Afterlife

Day Of The Dead
~ An Ancient Celebration of Eternal Life


“Life is eternal. There is no death.
If people correctly understood death,
they would no longer have any fear of the unknown”. .
“What we think of as life and death are merely transitions,
changes in the rate of vibration in a continual process of growth and unfoldment.”

~ Betty Bethards – “There is No Death” pp. 90-91

“We are born and reborn countless number of times,
and it is possible that each being has been our parent at one time or another.
Therefore, it is likely that all beings in this universe have familial connections.”

~ H. H. Dalai Lama, from ‘The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom”

“Reincarnation is not an exclusively Hindu or Buddhist concept,

but it is part of the history of human origin.

It is proof of the mindstream’s capacity to retain knowledge of physical and mental activities.

It is related to the theory of interdependent origination and to the law of cause and effect.”

~ H. H. Dalai Lama (Preface to “The Case for Reincarnation”)

“The soul never takes birth and never dies at any time,
nor does it come into being again when the body is created.
The soul is birthless, eternal, imperishable and timeless
and is never destroyed when the body is destroyed.
Just as a man giving up old worn out garments accepts other new apparel,
in the same way the embodied soul giving up old and worn out bodies
verily accepts new bodies.”
“The soul is eternal, all-pervading, unmodifiable, immovable and primordial.”
~ Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Krishna to Arjuna

“Overcoming the fear of death changes our whole perspective on life.
Everything we do and think and feel takes on new meaning.
When we realize that we are not limited by the physical,
we begin to get the idea that we are really master of our own destinies
and we more fully align ourselves with the eternal nature of our beings.”

~ Betty Bethards – “There is No Death” pp. 82-83

“To be afraid of dying
is like being afraid of discarding an old worn-out garment.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi

“God is love in all religions,
so the more we live love
the closer we are to God”.
~ Betty Bethards

“In order to know through experience what happens beyond death,

you must go deep within yourself.

In meditation, the truth will come to you.”

~ Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas

“Birth and death are virtual,

but Life is perpetual.”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“As we lose our fear of leaving life,

we gain the art of living life.”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“Evolution of consciousness is the central motive of terrestrial existence.”
~ Sri Aurobindo

“All existence is a manifestation of God.”
~ Sri Aurobindo


Diego Rivera ~ “Día de los Muertos”



Day Of The Dead ~ An Ancient Celebration of Eternal Life

Ron’s Introduction to Day Of The Dead

Dear Friends,

This posting describes “Day Of The Dead” – “Día de los Muertos” – an ancient Meso-American celebration that began 3000 years ago. It’s above quotations and following explanations are dedicated to helping everyone everywhere find ever greater inner happiness by transcending fear of death.

Discussion

When the Spanish arrived five centuries ago in territory now known as Mexico, they found indigenous persons practicing what seemed to be a gruesome ritual that mocked death.

Although the Catholic Church attempted to eliminate this religiously unsanctioned ceremony, they were unsuccessful. Thus the “Día de los Muertos” tradition continues in Mexico, and has spread to other parts of the world where mostly persons of Mexican heritage persist in lovingly and joyfully honoring people and pets whose souls have passed and persist in other dimensions.

Though based on perennial wisdom truth beyond time, this Day Of The Dead festival is annually observed mostly on November 1st and 2nd, just after Halloween.

Rather than being premised on pagan ignorance, this ritual is rooted in instinctive human insight celebrating and honoring our true Spiritual Reality and common Identity, as Eternal Life, Light, and Divine LOVE – a timeless Reality which never dies.

So it pertains to all souls everywhere, not merely to those of pre-Hispanic Mexican heritage.

Conclusion and Dedication

At age ninety one, losing fear of death has greatly helped me experience ever-increasing inner happiness in this precious human lifetime.

So I’ve often posted writings about transcending all such death fears, and all other illusionary ego-mind fears of non-existence.

For example my July 23rd, 2022 tribute to my friend Betty Bethards summarizes universal teachings about supposed death because it contains a verbatim summary of Betty Bethards’ excellent book titled “There is No Death”.

Furthermore my recent Human Potential Differential? posting reveals that every incarnate human earth being, and every other sentient earth being is, and has always been without exception, a manifestation of ONE Divine LOVE.

And it explains how as each unique soul awakens to its true identity, it evolves to ever ascending energy planes; that from third dimension [3D] illusory space/time duality reality, it transcends all ego-mind fears to exist lovingly and dharmically, ever free of unhappiness and disharmony, until it is dissolved as destined into Mother/Father/God, as ONE LOVE.

Dedication

Thus, this Day Of The Dead posting is deeply dedicated
to awakening and inspiring us
to live fearlessly, lovingly and dharmically,
until we inevitably transcend all fearful ego-mind thoughts and behaviors
as Universal Divine LOVE.


And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Forgiving the Past
To BE LOVE Now
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“To understand everything is to forgive everything”
~ Buddha

“It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned.”
~ Saint Francis of Assisi, peace prayer

“To err is human; to forgive, Divine.”
~ Alexander Pope

“Forgiveness is the demonstration that you are the light of the world. Through your forgiveness does the truth about your Self return to your memory. Therefore, in your forgiveness lies your salvation.”
~ A Course in Miracles

“If you are harboring the slightest bitterness toward anyone, or any unkind thoughts of any sort whatever, you must get rid of them quickly. They are not hurting anyone but you. It isn’t enough just to do right things and say right things – you must also think right things before your life can come into harmony.”
~ “Peace Pilgrim

“Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins,”
~ Ecclesiastes 7:20

“Life can be found only in the present moment.
The past is gone, the future is not yet here,
and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment,
we cannot be in touch with life.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

“There is only one time when it is essential to awaken.
That time is now.”

“That which is timeless is found now.”
~ Buddha

“Always say “yes” to the present moment.
What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is?
What could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now?
Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you, rather than against you.”
~ Eckhart Tolle

“Life is NOW
Ever NOW
Never then.

Life is NOW
Ever NOW
Never then.

Life is NOW or never,
Life is NOW forever,

Life is NOW
Ever NOW
Never then.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“If the doors of perception were cleansed
everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”
~ William Blake


“Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things,
man will not himself find peace.”
~ Albert Schweitzer

“The path of awakening is not about becoming who you are.
Rather it is about unbecoming who you are not.”
~ Albert Schweitzer

“Place your burden at the feet of the Lord of the universe
who is ever victorious and accomplishes everything.
Remain all the time steadfast in the heart,
in the Transcendental Absolute.
God knows the past, present and future.
He will determine the future for you and accomplish the work.
What is to be done will be done at the proper time.
Don’t worry. Abide in the heart and surrender your acts to the Divine.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi

“The more you struggle to live, the less you live.
Give up the notion that you must be sure of what you are doing.
Instead, surrender to what is real within you,
for that alone is sure….you are above everything distressing.”
~ Baruch Spinoza

“May you find grace as you surrender to life.
May you find happiness, as you stop seeking it.
May you come to trust these laws and inherit the wisdom of the Earth.
May you reconnect with the heart of nature and feel the blessings of Spirit.”
~ Dan Millman


Marc Chagall – The Praying Jew



Ron’s Introduction to Forgiving the Past
To BE LOVE Now




Dear Friends,

As a ninety year old faith-based optimist, I have explained in recent postings that we are experiencing an illusory low energy Earthly ‘reality’ of third dimension [3D] ego-mind space/time/and duality separation from each other and Nature, but that I now optimistically foresee our imminent quantum-leap ascension to a New Reality beyond unavoidable Earthly ego-mind illusions of seeming separation from Source.

Thus, as a global family of empathetic humans we are about to achieve a “critical mass” transformation enabling us to resolve our apparent Earth-life ‘critical mess’, by following our Sacred Heart’s innate empathy, compassion and LOVE for all people and all Life everywhere.

So today’s posting is dedicated to inspiring our newly elevated view of Forgiving the Past To BE LOVE Now

 – to inspiring our heartfelt surrender of illusions about space/time/and duality Earthly ego-mind ‘reality’ with ever-abiding Faith in our Eternal existence as ONE Divine LOVE.

Returning to “Godliness”

In lunar/solar new moon and equinox seasons of major religious ‘holy days’ we are often reminded that our spiritual goal is returning to “godliness” – to Ultimate Reality. This memoirs posting explains how we can advance our evolution toward attainment of that goal, by clearing past mental conditioning to increasingly be here NOW in the precious present.

Because this posting coincides with the Jewish High Holy Days, it emphasizes Yom Kippur communal practices of:
(1) non-judgmental forgiveness or atonement of supposed transgressions or ‘sins’ by or against us; and of
(2) annulment or rescission of obsolete and unhelpful private intentions, resolutions, or vows to ourselves or God.

Thus it explains that such practices, which are premised on societal awareness of inevitable limitation and fallibility of all incarnate humans, can be universally beneficial in advancing everyone’s spiritual evolution.

Also it explains why our spiritual evolution can be furthered by other practices or activities which help us quiet the mind and clear mental pre-conditioning to increasingly live moment by moment in the precious present, with Love as the supreme unifying principle of Life.

Religious Teachings of Forgiveness



Most major religions teach the importance of forgiving or atoning for transgressions committed by or against us – our “sins”. Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism teach forgiveness.

“Sins” are often considered acts or omissions violating moral or ethical codes, with emphasis on what is wrong. But the original meaning of “sin” in Greek is to miss the mark – like an archer missing the target.

“According to Christian teachings, the normal collective state of humanity is one of “original sin.” Sin is a word that has been greatly misunderstood and misinterpreted. Literally translated from the ancient Greek in which the New Testament was written, to sin means to miss the mark, as an archer who misses the target, so to sin means to miss the point of human existence. It means to live unskillfully, blindly, and thus to suffer and cause suffering. Again, the term, stripped of its cultural baggage and misinterpretations, points to the dysfunction inherent in the human condition.”
~ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth


When sins are considered ‘missing the mark’ from ignorance rather than malevolence, expiation requires that we focus on what is right, and on how to get back ‘on target’, rather than on what was wrong with mistaken acts or omissions.

Recognition and transcendence of “sins”

Thus to transcend the negative, we realize the positive.

“There is only one perpetrator of evil on the planet: human unconsciousness. That realization is true forgiveness. With forgiveness, your victim identity dissolves, and your true power emerges – the power of Presence. Instead of blaming the darkness, you bring in the light.”
~ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

Yom Kippur: Jewish Day of Atonement for “Sins”

In the Jewish tradition, the highest of High Holy Days is Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement and forgiveness. While fasting on that day, observant Jews communally confess their wrongs and ask Divine forgiveness, humbly acknowledging that there are none amongst them so righteous that they have not sinned.

“Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins,”
~ Ecclesiastes 7:20

Recognizing the inevitability of ‘sin”, the Torah enjoins Jews to return to a righteous path with a process of societal repentance and reparation called teshuvah. “Teshuvah means returning to God and godliness.”; and returning to God is the essence of Judaism. ~ Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro,“Open Secrets”, pp.12-13

Forgiveness as returning to At-one-ment with “Godliness”

The process of returning to “godliness” which is the essence of Judaism is also central to all other major theistic religions.

Eastern religions emphasize “freedom” as an ultimate spiritual Reality and goal beyond thought or ego – beyond human comprehension, imagination, description or belief – which can only be known experientially, not rationally or mentally. (See https://sillysutras.com/what-is-freedom-question-and-quotes/)

All enduring religious and spiritual wisdom traditions recognize need for human transcendence of ego’s optical illusion of our imagined separation from each other and Nature; of our returning psychologically to a state of “At-one-ment” and self-identity with Universal Awareness – which is our ultimate Essence, and our ultimate destiny.

Ron’s Concluding Comments

We are here to learn and to demonstrate divine LOVE. But if we behave fearfully or selfishly, instead of lovingly and compassionately, we inevitably ‘miss the divine target mark’, and thereby we ‘sin’. And if we miss our mark and ‘sin’, we’ll inevitably suffer karmically from the law of causality. So how do we avoid ‘sinning’, and atone for past ‘sins’?



First, we must become aware of how ‘sins’ happen.

On investigating, we learn that human “sins” and sufferings are karmically inevitable and unavoidable while we unknowingly perceive “through a glass darkly” with conditioned ego(i)-minds. Thereby we realize that all our perceptions are illusory projections of past conceptions, which obscure our experience of the timeless NOW.

Thus, we learn that our space/time causality reality is like a persistent illusion – a mental mirage; and we discover that

“Space and time are not conditions in which we live, [but] modes in which we think.”, that “the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion”, and that “our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
~ Albert Einstein


Such new-found awareness can reveal simple solutions to previously persistent behavioral problems, from levels of consciousness beyond those which unknowingly caused our mistaken ‘sins’. For example, the Buddha taught that: “to understand everything is to forgive everything”.

So we may insightfully discover that a fundamental solution to our ‘sinning’ problems is to forgive NOW (in the precious present), all mental mistakes which we and others have unknowing made.

That “to err is human; to forgive is Divine.”

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

My “Miraculous” Experience
on Shri Dhyanyogi’s Mahasamadhi
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“In order to know through experience what happens beyond death,
you must go deep within yourself.

In meditation, the truth will come to you.”

~ Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas
“Death is truly part of life … ‘what we called death is merely a concept’.”
“This happens at the gross level of the mind.
But neither death nor birth exist at the subtle level of consciousness that we call ‘clear light.’”
~ Dalai Lama
At my death do not lament our separation
…
as the sun and moon but seem to set,
in reality this is a rebirth.
~ Rumi
“Birth and death are virtual,
but Life is perpetual.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas – (1878 – August 29, 1994)

Ron’s Introduction

Dear Friends,

This memoirs posting gratefully honors Shri Dhyanyogii Madhusudandas, my beloved Guruji, almost thirty years after his physical death, and on his 146th birthday anniversary (as calculated by the ancient Vedic lunar/solar calendar).

Prior SillySutras postings have explained that ancient Hindus used a Vedic solar-lunar calendar system different from current Western calendars.

In the Vedic calendar, an extra month (Adhik Mas) occurs this year, and every three years.
So my beloved Guruji’s above Western birth and death dates of 1878 – August 29, 1994 don’t coincide with the Vedic calendar.

Those previous postings also explain that rare God realized beings can decide to take birth in mortal physical bodies to help and Spiritually teach others, and choose when they’ll leave those bodies in Mahasamādhi, because they are Awakened Boundless Beings (who are Mahasiddhas).

Thus Guruji survived his supposed physical death on August 29, 1994, to keep helping me and countless others, and this Mahasamādhi memoirs story (originally published in 2011) is republished today in His honor to emphatically confirm that meeting Guruji in this precious human lifetime was my soul’s greatest eternal blessing.

Therefore at age ninety, in loving tribute to Guruji, I’m gratefully privileged to share with you today the amazing memoirs story about my miraculous experiences in San Francisco at the time of his Mahasamādhi in India. This and numerous other stories hereafter posted explain how (beyond our physical births and deaths) Guruji has helped me and countless others from subtle planes, like a ‘guardian angel’.

Please read and enjoy the stories which follow this introduction. In sharing them, I especially pray that they’ll help inspire younger people as they inherit the learning experiences of their forebears in an extraordinary “new normal” world. 

May all those reading these stories enjoy Guruji’s eternal blessings.
 
And so may it be!


How Guruji “Miraculously” Survived His Supposed Physical Death.

On observing noteworthy phenomena which we can’t yet explain by known natural or scientific laws, we sometimes call them “miracles” and may attribute them to a Divine power.

Like other rare saints and mystics my beloved “Guruji”, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, occasionally demonstrated  “miracles”  to foster faith in the Divine.  In writings and lectures, Guruji explained that yogic powers (siddhis) might be attained via control of life-force energies, but that they were seldom displayed; that such powers are only used

“sparingly and on occasion for humanitarian and other discretionary ends”,
but not “for self-aggrandizement.”


In prior memoirs, I’ve explained how Guruji has helped me from subtle planes, like a ‘guardian angel’, since before I met him when his physical body was approximately one hundred years old, and even after his supposed bodily death in India sixteen years later.

I believe that Guruji left his mortal body consciously and intentionally, using his yogic powers; that Guruj’s subtle bodies survived the physical body; and, that from subtle planes he continues to help humanity.

Here are the reasons for this belief:

In the Hindu tradition, when a yogi who has previously experienced the highest state of samadhi intentionally leaves his physical body, this is not the same as death of an ordinary person who has not attained Self-realization. Such a passing is called a Mahasamādhi and is the act of consciously and intentionally leaving one’s mortal body at the time of physical death.

Before receiving shaktipat initiation from Guruji in 1978, I’d already witnessed his yogic powers to influence this relative reality from subtle planes. He had clearly appeared in my subtle inner vision when we were physically distant. Thereafter, I had other memorable experiences of Guruji’s subtle powers, which are recounted in other memoirs chapters.

In 1980, just before Guruji returned to India from four years in the USA, he stayed in my apartment. At that time Guruji’s American attendant, Lackshman, recounted to me his brief conversation with Guruji following a sparsely attended public meditation program. Driving home, Lackshman had remarked to Guruji that it was too bad so few people had attended that event. Whereupon Guruji replied,

“It’s not important. Most of my work is on other planes.”


And, once when we were alone in my apartment, Guruji told me that he came and went from his physical body as he pleased. (See Human Body – A Precious “Prison”? )

Rudy’s Story

Also, at Guruji’s meditation programs, I heard amazing stories from others who had experienced his extraordinary yogic powers. Perhaps the most memorable of these stories was that of Rudy, a Chicago school teacher who decided to travel on his motorcycle to be with Guruji in California. But before reaching California, and while he was in Colorado, Rudy had an unexpected and “miraculous meeting” with Guruji.

On a curvy mountain highway in Colorado, Rudy’s motorcycle skidded off the road and careened three hundred feet down a steep incline. Just before hitting bottom, Rudy called out Guruji’s name, remembering Guruji’s assurance that “I’m always with you.”

Gravely injured, Rudy became comatose. While comatose he had a miraculous “near death experience” (NDE), which he survived and later recounted in detail.

On ‘the other side’ during the NDE, Rudy was greeted and guided by Shri Dhyanyogi, to save his life. Thereafter, at a California retreat, Guruji explained to Rudy that he had saved his life because Rudy still had much more work to do in this world.

Rudy’s vividly credible description of this amazing incident was convincing testimony of Guruji’s yogic power to influence what happens in this relative “reality”, and to manifest at will on subtle planes of “reality”.

Besides my own extraordinary experiences with Guruji, and hearing of Rudy’s experience, I learned of numerous other “miraculous” experiences of Guruji’s devotees.
(See “This House is on Fire, The Life of Shri Dyanyogi, as told by Shri Anandi Ma.”)

My Experience in San Francisco on Guruji’s Mahasamadhi in India.

One of my most memorable mystical experiences of Guruji’s yogic powers happened just after he left his physical body in India and I was at home in San Francisco. In late August, 1994, I was home asleep when I was suddenly awakened in the middle of the night.

With eyes open, I beheld in amazement an extraordinary and unprecedented vision – an otherworldly, multi-colored bird, translucent with a peacock-like tail and human-like eyes. Nothing about the bird appeared like any ‘real-life’ bird I had ever before seen, or might have imagined.

As I gazed in awe at this ethereal apparition, I was enveloped and transformed by a supernal aura of supreme Peace, which emanated from the bird’s radiant dark eyes. I awakened in the morning puzzled, and wondered about that extraordinary apparition which had enveloped me with ‘peace that passeth understanding.’

The next day, still wondering about the vision, I was sitting at my dining room table when an ‘inner voice’ dictated to me a poem concerning death, a subject I hadn’t then been thinking about.

Listening to my muse, I quickly and spontaneously “channeled” this poem about death, which I later titled Dream Life:

When we come to Earth
They call it a birth
When we leave,
They say we die.

But we really don’t come,
And we really don’t go.
We just dream our lives
But why?

To awaken as Bliss
From all of this,
Joyous that all is
“I”.



Thereafter, within a day or two, I received a rare call from one of Guruji’s early US disciples, Elyse (Indu) of Sacramento. She informed me of Guruji’s death – his Mahasamādhi – on August 29. Only then did I realize that I had received this poem (about life and death as a waking dream) as a ‘parting’ profound message and treasured gift from Guruji.  

So I recited the poem for Elyse. Then I told her about my puzzling otherworldly bird vision. She promptly and aptly interpreted that vision as a mythical Phoenix bird, symbol of immortality, resurrection, and life after death.
Co
Whereupon, I realized that the bird’s dark human-like eyes emanating ineffable supernal Peace were Guruji’s eyes; and, that this unforgettable vision and experience of celestial peace was another parting gift and message from Guruji, for which I am eternally grateful.





Continuing “Miracles”

Almost thirty years have passed since my miraculous experience of Guruji’s Mahasamādhi, but I still continue to feel his subtle presence and often shed tears of devotion and joy, when I think of him as my Guardian Angel, or gaze at his photo. And other devotees entering my high-rise hermitage have also experienced his life-force energy (shakti).

Almost twenty years after Guruji’s transition, I had a home visit from my friend Michael O’Rourke, a talented spiritual cinematographer who helped me launch SillySutras.com.
I was telling Michael about Guruji, and feeling His subtle presence, while seated in a reclining chair. After a while I had to excuse myself for a bathroom visit. When I returned several minutes later Michael revealed to me an extraordinary experience of Guruji’s subtle appearance.

While gazing at me as I talked about Guruji, Michael experienced an altered state of consciousness, in which another face morphed into mine – a face without glasses and with a longer white beard. It was Guruji!

Michael said that amazingly after I got up to go to the bathroom he still perceived the image of Guruji seated in the chair, until after I returned and sat down again.

Guruji once said:

“All those who came to me for Shaktipat …. are my spiritual heirs. For my energy works through them.”


Not only were Michael and others blessed by Guruji’s extraordinary energy in my apartment, I believe that (as he blessed Rudy) Guruji saved my mortal life while I was comatose and near death after being rundown by a taxicab nine years ago. (See https://sillysutras.com/another-near-death-experience-rons-memoirs/)

So that it is only through Guruji’s grace that I have miraculously survived to gratefully still share these memoirs.

Dedication

May those reading or hearing these stories also enjoy Guruji’s continuing blessings. In sharing them, I especially pray that they’ll help inspire younger people as they inherit the learning experiences of their forebears in an extraordinary “new normal” world. 

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Remember!
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“Remember God, forget the rest.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Forget who you think you are,
to know what you really are.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Just BE Divinity –
Ego-Free LOVE!.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings



Remember! ~ Ron’s Memoirs

Ron’s Introduction to “Remember!”

Dear Friends,

Thirty years ago, during a long post-retirement period of meditation, prayer, and introspection after my spiritual awakening, I remembered that as egos we continually exist as different illusionary separate space/time energy forms, until we’re dissolved as ONE LOVE within Mother/Father/God – our Eternal Source.

Whereupon I “channelled” (and later recorded and posted) the following sutra-poem, “Remember!”, which at age ninety I’ve re-recorded and republished today with updated sutra-sayings, quotations, and invocation.

This sutra-poem is dedicated to inspiring our heart-felt remembrance that as ego-embodied Human Souls we continuously appear and re-appear as space/time energy forms, until we’re formlessly dissolved as ONE LOVE within Mother/Father/God – our Eternal Source from which we’ve never separated.

As we deeply consider “Remember!”, may we gratefully and faithfully recall that being alive is being Love; that beyond the ego’s illusion of separation from Mother/Father/God, we eternally exist as ONE ‘dazzling Divinity’.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Remember!

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



Invocation

May we ever remember and never forget

That our true identity is Divine LOVE;

That as ego-embodied Human Souls
we’ve appeared as illusionary space/time energy forms,
to faithfully follow our Heart

Until we’re formlessly dissolved as ONE LOVE
within Mother/Father/God –
our Eternal Source.

May we ever remember and never forget

That our separation from Mother/Father/God never happened.

So we’ve nothing to fear – EVER.



And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Farewell Carol:
Tribute to an Unforgettable Friend
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“May the Lord give you peace.”
~ St. Francis of Assisi
“You are not a drop in the ocean.
You are the entire ocean in a drop.”
~ Rumi


Carol Schuldt, ‘Queen of the Beach’, (6/26/33–12/01/18)

Ron’s Introduction to “Farewell Carol”.

Dear Friends,

While living we keep learning. Even Sri Ramakrishna often said

“As long as I live, so long do I learn.”


So at age ninety, I am continually blessed with helpful new spiritual insights and perspectives.

Therefore, I’ve updated and am reposting my “Farewell Carol” memoirs tribute to Carol Schuldt, a departed dear friend who was one of the most unforgettable persons I’ve known in this precious human lifetime. (This posting and my other stories about Carol are linked here.)

Carol was an extraordinarily intuitive free spirit, whose authentic and inner directed spiritual life was an inspiration for me and countless others.

Spiritually I’ve learned and written a lot about my friendship with Carol. Although she had many obvious flawed behaviors and habits, her spontaneous continuing communion with nature and constant concern for helping others, especially special needs children and adults, and troubled souls, was spiritually inspiring.

Recent prior postings explain that upon physical incarnation in low energy Third Dimension [3D] space/time and duality, we experience unavoidable sufferings from fearful ego illusions, but that we can choose to hasten our elevation to higher dimensions beyond such sufferings with loving and helpful behaviors, like Carol’s, where our instinctive caring for one-another, will bless Earth-life with an unprecedented era of Universal LOVE.

Background

“Farewell Carol” was first posted on June 26, 2022 on Carol’s 89th birthday anniversary.

Previously Carol painlessly left her body on December 1st, 2018, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and heart failure at age 85.  A week later her body was interred in a wild nature place overlooking the Pacific Ocean, after spontaneous rituals and stories were shared by Carol’s friends on a beautiful sunny afternoon. 

In tribute to Carol, this posting has recounted my memoirs of our friendship, outlined Carol’s extraordinary spiritual history, told a miraculous synchronicity story about how I tearfully bid her farewell through our shared synchronistic harmony with St. Francis of Assisi, and concluded with my eulogy to Carol.

Carol Schuldt & Ron Rattner, @ Ron’s 80th birthday party, 11/11/’12

Carol was a legendary San Franciscan, sometimes known as ‘Queen of the Beach’ or ‘Mother Teresa of the Sunset’. She lived as a life-long nature lover and natural born shaman, authentically, intuitively, generously and spontaneously. (See Carol’s SF Chronicle obituary)

Carol and I had many synchronistic encounters, after we first met in the 1980’s. And we repeatedly shared our many ‘miraculous’ synchronicity stories (a few of which are posted here on SillySutras.com).

Before meeting Carol, I’d miraculously ‘discovered’ and become a lover of St. Francis of Assisi. And soon after meeting Carol, I learned that she too was a St. Francis lover, who constantly communed with Nature, even with the sun, the moon, and many nonhuman lifeforms.

So in tribute to Carol’s transition, I’ve writen about her spiritual history, and how I tearfully bid her farewell through our shared synchronistic harmony with St. Francis of Assisi.

Summary of Carol’s spiritual history.

Carol and I first met long ago while sitting at Aquatic Beach on San Francisco Bay (across from Ghirardelli Square), where I walked and where she often came to escape ocean fog and swim in the sun (without a wet suit). Afterwards we exchanged many “miracle” stories about our lives stemming from our countless experiences of synchronicities, or meaningful ‘coincidences’.

I deeply appreciated Carol as an amazingly free spirit with great instinctive wisdom and generosity.  Before we met, she’d already become a ‘living legend’ throughout and beyond her San Francisco ocean front neighborhood. And many stories were written or told about her. For example, an excellent story: “A Benevolent Queen of the Beach” appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on September 25, 2000. And in 2005 Carol was interviewed on film by the SF Public Library, about her history and life in the ‘hippie’ 1960’s.

The Chronicle article told of Carol’s exceptional inner wisdom even from childhood, when at Catholic school she adamantly refused to worship a bloody Christ on a crucifix, and was the only child exempted therefrom by the nuns, who recognized her wisdom.

The article also told how Carol’s dedication to helping special needs children and adults, and troubled souls, was spiritually inspiring. But that paradoxically Carol experienced great family tragedy with all of her three children: her two daughters whose lives were lastingly impacted by drug addiction, and her son Pete who was permanently brain damaged in a childhood car accident. Because of her great generosity, especially toward needy young people, Carol was sometimes known as the “Mother Teresa of the Sunset District”. And as a daily swimmer/surfer she also became known as ‘Queen of the Beach’.

From childhood Carol was an extraordinarily intuitive free spirit. She never knowingly followed any prescribed Western or Eastern religious path, despite attempted childhood Catholic inculcation. Instead, she instinctively followed her own unique spiritual path of communing with Nature while surfing, swimming, sunning, hiking, biking, organic gardening, and helping troubled souls – especially young people.

Carol’s muraled house and organic garden.

Carol’s muraled house and aesthetic organic garden have symbolized her unique lifestyle as a St. Francis lover. Especially noteworthy is an artistically beautiful St. Francis of Assisi “Peace & Joy” mural at her home’s entryway – a delightfully surprising tourist attraction for visitors to San Francisco’s ocean beach area. On Carol’s roof top (above the mural) is an artistic portrayal of ‘Brother sun’, her main deity, and unfurled above the roof is a red Tibetan prayer flag, symbolizing Carol’s respect for the Tibetan culture and Dalai Lama.

Thus Carol’s house has eloquently exemplified her simple inner-directed life of instinctively communing with Nature, often without concern for outer–directed societal standards.

Carol’s St. Francis mural

Ron’s Synchronicity Story: “Goodbye St. Francis”= Farewell Carol

During forty years of living in the same San Francisco high-rise hermitage, my apartment has been adorned with many pictures and portrayals of St. Francis, my favorite saint, and of the peace prayer which he inspired. And until five years ago St. Francis in a stone statue also presided over my outside deck garden.

But in July 2018, I was obliged to remove everything from my outdoor deck so it could be renovated and repainted. Thereafter, I realized that I could no longer physically maintain my deck-top garden. So I decided to give away the plants and planters blessed by my St. Francis statue. While I was looking for new homes for my plants, the St. Francis statue was kept in an inconspicuous corner of my bedroom which was temporarily filled with many deck plants.

On December 1, 2018, my long-time neighbor and community gardener friend, Jan Monaghan, came to take pictures of my plants and planters, to help me find a new home for them. While showing Jan the St. Francis statue, I suddenly and inexplicably started crying, thinking and saying “goodbye Saint Francis”.  Thereafter for several hours I kept crying,

The next day, Sunday December 2nd, I learned (via email) that Carol’s soul had departed her body Saturday evening, and I intuited that while Ron was tearfully saying goodbye to St. Francis Carol’s soul was astrally bidding Ron ‘adieu’.

On Monday morning, realizing that my St. Francis statue needed a proper and prominent new place to stand, I decided to move it to my my high-rise hermitage view living room, where I spend most indoor waking hours. So I telepathically told the saint in the statue that (on returning from a brief walk) I was moving him to a perfect place on my living room wool carpet, and that I would find an appropriate indoor pedestal for him there ASAP.

Soon thereafter, I took a brief walk on nearby Vallejo street. After walking for about fifteen minutes I beheld an amazing manifestation miracle. Amongst a curbside pile of discarded objects, I saw a perfect pedestal for St. Francis, which I carried home. On returning home, I moved St. Francis to a new perfect place on my living room carpet where he now resides on that miraculously manifested pedestal. And just as Carol’s St. Francis mural appears below a red Tibetan roof-top prayer flag, my St. Francis statue stands beneath a red Tibetan Kalachakra thangka mandala, symbolizing respect for the Tibetan culture, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

St. Francis statue on pedestal in Ron’s high-rise hermitage

Eulogy to Carol Schuldt

After briefly blessing this world
as a lover of St Francis of Assisi,
the divine soul we’ve known as Carol Schuldt,
has returned to the Sun,
from whence she’ll reappear eternally
for endless new lifetime adventures,
in countless new forms, of
LOVE.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

The Unanswered Question”
~ Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony


“Music is the language of God.”

“Music can change the world.”

~ Ludwig van Beethoven




“Rise again, yes, rise again,

Will you, my dust, after a brief rest!

Immortal life! Immortal life

Will he who called you, give you.

“You are sown to bloom again!

The lord of the harvest goes

And gathers sheaves,

Us, who have died.

“O believe, my heart, O believe:

Nothing is lost to you!

Yours, yes yours, is what you desired

Yours, what you have loved

What you have fought for!

“O believe,

You were not born for nothing!

Have not lived for nothing,

Nor suffered!

“What was created

Must perish;

What perished, rise again!

Cease from trembling!

Prepare yourself to live!

“O Pain, you piercer of all things,

From you, I have been wrested!

O Death, you conqueror of all things,

Now, are you conquered!

“With wings which I have won for myself,

In love’s fierce striving,

I shall soar upwards

To the light which no eye has penetrated!

“I shall die in order to live.

“Rise again, yes, rise again,

Will you, my heart, in an instant!

That for which you suffered,

To God shall it carry you!”



~ Gustav Mahler – “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2

Gustav-Mahler- ~ July 7, 1860 – May 18, 1911

Ron’s Introduction to “The Unanswered Question”
~ Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony


Dear Friends,

Last month – to demonstrate how passionate mystical music elevates us beyond earthly cares and fears, and to so experience the eternal Light of timeless LOVE – I posted three YouTube video performances of one of the greatest symphonies of all time, Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2 (composed between 1888-1894) including a performance conducted by Leonard Bernstein, a long-time Mahler enthusiast and interpreter.

The concluding choral fifth movement of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony ends with the above-quoted words written by Mahler characterizing inevitable physical death, as a rebirth to the eternal Divine Light of God.

Mahler’s Ninth Symphony (composed in 1909), was his last completed symphony. Like his “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2, it can be conducted and interpreted, as an ode to spiritual rebirth, but also as prophetic of inevitable and unavoidable physical death.

Today, to augment the Mahler “Resurrection” Symphony posting, I’ve posted below as “The Unanswered Question”, Leonard Bernstein’s interpretation of Mahler’s music given in a 1973 Harvard University public lecture titled: “The Twentieth Century Crisis”.

In that lecture, Bernstein interprets Mahler’s music as a reflection of Mahler’s fifty year life and times (from 1860 to 1911), as well as prophetic of current times. Bernstein has even further believed that this Mahler Ninth symphony was a foreboding of the end of musical tonality, and end of honoring artists as European cultural heroes of Mahler’s era, and even of fascist world wars.

In 1973 Bernstein had become the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard. This prestigious position had previously been awarded to such notable musical figures as Igor Stravinsky and Aaron Copland, and to poets such as e.e. cummings and W.H. Auden. The professorship required Bernstein to deliver a series of six public lectures. Bernstein, a “Harvard man”, was honored to become a part of this distinguished tradition.

Bernstein’s “Twentieth Century Crisis” lecture began with his explanation of how during the twentieth century there had been gradually increasing and ultimately excessive musical ambiguity, that had destroyed the essential balance between clarity and ambiguity.

This “The Unanswered Question” lecture concluded with Bernstein’s deep discussion of Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony.

Bernstein described the Ninth symphony as Mahler’s prediction of his imminent physical death at age 50. It was Mahler’s last full symphony, completed soon after the death of his young daughter Maria, and when he’d been diagnosed with a very serious heart condition. After talking, Bernstein showed a video with him conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in the concluding Adagio from this Mahler masterpiece.

One of those attending “The Twentieth Century Crisis” lecture was Zen Master Hyon Gak Sunim, whose Zen center organization extracted Bernstein’s discussion of Mahler and posted it on their cagin YouTube channel as “The Unanswered Question”.

In cooperation with that Zen center organization, I have copied and reposted below “The Unanswered Question”.

May we view and deeply enjoy this video. May Gustav Mahler’s passionate 9th Symphony spiritually elevate us beyond earthly cares and fears, to experience the eternal Light of timeless LOVE.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

“The Twentieth Century Crisis” and Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony

Death? Afterlife? Rebirth?
~ Easter Reflections on Resurrections

At my death do not lament our separation …
as the sun and moon but seem to set,
in reality this is a rebirth.
~ Rumi
“I tell you the truth,
no one can see the kingdom of God
unless he is born again.”
~ John – 3:3
“The soul is eternal, all-pervading, unmodifiable, immovable and primordial.”
“The soul never takes birth and never dies at any time,
nor does it come into being again when the body is created.
The soul is birthless, eternal, imperishable and timeless,
and is never destroyed when the body is destroyed.
Just as a man giving up old worn out garments accepts other new apparel, in the same way the embodied soul giving up old and worn out bodies verily accepts new bodies.”
~ Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Krishna to Arjuna
“I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as a plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was man.
Why should I fear?
When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as man,
To soar with angels blest;
But even from angelhood I must pass on …”
~ Rumi
death, as men call him, ends what they call men
–but beauty is more now than dying’s when…
~ e. e. cummings
“The dewdrop belongs to the sea.
Separated, it is vulnerable to the sun and wind and other elements of nature;
but when the droplet returns to its source, it becomes magnified in oneness with the sea.
So it is with your life.  United to God you become immortal.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda
Eternal Life is gained by utter abandonment of one’s own life.
When God appears to His ardent lover the lover is absorbed in Him,
and not so much as a hair of the lover remains.
True lovers are as shadows, and when the sun shines in glory
the shadows vanish away.
He is a true lover to God to whom God says,
“I am thine, and thou art mine! ”
~ Rumi


Tree of Life

The Last Supper



The biblical story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection raises crucial issues about life and death – about afterlife and rebirth – and about our true identity and reality.

As countless millions traditionally commemorate the rebirth and resurrection of Jesus Christ following his physical death by crucifixion, let us contemplate the deep significance of that story.  Whether we regard it as historic or metaphoric, the story raises crucial issues about life and death – about afterlife and rebirth – and about our true identity and reality.

Physical death is inevitable, but Life is perpetual.

Death of the physical body is inevitable and unavoidable. After birth, “no matter how we strive, no body leaves alive.” Uncertainty exists only about time of death, and about whether there is conscious life after physical death.

For millennia seers, saints, philosophers and mystics have addressed perennial questions of life after physical death and of our true identity and reality. Since the beginning of the 20th century when Albert Einstein revolutionized Western science with his theories of special and general relativity, quantum physicists and other non-materialistic scientists have begun confirming ancient mystical insights.

Raymond A. Moody, Jr., PhD, MD coined the term ‘Near Death Experience’ [NDE] in his 1975 best-selling book “Life After Life”. Since then NDE’s have become widely considered, especially by millions who claim to have experienced them. And some leading-edge non-materialist scientists have cited testimonies about NDE’s and other extraordinary mystical experiences as evidence that consciousness survives physical death.

For example, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, world renowned scientist, teacher, author and pioneering authority on death and dying, believed in survival of spirit after physical death, and used butterflies as symbols of the death process.

Soon after World War II, she visited the children’s barracks at the Maidanek concentration camp in Poland. There, amazingly, she observed hundreds of butterfly images drawn by the inmate children on the walls, even with pebbles and fingernails. Spellbound by the sight of butterflies drawn on the walls, she wondered why they were there and what they meant.

Twenty-five years later, after listening to hundreds of terminally ill patients, she finally realized that the imprisoned children must have known that they were going to die, and intuitively were using butterflies as images of the physical death process. Dr. Kubler-Ross thus explained in The Wheel of Life, A Memoir of Living and Dying:

“They knew that soon they would become butterflies. Once dead, they would be out of that hellish place. Not tortured anymore. Not separated from their families. Not sent to gas chambers. None of this gruesome life mattered anymore. Soon they would leave their bodies the way a butterfly leaves its cocoon. And I realized that was the message they wanted to leave for future generations. . . .It also provided the imagery that I would use for the rest of my career to explain the process of death and dying.”


Dr. Kubler-Ross’s writings have inspired many other non-materialist scientists, authors, and teachers who have followed her lead. Also, of great importance in helping us understand whether spirit survives physical death were the ground-breaking scientific studies by Dr. Ian Stevenson, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, who for forty years studied children world-wide who spontaneously remembered past lives. Dr. Stevenson objectively validated and documented about twelve hundred such cases.

Thanks to the ‘leading edge’ work of Dr. Kubler-Ross and Dr. Stevenson, and of distinguished non-material scientists inspired by them, there now exists overwhelming scientific evidence that consciousness and mind are independent of physical bodies; that our physical bodies and brains are not originators of consciousness and mind, but their receptors, tuners and transducers.  And that until we evolve beyond space/time duality reality, apparent reincarnation or rebirth may happen after death of the brain and physical body.

What survives physical death?

If – like snowflakes – each of us manifests as an absolutely unique physical form, what is it about us that can survive death of that unique form, and be “born and reborn”?

“Reincarnation” is often understood to be the transmigration of a “soul” – viz. apparently uniquely circumscribed spirit – to another body after physical death.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Hinduism’s most cited ancient scripture, Divine Avatar Krishna instructs Prince Arjuna that:

“The soul is eternal, all-pervading, unmodifiable, immovable and primordial.”; “The soul never takes birth and never dies” but “when the body is destroyed” or when “giving up old and worn out bodies . . [it] accepts new bodies.”
~ Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2


Though in Buddhism there is no concept of separate soul or individual self that survives death, Buddhists believe in rebirth. Like most mystics, Buddhists say that in addition to our physical body, we are enveloped by subtle astral and mental bodies, which survive death of the physical body and become consciously associated with successive physical bodies.

Thus the Dalai Lama says that:

“We are born and reborn countless number of times, and it is possible that each being has been our parent at one time or another.  Therefore, it is likely that all beings in this universe have familial connections.”


A detailed and compelling description of afterlife can be found in “Autobiography of a Yogi”, by Paramahansa Yogananda, Chapter 43 – The Resurrection of Sri Yukteswar .   There Yogananda credibly recounts a long discussion with his physically deceased Guru, Sri Yukteswar, who – like Jesus – resurrected to explain to his disciple Yogananda many details of afterlife.  [You can read that extraordinarily fascinating story at http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Autobiography_of_a_Yogi/Chapter_43

Many psychics say that on physical death “we” survive and enter different realms. eg. http://www.victorzammit.com/Whenwedie/whatdoeshappen.htm

But ancient Vedic and Buddhist non-dualism philosophies (“Advaita”;”Advaya”) have for millennia taught that this impermanent and ever changing world is an unreal illusion called maya or samsara; and, that “all that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream”… .

“The world, indeed, is like a dream
and the treasures of the world are an alluring mirage!”
~ Buddha

“A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion,
does not act as if it is real,
so he escapes the suffering.”
~ Buddha


Notwithstanding the Buddha’s non-dualist teachings, the Dalai Lama says he practices death and rebirth eight times daily. And, as Tibetan Bodhisattva of Compassion, he intends to return until all sentient beings are liberated from suffering.

If you had the option of a one-way exit pass to ‘heaven’, would you volunteer as a Bodhisattva to come back to this crazy world?

Vivekananda and Einstein.

The ancient Eastern non-dualism teachings were first brought to large Western audiences by Swami Vivekananda, principal disciple of nineteenth century Indian Holy Man Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, at and after the 1893 Parliament of World Religions in Chicago.

In an eloquent New York City lecture called “The Real and the Apparent Man”, Vivekananda equated maya or samsara with “time, space, and causation” and presciently predicted scientific confirmation of the ancient Vedic non-dual philosophy of One Infinite Existence. He said:

“According to the Advaita philosophy, ..this Maya or ignorance–or name and form, or, as it has been called in Europe, time, space, and causality–is out of this one Infinite Existence showing us the manifoldness of the universe; in substance, this universe is one. So long as any one thinks that there are two ultimate realities, he is mistaken. When he has come to know that there is but one, he is right. This is what is being proved to us every day, on the physical plane, on the mental plane, and also on the spiritual plane.”


“What then becomes of all this threefold eschatology of the dualist, that when a man dies he goes to heaven, or goes to this or that sphere, and that the wicked persons become ghosts, and become animals, and so forth? None comes and none goes, says the non-dualist. How can you come and go? You are infinite; where is the place for you to go?
 
“So it is with regard to the soul; the very question of birth and death in regard to it is utter nonsense. Who goes and who comes? Where are you not? Where is the heaven that you are not in already? Omnipresent is the Self of man. Where is it to go? Where is it not to go? It is everywhere. So all this childish dream and puerile illusion of birth and death, of heavens and higher heavens and lower worlds, all vanish immediately for the perfect. For the nearly perfect it vanishes after showing them the several scenes up to Brahmaloka. It continues for the ignorant.”


“Your own will is all that answers prayer, only it appears under the guise of different religious conceptions to each mind. We may call it Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, but it is only the Self, the ‘I’.”


~ Swami Vivekananda – Jnana Yoga


Revered 20th century Indian sage, Sri Ramana Maharshi – who was a renowned exponent of non-dualism – taught that for self-realized beings there is no reincarnation, but that reincarnation exists until self-realization – that self-realization reveals this entire world of space/time/duality as illusionary maya or samsara. Thus, responding to the question: “Is reincarnation true?”,  he said: 

“Reincarnation exists only so long as there is ignorance. There is really no reincarnation at all, either now or before. Nor will there be any hereafter. This is the truth.”


Einstein’s revolutionary non-mechanistic science and unconventional religious ideas were consistent with highest non-dualistic Eastern religious teachings, because they questioned the substantiality of matter, the ultimate reality of space, time and causality, and reincarnation. Like Vivekananda, Einstein said:

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”



“Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”



“Space and time are not conditions in which we live, they are modes in which we think”

“Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.”

“There is no place in this new kind of physics for the field and matter, for the field is the only reality.”




“That which is impenetrable to us really exists. Behind the secrets of nature remains something subtle, intangible, and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion.”

“I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, …Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism.”

~ Albert Einstein


Ron’s Explanations and Reflections on Reincarnations and Resurrections.

Dear Friends,

At age ninety, I have long reflected upon crucially important perennial questions concerning life, death, afterlife, and rebirth. And thereby I’ve been blessed to realize that consciousness we call “life” continues eternally after inevitable physical death.

Until my mid-life spiritual awakening, I self-identified only as my mortal physical body, its thoughts and its story, and believed that inevitable death of the body ended life. I had no opinion, knowledge or belief concerning reincarnation or afterlife in ‘heaven’ or ‘hell’, or of an immortal “soul”.

Then in my early forties, I had irreversibly transformative experiences of spiritual self-identity and afterlife: I began to realize that I was not merely my mortal body, its thoughts and story, but eternal and universal awareness. And I started seeing visions of apparent past lives, and inner and outer appearances of deceased people, including my maternal grandfather and Mahatma Gandhi, who I now regard as my first perceived inner guide.

So, I began accepting Eastern ideas of reincarnation and transmigration of an eternal soul, while gradually losing fear of inevitable physical death. Then, on meeting my beloved Guruji, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, I learned that from childhood he had been preoccupied with two perennial puzzles: “Who am I?” and “What is death?”; and, that at age thirteen, inspired by irresistible inner longing, Guruji had run away from home in search of experiential answers to those eternal questions.

Inspired by Guruji, I developed a deep curiosity and philosophical interest in the spiritual significance of death and dying, reincarnation and karma. Elsewhere, on SillySutras.com I have shared many experiences, essays, quotes and poems on these subjects. (See, e.g., https://sillysutras.com/category/afterlife/ ;https://sillysutras.com/category/life-and-death/; https://sillysutras.com/category/reincarnation/ )

Ultimately I’ve concluded that cosmically there is no death; that “birth and death are virtual, while Life is perpetual” and that “as we lose our fear of leaving life, we gain the art of living life.” (See e.g. https://sillysutras.com/know-death-to-know-life-know-death-to-know-that-there-is-no-death/ )

Consequently, I’ve become ever less fearful about my own inevitable and perhaps imminent bodily death, and often witness Earth-life like an illusionary play or movie, rather than Reality – which I now consider timeless LOVE as Infinite Potentiality beyond comprehension, imagination or description.

Moreover, I’ve become persuaded that from a Self–realized ‘Buddha’s eye view’ all our supposedly separate lifetimes, incarnations, emanations or appearances can be Seen timelessly and concurrently – formed like ink blots in a ‘big bang’ Rorschach test; but that (except for rare Avatars or Buddhas) we are karmically challenged to live each supposed space/time lifetime as lovingly and empathetically as possible, while ever mindful that we are not separate mortal entities but indivisible formless and eternal Infinite Potentiality as LOVE.

To encourage our deep insights on perennial questions of afterlife and reincarnation, like “Who am I?” and “What is death?”, I have shared the foregoing writings.

May Easter and every day help us attain destined inner fulfillment and happiness during our ephemeral lifetimes on precious planet Earth.

And so may it be!

2023 Epilogue.

Dear Friends,

During recent equinox holidays we have experienced an unprecedented era of social, psychological, political, and economic turbulence, violence, and polarity, with seemingly imminent nuclear war or other omnicidal catastrophe ending earth-life as we’ve known it.

More people than ever before are suffering fears of death, illness, impoverishment, or imminent calamity, and are unable to live normally. They feel deprived of God-given human rights and necessities, and prevented from engaging in customary economic and social activities. Some are homeless or ‘sheltering’ unable to reverently commemorate the equinox holidays with others. 

Nonetheless, our species is still insanely plundering, polluting and pillaging our planet’s limited resources and and unsustainably destroying it’s precious ecosystem and climate.

But, paradoxically, this is also a time of epochal opportunity, not only a time of apparently imminent catastrophe caused or condoned by our species.

Thus, this an especially appropriate time for us to deeply reflect upon our fundamental life purposes, priorities and responsibilities as sentient Earth beings.

Because ignorance of humanity’s immortal Self-Identity causes continual fearful sufferings which impede evolution and progress, it is crucial that we transcend fears. So the foregoing writings are offered to help us overcome our fears, and thereby enter an unprecedented new era of peace and prosperity on earth.

Dedication

These writings are deeply dedicated to encouraging reflection about our Eternal Self-identity as timeless Divine LOVE.

May they help us experience ever expanding fulfillment and inner happiness during our ephemeral lifetimes on precious planet Earth, whatever we believe about death, afterlife or rebirth.

Invocation.

May we – in this ephemeral human lifetime
on our precious planet Earth –
realize our common dream for a new reality,
where everyone everywhere is happy.

May Everyone Everywhere Be Happy!
“Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu!”



And so shall it be!!

Ron Rattner

Remembering the Resurrection of Jesus Christ with Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2


“Music is the language of God.”
“Music can change the world.”
~ Ludwig van Beethoven

“Music is a moral law.
It gives a soul to the universe,

wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination,
a charm to sadness,

and life to everything.
It is the essence of order.”

~ Plato



”Music then is simply the result of
the effects of Love on rhythm and harmony.”
~ Plato


”Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God
and the permissible delights of the soul.”

”Harmony is next to Godliness”
~ Johann Sebastian Bach


“If only the whole world could feel the power of harmony.”
~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“

Every element has a sound,
an original sound from the order of God;
all those sounds unite like the harmony from harps and zithers.”
~ Hildegard of Bingen

Gustav-Mahler- ~ July 7, 1860 – May 18, 1911


Ron’s Introduction to Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2

Dear Friends,

In prior memoirs chapters I have explained and demonstrated how open-hearted listening to mystical music, attuned to the eternal Light of timeless LOVE, elevates our earth-energies (beyond the fearful ego-mind) to impart deep wisdom, regardless of whether we self-identify as being religious or spiritual, or with a gender, ethnicity, or as any other separate entity label.

Also, as my recent Vernal Equinox Blessings posting explains, happiness in life comes to all those who lovingly live for the happiness of others, regardless of their supposed separate self-identity.

Today’s posting features embedded YouTube video passionate performances of one of the greatest symphonies of all time, Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2 composed between 1888-1894. These performances demonstrate how mystical music elevates us beyond earthly cares and fears, to experience the eternal Light of timeless LOVE.

They are:

1) A May 2011 BBC Proms performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No.2 at the Royal Albert Hall in London by world-renowned Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel leading the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra. [English translations of Mahler’s German lyrics are visually displayed for choral and solo vocal passages.]

2) A June 1995 performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection”Symphony No.2 at the Urakami Cathedral, Nagasaki, Japan, by the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, plus 10 members of the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, in a “Concert for Peace” arranged and led by world-renowned Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa.
[Only Japanese translations of Mahler’s German lyrics are visually displayed for choral and solo vocal passages. English translations are posted below.]

3) A May 1974 performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection”Symphony No.2 at the Edinburgh Festival by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Bernstein with the Edinburgh Festival Chorus with soloists – soprano: Sheila Armstrong, mezzo-soprano: Janet Baker

4) A separate YouTube video of only the triumphant conclusion of the LSO Edinburgh Festival performance which includes visually displayed English translations of Mahler’s German lyrics for choral and solo vocal passages

Although Mahler’s music is timeless, its resurrection theme is relevant to the current pre-Easter 40 day period of Lent, to prepare for celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter.

And paradoxically the Nagasaki Cathedral venue for the 1995 Japanese performance can be regarded as the symbolic resurrection of a great industrial city with 263,000 people, which was totally destroyed by a US plutonium nuclear bomb on August 9th, 1945.

What is Lent?

Lent is a 40 day period of preparation to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter. It is a season of faithful prayer, fasting, and alms-giving intended to open the inner Sacred Heart.

In the New Testament, Jesus went into the desert to fast and pray for forty days and forty nights. It was during this time that Satan unsuccessfully tried to tempt him ( Matthew 4:1–3).

Also in the Old Testament, the prophet Moses went into the mountains for forty days and forty nights to pray and fast “without eating bread or drinking water” before receiving the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:28). Likewise, the prophet Elijah went into the mountains for forty days and nights to fast and pray “until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God” when “the word of the Lord came to him” ( 1 Kings 19:8–9).

The forty day and night fasts of Moses, Elijah, and Jesus prepared them for their work. And those who observe the forty day Lent period honor that tradition.

Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2

Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2 is one of the most popular symphonies of all time. Composed between 1888-1894, it was Mahler’s first major work that established his lifelong view of the beauty of afterlife and resurrection.

A current 5 movement version of this symphony was produced and first performed at the Royal Albert Hall London in October 2005.

It featured the following (translated to English) choral and solo vocal lyrics originally written in German by Mahler himself:

Fourth Movement

Primeval Light

O little red rose!
Man lies in greatest need!

Man lies in greatest pain!

How I would rather be in heaven.



There came I upon a broad path

when came a little angel and wanted to turn me away.

Ah no! I would not let myself be turned away!

I am from God and shall return to God!

The loving God will grant me a little light,

Which will light me into that eternal blissful life!

Fifth Movement

Rise again, yes, rise again,
Will you, my dust, after a brief rest!
Immortal life! Immortal life
Will he who called you, give you.

You are sown to bloom again!
The lord of the harvest goes
And gathers sheaves,
Us, who have died.
  
O believe, my heart, O believe:
Nothing is lost to you!
Yours, yes yours, is what you desired
Yours, what you have loved
What you have fought for!

O believe,
You were not born for nothing!
Have not lived for nothing,
Nor suffered!

What was created
Must perish;
What perished, rise again!
Cease from trembling!
Prepare yourself to live!

O Pain, you piercer of all things,
From you, I have been wrested!
O Death, you conqueror of all things,
Now, are you conquered!

With wings which I have won for myself,
In love’s fierce striving,
I shall soar upwards
To the light which no eye has penetrated!

I shall die in order to live.

Rise again, yes, rise again,
Will you, my heart, in an instant!
That for which you suffered,
To God shall it carry you!

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._2_(Mahler)

Dedication

This posting of Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2 is deeply dedicated to elevating our earth-energies (beyond the fearful ego-mind) by imparting deep wisdom, regardless of whether we self-identify as being a religious or spiritual person, or with a gender, ethnicity, or as any other separate personality or entity label.

May this commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ thereby inspire all of us to live lovingly for the happiness of others, regardless of our supposed separate self-identities.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

May 2011 BBC Proms performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No.2




June 1995 performance at the Urakami Cathedral, Nagasaki, Japan, of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No.2



May 1974 performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection”Symphony No.2 at the Edinburgh Festival



Conclusion of the LSO Edinburgh Festival performance with English translations of Mahler’s German lyrics


Einstein’s Mystical Ideas About God, Death, Afterlife, and Reincarnation

“I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, …Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism.
~ Albert Einstein, as quoted in his New York Times Obituary, April 19, 1955)


Albert Einstein
March 14, 1879 – April 18,1955

Ron’s Introduction to Einstein’s Mystical Ideas About God, Death, Afterlife, and Reincarnation

Dear Friends,

Today’s republished post honors Albert Einstein on the 144th anniversary of his birth on March 14, 1879. According to his New York Times Obituary, published April 19, 1955, Einstein was not only a great scientist but a wise philosopher and a pragmatic “true mystic” … “of a deeply religious nature.”

I first wrote and published this posting in 2011 soon after SillySutras went online. Since then, it has consistently been the most popular article on this website. It was composed long after my spiritual awakening.

I was never talented in or studied mathematics or traditional sciences. Apart from Albert Einstein’s global reputation as a scientific genius whose E=mc2 discoveries that everything everywhere is endless energy had revolutionized our understanding of space/time reality, I knew little about him.

I began learning about Einstein in 2002 after getting my first computer, under the following circumstances.

Background

Many silly sutras, poems and essays were first written on bits of paper during an extended period of solitude, when I had no computer, TV, or daily paper, and was extremely reluctant to participate in the ‘digital revolution’. To express my skeptical attitude about possible technological transformation, I wrote that I chose the “inner net” rather than the internet; that while “the world wants ever more information, Ron seeks infinite inspiration: in the Unknown, in the Mystery – the Mystery of Divinity”.



But finally, despite prolonged reluctance to go on-line, I felt obliged to get a computer in 2002 after my son Josh had significant legal problems requiring my professional help.

Only thereafter did I discover Albert Einstein’s wise quotations on many philosophical subjects other than theoretical physics. I was amazed to find that Einstein had expressed many of the same perennial wisdom non-duality ideas which were expressed in my sutras.

Thereafter, in trying to discuss those ideas with others I often used Einstein quotes, rather than sutras. [As a lawyer I learned that it is much more persuasive to cite Supreme Court rulings than decisions of an unknown justice of the peace.]

Thus, the following essay about “Einstein’s Mystical Ideas About God, Death, Afterlife, and Reincarnation” was composed from a perennial wisdom non-dualism perspective. It is now supplemented below with embedded biographical videos about Einstein.

Please enjoy and reflect upon that perennial wisdom, as we honor Albert Einstein on the 144th anniversary of his March 14, 1879 birthday.

Albert Einstein’s Mystical Ideas About God, Death, Afterlife, and Reincarnation



Albert Einstein was not only a great scientist but a wise philosopher and a pragmatic “true mystic” … “of a deeply religious nature.” (New York Times Obituary, April 19, 1955)



Einstein did not believe in a formal, dogmatic religion, but was religiously and reverently awed and humbled with a cosmic religious feeling by the immense beauty and eternal mystery of our Universe.



He often commented publicly on religious and ethical subjects, and thereby he became widely respected for his moral integrity and mystical wisdom, as well as for his scientific genius.



In an essay collection entitled The World As I See It, first published 1933, Einstein explained his reverence for God as Eternal Universal Intelligence. But he rejected prevalent religious ideas of individual survival of physical death, reincarnation, or of reward or punishment in heaven or hell after physical death. He said:

I am a deeply religious man. I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls. Enough for me the mystery of the eternity of life, and the inkling of the marvelous structure of reality, together with the single-hearted endeavor to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature. [The World As I See It]


On learning of the death of a lifelong friend, Einstein wrote in a March 1955 letter to his friend’s family:

“Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”



Einstein’s rejection of afterlife contradicted many religious teachings and credible experiential accounts of individual afterlife and reincarnation. But it was consistent with Einstein’s revolutionary scientific paradigm and with highest non-dualistic Eastern religious teachings, the most ancient extant of which is Hindu Advaita Vedanta philosophy.



Einstein revolutionized Western science with his 1905 groundbreaking theory of relativity that “mass and energy are both but different manifestations of the same thing”; that there was an equivalence between all matter and energy in the universe, quantifiable by the simple equation E=mc2. On his arrival in New York in 1919, Einstein summarized his theory of relativity in the single sentence:

“Remove matter from the universe and you also remove space and time.”
Clark R.W., Einstein: His Life and Times (1973)

Though Vedic rishis or seers had anticipated Einstein by millennia, their teachings were largely unknown in the West until shortly before Einstein revolutionized Western science.

The ancient Vedic Advaita teachings were first brought to large Western audiences by Swami Vivekananda – who came to the West as Indian delegate to the 1893 Parliament of World Religions.



Vivekananda, who was principle disciple of nineteenth century Indian Holy Man Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, eloquently explained that according to Advaita philosophy this impermanent and ever changing world is an unreal illusion called maya or samsara; and, that “all that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream”… 

In an eloquent New York City lecture called “The Real and the Apparent Man”, he equated maya or samsara with “time, space, and causation” and presciently predicted scientific confirmation of the ancient Vedic non-dual philosophy of One Infinite Existence. He said:

“According to the Advaita philosophy, ..this Maya or ignorance–or name and form, or, as it has been called in Europe, time, space, and causality–is out of this one Infinite Existence showing us the manifoldness of the universe; in substance, this universe is one. So long as any one thinks that there are two ultimate realities, he is mistaken. When he has come to know that there is but one, he is right. This is what is being proved to us every day, on the physical plane, on the mental plane, and also on the spiritual plane.

“What then becomes of all this threefold eschatology of the dualist, that when a man dies he goes to heaven, or goes to this or that sphere, and that the wicked persons become ghosts, and become animals, and so forth? None comes and none goes, says the non-dualist. How can you come and go? You are infinite; where is the place for you to go?

“So it is with regard to the soul; the very question of birth and death in regard to it is utter nonsense. Who goes and who comes? Where are you not? Where is the heaven that you are not in already? Omnipresent is the Self of man. Where is it to go? Where is it not to go? It is everywhere. So all this childish dream and puerile illusion of birth and death, of heavens and higher heavens and lower worlds, all vanish immediately for the perfect. For the nearly perfect it vanishes after showing them the several scenes up to Brahmaloka. It continues for the ignorant.”

“Time, space and causation are like the glass through which the Absolute is seen. In the Absolute there is neither time, space nor causation.”

“Science and religion will meet and shake hands…When the scientific teacher asserts that all things are the manifestation of one force, does it not remind you of the God of whom you hear in the Upanishads? Do you not see whither science is tending?”

“…this separation between man and man, between nation and nation, between earth and moon, between moon and sun. Out of this idea of separation between atom and atom comes all misery. But the Vedanta says that this separation does not exist, it is not real.”

“Your own will is all that answers prayer, only it appears under the guise of different religious conceptions to each mind. We may call it Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, but it is only the Self, the ‘I’.”

~ Swami Vivekananda – Jnana Yoga



Einstein’s non-mechanistic science was very difficult for Western materialist minds to comprehend because his mystical view questioned the substantiality of matter and the ultimate reality of space, time and causality. Like Vivekananda, he said:

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”


“Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”


“Space and time are not conditions in which we live, they are modes in which we think”

“Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.”



“There is no place in this new kind of physics for the field and matter, for the field is the only reality.”





“That which is impenetrable to us really exists. Behind the secrets of nature remains something subtle, intangible, and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion.”



Thus, Einstein’s rejection of prevalent religious ideas about God and individual survival of physical death and afterlife was consistent with his revolutionary science as well as with Eastern non-dualistic teachings explained by Vivekenanda that apparent separation between subject and object is an unreal “optical illusion of consciousness.”

Did Einstein’s psyche survive his death?
Was he surprised on his demise?

Though Einstein didn’t believe in individual survival of physical death, he may have been surprised on his demise. Conservation of energy is basic to physics. So Einstein must have realized that his subtle energetic essence was indestructible and could only be transformed from one state to another. But we don’t know how that knowledge may have influenced his opinion about what happens on individual death, or his experience thereafter.



Except for very rare Buddha-like people who transcend all desires, it is probable that all humans survive physical death as psyches or mental bodies, irrespective of their beliefs. So the Dalai Lama has said:

“[Physical qualities] cannot be carried over into the next life.
The continuum of the mind, however, does carry on.
Therefore, a quality based on the mind is more enduring. …
So, through training the mind, qualities such as compassion, love, and the wisdom realizing emptiness can be developed.”
~ H.H. Dalai Lama, from Practicing wisdom: the perfection of Shantideva’s Bodhisattva way


Thus, Buddhists say that Gautama Buddha experienced countless incarnations over eons of time before ultimately transcending the cycle of birth and death. And the Dalai Lama has said:

“We are born and reborn countless number of times, and it is possible that each being has been our parent at one time or another. Therefore, it is likely that all beings in this universe have familial connections.”
~ H. H. Dalai Lama, from ‘The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom”.


But, rather than wondering if on demise of Einstein’s physical body and extraordinary brain, his subtle mental body survived – with its unfulfilled desire to find a single simple “unified field” formula explaining phenomenal reality from perspective of ‘the mind of God’ – let us honor his immense evolutionary accomplishments and take inspiration from his compassionate social activism, and pragmatic wisdom.



And thereby let us learn to live ever more peacefully, harmoniously and skillfully, in this ever changing phenomenal world of space, time and causation, as together we evolve out of the darkness of ignorance and into the light of Eternal Awareness.



And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Conclusion and Dedication

Albert Einstein’s revolutionary science and unconventional religious ideas were consistent with highest non-dualistic Eastern religious teachings. Therefore, although Einstein was “a deeply religious man”, and not an atheist, he rejected prevalent religious ideas of individual survival of physical death, reincarnation, or of reward or punishment in heaven or hell after physical death.  

Apparently this SillySutras essay has helped introduce many people to pivotal non-dualism teachings, as elucidated with above key quotations from Einstein and Swami Vivekananda.   So it is deeply dedicated to helping us live according to these perennial teachings, and thereby to find ever more happiness in our lives.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


How I See the World – PBS Documentary Film About Einstein:






George Bernard Shaw pays tribute to Albert Einstein