door to
the theater open? Are we forced to pick a flick?
just some questions,
What is it about this stuff that is appealing? It almost sounds like certain
people bother Wilber and that he's set up this fantastic intellectual system
in order to isolate them and show them how wrong they are.
He says, "We in this country-and especially in new-age circles- have a type
of tepid egalitarianism and political correctness that says no view is
really any better than another, and therefore all views are to be cherished
equally." Really? Cherished? In my life I've never encountered any of this.
Where are these people? I'll write a book so they can cherish it. Anyone
within the sound of my voice cherishing all views equally? Anyone beyond the
sound of my voice?
It sounds like something really bothers Wilber, et. al., and they're dead
set on doing something about it.
Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against it. Here, I'll make Ken happy.
Ken, I cherish your views.
Real Teachers find those worthy of transmission and do
INDEPENDENT of any need to engage in spirituality. This is because they are
transferring qualities - not information.
written below describes a scene from the film Forrest Gump.
i dont see it necessarily as a spoiler for the movie, if you havent seen it, and would
rather not know anything about the movie, you may not want to read this.
For some reason,
the above statement of Lobsters made me think of a scene in
movie "Forrest Gump", where, right after Forrest's love, Jenny, takes off, he
seems to go into shock. And then......he just starts running. For no other reason
than because he feels like it. He ran from one U.S. coast to the other and back
again, for over three years.
He slept when
tired, ate when hungry, voided when necessary, and answered
questions with whatever came into his mind first.
Being the unusual
activity that it is, Forrest drew the attention of
media, who assumed he was running for some reason, that his running held some
meaning. They asked him, "For what cause are you running? Hunger, peace,
women's rights?" He told them, "No. I'm running because i feel like it."
A young man,
almost too timid to say something, came up alongside him
"Oh my god, i cant believe its really you! You, who have all the answers and have
it all figured out! I will follow you anywhere!!"
And so, an army of
followers began to follow and run with Forrest, and a Guru
was born. But Forrest had never said anything. He didnt even wonder why these
people were following him. He was focused only on running.
One day, Forrest
just stopped running. The crowd behind him stopped and
"Shhh...i think he's going to say something.
All Forrest Gump
said was "I'm tired and i don't want to run
anymore. I want to
Maybe he wasn't a
Real Teacher, because he didnt know what he was doing, but
it sure did seem like he was transmitting something.
voice-over (Forrest's voice) said, "Mama always said
you have to
put the past behind you in order to move on. I think all that running was my way
of doing that."
(fan of Forrest Gump and Lieutenant Day-in)
top of page
|Dr. Robert Puff||