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Tim Rimmer
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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!’
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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!
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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.
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Copy that Brian - thought something wasn’t quite right - still, dropped the ball! Best wishes to all
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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
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Hi Osho Always interesting to read what you post. Another revisit regarding RSSB and its followers and the likelihood of general confusion, denial etc. Not surprising. It does seem the direction is now? more ‘advaitic’ and less ‘bhaktic’. Such things were pointed out when discussing some of the recent literature with Sonia (well, from my perspective). I still think that integration of both head and heart are key for any realisation/awakening. So its about both understanding and surrendering. So how about a new term to describe a one who represents this?….. Let’s label them as a “GYAN-O-BHAKTA’ … : -) Term could also mean: ‘The whole that results from an agglomeration of interacting microorganisms’ or ‘something that used to roam around in the Jurassic’. Cheers
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James Sutherland - how are you doing? I’ll pass on the suggested challenge thanks - the Jesus thing just doesn’t do it for me. However thanks for assigning me to the Cobra gang! Whose gang are you with? I’m gonna get some PJs and I’ll be looking for a pair with a snake motif - Cobra of course and probably the spectacled species as I can’t read any of this without glasses. BTW dragons are cool but I think Cobras especially blue ones (psilocybin connection - OK Brian?) are cooler - seen that picture of Shiva as the ‘universe’ with the cobra draped around his neck? And what about the story of the giant cobra who spread its hood over the meditating Buddha to keep the rain off … Polishing that Harley in anticipation of an upcoming ride? Best wishes Tim cc other members of the PJ Cobras.
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Hey Sonia You are certainly contributing to a lot of conversations and I would like to acknowledge your ongoing honesty and open-ness. Re the neck - all the very best. I can relate to some degree as I’ve had on-going trouble over the last 25 years or so - some structural change affecting nerves/blood supply etc. The free will debate will never end! One way to think about it is that free will/lack of, relates to ‘individuals’. When through some sort of realisation this ‘individual’ is seen to be mostly a mental/emotional construct, then one could say the game is over as the issue becomes moot, same for karma also. Of course it then becomes the game of well what the f’k am I then? The RSSB teachings have confused this issue by keep going on about the soul being an individual entity therefor transferring the free-will issue to it, when to me the soul is more about expanded consciousness rather than a limited ‘packet’ (self). That book your husband just passed onto you, is in my view a move in this ‘consciousness’ direction by RSSB. I read it last year and (from memory) commented that it appears to use the terms shabd, consciousness and soul interchangeably. Nisargadatta was even mentioned. Holy Advaitics! Yet I felt it still kept reverting to standard dogma at times, almost like having to tow the party line. Looking at it critically this brings back the same old debate about what the teachings are really about - and one way to put it is they are not what they seem. 777 a champion of RSSB and GSD on this blog keeps hinting at it when he says things like ‘soul = shabd’ , ‘ YOU WERE NEVER EVER : NOT’, [people] ‘are the All Pervading Purusha’. I agree that this is ultimately what things are about, yet I can’t recall any older RSSB book stating things like this, mind you my book collection is gathering a lot of dust.… Best wishes
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Brian Enjoyed this photo/prose reflective post. You live in a lovely spot and no doubt enjoy getting out there on your ‘ride on’. I see a lovely attended garden and yet is there some wildness just out of view? Cool critters about? I particularly liked the ‘intrinsici-ness’ of the photos, they show you have the knack for capturing more of the essence of the scene, like the one you use as title for this blog with chair and ZuZu? Always good to present something in addition to or as counter-balance to logical and scientific explanations for things. If you continue down this track you’ll be writing poetry next… :-) Hope everyone is doing OK.
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More food for thought Manjit. Regarding mythological narrative. Well I guess we’ve all been following some sort of narrative to try and make sense of things as we go along. The danger is allowing ourselves to fall into complacency. Yet a core element in many traditions is this ‘handing over’ thing - some folk seem to have done it. Has this lessened their ability to still think critically? Do some people start to see ‘kal’ everywhere? It was my observation that some RSSB followers did/do but this was more of a passing phase, until for some, the scaffolding was removed and they saw the ‘light’ and either stayed/moved on. What really interests me are your points about previous mystics and ‘non-dualists’ not practicing dhyan, but rather they (including the likes of Kabir and Nanak) practiced breath yoga in order to hear the inner sound. Was this a step on the way or the main highway? Be good to see some further intel on this? I do recall you posting a fairly long list from the Adi-Granth a while back. How about some other references? It’s clear quite a few former practitioners of Sant Mat RSSB (including several on this blog), now align their meditation with different mindfulness practices that involve breath awareness. However ‘breath yoga’ is quite different with much more specific focus imo. And of course RSSB teachings (from memory) were pretty staunch on not using breath techniques at all in meditation - they were considered a type of ‘lower order’ practice. In light of your view of the origins of shabd yoga you’d think such techniques would be kept/utilised, given they were good enough for the likes of Kabir and Nanak. Best wishes to all
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Jane Thanks for the perspective. Have not got much into Jainism. However I believe some of the best temples in India are Jain constructions. My wife and I were awed at the craft we witnessed at Ranukpur. And one of our coolest ever adventures involved a trip to a place called Srvanabelagola where you walk up this granite hill to see the statue of Gomateshvara a Jain deity - very memorable. tucson if you are reading this - Great surf vid. Waves of consequence - some of those guys got seriously pitched! Nearest I ever got to Cloudbreak was a reef at a Resort on the main island and it was 4 foot not 20+ Still riding? Best wishes to all
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Particle interconnection throughout the universe, I guess that means there really is no free will, fair enough. At the human level, it has always seemed fairly clear to me that we have no real autonomy or free-will. We are so bound by our conditioning that until we can see how our mind works/reacts and intercede before it does it’s thing we’ll be subject to cause and effect that we can’t ‘own’. To describe this in terms of ‘shifting particles’ as Greene describes is sort of interesting but I find it hard to get to grips with given it’s just a snippet from a book. One reason is because I wasn't sure of the connection between Greene’s quotes, e.g. he says ‘if we had the superhuman vision invoked earlier’ - was he referring to an ability to witness how natural laws affect particles? Last night I read a few pages from ‘Coming to Our Senses’ by Jon Kabat-Zinn where he mentioned ‘The Elegant Universe’ - another book by Brian Greene, that (as I interpret JKZ) talks of the big bang coming out of ‘nothing’ and that it (the universe) comprises eleven dimensions and only 4 have unfurled - can't remember hearing that before! JKZ then starts talking about scale, from dimensions of cosmic primordial potentiality right through to particles. What sort of particles is Greene on about? Bits of dirt, molecules, atoms, quarks? I assume he means atoms. If so, are not these particles 99% space? The remaining 1% a tiny mass and something that flies around in zones of probability, itself made of things that seem to behave not just as a particle but also wave like? Break all this down and what’s left - the energy of nothing? No-thing? Jon Kabat Zinn alludes to meditational practice (perhaps Greene’s superhuman vision?) where we can look into and experience this. In the writings of Nisargadatta he was often talking of the primeval atom, the first cause - and the need to get familiar with that. As Dungeness says this is what the Mystics do. I enjoyed what Zabbat-Zinn says as his story continues : ‘But because it all seems to “originate” at the moment of the big bang, we are still faced with something coming out of nothing, space coming out of “before space”and time beginning at a certain point, before which there was none, and all matter coming out of nowhere as infinite pure energy…..Another way to look at things says that something cannot come out of nothing, and especially that consciousness cannot come out of matter. That is more of a Buddhist view” (Coming to Our Senses p. 601). Best wishes
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Hey Sonia I had a look at the link to ‘Essential Sant Mat’ from the RSSB website. After an initial scan, some of it does seem to be shifting focus. A few direct quotes: 1. ’A true spiritual master is interested only in developing the disciple’s awareness of truth’ Can’t argue with that - however I find it hard to remember if it was ever put that way in the literature I used to read, and there are several lines in the article that mention ‘Awareness’. 2. ‘…merging our consciousness with the creative energy or divine power which permeates every human being and indeed the entire cosmos’. Ok = Other words for shabd. Yet it also seems to becoming more ‘inclusive’? Maybe in future they may add in references to the Divine Mother or even Shakti? - Holy Gaucamole! 3. ‘….the natural consequence of being born into a body that will not last forever. True masters view the present human life as one in a series of lives, governed by cause and effect’. While karma is mentioned, what’s interesting here is that nothing is said about the ‘soul’ being affected by karma. In my view this is another and more useful signal that what gets affected by karma is mind not soul. Clarified further when Charan Singh is quoted: 4. ‘When it [the mind] becomes attached to the inner sound and light..’ The only time soul is mentioned is in a quote from Jagat Singh: 5. ‘All the pleasures of the world, the attachment to body and senses, the I-ness and duality have to be discarded before the soul can become fit to partake of the sweetness of Nam. Sets a hi bar for us plebs. Soul comes into play in/is a state of non-separation. It’s about the totality of consciousness imo. As I keep harping on- the interpretation of soul as some sort of separated individualised entity is problematic. Current RSSB teachings seem to be evolving? to address this while at the same time maintaining a line of dogma to keep the organisation functioning? Oh and by the way a last quote: 6. ‘….live a clean, honest and moral life, in all areas of personal and sexual relations and in business. A true master sets very high standards here, well beyond what is required by society at large’ While this may still be the case it sure looks like this is problematic also! Best wishes
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Did you hear the one about the bearded baba who shaved off the face fuzz and sported a moustache instead. However, he got fed up with the handlebar style and went for something trendier. Henceforth a rumour then spread by blind believers saying that the ‘Mou’ had changed. But more seriously wouldn’t it be good if GSD just fronted to either legally clear his name and this on going saga up or take the rap. I tend to agree with what j wrote. One small part of me still hangs on to the idea that he’s somehow innocent. This thought helps me to partly reconcile i.e. justify all the years spent following RSSB. Yet a bigger part of me considers GSD really has dropped the ball and with it a great deal of credibility around the fundamentals of an organisation I really did once feel part of but now believe to be flawed. It all comes from the top.
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Brian Had a look at what you posted from Le Doux (a neuroscientist). First thing that comes to mind is whether or not he has researched any spiritual paths, been in nature a lot and/or is a meditator? If he was I might be more receptive to his take on consciousness, which from the quotes you give he believes is a function of the brain only? He (Le Doux) says ‘behavior has mostly been generated by nonconscious systems, and that behavior, even in humans, should be assumed to be nonconsciously controlled unless proven otherwise’. What does he mean by a nonconscious system? Something that is not conscious? I suppose he’s talking about human evolution being driven more by necessity and ‘external factors’ rather than choice? My thinking is that this is part of the problem with us humans - If we were more tuned into/conscious about these ‘systems’ we could well have more control on how we choose to react and therefor what our behaviour will be? I presume he is talking about such behaviour when he mentions anthropocentrism and anthropomorphism however saying the latter is about attributing too much to animals I don’t really get in the context given. I follow your argument about memory in regard to experience, and that this is a strong point Le Doux’ makes in regard to how humans survive and evolve. Le Doux says: ‘Separation of the history of emotions and other states of consciousness from the deep history of survival circuits allows us to see our place in this ancient story’. So part of the link as far as I can tell is that it is important to limit excess information that could impede/reduce connection with our survival strategies. Such info relates to events with emotional charge etc that may not be recorded correctly - fair comment. I wonder what Le Doux means by ‘other states of consciousness’? My view is that his view is limited and that we can only get to know the whole story when we have access to all available information. I reckon his use of the term ‘survival circuit’ could well be another name for the brain’s DMN or Default Mode Network, which to my current understanding is a kind of consciousness filtering system employed by the brain as a survival aid. However, when you look at what Pollan wrote and what is said about it by other neuroscientists, a lot of folk consider it to be the seat of the ‘self’ as it appears to govern a lot of behaviour that generates such. You (Brian) talk of conscious awareness being the tip of the iceberg. I’m assuming the picture involves a tip with a vast unknown bulk below. How about it being a tip with a vast expanding bulk above? I.e. the bigger picture is chopped down so to speak by such things as the DMN which helps generate this self with all its belief in separation and need to survive. As has been discussed several times on this blog various drugs can alter this perception. As can deep immersion in ‘nature’ a cool look from an ‘awakened one’ and of course meditation. As tucson reminded us: ‘We brains do the brainy stuff and continually fool ourselves. Thus, Self and 'other' are born. The search for self begins in a sea of 'other', always seeking what it already is. Separation and the resulting suffering and anxiety appear. Awakening is seeing:... The Universe is Conscious. This makes so much more sense to me.
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Hey s* Always cool to see/read a sufi story! Afterwards I went to the bookcase and grabbed a book and opened it at this page: “The Gamble of the Self” ‘Real prayer can only be yours When you have staked and gambled yourself away And your essence is pure. Then “a joy of the eyes” are your prayers And no separation remains, For knower and known are one and the same”. from Shabistari The Secret Rose Garden. Best wishes
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