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Perennial Puzzles

When Does Life Begin?

“Whence come I and whither go I?
That is the great unfathomable question,
the same for every one of us.
Science has no answer to it.”
~ Max Planck

“The two most important days in your life

are the day you are born

and the day you find out why.”

~ Mark Twain

“Death is truly part of life …
‘what we called death is merely a concept’.”

“This happens at the gross level of the mind.

But neither death nor birth exist at the subtle level of consciousness that we call ‘clear light.’”

~ Dalai Lama

“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






Introduction to When Does Life Begin?

Dear Friends,

The following mystical poem (composed many years ago) rhetorically questions our ideas of birth and death. It whimsically asks and answers the unanswerable question – When Does Life Begin?

Explanations and interpretations are included in comments which follow the verses. Please enjoy!

Ron Rattner


When Does Life Begin?

Q. When does life begin?

A. Never.

Life never begins,
because it never ends.

Life transcends time.
Life is timeless.

Human conception, birth and death are virtual,
but Life is perpetual.

So, the beginning of Life,
or the end of Life,
are self-contradictory ideas arising in,
and subsumed by –

Eternal Mystery.



Ron’s audio recitation of “When Does Life Begin?”

Listen to



Ron’s Explanation of “When Does Life Begin?”

Dear Friends,

The word “Life” is an idea – a mental concept arising in human consciousness – with different meanings for different people. Definitions of “life” can differ when applied to space/time, to phenomenal realms beyond space/time, or to Ultimate Reality beyond conception, comprehension, imagination, or description.  (See e.g. my speculations about the meanings of “Life” at https://sillysutras.com/what-is-life/)

Throughout human history philosophers have wondered about the purpose or significance of “life” on Earth. And for millennia rare mystics and other inner explorers have reportedly discovered in deep meditation an infinitely potential Universal Awareness – which is the sole Source of all we call the “real world”; an indescribable ultimate and trancendant Reality beyond space/time’, yet everywhere immanent in it.

In Buddhist and other enduring spiritual teachings birth and death are inherent in “life”; which at subtle mind levels metaphorically continues after physical death and before rebirth.   Thus the Dali Lama says that according to Tibetan Buddhism:

“Death is truly part of life …
‘what we called death is merely a concept’.”

“This happens at the gross level of the mind.

But neither death nor birth exist at the subtle level of consciousness that we call ‘clear light.’”

~ Dalai Lama

Most humans self-identify as mortal beings, and fear inevitable physical death, believing it ends life. But fear of death deters our spiritual evolution and loving behaviors, and causes karmic suffering.

So today’s poem and quotations are offered to enigmatically inspire our spiritual evolution beyond fear of death, and toward experiencing ever elevated levels “life”, with ever growing happiness and fulfillment of our deepest aspirations.

Invocation

May these teachings about “life”
help us realize that physical death is normal and necessary,

and not to be feared;

that it opens us to ever expanding

new vistas of self-discovery and fulfillment

of our deepest aspirations as eternal souls;

that beyond physical birth and death

we are destined to discover and enjoy

ever increasing inner peace and happiness,

until we melt and merge with Mystery –
The mystery of Divinity.

And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

What Choice Do We Have?

“We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.”
~ Kahlil Gibran
“Excellence is never an accident.
It is always the result of high intention,
sincere effort, and intelligent execution;
it represents the wise choice of many alternatives
– choice, not chance, determines your destiny.”
~ Aristotle
“Inflamed by greed, incensed by hate, confused by delusion,
overcome by them, obsessed by mind, a man chooses for his own affliction, for others’ affliction, for the affliction of both and experiences pain and grief.”
~ Buddha
“I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore choose life.”
~ Deuteronomy 30:19

“There is no such thing as chance;
and what seems to us merest accident
springs from the deepest source of destiny.”
~ Friedrich Schiller
“The only difference between a human being and a stone rolling down a hill, is that the human being thinks he is in charge of his own destiny.”

~ Baruch Spinoza
“We must believe in free will, we have no choice.”
~ Isaac Bashevis Singer
“Human beings in their thinking, feeling and acting are not free but are as causally bound as the stars in their motions.”
~ Albert Einstein
“The assumption of an absolute determinism
is the essential foundation of every scientific enquiry.”

~ Max Planck
“In Hinduism, the very idea of free will is non-existent,
so there is no word for it.

Will is commitment, fixation, bondage.” . .

“To be free in the world you must be free of the world.

Otherwise your past decides for you and your future.”

~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Freedom is not a reaction; freedom is not a choice.

Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily existence and activity.”

“…Choice in every form is conflict. Contradiction is inevitable in choice; this contradiction, inner and outer breeds confusion and misery.”
~ J. Krishnamurti
Q. “Are only the important events in a man’s life,

such as his main occupation or profession, predetermined,

or are trifling acts also, such as taking a cup of water or
moving from one part of the room to another?”


A.  “Everything is predetermined.”

~ Ramana Maharshi

 



Introduction to What Choice Do We Have?

Dear Friends,

The forgoing quotations and following poem and comments concern the perennial puzzle of freedom of choice versus fate or destiny. They summarize perspectives which I still endorse, after composing the poem many years ago during an extended period of post-retirement reclusion.

Please forgive redundancies in this posting. Long-ago I investigated and accepted non-dualism determinism philosophy. So today I have no choice but to ask again “What Choice Do We Have?”.

Explanations and reflections about choice versus destiny are offered in comments after the poem. Enjoy!

Ron Rattner


What Choice Do We Have?

Ego is free to choose,
But is never free.

Self does not choose,
But is ever free.

Our only choice
Is to accept or reject
“What is”.

Acceptance is pleasure;
Rejection is suffering.

Acceptance is freedom;
Rejection is bondage.

Acceptance is NOW;
Rejection is then.

So, if choose you must,
Then with faith and trust,

Say “YES” to Life –

NOW!



Ron’s audio recitation of “What Choice Do We Have?”

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Ron’s explanations and reflections on “What Choice Do We Have?”

Dear Friends,

Except for rare Buddha-like beings who Self-identify only as Universal Awareness – as Absolute – the vast majority of Humans mentally self-identify with their “soap operas” as supposedly separate ego entities in space and time.

And as long as we believe ourselves to be such separate entities, we invariably experience apparent freedom of choice, but are subject to the law of cause and effect, with separate destinies and inevitable karmic consequences.

We have apparent freedom of choice only until we transcend our mental illusion of separation. Whereupon we realize freedom from choice.

If there is no entity separate from Universal Awareness, how can there be any separate choice or destiny? When a mirage bubble bursts into the Ocean of Awareness, it exists only as the Ocean, without supposed separate choice or destiny.

As great beings recurrently remind us, all we call “reality” is an ever impermanent illusory mental mirage, maya or samsara. We transcend or end that mutable mirage, as we experience its Absolute Source and Essence as pure and undivided Universal Awareness.

Quantum science shows us that everything in space/time is energy (e=mc2); that all forms and phenomena are merely vibrating and radiating immaterial energies endlessly and inevitably appearing (from unknown causes and conditions) out of and disappearing into an ineffable matrix of mystery.

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

~ Albert Einstein


“Human beings in their thinking, feeling and acting are not free 
but are as causally bound as the stars in their motions.”
~ Albert Einstein


“The assumption of an absolute determinism
is the essential foundation of every scientific enquiry.”

~ Max Planck


For millennia mystical inner explorers have experienced that matrix of mystery through transcendentally elevated awareness, and they have realized that the sole Source of what we call “reality” is ineffable Universal Awareness – Consciousness beyond mental description, conception, or belief.

So from a non-dualist “Buddha’s eye view” our supposedly separate space/time “reality” isn’t really Real – it’s just an immaterial energy mirage; and our beliefs about it – including free choice and destiny – are mere mental illusions.

“The world, indeed, is like a dream

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

“A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion,

does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.”

~ Buddha


Suggestion

Whether or not we can agree that whatever happens in space/time “reality” is karmically predestined – that earth-life is like a pre-programmed dream – I have found that assuming predestination can help us find happiness.

We can experience ever growing peace of mind by more and more refraining from exercising apparent freedom of choice, and accepting each moment with the attitude that it could not be otherwise; that everything is happening in the best way and at the best time – as an evolutionary opportunity and incentive. 

So, I sincerely invite your careful consideration of today’s profound quotations and “What Choice Do We Have?” poem. 

Invocation

May these writings help all of us find increasing happiness by accepting difficulties as evolutionary opportunities, and by finding blessings in unexpected interactions with others.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Memory is “Maya”

I have realized that
the past and future are real illusions,
that they exist in the present,
which is what there is and all there is.
~ Alan Watts
“Life can be found only in the present moment.

The past is gone, the future is not yet here,

and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment,

we cannot be in touch with life.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh
“Mind is memory, at whatever level, by whatever name you call it; mind is the product of the past, it is founded on the past, which is memory, a conditioned state.”
~ J. Krishnamurti
“Truth is not a memory, because truth is ever new, constantly transforming itself. (M)emory is a hindrance to the understanding of what is. The timeless can be only when memory, which is the `me’ and the `mine’, ceases.”
~ J. Krishnamurti
“Mind and memory are “then”,
while –
Life is NOW,
ever NOW,
never then!”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
Tao and Zen
are NOW,
not then.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings




Introduction to Memory is “Maya”*

Dear Friends,

Memory is “Maya”, is a brief mystical poem which I composed during extended ‘hibernation’ before launching the SillySutras website.  With foregoing key quotations, it metaphorically reveals the crucial spiritual importance of BEing with a quiet mind as the Eternal NOW.

Explanatory comments follow the poem. Enjoy!

Ron Rattner

Memory is “Maya”*

Memory is “maya”.
Memory is mind.
Memory is mentality,

Not Reality.

Memory is then,
Life is NOW.

So transcend “maya” memory.

Forget what you think you are, and
BE what you really are:

Eternal Life

Ever NOW!


*Footnote

“Maya” is a Sanskrit word meaning illusion;
not THAT – Reality beyond illusion



Ron’s explanation and recitation of “Memory is Maya”

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Ron’s explanation of “Memory is Maya”

Dear Friends,

After my spiritual awakening I intuited that “This world is wrought with naught but thought”. Later I discovered corroborating Buddhist sutras stating that “With our thoughts, we make the world.”

Whereupon, I became (and remain) intrigued about the nature of “mind” – which is the ‘thought processor’ that creates this world.

And soon thereafter I discovered the above-quoted teachings of Indian sage J. Krishnamurti that “mind is memory” and “a hindrance to the understanding of” Truth, which is always new and NOW.

“Memory is Maya” is one of those poems, which I’ve posted today to help remind us that “Life is NOW, ever NOW, never then”.  

So that

“Life can be found only in the present moment.

The past is gone, the future is not yet here,

and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment,

we cannot be in touch with life.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Invocation

May these writings encourage us to live ever happier and soul fulfilling lives,
As gradually we still our minds and open our hearts –
To remember that we are the unseen Source of the world we see,
And that “Life is NOW, ever NOW, never then!

And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

Permanent Impermanence
~ Sayings and Quotes

“All formations are `transient’ (anicca); all formations are `subject to suffering’ (dukkha); all things are `without a self’ (anattaa)”.
~ Gautama Buddha (563 – 483 B.C)
“All formations and formulations are impermanent creations.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Nothing is permanent ‘neath heaven’s vast firmament.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“In this ever-changing space/time world,
nothing is immutable, but much is inscrutable.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Life is ineffable, change is inevitable.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings






Introduction to Permanent Impermanence

Dear Friends,

These are extraordinarily stressful, fearful and divisive times. Thus many are suffering severely. But this world is always changing; inevitably all “this, too, will pass”. So to move on it’s best that we

“Forget the former things;
[and] not dwell on the past.” 
~ Isaiah 43:18–19

To help us transcend fears from the past and find blessings in this new Aquarian Age, posted above and below are quotations about living joyously in ever changing times. They are explained in my comments after the quotes. Enjoy!

Ron Rattner

Permanent Impermanence


“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.

Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow.

Let reality be reality.

Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

~ Lao-Tzu

“Everything flows and nothing abides,

everything gives way and nothing stays fixed.”

~ Heraclitus (c.540 – c.475 BC)

“That nothing is static or fixed, that all is fleeting and impermanent, is the first mark of existence. It is the ordinary state of affairs. Everything is in process. Everything—every tree, every blade of grass, all the animals, insects, human beings, buildings, the animate and the inanimate—is always changing, moment to moment.”
~ Pema Chodron

“Somehow, in the process of trying to deny that things are always changing, we lose our sense of the sacredness of life. We tend to forget that we are part of the natural scheme of things.”
~ Pema Chodron

“[T}he recognition of the impermanence of all forms awakens you to the dimension of the formless within yourself, that which is beyond death. Jesus called it “eternal life.” ….It leads to…. nonresistance, non-judgment, and non-attachment .. the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living.”
~ Eckhart Tolle – A New Earth (edited)

“The words “This, too, will pass” are pointers toward Reality. In pointing to the impermanence of all forms, by implication, they are also pointing to the eternal. Only the eternal in you can recognize the impermanent as impermanent.”
~ Eckhart Tolle – A New Earth

“Life always bursts the boundaries of formulas.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“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; and of that which is transient and subject to suffering and change, one cannot rightly say:
`This belongs to me; this am I; this is my Self’.
Therefore, whatever there be of corporeality, of feeling, perception, mental formations, or consciousness, whether past, present or future, one’s own or external, gross or subtle, lofty or low, far or near, one should understand according to reality and true wisdom: `This does not belong to me; this am I not; this is not my Self’.”
~ Gautama Buddha

“This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. 
To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky,
 rushing by, like a torrent down a steep mountain.”
~ Gautama Buddha

“A corporeal phenomenon, a feeling, a perception, a mental formation, a consciousness, which is permanent and persistent, eternal and not subject to change, such a thing the wise men in this world do not recognize; and I also say that there is no such thing.”
~ Gautama Buddha

“The First thing to understand about the universe is that no condition is “good” or “bad.” It just is. So stop making value judgments. The second thing to know is that all conditions are temporary. Nothing stays the same, nothing remains static. Which way a thing changes depends on you.”
~ Neale Donald Walsch

“In the beginning was Atman; the one without a second.” . . .
“We are like the spider.

We weave our life and then move along in it.

We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives in the dream.

This is true for the entire universe.”
~ Aitareya Upanishad of Rig Veda



Ron’s Comments on Permanent Impermanence.

Dear Friends,

Only in the past century have quantum physicists confirmed what the Buddhas, saints and sages discovered and have revealed for millennia:
that in this world everything is impermanent.

Every appearance is in a constant state of flux or ‘flow’; so everything that appears, disappears; every form eventually melts into mystery.  [Not even ‘diamonds are forever’.]

Since Einstein’s groundbreaking theory of relativity, quantum scientists have confirmed that in this world of space/time duality and causality everything is energy; that every form and phenomenon, whether or not perceptible or measurable, is ephemeral; so, that this is a world of permanent impermanence.

Yet, paradoxically, in our polarity/duality ‘reality’, it is only the immutable Eternal – ever imminent in all manifestation – which can recognize and realize that every appearance is impermanent; that eternal Cosmic consciousness is Ultimate Non-duality Reality.

Hence the Persian adage “This, too, will pass”, reflecting on the evanescence of the human condition, paradoxically points us toward ultimate Reality, because it is only THAT unchanging Eternal Awareness invisibly imminent in each of us which can recognize that all which appears will pass.

“The words “This, too, will pass” are pointers toward Reality. In pointing to the impermanence of all forms, by implication, they are also pointing to the eternal. Only the eternal in you can recognize the impermanent as impermanent.”
~ Eckhart Tolle – A New Earth


Only after my spiritual awakening, and gradual exposure to Eastern mystical philosophy, did I begin to reflect on the crucial importance of experientially realizing the dream-like impermanence of this world; that Earth life can be likened to an ephemeral mental mirage from which we suffer until awakening to our true Eternal Self identity and the non-dual essence of all phenomena.

Such perennial philosophy teaches that we unavoidably suffer karmically in this transient world of samsara or maya until realizing the true nature of Self and all phenomena.

Knowingly or subconsciously everyone seeks eternal peace and happiness. But that is impossible in this world where no pleasure is forever. So our unavoidable suffering – from unskillful thoughts, words and deeds, which are subject to law of causality – is a cosmic ‘incentive system’ impelling us to overcome ignorance and discover our true non-duality self-identity and ‘reality’ – Eternal LOVE.

Suffering ends when ignorance ends; ignorance ends with experiential Self knowledge that we are immortal Infinite Potentiality beyond conception, rather than ego-identified entities which are mortal, separate and limited.

The posted quotations and sutra sayings, can inspire appreciation of these perennially important ideas.

May they help us find ever expanding happiness as we less and less identify as mortally ephemeral entities and more and more identify as Eternally immutable Awareness ever imminent in everything/everyone everywhere.

And so may it be! 

Ron Rattner

A Psychedelic Santa Synchronicity Story

“Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there”
~ The Night Before Christmas, by
Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston




Introduction

Have you ever wondered about origins of the Santa Claus legend long associated with Christmas celebrations? Why do people associate a mythical red cheeked jolly bearded old man from the North Pole with Christmas? Why is he archetypically depicted as attired in a furry red and white suit and flying through the air in a gift laden sleigh drawn by happy reindeer? Why does he supposedly deliver his gifts nocturnally via chimneys?

I began wondering about these questions after experiencing a Santa suit synchronicity. And I found interesting esoteric answers. Many people might suppose that the popular Santa (or Father Christmas) image began in 1823 with publication of the “Twas the Night Before Christmas” poem. But the poem was sourced from customs and legends which long antedated the nineteenth century.

I’ll tell about that after first recounting my Santa suit synchronicity story.

Santa Suit Synchronicity

Especially since my mid-life spiritual awakening, some circumstance or artifact has often fortuitously or synchronistically appeared in my life fulfilling a wish or perceived need. In my spiritual memoirs, I call these experiences “manifestation miracles”. Such “miracles” have been much too numerous for me to totally recall and recount. But, I will be sharing some memoirs stories about them, including this story about manifesting a Santa Claus costume.

On a Friday afternoon, I experienced a blissful spinal healing session at “SoulWorks”, the office of San Francisco healer and chiropractor, Dr. Melanie Hernand. During that session I was continuously and spontaneously laughing a lot. Maybe that laughter sounded to Dr. Hernand like “Ho! Ho! Ho!”. For afterwards, she asked me if I would come as Santa Claus to the “SoulWorks” holiday Christmas party, a benefit for The Healing Hearts Project and children of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.  With little hesitation I told Dr. Hernand that I would be Santa Claus at the SoulWorks party, if she helped me find a costume. She agreed.

So, joyously I exited SoulWorks that Friday afternoon knowing that I needed a Santa Claus costume.  Miraculously the costume manifested that very night without any further thought or effort.

On Friday night I returned home after happily attending a program given by Visionary Activist astrologer Caroline Casey at The California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) where I was Board chairman during the 1980’s. It was my first visit to CIIS since leaving there twenty five years previously.  And I very much enjoyed and appreciated Caroline’s presentation there.

I returned to my apartment building still in a blissful mood, and stopped in the lobby to get my mail.   There I met my neighbor Ronelle Strand who was about to walk her dog, Cali, before retiring. Since Ronelle was one of a few people to whom I had given a SoulWorks gift certificate, I mentioned to her that I had just agreed to be Santa at the SoulWorks holiday party.  Whereupon she told me that her Bay Music entertainment booking service business had some rental costumes, including a Santa suit which had been in storage and unrented for many years.   She offered it, and it was perfect.

Then, awaiting the Santa suit party, I began wondering about the origins of the Santa story. Whereupon, I fortuitously happened to notice on Caroline Casey’s Facebook page, a You Tube link to this two minute BBC video entitled, “‪Magic mushrooms & Reindeer – Weird Nature‬”

I watched the video, was intrigued, and wanted to learn more. So, I consulted Dr. Google and fortuitously found interesting esoteric answers to my questions about the Santa Claus myth in a detailed article entitled “The Influence of Fly Agaric on the Iconography of Father Christmas” , also published by BBC.

Apparently, the Santa Claus legend arose from shamanic traditions of tribal peoples in pre-Christian Northern Europe, whose sacred psychedelic source was the red and white amanita muscaria mushroom, also known as “fly agaric”, a fungus found in pine and birch woods of western North America, northern Europe, and Asia.

“Amanita muscaria”


Red-robed Chimney Climbing Santas

Supposedly, Siberian shamans have used amanita muscaria for recreational or ritualistic purposes for thousands of years. During mushroom-induced trances, they would twitch and sweat before falling into a deep coma-like sleep. During this coma, the shaman’s soul consciousness left his body and ascended to the ‘spirit world’ where it communicated with the spirits about major health problems, such as outbreaks of sickness in the village.

On awaking, with new knowledge from subtle sources, the shamans found their muscular systems had been so stimulated that they were able to perform spectacular physical feats with seemingly little effort – like making a gigantic leap to clear a small obstacle. The mushrooms similarly affected reindeer, and mushroom intoxicated reindeer traditionally guarded each shaman.

The shamans lived in yurts, tepee-like shelters made of reindeer skin, with roofs supported by birch poles and smoke-holes at the top. During midwinter festivals of renewal, the shamans gathered the mushrooms from under sacred trees. While harvesting the toadstools, they would wear special attire, consisting of red and white fur-trimmed coats and long black boots, very much like the modern day depiction of Santa Claus. They’d then enter their yurts through the smoke-holes, carrying sacks full of dried fly agaric mushrooms, descending the birch pole to the floor. Once inside, the shamans performed ceremonies and shared the toadstool’s psychotropic gifts with those gathered inside. Then they left as they entered, climbing up the pole and back through the smoke-hole.

Flying Reindeer

Reindeer, known as caribou in North America, are deer found in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of Europe and North America. They feed on grass and lichens, but also crave the fly agaric toadstool, Amanita muscaria, because of its intoxicating and euphoric effects.

The Sami have a custom of feeding fly agaric to their deer and collecting the urine to drink. The reindeer’s digestive system metabolizes the allegedly poisonous components of the toadstool, leaving urine with the hallucinogenic and psychotropic elements of the fungus intact. Drinking the urine gives a ‘high’ similar to taking LSD. Under the hallucinatory effects of the drink, the Sami thought their reindeer were flying through space, looking down on the world. The reindeers’ so crave the toadstool hallucinogens that they have been known to eat snow on which intoxicated humans have urinated, creating a reciprocating cycle.

Apparently, when the first Christian missionaries reached Lapland and heard stories of such reindeer flight, they integrated those tales into Western folklore concerning Saint Nicholas. So, the association of reindeer with Christmas was well established for centuries before the 1843 publication of the The Night Before Christmas poem, and the 1949 hit song, ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ popularized it with masses of people.

And to All a Good Night

Thus it seems probable that the traditional image of Santa Claus originated in shamanistic rituals involving the red and white amanita muscaria mushroom gathered by shamans wearing red and white fur-trimmed coats. From climbing into chimneys and gift giving, to dressing in red and white and flying through the air with reindeer, travelers and storytellers have fused these ancient customs with other pagan traditions and imagery. And these pagan customs have pragmatically been adapted and integrated by Christianity into its Christmas traditions.

Ho! Ho! Ho! And to All a Good Night.


Source:
“The Influence of Fly Agaric on the Iconography of Father Christmas”

Life Is A Light Show

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth
And the earth was without form and void
And darkness was upon the face of the deep
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters
And God said ‘Let there be light’; and there was light
And God saw the light, that it was good
And God divided the light from the darkness”
~ Genesis 1:1-4
“There is a light that shines beyond all things on Earth, …
beyond the highest, the very highest heavens.
This is the light that shines in your Heart.”
~ Chandogya Upanishad 3.13.7
“If the radiance of a thousand suns
Were to burst at once into the sky
That would be like the splendor of the Mighty One –.”
~ Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 11, Verse 12
Into my heart’s night

Along a narrow way
 I groped;
and lo! the light,

An infinite land of day.

~ Rumi
Every particle of the world is a mirror.
In each atom lies the blazing light of a thousand suns.
~  Mahmud Shabestari, Sufi Mystic, 15th century.
“There is an endless net of threads throughout the universe. 

The horizontal threads are in space.
 The vertical threads are in time.

At every crossing of the threads, there is an individual.

And every individual is a crystal bead. 

And every crystal bead reflects not only the light 
from every other crystal in the net,
 but also every other reflection throughout the entire universe.”
~ Indra’s Net – from the Vedas of ancient India, 7000 years old
“Reality’s essence is Divine luminescence.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings





Ron’s Introduction to “Life Is A Light Show”

Dear Friends,

“Life Is A Light Show” is a visionary poem metaphorically revealing that Divine luminescence is the essence of all Cosmic energy forms and phenomena. Its composition was initially inspired when I was immensely blessed to behold the inner luminescence of “ten thousand suns” while crying to God atop a Yosemite mountain. Thereafter, I was blessed with further fleeting mystical experiences demonstrating that Divine luminescence is the essence of everyone and every thing.

This poem is dedicated to reminding us that our space/time “reality” isn’t really Real, but just a dream-like mirage; a thought-created illusionary world of inevitable karmic suffering; that we will awaken and escape such suffering upon Realization that space/time is merely a dream-like relative reality; that ultimate Reality is the Eternal Light of Universal Awareness – our true Essence and Source.

“The world, indeed, is like a dream

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

“A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion,

does not act as if it is real,

so he escapes the suffering.”

~ Buddha (The Awakened One)


This message is particularly important in these dark and turbulent times when countless humans are unknowingly and unnecessarily reifying space/time illusions with fearful worries, thoughts and emotions.

After the poem’s written and recited verses below, I will explain why fearful thoughts and emotions invariably harm us and deter our spiritual evolution to higher states of human consciousness. And why averting fearful and hateful negative thoughts and emotions is especially important now as humanity is about to experience a new Age of Aquarius, with shocking disclosures of previously hidden outrageous abuses, crimes and betrayals perpetrated against us by formerly trusted ‘elite’ rulers and “leaders’.

Life Is A Light Show

Life Is A Light Show

From big-bang to black-hole,
the “reality” we think we know –

Is but a light show:

The Eternal light of Awareness
projecting and displaying itself to Itself
on the mirror of the mind.

A kaleidoscopic holographic theater of the mind
– an endless vibratory holo-flow –

A play of congealed Consciousness,

Ever flowing thought-forms
Imagining the universe.

Ever appearing and disappearing –
As above, so below.

Implicate – explicate – implicate –
Ever emerging from and melting into Mystery.

Infinitely experiencing
Infinite potentialities
From infinite perspectives.

An ever flowing, ever growing vibratory virtuality –
called space/time polarity/causality “reality”.

Eternal Awareness
Ever intending to Know Itself.

From big-bang to black-hole,
the “reality” we think we know –

Is but a light show.



Ron’s audio recitation of “Life Is A Light Show”.

Listen to


Ron’s Explanation of “Life Is A Light Show”.

Dear Friends,

We are about to experience a rare turning point in modern human history as Humanity awakens to an “enlightened” new Age of Aquarius, marked by the December 21, 2020 Winter Solstice.

In this new relatively enlightened era many spiritually awakening people worldwide are about to learn shocking truths concerning outrageously immoral abuses and crimes heretofore perpetrated against them by their previously trusted ‘elite’ rulers and “leaders’, but concealed and unknown until now.

Also, it will be widely revealed, at long last, that for millennia human Earthlings have unknowingly been demonically polarized, divided and energetically exploited by subhuman astral dark forces, which have psychologically ‘imprisoned” them in a digitally pre-programmed matrix – a virtual or simulated world.

Accordingly, many humans have been suffering from thoughts and emotions of helplessness, anxiety, aggression and hatred. Such negative thoughts and emotions invariably harm and weaken us, individually and collectively, and render us susceptible to psychological subjugation which impedes our spiritual evolution to higher states of human consciousness.

Aquarius has been traditionally associated with evolutionarily ‘enlightened’ energies. And in this new Aquarian age many people will be empowered to ascend from matrix psychological domination by emanating elevated heart levels of human consciousness which radiate loving serenity and calmness. Such ascension will enable worldwide societies to cooperatively thrive by actualizing Aquarian virtues of democracy, freedom, courage, honesty, idealism, rebellion, human welfare, and inner-directedness.

Moral of the story.

For ascension to elevated states of human consciousness, we must individually and collectively emanate heartfelt loving energies, without harmful thoughts and emotions of helplessness, anxiety, aggression or hatred which invariably weaken us and reify illusory darkness.

We can accelerate such ascension by always remembering that these dark and violent times are not really Real, and cannot threaten or harm our true Eternal Essence and common Reality, which is LOVE as the LIGHT of Universal Awareness.

So let us calmly, peacefully and harmoniously see insane current space/time events as a non-threatening and perpetually changing illusory play of Universal Awareness, like a projected “Light Show” or movie. And let us refrain from reifying relative ‘reality’ illusions.

May we thereby avert harmful reflexive reactions or judgments about what we see or learn, especially revelations of betrayal by those we’ve trusted.

Invocation.

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

And so it shall be!

Ron Rattner

Humility ~ Quotations

“Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.”
~ Matthew 5.5



Introduction

Posted today are three related articles about “humility” as a supreme spiritual virtue. Please consider them collectively.

The first article, is a Q and A essay which defines humility and explains why it is considered a great spiritual virtue inversely associated with “ego”; this second article includes many important quotations about humility; and the third article lists (with an mp3 audio recitation) numerous Sutra Sayings which epigrammatically elucidate humility.

Humility ~ Quotations

“Humility is the solid foundation of all the virtues.”
~ Confucius

“Holy humility confounds pride

and all the men of this world

and all things that are in the world.”

~ St. Francis of Assisi

“Spirituality automatically leads to humility. 
When a flower develops into a fruit,
 the petals drop off on its own.
 When one becomes spiritual,
 the ego vanishes gradually on its own.
A tree laden with fruits always bends low.

Humility is a sign of greatness.”

~ Sri Ramakrishna

“[The Master’s] constant practice is humility.”;
“Humility means trusting the Tao,
thus never needing to be defensive.”
~ Lao Tzu

Moses was very meek,
above all men on face of the earth.
~ Numbers 12:3

Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.
~ Proverbs 16:18

Jesus said, “I am meek and lowly in heart.”
~ Matthew 11:29,30

“I speak not of myself:
but the Father that dwelleth in me,
he doth the works.”
~ John 14:10;  

“..I can of mine own self do nothing…
I seek not mine own will,
but the will of the Father
which hath sent me.”
~ John 5:30.

“God opposes the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.”
~ James 4:6

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
~ Matthew 23:12

“Humility, like darkness,
reveals the heavenly lights.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

“We come nearest to the great
when we are great in humility.”
~ Rabindranath Tagore

“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

“I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi


Dedication and Invocation

In these critical times of immense suffering and jeopardy, yet unprecedented opportunity, let us join together with utmost love and humility in envisioning our precious planet democratically ruled bottom-up by humble, peaceful and compassionate citizens, rather than top-down by insensitive and egotistic purported “leaders” who are emotionally sociopathic or psychopathic.

May these biblical passages prove prescient:

Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.
~ Proverbs 16:18


God opposes the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.
~ James 4:6


And so shall it be.

Ron Rattner

Humility ~ Sutra Sayings

Humility grows as ego goes.
The smaller the ego,
the greater the being.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings





Introduction

Posted today are three related articles about “humility” as a supreme spiritual virtue. Please consider them collectively.

The first article, is a Q and A essay which defines humility and explains why it is considered a great spiritual virtue inversely associated with “ego”; the second article includes many important quotations about humility; and this third article lists (with an mp3 audio recitation) numerous Sutra Sayings which epigrammatically elucidate humility.

Humility ~ Sutra Sayings

Humility grows as ego goes.
The smaller the ego,
the greater the being.

Humility is next to godliness.
No one enters the highest heaven
believing s/he belongs there.

We have nothing to surrender
but the idea that
we’re someone,
with something
to surrender.

We ever evolve
As our boundaries dissolve.

The essence of nobility

is not heredity,
but humility;
not pedigree,
but integrity.

To name and define
is to constrain and confine.
So, to be free,
be a nameless nobody.

The more we know we’re no one,
the more we’re seen as someone.

So BE nobody nowhere


NOW!


Ron’s recitation of Humility Sutra Sayings

Listen to


Dedication and Invocation

In these critical times of immense suffering and jeopardy, yet unprecedented opportunity, let us join together with utmost love and humility in envisioning our precious planet democratically ruled bottom-up by humble, peaceful and compassionate citizens, rather than top-down by insensitive and egotistic purported “leaders” who are emotionally sociopathic or psychopathic.

May these biblical passages prove prescient:

Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.
~ Proverbs 16:18


God opposes the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.
~ James 4:6


And so shall it be.

Ron Rattner

Life is an Ego-mind Trip


Ego-life and “enlightenment” can’t coexist.
So undo ego and BE beyond entity identity.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
Thinking and Being can’t coexist.
So stop thinking and start Being.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Tree

Introduction.

Dear Friends,

Posted below is another sutra poem (with mp3 recitation) about ego identification and “enlightenment”, composed during my post-retirement reclusive period.

In ‘deciphering’ this poem, you may wish to review recent postings about “What is Enlightenment” at https://sillysutras.com/?p=2925 and at https://sillysutras.com/?p=1180 .



Life is an Ego-mind Trip

Futilely seeking to
Know the unknowable,

We try to think the unthinkable,
Measure the immeasurable,
Divide the indivisible, and
Speak the unspeakable.

But only beyond the mind –
beyond belief –
beyond thought –
beyond words –
beyond seeming separations –

Only as Silence that says ALL
may we Know THAT –

ONE Eternal Life –
beyond ego-life,
beyond comprehension,
beyond imagination,
beyond description.

And so it shall BE –

ETERNALLY!



Ron’s Audio Recitation of “Life is an Ego-mind Trip”

Listen to



Dedication

May this sutra poem help us find ever increasing inner happiness,
as we consider how and whether
Ego-life and “enlightenment” can coexist.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

What is “Enlightenment”?

“Strictly speaking there are no enlightened people,
there is only enlightened activity.”
~ Suzuki Roshi
“There is no such thing as
enlightenment,
the realization of that fact is
itself enlightenment.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj




Introduction

This is the first of two related articles about “enlightenment”. This posting defines “enlightenment”; the second posting contains key quotations from spiritual teachers, and explanatory comments about “enlightenment”, linked here.

Both of these postings are offered to help us realize ever increasing inner happiness, by finding and following our Sacred Heart.


What is “Enlightenment”?

Q: What is enlightenment?

A: “Enlightenment” is a word, – an idea with different meanings for different people;
it is a mental concept resulting from thought. So, the meaning of “enlightenment” is in the mind of the thinker.

Here we call “enlightenment” a perpetual evolutionary process, not an ultimate destination.

In always evolving toward an “enlightened” destination,
we approach an ever-distant horizon in the Sacred Heart of Humankind.

Q. What are some signs of progress in the evolutionary enlightenment process?

A. Less and less ego, more and more humility and authenticity;
less and less thought, more and more mental stillness and peace.*

*Further comments and quotations and about “enlightenment” are posted here.