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Highlights #873

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10/30/01 Tuesday

******************

ERIC ASHFORD
excerpt from Wild Places


These wild places are dream catchers that shred our
abstract cobwebs with a savage love. Man must walk alone
into them, to be stripped of the coat of himself, or forever
obscure this love in a shroud he has sewn from ambiguity.
We pass between the borderland of our phantom company
to be the emptying of the world.
To rest in this aloneness, and to walk into this nakedness, to
die to ourselves, this is the call of the wild places. They have
no mercy for blind travelers. Gods mercy is to ravish the
mind until it dissolves into submission.
Jesus so loved this mercy that he walked into the wilderness,
and never came back. For forty days he fasted from himself
to become the vessel of this love. He came through and
nothing returned with him. For he was uninhabited, a wild
place that lived only as this life.
And so the moon and stars must blink out into an emptying
sun, in which the traveler abandons all hope of himself.
There in no room in the inn of this world for those who seek
safety. No refuge for the hearts awakening, but this step into
trust and absence.
This falling into loves grace is a journey into an unfamiliar
land that is forever untamed by the comfort of beliefs. It is a
walk into a forbidding region that offers no direction for the
mind to compass. No sanctuary for the way seeking soul, but
this walk into the loss of an empty sun.
This wild light will illumine your heart when it shatters the
glass you hold before it. You will find yourself alone, and to
be this life of the world. The wilderness will blaze up in
your soul as a perfect garden of your life in God......
Whether you sit in the cell of being, or fall into natures
unfilled breast, you will find yourself in the wild places.


JAMES TRAVERSE
Doing Time

Hi Jan,

You're welcome to the laugh.

And yes, there is no difference. Length, distance, time are
simply conventions of measurement. Time is an especially elegant
concept and it works very well on the functional level.

But, somewhere along the way we seem to have forgotten that we
had to 'learn' time as a child - and that as long as we all agree we
can turn back the clocks or spring them forward every 6 months or so.
And there is a line in the Pacific that divides today & tomorrow...

These conventions are the 'description' which is the movement of
the mind describing that which appears to it to be the 'current' of
life. And, obviously the description is not the thing - it is simply a
representation/facsimile of the thing.


If one is able to ask 'the impossible question' then this movement
of the mind stops, time is exposed as an imposter, and the 'current'
of life reveals itself to Itself.

JAN B.

True - the descriptions aren't the thing described and when that no longer is clear,
the descriptions start to lead a seeming "life of their own" - that could serve as a
definition of conditioning.


║ If one is able to ask 'the impossible question' then this movement
║of the mind stops, time is exposed as an imposter, and the 'current'
║of life reveals itself to Itself.

║ Love,
║ James

Very well - any question or postulate that temporarily halts the mind serves to
show that the sense of time is the movement of mind itself.. Hence the joke
that "empty mind" is a joy forever.

Peace,
Jan


MICHAEL READ

Thanks for the straight forward answers, Gracie. They sound very like
the approach I used to have. Somewhat comfortable, familiar, based
largely on upbringing and all in all I had no real problems with it.

It was my belief system. I had done a pretty good job of defining and
trying to live by a a good code of ethics and a gentle approach to
live.

I knew that I hadn't created the universe and everything in it. So, it
only made sense to me that I not only shouldn't judge it (the people
and places and things) but that I couldn't judge it.

Despite being such an all around good guy, I was a seeker. It started
at the age of fifteen and continued with varying intensity for over
forty decades. There were times, long stretches - actually, that I was
not actively seeking at all. For the twelve years of marriage and the
following ten years of raising my two daughters, I didn't spend much
time with spiritual matters.

Then a few years ago the whole seeking aspect of my life resurfaced in
the most relentless way. The circumstances might make a good story
over a cup of tea or a drink but, they are only stories.

The short of it is that I was extrememly lucky. There was plenty of
money in the bank. I wasn't working and could devote all my time to
becoming enlightened.

I had always felt a great allure towards enlightenment. It seemed the
one way that I might know the answer to my prepetual question of why.
Why does anything exist at all. You see, I never cared all that much
about god. I didn't have any interest in what his plans were for me or
for the whole of creation. I didn't even care a thing about who I
was. Well, ok, maybe a little bit. I simply wanted to know why is
there anything at all.

I, like many folk, have had a goodly share of
mystical/spiritual/strange things happen to me in my life. As fantasic
and enjoyable as most of those experiences were/are, none of them
provided the answer to my little question.

The last go around of seeking was actually the last go around. Seeking
ended, period. The answer came. It wasn't intellectual. It wasn't
emotional. It wasn't dry.

It wasn't blissful/happy making. And it wasn't without joy.

The answer had no purpose - it was purpose itself. And it remains so
and is so for everyone. This purpose is life itself - existing for no
other reason than it can. It exists for the sheer beauty of it all.

The simple mechanism of awareness we often refer to as conciousness is
the same exact awareness that permeates the entire universe and all
the dimensions thereof.

Talking about it this way may seem to be a little banal and to be
alomost trivializing the whole thing. Zen masters often kid each other
about 'saying two words and spoiling the whole thing.'

Ah! Well, there is a peace that passeth all understanding.
And it feels real good too!

loveya - michael

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