Hints For Happiness

Everyday Thoughts For Thanksgiving

“To be a presence of perpetual thanksgiving may be the ultimate goal of life.  
The thankful person is the one for whom life is simply one long exercise in the sacred.”
~ Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB from The Psalms: Meditations for Every Day of the Year
“Thankfulness is the soul of beneficence …
For thankfulness brings you to the place where the Beloved lives.”
~ Rumi
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues,
but the parent of all others.”
~ Cicero





Introduction to “Everyday Thoughts For Thanksgiving”

Dear Friends,

For everyone’s Thanksgiving happiness every day, I’m again publishing the following perennial wisdom quotations about thankfulness.

Thanksgiving became my favorite holiday long ago, when I realized that thankfulness is a universal blessing uplifting everyone everywhere, regardless of their cultural, spiritual, secular or religious attitudes or beliefs.

Now at age ninety, I’m unspeakably grateful for still being alive, aware, ambulatory and interdependently-independent – especially since miraculously surviving a deadly taxi rundown eight years ago. Thus, I’ve learned that continual thankfulness is a state of Divine Grace – that every day’s a bonus, and every breath a blessing, not just during Thanksgiving holidays, but always!

May every day be a day of Thanksgiving, for everyone everywhere.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Everyday Thoughts For Thanksgiving

“Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”
~ Rumi

“Join me in the pure atmosphere of gratitude for life.
Join my eyes and soul in their divine applause.”
~ Hafiz

“You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy.”
~ Buddha

“It is not joy that makes us grateful;
it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”
~ Brother David Steindl-Rast

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you,
it will be enough.”
~ Meister Eckhart

“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends,
the old and the new.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled  by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
~ Albert Schweitzer

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”
~ Buddha

“I thank God for my handicaps for, through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God.”
~ Helen Keller

“O Lord, who lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.”
~ William Shakespeare

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
~ Albert Einstein

”A grateful mind is a great mind,
which eventually attracts to itself great things.”
~ Plato

“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

“Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.”
~ Aesop

”Gratitude bestows reverence,
allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies,
those transcendent moments of awe
that change forever how we experience life and the world.”
~ John Milton

“I am grateful for what I am and have.
My thanksgiving is perpetual.
It is surprising how contented one can be
with – only a sense of existence.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

“Gratitude is heaven itself.”
~ William Blake

“No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;
But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here.”
~ John Greenleaf Whittier

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
~ Psalm 100


“When you allow your heart to open to the universe’s flow of love, gratitude comes with that flow. Gratitude for the people that you love, and for those who share your life. Gratitude for the Creation of the beautiful Earth as our home in this great cosmos. Gratitude for the Sun that gives us life. Gratitude for being alive, for just existing, for being in the flow of the wonder of life.”
~ Owen Waters



“Gratitude flows unimpeded from an open heart. When you allow it, gratitude will flow as freely as the sunshine, unobstructed by judgments or conditions.”
~ Owen Waters

“Every day should be a day of Thanksgiving for all the gifts of Life — sunshine, water, the luscious fruits and greens,
which we receive as indirect gifts from the Great Giver.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything.
Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God.
For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.”
~ Thomas Merton 


“The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful
and has nobody to thank.”              
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti

I thank you God for most this amazing day
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky,
and for everything which is natural
which is infinite
which is yes….
I who have died am alive again today
and this is the sun’s birthday;
this is the birth day of life and of love and wings…
~ e. e. cummings

“When we develop a right attitude of compassion and gratitude,
we take a giant step towards solving our personal and international problems.”
~ H.H. Dalai Lama

It’s not our longitude
Or our latitude,
But the elevation of our attitude,
That brings beatitude.
***
So an attitude of gratitude
Brings beatitude.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

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 Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Dedication

The foregoing quotations and thoughts For Thanksgiving are dedicated to encouraging, inspiring and guiding us to enjoy ever growing gratitude, on Thanksgiving holidays and every day.  

May every day be a Thanksgiving day for everyone everywhere.   

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Happy Thanksgiving Day – Every Day!

Enjoy! – Beautiful Gratitude Video
Narrated by Brother David Steindl-Rast




Armistice Day, 11:11
~ No More War: Quotes and Comments

“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

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.
Without them humanity cannot survive.”
~ Dalai Lama

“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.

“Mankind must put an end to war,
or war will put an end to mankind…”
~ John F. Kennedy

“There is no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy.
There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.”
~ Abraham Lincoln

“More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars — yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between governments.”
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

“The great question is, can war be outlawed from the world?
If so, it would mark the greatest advance in civilization since the Sermon on the Mount.”
~ Douglas MacArthur

“Thou shalt not kill.”
~ Exodus 20:13

“Does the commandment ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ mean nothing to us?
Are we to interpret it as meaning ‘Thou shalt not kill except on the grand scale,’ or ‘Thou shalt not kill except when the national leaders say to do so’?”
~ Linus Pauling

Armistice Day, 11:11 ~ No More War

Dear Friends,

Over a century ago on November 11th at eleven o’clock a.m. — the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918, an armistice agreement was signed by the combatant Allied nations and Germany to end four years of Word War I hostilities. This historic event was thereafter commemorated by the Allied nations as a national “Armistice Day” holiday idealistically marking termination of “the war to end all wars”.

However, at the outbreak of World War II, the US national holiday name became “Veterans Day”, while British Commonwealth nations changed from “Armistice Day” to “Remembrance Day”. And for decades endless more wars have followed the “the war to end all wars”.

Human societies have advanced industrially and technologically, but have yet utterly failed to stop warring. As American humorist and social commentator Will Rogers sardonically observed:

“You can’t say civilization don’t advance…
in every war they kill you in a new way.”
~ Will Rogers


Although armed conflict is behaviorally as old as humankind, for the first time in our recorded history we are now forced to realize that any more wars will probably trigger an omnicidal nuclear, ecological, biological, or radiological catastrophe insanely ending earth-life as we’ve known it.

But paradoxically, while human survival is technologically threatened as never before, we concurrently have gained unprecedented technical capacity to sustainably end all human starvation and poverty. And in these critical times of immense suffering, yet immense opportunity, we are awakening to our infinitely unlimited human potentiality.

So as we appropriately honor and remember all those who have been conscripted or enlisted into military services fighting endless wars, let us urgently and lovingly envisage and intend – at long last – an era with no more war on our precious planet.

Together let us morally insist that mother Earth be democratically governed bottom-up by compassionate nonviolent societies, rather than autocratically ruled top-down by malignantly insane warlike “leaders”.

We must relentlessly refuse to cooperate with or participate in any more immoral war, and only commemorate “Armistice Day” (instead of “Veterans Day”), remembering that another war can be the “war to end all wars” and all life on our precious blue planet!

May we so initiate a new era of lasting world peace.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

“Harmony”
~ Quotation Collection

“Love is the energizing elixir of the Universe,

the cause and effect of all Harmony.”

~ Rumi
“When there is harmony
between the mind, heart and resolution
then nothing is impossible.”
~ Rig Veda
“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another . . And over all these virtues put on LOVE, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
~ Colossians 3: 12-17
“Let us live in harmless harmony,

and stay in cosmic synchrony,

as we play in Nature’s symphony.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings




Ron’s introduction to “Harmony” ~ Quotation Collection

Dear Friends,



Over thirty years ago I began deeply reflecting about the crucial importance of living harmoniously with each other and Nature. Since then I’ve accumulated the following treasury of inspiring quotations about “Harmony”, which express ever enduring ideas and ideals of fundamental spiritual significance.

May these quotations encourage and inspire our harmonious thoughts, emotions and behaviors to help heal the world, beyond illusory perceived separation from Nature and each other.



And so may it be!



Ron Rattner


Quotations and Sayings about “Harmony”

“Harmony is the secret principle of life.”

~ Paramahansa Yogananda


“When there is harmony between the mind, heart and resolution

then nothing is impossible.”

~ Rig Veda


”Neither human wisdom nor divine inspiration
can confer upon man any greater blessing than
[to live a life of happiness and harmony here on earth].”

~ Plato

“Clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive one another . .
And over all these virtues put on LOVE,
which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”

~ Colossians 3: 12-17


“Love is the energizing elixir of the Universe,

the cause and effect of all Harmony.”

~ Rumi

“(A)ll problems of existence are essentially problems of harmony.”
~ Sri Aurobindo

“The heart and mind can find peace and harmony
by contemplating the transcendental nature
of the true Self as supreme effulgent life.”
~ Patanjali

“Where the heart is full of kindness which seeks no injury to another,
either in act or thought or wish, this full love creates an atmosphere of harmony,
whose benign power touches with healing all who come within its influence.
Peace in the heart radiates peace to other hearts,
even more surely than contention breeds contention.”
~ Patanjali, Yoga Sutra

“Affirm divine calmness and peace,
and send out only thoughts of love and goodwill
if you want to live in peace and harmony.
Never get angry, for anger poisons your system.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

“A harmonized mind produces harmony
in this world of seeming discord.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

“Go forth in every direction –
for the happiness, the harmony, the welfare of the many.
Offer your heart, the seeds of understanding,
like a lamp overturned and re-lit, illuminating the darkness.”
~ Buddha

“The life ahead can only be glorious
if you learn to live in total harmony with the Lord.”
~ Shirdi Sai Baba

“Happiness is when what you think,
what you say,
and what you do are in harmony.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi


“Virtue is harmony.”

~ Pythagoras

“God reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists.”
~ Albert Einstein

“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed.
Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

“The sage is one with the world,
and lives in harmony with it.”
~ Lao Tzu



”One who lives in accordance with nature

does not go against the way of things,

but moves in harmony with the present moment.”

~ Lao Tzu

“He who lives in harmony with himself
lives in harmony with the universe.”
~ Marcus Aurelius

“The essence of saintliness is total acceptance of the present moment, harmony with things as they happen.”
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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


”The superior person is in Harmony,

but does not follow the crowd.

The lesser person follows the crowd,

but is not in Harmony.”

~ Confucius


“Love opens all doors,

no matter how tightly closed they may be,

no matter how rusty from lack of use.

Your work is to bring unity and harmony,

to open all those doors which have been closed for a long time.

Have patience and tolerance. Open your heart all the time.”

~ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

“The life of this world is nothing but the harmony of opposites”
~ Rumi


“Where there is discord,

let us sow Harmony.”

~ Peace Prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi


”Without law or compulsion,

men would dwell in harmony.”

~ Lao Tzu


As soon as laws are necessary for men,

they are no longer fit for freedom.

~ Pythagoras


”Happy the man whose lot it is to know

The secrets of the earth.

He hastens not

To work his fellows hurt by unjust deeds,

But with rapt admiration contemplates

Immortal Nature’s ageless harmony,

And how and when the order came to be.”

~ Euripides



”To have a positive religion is not necessary.

To be in harmony with yourself and the universe is what counts,

and this is possible without positive and specific formulation in words.”

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


“The unlike is joined together,

and from differences results the most beautiful harmony.”

~ Heraclitus

”Mutual respect and mutual listening

are the foundations of harmony within the family.”

~ Buddha



“Harmony can not thrive in a climate of
mistrust, cheating, bullying; mean-spirited competition.”

~ Dalai Lama


”Wherever I go meeting the public… spreading a message of human values …
[and] harmony, is the most important thing.”

~ Dalai Lama


”If you want peace and harmony in the world,

you must have peace and harmony in your hearts and minds.”

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj



“Happiness is not a matter of intensity

but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.”

~ Thomas Merton


”Harmony sinks deep into the recesses of the soul

and takes its strongest hold there,

bringing grace also to the body and mind as well.

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

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

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

~ Plato



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

~ Plato


”Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God

and the permissible delights of the soul.”

”Harmony is next to Godliness”

~ Johann Sebastian Bach


“If only the whole world could feel the power of harmony.”

~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart



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

~ Hildegard of Bingen



“A life in harmony with nature,

the love of truth and virtue,

will purge the eyes to understanding her text.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


“With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony,

and the deep power of joy,

we see into the life of things.”

~ William Wordsworth



“Life’s errors cry for the merciful beauty
that
 can modulate their isolation

into a harmony with the whole.”

~ Rabindranath Tagore



“The highest education is that

which does not merely give us information

but makes our life in harmony with all existence.”

~ Rabindranath Tagore

“Training the intellect does not result in intelligence.
Intelligence comes into being when one acts in perfect harmony,
both intellectually and emotionally.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

“As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures
there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people.
Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.”
~ Isaac Bashevis Singer


”I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world,
 not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind…”

~ Albert Einstein



”The harmony of natural law reveals an Intelligence of such superiority that, 
compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings
is an utterly insignificant reflection.”

~ Albert Einstein


“In art, and in the higher ranges of science,

there is a feeling of harmony which underlies all endeavor.

There is no true greatness in art or science

without that sense of harmony.”

~ Albert Einstein



“My feeling is religious insofar as I am imbued

with the consciousness of the insufficiency of the human mind

to understand more deeply the harmony of the Universe

which we try to formulate as “laws of nature”

~ Albert Einstein



”Today wherever you go, carry the intention of peace, love, and harmony in your heart.”

“Just as light brightens darkness, discovering inner fulfillment can eliminate any disorder or discomfort.
This is truly the key to creating balance and harmony in everything you do.”

~ Deepak Chopra


”There is great freedom in simplicity of living,

and after I began to feel this,

I found harmony in my life between inner and outer well-being.

There is a great deal to be said about such harmony,

not only for an individual life but also for the life of a society.

It’s because as a world we have gotten ourselves so far out of harmony,

so way off on the material side,
 that when we discover something like nuclear energy
 we are still capable of putting it into a bomb 
and using it to kill people!

This is because our inner well-being lags so far behind our outer well-being.”

~ Peace Pilgrim



”Everyone has the perfect gift to give the world-
and if each of us is freed up to give our unique gift,
the world will be in total harmony.”

~ R. Buckminster Fuller


“Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.”

~ Plato (The Republic)



“Out of clutter find simplicity.

From discord make harmony.

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

~ Albert Einstein


“The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace.

A persistent simplification will create an inner and outer well-being

that places harmony in one’s life.”

~ Peace Pilgrim



“Adversity draws men together and produces beauty and harmony in life’s relationships,
just as the cold of winter produces ice-flowers on the window-panes,
which vanish with the warmth.”

~ Soren Kierkegaard



“Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend;

you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left”

~ Aldo Leopold


“Live harmlessly in Harmony.”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


“How can there be harm in me,

when I’m in harmless Harmony?”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“Let us live in harmless harmony,

and stay in cosmic synchrony,

as we play in Nature’s symphony.”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“Don’t disrupt and polarize,

but syncretize and harmonize.”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings





And so may it be!



Ron Rattner



Spiritual Paths

Q. “What is the path?”
A. “Everyday life is the path.”
~ Zen Master Nansen

Q. “Sir, shall I ever leave the spiritual path?”
A. “How could you?
Everyone in the world is on the spiritual path.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

“Just as a candle cannot burn without fire,
men cannot live without a spiritual life.”
~ Gautama Buddha

“The spiritual path –
is simply the journey of living our lives.
Everyone is on a spiritual path;
most people just don’t know it.”
~ Marianne Williamson

“The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear
and the acceptance of love.”
~ Marianne Williamson

“Truth is a pathless land,
and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever,
by any religion, by any sect.”
~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

“In a conflict between the heart and the brain,
follow your heart.”
“You have to grow from the inside out.
None can teach you, none can make you spiritual.
There is no other teacher but your own soul.”
~ Swami Vivekananda





Spiritual Paths

Introduction to “Spiritual Paths”

Dear Friends,

The above perennial wisdom quotations, and the following Spiritual Paths sutra-essay, suggest a simple and universal way for us to resolve current complex worldly problems and dire threats.

They remind us to faithfully follow the inner wisdom of our Heart, by always living with love.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Spiritual Paths

There are as many spiritual paths as people.

Each person is unique,
with unique evolutionary challenges
arising from unique karmic causes.

To find and follow your spiritual path –

Look within.

And find and follow your Heart.



Ron’s audio recitation of “Spiritual Paths”

Listen to



Ron’s Comments on “Spiritual Paths”

We are living in exceptionally unhappy times. Most humans worldwide are troubled and polarized, and sometimes violent. They are accepting top-down domination benefiting only a few obscenely rich people and transnational corporations, rather than over 99% of Humankind.

Humans are thereby authorizing or allowing their leaders to psychopathically end life on Earth as we’ve known it by omnicidal nuclear, radiological or biological warfare, or by deliberate climate collapse. Alternatively, we can each avert any such catastrophe and enjoy happy lives without fear or suffering.

So, what can we do to accomplish this?

Dr. Seuss reminds us that


“Sometimes the questions are complicated
and the answers are simple.”


And Albert Einstein advises:

“Out of complexity, find simplicity!”
“When the solution is simple, God is answering.”
~ Albert Einstein


Also Einstein observes that we cannot solve our problems from the same level of consciousness which created them; that

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant.
We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.
We will not solve the problems of the world from the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”
~ Albert Einstein


Similarly, renowned sage Swami Vivekananda wisely advises that:

“In a conflict between the heart and the brain,
follow your heart.” “You have to grow from the inside out.
None can teach you, none can make you spiritual.
There is no other teacher but your own soul.”
~ Swami Vivekananda


Discussion

Each human is unique, with a unique perspective and unique karmic history. And each of us creates our own reality with our personal thoughts.

But though our mental perspectives are unique, we always share deep common consciousness. And when we access our common consciousness we can resolve seemingly insoluble individual and societal problems from intuitive levels of awareness above and beyond the mental levels which created them.

Thus this Spiritual Paths posting offers us a universal, but simple, spiritual method for resolving our seemingly complex problems: The method of living and growing from inside-out, by always following the wisdom of our heart, and living our every-day lives mindfully guided by our inner intuitions.

Invocation

With abiding faith in Self, Nature, and Divinity,
may we always follow the heartfelt wisdom of our inner intuitions –
with LOVE.

May we thereby resolve seemingly insoluble problems,
and bless the world – as LOVE.


And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Day Of The Dead
~ An Ancient Celebration of Eternal Life


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

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

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

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

“Reincarnation is not an exclusively Hindu or Buddhist concept,

but it is part of the history of human origin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ Mahatma Gandhi

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

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

you must go deep within yourself.

In meditation, the truth will come to you.”

~ Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas

“Birth and death are virtual,

but Life is perpetual.”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“As we lose our fear of leaving life,

we gain the art of living life.”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Diego Rivera ~ “Día de los Muertos”



Day Of The Dead ~ An Ancient Celebration of Eternal Life

Introduction

Dear Friends,

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

Discussion

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

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

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

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

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

Recommendation and Dedication

At almost age ninety, losing fear of death has greatly helped me find ever-increasing inner happiness in this precious human lifetime. So I’ve often tried to share this insight with apt SillySutras aphorisms, essays, quotations, and stories.

Most recently my July 23rd, 2022 tribute to my friend Betty Bethards has thoroughly summarized these perennial wisdom teachings. And because it contains a verbatim summary of Betty Bethards’ excellent book titled “There is No Death” I highly recommend you review it.

Thus, this Day Of The Dead posting is deeply dedicated to helping everyone everywhere realize that death is merely an earthly illusion – that in Infinite Reality beyond time and space, there is no death, or suffering from fear of death; just Eternal Life, Light, and Love!

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Go For The “God” Spot

“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
~ Dr. Seuss
“The greatest discovery of any generation
is that human beings can alter their lives
by altering the attitudes of their minds.”
~ Albert Schweitzer
“It’s not our longitude
Or our latitude,
But the elevation of our attitude,
That brings beatitude.”

“So an attitude of gratitude
Brings beatitude.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Everything can be taken away from a man but one thing:

the last of the human freedoms –
to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances,
to choose one’s own way.”

~ Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning
“The mind is like an elastic band. 
The more you pull, the more it stretches. 
Every time you feel limitations,
close your eyes and say to yourself,
“I am the Infinite,”
and you will see what power you have.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda





Go For The “God” Spot

Introduction

Dear Friends,

Today – as a Halloween “trick or treat” – I’ve posted below Go For The “God” Spot, a whimsical sutra-poem with mp3 recitation, and the above quotations about discovering and choosing happiness within.
 
They are explained in my comments below about choosing happiness.

Like most SillySutras postings Go For The “God” Spot, is dedicated to helping us find ever greater inner happiness no matter what our outer circumstances may be.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Go For The “God” Spot

Don’t complain
about your pain,

Or of what you have,
or have not.

Just get into your brain,
and find the spot

Where all you want –
you’ve got.




Ron’s audio recitation of Go For The “God” Spot

Listen to



Ron’s Reflections on Choosing Happiness

Dear Friends,

Today – as a Halloween “trick or treat” – I’ve posted for your enjoyment and edification the above “Go For The “God” Spot” whimsical poem, and quotations about discovering and choosing happiness within.

At almost age ninety, I’ve found ever increasing happiness by more and more accepting each moment with the attitude that it could not be otherwise.  As explained by Eckhart Tolle: 

 
“The Now is as it is because it cannot be otherwise.
What Buddhists have always known, physicists now confirm:
there are no isolated things or events.
Underneath the surface appearance, all things are interconnected,
are part of the totality of the cosmos
that has brought about the form that this moment takes.”

Albert Schweitzer once proclaimed  that 

“The greatest discovery of any generation
is that human beings can alter their lives
by altering the attitudes of their minds.”

We may not be free to choose our outer circumstances in life. But, while self identifying as separate entities, we can choose our attitudes and thoughts about those circumstances.
So happiness is a choice!

Because choosing happiness has greatly helped me, I’ve often tried to share this insight on SillySutras.com, with apt aphorisms, essays, quotations, and stories that might help everyone. 

So today’s whimsical Go For The “God” Spot poem is intended to humorously help us find and choose inner happiness.  

May we see it as truth said in jest; not as a Halloween trick, but as a timeless treat.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

“Sunrise, Sunset”
~ a Modern Melody With Ancient Meaning


“The soul of man has been separated from its source,
wandering in exile in a strange land –
“I am stranger on earth” (Psalm 119:19-20) –
ever yearning to return to that from which it first sprang,
and cleave to the Soul of all souls.”

~ Ba’al Shem Tov, Hasidic master

“Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears”
~ Sheldon Harnick, Jerry Bock – “Fiddler on the Roof”

“What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”
~ Crowfoot, 1890

“Thus shall ye think of all this fleeting world:
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream;
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.”
~ Buddha: Diamond Sutra

“In the end these things matter most:
How well did you love?
How fully did you love?
How deeply did you learn to let go?”

~ Buddha

Fiddler on the Roof



“Sunrise, Sunset” ~ a Modern Melody With Ancient Meaning

Introduction

Dear Friends,

In recent postings I’ve explained verbally and demonstrated with recorded musical performances how the hauntingly beautiful melody of the ancient Kol Nidré prayer which begins Yom Kippur, the highest of Jewish High Holy Days, communicates deep feelings of instinctive perennial wisdom beyond words.

Spiritually, Kol Nidré melodies have for centuries communicated innate human awareness of our unavoidable fallibility and inability to live without inevitable life-long ‘ups and downs’ and mistakes, from which we learn Love on the Earth branch of an infinitely expanding Cosmic University.

Shortly after my 1976 spiritual awakening I experienced a melody from the play and movie Fiddler on the Roof – “Sunrise, Sunset” – as a modern analogue to Kol Nidré which to me communicated similar ancient instinctive wisdom beyond words.

During an amazing February 1977 week in New York (a time for me of great spiritual sensitivity and curiosity) after I was scheduled to return home I attended a Broadway revival performance of the play.

I was extremely interested in the fictional story because all my maternal and paternal Rattner surname ancestors over a century ago had emigrated to the USA from Western Ukraine near Kiev to escape hatred and persecution for their Jewish religious customs, and my father and his extended family had fled an actual village just like the fictional village portrayed in Fiddler on the Roof.

Now, at an historically unprecedented time, when survival of all humans – not just Jews – appears threatened globally by war and hatred in Ukraine “Sunrise, Sunset” is for me more important than ever before. So I’ve decided to explain and demonstrate it with this posting.

Although “Sunrise, Sunset” was composed to be sung by different fictional characters and a chorus i’m hereafter singing it as a cantor, for all humans at this unprecedented time of Ukrainian war world jeopardy. Also to demonstrate the power of the melody alone I will cantorially hum it in the mystical Jewish wordless song tradition of the nigun.

Please listen, enjoy and open your heart to the contemporary importance of these timeless melodies.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

“Sunrise, Sunset” Lyrics [*excerpted]

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly fly the years

One season following another

Laden with happiness and tears.

Is this the little girl I carried?

Is this the little boy at play?

I don’t remember growing older

When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty?

When did he grow to be so tall?

Wasn’t it yesterday

When they were small?

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly flow the days

Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers

Blossoming even as we gaze.

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly fly the years

One season following another

Laden with happiness and tears.

*Lyrics excerpted from Fiddler On The Roof – Broadway Musical 1964
Melody composed By Jerry Bock, Lyrics By Sheldon Harnick


“Sunrise, Sunset” ~ Lyric Excerpts and Melody Cantorially sung by Ron Rattner

Dear Friends,

Although “Sunrise, Sunset” was composed to be sung by different fictional characters and a chorus I’m hereafter singing lyric excerpts as a cantor, for all humans at this unprecedented time of Ukrainian war world jeopardy.

Also to demonstrate the power of the melody alone I will cantorially hum it in the mystical Jewish wordless song tradition of the nigun.

Please listen, enjoy and open your heart to the contemporary importance of these timeless melodies.

May they invoke Divine Grace, and soon fulfill our soul’s deepest aspirations!

Listen to



And so may it be!

Ron Rattner



Fiddler On The Roof – “Sunrise sunset” Scene from film



Questions and Speculations About Thought

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

“A man is but the product of his thoughts;
what he thinks, he becomes.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

“Nothing’s either good or bad,
but thinking makes it so.”
~ William Shakespeare


“This world is wrought with naught but thought.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“Inner infinity projects outer reality.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“Whatever we think, do, or say,
changes this world in some way.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

All thoughts,
are thoughts
about thoughts.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

When all thoughts cease,
we are at peace.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Introduction

Dear Friends,

Please enjoy and consider the above quotations and sutra sayings, and the following Q and A sutra essay-poem about thoughts which “create” our mental reality.

The sutra sayings and essay were composed long ago and are republished and recited today, to encourage us to live peacefully and happily in these extraordinary times.

And to help us remember that:


“When all thoughts cease, we are at peace.“


And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Questions and Speculations About Thought

Q.  What is thinking?

A.  A process in awareness.


Q.  What do we think about?

A.  Past thoughts.


Q.  What are thoughts?

A.  Subtle energy forms arising in and from Universal Awareness.


Q.  Is all thought taught?

A.  Most thoughts are taught thoughts.

Q.  Is “creation” a thought process?

A.  Yes, this is a mental reality.

  “This world is wrought with naught but thought.”
  “Inner infinity projects outer reality.”



Q.  Do we participate in “creation”?

A.  Yes.

  “Whatever we think, do, or say,
changes this world in some way.”



Q.  Can thoughts be habitual, subliminal or subconscious?

A.  Yes, insofar as human consciousness is clouded and limited.

Q.  Are there thoughts beyond brains?

A.  Yes. Thoughts are subtle energy forms. Energy’s endless.
So, thoughts can remain beyond the brain.


Q.  Are thoughts “now” or “then”?

A.  Thoughts are always from the past – ever “then”, never “now”; while Life is “now” – ever now, never then.


Q.  Are all your prior answers absolutely accurate?

A.  God knows, I don’t.



Ron’s recitation of “Questions and Speculations About Thought”

Listen to


Envisioning a Better World
~ With Imagination and Faith

“Imagination is everything.
It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
~ Albert Einstein
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.
For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand,
while imagination embraces the entire world,
and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
~ Albert Einstein
“You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one”
~ John Lennon, “Imagine”
“Is all that we see or seem
but a dream within a dream?”
~ Edgar Allen Poe
“Your thoughts create reality. The most pragmatic way to create world peace is to use your power of visualization. Think Peace, Act Peace, Spread Peace, Imagine Peace. Your thoughts will soon cover the planet. The most important thing is to believe in your power. It works.”
~ Yoko Ono
“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
“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
“Faith is the highest passion in a human being.
Many in every generation may not come that far,

but none comes further.”
~ Soren Kierkegaard
“Faith is different from proof;
the latter is human, the former is a gift from God.”
“The heart has its reasons that reason does not know.”
~ Blaise Pascal
“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.”
 . . .
“Faith is, above all, open-ness—an act of trust in the unknown.”
~ Alan Watts



John Lennon
October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980



Introduction

Dear Friends,

The above quotations about imagination and faith, and the following poetic sutra-essay and embedded videos, are posted as a tribute to departed hero John Lennon, on his October 9, 82nd birthday anniversary. John’s lasting legacy as a charismatic and visionary populist leader who imagined a peaceful planet fulfilling our common needs, is explained in comments after the essay/poem.


Envisioning a Better World
~ With Imagination and Faith


Just as dreamers ‘create’ their dreams,
together we are a ‘dream-team’,
dreaming our world into being;

And, consciously or unconsciously creating a ‘common dream’.

Together, we are awakening to the greatest “secret of secrets”:

That we are not mere powerless perceivers of our “reality”,
but also its co-creators –

That we interdependently co-create our reality with our imagination, thoughts, words and deeds;

That everything we think, do or say changes our world in some way;

That our worldly “reality” depends upon the light of awareness with which we envision, experience and co-create it.

As we are awakening, we are discovering our true nature as Infinite Potentiality, and we are becoming infused with abiding faith in Nature and our Self, and in the impenetrable Mystery beyond every form or phenomenon.

As we are awakening, we are also discovering that our great gift of imagination can immeasurably help us live harmonious, creative, and loving lives.

We are learning – as Einstein taught us – that
what we imagine is “the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

So, as we awaken with abiding faith and love,
together let us “imagine” – like martyred hero John Lennon – that

“Someday …. the world will live as one”.

AND SO SHALL IT BE!

Ron Rattner



Ron’s Recitation of “Envisioning a Better World
~ With Imagination and Faith”

Listen to



Ron’s Comments on “Envisioning a Better World
~ With Imagination and Faith”:


Dear Friends,

The foregoing poetic sutra-essay is a tribute to departed hero John Lennon, on his 82nd birthday anniversary. Lennon – like Dr. King and Malcolm X – was martyred at age forty at the pinnacle of his powers, but he bequeathed to us a lasting legacy of unrelenting aspiration and inspiration for planetary peace and love.

Recent US presidential election politics have revealed that most Americans are justifiably dissatisfied with US empire policies and economics; that they especially object to extreme economic inequality, unjustly favoring the super-rich 1% at the expense of almost everyone else, caused by an ever warlike imperial government with much more hypocrisy than democracy.

John Lennon was and remains a charismatic and visionary populist leader who imagined a peaceful planet fulfilling our common needs and deepest desires for a radically new era when our “world will live as ONE.”

Lennon recognized that whatever our political, cultural, generational, or geographical labels or perspectives, we all share overriding common needs and aspirations.  That as Humankind we share the same web of life, the same precious Earth ecology, the same aspirations for health and happiness and for just and loving societies serving basic needs of all life on a peaceful planet. 
 
To honor John Lennon on his 82nd birthday, I’ve embedded below two live performances of John singing “Imagine”, plus written lyrics. As we listen to him projecting our heartfelt aspirations, let us join together with faith, to envision and co-create a wonderful new era when our “world will live as ONE.”

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


John Lennon singing “Imagine”



“Imagine”


Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people

Living for today



Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace



You may say that I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will be as one



Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people

Sharing all the world



You may say that I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will live as one


~ John Lennon


Kol Nidré ritual prayer

Cantor Netanel Hershtik singing Kol Nidre

Introduction

Dear Friends,

Concurrent with Jewish high holy days I recently posted memoirs about Forgiving the Past to Live in the Present which describe and explain “Kol Nidrei” the Jewish Yom Kippur opening prayer, that repents “sins” and seeks Divine forgiveness or rescission of the past year’s obsolete vows, intentions or behaviors. That memoirs posting describes the hauntingly beautiful “Kol Nidrei” melodies which powerfully project deep sacred meaning beyond the prayer’s vocalized Aramaic words.

However, the posting fails to include audio-visual performances of Kol Nidrei.

So as a musical epilogue to Forgiving the Past to Live in the Present I have hereafter embedded two exemplary YouTube performances of the ancient Kol Nidrei ritual prayer:

1) A an historic 2003 video recording of American Cantor Netanel Hershtik singing Kol Nidre at Amsterdam’s 17th century Portuguese Synagogue, one of the world’s most architecturally important synagogues. This performance was produced and repeatedly aired by PBS stations during Jewish holidays and fund-raising drives for years thereafter. It was part of a Jewish sacred music concert in Europe, arranged by PBS.

2) A legendary orchestral performance by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Barenboim with renowned cellist Jacqueline du Pré (his deceased wife) of German composer Max Bruch’s “Adagio after Hebrew Melodies”, Op 47, for cello and orchestra. Bruch, a Christian Protestant, was “deeply moved” by the haunting beauty of the ancient “Kol Nidrei” liturgical music. And he considered the cello’s tenor tone as ideally evoking a Jewish cantor’s voice. So In 1880 he composted his still popular Op 47, with beautiful ancient Jewish melodies.

Conclusion

Spiritually, Kol Nidrei melodies have for centuries emanated and communicated instinctive human awareness of our unavoidable fallibility as physically incarnate earth-beings unable to live without error or beyond the “sin” of missing the mark for ethically perfect behaviors.

Please enjoy these haunting melodies, accordingly.

Ron Rattner

Videos

2003 video recording of American Cantor Netanel Hershtik singing Kol Nidre at Amsterdam’s 17th century Portuguese Synagogue



Max Bruch’s “Adagio after Hebrew Melodies”, Op 47, for cello and orchestra, performed by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Barenboim with renowned cellist Jacqueline du Pré (his deceased wife)