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What is Faith? ~
Quotations and Comments

“This above all, to thy own Self be true.”

~ William Shakespeare
“The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature.

Have faith in yourselves!”

~ Swami Vivekananda





What is Faith? Quotations and Comments


Introduction

Dear Friends,

The following profound quotation collection concerns heartfelt intuitive faith, as distinguished from mental belief.

Comments below the quotations explain how inner faith can bring us previously unimagined and ever growing happiness, with continuing learning from life.

Accordingly, these quotations and comments are shared to help all of us find such happiness through inner faith. Please consider them accordingly.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

What is Faith? ~ Quotations


“I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed,

you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there”,
and it will move.”

~ Matthew 17:20

Faith is the highest passion in a human being.
Many in every generation may not come that far, 
but none comes further.
~ Soren Kierkegaard

“The heart has its reasons
that reason does not know.”
~ Blaise Pascal

“Faith is a knowledge within the heart,

beyond the reach of proof.”
“Faith is an oasis in the heart
which can never be reached by the caravan of thinking.”
~ Khalil Gibran

“Faith is intuitive conviction,
a knowing from the soul,
that cannot be shaken even by contradictions.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

“On a long journey of human life,
faith is the best of companions;
it is the best refreshment on the journey;
and it is the greatest property.”
~ Buddha

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

“My faith runs so very much faster than my reason 
that I can challenge the whole world and say, 
’God is, was and ever shall be’.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

“Faith is different from proof;

the latter is human,
the former is a Gift from God.”
“Faith embraces many truths
which seem to contradict each other.”
~ Blaise Pascal

“Faith is much better than belief.

Belief is when someone else does the thinking.”

~ Buckminster Fuller

“Faith means living with uncertainty –

feeling your way through life,

letting your heart guide you like a lantern in the dark”

~ Dan Millman

“Faith—in life, in other people, and in oneself—
is the attitude of allowing the spontaneous to be spontaneous,
in its own way and in its own time.”

~ Alan Watts

“This above all, to thy own Self be true.”

~ William Shakespeare

“The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature.

Have faith in yourselves!”

~ Swami Vivekananda

“Intelligence must follow faith,
never precede it,

and never destroy it.”

~ Thomas Kempis

Faith follows intuition;

Faith follows the Way;

Faith follows the Self;

Faith follows the Heart.

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“Faith is a light of such supreme brilliance
that it dazzles the mind
and darkens all its visions of other realities,

but in the end when we become used to the new light,
we gain a new view of all reality
transfigured and elevated in the light itself.”

~ Thomas Merton


Ron’s Comments on “What is Faith?”

Dear Friends,

In reviewing and revising previous SillySutras postings, I’ve been wondering about the subtle circumstances which have seemed most important in furthering my spiritual evolution from age forty two to age eighty seven. And why, after over four decades of spiritual exploration, I’m blessed with previously unimagined and still growing happiness,

Forty five years ago, I was self-identifying as an uptight and unhappy middle-aged secular litigation lawyer on the brink of divorce, when I had an unforgettable “out of body” experience [OOB] which has sparked over four decades of spiritual exploration and evolution, with still ongoing learning from life.

Now I mostly self-identify as eternal spirit enjoying a brief “in a body experience” as an 87 year old retired lawyer and spiritual writer. And I feel immensely blessed with great happiness and gratitude for this precious fleeting lifetime, despite its inevitable ups and downs.

Perhaps my best explanation for being so blessed, is that I’ve enjoyed ever growing deep faith as ONE with Divine LOVE, the inner mystery of Divinity. Previously, I have explained in essays how “I’ve Found A Faith-Based Life” and defined faith as distinguished from belief.

Today I have posted the foregoing profound quotations to help inspire our deep faith in our Divine Self and Source. Please read and reflect on them accordingly.

Also I’ve embedded below a beautiful youtube video performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s inspiring song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as excerpted from the film version of their classical musical play “Carousel”. The emotions we feel from that performance can also help inspire our deep realization that with faith and hope in our heart we’ll never walk alone

Invocation

May we enjoy ever growing deep inner faith and
Self-identity as ONE with Divine LOVE,
Bringing us previously unimagined and ever growing happiness,
with continuing learning from life.

And thereby may we help co-create a new Earth reality
of abiding peace, harmony and goodwill
for all life everywhere.

May everyone everywhere be happy!


And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from “Carousel”.



Memorial Day, 2021 –
Rededication Proclamation

“We must . . 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.
“We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
~ Abraham Lincoln – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863
“There is no honorable way to kill,
no gentle way to destroy.

There is nothing good in war.
Except its ending.”

~ Abraham Lincoln
“And they shall beat their swords into plowshares,

and their spears into pruning hooks; 

nation shall not lift up sword against nation, 

neither shall they learn war any more.” 

~ Isaiah 2:4
“Nothing will end war unless the people refuse to go to war.”

”War cannot be humanized, only abolished.”

“You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.”

~ Albert Einstein
“Thou shalt not kill.”

~ Exodus 20:13
“If you realize that all things change,

there is nothing you will try to hold on to.

If you are not afraid of dying,

there is nothing you cannot achieve.”

~ Lao Tzu




Memorial Day, 2021 – Rededication Proclamation

Dear Friends,

Memorial Day was inaugurated after the internecine American Civil War between Northern and Southern States. Since then it has commemorated the passing of men and women who died while participating in numerous US fomented wars against and amongst nations and people worldwide.

But today many Americans have forgotten the sacred antiwar spirit with which Memorial Day began. Moreover, we are living in an unprecedented “new normal” era of worldwide political polarity, warlike violence, and turmoil.

Contrary to Abraham Lincoln’s eloquent aspiration that American “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”, the USA is no longer a democracy – but an autocratic warlike global Empire of, by and for billionaires and transnational corporations, representing far fewer than 1% of Humankind.

This essay is dedicated to reminding us of the Divinity of all life on Earth; and that for survival of life as we’ve known it we urgently now need to end all wars before they end us. That

“We must . . 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.


Background

Armed conflicts have occurred throughout recorded human history. But we are now compelled to realize that more wars will probably trigger a nuclear, ecological, biological, or radiological catastrophe insanely ending earth-life as we’ve known it.

However, while human survival is threatened as never before, we have paradoxically gained unprecedented technical capacity to sustainably provide all human sustenance needs. And in this painful post-pandemic “new normal” era, we are awakening to our unlimited human potentiality.

Thus many are realizing that, as a global human family, we have extraordinary opportunities to co-create an infinitely more compassionate world, with democratic societies peacefully coexisting cooperatively and harmoniously with Nature, each other and all life on our precious planet.

Until now, much of humanity has suffered illusionary psychological separation from each other and Nature, fostering unsustainable ecological desecration of our precious planet, and barbaric exploitation of vulnerable beings and other life-forms. But more and more people are awakening to our sacred connection with, and deep moral responsibility to cherish and preserve, all life on our precious planet Earth.

Rededication Proclamation

So in solemnly observing Memorial Day 2021, let us all resolutely rededicate Humankind to preserving and honoring all Life – not just human life – as sacred and holy. And, therefore, to end all wars, before they end us.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Be An Auto-Iconoclast

“Ego is the biggest enemy of humans. ”
~ Rig Veda
“We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts, we make the world.”
~ Buddha
“The mind is a bundle of thoughts.
The thoughts arise because there is the thinker.
The thinker is the ego.
The ego and the mind are the same.
The ego is the root-thought from which all other thoughts arise.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“This perception of division
between the seer and the object that is seen,
is situated in the mind.
For those remaining in the heart,
the seer becomes one with the sight.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
“Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
~ Albert Einstein
“One must elevate – and not degrade – oneself with one’s own mind,
as the mind is both a friend and an enemy.
For those who have subdued and conquered the mind, it is the best of friends.
But for those who fail to do so, the mind remains the greatest of enemies.”
~ Bhagavad Gita, Chapter Six, Lord Krishna to Arjuna
“Undo Ego!
Use it to lose it.”
“As ego goes,
consciousness grows,
until it Knows
– Itself.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Free of ego, living naturally, working virtuously,
you become filled with inexhaustible vitality
and are liberated forever from the cycle of death and rebirth.”
~ Lao Tzu

Beyond Ego

Introduction

Dear Friends,

The following written and recited sutra verses poetically declare that we are not and can never be what we think we are. Such self-identity thoughts are ego illusions, our greatest spiritual enemy.

In metaphorically suggesting that we should iconoclastically break – not make – egoic self images, I was inspired by the second of the bible’s ten commandments against deifying and bowing down to graven images.

These verses together with above quotations, and following explanatory comments, are shared to help advance our spiritual evolution by inspiring us to overcome and control illusory ego-mind self-identity.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Be An Auto-Iconoclast

Who are you? Who do you think you are?

You think you’re only an entity –
a person separate from all other entities.

With such thinking you’ve created
a false ego image of what you really are.
And you’ve mistakenly identified yourself as that ego image.

But you’re not that ego image.

You can never be what you think you are:
Thinking and Being can’t coexist.

So stop thinking, and start Being.

Don’t be an ego-image maker.
Be an ego-image breaker.

Be an auto-iconoclast.
Break your ego image.

End ego identity,
and be –
ego free.

BE what you really are –

Thoughtless Awareness

NOW!

Ron’s audio recitation of Be An Auto-Iconoclast

Listen to

Ron’s Comments on “Be An Auto-Iconoclast”

Dear Friends,

Almost all humans at times think themselves separate from each other, Nature and Divine Self. Such thoughts are illusory ego-mind thoughts, and the greatest deterrent to our spiritual evolution.

So the foregoing verses and quotations are intended to remind us to go beyond what we think we are, and BE what we really are – ONE with eternal Universal Awareness, our immortal Source and Divine Self.

In poetically suggesting that we iconoclastically break – not make – egoic self images, I was inspired by the second of the Bible’s ten commandments against deifying and bowing down to graven images. By adulating ego-mind instead of undoing it, we glorify a supposedly separate and independent self, which is an optical illusion of consciousness – like a mirage. But by overcoming and controlling the ego-mind we advance rather than deter our spiritual evolution. (Bhagavad Gita, Chapter Six)

Thus, this “Be An Auto-Iconoclast” posting is dedicated to advancing our spiritual evolution and transcendence of illusory and disempowering ego-mind self-identity, by helping us remember again our once known, but long forgotten, true Divinity.

Please enjoy it accordingly.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Synchronicity Inquiry

“Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see.”
~ Carl Jung
“There is no such thing as chance;
and what seems to us merest accident
springs from the deepest source of destiny.”
~ Friedrich Schiller
“People … who believe in physics, know that
the distinction between past, present, and future
is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
~ Albert Einstein




Synchronicity Inquiry


Q. What are synchronicities?

A. Synchronicities are noteworthy “premonitions” or “coincidences” in time mysteriously arising from unexplained causes and conditions which connect events, actions and thoughts; and, which show us that in Nature, there is no time and there are no “coincidences – that everything that is, was, or will be is NOW; and, that everything is inter-connected and happens in harmony and synchrony – concurrently, not coincidentally.

Q. Why are synchronicities in time often noteworthy or meaningful?

A. Synchronicities in time are often noteworthy or meaningful because as we live in linear time they remind us of our unchanging timeless consciousness – which is our true Reality. And they can show our complicity in co-creating our ever changing world “reality”.

Time is how human mind tries to measure the immeasurable NOW.

As Einstein observed:

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


Space and time are but convenient conceptions of thought.

Though convenient, time is not congruent with Nature’s way –
the timeless Tao.

As thought, time is always then, not NOW; so living in time is living in the past.

As we transcend living conceptually in past time, and begin living authentically in timeless Presence, we notice more and more “synchronicities”.

And the more frequently we see synchronicities, the more they show we’re in the Flow – the Tao; the Eternal NOW.

So, when events seeming random happen in tandem,
it’s then we’ll know we’re in the flow

the Tao; the Eternal NOW.

Thus, because humankind almost always live in time, synchronistic signs of timeless Reality often seem so noteworthy or meaningful.

Q. How do synchronicities appear in our lives?

A. Synchronicities originate in now hidden depths of mind – at transpersonal and seemingly ‘chaotic’ quantum levels of existence. The more we intuitively entrain with those higher levels of consciousness, the more we are in harmony with the natural order, and the more we see synchronicities manifesting in our lives.

We live in an ever changing participatory vibratory relative “reality” wherein creation is vibration and oscillation, and where we are creative oscillating, vibrating vortices – interconnected and interdependent with all of Nature.

Thus, everything we think, do or say changes this world in some way.

Synchronicities are resonant exteriorations or manifestations of our subtle higher vibrations – our thoughts, intentions and emanations. The higher, subtler and more focused our vibratory frequencies, the more luminous our emanations. And as we become more luminous, our synchronicities become more numerous and more numinous.

Q. How shall we interpret synchronicities?

A. Synchronicities, like dreams, can be meaningful metaphoric messages that help guide us from deep levels of consciousness; and they can present us with evolutionary opportunities, if we recognize and act on them. Even the Dalai Lama has said: “I am open to the guidance of synchronicity, and do not let expectations hinder my path.”

Synchronicities also can be seen as positive “biofeedback’ signs that we are in harmony with the natural order.

Synchronicities reveal the harmonious ONENESS of the Universe – both manifest and unmanifest, implicate and explicate. And the more we see that ONENESS, the more we see synchronicity as normality.

Thus, synchronicities can be seen as significant signs and reminders that temporal linearity is a cosmic irregularity, that “reality” isn’t mechanistic, and that the universe doesn’t work as we’ve thought or been taught.

And so, synchronicities can spur an inner search for a new “reality” paradigm, ultimately leading to the transformational discovery that our ever changing world “reality” isn’t really Real; that our unchanging timeless consciousness is our true Reality.

Q. How can synchronicities inspire us?

A. Synchronicities can infuse us with feelings of awe and gratitude for all miraculous and mysterious Life on this precious planet.

As we see each synchronicity as a mysterious, miraculous and numinous sign and reminder of our interdependence with all Life, we are inspired to BE – in sympathy and harmony with all Life.


Q. Can synchronicities help us harmonize with Nature?

A. Yes. To harmonize with Nature we must intuitively and reverently commune with our natural environment. Synchronicities can help us awaken from misconceived dreams of separation from Nature, so as to honor intuitive insights over mistaken or misguided mental processes.

Mistakenly thinking ourselves separate from our observations and perceptions, we try to explain them with thoughts and logical analyses. This mental process often leads to such preoccupation with details and minutia that we lose a reverent, holistic and macrocosmic view of our miraculous space/time natural environment. And we have thereby become alienated from Nature, and have ignorantly created ecological crises.

Synchronicities can remind us of the limitations of thought, and of the dangers of alienation from an intuitively participatory way of being in this world; that as thinkers, we do not and cannot understand Nature; that we are part of a participatory natural order in which everything/ everyone is interdependent; and, that everything we think, do or say changes this world in some way.

With this awareness we are spurred to harmonize with Nature.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Mystery of Divinity

“The most beautiful and most profound experience
is the sensation of the mystical.
…To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists,
manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty
which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms
this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.”
~ Albert Einstein – The Merging of Spirit and Science
Whence come I and whither go I?
That is the great unfathomable question,
the same for every one of us.
Science has no answer to it.
~ Max Planck, Nobel Prize-winning physicist
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature.
And that is because, in the last analysis,
we ourselves are part of nature
and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”
~ Max Planck
The feeling of awe and sense of wonder
arises from the recognition of the deep mystery that surrounds us everywhere,
and this feeling deepens as our knowledge grows.
~ Lama Anagarika Govinda, The Way of the White Clouds.
“Since no one really knows anything about God, 

those who think they do are just 
troublemakers.”

~ Rabia of Basra (first female Sufi saint)


mystery of Divinity

Mystery of Divinity

Beyond rationality,
beyond theology,
beyond epistemology,
lies Mystery:

The mystery of Divinity;

The mystery of
“I AM THAT”.

We are here to solve “That” mystery.

To solve the mystery,
we become Divinity.
To know THAT,
we become THAT.

So our life is a meta-morphosis:
a process of transmuting –
Humanity to Divinity.

From earth-bound life
of self-inflicted limits and suffering,
we shall be freed;

Released to a timeless, boundless, formless,
joyous existence as—

THAT!



Ron’s audio recitation of Mystery of Divinity

Listen to



Ron’s explanation of “Mystery of Divinity”

Dear Friends,

The above sutra/poem metaphorically summarizes our perennial earth-life search for Reality beyond this ever impermanent illusory world of space/time and causality.

The poem (together with above quotations) describes the mentally insoluble mystery of Reality beyond relativity – “the enigma of the Unknowable”. The answer to that mystery is beyond our comprehension, imagination or belief; so we must solve it experientially and intuitively, rather than rationally. To know THAT, we must become THAT. 

Upon repeated births in human bodies we experience instant amnesia, forgetting what we knew before we withdrew from dwelling in heavenly domains.   Except for very rare Buddha-like saints and sages, we forget that we are immortal Divinity – each experiencing a Divine play of consciousness from an illusory soul perspective as a perceived separate entity.

Whereupon, we suffer from ‘a case of mistaken identity’.  We mistakenly self-identify only with our mortal physical forms, their emotions and perceptions, and their separate stories – and we become like actors playing unique roles in an endless play of cosmic consciousness.
 
Knowingly or unknowingly, we are here to remember and Self-realize what we forgot on incarnation into mortal human bodies. 

So our embodied lives become like spiritual mystery stories.  Instead of a ‘who-done-it?’ detective story, each life becomes a ‘who am I?’ spiritual mystery, which we are born to solve. Yet, the ultimate answer to that mystery is beyond our comprehension, imagination or belief.  So we must find it intuitively, rather than mentally.
 
Gradually, we uncover, beyond self-imposed ego-mind impediments and obscurations, our true Divine SELF-identity. We use and lose our mind to find our Source.

We solve the Mystery of Divinity, by becoming free at last as THAT which we seek.

To know THAT, we become THAT!

Dedication

May the forgoing “mystery” writings encourage and inspire our ever growing happiness, as we more and more remember our divine Self-identity, until we ultimately realize a timeless, boundless, formless, joyous existence as THAT!

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


We Are The Universe!

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
“Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”

~ Albert Einstein
“Objective reality does not exist” ….

“the universe is fundamentally a gigantic … hologram”

~ David Bohm, Quantum Physicist
“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.
“There is an endless net of threads throughout the universe.

The horizontal threads are in space.
 The vertical threads are in time.
At every crossing of the threads, there is an individual.

And every individual is a crystal bead.
 And every crystal bead reflects not only the light
 from every other crystal in the net,

but also every other reflection throughout the entire universe.”
~ Indra’s Net – from the Vedas of ancient India, 7000 years old
“Reality” isn’t REAL!

“Reality” is a holographic theater of the mind,
where we are microcosmic mirrors of the macrocosm.

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings





Introduction

Dear Friends,

The following written and recited poetic verses, together with explanatory comments and above quotations, supplement the related “What Is The Universe?” posting.

Both postings propose that cosmically “We Are The Universe”. They are intended to help us open our hearts to all beings and all life everywhere.

Please consider them accordingly.

Ron Rattner


We Are The Universe!

The “universe” is like a cosmic hologram:

An ever changing but persistent illusion
appearing in an eternal, immutable,
infinite ocean of Awareness –

Awareness arising from pure potentiality.

Each of us is an integral, pin-point part of the whole picture,
which wouldn’t be complete without us.

But, though we appear as only a speck of the Whole,
we are like parts of a hologram;

Hidden within each of us is the whole cosmic picture,
and the awareness screen
on which we envision and project the picture.

In our Essence, we and the “universe” are ONE.

So, we are the “universe”.



Ron’s audio recitation of “We Are The Universe”

Listen to


Ron’s reflections on Non-dualism and “We Are The Universe”

Dear Friends,

Today’s We Are The Universe! posting together with the related “What Is The Universe?” posting propose that cosmically “We Are The Universe”.

These and many more SillySutras writings pertain to non-dualism – an important philosophy which has inspired many recent Silly Sutras writings about spiritual evolution and the nature of “reality”.

From childhood we have been taught to self-identify only with an illusory and disempowering ego image; with a separate body, name, gender, and story about who and what we are. We are taught that we are each born into Nature as limited mortal beings; but not that Nature is our nature, or that we are Beings of Light sharing limitless immortal cosmic consciousness with all life-forms.

Thus, for countless ages human ignorance of our true identity and immortality, has resulted in our hallucination of separation from Nature, from each other, and from our sole Self and spirit, with consequent destructive selfishness and suffering.

Yet, for millennia sages, seers and mystics have been trying to tell us that we inevitably suffer from radically mistaken self-identity; that our self-identity and reality are not what they appear to be; that it is possible to limit or avoid most suffering of ordinary human existence through experiential self-identification with the unseen Eternal spiritual Source of all space-time causality ‘reality’.

Soon after my mid-life change of life, I began discovering enduring wisdom teachings about the Vedic path of Advaita, the oldest extant school of Indian Philosophy. Advaita means non-dualism, and its teachings are about experiencing non-dual Self Realization via focused self-inquiry – relentlessly asking “Who am I?”.

I first found these teachings in books by or about legendary Indian sages J. Krishnamurti, Swami Vivekananda, and Shri Ramana Maharshi; also in New Dimensions Radio interviews by Michael Toms, and in KPFA radio lectures by Alan Watts, contemporary Western philosopher/teacher of Eastern spiritual wisdom, from which I learned about similar Buddhist and Taoist non-dualist philosophies.

After initial perplexity, I gradually became convinced of the ultimate Truth of non-dualistic teachings, as eloquently explained by Swami Vivekananda that:

“…this separation between man and man, between nation and nation, between earth and moon, between moon and sun . . does not exist, it is not real” ; and that
“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”


Non-dualism has even seemed quite consistent with the primary prayer of my early Jewish acculturation:

“Hear O Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is ONE”
~ Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29


Yet, while accepting Eastern non-dualism wisdom teachings, I have continuously displayed preponderantly devotional propensities of praying, calling and crying to the Divine. And in reading hagiographies I have most identified with Saint Francis of Assisi and Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa – both extremely ascetic and devotional holy men – more than with the wisdom teachers who introduced me to non-dualism.

Until retirement, while maintaining my busy law practice I found limited time to read and reflect on non-dualism teachings, except on weekends. So I used to jestingly tell spiritual friends that on weekdays I prayed and cried as a devotional bhakta, but that on weekends I became a “Seventh Day Advaitist”.

Ultimately, I’ve become an every day – not just a seventh day – Advaitist. So whimsically I sometimes say that I am now a devotionally open-minded “Advaitist-fundamentalist”.

While accepting non-dualism, my primary path seems devotional. Over forty years since beginning to cry for God, I still frequently display devotional tendencies of spontaneously praying, singing, and calling to the Divine. Apparently, my Guruji was quite prescient in naming me Rasik – “one engrossed in devotion”.

As a devotional “Advaitist-Fundamentalist” I have composed many poems and essays encouraging the heartfelt path of ‘non-dualism’ – including today’s “We Are The Universe” quotations and poem.

May these writings help remind, encourage and inspire us to open our hearts with deep empathy and compassion for all people and all Life everywhere.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


We Create “Reality”

Embedded below is a helpful 10 minute YouTube video montage titled “We Create “Reality””, previously linked on the related What Is the Universe posting



Forgiveness And Atonement Of “Sins.”

“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 – Her Life and Work in Her Own Words” Pg. 16




Forgiveness And Atonement Of “Sins.”


Introduction

Dear Friends and Fellow ‘Sinners’,

Posted hereafter is an essay with key quotes and comments about Forgiveness And Atonement Of “Sins” , a spiritually important subject for all of us.

We are all here to evolve human consciousness by gradually realizing and actualizing – beyond our perceived separation from each other – our common Oneness with all Life.   Yet, despite our common spiritual essence, each of us is unique, with unique propensities, abilities and fallibilities, which provide unique evolutionary opportunities and challenges.  So ‘clearing our karma’ involves mindful identification, observation and purification of our unique mental tendencies and obscurations which impede realization of Oneness.

For most of my adult life, forgiveness been a great challenge.  So I don’t claim to be an accomplished “expert” on this subject, but now share with you as one who has long reflected on judgmentally perceived moral failings of other fallible humans.

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.

Forgiveness is especially emphasized in Christianity. Thus, in his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus repeatedly taught forgiveness. Eg.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
~ Luke 6:37

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”
~ Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27


And even while in excruciating pain as he was dying on a cross, Jesus beseeched God’s forgiveness of those who crucified him:

“And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.'”
~ Luke 23: 34


In emphasizing “they know not what they do” Jesus invoked Divine forgiveness in response to apparent unwitting (rather than malevolent) sins of the Roman soldiers who crucified him.

What are Sins?


“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


“Jesus’ teaching to “Forgive your enemies” is essentially about the undoing of one of the main egoic structures in the human mind. The past has no power to stop you from being present now. Only your grievance about the past can do that. And what is a grievance? The baggage of old thought and emotion.”
~ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth


“It requires honesty to see whether you still harbor grievances, whether there is someone in your life you have not completely forgiven, an “enemy.” If you do, become aware of the grievance both on the level of thought as well as emotion, that is to say, be aware of the thoughts that keep it alive, and feel the emotion that is the body’s response to those thoughts. Don’t try to let go of the grievance. Trying to let go, to forgive, does not work. Forgiveness happens naturally when you see that it has no purpose other than to strengthen a false sense of self, to keep the ego in place. The seeing is freeing.”
~ 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.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Ron’s Commentary on Forgiving and Atoning for “Sins”

Dear Friends and Fellow ‘Sinners’,

The foregoing quotations and essay about Forgiveness And Atonement Of “Sins” address a spiritually important subject for all of us. 


We are all here to evolve human consciousness by gradually realizing and actualizing – beyond our perceived separation from each other – our common Oneness with all Life. Yet, despite our common spiritual essence, each of us is unique, with unique propensities, abilities and fallibilities, which provide unique evolutionary opportunities and challenges. So ‘clearing our karma’ involves mindful identification, observation and purification of our unique mental tendencies and obscurations which impede realization of Oneness.

Whether or not we are spiritual ‘seekers’, we are all spiritual ‘sinners’ who inevitably ‘miss the mark’ and make mistakes. Otherwise we wouldn’t be exploring and learning in ‘space/time soul suits’ on the ‘Earth branch of the great Cosmic university’. Except for rare Avatars, Buddhas or Bodhisattvas, all humans are fallible; even Pontiffs and Prelates aren’t infallible.

Before further discussing the spiritual importance of nonjudgmental forgiveness of ‘sins’, I will summarize my long history of judging others, to help you understand, and perhaps appreciate, my present perspectives on non-judgmental forgiveness.


History of judging others

After a midlife awakening, I began identifying my particular spiritual evolutionary challenges and opportunities. And gradually I realized that – as a litigation lawyer and long-time ardent social justice advocate – I had long established tendencies of often being outspokenly and acerbically judgmental, and of sometimes being unforgiving and angry about perceived injustices. Also I realized that these habits were not helpful to others or me; that they were impediments to my spiritual evolution, and inconsistent with mystical insights of Oneness with all Life, beyond our perceived separation from one another.

However, since first identifying these unhelpful habits decades ago, it hasn’t been easy to transcend them. Thus, on retiring from legal practice in 1992, by deactivating my law license it was easy for me to stop lawyering. But it was hard to stop gratuitously judging or blaming others – especially if they seemed to act immorally, hypocritically or harmfully.


Only gradually have I discerned significant – but often subtle – distinctions between being unduly judgmental and unforgiving of others, and my life-long ardent and conscientious advocacy for social justice. This often has required difficult discernments and decisions about conscientious truth telling and nonviolently resisting those who unjustly harm others, without vindictively, condemning, blaming and judging them.

The most challenging behaviors for me have been instances of apparently harmful betrayal of public or private trust. Apart from numerous flagrant betrayals of public trust by politicians and corporations which I have resisted, there have been a few unforgettable and psychologically traumatic events which I personally experienced as betrayals, but now see with forgiveness as disguised blessings which furthered my spiritual evolution.

Slowly my pain and suffering from harboring anger or bitterness, have helped awaken me to the futility and harm of blame. I have realized that blame, rancor or vengeance do not change others, and are always incompatible with a loving peaceful mind. But that love requires forgiveness, and does not preclude – and often necessitates – conscientious advocacy for social justice, and nonviolent resistance to harmfully immoral acts.

As inspiringly demonstrated by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., love and forgiveness, are integral to such nonviolent resistance. He explained that:


“At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.”
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.”
”The time is always right to do what is right.”
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”


Ultimately I have realized how hating hurts the hater; that all unforgiving behavior is ego-mind trying to preserve its falsely imagined separate identity. Thus, that human unconsciousness and ignorance of our true self-identity is the root cause of all perceived evil, and that any bitterness we harbor against perceived “others” separates us from our divine Oneness with everyone and everything everywhere, and beyond.


As I have slowly understood that human unconsciousness, and ignorance of our true identity, is the root cause of all perceived evil, I have learned to forgive it, and thereby to live an ever happier life. And thus, I have concluded that our purpose on Earth is not to judge, condemn or criticize apparent evil but to transcend it with LOVE.

Thereby, and only after many years of unsuccessfully addressing my negative judgmental tendencies, I may have now mostly transcended them, by realizing that they arose from ego trying to preserve its falsely imagined separate identity.

So I’ve finally granted my irrevocable general power of attorney to The Lone Arranger to judge all “sinners”, including corrupt and prominent institutional and political “leaders” worldwide for whom I now feel sorry, as countless humans conscientiously and nonviolently resist their patently insane and ecologically suicidal behaviors which threaten to catastrophically destroy all human life on Earth as we have known it.


And while so deferring to the unerring law of cause and effect, with absolute faith in the Divine, I have enjoyed unprecedented peace of mind.


Discussion

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 ‘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-minds. 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 discover that a significant solution to our ‘sinning’ problems is to forgive NOW (in the precious present), all unknowing mental mistakes made by ourselves and others. That “to err is human; to forgive, Divine.”

Then, with ‘amazing grace’ we can finally see that our non-judgmental forgiveness of mental mistakes is Divine, since human ‘sins’ of the conditioned ego-mind have arisen from ignorance of Self; from fear, not LOVE.

As a rare exemplar of Divine LOVE, Jesus Christ has inspired millions with his words and deeds of non-judgmental and merciful forgiveness, of even enemies and persecutors, for their spiritually ignorant behaviors. So even while suffering excruciating pain on a crucifixion cross He beseeched: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Yet, without judging ignorant beings but criticizing their disharmonious behaviors, Jesus was a passionate social reformer and redeemer who frequently decried hypocritical conduct and ethics by people who did not ‘walk their talk’ but practiced the very behaviors they decried – like those whose piety was on their tongue but not in their heart; those who claimed to love God but hated others. [John 4:20; Matthew 15:7-9] And without judging the beings but their behaviors he cast out those changing money and conducting commerce in the sacred temple courtyard, thereby demonstrating that we cannot serve both God and greed. [Matthew 6:24 and 21:12]


Perhaps, from Jesus’s supremely divine perspective, ‘mortal sin’ can be seen (with insight, not eyesight) as ignorantly believing oneself a “mortal”, rather than immortal; and, “original sin” can be seen as ego’s mistaken belief of itself as separate from ONE Eternal Spirit or Universal Awareness.

During a long lifetime of often morally judging those who betray or hurt others, I finally learned that it is infinitely easier to forgive and atone for, our ‘sins’, by mindfully recognizing how they egotistically happen, than to exist Christ-like or Buddha-like as divine LOVE. And that on becoming mindfully aware of our unwitting sins we inevitably spur our spiritual evolution process.

And so may it be!

NE Eternal Spirit or Universal Awareness.

Dedication and Invocation

May these teachings on “Forgiveness And Atonement Of “Sins” help all of us to forgive and transcend ’sins’ with love. But with quiet minds and open hearts may we continue to non-judgmentally, nonviolently, and conscientiously resist social injustice, while honoring the spiritual essence and universal equality of everyone everywhere.

And may this posting thereby help spur our spiritual evolution process,
so that we may open our hearts to forgive and give up
what we mistakenly think we are –
to BE, eternally, what we truly are:

The unseen Source of the world we see –
ONE spirit eternally encompassing all life as LOVE!

Hallelujah!!! 

And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

Subject-Object?

“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”

~ Albert Einstein
“This perception of division between the seer and the object that is seen, is situated in the mind. For those remaining in the heart, the seer becomes one with the sight.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
‘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]
“This whole creation is essentially subjective, and the dream is the theater where the dreamer is at once: scene, actor, prompter, stage manager, author, audience, and critic.”
~ Carl Gustav Jung
“Objectivity is an illusory impossibility.”
“All concepts are mental projections of Cosmic Consciousness.
But for name – subject and object are same.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
Essence Of Nondualism:
Consciousness = Subject = Object = Self
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Albert Einstein



Subject-Object?

Q. Where does subject end, and object begin?

A. Nowhere.

E=mc2.

Everything’s energy everywhere.

Energy’s endless,
So everything’s endless.

But we mistakenly believe what we perceive.

Thus, as Einstein observed:

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

Subject and object are mere ways of thinking –
perceptual/conceptual projections of Cosmic Consciousness,
which is our true Self.

As twentieth century Indian sage Sri Ramana Maharshi observed:

“Consciousness is always Self-Consciousness.
If you are conscious of anything,
you are essentially conscious of yourself.”






Ron’s Subject-Object Commentary:

This “Subject-Object?” essay points to our spiritually limiting illusory belief that we are separate “subjects” observing separate “objects” in space/time.  

Cosmically, as Einstein observed, “Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
 
Due to non-locality of space/time ‘reality’, perceived subjects and objects are not separated, but connected.  All perceptions require projected subjective consciousness, which is immeasurable.  So all perceptions are subjective projections of ONE immeasurable consciousness.

Thus everything perceived everywhere is an impermanent holographic energy form of projected consciousness.  Yet we mistakenly believe in objectivity of what we subjectively project and perceive.

Like most Westerners I grew up culturally imbued with mistaken ideas and ideals of “objectivity” of our scientific, academic, journalistic and judicial institutions – of which as an adult I became disabused.
 
And after my midlife spiritual awakening, I began to realize that objectivity is an illusory impossibility; that the idea of objectivity refers only the measurable material world of forms and phenomena, which mistakenly excludes consciousness – the ultimate immeasurable Reality and source of all perceptions.

Despite revolutionary discoveries in relativity and quantum physics, for the past century most materialistic mainstream scientists have remained reluctant to recognize the impossibility of scientifically ‘objective’ accuracy in describing Nature through measurement without reference to immeasurable consciousness. 

Yet more and more visionary scientists have seen and transcended this mistaken materialist view.  As explained by Nobel prize winning physicist Max Planck:


“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of Nature.
 And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


Invocation

May the foregoing quotations and essay
encourage our deep ‘subjective’ reflection and recognition
that Humankind – and all of its institutions –
are part of Nature’s insoluble Mystery,
with which we must mindfully and reverentially be ever harmonious. 

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Asking Unanswerable Questions


“I regard consciousness as fundamental. 
I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. 
We cannot get behind consciousness. 
Everything that we talk about,
everything that we regard as existing,
postulates consciousness.”

“Whence come I and whither go I?

That is the great unfathomable question,

the same for every one of us.

Science has no answer to it.”

“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature.

And that is because, in the last analysis,

we ourselves are part of nature

and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”

~ Max Planck, Nobel laureate physicist
“The very study of the physical world leads to the conclusion that …. consciousness is an ultimate reality and, all the possible knowledge, concerning objects can be given as its wave function”
~ Eugene Wigner, Nobel laureate physicist and co-founder of quantum mechanics
“We never cease to stand like curious children before the great Mystery into which we were born.”
~ Albert Einstein
“The important thing is not to stop questioning.
Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.
It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day.
Never lose a holy curiosity.”
~ Albert Einstein





Asking Unanswerable Questions

Dear Friends, 


Have you ever wondered how our space/time universe began?  

Did it just appear from nothing?  What is its source – its matrix?  Was it created?  Was it intelligently designed?  Did it begin with a “big bang”?  How? When?  What exists beyond its beginning?  Will it ever end?  If so, will it begin again?  What is its purpose, if any?  Is it really real, or just a simulated or virtual reality – like a matrix?  Is it a holographic, fractal projection of Universal Awareness – our common Cosmic Consciousness? Can it ever be explained? Can we ever discover a provable theory explaining everything [“T.E.O”]?



If you are curious or ever have wondered about asking unanswerable cosmic questions, you’re quite unusual.  Except for some theoretical scientists, most humans never think about cosmic questions.  Or they simply accept and believe what some authority, professor, preacher, or spiritual teacher tells them.  Or maybe they are in a state of psychological denial or inflexibility about anything or anyone challenging cherished beliefs.



Only after my mid-life spiritual awakening did I begin wondering, and occasionally writing, about philosophical meaning or purpose of earth life, if any.  And sometimes I’ve shared such writings, aspiring to encourage our cosmic curiosity and wonder transcending everyday existence – with verses like this:

Life is a metaphoric metamorphosis process.

Gleaning meaning in matter,

we learn all that matters —

we learn all that matters is

LOVE!

(Also see e.g. “Cosmology Mythology: From Beyond The Beginning To The Beginning And Beyond”.)


Whether or not any such SillySutras verses are true for you, hopefully they may help spur our transcendence of a long outdated materialistic and mechanistic world-view about ‘reality’ which excludes consciousness and precludes reverential realization of Infinite Reality beyond illusory space/time materiality – a Universal Intelligence beyond, imagination, conception, comprehension or description.


Albert Einstein died while unsuccessfully seeking a ‘theory of everything’ [T.E.O.] – a unified field theory which might explain “the great Mystery into which we were born.”
Theoretical scientists are continuing to search for such a formula.  And ever more non-materialistic scientists – like Einstein and nobel laureate Max Planck – are accepting non-dualistic universal Intelligence, or Cosmic Consciousness, as the ultimate mysterious matrix and Source of our illusory space/time causality “reality”.



Inevitably we will soon witness a non-materialist quantum science paradigm shift fulfilling Swami Vivekananda’s prescient prediction that “Science and religion will meet and shake hands”.



Meanwhile, more and more humans are verifying the verity of ivekananda’s non-duality philosophy, that our ever impermanent space/time causality “reality” is an illusionary mental projection of a mysterious Infinite Potentiality beyond conception, comprehension, imagination, or expression.  


Thus, until we attain global shift acceptance of non-duality Reality, many people will experience ever happier lives, with growing gratitude, for our beautiful blue dot precious planet – a miraculous causality reality concerning which Albert Einstein observed:

“We never cease to stand like curious children
before the great Mystery into which we were born.”


And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Peanuts by Charles Schulz