|DR. ROBERT PUFF|
Click here to go to the next issue
Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day
Non Duality Highlights - Issue #1312 - Tuesday, January 7, 2003 - editor: michael
After recognizing that the world is full of
injustice and pain, Buddha began
his search for happiness with this first truth: life is suffering.
moment I was no more.
The veil had been parted.
The illusion of separation vanished
as fog does under the noonday sun.
Joy and peace without measure.
In the days that followed
I wept from the very depths of being.
I was wracked with bitter tears
for I knew the pain
of the world, and so learned true compassion."
--- In Nisargadatta@yahoogroups.com,
This book is pretty good. Bill gives a more comprehensive description
of the mechanics of "mind/Mind" than I've seen elsewhere...
"All experience is a product of our mind, and all experience is
dreamlike in nature. We have learned to believe that our mind's
participation in reality is awareness. But what we have come to call
awareness, the awareness we use in our experience in consensus
reality, is really the activity of our mind solving the problems of
our perceived reality. Our awareness of our holographic self is
filtered through our paradigm and presented as a comparison or
evaluation of ourselves with others and our place in this movie. It
is through this process that we believe our awareness originates, but
the process itself virtually eliminates the awareness of our nature
as holographically connected beings. The resulting presentation, the
presentation we think of as awareness, is not awareness at all.
Severely filtered to give the illusion of separation from the whole,
what we think is awareness is actually the activity of our mind and
"And we have been taught to give our attention to this activity. We
have learned to accept this limited presentation and are rewarded for
giving our attention to it. When we are able to focus our attention
on this activity we gain a "place" in our reality and arrive at what
we believe is a self-identity.
"Attention to this paradigm activity, this problem solving activity,
is the foundation on which our social structure is based and is the
driving force for our education system. In our social and
technological paradigm, cultures that have not developed attention to
this process are viewed as backward. Yet, these cultures often
display abilities that cannot be defined within our paradigm. We know
of cultures that never invented the wheel or telescope, yet have
mapped the solar system in a detail that we are just now able to
verify. Isolated, seemingly backward tribes of people have been found
that have accurate descriptions of the stars beyond our solar system.
Other cultures remained isolated in one place on the earth, yet
possessed information and detailed drawings of all the peoples of the
earth. Our scientists ponder these conundrums, searching for an
explanation that fits within their paradigm. But they have never
looked within; they have never looked to the process by which our
mind constructs reality.
"Being consumed every waking moment of our day by the problem solving
activity of our mind is not awareness at all. Each and every thought
we experience has its origin in Mind -- in the pure holographic
potential of The One. There is no other source of thought. Each and
every thought arises in Mind without separation, limitation, or
meaning, and in full Balance between the potential for experience and
holographic awareness of The One. Our natural identity is not
separate from the whole. This holographic awareness is available just
behind the activity of the paradigm, behind the thought activity we
have learned to believe is self-awareness."
--- In NondualitySalon@yahoogroups.com, "Melody" wrote:
" Sometimes, when the light strikes at odd angles
and pulls you back into childhood
and you are passing a crumbled mansion
completely hidden behind old willows
or an empty convent guarded by hemlocks
and giant firs, standing hip to hip,
you know again that behind that wall
under the uncut hair of the willows,
something secret is going on
so marvelous and dangerous
that if you crawled through and saw,
you would die, or be happy forever."
~ Lisel Mueller
dark night of the soul is only one aspect of the spiritual
journey, and there are many others that are much more
Christina & Stan Grof
This doorway addresses the complex puzzle of anxiety, depression, grief and other psychological and psychiatric challenges with great respect. No easy answers here--only the promise that profoundly effective ways exist for reducing the suffering caused by severe anxiety, depression, grief and other psychological concerns. The path from severe anxiety or depression is best traveled with acceptance, compassion, knowledge, and understanding. One must often reach out beyond themselves to acquire these ingredients, calling upon doctors, therapists, facilitating healers, and most importantly an inner intelligence that comes through our spiritual core. Many of us must first find this inner invisible teacher and make room for it to inform us. This website exists to support this process. Whatever happens to us is happening for a reason. Whether we like it or not (and who likes these things?) our present experience is an important part of our evolutionary path. We can hate what's happening to us, and yet we can simultaneously find a special "knowing" within, one that guides us to what we need in order to complete our transformation and rebirth.
Depression can sneak up on people as insidiously as November fog, chilling the heart and even sapping the will to get out of bed in the morning. Christians are not immune to depression. However, many Christians feel guilty and ashamed to talk about this issue, thinking that spiritual people should never feel depressed. But spiritual depression is a recurrent theme throughout Scripture.
One example is the prophet Elijah who, despite his great faith, fell into depression, going from the mountain top to the valley.
THE MOUNTAIN TOP:
Elijah had experienced one astonishing miracle after another. God had sent ravens to feed him. Elijah, a widow, and her son were miraculously provided for during drought and famine. Elijah even raised the widow's son from the dead! Then Elijah called down fire from heaven while confronting a group of antagonistic idol- worshippers. As a result, there was a sweeping revival in the nation.
The last thing we would expect is for Elijah to fall into depression, but he did. He spiraled downward; even suicidal thoughts were part of his dark episode. "He prayed that he might die, and said, 'It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!'" (1 Kings 19:4). Elijah's situation reveals several problems that can bring us down.
1. He presumed the outcome: Elijah presumed that everyone would repent. Things didn't turn out the way he planned. Can't you relate? Haven't you looked forward to something, believing you had everything mapped out when suddenly things changed? If so, you know how disheartening it can be. The lesson for us is to guard against unrealistic expectations by remembering that God is sovereign; we must never presume upon his perfect will.
2. He focused on the problem: In the wilderness, at the widow's house, and on Mount Carmel Elijah focused on the power and greatness of his Lord. But Jezebel's murderous threats consumed him and overwhelmed his faith. In his panic, he focused on the enemy's power to destroy him rather than on the power of God to deliver him.
3. He focused on himself: Elijah was in the depths of self-pity when he said, "...I am no better than my fathers!" (1 Kings 19:4). Elijah's focus had shifted from the Lord to his
circumstances, and then from his circumstances to himself.
4. He was physically exhausted: Another reason we succumb to depression may be overlooked -- exhaustion. By the time Elijah got to Sinai he was weak from fatigue.
Our loving heavenly Father provides the prescriptions to alleviate spiritual depression.
1. Get some rest: "As he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, 'Arise and eat.' ... So he ate and drank, and lay down again" (1 Kings 19:5-6).
God's plan was simple: rest and refreshment.
2. Get a new focus: Elijah believed that he was the only one in Israel who was faithful and spiritual. Elijah was in touch with his feelings, but he wasn't in touch with reality. Things weren't as bad as he thought, so God came to give Elijah a strong dose of reality.
3. Have new expectations: Once God had Elijah's attention, he set out to readjust his expectations. He told Elijah to go outside "and behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice" (1 Kings 19:11-12). Elijah had unrealistic expectations -- God wasn't in the wind or the earthquake. Instead, the Lord readjusted Elijah's expectations, coming to him as "a still small voice." Elijah learned that God's work is sometimes an inner work of the heart.
4. Take obedient action: When Elijah was up against the wall, the Lord told him to get up and get moving: "Go, return on your way to the Wilderness ... and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria" (1 Kings 19:15). God wanted him to make a choice of godly action based on obedience rather than inaction based on his emotions.
Many people believe that life's pressures lead to depression. However, it's how we handle those pressures that leads us either to depression or to victory. I pray that, if depression creeps in, you will follow God's prescription of rest, refocus, right expectations, and obedient actions.
-- Skip Heitzig is the senior pastor of Calvary of Albuquerque.
top of page
|DR. ROBERT PUFF|