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When and How Shall We Think?

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift
and the rational mind is a faithful servant.
We have created a society
that honors the servant
and has forgotten the gift.”
~ Albert Einstein
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
~ Albert Einstein
“I think with intuition. The basis of true thinking is intuition.
Indeed, it is not intellect, but intuition which advances humanity.
Intuition tells a man his purpose in life.
One never goes wrong following his feelings.
I don’t mean emotions, I mean feelings, for feelings and intuition are one.”
~ Albert Einstein
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
~ King Solomon – Proverbs 23:7



Q. When and how shall we think?

A. The power of thought is like a tool.
Don’t use it, unless you choose it.

Before thinking, still the ‘voice in your head’;
and, feel and listen to your Heart.

Think first with your Heart, not your head.

As stated in ancient Indian scriptures:

“There is a light that shines beyond all things on Earth, …
beyond the highest, the very highest heavens.
This is the light that shines in your Heart.”
~Chandogya Upanishad 3.13.7


In your Heart shines the Eternal light of Truth – the light of Love.
Logic has its limits. But Truth and Love are boundless and timeless.

So, as Einstein implies:

Honor your Heart, over your rational mind.
Use your mind to serve and follow your Heart.


Related Post: How Can We Think More Objectively?

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Remember!

Remember God, forget the rest.
Forget who you think you are,
to know what you really are.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
Remember then: there is only one time that is important–Now!
It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power.
~ Leo Tolstoy

“Let never day nor night unhallow’d pass,

But still remember what the Lord hath done.”

~ William Shakespeare



Don’t forget what you knew
before you withdrew,
from dwelling in Heaven’s domain.

Recall your affinity,
with dazzling Divinity,
and in that Presence remain.

Remember with gratitude,
life is beatitude,
even its sorrows and pain;

For we’re all in God’s Grace,
every time, every place,

and Forever (S)HE will reign!



Ron’s audio singing of Remember

Listen to

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Be an Open Skeptic

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all,
then accept it and live up to it.”
~ Buddha
“The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.”
~ Buddha


"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it."

Be a skeptic.

Doubt dogma.

Question the unquestionable.

Contest “common wisdom”.

Hear the heretic, whose words are prophetic.

Be ever open, to receiving uncommon wisdom –

From your Heart!



Ron’s audio recitation of Be an Open Skeptic

Listen to


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“Be Here Now”, “Rama”, and Rainbow Synchronicity ~ Ron’s Memoirs

How can the divine Oneness be seen?
In beautiful forms, breathtaking wonders, awe-inspiring miracles?
The Tao is not obliged to present itself in this way.
If you are willing to be lived by it, you will
 see it everywhere,
even in the most ordinary things. 

~ Lao Tzu




Gandhi’s appearance as my inner guide began a synchronistic sequence of connections with Hindu teachings and teachers.

Soon after est and Silva, Allen Chase, the same friend who had urged me to take the est training, successfully importuned me to read a book called “Be Here Now”. It told about the spiritual transformation of Dr. Richard Alpert, Harvard Ph.D, into Baba Ram Dass, a Western teacher of Eastern wisdom, after meeting his Hindu guru – Neem Karoli Baba.

“Be Here Now” was my first memorable exposure to Hindu and other Eastern teachings. It was for me an extraordinary book, unlike any other I’d ever before seen or read. Filled with beautiful calligraphy, art, and photos, it imaginatively presented a fascinating melange of Eastern ideas previously unknown to me.

“Be Here Now” concluded with a sort of spiritual ‘cook book’ section, with many suggestions and ‘recipes’ for various spiritual practices. Some suggestions interested me though I didn’t immediately adopt any of them. But the book planted seeds for spiritual practices which I later adopted. The first of these practices – simple repetition as a mantra of the word “Rama”, a Hindu name for God – soon manifested in my life, in a surprising way and with remarkable continuing consequences.

Shortly after reading “Be Here Now”, in June 1977 I spent several days in Honolulu, Hawaii, where I was taking depositions. I stayed at a beautiful hotel on the outskirts of the city near a state park, and I decided to linger for the weekend after conclusion of the depositions.

Returning to the hotel after the depositions, I had time for a late Friday afternoon walk in the state park which was a ‘jungle-like’ hillside area of lush tropical plant-life. Dressed only in very light clothing, I began walking upward on a narrow trail into the tropical wilderness area.

As I walked up, I ‘spaced-out’ and stopped paying close attention to the trail or the environment. After a while I suddenly realized that I had left the trail and was lost in the ‘jungle’; and, that it was getting late and soon would be night-time. I unsuccessfully searched for a trail through the seemingly impassible jungle undergrowth, which would guide me down and out of the hillside wilderness area. But I couldn’t find any path. Gradually, I became more and more apprehensive, afraid of being lost there, hungry and chilled through the night, without the comfort of my luxurious hotel accommodations.

Then something extraordinary happened. For the first time in my life, spurred by fear I began, spontaneously repeating out loud “Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama…” – thereby urgently invoking some Divine solution to my dilemma. And soon I experienced an “Ahaa moment” providing that solution.

Suddenly, I realized that a shallow meandering mountain stream which I had been crossing was flowing down the hill and out into the ocean. I stepped gingerly into the rocky stream bed and followed its twisting path down and out of the jungle park.

As I walked downward in the stream bed I kept repeating “Rama” “Rama”, “Rama”, “Rama”…….until I was out of the nature area and back at my hotel, just before dinner time.

Retrospectively, I now view this experience as an important metaphoric message for me and perhaps others on a spiritual path, who may feel fearful or lost and unable to find or reach their Divine destination: “What you seek is in plain (in)sight. So, fear not and stop searching in all directions. Just let go, and go with the flow”.

On returning to my hotel room, I felt extraordinarily peaceful, but very “strange” and different than ever before. In this strange state, as I was about to get ready for dinner, I gazed into a large dressing room mirror and beheld in amazement my image reflected as never before. I perceived my face and head enveloped in a beautiful multi-colored aura, like auras I had seen portrayed on some ancient religious icons.

Thereupon, instead of going down for dinner in a hotel restaurant, I sat for hours virtually thoughtless on a dressing room bench intently gazing in wonder at my mirrored auric image.

On awakening Saturday morning, I immediately recalled with wonder this unprecedented experience. Whereupon, there ensued an inner dialogue between a “voice in my head” and my intuition. Every time my heart was uplifted by recalling that beautiful experience, the ‘voice’ told me that I’d been hallucinating, and hadn’t really seen anything unusual. So, I went out to the beach that morning in a state of mental confusion.

It was a beautiful calm and sunny day with a few white wispy clouds in the sky. But my mind was not calm. As I sat in the sand, I kept wondering whether or not I had really seen that beautiful multi-colored aura. But finally I intuitively resolved my inner debate, and thought: “Yes, it definitely was a ‘real’ aura, but I’m not sure I remember all its beautiful colors. What were they?”

Thereupon, I looked up and beheld a lovely rainbow, with the very same colors I’d seen in the aura. While I had been lost in thought, a couple of dark clouds had appeared with a quickly passing light tropical shower, leaving in its wake the fleeting rainbow.

I took the sudden appearance of the rainbow as Divine confirmation of my aura experience. Retrospectively, I see that the rainbow’s unexpected appearance, was one of innumerable continuing synchronicities which have blessed and guided my inner transformation process and given clues for my ever unfolding spiritual mystery story, which I will continue sharing with you.

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Silva Mind Control ~ Ron’s Memoirs

“You must be the change
you want to see in the world.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
“Non-violence, which is the quality of the heart,
cannot come by an appeal to the brain.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
“A man is but the product of his thoughts;
what he thinks, he becomes.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi




Soon after my positive experience at the est seminar, I learned that some of est’s intriguing ideas about how thoughts and habits influence our lives had been borrowed by Werner Erhard from another self-help seminar, Silva Mind Control. I learned too that the Silva program supposedly taught how to manifest a happier life using positive thinking, visualization, and self-hypnosis techniques; that it claimed to teach so-called right brain thinking to foster clairvoyance and intuitive access to higher intelligence. All of this greatly interested me, so I decided to enroll in a Silva workshop.

The Silva seminar turned out even more influential for me than est because it sparked amazing new spiritual experiences which shattered old beliefs and raised new questions about death and “reality”. In contrast to the hundreds at est trainings, there were less than twenty participants at the Silva program I attended.

The program began with the Silva teacher’s explanation of how our minds influence our lives. Conflating mind and brain, he emphasized that the mind becomes much more effective as it becomes more focused in deeper states, and he then taught how to go into right brain “alpha wave” states of consciousness through self-hypnosis techniques.

I don’t believe that Silva’s mind/brain analysis was accurate. But the Silva self-hypnosis and visualization techniques worked for me. They provided my first structured introduction to meditative states of awareness, in which I experienced extraordinary new glimpses of clairvoyance, visualization and inner communication of higher wisdom.

Here’s what happened.

Near the end of the four day Silva course, participants were asked to each write on separate small pieces of paper names of two people with medical problems or illnesses known to them. Each paper stated only the name and residence place of the sick person. Description of their illness was not written. The papers were then put together in a box, from which each participant – one at a time – randomly drew out two of the papers submitted by others. As we took turns at drawing out the papers we were asked to go into “an alpha state” and to diagnose each identified person’s illness.

When my turn came, I was first given the name of a man who lived in Denver, Colorado. I closed my eyes and immediately clearly visualized within a husky man with a crew cut, a bit over 6 feet tall. Then, with ‘x-ray vision’ I scanned his body and reported to the group that the only anomaly I observed was a white spot in the brain area, which did not appear to be a problem. Whereupon, I was told by the submitter of the Denver man’s name that I was exactly right; that this man had recently had a brain tumor removed. His head had been shaved for the surgery. So he now had a crew cut as the hair regrew. Apparently, the white spot I saw showed where the tumor had been excised.

Next, I was given the name of a woman living in Menlo Park, California. I found one problem which I called “sick blood”. The submitter of her name told me that she suffered from leukemia.

Until then I had never heard of medical intuitives or remote healers. So I was amazed at the accuracy of my results and those of some other participants. This remote visualization and diagnosis experience shattered my Newtonian preconceptions about the nature of our “reality” and I began wondering, “How was it possible for me to remotely see and diagnose complete strangers, especially when I had no medical training whatsoever?” And this question spurred my continuing search since then for new explanations of “reality”.

And soon after my remote diagnosis of strangers, I had another amazing Silva psychic experience. As the course progressed, we had been asked to visualize a perfectly peaceful sanctuary in a nature place or within an imagined structure; an inner place to which we could retreat at will to relieve stress and “recharge our batteries”. I visualized a beautiful room in a peaceful place.

On the last day of the seminar – ‘graduation day’ – we were asked to invite into our previously imagined retreat place an inner guide to counsel us about our problems and questions. It was suggested that we either visualize and invite presence of the wisest person we admired or, if we didn’t know of such a person, that we ask the universe to send our most appropriate inner guide. I couldn’t think of any wise person to visualize, so I invited the universe to send my most appropriate inner guide.

Thereupon, to my amazement, I clearly saw a little bald headed man wearing a white Indian dhoti. Mahatma Gandhi (who had been assassinated in 1948) appeared as my inner guide. Though I then knew very little about Gandhi, I clearly recognized him, and silently received his wise counsel about some of my questions. Gandhi thus appeared as my inner counselor, not only on conclusion of the Silva seminar but afterwards for a short period, whenever I invoked his presence while in “an alpha state” of consciousness.

Gandhi’s appearance raised deep questions for me about death and whether a person’s spirit or soul survives physical death. And I wondered why the universe had chosen Gandhi to counsel me.

Gradually, as my spiritual mystery story continued to unfold, I was given synchronistic answers these questions, which I will later share with you.


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Einstein’s Mystical Views & Quotations on Free Will or Determinism

”All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.”
~ Buddha
“The Now is as it is because it cannot be otherwise. What Buddhists have always known, physicists now confirm: there are no isolated things or events. Underneath the surface appearance, all things are interconnected, are part of the totality of the cosmos that has brought about the form that this moment takes.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
Q. “Are only the important events in a man’s life,
such as his main occupation or profession, predetermined,
or are trifling acts also, such as taking a cup of water or
moving from one part of the room to another?”
A.  “Everything is predetermined.”
~  Sri Ramana Maharshi 
“Nothing perceivable is real.
Your attachment is your bondage.
You cannot control the future.
There is no such thing as free will. Will is bondage.
You identify yourself with your desires and become their slave.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj 
In the mind there is no absolute or free will; but the mind is determined to wish this or that by a cause, which has also been determined by another cause, and this last by another cause, and so on to infinity.
~ Baruch Spinoza 
“There is no such thing as chance;
and what seems to us merest accident
springs from the deepest source of destiny.”
~ Johann Friedrich Von Schiller
“There are no mistakes, no coincidences,
all events are blessings given to us to learn from.”
~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Nothing in the universe happens by chance or accident.  The universe is a coherent concurrence and interaction of innumerable conditions attendant on the infinite number of energy patterns.  In the state of Awareness, all this is obvious and can be clearly seen and known.  Outside that level of awareness, it could be likened to innumerable, invisible magnetic fields which automatically coalesce or repel one’s position and which interact according to the positions and relative strengths and polarities.  Everything influences everything else and is in perfect balance.
~ David R. Hawkins
“Freedom is not a reaction; freedom is not a choice. .
Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily existence and activity.”
“…Choice in every form is conflict. Contradiction is inevitable in choice; this contradiction, inner and outer breeds confusion and misery.”
~ J. Krishnamurti
“Everything happens through immutable laws, …everything is necessary… There are,  some persons say, events which are necessary and others which are not. It would be very comic that one part of the world was arranged, and the other were not; that one part of what happens had to happen and that another part of what happens did not have to happen. If one looks closely at it, one sees that the doctrine contrary to that of destiny is absurd; but there are many people destined to reason badly; others not to reason at all others to persecute those who reason.”
~  Voltaire
“The assumption of an absolute determinism is the essential foundation of every scientific enquiry.”
~ Max Planck
“We must believe in free will, we have no choice.”
~ Isaac Bashevis Singer
Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955)

Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955)


Introduction

On Albert Einstein’s March 14th birthday anniversary, we honor him not only for his extraordinary scientific genius and moral integrity, but for his mystical wisdom and intuitive realization of ineffable Reality beyond human comprehension.

In other posts (linked below) we have shown that although Einstein rejected conventional views about God, individual survival of physical death, reincarnation, or of reward or punishment in heaven or hell after physical death, he was not an atheist but a deeply religious mystic. Though Einstein did not believe in formal dogmatic religion, his views on religion were consistent with highest non-dualistic Eastern religious teachings, like Indian Advaita Vedanta philosophy, as well as with his revolutionary non-mechanistic science. So he was an exemplar of the inevitable confluence of Western science with Eastern religion.

Here we highlight Einstein’s unconventional views about free will and determinism and show how they were also largely consistent with highest Eastern non-duality mystical teachings.

Discussion

Until his death in 1955, Albert Einstein rejected the “uncertainty” principle of quantum mechanics advanced by most respected physicists of his time. Einstein stubbornly maintained his view, consistent with ancient mystical insights, that “God does not play dice with the universe”; that the principle of cause and effect (or karma) pervades the phenomenal Universe without exception; that the ideas of chance or “uncertainty” arise from causes and conditions not yet recognized or perceived.

In a 1929 interview, when the argument about quantum mechanics “uncertainty” was at its height, Einstein modestly said: “I claim credit for nothing”, explaining that:

“Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control.
It is determined for the insect, as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust,
we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.”
[Einstein: The Life and Times, Ronald W. Clark, Page 422.]


Though theologians have mostly believed that people choose and are morally responsible for their actions, Einstein agreed with medieval philosopher Baruch Spinoza that one’s actions, and even one’s thoughts, are determined by natural laws of causality.

Spinoza said:

“In the mind there is no absolute or free will;
but the mind is determined to wish this or that by a cause,
which has also been determined by another cause,
and this last by another cause, and so on to infinity.”

 

Thus, in 1932 Einstein told the Spinoza society:

“Human beings in their thinking, feeling and acting are not free
but are as causally bound as the stars in their motions.”


Einstein’s belief in causal determinism seemed to him both scientifically and philosophically incompatible with the concept of human free will. In a 1932 speech entitled ‘My Credo’, Einstein briefly explained his deterministic ideology:

“I do not believe in freedom of the will. Schopenhauer’s words: ‘Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wills’ accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others even if they are rather painful to me. This awareness of the lack of freedom of will preserves me from taking too seriously myself and my fellow men as acting and deciding individuals and from losing my temper.”


Einstein’s 1931 essay “The World As I See It” contains this similar passage:

“In human freedom in the philosophical sense I am definitely a disbeliever.
Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but also in accordance with
inner necessity. Schopenhauer’s saying, that “a man can do as he will, but not
will as he will,” has been an inspiration to me since my youth, and a continual
consolation and unfailing well-spring of patience in the face of the hardships
of life, my own and others’. This feeling mercifully mitigates the sense of
responsibility which so easily becomes paralyzing, and it prevents us from taking
ourselves and other people too seriously; it conduces to a view of life in
which humor, above all, has its due place.”


Schopenhauer – who had studied Buddhism – postulated that human experience is but a reflection and manifestation of universal law – not human “will”; that humans must adhere to the imperatives of natural laws (like gravity and magnetism) which harmoniously rule everywhere without exception. Thus Schopenhauer said:

“The fate of one individual invariably fits the fate of the other and each is the hero of his own drama while simultaneously figuring in a drama foreign to him—this is something that surpasses our powers of comprehension, and can only be conceived as possible by virtue of the most wonderful pre-established harmony.”


So in rejecting “free will” and other prevalent theistic religious ideas while humbly expressing his awe, reverence and cosmic religious feeling at the immense beauty, harmony and eternal mystery of our Universe, Einstein was influenced by both the philosophies of Spinoza and Schopenhauer and by his intuition and his science.

But despite his deterministic philosophy and science, Einstein realized that people’s belief in free will is pragmatically necessary for a civilized society; that it causes them to take responsibility for their actions, and enables society to regulate such actions.* So he said:

“I am compelled to act as if free will existed, because if I wish to live in a civilized society I must act responsibly. . . I know that philosophically a murderer is not responsible for his crime, but I prefer not to take tea with him.”*


Thus Einstein dedicated his life to going beyond the “merely personal” and acted morally with a self-described “passion for social justice”. In a letter to his sister, Einstein stated that “the foundation of all human values is morality”. And in addressing a student disarmament meeting, he said:   “The destiny of civilized humanity depends more than ever on the moral forces it is capable of generating.”

But, like the non-dualistic mystics, Einstein believed that morality was for humanity not divinity. He said: “Morality is of the highest importance — but for us, not for God.”

Determinism versus morality and social justice questions

Since acting morally implies human freedom of choice, how can we reconcile Einstein’s passion for social justice and morality with his deterministic ideology that “Human beings in their thinking, feeling and acting are not free but are as causally bound as the stars in their motions.” ?

How would Einstein explain the apparent contradiction between his many idealistic efforts as a social justice activist, pacifist, and democratic socialist and his deterministic philosophy and science? Would he attribute his efforts and passion for a peaceful, civilized society to a pre-destined causal compulsion?

We can only speculate. But it is quite possible that Einstein would have agreed with Isaac Bashevis Singer’s statement that “We must believe in free will, we have no choice.”

According to Eastern non-dualism, as long as we self-identify as limited persons within space/time/causality we have apparent free choice but are inescapably subject to the law of karmic causality. Thus our every thought, word or deed inevitably reaps its corresponding reward of either suffering or joy in this or another lifetime. Only when we self-identify with spirit or soul, do we transcend this illusory impermanent world of samsara and its inevitable causal sufferings.

This was explained by Swami Vivekananda as follows:

“[T]he soul is beyond all laws, physical, mental, or moral. Within law is bondage; beyond law is freedom. It is also true that freedom is of the nature of the soul, it is its birthright: that real freedom of the soul shines through veils of matter in the form of the apparent freedom of man.”
“[T]here cannot be any such thing as free will; the very words are a contradiction, because will is what we know and everything that we know is within our universe, and everything within our universe is moulded by the conditions of space, time, and causation. Everything that we know, or can possibly know, must be subject to causation, and that which obeys the law of causation cannot be free.”
“The only way to come out of bondage is to go beyond the limitations of law, to go beyond causation.” [by self-identifying with soul or spirit] . . . . “This is the goal of the Vedantin, to attain freedom while living.”
~ Swami Vivekananda – Karma Yoga


Conclusions

Like ancient non-dualistic mystics, Einstein had realized – through his revolutionary non-mechanistic science – that “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”; and that “Space and time are not conditions in which we live, they are modes in which we think.” Consequently, he knew that from an ever mysterious Cosmic perspective, our apparent phenomenal reality is but an illusionary play of consciousness.

But, Einstein’s acceptance of the necessity for recognizing humanity’s freedom to choose a moral rather than evil destiny was also consistent with highest non-dualistic Eastern religious teachings that we ‘reap as we sow’ until we transcend this illusionary world, as well as with prevalent Western religious ideas that we are morally responsible for our actions.

Thus, Einstein’s insistence that the principle of cause and effect (or karma) pervades the phenomenal Universe without exception and that morality is for Humanity not Divinity was consistent with ancient non-dualistic mysticism as was his rejection of a personal “God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation”.

Though Einstein had not achieved the mystic goal of attaining “freedom” from causality while living, his mystical wisdom and professed behaviors in not “taking too seriously myself and my fellow men as acting and deciding individuals and from losing my temper” were consistent with a very evolved – if not “enlightened” – state of being.

*Einstein’s views on pragmatically living with supposed free will notwithstanding a belief in universal determinism, were similar to those of Leo Tolstoy, whose epic War and Peace novel reflected Tolstoy’s view that all is predestined, but that we cannot live without imagining we have free will. Like Einstein, Tolstoy was greatly influenced by Schopenhauer and, also, he was later enthralled by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda.







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“Channeling” for Joseph Campbell – Ron’s Memoirs

“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe,
 to match your nature with Nature.”
~ Joseph Campbell
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
~ Joseph Campbell
“God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought.
It’s as simple as that.”
~ Joseph Campbell
“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”
~ Joseph Campbell


Dr. Joseph Campbell + Ron Rattner - 10/8/83 - Courtesy CIIS Archives

Dr. Joseph Campbell with Ron Rattner, 10/8/83 –
Courtesy of California Institute of Integral Studies archives

 

During the 1980’s I was Chairman of Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), an accredited graduate school giving degrees in areas of psychology, philosophy, comparative religion, and related disciplines. In that capacity, I was occasionally obliged to give commencement talks and to bestow honorary degrees. In October, 1983, I was told on short notice that I would be awarding to Dr. Joseph Campbell an honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Religion, and that I should prepare an appropriate presentation talk. I was told that two other speakers would be discussing Dr. Campbell’s impressive academic accomplishments, but was not told the order of speakers. I had never met Dr. Campbell. And since by that time he was very famous (especially after Bill Moyers’ PBS interviews), I was in a quandary about how much or what I should say.

A couple of days before the event, I was walking along the beach toward the Golden Gate bridge, when synchronistically an “inner voice” told me to write down some words for Campbell, and I obliged. On three little paper scraps, I wrote five sentences that were ‘dictated’ by the inner voice. (*I saved the scraps – copy linked below.)

The presentation took place in San Francisco on October 8, 1983 at the Palace of Fine Arts theater adjoining the Exploratorium. Campbell and I and the other speakers filed on stage wearing traditional black cap and gown attire, and we sat down. I was seated next to Dr. Campbell, on his right. The program provided for my presentation to follow introductory talks by two other school officials – Dean Ralph Metzner and Chairman Emeritus Michael Toms – who were lavishing profuse praise on Campbell. During the second talk, which sounded to me like a long, living eulogy, I suddenly and spontaneously put my left hand on Campbell’s right knee and without thinking whispered, “Don’t let this go to your head.”

Finally, with paper scraps in hand, I made the presentation, uttering the following five sentences which had been given to me on the beach:

“Dr. Joseph Campbell, the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Integral Studies is privileged and pleased to bestow on you the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Religion.
“We acknowledge thereby your mastery of these disciplines through your studies of myths and symbols.
Like masters of other disciplines you have realized the Source common to all disciplines – to all wisdom.
A Source which integrates and unifies this creation, which is diverse in appearance but the same in essence.
“So in presenting this degree to you, we honor symbolically that Source – within you and within each of us.”

Thereupon, Dr. Campbell humbly accepted the new honor.

After the program, a very intuitive PhD student with whom I was friendly, approached me and asked: “Ron, was your talk ‘channeled’?”   After a moment’s hesitation, I replied “yes”.

From then on I began receiving more and more inner ‘dictation’ of spiritual thoughts, aphorisms and poetry. Even now my “inner voice” is assisting with these memoirs.

*Ron’s notes and brochure from Joseph Campbell event, 10/8/83

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“The Gift of Giving” ~ a Synchronicity Story with Quotations

‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
~ Acts 20:35 (Paul quoting Jesus)
“The wise man does not lay up his own treasures.
The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.”

~ Lao Tzu
“For in truth it is life that gives unto life –
while you, who deem yourself a giver,
is but a witness.”
~ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
“You can give without loving,
but you can never love without giving.”
~ Robert Louis Stevenson and/or
~ Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
“Lovers are givers, not getters.”
“Life is for giving, not getting.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

Ron Rattner and Carol Schuldt at Aquatic Beach, 2012


Here is another amazing synchronicity story about my now 79 year old friend Carol Schuldt, one of the most unforgettable people I’ve ever known.

Carol is an extraordinarily intuitive free spirit, with her own unique path of communing with Nature while surfing, swimming, sunning, hiking, biking, and gardening, and helping troubled souls – especially young people. Though raised Catholic, she has never knowingly followed any prescribed Western or Eastern spiritual path. Because of her great generosity, especially toward needy young people, Carol is sometimes known as the “Mother Teresa of the Sunset District”.

We met long ago at Aquatic Beach on San Francisco Bay (across from Ghirardelli Square), where Carol often comes to escape ocean fog and swim in the sun. Since then, we’ve had innumerable synchronistic encounters and exchanged many “miracle” stories about our lives. [I’ve posted other synchronicity stories about Carol, which are linked below as “related posts”.]

As I write, I have just returned from another magical encounter with Carol at Aquatic Beach, on a cold December 29, where Carol shared with me a wonderful synchronicity story about her experiences earlier today and yesterday.

Here it is:

Carol swims or surfs in the ocean or Bay almost every day. But, on rare days when she can’t swim because of inclement or cold weather, Carol sometimes browses and shops at the main Goodwill resale store near downtown San Francisco.

Yesterday, was one of those rare days when it was too cold and rainy for Carol to swim. So she drove her old truck toward the Goodwill store, and parked several blocks away in front of a community garden on Fell Street. After walking to the Goodwill store and shopping, Carol was returning to her parked truck when suddenly she urgently needed to urinate. There were no available public restrooms, so she had to relieve herself in a nearby empty lot. Afterwards, to her chagrin and embarrassment, Carol discovered that she had mistakenly peed on an elderly homeless man’s tent.

In remorse, Carol opened the tent entry flap and apologized to its homeless occupant, telling him “I’m very sorry, but I just peed on your tent”. Then Carol pulled a twenty dollar bill out of her wallet, and tendered it to the homeless man, saying: “Here, please take this.” After looking at Carol (who is sometimes mistaken for a ‘street person’ or ‘bag lady’ because of her unusual attire and appearance) he replied: “No baby, I can’t take it.”

But Carol insisted he take the twenty dollar bill, emphatically repeating that she had just peed on his tent. So he relented, and took the money with a broad smile. Her guilty feelings assuaged, Carol then drove off in her old truck.

This morning it was again cold and inclement in San Francisco. So Carol decided to return again to the Goodwill store. As she again parked her old truck on Fell Street near the community garden, a small moving van stopped after its driver observed her. The driver got out of the van and offered to Carol the load he was transporting, asking her to take it onto her truck. On his van Carol saw many valuable garden tools and other artifacts in good condition which she could use in her organic garden, plus a new volley ball which her son Pete could use. So Carol accepted the van driver’s offer, and relieved him of responsibility to dispose of his load, by transferring it to her truck.

Thereupon, on seeing that the morning overcast was lifting to reveal patches of blue sky, Carol spontaneously decided to drive to Aquatic Beach instead of walking to the Goodwill store. At the beach, Carol swam in very cold water, then dressed and was sitting and warming herself in sunshine when a family group of tourists walked onto the beach and looked at her.

Jovially pointing at Carol, the family’s father exclaimed to his companions, “She’s having fun. There’s a happy person.” Then after walking to the shore with a child, he came back to Carol and offered her a twenty dollar bill. Carol – who is economically well off – told him “I can’t take that.” But he insisted. So Carol reluctantly accepted his twenty dollar gift.

Thus, just a day after she had spontaneously given a twenty dollar bill to a reluctant homeless man, Carol drove home from Aquatic Beach with another twenty dollar bill given her by a stranger after she reluctantly accepted it. And her old truck was filled with valuable garden equipment given to her by another stranger near the very same place where she peed on the homeless man’s tent.

Moral of this story: “It is in giving that we receive.”

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How Shall We Solve Our Planetary Problems?

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

~ Albert Einstein
“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts, we make the world.”

~ Buddha
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

~ King Solomon – Proverbs 23:7
“The release of atom power .. changed everything except our way of thinking
…the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind.”

~ Albert Einstein
“Ultimately, the decision to save the environment must come from the human heart.The key point is a call for a genuine sense of universal responsibility that is based on love, compassion and clear awareness.”

~ Dalai Lama (From “Humanity and Ecology”)
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift
 and the rational mind is a faithful servant.

We have created a society
 that honors the servant
 and has forgotten the gift.”

~ Albert Einstein
“I think with intuition. The basis of true thinking is intuition.
Indeed, it is not intellect, but intuition which advances humanity.
Intuition tells a man his purpose in life. One never goes wrong following his feelings. I don’t mean emotions, I mean feelings, for feelings and intuition are one.”

~ Albert Einstein




Q. How can humankind solve its critical planetary problems?

A. By addressing them intuitively from an elevated heart level of awareness.

The critical problems now confronting humanity have arisen from an egoic mental level of human consciousness, which must be transcended for our peaceful survival on planet Earth. As Albert Einstein aptly observed: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

To solve critical human problems we must elevate our individual and collective level of consciousness, from the human mind – which is thought – to the human heart, which is intuition. And then, with “a genuine sense of universal responsibility that is based on love, compassion and clear awareness” [Dalai Lama], we shall intuitively see and cooperatively solve our problems.

Only with feelings, insights and actions arising from loving kindness and compassion for all life everywhere, can humankind truly transcend and cooperatively solve its critical ecologic and economic problems.

With benevolent and focused intention, more and more we must open our hearts to our innate empathy, kindness and compassion, and thereby realize our collective connection and concern with all life everywhere.

To experience your true loving nature, please watch this beautiful Korean video, and see if it doesn’t open your heart to innate feelings of empathy for all life everywhere:



With opened hearts we can and we shall solve our critical planetary problems.

And so it shall be!

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I’ve Found A Faith-Based Life.

“The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. …To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists,
manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty
which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms
this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.”

~ Albert Einstein – The Merging of Spirit and Science



My life has become faith-based.

I follow my faith,
but I’m not affiliated
with any organized religion or other belief system.

After many years of questioning,
I’ve found faith beyond belief,
beyond dogmas or theology.

I’ve found faith in everything everywhere,
and in the impenetrable Mystery
beyond every form or phenomenon.

I’ve found faith in my Self and in Nature.

I’ve found the faith to follow my Heart.

Mine is not a blind faith based on fear or doubt,
or on inculcated or adopted ideas of others.

It is an abiding inner knowledge,
flowing from a long life
of reflective personal and trans-personal
experience and observation;

An insight arising from – but transcending – reason,
consistent and harmonious with
the highest welfare and unity of all Life.

My life experience has shown that our universe
is a magnificent, marvelous, miraculous and awe-inspiring “reality”;

That imminent in each life-form and in all manifestation
is an ineffable eternal Awareness:

An Intelligence or Divinity
which is the mysterious matrix,
Essence and Source of our reality.

My life experience has thus
indelibly instilled in me
an abiding faith in that Source*

As a purposeful evolutionary impetus in each of us;

A faith that from that Source
we get what we need when we need it,

Assuring that ultimately everything happens for the best,
to promote our evolution;

A faith that we are inevitably evolving toward
harmonious universal expression of greatest good –

As Peace, Truth, Joy, Love, and Compassion.

With such Faith, I am empowered to follow my Heart,
without worry, fear or doubt;

To accept inevitable and inescapable
life difficulties and uncertainties,
and yet to live openly, spontaneously and authentically.

So, without any religious affiliation,
I’ve become a faithful follower:

I follow my Faith;
I follow the Way;
I follow my Heart.

And this above all,

It is my Faith that enables me to be true to my Self.


Footnote.

*Innumerable names – God, Love, Nature, etc. – may be used to signify that Source or any of its infinite aspects. Or as in the Jewish tradition it may be acknowledged that no name can denominate “That” which is beyond conception or expression – since naming limits the illimitable and ineffable Infinite Reality.



Ron’s audio recitation of I’ve Found A Faith-Based Life

Listen to


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