Compassion

Remembering the Mirror of the Mind
With Passionate Love Songs
~ Ron’s Memoirs

There’s a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us, somewhere.

There’s a time for us,
Some day a time for us,
Time together with time to spare,
Time to learn, time to care.

Some day!
Somewhere!

~ West Side Story, Leonard Bernstein music, Stephen Sondheim lyrics.



Remembering the Mirror of the Mind
With Passionate Love Songs
~ Ron’s Memoirs


Introduction

Dear Friends,

My recent memoirs postings have emphasized the fundamental spiritual importance of Remembering the Mirror of the Mind, because we create our “optical illusion” of reality with our thoughts and projections of our perceptions.

Some of these postings have explained this with words and demonstrated it with music. Their intent is to show how open-hearted listening to the sounds of mystical music (whether or not vocalized) can communicate deep inner wisdom.

My last postings were inspired by “Passion” a musical play with lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim.

Today’s posting was inspired by the 1957 Broadway musical West Side Story, (a contemporized version of the Romeo and Juliet story) with masterly music composed by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

It features a heart-felt performance of the West Side Story song “Somewhere” sung by Matt Leisy at a 2015 gay pride benefit, and a West Side Story “Maria” cello solo, by Hajime Mizoguchi and “Somewhere” vocal solo by Hayley Westenra – sung in Japan, March 2012.

Today’s posting demonstrates the timeless power of “Somewhere” when sung from a heart-space attuned to universal love energy, by anyone, regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity, or other labels.

Thus, the performances of “Somewhere” embedded below show how we can remember the Mirror of the Mind by intuitively listening to mystical music which (beyond words) conveys deep wisdom of timeless LOVE.


Somewhere (West Side Story) Lyrics

There’s a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us, somewhere.

There’s a time for us,
Some day a time for us,
Time together with time to spare,
Time to learn, time to care.

Some day!
Somewhere!

We’ll find a new way of living,
We’ll find a way of forgiving.
Somewhere,
Somewhere . . .

There’s a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we’re halfway there.
Hold my hand and I’ll take you there

Somehow,
Some day,
Somewhere!



Somewhere (West Side Story) -“2015 Performance of “Somewhere” by Matt Leisy

Somewhere (West Side Story) – Matt Leisy




West Side Story “Maria” cello solo by Hajime Mizoguchi , and “Somewhere” vocal solo by Hayley Westenra – performed in Japan March 2012



Dedication

May the above performances of “Somewhere” and “Maria” help us remember the Mirror of the Mind when listening to mystical music which (beyond words) conveys deep wisdom of timeless LOVE.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner



Remembering the Mirror of the Mind
With Passionate Love Songs
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“Loving you is not a choice
It’s who I am
Loving you is not a choice
This is why I live
You are why I live”
~ Stephen Sondheim, Passion




Remembering the Mirror of the Mind
With Passionate Love Songs
~ Ron’s Memoirs


Introduction

Dear Friends,

My last memoirs postings explained with words, a mirror exhibit, and a mystical music performance, the spiritual importance of remembering the Mirror of the Mind.

Today’s posting demonstrates how hearing and seeing a passionate song, sung from a heart-space attuned to universal love energy, can help us remember the mirror of the mind to bless everyone everywhere.

It was inspired by “Passion” a musical play with lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim, which is briefly described below.

“Passion” Background and history

Passion is notable for being one of the few projects that Stephen Sondheim himself conceived. The story was adapted from an Italian film, Passione d’Amore, which Sondheim first viewed in 1983.

The plot is about how a handsome young soldier (in 19th century Italy), Giorgio, falls in love with a homely and ailing woman, Fosca, who has obsessively pursued him.

Sondheim’s masterly lyrics and music tell how a previously reluctant and selfish person can ultimately accept and reciprocate persistently powerful pure love feelings.

Passion opened and ran on Broadway from May 1994 to January 1995. After winning the Tony Award for Best Musical, the original cast performance was filmed and televised on PBS

Original Cast “Passion” Best Musical Performance



Original Loving You Performance by Donna Murphy, Best Actress



Loving You Lyrics

Loving you is not a choice
It’s who I am
Loving you is not a choice
And not much reason to rejoice
But it gives me purpose
Gives me voice to say to the world:
This is why I live
You are why I live


Conclusion and Dedication

Today’s posting reminds us that even previously selfish people,
can ultimately accept and reciprocate persistently powerful pure love feelings.

So may it help bless everyone everywhere, with openness to passionate songs,
attuned to heart-felt universal LOVE.

And so may it ever be!

Ron Rattner


Loving You Epilogue

Dear Friends,

The above posting features 1994 original cast recordings from Stephen Sondheim’s masterful lyrics and music in his award winning musical “Passion”. My foregoing comments emphasize the original story’s message that even previously selfish people, can ultimately accept and reciprocate persistently powerful pure love feelings in a single lifetime.

Since then I’ve realized that the “Passion” story reflects expansive mirror of mind perennial wisdom, which applies at different times to spiritually evolving people reincarnating and karmically learning timeless truths of Divine Grace and LOVE, which are ever present blessings in all human lifetimes.

For example the wisdom of Sondheim’s “Loving You” lyrics can be experienced in different ways, even by talented professional actors. To demonstrate this, I’ve embedded two more YouTube performances of “Loving You”; the first by actress Elana Rogers at a 2011 Olivier Awards ceremony; and the second a 2012 performance by Melissa Errico emotionally dedicated and sung to her husband.

May our continuing openness to such passionate songs, help us bless everyone everywhere attuned to heart-felt universal LOVE.


And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


2011 “Loving You” Performance by Elana Rogers at Olivier Awards ceremony




2012 “Loving You” Performance by Melissa Errico Dedicated to Her Husband.




Remembering the Mirror of the Mind by Loving
The Most Dangerous Animal in the World
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“You are looking at the most dangerous animal in the world.
It alone of all the animals that ever lived
can exterminate (and has) entire species of animals.
Now it has the power to wipe out all life on earth.”
~ 1963 Bronx Zoo Mirror Exhibit


The Most Dangerous Animal in the World

Remembering the Mirror of the Mind
by Loving The Most Dangerous Animal in the World
~ Ron’s Memoirs


Introduction

Dear Friends,

My last memoirs postings explained with words and music the spiritual importance of remembering the Mirror of the Mind.

Today’s posting tells how we can Remember the Mirror of the Mind by pardoning and loving everyone everywhere.

It is based upon prior postings and inspired by a 1963 exhibit at the Bronx Zoo, New York City, that was boldly titled “The Most Dangerous Animal in the World”. It featured a mirror and text describing the dangers humans pose to life on earth. In 1968 the exhibit was duplicated at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago.

The original bold red text under the exhibit read: “You are looking at the most dangerous animal in the world. It alone of all the animals that ever lived can exterminate (and has) entire species of animals. Now it has the power to wipe out all life on earth.”

The Bronx Zoo curator of mammals when asked in 1963 about visitors’ reactions, said: “They take it the way we want them to. It gets them to stop and think.”

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Most_Dangerous_Animal_in_the_World

Prior postings

Prior postings have explained how we each create our earthly reality with our unique ego thoughts, and why our perceived “reality” is only a mental illusion, which we reflect like mirrors. And how by understanding the mirror of our mind we can we can inwardly control it to advance (and not deter) our spiritual evolution.

Those postings have shown why fearful self-identification as a separate mortal physical body is our greatest evolutionary deterrent, and how we can energetically overcome all such mortal fear. That to transcend such mortal fears we should mindfully control our thoughts, and behave with forgiveness, kindness and compassion; and no longer confuse non-dual projected pure awareness as a separate objective world.

Optimistic future

I optimistically foresee that because of post-pandemic global disruptions of our “normal” lives we’ve reached a critical turning point in human history, when our species is awakening to a prophesied new elevated and enlightened Earth age, beyond worldwide fears and sufferings from mentally imagined absence of innate and eternal God-given LOVE.

In 2023 we are experiencing unprecedented global deprivations of normal economic and physical needs, strange terminal illnesses, and insane threats of nuclear, ecological, radiological or biological wars which would catastrophically end earth-life as we’ve known it.

I foresee that Mother/Father/God will imminently honor Nature to preserve it, rather than allow human insanity to catastrophically end Earth-life. And that a “critical mass” of our species will soon remember our long-forgotten Divine identity to transcend such insanity.

I’m also optimistic because our 3D Earthly fears and sufferings were not chosen by Human free-will, nor Divinely planned. And because our perceived earth-life separation from Nature and Mother/Father/God never happened.

So we have nothing to fear – EVER.


And so may it ever be!

Invocation

May these memoirs
encourage and inspire us
to ever remember the mirror of our ego-mind.

And so to behave lovingly,
unselfishly and compassionately,
beyond all fears, blame, or judgments,

Toward everyone/everywhere
with whom we gratefully co-exist
on our precious blue planet Earth.

And so to ever remember
and never forget

That we are and forever will BE
Eternal Divine Souls whose
perceived earth-life separation
from Nature and Mother/Father/God never happened.

So we have nothing to fear – EVER.



And so may it ever be!

Ron Rattner



Remembering the Mirror of the Mind
With Mystical Music ~ Ron’s Memoirs

“All appearances are verily one’s own concepts,
self-conceived in the mind,
like reflections seen in a mirror.
To know whether this be so or not,
look within thine own mind.”

~ Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche)




Remembering the Mirror of the Mind With Mystical Music
~ Ron’s Memoirs


Introduction

Dear Friends,

My last posting explained with words the spiritual importance of Remembering the Mirror of the Mind.

Today’s posting demonstrates how we can Remember the Mirror of the Mind by intuitively listening to mystical music which (beyond words) communicates that deep wisdom.

Embedded below is a ten minute performance of Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in the Mirror)
by eminent Estonian mystical composer Arvo Pärt. It is masterfully played by Lisa Batiashvili, violinist, and Hélène Grimaud, pianist just as scored by Arvo Pärt.

Please enjoy and reflect on it, to remember the mirror of the mind.

Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in the Mirror) by Arvo Pärt

Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in the Mirror) is one of the best known and most performed pieces by Arvo Pärt, and one of his last compositions before his departure from Estonia. In 1978, the renowned Russian violinist Vladimir Spivakov commissioned a piece from Pärt for violin and piano, and he premiered it at the Moscow Conservatory with the pianist Boris Bekhterev.

The composer and different musicians have created numerous versions of Spiegel im Spiegel for various instrument combinations. It has often been used in ballet and dance performances, films and documentaries and even in DJ remixes.

The musical material of Spiegel im Spiegel is presented with utmost clarity and strictness. It only consists of the melody of the violin solo instrument and the three-note piano accompaniment. The structure of the piece follows a strict formula, where no note is left to chance. The title directly reflects what is happening in the music: each ascending melodic line is followed by a descending mirror phrase.

Further musical analysis is detailed in the Source cited below.

(Source https://www.arvopart.ee/en/arvo-part/work/544/ )

Performance of Spiegel im Spiegel by Lisa Batiashvili, violinist, and Hélène Grimaud, pianist, as scored by the composer



Dedication

May this mystical music
help us intuitively experience and reflect upon
the deep and timeless spiritual importance of
Remembering the Mirror of the Mind.



And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Remembering the Mirror of the Mind
~ Ron’s Memoirs


“The identification of pure awareness
with the mind and its creations
 causes the [mistaken] apprehension of both an objective world and a perceiver of it.”

~ Patanjali – Yoga Sutras
“All appearances are verily one’s own concepts,
self-conceived in the mind,
like reflections seen in a mirror.
To know whether this be so or not,
look within thine own mind.”

~ Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche)
Perception is a mirror, not a fact.

And what I look on is my state of mind,
 reflected outward.”

~ A Course In Miracles
“When you look in the mirror, what do you see?”
Do you see the real you, or what you have been conditioned to believe is you?
The two are so, so different.
One is an infinite consciousness capable of being and creating whatever it chooses,
the other is an illusion imprisoned by its own perceived and programmed limitations.
~ David Icke
“The mind of the Sage being in repose
becomes the mirror of the universe,
the speculum of all creation.”
~ Chuang Tzŭ
“The Witness and the witnessed are ONE.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Saying
“Space and time are not conditions in which we live,

they are modes in which we think.”
“The distinction between past, present, and future

is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
“Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
~ Albert Einstein
“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.”

~ Albert Einstein
‘Time, space and causation
are like the glass through which the Absolute is seen…
In the Absolute there is neither time, space, nor causation.’
~ Swami Vivekananda [Jnana Yoga]
“Every particle of the world is a mirror.
In each atom lies the blazing light of a thousand suns.”
~ Mahmud Shabestari, Sufi Mystic, 15th century
“We are what we think.

All that we are arises with our thoughts.

With our thoughts we make the world.”
~ Buddha

“The world, indeed, is like a dream

and the treasures of the world are an alluring mirage!”

“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
“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.”
~ Swami Vivekananda [Jnana Yoga]
“We are like the spider.
We weave our life and then move along in it.
We are like the dreamer
who dreams and then lives in the dream.
This is true for the entire universe.”

~ Aitareya Upanishad
“Our mentality is our reality.

Our “reality” is what we think it to be.”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Whatever we think, do, or say,
changes this world in some way.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Thought divides Universal Awareness,
as a prism divides light.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Human consciousness is conditioned consciousness;
it is pure Awareness conditioned by ego conceptions.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Ego” = “Mind”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
One must elevate — and not degrade — oneself with
one’s own mind, which is one’s friend as
well as one’s enemy. The mind is the friend of those
who have control over it, and the mind acts like an
enemy for those who do not control it. (6.05-06)
~ Bhagavad Gita 6.5-6



Remembering the Mirror of the Mind ~ Ron’s Memoirs

Introduction

Dear Friends,

At age ninety I’m again updating memoirs to emphasize my most important spiritual insights learned since spiritually awakening over forty years ago.

I’ve learned that our space/time duality “reality” is an energetic mental illusion which we create with our unique “free choice” thoughts, beliefs and behaviors. And that by understanding and intuitively using and controlling our “mind” we can inwardly advance our happiness and spiritual evolution, despite challenging outer life circumstances, with inevitable fears and sufferings.

For millennia mystics, seers and sages have revealed that space/time/duality reality is an unreal mental illusion, that they’ve often called maya or samsara. And these inner discoveries have been scientifically confirmed by Albert Einstein’s revolutionary relativity discoveries that everything everywhere is endless energy – E=mc2.

As an elder seeker of Self-Realization, I’m sharing this memoirs posting to help us understand and use our minds to transform and transcend them. Therefore the posting explains how the mind functions like a mirror, which only perceives and projects reflections. These perceived reflections are mistakenly interpreted by our minds as physical or material objects, which are only optical energy illusions.

Like mirrors the clearer the mind, the clearer and more accurate are its displayed images. And minds like mirrors can identify as “reality” only via perceived light wave images. Since most humans discern only a tiny part of a vast and ever expanding electromagnetic energy spectrum, what we visually and mentally reify is only a persistent “optical illusion of consciousness.”

Yet while incarnate we cannot escape viewing our space/time duality world through the ‘mirror of the mind’. But more and more we can remember that it reflects the unseen light of Eternal Awareness onto the screen of our human consciousness its Source. And thereby we can gradually transform and transcend the mind’s persistent “optical illusion of consciousness.” by inwardly remembering and Self-identifying with that Eternal Light of Consciousness..

So by learning how human minds perceive, reflect, and project like mirrors we can better understand why our perceived reality is only a mental illusion, which we can inwardly control to advance (and not deter) our spiritual evolution.

(See What is the human “mind”? Is it best friend or worst enemy?)
(See Transcending Ego-Suffering)

Therefore, I’ve posted the above and following quotations and explanations about how human minds appear and function like mirrors, to further our spiritual evolution.

Quotations about mental unreality of time on Earth

“The world, indeed, is like a dream

and the treasures of the world are an alluring mirage!”

“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
“Space and time are not conditions in which we live,

they are modes in which we think.”
“The distinction between past, present, and future

is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
“Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
~ Albert Einstein
“Ego is the biggest enemy of humans. ”
~ Rig Veda
“The foundation of the Buddha’s teachings lies in compassion,
and the reason for practicing the teachings is to wipe out the persistence of ego,
the number-one enemy of compassion.”
~ Dalai Lama

“The mind is a bundle of thoughts.
The thoughts arise because there is the thinker.
The thinker is the ego.
The ego, if sought, will automatically vanish.
The ego and the mind are the same.
The ego is the root-thought from which all other thoughts arise.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“All bad qualities center round the ego. ..
There are neither good nor bad qualities in the Self.
The Self is free from all qualities. Qualities pertain to the mind only.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“The mind is only a bundle of thoughts [with] their root in the I-thought.
Whoever investigates the True “I” enjoys the stillness of bliss.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“All unhappiness is due to the ego. With it comes all your trouble.
If you would deny the ego and scorch it by ignoring it you would be free.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
One must elevate — and not degrade — oneself with
one’s own mind, which is one’s friend as
well as one’s enemy. The mind is the friend of those
who have control over it, and the mind acts like an
enemy for those who do not control it. (6.05-06)
~ Bhagavad Gita 6.5-6
“Every Cause has its Effect;
Every Effect has its Cause;
Everything happens according to Law;
Chance is but a name for Law not recognized;
There are many planes of causation,
But nothing escapes the Law.”
~ The Kybalion

Conclusions about the Mirror of the Mind as a controllable ego-mind illusion

The foregoing quotations from scriptures and seers and information on related SillySutras postings enable us to conclude that:

1) The ego = the mind; they are the same. The ego is the root I-thought from which all other thoughts arise. The mind is only a bundle of thoughts [with] their root in the I-thought.

2) Ego is what we think we are when we mistakenly self-identify as an individual mortal physical body separate from eternal non-duality Reality,
and as perceiver of a supposedly material space/time world. And our body is our ego incarnate.

3) Our Ego identification as separate forms permits our free choice. But it subjects us to the karmic cause and effect law at every energy plane of illusory separate existence. And at lower energy planes karmic suffering is inevitable. So ego can become like a psychological prison in which earthly karmic suffering or reward is unavoidable.

4) Uncontrolled ego invariably attempts to perpetuate its unreal existence. But such attempted ego self-preservation is always futile. What never existed can not be preserved.

5) Until the ego-mind is psychologically cleared, it can be controlled to gradually advance spiritual evolution. We can use it to lose it. Like using a thorn to remove another thorn’s sliver, we can use ego-mind to clear ego-mind.

6) To hasten our spiritual evolution we should mindfully control our thoughts, and behave with forgiveness, kindness and compassion; and no longer confuse non-dual projected pure awareness as a separate objective world.

7) We should remember that our perceived Earth-life separation from eternal Mother/Father/God and Nature is a mental illusion that never happened.
So we have nothing to fear – EVER.

Invocation


May we ever remember and never forget
That our true identity is immortal LOVE;

That all that is, was, or ever can be

is the Eternal Light of Divine Love – NOW!

That as embodied Human Souls
we’ve fleetingly appeared through the
Mirror of the Mind

As illusionary space/time energy forms,
to always follow our Heart

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

May we ever remember and never forget

That our separation from Source never happened.
So we’ve nothing to fear – EVER.


That all that is, was, or ever can be

is the Eternal Light of Divine Love – NOW!



And so may it ever be!

Ron Rattner

Remembering Sri Rama as Timeless Truth
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“When I identify myself with the body, O Lord,
I am Thy creature, eternally separate from Thee.
When I identify myself with the soul,
I am a spark of that Divine Fire which Thou art.
But when I identify myself with the Atman,
I and Thou art one.”
~ Sri Hanuman as devotee of Râma – source: Swami Vivekananda, in discourse on Jnana Yoga
Therefore the Jnani strives to realize the Self and nothing else.”
~ Swami Vivekananda, Jnana Yoga discourse
“Hanuman is the breath of Rama, the breath of God.
God is not far away from us but as close as our breath.
Symbolically Hanuman represents the breath, our constant companion and aid along the spiritual path.”
~ Tulsidas
God reveals Himself in the form which His devotees love most.
His love for devotees knows no bounds.
Puranas say that God assumed the form of Rama for His heroic devotee, Hanuman.
~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa
“You must have heard about the tremendous power of faith.
It is said . . that Rama, who was God Himself . . . had to build a bridge to cross the sea to Ceylon.
But Hanuman, trusting in Rama’s name, cleared the sea in one jump and reached the other side.
He had no need of a bridge.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa
“Rama was not only on the lips of Hanuman.
He was enthroned in his heart.
He gave Hanuman exhaustless strength.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
“Every line of the Hanuman Chalisa is a Mahamantra.”
~ Neem Karoli Baba
“The Witness and the witnessed are ONE.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
Like Hanumanji remembering Sri Rama,
may we ever leap beyond belief as LOVE
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

Dhyanyga Centers dyc.org


Remembering Sri Rama as Timeless Truth ~ Ron’s Memoirs

Introduction

Dear Friends,

As I’ve explained in recent postings, at age ninety I’m updating memoirs as an elder seeker of Self-Realization, to emphasize my most crucial spiritual insights learned since spiritually awakening over forty years ago.

Today’s memoirs posting supplements my last posting about Remembering Timeless Truth in which I explained how I realized from my “Born-Again Hindu” devotional prayers and practices that we are now re-experiencing prehistoric life cycles (recounted in the ancient Mahābhārata and Ramayana Vedic epics} wherein non-dual Divine justice always prevails over egoic immoral iniquity.

Upon that realization, many years ago I spontaneously composed and recorded a poetic sutra-song titled “Remember!”. In Remembering Timeless Truth I recently re-recorded and emotionally sang that sutra-song. Also I told about the legendary monkey-god Hanuman, who is venerated in the famous Hanuman Chalisa (which recounts some of Hanuman’s brave and miraculous feats) as ‘the protector of saints and sages’.

Today’s memoirs chapter “Remembering Sri Rama as Timeless Truth” emphasizes Hanuman’s importance to Guruji’s Rama devotees and Rama lineage led by Sri Anandi Ma. And I’ve recorded and included another sutra-poem titled “Who Are We?” which was especially inspired by my harmonious affinity with Hanumanji as a devotee of Lord Rama.

With the above quotations and my following comments, today’s memoirs are dedicated to furthering our common remembrance that we are all Rama as timeless “LOVE”

Hanuman


Who Are We?

We are Rama,

not the drama.

We are the Glory,

not the story.



We are the Whole,

not our role.

We are the screen,

not the movie.

We are That,

We are That,

We are That!

We are LOVE!

Aum Ram Sovayam,

Aum Ram Sovayam,

Aum Ram Sovayam!




Ron’s audio recitation of “Who Are We?”

Listen to

Who-Are-We.mp3

Ron’s Comments on Hanumanji’s Importance in Remembering Sri Rama as Timeless Truth

As revealed in the above quotations, Hanumanji’s constant unconditional Faith in God as Sita/Rama metaphorically epitomizes the boundless power of such Faith for devotees of Lord Rama to realize God as LOVE.

May Hanumanji inspire our transcendence of all fearful karmic belief in any ego-mind separation, with a leap of Faith to our true Reality as immortal LOVE.

Conclusion

Like Hanumanji remembering Sri Rama
May we ever remember and never forget
That our true identity is immortal LOVE;

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

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

May we ever remember and never forget

That our separation from Sita/Rama never happened.
So we’ve nothing to fear – EVER.



And so may it FOREVER be!

Ron Rattner

Remembering Timeless Truth
~ Ron’s Memoirs


Remember God, forget the rest.
Forget who you think you are,
to know what you really are.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. 
As you see him, you will see yourself.
As you treat him, you will treat yourself. 
As you think of him, you will think of yourself. 
Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself
or lose sight of yourself.”
~ A Course in Miracles (ACIM)


Ramayana


Remembering Timeless Truth ~ Ron’s Memoirs

Introduction

Dear Friends,

As I explained in recent postings, at age ninety I’m updating memoirs as an elder seeker of Self-Realization, to emphasize my most crucial spiritual insights learned so far, beginning with a spiritual awakening over forty years ago. Until then I was completely unaware of any spiritual reality or evolutionary goal, and I self-identified only with my mortal physical body, its labels, thoughts and story.

Then, after two decades of instinctively pursuing social justice causes as a secular litigation attorney, I was blessed with a spontaneous awakening from Newtonian reality, and previously presumed mortal self-identity as a physical body-form. Soon thereafter on the luckiest day of my life I synchronistically met a 100 year old Hindu Holy Man, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas (Guruji).* who initiated me with a Rama mantra, and a spritual name meaning “one engrossed in devotion”.

Whereupon I became a self-declared “Born-Again Hindu” and for the first time in this precious human lifetime I meditated regularly, and recited devotional Sanskrit prayers to attain a spiritual goal of of Self-Realization or Moksha. Since then, I’ve been experiencing an ongoing inner evolutionary process that is opening my intuitive Heart to formerly unimagined realizations about our eternal Self-identity and Reality as Divine LOVE.

Forty four years have now passed since I received Guruji’s spiritual initiation in April, 1978. But the kundalini evolutionary process which he initiated still continues. Thanks to Guruji’s subtle guidance, it appears to be removing my ego-mind limitations, so that there is today (self-identified with this life-form) much less “Ron” and much more “Ram”. Like ‘magical’ spiritual alchemy, the Rama kundalini energy is transmuting and transforming Ron’s humanity to Divinity.

At age one hundred sixteen Guruji consciously and intentionally left his physical body in India. But from subtle planes he continues to help humanity. So since then, with frequent tears of deep devotion and gratitude, I’ve continued to experience (at subtle levels of awareness) his profoundly transformative shakti energy.

* Footnote

See Facebook page Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas for a brief biography of Guruji, and many photos.

Remembering Timeless Truth

This memoirs chapter gratefully explains how as a devotional “Born-Again Hindu” I’ve realized that during our current karmic experiment in 3D Earthly space/time and duality, we are remembering and recycling prehistoric patterns of Divine Truth which (as recounted in ancient Hindu Vedas) can be considered as allegories for human life, helping humans attain greater understanding of God, Spiritual truth, purpose and Moksha liberation.

Hindu Vedic epics about Divine Non-duality

The two most accessed ancient epics in world literature are the Vedic Mahābhārata and Ramayana. They tell stories about Divine Avatars Krishna and Rama, who are both incarnations and icons of the same highest non-duality God.

1) Mahābhārata

In the Bhagavad Gita, which is the most influential extant Vedic spiritual scripture, Lord Krishna is charioteer for warrior Prince Arjuna in the Mahābhārata battle. On realizing that there are mutual friends and family members on both sides of the battle, Prince Arjuna refuses to fight. Whereupon Lord Krishna expounds on what constitutes right action, the meaning of life and the nature of the Divine. Thereby, with timeless and profound philosophic guidance, Lord Krishna persuades Arjuna to fulfill his moral duty or dharma. This happens even though Krishna and Arjuna have long been close cousins and friends.

2) Ramayana

This epic, narrates the life of Princess Sita, of Janakpur, and Prince Rama, of Ayodhya. It recounts Rama’s fourteen-year exile urged by Rama’s stepmother Kaikeyi upon his father King Dasharatha, and his journeys in Indian forests with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana. They soon encounter Monkey-God Hanuman who quickly becomes the faithful servant and protector of Princess Sita and Lord Rama.

Thereafter upon kidnapping of Sita by evil Ravana – King of Lanka (Ceylon) and resulting war, Monkey-God Hanuman is pivotal to Princess Sita’s rescue. He slays demons, burns down Lanka, and rescues Sita. This enables Rama’s jubilant return to Ayodhya to be crowned king.

Thus Hanuman is key to the inevitable ultimate victory of Divine justice over immoral iniquity, and reunification of innate Divine male and female aspects of ONE Mother-Father God.

Hanuman Chalisa

For many years one of my daily Hindu practices from Guruji was recitation of the Hanuman Chalisa – a poetic ode to the legendary monkey-god Hanuman by poet-saint and philosopher Tulsidas. The Chalisa venerates Hanumanji as ‘the protector of saints and sages’ and recounts some of his brave and miraculous feats. And after many years of recitations, I assimilated some of that social justice energy.

Though I ended daily recitation of the Hanuman Chalisa decades ago, like Hanuman I’ve continued to devotionally venerate Lord Rama. Frequently I spontaneously call and tearfully cry to Ram, even during nighttime sleep periods, and I’m often repeating my Ram mantra. Also I still often devotionally sing “Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram”

The Sanskrit word “Shri” means auspicious, and is only used as an honorific title. The words jai or jaya mean “Victory to!” In current English vernacular they exclaim “Hooray God!”

Remembering our eternal Self-identity and Reality as Divine LOVE

After retiring from legal practice at age sixty, with Guruji’s encouragement I instinctively spent many years reclusively reflecting about God.

And I soon realized from my “Born-Again Hindu” devotional prayers and practices to Lord Rama that we are experiencing the inevitable and destined victory of Divine justice over immoral iniquity as recounted in the Ramayana. That we are again remembering and recycling prehistoric Divine Truth about our only true SELF identity beyond our common space/time ego-mind illusion of being separate forms.

As embodied Human Souls we karmically appear as illusionary separate space/time energy forms, until we’re formlessly dissolved as ONE LOVE within Mother/Father/God – the Eternal Source from which we’ve never separated.

So upon remembering this timeless Truth I realized that Sri Ram, Jai Ram had again been victorious and that Divine justice had again prevailed over egoic immoral iniquity.

Whereupon I spontaneously composed and recorded a poetic sutra-song titled “Remember!”.

Today, I’ve written and recorded it again in timeless devotional homage to Sri Ram’s victory and Guruji’s Rama lineage.

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


Conclusion

May we ever remember and never forget

That our true identity is immortal LOVE;

That as embodied Human Souls
we’ve appeared as illusionary space/time energy forms,
to always 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 FOREVER be!

Ron Rattner




Season’s Blessings!

“To every thing there is a season,

and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

“What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.”

~ Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 1:9

“The winds of grace are always blowing,

but you have to raise the sail.”

~ Sri Ramakrishna

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
“The choice is not between violence and nonviolence,
but between nonviolence and nonexistence.”

~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Cherish or Perish.

Co-exist cooperatively, or

Co-expire catastrophically.”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness,
a kind of prison for us. . .Our task must be to free ourselves from this
[mental] prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all iving creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
~ Albert Einstein (edited excisions)

“The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion”; “space and time are not conditions in which we live, [but] modes in which we think.”
~ Albert Einstein




Season’s Blessings!

Dear Friends,


Following the recent September new-moon and solar equinox, we’re all blessed to experience a new season, as unique incarnate Earth-beings with unique karmic perspectives and limitations, and with different evolutionary life-cycle seasons and challenges. (See video linked below.)


“To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the sun (or heaven).”

~ Ecclesiastes 3:1


Though we’re each ending and beginning new space/time solar/lunar and karmic temporal seasons, Cosmically (beyond the ego-mind’s persistent perception-projection-deception), “there is nothing new under the sun”. [Ecclesiastes 1:9]



In this ever-changing illusory ego-mind reality we’re experiencing time and seasons, while learning that our true Source and Infinite Reality forever exists beyond space/ time/duality; that Cosmically Life is NOW, ever NOW, never “then”!


But as students on the ‘Earth branch of the Great Cosmic University’, while we orbit, rotate, and revolve with Gaia, the Earth Mother that physically birthed us all, we must harmoniously honor Nature’s blessings and limitations. As stewards of all Life-forms on this precious planet, we must protect and nurture them – not insanely and unsustainably pillage, plunder and destroy them.

We must

“Cherish or Perish.

Co-exist cooperatively, or

Co-expire catastrophically.”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

So on beginning new solar, lunar, and karmic seasons, let us resolve to solve catastrophic crises – which imminently threaten all Life-forms on our precious planet.


Individually and collectively, let us become actively engaged as a global human family to resolve with compassionate solidarity human threatened nuclear and ecological cataclysm, not just as a matter of morality or ethics, but for survival of earth life as we have known it. With conscious concern for urgent dangers of nuclear or ecologic omnicide, let us politically, socially and spiritually act before it is too late.



But first, let us conscientiously calm our disturbed, judgmental and reactive states of ego-mind. Rather than vindictively seeking retribution for perceived wrongs, or condemning or trying to change others, may we first empathetically look within to recognize and resolve our own disharmonious habits and behaviors.



Thereby with quiet minds and open hearts may we non-violently and non-judgmentally resist injustice, while honoring the spiritual essence and universal equality of everyone everywhere.



And so may we help bless and transform our lives and our space/time world, until we ultimately transcend it.

And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner


“Turn! Turn! Turn!” Ecclesiastes 3 – Video + Text.



Open Heart Therapy

“The way is not in the sky.
The way is in the heart.”
~ Buddha

“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.”
“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
~ Rumi

“Your pain is the medicine by which the
physician within heals thyself.”
“Even as the stone of the fruit must break,
that its heart may stand in the sun,
so must you know pain.”
~ Kahlil Gibran

“We must feel our heart
to heal our heart.
Feeling hastens healing.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“The best and most beautiful things in the world
cannot be seen or even touched –
they must be felt with the heart.”
~ Helen Keller

“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

“As far, verily, as this world-space extends,
so far extends the space within the heart…”
~ Chandogya Upanishad 8.1.3

“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

“If there is love in your heart,
you don’t have to worry about rules.”
~ Sri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas




Open Heart Therapy

Introduction to “Open Heart Therapy”

Dear Friends,

The following sutra-poem was inspired by my realization that a broken heart (from a very painful divorce), had opened my spiritual heart to previously suppressed deep devotional feelings and frequent tears; that a broken heart had triggered an awakened evolutionary healing process – a ‘‘breakdown-breakthrough” from decades of ego-mind afflictions.

Since long-ago composing “Open Heart Therapy”, I’ve become a “faith-based optimist”. Hence, following the sutra-poem’s words and recitation below, I optimistically explain with comments and quotes, why I now foresee that a “critical mass” of awakened people with opened spiritual hearts will soon actualize an elevated a new earth-age – an historically unprecedented era transcending current worldwide human insanity which catastrophically threatens all life on our precious planet.

These sutra verses and writings are deeply dedicated to optimistically inspiring our energetically uplifted transcendence of ego-mind’s evolutionary impediments, and so to hastening our spiritual transformation.

May they thereby encourage us to enjoy health and freedom, beyond fearful ego-mind sufferings.


Ron Rattner

Open Heart Therapy

We must feel our heart
to heal our heart.
Feeling hastens healing.

A closed heart is a cold heart.
An open heart is a warm heart –
a compassionate heart.

As our heart ever opens,
its capacity for compassion ever grows.

And as its boundaries expand,
so do its possibilities ever expand.

An opened heart
is an illumined heart;
a limitless, boundless heart;
a loving heart.



Ron’s audio recitation of “Open Heart Therapy”

Listen to



Ron’s Reflections on “Open Heart Therapy”
for Awakening to an Elevated New Age.

Dear Friends,

We live in an age of mental malaise. Delusional human behaviors are threatening all Earth life as we have known it. For our peaceful survival, we must transcend these insane behaviors and resolve the problems they have caused.

As Albert Einstein aptly observed: 

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

“The release of atom power ..changed everything except our way of thinking …
the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind.”


Thus for our peaceful survival on planet Earth, the critical problems now confronting humanity must be transcended – societally and individually – through spiritually elevated heartfelt awareness.

According to His Holiness the Dalai Lama,

“Ultimately, the decision to save the environment must come from the human heart. [From] a genuine sense of universal responsibility that is based on love, compassion and clear awareness.”


Also the Dalai Lama says that, for such a heart level of universal planetary responsibility, we need ethics based on spirituality “beyond religion” – because religion alone “is no longer adequate”.

How can this happen?

With ever expanding empathy for all life everywhere we must follow ‘the Golden Rule’. For millennia wisdom teachers from virtually all enduring ethical, religious, and spiritual traditions have proposed a simple ethical rule which if conscientiously followed will change the world.

Its essence is that we do no harm; that we treat all sentient beings with the same dignity that we wish for ourselves and that they wish for themselves.

Though easy to understand, this Golden Rule of reciprocal empathy can not easily be followed until we awaken within – beyond ego-mind’s “optical illusion” of separateness – to indivisible spiritual Wholeness with all beings and all life everywhere.

Then as Einstein suggests we must gradually

“widen our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” 


Eventually, we won’t even need the Golden rule. As my beloved Guruji Shri Dhyanyogi revealed:

“If there is love in your heart,
you don’t have to worry about rules.” 


Ultimately, by following our sacred heart we’ll be in harmony with all life everywhere.

Conclusion and Dedication

As a “faith-based optimist”, I now foresee that a “critical mass” of awakened people with opened spiritual hearts will soon actualize an elevated new earth-age – an historically unprecedented era transcending current worldwide human insanity which catastrophically threatens all life on our precious planet.

Thus today’s sutra verses and writings are optimistically dedicated to inspiring our energetically uplifted transcendence of ego-mind’s evolutionary impediments to an egalitarian new age, and so to hasten our spiritual transformation beyond fearful suffering to health and spiritual freedom.

Invocation

With opened and awakened hearts,
may we envision and actualize an egalitarian new age,
wherein everyone everywhere treats all beings and all life
with the same dignity that they wish for themselves –
with a “genuine sense of universal responsibility
that is based on love, compassion and clear awareness.”

And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

Saint Francis of Assisi: His Life and His Prayer

“All the darkness in the world can’t extinguish the light from a single candle.”
~ Francis Of Assisi (The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi)

“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”
~ Francis of Assisi

“While you are proclaiming peace with your lips,
be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.”
~ Francis of Assisi

“The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today”
~ Francis Of Assisi

“Vi volglio tutti in paradisio!” [ “I wish all in heaven!”]
~ Francis of Assisi

“Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self.”
~ Francis of Assisi

“When we pray to God we must be seeking nothing — nothing.”
“We should seek not so much to pray, but to become prayer.”
~ Francis of Assisi


Praying to Brother Sun and Sister Moon

Saint Francis of Assisi ~ September 26, 1181 – October 3, 1226


Saint Francis of Assisi
[*See footnotes]


Saint Francis of Assisi is one of history’s most beloved saints. For almost eight hundred years since his canonization by the Catholic Church (in the year 1228), he has been remembered and revered not only by Christian denominations, but by countless others world-wide, who have been inspired by his life of universal love, his teachings, and his oneness with Nature.
More than three million people come every year to his tomb in Assisi.

He is patron saint of Italy and of many other places, like San Francisco, a city blessed with his name, his spirit, and a national shrine including the Porziuncola Nuova, the only papally declared holy place in the USA. Also, he is patron saint of birds, animals and ecology and is so remembered on his annual October 4th Feast Day celebration.

Francis loved peace, communed with all living creatures, and lived a life of kindness, simplicity and poverty in contrast to the wealth and apparent corruption of the Church. He was the founder of the Franciscan order of the Catholic Church, and inspired founding of the Poor Clares order for women, and a third secular order for laity sworn to peace.

After living a worldly life of youthful revelry for the first half of his short lifespan, Francis volunteered to fight in a war between Assisi and neighboring Perugia. He was captured during a bloody battle at Collestrada, and was imprisoned and chained in solitude for a year in a dark Perugian dungeon, until ransomed by his wealthy father. Beginning during this time, and thereafter, he suffered a period of protracted physical and psychological illness, remorse and reflection. After fervent prayer, deep introspection, and profuse tears, Francis ultimately decided that money and worldly pleasures meant nothing to him, and as a traumatized battle survivor he came to abhor war. Whereupon, he devoted his life to solitude, prayer, helping the poor, caring for lepers, and promoting peace. Seeing himself as God’s troubadour or fool, he lived in absolute poverty, patterning his life after the life of Jesus and dedicating himself to God.

On returning from a pilgrimage to Rome, where he begged at Church doors for the poor, Francis received a mystical message from Jesus while praying in the ruined church at San Damiano outside of Assisi. There while he was enchantedly gazing at the painted wooden crucifix – a Byzantine image of the crucified Christ still alive on the cross – the silent voice of Jesus telepathically ‘spoke’ to Francesco, instructing him: “Francesco, Francesco, go and repair my house which, as you can see, is falling into ruins.” Thereafter, he devotedly began rebuilding San Damiano and other ruined churches.

Though Saint Francis took literally that mystical message from the crucifix, its true meaning was metaphoric and profound. And by the end of his short lifespan, Saint Francis and his orders had by their example inspired a renaissance of the Catholic Church.

Francis’ exemplary lifestyle inspired and attracted followers who joined with him in his in his Divine mission and life of poverty. Clad in ragged, gray robes with rope belts, they went out barefoot in pairs to spread the Gospel. When they needed food or shelter, they asked someone for it. It was against their rules to “own” anything. Thus, they were known as the “begging brothers”.

In 1209 Francis received permission from Pope Innocent III to form a brotherhood, a religious order of the Church called the “Friars Minor,” (littlest brothers). As “friars” they worked in communities, actively preaching and helping residents, as distinguished from “monks” who then usually lived alone in isolated places. They soon acquired the name “Franciscans”, proliferated and today remain important international symbols and instruments of Francis’ legacy.

The Franciscans’ first headquarters was a simple, tiny chapel near Assisi which Francis received from the Benedictines, and personally restored, naming it “Porziuncola” [“a small portion of land”]. The Porziuncola became Francis’ most beloved and favorite place. Because of his presence and prayers there, it was and continues to be one of the world’s rare holy places. Here, Francis lived, fervently prayed, wrote his rule, created his order of friars minor and consecrated his friend Clara (Chiara), who became Santa Clara, founder of “the poor Clares”, a female religious order dedicated to Franciscan ideals of holiness and poverty. Francis so loved this little place that he chose to die there.

In 1216, while Francis was fervently praying in the Porziuncola, a light filled the chapel and he beheld above the altar a vision of Christ, the Virgin Mary and a company of angels. They asked him what he wanted for the salvation of souls. Francis replied: “Vi volglio tutti in paradisio!” [I wish all in heaven!] And Francis then asked that all those persons who shall come to this church, may obtain a full pardon and remission of all their faults, upon confessing and repenting their sins. The request was granted based on Francis’ worthiness, and the indulgence was later officially confirmed by Pope Honorius III, and became known as “The Pardon of Assisi”.

Francis was extremely democratic and humble. He referred to himself as “little brother Francis” and called all creatures “brothers” and “sisters”. He loved Nature and pantheistically considered it to be the “mirror of God on earth.” He spoke of “Sister Water” and “Brother Tree” and in one of his writings, he referred to “Brother Sun” and “Sister Moon”. There are legends about sermons he preached to trees full of “Sister Birds” in which Francis urged them to sing their prayers of thanks to God. And it is said that rabbits would come to him for protection.

In another legendary story, Francis spoke to a wolf which had been terrifying the entire village of Gubbio, scolding “Brother Wolf” for what he was doing. That wolf not only stopped his attacks but later became a village pet, and was fed willingly by the same villagers, who missed “brother wolf” after he died.

Francis was determined to live the gospels and was strongly influenced and motivated by Jesus’ teachings. “Give to others, and it shall be given to you. Forgive and you shall be forgiven” were his frequent teachings.

Also as a traumatic battle survivor and war hostage Francis cherished peace. So, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” ~ Matthew 5:9 and “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” ~ Matthew 5:44 were often recited by him.

According to a recent biography, Francis was “the first person from the West to travel to another continent with the revolutionary idea of peacemaking.” On a mission of peace, Francis journeyed to Egypt in 1219 idealistically hoping to end the 5th Crusade by converting the Egyptian leader – Sultan Malik al-Kamil – to Christianity. Though his visionary peace mission did not succeed, it proved nonetheless a miraculous portent and important symbol of potential reconciliation between Christians and Muslims and others.

At a time when most Christians demonized Muslims as enemy “infidels”, Francis regarded and treated Muslims with respect, never echoing the negative comments or conduct of his contemporary Christians. Moreover, in Egypt Francis – a devout and gentle peacemaker – was appalled by the crusaders’ sacrilegious brutality.

Francis arrived in Egypt during an ongoing violent and bloody conflict at Damietta, an important city on the Nile, besieged by the Crusaders. There, in the midst of horrible bloodshed, Francis miraculously crossed battle lines totally unarmed and vulnerable, and was able to reach the Sultan’s encampment unharmed and welcomed. Moreover, Francis was admitted to the august presence of the sultan, who was nephew of the great Saladin who had defeated the forces of the ill-fated Third Crusade.

The Sultan was a wise and pragmatic devout Sunni Muslim, influenced by Sufi mystical teachings. He was ready to make peace, and reciprocated Francis’ peaceful and respectful attitude. For at least several days Kamil hosted and dialogued with Francis as an honored guest, before having him safely escorted back to the Crusader encampment. The Sultan – who was amenable to philosophical conversation, but not to conversion – probably noted and honored Francis’ sufi-like appearance and peaceful demeanor, and his regular greeting – “may the Lord give you peace” – uncommon for Christians, but similar to the Arabic “salam aleykum” greeting.

Reciprocally, Francis was deeply impressed by the religious devotion of the Muslims, especially by their fivefold daily call to prayer – call of the muezzin.

On returning to the crusader camp Francis desperately tried to convince Cardinal Pelagio, whom the pope had authorized to lead the 5th Crusade, that he should make peace with the Sultan. But the cardinal who was certain of victory would not listen. His eventual failure, amidst terrible loss of life, brought the barbaric age of the crusades to an ignominious end.

In 1224, near the end of his earthly life, according to legend, Francis became the first saint in history to miraculously receive crucifixion stigmata. It happened after he had been taken to Mount Alverna, a wild nature place in Tuscany, to be in solitude for a forty day retreat.


Though already in a very feeble state, he fasted and prayed intensely with deepest longing for God. In the midst of his fast, while he was so praying he beheld a marvelous vision: an angel carrying an image of a man nailed to a cross. When the vision disappeared, Francis felt sharp pains in various places on his body.

In locating the source of these pains, Francis found that he had five marks or “stigmata” on his hands, feet, and sides—like the wounds inflicted with nails and spears on Jesus during His crucifixion. Those marks remained and caused Francis great pain until his death two years later.

On October 3, 1226 A.D. Francis died in a humble cell next to the beloved Porziuncola, his favorite holy place where the Franciscan movement began. He was blind from trachoma, suffering from malaria and other illnesses, emaciated and racked with pain from the stigmata and other wounds. As he lay dying, the brothers came for his blessing. They sang “Song to the Sun”, a song which Francis had composed.

Sometime before he drew his last breath, he said, “Let us sing the welcome to Sister Death.” Francis welcomed ‘Sister Death’ knowing that “it is in dying that we are reborn to eternal life”, the concluding line of a beautifully inspiring and best known peace prayer mistakenly attributed to him. (**See Footnote)

In conclusion, we offer that prayer in grateful tribute to his blessed life and legacy. May he ever inspire countless beings to become instruments of Divine peace and love, in perfect harmony with Nature and the kingdom of heaven.

“Vi vogliamo tutti in Paradiso”; “We wish ALL in Heaven”.


And so it shall be!



Prayer Of St. Francis Of Assisi **

Beloved, we are instruments of Thy peace.

Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
despair, hope;
darkness, light;
discord, harmony;
sadness, joy;

Divine Mother/Father, grant
that we may seek not so much
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved, as to BE LOVE.

For it is in giving, that we receive;
It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying – to ego life –
that we are reborn to Eternal Life.



Ron’s audio recitation of the Prayer of Saint Francis Of Assisi

Listen to



Footnotes

* This narrative is based on Ron Rattner’s intuitive interpretation of many disparate and sometimes conflicting historical accounts of the life of Francis of Assisi. The reader is free to accept or reject any part of it.

**This inspiring peace prayer does not appear in any of Saint Francis’ known writings. According to researchers, the first appearance of this prayer was in a French language magazine, La Clochette, in 1912; it was probably then first written by a forgotten Catholic Priest, Father Bouquerel. Later, the prayer was translated into English and widely distributed on cards with a reverse side picture of Saint Francis, without any claim that he wrote the prayer. But, because of his picture and because it invokes his spirit, the prayer thereafter became commonly known as the Prayer of Saint Francis. The foregoing version of the prayer has been edited by Ron Rattner.