A group of young students saw the sagacious Lo Zu sitting upon a big boulder with a contented look on his face, a face that seemed to radiate much wisdom and clear perception. The students approached Lo Zu and asked him why he never entered the temples.
Lo Zu replied, “I do not enter the temples because they are primitive, manmade fabrications that have nothing to do with the truly sacred. Besides, that vast, timeless sacredness does not have an ego that wants to be worshipped by men or other strange creatures. What is trapped in time and limitation cannot adequately communicate with the timeless and the unlimited. He or she who has a limited ego cannot be communion with that which is beyond boundaries and confinement. True intelligence goes beyond fabrications and limitations. Go to the temples if you wish… but that ineffable sacredness isn’t there (in a limited space).”
There are different levels of love. Superficial love is constituted of motivations for the limited self. That limited self is what was learned (from miseducation) and it is primarily unreal, unintelligent, and fictitious.
There is a profound love that exists beyond the illusory framework of the self. It is a vast intelligence that breaks through the limitations of boundaries and fragmentary, learned perceptions (including the distance that is, in actuality, inherited ignorance). Selfless love is of bright truth, not of shady falsity and erroneousness.
Beyond the shadows of “thought/thinking” exists a sweet openness wherein what most people would call “the sacred” can come pouring through for a visit (if you are very lucky). Thought/thinking is incapable of describing or inviting that eternal sacredness. That immensity is too ineffable, too extraordinarily and profoundly beyond what limited, fragmentary words are capable of. Words — all words — are only about energy; they are never the actual eternal energy. Yet we human beings exist in (and “as”) transitory words… and what we see is dictated by a screen of potty-little words and learned mental accumulations. Words are intrinsically like empty shadows. Words are concocted, representative symbols that are essentially empty and void of real life. (Words are often necessary but many times words need not exist.) Merely existing in (and “as”) words is a kind of death… a mental death/decay situation that isn’t good. Most people, unfortunately, are stuck in that little, psychological hole (habitually) and are extremely uncomfortable about going beyond it.
Note: (Below is a short excerpt from one of my earlier blogs about Socrates’ Cave. It may shed some light on our current dark situation… if you are perceptive.)
In Socrates’ parable of the Cave — within Plato’s Republic — people were born in a cave, and they were fettered with chains… and forced to merely see and learn the details about shadows cast on the cave walls from puppets and a fire that they didn’t see behind them. One of them was taken — at one point, by force — first to see the fire… and then out of the cave into the true light of day… into a more genuine reality; then he came back down into the cave with the others. When he — the man who returned back — pleaded with them to look beyond the shadows, they called him a fool and continued giving prizes to those who could best guess which shadows came before or after.
Pretty much everybody is conditioned in myriads of different ways. It’s a big factor in why there is so much conflict in the world. Humans have different beliefs and ideas about how things should be done, and about what is best to do. All of our beliefs and ideas involve — and are the result of — time. These beliefs and ideas often result in conflict and friction. To go beyond this conflict without another method (in and “as” time) may involve negation and silence. Such silence is a wonderful negation (mentally) that does not involve time or methodology.
Most people, unfortunately, are conditioned to remain in time exclusively (in the mental sense). They habitually go from one set of symbolic sequences to another (unceasingly). It’s how they were educated (or miseducated) to be.
Great beauty and awareness exist beyond repetitive, sequential, mundane, symbolic mental patterns but most people are too afraid and conditioned to go beyond what they were programmed to be. And being afraid in such a way is just another extension of the stifling, dead conditioning.
A very intelligent mind often questions in dynamic ways that shatter old, traditional acceptances and assumptions. Albert Einstein, for example, often questioned standard assumptions, and his ground-breaking theories were proven correct by subsequent testing. Einstein once said, “It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.”
Organized religions and society (in general) do not want us to doubt much and question much. They want us to fall in line and follow unwaveringly. And most of us carry loads of deep-rooted conditioning, much of which we would never think of questioning. For instance, our very perception of the world around us (and of ourselves) is largely based on fragmentation, separation, delimitation, and learned distance and time. Most of this is fallacious and delusory, not holistic and of deep insight. When most of us cling to fallacious suppositions and presumptions then disorder is what ensues. And look at what is going on worldwide. (For one thing, if more people questioned wisely, the grocery stores wouldn’t be full of sugar-oriented products and adulterated foods that are shelf-stable but very unhealthy; and we wouldn’t dare dump sugar and crap into our automobile gas tanks.)
If one is fortunate enough to have a good, healthy brain, one can — perhaps — question wisely. Then going beyond crippling conditioning is a tremendous joy, adventure, and blessing beyond words, beyond limitation, beyond mediocrity, beyond time.
From E.E. Cummings: “Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.”
People are told (for example, by gurus of the East) about how to meditate. Often they are given what is considered a “special” word or mantra to repeat and concentrate upon. However, doing that is merely a limited form of self-hypnosis. There is no “how” to meditate. Any “how” involves a method that takes time. One cannot reach the timeless via a time process.
Beauty exists when the intelligent mind does not merely operate from sequences (of thoughts) to further sequences (of thoughts) exclusively. Thoughts are (limited) symbolic, sequential patterns that depend upon time; indeed, they are time. Most people are habitually existing as them. It is often beneficial to exist as thoughts when necessary but it may also be prudent to psychologically die to them (when they are unnecessary). Such psychological dying does not take time. Psychological dying is fine; physical Death, on the other hand (as i’ve said before) is not my cup of tea. Additionally, one might mention that merely being a corrupt person on this sweet planet, while endlessly robotically moving from fragmentary thought to fragmentary thought (sequentially), may be a form of Death.
And here’s a little poem by E.E. Cummings:
dying is fine)but Death
?o baby i
Death if Death were good:for
when(instead of stopping to think)you
begin to feel of it,dying ‘s miraculous why?be
cause dying is
perfectly natural;perfectly putting it mildly lively(but
is strictly scientific & artificial &
evil & legal)
we thank thee god almighty for dying (forgive us,o life!the sin of Death
Many of us pigeonhole things far too excessively. We see things as they are assigned in preconceived categories. So, really, we may not be “seeing” much at all but, rather, are identifying via remembered attributes. Most of us tend to perceive via fragmentary images that have been incorporated into (and “as”) our brains since early youth. With these rather superficial accumulations, we look… which really may not be deep “seeing” at all. Instead of perceiving freshly and holistically, we identify and categorize according to how we were molded (in a very secondhand way).
The robot-like mind may function like an automaton, assuming that it is living, but all the while it is robotically repeating what was poured into it (as it is bereft of deep insight, compassion, and holistic bliss). We need to go much deeper than what we were molded to exist as.
The thinking process is largely based on (and dependent upon) measurement. Without measuring, consciously or unconsciously, thinking (for the most part) would not exist. We have concepts about time — like the past, present, and future — and these aspects of thinking are learned measurements, (and may not necessarily reflect true reality). We have mental labels for certain animals and plants, and these mental labels are largely based on measurements and measure-oriented attributes about the animals and plants. Sometimes measurement is necessary but all too often we engage in it in excess (which results in comparison, greed, jealousy, conflict, frustration, judgment, and discrimination).
Real bliss in life, however, occurs beyond mere measuring and labeling. Measuring and labeling are always partial, limited, and fragmented. A brain that mostly just measures and labels is likely a rather robotic brain that is not of a blissful whole.
The following is one of the many koan-like sayings that occur within the Gospel of Thomas. Some top biblical scholars say that this gospel — which was banned by the so-called high priests who were controlled by the Roman Empire — was closer to the historical Christ and is more pristine than the other politically endorsed gospels. One is not necessarily positing that the following saying means anything specific, but it does pertain to going beyond measurement. (Assessing weight is measurement.)
Jesus said, “The father’s kingdom is like a woman who was carrying a jar full of meal. While she was walking along a distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her along the road. She did not know it. She noticed no problem. When she reached her house she put the jar down and found it empty.”
The dictionary describes sorrow as ‘the mental suffering caused by loss, disappointment, etc.; sadness, grief, or regret.’ Sorrow is a common phenomenon for human beings and some other animals as well. We suffer mentally, even when some of us are not directly aware of that suffering. A mind of fragmentary mechanical reactions, separation, and secondary symbolic thinking is often what sorrow is. The thinking process itself, though sometimes very necessary, is — whether we admit it or not — a vast (though limited) field of sorrow because it is what is symbolic, fragmentary, and residual (i.e., resulting from something that was previously present). Thinking (per se), being residually shadowlike, is not true bliss.
We often try to avoid sorrow by engaging in escapes… such as entertainment, traveling, reading, engaging in activities, and all kinds of things. But the psychological suffering is usually always there, waiting, confronting again and again around the corner. Escapes are essentially temporary. A very prudent action, in regard to this, is not what just involves another reaction, is not what involves just another standard escape. Reaction is mechanical (bound by thought/thinking) and may be part of the problem. Real action — that is not just another reaction — is holistic and direct. Perceiving suffering directly and holistically may entail seeing it beyond fragmentary, separative distance. Then the psychological suffering isn’t “there” at a distance for you to contend with… rather, you are that suffering; consciousness is not then separate from what suffering is. You used to do things about it to escape from it or evade it. But now — if wisdom is there — intelligence may see that one is what it is (not that it is separate from what one is); when one fully perceives that one is it, reacting to it does not manifest as it did before in the standard old ways. Wisdom is the flame that dissipates suffering and disorder. No separate reaction on your part is necessary. (Such wisdom will naturally help so-called others.)
The dictionary defines “Sensibility” as ‘the capacity to feel.’ We can — if we are aware — observe that our society is largely bereft of “feeling,” these days. More and more people are concerned about money and power… not about others, not about curtailing suffering. Of course, there are some people who care, but society (as a whole) is generally headed in a disorderly direction. In regular public schools, they mostly focus on teaching you the 3 Rs. They do not, unfortunately, encourage students to probe deeply into such things as awareness, compassion, deep perception, self-understanding, mindfulness, wholeness, and transcending limitation. Public schools generally do not want students who would question society’s superficial values and norms. Public schools are generally designed to crank out followers and “robotic sameness.” This is why i’ve consistently donated to decent alternative schools such as the Brockwood Park School.
If you are (or were) educated in a run-of-the-mill public school, you will have to re-educate yourself. You will have to step out of the box. But you can’t easily step out of the box if your conditioning and brain are the box. Profound compassion requires going beyond superficial mental distance and numbing perceived space. Profound compassion is a real art (in a world full of sameness and secondhand imitation).
The space between the perceiver and that which is perceived… what is it? Have you ever wondered about that fundamental question?
That intervening space, that interstice, may primarily result from thought/thinking. Thought/thinking formulates an image (or an assembly of images) about a central observer (i.e., what thought thinks the “self” is). (This has been going on for eons, over the centuries.) Then thought/thinking assembles images or labels concerning what is perceived at a distance. This may seem silly — though it is essentially true — but what occurs is that one set of images or mental patterns about an observer sees what is considered “itself” looking at something (that apparently exists externally) as the observed (that usually manifests mentally via labels and categorizations of thought). So these two sets of constructs, made up of thought/thinking, are what takes place. So, unfortunately, the relationship is primarily between two sets of images (that thought developed)… which is no real relationship at all.
Real relationship goes beyond this habitual mental orchestration (constituted of mere reactions). Then separation and secondhand labeling come to an end. Then the perceiver and that which is perceived are not parts of some fabricated duality. Deep compassion occurs when the perceiver and the perceived are one (beyond the distortion of thought/thinking). Then mentally fabricated space and separation end.
“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self”. — Albert Einstein
We human beings — most of us anyway — tend to habitually look at everything through mental screens of conditioning that involve boundaries and borders. Most of us habitually delimit what is observed into fragments and snippets involving identification and learned recognition via what was absorbed in the past. Then we often further delineate things via words and labels. Words are symbolic and secondhand; they — for the most part — are not the actuality of what is observed. The word dog isn’t the dog. Words for many people are often seen as realities and although being primarily symbolic, they are not seen as representations but, rather, as what can take the place of reality just fine. Many people get lost in a world of symbolism, often letting the symbols seem to be realities.
It is good to use symbols when needed but it is also good (and very prudent) to go beyond them (and see their limitation). Then, if one is lucky, the whole is there (without the superficial symbolism). And a lot of people will think that they see the whole (although they do not). Self-deception is very easy, especially when that self is, itself, something that seems to recognize a wholeness from a distance. Chicanery is easy when the perceiver and the perceived appear to be separate and when recognition seems to occur from an internal center. Thought/thinking fabricates the internal center and such a supposed center is then given credit for having great perception, or it is praised for being right, or it is given blame for making mistakes, or it is lauded for exercising freedom of choice.
Most minds resist investigating this kind of thing; most minds are heavily conditioned to support the illusion at any cost. And it’s a tragedy really, because the real magic and the profound beauty only occur if one has the passion and the guts to fully delve into it.
I write to encourage others to go beyond conditioning, blind acceptances, and stagnation. Most of us were deeply conditioned in early childhood — and beyond — to absorb and follow what elders spoon-fed to us; they (i.e., the elders), without question, were deeply conditioned themselves throughout their early (and later) lives. We accept so many myriads of things and most of us blindly adhere to these things without question. Most of us are unaware of the extreme degree of our conditioning.
Conditioning is largely illusory in its essence; a conditioned mind is often a rather disorderly mind (though, to itself, it appears to be very orderly and “normal”). A conditioned mind primarily goes on in the same, old patterns while not questioning their value, essence, or impact. Society is a reflection of this conditioning and society is full of illusion, disorder, conflict, separation, friction, and turmoil. Many of us try to escape from such situations via entertainment, amusements, sports, incessant music, vacations, dreams, and various activities. However, the problem is not solved until we question intelligently and understand our own minds deeply. But going beyond being secondhand is very uncomfortable to a lot of people and so fundamental change does not take place.
The dictionary defines time as: ‘The measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues.’
Since Einstein, many scientists have been referring to “spacetime,” wherein space and time are united and not separate.
When we look at time or spacetime in the ordinary way, we — as we were taught — look via the known… via limited measurement and inherited pattern-making. Such time (or spacetime) is circumscribed and very limited. We look via the known and usually see things in a circumscribed, bounded, finite, fixed, and confined way. Such looking is fragmentary, partial, and quite constrained. Very few of us look beyond the known, beyond the second-hand, beyond the restricted templates and limited symbolic arrangements. A beautiful psychological transformation or metamorphosis can enable us to exist beyond such bounded, limited perspectives. However, time is not a factor in getting there; that would be absurd. There is no path to the pathless.
We are predisposed to incessantly label and categorize everything. This was hammered into us at school and most of us have largely become products of that miseducation (or very limited education). We habitually look through a screen of patterns and labels that was handed down to us (by our primitive society). We see what we were taught to see. We usually recognize merely according to what we were programmed to recognize. What we see is usually very limited, second-hand, fragmentary, and banal. Then many of us end up depressed, ordinary, and — to a large extent — mediocre.
Please question what you were taught and (often) go beyond it. Please look without all of the crap that was spoon-fed to you. Please often look at things holistically, without all of the divisions, distinctions, separations, run-of-the-mill labels, and distance. Question what was poured into you. Go out, appreciate what you see, and breathe and live as if for the first time.
There is the silence of a still evening as the sun is setting when none of the beautiful trees have leaves moving or fluttering about. There is the limited silence between notes being played by a wonderful musical instrument. There is the echoless silence in a large theater when no one is there. There is the murmurless silence of a dragonfly peacefully resting.
Silence of the mind can be a most beautiful, spiritual, divine, and wise thing. True spiritual silence is not an act of will. Will is a projection of desire and will is never truly free, though many of us insist that it is. True spiritual silence that comes about naturally, spontaneously, without any cognitive/mental effort, can be a miraculous thing. It occurs when the mind is aware but is not merely accumulating or striving. Control has nothing to do with it, for control is in the pattern of the opposites and is manipulation toward an end; it is merely part of the cause/effect continuum. True spiritual silence is beyond ends to attain; it is beyond cause and effect patterns and sequences. Such silence is an explosion beyond the known… beyond the cunning and ludicrous patterns of man.
Regarding those who are pompously dogmatic, who pontificate, telling you exactly what to do according to rigid creeds or beliefs that they expect you to adhere to… may i suggest running away from them (and wisely discovering and examining things for yourself beyond set patterns). And many say they’ve “gone beyond society’s crude patterns” while, all the while, they continue to carry them around mentally (tricking themselves that they’ve gone beyond). It’s so easy to deceive oneself and to wallow in (and “as”) that deception; it’s so easy to live a mechanical, robotic-automaton life, falling into programmed, spoon-fed habits and perspectives sadly beyond the natural, holistic, unfettered (living) beauty.
A few students walked past the elderly Lo Zu as he was sitting quietly in nature. As they were passing, they briefly paused near the wise and highly respected Lo Zu and he briefly stated this: “Beyond all of the so-called religious mumbo-jumbo, just sit still and perish to what you’ve been told. Do not try to ‘make’ the mind silent; just be passionate about the intrinsic beauty of true silence and then perhaps true silence will naturally manifest. You cannot make the un-makable.”
I like this song by Rush. It has a lot of meaning in this day and age regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine and regarding wars that are the result of perceiving via separation.
I see the Middle Kingdom between Heaven and Earth Like the Chinese call the country of their birth We all figure that our homes are set above Other people than the ones we know and love In every place with a name They play the same territorial game Hiding behind the lines Sending up warning signs
The whole wide world An endless universe Yet we keep looking through The eyeglass in reverse Don’t feed the people But we feed the machines Can’t really feel What international means In different circles We keep holding our ground Indifferent circles We keep spinning round and round
We see so many tribes — overrun and undermined While their invaders dream of lands they’ve left behind Better people — better food — and better beer Why move around the world when Eden was so near? The bosses get talking so tough And if that wasn’t evil enough We get the drunken and passionate pride Of the citizens along for the ride
They shoot without shame In the name of a piece of dirt For a change of accent Or the color of your shirt Better the pride that resides In a citizen of the world Than the pride that divides When a colorful rag is unfurled
We — most of us — live in (and “as”) the linear past, moving into what we think is the future. However, this future is, for the most part, a projection or fabrication from the past, and when unusual things later pop up we arrange them to fit into our storage of narrow past recognitions. (These recognitions constitute what we “are.”) We can fool ourselves into thinking that we often live in the present — in some kind of here and now — but usually it is the clockwork past deluding itself. Self-understanding and critical self-awareness may go beyond the limitations of all this. Such understanding and awareness are not merely the result of some learned processes or taught techniques.
Many of us primarily live in the particular and not in the general, not in — or involving — the whole. We merely function as we were taught, and we exist in (and as) the particular. For so many of us, the particular is apart from the whole; we try to solve things by focusing on the particular as apart from the whole. Then conflict ensues and even more problems arise. We see ourselves primarily as separate human beings. We must change.
When one was in grade school at, of course, a very young age, one was in one’s upstairs bedroom. Suddenly, one was in an extremely perceptive state in which thought/thinking was not in occurrence. One realized, without internal words or symbols, that it was a very “special” mental state (much different from regular, mundane consciousness involving thought/thinking). Somehow it was instantaneous in nature, not involving time and the sequence that words and time are involved in. From then on, one would occasionally go into that dimension (or “special” mode).
Back then, one did not label it as anything. “Meditation” was not a word that i was familiar with; “meditation” was not discussed or mentioned in my culture or educational background at the time (way back then). Only later, in one’s college days, did i discover more about the term “meditation.” Interestingly, one found that a lot of what some gurus from the East were presenting as “meditation” was really a form of self-hypnosis (involving mere concentration, effort, resistance, and time). Thought/thinking, being a sequential mental process, involves (and actually is) time. Profound perception is beyond time; it is a beautiful timelessness that thought cannot “make happen.”
My prayer is — and always has been — in the doing, not in mere words. You can’t put food in an unfortunate starving man’s belly with a prayer.
As i’ve said to Harini (i.e., thelongview) in my previous blog posting’s comments, i have been donating to various food banks benefitting the Ukrainians. More of us should do the same. 💖
(Note: It seems that Leonardo DeCaprio did not donate the 10 million dollars to Ukraine like i had written about here initially. That information — that went viral about him — was not true. However, he did donate to various organizations pertaining to people in need, including the victimized Ukrainians.)
While watching a YouTube video on Putin, there was a section of the video that showed him (at an elderly age) kissing something in a church and making the sign of the cross. (Hypocrisy unmitigated concerning the exterminator of innocent people!) We’ve also had a so-called leader in the United States, holding a bible upside down while trying to use it as a prop. (By the way, the two are friends.) Donald Trump STILL refuses to criticize Vladimir Putin.
“THE ROUNDED CATALOGUE DIVINE COMPLETE.” by Walt Whitman
[Sunday,–– – ––.–Went this forenoon to church. A college professor, Rev. Dr.——, gave us a fine sermon, during which I caught the above words; but the minister included in his “rounded catalog” letter and spirit, only the esthetic things, and entirely ignored what I name in the following:]
The devilish and the dark, the dying and diseas’d,
The countless (nineteen-twentieths) low and evil, crude and savage,
The crazed, prisoners in jail, the horrible, rank, malignant,
Venom and filth, serpents, the ravenous sharks, liars, the disso- lute;
(What is the part the wicked and the loathsome bear within earth’s orbic scheme?)
Newts, crawling things in slime and mud, poisons,
The barren soil, the evil men, the slag and hideous rot.
Here is an excerpt from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman…
How beautiful and perfect are the animals!
How perfect the earth, and the minutest thing upon it!
What is called good is perfect, and what is called bad is just
The vegetables and minerals are all perfect, and the imponderable
fluids are perfect;
Slowly and surely they have pass'd on to this, and slowly and surely
they yet pass on.
I swear I think now that everything without exception has an
The trees have, rooted in the ground! the weeds of the sea have!
I swear I think there is nothing but immortality!
That the exquisite scheme is for it, and the nebulous float is
for it, and the cohering is for it;
And all preparation is for it! and identity is for it! and life
and materials are altogether for it!
The dictionary defines Nirvana as: ‘(in Buddhism) perfect bliss attained by the extinction of individuality.’
And the following — which may reflect the above definition — may be one pristine part of the bible that managed to get through without being adulterated much over time by those with mythological propensities:
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’
When we consider things mentally we are living in the past. Merely living in the past, in all actuality, is not truly living. Past structures past recognitions, past images and patterns are restructured and re-manipulated. This re-manipulation may seem new, but if the components of it are of images and memories of the past — which they usually are — then what seems somewhat fresh is, for the most part, merely a restructuring of the same old stuff.
In psychoanalysis, looking into the past to get at the source of one’s fears usually isn’t treading new waters whatsoever. It also is a continuation of the past. This past is never truly liberating, for it is an extension of the remains of the stale, the old, and the accumulated. Bringing up old accumulations doesn’t — in any profound way — produce anything liberating and fresh for the mind. The mind that probes into its past is that past; and what it perceives with is dictated by (and actually is) the very past that it is desiring to look into. In actuality, it is very much like a dog chasing its own tail.
Instead of trying to find out about the source of the fears that one thinks one has, it may be much more prudent to perceive that one is not psychologically separate from what fear is as it occurs. Being in right relationship with fear doesn’t take time. Probing into one’s past and psychoanalysis take time. Time is not profoundly liberating in this… because like a dog that chases its own tail, it is a waste of energy. Looking at the past with the past is, for the most part, often a waste of time.
Trying to analyse fears takes time. Trying to control fear takes time. (And trying to control fear presupposes a segment of the mind that is separate from fear and that is capable of manipulating it.) Trying to suppress fear takes time. Escaping from fear, though various forms of entertainment, for example, takes time. Being in an intelligent relationship with fear (as it occurs) does not take time; there is no separation (i.e., no conflict) in that intelligence.
In my last (recent) blog posting — just prior to this one — in the comments, Marlene thanked me and wisely mentioned how our conditioning causes us to forget (or fail to deeply see) the more realistic unity and wholeness (beyond the individual “I”). One answered back to her, responding that there are endless subtle ways that the isolating self tries to manifest… such that most of us, unfortunately, are hardly perceptive of it.
We are hardwired (by our crude society) to refer to the self habitually, automatically, without question. Going beyond the “I” is considered by many to be heading for insecurity, instability, and chaos. In reality, however, it may be that this limited (but deeply ingrained) notion of a central “I” (in each one of us) is what contributes greatly to the conflict, disorder, selfishness, instability, chaos, and lack of true harmony in the world.
And this constant, deeply ingrained referral to the “I” happens to so many of us, even to those of us who see the unintelligence of doing so. People will automatically, for example, say, “Well I’m working on my meditation or… I am trying to work on my mindfulness more.” So they still — either subtlety or grossly — are maintaining the “I” as a controller and power-source of regulation. Of course, our language itself is designed and structured to often refer to and depend upon the “I.” The “I” is a habitual obtrusion of thought (and it is not truly “in control” as we were programmed to think it is); it reinforces gross separation, selfishness, and (often) indifference. Truly transcending this takes one to a realm of real wholeness — beyond the limited image of “me” — a wholeness of real order, compassion, perception, and true harmony. (One can still, in communication, cautiously use the word “I” but nevertheless be acutely aware of its limiting, superficial aspect.)
Lo Zu was sitting upon a meandering Oak log, as he so often likes to, silently gazing at the beauty all around him. His right hand — of course — held his splendid, sinuous walking cane. Three young students came by — in the hope of again gleaning some insights of wisdom from him — and they began asking questions. One of the questions, from one of the students, was, “What is the nature of the self?”
Lo Zu smiled caringly at them and said, “See those majestic mountains in the distance? Each one has a name. Each one seems different and separate from the others.” Just then a little toad hopped by, and Lo Zu remarked, “Then too, the warts upon this beautiful, little toad… each one seems separate and distinct from the others; the warts do not have names — as the mountains do — but nevertheless, they are quite similar.” “Kind of like those bird eggs that you told us about once, right?” remarked one of the students. “Exactly!” said Lo Zu.
“What are you getting at?” one of the inquisitive students fondly asked. Lo Zu then said, “The self, which each one of us allegedly has, is like one of those mountains or like one of those warts. However, the mountains are — in reality — all connected and unified by the ground beneath that supports them. Each wart, too, is part of the whole toad. We, as humans, however, get lost in the separateness, the isolation, and do not see the whole (which is the real truth and true reality). We were miseducated, and we accept the limited all too easily and mindlessly; one is conditioned to look at oneself as an isolated, separate mountain, or as a separate wart. We are not just one mountain; we are the whole range (and then some). We are not just one, isolated wart; we are the whole toad (and then some). Thought/thinking is usually limited and isolating. Transcending the habit of superficial thought/thinking may enable truth and unadulterated, holistic beauty to be seen. With (or ‘as’) such beauty, real compassion flowers.”
“Yes,” said one of the students, “but I see that I am separate from my own separate thoughts and I see that I control the thoughts and the thinking process.” Lo Zu answered, “We — over many generations and from early (in life) input from so-called others — have been taught that the ‘I’ is the boss and is the powerful controller of thoughts. But, in reality, it may be that thought itself has projected this image of ‘I’; in other words, the ‘I’ itself may be the product of thought/thinking and may erroneously be imagined as ‘being in charge.’ The more thought attributes power and control to this imaginary ‘controller,’ the more the mind becomes conditioned to take it for granted and accept its supposed controlling power (as reality). More and more of these associative occurrences further condition the mind. However, the alleged separateness and the alleged power of control of this imagined ‘I’ may not be truly grounded in reality. The wise mind that sagaciously sees this does not fall into disorder or disarray but, rather, functions beautifully in (and ‘as’) a most holistic, deep, and profound order (beyond mere ordinary control). Hopefully, the beauty of it can be seen.”
The students graciously thanked Lo Zu and went on their way… pondering deeply.
When you look at nature, if you are merely looking through the patterns of space and distance, are you really looking at all?
A free and wise mind that is not dependent upon things of disorder, needs neither alcohol nor drugs.
Some wise scientists have said that the truth of how the universe works probably exists far from what we have surmised and discovered. And some wise men realize that true spirituality exists far from what mundane, organized religions have maintained.
If you remain in (and “as”) mediocre acceptances all of your life… then it may be that when you die, you are just a little bit more dead.
It may be that only physically and tangibly helping others is any real form of prayer… and that praying with mere thoughts and words isn’t really praying at all.
It is easy to pass the truth by and ignore it; it is easy to see everything through separative eyes of fragmentation, division, and distance (just as you were miseducated to do).
That happy baby isn’t separate from what one is; that injured dog isn’t separate from what one is.
It may be that gross immaturity likes to fly around the world in aircraft that spew inordinate amounts of fossil fuels into the atmosphere, (thus harming all of life)… in order to see “beautiful” natural sites (with patterns that are wonderful eye-candy).
I’ve been waiting for coffee at this table for over 20 minutes, and still no coffee!
True spiritual search lies beyond mere motives; then somehow it magically transcends what search is constituted of.
The pyramid of life (depicted on every U.S. dollar bill) has the all-seeing, all-perceptive eye at the very top. And your wise men don’t know how it feels to be thick as a brick.
The past and the future seem so very different (to our limited, unsophisticated eyes).
Eliot eloquently, poetically wrote: “Time past and time future allow but a little consciousness.”
When you listen to music, are you really separate from the tones and the melody?
If we marginalize the environment, neglecting it and being lackadaisical about it, it will come upon us with a vengeance, with uncontrollable fires, pandemics, tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods. Waking up too late, mankind, isn’t waking up.
The beautiful flower doesn’t care if you stop to notice it or not… and that is part of its innate beauty.
Not that it’s the worst thing in the world (by any means), but exclusively clinging to the orthodox religion that you were born with may be like feeding from a formula-bottle for your entire life.
To look without the background of the past is what looks without contamination and time.
It is most noble to investigate into truth without letting fear cause one to cling to inherited, comforting beliefs (or to self-concocted beliefs); deep intelligence does not let fear alter (or cloud) what it sees.
Education is not just memorizing and regurgitating back information; true education involves questioning, pondering, and investigating far beyond what you are “told.”
An intelligent, holistic mind is also a mind that is appreciative of humor and laughter.
The real problem with kleptomaniacs is that they always take things literally.
Intelligent, vicarious suffering often acts to help other people, animals, and the environment as a whole.
Marionettes are easily worked by strings; gullible people are easily swayed by nefarious, diabolical (so-called) news channels that perpetrate hatred, misinformation, and separation.
A truly good doctor (i.e., general practitioner) informs you about how to eat and act in a more healthfully appropriate way and does not merely robotically and hurridly dispense out synthetic pills to you.
Fear necessitates time and requires time. It is often the past dreading what may happen as the future. To transcend fear at its roots, psychological time must be deeply understood and transcended.
The deepest truth exists far beyond the limitations of time and searching.
To look without the background of what others poured into you… may be of pristine clarity and wholeness beyond description.
We tend to cling to groups (involving separative countries and religions) and are afraid of standing alone on our own.
When we were young, they taught us that doubt is a very bad thing; on the contrary, doubting often involves the beautiful awakening of true intelligence and wisdom.
The human body is a miraculous, delicate, balanced instrument. We must take precise care of it with tremendous care, concern, and natural, healthy processes… not abuse it with thoughtless neglect and misuse. A healthy body can nourish a healthy brain.
To holistically perceive without separation may bring real compassion and wisdom.
A very beautiful mind inwardly… perceives beyond the dull limitation of symbolic words, fragmentary thoughts, and habitual acceptances.
It’s very comfortable to remain entrenched in traditional beliefs and groups, but it may not at all be wise, noble, or highly intelligent.
The sweet whole can clearly be seen by a mind of sweet wholeness.
Gross oversight is failure to notice the reality of what is actually taking place, failure to notice the whole, (while one, all the while, is fixated on the parts).
It may be prudent to remain with (and “as”) the suffering of loneliness without merely habitually trying to escape from it.
The earth and the moon do not argue amongst themselves about which one is more round, and they dance along with each other just fine.
Most of the food sitting upon selves in the grocery stores of the U.S.A. … is not healthy food.
The scientist said to the man who fell and broke his knee, “Do you understand the gravity of the situation?”
Compassion and wisdom… not two separate things… the one is the other.
Many people of many countries and religions were born into each of those so-called countries and religions, and often inherently (and hereditarily) think that theirs is “the best” and is “very special above the others”; we keep killing ourselves in bloody wars based on separative borders and beliefs.
Maybe humans could learn a thing or two from some simple, natural creatures. What humans are doing to the earth is unnatural and cruel. We need to change.
(Please consider going green more, and please consider donating often to such places as the Environmental Defense Fund and The Sierra Club. I donate to these monthly.)
Safe in the crimson spread of things
the foliage is my home and my guardian
I will eat it little by little
but will not eat too much of its purply protection
It will guard me, protect me, and feed me
It will become me
It is my world, my universe, my abode
It is not what i will merely destroy and abuse
Reaction is fragmentation in (and “as”) time. The entire thinking process is essentially one set of reactions after another. These mental reactions are largely symbolic, virtual, secondary, and are parts within a sequential cause-effect continuum. Most people exist in (and “as”) these reactions, one following another. One’s consciousness largely consists of these reactions. Even when one thinks one is merely “looking at things,” those things are recognized (i.e., re-cognized) by the brain, which is essentially a continuation or extension of the sequential reactions involving the thinking process.
Many associate “not thinking” with stupidity, with not being intellectually capable. However, there is, we say, a “going beyond thinking” that is of marked intelligence, insight, and wisdom. This intelligence goes beyond the limitations of thought/thinking, beyond the fragmentation of limited symbols, beyond conflict, and beyond mere patterns of reaction; this intelligence is of a pristine wholeness that is of vast order and compassion. (True compassion naturally exists beyond the conflict, the illusions, the needless fragmentation.)
There was a man
and everything he looked at was a fragment in time.
As time went by, he continued to merely exist as fragment after fragment;
He saw others as part of the fragments and he helped them a little but not a lot.
There was a woman
and she would often perceive beyond the fragments, beyond mere sequential time.
As time went by, she was not merely what was always clutched by time's partitive claws,
and she often helped life's inhabitants (whom she did not perceive from a dead, learned distance).
Holistic silence cannot be induced. It is not merely the result of some cause, either physically or mentally. One cannot make oneself be holistically silent. All effort, by the brain, involves motive… and motives are a result of desires and goals; with such effort, there is always a thing to be achieved, a reward to acquire.
A dynamic mind, that does not merely robotically bounce from one desire or one goal after another, may perhaps come upon (or manifest as) holistic silence. Holistic silence is not the result of any calculated direction, nor is it what merely radiates in limited and calculated directions. It cannot — as so many mundane things are — merely be recognized and pinpointed; this is one reason why one cannot “know” that one’s mind is of a holistic silence. It, being rather timeless, is beyond mere possession and acquiring. But perhaps it may occur when the mind perceives the conflict and limitations of thoughts, noisy mental images, and concocted mental patterns.
Holistic silence, perhaps a bit like the sun — we are using a crude analogy here — though it does not radiate in one, limited direction, can emanate with beautiful, miraculous effects. If we merely darkly, robotically, and habitually cling to one reacting thought after another — which most all of us do — then there will be little possibility (and space) for such dynamic, natural, bright silence to manifest. Thoughts are generally old, second-hand, residual, limited, of the past, and merely symbolic. If the mind — as most minds — is merely content to exist as one series of sequential thoughts after another, then (like what the previous sentence suggests) it is darkly moving from one sequence of old, limited, symbolic images to another. The new does not take place where the old merely is what is constantly repeating endlessly.
Understanding the mind, understanding thoughts and going beyond the habit of foolishly always merely being them — without technique — may perhaps open a door. Whether the magic of holistic silence flows through or not… well that is another matter…
Once there were three little birds effortlessly sitting in a tall tree
They watched a man down below
with his legs firmly crossed while trying to meditate
The birds were very curious as to why the man did not move
They flew away, enjoyed life, and a good while later returned to the tree
One of the birds defecated on the man's head
The man did not notice
He was too busy craving for something to descend upon him
He later went home (weighing a bit more than before)
Integrity is very significant in life. A mind that is merely a sponge, just robotically spewing out what it absorbed, is likely not of integrity. A mind without integrity and order is limited and fragmentary. Integrity means wholeness, soundness. Integrity is of an unadulterated innocence. A mind full of limitations is of conflict and is bound to do divisive and chaotic things. Wholeness exists beyond the limitations. Many of us, when we were younger, accepted behavioral patterns — which society spoon-fed to us — based on competition and conflict. Most of us have accepted such behavioral patterns — largely based on fragmentation and conflict — and have gone on in existence, adhering to these patterns of limitation and conflict. True bliss, however, is not of limitation and fragmentation; true bliss exists with (and “as”) wholeness, integrity. But so many of us have merely accepted what was poured into us when we were young… and we have gone on in the old ways; we have gone on in the antiquated traditions.
Limitation, being based on conflict and tending to produce conflict, inevitably contributes to the divisive and chaotic attributes of society. Limitations — based on conflict — are restrictions, and they snag the mind and keep the mind within (and “as”) constrained and blocked realms. Blocked mental realms often manifest as disorder and conflict. Disorder and conflict do not generally reflect wholeness and integrity.
Interestingly, our very concepts of time are based on fragmentations and limitations. We accepted these time-oriented fragmentations and limitations from society; we fully accepted them as being totally legitimate. However, it may be that we have largely accepted what is fundamentally erroneous and distorted. Our limited conceptualizations of spacetime may be largely fragmentary and perverted; we see what we were programmed to see. Our time conceptualizations may be somewhat relevant physically — in getting actual physical things done — but in the psychological realm, they may be rather absurd, limited, and illusory. One says, “I will try to be less envious of others tomorrow,” but then (at that moment) one creates a space between what one considers to be “oneself” and “others”; one additionally fabricates a “tomorrow” that is separated from “now” by psychological time (which also is of a concocted space). This concocted space is of conflict, which was a distorting factor (initially) in the situation. To live in limitation, conflict, and distortion may not be order, may not be bliss. Deep joy and order may come when distortion ends, when limitation is not just overwhelming.
his looking, day after day year after year,
Was through the mental screens and motifs that They provided
Hence, it wasn’t his “looking” whatsoever; it was Their “looking”
And it wasn’t “seeing” whatsoever; it was the death-like absence of really seeing
The mentally isolated are confined. They, by their own misperceptions and separative viewpoints, are (unfortunately) in a limited sphere that is not in touch with everything. (You can be in a large group of people and be mentally isolated, with a separative self.) Mental confinement is limitation; it occurs when the mind is not caring (about others); it occurs when the environment seems separate from what you are and when you are not very curious about it.
Today, because my wife has passed a little over a year ago, i had a pet sitter come to my house to see about possibly taking care of all of my critters (i.e., pets) should something happen to me (like needing to go to the hospital or something similar). I told my little miniature Dachshund, Lola, (in the morning) that a lady would be coming later in the day; i told her to be nice to the lady. The sitter was to arrive at 2pm. I didn’t say anything, but a little after 2pm, Lola began ceaselessly barking loudly; she never does that in such a manner. I looked outside, and there was no sitter, no car of the sitter out there. After about 5 minutes of ceaseless barking, the sitter arrived (with her two teenage daughters). She said she inadvertently passed my house but eventually circled back and found it. Apparently, Lola sensed they were near (even though they have never been here before)! Lola, and other dogs we have had in the past, seemed to have a form of perception that extends out past the “usual realms.” When my wife Marla was alive, she would tell me about how Lola, and previous dogs we’ve had, would “realize” i was coming home (in the car) 5 or 10 minutes or so before i actually arrived home.
When the sitter arrived, i briefly told her about my wife Marla’s passing… about how, for 12 years, Marla (because of medical complications) was unable to eat and was strictly on enteral feeding (i.e., tube feeding) to her stomach. I told the sitter that, before i retired, i was a teacher for the multiply handicapped and that some of my students were on tube feeding. I would be the one helping them to get their tube feeding nourishment (for years) long before Marla developed eating difficulties. The sitter remarked that our marriage was almost “meant to be”… (regarding how my unusual employment situation benefitted my wife later in our marriage). Well, it was “meant to be”; it was pre-arranged by a wholeness that extends past the “usual realms.” (It is very beautiful regarding how that pre-arrangement took place, but i am not at liberty to go into it in detail). Lots of things can happen beyond the “usual realms,” but if you merely crave for these, nothing will happen; they will come to you (perhaps) without you inviting them… come to you with your natural curiosity, especially if it extends beyond the “self.”
A noiseless patient spider, I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated, Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding, It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself, Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you O my soul where you stand, Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space, Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them, Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold, Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.
Thanks to monicat for his comments on spider webs in my previous posting, and check out this amazing article on Jumping Spider Visual Acuity (that pstachowski provided in his previous comments to my blog):
[Note: The two large fangs (i.e., chelicerae) of this spider can be seen here. The lower one (of this tilted arachnid) is more in shadow, but the upper one can be seen a bit better. It extends from just under that little red-orangish area to where it curves (fang-like) to the right and backwards.]
Awareness, in terms of mindfulness and meditation, is not a calculated escape into some kind of fabricated domain beyond what is all around you. The world is largely a big mess right now, chiefly because of man and the disorder that man propagates. The world of nature basically has a beautiful intrinsic order. Awareness perceives this order and also perceives the disorder (primarily involving man). Again, awareness is not some kind of escape into some kind of domain (fabricated by the mind to, supposedly, exist in a utopian, blissful state). Awareness is not sitting with one’s legs in a lotus position, thinking that one is achieving something extraordinary. That is usually a form of self-hypnosis, and there is nothing extraordinary about that.
Deep awareness remains with (and “as”) what is, but that “what is” is not merely the result of what one was molded and trained to see. Merely looking at things through a mental screen of words (which are mere symbols) and isolated images — in a separative, pigeonholing, divisive kind of way — is just a continuation of mindless, limited conditioning and, therefore, is not deep awareness. Deep awareness shatters through stale acceptances, worn-out systems of looking at things, dead traditions, and preconceived iron-clad concepts, and bursts beyond these mere reactions. Deep awareness is not mere reaction, it is action. Deep awareness acts and ends disorder. Again, deep awareness is action, not mere reaction. Deep awareness exists beyond effort; effort is always for a limited goal — in time — and is of reaction. Reaction is mechanical, robotic, rather dead, unalive, ordinary, and it comfortably fits into the current rotten society just fine.
Leafhoppers are not often seen because they are savvy enough to perceive a person approaching them and they subsequently quickly move to a portion of the plant, that they are upon, that is not visible to the oncoming individual. They are very visually and vibrationally perceptive, which is a limited type of awareness.
And while he observed the diminutive insect gazing out from the base of the leaf, there was no immediate labeling, there was no separation between the leaf and his consciousness, there was no separation between the insect and what he was. (They taught him that he was separate, but he didn’t listen.)
[NOTE: This poem and this posting is just designed for some innocent, scary, Halloween fun. It is not meant to reinforce anyone’s hatred of spiders. When i see a spider in the house, i gently grab it in a soft Kleenex and subsequently release it (gently) out-of-doors. Spiders are generally harmless, are great pest removers, and can be admired for their own intrinsic beauty; humans probably look ugly to a lot of perceptive animals!]
When we were very young, during our education — or, rather, miseducation — a lot of us sagaciously felt or understood that there was something wrong or lacking in what the adults were telling us. But, over time, most all of us accepted what they maintained and we fell into place as we were expected to.
They taught us to look via separation, to look at separate things (largely disconnected). They taught us that running away and trying to escape from aloneness was the norm and that that is the way we should react. They didn’t encourage us to perceive everything holistically (i.e., without mere separation and division). They didn’t reveal to us that, in aloneness, may exist true stillness, a stillness that is miraculously dynamic, timeless, spiritual, and precious. They didn’t encourage us to investigate about and be very appreciative of that stillness which is not merely a part of a mechanistic, mundane, run-of-the-mill life cycle. (By the way, it is good to socialize at times, but it is also extraordinarily important to be alone often, allowing for a deeper penetration into the beauty of unadulterated stillness.) They didn’t encourage us to look beyond the confined limitations and fragmentation of symbolic thought and thinking… (and all thoughts and thinking are limited symbols and are of fragmentation); all thoughts are sequential, abstract, and, hence, are very computer-like and rather virtual. They taught us to exclusively depend upon thought/thinking.
It is good to have hobbies. I have some. But too many of us, as adults, are caught in endlessly trying to escape from our “aloneness” by pursuing endless entertainments and places to visit. (Like the perpetual donkey going after the carrot tied to a stick, so many of us travel, travel, chase, chase, and yet continue — no matter where we go — to carry an overriding staleness, mundaneness, and melancholia.) Without facing and understanding aloneness and the mind, a feeling of lack and mediocrity will endlessly follow you wherever you go, like a shadow. One must face that aloneness and, without effort, allow it to blossom into something priceless and dynamic, beyond mere measure. Then the real miracles can happen. But if we merely perpetually escape from that aloneness — as society conditioned us to — then we will forever remain frequently unfulfilled, mediocre, defeated, and ordinary.
(Additionally, please listen to the very short song, entitled “Just Trying to Be,” included in this posting.)
Many of us think, at times, pictorially (via mental pictures) and emotionally. And to a large extent, many of us think via internal words and sentences (i.e., verbally). This verbiage is called “inner speech,” and it allegedly involves one talking to oneself. Is there a separate self or separate “center” that is truly separate from this inner speech? One does not think so. Regarding inner speech, the perceiver is the perceived; fabricating (mentally) a separate observer is a waste of energy and causes needless separation. Too many of us look at things — such as fear and such as nature — via mere separation. (We were taught to perceive things, internally and externally, via separation.) (By the way, not having the illusion of a separate, central self does not negate eternity/the eternal; on the contrary, it invites it.)
We think, internally, in a multitude of ways; most of us are constantly chattering, internally, about something. This inner chattering largely consists of words and sequences of words. Words are symbolic and are always fragmentary, always limited. (One often speaks internally with a virtual copy of one’s own voice.) Stillness — which allows for wholeness — is imperative. But one cannot “make” stillness occur. True stillness is not merely an effect brought about by some mechanistic, calculated cause. True stillness comes with holistic perception beyond mere cause and effect reactions. This is why you cannot decide to meditate. You cannot say you will meditate for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. This is why “practicing” mindfulness is ludicrous. True meditation occurs naturally; it is uninvited and is not the mere result of some premeditated cause or desire. (You cannot “know” that you are meditating, by the way.)
The watery pool of the holistic, reflective mind (in stillness) will mirror the truth. An agitated mind, full of clatter and turmoil, reflects nothing.