Intuition

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

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


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

Ron’s Introduction.

Dear Friends,

June 26, 2022 is the 89th birthday anniversary of my unforgettable departed friend Carol Schuldt. Carol was an extraordinarily intuitive free spirit, whose authentic and inner directed spiritual life was in inspiration for me and countless others.

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

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

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

Background

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

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

Before meeting Carol, I miraculously ‘discovered’ and became a lover of St. Francis of Assisi. And soon after meeting Carol, I regarded her as a ‘female St. Francis’ who constantly communed with Nature, even with the sun, the moon, and many nonhuman lifeforms.

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

Summary of Carol’s spiritual history.

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

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

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

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

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

Carol’s muraled house and organic garden.

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

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

Carol’s St. Francis mural

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meaning of the farewell Carol synchronicity story?


“Miraculous synchronicities in time,
are meaningful reminders of eternal Reality
beyond time”.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“Synchronicity is choreographed by a great,

pervasive intelligence that lies at the heart of nature,

and is manifest in each of us through what we call the soul.”

~ Deepak Chopra

Eulogy to Carol Schuldt

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

And so it shall be!

Ron Rattner

Seeing the World as “Nothing But Movies”
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“This earth is nothing but movies to me. Just like the beam of a motion picture. So is everything made of shadow and light. That’s what we are. Light and shadows of the Lord. Nothing else than that. There’s one purpose. To get to the beam.” 
~ Paramahansa Yogananda-Autobiography of a Yogi, Chapter 30
“A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion,
does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.”
~ Buddha
“This 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
“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.”
~ Max Planck, Nobel Prize-winning physicist
“Objective reality does not exist” ….
“the universe is fundamentally a gigantic … hologram”

~ David Bohm, quantum physicist


Swami Paramahansa Yogananda


Ron’s Introduction to Seeing the World as “Nothing But Movies”.

Dear Friends,

Today’s memoirs title was inspired by Swami Paramahansa Yogananda’s above quotation, and by my unprecedented state of mind, since miraculously recovering from near-death taxicab run-down injuries eight years ago.

I now often experience this life like a movie, with scenes of continuing synchronicities enigmatically arising from ever mysterious karmic causes and conditions. But this life-stage has arrived only after many decades of difficulties and experiential evolution, beginning before my mid-life spiritual awakening.

During childhood my entire life seemed very dreamlike, and – like my nocturnal dreams – I’ve forgotten most of it.   

Thereafter, and until midlife, Earth life became my sole “reality”.  Then following a profound midlife spiritual awakening and previously unimagined mystical experiences, I more and more have been blessed to self-identify as non-dual eternal spirit inhabiting a mortal body, in an illusory world.

Thus my life again seems quite dreamlike and synchronistic – often like a masterfully pre-scripted movie, in which I am currently playing a fleeting role as retired lawyer and spiritual philosopher, who is still learning and evolving.

Retrospective realization of the apparent perfection of my lifetime’s evolutionary history has instilled in me unshakable and irreversible faith in God and Nature, and unspeakable gratitude for their blessings – especially since my miraculous survival and recovery from near death injuries sustained eight years ago on being run down by a taxicab.

At almost age 90, as I contemplate my inevitable (and possibly imminent) physical death, I keep wondering how we can best ‘be in this world but not of this world’ while remembering that we are immortal spirit – not mere embodied mortals – experiencing unique lifetimes, karmically predetermined to help us learn and see our true self-identity. And how we can keep alert for constant potential lessons and blessings in our lives.

I have been blessed with unforgettable fleeting ‘peek’ spiritual experiences demonstrating that earth life is like a ‘light show’ – an illusory play of consciousness. Yet, I’m often deeply moved by the insanity, violence and suffering now rife on our precious planet, and often wonder how we can best address it.

Questions.

As we awaken from the illusion of our apparent separateness from each other and Nature:

Is it possible for us to live in this impermanent world of inevitable suffering, without responding compassionately and emotionally to the immense miseries and apparent injustices experienced everywhere by countless sentient beings?

How can we most skillfully and compassionately address ubiquitous world misery, injustice and suffering?

Discussion.

Each of us has a unique perspective with unique karmic causes and conditions. So I am unqualified to offer specific spiritual advice to anyone else. But, encouraged by my Guruji to share spiritual learning experiences, I offer the following views, in case they may help others.

I believe that even highly elevated incarnate beings cannot always live emotionally detached from ubiquitous misery and suffering. But that we can all best respond compassionately and intuitively, rather than react reflexively, while peacefully remaining self-identified as incarnate universal spirit, rather than as separate ego-minds.

Recently I learned that – even while experiencing transcendent states of consciousness – Indian Holy Man and Avatar, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, suffered bereavements on deaths of a nephew, older brother, and beloved attendant. Similarly Swami Paramahansa Yogananda experienced deep bereavement on death of his mother, and significant emotional trauma following a betrayal and lawsuit by his former trusted childhood best friend and assistant, Dhirananda.

Yet, Yogananda later explained in Autobiography of a Yogi, Chapter 30, his view that:“This earth is nothing but movies to me.”

But (except for psychopaths) aren’t we all often autonomically emotionally attuned with others when with them or thinking of them, and even in viewing videos, movies and plays?

Background

In my student days I learned of maniacs like Hitler in Nazi Germany, Mao in Communist China, Stalin in the U.S.S.R., Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and numerous other dictators who were then bestially causing untold murders and misery. Naively, I then believed that my country the U.S.A., and its Western allies, represented only virtues of good and democratic decency, and that after the demise of World War II era psychopaths, the world would be restored to a utopian age of peace and prosperity. But I was wrong.

I slowly realized that the U.S.A. was becoming a violent and totalitarian police state, rather than a socially benevolent democracy – especially beginning with the legally unprecedented and undemocratic U.S. Supreme Court selection of George W. Bush as 43rd US President (after patently flawed Florida elections).

Bush’s inauguration was soon followed by outrageous false flag terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which purportedly justified a preplanned series of unprovoked and unlawful U.S. invasions of sovereign middle East countries on the fraudulent pretense that they threatened us with further “terrorism” because of (non-existent) alleged “weapons of mass destruction”.

So (like Professor Howard Zinn), I began feeling that I was living in an ‘occupied country’; that the so-called “American dream” of Presidents Ronald Reagan, et.al. had become a global nightmare of a rapaciously violent uni-polar empire threatening all life on Earth.

Current perspectives.

Never before did I imagine how far purportedly democratic world societies and the U.S. government ‘of by and the for the people’ would degenerate. Nor until recently did I realize that neither of the two dominant U.S. political parties provides an alternative to a rapaciously violent worldwide American empire threatening possible nuclear or ecologic or biologic catastrophe.

Optimistically, I believe that the present post-pandemic “new normal” era has been a “red pill” portent of the end of empire; that it is awakening a critical mass of concerned humans who will no longer tolerate current global hegemonic tyranny with unsustainable, unjust, immoral, and criminal exploitation of life on our precious planet; and, that we will at long last democratically and compassionately avert human caused calamity, by ending totalitarian governments by and for psychopathic billionaires, and replacing them with democratic governments by and for all people and all life on our precious planet Earth.

Aspirations.

May current global insanity and suffering soon awaken humankind to a new democratic era of compassionate concern for all life everywhere. Yet may it also inspire us to realize, like Swami Yogananda, that this world is “nothing but movies”; that it is an illusory mental projection of shadow and light displayed to help us “get to the beam” – which is the Eternal Light of LOVE.


Invocation.

Whatever happens in this ever impermanent illusory world of inevitable suffering, may we never forget our eternal oneness with Nature and all earth-life, and may we ever emanate universal peace and happiness, while realizing that this world is “nothing but movies”.


And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner


From co-dependent exploitation,
to co-creative realization
~ A rare turning point in Human history

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won.
There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible,
but in the end they always fall — think of it. Always.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
“Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I —
 I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”
~ Robert Frost – The Road Not Taken



Dear Friends,

We have reached a rare turning point in modern human history. Confronted by apparent dire threats to survival of life on Earth as we’ve known it, our species is awakening to a prophesied new enlightened Earth age. After eons of imagined darkness, we are now realizing our infinite potential as timeless wholeness and Oneness with Source – as LOVE beyond comprehension, imagination or description.

Thus a “critical mass” of Humankind will soon be energetically (not spatially) uplifted to a compassionate new world, dynamically harmonious with Nature and all life everywhere – a “new reality” foreseen for millennia by non-materialist mystic seers.

Accordingly this essay is dedicated to inspiring our awakened inclusion in that uplifted “critical mass”.

Historic Background

Throughout recorded history, in order to evolve, human societies have been compelled to abandon previously cherished inflexible beliefs about “reality” (our cosmology, religion, science, philosophy etc.) which limited learning, impeded progress, and facilitated evil and harmful behaviors.

How could we have advanced believing that the earth was flat, or that it was the center of our solar system? And now, because of unprecedented anthropogenic threats to survival of Earth life as we’ve known it, we are again urgently compelled to transcend cherished beliefs about our perceived (three dimensional) illusionary “reality”.

Refusing Ruling Class Exploitation

Human societies have mostly been undemocratically governed by self-proclaimed elite rulers. But for eons our earthly human societies have been secretly dominated and energetically exploited by psychopathic “leaders” representing a few unimaginably malevolent and unknown astral “rulers”.

Thus, until now we’ve lived unaware of our existence in addictive codependent relationships with our “leaders” and “rulers”, which relationships are parasitically exploitive and dysfunctional. And so far this tiny ruling class has cleverly and selfishly used their understanding of our subliminal Oneness with Source (and all other perceived energy forms) to successfully exploit us.

Currently, using controlled mainstream media of mass deception, they have subliminally “brainwashed”, indoctrinated, and inculcated most of humanity into erroneously and fearfully accepting parasitic servitude to them. Such subliminal servitude has precluded us from realizing our infinite power to fearlessly co-create elevated energetic realities, beyond all domination or exploitation, and thereby to fulfill our deepest evolutionary aspirations.

But in recent “new normal” times our ruling “leaders” have enacted immoral laws, orders and edicts which are so flagrantly outrageous that they are painfully awakening many people to our innate human rights and freedoms. Accordingly, those people are resisting and refusing to follow such insanely immoral and unlawful decrees, rather than degenerate into a locked-down Malthusian global 3D society of unprecedented and insidious human control and enslavement by a few malignant psychopaths.

Thus by their civil disobedience and adamant moral refusal to bear such insanity, a critical mass of humankind are about to be energetically uplifted to co-create a wonderful new era in human history.

Though we appear separate, we are all One with Source

“Human beings are made of body, mind and spirit.
Of these, spirit is primary, for it connects us to the source of everything,
the eternal field of consciousness.”
~ Deepak Chopra

All is a play in consciousness. All divisions are illusory.
You can know the false only. The true you must yourself be.”
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

“You are awareness, disguised as a person.”

~ Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks

Although each human is unique in apparent physical form, (like hexagonal crystalline snowflakes) we all subliminally share the same mysterious spiritual Source, which is inconceivable and indescribable. Because we are so subliminally connected we are all affected by a lack of harmony or morality anywhere in our perceived 3D “reality”. Therefore, we are awakening globally to resist immoral edicts which wickedly violate our innate human rights and freedoms.

Until now our subconscious oneness with all Earth life has permitted subliminal matrix control over our species. But growing human awareness of such Oneness with Source is paradoxically enabling us to irreversibly escape from our current codependent bondage in an imperceptible matrix “prison”.

The following quotations and explanations are about how and why we can soon escape:

Escaping from co-dependent exploitation, to co-creative realization.

“When fear becomes collective, when anger becomes collective,
it’s extremely dangerous. It is overwhelming…
The mass media and the military-industrial complex create a prison for us,
so we continue to think, see, and act in the same way…
We need the courage to express ourselves even when the majority is going in the opposite direction…
because a change of direction can happen only when there is a collective awakening…
Therefore, it is very important to say, ‘I am here!’ to those who share the same kind of insight.” 
~ Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power

“The choice that frees or imprisons us is the choice of love or fear.
Love liberates. Fear imprisons.”
~ Gary Zukav

“Deep down, at our cores, there are only two emotions:
love and fear.
All positive emotions come from love,
all negative emotions from fear.
From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy.
From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt.”
~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler – When You Don’t Choose Love You Choose Fear

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear” . . .
~ 1 John 4:18


Discussion: Until now parasitic lower realm entities have been able to subliminally exploit third dimension humans, only by cleverly fomenting widespread divisive beliefs, fears, anger and other negative emotions. Without such fears and emotions these evil entities can not exploit us. They cannot function in energetically loving dimensions. Fear and Love can’t coexist. And love is “contagious”.

So provoked by outrageously immoral orders and edicts, and aided by unprecedentedly propitious Earth energy cycles, we are now remembering and choosing our true Self identity as Divine LOVE, beyond comprehension, imagination or description.

And as we realize that as eternal LOVE we have nothing to fear, but fear itself, we will inevitably irreversibly escape from captured codependence to fearlessly co-create a wonderful new era in human history.

Methods which are hastening our escape from matrix imprisonment:

1) Living lovingly and gratefully

“Love Is The Law Of Life:

All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. 

Love is therefore the only law of life.

He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying. 

Therefore, love for love’s sake,

because it is law of life, just as you breathe to live.”

~ Swami Vivekananda


“It is not joy that makes us grateful;

it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”

~ Brother David Steindl-Rast

“Thankfulness is the soul of beneficence …

For thankfulness brings you to the place where the Beloved lives.”

~ Rumi


2) Becoming mindfully conscious of eternal LOVE

“By the definite science of meditation known for millenniums to the yogis and sages of India, and to Jesus,
any seeker of God can enlarge the caliber of his consciousness to omniscience to receive within himself the Universal Intelligence of God.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

“Meditation is one of the most direct and powerful ways to awaken to who we really are and to experience happiness as a state of consciousness that already exists within us.”
~ Deepak Chopra


A focused or stilled mind is crucial to spiritual evolution. With stilled minds we access intuition and imagination, and are uplifted beyond darkness of negative emotions.
With stilled minds we telepathically ‘hear’ and follow our Sacred Heart’s message of Love.
With stilled minds we follow our heart – not our ego.
With stilled minds we instinctively reject dark “leaders” who’ve betrayed and ‘imprisoned’ us.

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

“Faith is a knowledge within the heart,

beyond the reach of proof.” 
~ Kahlil Gibran

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

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift,

and the rational mind is a faithful servant.

We have created a society that honors the servant

and has forgotten the gift.” 
~ Albert Einstein


3) Practicing nonviolent Gandhian civil disobedience.

“Satyagraha means resisting untruth by truthful means”

“It is a religious duty to fight untruth.

If one remains steadfast in it in a spirit of dedication,
it always brings success.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi


Those of us who already realize how humans are being psychopathically dominated and immorally imprisoned in an invisible ‘matrix’, must now morally and truthfully act to preserve inherent human rights and protect our planet and progeny. With righteous courage, we must speak out and nonviolently disobey unlawful and immoral edicts.

4) Being the change we wish to see.

“[T]he world will not change if we don’t change.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi

“If we are to make progress,

we must not repeat history but make new history.

We must add to inheritance left by our ancestors.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi

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

“The world is a projection of our collective consciousness.
If our collective consciousness reaches that place of peace, harmony, laughter and love,
it will be a different world.”
~ Deepak Chopra


Energetically we live in a labyrinth of thoughts, intentions, feelings and behaviors which create our “reality”. “Whatever we think, do, or say, is changing this world in some way.”

Accordingly, as we prioritize our intention to mindfully radiate loving and forgiving thoughts, behaviors, and emotions we are inevitably and irreversibly elevating and enlightening our earthly “reality” beyond malevolent darkness.

5) Turning off mainstream media.

“Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.”
~ Edward Bernays

“Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated
are confident they are acting on their own free will.”
~ Joseph Goebbels

“The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.”
~ Aldous Huxley

“All propaganda is lies, even when one is telling the truth.”
“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
~ George Orwell


All mainstream information media have become propagandist instruments dishonestly dominated and controlled by our “leaders”. Whenever possible we must turn them off, even if they seem to publish information with which we agree. We must not be diverted or confused by information or speculation, which is published with insidious motives.

If we seek information (not speculation) about purported current events or history, we need to investigate non-mainstream sources, especially those which are ridiculed, slandered or censored by mainstream media – like Robert F. Kennedy’s Children’s Health Foundation. However, in reviewing such alternative information outlets we must carefully consider their facts and sources, and not assume their accuracy or credibility.

6) Mindfully recognizing that this world is a mere mental illusion

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


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

“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

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

“What appears to be a stable, tangible, visible, audible world, is an illusion.”
“Objective reality does not exist” ….
“the universe is fundamentally a gigantic … hologram.”

~ David Bohm, Quantum Physicist

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won.
There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible,
but in the end they always fall — think of it. Always.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi


We now exist in a perceived relative “reality” where everything is energy (e=Mc2), and suffering is omnipresent. But enlightened mystics and scientists remind us that our “reality” and its seeming separation of perceived thought forms is merely “an optical illusion of consciousness” and that we avert suffering by “recognizing that the world is but an illusion.”

As we consciously identify our comparative “reality” as merely an illusion, we will transcend suffering from negative intentions, actions, thoughts and emotions. And thereby we’ll live with ever growing kindness, and with compassion for others who are still suffering.

Inevitably our kindness will quicken and elevate our subtle energy emanations, until we irreversibly experience our lives from higher dimensions where there is no suffering, just oneness with Source – as LOVE.

Like Gandhi and other great souls we’ll then perceive this world like a metaphoric good versus evil “movie” in which Divine Truth and Love always prevail.

7) Laughter and humor are always uplifting

“When you realize how perfect everything is

you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.”

~ Buddha

“Sing because this is a food our starving world needs.
Laugh because that is the purest sound.”

~ Hafiz

“What is soap to the body, laughter is to the soul.”

~ Yiddish Proverb

“Time spent laughing is time spent with the Gods.”

~ Japanese proverb

“I laugh when I think how I once sought paradise as a realm outside of the world of birth.
It is right in the world of birth and death that the miraculous truth is revealed.
But this is not the laughter of someone who suddenly acquires a great fortune;
neither is it the laughter of one who has won a victory.
It is, rather, the laughter of one who; after having painfully searched for something for a long time,
finds it one morning in the pocket of his coat.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh

“If a person can laugh totally, wholeheartedly, not holding anything back at all,
in that very moment something tremendous can happen
because laughter, when it is total, is absolutely egoless,
and that is the only condition in which to know God, to be egoless.”
~ Osho

“If honesty were suddenly introduced into American life, the whole system would collapse.”
“That’s why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.”
~ George Carlin


Invocation

At this unprecedented turning point in modern human history,
may we mindfully recognize and intentionally radiate
truth of our common Self-identity as LOVE.

May we thereby be part of an irreversibly uplifted “critical mass” of Humankind,
which will co-create a prophesied compassionate new world,
dynamically harmonious with Nature and all life everywhere.

And so shall it be!


Namasté!

Ron Rattner

Composting Life’s Sufferings

“All formations are ‘transient’ (anicca); all formations are ‘subject to suffering’ (dukkha); all things are ‘without a self’ (anatt ). Corporeality is transient, feeling is transient, perception is transient, mental formations are transient, consciousness is transient. And that which is transient, is subject to suffering. ”

~ Buddha
“Suffering is the way for Realization of God.”

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“There are those who say that in their heaven there is no suffering.
But if there is no suffering, how can there be happiness?
We need compost to grow flowers, and mud to grow lotuses.
If you know how to make good use of the mud, you can grow beautiful lotuses.
If you know how to make good use of suffering, you can produce happiness.”
“We do need some suffering to make happiness possible.
And most of us have enough suffering inside and around us to be able to do that.
We don’t have to create more.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
“Both suffering and happiness are of an organic nature, which means they are both transitory; they are always changing. The flower, when it wilts, becomes the compost. The compost can help grow a flower again.
Happiness is also organic and impermanent by nature.
It can become suffering, and suffering can become happiness again.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
“The ground’s generosity takes in our compost and grows beauty!
Try to be more like the ground.”
~ Rumi
“Earth is a world of mysterious interdependently co-arising complexities,
which we are constantly composting but can’t comprehend.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings 




Introduction to “Composting Life’s Sufferings”

Dear Friends,

“Composting Life’s Sufferings” is a brief sutra essay dedicated to helping us insightfully examine and improve our lives as human beings on planet Earth, where suffering is inevitable. It metaphorically views our physical lifetimes as natural evolutionary processes, by comparing them to the composting process, well known to organic farmers and gardeners, and urban waste processors.

It is shared to encourage us to skillfully process our psychological ‘garbage’, and thereby experience ever increasing happiness, and ultimate fulfillment of our deepest inner aspirations.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Composting Life’s Sufferings

In Nature nothing is wasted. All energy is conserved. Eventually everything is recycled.

As part of Nature, all human bodies are recycled. Every physical body inevitably dies, disintegrates and is returned to Mother Earth.


“No matter how we strive, no body leaves alive.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


But each physical human body is survived on its fleshly death by associated subtle bodies: astral, mental, and causal. And – like all else in Nature – these subtle bodies are not wasted. After persisting in other planes, most are recycled. They are accessed and used as ‘software’ for other physical bodies, in a process known as reincarnation. In very rare cases they may transcend all worlds of form, and merge with infinite eternal Awareness – their Source.

Composting is a natural recycling process. Gardeners know that through composting organic material can be recycled and re-used as mulch for growing new plants. Composting enriches the ground where new plant-life is cultivated, and so hastens Nature’s inevitable recycling processes.

Just as composting physical garbage can hasten garden growth, we can advance our spiritual growth process by composting our ‘psychological garbage’. Thus, Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh counsels us to metaphorically compost our anger to transform it into “peace, love, and understanding”, and our suffering to “produce happiness”.

Human life has inevitable ‘ups and downs’, difficulties, and challenges. Though we appear physically different, inwardly we all share similar mental and emotional ‘software’, with which we can process life’s challenges.

Therefore, let us naturally, communally, and cooperatively ‘compost’ earth-life’s unavoidable challenges and sufferings by lovingly, fearlessly and faithfully following our heart.


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


Invocation

Together may we fearlessly follow our heart to experience ever increasing happiness, and ultimate fulfillment of our deepest inner aspirations.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

My Life of “Prayer”
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“Our prayers should be for blessings in general,

for God knows best what is good for us.”

~ Socrates
“When we pray to God we must be seeking nothing — nothing.”

“We should seek not so much to pray, but to become prayer.”

~ Saint Francis of Assisi
“[Our] 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







Ron’s Introduction to My Life of “Prayer”

Dear Friends,

Since my mid-life spiritual awakening at age forty three, I have experienced a previously unimagined transformative new life-phase of growing inner-awareness in which spontaneous prayer has become fundamental.

So these spiritual memoirs appropriately include the following recollections and explanations of “prayer” in my life, both before and since the midlife awakening. In them I recount how I began this lifetime only praying rarely in organized religious programs, but how after years of evolutionary process I now instinctively pray constantly and spontaneously, with an unprecedented and all encompassing concept of “prayer”.

These memoirs are written and dedicated to help spiritually “inspire many people”, as requested and foreseen by my beloved Guruji, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas. 


And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

My history with “prayer”

I don’t recall spontaneously praying or crying to God prior to midlife.  But I do remember feeling emotionally moved while singing collective prayers, and on hearing chanted cantorial prayers, at organized Jewish high holy day services. Even though I didn’t understand the words, I was especially affected by “Kol Nidre” (“All Vows”), an emotively powerful prayer with a hauntingly beautiful melody which is chanted and recited in ancient Aramaic, to begin Yom Kippur services.

Only after the midlife awakening did I synchronistically begin regularly praying with daily recitations of the “make me an instrument of Thy peace” prayer attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi – heartfelt recitations which have continued for over forty years.

Before the midlife awakening I hadn’t shed tears as an adult. But thereupon, I cried for twenty four hours, and soon realized with amazement that I was crying with intense longing for God. (See Beholding The Eternal Light Of Consciousness.) And that prayerful ’gift of tears’ still persists.

Two years after the midlife awakening, I met my beloved Guruji, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, and received shaktipat initiation into the path of kundalini yoga. Thereupon I was given a sacred “Rama” mantra and spiritual name “Rasik: one engrossed in devotion”. Afterwards, as Guruji presciently had foreseen, I became and have ever since remained “engrossed in devotion”, intensely yearning for the Divine, and often spontaneously calling and weeping for “Rama” with deep longing.

Also, in addition to the Saint Francis prayer, I began regularly reciting prayers and mantras recommended by Guruji, and soon became a “born-again Hindu”. Though some Hindu prayers were directed to mythological Hindu deities – including the legendary monkey-god Hanuman – in calling, crying or praying to the Divine, I consistently conceived of “God” as formless and invisible. Ultimately, on my acceptance of Advaita non-duality philosophy, “God” as ultimate Reality became (and remains} for me an inconceivable Mystery.

Especially during my extended post-retirement reclusive period, I daily prayed for particular people, envisioning them as enveloped by divine light, while silently praying for everyone everywhere. Sometimes I prayed for specific outcomes, like healing or wellbeing, while continuing to pray for all Life everywhere.


Now, although all specific loving prayers are beneficial, I instinctively pray with faith for best outcomes, without specifying desired results. Especially since miraculously surviving and recovering from a June, 2014 near-death taxicab rundown, I have gratefully given my ‘irrevocable power of attorney’ to The Lone Arranger to determine appropriate outcomes for all Life everywhere.

What is “prayer”?

On first meeting Guruji I simply thought of prayer as ‘talking to God’, and meditation as listening. So I didn’t then even consider calling and crying for God or reciting mantras as “prayers”. But since then my view of “prayer” gradually widened to include those and many other behaviors not previously regarded as “prayer”. Thus my concept of prayer now includes all heartfelt longings for eternal communion with the Divine. And I accept Mahatma Gandhi’s statement that “prayer is nothing else but an intense longing of the heart”. Also, I believe it possible for us to prayerfully open our hearts to all Life, without excluding anyone or anything, even vile enemies. (See e.g. https://sillysutras.com/how-st-francis-of-assisi-inspires-pope-francis/)

How shall we pray?

Prayer is universal – a concept recognized worldwide by all cultures and people. But it is understood and practiced in different ways at different times.

In perceived dire sudden emergencies or threats most humans spontaneously pray for help, even if they haven’t previously prayed and their instinct to pray is subliminal. Thus, once before becoming a “born-again Hindu”, I suddenly began calling and crying out to God as “Rama, Rama, Rama”, upon fearfully being lost in a jungle-like Hawaiian nature preserve. And I remember instinctively exclaiming “Jesus” when twice almost run down by crazy car drivers, though I’d never before prayed to Jesus.

All humans share a common instinct to return to our Divine Source. But, as unique beings with uniquely conditioned karmic perspectives and limitations, we each experience different evolutionary challenges and different theoretical spiritual paths. So, as we evolve toward realization of our common spiritual Source and Self identity, different practices and behaviors are most appropriate for each of us – including whether, when or how we pray. (See e.g. https://sillysutras.com/different-person-different-path/ ) In my experience, our inner insights and instincts best help us determine our unique evolutionary paths.

Thus, though I began this lifetime only praying rarely in organized religious programs, after years of evolutionary process I now instinctively pray constantly and spontaneously, with an unprecedented and all encompassing concept of “prayer”.

I am unqualified to tell others how, when or whether to pray. But it is my aspiration that SillySutras readers may find guidance about prayer and other spiritual practices from these memoirs and cited spiritual quotations. So I will hereafter share my opinions and observations about prayer in our lives.

Observations and quotations about “prayer”

Praying is instinctive. Throughout recorded human history prayers have been offered by countless saints and sages, and by ordinary people of every religious denomination. Even Buddhists who don’t believe in a Creator God recite many mantras and pray a lot. 

Different people have differing ideas about meanings and methods of “prayer”. Most often prayer involves asking for divine help or expressing gratitude to God or other higher power. But “prayer” can be broadly considered as all spontaneous, heartfelt, or worshipful longing for or communion with Universal Intelligence, Nature, or Divinity.   And all such selfless loving prayer may be magically powerful.  For example, I’ve become gratefully convinced that heartfelt prayers of others helped my miraculous survival and healing from a 2014 near-death taxi rundown. And that all our compassionate prayers are often answered. Mahatma Gandhi has said that prayer “is the most potent instrument of action”; that “with the Grace of God everything can be achieved.”

“Everything we think, do or say changes this world in some way”. So we are all co-creating our earthly mental reality. As Universal Spirit, we are ONE, and we ‘contagiously’ influence one another, positively or negatively. Every thought affects our collective consciousness. We have infinite potentiality to lovingly and prayerfully bless this world. But our fearful and worrisome thoughts and behaviors are tantamount to negative prayers, which can unknowingly afflict the world.  So mental mindfulness helps us avert such worrisome thoughts.

Beyond historically helpful traditional prayer customs and practices, even Western scientific double-blind “placebo effect” studies, now support efficacy of prayer.  A 2006 Washington Post article even asserted that “prayer is the most common complement to mainstream medicine, far outpacing acupuncture, herbs, vitamins and other alternative remedies.”

The stiller and more focused our minds, the more opened our hearts, and the deeper our harmony with Nature, the more impactful are our prayers. And, whether or not we intentionally “pray”, our focused awareness of conditioned mental propensities can be key to fulfilling our deepest evolutionary aspirations.

It’s best to be givers, not getters. For it is in giving that we receive. So, it’s preferable to pray selflessly for peace and welfare of all others, rather than for perceived self-interests; to ‘pray for God to do through us – not for us’.

“When we pray to God we must be seeking nothing — nothing.”
~ Saint Francis of Assisi to his Order of Friars Minor


And it’s best to leave to Supreme Authority details of how to accomplish all our prayerful wishes, rather than to specify them.

“Our prayers should be for blessings in general,
for God knows best what is good for us.”

~ Socrates


As we evolve beyond our illusionary perceptual/conceptual separation of each other, and all our other mistaken beliefs which theoretically divide ONE Reality, those illusions gradually melt into mystery. And increasingly we realize that we are THAT eternal Self to which we which we pray, and to which we intensely aspire to return. We see that

“[Our] 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


Becoming “prayer”

There are now, and always have been, rare Avatars, Saints and Buddha-like beings who are completely devoted to blessing all Life, without exception or exclusion. Hence, it is possible to live life as continual prayer, not just with continual prayer. So it can be evolutionarily feasible that ultimately

“We should seek not so much to pray, but to become prayer.”
~ Saint Francis of Assisi to his Order of Friars Minor


Realization of humanity’s shared evolutionary aspiration.

Realization of such a perpetually prayerful saintly state is humanity’s deepest aspiration. Knowingly or unknowingly, consciously or subconsciously, no matter who or where we are, no matter our age, gender or culture, all humans share a universal and irresistible instinct and desire to return to a soul-remembered original state of Divine Love, Peace and Oneness – a transcendent state beyond words or thoughts, so marvelous that its subliminal memory magnetically attracts every sentient being to merge and be At-One with THAT.

Conclusion

SELF Realization of THAT to which we pray, and for which we deeply aspire, is our ultimate destiny. May these writings on “prayer” help advance us toward that destiny.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

To “Know Thyself” ask “Who Am I?”
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“Know thyself – The unexamined life is not worth living.”
“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”
~ Socrates
“Know thyself and thou wilt know the universe.”
~ Pythagoras
“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.”
~ Lao Tzu
“The essence of all wisdom is to know the answers to ‘who am I?’
and ‘what will become of me?’ on the Day of Judgment.”
~ Rumi
“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
~ William Shakespeare
“Ask and it shall be given; Seek and ye shall find.”
~ Matthew 7:7
“You will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free.”
~ John 8:32
“What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
“That which permeates all, which nothing transcends and which, like the universal space around us, fills everything completely from within and without, that Supreme non-dual Brahman — that thou art.”
~ Shankaracharya
“The thought ‘who am I?’ will destroy all other thoughts,
and like the stick used for stirring the burning pyre, it will itself in the end get destroyed. Then, there will arise Self-realization.”
“The question ‘Who am I?’ is not really meant to get an answer, the question ‘Who am I?’ is meant to dissolve the questioner.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“Give up all questions except one: “Who am I?” After all, the only fact you are sure of is that you are. The “I am” is certain. The “I am this” is not.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Who am I?
The quest is in the question.

The question is the answer.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“An ‘identity crisis’ can be life’s greatest opportunity,
because it raises life’s most crucial question – “Who am I?”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings



Ron’s Introduction To “Know Thyself” ask “Who Am I?”

Dear Friends,

Many SillySutras postings explain that “ego” is our mistaken separate self-identity, rooted in the ‘I’ thought; and that all enduring spiritual teachings are aimed at ending “ego” as the fundamental impediment to spiritual evolution and Self-realization. This posting emphasizes “Know thyself”, and asking “Who am I?” as important ancient wisdom paths for finding and ending ego’s illusory self-identity.

For millennia, rare mystics and sages have counseled us to “Know thyself”, and to question “Who am I?”. But since the industrial age few Westerners have been inspired to pursue this perennial advice. However, as a Westerner who persistently and successfully asked “Who am I?”, in today’s posting I briefly share a memoirs story and an historic description of these paths.

Historical overview.

Throughout history saints and sages of every tradition and culture – East and West – have counseled us to “Know thyself.” In the West, this fundamental injunction was attributed to the Greek oracle consulted by Socrates and carved into the Temple of Apollo as: “Gnothi Seauton”.

Eastern saints and mystics for millennia have taught that there is an ultimate goal of life – an ‘enlightened’ state of spiritual awareness bringing permanent happiness and freedom from all worldly bondage. Swami Yogananda Paramahansa, who brought Eastern wisdom to the West in the 20th century, called this spiritual goal “self-realization”.

Who is this “Self” that we are counseled to know or realize?   How can we follow the advice of the saints and sages to “Know thyself”, and so experience “self-realization”?

One of the principal methods to “Know thyself” suggested by mystics and sages is to inquire: “Who am I?” For example, ancient Indian sage Shankara said that spiritual “Knowledge cannot spring up by any other means than the inquiry: Who am I?”.

In Hinduism, such self-inquiry is chiefly associated with Advaita-Vedanta, the oldest extant school of Indian Philosophy. Advaita means non-dualism and its teachings are essentially the same as those of Mahayana Buddhism. Both are aimed at experiencing non-dual Reality.

The ultimate answer to the question “Who Am I?” cannot come from intellect. We can know or realize our “self” only by intuitive experience of “Who Am I?”. However, in the Hindu and Buddhist non-duality paths, powers of discrimination are used to transcend intellect and to reveal the Self via self-realization.

Ron’s “Who Am I?” Story.

Most of us never question our true self-identity, but we assume ourselves to be mere mortal physical life-forms with unique histories, separate from everyone and everything else.

Not until age forty two, did I ever wonder “Who Am I”? Until then, I assumed that I was only my physical body, its thoughts and its story; that I was a middle-aged secular Jewish litigation lawyer, married, with two kids, born in Chicago and living in San Francisco.

But on New Year’s Eve 1974-5, these assumptions were severely shaken. After unwittingly eating a large piece of marijuana-laced cake at a ‘pot luck’ dinner party, I had a dramatically unforgettable out of body experience.

From a bedroom ceiling, I saw my body lying face down on a pillow, and saw each of my thoughts originating outside the body as a vividly colored kaleidoscopic form.

These perceptions seemed very real – not dreamlike or hallucinatory. And they irresistibly raised for me an unprecedented urgent new question: “Who or what am I?”

I reasoned that if I was on the ceiling of the room, while my body was face-down on the bed, I couldn’t be the body; and that if I was on the ceiling of the room, while my thoughts were appearing below me, I couldn’t be the thoughts. And if not my body and not my thoughts, “Who or what am I?”

Thereafter, irresistibly and persistently I began pursuing this previously unexamined question, with intense longing for an answer. This process proved an enormous blessing which changed my life forever.

It convinced me that “Who Am I?” can be the most important question that anyone can ever ask; that by deeply reflecting on our true self-identity and persistently inquiring: “Who Am I?” we can ultimately experience a profound, life-enhancing psychological transformation process.
[See “At Mid-life, a Rebirth to a New Life ~ Ron’s Memoirs”]

Here’s what happened:

After irresistibly wondering “Who am I?” for fifteen months, at age forty two, (unaware of any apt spiritual teachings) I was given the answer to that question, and realized my true self-identity as pure awareness, rather than as my physical body, its thoughts and aggregate experiences. 

Whereupon I experienced a profound and unforgettable mid-life spiritual awakening and rebirth, which irreversibly ended my prior paradigms of Self-identity and Reality. But this awakening didn’t result in ‘instant enlightenment’. Instead, my epiphany began a continuing process of increasingly remembering that beyond this space/time world, we all are eternal spirit and universal awareness, not just mortal bodies and their thoughts.

Thereby I’ve enjoyed a previously unimagined new life phase of ever increasing peace of mind, happiness, gratitude, and faith in the mystery of Divinity. And since that awakening, I’ve been blessed by constantly learning from my life’s experiences.

For example, after the rebirth event, I began experiencing numerous unprecedented mystical or psychic subtle energy phenomena. And I became infused with so much vital energy that for several months I hardly needed sleep. I was puzzled and wondered what was happening to me. Only then did I synchronistically begin learning answers in teachings of Eastern mysticism, like nondualism.  However, in daily life I continued to consider myself as a secular Hebrew lawyer, and remained unaware and uninspired by any supposed spiritual goal, until meeting my teacher.

Becoming a “born-again Hindu”:

Then at age forty four, after repeatedly seeing inner visions of a bearded elderly man, I synchronistically met my beloved Guruji, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, a venerable 100 year old Hindu meditation yogi, from whom I received shaktipat initiation.   Guruji lived until age 116, and since his mahasamadhi transition in 1994 his guiding presence has remained in my heart.

After meeting Guruji, I declared myself to be a “born-again Hindu” and first began learning of the spiritual ‘goal’ sometimes called Self-realization or “enlightenment”. And, that upon Self-realization the spiritual ‘practitioner’ is dissolved into yogic union with the mystery of infinite divinity; rather than becoming a supposedly separate “enlightened” person.

According to Guruji, shaktipat initiation and his prescribed practices awakened and enhanced an evolutionary purification process of kundalini life-force energies which purify the subtle bodies and nervous system by gradually removing accumulated karmic impressions or seeds [samskaras or vasanas], which cause undesirable habits and patterns. Sometimes these awakening life-force energies manifest through spontaneous physical, mental, or emotional actions or behaviors, which Guruji called kriyas.

Since my awakening experience, for over four decades I have continued to spontaneously experience unpremeditated tears, behaviors, feelings and sensations which have helped further my spiritual evolution, and through which I have joyfully attained utmost gratitude for this blessed life.

From “born-again Hindu” to “uncertain Undo” :

For many years, I attended public satsangs and followed Guruji’s prescribed practices to advance the purification process of undoing negative karmic conditioning. Then soon after Guruji’s mahasamadhi transition, I mostly stopped relying on outer spiritual authorities and events, and reclusively focused within to intuitively advance the evolutionary kundalini purification process sparked by my shaktipat initiation of undoing negative karmic conditioning.

Whereupon, I declared myself to be an “uncertain Undo”, rather than “born-again Hindu”. And I began writing aphorisms like “Undo Ego” and composing whimsical sutras like:


“On the path of undo we’ll never be through
’til we’re an undone ONE.”


Benefits from undoing ego:

Today, over four decades since asking “Who Am I?”, and realizing my true self-identity as pure awareness, I’m still not fully ‘undone’. So ego attrition continues. 

But as I’ve continued to more and more self-identify as spirit rather than body/mind, I’ve experientially found faith beyond belief, beyond dogmas or theology.    And I’m happier and more grateful for this precious lifetime than ever before.  (See https://sillysutras.com/ive-found-a-faith-based-life/)

Thus, from inner and outer experience, I’ve found that nondualism self-inquiry to “Know thyself” by asking “Who Am I?” can be supremely rewarding.

So today’s posting is dedicated to encouraging such self-inquiry, to discover and undo our illusory ego-mind self-identity propensities, thereby helping us find ever growing happiness.


Invocation:

By persistently questioning “Who Am I?”,
May we constantly undo ego illusions,
And thereby live ever happier lives,
Until ultimately as “An undone ONE!”
We “Know our Self”
as Eternal –

LOVE.



And so it shall be!


Ron Rattner

Becoming a Faith-Based Optimist
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“When I despair, I remember that all through history
the way of truth and love has always won.
There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible;
but in the end they always fall—think of it. Always.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
“Faith is intuitive conviction, a knowing from the soul,
that cannot be shaken even by contradictions.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.
Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.”
~ Helen Keller
“Steady faith is stronger than destiny.
Destiny is the result of causes, mostly accidental,
and is therefore loosely woven.
Confidence and good hope will overcome it easily.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj


Hanuman


Becoming a Faith-Based Optimist

Dear Friends,

In prior postings I’ve told how “I’ve Found A Faith-Based Life”, and defined faith as distinguished from belief. And I’ve explained that inner faith in the Divine, is the same as faith in one’s Self, and that such inner faith can bring us previously unimagined happiness.

Today I’ll tell how I found faith in Divine Self in a midlife transition from self-reliant secular litigation lawyer to devotional “born-again Hindu”; and how that faith became an optimistically unshakable conviction that everything happens for the best, until we transcend the ego illusion of existing separately in space/time.

Soon after receiving 1978 shaktipat initiation from my beloved Guruji, I began daily Sanskrit recitations of a Ram mantra and the Hanuman Chalisa – a rhymed poetic ode to the mythological Vedic ‘monkey-god’ Hanuman (pictured above). The Chalisa metaphorically venerates Hanuman, who faithfully served avatar Rama, as the epitome of faith in God. It was composed by poet-saint and philosopher Tulsidas.


Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (with whom I feel devotional affinity) often cited an epic Ramayana story about Hanuman heroically leaping over the sea between South India and Shri Lanka (Ceylon) to serve Rama, as illustrating the epitome of divine faith. In the Gospel of Ramakrishna, he taught:

“You must have heard about the tremendous power of faith. It is said . . that Rama, who was God Himself – the embodiment of Absolute Brahman – had to build a bridge to cross the sea to Ceylon. But Hanuman, trusting in Rama’s name, cleared the sea in one jump and reached the other side. He had no need of a bridge.” . . . . “Once a person has faith he has achieved everything. There is nothing greater than faith.”


While repeatedly reciting Ram mantras and the Hanuman Chalisa, I felt their devotional energy while unconcerned about the precise meaning of their Sanskrit words. And I became instinctively harmonious with Ram, as Divinity. Even today (at age 87), I still often spontaneously call out to Rama in remembering and devotionally honoring the Divine. And Hanuman became and remains for me symbolic of both faith and optimism.

After I became an instinctive Rama devotee, I deeply reflected on “faith”. and realized that my initial self-confidence and optimism had gradually grown to unconditional intuitive faith in God; that I’d evolved from being a pragmatic secular optimist into living a devotional faith-based life, with both conviction and optimism.

Also, I realized that with faith it’s always best follow one’s conscience in all behaviors, and to surrender outcomes of such conscientious behaviors to Divine Self (or Tao) – to let go and go with the flow; because karmically whatever happens could not be otherwise. So, to clear our karma, we must nonjudgmentally accept whatever IS NOW with forgiveness and love of one’s Self, and all others who are the same as one’s Self.

My reflections revealed that our earthly sufferings arise from fearful and illusory ego-mind thoughts because we forget our true Divinity and immortality. But that as omnipotent immortal spirit we have nothing to fear from anything that seems to happen in space/time. Moreover, our transcendence of ego is inevitable, and advanced by our loving behaviors, which are becoming ever more prevalent in current “new normal” times.

Thus I’ve become optimistically convinced that in the dawning Age of Aquarius humans now have unprecedented opportunities (as a global family) to co-create an infinitely more compassionate world.

Moreover, I feel that much of humanity will (in this lifetime) experience an unprecedented evolutionary quantum-leap; that we are about to ascend (as Biblically prophesied) to an idyllic and fearless New Earth reality which is beyond ego-mind illusion; beyond seeming separation; beyond limitation; beyond imagination.

Conclusion

I’ve become and irreversibly remain a faith-based optimist, despite dire threats against survival of human life as we’ve known it.  And I equate my instinctive optimism with inner faith, in remembering that faith in the Divine is the same as faith in one’s SELF.

Therefore I’m especially grateful to be able to now share these memoirs with you to help us realize and enjoy supreme fulfillment and happiness from optimistic faith in Divine SELF.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

“Cockeyed optimist” epilogue

On first realizing the blessings of optimism I composed sutra sayings like: “Be an optimist: Optimism optimizes opportunity.” And I was inspired by these lyric lines from ‘cockeyed optimist’, a “South Pacific” song, by Oscar Hammerstein II:

“I hear the human race
Is falling on its face
And hasn’t very far to go,
But ev’ry whippoorwill
Is selling me a bill,
And telling me it just ain’t so.”
I’m “stuck like a dope with a thing called hope, and I can’t get it out of my heart!”


So to further encourage our heartfelt faith-based optimism, I’ve embedded for your enjoyment a YouTube video performance of that Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘cockeyed optimist’ song from “South Pacific”.




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”.



“Channeling” for Joseph Campbell
– Ron’s Memoirs

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



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



Introduction

Dear Friends,

The following memoirs story tells how (almost 40 years ago) an ‘inner voice’ dictated verbatim a brief speech to be given by me two days later, upon my public presentation of an honorary PhD degree to Joseph Campbell, renowned mythologist, author and professor.

The story also recounts how spontaneously I whispered spiritual advice to Dr. Campbell while he listened on stage to laudatory public orations about his exceptional accomplishments.

In 2021 epilogue comments below, I explain why I consider this story as spiritually significant because the same Source of timeless wisdom which inspired Professor Campbell’s renowned teachings is within each of us. Therefore, I hope you’ll enjoy and find inspiration from the story.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


“Channeling for Joseph Campbell”

During the 1980’s I was Chairman of Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), an accredited graduate school giving degrees in areas of psychology, philosophy, comparative religion, and related disciplines. In that capacity, I was occasionally obliged to give commencement talks and to bestow honorary degrees.

In October, 1983, I was told on short notice that (at a public ceremony) I would be awarding to Dr. Joseph Campbell an honorary PhD degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Religion, and that I should prepare an appropriate presentation talk.

I was informed that two other speakers would be discussing Dr. Campbell’s impressive academic accomplishments, but was not told the order of speakers. I had never met Dr. Campbell. And since by that time he was very famous (especially after Bill Moyers’ PBS interviews), I was in a quandary about how much or what I should say.

A couple of days before the event, I was walking along a San Francisco Bay beach toward the Golden Gate bridge, when synchronistically an “inner voice” told me to write down some words for Campbell, and I obliged.

On three little paper scraps, I wrote five sentences that were ‘dictated’ by the inner voice.

(Copies of those notes and the brochure from the Joseph Campbell event are attached here.)

The presentation event took place in San Francisco on October 8, 1983 at the Palace of Fine Arts theater adjoining the Exploratorium. Dr. Campbell and I and the other speakers filed on stage, each wearing traditional black cap and gown attire, and we sat down. I was seated next to Dr. Campbell, on his right.

The program schedule provided for my presentation to follow introductory talks by two other school officials – Academic Dean Ralph Metzner, and Board Chairman Emeritus Michael Toms – who were lavishing profuse praise on Campbell. During the second talk, which sounded to me like a long, living eulogy, I suddenly and spontaneously put my left hand on Campbell’s right knee and without thinking whispered to him, “Don’t let this go to your head.”

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

“Dr. Joseph Campbell, the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Integral Studies is privileged and pleased to bestow on you the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Religion.

We acknowledge thereby your mastery of these disciplines through your studies of myths and symbols. Like masters of other disciplines you have realized the Source common to all disciplines – to all wisdom.

A Source which integrates and unifies this creation, which is diverse in appearance but the same in essence.

So in presenting this degree to you, we honor symbolically that Source – within you and within each of us.”

Thereupon, Dr. Campbell humbly accepted the new honor.

After the program, a very intuitive PhD student with whom I was friendly, approached me and asked:

“Ron, was your talk ‘channeled’?”  
After a moment’s hesitation, I replied “yes”.

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

Ron’s 2021 epilogue comments

Dear Friends,

Almost forty years after “channeling” for Joseph Campbell, I’m still receiving spiritual wisdom from within, and I’m mostly letting life spontaneously guide me from moment to moment in the eternal NOW. Thereby, I am gratefully enjoying much greater happiness than I ever before imagined.

So I’ve republished the Campbell story, hoping that it can help us all enjoy similar happiness. The story can teach us (as I have confirmed from insight and experience) that we all share the same inner spiritual Source; and that for inner spiritual and practical earth-life guidance. we should always first look and listen within.

Especially in quiet times of stillness, with meditation or of being in Nature, every one of us can find wise guidance from the Sacred Heart of Humankind, which abides within as the Eternal Light of LOVE.

And so may it be be!

Ron Rattner


How Can We Think More Objectively?

“Objective reality does not exist” ….

“the universe is fundamentally a gigantic … hologram”

~ David Bohm, quantum physicist
“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
“We are formed and molded by our thoughts.
Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts
give joy when they speak or act.
Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them.”
~ Buddha
“Those who know how to think need no teachers.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
“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




How Can We Think More Objectively?

Q. How can we think more objectively?

A. We can’t. Objectivity is an illusory impossibility.

Thinking objectively is an oxymoronic misconception.
All thought is subjective; so everyone thinks subjectively.

All concepts are mental projections
of Cosmic Consciousness.

But for name – subject and object are same.

To transcend thinking in the ‘subject-object’ box,
we can intuit our wholeness – as and beyond subject and object.

And realizing that Cosmic Consciousness is our eternal essence,

We can more and more think intuitively, holistically, compassionately and lovingly – but sparingly.

So, with our Heart, not our head,
may we think less, and BE more –

NOW!


Ron’s comments about thinking “objectively”.

Dear Friends,

Do you accept ideas of individual or institutional “objectivity”?

If so, you may question the above posting which contends that scientifically and spiritually: “Objectivity is an illusory impossibility”; that without a separate subject there can be no separate object, and that “our (apparent) separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”

Like most Westerners I grew up imbued with ideals of honesty and “objectivity” of our scientific, academic, journalistic and judicial institutions. However, as a social justice lawyer in increasingly dystopian times, I’ve become skeptical of those “objectivity” ideas and ideals.
  
But only after my midlife spiritual awakening, did I begin realizing that ultimate objectivity is an illusory impossibility; that the idea of objectivity refers only to a pre-relativity Newtonian world-view of apparently separate energy forms and phenomena, in which we’ve mistakenly measured matter and phenomena which are perceivable, but excluded Cosmic consciousness – the non-dual immeasurable and imperceivable matrix and Source of all our ego-mind conceptions of ‘reality’.

Ultimately I’ve intuited (and irreversibly concurred with quantum physicist David Bohm) that “Objective reality does not exist” that ….“the universe is fundamentally a gigantic … hologram” . Thus that all humanly perceived forms or phenomena are merely impermanent holographic projections of immeasurable consciousness – of ONE Reality beyond space/time causality/duality.

Despite last century’s revolutionary scientific discoveries of relativity and quantum physics, most materialistic mainstream scientists remain reluctant to recognize the impossibility of accurately describing Nature through ‘objective’ measurement. Nor do they yet confirm Nobel Prize-winning physicist Max Planck’s description of matter

“as derivative from consciousness”; so that “science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of Nature.  …. because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of Nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


So still only cutting edge scientists recognize verity of Einstein’s relativity revelations that

“there is no matter”; that “what we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses”; that “our (apparent) separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”


The foregoing Q and A essay and quotations are shared to help us understand how scientifically and spiritually “objectivity” is an illusory abstraction, causing mistaken belief in the supposed objective ‘reality’ of what we subjectively project and perceive.

Dedication

May reflection on these writings help inspire our evolutionary realization that space/time’s relative ‘reality’, like a mirage, is merely an illusory subjective mental projection of Cosmic Consciousness – our eternal essence and ultimate sole Source and Reality.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner