“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 view themselves as smart and/or educated often lack the flexibility of mind to adopt to changes. They will ultimately not survive as the only constant in life is change.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” –Charles Darwin

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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.

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“When one realizes one is asleep, at that moment one is already half-awake.”

Self-consciousness precedes universal consciousness.

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We have freedom of speech as long as no one is listening.

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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.

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Nose

Knows

Noes

Our nose, intuition, knows which choices are not right, to which we need say noes.

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Knew

New

Nu

I knew

everything is new.

Nu?

We who knew, before each experience that everything to come is new, were present and that made everything new.

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Good Mourning

Upon awakening, it’s good mourning; time to briefly enjoy mourning the passing away of the person we were yesterday and all the people we were in days now passed; people who are now no longer but for a memory. It’s a time to reflect on their lives in a funny (as in odd and humorous) light, learn from their experiences and not take their lives too seriously. Otherwise, we’ll be distracted from realizing our life’s purpose: to have a wonderful and happy experience, realize our divine potential and help others do likewise.

Happy Birthday

Upon awakening, we are reincarnated into a life seemingly familiar to our past lives, but unique. Each day is not another day in our life. It is life in a day, birth to death from awakening to sleep-death. As such, we have lived thousands of lives, each awakening a reincarnation. Everyday is our birthday, not the conventional annual commemoration but our actual birthday.

So good mourning and good luck to us in realizing our life’s purpose today. Let’s live today as it’s our first day of life and experience everything as it truly is, new and unique. Let’s live as it’s our last day and do whatever we would regret not having done in this life if we are not reincarnated tomorrow. Moreover, let’s be grateful we are alive.

Greeting everyone with “good mourning, happy birthday” may temporarily awaken and get a laugh, certainly making for a good mourning.

Good Even-ing

As we approach the time for our sleep-death, the life we have lived today is about to pass. It’s time to transition from consciousness to sleep-death. We greet each other with “good even-ing” as everyone is even, equal, in sleep-death; the smart, the stupid, the rich, the poor are all even; all one in sleep-death; in heaven, where all individual souls unite as the one soul they are always.

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“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.”

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“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.

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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, the ten men 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 what it is whatever it is; but whatever it is, it is big.

The moral of this parable is that the universe (the elephant) is beyond our limited perception. When we are certain of the infallibility of our perceptions, we are blind and don’t know it. Taking our perceptions too seriously, we can make fools out of ourselves and at times hurt others or ourselves. Even holding ten funny, as in odd, views may not allow us to know what we are looking at; but it’s funny, as in laughable, when we think we do.

 

 

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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.

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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 doesn’t suffer abstrations (angels) gladly but for a good laugh. Zen questions the very basic assumptions we make about the identity of things everyone agrees is reality (a pin) as everything is forever-changing and interdependent.

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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.

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IT IS WHAT IT IS WHATEVER IT IS

II-WII-WII

Acronym: I Y Y.

Mantra: I why why! I why why?

Koan: I why (who am I)?

The Universe is the uni-verse (one verse): IT IS WHAT IT IS WHATEVER IT IS.

“W” is “double U.” II-WII-WII = II-UU-II-UU-II.

Double Helix of the Universe: II-UU-II-UU-II. I am I, U are U, I and U are one.

II-UU.

The initial “I” is I as a finite and temporary being, finite in time (birth to death) and space (body); temporary, as I am not now who I was before now. The finite “I” is our self-identity; a duality, “I” and all that is not “I.” It is our finite consciousness as created by our senses and defined by descriptions and stories our mind creates. The second “I” is the infinite “I” that has no birth and no death; eternal, before the beginning of time. The “I” that is the Universe and its infinite unique and ever-changing manifestations of itself. I am who I am, both the finite and the infinite “I.” The “U” is “U” as in “Universe.” The initial “U” is the finite, temporary and that which is not “I.”  The second “U” is the Universe and its infinite unique and ever-changing manifestations. The finite “I” and finite “U” are discrete manifestations of the one infinite “I” which is also the infinite “U.” The finite and infinite are interdependent as one cannot exist without the other.

The Universe is a timeless void and it’s manifestations ever-changing in time. Finite consciousness experiences time as a duality, the present and the past. However, what we experience as the present is an illusion; that which is happening now is actually the present-passed. The present-passed is not different from the past. The true-present is the pre-sent, the universe before it is sent out as expressions of itself that we experience as now. The true-present is nothingness, empty and timeless. It is the time before time begins. Presence is the Universe’s present to us: divine consciousness, the experience of the true-present. Presence is awakening to the realization that we are both finite and infinite; one with the Universe before the Universe expresses itself as finite manifestations of which we are one. It is a calm and peaceful space, like the empty space between when we exhale and inhale. It cannot be compared to anything or described, for IT IS WHAT IT IS WHATEVER IT IS.

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Om

Now know now

Our senses and mind create the now; an illusion of infinite manifestations that are engaging, distracting and often frantic.

To know now is to know the present. The present is not now. The present is the pre-sent, the space before we are sent what our senses and mind experience as now. The pre-sent is empty, nothingness; a peaceful place, like the space between when we exhale and before we inhale. The pre-sent cannot be described, it is what it is whatever it is.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

“Om Shanti” is invoked at the end of every Upanishad. The Upanishads are ancient Hindu scriptures on the nature of ultimate reality. “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti” means peace in body, mind and soul; peace individually, collectively and universally. The peace beyond understanding. The peace when all is nothing.

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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.

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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.

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“Terrific.”

The play of life in three Acts

The word “terrific” in the 19th century meant terrible and has since transitioned into meaning wonderful. Likewise, the play “Terrific” begins as a tragedy and ends as a farce.

Act 1

Birth and Socialization

Act 1 begins at birth; a happy time, a sad time. While the most joyous moment in a parent’s life, birth starts a tragedy for newborns as they enter the stage crying. Newborns feel the tragedy of it all; that before birth they were one with everything and upon their birth they they are finite in space; from oneness with everything to duality, the finite self and everything which is not the self. This is animal consciousness which is the basis for much of the conflict in the play of life.

After birth, we learn the ways of human life on Earth. We are socialized to perceive, think and behave in the ways of the socialization circles (family, religion, nationality, education, special interests, etc.) in which we are members. Thus ends Act 1, the transition from otherworldly, the time before birth and after death, to the human experience.

Act 2

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.

Act 3

The Transition

In Act 3, each actor is written out of the play’s script with their bodily death. However, Act 3 is the transition of our essential self, God, to a seat among the gods in the audience where we can enjoy the farce, the play “Terrific.”

The transition is the realization that life is a play; that we are not finite but one with everything; temporary, ever-changing and interdependent expressions of God. As we let go of our finite bodily form, we embody wisdom and compassion and realize life is terrific.

Epilogue

Most of us never come to realize during the play of life that we are just actors. We take ourselves and our roles seriously. We are oblivious as to whom we were before birth, one with everything, and that we will again be one with everything after bodily death. This makes our lives great dramas, but at the cost of much suffering.

Those of us who are enlightened actors know that life is a play and that we are gods with temporary human roles. For these enlightened actors, regardless of their various roles, life is terrific as they have a good laugh making their way through the play of life.

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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.

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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.

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It Is What It Is Whatever It Is

Whoever shall come to know the questions these words ask and answer 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Those who love the universe, love all its manifestations. Harmful things they fear, but not hate.

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A circle creates spaces

inside and out.

Seemingly separate spaces,

yet as they are interdependent

their separation is an illusion.

 

As likewise goes for everything,

beyond illusions

there can be nothing new under the sun.

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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.

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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.

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Each of us has a soul.

But there is only one soul.

The face of the soul is the face of God.

Invisible.

Our mind masks the face of our soul.

Our mind has an infinite number of faces.

Fearing the nothingness beneath our mask,

few dare remove it.

But only then can we see the face of God.

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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.

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“Ignorance is bliss.”

As an adage, when we don’t know the problematic intricacies of something, yet think we clearly understand it, we are happy.

A corollary would be “ignore it is bliss.” That is, when we ignore that which annoys us, we return to our presumed earlier state of happiness.

Alternatively, when we realize we are ignorant and no know nothing, the world becomes fascinating. Our curiosity energizes us. We embrace different perspectives. We seek the light in the darkness. We are alive, growing and in joyous bliss.

If ignorance is bliss, then bliss is ignorance. That is, when we are joyous we don’t look too carefully at the ramifications of our actions. This explains why many get married to an incompatible mate or do other foolhardy things that they love.

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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.

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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.

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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.

In nothingness

everything is one.

 

Time begins when the universe expresses itself

as infinite ever-changing manifestations.

Then, we are still one with the universe

but often oblivious as to who we are.

...

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.

...

“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

I’m everybody.

...

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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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“When a man is perfect, he sees perfection in others. When he sees imperfection, it is his own mind projecting itself.”

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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.

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When a circle is very small

we mostly see its perimeter,

its surface.

As it gets bigger and bigger

we focus on the space inside.

Bigger still,

the perimeter disappears

the concept of inside and outside disappears.

All that remains is one thing.

It cannot be described

as it has no surfaces.

It is what it is whatever it is.

 

Those who are very small

see small circles everywhere.

They focus on surfaces,

appearances,

and think they know what they see.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Shitting with Victor

Shit my pants yesterday.

43 seconds away from my bathroom.

After a furious run home. A quixotic run interrupted by several emergency sphincter squeezes. Made it all the way from E79 and 1st to 64th and 1st. And up five flights of stairs. Made it through a door key twist. But…The 1st wave forged through just as the front door swung open.

Was about to fight the gods one last time and try a superhuman sphincter squeeze…When in a flash, I thought of Victor. Thought of it is what it is. Thought of laughter.

And out it came.  All of it. A big bang of shit. Down my leg.  Effectively ruining my favorite pair of pants. Favorite pair of socks. Decent pair of shoes. And when I eventually made it to the toilet, I sat there laughing.

Thinking of Victor. Sure. My mom was there too. Chiding me in a yenta’s voice – “Why? Why Eddie why? Why couldn’t you hold it for 43 more seconds? What is wrong with you Eddie?” And my forensic voice was there as well – “Was it the homemade shrimp and lobster sauce? Was it too much sauna? Are you growing old and incontinent?”

And the ole Heart und Fear duet – “Was it your earlier session with the kid? That moment you suspected he is doomed? Doomed forever to be that 7-yr-old  the cops would find hiding under the blankets when they called for domestic violence.”

The whole chorus was sitting on that toilet.

But the lead vocals belonged to Victor. The lead vocal was laughter.

And as I walked downstairs onto 1st Avenue seeking a respectful place to leave my shopping bag of shit…As I laughed and laughed at the mission…As I laughed at the UES [upper East Side, Manhattan] women checking me out thinking I’m some domesticated male doing a late grocery run…”Can’t they smell who I am?”

A pleasant thought ran across my mind. Maybe my client isn’t doomed. Then again, maybe he is.

It is what it is.

*Pseudonym.

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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.

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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.

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Our ears,

lateral on our head,

hear the here.

Our nose,

pointing forward,

anticipates what is not yet seen or heard.

The nose knows.

Our eye,

interprets what it sees

in the context of the mind.

The eye is the I.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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First Commandment

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”

The First Commandment tells us that we were once slaves who were freed through the workings of God. Knowing God is our savior, we are well-commanded not to follow the ways of other gods who presumably cannot provide us the way to freedom.

Before birth, we are one with everything and at peace. Upon birth, we perceive ourselves as apart and separate from everything that is not us, an overwhelming and often hostile world. Our mind serves us by protecting us from this world; making sense of it and integrating us into it. However, as we become dependent on our mind’s protection, our mind is no longer our servant but our master. Fear of the world is supplanted by fear of experiencing the world without our mind’s framework. It is then that we are prisoners of our mind. God, however, can free us from the prison of our mind.

Our mind is an mnemonic device. It organizes the world through memories of our intentions, actions and consequences of previous lives and through our socialization. (Our previous lives are not lives before the time of our birth but the days of our life before now, as each day is not a day in a life but a life in a day. That is, our lives end when we go to sleep and begin anew when we awaken.) This is called karma, the categorizations, meanings and stories our mind creates based on our past experiences that frame how we experience the world now. Karma is effectively a karmic prison as it limits and defines our experience, not allowing us to experience the world as it is.

Unlike the other Commandments, the First Commandment refers to the past, the time when we were slaves. Slavery represents our karma prison. When we unite with God, we can be freed from our karmic prison.

God is everything before it is what it is whatever it is. God is revealed as infinite and ever-changing manifestations. This realization unites us as one with God. As such, we realize that our mind through the illusionary karmic prison it created is what separated us from God. In union with God, we are free of the fear that kept us in our karmic prison. Upon our liberation, we experience the universe as it is; one thing, the present. The present is what it is whatever it is, beyond words and descriptions. The past is now passed and our mind has no past through which it can imprison us. Now we are free, at peace as we were before we were born.

Unlike God which is essentially everything and through whom we can be free, one with everything, other gods cannot free us from our karmic prison. Other gods are gods of things like the sun, water, earth, etc. They are illusionary gods as they are the gods of temporary manifestations of God.

Second Commandment

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them;…”

The Second Commandment prohibits the making of artwork that is also worshiped; that is, idols.

Idol worship is holding sacred a tangible object and worshipping it as an incarnation of God. This is the antithesis of worshiping God as it negates the sacredness of all else. As everything is a manifestation of God, everything is sacred.

Idols are not solely objects worshiped as deities. Idols are things we hold sacred like prized possessions and celebrities who are “idolized.” More generally, idols are things we perceive as having an independent existence. For example, getting angry with a car that’s stalled is akin to idol worship as it presumes the car has an independent existence. Thus, idols give rise to an artificial duality, that which is an idol and all else that is not. As such, dualities repudiate God since God is one, everything. Hence, idol worship precludes us from being one with God.

Moreover, idols are a personal and/or collective designation. Thus, idols are a reflection of ourselves; that is, an idol is an I-doll. Ultimately, the prohibition against idol worship is a prohibition against taking ourselves too seriously.

Third Commandment

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God,…”

When Moses met God in the desert, Moses asked God what is God’s name. God responded: “I am who I am.” God effectively self-describes as one who cannot be described. Any name or description of God would be a misuse as God is everything, not one finite thing that is unlike other things. God is what it is whatever it is.

Fourth Commandment

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

After creating the universe in six days, God rested on the seventh day. Undistracted by work, God sat and observed the beauty and wonder of creation as it unfolds in the play of life. God commands us to do likewise. In so doing, we and God are one.

Work is essentially what we do that we would otherwise not do but for the rewards we receive. Thus, work is a means to an ends. When we are at rest, the means and the ends are one. At rest, we are at peace, present and having no desire to be elsewhere or to do otherwise.

Disengaging ourselves from our everyday work is akin to meditation. In meditation, we commune with God in the present and realize the universe is what it is whatever it is, not as we’ve created it in our mind. This leads us to realize that we and the universe, the manifestation of God, are one.

Fifth Commandment

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

Like Commandments Sixth through Ninth, the Fifth Commandment can be generalized as the Golden Rule, treat others as we wish to be treated. The Golden Rule is a common concept in all the major religions.

However, unlike Commandments Sixth through Ninth, the Fifth Commandment is less of a Commandment and more of a contract God offers us: honor your parents and you will be rewarded with a long life. The reward is generally assured as it’s founded on behavior modification. We honor our parents by respectively including them in our lives and providing for them in their time of need, as they age or can no longer work. Our care allows them to live longer than they would otherwise. Seeing how we treat our parents, our children are “imprinted” to treat us likewise which increases the likelihood we will live longer than otherwise.

Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Commandments

Sixth Commandment: “You shall not murder.”

Seventh Commandment: “You shall not commit adultery.”

Eighth Commandment: “You shall not steal.”

Ninth Commandment: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”

The Sixth – Ninth Commandments are straightforward: we are commanded not to murder, engage sexually with someone who is married, steal or lie. These Commandments can be generally described as the Golden Rule: treat others as we wish to be treated.

The purpose of the Golden Rule Commandments is to foster peaceful interpersonal and community relationships. Moreover, living by the Golden Rule is a testament to our realization of divine consciousness.

Divine consciousness is the realization that every thing is not a thing unto itself but one of infinite temporary manifestations of God; ever-changing, interdependent (hence, essentially one thing); with no beginning or end. As we are not solely our personal finite self but part and one with one thing, God, we treat every thing as we wish to be treated as every thing is us.

The Ninth Commandment, the prohibition of lying, also reveals a certain truth: we cannot be one with God if we are not one with ourselves; that is, if we have no integrity. Lying precludes integrity as when we lie we are two people, one who lies and another who knows the truth.

Tenth Commandment

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

The Tenth Commandment is that we not desire what we don’t have.

Generally, our needs (food, shelter, security and health) can be simply satisfied but our desires not; as the more we feed our desires the hungrier they get. When we’re distracted by our desires, we are not grateful for what we have. However, when we are grateful we are great-full; that is, we are full of the great feeling that God has blessed us. Gratitude is integral to realizing our purpose in life: to have a wonderful and happy life, realize our potential and help others likewise. When we are grateful for all God has provided us, our gratitude is an acknowledgement of God who is appreciative and treats us accordingly.

Epilogue 

The First Commandment is that through our union with God we can be free from the prison of our mind.

The Second Commandment is that we don’t take material things or ourselves too seriously.

The Third Commandment is that we realize everything, including us, is God; that God is unknowable and beyond description.

The Fourth Commandment is that we enjoy the beauty and wonder of creation as God.

The Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Commandments are that we treat others as we treat ourselves because we and others are one.

The Tenth Commandment is that we are grateful to God for the wonderful life we’ve been given.

The Ten Commandments were given by God to the “chosen people.” The “chosen” are those who journey through life on the way of the light. They are lighthearted, have interesting insights into the nature of mind and ultimately are one with the light: enlightened.

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With all our responsibilities and commitments, we think we don’t own our lives; but everything we think we own owns us.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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“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 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?

Light.

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.

...

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

...

Black hole

Big Bang

Fireworks

Confetti

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.”

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We are prisoners when our dreams are based on our memories and are free when we dream with our imagination.

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“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.

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If we are not one with everything, we are basically nothing.

In life, relatively nothing; after life, absolutely nothing.

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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.

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“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.

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This cylindrical “idol” suggests what we see is not extraneous light reflected off objects but the light whose source is ourselves.

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“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.

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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.

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In our mind

some things are the same,

some things are different.

In reality

no thing can be compared to another

as all things are aspects of the same thing,

the everything.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Everything is always beautiful. Every-thing is always, but not all ways, beautiful.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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“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.

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At birth

Internal vibration

Fission

Big Bang.

In love

Fusion

Sound and light coming together

Eternal vibration.

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When we are the person we once were,

we are nothing.

When we are not the person we once were,

we are everything.

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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.

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When we go to sleep at night, we in effect die. Before our sleep-death, others acknowledge us with “good evening” because in sleep-death everyone (the smart, the stupid, the rich, the poor) is equal, made even.

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, we awaken.

Upon awakening, we are greeted with “good morning.” That’s “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 not identifying their life experiences as your own.

Immediately upon awakening, before we become oblivious as to who we are as we assume the role and circumstances of the person we were yesterday, it is important to sing the Mourning Prayer. The Mourning Prayer is acknowledging that God has returned us to life, that the person we once were is no longer, that we are one with God and that we are thankful to be able to enjoy our experience of life.

Mourning Prayer

“Thank God for bringing us to this life. Everything, including me, is the manifestation of God. The people and the roles I play in previous lifetimes are illusionary, memories. In reality, I am who I am. Regardless of my circumstances, my purpose is to appreciate the terrific experience before me, to realize my potential of divine consciousness and to help others likewise.”

We sing this again and again and again, until we feel it.

Having sung the Mourning Prayer, we are now truly awake to experience life as it is what it is whatever it is.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

Evening Prayer

“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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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Siddhartha Gautama was known as Sakyamuni (Sage of the Sakyas (his family clan)) and more commonly by the epithet of the Buddha (from Pali, literally “awakened, enlightened”). The etymology of Buddha is “budh” (to awake, know, perceive) which is related to Sanskrit “bodhati” (is awake, observes, understands). Siddhartha Gautama is the embodiment of the sage, the awakened and the enlightened.

“He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” Lao Tzu

The sage, the awakened and the enlightened are those who have realized the answers to how, what, and who and why, respectively.

A sage is one who is wise; with a good nose, the sage knows how things unfold. Wisdom is the ability to view something from many different, often conflicting, perspectives and to integrate those perspectives (as in the wisdom of the crowd) to realize a greater understanding of the ambiguous nature of things (how they will unfold) than the understanding of any one person, including those considered experts. Open to different perspectives, knowing that everything is ever-changing and that perceptions are simply guesses, the sage is never certain of anything but often right as to its nature.

One who is awakened realizes what is the nature of consciousness as they awaken from the dream-state created by their mind. Awakened, they can see things as they are, unaffected by the illusionary world of meanings, categories and stories created by the self-serving mind, their ego. Seeing things as they are and freed from their mind’s prison, they are grateful to be alive regardless of their circumstances. They are happy. They see those taking the mind’s stories seriously as a performance comedy, unless they are dragged onstage and put in harm’s way. However, they also have compassion for those long-suffering in the wretched prison of the mind, regardless of whether they’re having a good dream or a bad one. They feel compelled to share insights into the nature of consciousness, to awaken all to the joy and beauty of being alive.

Upon awakening, we see things as they are, not as we are. What we see is light as everything is light bouncing off objects which we soon realize are also light. This is the realization of enlightenment.

Enlightenment is the realization who we are, divine consciousness; that we and the light are one. As in E=M*C*C, light is all there is. When we are one with the light, we are one with everything. We treat others no differently than ourselves, as there no others as all is one. As well, we realize we are eternal as the light is forever. As to why is it that from the one, the light which some call God, springs infinite unique manifestations, it is what it is whatever it is.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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Those who love certain people but not all people are sentimental. Those who love everyone are practical.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”

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When we see through our eyes, every-thing is beautiful in some way; even if only by virtue that we can see. When we see through our mind, we cannot see things as they are as the mind is a dark place, like a movie theatre. What we see in our mind are memories; things relative to other memories. Relatively, few things are beautiful.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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 is

being is

just being, is.

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It’s difficult to imagine hearing if we are deaf.

It’s impossible to open our eyes unless we know they are closed.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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Everything revealed by light is beautiful,

unlike sounds which are noisy.

Yet, hidden in noisy sounds is music,

the most beautiful thing of all.

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Our mind makes things here and there (us and them) in space and time (present is here, past and future are there). Our senses reveal the here and now which is all there is.

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When our mind makes sense of our senses, we no longer experience our senses.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Those who absorb light are dull. Those who reflect light are brilliant.

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No thing can make us happy but temporarily. Nothing can make us happy always as from nothing comes everything. Optimism is a key to happiness.

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