“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”...
“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”...
Those who know they know nothing are childlike. Those who think they know everything are childish.
When childlike, everything is new, unique, and arouses our curiosity which in turn reveals the universe with wonder. Those who think they know everything have preconceived notions which often lead them to childish or stupid choices and dull lives....
“When one realizes one is asleep, at that moment one is already half-awake.”
Self-consciousness precedes universal consciousness....
We have freedom of speech as long as no one is listening....
When we are delighted with ourselves, we are de-lighted; the light within us dims.
Delighted, we temporarily feel wonderful about ourselves; but the without the light within us, we cannot connect with others which is forever wonderful....
Our nose, intuition, knows which choices are not right, to which we need say noes....
everything is new.
We who knew, before each experience that everything to come is new, were present and that made everything new....
“Sometimes I sit quietly and wonder why I’m not in a mental institution. Then I take a good look around at everyone and realize…maybe I already am.”...
“A man of wisdom delights at water.” Confucius
While attributed to Confucius, this saying is more Tao-inspired as wisdom reveals the nature of the universe. Alternatively, like a Zen koan, it seems funny, as in odd, that a man of wisdom would be more delighted by water than other men; unless the wise man sees in the nature of water the nature of the universe.
Wisdom is amalgamating many different perspectives which allows us to know the nature of things. Moreover, wisdom is knowing that all things are ever-changing and interconnected; not a piece of the whole universe but at peace with the eternal whole; in effect, a temporary expression of the whole. As such, nothing can be described as whatever we describe changes from the time we start describing it to the time our describing it ends. Hence, the Taoist saying: “He who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak.”
A man of wisdom delights in water as water reveals the nature of the universe:
Water is practical, flowing to the place of least resistance.
Descriptions of water are conflicting as water is at times solid, liquid or vapor.
Water is odorless and tasteless, yet present in everything that smells and tastes.
Water is clear and colorless, yet bluish in thick layers.
Water in the form of a river or pond makes difficult going from one place to another, yet with a boat water is the easiest way to travel between two places.
Still waters are dead-silent, yet moving waters in rivers and oceans are alive and teeming with sounds.
Still waters are clear, yet turbulent waters are opaque.
In the water of a reflecting pond we don’t see water, we see ourselves and all that surrounds us.
While tangible, we cannot grab water to drink; we need cup our hands for water to come to us.
While seemingly weak relative to fire, water easily destroys fire.
Water is necessary for life, yet too much water can cause death.
Water represents the cycle of life. Water is born as rain; then, experiences Earth in infinite ways; and ultimately disappears as vapor, forming clouds to be reborn again as rain.
Water is delightful as how we see it is a reflection of our perspective, like the the parable of the ten men and the elephant....
A Zen master with a clay pot on a table before him asked several students: “What is this?” Some said it was a clay pot; others said that it was a man-made artifact; others said it was a table supporting a pot. A lively debate ensued. 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?” Then silence again returned to the room as some students were shocked and others embarrassed by the aggressive arrogance of the student who shattered the clay pot. But just as quickly the Zen master and the student broke the silence with laughter.
This story is essentially a Zen koan: “What is it now?”
The Zen master and student laughed because they recognized the other students as the blind men in the “Ten Men and the Elephant” parable. The pot is a pot temporarily. The pot did not have an independent existence as it was just a temporary expression of the universe. The pot could variously be described but it is what it is whatever it is.
*A story as heard by Bill Wisher 30 years ago from an unnamed source....
The Pope asked the Zen master: “Since you are one with everything, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” The Zen master laughed: “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. Zen masters suffer abstractions gladly as they always provide a good laugh. Zen questions the very basic assumptions we make about the identity of things (e.g., a pin) as everything is forever-changing and interdependent....
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....
IT IS WHAT IT IS WHATEVER IT IS
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.
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....
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....
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....
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....
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.
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.
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.
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.
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....
I AM WHO I AM
Acronym: I Y (IA-WIA)
Why do I exit, why am I here? Because I am who I am, because that is the nature of who I am.
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....
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....
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....
Every thing new as we knew nothing.
“Every thing new” because the universe is ever-changing.
“As,” simultaneously; that is, everything is new and yet I still know nothing about it.
“We” (not I) as there is only one thing: the universe which expresses itself in infinite and seemingly finite manifestations. Referring to myself as “I” implies I identify as a finite manifestation. Awakening is the realization that I am the universe, not a finite manifestation of it.
“Knew” (not “know”) because every experience is a past experience, even as we experience it in what seems as now. Now is when our consciousness registers the universe expressing itself. However, now is not the present. Now is in the past. The present is the “pre-sent,” the universe before it expresses itself. Thus, all that we experience is effectively in the past.
“Nothing” is what everything is before it is. Upon awakening, we come to realize the universe is inherently empty, nothingness. Thus, everything is new as we experience it as it is what it is whatever it is in the now. However, as our experience in the now is effectively in the past, everything is an illusion....
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....
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....
Those who love the universe, love all its manifestations. Harmful things they fear, but not hate....
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,
there can be nothing new under the sun....
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....
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....
Each of us has a soul.
But there is only one soul.
The face of the soul is the face of God.
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....
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....
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....
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 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....
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....
Most of us think what we see is reality. It’s not reality. It’s just a movie projected from our mind. To see reality we need to close our mind and open our eyes....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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.”...
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
Crazy are those who take their crazy thoughts seriously. A crazy society takes seriously someone who is crazy and makes them their leader....
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....
“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....
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....
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....
“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....
“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....
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....
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....
“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....
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....
“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....
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....
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....
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....
“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....
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....
Babies see the world as it is, new and fresh, because they don’t remember what they see....
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....
Leaves and the wind
waving hello and goodbye.
Are the leaves or the wind waving to me?...
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....
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 universe is nothing,
empty space and no time,
before it is everything.
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....
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.”
Governments often sing and dance to different music. They sing of doing wonderful things for mankind as they dance on people’s bodies....
“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....
“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....
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....
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 universe is nothing before it expresses itself as everything.
We are one with nothing and everything
but not one with every thing....
Each of us a piece
coming from a black hole.
Each piece together
at peace as a whole....
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....
Entangled in the now
we’re oblivious to its beauty
which is clear
from before and after the now....
“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.”...
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....
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....
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 sun shows us every significant thing on earth and the billions upon billions of stars tell us how insignificant it all is....
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....
“Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one.”...
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....
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....
Thinking I’m a somebody
makes me a nobody.
With no body
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....
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....
“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....
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....
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....
“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....
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....
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....
“When a man is perfect, he sees perfection in others. When he sees imperfection, it is his own mind projecting itself.”...
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....
When a circle is very small
we mostly see its perimeter,
As it gets bigger and bigger
we focus on the space inside.
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,
and think they know what they see....
“Two hands clap and there is a sound, what is the sound of one hand?” This well-known Japanese koan has evolved colloquially into simply: what is the sound of one hand clapping?
A koan is question a Zen master would ask a student to help the student see beyond the illusory nature of conventional thinking and realize the nature of reality as they progress towards enlightenment. Often students struggle mightily, sometimes for years, before they move beyond a koan. When they do, it’s like exiting a house their mind has built to shelter them but which has also imprisoned them, limiting the sunlight that enters the house.
For many years Victor considered possible answers to the question of the sound of one hand clapping. Again and again, Victor would enthusiastically embrace an answer but only to soon realize it was inadequate. Yet, it was clear that the answer was a key to exiting the house and seeing the light. At some point, Victor put aside the question and went on with his life in Act 2, the Earth Experience, in the play of life.
At the beginning of Act 3, the Transition from finite bodily form to oneness with the eternal soul, the answer arrived: The sound of one hand clapping is the sound of one hand clapping; it is what it is whatever it is. As well, the sound of one hand clapping is the sound of laughter; as it’s funny seeing the mind grappling with an absurd concept, like a dog chasing its tail.
We cannot experience the universe directly; doing so would be overwhelming, like living without housing shelter. Hence, our mind makes sense of the inputs our senses provide it by organizing, categorizing and rationalizing the inputs. As we describe and compare things, we reflect the perceptions of our mind. Our mind aside, there are no words to describe a purely sense-based experience of the universe. It is what it is whatever it is. The experience dispenses with subject and object as both are simply one. This is being in the light.
When we are in the light, our karma is revealed as an illusion. Karma is a function of memory (our mind) and affects how we perceive our experience in the now. In the light, in a sense-based experience, we realize our memories are not real. Thus, Zen students who seriously reflect on what is the sound of one hand clapping are funny. They seek the key to escape from the prison of their mind, yet they engage with the mind which keeps them prisoners....
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....
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....
“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 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....
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....
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....
When off the common path we wander
We see the world with wonder....
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....
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....
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.
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....
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....
lateral on our head,
hear the here.
anticipates what is not yet seen or heard.
The nose knows.
interprets what it sees
in the context of the mind.
The eye is the I....
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....
Everyone wants something special as long as it tastes like vanilla....
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....
“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....
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
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....
With all our responsibilities and commitments, we think we don’t own our lives; but everything we think we own owns us....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
“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....
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....
“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....
“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.”...
“[T]here is nothing new under the sun.”
The sun, energy, is the essence of everything. Every-thing is one of infinite manifestations energy. As the manifestations are infinite, there can never be anything new.
The only constant in the universe is change; hence, every-thing is new. As every-thing is new, there is nothing that is distinguishable by its newness; hence, there is nothing that is new.
The universe, everything past, present and future, is nothing before it is what it is whatever it is. Hence, nothing is what is new
Since nothing is new, nothing is old. Thus, time doesn’t exist. Everything happens all at once. However, our mind fools us into thinking otherwise as it creates stories which attempt to make sense of things past, present and future; a fool’s errand. A wiser approach is not to think too much and simply enjoy it as it is....
“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....
There is only one mind. It’s like a reflecting pond.The reflections we ponder are a function of where we stand along its perimeter. While we can choose where we stand, most of us never change our position. In fact, tired of standing, we sit down and soon fall asleep; awakening when it’s time to die.
Wisdom comes to those who position themselves variously along the reflecting pond. With reflections from many perspectives, the wise know that reflections are reflections; not reality. However, with diverse reflections, they get a sense of reality.
The ignorant never change their position along the pond. They think that what they see is reality. They ignore reflections from any position but their own.
The wise are open, flexible and don’t take any single perspective or themselves too seriously. The ignorant are often hysterically funny when they take their reflections seriously; though they can’t appreciate the humor because they lack that perspective....
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....
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....
Every mind has a fascinating perspective, at least temporarily. When we meet someone we immediately find boring, we are meeting our mind....
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....
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....
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....
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 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....
Life is a beautiful present
we receive only when we are present.
When we are present
we are life, the present....
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....
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....
Everything has an inside and an outside.
The outside is an expression of the inside.
The outside is always unique.
The inside is always the same.
The inside looks like an empty hole,
though it is the soul
which makes all the outsides whole....
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....
“[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....
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....
Life is like a mirror. Smile at it and it smiles back at you.”
Our attitude forms our experiences.
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....
Nothing is as wonderful a gift
as the present of life.
Those who are distracted
by wanting something more
do not appreciate the present....
Analyzing our past is going down a rabbit hole.
Looking at the sky
the guiding light makes clear
everything is whole....
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....
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...
“He who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak.”
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 that what something is is at best approximated by an amalgamation of many perspectives. Hence, knowing his 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 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....
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....
“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.”...
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....
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....
What do we see everywhere but rarely notice?
Every-thing we see is not a thing, just a reflection of light off a thing.
Actually, objects themselves are light. Objects, Mass (M), are Energy (E) slowed down by the speed of light (C) squared (M=E/C*C). That is, when light is slowed down from its unimaginable speed, it takes solid forms.
As light is omnipresent and everything is light (including ourselves), we rarely notice it for what it is.
When we realize everything is light, we realize that every-thing we perceive not as light is an illusion....
What is that?
It is what it is whatever it is.
But whatever it is doesn’t matter.
What matters is that it is....
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....
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....
“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.”...
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....
Nothing is unique because everything is unique.
When we see something that is not unique, we are seeing it with our mind....
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....
Until we know we know nothing, we know nothing....
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....
Those who see the light embody wisdom.
Those who feel its warmth embody compassion.
Without wisdom and compassion, there is no light....
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 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....
“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....
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...
We are confetti....
Those who blame their misfortunes on others don’t learn from their misfortunes which brings them more misfortunes....
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....
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 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....
“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....
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....
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....
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....
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.”...
We are prisoners when our dreams are based on our memories and are free when we dream with our imagination....
“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....
If we are not one with everything, we are basically nothing.
In life, relatively nothing; after life, absolutely nothing....
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....
“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....
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....
“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.
When we awaken, we realize the medium is not the message....
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....
In our mind
some things are the same,
some things are different.
no thing can be compared to another
as all things are aspects of the same thing,
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....
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....
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....
Everything is always beautiful. Every-thing is always, but not all ways, beautiful....
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....
“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....
When it’s dark
we lose our way.
Those who know,
like light from the moon,
can show us the way.
Best to wait for the sun to rise....
“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....
“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....
“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....
Sound and light coming together
When we are the person we once were,
we are nothing.
When we are not the person we once were,
we are everything....
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....
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....
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....
“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....
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....
Even-ing is when we are all made even. In the evening, when we go to our sleep-death, our soul returns to its source where all souls are one, even.
“Thank you all for giving me a role in the play of life; terrific, an experience of 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. Hopefully, my soul will return and awaken my body with the light of life.”
Our life begins not upon our awakening, but when we go to our sleep-death. Thus, the start of a wonderful life begins with going to our sleep-death in a good state of mind. In the Evening Prayer we express our gratitude. Gratitude is the essence of happiness....
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....
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....
“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....
“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.
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
Without a doubt
sun rises and sets
day in, day out.
Sun is eternal,
knows nothing of its daily routine.
Only we are rising and setting....
“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....
Those who love certain people but not all people are sentimental. Those who love everyone are practical....
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....
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....
“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....
“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”...
Men are the sun, women are the moon.
The sun is happy, seeing its reflection in the full moon.
As Earth shades the moon, the sun’s happiness diminishes....
“Water is the face of fire.”
“Water is the face of fire” is a family motto given to Kanako by a family elder when she was seven. As a family motto, fire (whose forms are rapidly changing) represents a person’s relatively infinitesimally short life. Yet, the family line, each family member’s true identity, like water, is eternal and unchanging.
The motto is akin to a Zen koan, a paradoxical anecdote or riddle used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and awaken us from the preconceived notions that frame our perceptions.
The coexistence of seemingly incompatibles, water and fire, implies that our perception of something and its essence may be significantly different, though both are aspects of the same thing. The nature of water is forever-unchanging, while the nature of fire is forever-changing. As water is the face of fire, beneath the calm appearance of water lies a wildly-changing essence. While we tend to perceive something as static, that’s a misperception; for the universe’s only constant is change. Moreover, while water and fire seem incompatible as parts of one thing (an object and its face), they, like everything, are different aspects of the same thing; implying everything is one....
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....
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....
“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....
Subject and object only can be in time past and time future.
In the present, all there is is is.
“Is” is “I” in plural,
infinite manifestations of the one I.
No subject, no object
just being, is....
It’s difficult to imagine hearing if we are deaf.
It’s impossible to open our eyes unless we know they are closed....
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....
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....
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....
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....
“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....
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....
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....
Everything revealed by light is beautiful,
unlike sounds which are noisy.
Yet, hidden in noisy sounds is music,
the most beautiful thing of all....
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....
When our mind makes sense of our senses, we no longer experience our senses....
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....
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....
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....
Those who absorb light are dull. Those who reflect light are brilliant....
Successful students reflect their teacher’s light. Brilliant students look outside their classroom to see what the sun’s light reveals....
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 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....
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....
“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....
“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....
“Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until they speak.”...
The past is the night sky.
Stars are events we remember.
Imaginary lines create constellations
whose stories affect what we see in the day....
The way is the nature of the universe; ever-changing, interdependent, eternal and infinite light manifestations of the sole One, the soul. The Way is the path we take from when we are a manifestation in bodily form at birth to our bodily death when all that remains is the soul. When we know the way of Way, we can be one with the One before our bodily death. Then, the Way disappears as the illusion it always was and all that remains is light. We are present, the soul before it is realized as light manifestations.
When the present is realized as light, our sensuous experience of it cannot be described (it is what it is whatever it is) but as the acronym of the way of Way (“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 do later today and everything around us appears as we’ve never seen it before....
In the timeless sky
stars are not moving
but constellations identify time near and far,
the time of night and the month of the year....
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....
“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....
Who we are is our way.
The road to our destination is the Way.
When we know our way
we know the Way....
God’s pupil, the sun, reveals the world.
When our pupils see the world,
we are God’s pupils or pupil....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
IAWIA, the initials of “I am who I am.”
Acronym: “I why?” (ia-wia).
Why do I exist? Why am I here?
There is only I and there is no why.
It is what it is whatever it is.
Whoever shall come to know this revelation will 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, until recently, was Victor Teicher. Teicher is a German name. In German, “teich” is a ponder and “Teicher” is a ponderer. That’s what I do, ponder the universe as reflections from the universal mind which is like 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, in English, “Teicher” would be pronounced as “teacher.” Teaching, sharing what I have come to know from reflections, is the purpose of this blog. Moreover, “Teicher” as pronounced in German (wherein the second vowel of the digraph is pronounced) is likewise pronounced in Japanese as “taisha.” Taisha is the large ancient shrine in Japan where all the gods meet annually. Finally, the etymology of “Victor” is “conqueror.” The purpose of this blog is to conquer the self, our individual identity that’s based on our individual mind, which imprisons us; precluding us from experiencing the world through the universal mind. Recently, I changed my first name to Vector, a directional arrow; for my aim is to point the way out of our mind’s prison. Once our self is conquered and our mind is freed, we are selfless in our interactions with others. What remains is the eternal soul of which our life is but one of infinite temporary manifestations. As the eternal soul, we are God and anyone who doesn’t recognize us as God doesn’t recognize that they too are God.
P.S. I claim no ownership of the words and thoughts in this blog as I am merely a conduit for the author who is us....
“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....
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....
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....
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....
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,
All there is is now
and what is before now
which is everything,
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....
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 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....
It’s expensive to settle in a country where everything is inexpensive. It requires bringing with you a lot of money, otherwise you can’t afford to buy much of anything if you are working for local wages....
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....
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....
“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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
“…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....
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....
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....
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....
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....
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 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 find 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, it is like the universe, big; bigger than one blind man can imagine it. Moreover, it appears different to each viewer; as such, it is beyond description, it is what it is whatever it is.
The moral of this parable is that the one who sees the universe can guide others to see it but others may not see it as he does. Moreover, the universe is beyond the limited perception of anyone who cannot see; especially when experienced up close, from a specific perspective and based on memories of other experiences associated in likeness. As well, when we are certain of the infallibility of our perceptions, we are blind and don’t know it. Further, taking our perceptions too seriously, we make fools of ourselves and at times hurt others and/or ourselves. Even holding as many as ten funny, as in odd and at odds, views doesn’t not allow us to know what we are looking at; but it’s funny, as in laughable, when we think we do....
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....
“Hard to wake someone who believes their eyes are already open.”...
“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....
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?”
The foregoing Zen koan or parable, “is that so?, is meant for us, as the beautiful Japanese girl’s parents did not, to question any thoughts, associations, generalizations and meanings we create as they affect our perceptions and in turn affect how we act which can be hurtful to others or ourselves. Moreover, it instructs us, as Hakuin did, to accept whatever comes our way and make the best of it.
The acronym for “Is it so” is “its.” “Its” refers to a characteristic or description of something. “Is it so?’ questions the associations (characteristics or descriptions) we make or assume. The acronym reminds us that when we characterize or describe something, its, we need question, is it so?, our characterizing. Ultimately, nothing can be characterized or described beyond that it is what it is whatever it is. That is, accept things as they are without thought as thought transforms one thing into something else.
When we meet someone unhappy about one thing or another, we can console them by engaging them (is that so?) to elaborate on what’s the matter that’s distracting them from happiness. With the refrain, is it so?, they repeat their story again and again; until what’s the matter is not as much of an issue as it was initially. They may ultimately wonder whether their story can be viewed or made otherwise; in a more favorable light or that there are so many other ways of understanding the underlying matter of their woe that all explanations and their related stories are meaningless. It is then that they can be grateful for their otherwise good fortune. Gratitude leads us to happiness.
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....
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....
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....
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,
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....
Regretting certain choices we’ve made in the past distracts us from making the most of the present which leads us to future regrets....
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....
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....
“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....
“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....
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....
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....
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.
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...
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....
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....
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing. Love is knowing I am everything.”...
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....
No one is perfect as everyone casts a shadow. Those who acknowledge the sun at its highest point cast the smallest shadows....
“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....
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...
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....
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....
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....
If we don’t come to know that everything is eternal before and after it is, we will surely die....
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....
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.
“He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears.”...
Into a black hole
and out as the Big Bang
is God’s mission
through my emission....
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....
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.”...
“[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....
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....
Intellectuals are mischievous entertainers. They make fools of those who take them seriously who in turn wreak havoc on everyone who doesn’t....
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....
“I love you” is animal love.
“I love us” is divine love....
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....
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....
We have everything we need to realize our purpose in life, unless we need everything; then, we will not realize anything....
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....
“[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....
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....
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....
“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....
We know we’re awake when every day is not everyday, when every day is unique....
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. Our awakening marks our birthday. Thus, we’ve lived thousands of lives before our reincarnation today.
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?
Before sleep-death, we acknowledge each other with “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, God. When the soul returns to our body, we are born.
Upon awakening, we greet each other and ourselves with “good mourning;” have a good time mourning the people you were in past lifetimes (yesterday and all days now passed, as each day is not a day in a life but a life in a day) by remembering them in the light of wisdom and compassion and don’t identify their life experiences as your own.
Then, before we become oblivious as to who we are as we assume the role and circumstances of the person we were yesterday, we can truly awaken by reciting 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.
“Oh endless universe
oh timeless universe
oh ever-changing universe
oh eternal universe.
Thank you God for creating the universe,
for granting me a temporary life in the universe
and consciousness with which I can realize oneness with all.
The people and the roles I played in previous lifetimes
are illusions, memories.
In reality, I am who I am
and reality is what it is whatever it is.
Regardless of circumstances
I am grateful for however my life unfolds today
as I can realize divine consciousness and help others likewise.”
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.
Oh endless universe
oh timeless universe
oh ever-changing universe
oh eternal universe.
I am grateful for a temporary life in the universe.
Now is time for my soul to leave the universe and join God
which is what every-thing is before it is the universe.
Shanti Shanti Shanti...
“Most people use statistics like a drunk man uses a lamppost; more for support than illumination.”
More generally, most people use arguments like a drunk man uses a lamppost; more to support their position than to illuminate on a subject.
It’s difficult not to concede and embrace a cogent argument about a particular subject, especially when it’s coming from someone who appears factually well-informed. However, replacing one point of view with another is self-limiting. Alternatively, an illuminating view on a subject can be integrated with our other perspectives. A new perspective is valuable when we adapt it, not adopt it. This is wisdom; adapting many, even contrary perspectives, to our understanding of a subject....