This is Tim Rimmer's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Tim Rimmer's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Tim Rimmer
Recent Activity
‘….there isn't human intelligence and animal intelligence. There is just intelligence, which comes in lots of different forms depending on what a species needs to know in order to survive and prosper…’ I’ve just started reading a book that appears to get right into this, only it’s about fungi and is called “Entangled Life” by Merlin Sheldrake a biologist. I’m enjoying how he’s really questioning why we see things the way we do and have this tendency to anthropomorphise other life forms to somehow understand them. I believe he makes interesting parallels on pg 48: ‘Fungi may not have brains, but their many options entail decisions. Their fickle environments entail improvisation. Their trials entail errors. Whether in the homing response of hyphae within a mycelial network, the sexual attraction between two hyphae in separate mycelial networks, the vital fascination between a mycorrhizal hypha and a plant root, or the fatal attraction of a nematode to a fungal toxic droplet, fungi actively sense and interpret their worlds, even if we have no way of knowing what it is LIKE for a hypha to sense or interpret.’ (Hypha = growing fungal filamentous thread). BFN
1 reply
The way I see it is that we don’t HAVE a soul, we ARE soul. For ages that which is unbound/non-separated has been mixed up with a sense of self/identity generated largely through thinking and language. Certain types of thinking can result in behaviour commonly attributed to R-souls (as my wife with a grin, reminded me). :-)
1 reply
Hey S Ha Ha - I reckon some synaptic enhancement happened to me too! If you didn't make the connection with the the starting quote see this:https://youtu.be/l9SqQNgDrgg BFN
1 reply
First heard the name Wittgenstein from Bruce the Aussie: ‘…. Wittgenstein was a beery swine Who was just as sloshed as Schlegel….’ :-) I get the point that a type of clearer language is required. One that cuts out ‘erroneous’ use particularly in regard to metaphysical concepts. It’s interesting that for the Vienna Circle such concepts are described as fundamental. Do we mean fundamental to metaphysics or in a more general sense? I.e. they are considered basic to civilisation so to speak? And what are the rules of language? Who made them and for what language? This got me wondering about the intertwining of language and thought. How our life experience relates to language. Are not our minds and sense of self created out of the dialogue (language) going on inside our heads? Much of this is discursive – probably less connected to clear thinking than it is to such things as memory remnants of major events, childhood traumas, images, social conditioning etc. Another thing concerns how language achieves social conditioning. For example, business terminology – ‘targeting markets’, ‘trophy houses’, talking about people as ‘social capital’ or describing a business network as an ‘ecosystem’. Examples of language being taken out of its original context to further a particular world view/cultural norm. I guess what I’m saying is that we really need to get a grip on our thinking and how it is culturally and discursively constructed before we can get hold of what Wittgenstein is on about. As a final comment re culture and language, I return to Australia to a ‘story’ about the early contact Aboriginal people had with the first Europeans. Some say it’s a bit of a myth like the Hundredth Monkey Story… It’s about Aboriginal fishermen not noticing the arrival of European sailing ships. One interpretation is that they did not PERCEIVE them because nothing in their culture/language recognised/described them. My point: just because we don’t have the right word for something doesn’t mean it’s not there. Best wishes
1 reply
The old wabi sabi eh! A very user friendly concept/notion. As different from wa..sabi – the hot version. The term reminded me of a seemingly related saying I discovered the other day attributed to mystics in the Kashmir Shaivist tradition - ‘ditto nitto’. It means “No sooner seen than gone” and can be understood as seeing something as it truly is. Such seeing is a process where consciousness ‘recognises’ itself and dissolves/is digested to be no longer separated. If you throw in some Buddhist core teaching then life and the search for truth could be seen as experiencing a sort of condimentous kind of meal. We get served up a bowl of Dukkha which is fairly unpalatable. Add to it some wabi sabi and the contents can be viewed much more favourably with a greater willingness to partake. If we save space for dessert then we could enjoy some ditto nitto and relish the taste accruing from some serious digestion! Best to all
1 reply
Brian - interesting take on Adyashanti. I don’t know much about his teachings other than a quick look at the website and some of his Youtube clips – which I thought made good sense – perhaps more than just ‘a bit’ to me. Especially liked the clip on ‘allowing things to be as they are’, (a subject I believe you see as relevant). He woffles a bit at the start but then gets quite to the point towards the end, worth a look, imo. In regards to your comment on pgs 2,3,7 in his book, (that I have not read), I believe it depends on how folk view what this ‘you’ or mind is. I think anyone with clear insight into the nature of mind/thought/self could very likely have this ‘intimacy’ with everything (as Adyashanti states). Thoughts/images/ideas would ultimately also be seen as not the real ‘you’, as he considers this to be Awareness. My take on the multiple past incarnations would just be access to memories left by previous ‘thinkers’, though as I said I’ve hardly looked at his writings. From the little I have seen, I don’t think he sees himself as a Zen Buddhist and I’m not sure what he says on the nature of this thing that reincarnates. Re his ‘spiritual’ name, I agree its fluffy. However, some posters on this blog have at least partial reference to the same in their names – an interesting proponent of Oneness comes to mind! And also – who is this fella that some people address as Brian-Ji? The Ji certainly sticks a bit of Indian religiosity to the name, eh what?
1 reply
Hey Osho – re beliefs and filters particularly in regard to RSSB/SMat. Thanks for the reminders and input. It’s interesting that quite a number of posters here continue to inform their comment through notions of things such as karma, reincarnation, perfect masters and separate souls. It appears such things are held sacrosanct/considered obvious and left unchallenged. The ‘banished’ soul story continues to get up my nose and just doesn’t make sense. In traditional terms 777’s recent comment on Jeevas makes more sense – Jeevas being ‘soul’ + ego. My interpretation is that there is no separation in reality only belief in such. Another useful perspective is that of ‘bound’ soul. I.e. that which is unbound becomes bound by belief and is in a contracted state so to speak. Here consciousness is a more useful term in my view. The whole thing is less about saving and more about realising. Hi Sonia – I looked at that clip from Pink Martini the other day. Though not really my thing (prefer rock music) I thought it was ‘nice’ especially the end. And yes all this stuff about consciousness – there’s no end to it is there? …. :-)
1 reply
After perusing the last few posts and enjoying the recent exchange of views. I’ve taken stock of the general themes on this blog and how I now think about some of them. I’ve put a few up: Meditation – still practice it, though not as set down in teachings such as RSSB. Like Brian sometimes do Simran, but more often endeavour to use breathing to relax and quieten thinking. Thinking – seems to be one of the key things to sort out (and yes we need it!) Clearly, most of what we take ourselves to be is something created by our thought process. We spend a great deal of our time identified with this and generally believe it to be our ‘self ‘. Meditation and other methodologies can show us how this thinking and the ‘I’ associated with it creates a sense of separation from each other/nature and what we actually are. Which seems to me to be that which remains when thought and/or identification with thought has ceased. Soul – many of us continue to think this is what we truly are. Problem for me here is that both my intellect and to some degree my experience tells me this ‘soul’ thing is not a thing be The ‘Thing’. If it’s The ‘Thing’, then it’s tied up with the truth of things. My experience says the truth is that we are not actually ‘separated’ – we just think we are (most of the time). If this is the case then soul is not a separated thing – just don’t see it your way Jim. I also think the word is so loaded with religious association both from West and East that it should be ditched – let’s use ‘consciousness’ instead. Karma/Reincarnation – teachings such as in RSSB (as I remember) continue to say souls are reborn, souls undergo karma. As I consider soul ‘consciousness’ to be associated with truth then these teachings are either not correct or at least misinterpreting/selectively interpreting how things are. I believe it’s the mind and so-called subtle body that is reincarnated/undergoes karma. I also believe that as such things are not ultimately real being associated with a thought-created self, then why keep thinking along these lines? – RSSB – it does look like GSD is changing some things (as Osho often points out). Yet as often discussed on this blog, most of the time the RSSB default mode operates. Quite a few here including myself clearly consider RSSB to be a religion these days. Yet as I think Sonia pointed out RSSB has been integral in the process of getting and evolving? us to where we are now so gratitude is in order imo. Who knows how things will be in the future? This blog/comments – I came across Brian’s blog about 6 years ago and have really enjoyed reading and occasionally commenting on the wide ranging topics particularly those regarding the nature of self and what consciousness is. There’s a wealth of useful info from a diverse group of cool people. I always enjoy what Manjit has to say. And tucson’s comments often resonated – hope you are OK mate. The now – what prompted this reflection was Brian’s recent post on living in the present. I’ve been assessing what he’s actually on about when he mentions being in the present with our thoughts inside our head or present with our thoughts/perceptions of the outside. I think Brian is raising the issue of where consciousness lies. This is definitely one of the fundamental questions we come to this blog to get a handle on. As mentioned earlier re meditation – what happens/remains in the absence of thought and perceptions? Dungeness talked of the ‘eternal now’ I like the term being with ‘what is’. Letting everything ‘be as it is’ is another topic Brian’s raised. Seems to me this is an incredibly powerful teaching, simple but a real challenge to the I tied up in discursive thought and not with present experience. However, as Adyashanti says (in a recent Youtube clip) - when we can really just stop and release this grasping/pushing away ‘a tremendous intimacy with everything’ can occur. This is a great way of putting it imo. I also read this the other day in Wallis’ Recognition Sutras: ‘The real I is not personal but universal. That most intimate wordless sense of yourself is felt in exactly the same way by all sentient beings, because it IS the same. Awareness is one and undifferentiated’ (p.195). Both point to a ‘now’ where the inner and the outer are no longer distinct – that’s my take on it. Best wishes
1 reply
Hi guys - anyone into the Smashing Pumpkins? Have watched/listened to this new track on youtube several times. Great song imo. Bit retro/synth//early 80’s dance about. Some great illustrations of flexibility of the female form and interesting lyrics. I think it has this ‘freeing’ lighter quality to it: https://youtu.be/2AN_GRWlU7k Should get the body moving a bit - but also a bit of an ear worm :-)
1 reply
Brian you write: ‘Non-dualistic approaches typically see us humans as being part and parcel of the natural world, physical beings in a physical world. The goal of meditation is to accept this reality, not being attached to the world being any particular way, but coming to accept things as they are’. I interpret what you're saying as - keep it simple, humans are no big deal, not that special. We’re just one small part of the evolutionary process which is essentially just a physical thing. Meditation will help clear up any confusion that this isn’t the case. Well I guess it’s also about how non-duality is perceived and how big/expanded that part and parcel can actually get. To me, it can range from ‘what a nice feeling of connection and peace/harmony I just had whilst walking the dog along that forested lakeshore’, to ‘holy crap, I just basically disappeared, yet some part of me recognised that I’m essentially the same as everything else and that somehow thoughts that ‘I’ have are involved in the creation of the world this ‘I’ experiences. Recent discussion pertaining to Sam Harris’ psilocybin trip take this to yet another level when Harris says: “It’s not merely consciousness without the feeling of self, its the utter erasure of anything recognisably human about your mind” WTF - how do you get your head around that? - What is it that realises this? What is left? So in my view there’s much more to this non-duality stuff than you are letting on - you are underplaying it. These days I think it’s less about loss of ‘self’ and more about expansion as SELF. Meditation is one methodology by which such a transition can occur, obviously certain drugs are another as is deep wilderness ‘immersion’. The more this ‘I’ can let go ‘without clinging’ the easier it is to be ‘sky’. In regard to this letting things be and not grasping/pushing away, I very much enjoyed watching this the other day: https://youtu.be/PZxj6_CARqg And Jen - I hear you and acknowledge and appreciate the honesty and realism in what you said the other day. All the best. .
1 reply
@ Jen and Osho on the other post - very nicely put. Helpful words for all of us. I’m no‘New Ager’ (may have been a bit of one in the 80’s), but times surely are interesting and ‘difficult’. I’ve seen the fear in the eyes of a number of folk lately as they peer out from above their masks. The human race has a lot on. It also seems to me that in spite of the calls for kindness many folk are retreating into themselves with a lowering interest in others (planet included). Solution imo (without giving away your ‘personal power’ as Jen says) - keep replacing the fear and self-centredness with as Swami psilocybinanda (:-)) says: ‘compassion, love, forgiveness, tolerance, understanding, charity, kindness etc’, - in action as best we can. Best wishes to all
1 reply
Hi Brian Nicely put and also cool to see the door being left open .. I was shockingly brought back to ‘earth’ the other day while working. Inadvertently touched a live wire on the other side of a fence and ‘BOOM’ - didn’t get thrown backwards but man my whole body felt this massive belt (wondered what they were trying to keep in - an elephant?) Been somewhat more ‘electrostatic’ ever since. So the science of positive and negative and the flows between, certainly don’t go away if you stop believing (don't pay attention?) to such things at least in a physical sense. The great sages Ren and Stimpy pointed this out: ‘Don’t whizz on the electric fence!’
1 reply
Manjit - another set of cool posts mate. I enjoyed the Sam Harris talk. I’d say it’s one of the best descriptions of experiences that are very hard to describe and clearly pretty much on the same page as what the mystics go on about. This sort of stuff needs to find it’s way into teachings such as Sant Mat. I’ve reproduced a couple of quotes (after hearing twice): “What follows is a vision so blinding in its beauty and intensity that it shatters your mind, it just unmakes you” “We have a word for love for instance but what’s the word for all the love you can possibly feel and all the love you recognised have failed to feel every moment in your life up until this moment?” “It’s not merely consciousness without the feeling of self, its the utter erasure of anything recognisably human about your mind” Awesome, beautiful and totally challenging descriptions imo. Such states can ensue in the presence of awakened people, in deep nature and of course in deep meditation - but the shrooms clearly can facilitate such realisations. I get the impression Sam Harris’s view of consciousness has been altered, possibly more towards it’s existence as ‘fundamental’ and not just a product of the brain’s workings. That’s my take on it. “Where could One go? Where is consciousness not? It is a state of pure madness. Ecstatic, joyous, astonishing, overflowing with love - but awe-full madness, too. This is not a state of consciousness your mother is accustomed to” —- Ha Ha! For some strange reason the ‘Mother in law’ comes to mind :-) And of course you still can’t just go to the local shop and grab a bunch of said mushrooms - they’re an illegal substance! Perhaps it’s because there is a connection between the disintegration of atoms and large atmospheric mushroom clouds!
1 reply
It seems to me that a very small % just get 'it’. A large % are unconcerned/not interested in getting 'it’ and folks such as the like who post on this blog realise (at some stage?) that we require someone to point out to us that we don’t need someone to point ‘it’ out to us because we’re already ‘it’. Mystery.
1 reply
Yes - you can tell the DL has real concern for the planet. And he’s alerting us to the global water issue. People, while seemingly aware that glaciers etc are melting and adding to sea-level rise, don’t make the connection that base-flow for many major rivers is glacial melt-water. Base-flow gone when glacier gone. What to do? “Now we should utilize our brains with compassion, and a sense of concern”. We’ve got to use science as well as ‘active concern’ to look after our catchments from large to small scale. Most folk know that one very good way is to revegetate with trees - trees/shrubs planted particularly at catchment heads/stream and spring heads help to regulate flow, keep quality up and temperatures less variable. Trees take in our CO2 and return O2 to us. They also help with biodiversity “Community is the source of our happiness, so we must take care of the community.” Along with getting involved with a catchment group, if one is able/has time/is inclined - then another great way to help both community and planet is via a Community Garden. Growing stuff to help feed oneself and others is another thing that supports us all mentally and physically. Urgently needed at this time. Organic/permaculture design really useful to grow better and manage constraints imposed by the likes of lack of/variability with water supply. Best wishes
1 reply
Hallofookinlooya Brian. At last something much clearer re the One and the Soul from GSD. Thanks Osho for pointing me to it! Thus far I’ve only watched the video for the few minutes you indicate. GSD never mentions the mind which is interesting. I felt good when he said ‘The moment you see yourself as the soul then you will never see yourself as separated’. I.E.The SOUL or SOUL is not a separated entity. Been going on about this for years. What GSD needs to do now is clear up all this dogma associated with the teachings as well as the cloud over his financial dealings! Goodonya Osho.
1 reply
Hey Georgy I read your comments and the word ‘contrary-ness’ comes to mind. I am also reminded of a colourful character in an old fairly outrageous UK TV series (you probably know it if you are a Brit), called ‘Balls of Steel’ - you’re a bit like ‘The Annoying Devil’ :) When it comes to discussing Manjit’s BS, be good if you could be less generalised and say I believe Manjit is spouting bullshit because ….. and give some clear reasons based on your own experience to support your view. It’s certainly true that sometimes his (M’s) comments are quite long, but I find there is quite a bit in there worth consideration. I often have to read things several times to get a better handle on what he says. In regard to the recent posts I’ll further elaborate on my response to them. For example, Manjit’s bringing up the notion of juridical/retributive Karma. I never really looked at it this way before and when I stand back and think about what’s said (as I remember) in the RSSB teachings, I agree. It’s like a punitive set up and not too dissimilar from Christian notions of fallen souls, sin etc. All fine if you want to believe in that stuff. To me it just seems to promote dualistic dogma and helps to keep folk trapped in a belief system that ‘limits’ them. These days I prefer focusing not on karma ‘happening’ to a ‘separate tarnished soul’ but more linking soul to a much broader, life-affirming set up - expanded consciousness. This is a state that progresses to be less and less affected by ‘karma’ as we wake up. In regard to Manjit’s points about evolution from cell to foetus and baby human, this I found really interesting. I’ll put it in a context of the late 80’s and early 90’s when I spent several years as a rebirthing/conscious breathing practitioner. Rebirthers are big on ‘cellular memory’. The process is in part about using the breathing technique to help release various trauma/false beliefs undergone/generated throughout one’s life especially in childhood and during one’s birth. I had this client who pretty much went right through her life ‘clearing and releasing’ lots of stored emotion/angst/intense experiences. What really amazed me was towards the end of her sessions she relived past time as a Christian, being mauled by lions in an arena in Ancient Rome. Very real to her and very real to me as we went through it. Cellular memory? Past lives? Genetic remnants? I guess the point I’m making is to be in less of a hurry to pronounce this as BS. The only thing we can say is true for us is our own experience. Unless you have tried it and investigated it don’t knock it - find out for yourself. If you get the chance to stand up there and talk to GSD - ask him ‘what’s the deal with karma? Some people say the RSSB teachings present it in a very juridical almost retributive way…’ You might end up having an Osho moment and he’ll tell you that when it all comes down to it karma is actually bullshit as there is nobody really there for it to happen to. I saw this the other day on the same site where the Sukshma Sharira is mentioned. It’s from the Mandukya Upanishad: The world never really emerged Nor will it undergo dissolution There’s really no one who’s bound No one seeking enlightenment And no one who becomes enlightened. All the best PS - to 777 - if you believe in planetary evolution/geological time the Himalayas were formed 50my ago when India crashed into the Eurasian Plate - there are fossils up there of various older sea creatures - but as I understand much younger in age than 1BY
1 reply
Bloomin ‘eck Manjit, just looked at the link to your RSS posts. Such Rapscalliousnous :) I enjoyed the read and recommend it to any of the readers here (if they haven't checked it out), as another thought provoking, cogent and interesting post - ‘Souls’ and ‘karma’ - two of my favourite topics, with interpretations completely assumed as correct by unquestioning followers, particularly the Sant Mat variety. I’ve cut and pasted a few of Manjit’s points/views (M) with some response comment from me: M - “The mechanics of karma, in Radhasoami dogma, are described in the juridical and retributive sense”. Me - so it seems. While I no longer believe myself to be ‘driven’ by karma I remember how as a ‘conforming’ RSSB person initially I never really questioned why the teachings were presented (and it looks like they still are) in this way. At the time I thought the Sant Mat path was the royal road and ‘highest’ of all paths. Why question the teachings? The other initially unquestioned belief and a view that most of us were brought up to believe is that we ‘have’ a soul. These days I’m more inclined to consider soul as what we actually are i.e. we ‘are’ soul, we don’t have one. Waking up involves realising this more imo. M - “I’ve been paying attention to this religion [RSSB] and it's followers for 3 decades now, and I have never even heard or seen so much as a whiff of supporting "evidence" from the inner experiences of any initiate. I mean I've heard of alleged experiences of a few "previous lives" (which, by the way, almost always examples of resonant karma, continuation of traits and interests, but containing no evidence of juridical karma which is how karma is actually defined in RS and Indian/Buddhist metaphysics generally….” Me - Interesting point especially in regard to how internal experiences in the RSSB tradition (from my memory of the teachings) have definitely little to say about how karma operates. I guess such revelations are reserved for those who actually go beyond the mind in a way where they can see all their so-called former mental self creations. This to me would be pretty much an awakened state. Free from the ‘karma affected’ contracted self. Which brings me back to my view that karma is something that affects mind/body not the so-called ‘soul’. Soul is more about expansion of consciousness not the karma drama dharma that affects these isolated ‘selves’. With regard to karma and ‘reincarnation’ here are a couple of interesting viewpoints. The first is from Eckhart Tolle at around 5 mins in he says: ‘You can observe reincarnation in yourself many times during the day when you identify with a thought …’ https://youtu.be/FVu6yU2plAo This other clip although firmly in the Advaitic/vedic camp, introduces a new term I’d never heard of before. I believe it supports my view that the soul (which I consider to be ‘atma’) is not the thing that ‘travels’ (from body to body). What travels is the ‘Sukshma Sharira’ - subtle body. I like how the Swami describes this: https://youtu.be/Zb1mLzRL3wc M - “Some scientists speculate that from the moment of conception to becoming a human fetus, the human being goes through the entire evolutionary process from single cell organism to human being via all our past ancestors. This suggests we all contain within us some neuro-biological traces - and by speculative implication trace "memories" - of all these other "incarnations" that life has gone through to evolve to us, and if not directly "through", then related via genetic potentiality.” Me - another really interesting perspective: 9 months - single cell to baby human - very much like an evolutionary process. Which scientists are suggesting this Manjit? Best wishes to all
1 reply
Brian - what a cool tale of being honest with oneself and how re-engaging in this way helps us to start recognising B.S. better. My own RSSB DDF (Dogma Detection Facility) was certainly developing during this time. I reckon this has to be part of our so-called ‘progress’ on the ‘path’. A lot of Howard's story resonates with me. From the behaviour of RSSB management, the inaccessibility of the ‘Master’, the loss of that original closeness/loving vibe at home satsangs etc. One could say this is about people having to take much more responsibility for their so-called spiritual development and wake up. On the other hand it could all be about the demise of something that many of us used to (and still?) hold very dear and we’ve had to move on, probably both and more. Like in my recent comments with j over those Q&A videos, I still have issue (though it’s lessening) reconciling the ‘burn the books’, ‘soul is the truth’ side of GSD, with his standard dogma-filled party line approach, complicated by the big finger with ‘fraud’ on it that seems to point his way. Mystery. I really liked that bit of poetry from Rumi - it [sufi poetry] continues to gel with something on the inside. ‘Who says words with my mouth? Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul? I cannot stop asking.’ See even Rumi didn’t have it sorted! Maybe there’s hope for us all yet. Do you know how Howard is doing now and how he views GSD/RSSB? Be interesting. Pass on my regards. Cheers
1 reply
Hi j Again I’m pretty much on the same page in regard to your clarification comments. What’s interesting and confusing in all this is that the Sant Mat Guru 2/3 teachings (as often discussed by Osho et al, as well as his [Osho’s] own interpretations of interactions and discourse with GSD) are more in accord with my own experience as it has evolved over the years. So for the majority of time GSD is peddling the standard party line, but now and again offers something ‘refreshing’ and ‘modern’ possibly simpler, and more to the point without the dogma. I believe an example of this in regard to the teachings is the recent book ‘From self to Shabd’. However, further confusion is created by GSD’s apparent shady financial dealings - that many would think is not the behaviour of a true Sant Mat Master. So WTF? I assume the Professor you’re referring to is David Lane? Also am I to assume you are initiated into another line of Sant Mat or some close relative and that you have spent a lot of time with RSSB followers over the years? I appreciate what you write but If you’re not RSSB initiated why such a beef with GSD? BFN
1 reply
Hi j - challenging comment re the recent GSD Q&A session. I looked at a few of the new youtube clips and it’s interesting to see GSD doing his thing again. I wonder about the timing - suddenly after all these years official video is now put up for all to see. One part of me thinks it’s in response to limitations imposed by Covid 19 etc. A cynical part considers it to be more of a PR campaign to get better press and garner support. Most of what you write I agree with, though I think you embellish things a bit when using words such as ‘inexcusable’ and ‘moral cowardice’ - I don’t recall seeing/hearing these terms in the play through. Also you add in a substantial list of reasons why a so called ‘marked soul’ would leave the path, which of course GSD does not consider. I agree with you that people need to read what’s being said very closely and it’s good that we can do just that now, even though ‘direct quoting’ is a no no, though paraphrasing is ok (another seemingly non-sensical rule passed on from the RSSB management). In regards to the ‘path’ I would say many of us who have/had a long association with Sant Mat/RSSB teachings and way of life can’t really just ditch it, given our many years of association and because we’re still evolving and exploring ways and means to get a better handle on what life/death/truth is. So we are on this ‘path’ and Sant Mat did and possibly still does provide us direction and guidance on the way. Just like the time and energy given to your critique of the GSD dialogue - it’s good for folk who can think for themselves and have open minds to read it. Perhaps there’s truth to what Karim said recently after his discussion with a satsangi who was aware of Brian (June 9) …….’Brian was perhaps more dedicated to the Path than any other satsangi he knew of. So I [Karim]wanted to add that what the guy said about Brian may also be true about all the ex-ers here’. Returning to the dialogue, it is my view that the seemingly unquestioned blind belief of the questioner in the segment of the Q&A is part of the problem. I’m judging the fellow by thinking he’s automatically assumed there is such a thing called ‘marked souls’ (which by the way I always had a problem with). GSD goes along with the conversation and continues the standard story about 4 lifetimes/karma/next births etc, all things that I now believe are essentially dogma. It’s my opinion that GSD confuses and possibly contradicts such dogma in a previous Q&A. In the 002 session he says at 3.30 - ‘Your real being is not your body but your soul’. To me ‘Real being’ = truth of what you are, your essence, that which does not change. How can such a thing be affected by karma? Thanks for your input j Best wishes
1 reply
Jesse Always an interesting perspective. I guess you’d probably say we’re all pretty dodgey when it comes down to it. In regard to Australian Aboriginal culture I read this recently and have to say was quite shocked and appalled : https://www.smh.com.au/national/blast-destroys-one-of-country-s-oldest-known-aboriginal-heritage-sites-20200526-p54wmt.html 46,000 years of history for God’s sake. It is of particular interest because I used to work in this industry as a geologist, and one of the reasons I left was this very issue. Over time, the company I worked for were also involved in the removal of Aboriginal sacred sites, and the roads upon which the indigenous folk lay in protest had bulldozers on them. Looks like not a lot has changed in 35+ years. I remember visiting other such sites and had feelings of awe and reverence. A mix of thoughts about struggle, survival, tribalism, evolution, as well as community, ancestors, wisdom, and powerful knowledgeable connection of humanity with the natural world over eons. A good term for it is ‘Deep Time’. BFN
1 reply
Hi guys Been looking over the recent comments, thanks - great discussion, what I like about this blog! I believe there are few other places where you can get lots of cool input and perspectives, particularly from people who have and are practicing various meditation and other approaches to understand ‘themselves’. The big question - is this mysterious thing called ‘consciousness’ purely a result of what goes on (mostly?) in our brains or does ‘it’ somehow exist both within and outside of the brain? Brian seems to be always throwing out the challenge - look prove to me that what you’re harping on about is real, back it up with peer-reviewed science and I’ll consider it. This is good because it continues to make us reflect on what our experience is and how to communicate it. Part of the ‘problem’ is how this is done, given the limitations imposed by our own minds and language. Likewise, saying that ‘I’m only going to consider it, if it comes from a peer-reviewed journal’, also limits things by framing the issue in terms of the scientific world-view and language only - quite likely uninformed on meditational practice/expanded consciousness/non-dual experience. Weather it’s just in the brain or not, it’s my view and experience that we can access/become a state of expanded unitive consciousness - just like folks have done for millennia. I’m certainly no expert in neuroscience, but I particularly like perspectives put by people who are both neuroscientists and meditators such as Majorie Woollacott. In light of her experience she believes the brain acts like a filter to wider consciousness. It’s like this consciousness is in a contracted state in order for us to operate in life as ‘individuals’. Such contraction is responsible for the development of a sense of self and belief in being a ‘separate’ entity. Thinking is integral to this. So logically if this individual thinking (some say linked to a place in the brain called the Default Mode Network - yes there are peer-reviewed papers on this), is reduced, the possibility of removing/lessening the filter exists and a wider experience of consciousness becomes accessible, (what Spencer is referring to when he says that meditation shuts down parts of the brain?- some good links btw). This makes sense to me, as does the use of other ‘methodologies’ to access wider consciousness such as entheogens. I think the true nature of thought can be revealed in meditation, as can the true nature of meditation be revealed in the absence of thought. Mindfulness gives insight into the busyness/fleeting/coming and going nature of thought and helps one to not get wound up in such thought. Going deeper in possibly longer sessions (using other techniques also) can shift one into more of a witness mode, where ‘Awareness’ starts to gain the upper-hand so to speak, as thoughts fall away. It is my view such awareness is tied to this ‘wider consciousness’. In her book Infinite Awareness, Woollacott says ‘Meditation is a state of awareness without thoughts’ (p.14), ‘there is a level accessed in meditation that is beyond the neuron’ (p. 23), ‘experience of this subtler-than-subatomic reality’ (p.73). While I’m not that into discussing things in terms of ‘levels’ I like what she says. Be good if more neuroscientists could actually start practicing techniques such as meditation. They could then use their own insight to better inform and accurately portray the nature of this terrane ‘beyond the neuron’. As Spencer says: ‘It's far too early to claim a dark room is empty.’ Well said. Best wishes
1 reply
Copy that Brian - thought something wasn’t quite right - still, dropped the ball! Best wishes to all
1 reply
Hi Brian - enjoyed reading your response to the ‘satsangi’, though a bit surprised you say you still go to satsang on Sunday! I was going to post this on another recent thread, however I think it could fit here. "nobody is born or dies” IMO this is one of the coolest things said about the nature of our ‘reality’. I read a similar version of it in some of the online pdfs of Nisargadatta’s teachings many moons ago. Thanks Turan for your recent quote and also to you Osho for linking it to the so-called new Sant Mat teachings. In my view this saying really and profoundly simplifies things and points to what we actually are, rather than what we believe ourselves to be. It both frees your mind and does your head in at the same time. Of course most of us may only get a hint or brief taste of what the likes of Nisargadatta is on about here. Yet, to me if we really get this, it fundamentally changes one’s head/heart and fires a massive broadside into traditional teachings based on notions of separation, reincarnation, time etc. That there is no enduring self, that the self is a mental construct, is ‘impermanent’ etc, means ultimately there is no-one/thing there to be born or die. Seems to me we are that that does not change, always ‘is’. What ‘this’ is will continue to be a hot topic on this blog— Awareness is a good name for it. Some even call it soul. Going back to RSSB I think Osho is right when he says that the teachings have ‘fundamentally’ changed - at least for those followers who can still think for themselves. Have a look at the book ‘From self to Shabd’, it even has a chapter entitled ‘The illusion of a separate self’. Big gun Gnanis like Nisargadatta and Ramana Maharshi are now mentioned and the author writes things like: ‘The misconception that we exist as a separate individual is a big hurdle on the path of spirituality’ p.15 and ‘the formless consciousness in you is your true guru’ p.70 Can’t recall these guys being quoted anywhere previously in RSSB lit, and in my view the speak considers consciousness as much as it does the shabd. Do timeless teachings evolve? I guess some would say who cares? Well I still do because the newer version aligns more with my own experience. However, it appears older RSSB dogma is potentially locking people in dualism. That GSD could also (eventually?) be heading to court doesn’t help. BFN
1 reply