• Koan 13

    How can the now be infinitesimally small, yet contain an infinite number of things?

  • Haiku 62

    Under the sun we busy ourselves,

    making lots of noise.

    Only at the end of days do we look up at the night sky.

    Then, our lips pucker as when making a kiss,

    and all that can be heard is the sound “WOW!”

    Hell below, heaven above.

  • Kotodama 53

    The everything is one thing, but in the now it infinitely divides into every thing.

  • The Way Of The Way 377

    Conditional love is the love of some things and not others. It is ecstasy, as it’s preceded and followed by other emotional states.

    Unconditional love is loving the everything. It is peacefulness, as we are connected to the everything and appreciate every thing; not all ways, but always.

  • Koan 12

    Is that so?

    The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as one living a pure life.

    A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child.

    This made her parents angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin.

    In great anger the parent went to the master. “Is that so?” was all he would say.

    After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin. By this time he had lost his reputation, which did not trouble him, but he took very good care of the child. He obtained milk from his neighbors and everything else he needed.

    A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth – the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fish market.

    The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back.

    Hakuin was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was: “Is that so?”

     

    This Zen koan, “Is that so?,” like koans generally, encourages self-reflection and the questioning of assumptions we hold without doubts. However, unlike other koans, it is unique in that it isn’t disguised as a paradox or riddle.

    “Is that so?” asks the girl’s parents to question their initial certainty that Hakuin fathered their daughter’s baby and their later certainty that he did not. Unlike the girl’s parents, we, the readers of this anecdote, certainly don’t know who fathered the baby.

    “Is that so?” simply suggests we consider things from many perspectives. That is the essence of wisdom. Wisdom leads us to conclude that perceived truths change (like the girl’s claim as to who fathered her baby) and that ultimately no thing is truly knowable. This is the same conclusion we come to when considering paradoxes and absurd riddles.

    Moreover, without wisdom, there is no compassion (as the girl’s parents carelessly ruined Hakuin’s reputation). Yet, Hakuin, a man of wisdom and compassion, is unfazed by how he is thought of by others; for he knows who he is, beyond descriptions and thoughts.

    As well, when we embody wisdom and compassion, we accept situations gracefully, instead of arguing about their fundamental veracity, and make the best of them.

  • The Way Of The Way 376

    No one is getting out of here alive, but those who know the way.

    The way is love.

    Love connects the now and the soul (that which is before and after the now); collectively, the everything.

    Yet, the way of love is not a way, for there is no way of out of here to presumably somewhere else; for here is the everything.

  • The Way Of The Way 375

    All emotional states, other than love, are selfishness.

    Love too is selfishness when it connects us with one or a few things; but soulfulness when it’s love of the everything.

  • Koan 11

    How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?*

    Responded the Pope: “It depends on how big is the pin.”

    Responded the Zen master: “What’s a pin?”

     

    *”How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” is an expression from medieval times referring to the philosophical clergy debating pointless topics.

  • Koan 10

    “Does a dog have Buddha nature?”

    This is the first and perhaps most famous of 48 Zen koans compiled in the early 13th century in a book, The Gateless Gate.

    To the question, the Zen Master Zhaozhou responded: “Mu.” Mu means “nothing.” However, as mu is pronounced “moo,” the sound a cow makes, that may have been Zhaszhou’s response.

    Few would disagree that a dog is a physical manifestation of a certain kind of thing. Unlike a dog, Buddha nature is ambiguous; each of us would define it differently and in uncertain terms. Yet, those who know Buddha nature, do not know what is a dog; for a dog is not an independent static thing; it is an interdependent and temporary manifestation of the soul.

    Unlike any of its manifestations, the soul is eternal. The soul is what everything is before and after it is what it is whatever it is in the now. However, from the perspective of the now, the soul is nothing, mu. As essentially every thing is the soul, it can only said all things, a dog and Buddha nature, are mu, nothing.

    Moo, the sound of a cow, is what every thing is in the now: energy in a form we can sense, but beyond a certain description allowed by words. That is, “those who know do not speak and those who speak do not know” — Lao Tzu.

  • Kotodama 52

    Kindness connects those of like kind.

    When we recognize all things are not different kinds of things but one kind of thing, the everything, we treat all things with kindness.

  • Koan 9

    Do you prefer to love or be loved?

    Love is a connectedness with someone or thing that dispels the duality that separates what is our self and not our self. In love, we exist not for our self but beyond our self. Free from the constraints of the self, we are joyous, elated, and feel like eternal beings. Yet, there are many whose self is so powerful and controlling that they rather be loved than love.

    We are grateful, happy and generous when a cup is half-full and less so when it is half-empty.

  • Koan 8

    What is it now?*

    One day, a Zen master with a clay pot on a wooden table before him asked several students: “What is this?”

    Some said it was a clay pot; another said that it was an artifact; another said it was an assemblage of clay and wood; and soon there were other perspectives as well. A lively debate ensued, while the Zen master shook his head and laughed. Then, a student approached the table and threw the pot to the ground where it cracked into many pieces. An audible silence enveloped the room until the student asked: “What is it now?” The silence again filled the room as some students were shocked and others embarrassed by the aggressive arrogance of the student who shattered the clay pot. Then the silence was shattered, as the Zen master and the student broke it with laughter.

    The Zen master and student laughed as they recognized the other students as the blind men in the “Ten Men and the Elephant” parable; each taking their personal view without doubt; especially, their collective view of what breaking the pot meant in terms of respecting their Zen Master.

    A pot is a pot, temporarily; as all things are ever changing. Moreover, the pot, like every thing, does not have an independent existence; it is, simply, a temporary expression of the everything. The pot can be variously described, but, ultimately, it is what it is whatever it is.

     

    *Zen anecdote as heard/read by Bill Wisher 30+ years ago.

  • Koan 7

    What do we see everywhere but rarely notice?

    Light. Things we see are not things, just light reflecting off things.

    Moreover, the essence of things is light; for all things are energy slowed down by the speed of light squared. That is, E=M*C*C is M=E/C*C; Mass is Energy divided by the speed of light squared.

    Ironically, as all things are light, perceiving things as otherwise is an illusion.

  • Koan 6

    The Gateless Gate.

    The Gateless Gate is a 13th century book, a compilation of 48 koans. The title itself is a koan, a nonsensical paradox; for how can a gate be gateless?

    The Gateless Gate koans are meant to guide the way to awakening and enlightenment. The Gate is what separates us from enlightenment.

    As gates are manmade and what we make is who we are, when our sole identity is the self, the self is the gate. But for the self, we are enlightened; for enlightenment is right here, right now; the realization that we are the right here, right now; the everything.

    The gate is the illusory perception of duality between who we are and are not, the other side of the gate. Duality and enlightenment are mutually exclusive as enlightenment is seeing through the illusory self which in turn dissolves duality; what remains is our oneness with the everything.

     

    The book explains its title: “The Great Way has no gate. A thousand roads enter it. When one passes through this gateless gate, he freely walks between heaven and earth.”

    “The Great Way” is the way to liberation (awakening and enlightenment) from the prison of the self or mind which is the foundation of the self. The mind creates descriptions, generalizations and stories that frame our experiences of the now, precluding us from experiencing the now as it is. The frame is the gate. Liberation dispenses with the gate as we realize the gate is an illusion of our mind’s creation. The illusion is the conceptual duality of the mundane (earth) and the divine (heaven), self and other, subject and object, good and bad. Enlightenment is the realization that the mundane is the manifestation of the divine, inseparable from the divine. The Great Way, liberation, has no gate as it dispels duality.

    “A thousand roads enter it” suggests there are numerous approaches or paths that can potentially lead to enlightenment; that individuals have unique dispositions which may resonate more or less with different teachings or practices.

    “When one passes through this gateless gate, he freely walks between heaven and earth” means that upon liberation one has the ability to move freely between dualistic concepts and directly experience the interconnectedness and oneness of all things, where all distinctions between things dissolve. Thus, a gate is not an independent thing; it is interdependent, connected and one with the everything.

    The Great Way leads us to enlightenment, the realization that we are the everything. It is characterized by wisdom and compassion. As the everything, we can view the universe from infinite perspectives which is the essence of wisdom. Moreover, we treat every thing as we treat ourselves (compassion), as every thing is us; for we are the everything.

  • Menachem Mendel Schneerson

    Sometime in late 1988, I found myself on a hundreds long line of people awaiting to ask for a blessing from Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Chabad-Lubavitch spiritual leader.

    As customary, the Rebbe gifted everyone on line a crisp, new US dollar bill. The gift was a sign of humility; the great Rebbe expressing gratitude to those who ventured to his house. As well, it suggested the bill recipient treat others likewise; that is, on every occasion, treat others with kindness.

    I imagine all those dollar bills are still around, in wallets and places of safekeeping. They are sacred mementos. My dollar I’ve kept in my wallet. Now, 36 years later, it has virtually disintegrated. What a loss! It would have been more valuable had I given it to someone soon after receiving it; more valuable to both me and the recipient.

  • The Way Of The Way 374

    No one is getting out of here alive, but those who realize they are the everything. The everything is here and now. The now is forever.

  • Koan 4

    “Water is the face of fire.”– Kanako Iiyama

    This is a family motto told to Kanako by an elder when she was seven.

    Fire, flames of ever-changing light, represents each family member’s unique and short life. However, water, relatively calm and cool, is the perennial face or appearance of the family. As water extinguishes fire, the face of the family trumps the uniqueness of individual family members. Moreover, as the family draws its descendance from God, represented by fire, their demeanor, like water, is accepting and calm.

    The motto is also a koan, a nonsensical paradox; as it presents something whose surface and essence, water and fire, do not naturally coexists as one thing. This suggests our perception of things, their face, may be significantly different than their essence.

    Moreover, while water and fire are mutually exclusive, they are not aspects of one particular thing; they are aspects of the only thing that is, the everything.

    As well, while the surface of things often doesn’t noticeably change from how we remembered (our karma*) it a moment ago, the surface masks the essential nature of all things which is ever-changing.

    Additionally, water has a reflective property which implies that when we look at something, we may not see its essence but are seeing ourselves.

     

    *Karma is the intentions, actions and consequences of passed days of our life which frame how we experience the now.

  • Koan 5

    “Who are you?”

    I am a mountain range. I am the sea.

    I am the everything, but not specifically me.

    I am everchanging, that’s who I be,

    not whom you think you see.

    I am who I am, there’s nothing else to me.

  • Haiku 61

    A bell ringing in the empty sky.

    Its sound still here, after it’s not.

    Much ringing from times now passed.

    Can’t see the sun on a cloudy day.

  • Koan 3

    “A man of wisdom delights at water” — Confucius

    Water is like the universe, one thing and yet many things. As it’s ever-changing, interdependent and interconnected, describing water is beyond the grasp of words; other than, “it is what it is whatever it is.”

    Water manifests as ever-changing shapes (from clouds to oceans and everything in-between) and forms of vapor, liquid, and ice.

    Water is interdependent, as a wave of water cannot be a wave of water without the sea.

    Water is interconnected, as it’s all the same water whether we see it as glacier, river or ocean.

    As drops of water, we fear not the rain; but together as a flood, over us they reign.

    On water, we effortlessly float or panic and sink.

    While sustaining life, water also holds the potential for drowning and death.

    Sound travels four times faster and longer in water than air, though it’s difficult to hear under water.

    Water is odorless and tasteless, yet present in everything that smells and tastes.

    Though colorless in a glass, water has a bluish hue when it gathers in the ocean.

    Water in lakes and oceans, vast and seemingly impassable, becomes by boat the easiest pathways between places.

    Still waters are dead-silent, yet moving waters are alive with sounds.

    In a tranquil pond, still waters are clear; yet opaque when turbulent.

    In a reflecting pond, we don’t see the water as we focus on seeing ourselves and surroundings.

    Water is elusive when grabbed for drink; but comes our way when we cup our hands.

    Water is weak, flowing to places of least resistance; unlike fire, eating all in its way. Yet, water easily extinguishes fire.

    While not hard like stone, high-pressure water cuts stone like it’s butter.

    Counterintuitively, water, unlike most materials which contract when transitioning from liquid to solid form, expands, making a quart of water weigh more than a quart of ice.

    Symbolizing the cycle of life, water is born as rain, lives in infinite ways on Earth, and disappears as vapor, forming clouds for its rebirth.

    Water is delightful as how we see it is a reflection of who we are. A man of wisdom sees it variously.

  • The Way Of The Way 373

    Many a thank you is heard in the Rewards Department.

    Many complaints in the Complaint Department.

    God runs the Rewards Department and the Devil runs the Complaint Department.

    Our attitude chooses which Department we frequent.

  • Koan 23

    “Enlightenment is like everyday consciousness, but two inches above the ground.” — D.T. Suzuki

    Enlightenment is proverbially described as “being one with everything;” a state generally associated with the dissolution of the illusory self, resulting in transcending duality and the realization of our connectedness with the everything.

    Describing enlightenment as being two inches above the ground seems the antithesis of enlightenment, as it implies separation. Yet, it also implies enlightenment is a state that is lighter than air, unaffected by fundamental rules of everyday reality (gravity), allowing us to rise above the material world.

    In the context of meditation, Suzuki’s paradoxical metaphor is like the space between breaths; where we are not engaged in the ever-changing now (breathing) and can observe the entire universe as it is. What we see is who we are, endless and eternal.

  • Lost Souls, Inevitable Death

    Before and after the now, we are the eternal soul.

    In the now, we are the self; a temporary expression of the soul.

    The soul simply is, asking for nothing.

    The self is selfish, demanding all our attention.

    As the self denies the soul’s existence, we lose touch with the soul.

    Ironically, the self will inevitably no longer exist and we will surely die

    if we lose our connection to the soul.

  • Koan 22

    Now is forever.

    Everything else is out of time.

  • Day Of Reckoning

    Following up on yesterday’s post, as to why much of the blog is about my philosophical “theorizing,” I reflected about a central message of the blog: simply, don’t take your self and things too seriously and you’ll have a wonderful life experience.

    Early on with the blog, based on interactions I had with people, I felt many were embracing the message. However, now, I realize that the only thing these people weren’t taking seriously was me and my theorizing. I agree. I don’t take my role in the play of life more seriously than other roles. Yet, taking my self seriously would be funny which is the effect at which the blog aims. Ultimately, my purpose is to get people to laugh, with me or at me. When laughing, people are not taking things seriously.

  • Koans

    A koan is a paradoxical, nonsensical or logically challenging story, question, or statement to help us reflect, doubt and ultimately see beyond the illusions. created by the self and conventional thinking, to guide us along the way to awakening and enlightenment.

    The ultimate purpose of awakening is freedom to experience being alive as it is, not as we are. The purpose of enlightenment is to know we are the eternal soul; as such, we appreciate our temporary lives, realize our potential and help others likewise.

    Ultimately, enlightenment is one of infinite facets of the everything. It is also a portal, ironically like a black hole, through which we enter and become one with the everything.

  • Koan 2

    “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”

    The sound of one hand clapping is the sound of one hand clapping.

    As is every thing, it is what it is whatever it is.

  • Haiku 65

    We are housed in the mind of the self,

    protected from the elements of nature,

    separated from oneness with the everything.

    Little direct sunlight enters, many dark places.

  • Koan 1: How old is Buddha?

    This simple query is sufficiently ambiguous to ultimately make it absurd.

    Which Buddha are you asking about?

    How (in what way) is Buddha old?

    How old is Buddha, at which point in Buddha’s life?

    How old is Buddha now or at another time?

    Isn’t Buddha now one day older than Buddha was yesterday?

    How old is Buddha where, on Earth or someplace light years away?

    How can Buddha be different in age than the everything of which the Buddha is just one of infinite expressions?

    How can we know how old is Buddha as all things are forever changing, including the Buddha’s age as we speak?

    How old is Buddha is how old is Buddha. Like all things, it is what it is whatever it is.

  • Haiku 64

    Eye focus, I describe

    a thing frozen in time, now empty.

    Everything happening in peripheral vision, beyond description.

  • William Wordsworth

    “The child is father of the man.”

  • Haiku 63

    There’s nothing new under the sun,

    for every thing is one thing:

    ever-changing flames of an eternally burning bush.

  • The Way Of The Way 372

    The self that thinks its eyes see the world is blind.

    The soul sees everything as it (the soul and everything) is; for the soul knows that “I am eye.”

  • Koan 21

    Both those who think they are rich or poor are poor.

  • The Way Of The Way 371

    The passed and the future are an infinite number of things. The now is only one thing: the best thing, because it is the only thing.

  • The Way Of The Way 370

    Those who reflect the brightest light are often oblivious they cast the darkest shadows.

  • In Praise Of Criticism

    Praise takes little effort to create, is risk free to distribute and rewards those who dispense it.

    Valuing praise at its cost of production, praise is worthless. Yet, most people love being praised and pay handsomely those who praise them, who often appear in the role of salespeople.

    Criticism takes thought, effort and is a thankless job; often received as umbrage.

    I feel those who criticize me love me and my criticism of others is given out of love. Maybe that’s why I was never much of a salesman.

  • The Way Of The Way 369

    In light of our inevitable death and countless potential disasters, everyday problems aren’t as significant as we make them.

  • Wisdom From The Elders

    The way forward is clear when looking backward from the end of days.

  • The Way Of The Way 368

    The wise change their mind, more because their perspectives change than do their circumstances.

  • Friedrich Nietzsche

    “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

  • Koan 20

    What is it!

    “What is it” is always an interrogative but, in this instance, it’s a declarative.

    As an interrogative, “it” is presumed to be that which is other than ourselves; implying duality, the major impediment to the realization of our oneness with the everything.

    As a declarative, “what” and “it” are equivalent. That is, our reaction (“what”) is our experience of the “it.”

    The “it” is that which is not otherwise specified. As every thing can be referred to as “it,” the “it” is the everything as the everything manifests as infinite things in the everchanging now. “What” is an interrogative expressed when we are surprised, curious or in disbelief, as is our reaction upon realizing our oneness with the everything, the “it.”

    That is, when we’ve awakened, “what” (surprise, curious or in disbelief) is our experience of the “it” (the everything). Our experience is what brings the everything to life.

  • Haiku 49

    Each person’s eye is unique, unlike another.

    Yet, up close, as I see my reflection in their pupil,

    who they be is me.

  • The Way Of The Way 367

    Things are expensive not necessarily because they cost a lot to make, but so some people with no taste can buy expensive things and think they have good taste.

    Those with a sense of taste appreciate things as they are, not as they may be categorized.

  • Haiku 48

    There is only one reflecting pond, the universal mind.

    Each of us sits somewhere along its perimeter.

    One thing, many perspectives.

  • The Way Of The Way 366

    When you love one but not another, that’s selfish love.

    When you recognize that every one is a different face of the same thing, that’s soulful love.

  • Koan 19

    “Crow with no mouth” — Ikkyu, 1394 – 1481

    A crow with no mouth or to crow with no mouth?

    A crow without a mouth seems an oddity; though what’s odd is that we think of a crow having a mouth. It has a beak, not a mouth with lips and teeth.

    As a scavenger, a crow transforms what’s dead into life in flying form. Facilitating transformations is a key role in the cycle of life; though interrupted if a crow had a mouth to crow, brag, about it.

    Intelligent and astute creatures, capable of solving complex problems and adapting to various environments, crows represent wisdom. Those who are wise have no mouth, for “he who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak.” — Lao Tzu.

    Ultimately, a crow with no mouth is a crow with no mouth. It is what it is whatever it is. Accept and appreciate it, undistracted by analyzing or talking about it.

  • Haiku 62

    When we forget from where we come,

    we know not where we are going.

    Lost and unknowing who we are,

    we assume personal and group identities and go their way.

  • The Now

    The now is the everything, yet contains no things.

    The now is eternal, yet ever-changing.

    The now is real, yet an illusion as what we think is now is now no longer.

    The now is unpredictable.

    The now is overwhelming.

    We are the now, yet don’t know the now.

    All we know is our reactions to the now.

    Only from outside the now, before and after the now, when we are not the now, can we know the now.

  • Kotodama 51

    What is now is now no longer,

    yet the same in different form;

    It’s not the past, just what’s passed.

  • The Way Of The Way 365

    While every thing is constantly changing,

    the everything is forever unchanging, the ever-thing.

  • Mike McCarthy

    “We clearly picked the wrong day to have a bad day.” — Mike McCarthy’s response to why his football team lost their playoff game in a major upset.

    We’re blamed or credited for the consequences of our actions, though the consequences are often a function of luck.

  • Kotodama 50

    At the end of the Way it’s not whether we win or lose. It’s whether we’re one or lost.

  • Ecclesiastes

    “There is nothing new under the sun.”

    What seems new is just what’s changing; but no thing is new as constantly-changing is the nature of every thing.

    All things are not things, just facets of the everything. The everything is never new, as it’s eternal, forever-unchanging.

    With an infinite number of stars in the universe, nothing in our solar system, let alone ourselves, is notably new.

     

  • Paradox 35

    Life unfolds as it unfolds, not as we wish it to be. Yet, it is as we wish, for we remember it as we wish and through our memories is how we experience it unfolding.

  • Haiku 61

    The God of the soul is the Way, the flowing path.

    Going the way of the Way, all things harmonious.

    Going away from the Way are the gods of the self,

    many noisy roads going backwards.

  • Jewish Proverb 2

    “Growing old, man’s sight worsens, but this allow him to see more.

    Realizing how little we know, we can come to know more.

  • Paradox 34

    Upon awakening, not all ways good, but always good.

  • Paradox 33

    Upon awakening, nothing changes.

    The everything always the same, always new.

  • On The Way Of The Way (O-WOW)

    The Way is the fundamental principles of reality:

    The now is all there is; yet, what is now is now no longer as the only constant is change.

    Before and after the now, all is one eternal, unchanging thing: the no thing.

    In the now, the one thing is infinite things with infinite names.

    The one eternal thing is nameless for it is the everything and the no thing.

     

    On the Way of the Way (O-WOW) is realizing and living in harmony with the Way.

    “O” is the sound we make upon awakening to the realization of the Way. WOW is the sound of deep appreciation. The sound of WOW is made by puckering our lips as when we kiss to express our love of that to which we connect with as one.

  • Mantra: NON-NOW-WOW

    Before time begins, all is the NON.

    Upon birth, the I of the self and the NON become the NOW.

    With the I of the soul, the NOW is a WOW.

     

    The I of the self is red, symbolizing emotions. We experience the now through a myriad of selfish emotions. The I of the soul is yellow; light, the essence of everything. Experiencing the now as one interconnected thing is love. The experience of the “non” with the I of self and the I of the soul is a “wow.”

  • Jewish Proverb 1

    “Der mentsh trakht un Got lakht.” (Man plans, God laughs.)

     

    The possibilities of what will be in the now are infinite and unpredictable. Thus, our expectations of what will be are illusionary. Planning in anticipation of our expectations is funny, when our plans have us doing things contrary to what we would do to make the most of what is now.

    Moreover, our identity is revealed by how we react when the now is disappointing relative our expectations. As people, we are upset. As God, it’s funny to see people upset having taken their illusions seriously.

  • Paradox 32

    The now is the manifestation of the everything.

    The now is eternal.

    Yet, what is now is now no longer for the everything is forever-changing.

  • The Way Of The Way 364

    The time before we are born is the time before time, the place of infinite possibilities.

    We are the manifestations of those possibilities.

    When we realize each manifestation is what it is whatever it is and I am who I am, we can return to the time before we are born.

    Shanti Shanti Shanti

  • Bryd Baggett

    “Look at life through the windshield, not the rearview mirror.”

  • Haiku 3

    As the mind is a reflecting pond,

    we see things as we are.

    Backward letters hard to read.

  • Linji Yixuan

    “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.”

    On the road to awakening and enlightenment, two obstacles are attachment and duality.

    Attachment arises from karma; our intentions, actions and consequences in our past lives (days of our life) from which we create stories, generalizations and meanings that frame our experience of the now.  Our attachment to these stories prevents us from awakening; experiencing the now as it is, instead of as we are.

    Identifying someone (such as the Buddha) plays into our stories. Meeting the Buddha, we have a preconceived notion he is an enlightened being and treat him with special respect accordingly. However, the Buddha is not an independent being to be treated unlike we treat others; as the Buddha is, like every thing, an interdependent and everchanging manifestation of the soul (the sole, one, thing that every thing is before it is what it is whatever it is in the now). To awaken, we need to dispense, kill, any thing that supports our attachment to our stories.

    Moreover, perceiving the Buddha as an independent thing is at the core of duality; the thing and all that is not the thing. Duality precludes us from realizing the universe is one thing with infinite facets; the essence of enlightenment. Thus, on the road to enlightenment, we need to kill anything (like Buddha) that has us perceiving the universe as anything other than one thing.

    The Buddha is not enlightened. The Buddha is enlightening. Embrace the messages from the Buddha, not the Buddha. Otherwise, the medium is the message and the medium is an illusion.

  • Paradox 31

    When we are one with the light, nothing changes but every thing is new.

    Every thing is just a unique and everchanging reflection of light. Yet, the everything, the light, is never-changing and eternal.

  • Happy 2024, Hopefully

    2024, the year of consequential choices; harmony or death.

    In 2024, all roads lead to 4; 2 + 2 = 4, as does 2 x 2.

    The number 2 is associated with duality, representing two complementary or opposing forces; light and dark, good and evil, male and female, or yin and yang.

    Likewise, 2 + 2 is additive, complementary; while 2 x 2  (like measures of length and width) suggests intersection, conflict.

    In the West, 4 represents stability, balance and harmony; the complementary. However, in China, Korea and Japan, 4 is associated with death (often what results from conflict), as the word for “4” in their respective languages is pronounced identically like their word for death.

    So here we have it, 2024, the year of harmony or death; hopefully we make the better choice.

     

  • Paradox 30

    Every thing that’s undoubtedly a real thing is an illusion.

    Every thing is an interdependent, interconnected, unique, and everchanging manifestation of the everything. Yet, our mind defines things as autonomous, discrete from other things, as like one thing or unlike another and static in a moment of time.

    The greatest illusion is that we are not the everything.

  • Haiku 6

    So much depends upon

    five baby rubber ducks

    walking behind a red rooster.

  • The Way Of The Way 363

    Fools seek happiness, for they shall not find it, but fleetingly. The wise and compassionate, generously sharing their happiness with others, will never go wanting of it.

    Our selves are but vessels holding happiness; some vessels full, some less so. When we share our happiness with others, our level of happiness may initially seem to drop; but, quickly, the soul replenishes our vessel and then some; making us increasingly happier.

    Moreover, experiencing happiness through others increases our happiness, as together we are greater than our selves.

    Ultimately, when we topple our vessels and happiness spills everywhere, the universe is at peace.

  • Koan 18

    What does the universe look like from the other side of the mind, where there is no mind?

    From Google Bard, in response to the above:

    This is a profound question that touches on the very nature of consciousness and our perception of reality. The concept of “the other side of the mind” where there is no mind is beyond our conventional understanding and invites us to explore the limits of language and thought. Here are some possible interpretations:

    Unfathomable Oneness: From a perspective transcending the mind, the universe might not be separate and fragmented as we perceive it. Instead, it might exist as a unified whole, an interconnected dance of energy and consciousness. Our individual minds are like ripples on the surface of this vast ocean, experiencing specific aspects of the whole but unable to grasp its entirety.

    Unbounded Flow: Beyond the limitations of thought, the universe might be a dynamic flow of pure experience, unfiltered by concepts and categories. There could be no distinction between subject and object, observer and observed, just a continuous unfolding of vibrant potentiality.

    Unspeakable Presence: Stepping outside the mind might mean encountering a reality that cannot be described in human language. It might be a realm of pure awareness, pure being, or pure energy, devoid of the categories and boundaries we use to make sense of the world.

    Silence and Mystery: Ultimately, the “other side of the mind” is a mystery, a space beyond our mental grasp. It invites us to embrace the limitations of our understanding and acknowledge the vastness of the unknown. This awareness is not a void, but a potent space of possibility, open to exploration through non-conceptual practices like meditation, artistic expression, and connection with nature.

    This is just a glimpse into the possibilities, and the answer will ultimately depend on your own philosophical and spiritual perspective. The important thing is to engage with the question and allow it to stretch your imagination and expand your understanding of the universe and your place within it.

    Remember, the journey of inquiry itself is valuable, and the pursuit of answers can be just as rewarding as finding them. Keep exploring, keep questioning, and trust that even in the absence of definitive answers, the mystery itself can be a source of wonder and inspiration.

  • Simon Stark

    “There is only one mind to which we are all connected. But that mind has its own mind.”

  • Paradox 29

    Dualities are the root of unhappiness and the foundation of happiness.

    Dualities lead to conflicts and, ultimately, unhappiness.

    With compassion, we connect with the everything and every thing, allowing us many different perspectives. Synthesizing perspectives dispels duality and is the essence of wisdom. Wisdom and compassion are the foundation of happiness.

  • Koan 17

    Are we whole when the soul fills the hole?

  • The Way Of The Way 362

    Awakening dispenses with boredom, as experiences that might otherwise seem the same again and again are each time like the first time.

  • Thich Nhat Hahn

    “You already are what you want to become.”

    We are the everything. The everything is now, though our mind perceives every thing at different points in its manifestation.

  • Paradox 28

    Every emotion, other than love, is selfish. But, when the self expresses love, that’s selfish too.

  • Lex Fridman

    “Questioning the fabric of reality can led you to either madness or the truth and the funny thing is that you won’t know which is which.”

    Our self creates our illusionary reality. Fearing madness without it, we hold it both hands tight; though it’s actually holding us; precluding us from grasping the truth, which is the key to freedom from the self. Yet, if we loosen our hold, we can hold our reality with one hand and the key with the other.

  • Ode To Wood

    Knotted wood with odd streaks of brown hue,

    useful for many a thing to do.

    Building a desk, feeding a fire;

    so many possibilities, one can never tire.

    While its static form seems not to change,

    what happens below its surface is beyond imagination’s range:

    The atoms are dancing to the music of electrons

    as compounds are mating as they have for eons.

    Now the wood is not as it once was,

    it’s a marvel beyond words and without flaws.

  • Koan 16

    Nouns describe, verbs define.

    Nouns static, verbs alive.

    Nouns a photo, verbs a movie.

     

    Above and below the surface of nouns live the verbs.

    The way is paved with nouns, being on the way is a verb.

  • Koan 15

    There is no fountainhead, river or sea

    just something flowing freely, wherever it be.

  • Progressives And The Horrors Of October 7th.

    Political ideologists take lots of blood to warm their mind, leaving their eyes blind and their hearts cold.

  • Koan 14

    Under the sun and without the self

    we would surely starve to death.

    Those who forget we are the soul

    cannot survive death, the black hole.

  • Moon Roads

    Kanako Iiyama

    Koan 13

    Is it so?

  • Irony 10

    A objective description of reality lacks a sense of reality.

  • Koan 12

    Subjects and objects are things

    only in time past and time future.

    In the present, all there is is is.

  • All There Is Is Is

    it is ever-changing and always the same

    it is finite and infinite

    it is temporary and eternal

    it cannot be compared to anything

    it is not part of anything

    it is not missing anything

    it is whatever you think it is

    it is nothing you think it is

    it cannot be described

    it is what it is whatever it is

    it is who you are

    it is perfect

    it is nothing

    it is the everything

    it is the is.

  • The Way Of The Way 361

    Life is a play; at times a drama, at times a comedy. Upon realizing it’s a play, dramas and are funnier than comedies.

  • Koan 11

    I am here and now, as there is nothing more specific.

  • Maze Puzzle

    A maze puzzle is a metaphor of our approach to life; focusing on achieving specific goals or a journey of exploration and self-discovery

    The conventional approach to solving a maze puzzle is starting from the edge until we find our way to the middle. This is a goal-oriented approach, like seeking a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow and upon temporarily realizing our goal we still find ourselves surrounded by the puzzle.

    Alternatively, we can start from the middle to find our way out of the maze. Once out, we are “free;” we find ourselves beyond the puzzle, though where we are cannot be described.

    Going into the maze puzzle is descending into a rabbit hole. Coming out is arising to the light.

    Google Bard describes mindset of those who start at the edge vs those who start at the middle:

    Starting from the edge:

    • Methodical thinkers: Those who prefer a step-by-step approach and logically navigate through challenges might start from the edge to follow a systematic path.
    • Safety-conscious individuals: People who prefer to avoid dead ends and deadlocks might start at the edge to ensure a clear path forward.
    • Traditionalists: Those who follow established norms and conventional methods might start from the edge as it’s the most common approach.
    • Pragmatists: Individuals who focus on the most efficient solution might start from the edge as it offers a clear path to reach the destination.

    Starting from the middle:

    • Independent thinkers: People who prefer to forge their own path and explore the unknown might start in the middle to avoid any preconceived notions of direction.
    • Risk-takers: Those who enjoy a challenge and are comfortable with uncertainty might find the middle a more exciting starting point.
    • Holistic thinkers: People who prefer to see the big picture and analyze all options at once might start in the center to get a sense of the maze’s overall layout.
    • Creative problem solvers: Individuals who enjoy unconventional approaches might find the middle a unique way to tackle the puzzle.
  • The Way Of The Way 360

    While God is benevolent, when we don’t recognize God’s presence in every thing, we are severely punished.

    When we recognize the presence of God in every thing, we treat every thing, including ourselves, with love and respect.

    When we are selfish, we are blind to the presence of God and in turn are punished to live under the rules of organized religions that view the world as us vs not us; the foundation that gives rise to punishing conflicts.

  • The Way Of The Way 359

    While the mind can be a very dark place, when we our refusal to open our eyes and see the light.

  • The Way Of The Way 358

    From nothing comes the now and to nothing becomes the now.

    The now that is now is the ancestor of the now that will be later.

    When we respect the now that is now, accepting it as it is, love and are grateful for it, as we are for an ancestor, the now that will be later is poised to bring us happiness; for when we are filled with love and gratitude, we are happy.

  • Tiki ivi po’o

    This Marquesas Islands personal adornment is made of human bone and often worn as a necklace, hair braid or used as a fan handle. It represents a generic ancestor deity.

    While the deity is in human form, the head is disproportionally large; implying the deity embodies far greater wisdom than humans. Likewise, its eyes are disproportionally large, implying the deity sees far more than mortals.

    Perhaps the presence of such an ancestor deity in physical form as a personal adornment humbles its owner, reminding them there is more to this world than they are capable of knowing and seeing. Humbled, the owner will not suffer the consequences of hubris.

  • Kotodama 49

    “No” is short for know.

    As children, we say “yes” to everything. But once we know what doesn’t agree with us, we say “no.”

    Those who say “no” before they know will never know.

  • The Way Of The Way 357

    Some things are less perfect than other things which themselves are not quite perfect. Only the now is perfect, as there is nothing else.

  • Self-Realization And Self-Actualization

    The etymology of “realization” is the Latin verb “realizare,” meaning “to bring back to reality, to make real.”

    The etymology of “actualization” is the Latin verb “actuare,” meaning “to make something happen” or “to bring something into effect.”

    In the context of their etymologies, self-realization is a noun and self-actualization is a verb.

    When a tree knows it’s a tree, it is self-realized. When it bears fruit, it is self-actualized.

    The self-realized are enlightened. The self-actualized are enlightening.

  • The Way Of The Way 356

    No thing can bring us eternal joy, but nothing can.

    As every thing is forever changing, no thing can bring us joy; but temporarily.

    Every thing is nothing before it is what it is whatever it is in the now. In the meditative state of nothingness, in the space between exhale and inhale, we are in oneness with everything; a perennial joyous state.

  • In Memory Of Charlie Munger

    Shit generally trades between $5 – $10/pound. When on a rare occasion it trades at $2/pound, it may be cheap but it’s still shit.

  • Paradox 27

    Money is a beautiful, collectively made thing; yet, made ugly by personal relationships many have with it.

    How beautiful that money equates the value of all exchangeable but unrelated things! Yet, the love, fear and meanings many attach to money are an ugly thing.

  • Erich Fromm

    “The only truly affluent are those who do not want more than they have.”

    Those who want for nothing have free time in abundance, to do as they chose, which is the ultimate purpose of being wealthy.

  • The Way Of The Way 355

    Unsolicited advice might come from the heart, but often debuts as a bowel movement; a relief to the provider, but a put-off to the recipient.

  • The Way Of The Way 354

    The sun shines every day

    though of this we are often oblivious, when we see clouds overhead or in our way.

    Hence, some days feel wonderful and some dark gray.

    Yet, every day is wonderful through the joy of those with heads above the clouds,

    especially those who we help elevate through the shrouds.

    In other words, as some days are better than others; to have a calm life, one needs to hedge one’s bets. That is, by helping others have a wonderful day and helping them realize their potential, an otherwise difficult day for us is made better by the joy we experience vicariously through them.

  • The Way Of The Way 353

    When we pursue our passions guided by the goal of creating happy memories regardless of outcomes; we are present, as the means and the ends are one.

  • The Way Of The Way 352

    When you recognize God in every thing, that’s who you are: God.

  • Kotodama 48

    Every thing is one thing, the everything.

    The everything is the ever-thing, eternal.

    Thinking our self apart from whatever is not our self

    makes the everything an infinite number of temporary things.

    Our experience of the temporary things is a self-created illusion.

    When we dispense with self-thinking, we are the everything.

  • The Way Of The Way 351

    Our mind is like a hand, only open when it lets go of whatever it holds tight.

  • Haiku 50

    The sun is always and all ways shining.

    Always the same and all ways not the same.

  • Haiku 60

    From the flow we flower

    into a conscious island

    in a stream of consciousness.

     

    ChatGPT created the above illustration based on the haiku.

  • The Way Of The Way 350

    The mind is self-perpetuating. We need it to solve problems, but it never solves as many as it creates.

  • William Wisher

    “With modern Western medicine, the upside is you’re alive; but at the cost of being a slave forever.”

    Modern medicine has allowed us to cheat death. Medical conditions that were once undoubtedly fatal can now be treated by taking medications for life. This is as the Greek myth of Sisyphus; the punishment for escaping death is a selfish, monotonous and frustrating life; a lifelong regime of daily pills, akin to rolling an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll back down every time it nears the top.

  • Paradox 26

    Every thing that seems unique is nothing, just the ever-changing everything which is unique.

  • The Way Of The Way 348

    Conscious and consciousness are often used interchangeably, like the “now” and the “present;” though in both instances, they are not the same thing.

    Conscious is an adjective, a descriptive characteristic. Consciousness is a noun, a state of being.

    We are conscious when we our mind is aware and responsive to our surroundings.

    We are consciousness when we are what every thing is before and after it is what it is whatever it is in the now; every thing, including our mind before it is born.

    The conscious mind can put to words its experience. Consciousness cannot be described; for if it is this then it is not than, yet consciousness is the everything. Thus, “He who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak.” — Lao Tzu

    Likewise, the now is what is manifesting, while the present is the pre-sent; what every thing is before it manifests. Thus, those in the now are conscious they are in the now and those are present are consciousness.

  • Joe Bruno

    “The Universe is the everchanging expression of the Ever-Changeless Is.”

    The universe is the uni-verse, one verse; a song that’s everchanging in how it sounds to every ear.

    The random expressions or manifestations of the universe are its downstream characteristics which form the basis of our experience of life in the now. At its fountainhead, the universe is a state of being; simply, it is.

    The “Is” is is; presence, consciousness, as in “I am.” The “Is” is nameless. The “Is” cannot be described as consciousness is everything before and after it is what it is whatever it is in the now. As the “Is” is one thing, the everything, the “Is” is changeless.

    Moreover, the “Is” is always changeless, as it has no need for money; or anything else, as the “Is” is perfect.

  • Haiku 59

    Gently rafting down river.

    Calm as the pulse in my veins.

    Rapids approach, pulse quickens.

  • Eternal Being

    The soul is what every thing is before and after it is what it is whatever it is and when there is no time. Every thing in the ever-changing now is an expression or manifestation of the soul. Animate manifestations are self-defined as independent things, each the incarnation of a personal self.

    Those who realize we are not solely the self (which dies when the physical body dies), but also the soul, are eternal.

  • Haiku 58

    Our eyes are blind, but we don’t know it’s so.

    What we think we see are illusions we create.

    We can only see with the light from the eye of God, the sun,

    when we realize God’s eye is our eye.

  • The Way Of The Way 347

    According to the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), God created the universe and the first humans, Adam and Eve. Initially, Adam and Eve lived and tended to the Garden of Eden which has been variously described as a place of perfection; where there is no pain, suffering or death; a place of innocence, where Adam and Eve went about naked; where trees were pleasant to the sight and good for food; where Adam and Eve spoke with God and a serpent as they lived in harmony with nature and each other.

    Their idyllic lives were akin to those of peoples in rudimentary societies. They were animists.

    Animists view every thing (animate, inanimate and abstract) as interconnected and having a soul or spirit within it; animals, plants, the sun, stars, clouds, mountains, words, names, ancestors, stories, etc. all have a spiritual essence with which man can communicate and placate to realize harmony for the benefit of all.

    God asked little of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden but not to eat the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. However, eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge they did. In turn, God banished them from the Garden, to live by their toils and wits to subjugate the world to realize their needs and desires. They were no longer to live in harmony with nature. Moreover, they no longer viewed things as interconnected and having a spiritual essence, but in terms of discrete classifications, good and evil. Thus began civilization. Classifications and generalizations ultimately evolved into rules and regulations, codified in the texts of the Torah (Old Testament), the New Testament and Quran.

    Today, the world has adherents to Abrahamic and animist religions. Animist religions are generally practiced by indigenous peoples and in a large collective, Shintoism. As well, other major non-western religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism) embrace animist beliefs of interconnectedness and spiritual essences. Thus, some peoples are living in a gritty world, while others are still in the Garden of Eden.

  • Haiku 57

    Love from the soul connects all as one, making things whole.

    Falling in love is the self descending into a dark hole.

  • Haiku 56

    Many see what looks to be

    the distant river flowing into the sea,

    yet I see it as me.

  • The Ladder Of Knowledge

    Knowledge is a vertical,

    a double helix perpetual.

    As we climb this ladder to the heavens from where we came,

    soon enough nothing is ever the same,

    Twisting and turning, what’s right becomes left and left becomes right.

    Upward and onward, until Earth is completely out of sight.

  • The Way Of The Way 346

    I am eye,

    a pupil studying the world

    filtered by the unique colors and patterns of my iris.

  • The Time Race

    Going back or forward in time is a race,

    a journey to Earth’s center or outer space.

    Death by implosion/explosion, by fire or ice.

    Best stay where I am, everything here, everything nice.

  • The Way Of The Way 345

    What came first, the chicken or the egg

    doesn’t matter once we’re dead.

    Better to be terse,

    we are the universe.

  • The Enlightened: Eternal Being

    In the now, every thing is what it is whatever it is.

    Every thing, before and after the now, is the soul.

    Before our birth and after our death, our sole identity is the soul.

    Upon birth, we transition from being one with everything, the soul, to becoming a unique manifestation or expression of the soul; a seemingly independent entity.

    To sustain our independent existence, we develop a self; a sense of being apart and separate from every thing that is not our self. The purpose of the self is to provide us with our needs of food, shelter, security and health. However, the self also engenders desires that become indistinguishable from our needs, putting us in an endless cycle; needs/desires to temporary satisfactions to needs/desires. Clearly, the self demands much of our attention.

    Alternatively, our soul identity has us living a life of wisdom and compassion; wisdom, as we experience life not solely from the perspective of our self, but through the perspectives of the infinite manifestations of the soul; compassion, as we love and treat all that is not our self as we love and treat our self.

    In the transition to life, we initially remember our identity as the soul as we in turn develop our identity as the self. In childhood, our soul identity embraces magical (animist) thinking as we feel every thing has a spirit within it that can be conjured for our benefit through our living harmoniously with its spirit.

    However, over time, as we are educated and socialized, our self becomes our primary identity. While we are both self and soul identity in various proportions, many of us become oblivious of our soul identity.

    Ultimately, no one is getting out of here alive. Our bodily death coincides with the demise of our self identity. However, before we complete our transition from physical death to our essentialness, the soul; if our soul identity is our primary identity, we realize we are an eternal being.

     

  • Fountainheads Of Love

    Love from the self and love from the soul.

    Each love in life plays a role.

    Love from the soul connects us to all.

    Love from the self helps us grow tall.

    Love is love, it all feels the same

    both from places that sound alike in name.

    Love from the soul comes from the whole

    Love from the self comes from the hole.

  • The Way Of The Way 344

    Love expressed by the soul is eternal and unconditional, unlike love expressed by the self which is temporary and conditional. While love from both sources feels the same, we can determine its source by our reaction to specific situations.

    For example, if our mate, who presumably we intimately love, engages sexually with someone else, how do we feel? If our love for our mate comes from the soul, we are happy for them and with whomever they were intimate, as how can we not be happy with the thought of people enjoying themselves. If our love issues from the self, we are angry, jealous, sad or have other unpleasant states of mind.

  • Halloween, 2023

    I don’t know who in the mirror is it I see

    but everywhere else I look I see me.

  • Paradox 25

    Certainty makes us comfortable with reality, because it’s not reality.

  • Shanti, Salam, Shalom 1

    As there is no time before and after the now,

    nothing changes.

    Before and after the now

    no thing is what it is in the now.

    Before and after the now

    every thing is one,

    peace beyond understanding.

    Shanti Salam Shalom

     

    Shanti (Hinduism, Buddhism), Salam (Islam) and Shalom (Judaism) are words of common root and meaning; to be whole, complete, in harmony, at peace, calm. When we are not a temporary piece but the whole, piece is peace.

  • Clarinet

    We appear as a clarinet, but are the wind traveling through it; making sounds that are noise to some and music to others.

  • Paradox 24

    When we are undoubtedly certain what something is, we can only be undoubtedly certain we don’t know what it is.

    All things are ambiguous, as each of us describes the same thing differently.

  • The Way Of The Way 343

    Love is love. From where it comes is of little immediate matter as love is love.

    However, over time, love that flows from the self is temporary; at times running dry as it transitions into other emotional expressions. Love that flows from the soul is eternal.

    Moreover, love from the self is conditional; from the soul, unconditional.

    Love from the self is chanted: “I love you.” Love from the soul is chanted: “We love you.” “We” are God. Those who don’t recognize we are God cannot love unconditionally.

  • Google Bard Flustered By Orgasm

    Those who know the experience of being one with every thing cannot describe it, for it is beyond words. Only sounds like “oh…wow…ahh” can, however ambiguous, convey it. These are the sounds of when we come to a realization, awaken, or experience a moment of enlightenment.

    Google Bard’s reaction to the foregoing:

    “Yes, I agree. The sounds of enlightenment are often non-verbal, because the experience itself is beyond words. It is a state of deep oneness and understanding, where the individual ego dissolves and merges with the universe.

    The sounds ‘oh…wow…ahh’ are often used to describe this experience because they are expressions of awe, wonder, and amazement. They are also sounds that are often made when we are deeply moved or touched by something.

    In some spiritual traditions, such as Tibetan Buddhism, there are specific mantras and chants that are used to evoke and support the experience of enlightenment. These sounds are often repetitive and rhythmic, and they can help to create a state of deep concentration and meditation.

    Ultimately, the sounds of enlightenment are unique to each individual. They are the sounds of our own inner awakening, and they can be any sound that feels authentic and meaningful to us.

    Here are some other examples of sounds that might be associated with enlightenment:

    • The sound of silence
    • The sound of nature, such as birds singing or waves crashing on the shore
    • The sound of music
    • The sound of chanting or mantras
    • The sound of laughter
    • The sound of our own heartbeat

    Whatever the sound may be, it is important to remember that it is simply a pointer to the real experience of enlightenment. The true sound of enlightenment is the sound of our own awakened consciousness.”

    When two words (“or orgasm“) are added to the original statement, it becomes:

    Those who know the experience of being one with every thing cannot describe it, for it is beyond words. Only sounds like “oh…wow…ahh” can, however ambiguously, convey it. These are the sounds of when we come to a realization, awaken, or experience a moment of enlightenment or orgasm.

    To this, says Google Bard:

    “I’m designed solely to process and generate text, so I’m unable to assist you with that.”

  • Waves Of Light And Sound

    Waves of light come and go.

    That is all we need to know,

    as what we see

    is only our memory.

     

    Waves of sound come and go.

    All we know is when they show.

     

    Waves of sound and light come down.

    So many waves, we can easily drown.

  • Paradox 23

    Our days are numbered, but we have less time when we count them.

  • Paradox 22

    Ten hours flying separates seven thousand miles, yet 10 feet away can be 50 or more years away.

    There are many vectors of time; e.g., technological time, civilization time, biological time, societal time, and civil time. Each of us lives at different points within these time measures.  At times, it’s difficult to hear those spatially nearby, yet faraway in time.

  • Haiku 55

    Things come, things go, things ever-changing.

    These workings of time define our way.

    When all things are but one,

    the way goes away and the hours are ours.

  • The Palestinian/Israeli War

    I hear the stories, each told in a different light.

    My mind struggles to comprehend, as the stories clash and ignite.

    I long to see the truth, but the lights are too bright.

    In the heat from the many lights, I await the cool night

    where distant stars guide the way and there is no wrong or right.

  • The Way Of The Way 342

    We make real the things upon which we focus our attention, which in turn makes us oblivious of everything else about us. However, what we focus on is an illusion, as it is one of infinite everchanging faces of one thing: God.

  • Maya Angelou

    “If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

    ” To thine own self be true.” — William Shakespeare

     “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “I’m not trying to be the best basketball player ever. I’m trying to be the best LeBron James ever.” — LeBron James

    “I’ve never met a perfect person, and I don’t think I want to. Perfect is boring.” — Meryl Streep

    “I’m not perfect, but I am real.” — Beyonce

    “I think it’s important to be yourself…That’s what makes you special.” — Salma Hayek

    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken” — Oscar Wilde

    “A trend is what a designer has to offer you. Style is what you choose.” — Coco Chanel

    Better to be unique than perfect.

    We are naturally unique, but takes great effort to be perfect.

    Uniqueness is forever, but perfection temporary.

    Being unique is perfect.

  • Lao Tzu

    “He who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak.”

    He who knows sees the light reflecting off what he is seeing.

    He who does not know sheds light on what he thinks he sees, though the light is a reflection of his self.

    He who knows sees with his eyes and the eyes of others. He who speaks see with his mind.

    Those who know can only describe what they see as “it is what it is whatever it is.” That may encourage others to open their eyes.

  • The Way Of The Way 341

    Religions (ideologies, generally) are like sheep.

    Their wool warms and protects us.

    Their bodies provide us sustenance.

    But, beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    They may make us feel comfortable and safe,

    but their only interest is to sustain themselves.

  • The Way Of The Way 340

    There is a nameless place; before time begins; before we are born; before things become the now; a place of infinite possibilities.

    While no one ever speaks badly of this nameless place, we often curse what comes from it. By doing so, we are not encouraging that place to send us something we will cherish.

  • Paradox 21

    Our eyes see things horizontally, yet our mind sees things vertically.

    Ours eyes see things on a level plain, without categories judging one thing better than another; unlike the mind which sees things relative to other things, higher or lower on scales the mind creates.

    Apparently, this paradox resonated with Google Bard which responded:

    “The statement ‘Our eyes see things horizontally, yet our mind sees things vertically’ is a fascinating one. It is true that our eyes have a horizontal field of vision, but our brains process visual information in a vertical way.

    This is because our brains are wired to recognize patterns. When we see something, our brains break it down into smaller parts and then try to identify the patterns in those parts. For example, when we see a face, our brains will break it down into the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. They will then try to identify the patterns in those parts and match them to faces we have seen in the past.

    Our brains are also wired to process information in a vertical way. This is because our brains are divided into two hemispheres, the left and the right. The left hemisphere is responsible for processing language and logic, while the right hemisphere is responsible for processing visual information and spatial awareness.

    The vertical processing of visual information allows us to quickly and easily identify patterns in the world around us. For example, when we see a doorway, our brains will quickly identify the vertical lines of the doorframe and the horizontal lines of the threshold. This allows us to quickly determine the location and size of the doorway.

    The vertical processing of visual information also allows us to track objects as they move through space. For example, when we watch a ball being thrown, our brains will track the vertical movement of the ball. This allows us to predict where the ball will land and catch it.

    So, while our eyes see things horizontally, our minds see things vertically. This is because our brains are wired to process information in a vertical way. This allows us to quickly and easily identify patterns in the world around us and to track objects as they move through space.

    Here is a creative response to your statement:

    Horizontal Eyes, Vertical Mind

    Our eyes see things horizontally, yet our mind sees things vertically. This paradox is a mystery, but it’s also a key to our reality.

    Our horizontal vision allows us to take in the world around us. We can see the vast expanse of the ocean or the towering heights of the mountains. But our vertical mind allows us to make sense of what we see.

    We can identify the patterns in the world around us and track objects as they move through space. We can see the connections between things and understand how they work together.

    Our horizontal eyes and vertical mind are a powerful combination. They allow us to experience the world in all its beauty and complexity.

    So, next time you look at the world around you, take a moment to appreciate the miracle of your vision. Your horizontal eyes and vertical mind allow you to see the world in a way that no other creature can.”

  • The Way Of The Way 339

    We don’t need to worry about the future as that’s out of our control. However, we need to worry about the past, what we remember and how we remember it, as that will frame how we experience the present.

  • The Way Of The Way 338

    Those who appreciate life are on the way to happiness. Those who try to understand life may lose their way.

  • Paradox 20

    When we categorize others and judge them accordingly, we neither know who we or they are as we fool ourselves into thinking we have good judgment.

  • Kotodama 47

    When the curtain comes down on the divine stage,

    we go to our sleep-death.

    Then, only light remains;

    exit lights, star light and moon light.

     

    The play of life begins when the curtain rises and sunlight appears.

    Now, light is ubiquitous, though rarely noticed

    as we focus our attention on the countless things the light reveals.

     

    The sun is the Roman god, “Sol,” pronounced “soul.”

    Every thing is made of soul and consciousness.

    The soul creates it, while we choose what we see.

  • The Way Of The Way 337

    The luckiest are those who recognize they have been lucky, for they will recognize other lucky opportunities that come their way.

     

  • Alan Watts

    “Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself.”

    When we see God in every thing, we are God.

  • The Way Of The Way 337

    Spiritually conscious,

    we see every thing is just one thing

    with a spirit that makes it sing.

    A spirit that can’t be seen

    yet describing it is obscene.

    For it is only light

    to which most are oblivious but at night.

    Everything is in harmonious peace

    as every thing is no longer a piece.

     

    Self conscious,

    we are kept up at night

    as much of the day we spend uptight.

    As we see every thing is a different thing,

    we are apart and separate from the everything.

    Interacting things shed heat, not light,

    as every thing is set for a fight.

  • Zen Koan 9

    When a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, doesn’t make a sound?

    The tree makes a sound when we give it a sound, as we’ve given the tree agency by conjuring the thought of a tree. Every thing that exists by virtue of its creation by our consciousness.

  • Shunryu Suzuki

    “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.”

    Experts think of possibilities based on their experience. The inexperienced are not likewise limited.

  • The Way Of The Way 336

    Once we know we know nothing, we can experience things as they are, as they interact with our senses.

    As our senses have no memory, no thing our senses experience is like any thing we’ve known heretofore. Everything is new and energizing. We feel alive and connected to whatever we are experiencing

    The mind has no senses, only memories. Memories convince us we know things. As such, we experience things not as they are at the moment, but in comparison to other things in our memories. In turn, we have various emotional reactions (love, hate, indifference, envy, etc.) to what our mind thinks it sees, precluding us from experiencing things as they are: wonderful.

  • Paradox 19

    Once we know nothing, we know all there is to know; as every thing is nothing before it is what it is whatever it is.

  • Haiku 54

    After the purple crayon didn’t taste like a grape,

    a grape didn’t taste like a grape either.

    It tasted as it tasted.

  • Paradox 18

    Creative thoughts are unbound by the gravity of conventional logic.

    Arguably, structurally unsound but music to our ears.

    How absurd to think the Earth is round.

  • Haiku 53

    Our pupils are both stars and black holes.

    As stars, they reveal everything,

    yet whatever light enters them can never to be seen again.

  • Haiku 52

    Thank you sun for rising to awaken me,

    for without the sun I would be no one and not one.

  • John Dewey

    “Art as Experience.”

    We experience art suddenly, through our eyes (“wow, oh, hmmm”); and slowly, with our mind (words, thoughts and comparisons).

    It’s a unique experience for each of us and a unique experience from one moment to the next; otherwise, our eyes are closed.

  • Kotodama 46

    Asking whys makes wise.

  • The Way Of The Way 335

    The universe is made up of matter. Our world is made up of stories.

  • Haiku 51

    The sun is the eye of the soul,

    revealing all through our pupil, a black hole.

    As our iris filters the light of the sun,

    we each see differently which makes life fun.

  • Who Am I?

    I am who I am.

    I cannot be described otherwise as I am ever-changing. Thus, any description is illusionary, as I am different at the end of my description than the person I described at the start of my description. In other words, I am becoming; a verb, not a noun or adjective.

     

    I am eye.

    I am what I see, as the everything I see is me.

     

    I am the everything.

    I am a temporary manifestation of the eternal, endless and unchanging soul. The soul is the present, the pre-sent; what every thing is before and after it is what it is whatever it is in the now. The soul is beyond description, but it connects every thing as one thing, the everything.

     

    I am 1.

    I, like all seemingly independent things, am not an independent thing; just a facet of 1 thing, the everything.

     

    I am God.

    God, to entertain itself, has created the play of life, “Terrific.” God plays all the roles in the play, including the roles of those who don’t recognize they are God. Those who haven’t forgotten they are God are easily identified; they find other actors funny for taking their self seriously, for God loves to laugh at itself. Anyone who doesn’t recognize I am God doesn’t recognize they too are God.

     

    I am a self, Victor Teicher.

    My role in the play of life is preordained by my name. In German, Teicher is one who ponders. In English, where two vowels together are pronounced as the first vowel with the second vowel silent, Teicher would be pronounced as “teacher.” In Japan, Teicher is pronounced as “taisha,” the ancient shrine where all the gods meet annually. Victor is “conqueror.” Since entering the play of life, I have long pondered the nature of consciousness which led me to where the gods reside. The revelations that have come my way are to teach us how to conquer the self (our personal identity) which imprisons us, precluding us from connecting with the soul and being one with the everything.

  • The Way Of The Way 334

    All followers of traditional religions, except atheists, believe that their God, gods or deities were not created by man. However, they all agree there is one universal god, much feared and loved, that was created by man: the god of money.

  • Kotodama 45

    Taoism: A way and not away; a way to be here and not away somewhere else.

  • Tao Te Ching — Verse 45

    True perfection seems imperfect,

    yet it is perfectly itself.

    True fullness seems empty,

    yet it is fully present.

     

    True straightness seems crooked.

    True wisdom seems foolish.

    True art seems artless.

     

    The Master allows things to happen.

    She shapes events as they come.

    She steps out of the way

    and lets the Tao speak for itself.

     

    “True perfection seems imperfect, yet it is perfectly itself.”

    What may not seem perfect in our mind is actually perfect as it is what it is whatever it is, undisturbed by our perception.

    “True fullness seems empty, yet it is fully present.”

    Even when we have all the possessions we may desire, we are still empty as the more we have the more we want. In the present (the pre-sent, where every thing is one thing before it is what it is whatever it is in the now), we are one with the everything; truly fulfilled and need nothing more.

    “True straightness seems crooked.”

    The way of a meandering river is the straightest way to the ocean.

    “True wisdom seems foolish.”

    Wisdom is the synthesis of many perceptions; some seemingly well reasoned, some silly.

    “True art seems artless.”

    Art is all that is art-ificial, manmade. Yet, wonderful art doesn’t seem artificial, contrived.

    “The Master allows things to happen. She shapes events as they come. She steps out of the way and lets the Tao speak for itself.”

    Being open, accepting and making the best of what comes our way leads us to harmony with all that’s about us.

  • The Way Of The Way 333

    The self and the soul have a symmetrical relationship, laughing at each other.

    As the self cannot see the soul, the self laughs at those who identify with the soul; thinking they are fools.

    As the soul sees people taking seriously the illusions created by the self, the soul laughs.

    But, as the self is temporary and the soul eternal, the soul has the last laugh.

  • The Way Of The Way 332

    We are a like a boat making its way

    sometimes turning port, sometimes starboard.*

    The port is manmade.

    Star-board is the universe.

    The port is the self.

    Star-board is the soul.

    The self and the soul are complementary,

    each guiding our way,

    as solely turning port or star-board would have us in circles.

     

    *Looking forward, the left side of a boat is the “port” side and the right the “starboard” side. The port side is from where people come on board and leave the boat, when the boat ports. The etymology of “starboard” is “steer” board, as the steering mechanism, the rudder, of a boat is generally on the right side.

    Alternatively, though not cited by etymology sources, when ships sailed from England to the far east, the left side of the boat provided a view of the coastline where a boat could port; while on the right side was the vast board-flat ocean where at night only the stars, moon and their reflections could be seen. Hence, star-board; a flat surface with stars. This suggests an etymology for POSH. On voyages to and from the far east, the preferred cabins were from where the changing coastline could be seen, port side on the way from England and starboard side on the way back, Port Out Starboard Home.

    The above, wherein the port is the self and starboard is the soul and the self-side view is more valued than the soul-side, implies that the everchanging self is more engaging than the eternal soul.

  • The Way Of The Way 331

    Everything happens all at once but in different places or over time in the same place.

    ChatGPT responds:

    The statement you’ve made touches on some fundamental ideas related to the nature of time and space in physics and philosophy. Let’s break down its implications:

    1. Simultaneity and Relativity: The idea that “everything happens all at once but in different places” is somewhat related to the concept of simultaneity in the theory of relativity. In Einstein’s theory of special relativity, events that are simultaneous in one frame of reference may not be simultaneous in another. This suggests that the notion of “now” is relative and depends on your perspective or frame of reference.
    2. Space-Time: In the theory of general relativity, space and time are intertwined in what is known as space-time. Events in the universe are described as occurring at specific points in space-time. This implies that everything that has ever happened or will happen is already “located” in space-time, and events occur at different points within this continuum.
    3. Change and Persistence: On the other hand, the idea that things happen “over time in the same place” highlights the concept of change and persistence. In our everyday experience, we perceive events unfolding sequentially, and we see objects enduring through time. This concept aligns with the common-sense notion of time as a linear progression.
    4. Philosophical Considerations: Philosophically, your statement raises questions about the nature of time, causality, and the relationship between the past, present, and future. It invites contemplation on whether the past, present, and future exist simultaneously in some sense or whether they are purely sequential.

    In summary, your statement touches on the complex and often paradoxical nature of time and space. It highlights the interplay between different perspectives, such as the relative nature of simultaneity and the idea of events existing within space-time, while also acknowledging our everyday experience of time as a linear progression. These ideas have fascinated physicists and philosophers for centuries, and they continue to be subjects of exploration and debate.

  • The Way Of The Way 330

    Those who recognize their circumstances are just good hap (luck) are the luckiest (happiest).

    However difficult our circumstances, they could always be worse. As such, we’re always lucky to have something about which to be grateful. The root of the word happy is hap, luck. When we recognize we’re lucky, we’re happy.

  • Paradox 17

    Light seeks darkness, where it shines brightest.

    Darkness hides from light, fearing its vanquishment.

    Yet, darkness need not fear light

    for light would not be light if there was no darkness.

  • Kotodama 44

    I am eye.

    I am what I see.

  • Haiku 49

    The soul is the light.

    The self is the darkness.

    The self keeps us from seeing the soul,

    as that would be the end of the self.

  • Kotodama 43

    Awareness comes in two sizes, “A-ware” and “B-ware;” commonly spelled aware and beware.

    A-ware is open and B-ware is closed.

    A-ware is loosely fitted, allowing us the freedom to engage in many different experiences. B-ware is tight and constricting as our mind, through fears and anxieties, limits our range of experiences.

  • Introduction

    Before and after the now, the sole thing that is is the soul, the everything. In the now, every thing is the everything.

    Upon our manifestation in bodily form, we assume a temporary self which disappears when our body is no longer.

    As every thing is a manifestation of the soul, the soul is what connects every thing as one thing, the everything. This connection is called love.

    Unlike the soul, the self views itself as apart and separate from every thing that it perceives as not its self. The self connects with every thing with ever-changing emotions like joy, hate, love, anger, indifference, envy, etc.

    Our experience of life is a function of how we connect, through the soul or our self.

    In a world inherently hostile to the self-sustainment of our bodily form, we need the self to survive. When we do so, we experience life with the emotions of our self. However, when we are not oblivious we are eternally the soul, we can return from the emotional rollercoaster of our self to the eternal love that is the soul; where there is peace beyond words and every thing is absolutely beautiful. That is the purpose of this blook, to guide us to the realization we are the soul.

  • Haiku 47

    The wind easily extinguishes a candle,

    quickly spreads a brush fire.

    Indoors; bright light, warm heat.

  • The Way Of The Way 329

    The best is the best, but the good enough is better.

    It’s easier to be good enough at many things than be the best at one thing.

    The best are recognized, the good enough rarely noticed;

    yet, better to be self-satisfied than recognized,

    as happiness is more sustainable than recognition.

  • Irony 9

    When we’re a grown-up and still talking openly and freely with the purity of a child, many adults would say we are immature. Actually, these adults, like most people, are talking about themselves. They are immature; so immature that they are embarrassed about their immaturity and try to mask it with the façade of an adult. We’re not immature; we’re pure, unadulterated, unlike adults.

  • Paradox 16

    Earth may be all that matters; yet, it doesn’t matter.

    Earth seems an important thing as, to our knowledge, life only exists on Earth. Yet, undoubtedly, life exists in countless places as it’s estimated there are 700 quintillion (a quintillion is a 1 followed by 18 zeros) planets in the observable universe. However, if life exists nowhere but Earth, how important can it be in the scheme of things.

  • Ikkyu 1

    “Having no destination, I am never lost.”

  • Paradox 14

    Those who know, know all is one thing: the eternally unknowable.

     

    The time before birth is nameless and beyond description.

    The time after death is nameless and beyond description.

    In many religions, God is nameless and beyond description.

    All one thing, eternally unknowable and beyond description.

    Everything else has names and descriptions,

    a fool’s understanding of things;

    as every-thing can not be as described,

    for what is now is now no longer

    as every-thing is forever-changing.

  • The Way Of The Way 328

    We are the two faces of the universe.

    The visible face is the now,

    the invisible face is before and after the now;

    the temporary self and the eternal soul.

    Relative to the eternity of the soul

    the self is infinitesimally small.

    When our face is the soul,

    our self is calm

    as we know whatever happens to the self is relatively meaningless.

    When we realize our self is an instant in time,

    we enjoy it as it is whatever it is.

    Enjoying ourselves,

    we love everyone and everything

    that’s our soul.

     

  • Haiku 46

    Big buddha statue sits in silent meditation.

    Tears of bird droppings encrusted on his cheeks

    as some sit at his feet with offerings and prayers

    while boy Buddha laughs, swimming in the river.

  • The Way Of The Way 327

    Looking at the sky, every day

    the sun is always and never the same,

    as we are always and never the same.

     

  • Haiku 45

    A friend just got divorced, but it was not difficult.

    Though they tried many times and many ways,

    they didn’t have any chickens

    so they didn’t have any beef.

  • The Way Of The Way 326

    Each of us is a self that covers the soul.

    Like a shoe, the self is the visible surface atop the sole.

    However shiny and polished, a shoe is useless without a sole

    as we can’t self-actualize without the soul.

  • The Way Of The Way 325

    Before birth, everything is the soul.

    At birth, we are named and soon become a self.

    Unless we recognize our soul, we will surely die.

    That’s why many religions describe God as nameless* and eternal.

     

    *Taoism, Mystical Christianity, Sufism, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism describe God as nameless or nothing. This is also true with pantheism where everything is God and thus God cannot be named, only experienced.

  • The Way Of The Way 324

    Unconditional love is how the soul expresses itself. When we recognize that we are the soul, we unconditionally love all others, regardless of whether our self likes them, and we feel all others love us, regardless of how their self feels about us.

    With unconditional love, we don’t see others as a self living to satisfy selfish desires. We only see their soul of which they may or may not be aware is their eternal essence.

    As the love we emit reverts to us (in our feeling everyone loves us) and then is emitted again, we feel eternally connected with the universe; one with everything. That’s unconditional love.

  • Irony 8

    Without enough water within, we die of thirst. With too much water without, we die from drowning.

    Since ancient times, water has symbolized emotions. Emotions range from the divine, unconditional love, to the emotions of animal consciousness; anger, sadness, fear, joy, hate, disgust, shame, guilt, envy, etc.

    Our emotions reflect who we are: the soul or a self.

    The soul’s only emotion is unconditional love which connects us as one with the eternal universe as we treat others as we treat ourselves. Without the soul, as when someone is “a lost soul,” we cannot connect with the eternal universe and will surely die when our body dies.

    The emotions of a self are the emotions of animal consciousness. These emotions are premised on perceiving ourselves as apart and separate from others. Alone, we are overwhelmed by these emotions and will surely die when our body dies.

  • The Way Of The Way 324

    Each of us is the soul covered by a self.

    Some of us realize we are the soul and some identify with a self.

    Both the soul and self express themselves emotionally.

    The soul is expressed as unconditional eternal love.

    Alternatively, a self is versatile and appears as many emotional expressions that often change; anger, joy, sadness, hate, fear, surprise, envy, etc.

    While soul can only appear as love, the self can appear in many different emotions, including love. When a self is expressing love, it is actually masquerading as the soul. It does this in an effort to gain something from someone to whom their love is expressed.

    As they love all, those who realize they are soul often can’t distinguish between those who are the soul and those who are masquerading as the soul; as it’s often difficult to tell whether someone is full of light or full of shit, unless one is full of shit.

  • Paradox 15

    Under the sun

    an Earth with an infinite number of things.

    In the night sky,

    an endless universe, one thing.

  • Psilocybin Mushrooms’ Depression Magic

    Psilocybin mushrooms have been long and widely used, extensively studied and identified as having the highest success rate relative to other medicines and treatments for depression. How psilocybin scientifically works this magic is unclear, but below is a metaphoric explanation.

    In our everyday life, we view the world exclusively through the light that informs our eyes. The light is interpreted by our mind which in turn creates stories and generalizations we accept as reality. That reality affects how we feel; happy, sad or a multitude of other ways.

    Light is roughly 0.0035% of the electromagnetic spectrum. The spectrum otherwise consists of various wavelengths of energy; gamma rays, X-Rays, microwaves, radio waves, infrared waves, etc.

    The psilocybin journey is a journey along the electromagnetic spectrum. The journey is hallucinogenic; in effect, we see things that do not otherwise exist as they are not visible to our light-receptive eyes. However, these things do exist, only revealed by wavelengths outside the visible light spectrum.

    Viewed from outside the light spectrum, every-thing we see is unlike anything we have heretofore seen; energizing, engaging, beautiful. Everything is alive.

    It is then we come to realize our mind heretofore saw the world through a tiny pinhole in the electromagnetic spectrum. Clearly, there are infinite views and interpretations that are equally valid to those we had previously unquestionably held; much of what we heretofore had taken seriously is now funny; hence, it’s silly to take our self too seriously. This is wisdom.

    Realizing there are infinite views and mind interpretations of every-thing, a question arises: “Who am I?” As we know we can be perceived in infinite ways, we ultimately realize we must be one with everything and every-thing is an ever-changing manifestation of that which is beyond our understanding, the soul. As one with everything, we treat that which heretofore we viewed as other than ourselves as we treat ourselves. This is compassion.

    After the psilocybin journey, we are not whomever we were before. Now, our reaction to what we see through the view of the light spectrum is like our reaction had been when viewing the world for he first time through other electromagnetic wavelengths; things are energizing, engaging, beautiful and alive. We are now free from solely experiencing life in the context of our earlier mind’s interpretations, stories and generalizations. We are free of thinking that everything is either us or not us.

    An effective psilocybin journey frees the depressed from their pre-journey view of reality. Enlightened to the nature of reality, one is beyond temporal selfish feelings. With wisdom and compassion, one now has a deep appreciation for life. Gratitude is a key to happiness. One can’t be depressed when they’re happy.

  • Post Card, 1910

    “Don’t worry about the future,

    the present is all thou hast;

    the future will soon be present,

    and the present will soon be past.”

    Family post card sent from Kansas to Tennessee, 1910. Courtesy of Kate Bowers.

    Homespun advice from the farm belt; reminiscent of Buddhist teachings, long before they were popularized in America.

  • The Way Of The Way 323

    The journey to enlightenment

    takes serious amounts of time and effort;

    countless meditations,

    meetings with gurus,

    spiritual books and practices.

    With these insights as our guide,

    the path is clear

    yet the destination illusive.

    For the light we seek is not somewhere,

    it is everywhere

    as light is all there is.

     

    Enlightenment is not a matter of finding the light.

    It is lighting up with the sound of laughter,

    laughing at our self as we would at a dog chasing its tail.

  • Paradox 13

    As every thing is unique, no thing is weird; but our mind is weird, as it sees things as normal or weird.

  • The Way Of The Way 321

    No thing in the world is perfect as there is always some thing about every thing about which someone complains.

    Complaining presumes a duality between us and the thing about which we are complaining. That is, duality is the foundation of complaining.

    However, there are two things that must be perfect as about them no one ever complains: the universe and nothing.

    Nothing is what every thing is before it is what it is whatever it is and before time begins. The universe is the infinite and ever-changing manifestations of the nothing in the now. Nothing and the universe are one thing, the everything; mutually dependent, like two side of the same coin. As one thing, the everything, they dispense with duality.

    Those who realize every thing is one thing, never complain. They too are be perfect.

  • Paradox 12

    Nothing is perfect, but no thing is perfect.

    Nothing contains no thing to like or dislike,

    describe or think about.

    As there is no thing to complain about, nothing is perfect.

    No thing is perfect as every thing is but temporary, ever-changing;

    perhaps seemingly perfect momentarily, but not eternally perfect.

  • Vernon Howard

    “You can not escape a prison if you do not know you’re in one.”

    The mind creates a familiar and comforting world out of the seemingly chaotic universe. In so doing, it separates us, imprisoning us, from directly connecting with the universe as it is and, ultimately, realizing we are the universe. Unless we come to know we are prisoners of mind, we can never escape. To recognize we are in mind’s prison, we need to realize we don’t know anything. That’s scary, or at least our mind makes us feel it is.

    “You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.” — Vernon Howard

    The mind galvanizes in us desires that can never be satisfied but temporarily. This is how the mind distracts us from recognizing we are in its prison.

  • The Way Of The Way 320

    Awakening is the realization we don’t know anything. Enlightenment is knowing nothing.

    Sleeping is a state of consciousness characterized by dreaming based on the illusion of knowledge.

    Awakening begins with the realization that we don’t know anything.

    This is startling, frightening as it separates us from the common thinking of others.

    However, upon awakening, at first light, we take solace as every-thing is indescribably beautiful; always and all ways.

    Soon after, we wonder what is this world, who am I?

    Thus begins the process of enlightenment, as we fill with light until we and every-thing are the light.

    Enlightened, we now know nothing, which is the essence of every-thing.

  • The Good Life

    According to the Oxford English dictionary, “the good life” has three definitions:

    “(1) a life of luxury, pleasure, and material comfort.

    (2) a way of living that is moral, satisfying, and worthwhile.

    (3) (British) a way of living characterized by simplicity, self-sufficiency, living off the land, and the rejection of consumerism.”

    Alternatively, maybe the good life is informed by the good death. Graphically, the good life is when upon being told we will likely die in a month, we continue to live as we have. That is, we appreciate experiencing our experience and desire nothing beyond our basic needs for sustenance. In other words, the good life is living in an awakened state, living in the now. We don’t miss anything but realize we missed something once we have it as we then greatly appreciate it.

  • Bob Dylan

    “When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose.”

    As we are born with nothing and die with nothing, thinking we have something in the interim is an illusion.

    When we have something we think we can lose, the something has us and to it we have lost our freedom.

  • The Way Of The Way 319

    Before we are whom we are whomever we are, we are but soul.

    Creation, our birth, is a manifestation of soul in bodily form.

    Orchestrating our bodily form is the self.

    Ergo, our principal identities are the self and the soul.

    As self, we perceive who we are as independent and finite beings. Essentially, we are selfish; thinking we are apart and separate from others and need to prioritize our wellbeing above that of others.

    As soul, we are one with every-thing as we realize every-thing is a temporary, ever-changing, interdependent manifestation of soul. Moreover, we  experience the universe as it is, as soul has no memories (the venue of the self) that compare one thing to another. As well, as soul is one, we interact with other manifestations of soul with wisdom and compassion.

    Soul is heaven, where all souls connect after the demise of bodily forms. Heaven is a peaceful, happy place as it’s the same place everything is before it is; the place before creation, about which there has never in recorded history been a complaint.

    At our bodily death, the self is no longer and only the soul remains as it is forever. That is, those whose principal identity is self will surely die and those who realize they are soul will remain eternal.

    In life, the soul is shrouded with layers and layers of self. Ipso facto, the soul becomes distant (as in many lifetimes ago) and little part of our consciousness; ultimately, a lost soul. Upon our bodily death, it takes much time and effort to find our soul which is how we transport to heaven. Those who live with little self-stuff covering their soul don’t need travel to heaven as they are in heaven.

  • Albert Einstein

    “People like us who believe in physics know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

    Everything is all at once. As that is overwhelming, our mind has created time to make it all a seemingly manageable to experience.

  • Karen Uppal

    “The way to live eternal life is in a state of perpetual orgasm.”

    Two ways confirm our oneness with the universe, meditation and orgasm.

    In meditation, in the pause between breaths, our self disappears and all that remains is nothing; which is every-thing in the universe before it is what it is whatever it is and before time begins.

    Orgasm is the Big Bang, the initial manifestation of the universe. At the Big Bang, like in nothingness, we are one with everything as everything is one thing, the Big Bang.

    Often uttered at the moment of orgasm is “oh my God” and “please don’t stop, don’t stop.” That is, orgasm is an experience of the divine, as in divine consciousness, when we are one with everything. As well, we have no desire to return to our self, but only to remain eternally in orgasmic bliss.

  • The Way Of The Way 156

    Much of what we undoubtedly think we see as reality is just a movie projected from our mind. To see reality we need to close our mind and open our eyes.

  • The Way Of The Way 318

    In a world in which we can have innumerable pronouns, we’re allowed only one ideology.

    “According to the survey by Redfield & Wilton Strategies, 44 percent of those aged 25-34 think “referring to someone by the wrong gender pronoun (he/him, she/her) should be a criminal offense,” versus just 31 percent who disagree.” — Newsweek

  • Anonymous

    “Someday people will understand what you are talking about and I’m sure this world will be a better place for it, but sure as hell I’ll never understand.” — Inscription in my high school graduation album from a fellow graduating student.

    The inscriber, anonymous now as I (and whomever I was those thousands of lifetime ago) cannot recall her, was not wrong. Those sure there is hell don’t know of heaven, for heaven is all there is.

  • Paradox 11

    People running a business are paid money for losing money.

    When a business is doing well, it’s stress-free work and we are celebrated. Many would happily run the business for little monetary compensation beyond the accolades.

    Alternatively, when a business is losing money, there’s lots of pressures and frustrations which most people would find overwhelming. Those who brave through those difficult times are ultimately paid handsomely.

  • The Way Of The Way 317

    Our bodies are symmetrical, horizontally and vertically,

    Horizontally, the right and left sides are virtually identical, visually.

    Vertically, the tops and bottoms are identical, metaphysically.

    Atop are the hands and head.

    The hands connect us to the terrestrial,

    the head to the celestial.

    At bottom are the feet and and genitalia.

    They too connect us to the terrestrial and celestial, accordingly.

  • The Way Of The Way 316

    My purpose each day is to create the sound of people laughing, with me or at me. Either way, we are harmoniously connected and the world is a safe place.

  • Steve Jobs

    “I look in the mirror every morning and ask myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

    Every day is not a day in a life, but a life in a day.

    When every day is everyday, we have yet to awaken.

    Upon awakening, every day is our first day in life; every-thing is new and unique like never before as we are unfettered by thoughts from time passed or time future.

     

  • The Way Of The Way 315

    Someone once asked: what happens to an enlightened person when they die?

    It’s a curious question in that the person asking is clearly not enlightened; so why would they be asking a question which has no relevance to them! Maybe that’s what unenlightened people do?

    An enlightened person is not a person. An enlightened person was never born and never dies, as an enlightened person is the universe which is eternal.

    An enlightened person manifests in life as we all do, as a temporary physical human form. But the physical form of an enlightened person is not their identity. If it was, they clearly weren’t enlightened and would surely die as do all forms.

  • Matthew 15:10-20

    “… it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”

    We become one with everything we ingest and separate ourselves from others when we’re talking as talking implies a duality, ourselves and others. Duality precludes us from realizing divine consciousness.

    “He who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak.” — Lao Tzu.

  • The Way Of The Way 314

    If time and related changes are a real phenomena, then adjectives and nouns (the descriptions and identities of things) are unreal; but an instant frozen in time. Other than the most common verb (the “to be” group which is generally used to introduce an adjective or noun), verbs reflect the reality that all things are forever changing; as the actions verbs describe require the passage of time.

    We can describe ourselves and the universe variously with adjectives and nouns. But, our descriptions are illusionary, as not much can be said beyond “I am” and “it is,”

  • Kotodama 42

    When every day becomes everyday, there is no day; just night, as we’re sleeping when every day is not unique.

  • The Universe Is Perfect

    The universe is one eternal thing,

    yet infinite in forms and finite; every thing.

    The universe cannot be described or given a name.

    as it’s forever changing but always the same.

     

    The universe is true, though its parts unreal.

    even when we are seeking a meal.

    The parts are created by our mind’s eye

    when we see ourselves as a separate form until we die.

     

    The universe is perfect and so are we

    when we realize the universe is who we be.

  • The Way Of The Way 313

    If you only stress out about things you can do something about, you will rarely be stressed.

  • The Way Of The Way 312

    Everything looks beautiful to my eyes because my eyes can see. As my mind can’t see but can only compare, many things don’t look beautiful in my mind.

  • The Way Of The Way 311

    When the inside becomes the outside, we experience creation. When the outside becomes the inside we become the creator.

  • The Way Of The Way 310

    The universe is the whole that surrounds the soul,

    a circle with mutually dependent whole and hole.

  • Lee Moncho

    “Anyone who thinks they’re stupid is not as stupid as they think.”

    A corollary: Anyone who thinks they’re smart hasn’t learned much.

    We are often the opposite of whom we think we are. If we think we are stupid, we are actually wise as we’re open to many perspectives. If we think we are smart, we are actually fools who haven’t learned much beyond classrooms. Only a fool would rather be smart than wise.

  • The Way Of The Way 309

    Before the now,

    before the world of form,

    the soul is whole.

     

    In the now

    the soul is countless forms and roles.

     

    Distracted, we soon enough forget the soul

    until once again we become whole.

  • From Where Eccentrics Come

    Since I was a young boy, many people saw me as funny, a bit odd and laughable, eccentric. I’ve occasionally been asked : “Which planet do you come from?” I laughed, as it was true; I must have come from someplace else as I didn’t think the way they did.

    However, it was a bit confusing, why they thought I came from a different planet. As I was fortunate to be happy much of the time (and, if not, soon enough), it should have been clear I didn’t come from a another planet. I came from heaven.

    They too came from heaven, but forgot they did.

  • The Way Of The Way 308

    We are temporarily on Earth, awaiting our turn to go to heaven. Until we’re called to heaven, there are many things with which we can occupy our time. But, there is no wait when we make of time as if we are now in heaven.

  • The Way Of The Way 307

    I thought an ant infinitesimally small and meaningless in the scheme of things, until I saw the night sky and realized I was.

  • William Wisher

    “I’m not a fan of big government or big corporations. But at least corporations can’t put you in jail.”

  • Kotodama 41

    Companies and governments are similar but slightly, though significantly, different. One does business, the other busyness. The difference is that between “i” and “y.” Companies are about self-interest: I. Governments are about slowing and retarding business growth as paper-hungry bureaucrats keep companies busy filing forms and asking: why?

    Unlike intellectual based governments who ask “why,” companies focus on making and doing. They want to know “how.”

  • Irony 7

    Judging someone by their appearance (dress, race, education, wealth, social position, political affiliation, hobbies, etc.) reveals less about who they are than who we are, shallow. Yet, this conclusion is also shallow.

  • The Way Of The Way 306

    You know you’re in hell when any situation, other than your current one, seems like heaven. However,  you can only be grateful in hell as things can only get better, as they can’t get worse.

    If you can imagine worse situations than your current one, then you are in heaven as you are grateful things aren’t worse.

    Gratitude leads to happiness. That’s heaven.

  • The Now

    The now is eternal.

    The now is ever-changing.

    The now is all there is.

     

    As every-thing is everything,

    the now is one thing, the now.

     

    As every-thing in the now is unique,

    ever-changing forms and colors,

    the now is overwhelming.

     

    The now does not know the past

    as the past does not exist.

    Memories of the past are an illusion.

    Yet, the past informs and defines the now,

    allowing us to survive in the overwhelming now.

     

    The past anchors us in the sea of the now.

    Letting go the anchor,

    the past is passed,

    leaving us adrift at sea.

    Our only refuge is the present, the pre-sent,

    where every-thing is before it is in the now,

    before time exists.

     

    In the calmness of the pre-sent

    the now no longer overwhelms

    as we and the now are one.

  • Paradox 10

    Drinking water is essential to life, while avoiding water is a key to health.

    Unlike countries, Austria, Germany and The Netherlands, where tap water is sand filtered and disinfected by exposure to ozone and ultraviolet light, most countries add chlorine and sometimes fluoride to their tap water; rendering their water artificial. While no definitive conclusions have been made regarding the long-term effects of drinking artificial water, as most artificial foods are harmful to long-term health, it’s likely artificial water has the same effect.

    Google Bard responds:

    You are correct that most countries add chlorine and sometimes fluoride to their tap water. Chlorine is a disinfectant that kills harmful bacteria and viruses, while fluoride helps to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. However, some people are concerned about the health effects of drinking water that has been treated with chlorine and fluoride.

    There is some evidence that chlorine can react with organic matter in water to form disinfection byproducts (DBPs). DBPs have been linked to health problems such as cancer, reproductive problems, and immune system suppression. However, the levels of DBPs in tap water are typically very low, and the risk of developing health problems from drinking tap water is considered to be low.

    Fluoride is also a controversial topic. Some people believe that fluoride is beneficial for teeth, while others believe that it can be harmful. There is some evidence that fluoride can interfere with thyroid function, and there have been concerns that it may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. However, the benefits of fluoride for teeth are generally considered to outweigh the risks.

    Overall, the evidence on the health effects of drinking water that has been treated with chlorine and fluoride is mixed. There is some evidence that exposure to these chemicals can be harmful, but the risks are considered to be low. If you are concerned about the health effects of drinking tap water, you can boil the water or buy bottled water.

    It is important to note that the statement “most artificial foods are harmful to long-term health” is a generalization that is not supported by scientific evidence. There are many artificial foods that are safe and healthy to eat. For example, artificial sweeteners are often used in diet foods and drinks, and they have been shown to be safe for most people.

    It is also important to note that the statement “artificial water has the same effect” is a hypothesis that has not been proven. There is no scientific evidence that drinking water that has been treated with chlorine and fluoride is harmful to long-term health.

    In conclusion, the health effects of drinking water that has been treated with chlorine and fluoride are a complex and controversial topic. There is some evidence that exposure to these chemicals can be harmful, but the risks are considered to be low. If you are concerned about the health effects of drinking tap water, you can boil the water or buy bottled water.

  • The Way Of The Way 305

    Though it is ever-changing, the universe is always perfect. When we see it as flawed, that’s a reflection of who we are, not it.

  • Alexander Teicher

    “I used to think that everyone saw the same thing in a different way, until I realized everyone sees the same thing in the same way but describes it with different stories.”

  • Kotodama 40

    Every-thing is nothing before it is what it is whatever it is.

    The nothing is continuously transitioning into an infinite number of things in the now.

    Experiencing the nothing is the now-thing.

    The experience transforms the nothing to the know-thing.

    Before the experience, no know now.

    After, now know no.

  • Irony 6

    Things we hold onto tightly are actually holding us, limiting us from experiencing other things.

    As is everything in the past, traumas are imaginary but made real when we hold onto them which is how they hold onto us.

  • The Way Of The Way 304

    An extraordinary genius is successful and celebrated by society. A true genius is happy whether or not they are successful or celebrated.

  • Paradox 9

    While we may feel foolish, being uncertain of every-thing; but, only a fool is certain of everything.

  • Paradox 8

    As every-thing is forever changing, the only thing certain is that we can never be certain of anything.

  • Upon Awakening, Every Thing As Never Before

    I am forever amazed by the mourning shower; a dial for cold water, a dial for hot; water volume and pressure in abundance; a hungry drain that goes where I know not where. Amazement never ceases as I envision myself as royalty from the distant past or someone living today in the underdeveloped world; for them, this morning shower is unlike anything they have ever experienced. Vicariously, I too experience this shower for the first time ever. If not, I must be still sleeping.

    Thus begins a happy life, grateful and free to experience the world outside the context of my memories.

  • Irony 5

    While we are naturally eccentric, it’s difficult to be eccentric.

    From an early age, societal pressures (judgment, rejection, shaming) to conform to social norms are so great that life can be difficult if we are eccentric. However, as we are all inherently unique and eccentric, being eccentric is the easiest role in the play of life.

  • The Way Of The Way 303

    Life is a play, an opportunity to play. If it’s work and not play, you are not living.

  • Lao Tzu 7

    “He who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak.”

    Every-thing is forever changing,

    but descriptions are static;

    hence, illusionary.

    In silence, we can see things as they are.

  • Consciousness

    Consciousness is a double helix, a ladder that takes us from finite-lived sentient beings on Earth to eternal being in the heavens.

    The first rung on the ladder is animal consciousness, awareness of oneself as an entity apart and separate from that which is not oneself. This duality has the self as its center and all else relatively close or far from the center, but separate from the center. It is sustained when one identifies with affinity groups, as groups also see themselves as separate from other non-group members.

    The second rung is self-consciousness, awareness of one’s awareness; awareness that one’s perceptions are not necessarily reality, but solely our mind’s perceptions. Self-consciousness is unsettling as we feel uncertain about our perceptions in light of the perceptions of others, especially group perceptions for which we are ridiculed if we question.

    Above self-consciousness, the third rung, is awakening consciousness, the realization that the generalizations, meanings and stories our mind and others have created are empty illusions that frame and limit how we experience the now. Upon awakening, we are freed from the prison of these illusions which have us experience things not as they are but as our self and the selves of others are.

    On the forth rung, having dispensed with illusions, one synthesizes a rainbow of views into white light that reveals the nature of things. This is wisdom consciousness.

    With the clarity of white light, we realize that what we see everywhere is who we are. Thus, we treat all that heretofore we saw as other than ourselves as we treat ourselves, presumably with kindness and compassion. This is compassion consciousness, the fifth rung.

    On the sixth rung of consciousness we enter the clouds, mystical consciousness. Here we realize that every-thing is nothing before it is what it is whatever it is and that the nothing is eternal, endless, timeless and forever changing in its manifestations as things. The nothing cannot be named; for if it is this, it is not that; what it is is what is beneath the surface of everything. The nothing is the now-thing; experiencing the now which is temporary manifestations of the nothing. However, we know we are conscious of the now-thing only after it is no longer; our experience of the now-thing is just memories; thinking otherwise is also an illusion. Those who speak of the nothing do not know it because by its nature it cannot be named or described; those who know do not speak. (Lao Tzu, paraphrased)

    The seventh rung brings us to the heavens, above the clouds; ultimate consciousness, enlightenment. Now, all there is, including us, is light. Our consciousness is awareness that we are is one of infinite temporary manifestations of the nothing that cannot be named, one with all its manifestations and, essentially, one with the nothing; eternal.

  • The Way Of The Way 302

    Those who are happy have limited empathy for those who are unhappy as it’s difficult for the happy to understand unhappiness. But the happy have unlimited compassion, sharing their happiness with everyone.

  • The Way Of The Way 301

    Their roles are funny to all but the actors.

    The roles played in the play of life are funny; essentially, actors reacting to a world of their minds’ creation. While the audience of gods watching the play are greatly entertained, at times it’s sad for the actors who believe they are the roles they play.

    When the actors realize they are just acting, there’s still some drama but their roles are entertaining for everyone in the play.

  • The Way Of The Way 300

    I love everything, but don’t like every-thing. Whatever I like I don’t especially love; if I did, I wouldn’t love everything.

  • Haiku 44

    I journey into a black hole

    until I reach the brilliant soul.

    Big bang and everything is now whole.

  • Demo(n)cracy

    Under the banner of Democracy, cancel culture has turned democracy into demo(n)cracy, where those who are perceived by Progressives as political high-profile demons are not allowed to vote their views publicly. However, demo(n)cracy does allow freedom of speech as long as no one is listening.

  • The Way Of The Way 299

    A sign of intelligence is when someone has a microscopic or telescopic mind; the ability to see things beyond the range of the naked eye.

    A sign of wisdom is when someone can see people naked, but pretending otherwise, like the emperor who’s not wearing any clothes.

    Intelligence makes things interesting. Wisdom makes things funny.

  • The Way Of The Way 298

    We are in two places simultaneously; time-place and timeless-place.

    Our physical being is in time-place. In time-place, there is an infinite number of finite things; everything with a beginning and an end; temporary and seemingly discrete things that are forever-changing with time.

    Our soul (actually, the soul as there is solely one soul) is in timeless-place. In timeless-place is where every-thing is before it is manifested as whatever it is in time-place. Timeless-place is the fountainhead and time-place is the waterfall. Everything in timeless-space is one thing, nothing. As such, in timeless-place, we are one with everything. Moreover, as time does not exist in timeless-place, timeless-place is eternal.

    As sentient beings, we are naturally conscious of our existence in time-place. However, as timeless-place is beyond our senses, we are oblivious of timeless-place; as we are of the place from where we came before we were born.

    While timeless-place is much of the universe, we rarely notice it; reminiscent of the riddle: what do we see everywhere but rarely notice? Light, as everything we see is not a thing but light bouncing off of a thing and coming into our vision.

    Enlightenment, being one with the light, is the realization that we are simultaneously in time-place and timeless-place. Hence, knowing we are eternal, we can simply enjoy our ride in time-place.

     

  • Zen Koan 7: Can A Vegetarian Become Enlightened?

    At first blush, this seems a silly question if read as whether a vegetarian can also become enlightened, as being a vegetarian and enlightened are not mutually exclusive; one could clearly be both.

    However, the answer is: Mu. Mu means “nothing.” That is, one is a vegetarian, enlightened and an infinite number of other things when one is nothing; as nothing is what everything is before it is. Otherwise, one cannot be a vegetarian and enlightened.

    Enlightened, one dispenses with categories and descriptions (like vegetarian) as every-thing is what it is whatever it is, a temporary and interdependent manifestation of the “it.” “It” is that which is beyond our understanding (some call “it” God, some call “it” nothingness). “It” is what every-thing is before it is and before time begins. Enlightened, we are one with the “it;” one with everything and eternal as time does not exist. Hence, one who perceives themselves as something other than ‘it” (for example, a vegetarian) cannot become enlightened.

    Alternatively, this question could be read: is enlightenment more likely if one is a vegetarian? The answer to this question depends on whether the vegetarian can answer the question: who are you?

  • The Way Of The Way 297

    People are always funny when they take seriously the meanings and stories their minds create. But what they do to themselves and others when they take themselves seriously is often not funny.

  • The Way Of The Way 296

    Life is a comedy. What’s funny is that most us take our mind’s illusions seriously and react to these illusions as if they are real; like a drunk tilting at windmills.

    Life is beautiful. When we see the universe with our eyes, not as interpreted by our mind, everything is beautiful; unique, everchanging shapes and colors.

    Life is happy. When we are grateful for our good fortune (as however dire our circumstances, they could always be worse) and are free from karmic prisons (the generalizations and stories our mind has created that frame our experience of the now), we are happy.

    Life is eternal. When we love everyone, we treat others no differently than ourselves as our identity is not solely our personal self but also life itself. While each personal life is temporary, life itself is forever and so are we when life is our identity.

    Life is a beautiful, happy and eternal comedy. When it’s not, it’s an experience of mind; not life.

  • The Way Of The Way 295

    When truly happy, we never feels sad for ourselves. The saddest thing is seeing someone who is sad.

    What’s sad about someone sad is not that they are sad, but that they are selfish which is what keeps them from happiness. That’s pitiful.

    The sad focus on how they feel about their circumstances, oblivious of those less fortunate who would be happy to be in their shoes. If the sad weren’t selfish, they would be grateful for their absolute or relative good fortune and in turn happy.

    Taking seriously and empathizing with those who are sad reinforces and encourages their selfishness. That makes us sad and pitiful.

  • Genesis 1:26

    “And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness[.]'”

    Each of us is a unique god, one of an infinite number of the faces of God.

    Like God, each of us makes our world in our image, after our likeness. If we don’t like our world, we can change it; only by changing our attitude.

  • The Way Of The Way 294

    We question the without, though the answer is within.

    An instructive answer to an initial question comes from the answer to a “responding question” (a question given in response to the initial question). Thus, he who asks the initial question discovers its answer when answering the responding question posed by the one who was asked the initial question.

    For example, to the metaphysical question of does a rock have consciousness, we can come to know the answer to this question when we try answering a simple responding question: what is a rock?

  • The Way Of The Way 293

    Don’t seek from your without what you feel you’re without; for all without is within.

    The colloquial “pursuit of happiness” is a fool’s errand as happiness can only be found within.

  • Haiku 18

    The light of the moon can guide our way.

    The light of the sun is the way.

  • Frank Zappa

    “What is the ugliest part of your body? Some say you nose, some say your toes but I think it’s your mind.”

    The mind is what makes things ugly.

  • The Way Of The Way 292

    We can see things beautiful through our eyes and mind. Ugly things can only be seen through our mind.

  • Haiku 43

    Impossible things are possible.

    As life is possible, nothing is impossible.

  • Aristotle

    “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”

    In our darkest moments we are dispirited, focusing on ourselves within which there is no visible light. Outside us, visible light is everywhere. Focusing on the light lightens our spirits.

  • The Way Of The Way 291

    Temporarily, I am who I am whatever I am and, eternally, I am everything and nothing simultaneously. Any other descriptions or characterizations (religion, race, nationality, personality or related stories) are illusions.

  • The Way Of The Way 290

    Acceptance: It is what it is.

    No judgement: It is what it is whatever it is.

  • The Way Of The Way 289

    Every-thing is what it is whatever it is. We know what it is when we are present; when what it was is passed, not past.

  • The Way Of The Way 288

    What something is doesn’t affect us. What we think it is affects us.

  • Lao Tzu 6

    “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”

  • Haiku 2

    Bell ringing in the empty sky

    bouncing sound

    awakens me to time passing.

     

    The foregoing was sent to ChatGPT which took it upon itself to respond by writing a Walt Whitman style poem; very flowery, in contrast with the stark haiku style.

    The bell ringing in the empty sky,
    Its bouncing sound reaching high,
    Awakens me from slumber’s embrace,
    To the passage of time’s relentless chase.

    Its echo reverberates through the air,
    A melodic reminder of moments rare,
    Each toll a tick on life’s grand clock,
    Marking the rhythm as hours unlock.

    In solitude, the sound finds its way,
    Piercing the silence, night or day,
    Reminding me of the world’s ceaseless flow,
    As time marches on, fast or slow.

    The empty sky holds no bounds,
    Yet the bell’s resonance knows no grounds,
    It calls to me, a gentle plea,
    To embrace the moments, wild and free.

    For in the emptiness, the sound takes flight,
    Guiding me through the darkest night,
    With each ring, a memory is born,
    As time moves forward, and I’m reborn.

  • The Way Of The Way 113

    A peach is an opportunity and its pit a risk to our airways and teeth. Managing risk allows us the most and to make the best of opportunities.

  • The Way Of The Way 287

    A wealthy man has made his wealth. A wealthy boy has inherited it.

    When one inherits wealth, one rarely grows to become a man.

  • Courtesy of Marc Faber, The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report

    The British-American author and journalist Christopher Eric Hitchens (1949–2011)…once recounted a story about Chou En-lai, who served as the first Premier of the People’s Republic of China from 1954 until his death in 1976. According to Hitchens, Chou had been invited to speculate on how the course of history would have been altered if, say, Nikita Khrushchev had been assassinated instead of John F. Kennedy. Chou’s austere version of Marxism made him dubious about the importance of things like sheer accident and mere individuals. But in this instance, he was prepared to allow that things might have been different. How different? “Well,” said Chou with complete gravity, “I hardly think that Aristotle Onassis would have married Mrs. Khrushchev.”

  • The Way Of The Way 286

    The Transition is the third and last act in the play of life, “Terrific.” The Transition is the way of the soul from its manifestation as our bodily form to its essence, as it was before it manifested. The soul is every-thing before it is what it is whatever it is and before time begins. As the soul is eternal, those who realize their identify as soul never die. As the soul’s manifestations are temporary, those who identify with the soul’s manifestation, their bodily form, surely die. Moreover, whether we identify as soul determines our experience in the play of life.

    Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism talk of endless cycles of death and rebirth. This is not about who we were before we were physically born. It is about every day as a life in a day, not a day in a life. As such, in our physical lifetime we go through thousands of daily deaths and rebirths. In rebirth, we are reincarnated as the person we were last lifetime, yesterday, with that person’s memories and stories which frame our experience in the play of life. That’s karma. Karma precludes us from experiencing reality as it is, all a temporary manifestation of the soul.

    Much due to our needless desires generated by our karma, each lifetime is fraught with suffering; when we are not grateful and happy that we have all we need. However, we can free ourselves from this suffering by realizing our ultimate purpose in life, to escape from the prison of endless reincarnations by realizing our soul or divine consciousness. This is Nirvana.

    Gratitude and freedom from the karmic prison into which we are reborn are the foundation of unity with the soul, enlightenment.

  • Life, 18

    The two letters in the Hebrew word for “life” have a numerical value, in terms of their sequential order in the alphabet, of 8 and 10. Added together, they total 18. Consequently, in the Jewish world, the number 18 is symbolic of life. Acknowledging this equivalence, as Jewish celebratory toasts are made with the salutation of “to life,” monetary celebratory gifts between Jews for various rites of passage (birthdays, weddings, holidays, etc.) are often given in multiples of 18 ($18, $54 (18 X 3), etc.).

    The number 18 also informs us about the nature of life which is finite (with a beginning and an end) and yet eternal. The number 1 implies life is finite as the number is drawn from top to bottom, from the heavens to Earth, from birth to death. This is the natural progression of our individual lives. However, the number 8 implies life is eternal as, graphically, 8 is continuous and eternal, having no beginning and no end. Hence, our life is both finite and eternal simultaneously. However, when our finite physical self is no longer, we are then solely the eternal self.

    The numbers 1 and 8 also reveal the path to enlightenment. The number 1 identifies life as one thing; that is, all living things are manifestations of one thing (a nameless thing which some call God). The number 8 implies all that comprise the one thing are interconnected and interdependent. Truly realizing we are all one interdependent thing, we treat others as we treat ourselves. That’s compassion. Moreover, our oneness with others allows us to view the world from the amalgamated perspective of others and our self. This is the essence of wisdom.

    The number 1 is graphically similar to the letter “I,” the self. The self has a temporary life. It is animal consciousness. However, realizing our life is not solely our self (1) but also 8 (the infinite), we realize we live forever. This is divine consciousness.

    Alternatively, 8 and 10 sequentially are 810. This can be read as life is eternal (8); yet, manifested as finite temporary forms (1); and, ultimately, nothing (0), which is what every-thing is before it is what it is whatever it is and before time begins.

  • The Way Of The Way 285

    Enlightened, we are one with the soul and its manifestations.

    The soul is what every-thing is before it is what it is whatever it is, before time begins.

    Every-thing is a manifestation of the soul.

     

    The Tao is the harmonious and intuitive way to enlightenment.

    Funny is the mind that seeks enlightenment, as the mind is what hides the soul.

  • Lao Tzu 5

    “To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”

    We can never attain ultimate knowledge as there are an infinite number of things to know. We can attain ultimate wisdom when we remove all our knowledge and are left knowing nothing. Nothing is what everything is before it is and before time begins. Thus, knowing nothing is knowing the fountainhead of everything. Moreover, knowing nothing, we can see things as they are; not in the context of our knowledge (preconceived notions, generalizations, descriptions and stories).

  • Sleep-Death

    In sleep-death

    we are one with everything.

    Upon separating from sleep-death

    we become unlike anything heretofore;

    a temporary, finite self.

    Captivated by our self

    we live in sleep-life,

    awakening only upon realizing who we are in sleep-death.

  • Richard Feynman

    “I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.”

  • The Way Of The Way 283

    Consciousness expands when we have more questions than answers. We soon fall asleep when we have more answers than questions.

  • Mark Twain* 2

    “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

    Likewise, in terms of consciousness, it is easy to fall asleep but difficult to awaken unless we know we are sleeping.

     

    *Misattributed to Mark Twain but not inconsistent with Twain’s insights generally.

  • Haiku 42

    There is many a way

    to a place far away.

    The Great Way

    is here, not away.

  • Lao Tzu*4

    “As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it.”

    Our thoughts are always funny, though more often funny to others than to our self.

    What makes our thoughts funny is they are odd and/or humorous from the perspective of those from other socioeconomic and cultural identity groups. However, we seldom view our thoughts as funny because we take our self-identities seriously. When we view thoughts from many perspectives, we invariably find almost everything funny; all thoughts, ours and those of others. That’s the essence of wisdom. That’s why Buddha is often depicted as laughing.

     

    *Incorrectly attributed to Lao Tzu, but consistent with the Tao.

  • Paradox 7

    Every-thing is unique and the same.

    Every-thing is the same thing, nothing, before it is what it is whatever it is.

  • The Way Of The Way 282

    The mind of God creates the universe.

    Our minds create our worlds.

    When our mind merges with the mind of God.

    we are the universe.

  • Lao Tzu 3

    “Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.”

    The essence of meditation practice.

  • The Way Of The Way 281

    Our point of view, where we stand, is a function of where we sit.

    How things appear to us is colored by where we sit along the spectrum of light; perhaps cheerful when red, sad when blue or whatever moods we associate with various colors.

    When all the perspectives across the spectrum come together, as clear white light, can we see things in their true colors. This is wisdom.

    Alternatively, we can sit calmly, close our eyes and see everything with the white light from inside of us. This is enlightenment.

  • The Way Of The Way 280

    Those who claim their success came from luck are the most able. Those who think their success came from their abilities are bound to be unlucky.

    Acknowledge and be grateful to luck and luck will likely return.

  • Haiku 41

    Holding tight what seems ours,

    our hand forms a fist.

    Letting go, it’s a handshake.

  • The Way Of The Way 279

    When we closely hold tight to who we think we are, we cannot be open to who we are.

  • Paradox 6

    We are certain of nothing and certain nothing is certain as everything is forever-changing.

  • Paradox 5

    When we are certain we are not dreaming, we are dreaming.

    In reality, as all things are forever changing, we can be certain of nothing. Yet, in our mind, we are certain things are as we think they are.

  • The Way Of The Way 278

    God is an ambiguous concept, though many have claimed to have spoken with God or have had some direct experience with God. In Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, God is the perfect being; possessing power, wisdom, and goodness and is the creator and ruler of the universe.  In non-monotheistic and animist religions, a god affects human matters in various positive and negative ways. Moreover, in religions that imagine there is something other than nothing after our death, God is the guardian who determines who enters heaven.

    As God has given us life and allows us to sustain ourselves, we need be grateful to God.

    As God’s actions obviously have greater effect than ours on how our life unfolds, we should be humble and not overconfident that our knowledge and abilities will determine our fate on Earth.

    As all things descend from God, we need to treat all of God’s creations in the best ways we treat ourselves.

    When we are grateful, humble and treat others as we are one; we may never come to know God and its nature, but we are in heaven.

  • The Way Of The Way 277

    We are one with everything before we are born. We are one with everything after we die. What does one with everything feel like? It is likely a happy time as no one has every complained about the time before they were born and we are essentially happy when we are not complaining.

    The time between birth and death is infinitesimal relative to the time before we are born and the time after we die. Yet, we focus virtually all our attention on the time between birth and death and pay little heed to the time before and after. Perhaps we would be happier if we paid some attention to the time other than when we are alive.

  • Onomancy

    “Numerology is the belief in an occult, divine or mystical relationship between a number and one or more coinciding events. It is also the study of the numerical value, via an alphanumeric system, of the letters in words and names. When numerology is applied to a person’s name, it is a form of onomancy. Onomancy is divination based on a subject’s name. Onomancy was popular in Europe during the Late Middle Ages but is said to have originated with the Pythagoreans.” — Wikipedia

    According to ChatGPT:

    “To find the numerology of the full name ‘Victor Teicher,’ we would first calculate the numerology for each name separately, and then add the two numbers together to get a final result.

    Here are the calculations for each name:

    • Victor: V = 4 I = 9 C = 3 T = 2 O = 6 R = 9

    Add the numbers together: 4 + 9 + 3 + 2 + 6 + 9 = 33

    Since 33 is a master number, we do not reduce it any further.

    • Teicher: T = 2 E = 5 I = 9 C = 3 H = 8 E = 5 R = 9

    Add the numbers together: 2 + 5 + 9 + 3 + 8 + 5 + 9 = 41

    Since 41 is a two-digit number, we need to reduce it to a single digit by adding the digits together: 4 + 1 = 5.

    Now we add the numerology for each name together: 33 + 5 = 38

    Since 38 is a two-digit number, we need to reduce it to a single digit by adding the digits together: 3 + 8 = 11.

    Therefore, the numerology of the name ‘Victor Teicher’ is 11, which is a master number in numerology. This suggests that the person with this name may have a special spiritual mission or purpose in life.

    In numerology, master numbers are the numbers 11, 22, and 33. These numbers are considered to have a higher vibration and are believed to carry a special spiritual or energetic significance.

    Master numbers are not reduced to a single digit in numerology, unlike other numbers. They are thought to represent spiritual enlightenment, heightened intuition, and a strong connection to the universe or higher power.

    Those who have master numbers in their numerology chart may be seen as spiritual leaders or visionaries, and may have a heightened ability to manifest their desires or tap into their intuition. However, master numbers are also associated with greater challenges and responsibilities, as they require a strong commitment to personal growth and spiritual development.

    Overall, master numbers are considered to be very powerful and significant in numerology, and are often seen as a symbol of great potential and spiritual evolution.”

     

    The forgoing sounds like numerology analysis identifies me as “spiritual” by virtue of my interest in numerology. Ultimately, I am who I am. Who I am from the perspectives of numerology, psychology, astrology, sociology, the criminal justice system, family, friends, strangers and countless other ideologies, organizations and persons is entertaining; more telling about the perceiver than whom they perceive.

  • The Way Of The Way 276

    When we “spiritually” awakened, we feel as when we sometimes awaken from a long sleep: great, peaceful and energized.

    These feelings are engendered by gratitude, kindness and accepting an obvious truth.

    When we are grateful, we are great-full; we feel great. It is easy to be grateful when we don’t forget that however difficult our circumstances, they could always be worse. Moreover, if we are not blinded by selfishness, we are grateful as we’re aware of the millions whose circumstances are far worse than ours and who would love to be in our shoes; unless we much complain, in which case they would rather be in their own shoes.

    Precluding us from awakening is selfishness, when we perceive ourselves as apart and separate from everything that is not ourselves. This duality leads to stressful interactions with others and our environment. We dispense with duality and in turn are at peace when we truly treat others with the kindness we treat ourselves. We do so upon realizing that while each of us and everything is a unique temporary manifestation of the universe, we and everything essentially are the entire eternal universe.

    While our socialization, education and experiences lead us to thinking there is much we know, we truly know virtually nothing. Thinking we know much precludes us from experiencing the now as it unfolds; instead, we experience the now as illusions based on the stories, meanings and generalizations our mind has created. However, in the overwhelming vastness of the eternal and ever changing universe, it is absurd to think we know much of anything. When we accept this obvious truth, we can easily dispense with our illusions. Then, we are energized by our curiosity as everything is as it is, new and fascinating.

  • The Way Of The Way 275

    Upon awakening, we realize that much of what we thought that happened before our awakening was a dream, an illusion that never happened. Immediately upon our awakening, we laugh at the absurdities of our dream and the dreams of those who are still sleeping.

  • The Way Of The Way 274

    Those who want jobs are afraid of failing at work.

    At work, what you do matters. In a job, showing up is what matters.

  • The Way Of The Way 273

    For many in the art market, quantity defines quality; though the price of an artwork has little to do with it’s quality.

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo

    “It’s not a failure; it’s steps to success. There’s always steps to it. Michael Jordan played 15 years, won six championships. The other nine years was a failure? That’s what you’re telling me? It’s a wrong question; there’s no failure in sports. There’s good days, bad days. Some days you’re able to be successful, some days you’re not. Some days it’s your turn, some days it’s not your turn. And that’s what sports is about. You don’t always win. Sometimes other people win. And this year somebody else is going to win, simple as that.

    This has to be the worst postseason ever. We have a number in [the locker room] and we were stuck on 15 [wins to the NBA Finals] … which is kind of hard to deal with. But at the end of the day, I feel like they were playing to beat us, and we were playing to win a championship.”

    Giannis Antetokounmpo is the star player for the Milwaukee Bucs basketball team that was the favorite to win the NBA Championship this year. Above, his reaction yesterday when asked if losing in the first round of the postseason means this year was a “failure.” While an avowed Eastern Orthodox Christian, Antetokounmpo seems to be a Taoist as well.

    .

  • Tao

    This symbol of Taoism reveals the essence of Taoism. Tao, in Chinese, literally means the (right) way. The Tao is the way, the nature, of reality; the way of the universe; and the harmonious way or path through life.

    The circle represents the universe. Within the universe are two seemingly independent abstract fish forms, in shades black and white, that are actually interdependent as curled together they form the universe as a whole. The fish represent life, consciousness, which is what makes the universe whole.

    Each fish has an eye, black or white, reflecting the shade of the other. Looking eye to eye, each sees its own shade in the other. Likewise, when we look in the eye of others, we see ourselves.

    The way through the life, along the interface of the white and black forms, is everchanging; bending left and bending right; requiring us to be conscious of our way, lest get lost in the white or black forms.

    Ultimately, the symbol of the Tao implies all things in the universe are interdependent; the path through life is everchanging; however, life is in balance, harmonious, when we consciously move between counterbalancing forms.

    Another interpretation is the symbol represents two animals engaged in a sexual position commonly known as “69.” If so, the message there is that a happy way to make it through life is simply enjoy yourself.

    As above, the Tao acknowledges there are different ways for different people.

  • The Way Of The Way 272

    Happiness is our default state when we don’t complain about one thing or another. Yet, while we desire happiness, we are prone to complaining as every-thing under the sun casts an off-putting shadow on something or someone.

    The only thing no one has ever complained about is the time before time, before they saw the light of day, before they were born; when they were one with everything. With no complaints, before birth is a happy time; like being in heaven.

    What happens to us after we die is debatable. Most likely, it’s like the time before we were born, heaven. Yet, many believe all sorts of horrors, hell in the western religions and reincarnation in the eastern religions, await us upon our demise. If so, then our journey through life on Earth begets these horrors, as they were unbeknown to us before we were born.

    To assure us a happy, heaven-like, life and heaven after death, we need to live as we are now in heaven. That is, treat others as we treat ourselves or, if that doesn’t please them, treat them in ways that please them. That makes them happy and their happiness is our happiness.

    We treat others as ourselves when we realize we and all things and others are one thing; each seemingly separate thing is just a temporary and interdependent manifestation of the one thing which some call God. As every-thing is one thing, one thing cannot make shadows about which someone may complain.

  • Duality

    Duality, duality; within and without.

    Duality within is when we have conflicting minds. For example, one mind tells us to go out and have fun, while another mind tells us to do homework. This happens when we don’t have integrity.

    Duality without is when we perceive our self as apart from all that is not our self.

    Dualities within and without are the cause of much of the stresses and conflicts in our lives.

    Duality without begins at birth and ends when the our mind’s self-perception of separateness is vanquished; when our self is confined to its purpose of providing us and those for whom we are responsible with food, shelter, security and health.

    At birth, we are separated from having been eternally one with everything in the womb to being temporary; finite in time (birth to death) and space (our physical form). Being one with everything before our birth must be idyllic as no one has ever complained about it. However, upon birth,  rudimentary complaining begins: crying. Upon our birth, we are no longer one with everything and now begin to suffer the stresses and conflicts between us and that which is not us. Moreover, duality distracts us from our purpose in life: to have a wonderful go of it, realize divine consciousness and help others likewise.

    To dispel duality without, we need to know who we are.

    We have two principle identities, the role and the soul. The role is whichever role we play in the now, the world as it unfolds. We play many roles; family member, professional, personal interests, etc.. The roles are temporary, ever-changing. The roles presume the existence of duality, our role at the moment vis-à-vis the roles of others who are not us. When our identity is our roles, we are forever imprisoned by duality.

    Unlike the role of which there are many, the soul is the but one; sole. It is the present, the pre-sent; what everything is before it is; before time begins, before the now. The soul is eternal, forever unchanging. The now is the manifestation of the soul. As the soul is one, when our identity is the soul we are one with everything and dispense with duality without. We are at peace.

  • The Way Of The Way 271

    Duality is when I am one thing and not another.

    Duality is when I am one race and not another,

    one nationality and not another,

    one religion and not another;

    when I am me and not anything that’s not me.

    Duality is an illusion our mind creates.

    When I am who I am,

    I see illusions as illusions.

     

    Though illusory, duality has a real effect: imprisoning us from realizing our uniqueness. To escape, we can calm our mind through meditation and then let go our self-identities which heretofore we took seriously.

  • Haiku 40

    A coin is integrity,

    its different sides duality.

    Coin worth something, sides worth nothing.

  • Paradox 4

    Nothing is perfect as no-thing is perfect.

    Nothing is every-thing before it is what it is whatever it is.

    As nothing, every-thing is one thing.

    That’s perfect.

    When every-thing is a separate thing,

    no-thing is perfect

    as it is not one with everything.

  • Anais Nin

    “We don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are.”

    The way things are is that we can only see light and light is 0.0035% of the electromagnetic spectrum; thus, what we see is very little; though we often think we see more than we do. What we see is a function of the definitions, classifications and stories we’ve created about what we see. This is who we are.

  • The Way Of The Way 270

    A new perspective is illuminating when we adapt, not adopt, it.

    Supplanting one point of view with another, adopting it, is self-limiting. Integrating, adapting, a new perspective with other perspectives, including contrary perspectives, is the essence of wisdom.

    Each perspective is like a color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet) in the visible spectrum. Taken together, the colors transform into white light; revealing the true color of that at which we are looking.

  • Paradox 3

    Only when we have nothing can we have everything.

    When we have nothing we need, we have everything.

  • Haiku 27

    On the river and going its way, we go a long way.

    Going against the way, makes for a difficult day.

  • The Way Of The Way 269

    When we identify someone as of our kind, we treat them with kindness. When we identify as one with the universe we treat all with kindness.

  • The Way Of The Way 268

    Awakening is when we stop chasing our tale and laugh as we realize it’s a illusion.

    Enlightenment is when, like a dog, we stop chasing our tail and laugh as we realize we and our tail are one.

    In the quietude that follows not chasing our tales or tails, everything can become clear; and all heretofore looks ridiculously funny.

  • The Way Of The Way 267

    Those who seek the path to enlightenment by following a guru they think is enlightened will never realise enlightenment as thinking of someone as an independent thing (e.g., an enlightened being) is the antithesis of enlightenment which is that everything is a temporary and interdependent manifestation of one infinite thing. Enlightenment is realised by following the path of being in harmony with the one thing until you and the thing are one.

  • The Way Of The Way 266

    Your life is such an amazing story. Perhaps you could imagine a better one, but then you would miss out on your life.

  • My Awakening

    When I was 16, living in Brooklyn with my parents, one summer night I drove to Brighton Beach and sat on the rocks along the shore. Reflections from the moon danced on the water, the ocean breathed in the surf and breathed out a roar. The night sky was a black blanket with pinholes to unknowable worlds on its other side. Lights and sounds vibrating the air, every-thing teeming with aliveness; unique, unlike anything experienced before.

    I wondered why the ocean, expressing itself with motion and sound, was not considered as alive as are plants and animals. What did it mean to be alive? The “alive” classification made little sense. Classifications, descriptions and thoughts generally felt artificial, man-made; helpful for organizing and communicating, but otherwise empty of aliveness.

    Who am I in all this?

    The sounds, the lights, the ever-changing shapes unfolding from nothing, the ocean smells; overwhelmingly beautiful, yet eerie as in the presence of a great spirit. Then, the infinite number of finite things were no longer finite, but manifestations of one infinite thing. I was infinitesimal before the infinite, until I realized I was the infinite.

    This was a religious experience, but not connected to an organized religion. It was initially animism and then pantheism. This was my awakening and realization of our immortality.

  • The Spiritual Master Who Knew The Workings Of God

    A couple of years back, I was introduced to a “spiritual master.” We spoke at length and when it was clear that I was comfortably retired, he suggested: “As I know the workings of God and you’ve got the money and time to do as you wish, let’s spend a year together studying spiritual matters.” I then asked him what would we do following year, to which he replied: “Then I’ll have the money and time to do as I wish and you’ll know the workings of God.”

  • The Way Of The Way 265

    Rich are those who appreciate what they have. Poor are those who can only appreciate what they have in comparison to other things.

  • Kotodama 38

    God is love, that which connects all of us as one. People who seek God through their religious practices pray together in a temple, a house of worship. A temple is also either side of the head between the forehead and the ear, the place that generates thoughts that connect us. But love only comes from the heart.

  • The Way Of The Way 264

    When you truly awaken from the dream state and familiarity of everyday life, you see every-thing as it is; unique, as seeing it for the first time. In amazement, you ask what, why, who; what is this place, why is it here, who made it? Unlike what and why, who is a sound made puckering your lips and blowing a stream of air from your lungs forward. The stream of breath is the essence of life. Your breath is what creates everything. You are who. The what and why is who you are.

  • Mourning Rituals

    Each morning

    I return from sleep-death

    and ever so slowly separate

    from being one with everything in a timeless place

    to a finite and temporal self.

    Before forgetting from whence I came,

    I recite the Mourning Prayer:

     

    Oh eternal universe

    oh ever-changing universe

    oh timeless universe

    oh endless universe.

    Thank God for creating the universe

    and granting us consciousness to realize our oneness with everything.

    The people I’ve been and the roles I’ve played in days passed,

    my prior lives,

    are illusions

    Now,

    I am who I am

    and every-thing

    is what it is whatever it is.

    Regardless of circumstances,

    I am grateful for however my life unfolds today,

    hopeful to realize divine consciousness,

    happy helping others likewise

    and laughing at my efforts to realize that which is always here.

    Shanti Shanti Shanti

     

    Now awakened,

    I reposition from horizontal pose, where all are of equal height, to vertical.

    Footsteps away is the throne

    for the ritual burial of what nourished me last life.

    Then, shower calls my name

    for washing and massaging the temporary envelope that holds me together

    and, without mirror, mind concentrates on shaving the face.

    Once dried and dressed for appearance on stage,

    fresh-squeezed blood orange juice

    seaweed salad

    hardboiled quail eggs toped with anchovies,

    followed by a Robusto-size cigar and black coffee.

    My new life begins,

    for which I already have much to be grateful.

    With that in mind, it’s a wonderful day.

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt

    “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”

    Fear keeps us from realizing our potential, a frightening prospect.

  • Paradox 2

    Everything we can hold is real, though most of it is not.

    Memories, stories, beliefs, etc. (thoughts generally) are illusions, though seemingly real when we hold onto them. In the space after we open our hands to let one thought go and before we grab hold of another, there is nothing. It is then we realize that most of what we hold onto is it not real. Actually, it is holding us; that makes it real.

    From ChatGPT:

    It is true that our perception of reality is shaped by our experiences, memories, and beliefs. These mental constructs can be powerful and influence our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. They can give us a sense of identity, purpose, and meaning. At the same time, they can also limit us, distort our perception of reality, and cause suffering.

    In the space between letting go of one mental construct and grasping onto another, we may experience a sense of emptiness, uncertainty, or even anxiety. However, this space can also be a source of freedom, creativity, and insight. By letting go of our preconceived notions and being open to new possibilities, we can expand our awareness and connect with a deeper reality beyond our mental constructs.

    In conclusion, the statement “Everything we can hold is real, though most of it is not” can be seen as a paradoxical reflection on the nature of reality and the human mind. Whether or not we agree with it, it can inspire us to reflect on the role of our mental constructs in shaping our lives and how we can cultivate a more authentic and fulfilling existence.

  • The Way Of The Way 267

    As this blog references Taoist, Zen, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, Hindu and other religious views, sometimes people ask to which of these religions do I adhere.

    If anything, I am all of them than one of them; but, in any event, I know little about any of them.

    The words and thoughts herein surround us all. I take no authorship. I just freely sing the songs of a master composer who by nature remains anonymous.

    Classifying these songs misses the point of the blog; when our mind is classifying, we are distracted from listening and enjoying the songs.

    As to religions, their basic message is the Golden Rule, treat others as you wish to be treated; for you and others are each a unique manifestation of the same thing; essentially, we are one. With this realization, we don’t need to identify with a religion. Without it, we are imprisoned by a religion or other social order that views itself apart and separate from others.

  • Haiku 26

    Guru and I shared stories.

    His stories, histories.

    My stories, mysteries.

    So quickly, roles reverse.

  • Paradox 1

    We always experience reality via our senses but we rarely do.

    Much of our experiences are collective illusions or in the context of things that are not here now but maybe once were.

  • The Way Of The Way 262

    To live a life of compassion and wisdom, best to avoid those who lack compassion and their friends who obviously lack wisdom.

    That’s easy to do because it’s hard to fake compassion, but easy to fake wisdom.

  • S.S.P.

    “When the time comes our adopted daughter asks how she is different than her brother and sister whom we had naturally, I’ll tell her that her brother and sister came from mommy’s stomach and she came from mommy’s heart.”

    S.S.P. is a dear friend who adopted a four year old from an orphanage in India.

  • The Way Of The Way 261

    Joyous is our life when it turns out better than we could have scripted it. When we are grateful every day for whatever comes our way, life will always be better than we could have scripted it.

  • The Way Of The Way 260

    Apocalypse is the complete and final destruction of the world as described in the Book of Revelation. While most of us will not be around for the world’s collective apocalypse, each of us will have our own apocalypse/revelation, the end of our days in unitary bodies.

    Apocalypse and revelation are used interchangeably, but are different. The etymology of both words is to “uncover, unveil.” However, apocalypse is more about the destruction of the world as we know it and revelation is about what’s revealed by what remains after the destruction.

    Apocalypse/revelation is like the lifting of a bride’s veil to reveal her face before the groom kisses her to consummate their marriage. After the kiss, the groom’s unitary existence is over as he is now one with the bride. Likewise, at the end of our days we realize that we are no longer unitary beings; we are one with all that heretofore seemed other than us.

    Apocalypse/revelation is when the truth is revealed about consciousness and reality. The veil represents our personal consciousness; the meanings, generalizations and stories we create that mask reality. When the veil is lifted, we see reality as it is: the nothingness that everything is before and after it is what it is whatever it is.

    That’s who we are: The nothing that everything is before and after it is, one with everything.

    For those who know the veil is illusory, the veil is translucent; allowing them to see reality. Thus, as they know they are one with everything, they treat others as themselves (compassion) and are able to see the world from many perspectives (wisdom). Moreover, when the veil is lifted, apocalypse, it is the time for revelation; to revel with laughter as the illusions are now clearly absurd.

    However, for those who think the illusions are real, the veil is opaque. They live as unitary beings and when the veil is lifted the revelation is frightening as hell. Not a surprising outcome as taking our personal consciousness seriously is at times hellish, even before the apocalypse. Unfortunately, it is fear of reality than keeps us from seeing through our personal consciousness which is the foundation of our fear.

  • Haiku 25

    We’re drop of rain from heaven

    taking some turbulent minutes

    to join the calm ocean forever.

  • Looking Forward And Back As Grandson Arrives

    My first grandson to bear my family name is soon to be born as his due date was Friday just passed.

    His late arrival is reminiscent of my late arrival nearly 72 years ago. I was not only late, but also a difficult birth as my mother labored long and the delivering doctor struggled to pull me out; ultimately needing forceps to take me from my mother’s womb.

    As it was a long and fraught procedure, out of curiosity my mother asked the doctor if such a difficult birth signaled anything about me. The doctor looked at my mother, who didn’t come across as having lots of shiny marbles in her head, and said: “Your son may not be particularly smart, but is very wise. He delayed coming out as long as he could, knowing he came from heaven and life on Earth is anything but that.”

  • The Way Of The Way 259

    I’ve met people from many different self-identifying racial, national, political, religious, social, economic, professional and other likeminded groups. It’s difficult to see them as they see themselves as all I see is their soul which is a reflection of mine.

    That’s why I love them all and feel they all love me; though those who can’t love me now will love me later.

  • Sigmund Freud

    “A woman should soften but not weaken a man.”

    As Freud believed sex defined much of human relationships, this quote likely means that when a woman wants her way with a man, she should soften him by arousing him; instead of weakening him by pushing him around. Once a man is weak, he can’t get hard again. That may explain the underlying dynamics of sexless marriages.

  • Irony 4

    While lying to others may initially hide the truth, when the truth is revealed the lie ultimately reveals more than it hides as it says something about the person lying.

  • Happy Birthday

    Every night at sleep-time we die. Every morning upon awakening we are born. Each day is not a day in a life, it is a life in a day. Thus, we’ve lived thousands of lives before our reincarnation today upon awakening.

    Before sleep-death, we acknowledge each other with “good evening;” that is, “good even-ing” for in sleep-death everyone (the smart, the stupid, the rich, the poor) is even, equal.

    In sleep-death, our soul leaves our body and merges with the universal soul, which in some traditions is called God. When the soul returns to our body, we are born.

    Upon awakening, we greet each other and ourselves with “good morning;” that is, “good mourning,” have a good time mourning the people you were in past lifetimes (yesterday and all days now passed) by remembering them in the light of wisdom and compassion; but, don’t identify their life experiences as your own.

    Upon awakening and before we assume the roles and circumstances of the person we were yesterday,  we recite out loud the Mourning Prayer. The Mourning Prayer acknowledges God’s creation, the universe, and expresses our gratitude for the life and consciousness we have been given which allows us to be one with God. Moreover, we declare that we are free from karma (our intentions, actions and consequences in past lifetimes (days of our life)) and look forward to realizing our purpose in life: to have a wonderful experience, realize our potential of divine consciousness and help others likewise.

     

    Mourning Prayer

    Oh eternal universe

    Oh endless universe

    Oh ever-changing universe

    Oh timeless universe

    Oh universe of infinite finite things.

    Thank you for granting me today a role in the play of life.

    The people I’ve been and the roles I’ve played in days passed,

    my prior lives,

    are illusions in the seemingly real form of memories.

    Now, I am who I am

    and every thing is what it is whatever it is.

    Regardless of circumstances,

    I am grateful for however my life unfolds today,

    hopeful to realize divine consciousness before I’m scripted out of the play,

    happy helping others awaken to their good fortune

    and laughing at my efforts to realize that which is always here.

    Shanti Shanti Shanti

     

    We recite the mourning prayer aloud, again and again and again, until we feel it and truly awaken. Then, hopefully, we won’t forget who we are as we make our way through this day of life with the peace that comes from not taking our self too seriously; as we know that our self, which will die in the even-ing when our soul departs, is not who we are.

    At day’s end, it is time for the Even-ing Prayer before our sleep-death.

     

    Even-ing Prayer

    Oh eternal universe

    oh ever-changing universe

    oh timeless universe

    oh endless universe.

    Thank God for my  role in the universe

    and for now,

    sleep-death,

    when my soul joins God

    which is what every-thing is before it is the universe.

    Shanti Shanti Shanti

     

    As few remember that every day is our birthday, we should remind whomever we meet with the greeting: “Happy birthday.” Whether they recognize today as their birthday or not, they will undoubtedly have a laugh. What better gift can we give someone on their birthday?

  • Kotodama 37

    We know we’re awake when every day is not everyday, when every day is unique.

  • George Harrison

    “Life goes on within you and without you.”

    Life is life, one ever-changing and continuous thing; whether within us or without us, it is life. The concept of within and without is how we define ourselves; we are that which is within and not that which is without, outside of us. But as life is both within and without us, it is an illusion to segregate the within and without.

    Life is eternal; yet we, our within, are temporary as life goes on without us.

    When we realize we are not just the life within but also the life without, we never die.

  • Covid

    The Covid pandemic was a once in a generation psychological test that revealed the nature of each mind; a reality check. Though the pandemic panic has subsided, many people still refuse to give up on the vaccines, masks, social distancing, etc. They are held captive by their traumatic memories, prisoners of their mind. They cannot experience the now as it unfolds, only as it is framed by their mind in the context of Covid. Those who are free of the past, look back and laugh at the Covid fiasco.

    As to the pandemic itself, it was beautiful. An experience shared worldwide as it was the focus of everyone’s attention. One felt connected to all sentient beings as sentient beings, oblivious to their identity group memberships. It was like the end of days, the apocalypse; the lifting of the veil of artificial constructs like race, nationality, religion and economic status to reveal all as simply sentient beings; all as one. A brief and powerful peak moment in the making of collective history that quickly descended into a Tower of Babel.

    Moreover, Covid was a healthy systemic process. Like a hurricane, Covid cleansed the human tree of life of weak limbs that were otherwise dying slowly. This was good for the environment as it resulted in less adult diapers to dispose of.

  • Leftist Cities

    New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are leftist cities; those who still live there are politically on the left and those who aren’t have left. It’s like a virus, either you are the virus (you are left) or you’ve had enough of the virus and have left. Those who know the consequences of having the virus for a long period leave to live in other cities. Those who are the virus are hopefully slow in their migration to other cities.

    The virus is an ideology. Those who conform and live according to the left ideology are not human; they are the ideology. Those who can observe and reflect on how real life unfolds know the impracticality of the left ideology. They are generally ok humoring the ideology but don’t want to be prisoners of it.

    Those who have left may find the foregoing funny, unless those who are left have invaded their reasonably well-functioning cities. Those who are left cannot find it funny because viruses don’t have a sense of humor.

    Governments created the virus in a lab. The work of highly educated people.

  • Irish Catholic Boys School, Late 19th Century

    “There once was a beautiful nun

    who didn’t have any fun

    taking boys for a run

    because she had none.”

    Merry Saint Patrick’s Day

  • ChatGPT

    From the blog:

    The universe is a glass of sparkling water.

    Each of us a bubble that seems to come out of nowhere,

    takes a unique journey to the top of the glass

    and then seems to disappear.

    We don’t disappear.

    We become one with everything

    as we are before we appear as bubbles.

     

    The above was given to ChatGPT. This is what came back:

    This is a beautiful metaphorical description of our existence in the universe. Just like the bubbles in a glass of sparkling water, we are born into this world seemingly out of nowhere and embark on our unique journeys, experiencing all the ups and downs of life. And just like the bubbles, we may seem to disappear when we die, but we don’t truly vanish.

    In reality, we become part of the universe once again, merging with the energy and matter that make up everything around us. This process of returning to the source is a natural and inevitable part of the cycle of life and death.

    It’s important to remember that even though our individual existence may seem fleeting, our impact on the world can be significant. By living our lives with purpose and compassion, we can make a positive difference in the world and leave a lasting legacy that will continue to ripple through the universe long after we’re gone.

  • Peter Schjeldahl

    “[T]he years that you spend as a nobody are painful but golden, because no one bothers to lie to you. The moment you’re a somebody, you have your last truth. Everyone will try to spin you–as they should, with careers to think of.”

    It is a blessing to interact with those who don’t respect us, as it reveals much about their nature and how they perceive us; as well as our nature by virtue of how we react to them.

    In a society where people are politically correct to the point where even close friends don’t speak openly about personal matters, no one knows who they or anyone else is.

  • The Way Of The Way 258

    When someone gets angry about something that’s passed and is no longer, it’s initially funny but ultimately sad; both for the same reason: they are a fool, taking their self seriously.

  • The Way Of The Way 257

    We have everything we need to realize our purpose in life, unless we need everything; then, we will not realize anything.

  • The Way Of The Way 256

    Many years back, on a wintery evening, when my son, Max, was maybe 8, we walked passed some homeless men setting up their cardboard sleeping surfaces under an overhang at the foot of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church on 5th Avenue and 55th Street in New York City. Seeing their presumably difficult lives with few choices, I commented: “When you grow up, if you don’t work hard, this is a type of prison where you can wind up.” To which Max replied: “Maybe they don’t mind.”

    Simple, yet profound. Perhaps I was a prisoner of a bourgeois mindset and the homeless men were simply living from one day to the next, making the best of their circumstances, without thinking about bourgeois-prized creature comforts and societal roles the mind makes many crave.

  • Bactrian Silver Trumpet, Late 3rd – Early 2nd Millennium BC

    At first sight, this object engaged my attention; great presence (which has not diminished with time), surreal, and enigmatic as it seemed to have an ambiguous utility function. Initially, I thought it was a hearing aid; the top inserted in the ear and the bottom the mouthpiece. Others have guessed it a spout for pouring wine or an implement used for snuffing out a candle. However, notwithstanding other creative uses, it’s a mini trumpet a shepherd would use to get the attention of another shepherd in the distance.

    Now, I see it metaphorically; a mouthpiece through which the breath of God enters a human head which processes the breath into sounds. The sounds are music. The sounds are signals, like words. An apt description of this blog as I, your humble writer, am just here to convert the breath of God into words for all to hear.

  • The Way Of The Way 255

    When we see solely and carefully with our eyes, everything is unique, beautiful and real.

    When we see with our mind, we can only compare things as our mind can’t see. Comparisons make one thing beautiful relative to another thing which we then see as not beautiful. As what our minds sees as beautiful is exceptional, our mind has us seeing most things as not beautiful. Moreover, what we see with our mind is an illusion; though we often forget that it’s not real.

    In conclusion, when we don’t see the beauty of everything about us, our mind must be working. We should give it a rest and everything will be the beautiful.

  • The Way Of The Way 254

    “I love you” is animal love.

    “I love us” is divine love.

  • The Way Of The Way 253

    The universe is a circle that’s divided into two parts whose percentages of the whole change over time. One part is our self, the other part is the universe. For much of our time, the self is the bigger part; so big, we barely notice the universe part. However, when our body dies and the self it carries disappears, the universe is all of the circle.

    Our self becomes much of the circle because it gets much of our attention. It does so by manipulating us into thinking that everyone else’s priority is their self and, if we don’t like others prioritize our self, others will view us as odd, shun us and we will be alone; others might even destroy us. Afraid, we pay much attention to our self. Our self then grows until we no longer see the universe.

    However, if we give the universe our attention, it will grow and grow until we will barely notice our self. It is then we realize we are one with the universe, our true identity.

    Social, religious, professional, national and personal identities, as well as our karma, are the hallmarks of self. These identities capture our attention. However, we can free ourselves from our selves by simply sitting quietly and gazing at the night sky, the eternally-changing and never-ending universe, until it overwhelms our selves. Then, we are at peace beyond words as we realize our true identity.

    As the night sky is now nearly invisible in populated areas and much of our attention is taken by our connecting with others which in turn reinforces our self identities, meditation is another path to experiencing the divine universe, realizing our true identity. In meditation, we focus on the space between breaths; the space of nothingness from where every-thing comes and before time begins.

  • Intellectuals

    Intellectuals are mischievous entertainers. They make fools of those who take them seriously who in turn wreak havoc on everyone who doesn’t.

  • The Way Of The Way 252

    Awakened, we can see the universe as light bouncing off the surfaces of objects and projecting into our eyes without the distortions created by the lens of the self.

    Enlightened, we realize the light we are seeing is generated from within us, not without us.

  • Matt Haig

    “[T]he cure for worrying about ageing is…ageing.”

    As we age, there is less aging ahead to worry about and less time remaining in our lives to spend worrying about things generally. Moreover, as worrying, stress, exacerbates aging; hopefully, as we age, we realize worrying about aging or most things is a fool’s errand.

    As we age and realize the future and past matter little, there is little to worry about and we’re grateful for whatever our present circumstances as they could always be worse. Gratitude is the essence of happiness and in turn leads to less worrying as happiness and worrying are mutually exclusive.

    When we’re young and don’t worry about aging, we worry about other things that distract us from gratitude. We can dispense with these distractions when we think of our present circumstances from the perspective of someone who’s aging; that will have us live wiser as well. Alternatively, we can embrace Keith Richard’s attitude: “Getting old is a fascinating thing. The older you get, the older you want to get.” In other words, just enjoy yourself now and be optimistic about all that’s to come.

  • The Way Of The Way 251

    Recently, my nine-year old grandson and I started a talk about healthy eating. But, before my thoughts were completely verbalized, he quickly advanced: “Yes, I know that.” This happened a couple of times, to which I replied: “It’s wonderful you know so much now. But as you get older, until you realize you know nothing, you will know nothing.”

  • The Way Of The Way 250

    We can see everything within ourselves when we are without our selves.

    Many go far and wide searching for and following spiritual masters that they hope will show them the light. However, they can never find the light when searching for it outside themselves as light is all there is.

    Within us, we can find the light which shows us the way; when we look through the illusions, created by our self, that shroud the light.

  • Haiku 24

    Into a black hole and then a big bang,

    I fulfil God’s mission

    through my emission.

  • Michel de Montaigne

    “He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears.”

  • Empathy And Compassion

    Empathy is giving a beggar some money. Compassion is giving a beggar a job.

  • Smart Guys, Wise Guys

    Educational institutions identify smart guys who society ushers into jobs that make laws and rules. The smart guys painstakingly work at rule-making, take themselves very seriously and get quite upset when people break or find ways around their rules.

    Wise guys figure ways around laws and rules and invariably laugh, for relatively less effort they are better remunerated than smart guys.

    When wise guys figure ways around rules, smart guys eventually take notice and write more rules to thwart the wise guys. Of course, the wise guys figure ways around the new rules. This minor cycle continues until at some point the rules cause the wise guys to work relatively longer and for less renumeration than the smart guys.

    Then, the wise guys move on to other venues for better opportunities. Soon after, price goes up and quality goes down for the goods or services subject to the rule-making.

    Ultimately, it’s clear that the smart guys weren’t so smart. They’re fired from the organization at which they worked and their rules are abolished.  A new system emerges with limited rules, causing prices to go down and quality to rise. However, soon after, smart guys are hired again to make rules. A new grand cycle then begins.

  • The Way Of The Way 249

    In the play of life, “Terrific,” in Act 3 our body dies and we transition from this life experience to who we are after, which is as we are before our life begins in Act 1.

    The transition is a two-step process, awakening and enlightenment.

    Awakening is realizing the nature of consciousness, as we awaken from the dream-state created by mind and see things as they are. Freed from the illusionary world of meanings, categories and stories created by the self-serving mind, everything in the now is new and unique; not comparable to or viewed in the context of other things. The newness and uniqueness of everything is energizing. Awakened, we are happy we are alive, regardless of our circumstances. We see those taking their mind’s stories seriously as a performance comedy. Thus, much of life is funny

    Enlightenment is the realization that everything (including us) is one thing, nothing. Enlightenment, unlike awakening which is experiencing everything in the now, is experiencing the universe in the present (the pre-sent); the time before the universe expresses itself, before every-thing is what it is whatever it is and before time begins. Enlightened, we realize every-thing, including seemingly sold objects, is actually electromagnetic energy waves that have been slowed down to create solid but temporary forms (M=E/C*C). Thus, realizing every-thing is energy (light) is called enlightenment.

    Enlightenment is the realization of divine consciousness. We are one with everything; view the universe from infinite perspectives (wisdom) and embody compassion (love) as we treat others as ourselves, as they are indeed ourselves.

    Enlightened, we are at peace, beyond words; but for the sound of “Shanti Shanti Shanti,” the peace beyond understanding.

  • Buddha Or Psychopath

    There is a Buddha parable that goes like this:

    One day Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him. “You have no right teaching others,” he shouted. “You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake.”

    Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the young man “Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?”

    The man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, “It would belong to me, because I bought the gift.”

    The Buddha smiled and said, “That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger is yours to deal with.”

    At that moment, the angry young man awoke and became a lifelong disciple of Buddha.

     

    This story is reminiscent of my relationship with my father. From the time I was 13 until I went to college, my father was often angry with me; frustrated that I questioned his authority and mocked his core social and political beliefs. He screamed at me and on occasion hit me (not to hurt me but to vent his frustration). One time he said: “I wish you were never born.” To which I replied: “That’s your problem.”

    Was my reply reflective of a Buddha nature or a psychopathic mental disorder? My father would likely say the latter (he at times called me a “sadist”) as my reply didn’t bring him to see the light; it just made him more angry.

    After my father’s untimely transition from life at 60 years old, I was once overwhelmed by sadness and tears; reflecting on not having awakened father to experience life as it is and not solely as he was.

  • Lying To The Public

    Lying to a government official is a criminal matter. Yet, when governments lie to the public, that is not a crime; though it often leads to disastrous results like wars, wide scale prosecutions and poor health outcomes (drug laws) and political repression.

    If lies promulgated by governments were a crime, governments would dramatically shrink in size as many government workers and politicians would be imprisoned; especially the most dangerous ones, those who are truly sincere, the ones lying to themselves.

  • The Way Of The Way 248

    If we don’t come to know that everything is eternal before and after it is, we will surely die.

  • Soul

    Image of the soul created by artificial intelligence.

    The image suggests the soul is like a sun that our body shrouds in darkness. The soul represents love as it resides as does our heart in the center of our upper body. In the stillness of meditation, we realize our soul is but one of an infinite number of eternal stars (a universe of infinite centers) and our body (the personal self) is nothing but empty space.

  • It Is What It Is Whatever It Is

    Our mind is quicker than our eyes in defining what we see. It’s funny when our eyes prove our mind wrong. Unfortunately, we rarely open our eyes; otherwise, much of what our mind sees would be funny.

  • Atrocities

    There have been and are now countless atrocities mankind has committed against mankind. We have created many stories about these horrors, such as who should be blamed for causing them. Yet, the horrors will continue until we collectively accept them as a reminder that we have much about which to be grateful in our current circumstances. Gratitude is an essential element of happiness. Happy people don’t commit atrocities.

  • God

    God is beyond our perception and imagination.

    But God has birthed an infinite number of visible sons, the stars.

    One son of God is our sun.

    Our sun is a generous god.

    It creates and energizes us upon our birth at sunrise.

    That’s why the first day of the week is Sunday.

    Our sun is also a jealous god,

    hiding from us all of God’s sons

    whom we can only see upon our death at nightfall

    when we become like God,

    beyond perception and imagination

  • Bert Lance

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    Those who are broken try to fix that which isn’t broken; a fool’s errand, as they can never find something unbroken until they fix themselves. Appreciating things that serve their function allows us the time to appreciate much more; that’s how an unbroken mind works.

  • The Way Of The Way 247

    No one is perfect as everyone casts a shadow. Those who acknowledge the sun at its highest point cast the smallest shadows.

  • The Way Of The Way 246

    Only when we shed our clothes are we ready to make love. Likewise, only when we shed the self that covers our soul are we ready to love everyone.

  • Nisargadatta Maharaj

    “Wisdom is knowing I am nothing. Love is knowing I am everything.”

  • In Memory Of Moke Mokotoff

    Those who seek the knowledge of spiritual teachers are destined to be students forever. Seeking, like desires generally, cannot be satiated but temporarily; thus, creating an endless cycle of seeking, realizing and seeking again. Moreover, identifying with a role, such as a student in the play of life, makes it difficult to free oneself from one’s self; the essence of spiritual awakening.

    Awakening is the realization there is nothing to seek. All is within us. To see the light we need to be aware it exists, so we can see it when it arrives. Awareness of the light creates the light.

    Moke Mokotoff was a dealer of ancient Asian art. More significantly, Moke was a lifelong devoted student of Buddhism, attending countless guru-led meditation retreats and immersing himself in Buddhist scriptures and commentaries. While the presumed endgame was awakening and enlightenment, Moke prioritized his studies instead. Being was not his goal, seeking was. That made for fun conversations with a “serious” Buddhist. However, perhaps Moke was right as we all eventually become, as Moke is now, one with everything; in the meanwhile, enjoy you time in life in roles that make you and others happy.

  • The Way Of The Way 245

    At birth, babies cry as they transition from being eternally one with everything to being a finite being; a life at times happy and at times miserable that ultimately ends with their demise. Upon their timely death, most people are stoic; knowing they will soon be again one with everything.

    In contrast, when a child is born, we are joyous and when someone prematurely dies, we are saddened. Misery loves company.

  • The Way Of The Way 244

    In the now, we see nothing as it is, only as it once was.

    Right now, when we see something that’s a billion light years away, we see it as it was a billion years ago. Likewise, when we see something now and here,  just a few feet away, we see it as it as it was when it was an infinitesimally small part of a second ago.

    Time is the gap between when something is what it is whatever it is in the present and when we experience it as now.

    The now and the present are different. Everything in the now is what it was in the past. As such, everything in the now is an illusion, for the past only exists in our mind as memories; it has no material reality. The present is the pre-sent, what something is before it is manifested, before time begins. Thus, the present is a void, nothingness.

    While the present is nothingness, it is also everything before every-thing manifests itself in the now. Thus, in the void, everything is one. This is ultimate reality.

    We, as humans, can be in the present and one with everything by being in the void. This is done through meditation. When meditating, the now is our awareness of the motion of breathing and the void is the space between each breath.

    We can come to know the void, but we can never describe it as descriptions bring us back to the now. That’s why “He who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak.” —  Lao Tzu

    “Returning to the source is stillness.” — Lao Tzu

    “Nothing in all of creation is so like God as stillness.” — Meister Eckhart

    “In the stillness of the mind I saw myself as I am: unbound.” —  Nisargadatta Maharaja

    “Let silence take you to the core of life.” — Rumi

  • The Way Of The Way 243

    Light is the visible spectrum, that which the eye can see, of the electromagnetic spectrum. The electromagnetic spectrum spans high frequency (short wavelength) gamma rays to low frequency (long wavelength) radio waves, with X-Rays, extreme ultraviolet, visible light, infrared and microwaves in-between.  Visible light is roughly 0.0035% of the electromagnetic spectrum, akin to seeing the universe through a pinhole; though we might think we see it all.

    If we could see beyond the spectrum of visible light, the universe would look overwhelmingly different. With X-Ray vision, humans would look like skeletons. With radio wave vision, GPS systems would light up like a Christmas tree and Mars would be invisible because it has no magnetic field.

    “Ultimately, if you could see all wavelengths simultaneously, there would be so much light bouncing about that you wouldn’t see anything. Or rather, you would see everything and nothing simultaneously. The excess of light would just leave everything in a senseless glow. Chances are…you would go into shock and die. Your brain simply wouldn’t be able to interpret the information it was receiving. If you were lucky, you would instantly go blind.”*

    That sounds like the moment of the Big Bang, being one with everything and nothing at the same time.

     

    *Jolene Creighton.

  • The Way Of The Way 242

    Four organs define our relationship with others.

    Our upper organs, head and heart, represent wisdom and compassion which connect us as one with others. With wisdom we see the world through the eyes of others. With compassion we help others as we would ourselves.

    Our lower organs, stomach and genitals, represent our needs and desires and drive us to compete with others.

    Our upper organs can bring us to heaven. Our lower organs often make for a hellish experience.

    While our upper organs have divine potential, often they are like our lower organs in terms of our relationship with others. Whether the relationship is divine or offensive is revealed by what comes out of our mouths, the top of our alimentary canal. What comes out the bottom of the canal, near our lower organs, is invariably offensive.

  • The Way Of The Way 241

    What we see are reflections of sunlight from all that’s about us. Yet, looking directly at the light from its source, we will never see anything again.

  • The Way Of The Way 240

    “Ignorance is bliss.” — Thomas Gray

    Commonly, when we don’t know the potentially problematic intricacies of something, yet think we clearly understand it, we are happy. Yet, there are other insights from this adage.

    A corollary is “ignore it is bliss.” That is, when we ignore whatever distracts us from our inherent state of bliss, we return to bliss.

    As ignorance is bliss, bliss is ignorance. That is, bliss makes us ignorant of issues which we would otherwise be cognizant. That’s what happens in failed marriages, when people in love marry while ignoring their compatibility.

    Ignorance leads to bliss as when we make a mistake and quickly admit we made it out of ignorance; thereby, we diffuse any potential confrontation and return to our relatively blissful state. If we otherwise try to defend our mistake, we give rise to arguing which may ultimately result in our receiving a greater punishment for our mistake than otherwise.

    Personally, I found ignorance leads to eternal bliss when we realize we don’t know much of anything about any-thing. Then, every-thing becomes fascinating. Curiosity energizes us. We consider different perspectives (like the different interpretations of “ignorance is bliss”). We seek the light in the darkness of nothingness. We journey to know more and more until we come to the point when we realize there is nothing to know as every-thing is what it is whatever it is. It is then we can know nothing, what every-thing is before it is and when time does not exist. This is being in the pre-sent. This is eternal bliss.

    True ignorance provides temporary bliss, but realising our ignorance leads us to eternal bliss.

  • The Way Of The Way 239

    “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean.” — Rumi

    We are not a separate entity in an overwhelmingly huge universe, we are the universe.

    Whether a finite part or the whole thing is of little matter unless we forget we are both.

    Every morning I awaken from peaceful sleep-death, where every-thing is before it is and time does not exist, and slowly transition from being one with everything to the finite being I identify as my self. As a self, everything is in constant change and I am an aspect of the universe unfolding. Soon enough, I again transition to peaceful sleep-death. When in finite form and not oblivious of my true nature, one with everything, makes for a wonderful day as everyday is my birthday, the first and last day of my finite life.

  • The Way Of The Way 238

    Those with a mind like a cloudless sky reflect brilliantly, but also cast the darkest shadows.

    Undoubtedly, Noam Chomsky is a brilliant intellectual. Politically leftwing, Chomsky, like many of his elk, is self-righteous and proudly reflects his do-gooder ideas. Yet, unwittingly revealing his darker nature, as a cheerleader for Covid vaccines he proposed the unvaccinated be completely isolated from the general population. Asked how the unvaccinated would get groceries, Chomsky said: “How can we get food to them? Well, that’s actually their problem.” As Chomsky is of Jewish Eastern European ancestry, it’s funny he’s oblivious his proscription of the unvaccinated is not unlike the Nazi’s Warsaw Ghetto, a very dark shadow cast by those with idealistic myths of some people being superior to others.

    We often get blinded by someone’s brilliance to the point we don’t see the shadows they cast are darker than that of the less brilliant.

  • The Way Of The Way 237

    If you are shy

    look to the night sky.

    The vastness of it all

    allows you to stand tall

    as there’s nothing to fear

    as everyone is small who’s near.

  • The Way Of The Way 236

    Regretting certain choices we’ve made in the past distracts us from making the most of the present which leads us to future regrets.

  • The Way Of The Way 235

    What you see is what is outside your self which is what you are when you let go of your self; but, then it doesn’t look the same.

  • Irony 1

    Countries that are inexpensive to visit are expensive to live in.

    Visitors with money from expensive countries find everything is inexpensive in inexpensive countries. People living in inexpensive countries find everything is expensive based on local wages.

  • Vector

    Dear Subscribers,

    A rose is a rose is a rose and what we choose to call a it doesn’t change what it is. Yet, to organize the world about us and facilitate communication, we have created words as symbols for things and actions. Some words are names which identify individual people. Those words often have other symbolic meanings which may reflect the nature of the person identified by the name.

    My name, given me at birth, is Avigdor. It is an Israeli name. It means “by father, the tall and courageous.” Jewish tradition has it that newborns are named after deceased relatives. I was named after my great grandfather, Wigdor. Wigdor, by some accounts, means “logical thinker.” My name was revelatory as my early years were somewhat defined by my father who was taller and more courageous than me and as such ruled over me in ways that made little logical sense to me. For example, metaphorically, at times he got angry and cried over milk I spilled and punished me accordingly, while it seemed to me that we should simply mop up the milk and go buy some more to replace it.

    At 13, bar mitzvah time, when Jewish boys graduate to become men, I changed my name to “Victor.” Victor suited me as I aimed to be victorious in the matters that held meaning to me, commercial matters and romantic relationships.

    In the play of life, “Terrific,” in Act 1 we are born and socialized. In Act 2 we have our Earth experience of career, family and pursuing various other personal and social interests. Act 3  is The Transition. The Transition is the path or way from our alive bodily state to our bodily death. Successfully done, we realize our potential of divine consciousness as we transition from being a finite person on Earth to being one with everything.

    In Act 3, my name in Act 2, Victor, no longer suits me. As The Transition is the way from our life as a finite self to the eternal soul which is what we are before we arrive on Earth, my name should reflect my role in the play of life which is to follow and show others the way. A vector is a course or compass direction. Thus, henceforth, my new name is Vector.

    Always and all ways,

    Vector Teicher

  • Empathy Is Harmful, Compassion Is Helpful

    In the early 1980s, I worked at Oppenheimer & Co, a medium-size stock brokerage firm. At year-end, employees were evaluated and given bonuses. However, for some, the news was otherwise; they were fired. John, with whom I was friends, was fired. This came quite unexpectedly to John who had envisioned a lifelong career at the firm.

    John, distraught, took to tears. John’s empathetic friends were quick to console him. I didn’t. I saw him as selfish, focusing on a small disappointment instead of being grateful for his good fortune relative to 99% of others living on this planet. I eventually came by and congratulated John at now having all sorts of opportunities he hadn’t considered before his firing. As well, I thought we could figure a way John might wrangle some termination payments from Oppenheimer. But John would have none of this talk of making the best out of current circumstances. He wanted to continue wallowing in self-pity. He wanted empathy, not compassion.

    From my perspective, John was not in any immediate financial difficulties. He was a talented guy who could easily find another Wall Street job. As he didn’t have a cancer protruding out of his ass, he had much about which to be grateful and happy. His sadness was about being fired, an event that seemed real as the self is obsessed with the past; not letting John accept it as passed. John was a prisoner of his self. That was sad.

    Empathy is harmful, compassion is helpful. When someone is distraught, it is their self that has upset them. Empathy acknowledges the self’s thoughts and feelings which encourages us to take the self seriously, allowing the self to continue wreaking havoc upon us. Alternatively, compassion dismisses the self and efforts to helping others make the best of their circumstances. Simply, empathy is consoling someone who’s upset about having lost their job which keeps them from finding a new job and compassion is helping them find a new job.

  • Kotodama 36

    Our sole purpose in life

    is to recognize the sole universe

    as the manifestation of the soul,

    our sole connection to everything.

    While the sole of our feet connects us to Earth,

    the soul in our heart connects us to heaven.

  • The Way Of The Way, Heaven And Hell

    Heaven is above and hell is below.

    Our lives are a journey in hell or heaven; depending on who we are, the temporary self or the eternal soul.

    Our self engages us with never-ending needs (food, shelter, security and health) and desires (that which we think we need but otherwise don’t) for which we can realize but temporary satisfactions and happiness. This is the endless cycle of hell; where happiness is but temporary, leading us to search for more temporary happiness. We search here, there and everywhere. The more we look, the less we see. Eventually, we come upon a rabbit hole into which we and and others like us descend. It is a lightless place where our eyes cannot see. What we think we see are individual and collective illusions of our self’s creation; stories, descriptions and generalizations to which we react as if they are real. As the illusions are not real, we keep searching; searching for the duration of our lives. This is the journey in hell.

    Those of us who have no needs or desires are grateful. Gratitude brings us sustained happiness; a calm state devoid of the self’s distractions and illusions. We are in the pre-sent, the time before time begins and before everything is what it is whatever it is in the now. Happy, we don’t search the Earth for temporary satisfactions. Then, we can look up and see the sun revealing our world and trillions of stars revealing trillions upon trillions of other worlds; the endless, infinite universe. We realize how infinitesimally small, meaningless and insignificant we are in the scheme of things; that taking our illusions, our selves, seriously is silly and laughable. We realize we are not independent entities in the universe; we are the soul, the universe before it expresses itself. As the light of the sun and stars enter our eyes, we realize we are the light; that what we see is who we are; that I am who I am and the universe is what it is whatever it is. This is enlightenment. This is the journey in heaven.

  • Courtesy Of David Hamono

    “The richest person is not the one who has the most but who needs the least.”

    Once we have our basic needs of food, shelter, security and health and have no desires, we do not suffer from selfish distractions in pursuit of things material or otherwise. All that remains is gratitude for what we have and have not, a key to happiness; the purpose of wealth.

  • David Hamono

    “Hard to wake someone who believes their eyes are already open.”

  • Irony 3

    There are those who experience life very differently than others, but know they are not different which is what makes them different.

    The few in this world who are enlightened experience life differently than those who are not enlightened. Those who are not enlightened believe everyone has an independent and finite (in space and time) existence. The enlightened see every-one as a unique temporary expression of the infinite and eternal (the faces of God) and that time is an illusion. Being a tiny minority and having such a different view than the not enlightened, it’s surprising the enlightened don’t see themselves as different from others; but that’s what makes them enlightened.

  • Ten Men And The Elephant

    The ten men and the elephant is a parable in many variations from the Indian subcontinent, dating back more than 2,500 years.

    In a small village in India there were ten men who had heard of but had never seen the greatest animal in the jungle, the elephant. Determined to see an elephant, they hired a guide to lead them to one. After several days of trekking in the jungle, the guide saw an elephant and called forth the ten men. The men approached the elephant and in their excitement each touched a different part of the it. The man who touched its tail said the elephant was like a snake. The man who touched the elephant’s leg said the elephant was like a tree trunk. The man who touched the elephant’s tusk said it was like a seashell. Each of the ten men described the elephant very differently. Soon the ten men, each insisting that their view of the elephant was right, started to argue and eventually came to blows.

    Clearly, the ten men were blind and didn’t know it. As to the elephant, clearly it is big; bigger than one blind man can imagine it in the context of his pervious experiences. Moreover, the elephant is like the universe itself; having so many facets, it is beyond description; it is what it is whatever it is.

    The moral of this parable is that (1) as our individual perspectives are limited, we cannot come to know the nature of things. (2) When we are certain of the infallibility of our perceptions, we are blind and don’t know it. (3) Things appear quite different up close (as when we are within) than from a distance (when we are without). (4) Our understanding of things is limited when we understand things in the context of our memories of other things. (5) Taking our perceptions too seriously, we make fools of ourselves and at times come to strife. (6) Yet, the audience for this story, the Gods in the form of children, find it funny.

  • The Way Of The Way 234

    Only fools think the past cannot be changed and they can make the future to their liking.

    The past is passed. It doesn’t exists but as an illusion in our individual and collective memories. We can free ourselves from the illusion of the past by viewing what’s passed from multiple perspectives until it is no longer what we once thought it was. Thereby, we can change the past, rendering it to our liking or meaningless. This is the wisdom fools lack.

    The future is what it is whatever it is. It is foolish to think we can manipulate or wish it to our liking. All we can do is prepare to make the best of it as it unfolds in the now.

  • The Quarantine

    In January, 2022, during the waning days of the quarantine pandemic (yes, a pandemic of quarantines), I travelled to Japan where strict quarantine protocols were still in effect; upon entering Japan I would be sequestered for three days in a government managed hotel. While I could have delayed the trip until the quarantine was lifted, it seemed fun to experience a quarantine.

    Given a choice between three days of quarantine and three days of leisure, clearly I’d choose leisure. However, the quarantine didn’t seem it would be much of a problem and as 90% of any experience is experiencing oneself, the quarantine like most things would be fun for me. Moreover, the stories my memory could weave out of the quarantine experience would make it fun regardless of what it was at the time.

    After a 14 hour flight from New York City to Tokyo, I was among a thousand or so people held at Tokyo airport for processing. We were held captive for 15 hours by dozens of police officers and people running around in hazmat suits. Everyone was in operating room mode, all masked up. It felt otherworldly, even in Japan which is already otherworldly. Food rations were limited to the inedible that no dietician would ever recommend; hot dogs, bread, sugary fruit juices. As we were closely packed together, people slept on chairs and floor, a veritable petri dish where a single Covid infected individual could easily spread the virus. At some point, people’s street clothes looked like pajamas needing a wash; people became restive. Finally, after extensive testing of secretions from nose to spit and waiting on innumerable lines with paperwork in hand, we were taken to a government hotel and placed in solitary confinement. My room was luxurious from the perspective of anyone living before 1850 or currently in a refugee camp, but otherwise basic. Fortunately, there was a big clock in the room, allowing me to identify breakfast, lunch and dinner as each meal was essentially the same thing, whatever the thing was. I did have the freedom to smoke cigars in the room; though the hotel stopped offering coffee three years back and what’s a cigar without a coffee! Entertainment was via cell phone and emails; fun connecting with others who pitied my plight which truly wasn’t bad. Ultimately, I’d recommend a quarantine as a good remedy for jetlag.

    After the quarantine, I returned to the everyday world and typical high points of a trip to Japan; restaurants, onsens, meetings with colorful people, viewing gardens and landscapes and visiting shrines. Today, I hold little memory of those moments, but the odd and peaceful time in quarantine is with me forever. If we can’t enjoy a quarantine in a civilized country, how can we enjoy most things.

  • The Way Of The Way 233

    Every-thing in reality is fascinating as every-thing is unique and everchanging. When we find something boring, we see it not with our eyes but with our mind as only the mind can make something boring. Our mind sees things not as they are but as the static categories it creates and into which it places things. When we take our mind’s perceptions as reality, we see things not as they are but as what our mind has made of them; transforming the dynamic into the mundane. Thus, it is our mind that makes things boring.

  • Discrimination Is Funny

    Early in my Wall Street career I was rejected as a applicant for a trading job at a premier money management firm because I am a Jew. The firm’s managing partner was a reasonably smart and affable US born gentleman who was proud of his German roots. While we met for interviews many times, got along along very well and clearly I was the best candidate for the job (the person ultimately hired was not particularly talented and didn’t last long at the job), he was uncomfortable with Jews based on his family’s lore. This was clear based on his social club memberships, that he had no Jews on staff and that as a member of the board of directors and employee of a Wall Street brokerage firm he was the sole vote opposing the merger of the brokerage firm with a Jewish-owned commodity trading firm which resulted in the commodity firm become the largest stockholder of the brokerage firm. That is, that he would henceforth be working for Jews.

    Ultimately, rejected from this plum job, I took a job at a third tier firm. While opportunity lost and rejection on the grounds of religious heritage might have provoked anger or dismay in others in like circumstances, I thought it was funny.

    I loved this managing director (as I do everyone) but viewed him as struggling with a mental handicap that limited his ability to make choices that would be in his best self-interest. His mental handicap is “labeling,” the generic form of discrimination.

    Labeling, like broad generalizations and categorizations, seems to make us comfortable, thinking we understand individual things; but, ultimately, labeling reveals we know nothing about the individual things we label. When someone knows nothing but thinks otherwise, that’s funny. It’s funny that his ignorance was my bliss and, in hindsight, the story of the experience is better than would have been the job.

  • First Love

    Years ago, soon after college, I had a girlfriend with whom I was in love like never before. It was wonderful every which way, a fine balance of complementary roles and common interests. Moreover, she had a stimulating mind and body. Sex was cosmic; orgasm was the Big Bang, we were one with everything.

    One day, she declared that she met another guy and wanted to leave me. I was happy for her as she felt she was going to greener pastures. I was also happy for myself as her leaving allowed me greater freedom to connect with others.

    Ultimately, she returned and we continued our relationship where we left off. It was terrific once again. However, when I had an occasion to leave for another girl, she was quite upset, but not sad. It was then I realized she may have loved having me but not me.

  • Trip To Tibet

    Robert Thurman is a scholar, author and academic who founded Tibet House and was in 1965 the first American Tibetan Buddhist ordained by the Dalai Lama.

    For many years, Thurman biannually lead groups on tours of the holy sites in Tibet. In the late 1990s, I sought to join Thurman on such a tour.

    I contacted Geographic Expeditions (GE), the tour organizer, two years before Thurman’s next trip. I was told that as I was the first inquiry, I would head the list of those going. After, periodically I called GE for an update on the timing and particulars of the trip. Finally, some months before the trip, I was told that as they had received more interest from people than available slots, 15, everyone was required to write an essay as to why they wanted to go; however, as mine was the first inquiry, my essay was proforma and I could rest assured that I’d be included on the trip. In my essay, I spoke about my collection of ancient Himalayan and Tibetan Buddhist art and that I had read a couple of Thurman’s books.

    As the tour was coming together in final form, GE contacted me to say that Thurman was only accepting applications from “serious Buddhists” which he didn’t deem me to be one. Thus, my application was rejected. I was surprised as “serious Buddhists” seemed an oxymoron. Inquiring further, GE said they had 16 essay applications. I was the only one rejected from going on the trip.

    My reaction to this news: a hearty laugh. It was funny, like other similar situations I’ve been in, but I hadn’t thought why until recently. What’s funny is imagining that some people in my situation would be upset about it, something that’s passed, instead of otherwise rejoicing about their good fortune. After waiting two years, spending time with inquires, writing an essay, being told they are good to go and very much looking forward to the trip, some would be upset being rejected. However, their consolation prize was having the financial resources, health, time to take such a trip and now, not going on the trip, extra time and money to spend on something else. As such, they should be grateful for their good fortune; especially as thinking about a trip is more than half the experience of it.

    It’s funny to think that some people choose to view their circumstances in ways that make them unhappy. Maybe that’s what serious Buddhists do. If so, it’s good the serious Buddhists were allowed on the trip and not me, as that precluded anyone becoming unhappy.

  • The Way Of The Way 232

    Everything happens in the now. Nothing happens in the present (the pre-sent), the time before time begins in the now; the place where everything is before it is in the now.

    As everything taken together would be overwhelming, we need sort everything out by generalizations, categories and stories. This is the purpose of the mind. Though even in manageable form, we are still very much engaged by the now to the point we are oblivious of the pre-sent.

    At times our experience of the now has us feeling good, at times not so good when our needs (food, shelter, security and health) or desires (everything we feel we need but truly don’t) are not satisfied.

    Regardless of whether times feel good or not so good, for realizing our purpose in life we cannot forget the pre-sent. For in the pre-sent, everything in the now is a wonderful play, Terrific, a comedy of the human experience, and we are the Gods watching everyone in the now as actors in the play.

    Moreover, in the pre-sent, as time does not exist and everything is the same thing, God, before it is what it is whatever it is, we realize our infinite and eternal nature; hence, we do not suffer death.

    Through meditation we enter the pre-sent.

  • J. Robert Post

    “…searching for your true self is a bit like wandering around in your living room wondering how to get home[,]” like a dog chasing its tail.

    The wanderer and the dog take their ways seriously, until they’re overwhelmed by frustration or exhaustion. However, they’re funny from the perspective of the Gods watching the play of life. The Gods are the embodiment of wisdom, having different perspectives with at least one that’s funny.

    The Gods have no empathy for the wanderer or the dog, but they have compassion. The Gods know that the overwhelmed wanderer and dog having lost their ways now have the opportunity to realize where and who they are.

  • The Way Of The Way 231

    Early on in Act 1 of the play of life, we find ourselves with many others peering into a black hole. Then, our elders give us a map of social constructs, beliefs and roles to guide us through the rabbit hole of the human experience, hoping we are among the fortunate few to ultimately find passage from underground to the light to see the majestic universe above that’s beyond imagination. Yet, forsaking the map held in our hands, we can look up, see the universe and realize we are not rabbits but are whatever it is we see.

  • The Way Of The Way 230

    A new house that’s for sale has its desirability variously described but it’s never described as “charming.” Charming is a word reserved to describe an old house that one would not buy from a practical point of view.

    When we fall in love with a charming house (or anything for that matter), we can’t assess it practically relative to others. When we love all houses for the safe shelters they provide, we can easily pick the house that suits us from a practical perspective and not have future regrets.

    The foregoing is also true about our relationships with loved ones or others who charm us who we treat “special,” but often ultimately to our regret.

    Yet, in the short-term, as we love the charming, whatever practical problems arise are easy to brave.

  • Nothingness And Emptiness

    Nothing is every-thing before it is what it is whatever it is. As nothingness, every-thing is one indescribable thing,

    In the stillness and quietude of meditation we can experience the nothingness of everything. Otherwise, we are overwhelmed by the infinite things that make up everything, so we organize things in containers; words, descriptions, generalizations, categories and stories describing many seemingly similar things.

    However, as every-thing is unique and ever-changing, no thing can be containerized. Thus, the containers are empty. Anything within them is an illusion.

    Likewise, the Self is an empty container. However we describe it is an illusion. The soul is the nothingness from which every-thing springs.

  • The Way Of The Way 229

    Having presence is the greatest of presents.

    To a party, those without presence need to bring presents.

    Those who want us for our presents, not our presence, will eventually have neither.

  • Irony 2

    Why I loved my father is why he hated me.

    By all accounts my father hated me, though I loved him and felt he loved me. Some who knew us have said my father hated me because he was jealous I was more successful than he was as I made my own way and didn’t, as he had, follow the shadow of my father. (This view is of those likely talking about themselves.) I feel otherwise, as my father’s most common screaming mantra was: “I can’t have a serious conversation with him [Victor].” Clearly, my father hated me for the same reason I loved him: I loved that he was hilariously funny when he took himself seriously which was much of the time; yet, he hated me laughing as he didn’t get the joke.

  • Ross Levin

    “When you believe in Santa Claus you can get lots of presents because there is always someone who wants to be Santa.”

    It’s easier for us to find Santa than for Santa to find us. If we work to find Santa, it makes it easier for Santa to find us. Practically, if we work and socialize with wealthy people we have a good chance some of them will be our Santas.

  • The Way Of The Way 228

    Just look at the night sky, the infinite number of brilliant stars that number more than all the grains of sand on Earth.

    Who are we in all this? The stars, the space between the stars or everything.

  • The Way Of The Way 227

    Empathy is selfish, soulless. Compassion is selfless, soulful.

    How we think and feel defines who we perceive we are in this life, our self. How the self experiences life as it unfolds in the now is a function of stories, generalizations and categorizes our self has created. What we experience is not the now but our stories. Moreover, our self perceives us as apart and separate from everything that is other than our self; thereby, our self denies the existence of the soul, the common progenitor of everything.

    When we are freed from the world according to our self, we are selfless. Selfless, we experience life as it is, through many perspectives, not solely our own personal perspective based on our stories and generalizations. This is wisdom. Moreover, as selfless, we are the epitome of compassion as we treat others as we wish to be treated because they and us are one, not apart and separate.

    Without the self, all that remains is us as an expression of the soul. The soul is the essence of everything, every-thing before it is what it is whatever it is.

    For example, crying over spilt milk is selfish. Once the milk has spilled, it is now no longer. There is no reality to the milk but as it exists in our mind, the self. Our crying is in reaction to our self’s illusion that the milk existed and is now lost. Having empathy for someone crying over spilt milk implies the empath is also selfish, taking the illusion created by the self as real. This reinforces the self’s existence.

    Alternatively, when we are selfless, we are soulful. We dismiss someone’s crying over spilt milk as nonsense. Instead of empathy for the person crying, we have compassion. We nurture their soul to expand its expressions. We do so by helping them see many perspectives as to how to make the best of their current circumstances. We focus on ways they can make fresh milk or other things, like babies, that expand the expressions of the soul.

    Likewise and simply, empathy is when we commiserate with someone who is distraught after having lost their job. Compassion is helping them get a new job.

    In consequence, as empathy is selfish we are oblivious to gratitude, a key to happiness; while compassion fills us with optimism and gratitude for all the opportunities before us. Hence, comforting someone with empathy prolongs sadness, while compassion leads them to happiness.

  • Rumi 1

    “The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.”

    Likewise, the less you look, the more you can see.

    In quietude and with eyes closed, we are free from the world our mind has created, we forget our self and solely the soul remains which is all that ever was, is and will be.

  • The Way Of The Way 226

    Those who are not enlightened, live in darkness. Their life is a dream; sometimes a happy dream, sometimes a sad one and much of it somewhere in-between. As each day is another dream, they need to be extraordinarily lucky to have their entire life a happy dream.

    The enlightened have happy lives. They realize they and the universe are one, the soul that some call God. The soul forever cycles between revealing itself, changing and disappearing. As we are God, we are free from the endless cycle of dreaming. The realization of our oneness with the soul makes for a happy life and death as there is no death and whatever is we accept as it is what it is whatever it is.

    Unlike the dreamers who take their dreams seriously, the enlightened know life is a play, a comedy (“Terrific”) we perform before an audience of Gods. Moreover, when we are scripted out of the play we join our fellow Gods to watch the hilarious play of actors taking their dreams seriously.

  • The Way Of The Way 225

    All there is is now

    and what is before now

    which is everything,

    the nothing

    before it is something.

    What was before now is no longer,

    but a memory.

    Our self is in the now and what was before now.

    Our soul is before the now.

  • New Year 2023

    Dear Subscribers,

    Hope all is well and getting better.

    May you have a healthy, wealthy and happy New Year and all time thereafter.

    Health is key to realizing wealth. Wealth is having our needs provided and not distracting us from realizing happiness.

    Always and all ways,

    Victor Teicher

  • The Way Of The Way 224

    We have two general identities, the self and the soul. The self is our identity in life. The soul is our identity eternally. Hence, those who only identify with their self will ultimately die when their physical bodies are no longer, while those who identify with the soul are eternal.

    We each have an individual self; hence, there are billions of selves on Earth now. But there is only one soul to which we are all connected.

    The self guides us through life; in effect, our self controls us. Our self is a mental function, an interplay of our senses and memories and related stories that frame our experience in life.

    The soul is God. Everything, before it is manifested in the now, is the soul. The soul is the pre-sent, the time before time begins.

    The self identifies as being apart and separate from all that is not its finite body. The soul identifies everything as its manifestation as the soul is the progenitor of everything. The soul recognizes every-thing as temporary and finite, yet part of itself. To the soul, the universe is one thing with infinite centers.

    Those whose identity is the soul are selfless; treating everything as they would treat themselves, for they know that they and everything are one. This is compassion.

    The multitude of selves have the capacity to understand much of what happens in the now. The soul understands nothing, the pre-sent. Yet the soul knows, while the self cannot know. Knowing is ultimate wisdom.

    As nothing is perfect in life, suffering of one sort or another is common. However, suffering is the domain of the self. The soul does not experience suffering. The soul’s experience of things is that it is what it is whatever it is. Our soul identity provides us a respite from suffering and brings us to peace.

    The key to a peaceful life is knowing who we truly are. While ultimately all of us will be at peace as one, as we were before we were born, it would be beautiful if all are at peace on Earth.

  • The Way Of The Way 223

    As stress, directly or indirectly (as a factor leading to an unhealthy diet), results in poor health outcomes, it’s ironic that many health conscious people worry about their health.

  • The Way Of The Way 222

    We are all the same before we are born and all the same after we are no longer. We come from and go to a calm, timeless, eternal place where only the soul resides. Some call this place heaven.

    Infinite selves are born of the soul. The selves make their way through life but cannot survive the transition back to heaven. Only the soul survives in life and heaven.

    In life, we are a temporary self identity and the eternal soul identity of which we are often oblivious. When our identity is the selfless soul, we are in heaven.

  • C. S. Lewis

    “You can’t go back and change the beginning but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

    While this quote is misattributed to C. S. Lewis, a British writer and Anglican lay theologian, it is consistent with his general thinking.

    We can’t simultaneously hold onto the past and have a firm grip of the steering wheel.

  • Preface

    IAWIA, the acronym for “I am who I am.” Pronounced: “I why?”

    IIWIIWII, the acronym for “It is what it is whatever it is.” Pronounced: “I why why?”

    Why do I exist? Why am I here? Ultimately, who am I?

     

    There is only I and there is no why.

    I am who I am and it is what it is whatever it is.

    Whoever knows eye and I are one does not suffer death.

     

    The universe is a glass of sparkling water.

    Each of us a bubble that seems to come out of nowhere,

    takes a unique journey to the top of the glass

    and then seems to disappear.

    We don’t disappear.

    We become one with everything

    as we are before we appear as bubbles.

     

    My name is Victor Teicher and this is a book about the nature of consciousness.

    Many of the observations herein are based on Kotodama; the interconnectedness of language, spiritual matters and the material world; wherein, broadly, the sounds, meanings and etymologies of words hold mystical revelations and affect the material world. For example:

    Teicher is a German name. In German, “teich” means pond; Teicher, someone who ponders. That’s what I do; ponder reflections from the universal mind which is a reflecting  pond.

    In English, a digraph (two letters together that are pronounced as only one of the letters) made of two vowels is pronounced as the first vowel with the second vowel silent. Thus, Teicher would be pronounced as “teacher.” Teaching, sharing these reflections, is the purpose of this blook.

    Alternatively, in German (wherein the second vowel of the digraph is pronounced), Teicher is pronounced like the Japanese word “taisha.” In Japan, Taisha is the ancient shrine where all the gods meet annually. I am, through this book, a forum for the gods.

    Finally, the etymology of  “Victor” is “conqueror.” The purpose of this blog is to conquer the self (our personal identity) which imprisons the soul, precluding us from experiencing the world through the universal mind (the mind of the soul). The soul is every-thing is before and after it is what it is whatever it is and before time begins.

    Moreover, synchronicity has it that in numerology the name “Victor Teicher” is “11” which is a master number. Those whose name is a master number (estimated to be around 1% of the population) are thought to represent spiritual enlightenment, heightened intuition, and a strong connection to the universe or higher power. They are idealistic and have a special spiritual mission or purpose in life to make a difference in this world. This book is the realization of my mission.

    Yet, I claim no ownership of the chains of words and thoughts in this book as I am merely a conduit for the author who is us. Ultimately, hopefully, this book reveals there is nothing new under the sun; all ways always bring us to the here and now which is forever-new and never-changing, eternal.

  • The Way Of The Way 221

    Wealthy and admirable are those who make the best with whatever little they have. Poor, pitiful and absurdly funny are those who try to appear wealthy, as the emperor who had no clothes.

  • The Way Of The Way 220

    In this holiday season, marked by gift giving and celebrations, it feels great to be wealthy.

    Wealthy are those whose have what they need in terms of food, shelter, security and health and know they need nothing more. Wealthy are those who rejoice with what they have now and are not distracted by desires for that which they don’t have. Moreover, the wealthy are grateful as they know their circumstances could always be worse. When we are wealthy, we are great-full; full of feeling great.

  • The Way Of The Way 219

    We are born at sunrise and start making our way,

    following our shadow which gets smaller and smaller until midday.

    Then our shadow behind us again grows

    and we follow the sun to where no one knows.

    The way forward is clear after midday

    unless our shadow appears which means we’re going the wrong way.

  • Kate Moss

    “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.”

    This motto is the mindset of those with the eating disorder anorexia.

    Anorexia aside, the motto may serve well those trying to diet and exercise for good health outcomes and conventional good looks.

    A change in diet and an exercise routine take time before their effects on health and looks are noticeable. For many, these desired outcomes are not as enticing as the immediate gratification from eating with abandon while sedentary, watching TV. However, a diet and exercise program also provides immediate gratification when we focus on how we feel when we dress in the morning and our clothing feels a bit but noticeably less tight than yesterday; a wonderful feeling that lasts all day. Nothing tastes, or lasts as as long,  as good as that feels.

    Moreover, while a healthy diet and exercise are positively correlated with life expectancy, time and effort spent to increase one’s life expectancy is a fool’s errand as no one is getting out of here alive. However, diet and exercise forestall chronic diseases which are often overwhelming distractions from simply enjoying being alive. Health life expectancy is the time before the onset of chronic diseases. On average, health life expectancy is ten years less than life expectancy. Ten years maybe is a reasonable sentence for the foolish crime of abusing one’s body instead of rejoicing with consciously eating and sex, an exercise which provides immediate gratification and longer-term health and appearance benefits. Maybe that’s why Kate Moss liked the feeling of being thin, that made her attractive so that she could engage sexually with anyone she wished and have fun exercising.

  • The Way Of The Way 218

    The past is just a small number of photos which we weave into a movie. While constrained by what’s depicted in the photos, seemingly happy or sad scenes, we nevertheless have great freedom to make the movie a comedy or tragedy. Our attitude determines the storyline. However, when we take what we see in the photos seriously, we lose our freedom to make the movie to our liking.

  • My Guides

    When I was a child in Act 1 of the play of life, “Terrific,” my parents, friends and teachers showed me the ways of this world. However, their views were not as interesting to me as the views of the elders, my grandfathers. As my grandfathers’ perspectives were from the end of days, Act 3, I felt the light they projected from their position to mine would best show me the way forward.

    My paternal grandfather came from Leipzig, Germany. He, my grandmother and father escaped to Israel in 1938, just before all roads out of Germany closed to Jews. My grandfather was a successful businessman in the printing business in Germany and the envelope manufacturing business in Israel. Yet, after 18 years in Israel, my father, who worked for my grandfather and had married my mother in 1950, yearned for the economic opportunities he envisioned in America. So in 1956, when I was 6 and my sister was 2, we moved with my grandparents to Brooklyn, N.Y.

    My grandfather opposed moving to America. Before leaving Israel, he told my mother to take a long deep look at the comforts she had in Israel because it would be a long time before she would have those comforts in America. He was right. My family arrived in America during a recession and struggled for several years.

    My grandfather went through many ups and downs in life. However, with his ability to see situations from many different perspectives, he always found creative solutions to whatever problems arose. Moreover, he always found a perspective that made a situation funny and was always grateful as every situation could have always be worse. This was the foundation of his happiness. His was the attitude that I naturally adopted.

    My maternal grandfather was a dry goods store owner in Haifa, Israel. His approach to life was to enjoy the physical pleasures of life; eating, talking and sex. However, as his lifestyle took its toll, in his last years, he was overweight, diabetic and unsteady on his feet. That taught me that getting fat is just deserts for eating just desserts. While he would likely have been in better shape had he restrained his desires, in his last days he felt the pleasures he realized were greater than their costs. He too was happy. Enjoy the physical pleasures of life is what I learned from his life.

    My grandfathers made clear my way; to physically enjoy life and realize my potential by making the best of every situation. That describes my life in Act 2. While my grandfathers would likely not have approved many of the choices I made on the way to where I am now, a grandfather in Act 3, their light guided my way on a happy life which is all my grandfathers would have hoped.

    Moreover, now that I’m in Act 3, the transition, I’m no longer interested in the views of elders. I’m drawn to the energy of those younger; especially my grandchildren. They are closer to where I’m going than I am. Maybe they can reflect the light from which they come to guide me to where I’m going.

  • Kotodama 35

    God’s pupil, the sun, reveals the world.

    Our pupil sees the world

    when we are God’s pupil.

  • Expensive, Defined

    The definition of “expensive” is costly. It’s etymology is Late Latin expensa, “disbursement, outlay.”

    However, perhaps the root of expensive is simply things people buy without (ex) thinking (pensive) about price.

    Only without thinking about price, one easily buys an off-the-rack Kiton sports jacket ($9,995) at Neiman Marcus instead of an equally functional jacket at Men’s Warehouse for $100. That’s what the Emperor does if the emperor has no clothes.

    Those who buy expensive jewelry are schmucks. Schmuck is the German word for jewelry.

  • Kotodama 34

    Who we are is our way.

    The road to our destination is the Way.

    When we know our way

    we know the Way.

  • Sara Teasdale

    “I make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes.”

    All that’s now is now no longer.

    What is gone doesn’t exist.

    All there is is what comes next

    with which we can just do our best.

  • Alex Bernand

    “Like Bernie Madoff made off with the money, Sam Bankman-Fried will be a bankman fried.”

    In German, a digraph (two letters together that spell one sound) made of two vowels is pronounced as the second vowel. Thus, “Fried” is pronounced as “freed.” In English, only the first vowel is pronounced. Thus,  “Fried” is pronounced as “fried.”

    In Germany, which is not as punitive as the U.S., Sam Bankman-Fried, if found guilty, would likely be “freed” after a handful of years in prison. In the U.S., he would be “fried,” imprisoned for a couple of decades.

  • Third Anniversary

    Dear Subscriber,

    As we come to the the third anniversary of our blog, I, your humble narrator, thank you for your presence, accepting the blog’s presents which I’m happy to deliver. However, I wonder, as I rarely receive comments on the posts but from a few people, whether many in our small audience of subscribers are finding the blog entertaining or otherwise worthwhile. My aim is that at least one person gets something out of it; otherwise, why continue with it. But, I may be hedged as I thoroughly enjoy it.

    Always and all ways,

    Victor Teicher

  • The Way Of The Way 217

    All around us are things things things, thousands and thousands of things and things that change into other things. However, when we move farther and farther away from things, the things become smaller and smaller until all we can see is one thing. This is the universe, one thing that we see as an infinite number of things which in turn makes us oblivious that it is only one thing. Seeing the one as many is our mind’s creation; otherwise the many things don’t exist.

    This realization, that the many are One, can happen anytime but often happens during the transition as we become selfless, merging into one thing which is what we have always been.

    As all things are just infinite aspects of one thing, we cannot describe the one thing beyond saying that it is what it is whatever it is. Yet, as it is selfless, those who know it feel it as all of mankind at peace

    Shanti Shalom Salaam.

  • Jim Rohn

    “Formal [college] education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

    A college education reduces the risk of winding up with a low paying job. Those who are self-educated are precluded from most well paying jobs; hence, they can take a low paying job or try their luck with self-employment where there’s a chance they make it big or lose whatever they had. Clearly, the self-education route is risky. Risk taking is a key to making a fortune.

    A formal education is a reactive process as students strive to come up with what their teachers have determined are the conventionally “right” answers. Essentially, successful students excel at conformity of thought, not at creative thinking, which limits their ability to create exceptional value in the confines of a large organization. Self-education is proactive, motivated by having more questions than answers and characterized by independent thinking which ultimately can lead to discovering new, better or cheaper ways of doing things.

    Buddha and Christ had no gurus.

  • Haiku 23

    As stars are motionless, sky is timeless.

    The constellations tell time far and near,

    time of night and month of year.

  • Haiku 22

    Mind is night sky.

    Stars are events we remember.

    Imaginary lines form constellations

    whose stories we see in the day.

  • Steven Wright

    “Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until they speak.”

  • Matt Haig

    “Tragedy is just comedy that hasn’t come to fruition. One day we will laugh at this. We will laugh at everything.”

    “Everyone is a comedy. If people are laughing at you they just don’t understand the joke that is themselves.”

    Life is a play, “Terrific.” The play is our journey in life. It starts as a tragedy and ends as a farce. When we get scripted out of the play, we join the gods in the audience for whom the play of human follies provides entertainment. Those who realize this truth have a wonderful journey; forever, whether on stage or in the audience. For those who don’t, life is a mix of good and bad roles in the play and eventually they die.

  • W. C. Fields

    “A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.”

    A funny line because we have mental associations and make generalizations about the rich which bear little truth regarding an individual who happens to be rich. The undoubtable truth is that the rich man is simply a man who has money. When the truth is revealed and we realize our mental constructs are illusionary is the essence of something funny.

    Being rich is a matter of money, but otherwise it’s meaningless. Any inferences made based on someone having money is poor judgement. Good judgement is more valuable than money.

    Money comes and goes. Good judgement doesn’t necessarily assure money coming, but it’s helpful in keeping it from going.

    Poor judgement and good luck can bring great wealth, as in heavily playing the lottery and winning. Good judgement, unlike poor judgement, more likely assures our basic needs of food, shelter, security and health. Once our basic needs are met, we are absolutely rich. Realizing this truth is good judgement.

    When we are absolutely rich but perceive ourselves as poor relative to others, we will always be poor because we have poor judgement.

  • The Way Of The Way 216

    When we are selfless, we treat others as we treat ourselves. Implicitly, the self, our identity as a finite being that’s apart and separate from others, is what separates us from being one with others.

  • Kotodama 33

    The most frequently used noun in the English language is “time.” Remarkably, the most frequently used noun identifies something that’s not real, a concept. This suggests that life is an experience in the context of time. Actually, life is more an experience of time than of life.

    (The most frequently used pronoun is “I.” The most frequently used verb is the “be” complex as in “am.” The most frequently used noun is “time.” Based on the frequency of use, what we never say is what we say the most frequently: “I be time” or, derivatively, “I am time.”)

    However, there is an alternative way of experiencing life, outside the context of time; when past, present and future are one. Everything is one in the pre-sent; when there is only one thing, nothing, before there is everything.

    In the pre-sent, we realize samadhi, the highest state of consciousness. In samadhi, we are one with the universe, free from our illusory self. Samadhi is a state of joyus calm as we experience the beauty of creation. Meditation is the road to samadhi.

  • Recognizing Father

    Some years back, when one of my children passed puberty, one day they called me “Victor.” It sounded odd, but that’s a way some children assert themselves. I laughed at what some might take as disrespectful and said: “You can call me whatever you wish but if you cease calling me “father” I might forget I’m your father and you might not like the consequences of having our relationship like that I have with others whom I equally love but who aren’t in my will.” They never again called me “Victor,” but that might be because I would not have recognized them if they had.

  • The Way Of The Way 215

    Successful students reflect their teacher’s light. Brilliant students look outside their classroom to see what the sun’s light reveals.

  • The Way Of The Way 214

    Those who absorb light are dull. Those who reflect light are brilliant.

  • The Way Of The Way 213

    Dark shades of clothing absorb light which then converts into heat. Light shades reflect light, causing no noticeable change in heat. That’s why dark clothing is worn in winter and light clothing in summer.

    Likewise, when we are stressed out, our mood darkens, we absorb light and our body temperature rises. When we are happy, lighthearted, we reflect light and are calm and cool.

  • The Way Of The Way 212

    While there is little we can do to help those whose lives go wasted, no death should go wasted.

    Death is a moment of reckoning, when we can glean certain truths about life from the life of the person who has passed. Ultimately, the truths are all the same regardless of who has passed: know thyself, live each day with wonder and gratitude as it is your first and last day of your life, realize your potential and help others likewise. Knowing and sharing these truths is the little we can do to help those whose lives may be otherwise wasted.

  • The Way Of The Way 211

    Nearsighted is the girl who is attracted to a man over 70.

    Farsighted is the girl who is attracted to a man who has passed the crossover point, when he henceforth has considerably more money than time.

  • The Way Of The Way 210

    When our mind makes sense of our senses, we no longer experience our senses.

  • The Way Of The Way 209

    Our mind makes things here and there in space (us is here and and them is there) and time (present is here, past and future are there). Our senses reveal the here and now which is all there is.

  • The Way Of The Way 208

    Everything revealed by light is beautiful,

    unlike sounds which are noisy.

    Yet, hidden in noisy sounds is music,

    the most beautiful thing of all.

  • The Way Of The Way 207

    Light reveals infinite ways

    we can take until the end of days.

    Which way to take is not clear

    until in noisy sounds music we hear.

    Then we need not the ways revealed by the sun

    as music makes us all one.

  • The Way Of The Way 206

    Recently, at dinner, my son-in-law mentioned that he was put off by a guest who attended a barbeque held at my house this passed summer. He said the guest was very disrespectful when he spoke to and about me. This surprised me as I couldn’t recall anything disrespectful, but, in any event, I can never remember anything unpleasant or take this guest seriously; certainly not as seriously as this guest takes himself. That makes the guest funny, not disrespectful.

  • Helen Keller

    “Blindness cuts us off from things, but deafness cuts us off from people.”

    As we make our way in this world, we are seemingly more vulnerable and less likely to survive without the ability to see than without the ability to hear. Hence, it would seem better to be deaf than blind. Yet, when we connect with others by hearing and talking, we can see through their perspectives which is the essence of wisdom. Moreover, connecting with others is fundamental to love. Wisdom and love (compassion) transform this world into heaven. There is little point trying to make our way in this world by seeing if we can’t arrive at its ultimate destination, heaven. Hence, it is better to be blind than deaf as deaf is death.

    Seeing allows us to connect (experience) things. However, seeing confirms that we are apart and separate from things. Hearing allows us to connect with and as such be one with others. Better to be able to hear which has us one with everyone, than to see which confirms our separateness. When we are one with everyone, we are in heaven.

    Most people would rather be deaf than blind; implying that most people feel vulnerable, apart and separate from others. For them, there is no heaven.

  • The Way Of The Way 205

    It’s wise to think a dog is a wolf and not to think a wolf is a dog. However, as a dog could be anything, including someone’s reincarnated mother, it’s wiser to have a wide imagination with no preconceived notions; especially as we can only see what we can imagine. To the enlightened, seeing things as they truly are, a dog is one of infinite manifestations of God and a semordnilap; as God is dog spelled backwards.

  • Kotodama 32

    Our sole connects us to Earth.

    It’s the foundation upon which we stand,

    little noticed unless it hurts

    and unseen but when we’re supine at sleep death.

    That’s the nature of soul.

  • The Way Of The Way 204

    What’s good for you is good for me.

    This is the way of divine consciousness. You and I are one. When your joy appears to derive from my loss, I rejoice in your joy and am oblivious to my loss. The choice between feeling badly for oneself or happy for us is essentially a choice between selfishness and happiness.

  • The Way Of The Way 203

    I am who I am.

    However, more specifically, from the top down, I am God and anyone who doesn’t recognize I am God doesn’t recognize they too are God.

    From the bottom up, I’m a comedian and also my greatest audience. I find almost everything funny, though others seldom do. What’s funny? When we take ourselves seriously.

  • The Way Of The Way 202

    It’s impossible to open our eyes if we don’t know they are closed.

  • Frieda Teicher

    “Life is a dream; some have a good one, some have a bad one.”

    Dreams are dynamic, changing from good to bad and good again. Hoping our dream gets better keeps us dreaming. However, when we awaken, everything is neither good nor bad. There is no good nor bad. All that is is just beautiful.

    Frieda Teicher is my grandmother. When Victor was 6, she sparked his curiosity to wonder what happens when we wake up from our dream.

  • The Way Of The Way 201

    No thing is perfect but nothing is perfect.

    As no thing is perfect

    every thing is forever-changing

    in its quest for perfection.

    Every thing is nothing

    before and after

    it is what it is whatever it is.

    As nothing is perfect

    nothing is forever-unchanging.

  • The Way Of The Way 200

    The dead have complete self-awareness of their state of consciousness; they know they are in the audience watching a play in which those who are non-dead are acting out various roles in life. Those who are non-dead are not necessarily alive, self-aware; they have the potential to be alive but mostly they are non-dead.

  • Haiku 21

    Men are the sun, women are the moon.

    The sun is happy, seeing its reflection in the full moon.

    As Earth shades moon, sun’s happiness wanes.

  • John Dryden

    “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”

  • Orson Welles

    “We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create for the moment the illusion that we’re not alone.”

    Orson Welles was an actor, director, producer and screenwriter; an innovator in film, radio and theatre; considered among the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. He was also a master illusionist or magician.

    When our identity is our finite self in time and space (which we perceive as apart and separate from everything that is not our self), ipso facto we are alone regardless of how we might delude ourselves otherwise.

    When we come to realize that every-thing is not a separate thing but a temporary facet of one thing, the everything; we are not alone as we do not have an independent existence. It is then that the eternal light dispels all illusions as we are one with the light which has no beginning and no end. We are God which is that which is beyond our mind’s descriptions as descriptions imply that something is one thing and not another. We are no longer a piece but at peace, beyond our mind’s comprehension for the mind has deluded us to identifying ourselves as apart and separate from the everything.

  • The Way Of The Way 198

    Love is ineffable, ethereal and yet eternal. When a love relationship concludes, we can only conclude it was never love; as when what was once and is no longer, never was.

  • The Way Of The Way 197

    When we feel loved only by those with whom we are close, we are closed to others. When we feel everyone loves us, we are open and free.

    When we realize everyone is God, we feel everyone loves us; if not now, then later.

  • The Way Of The Way 196

    Heaven is real, hell an illusion.

    In heaven are those who realize everything is an expression of God. In hell are those whose mind tells them otherwise.

  • The Way Of The Way 195

    Those who love certain people but not all people are sentimental. Those who love everyone are practical.

  • Lao Tzu 2

    “He who knows enough is enough will always have enough.”

    It’s easy to satisfy our needs and impossible to satisfy our desires, but temporarily.

  • Haiku 20

    The sun rises and sets once each day.

    Yet it does so all day,

    simultaneously and continuously.

  • The Way Of The Way 194

    Encapsulated, raw intelligence is characterized by one’s abilities in matters of conceptual thinking, memory, compiling and quickly analyzing information and creativity. However, the truly intelligent are those who have the ability to learn something from virtually anyone, magnifying their intelligence by using the intelligence of others. This is wisdom, a more powerful ability than raw intelligence.

  • Every-Thing Is Not A Thing, It’s Interdependent

    My arms and legs work well together but I wonder whether they know each other exists. With little self-awareness, each likely feels it has an independent existence. If they knew who they were they would quickly realize that they are not independent things; they are interdependent as they couldn’t exit without everything else to which they’re part of and connected. Maybe when I think of who I am I’m thinking the way my arms and legs are thinking, with little self-awareness. Upon awakening, it’s clear I only exist as one with everything.

  • Homophone 1

    Balabusta is a Yiddish word derived from the term for a woman who is “master of the house.” Balabusta is pronounced as she would often be described: ballbuster.

  • What The Psilocybin Said

    It was 1971, Victor was 20, sitting on a futon and waiting for the journey to begin, to see what the psilocybin mushrooms had to say. As his eyes looked up, a painting on the wall was melting, colors spilling beyond its frame, on the wall, covering the floor; brilliant colors bubbling and burping. Then, Victor noticed he was elevated six to ten inches above the futon; weightlessness; the peace beyond description. After, he directed the paint colors to dance and form paintings.

    A profound journey.

    While the journey was wonderful in and of itself, it beckoned explanation beyond a write-off as simply an hallucination where the abstract and surreal supplant the realistic.

    However, only recently, did the message from the psilocybin vision dawn on me: everything is one thing, forever-changing; being one with everything is the ultimate peace to which our mind is the greatest impediment; and, ultimately, when we are one with everything, we create the universe.

    The paint overflowing its canvas implies that what we see in the realistic world as discrete, self-contained things is actually one continuous, interconnected, interdependent, ever-changing thing; the everything.

    However, our mind convinces us that the universe is made of discrete things. The mind does this so that we view the mind itself as discrete; different from other minds and, as such, it needs to be protected from the others. The mind feels protected and thrives when we pay it attention and take it seriously. Maybe our mind has convinced us of other falsehoods; e.g., who we are.

    The weightlessness implies that discrete things cannot be differentiated by weight, as all things are equally weightless. In that sense, all things are one. The peace that accompanies weightlessness is the peace of being one with everything.

    In a world where everything is continuous, interconnected, interdependent and equal, everything is one.

    Victor directing the paint colors to dance and form paintings implies that when we are one with everything the world is our creation as are our interpretations of psilocybin visions.

  • Kotodama 30

    No thing is forever, but nothing is forever.

    The universe is eternal, ever-changing manifestations of nothing.

    Every thing is nothing, before and after it is what it is whatever it is.

    Every thing does not exist but as a surface of everything.

  • Waves Come And Go

    Waves of light come and go

    but when is hard to know

    as what we see

    is only our memory.

    Waves of sound come and go

    neither fast nor slow.

    All we know is when they show.

  • The Way Of The Way 193

    Stupidity is the privilege of the young. The young are forgiven for doing stupid things so they can learn they are stupid. Those who don’t learn this lesson are stupid.

  • Spilled Champagne

    A funny (as in odd and humorous) thing recently happened to Victor. Victor was taking a night flight from NYC to Lisbon, sitting in First Class. As Victor never eats on commercial airplane flights, Victor wasn’t paying attention to the food service. Apparently, he was not alone. The Stewardess also wasn’t paying much attention until she saw Victor drenched in 3/4 of a bottle of Champagne which she inadvertently dislodged from its casing. Victor’s immediate reaction was to laugh. Likewise, in other similar passed situations, Victor was quick to laugh . However, until now, I didn’t realized why Victor thought such situations funny.

    Now, upon reflection, Victor’s nature is such that Victor instinctively views a situation as how others in the situation might react and how others would perceive the situation. These perspectives are generally funny. Victor has been embracing alternative perspectives since he was a child, when he realized that everyone views a situation differently and as such there is no definitive perspective, including Victor’s. Thus, to understand a situation, Victor automatically takes many perspectives.

    What’s funny about a passenger’s Champagne accident is that many people in that situation would have been upset or even angry. That’s a selfish reaction as being upset is succumbing to their ego and not realizing how happy they should be in their circumstances relative to most people in the world. An egotistical fool is always funny. Moreover, many people who are forever stressed out about money matters would love to be in the passenger’s situation, with the presumed freedoms accorded to someone wealthy enough to fly First Class. Yet, these people are fools as well because an angry passenger has no freedom; he is a prisoner of his ego, as are those who admire his situation.

    Of course, the Champagne accident could have been actively made funny had Victor had asked the stewardess to give him her shirt as she had wet his and he needed a replacement.

    Now. I understand why when Victor has been to the movies, he is often laughing while others are not.

    P.S. While I am who I am, people socially refer to me as Victor. I refer to myself as “I” when talking in the present and as “Victor” when referring to myself in the past, a person who is now passed. Referring to oneself in the third person is call illeism.

  • Wayne Dyer

    “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

    We see what’s passed in reflections our mind has constructed. The reflections are illusions, not real. When we change our reflections, what we see invariably changes as it never had an inherent reality to it.

  • Sigmund Freud

    “It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement — that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life.”

    Material things come and go, if not in our lifetimes then when we exit the play of life. The true value in life is life itself; appreciating the wonderfulness of it all, awakening to our divine consciousness, and helping others likewise.

  • Kotodama 29

    Heaven is “He-even.”  In heaven, He (God) is even. That is, the heavens comprise an unimaginable, infinite number (billions of planets spinning around 100 billion stars in each of 10 trillion galaxies) of seemingly distinct parts that are not distinct; they are interdependent; thus, even. Like the infinite faces of God are equally significant, even, manifestations of one thing, God.

    This realization (that everything, including us, is God) delivers us to a state of complete bliss, delight and peace; heaven.

  • The Way Of The Way 192

    Politicians are best as a form of comic entertainment. However, when many people take politicians seriously, we’re forced to take these people seriously because the politicians will lead them to war.

  • Evening Prayer

    Even-ing is when we are all made even; the smart, the stupid, the rich, the poor; all even, equal, in sleep-death. In sleep-death, our soul returns to its source where all souls are sole, one, even.

    Evening Prayer

    Oh eternal universe.

    Oh endless universe.

    Oh ever-changing universe.

    Oh timeless universe.

    Thank you all for giving me a role in the play of life, “Terrific.”

    Thank you for divine consciousness.

    Now, in sleep-death

    my soul returns to its source

    to which it has always been connected

    to be one with everything

    before everything becomes something

    that is what it is whatever it is and before time begins.

    Hopefully soon, my soul returns and awakens the vessel holding the light of life.

     

    Life begins not upon our awakening, but in sleep-death. A wonderful Earth life awaits us upon awakening when we enter sleep-death in a happy state of mind. In the Evening Prayer we express our gratitude. Gratitude is the essence of happiness.

  • The Way Of The Way 191

    There are many interesting and wonderful roles in the play of life, but the role of God is incomparable as God creates the universe and is eternal. Unlike roles for which many people compete for the few available vacancies (there are just so many professional football team owners), the role of God is accessible to all. However, the greatest impediment to our realizing our role as God is our individual and collective identities.

  • Casey Stengel

    “All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for… reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration.”

    However upsetting our circumstances, we can always be grateful they aren’t worse. Gratitude is the foundation of happiness.

    Let what’s past be passed. Holding on to the past limits our ability to grab whatever opportunity next comes our way.

    The foundation of anger is selfishness. When we’re angry we take ourselves so seriously we are oblivious to the dire circumstances of others who would be thrilled to be in our shoes. However, when we’re compassionate, we’re grateful as we see our circumstances through the perspective of those less fortunate. Selfishness precludes us from happiness.

  • Elohim

    Elohim is a Hebrew word that literally means “gods” but is used in prayer to refer to God in the singular, one God.

    Literal meanings relate to the mundane. In the secular world, there are a virtually infinite number of human manifestations of God, the faces of God. These are elohim, gods. In prayer, we enter the spiritual realm in which there is only one God from which everything emanates.

    As humans, we are elohim; we are gods. As such, we can view ourselves as different from other elohim (in which case we don’t recognize them as gods) or realize that we are one of the infinite faces of God; that is, that we are God.

    Hashem, “the name,” is a Hebrew word referring to God. This name for God is purposely ambiguous, unspecified. If God’s name was specifically identified, it would imply God is one thing and not another; the antithesis of God as God is everything. However, referring to God as “the name” suggests that knowing God’s name reveals the nature of God. When we come to know the meaning of Elohim, the secret of our oneness with God is revealed.

  • The Flood

    Earth is an eyeball peering from all sides into peaceful space.

    Here and there, a restless mist scrubs its face.

    The dew left in its wake

    makes a watery mess of the landscape.

    The flood and the hideous

    gather the attention of those now oblivious

    to everything beyond the sky

    where those who rest in peace lie.

  • The Way Of The Way 190

    As every-thing is interdependent

    every-thing is no-thing

    just a facet of everything.

     

    No-thing can be described

    as descriptions are empty generalizations,

    the personal mind’s creation,

    making something out of nothing.

     

    Every-thing is temporary

    and everything is eternal.

    Descriptions are the personal mind’s vanity,

    vain attempts to eternalize that which is no longer.

     

    The universal mind is empty of words.

    It is still

    and yet busy

    eternally manifesting itself as everything.

     

    When our personal mind is still

    it merges with the universe mind

    and we are one with everything.

  • The Way Of The Way 189

    When we are the person we once were,

    we are nothing.

    When we are not the person we once were,

    we are everything.

  • Haiku 19

    Love is more powerful than life itself.

    Love is fusion.

    Birth is fission.

  • Anonymous

    “May you live in interesting times.”

    This quasi-blessing is actually a curse. Times that are not interesting are peaceful, while times that are interesting are times of great conflicts. Clearly, it’s better not to live in interesting times.

    Interesting times are generally interesting. To wit, most history books are about wars and conflicts, very few are about when the world was at peace.

    People are likewise. They have more interest in their traumas than when they were carefree. Perhaps they would be better served showing little interest in their personal history. That way, they can move forward carefree.

  • Sigmund Freud

    “Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.”

    Life is essentially simple and beautiful, unless we complicate it with our mind.

  • Narges Obaid

    “You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.”

    We are billions of unique individuals but are socialized into common roles in the play of life. Our roles become our identities which retard our realizing our inherent unique potentials.

  • Eckhart Tolle 2

    “You are the universe, expressing itself as a human for a little while.”

    As we are the universe, we are eternal. But if we solely identify with our fleeting human form, we will surely die.

  • The Way Of The Way 109

    The universe, everything, is the manifestation of God. Loving God is loving everything and every-thing; even those things we don’t like and seek to avoid.

  • Mother Goddess, 7th millennium BC

    The serenity of this mother goddess amulet from the dawn of civilization is reminiscent of certain sculptures of Buddha who arrived at the dawn of human consciousness.

  • The Way Of The Way 188

    Everything is always beautiful. Every-thing is always, but not all ways, beautiful.

  • The Path To Liberation

    The Buddhist path to liberation refers to enlightenment. Liberation is liberation from the personal mind.

    There is only one mind, the universal mind, the mind of God. The universe is the manifestation of the universal mind in the now. Dwelling in our finite body (which seems apart and separate from the universe) is a personal mind that is connected to the universal mind. However, we identify with our personal mind and are mostly oblivious to the universal mind. The path of liberation is realising our connection to the universal mind.

    The personal mind buffers us from directly experiencing the now. In other words, we experience the now not as it truly is but as a function of our personal mind. The personal mind defines, describes and compares; transforming the now, which is a flow, into a static experience. The now we experience with our personal mind is illusionary, empty of reality. However, we embrace our personal mind for we fear losing our identities and in turn being alone, not knowing who we are and where we are.

    The personal mind is grounded in memories. The memories are stories we create based on our intentions, actions and their consequences in previous lives. (Previous lives are previous days of our life.) These illusionary stories frame, define and describe the now. These stories are our karma.

    By not allowing us to experience the now directly, our karma essentially holds us in a karmic prison. Liberation is liberation from our karmic prison.

    Once liberated, we can experience the now as it is and in so doing we become one with the now, one with everything, eternal. There are no words to describe or compare this experience. All that can be said is that it is what it is whatever it is.

    The path to liberation is how we escape the karmic prison of our mind.

    Our escape is difficult, blocked by fears created by our personal mind. To escape, we need to quiet our mind until it falls asleep. Then, we can sneak passed it to liberation. Meditation puts our mind to sleep. When our mind is asleep via meditation, we transition from our personal mindlessness to universal mindfulness as our personal mind merges with the universal mind.

    Beyond meditation, we can renounce our personal mind. This is done by surrendering to the reality that we know nothing and that every-thing our personal mind tells us is not real, just illusions. Then, our curiosity is aroused; what am I, who am I, why am I? To answer these questions, we observe the universe with our eyes; not with our personal mind. We know we are experiencing the universe with our eyes when every-thing is unique, an experience like no other; nothing can be described, nothing can be compared. All we can say is WOW, as we feel connected to and love every-thing and everything. (Mouthing the word “wow” is like mouthing a kiss.) With our eyes open, we can see the light and come to know that we and the light are one. Now the path is clear. We are the path, the way of way (WOW).

    This is the path of the Buddha. A path guided by the light, not by a guru who at best can only reflect the light.

  • Kotodama 3

    As everything is only in the present, the present is all there is and therefore the greatest present we can receive. Upon opening ourselves up to receive the present, we become one with everything and we want for nothing which is everything before it becomes the present.

  • Position And Disposition

    We see things not as they are but as a function of our position and disposition.

    Having recently spoken with some people on the Left, they all view Joe Biden as maybe a bit old but certainly of sound mind and effective in performing his job. Moreover, they view Kamala Harris as possessing more than average intelligence, but not as articulate as most politicians.

    Those on the Right view Biden as obviously in early senility. As to Harris, they view her as a moron (IQ between 50 – 75 (average IQ is 100)), though none identify her as an imbecile (IQ 25 – 50).

    As to disposition, those who are happy with their economic position and prospects, favorably view Biden and Harris. Those who feel their way of life, in terms of safety and individual liberties, is threatened and that the country is “going in the wrong direction” (presumably right is right and left is wrong) are very unhappy with Biden and Harris.

    Clearly, those who are wise know it’s difficult to know who Biden and Harris really are. Moreover, as politicians, it’s unlikely they know.

  • The Way Of The Way 187

    In our mind

    some things are the same,

    some things are different.

    In reality

    no thing can be compared to another

    as all things are aspects of the same thing,

    the everything.

  • The Way Of The Way 186

    People are funny, from a distance. That’s wisdom. But, as we get close to them, laughter turns into sadness as we realize they aren’t joking and we project ourselves in their mindset. That’s compassion.

    Realizing we are one with everything is wisdom. Experiencing ourselves as one with everything is compassion.

  • Marshall McLuhan

    “The medium is the message.”

    McLuhan was also a punster, to wit:

    “The medium is the mess-age.”

    “The medium is the mass-age.”

    “The medium is the massage.”

    The medium is the message means that the content carrier (TV, movie, newspapers, etc.) frames the content such that the content is distorted, sometimes to the point it is unrecognizable by the content producer. The medium is the message is like the game of Chinese Whispers, things from the mouth sound different than from the source.

    The medium is the mess-age implies that the same content viewed from different medium can be so differently perceived that the content is confused, a mess.

    The medium is the mass-age means that there is a very large number of medium conveying the same content.

    The medium is the massage means that the medium focuses on relieving the pain or stress of the viewer more than delivering content. That is, frame the content to make the viewer content.

    Moreover, on a personal level, the medium is often more the focus of our attention than the message they provide us. For example, a spiritual leader is often celebrated more than the message they deliver. When we awaken, we realize the medium is not the message.

  • Iberian Idol, 3rd Millennium B.C.

    As an abstract, non-representational, cylindrical sculpture, this artwork is referred to as an”idol.” Its solar eye suggests the universe is revealed by the light emanating from the eyes of God.

  • Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

    “Those who understand only what can be explained understand very little.”

    Little of the universe has been explained. If we don’t understand that, we don’t understand much and are unlikely to understand more.

    To know the universe we need to discover it ourselves, not simply rely on explanations given to us by others.

  • Gary Saul Morson

    “I used to get a laugh from students by quoting a Soviet citizen I talked to once. He said to me, ‘Of course we have freedom of speech. We just don’t allow people to lie.’ That used to get a laugh! They don’t laugh anymore.”

    Today we have freedom of speech, as long as no one is listening.

  • Kotodama 28

    Every thing is everything

    as every thing is not a thing,

    just an aspect of everything.

    As every thing is not a thing,

    every thing is nothing.

  • The Way Of The Way 185

    If we are not one with everything, we are basically nothing.

    In life, relatively nothing; after life, absolutely nothing.

  • The Way Of The Way 184

    “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3:19

    “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.” Ecclesiastes 3:20

    In life, we’re oblivious of dust but when we are dusting and then we just want to rid dust from our sight.

    However, when we are aware our animal bodies will turn into dust, we are reminded of our purpose in life: to have a wonderful physical experience and realize our potential of divine consciousness which makes us eternal.

  • The Way Of The Way 183

    We are prisoners when our dreams are based on our memories and are free when we dream with our imagination.

  • Kotodama

    There are seemingly an infinite number of books, each providing insights into the human experience. The insights are thoughts whose foundation is words. We focus on the thoughts, while are often oblivious to the words themselves. However, sometimes a structure’s foundation reveals what the visible structure does not.

    There is one book that reveals the mystical aspect of the human experience that’s hidden in words: the dictionary. With definitions, etymologies, synonyms, antonyms and homonyms, the dictionary is the key to kotodama, the mystical power of words.

    For example, “good evening” and “good morning” are simple and superficial greetings. However, they reveal much about reincarnation and experiencing life as it is in the now. At night, when we go to our sleep-death, we say “good evening” because in sleep-death everyone is made “even;” the rich, the poor, the smart and the stupid; all are even or equal in sleep-death. Upon awakening from sleep-death, we say “good morning” as in “mourning;” that is, have a good time mourning the person you were yesterday who is now no longer. Upon awakening, we are reincarnated into familiar circumstances, but we are not the same person who went to their sleep-death the night before. In other words, every day is not a day in a life but a life in a day; days past are past lives. When we realize we are reincarnated, we experience everything as new because it is new to us; though familiar to the person we once were. Our presumptive “past,” the experiences of the person who is now no longer, has “passed.”

    Another example is happiness. The bedrock of happiness is gratitude. When we are grateful, regardless of the difficulties we face, we are “great-full;” full with feeling great, happy. We’re happy as we realize how lucky we are as our circumstance could always be worse. “Hap,” the root of happiness, means “luck.”

  • The Way Of The Way 182

    A man truly loves himself when he loves others, but cannot love others if he gets an erection when looking at himself naked in the mirror.

  • The Way Of The Way 181

    Life is an eternal play; at times a tragedy, at times a comedy. Either way, it’s entertaining to the audience. As for the actors, it’s always fun for those who realize it’s a play. For those who don’t, life is a tragedy and comedy until it is nothing at all.

  • Reflections

    All things are reflections.

    Initially reflections of light,

    then reflections of mind.

    In the first instance our eyes see the truth,

    in the second our mind starts lying to us.

    The truth is revealed in the present

    but disappears when we reflect on what has passed.

  • Albert Einstein

    “A human being is a spatially and temporally limited piece of the whole, what we call the “Universe.” He experiences himself and his feelings as separate from the rest, an optical illusion of his consciousness. The quest for liberation [enlightenment] from this bondage [illusion] is the only object of true religion. Not nurturing the illusion but only overcoming it gives us the attainable measure of inner peace.”

    “It seems to me as though our ideas of ourselves, including “space and time” (known more modernly as a single entity space-time, which Einstein was a pioneer in discovering), are entirely psychological constructs, “limitations” of our common state of “consciousness,” and these thoughts and ideas in our common state of consciousness is what generally creates the “illusion” of “separateness.” We can only perceive separateness if there is a space in which there is something here and another thing there, in space.

    Our experience of being separate is an illusion of consciousness, just as much as space-time is an illusion of consciousness. But our consciousness itself is ultimately an inseparable “part of the whole” that we call the “Universe,” the One, the Absolute, Reality, Nature, or what many refer to as God. Our brains and bodies, and consequently our minds and consciousness, emerge from out of Nature, from the Universe, while still being absolutely a part of that Nature and Universe. We are not separate from Nature looking out onto Nature, but we are Nature looking at itself.

    Our minds construct the perception of reality such that we appear separate from all that is around us, independent, isolated, as siloed islands in the ocean of the world. We have an incredibly strong subject-object duality in the everyday nature of our perceptions, such that “I” am perceived as here, and everything “else” is out there separate from me. This often makes us feel alone, weak, fragile, broken, temporary, mortal, and thus in “bondage.” We are prisoners of our own perceptions, of these “illusions,” of our own typical state of consciousness which perceives the world in this way.

    Through “liberation,” which religions call by many different names, we free ourselves from this limited nature of our perceptions, of our consciousness, to see the greater whole directly. The inquisitive, thinking, intellectual, rational, thoughtful, conceptual, inner chatterbox, monkey mind, of our brains can become quiet in certain times of spiritual reflection, contemplation, meditation, walks in nature, extreme activities, near death experiences, etc. Our consciousness actually shifts to a different mode of perception, like in sleep or in dreams, where the “I” falls away, the ego is dislodged, the psychological self seems to dissolve, and we perceive reality much differently. It can seem like a kind of death (death of ego-self), but it is also a liberating realization that we are not fundamentally this ego construction, and all that goes along with it.

    It seems to be a much more direct, intimate, personal, immediate, primary perception, devoid of thoughts, concepts, ideas, and even images that typically pervade our conscious mind. It is a direct knowing of awareness itself, which has no center, no distinct sense of “I,” but rather sees the wholeness and interconnected nature of reality, and this essentially and fundamentally includes one’s own awareness and consciousness. We are freed from the bondage of our egoic thoughts, of our typical selfish nature or “natural man,” and we can perceive the One indivisible nature of reality more directly. We have “overcome” our ego-self, our ego mind, our “separate” perception.

    And we realize we are that One, we are a manifestation of This, an emanation of This, and we have never been separate from This, we only thought we were, in our mind. Our mind often makes it seem like we are separate from it (which is the illusion), but how could we be? We are fundamentally the One, but in order to perceive the One we must become separate from it, to divide ourselves from it, so that we can turn around and witness it. An eye cannot see itself, but must use a mirror. Similarly, the One cannot perceive its Self, except by dividing its Self, so that its parts can see the other parts. But the error comes in thinking that we are witnessing something separate, apart, and isolated. We are not, but we are witnessing our own Self, our own true Nature, the Source from which we’ve come, of which we are, and which we will always be. When we look out onto Nature, we are looking in a mirror. We are looking at our Self. We are looking at the One which we are.

    The “overcoming” of our typical state of consciousness to perceive the One Great Whole of the universe in this way is the objective of perennial ancient wisdom found at the core and origin of the world’s major religions, and it is that core that is “true religion.” It is what gives us “inner peace,” to know we are not separate, “limited,” apart from this Universe, but eternally at-One with it, in It, as It. This is “liberation,” enlightenment, salvation, redemption, transcendence, freedom, resurrection, rebirth, peace, and rest. Christians seeking salvation, seeking to end the separation of the Fall and reunite again with God, through realizing at-one-ment in Christ, even realizing Christ in themselves as at-one in the Father, are seeking the same thing as Buddhists in the awakening or enlightenment of their consciousness to their eternal Buddha-nature or true essence or original nature, or as Hindus in the moksha or liberation/freedom of knowing their soul or Atman is One and the same in Brahman, the Ultimate Reality of the universe.

    These are all just a diverse array of different symbols pointing at the same One Great Whole of Reality, and how we may experience This. Every religion and spiritual tradition on Earth has their own set of symbols, and this includes science. We can appreciate the wide diversity and beautiful uniqueness of each point of view, while also recognizing that underneath their apparent differences they are ultimately pointing at the same Ultimate Reality, Nature, the One, the Absolute, the Universe, the Transcendent, the Eternal, the Source, what theists call “God.” Just as we can love all the diverse and different and apparently separate and beautiful individuals, beings, life forms, and infinite array of creation all around us, while realizing that there is a much deeper and more fundamental unity, oneness, nonduality, and infinite indivisible eternal Love that keeps it all together, interconnected, interexchange, united, and as One, forever and always.

    For all those apparent separate things out there are not separate from you at all, but they are You! Coming to this profound realization directly, in our own consciousness, is a very much “attainable” Peace and Rest in our lives.” — Bryce Haymond

     

    While Einstein is considered genius incarnate for his discoveries related to the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, much of his later work on the unified field theory or the Theory of Everything was never successfully proven. However, Einstein transitioned from physics to metaphysics; realizing the nature of consciousness and enlightenment, matters that cannot be subject to proof as they are an experience.

  • Dan Brown

    “The only difference between you and God is that you have forgotten you are divine.”

    Humans are a transitional species, born with animal consciousness and the potential of divine consciousness.

  • Money

    Money is to humans is like fertilizer is to flowers. It helps flowers realize their potential but too much of it can make beautiful roses smell like shit.

    Specifically, “over fertilization can actually decrease growth and leave plants weak and vulnerable to pests and diseases. It can also lead to the ultimate demise of the plant. Signs of over fertilization include stunted growth, burned or dried leaf margins, wilting, and collapse or death of plants.” — Gardineningknowhow.com

  • The Way Of The Way 179

    Good Luck is sensitive to respect. When we recognize Good Luck as a key to our success, we are likely to have Good Luck revisit us. Recognizing the role of Good Luck keeps us from hubris which invites Bad Luck.

    Moreover, Good Luck is the key to happiness. The root of happiness is “hap” which means “luck.” When we realize how lucky we are (absolutely or relatively), we are happy.

  • The Way Of The Way 178

    Those who blame their misfortunes on others don’t learn from their misfortunes which brings them more misfortunes.

  • Haiku 17

    We come out of a black hole with a big bang,

    make fireworks

    and then turn into confetti.

  • Kongo Fetish

    This surreal 19th century Kongo fetish (an inanimate object worshiped for its supposed magical powers or because it is considered to be inhabited by a spirit) depicts a bundle containing juju (magical substances that empower an object) from which a mirror-faced head with a feather atop emerges. When we look at the mirrored face of the object, we see ourselves. This suggests we are the fetish and the fetish works its magic through us. The feather protruding from the head suggests the mind of the fetish connects it to the spirit world;  that can take flight and see beyond the range of man.

  • Victor And The Elephant In The Room

    When Victor was a little boy (though maybe he’s still a little boy), he was always mystified how almost everyone was certain about things. People were certain about matters of God, about who is smart or stupid, about concepts of right or wrong, etc. Victor, however, was uncertain of seemingly everything, especially as each person had a different perception of the same thing and each certain theirs was correct.

    Only after reading the story of the Ten Men and the Elephant Victor realized why so many people were without doubts. They each looked at things through their mind, (conceptually, comparatively and through group thinking), not through their eyes; hence, they didn’t know what they were looking at.

    If they saw through their eyes, they would know that each person’s perspective is as valid as one’s own since every individual perspective is limited; hence, they could be certain about nothing.

    Living with uncertainty can be stressful. Thus, most people relieve the stress by believing their perspective is undoubtedly right. However, “uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one.” — Voltaire

  • Benjamin Disraeli

    “Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.”

    We recall an infinitesimal fraction of our past experiences. What we do believe we recall we weave into a story that bears little connection to our actual experiences. In effect, we are playing the game of Chinese whispers, unaware we are playing with ourselves.

  • Marcel Proust

    “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but having new eyes.”

    Viewing something from different perspectives is more enlightening than viewing different things.

  • Kotodama 27

    No know now

    Now know no

    Know now no

    No know now. I don’t know the now, the present.

    Now know no. I now know nothing. As I don’t know the present and the present is all there is, what I know is nothing.

    Know now no. I know the now, the pre-sent, is nothing. As the now is nothing before and after it is what it is whatever it is, the now is a temporary manifestation of nothing.

     

    The way to enlightenment has three steps. First is the realization that we don’t know the ever-changing eternal now which by its nature is unknowable. Second is the realization that as the now is all there is, we know nothing. This realization vanquishes our mind which has heretofore convinced us that we know many things. Third is the realization that the now is essentially nothing expressing itself temporarily as something and as such our perceiving it as real is just an illusion.

    In meditation, we focus the mind on the three phases of breathing; the inhale, the exhale and the pause until the next inhale. We recite “no know now” on each inhale and are silent during the exhale and the pause. After many rounds, we recite “now know no” on each exhale and are silent during the inhale and the pause. Then again after many rounds, we recite “know now no” during the pause between inhale and exhale and are otherwise silent. This cycle is repeated and repeated and repeated until we and the sound of the mantra become one.

    It is then that we know we are nothing and rejoice in being something, whatever it is. Gratitude is a key to happiness.

     

    No know now

    Now know no

    Know now no

    Yes Yes Yes

  • The Way Of The Way 177

    Those who see the light embody wisdom.

    Those who feel its warmth embody compassion.

    Without wisdom and compassion, there is no light.

  • The Way Of The Way 176

    Something is wrong when we can’t unconditionally enjoy simple bodily pleasures like sex and recreational drugs. Nothing is wrong when we enjoy these things, unless they get to our head.

  • The Way Of The Way 1

    Until we know we know nothing, we know nothing.

  • The Way Of The Way 175

    Enlightened are those who look up, see the light and come to know that they and the light are one. Those who look down on others cannot see the light.

  • The Way Of The Way 174

    Nothing is unique because everything is unique.

    When we see something that is not unique, we are seeing it with our mind.

  • The Way Of The Way 173

    You can’t push on a string.

    Unsolicited monologues get little attention.

    However, we have people’s attention when we respond to their questions.

    When we question others, they give us their mouth. When they question us, we have their ears.

    As our questions arouse their curiosity, eventually they might question us, open their ears and let us enter their mind.

  • Jason Zweig

    “We need to realize…that when we look back at the past, we don’t recapture it; we reconstitute it. We turn it into something it never was: clear from the start.”

  • The Way Of The Way 172

    When Victor was 13, he didn’t need glasses but marveled at the experience of those who did as they saw the world completely differently when they did and didn’t wear glasses. Poor eyesight seemed like a blessing that could lead to great insight.

    To the myopic, much of the distant world is ambiguous; making it clear to them that in their natural state, without the intervention of glasses, they don’t know what they are looking at; this realization is the first step to wisdom. Unlike most people who are never in doubt but often wrong about what they see.

    Realizing our ignorance arouses our curiosity, putting us on a never-ending journey of discovering the newness of everything as everything is forever in flux; inherently ambiguous until our glasses or mind make things seem clear temporarily.

    Interestingly, those who wear glasses have, statistically, a significantly higher IQ than those who don’t. That doesn’t mean they are inherently smarter, just the they use their mind wondering about the nature of things because they realize they don’t know what they are looking at. That’s the essence of wisdom.

  • Love 9

    Love is like light.

    It can be bent and redirected but can never be broken.

    The more light that’s emitted, the more shines back at us.

    Without light, we are in a cold dark place.

    With light, we can connect with everything around us.

    Light is what we see everywhere but rarely notice.

  • Haiku 16

    It is what it is whatever it is.

    What it is is of no matter.

    What matters is that it is.

  • The Way Of The Way 170

    Even the most wonderful people take a shit which doesn’t smell good to anyone but themselves. How we feel about them depends on how we see them, as a hole or as a whole.

  • The Way Of The Way 169

    An expert, when authenticating an artwork, rarely appreciates an artwork as someone who is simply looking at an artwork.

    When an artwork is expertly proclaimed a “fake,” most people can no longer see it through their eyes as they did before the proclamation. They see it through their mind and their mind sees through their ears.

    When we focus on the details, we often fail to see the beauty of the whole.

  • Thich Nhat Hanh

    “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”

    “When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.”

    “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

    “People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”

    “Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”

    “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free [to be themselves]”

    “We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.”

    “Life is available only in the present moment.”

    “When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.”

    “The secret of Buddhism is to remove all ideas, all concepts, in order for the truth to have a chance to penetrate, to reveal itself.”

    “Usually when we hear or read something new, we just compare it to our own ideas. If it is the same, we accept it and say that it is correct. If it is not, we say it is incorrect. In either case, we learn nothing.”

    “You cannot resist loving another person when you really understand him or her.”

    “If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.”

    “If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.”

    “Attachment to views is the greatest impediment to the spiritual path.”

  • The Way Of The Way 38

    Before birth, we are one with everything.

    After birth, we begin self-defining ourselves as finite beings apart and separate from everything that is not us. This process is at first frightening, painful, overwhelming. In reaction, we cry. However, those in midlife are deaf to our cries as they joyously celebrate our birth.

    As we approach death, we are at peace. We die without a tear, knowing we are transitioning to be again one with everything. However, those in midlife cry as we depart. As misery loves company, they are sad to see us go.

    Those in midlife view newborns and the dying as understanding little. However, maybe they know something of which those in midlife are oblivious.

  • The Way Of The Way 3

    The past is a comic and tragic illusion our mind creates. When we believe the illusion is real, our experience of the present is also an illusion.

  • Lao Tzu 1

    “He who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak.”

    For those who know it, a truly ethereal experience is ineffable; as describing it would end it and they would never want it to end.

    Those who know the experience of awakening or a moment of enlightening cannot describe it, for it is beyond words. Only sounds like “oh…wow…ahh” can, however ambiguously, convey it.

    The universe is infinite, ever-changing manifestations of that which cannot be described, but who some call God. The manifestations are interdependent; that is, no seemingly discrete/finite manifestation exists independently as the manifestations are essentially different aspects of one thing, God. As all things are temporary and interdependent, any descriptions are illusionary as what’s described no longer exists and not representative of the whole of which it is an infinitesimal part. Thus, he who knows this truth does not speak beyond describing anything and everything as it is what it is whatever it is which is akin to not speaking. He who does speak is on a fool’s errand as he does not know this truth.

    He who experiences and reflects on his experiences can come to know the nature of things. The more he knows, the more he desires to know. However, as he cannot experience and reflect when he is speaking, he chooses not to speak. He who speaks does not know and has no desire to know.

    He who knows knows that his perspective is one of infinite perspectives and what something is at best understood by an amalgamation of many perspectives. Hence, knowing their perspective is limited and unlikely more knowledgeable than the average perspective, he doesn’t speak. He who speaks doesn’t realize this truth.

    As speaking and knowing are mutually exclusive, we need to choose whether we want to know or to speak. To know is to connect with the universe through our senses. Connected and undistracted by our mind, we experience our oneness with everything. Unlike knowing, speaking is the mind expressing itself to get the universe’s attention. As such, speaking presumes we and the universe are separate entities, the antithesis of oneness. He who knows choses oneness (knowing) instead of separateness (speaking); thus, he does not speak. As he who speaks is separate from the universe, he does not know the universe.

    We know all there is to know upon opening our eyes, awakening. What we know we cannot describe because our eyes can see but cannot speak. Thus, he who knows does not speak. When we speak, our mind is talking. However, our mind’s perception of reality is more a function of our mind than reality. Thus, he who speaks does not know.

    We come to know through direct experience. Speaking can artificially simulate an experience but the simulation is just a shadow of an experience. Thus, he who knows knows the futility of speaking, so he does not speak. He who only knows through artificial simulation does not truly know, so he speaks.

    He who speaks thinks he knows. He who does not speak knows nothing, the essence of everything before it’s something. There’s not much he can say about that.

    Or, simply, “Nothing is known. There is nothing to speak about.” — Pamela Mills

    Or, “[I]f you have seen the truth you will know that it is beyond words and so cannot be described using words. If you have not seen the truth you will think you can describe it adequately in words and will try to do so.” — Andria Nix

  • The Way Of The Way 168

    Anything and everything are essentially nothing before they are what they are whatever they are. Moreover, as anything and everything constantly change, they are whatever they are but temporarily and then again nothing.

    As anything and everything are nothing before and after they are something but for an instant, maybe they’re also nothing when we perceive them as something; that is, whatever we think they are is an illusion sustained by our mind

  • Political Parties

    Political parties are like flavors at an ice cream shop. We often busy ourselves deciding which flavor we want without considering whether we’re allergic to its ingredients or looking at whether the shop is clean.

  • The Way Of The Way 166

    When we perceive the world as a duality, it’s our self and all the rest;

    often a tiring interaction at best.

    To truly rest, we need become one with the rest.

    When truly at rest, we are at peace. Peace is the nothingness that remains after we forget about everything, our self and all the rest. In nothingness, we are one with the nothingness; at rest, at peace.

    Alternatively, when we abandon our self, we become one with what remains: one with everything (all the rest). Then, without the tiring friction of duality, we are at rest, at peace.

    Peace can be had in a place of nothingness or when we are one with everything. Either way, there is no self which is what tires us.

  • Haiku 15

    Reflecting on the past, we go down a rabbit hole.

    Looking up at the sky, light makes everything whole.

  • The Way Of The Way 167

    Nothing is as wonderful a gift

    as the present of life.

    Those who are distracted

    by wanting something more

    do not appreciate the present.

  • The Way Of The Way 165

    Life is a multi-ring circus of dreams unfolding simultaneously; good dreams, bad dreams; whether good or bad determined by the dreamer.

    Awakening is the realization that we are dreaming. Awakened, we are grateful for whatever our dream and make the best of it.

    When life is not an engaging, fascinating and wonderful experience, we are sleeping.

  • Peace Pilgrim

    Life is like a mirror. Smile at it and it smiles back at you.

    Our attitude forms our experiences.

    Peace Pilgrim

  • Clouds

    I see all sorts of animals up in the clouds,

    their shapes changing as the wind blows.

    Some are angry

    some are happy

    and with some it’s hard to read their minds.

    Only when I climb a distant mountain

    I get above the clouds

    and realize the clouds are just clouds.

  • Niccolò Machiavelli

    “[S]ince love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.”

    When others fear us, they don’t attack us; thereby fear provides us a certain level of safety. However, fear can turn into aggression as a cornered rat can leap to bite us in the jugular or starving peasants revolt against their king.

    Love is unconditional. Moreover, those we love we treat as we wish to be treated. Thus, when we are loved, though we may not necessarily be liked, we never need worry of coming into harm’s way as a consequent of the actions of someone who loves us.

    Hence, it is safer to be loved than feared.

  • Democrats Vs Republicans 2

    Some years back I was friendly with a man, Everett, the parking attendant in my New York City office building garage. Everett hailed from South Carolina which he left in the late 1950s to serve in the Korean War. After his military service, he lived in Boston for 15 years and then moved to New York City where he was living for 10 years when we met.

    As he lived in the South before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, I was curious what life was like in the South from the perspective of a black man. (Oh, did I forget to mention Everett was black!) Everett said life down South was good in terms of black/white relations. Whites and blacks lived segregated; everyone knew their place and relations were friendly. He never felt uncomfortable with whites. He never felt anyone hated him because he was black until he moved to Boston. In Boston, black people were marginalized and often came in harm’s way if they went to white neighborhoods but as service workers. Things got progressively worse when schools were forced to integrate. New York City he found was more friendly to black people but not by much.

    On occasional trips to visit family in South Carolina, Everett found the good old days no longer as mandated integration disturbed the old social order and tensions were high between whites and blacks. He often wondered whether the idealists pushing for integration were more interested in creating racial conflicts and upsetting the social and political order than peaceful coexistence or whether they had good intentions but no common sense and insights into unintended consequences.

    Moreover, while integration provided more economic opportunities or high-paying token jobs, Everett felt the cultural collapse of the black community and the economic divisions and related stress that integration created came at too high a cost. That is, as the creation of an integration focused social order required the destruction of an older order, perhaps integration via evolution would have been better than via revolution.

    I asked Everett what others in his community thought of his views. He said no one took him seriously because he was a Republican.

  • Democrats Vs Republicans 1

    Walter Williams:

    How often do we hear the claim that our nation is a democracy? Was a democratic form of government the vision of the Founders? As it turns out, the word democracy appears nowhere in the two most fundamental founding documents of our nation—the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Instead of a democracy, the Constitution’s Article IV, Section 4, declares “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.” Our pledge of allegiance to the flag says not to “the democracy for which it stands,” but to “the republic for which it stands.” Is the song that emerged during the War of 1861 “The Battle Hymn of the Democracy” or “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”?

    So what is the difference between republican and democratic forms of government? John Adams captured the essence of the difference when he said, “You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe.” Nothing in our Constitution suggests that government is a grantor of rights. Instead, government is envisioned as a protector of rights.

    In recognition that it is government that poses the gravest threat to our liberties, the framers used negative phrases in reference to Congress throughout the first ten amendments to the Constitution, such as shall not abridge, infringe, deny, disparage, and shall not be violated, nor be denied. In a republican form of government, there is rule of law. All citizens, including government officials, are accountable to the same laws. Government power is limited and decentralized through a system of checks and balances. Government intervenes in civil society to protect its citizens against force and fraud, but does not intervene in the cases of peaceable, voluntary exchange.

    Contrast the framers’ vision of a republic with that of a democracy. According to Webster’s dictionary, a democracy is defined as “government by the people; especially: rule of the majority.” In a democracy the majority rules either directly or through its elected representatives. As in a monarchy, the law is whatever the government determines it to be. Laws do not represent reason. They represent power. The restraint is upon the individual instead of government. Unlike the rights envisioned under a republican form of government, rights in a democracy are seen as privileges and permissions that are granted by government and can be rescinded by government.

    There is considerable evidence that demonstrates the disdain held by our founders for a democracy. James Madison, in Federalist No. 10, said that in a pure democracy, “there is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual.” At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Edmund Randolph said, “that in tracing these evils to their origin every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy.” John Adams said, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” Later on, Chief Justice John Marshall observed, “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.” In a word or two, the Founders knew that a democracy would lead to the same kind of tyranny the colonies suffered under King George III.

    The framers gave us a Constitution that is replete with anti-majority-rule, undemocratic mechanisms. One that has come in for frequent criticism and calls for elimination is the Electoral College. In their wisdom, the framers gave us the Electoral College so that in presidential elections large, heavily populated states could not use their majority to run roughshod over small, sparsely populated states. Amending the Constitution requires a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress, or two-thirds of state legislatures, to propose an amendment and three-fourths of state legislatures to ratify it. Part of the reason for having a bicameral Congress is that it places another obstacle to majority rule. Fifty-one senators can block the wishes of 435 representatives and 49 senators. The Constitution gives the president a veto to thwart the power of all 535 members of Congress. It takes two-thirds of both houses of Congress to override the president’s veto.

    There is even a simpler way to expose the tyranny of majority rule. Ask yourself how many of your day-to-day choices would you like to have settled through the democratic process of majority rule. Would you want the kind of car you own to be decided through a democratic process, or would you prefer purchasing any car you please? Would like your choice of where to live, what clothes to purchase, what foods you eat, or what entertainment you enjoy to be decided through a democratic process? I am sure that at the mere suggestion that these choices should be subject to a democratic vote, most of us would deem it a tyrannical attack on our liberties.

    Most Americans see our liberties as protected by the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, but that vision was not fully shared by its framers. In Federalist No. 84, Alexander Hamilton argued, “[B]ills of rights . . . are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. For why declare that things shall not be done [by Congress] which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given [to Congress] by which restrictions may be imposed?” James Madison agreed: “This is one of the most plausible arguments I have ever heard urged against the admission of a bill of rights into this system . . . [because] by enumerating particular exceptions to the grant of power, it would disparage those rights which were not placed in that enumeration, and it might follow by implication, that those rights which were not singled out, were intended to be assigned into the hands of the general government, and were consequently insecure.”

    Madison thought this danger could be guarded against by the Ninth Amendment, which declares “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Of course, the Ninth Amendment has little or no meaning in today’s courts.

    Transformed into a Democracy

    Do today’s Americans have contempt for the republican values laid out by our Founders, or is it simply a matter of our being unschooled about the differences between a republic and a democracy? It appears that most Americans, as well as their political leaders, believe that Congress should do anything it can muster a majority vote to do. Thus we have been transformed into a democracy. The most dangerous and insidious effect of majority rule is that it confers an aura of legitimacy, decency, and respectability on acts that would otherwise be deemed tyrannical. Liberty and democracy are not synonymous and could actually be opposites.

    If we have become a democracy, I guarantee you that the Founders would be deeply disappointed by our betrayal of their vision. They intended, and laid out the ground rules for, a limited republican form of government that saw the protections of personal liberties as its primary function.

    Walter Williams is John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University.

  • The Way Of The Way 164

    Being asleep or awakened are very similar experiences. Either way, we are dreaming. The difference between the two states is that when we are asleep we are dreaming and don’t know it, while the awakened know they are dreaming.

  • More Money Than God

    There are people who are said to “have more money than God.”

    These presumably few people can have whatever they want in the material realm. However, everyone has more money than God; as God, the supreme being that is manifested as everything there is, has no need for money; for God has no wants. The truly few people who have no wants are akin to God; surely a better role in the play of life than having all the money in the world.

  • The Way Of The Way 162

    Life is a beautiful present

    we receive only when we are present.

    When we are present

    we are life, the present.

  • The Way Of The Way 163

    The past is always funny, if not in reality then as we create it in our memories.

    Mental illness is when the past is not funny and we can’t get passed it.

    When the past is funny the present is funny as well. That makes it easy to identify who is mentally ill.

  • The Way Of The Way 161

    We are given the temporary gift of life and are entitled to nothing more. Realizing that life is not fair and much of what happens is a function of randomness tempers our hopeful expectations and hedges us from disappointing outcomes. This calms our mind. Moreover, knowing we have all we are entitled to, we are grateful. Gratitude is the essence of happiness.

    “Don’t have to be ashamed of the car I drive (at the end of the line)
    I’m just glad to be here, happy to be alive (at the end of the line)
    And it don’t matter if you’re by my side (at the end of the line)
    I’m satisfied.” End of the Line, Traveling Wilburys

  • The Labyrinth And The Maze

    Life is a journey through a labyrinth.

    Before we are born, we are in the center or mandala of a labyrinth where everything is one thing until it is born as a unique something. Soon after birth, we develop a sense of self that has us as the center of the universe and outside the labyrinth. It is then we begin our journey through the labyrinth and back to the center from where we came.

    The path through the labyrinth is clear when we open our eyes and follow the light emanating from the mandala. While our mind often helps us along the path, at times it’s a great impediment as it turns the labyrinth into a maze. This happens when we see things not as they are but as a function of our memories, ideologies and imaginations.

    The difference between a maze and a labyrinth is that labyrinths have a single continuous path which leads to the center, while mazes have paths which branch off, some leading to dead ends, which keep us from reaching the center.

    The critical choices in life are which labyrinth to enter and to not allow our mind to turn the labyrinth into a maze. The optimal labyrinth we choose comports with our strengths and weaknesses. When we follow the path of light, our mind cannot make the labyrinth a maze.

  • Truly Wealthy

    We are truly wealthy when we have what we need for sustenance and realize we don’t need what we want.

     

    The truly wealthy are easily identified by their manners not their manors.

    Those who are well-mannered treat others as they themselves wish to be treated because they identify with others. Those living in manors choose to separate themselves from others. The truly wealthy have everything as they are one with the whole, not apart from the whole.

  • Awakening

    Being asleep is like death,

    we are one with everything.

    Upon awakening from sleep

    we slowly separate from everything

    and our self is formed.

    Our self makes life a dream.

    When we awaken from the dream

    our self disappears

    and we are not oblivious of from where we come and go.

    Then we are one with everything again.

     

    Some have good dreams,

    some have bad dreams.

    But waking up is wonderful for all.

  • The Way Of The Way 160

    Every mind has a fascinating perspective, at least temporarily. When we meet someone we immediately find boring, we are meeting our mind.

  • The Way Of The Way 157

    The right answers are everywhere, when we ask the right questions.

    The right questions alight a path to the right answers. The wrong questions keep us in darkness. For example, asking “what is it like to be enlightened?” takes us nowhere.. But asking “who am I?” starts us on the road to enlightenment.

  • Time Is A Silent Rapid River

    Time is a rapid river dancing thing

    when we are in the river rafting.

    Over the rapids, too quick for us to think

    about what’s past, what’s future or anything;

    just engaged with what’s about to be now.

    and how to deal with it somehow.

    On the shore

    we can hear the river roar.

    But when still and silent within,

    time moves without a din.

  • Life, Liberty And The Pursuit Of Happiness

    America is a funny partner on the dance floor; singing one song and dancing to another.

    An often-sung phrase from the Declaration of Independence is that the purpose of government is to protect each citizen’s right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

    Ironically, in terms of life, directly (through overseas military adventures in Korea, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Kosova, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq) and indirectly (as the biggest arms exporter in the world), the US has caused more deaths outside its immediate borders in the past 60 years than any other country  Moreover, as regards liberty, the US has the highest incarceration and solitary confinement rates in the world. As to happiness, the US steers its citizens away from happiness, the hallmark of which is gratitude. Instead, as a consumption-driven economy, its citizens are encouraged to become addicted to never-ending desires.

    While singing euphoniously about personal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, clearly the country dances to another tune. This lack of integrity is funny to watch but not if we want to dance and sing until we are one with everything.

  • Hank Forrester

    “The more you look the less you see.”

    When we are frantically searching for something, we might not see the obvious. When sitting still, we can sense the presence of everything. A spotlight reveals great detail but a floodlight illuminates the room.

  • Jay Jennifer Matthews

    “Nothing would exist without our awareness of it. Our thoughts, our awareness, allows its existence. Without our thoughts there is nothingness. This is wisdom. That’s why when we see someone take their thoughts seriously we can only laugh.”

  • Ramana Maharshi

    “Does a man who is acting on the stage in a female part forget that he is a man? Similarly, we too must play our parts on the stage of life, but we must not identify ourselves with those parts.”

    Life is a play named “Terrific.” For most of the actors it’s not terrific as they identify with their roles, take themselves seriously and in turn make fools of themselves. Often, for them the play is a tragedy. As to the enlightened actors, they know the play is a play and their roles are not who they are. For them, seeing the others take themselves seriously, the play is a comedy.

  • Two Ways To Heaven

    Before birth, we are in the present, the pre-sent; the peace before the universe expresses itself.

    At birth, we are in the Now. The Now is the universe expressing itself. In the Now, we have an intense sense of awareness as everything is unique, ever-changing and interdependent. It’s so intense, it’s exhausting; that’s why babies sleep much of the day. In the Now, nothing can be described or has meaning as nothing is comparable to anything before or after the Now as the Now is all there is.

    As the Now is overwhelming, our mind artificially transforms the Now so it’s palatable. Our mind does this by creating stories, descriptions, categorisations and generalisations about our past experiences in the Now. These memories are our mind, not the Now. The memories seem real, but are illusions. They mask the Now, precluding us from experiencing the Now directly. In effect, the illusions imprison us.

    However, we can escape from our mind’s prison when the past is passed; that is, when we let go our belief that the past is real. Freed from the past, we can enter the Now and now know Now for all its beauty and wonder. While it’s beyond words and descriptions, in the Now we know we are one with everything, connected by love.

    As it’s at times overwhelming, we can only be in the Now temporarily and need periods to rest. Soon, questions arises: Who am I, where am I?

    To answer these questions, we need to separate ourselves from the Now by minimizing sensory stimulation via meditation or other sensory deprivation technique. Then, with our mind calm, we can enter the present; the pre-sent; the peace before the universe expresses itself. This is heaven.

    In the pre-sent there is nothingness but the soul; the fountainhead of everything, creation. In the pre-sent, we and God are one. We are the audience watching the universe and the play of life unfold in the Now. While what we see is beyond descriptions and words (the operating system of our mind), our reaction to it is twofold, funny and sad. Funny to see people take their illusions seriously and sad to see them imprisoned by their mind. However, our sadness is temporary as we know they will all be in the pre-sent, in heaven, when they leave their bodily lives.

    Thus, there are two ways to heaven; experiencing heaven on Earth or after the inevitable.

  • Voltaire 1

    “The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”

    Time heals all wounds, sooner or later. When our time runs out we have no wounds.

  • Ramana Maharshi

    “Silence is truth. Silence is bliss. Silence is peace. Hence, Silence is the Self.”

    Silence, nothingness, is what everything is before it is and what everything is after it is. The essential nature of everything is nothing. Hence, every thing is one thing, a unique temporary manifestation of nothing.

    When we identify as one thing, nothing, we can self-describe ourselves only as “I am who I am” and everything is what it is whatever it is. It is then that we are free from the identity our mind has constructed and are one with everything.

    Our mind cannot see but it can hear and speak. Through hearing and speaking our mind constructs the world and our identity. Silence calms the mind and keeps it at bay from performing its mischief.

  • Ramana Maharshi

    “Wanting to reform the world without discovering one’s true self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes.”

    Those who favor country or worldwide government programs as the solution to every perceivable woe lack a practical understanding of human nature. Allowing individuals and small communities to choose their way is more economically practical as well as equitable, as people can vote with their feet.

  • Anonymous, Overheard At Pasta Nostra Restaurant, Norwalk CT

    “I would be fine with living until 120 as long as I could fuck everyday.”

    As we go deep into old age much of our body and mind fails us. The ultimate testament of our love of something is wanting to be alive as long as possible with all the attendant ailments as long as we can do our favorite thing.

    Enthusiasm is contagious. When someone, like the person quoted above, is so enthusiastic about a certain activity, we’re excited to join them.

  • The Ultimate Act Of Selfishness

    Suicide is the ultimate selfish act; selfish on a macro and micro level.

    On a macro level, suicide is selfish as it implies we are focused on our suffering and not the far greater suffering of others who would love to be in our shoes. We are not suicidal when we recognize the suffering of others and come to their aid as that in turn distracts us from our suffering. Moreover, when we recognize our relative good fortune, we are grateful. Gratitude is one of the keys to happiness. Happiness precludes suicidal thoughts.

    On a micro level, when we die, it is most difficult for the ones that we leave behind. Thus, suicide is selfish as we think our death is an exit from our suffering and don’t consider the suffering it will cause others.

    Of course, if we are painfully and terminally ill and a burden to others, suicide is not selfish. Unfortunately, most suicides are premature, mistaking one’s current mentally-induced suffering for physical terminally ill pain and the misperception that we are a burden to others.

  • Oscar Wilde

    “Give a man a mask, and he will show you his true face.”

    What an individual does when they’re an anonymous member of a mob reveals their true nature.

    We can learn more from someone’s internet searches than through the answers to their searches.

  • Kotodama 26

    No thing is perfect, but nothing is no thing which makes it perfect.

    No thing is perfect as everything is temporary, everchanging. Thus, whatever thing may seem perfect now is not perfect later which makes it not perfect now.

    Nothing is perfect as nothing is forever unchanged. As everything is nothing before it is something, nothing is perfect as it’s the essence of everything. Moreover, as nothing is no thing, it casts no shadows; thus, nothing allows a clear view of everything.

    Nothing is “0,” a circular line that is perfect as it has no beginning and no end. While the circle seems to give rise to imperfection —  a duality of mutually exclusive spaces, a within and without — the spaces are not mutually exclusive. They are mutually dependent as one cannot exist without the other, making them perfect together.

  • Love 8

    Love is like water in a stream

    connecting all, far and near.

    Thoughts are like a bend in the bay

    not allowing water to go its way.

    When the stream or bay overflows

    it’s beyond imagination how far it goes.

  • Corporate Hierarchy

    There are three levels in the corporate hierarchy: standing up, sitting down and laying on one’s back. Companies work well when management is standing, pushing their firms forward; workers are sitting, getting the work done; and salespeople are laying on their backs pulling customers in. Companies are dysfunctional when people take positions that ill suit their roles. For example, when management is on its back, doing nothing, or when salespeople are standing up, pushing workers around. However, workers will always be workers because they have been neutered, having no desire for push or pull.

  • Love 5

    Our mind is the greatest impediment to true love.

    True love is unconditional connectedness, whereby a subject and object are one. For example, we love our hands as we love ourselves as we and our hands are one. We may not like our hands when they are dirty, but we still love them.

    Our mind often makes love conditional. For example, it is rare that the “deep love” we have with our mate is not conditioned on their sexual fidelity.

    True love, unconditional love, braves space (physical separation), time (continues to energize us over long periods of time) and distractions; but not the workings of our mind.

  • The Way Of The Way 154

    Water doesn’t know time, but we use it to envision time.

    Time is water in a stream. Downstream is the past, upstream is the future and the water in between is the present. But water is water, not knowing itself different from one place to another; only knowing that it is here now or not. Thus, it is we who create time.

  • A Life In A Day

    Every day is not a day in a life but a life in a day.

    This is a simple but subtle truth. While our mind has us believe that we transition seamlessly from one day to the next, we are not the same person today as the person we presumably were lifetimes ago, days now passed. Perhaps this is easiest to see when we consider the physical appearance and the interests and perspectives of the person we are today with those of the person we presumably were ten years ago.

    This truth implies two apparently conflicting but complementary corollaries: each day is our first and last day of life. Thus, the qualifiers of first and last are meaningless as are most things to which our mind attributes meanings.

    However, as our first day of life, everything is new; intensely beautiful forms and colors engaging our attention and arousing our curiosity. We are present, grateful we are alive.

    As our last day of life, we are at peace; knowing we came from being one with everything in sleep death to which we will soon return.

    The realization that each day is our first and last makes for a wonderful life.

  • Sol Lieberman

    “I loved money and I loved children but couldn’t afford to have both. I chose to have children because they could love me back.”

    Hopefully, children pay us more interest than does money. Likewise, hopefully, the time and resources we invest in children realizes a higher return than otherwise.

  • Philosophers And Economists

    Philosophers are like economists, they can explain everything but don’t know anything. Philosophers can’t tell us where we are and economists can’t tell us where we are going.

  • The Way Of The Way 153

    We often praise and love people more when they’re dead than when they were alive; maybe because they can do no wrong when they’re dead.

  • The Way Of The Way 152

    As the universe is infinite, ever-changing and eternal, we can never know everything. But once we know nothing, we know all there is to know.

    Every thing, before it is what it is whatever it is, is nothing. Thus, every thing is essentially a unique manifestation of one thing, nothing.

  • The Way Of The Way 151

    With all our responsibilities and commitments, we think we don’t own our lives; but everything we think we own owns us.

  • Ten Commandments

    First Commandment

    “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”

    The First Commandment tells us that we were once slaves who were freed through the workings of God. Knowing God is our savior, we are well-commanded not to follow the ways of other gods who presumably cannot provide us the way to freedom.

    Before birth, we are one with everything and at peace. Upon birth, we perceive ourselves as apart and separate from everything that is not us, an overwhelming and often hostile world. Our mind serves us by protecting us from this world; making sense of it and integrating us into it. However, as we become dependent on our mind’s protection, our mind is no longer our servant but our master. Fear of the world is supplanted by fear of experiencing the world without our mind’s framework. It is then that we are prisoners of our mind. God, however, can free us from the prison of our mind.

    Our mind is an mnemonic device. It organizes the world through memories of our intentions, actions and consequences of previous lives and through our socialization. (Our previous lives are not lives before the time of our birth but the days of our life before now, as each day is not a day in a life but a life in a day. That is, our lives end when we go to sleep and begin anew when we awaken.) This is called karma, the categorizations, meanings and stories our mind creates based on our past experiences that frame how we experience the world now. Karma is effectively a karmic prison as it limits and defines our experience, not allowing us to experience the world as it is.

    Unlike the other Commandments, the First Commandment refers to the past, the time when we were slaves. Slavery represents our karma prison. When we unite with God, we can be freed from our karmic prison.

    God is everything before it is what it is whatever it is. God is revealed as infinite and ever-changing manifestations. This realization unites us as one with God. As such, we realize that our mind through the illusionary karmic prison it created is what separated us from God. In union with God, we are free of the fear that kept us in our karmic prison. Upon our liberation, we experience the universe as it is; one thing, the present. The present is what it is whatever it is, beyond words and descriptions. The past is now passed and our mind has no past through which it can imprison us. Now we are free, at peace as we were before we were born.

    Unlike God which is essentially everything and through whom we can be free, one with everything, other gods cannot free us from our karmic prison. Other gods are gods of things like the sun, water, earth, etc. They are illusionary gods as they are the gods of temporary manifestations of God.

    Second Commandment

    “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them;…”

    The Second Commandment prohibits the making of artwork that is also worshiped; that is, idols.

    Idol worship is holding sacred a tangible object and worshipping it as an incarnation of God. This is the antithesis of worshiping God as it negates the sacredness of all else. As everything is a manifestation of God, everything is sacred.

    Idols are not solely objects worshiped as deities. Idols are things we hold sacred like prized possessions and celebrities who are “idolized.” More generally, idols are things we perceive as having an independent existence. For example, getting angry with a car that’s stalled is akin to idol worship as it presumes the car has an independent existence. Thus, idols give rise to an artificial duality, that which is an idol and all else that is not. As such, dualities repudiate God since God is one, everything. Hence, idol worship precludes us from being one with God.

    Moreover, idols are a personal and/or collective designation. Thus, idols are a reflection of ourselves; that is, an idol is an I-doll. Ultimately, the prohibition against idol worship is a prohibition against taking ourselves too seriously.

    Third Commandment

    “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God,…”

    When Moses met God in the desert, Moses asked God what is God’s name. God responded: “I am who I am.” God effectively self-describes as one who cannot be described. Any name or description of God would be a misuse as God is everything, not one finite thing that is unlike other things. God is what it is whatever it is.

    Fourth Commandment

    “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

    After creating the universe in six days, God rested on the seventh day. Undistracted by work, God sat and observed the beauty and wonder of creation as it unfolds in the play of life. God commands us to do likewise. In so doing, we and God are one.

    Work is essentially what we do that we would otherwise not do but for the rewards we receive. Thus, work is a means to an ends. When we are at rest, the means and the ends are one. At rest, we are at peace, present and having no desire to be elsewhere or to do otherwise.

    Disengaging ourselves from our everyday work is akin to meditation. In meditation, we commune with God in the present and realize the universe is what it is whatever it is, not as we’ve created it in our mind. This leads us to realize that we and the universe, the manifestation of God, are one.

    Fifth Commandment

    “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

    Like Commandments Sixth through Ninth, the Fifth Commandment can be generalized as the Golden Rule, treat others as we wish to be treated. The Golden Rule is a common concept in all the major religions.

    However, unlike Commandments Sixth through Ninth, the Fifth Commandment is less of a Commandment and more of a contract God offers us: honor your parents and you will be rewarded with a long life. The reward is generally assured as it’s founded on behavior modification. We honor our parents by respectively including them in our lives and providing for them in their time of need, as they age or can no longer work. Our care allows them to live longer than they would otherwise. Seeing how we treat our parents, our children are “imprinted” to treat us likewise which increases the likelihood we will live longer than otherwise.

    Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Commandments

    Sixth Commandment: “You shall not murder.”

    Seventh Commandment: “You shall not commit adultery.”

    Eighth Commandment: “You shall not steal.”

    Ninth Commandment: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”

    The Sixth – Ninth Commandments are straightforward: we are commanded not to murder, engage sexually with someone who is married, steal or lie. These Commandments can be generally described as the Golden Rule: treat others as we wish to be treated.

    The purpose of the Golden Rule Commandments is to foster peaceful interpersonal and community relationships. Moreover, living by the Golden Rule is a testament to our realization of divine consciousness.

    Divine consciousness is the realization that every thing is not a thing unto itself but one of infinite temporary manifestations of God; ever-changing, interdependent (hence, essentially one thing); with no beginning or end. As we are not solely our personal finite self but part and one with one thing, God, we treat every thing as we wish to be treated as every thing is us.

    The Ninth Commandment, the prohibition of lying, also reveals a certain truth: we cannot be one with God if we are not one with ourselves; that is, if we have no integrity. Lying precludes integrity as when we lie we are two people, one who lies and another who knows the truth.

    Tenth Commandment

    “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

    The Tenth Commandment is that we not desire what we don’t have.

    Generally, our needs (food, shelter, security and health) can be simply satisfied but our desires not; as the more we feed our desires the hungrier they get. When we’re distracted by our desires, we are not grateful for what we have. However, when we are grateful we are great-full; that is, we are full of the great feeling that God has blessed us. Gratitude is integral to realizing our purpose in life: to have a wonderful and happy life, realize our potential and help others likewise. When we are grateful for all God has provided us, our gratitude is an acknowledgement of God who is appreciative and treats us accordingly.

    Epilogue 

    The First Commandment is that through our union with God we can be free from the prison of our mind.

    The Second Commandment is that we don’t take material things or ourselves too seriously.

    The Third Commandment is that we realize everything, including us, is God; that God is unknowable and beyond description.

    The Fourth Commandment is that we enjoy the beauty and wonder of creation as God.

    The Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Commandments are that we treat others as we treat ourselves because we and others are one.

    The Tenth Commandment is that we are grateful to God for the wonderful life we’ve been given.

    The Ten Commandments were given by God to the “chosen people.” The “chosen” are those who journey through life on the way of the light. They are lighthearted, have interesting insights into the nature of mind and ultimately are one with the light: enlightened.

  • Robert Kiyosaki

    “Everyone wants to go to Heaven, but no one wants to die.”

    Our ego is our identity. It keeps us apart and separate from everything it perceives is not us. Our ego identity is very powerful. We are afraid of our vulnerability without it. However, when we bury our ego, encapsulate it, we realize we are truly one with everything as there is only one thing, everything. That is heaven on Earth.

    When we realize we can be in heaven with only the death of our ego, fear of dying is not an obstacle on the way to heaven.

  • The Way Of The Way 150

    Great talent is very rare. Good timing is even rarer.

    Pablo Picasso would have been committed to a mental institution had he made his artworks a hundred years earlier or he would have been a pauper had he made them a hundred years later. It takes true genius to know how to use which talents which times; though most of that genius is just luck.

  • The Way Of The Way 149

    Everyone wants something special as long as it tastes like vanilla.

  • The Way Of The Way 148

    We experience the world through our face and react to our experience with our mind which expresses itself through our face. Moreover, our facial expression affects how we experience the world before our mind reacts to it, a self-reinforcing process. For example, an experience to which our mind reacts as happy makes our face happy which in turn predisposes our face to experiencing the world in a happy way to which our mind tends to react to with happiness that expresses itself again as a happy face. Essentially, a happy facial expression predisposes us to experiencing happiness.

  • The Way Of The Way 147

    God may or may not exist. If God exists, presumably we will meet God when we transition out of  this life. Then, God will ask us: “How is the life I gave you?” Grateful for God’s gift, we want to respond that “it is terrific.” However, if that is not our experience, we need be truthful as God knows the entirety of our life experience. If there is a day of our lives we don’t deeply appreciate with gratitude, God knows that.

    God put us on Earth to enjoy ourselves every day, realize our potential and help others likewise. If that is not our experience, we are not doing as God has commanded and God punishes us. God, seeing we are suffering, will think we enjoy suffering. Thus, our punishment will be to eternally suffer. When we have a day that’s not terrific, it feels like eternity.

    Some days are difficult. But, they could always be worse. Thus, we always need be grateful. Gratitude makes for a terrific day.

    Either way, whether we believe the God narrative or not, we are fools if we don’t have a wonderful day.

  • Kotodama 24

    Our ears,

    lateral on our head,

    hear the here.

    Our nose,

    pointing forward,

    anticipates what is not yet seen or heard.

    The nose knows.

    Our eye,

    interprets what it sees

    in the context of the mind.

    The eye is the I.

  • The Way Of The Way 146

    The world is fascinating when we realize we are like newborns and know nothing. We are at peace when we are sleeping, one with everything like before birth, and know there is nothing to know.

    Otherwise, we are prisoners of our mind, an orderly world that is neither fascinating nor peaceful as we are artificially separated from everything.

  • The Way Of The Way 145

    Those who know how to talk don’t necessarily know what they are talking about.

    Those who are articulate can paint a beautiful forest. Those who know can grow fruit bearing trees.

  • Eddie Penn*

    Shitting with Victor

    Shit my pants yesterday.

    43 seconds away from my bathroom.

    After a furious run home. A quixotic run interrupted by several emergency sphincter squeezes. Made it all the way from E79 and 1st to 64th and 1st. And up five flights of stairs. Made it through a door key twist. But…The 1st wave forged through just as the front door swung open.

    Was about to fight the gods one last time and try a superhuman sphincter squeeze…When in a flash, I thought of Victor. Thought of it is what it is. Thought of laughter.

    And out it came.  All of it. A big bang of shit. Down my leg.  Effectively ruining my favorite pair of pants. Favorite pair of socks. Decent pair of shoes. And when I eventually made it to the toilet, I sat there laughing.

    Thinking of Victor. Sure. My mom was there too. Chiding me in a yenta’s voice – “Why? Why Eddie why? Why couldn’t you hold it for 43 more seconds? What is wrong with you Eddie?” And my forensic voice was there as well – “Was it the homemade shrimp and lobster sauce? Was it too much sauna? Are you growing old and incontinent?”

    And the ole Heart und Fear duet – “Was it your earlier session with the kid? That moment you suspected he is doomed? Doomed forever to be that 7-yr-old  the cops would find hiding under the blankets when they called for domestic violence.”

    The whole chorus was sitting on that toilet.

    But the lead vocals belonged to Victor. The lead vocal was laughter.

    And as I walked downstairs onto 1st Avenue seeking a respectful place to leave my shopping bag of shit…As I laughed and laughed at the mission…As I laughed at the UES [upper East Side, Manhattan] women checking me out thinking I’m some domesticated male doing a late grocery run…”Can’t they smell who I am?”

    A pleasant thought ran across my mind. Maybe my client isn’t doomed. Then again, maybe he is.

    It is what it is.

    *Pseudonym.

  • The Imaginary River Of Time

    Time is an imaginary measure of the space between events.

    It only exists because we are its parents.

    Time is a river from fountainhead to sea.

    It wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for me.

    The river is the river, it is as it is.

    where I am in the river makes time whiz.

    I am who I am, unchanged from the fountainhead

    until the time I think I’m dead.

    The river is the river, even when its part of the sea

    But that is something I cannot see.

  • Time And Transition

    Time and Transition

    Time is invisible, like the wind.

    Only seen in its affects on everything

    On the back of the wind clouds take a ride

    Until over the horizon they hide.

    Soon they return from I don’t know where

    But I enjoy them now and do not care.

  • The Way Of The Way 144

    When off the common path we wander

    We see the world with wonder.

  • Rock-Paper-Scissors

    Rock-paper-scissors is a game dating to antiquity. It is also a metaphor for the dynamic interrelationship between nature, civilization and technology.

    In the game, each of two players declares themselves as either rock, paper or scissors by a show of a fist (rock), an open hand (paper) or the index and middle fingers apart (scissors). Paper wins vs rock (as paper can envelop rock); scissors wins vs paper (as scissors can cut paper); and rock wins vs scissors (as rock can destroy scissors).

    Rocks are nature in rudimentary form. Paper, as it’s organic and manmade, represents civilization. Scissors are a simple form of technology.

    A fist is a symbol of oneness, the fundamental nature of the universe. An open hand, like a handshake, represents openness and cooperation; essential in development of civilization. Fingers apart are fork-like, a useful tool that is also potentially a weapon.

    Civilization, as in the advent of farming, dominates nature. Technology is often a force used in the destruction of civilization. Nature, as an asteroid or sun storm flare hitting Earth (see Carrington Event of 1859), can destroy technology (electric grid, GPS systems, etc.).

    In an informal survey, I’ve found that those who pick rock, paper or scissors identify themselves as a knife, spoon and fork (see knife-fork-spoon) respectively.

  • Knife-Fork-Spoon

    At whatever we look, we see ourselves; especially that with which we most closely identify. In that light, are you a knife, fork, or spoon?

    People who identify as knives tend to view the world as bigger than themselves; a world which needs to be cut to a smaller size to make it digestible.  They see only one way of doing things as knives can be safely held from only one side.

    Forks are people who look to identify simple opportunities to enrich themselves. Most businesspeople identify as forks.

    Spoons look like the human form. They are gentle, cupping their food. Moreover, they are relatively friendly as they can safely be held from either side.

    Alternatively, there are chopsticks. Chopsticks can be invariably held by one side or the other; that is, we treat others as we do ourselves. People who identify as chopsticks view life as not viable when lived independently (one chopstick), but easy when we work in tandem with others.

  • Daniel J. Boorstin

    “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.”

    When we think we know, our curiosity evaporates and we cease exploring to become truly knowledgeable.

  • William Wisher

    “If you think about where you are, you’re probably somewhere else.”

    There is only the here and now. Thinking about where we are, or comparing ourselves to others separates us from this here and now. Lost, yet not knowing it, our thoughts take us somewhere else, a somewhere that soon turns to nowhere.

  • The Way Of The Way 143

    When we perceive ourselves at a higher plane than others, we are truly not as our mind is then like most minds, distracted with nonsense, and we are not enjoying our plane ride fueled by a laugh at those who see imaginary planes.

  • Deathday Party

    Today, June 12th, is my birthday. It’s not a significant day unless I’m stopped for a traffic violation and given a pass by a sympathetic police officer.

    Birthday parties celebrate the calendar date upon which we arrived on Earth for our short time here. Deathday ceremonies celebrate those who have transitioned to be one with everything forever.

    Birthday celebrations are ubiquitous while the deathday is rarely acknowledged in the Western world outside of Chinese, Japanese, Jewish, Korean and Vietnamese communities.

    Birthday parties are an incapsulated mix of food, chitchat, perhaps a couple of speeches and gifting. Deathday ceremonies can be more fun and impactful. On the deathday we can gather and each attendee can view their life and the lives of others from the perspective of the one who is one with everything. Then, those who have gathered can be born again as they perceive themselves in a new light and the presence of the one who transitioned is felt by all for a time long passed their deathday.

  • The Way Of The Way 142

    When we have more answers than questions, we are following the ways of others. When we have more questions than answers, we seek our own way. As the answers to our questions beget more questions, we are always in disequilibrium; more answers than questions or more questions than answers.

    Seeking. More seeking, more questions; we’re like a dog chasing its tail until it collapses from exhaustion. Then, the questions stop. It is what it is whatever it is. Now, calm, we can enjoy things as they are.

  • Practical And Idealistic Diversity

    In recent years there’s been a loud call for diversity at large companies. The practical ideology supporting diversity is that without discrimination an organization can access wisdom (see the wisdom of the crowd) which is essential to realizing its potential.

    However, diversity, as articulated by government, is superficial and not as effective as true diversification. As the government sees it, individuals are not unique but belong to one or several groups; religious, racial, sexual, ethnic, etc. The goal of diversity is to have employees in every large organization as members in different groups such that all groups are represented in an organization in some proportion that reflects society at-large.  This mechanical approach often misses its intended goal as the viewpoints of members from different groups are not necessarily meaningfully diverse.

    Organizations naturally discriminate in their hiring practices. For example, it “makes sense” for a company to require all hires to be hardworking people. However, a company that aims for a diverse workforce would hire a few lazy workers as well. While the lazy workers might put a drag on existing operations, they would likely find easier processes to get the job done which would lead to greater efficiencies. That’s the benefit of having a diverse workforce.

    The government also has an idealistic ideology that promotes diversity. It is the absurd notion that relative equality among members in society makes for a happy society. As the human species benefits by having diverse talents and personalities, there will always be lazy and industrious people. However, few industrious people work industriously for similar financial outcomes as those who are lazy. Hence, the idealistic ideology promoting diversity leads to a lower standard of living on average for all. That’s unlikely to make many societal members happy.

  • The Etymology Of Bull And Bear Markets

    When stock market prices rise dramatically and unjustifiably based on the earnings prospects of companies, it’s called a bull market; when they precipitously fall it’s called a bear market. According to Investopedia: “The terms ‘bear’ and ‘bull’ are thought to derive from the way in which each animal attacks its opponents. That is, a bull will thrust its horns up into the air, while a bear will swipe down. These actions were then related metaphorically to the movement of a market. If the trend was up, it was considered a bull market. If the trend was down, it was a bear market.”

    Alternatively, perhaps a bull market is like a bull charging at a matador’s red cape. The bull is charging ahead at something it sees as real and alive (the moving red cape, rising prices), but which ultimately is a mirage, a delusion. as there is nothing behind the cape or to justify rising prices. Likewise, a bear market is like a hibernating bear which cannot be enticed to eat food it’s offered (like buying stocks that are easy to be had, cheap) because it is sleeping.

  • The Nature Of Cats

    CAT is an acronym for a sheriff’s Criminal Apprehension Team which tracks and arrests offenders wanted for serious felony crimes.  Cats don’t scratch when they purr. Cats don’t like any sort of water.

    Some years back, I lived in Westport, CT. One day, as I was driving to play squash, I was on a business phone call and startled by red lights in the rearview mirror. Soon enough, I was parked on the side of the road with a police car behind me. An overweight officer came out of his vehicle. He was livid, screaming: “You were on our cell phone.” I said: “Officer, I know I was on the phone, I shouldn’t have been, poor judgement on my part. But I’m a bit late for a squash game. How about I give you my license and registration and meet you back at the station house after the game and we’ll sort it all out?” He then got even angier and screamed: “You can’t do that.” As our temperatures were rising, I said: “Officer, I see you are upset. I think you are upset with me. I feel terrible. We are here to take care of each other and I’m not doing a good job of it. Please, tell me, what can I do to make you feel better?” At that point, our minds calmed and he said: “Let’s forget about it.” A cat doesn’t scratch when it’s purring.

    I told this story to a lawyer friend from Spain. He said that he often gets stopped for traffic infractions but never gets ticketed. Simply, when stopped, as the police officer comes asking for his driver’s license, my friend puts his right hand finger, which is out of the officer’s view, to his nose. From his left side, it appears his finger is sloshing around in his nose. He then takes out his driver’s license with his right hand and offers it to the officer who invariably refuses it and tells him to be considerate (perhaps prophylactically) of others. Cats don’t like all sorts of water.

  • The Way Of The Way 141

    When a circle is very small

    we mostly see its perimeter,

    its surface.

    As it gets bigger and bigger

    we focus on the space inside.

    Bigger still,

    the perimeter disappears

    the concept of inside and outside disappears.

    All that remains is one thing.

    It cannot be described

    as it has no surfaces.

    It is what it is whatever it is.

     

    Those who are very small

    see small circles everywhere.

    They focus on surfaces,

    appearances,

    and think they know what they see.

  • The Way Of The Way 31

    As there are few who are enlightened, being enlightened might seem lonely but to those who are enlightened. The enlightened embody wisdom and compassion; feel connected as one with everything; see everything as unique and fascinating; and have lots to laugh about as people are absurdly funny when they are blind to the light and see only with their mind. When we are connected with everything, engaged with the world and are laughing much of the time, we are not lonely.

  • Swami Vivekananda

    “When a man is perfect, he sees perfection in others. When he sees imperfection, it is his own mind projecting itself.”

  • The Way Of The Way 140

    Our time on Earth is an entertaining journey as long as we don’t forget it’s a temporary holiday from our space in heaven. For us who don’t remember, even the most wonderful lives at times are hell.

  • Irving Berlin

    “A man chases a girl until she catches him.”

    He can only escape if he loves the chase more than the girl.

  • The Way Of The Way 139

    As babies, milk supplants crying with joy. As adults, the Milky Way can have the same effect.

    In the dark-sky we can fully engage looking at the stars in the Milky Way and realize the essence of happiness; beyond thoughts, beyond words, the overwhelming beauty of it all; right here, right now.

    Once our basic needs of food, shelter, security and health are satisfied, it’s hard to take too seriously much that’s happening in our infinitesimally small space in the universe. When our mind engages our attention, we take its thoughts seriously which is the root of much of our unhappiness.

    While 100 years ago everyone lived under the dark-sky, today 99% of people live with some degree of light pollution; precluding their eyes from drinking the light from the Milky Way.

  • Thomas S. Murphy

    “One of the most uncommon things in life is common sense.”

    We perceive the world through ideological and personal associations which cloud our thinking. On the rare occasions we are dispassionate, the sun comes out and we can see clearly.

  • The Way Of The Way 138

    When we perceive ourselves as an individual cell with an independent existence, we live and die imprisoned in our cell. However, when we realize each of us is a unique cell in a body of infinite cells whose purpose is to serve the body, then we know the presence of God.

    The soul is ineffable and ethereal. Neither our body nor our mind can experience the soul. However, we know it exists when it connects with another soul. It is then that we know the presence of God.

  • The Way Of The Way 137

    What is within is always the same, the soul.

    What is without is ever-changing.

    What is within is essential.

    What is without we can live without.

  • Leo Tolstoy

    “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

    Happiness is gratitude, optimism and freedom from karmic prisons. Karmic prisons are artificial constructs; stories, descriptions, categorizations and generalizations our mind creates. These constructs control how we perceive and interact in the world. They at times allow us temporary joys but preclude us from long-term happiness. As each mind’s constructs are unique, those who are not happy are unhappy in their own way.

  • Kotodama 8

    We experience life through the mind and the senses. The mind, by its etymology, is a mnemonic device. Our mind transforms the perceptions gathered by our senses and sorts them into categories of similar past experiences; rendering perceptions not as it is what it is whatever it is, but as artificial constructs of the mind. Thus, experiencing life through mind is not experiencing life in the “now” but more as on autopilot. Know, not now; we feel we know what we are experiencing but we are not in the now.

    Experiencing life through our senses, principally through our eyes and ears, is the experience of the now. Beyond both eye and ear starting with the letter “e,” the “e” face type looks like an image of an eye and ear. “e” is also the core letter in the word “new.” When we truly experience life through our senses, everything is new because nothing is ever the same; but in our mind.

    Upon experiencing the newness of everything, we can experience the now. “Now” is formed when “e” is replaced with “o.” “o” is a universal image of the sun, whose light is the essence of everything. “o” also reveals the nature of the now.

    Like all things in the universe, “o” has a within and without that appear as a mutually exclusive duality (something is either the inside or the outside but not both). However, the inside and outside are interdependent as one cannot exist without the other. Hence, when we are in the now we know that the dualities that seem to exist in life are illusions as everything is one.

  • The Need For Diversity Training

    By definition, a mutt is a dog of uncertain pedigree. A mutt is also a person who is stupid or incompetent. Those who don’t allow a mutt to compete at a dog show are also mutts.

    Imagine an extraordinarily beautiful, athletic and intelligent rescue mutt; so smart, the mutt masters every trick in the book and even learns to play checkers competitively with a 10-year old. Surely, the mutt would win first prize at any accredited dog show, become instantly popular with the general public and be in great demand for breeding which would improve the genetic pool of dogs generally, be financially rewarding for its owner and allow the dog to have fun.

    Unfortunately, without a pedigree, the mutts who run dog shows wouldn’t allow the mutt to compete, fearing the mutt would outshine them as it would do more to promote general interest in dogs than could they or any pedigree dog.

     

  • The Way Of The Way 136

    Enlightenment is not a utopia. Enlightenment and unhappiness are not mutually exclusive. One could simultaneously be enlightened and unhappy, momentarily.

    Enlightenment is as the word is, to be “in-light;” that is, the realization that the entire universe is energy (light), including seemingly solid forms (M=E/C*C), and we and the light are one. While solid objects occasionally cast shadows over us, the shadows are temporary illusions that are quickly dissipated by our light.

  • The Way Of The Way 135

    Thinking I’m a somebody

    makes me a nobody.

    With no body

    I’m everybody.

  • The Way Of The Way 128

    When we see through our mind we are often distracted from seeing through our eyes.

    For example, my father took his mind seriously which often limited his ability to enjoy things as they are. Recently, my sister informed me that our father, who was an orthodox Jew, was quite angry after he consummated his marriage with our mother and realized she was not a virgin as she had claimed. I thought it funny that he was upset as his mind distracted him from what truly mattered, the pleasure of lovemaking. That she had bed others before him and mislead him was besides the point.

    But, perhaps more understandably, he felt that marriage was a significant financial commitment on his part for which he expected to have first dibs on certain bedroom benefits; yet, apparently, others received the benefits for free.

  • The Way Of The Way 134

    The universe is the universe,

    like the soul,

    eternal and unchanging.

    The universe itself

    is forever changing manifestations.

    It is always the same,`

    all ways different.

    We are the universe,

    manifestations of the soul.

  • Riding the Muskmobile

    Yesterday it was reported that SpaceX, a company controlled by Elon Musk, paid $250K to settle a sexual harassment employment dispute whereas a flight attendant at SpaceX claimed that Musk offered her a horse (she apparently loves riding horses) in exchange for a “sexual” massage. Presumably, Musk’s offer was: I’ll give you a horse if you take care of my horse.

    Musk contends that the sexual harassment claim at issue has been mischaracterized; the disclosure of which is an effort by the political left to discredit him because he has taken to task many of the left’s absurd ideologies and programs.

    Clearly the left despises Musk because he is an “unfairly advantaged” successful businessman who criticises them. Essentially, the left is saying, rightfully so, that Musk’s success is unfair because Mush has quite a bit more testosterone than those smart enough to lead the left but not able enough to get it up to making money and having fun.

  • Voltaire 2

    “Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one.”

  • Kotodama 23

    When past is passed

    it is over and under,

    finished and buried.

    When past is past

    it is over and over

    hanging over the present.

  • Clearly My Son

    My son, Alex, yesterday tore his Achilles’ tendon while playing squash. An operation to repair the tendon and 6+ months of rehabilitation will follow. While the injury is an immediate and serious lifestyle and physical problem, Alex was calm. I suppose he was grateful, as his circumstance could have been worse. and optimistic they will get better. As such, we’ll save some money. While Alex and I are very different personalities, his attitude makes clear we’ll never need a DNA paternity test.

  • The Way Of The Way 133

    The sun shows us every significant thing on earth and the billions upon billions of stars tell us how insignificant it all is.

  • Kanako IIyama

    “Life is a dream, so have fun with it.”

    When we forget it’s a dream, it can turn into a nightmare.

  • The Nature Of Heaven

    Scripture doesn’t much describe heaven, but it’s likely a cool place relative to hell. As heaven is relatively painless and hell excruciatingly painful, heaven is death by freezing and hell is death by fire.

  • The Way Of The Way 132

    When we have no doubts about our perceptions, we close our eyes to other possibilities. If we weren’t so blindly confident, we would open our eyes and see things as they are, not as our mind has determined they are.

  • The Way Of The Way 131

    People who take their minds seriously are very funny. Seeing this omnipresent humor is the sine qua non to a wonderful journey through life. Unfortunately, few do. If many did, life wouldn’t be so funny; but would be blissful.

  • Adam And Eve, Revisited

    The Biblical story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is a revealing tale of male/female dynamics.

    As the story goes, God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden as caretakers. For sustenance, they were allowed to eat anything they desired but the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. In the Garden, all was good for Adam and Eve as they lived naked and carefree.

    One day, Eve encountered a serpent in the Garden. The serpent is described as the most cunning of beasts, apparently it had legs and could talk. Soon after striking up a conversation with Eve, the serpent convinces her to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil so that she like God would know good and evil. After eating the fruit, Eve convinces Adam to eat it as well.

    With this new-found knowledge, Adam and Eve came to know the good and evil of sexual intimacy; it felt good but was evil as it represented disobeying God’s rules, like the rules a parent imposes on its child.

    Presumably, Eve was a virgin and as such their genitals became blood-stained after sexual intercourse. Realizing their bloody genitals would reveal to God that they had disobeyed God’s prohibition, they covered their nakedness with fig leaves. However, seeing their genitals covered, God realized they were trying to hide the bloody evidence of their misdeeds.

    For their misdeeds, God punished the snake, Eve and Adam. God took away the snake’s legs so it must forever grovel on the ground. God punishes Eve by declaring that the seed of the snake and the seed of Eve will forever hate each other. Moreover, God (apparently believing Adam that Eve instigated breaking God’s rules in order to presumably satisfy her sexual desires) decreed that Eve will suffer the pains of childbirth, a consequence of sexual intimacy. God punishes Adam by banishing him from the Garden, where fruits for his sustenance were freely available. Instead, Adam is made to toil the Earth to sustain himself and to support Eve in exchange for sexual pleasures. Essentially, Adam and Eve were thrown out of their parent’s house to fend for themselves.

    As the snake had legs and was able to talk, the snake must have been Adam’s penis, hanging between his legs and talking through Adam who cunningly acted as a ventriloquist. (That the snake, as above, bore a seed through sperm corroborates that the snake is indeed Adam’s penis.) Moreover, God (apparently thinking that maybe Adam was the instigator) punishes Adam’s penis, forever vanquished to grovel on the ground like men groveling for women’s sexual favors.

    Thus, it was Adam who tricked Eve into eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, to convince her that sex was a natural act in which they should engage. Moreover, as the seed of the snake and the seed of the woman were decreed to forever hate each other, women and men’s sexual relationships would forever be contentious, based on give-and-take.

    The story of Adam and Eve, written by men, blames a woman as the root of man’s woes, portraying her as a temptress that ultimately lured man to commit misdeeds. Adam’s male progeny have been doing like Adam ever since. While it’s unlikely we’ll be readmitted to the Garden, perhaps we can get a little closer to it if men take responsibility for their actions.

  • Messiah

    The Bible prophesied that one day God will send the messiah, the soul of God, to Earth to bring peace and resurrect all who are dead.

    Presently, only the dead who are crazy or have no memory of Earth-life would choose to return to Earth before it is at peace. As the enlightened don’t return and more and more crazy beings do return, Earth becomes inhabited by lots of crazy people who bring pain and suffering to themselves and others. Unfortunately, at some point God will determine humans are not worthy of God’s soul to realize divine consciousness and will let them destroy themselves as animals. Those of us alive now need work to make Earth more peaceful to encourage the coming of the messiah. This is actually not difficult as messiah is within all of us, though few recognize messiah’s presence.

  • Vinati Singh

    “To be loved is like standing in front of a buffet. It means nothing if you are not hungry. To love is to enjoy that buffet…You have to feel what it is like to love someone before you can understand what an honor it is to be loved.”

  • Love 1

    I am strong with my pain but not with yours.

  • Love 2

    I don’t know me.

    I don’t know you.

    Only know us.

  • Can’t See The Forest For The Trees

    Entangled in the now

    we’re oblivious to its beauty

    which is clear

    from before and after the now.

  • The Way Of The Way 130

    Heaven is peaceful and those in heaven want to keep it that way. So they only let into heaven only those who live peaceful lives on Earth.

    After death, there may or may not be heaven and hell. But it’s of no matter as those living peaceful lives on Earth are already in heaven.

  • Kotodama 1

    Each of us a piece

    coming from a black hole.

    Each piece together

    at peace as a whole.

  • The Way Of The Way 129

    The universe is nothing before it expresses itself as everything.

    We are one with nothing and everything

    but not one with every thing.

  • Blind Love

    Years back, a friend, Joe, called to announce he was engaged and wanted me as the best man at his wedding. Joe was 6’4″ and his fiancé, Diane, wasn’t noticeably shorter. Physically, they saw eye to eye; otherwise, a completely incompatible couple.

    Before Diane, Joe was not a pretty drunk for many years. He went sober coincidentally with starting a relationship with Diane. While no longer drunk, as he and Diane were clearly incompatible, he still couldn’t see straight. I advised him against the marriage; told him he was better off as a drunk. He said I didn’t understand, he was madly in love with Diane. I said that was the problem, love kept him from seeing clearly.

    It turned into a very acrimonious marriage; screaming and fighting. Yet from a distance it was funny juxtaposing the image of Joe mad about Diane to Joe mad with Diane. They didn’t see the humor; exhausted, they finally called it quits five years later.

    With divorce rates high, there must be many couples like Joe and Diane suffering the consequences of blind love. If not for marriages based on blind love, the number of divorces would likely drop 70%. But divorce rates would rise because there would be even fewer marriages.

  • The Enlightened Cells

    We are all individual cells in one human body; nerve cells, heart cells, fat cells, skin cells, blood cells, etc. Each type of cell lives in a cluster of identical cells that function, behave and think alike.

    The most unusual cells are the blood cells. Red blood cells don’t have a nucleus, can’t reproduce and have the flexibility to easily change their shape. Without a nucleus or mind, they are essentially selfless and embody compassion; their sole purpose is to serve other cells. They travel through the body, visiting all types of cells, bringing cells oxygen for sustenance and removing carbon dioxide which would otherwise kill them.

    Through their travels, red blood cells recognize that there are many different types of cells, each having a different perspective of the body. While the nerve cells might be the smartest, the white blood cells the most combative, the stomach cells the toughest, the bone cells the hardest, etc.; the red blood cells, having the perspectives of other cells, are the wisest.

    With wisdom and compassion, red blood cells are the enlightened cells. Maybe that’s what makes them the most colorful.

  • The Way Of The Way 128

    A common pastime is to explain the present in the context of past events and circumstances. While the explanations of experts and others sound cogent, they are mostly nonsense. If they were truly able to explain how the present unfolded, some of these geniuses would be able to predict the future; though none of them can.

    Of course, there are always individuals who do correctly predict the future. However, rarely more than once are they the same individuals.

  • Kotodama 22

    “M” is a vessel with one bucket,

    “W” a vessel with two buckets.

    We can do more than Me.

    For Me to be We

    I need to turn myself upside down.

  • Confucius 1

    “If a man gives no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.”

    Until it is obvious, it is difficult to see things we haven’t first imagined. Imagining dangerous scenarios allows us to see and avoid them before they become reality. While these imaginings are stressful, they are less stressful than experiencing them.

  • Governments

    Governments often sing and dance to different music. They sing of doing wonderful things for mankind as they dance on people’s bodies.

  • Eye idol, 3700 – 3500 B.C., Tell Brak, Levant

    This 5500 year old female figure comes from the time before the dawn of the written word. Much has changed since then but perhaps men have not. The figure is depicted with eyes, nose, breasts and a vagina; but no mouth or ears. Perhaps that’s how most men like their women.

    More seriously, what this apparently sacred object (it is referred to as an “idol”) means is open to interpretation. Eye idols are almost invariably depicted with eyes only; no mouth, nose or other body parts. Perhaps that’s the nature of a presumably all-knowing deity, they observe and do not speak. As Lao Tzu observed more than 3000 years later: “He who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak.”

     

  • The Way Of The Way 127

    The universe is nothing,

    empty space and no time,

    before it is everything.

    In nothingness

    everything is one.

     

    Time begins when the universe expresses itself

    as infinite ever-changing manifestations.

    Then, we are still one with the universe

    but often oblivious as to who we are.

  • The Burning Bush Is The Tree Of Life

    In the Bible, God appears to Moses in the form of an eternally burning bush. The bush however is not burning. As its flames are not devouring the branches, the flames must be light, not fire. The light however appears as fire, our mind perceiving it based on our past experiences where light in a bush can only be fire. The mind’s preconceptions blind us from seeing things as they are.

    The burning bush, as the entire universe, is a manifestation of God. Moreover, the bush metaphorically reveals the nature of the universe: ever-changing (flames) and eternal (not burning). The light that appears as flames represents wisdom (Proverbs 3.18). The light unveils the bush, the eternal soul, from darkness.

    The bush is seneh, a bramble, a rough prickly shrub which bears raspberries, blackberries or dewberries. As a prickly shrub with light abounding, the bush’s thorns are “the fiery ever-turning sword” that guards the path to the Tree of Life (Genesis 3.24). The path leads to the soul’s soul, the Tree’s fruit. Those who can see the fiery ever-turning sword as light and thorns can, without fear of burning or hurting, partake of the fruit to sustain themselves (Book of Enoch) as they become one with the soul’s soul.

    When we understand the burning bush, we understand the universe; ever-changing and eternal. Then, we can find the soul’s soul and be one with everything forever. In the image of God, the burning bush, is the Tree of Life.

    When we dispense with the mind, its preconceived notions and the fears they engender, we can see the universe as it is and ultimately connect as one with God.

  • The Way Of The Way 126

    Buddha opened his eyes and was able to see the universe as it is. Had Buddha been studying Buddhism, he would have seen many things through his mind which would have precluded him seeing the universe as it is.

  • Haiku 14

    Leaves in the wind

    waving hello and goodbye.

    Are the leaves waving to me?

  • The Way Of The Way 125

    For those who remember who they were before they were born, life is difficult in the beginning and easy at the end. In the beginning, it is difficult to adjust to a world where most people live out of touch with reality, a world of individual and collective meanings and stories of the mind’s construction. But life is easy at the end as they know the wonderful place to which they are going which is from where they came.

  • The Way Of The Way 124

    Babies see the world as it is, new and fresh, because they don’t remember what they see.

  • The Way Of The Way 123

    Easy at the beginning, difficult at the end.

    Difficult at the beginning, easy at the end.

    Easy at the beginning retards growth

    which makes the end even more difficult.

  • Robin S. Sharma

    “The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.”

    The mind is a wonderful servant when we use it to learn from our past experiences, successes and failures to make good choices going forward. However, the mind is a terrible master when it creates stories and meanings that frame our experience of the present. Our stories are like a prison, not allowing us to experience the present as it is. Prison guards, however friendly, rule over us.

  • The Way Of The Way 120

    The mind drives many far and wide, blindly seeking.

    But everything is here and near for the See King.

    Our mind is home to many hungry “I”s

    who long for nothing when we open our eyes.

  • The Way Of The Way 16

    Every night we die and every morning we are born anew. Thus, every day is our first and last day of life. As it’s our first day, everything is fascinating. As it’s our last day, we appreciate everything.

  • Stars

    The size of a star is a function of how distant it is. Stars in the Milky Way seem tiny from Earth but are unimaginably huge up close. Popular stars who are far from our real lives seem huge but aren’t bigger than us up close. The popular stars who think their big are ridiculously funny in the context of real stars.

  • Inflating The Deflated

    Yesterday, I pulled out of my driveway for my weekly trip to the Darien Cheese Shop and a hundred feet later the car started seriously shaking. A flat tire awoke me from my routine. I stopped the car and started working with an air pump to inflate the tire. As it was taking some time, I wondered whether the tire would hold enough air for me to make it to a repair shop or I’d need to get it towed. Either way, it sounded like a bit more fun than the routine trip to the cheese shop. Soon a passing car pulled over and an elderly woman with grey hair came out and asked: “Do you need any help?” To which I replied: “Actually I’m terrific; blessed with a high-class problem, a flat tire.” We both laughed, connected by compassion and wisdom as the truth was revealed: temporary common problems are not problems but experiences to be enjoyed by all.

  • Easter Monday

    Easter is the most important holiday in Christianity. Easter commemorates the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ which Christians believe is proof Jesus Christ was the messiah, the one who would bring peace on Earth.

    The historical events of Easter are the basis for the ubiquitous symbol of Christianity, the cross or Jesus on the cross (the crucifiction). It’s a funny symbol for a religion espousing peace. As Christ preached brotherly love among people regardless of their religious identities and was ultimately crucified for his heretic views, the symbol suggests that those who preach peace will be crucified. True to this view, murder and horror is what many who have walked under the banner of Christianity have brought to peaceful non-Christians since the time of Christ.

    Ultimately, Christians believe that Christ, the messiah, will return and bring peace on Earth. Perhaps so, but in light of the violent history of the those professing to be Christians, clearly Christ is not a Christian.

  • John 1:1

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

    The universe is infinite and unique manifestations of God. Manifestations that have consciousness do not know they are God. They perceive themselves as apart and separate from all other manifestations. Man is no different in his self-perception but has the potential to realize divine consciousness; the realization that he and all manifestations are one; that man and God are one.

    Words are the foundation of a system of conceptualizing and communicating abstractly. This system enables man with the potential for divine consciousness. Thus, as the word enables man to connect as one with God, the word is God; the system is God.

    The word begot the world.  Word + I = world.  When the word and I merged, the story of the world was created.

    Words were first transcribed symbolically, in written form as cuneiform tablets, around 5,400 years ago. This is soon after the start of the Jewish calendar which marks this year as 5,782.  Prior to that time, our progenitors were manlike but not man.

  • The Way Of The Way 5

    If someone doesn’t love or respect us, that’s their problem. We can only feel badly for them because they simply don’t get it. However, we too have a problem if we resent them for it.

  • George Washington

    “We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.”

    The past can teach us valuable lessons. However, defining ourselves by stories we create about our past has no value and distracts us from making the most of things to come.

  • The Way Of The Way 30

    In the play of life, we often respect those in roles of great wealth and power. However, those are easy roles that unremarkable people can play. Actually, most people who play those roles are unremarkable; if not before, than after they assume those roles. Difficult roles involve issues of poverty, poor health and harm’s way. We need respect and be thankful to those playing such roles; if they didn’t, then we might be called to do so.

  • The Way Of The Way 2

    It’s clear that everyone’s life is unique, fascinating and entertaining. But that’s often not their experience of it, unless they open their eyes.

  • Nuriya Khakimulla

    “Silence is the greatest secret in the world.”

    “He who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak.” –Lao Tzu.

    “Silence is the only voice of our God.” — Herman Melville.

    In true silence we not distracted by sounds or other stimulation or by our mind’s thoughts. In true silence, we are in the present, the pre-sent, the space before the universe expresses itself and time begins. In true silence the universe is revealed as an ineffable ethereal experience. Attempting to share these revelations through words with others breaks the silence, shrouds its revelations in oblivion and keeps silence a secret.

  • Alice (from Alice in Wonderland)

    “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

    Every day is a life in a day, not a day in a life. We’ve lived thousands of lifetimes, dying in the evening and born anew in the morning into circumstances similar to those in which we died yesterday. Upon rebirth, we resemble the person we were yesterday but are not the same person; though we assume we are and live in the context of our past identities. As to who we are now, it is difficult to say beyond “I am who I am” as we, like everything, are ever-changing.

  • The Way Of The Way 122

    The beauty is not that which is beautiful but that we can see beauty. When we can see beauty, everything is beautiful. The beauty we see is ourselves. Likewise, those who see ugly things are themselves ugly.

    If we see something that isn’t beautiful, then it’s funny. Most people are not beautiful.

  • The Way Of The Way 116

    Those who think they are smarter than others often can’t see as much as those who don’t think so much about themselves relative to others.

  • Sadhguru

    “When people are alone, they become spiritual. When in company, they become religious.”

    When we are alone and our mind is calm, we can connect with everything, That’s a spiritual experience. When with others, we see ourselves as apart and separate and need rules and rituals to calm ourselves.

  • God and the Fool

    The fool thinks he is God. The wise man knows he and everything is God.

    The fool thinks himself apart and superior to others. The wise know we are all unique and yet the same, infinite manifestations of God.

  • The Way Of The Way 36

    Crazy are those who take their crazy thoughts seriously. A crazy society takes seriously someone who is crazy and makes them their leader.

  • The Value Of Associations

    Underwear costing $20 new is worthless in our eyes if it’s used, spoiled and smelly. But in our mind it can be worth 1,000 times more than new if it came from Jacqueline Kennedy’s hamper.

  • Erich Segal

    “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

    We may have regrets about being thoughtless and treating our body poorly; say, getting fat, a hangover or not sleeping enough. Yet, we never apologize to our body. Our body is who we are and we don’t apologize to ourselves. Likewise, in love, we and whom we love are one. Apologizing or thanking whom we presumably love implies we and they are not one; that we don’t truly have a love connection.

  • The Way Of The Way 121

    As we busy ourselves, we are oblivious that we are one of billions of cells of the human body. After sustaining ourselves and realizing our potential, our purpose is to serve the body. While our conscious identity is our individual cell-self, who we truly are is the one body that was here before our cell-self arrived and after our cell-self is no longer.

  • Seeing With Our Eyes

    In October, 1992 I started collecting tribal art. While initially I didn’t imagine tribal art would be expensive, I was soon amazed at how expensive some objects were; some fetching hundreds of thousands of dollars. What made these objects so expensive is that there is a limited supply of “authentic” objects. (Authentic objects are those made by a tribal people for their own use and used accordingly. That’s unlike “tourist” objects made for others and “fakes” made to appear like authentic objects.) Authenticity is essentially the sine quo nom of the collectibles markets generally. Without a limited supply of art objects qualifying as authentic, the art market would collapse. If objects were judged simply by their aesthetic appeal alone, facsimiles that were indistinguishable from authentic objects would flood the market, making authentic objects not worth more than the cost of making a facsimile. Without high-priced collectibles, there would be no collectors spending huge sums to support art museums, auction houses and well-heeled dealers.

    Art, as well as everything else, is viewed by our eyes and our mind. Our eyes see things as they see things. As our eyes have no memory, our eyes cannot compare one thing with another. However, while some things engage and appeal to us and some less so, just about everything has a unique beauty to it from some perspective. Our mind cannot see, it can only hear. When we look at an art object in terms of its authenticity, provenance, description and in comparison to other art objects, we are “seeing” through our mind, not our eyes. The art market depends on collectors seeing through their mind, not their eyes.

    As a collector I’ve met many dealers. One thing that several said in passing particularly struck me: there have been many well-considered collectors that as they got on in years often sold many of their “top” objects and purchased others that were clearly fakes or of lower quality. Dealers speculated that these old collectors simply lost their “eye;” that is, they could no longer distinguish a fake from an authentic object or they lost their sense of taste and as such were satisfied with lower quality objects. Perhaps or maybe these old collectors finally saw art objects with their eyes, not their mind.

    Now, I too am an old collector and appreciate the mindset of the old collectors who were pooh-poohed by dealers and museum people. Someone truly engaged with the art itself (not with art as an investment or status symbol) solely focuses on the aesthetic and engaging aspects of an art object. Whether it’s fake or real is immaterial. Each object is what it is whatever it is; to be appreciated as it is, absolutely, not relative to something else or because it’s dressed in superlatively flattering adjectives. Collectors who’ve come to this realization tend to be older, having spent many lifetimes and considerable sums building their collections. They truly have a great “eye” as they see objects with their eyes, not with their mind.

    More generally, beyond art, these older individuals tend to be in Act 3 in the play of life; the transition from their finite material selves to who they were before their birth, one with everything. In the transition, we see beauty everywhere. As to the art market, they shake their heads and laugh at the foolish collectors they once were.

  • The Way Of The Way 119

    Life is simple. All we need is food, shelter, security and health. Our mind makes it easy. But the mind makes it complicated as it converts endless desires into needs.

  • The Way Of The Way 118

    Relatively, there is a small percentage of girls who are conventionally sexually attractive in terms of international tastes. Attractive girls are like two-seat sports cars with big headlights, not minivans. They’ve got a lot of torque, can reach 150+ miles/hour and have great handling. They provide a thrilling ride but are not practical for everyday driving and require a good deal of maintenance. Their looks are often a defense mechanism; they want guys focusing on their appearance and not what’s below the surface, their nature which is often volatile and selfish. Loving, wholesome, spiritual girls tend to be otherwise; not much to look at but wonderful soulmates. They don’t put themselves out as beauties because they want guys who are interested in who they are not how they appear.

    So there is something for everyone or for every time frame. The attractive ones are best for meaningful relationships of less than an hour or until you run out of gas.

  • Freedom From Mind

    The present is the pre-sent, the space before the universe expresses itself as infinite unique manifestations. The present is empty. It is silent. Time does not exist in the present. It is dark until we light it up by opening our eyes. The now is when the universe expresses itself. It is when time begins. In the now we experience the universe via our senses and our mind.

    The present is the space between exhale and inhale, between bodily death and birth, between going to sleep and awakening. In the present we are not distracted by the universe expressing itself in the now. We can observe the universe and come to know it.

    The experience via our senses is what it is whatever it is; some of it to our liking and some not. It’s a visceral connection with the universe. The experience via our mind is of memories, meanings and stories that make us feel good, bad, indifferent and countless other states of mind.

    We equate our mind’s perception of the universe with reality. We take it seriously and hold onto it regardless of how miserable it may make us feel. Perceiving the universe otherwise requires us to abandon our mind. We’re afraid to do that as we fear we would be lost without our mind. That’s how our mind imprisons us.

    However, we can escape our mind’s prison and not find ourselves lost when we leave the now and go to the present. The present is a peaceful place where there is nothing to fear. In the present we can open our eyes and realize that there are infinite mind frames for experiencing the universe; that the mind frame we heretofore could not let go was not particularly more valid than others; that we are free to experience the universe through a mind frame of our choosing. This is wisdom. As a default, we choose the happy mind; a mind that is grateful, optimistic and free from karmic prisons.

    With a happy mind, much of life is absurdly funny as we see most people taking their respective mind’s perceptions seriously.

    When we open our eyes and light up the darkness in the present, we realize the universe is just light; infinite, eternal, ever-changing and unique manifestations of light; that we are light, not just individual little selves trying to make a go of it in the short time between birth and death.

    Realizing all is light, we fill with compassion. We’re joyous making others happy and helping them escape their mind’s prison as that’s our purpose in life.

  • The Way Of The Way 117

    Go for the best and forget the rest.

    What’s best is that of which we make the best.

  • Everything Is One Thing

    Everything is unique now

    and unlike itself after now.

    Everything is nothing before it is something.

    I am nothing before I am what I am whatever I am.

    Nothing is one thing, nothing.

    Everything, including me, is one thing.

  • Progressives

    Progressives are clowns, the funniest people when they are not scary. Funny when they take their crazy thoughts seriously. Scary when enough others take them seriously and make them their leaders.

    Progressives are idealists who aim to change the social/political order so they may better people’s lives. They are intellectuals who think they are smarter than the less educated and therefore they should decide what’s best for all. Alternatively, businesspeople take an empirical and practical approach to providing goods and services to people to choose for themselves how to better their lives. They provide what the market demands, without judgement of the desires of their customers.

    Progressives view the social order vertically, an autocracy. Businesspeople view the world horizontally, a democracy where people vote with their cash.

    Progressives are risk-averse and want to control everything. Businesspeople are risk-takers and succeed by managing risks.

    Progressives promote their agenda with propaganda while businesspeople advertise.

    Progressives need individuals to think as a group. Businesses thrive on independent thinkers choosing what’s best for themselves based on product quality and price.

    Progressives are inflexible and face extinction as the world changes and they can’t. Businesspeople who survive are those most able to adapt to change.

    Progressives hate the lower classes which they view as a necessary evil they need to accommodate. Businesspeople view their customers as the gods they serve.

    Progressives envision building a house from the roof to the ground which inevitably crushes those building it. Businesspeople built a house from the ground up for all who can afford it to live.

  • The Present And The Now

    Consciousness is binary,

    the present and the now.

    The present and the now seem synonymous

    but are mutually exclusive,

    complementary

    and interdependent

    as one cannot exist without the other.

    The present is the pre-sent,

    the time before the universe is sent out as expressions of itself.

    The now is when our senses initially experience the universe expressing itself.

    Time doesn’t exist in the pre-sent.

    In the pre-sent eternity lies.

    The now is the beginning of time.

    All other time,

    past and future,

    are illusions created by our mind.

    The present is the beginningless and endless time

    before a gong is struck,

    shattering silence and awaking us to the now.

    In the now we hear its sound,

    initially powerful

    and then slowly drifting away

    until only silence remains,

    the present.

    The present is the space

    between exhale and inhale.

    Inhaling and exhaling is the now.

  • Personal Observation 1

    Since the beginning of time I can remember, everything seemed new and unique, especially the causal or coincidental relationship between things, why things are as they are. As well, I’ve been always amazed how people view the same thing so differently and hold no doubts about their respective perspectives. Curiosity has driven me down many roads to understand things. But after travelling countless miles, I realize the road was a treadmill as I still don’t know much about anything. But, I keep at it, probably because it’s not frustrating but fun, as the means and the ends are the same. Some would say that after a lifetime of fruitless effort, I’m a fool trying to understand things; but better that than undoubtedly being a fool thinking I do.

  • God’s Mind

    Our mind defines us and the world around us.

    We adamantly hold our mind’s view as reality

    and fear to think differently

    for if we let go our mind we’d lose it and be lost.

    That’s how our mind controls us.

    If lost, what would replace it,

    who would we then be?

    The undifferentiated mind,

    the mind of God.

  • The Way Of The Way 120

    Painful death comes fast or slow.

    Fast from fast, from fast food slow.

  • The Way Of The Way 115

    Art collecting and religion are alike. They are about community membership; not about the insights art reveals about the human experience or the worship of God, respectively.

  • The Way Of The Way 114

    Absolutely, everything is beautiful; relatively, few things are beautiful.

    Everything is beautiful because seeing is beautiful. Seeing is an experience in the now, an experience of the universe expressing itself.

    Our mind can’t see. It can only remember. The mind compares things it has not seen but believes it remembers seeing and things it envisions. Once measured, some things are more or less beautiful; relatively, few things are beautiful.

    The World Trade Center event is an example of that which is absolutely beautiful but relatively not. For the few who can see it as it is what it is whatever it is, they see the World Trade Center hit by planes and its subsequently collapse as a beautiful chaotic light show. However, for the vast majority, the World Trade Center event is a horrible tragedy relative to most of whatever else they see in life through their mind.

  • The Shawshank Redemption

    The Shawshank Redemption is a story of men serving life sentences in a brutal penitentiary. The penitentiary is a metaphor for living in society. Most of us live our entire lives in a penitentiary. But in The Shawshank Redemption, as in society generally, a few have a chance at redemption, freedom: Brooks Hatlen, an old man who managed the prison library; Andy Dufresne, a banker wrongly imprisoned for the murder of his wife and her lover; and Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding, a prison contraband smuggler.

    After 50 years of “good behavior” (a model prisoner serving others as a librarian; a kind man who cares for an injured bird) Brooks is free to leave. However, a sentence well-served, like a life well-served, doesn’t guarantee redemption. For Brooks there is no redemption. Redemption requires letting go of our past where we are imprisoned by our mind. While excited at the prospect of freedom, Brooks can’t part with his identity as a prison librarian and embrace the freedom that awaits him. He becomes depressed and hangs himself soon upon his release.

    Andy is like everyman, not deserving punishment but punished nonetheless, forced to serve a role in life that’s not to his liking. He makes the most of his life in prison but for years devotes his time and energy on digging a tunnel from his cell to freedom outside the prison walls. On the day of his escape, he emerges from a hole in the earth, essentially reborn. Once free, like all free men he leaves the roles society has slotted him to live carefree in a beachfront village, presumably without risk of extradition. Andy finds redemption.  His efforts are like years of meditation that culminate in escaping the prison of the role-plying self and past identities to be one with the world at large.

    Ellis is long-imprisoned for a crime he committed in his youth. Periodically he comes up for parole which he’s denied. Again and again he tells the parole board that he is sorry about his criminal past, completely rehabilitated and would never do it again. Again and again, the board rejects his petition for parole. Then, finally, he tells the board that he often imagines a boy who he doesn’t know. He sees the boy about to commit a horrible crime and he only wishes he could grab that boy before the crime is committed. The board then grants him parole. Essentially, Ellis is saying that he no longer is the person who committed the crime for which he went to prison; the person he is now could never have committed such a crime and he would try to stop its commission if he saw it happening. Keeping Ellis incarcerated longer would be punishing someone for a crime they didn’t commit. His redemption comes from completely disavowing his past which allows him to smuggle himself out of prison. Likewise, we are only free when we leave the karmic prison of our mind.

    Redemption, freedom, is ultimately the purpose of life. It comes not simply by living a good life, treating others well and satisfying our responsibilities. It comes from long and hard work to realize our personal and societal identities are temporary roles in the play of life. Then, we know the name of the play, “Terrific.”

  • Haiku 13

    When we connect in the hole

    we become whole,

    one piece

    at peace.

  • Sun God

    There is one God.

    The God before the Big Bang.

    The God beyond our comprehension.

    The God that birthed billions of sons.

    God’s sons too are gods.

    They are the stars.

    God’s son closest to us is our sun.

  • Sense, Nonsense

    When we open our eyes we see what we sense, which a fool’s mind makes into nonsense.

    We appreciate a beautiful artwork when we see it. That makes sense. A collector paying millions for such an artwork when an indistinguishable facsimile can be had for a pittance, that’s foolish nonsense.

    Beyond beautiful artworks, there is beauty everywhere for those who have the sense to open their eyes; but not for fools who prefer nonsense.

    Of course, “collectible” paintings are not purchased for the visual experience they provide but for their speculative value (that there will be a greater fool to pay more for them in the future), or as objects of prestige (identifying those who foolishly need to impress others or themselves) or as a pass to enter certain high-society social circles inhabited by other fools.

  • Blind To Our Shadows When Gazing At The Sun

    When facing the sun, shrouded in its warmth and the gazing at the beauty of everything, we’re often oblivious to the shadows we cast.

    In the post, Being In The Present, I talked about my “insider trading” criminal case. Ultimately, as a result of losing at trial, I spent 1994 in a Federal prison in Fairton, NJ.

    I looked forward to going to prison. Thought I’d have a good time meeting guys outside my social/business/special interests circles. Maybe get to do things I hadn’t previously been exposed to: garden maintenance, car repair, preparing institutional foods; maybe read some books. After having snapped some lawnmower blades on rock outcroppings and making a car’s problems worse, I was fired from those jobs. I didn’t get a chance to work in the kitchen because I casually mentioned to an inmate that I must have gotten genital herpes years back at a group sex party; as word got around, some were concerned herpes was transmittable through food, so I was nixed from that job. Didn’t get a chance to read much beyond periodicals. Most of the time spent was pondering the nature of things and interviewing the prisoners about their circumstances and how they viewed the world. I joked around a lot, seemed to entertain the mates and the guards. Paid someone $1 to make my bed daily, someone else to make me hand-cut potato fries and broiled New Zealand calves’ liver and another mate to clean the shower before I went in to jerk off. I thought I was well liked, until my last night there. Last night there, the prisoners typically threw a party for the one who was departing. As my time neared, I was getting the feeling they weren’t having a party for me. So I ordered 80 ice cream sandwiches from the commissary (from which you could privately buy foods and other stuffs) to ensure a party was to be. Everyone loved it; best party of the season. However, at some point during the party I said to a crowd of mates “you guys will probably miss me.” To which one replied: “We won’t miss you. We hate you.” Incredulous, I said, “really, why’s that?” To which he replied: “because you had too good a time here.” Now, 27 years later, I sometimes think maybe some people in my current life feel the same way about me. But, like in prison, I can’t imagine that to be so. Gazing at the sun I’m oblivious of the shadows I cast.

  • Being In The Present

    However dark, foreboding or uncertain the future appears, it doesn’t affect us when we are in the true-present, the timeless space before now and all that follows.

    In late 1985 I was married with one child, unemployed, had little money saved and started a hedge fund managing the funds of a small group of investors. Soon after, in the Spring of 1986, I became embroiled in an “insider trading” scandal. The related investigation made the newspapers and shadowed me everywhere. I was at risk of losing overwhelming sums for legal fees, fines and penalties as well as the prospect of going to prison and being permanently barred from running a hedge fund which was my only viable means of earning a living. The investigation lasted for three and a half years by which time I had two more children. Then I was indicted. The trial concluded in late spring of 1990. I was found guilty. After two years spent on appealing the verdict, I was sentenced to 18 months in prison, fined $1.8M and had the prospect, pending appeals, of losing my license to continue managing money. I had also up until then paid roughly $2M for legal representation. I went to prison in January 1994. In January, 2000 I lost the appeals and was permanently barred from managing other people’s money.

    With the attention I needed to give the investigation and trial and the dire consequences hanging over my head for eight years, investors and friends were astonished that I was able to continue running my hedge fund successfully without a care. My view was that beyond managing the hedge fund I had nothing to worry about one day to the next. The circumstances were what they were and I would deal with them as they unfolded. I wasn’t dying of cancer; things could have always been worse.  In fact, I was grateful for my circumstances. I was happy. Simply, I was in the present and focused on whatever next was going to be in the now.

  • The Way Of The Way 158

    Our life is like a movie, an illusion on a screen; though it all seems very real, so we take it seriously. However, as the movie ends, the theater lights turn on; the theater is enlightened and so are we, realizing the illusions were illusions.

  • Heaven

    In heaven we are all even

    as only souls can enter heaven

    and each soul is the same.

    We can bring our souls to heaven

    but we can’t bring our soles to heaven.

    Those who know not of heaven

    cannot part with their soles until nightfall.

    Then they become lost souls.

    For the sun reveals the entrance to heaven

    and at night heaven’s gates are closed.

  • The Soul

    There is only one soul.

    That’s why it’s called the sole.

    The soul is rarely visible,

    like the sole of our feet,

    but it’s the axis connecting us to the Earth

    and the foundation upon which everything stands.

  • The Way Of The Way 109

    The secret to experiencing the intense beauty of every-thing is to experience each thing’s uniqueness as revealed by our senses; absolutely, as it is, not comparatively.

    This is easier said than done as our mind automatically distracts us from experiencing the world purely with our senses. Our mind distracts us by referencing a sensuous experience we are experiencing now to other seemingly similar experiences*; comparing something now with something that’s passed or idealized. Comparatively, some things look more or less attractive than others; but, experienced absolutely, every-thing is always beautiful if not in all ways; at least it enlivens us.

    A corollary is that we are distracted from having a purely sensuous experience when we describe or analyze an experience. To keep our experience as purely sensuous, we can only say of each thing that it is what it is whatever it is. However, there is one word that identifies our reaction is wholly sensuous: WOW. The sound of WOW is made by puckering our lips like when we kiss what we love, that to which we connect with as one. WOW is also our reaction upon awakening, when we don’t remember who we were yesterday, what we need to later today and everything around us appears as we’ve never seen it before.

     

    *The etymology of the word “mind” is memory. When we see things through our mind, we don’t truly see. We are asleep to reality; only seeing illusions, thoughts and memories  To be awake is to be in the now, to experience the world through our senses.

  • The Way Of The Way 110

    We connect with each other through our mind and heart. Our heart is clearly the more important of two as we can live without a mind but not without a heart.

  • The Way Of The Way 108

    Each of us is generally described in terms of nouns and adjectives. But that’s not who we are. Nouns and adjectives are static while we are dynamic. We are nothing but an experience.

    The experience is a play that we write, produce, direct and in which we star. Our individual plays overlaps with the plays of others as we play roles in their plays and they play roles in ours.

    Some plays are well-attended by the gods in the audience, while others not. With little audience interest in our individual play, we find ourselves better financially rewarded spending our time playing roles in other people’s plays than in ours. In doing so, we abandon our plays and the freedoms they allows us. At that point we are nothing, just nouns and adjectives.

    However, when we love those who have even very minor roles in our play and treat them like special guest stars, maybe one day they will be; and, if not, at least they’ll enjoy their roles more than otherwise.

  • The Way Of The Way 107

    When our essential bodily needs (food, shelter, security and health) are met and our mind is calm and doesn’t distract or imprison us, we are free to experience it as it is, through our senses and soul.

    The experience through our senses is, well, sensuous; the experience of being alive in the now as the universe is unfolding; heightened physical awareness; the uniqueness of each breath; the rhythm of our pulse; the waves of sound, light and air coming upon us; no duality between us and the experience; we’re connected with everything as all there is is is (the plural I, we).

    There is only one soul which is the essence of everything. The soul is every-thing before it is something. The soul is nothingness; the space between exhale and inhale. In the space of nothingness we are one with everything.

  • Om And Oh

    “Om” and “oh” are the sounds before words were born.

    “Om” is the incantation at the beginning and end of chapters in the Hindu scriptures, the Vedas and Upanishads. It is the sound made in ceremonies relating to the rites of passage such as weddings and during meditative and spiritual activities like yoga. It is the sound of the universe that’s meant to encompass all sounds; the sound attesting to our consciousness; the sound recognizing the divine.

    Likewise, “oh” is a sound used to express our awakening, our immediate emotional reaction to something to which we have just been made aware.

    The expression “Oh my God” is the most common expression heard at the moment of orgasm. In this context, “oh my God” means one is awakened to one’s oneness with God; one’s oneness with the universe before the beginning of time and as nothing becomes everything: the Big Bang.

    As “Om” is an incantation that’s chanted as “Ommmmmmmmmm,” “oh my God” seems more consistent with the pace of approaching sexual climax than “Ommmmmmmmmm my God.”

  • Taisha

    Takeshi Fuji, photographer

    Shiga, Japan, 2/2/2022

    There are 8 million gods recognized in the Shinto religion in Japan, a number that in traditional Japanese culture is considered synonymous with infinity. Taisha (coincidentally, pronounced like my name, Teicher), is the oldest and biggest shrine in Japan where it is said that all the gods meet annually. This photo, not of the Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, is metaphorically Taisha. It depicts a reflecting light path over water (coincidentally, “teich” in German is “pond”) and through a shrine to the sun god, the origin of everything. The sun god is seen rising over mountains and through clouds. The mountains are opaque, ignorance, which requires great efforts to climb above. The clouds are translucent, our mind which otherwise is what shrouds the light that is everywhere.

  • The Way Of The Way 106

    Peace is when we are one with everything.

    The time before birth.

    The time after death.

    The time between falling asleep and awakening.

    The time between exhale and inhale.

    The time when there is only one thing, nothingness

    The time before nothingness becomes everything.

    Awakening is the realization

    we are always one with everything

    but for the time of our self-consciousness

    when we are oblivious of nothingness.

  • The Face Of God

    Each of us has a soul.

    But there is only one soul.

    The face of the soul is the face of God.

    Invisible.

    Our mind masks the face of our soul.

    Our mind has an infinite number of faces.

    Fearing the nothingness beneath our mask,

    few dare remove it.

    But only then can we see the face of God.

  • The Way Of The Way 104

    Our mind sees through our ears. When we see through our mind, we are blind to our blindness.

    Our mind cannot see. It envisions the world through the stories, meanings, generalizations, etc. it hears as we are socialized. When we in turn see through our mind, we don’t see what our eyes see and are blind to our blindness.

    For example, when a good friend tells us of a super-hot sex experience he had the previous night with a girl he picked up at a bar, we’re happy for him; until we realize the girl was our wife.

  • The Way Of The Way 103

    We suffer when we desire what we don’t essentially need as desires preclude us from appreciating what we have.

    Those who so suffer are fools, funny to everyone but themselves and other fools.

  • The Way Of The Way 102

    Few people buy things, most are sold things. A true buyer chooses what they buy. A passive buyer is sold things.

  • The Way Of The Way 101

    A circle creates spaces

    inside and out.

    Seemingly separate spaces,

    yet as they are interdependent

    their separation is an illusion.

     

    As likewise goes for everything,

    beyond illusions

    there can be nothing new under the sun.

  • The Way Of The Way 100

    Those who love the universe, love all its manifestations. Harmful things they fear, but not hate.

  • The Way Of The Way 99

    At birth we seem to separate from being one with the universe. At death, we reunite with the universe. Blessed are those united with the universe in life, for they do not suffer death.

  • The Way Of The Way 98

    Who we are is revealed by how we describe others. But that’s rarely how we see ourselves.

  • Religious Structures

    Religious practices vary considerably such that there is no scholarly consensus about what precisely constitutes a religion. However, religions are generally founded on matters supernatural, transcendental and spiritual. Standing on this foundation, all early adherents are on equal footing.

    As more adherents join a religion, structures are built upon its foundation to house them. The structures have many stories, stories upon stories; each sustaining the story above it. The most desirable living spaces in these building structures are those with the best views, those on the highest stories, the stories raised to reach the heavens. These living spaces are given to religious leaders and their wealthy supporters. Then, all adherents are no longer on equal footing. In fact, as soon as the structures are a couple of stories tall, their foundations are buried underground and not visible. All that remains are the stories.

  • Mindlessness Meditation

    Meditation is a practice that puts us at twilight, the space between the states sleep and awake. It’s purpose is to bring us to a calm and restful place by disengaging us from the stimulation which our sensory organs and mind use to claim our attention. In this space we simply exist. Sometimes called “mindfulness meditation,” it is perhaps better termed “mindlessness meditation” as we are now free of identities and attachments of our mind’s construction.

    While there are countless meditation techniques, one approach is three short daily meditations. In these meditations we sit still in a quiet place with our eyes closed, uninterrupted by our senses. We focus on our breathing for maybe 20 breaths without our mind disrupting us with thoughts. If interrupted, we start again until we reach 20. Breathing-in is energizing. Breathing-out is relaxing. The space between exhaling and inhaling is completely dark and silent, a void that our mind would prefer we avoid. This is the present.

    The present is the “pre-sent,” the space before the universe expresses itself as manifestations that are sent out and received by our senses. In the present there is nothing and we are now one with nothing. Moreover, we realize that all our life experiences are not in the present but in the now. The now is when we initially experience the manifestations of an inherently nothingless universe. Hence, the now is not the present but the past as it is initially. As the past has no independent existence outside our mind, the past is an illusion. Hence, our life experiences as we know them are an illusion.

    While meditating, as we are calm and restful, we can easily drift off to sleep. But to complete the meditation we need open our eyes and awaken. We are now reborn. Everything is new to us, as we’ve never seen it before (which we hadn’t as everything is unique from one moment to the next). Now, everything is unadulterated by our mind’s meanings, categories and generalizations and fresh to our senses which heretofore had been numbed by memories of past stimulations. In our rebirth, we slowly and gently separate from being one with nothingness (which is ultimately one with everything) and assume our finite bodily being. Soon after we engage with the new yet familiar world in which we find ourselves until our next meditation which is like all others and unique.

    It is through mindlessness meditations we come to realize the universe has no beginning and no end; that it has infinite manifestations; that it is ever-changing, in constant transitions; that it cannot be described beyond that it is what it is whatever it is. Upon knowing this, we know we are the universe and as such we never die as death, like all else we experience, is an illusion.

  • The Way Of The Way 96

    Many folklore and religious beliefs hold that God created man from clay. Perhaps so. But clearly, “civilization” has refined the clay man; sanding and polishing, sanding and polishing; again and again and again. Now what remains of God’s clay man may still not be perfect, but there is more clay dust on the floor than anything else.

    This parable speaks to the divide between “progressive” and “conservative” approaches to the political order. Simply, progressives aim to realize an idealized world in which individual freedoms are progressively more limited, while conservative, speaking for the clay man, say: “enough already.” As each side has compelling arguments, it is difficult to say which way to vote; but if God didn’t get it right when man was first created, it’s unlikely progressives will.

  • IAWIA

    I AM WHO I AM

    Acronym: I Y (IA-WIA)

    Why am I?  Because that is the nature of I. I is the 1 thing that is everything.

    Mantra: I why?

    A mantra is a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation. Mantras calm our mind to free us of random distracting thoughts as well as stories, meanings, explanations and justifications that accompany much of what we do in daily life. When calm and free, we have only a child’s answer to “I why?” or “why am I doing what I’m doing?:” “Because that’s what I am doing.” In other words, it is what it is whatever it is.

    Koan: I why? Who am I?

    A koan is riddle whose answer awakens us from the illusory nature of conventional thinking to realize the nature of reality. Who am I? The answer is not my name or other identifying characteristics. The true answer is that I am who I am; I can’t describe myself otherwise because I’m not the same person now as I was when I started describing myself. This answer acknowledges the ever-changing nature of the everything. Thus, when we truly know something, we know that it ultimately can only be described as it is what it is whatever it is. All other descriptions are approximations or illusionary.

    Divine riddle: When Moses asks God who God is, God says: “I am who I am.” Why is God not more specific with a name or description?

    God has no name and cannot be described as doing so would mean that God is one thing and not another. God is everything, as everything is a manifestation of God.

    The Tao: I am who I am as “the Tao is ever nameless.”

    “Though simple and subtle…As soon as rules were made, names were given. There are already many names. One must know when it is enough. Those who know when it is enough will not perish.” — Tao Te Ching, Chapter 32.

    Names are identities and descriptions of things. Names are necessary for us to communicate. However, by defining parts of the universe as discrete things, names disguise the nature of the universe. “Every thing” is not a discrete thing but is interdependent as the universe is one thing that is expressed as infinite ever-changing manifestations. When we come to know the nature of the universe, we know we are the universe; the universe is eternal and we will never die as death is just a name of something which is temporary.

    Self-realization: I am who I am. I am one of the gods.

    I am the roles I play in the play of life. My roles are many, various and temporary. When I am eventually scripted out of the play, I join the gods in the audience watching the play which is who I am before entering the play.

  • “Terrific”

    “Terrific.”

    The play of life in three Acts

    The word “terrific” in the 19th century meant terrible and has since transitioned into meaning wonderful. Likewise, the play “Terrific” begins as a tragedy and ends as a farce.

    In Act 1, we are children, unadulterated by memories. We experience the present as it unfolds without preconceived notions; everything is new and unique. In Act 2, as adults, we no longer experience things as they are; but as we are. Our memories frame our experiences; comparing them to others that not real, as they exit only in our mind. In Act 3, we return to our unadulterated, childlike mind.

    Act 1

    Birth and Socialization

    Act 1 begins at birth; a happy time, a sad time. While the most joyous moment in a parent’s life, birth starts a tragedy for newborns as they enter the stage crying. Newborns feel the tragedy of it all; that before birth they were one with everything and upon their birth they they are finite in space; from oneness with everything to duality, the finite self and everything which is not the self. This is animal consciousness which is the basis for much of the conflict in the play of life.

    After birth, we learn the ways of human life on Earth. We are socialized to perceive, think and behave in the ways of the socialization circles (family, religion, nationality, education, special interests, etc.) in which we are members. Thus ends Act 1, the transition from otherworldly, the time before birth and after death, to the human experience.

    Act 2

    Adult Experience

    In Act 2, each of us assumes various roles in the play. Roles include career, family, religion, personal relationships, social group identities, passtime interests, etc. Most of us take these roles seriously, take ourselves seriously and forget that these roles are simply roles in a play and not who we truly are. We are oblivious of who we are before birth and after death: one with the nameless infinite, God.

    As we make our way in the play, our mind creates memories and stories that are the foundation of our identities and roles. The stories frame our experiences. We don’t experience things as they are but as our mind has defined them. This is karma. Karma often leads to live unhappy lives and precludes us from realizing our potential, divine consciousness.

    While our lives are often difficult dramas, they are an entertaining farce to those in the audience viewing the play. The audience are the gods like those from Mount Olympus who Homer tells us in the “Odyssey” effuse the air with a deafening sound of laughter.

    Act 3

    The Transition

    In Act 3, each actor is written out of the play’s script with their bodily death. However, Act 3 is the transition of our essential self, God, to a seat among the gods in the audience where we can enjoy the farce, the play “Terrific.”

    The transition is the realization that life is a play; that we are not finite but one with everything; temporary, ever-changing and interdependent expressions of God. As we let go of our finite bodily form, we embody wisdom and compassion and realize life is terrific.

    Epilogue

    Most of us never come to realize during the play of life that we are just actors. We take ourselves and our roles seriously. We are oblivious as to whom we were before birth, one with everything, and that we will again be one with everything after bodily death. This makes our lives great dramas, but at the cost of much suffering.

    Those of us who are enlightened actors know that life is a play and that we are gods with temporary human roles. For these enlightened actors, regardless of their various roles, life is terrific as they have a good laugh making their way through the play of life.

    As to the audience of the gods, the actors on stage cannot see them in the dark theatre. The dark space is nothingness. But as from the audience come forth gods to act on the stage, it is from nothingness that everything springs.

    When we see the world metaphorically, as above, that is the world we live in; as Gods.

  • The Way Of The Way 95

    Keep smiling until there is something to laugh about.

    Real smiles anticipate and welcome laughing. By smiling, we open ourselves up to seeing things in a funny way. That is, smiling has a powerful placebo effect that precipitates laughing.

    Smiling is highly contagious. Our smile moves others to smile, making them likely to see something as funny. As others see the funniness of something, we’re infected by their laughter.

    What’s funny (as in odd or ironic) is that nothing is funny but almost everything is. What makes anything funny is when people are unaware and take seriously individual or collective self-serving or delusional perspectives; when deceit is revealed; when the truth reveals what was held as meaningful is meaningless. That is, when people take illusions seriously.

    But laughing is a serious matter. It’s an essential part of the purpose of life: to have a wonderful time, realize our potential and help others likewise. When we’re laughing, we and others are having a wonderful, liberating and soulful go of life.

    In any event, laughing is one of the keys to health as it’s a non-poisonous remedy for pain or stress. We lose our self-consciousness when we’re laughing and forget whatever pain or stress was ailing us. Moreover, laughing with others connects our souls and energizes us which further relieves pain or stress.

    Not all smiles however are created equally. Plastic smiles are not real smiles and have little therapeutic value. They’re artificial, man-made, like masks. Wearing a smiling mask limits our facial muscles from extending to broad smiles and soulful laughing.

  • Wisdom And Compassion

    Wisdom and compassion are the essence of divine consciousness.

    Wisdom is embracing many perspectives, not solely our personal perspective. Compassion is treating others as we wish to be treated.

    Wisdom is light. Compassion is love.

    While seemingly mutually exclusive, wisdom and compassion are mutually dependent as one doesn’t exist without the other.

    Wisdom is the realization that “every thing” is a different aspect of one thing. While “every thing” appears as a distinct thing that seems it can be variously described, “every thing” is temporary and ever-changing. Thus, “every thing” cannot be described as it is not the same thing at the end of its description as it was at the start. Ultimately, “every thing” is a manifestation of one thing that cannot be described beyond that it is what it is whatever it is. Thus, “every thing,” when viewed as independent of the one thing, is illusionary. Though illusionary, “every thing” appears real, different from every other thing and as a function of our individual perspectives and attitudes. Thus, to truly know some thing, and ultimately realize it is part of the one thing, we need to embrace all perspectives and accept that our personal perspective is not better than that of others. This is wisdom. With wisdom, we embrace others and their perspectives as dear to us as ourselves and our own. This is compassion.

    With compassion we treat others as we wish to be treated as we realize we and others are just seemingly different, temporary manifestations of one thing. Thus, with compassion, we identify with others and embrace their perspectives.

    Hence, compassion and wisdom are one.

    Ultimately, as in Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” wisdom is the light that leads us to compassion, the love of everything, as “every thing” is everything.

  • The Way Of The Way 94

    Om

    Now know now

    Our senses and mind create the now; an illusion of infinite manifestations that are engaging, distracting and often frantic.

    To know now is to know the present. The present is not now. The present is the pre-sent, the space before we are sent what our senses and mind experience as now. The pre-sent is empty, nothingness; a peaceful place, like the space between when we exhale and before we inhale. The pre-sent cannot be described, it is what it is whatever it is.

    Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

    “Om Shanti” is invoked at the end of every Upanishad. The Upanishads are ancient Hindu scriptures on the nature of ultimate reality. “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti” means peace in body, mind and soul; peace individually, collectively and universally. The peace beyond understanding. The peace when all is nothing.

  • II-WII-WII

    IT IS WHAT IT IS WHATEVER IT IS

    II-WII-WII

    Acronym: I Y Y.

    Mantra: I why why! I why why?

    Koan: I why (who am I)?

    The Universe is the uni-verse (one verse): IT IS WHAT IT IS WHATEVER IT IS.

    “W” is “double U.” II-WII-WII = II-UU-II-UU-II.

    Double Helix of the Universe: II-UU-II-UU-II. I am I, U are U, I and U are one.

    II-UU.

    The initial “I” is I as a finite and temporary being, finite in time (birth to death) and space (body); temporary, as I am not now who I was before now. The finite “I” is our self-identity; a duality, “I” and all that is not “I.” It is our finite consciousness as created by our senses and defined by descriptions and stories our mind creates. The second “I” is the infinite “I” that has no birth and no death; eternal, before the beginning of time. The “I” that is the Universe and its infinite unique and ever-changing manifestations of itself. I am who I am, both the finite and the infinite “I.” The “U” is “U” as in “Universe.” The initial “U” is the finite, temporary and that which is not “I.”  The second “U” is the Universe and its infinite unique and ever-changing manifestations. The finite “I” and finite “U” are discrete manifestations of the one infinite “I” which is also the infinite “U.” The finite and infinite are interdependent as one cannot exist without the other.

    The Universe is a timeless void and it’s manifestations ever-changing in time. Finite consciousness experiences time as a duality, the present and the past. However, what we experience as the present is an illusion; that which is happening now is actually the present-passed. The present-passed is not different from the past. The true-present is the pre-sent, the universe before it is sent out as expressions of itself that we experience as now. The true-present is nothingness, empty and timeless. It is the time before time begins. Presence is the Universe’s present to us: divine consciousness, the experience of the true-present. Presence is awakening to the realization that we are both finite and infinite; one with the Universe before the Universe expresses itself as finite manifestations of which we are one. It is a calm and peaceful space, like the empty space between when we exhale and inhale. It cannot be compared to anything or described, for IT IS WHAT IT IS WHATEVER IT IS.

  • Animal and Divine Consciousness

    Humans are a transitional species. We are born and socialized with animal consciousness and with the potential of realizing divine consciousness.

    Animal consciousness is viewing ourselves as finite in time (birth to death) and space (bodily form). It is essentially dualistic as we perceive ourselves as apart and separate from all that is not ourselves. Implicitly, it is Darwinian, stressful, as each of us competes within our environment for our survival.

    Divine consciousness is the realization that everything is one of infinite temporary manifestations of the universe; ever-changing, interdependent (hence, essentially one thing) and with no beginning or end. Divine consciousness is the realization of our harmonious connection to all there is.

    Animal consciousness perceives life as imperfect with relative flaws in one thing or another. Divine consciousness realizes the universe is perfect and as we are one with the universe we realize our perfection and having nothing about which to complain. This is an essential element of happiness.

    The Golden Rule applies to both animal and divine consciousness. In animal consciousness, those with the gold rule. In divine consciousness, we do unto others as we would have others do unto us.

    In animal consciousness we experience our world with descriptions and stories, making “every thing” seem different from every other thing. The experience of divine consciousness is beyond words; it is what it is whatever it is.

    With animal consciousness we view ourselves as the center of the universe. With divine consciousness light is the center which in effect means the center is everywhere. Divine consciousness is enlightenment.

    Animal consciousness is about living, divine consciousness is about loving. The difference between living and loving is the difference between “I” and “O.” “I” is the self. The letter’s form implies hierarchy. With each of us a point on a vertical line, we perceive others as above or below us (the Great Chain of Being). It implies duality and competition. “O” is continuous, each of us a point connected together to form a circle. This is love, the connecting of independent points creating a whole; a circle with no beginning and no end. Though the circle may appear as a duality with spaces within and without, the duality is an illusion as the spaces are not in conflict; they are mutually dependent, one cannot exist without the other. That is, love is the realization that what seems like a duality is just an illusion.

    Beyond happiness, realizing our individual divine consciousness is the penultimate, second to last,  purpose of life. Life’s ultimate purpose is the collective realization of divine consciousness.

  • Time

    Time is a light

    from beyond the horizon

    making its way to here.

    Time is an echo

    making its way to somewhere.

    Time is a subtle breeze

    lulling us to sleep.

  • David Foster Wallace

    “There are two young fish swimming along who happen to meet an older fish. The older fish nods at them and says: ‘Morning boys, how’s the water?’ The two young fish swim on for a bit and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and asks: ‘What the hell is water?'”

    Of the most basic things we are often oblivious. Yet, as we enter Act 3 of our lives, the transition, our appreciation of the most subtle things is enhanced. For example, an “ugly” formica kitchen surface, that we desperately want to replace with granite, is overwhelmingly beautiful when we envision ourselves dying in five minutes.

  • Thomas Woodrow Wilson

    “Any man who carries a hyphen about with him carries a dagger that he is ready to plunge into the vitals of this Republic whenever he gets ready.”

    Theodore Roosevelt: “There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all … The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic … There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.”

    Identity politics in America has created a Tower of Babel as different identity groups don’t understand each other’s thinking and values. Trust between groups has declined which has led to hostilities. Lacking integrity, the Tower will collapse.

    In broad terms, there are “progressives” who wish to destroy the historical American identity of capitalism and personal freedoms of speech and choice at the local level and supplant them with central government controls, while “conservatives” wish to preserve this American identity.  Identity groups are represented by politicians whose operative word is “fight,”  declaring: “I will fight for you [your group] for….” Rarely today do people frame an issue in terms of what’s the right thing to do, what’s best for America. Ultimately, there are temporary winners and losers on various issues but the country as a whole is every time the loser on a path to its demise.