Reincarnation

‘Spiritual’ People In A Perfectly Crazy World

‘Spiritual’ People In A Perfectly Crazy World

“Look how the caravan of civilization
has been ambushed.

Fools are everywhere in charge.

Do not practice solitude like Jesus.

Be in the assembly, and take charge of it.”

~ Rumi
“In the present circumstances, no one can afford to assume

that someone else will solve their problems.

Every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction.

Good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged.”

~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from “The Path to Tranquility:  Daily Wisdom”
“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us ‘universe’,

a part limited in time and space.
He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.
This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation, and a foundation for inner security.”

~ Albert Einstein ( N. Y. Times , March 29, 1972)
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.

We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
“Love is the highest, the grandest, the most inspiring,
the most sublime principle in creation.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda
“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



Ron’s Introduction to ‘Spiritual’ People In A Perfectly Crazy World

Dear Friends,

Happy Saint Valentine’s Day, 2024!

We are immensely privileged to have incarnated on Earth at a rare time in modern human history, as a “critical mass” of Humankind pass from violent, fearful and dark times to an age of lasting peace, light, and Love – not just annually, but every day.

During ages of ignorance and darkness we’ve unknowingly and unwittingly been imprisoned and exploited by ego-bonds of belief in a mental matrix from which we are at long last escaping and ascending incorruptible and awakened to the Divine eternal light of LOVE.

We are about to emerge from eons of outer darkness to a new age of awakened inner eternal Light; from an era of collective fearful psychoses threatening God given human rights and freedoms, to an evolutionarily “enlightened” age free from suffering and deprivation.

On our precious blue planet Earth, time is inescapable. We cannot live ego free timeless lives, in dense 3D relative “reality”. So until we transcend illusory ego mind beliefs of being separated from Divine Source, every Earthly ending is a new beginning. And the ending of eons of human bondage is an extraordinarily historic turning point, with infinite opportunities for our transcendent Self realization as Divine LOVE.  

Thus, in this new Earth age many souls will be blessed to ascend to infinitely awakened levels of awareness, by choosing to be actively engaged in emanating and radiating harmonious heart levels of love and compassion.


Here are observations by the Dalai Lama from which we may draw inspiration and motivation, counseling that we must act to solve ecological crises and restore peace “before it is too late”:


“Peace and the survival of life on earth as we know it are threatened by human activities that lack a commitment to humanitarian values. Destruction of nature and natural resources results from ignorance, greed and lack of respect for the earth’s living things.”

“This lack of respect extends even to the earth’s human descendants, the future generations who will inherit a vastly degraded planet if world peace does not become a reality, and if destruction of the natural environment continues at the present rate.”

“Our ancestors viewed the earth as rich and bountiful, which it is. Many people in the past also saw nature as inexhaustibly sustainable, which we know is the case only if we care for it.”

“It is not difficult to forgive destruction in the past which resulted from ignorance. Today, however, we have access to more information; it is essential that we re-examine ethically what we have inherited, what we are responsible for, and what we will pass on to coming generations.”

“Many of the earth’s habitats, animals, plants, insects and even micro-organisms that we know to be rare may not be known at all by future generations. We have the capability and the responsibility to act; we must do so before it is too late.”

“Just as we should cultivate gentle and peaceful relations with our fellow human beings, we should also extend that same kind of attitude towards the natural environment. Morally speaking, we should be concerned for our whole environment.”

“This, however, is not just a question of morality or ethics, but a question of our own survival. For this generation and for future generations, the environment is very important. If we exploit the environment in extreme ways, we will suffer, as will our future generations. When the environment changes, the climatic condition also changes. When the climate changes dramatically, the economy and many other things change. Our physical health will be greatly affected. Again, conservation is not merely a question of morality, but a question of our own survival.”

“Therefore, in order to achieve more effective environmental protection and conservation, internal balance within the human being himself or herself is essential. The negligence of the environment, which has resulted in great harm to the human community, resulted from our ignorance of the very special importance of the environment. We must now help people to understand the need for environmental protection. We must teach people to understand the need for environmental protection. We must teach people that conservation directly aids our survival.”

“If you must be selfish, then be wise and not narrow-minded in your selfishness. The key point lies in the sense of universal responsibility. That is the real source of strength, the real source of happiness. If we exploit everything available, such as trees, water and minerals, and if we don’t plan for our next generation, for the future, then we’re at fault, aren’t we? However, if we have a genuine sense of universal responsibility as our central motivation, then our relations with the environment, and with all our neighbours, will be well balanced.”

“Ultimately, the decision to save the environment must come from the human heart. The key point is a call for a genuine sense of universal responsibility that is based on love, compassion and clear awareness.”

(From “Humanity and Ecology”, © 1988, The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama)

Ron’s Comments on ‘Spiritual’ People In A Perfectly Crazy World

Thus this an exceptional era for people who intuitively experience our spiritual common essence and nature to become engaged.



We live in an age of mental malaise; the Hindus call it Kaliyuga. Our precious planet is polluted by human ignorance and greed.


“The more that money rules the World,
the more that money ruins the World.”



We have degenerated into an insane society, unconsciously committing mass suicide by ecocide.



Unrestrained human consumption exploits vulnerable people and depletes finite planetary resources which sustain life. Billions of people suffer needless poverty, starvation and avoidable disease, while obscenely privileged oligarchs greedily acquire power and excessive material wealth far beyond their conceivable needs.



Earth-life as we known it is threatened by environmental catastrophe or nuclear annihilation, precipitated by corrupt world “leaders” who are
destroying the life support systems which sustain us.



Even in “advanced” countries, it is virtually impossible now to breath air or drink water which is not in some way polluted by our species. Agricultural soils have been depleted and corrupted. Global weather patterns and hydrologic systems have been materially disrupted by human activities; protective atmospheric ozone is being depleted. Glaciers are melting; long frozen Arctic tundra is thawing. Though non-polluting alternative technologies are available and feasible they are considered “economically” impractical.



By “bio-engineering” living organisms we are even tampering and blindly experimenting with our genetic origins. From birth (and even prenatally) every person’s body/mind is polluted by numerous and ubiquitous manmade chemical and radioactive materials, many of which are carcinogenic.



Many species are rapidly becoming extinct. Around the world, thousands of birds are suddenly falling dead out of the sky, and countless dead fish are appearing on shores of rivers, lakes and oceans. The oceans are polluted with our detritus, and much marine life is threatened. Even remote Arctic polar bears are becoming hermaphroditic because of phthalates and other chemicals dispersed by humankind, and they are threatened with destruction of the ecosystem on which they depend for survival. [See http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/toxic-waste-creates-hermaphrodite-arctic-polar-bears-5336813.html]



So, as we widen our circle of compassion to embrace the whole of Nature and all living creatures, it becomes apparent that as the Dalai Lama observes we must “become actively engaged” to avert imminent ecological catastrophe.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Faith-Based Surrender:
Comments and Predictions
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“Setting aside all noble deeds,
just surrender completely to the will of God.

I shall liberate you from all sins. Do not grieve.”

~ Bhagavad Gita 18:66

“They are the chosen ones who have surrendered.”

~ Rumi
Grace is ever present.

All that is necessary is that you surrender to it.”

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“By letting it go it all gets done.

The world is won by those who let it go.

But when you try and try,
the world is beyond the winning.”

~ Lao Tzu
“Two things are necessary for the realization of God;
faith and self-surrender.”
“Surrender everything at the feet of God. …
Give Him the power of attorney.
Let Him do whatever He thinks best.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
“Surrender is faith
that the power of Love
can accomplish anything,
even when you cannot foresee the outcome.”

~ Deepak Chopra
We have nothing to surrender

But the idea

That we’re someone,

With something

To surrender.

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings




Ron’s Introduction to Faith-Based Surrender: Comments and Predictions

Dear Friends,

Because we are experiencing an illusory low energy Earth ‘reality’ of third dimension [3D] space/time/and duality separation from each other and Nature, most SillySutras postings have separately considered fundamental spiritual principles such as God, Love, Faith, Surrender, Ego, Devotion, Humility, Karma, Evolution and Transformation.

However, as a ninety year old faith-based optimist, I now foresee our imminent quantum-leap ascension to a New Reality beyond unavoidable Earthly ego-mind illusions of seeming separation from Source.

So today’s posting is dedicated to inspiring our newly elevated view of the above seemingly separate spiritual concepts, as interdependent appearances of Divine Grace, Faith, and Love, beyond all ego-mind illusions; thereby encouraging us to instinctively and irreversibly surrender such illusions with supreme Faith in our Eternal existence as ONE Divine LOVE.

Spiritual stories or parables have often metaphorically likened each of us as a traveler on an evolutionary journey, each with a unique dharmic path and perspective. In truth we are ONE non-dual Divinity which has incarnated into unique ’space/time soul-suits’ to experiment in time the infinite possibilities of such separate existence.

However, forgetting our true immortality and Divinity, we’ve egoically self-identified as separate and fallible mortal beings. And while mistakenly believing ourselves mortal, we have feared death, acted selfishly and suffered karmically.

But now, after countless reincarnations with countless trials and tribulations, we are remembering and realizing our Eternal Divinity as ONE Infinite LOVE. And to hasten our return process, many of us are skillfully and fearlessly using our thoughts as servants to our souls, instead of ignorantly suffering from ego-mind psychic domination.

And as we approach our return ‘destination’ we are realizing that everything and everyone is equally Divine, though each is in an apparently differing stage of returning to ONENESS. We are remembering that “In the beginning was the word and the word was God” ( John 1:1 ) And that “With our [human] thoughts, [we’ve made] the world.” ( Buddha )

Thus, as a global family of empathetic humans we are about to achieve a “critical mass” transformation enabling us to resolve our apparent Earth-life ‘critical mess’, by following our Sacred Heart’s innate empathy, compassion and LOVE for all people and all Life everywhere.

And with irreversible intuitive Faith, we shall surrender all ego-mind fears and separation illusions, to our heartfelt Eternal existence as ONE Divine LOVE.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

My “Miraculous” Experience
on Shri Dhyanyogi’s Mahasamadhi
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“In order to know through experience what happens beyond death,
you must go deep within yourself.

In meditation, the truth will come to you.”

~ Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas
“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
At my death do not lament our separation
…
as the sun and moon but seem to set,
in reality this is a rebirth.
~ Rumi
“Birth and death are virtual,
but Life is perpetual.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas – (1878 – August 29, 1994)

Ron’s Introduction

Dear Friends,

This memoirs posting gratefully honors Shri Dhyanyogii Madhusudandas, my beloved Guruji, almost thirty years after his physical death, and on his 146th birthday anniversary (as calculated by the ancient Vedic lunar/solar calendar).

Prior SillySutras postings have explained that ancient Hindus used a Vedic solar-lunar calendar system different from current Western calendars.

In the Vedic calendar, an extra month (Adhik Mas) occurs this year, and every three years.
So my beloved Guruji’s above Western birth and death dates of 1878 – August 29, 1994 don’t coincide with the Vedic calendar.

Those previous postings also explain that rare God realized beings can decide to take birth in mortal physical bodies to help and Spiritually teach others, and choose when they’ll leave those bodies in Mahasamādhi, because they are Awakened Boundless Beings (who are Mahasiddhas).

Thus Guruji survived his supposed physical death on August 29, 1994, to keep helping me and countless others, and this Mahasamādhi memoirs story (originally published in 2011) is republished today in His honor to emphatically confirm that meeting Guruji in this precious human lifetime was my soul’s greatest eternal blessing.

Therefore at age ninety, in loving tribute to Guruji, I’m gratefully privileged to share with you today the amazing memoirs story about my miraculous experiences in San Francisco at the time of his Mahasamādhi in India. This and numerous other stories hereafter posted explain how (beyond our physical births and deaths) Guruji has helped me and countless others from subtle planes, like a ‘guardian angel’.

Please read and enjoy the stories which follow this introduction. In sharing them, I especially pray that they’ll help inspire younger people as they inherit the learning experiences of their forebears in an extraordinary “new normal” world. 

May all those reading these stories enjoy Guruji’s eternal blessings.
 
And so may it be!


How Guruji “Miraculously” Survived His Supposed Physical Death.

On observing noteworthy phenomena which we can’t yet explain by known natural or scientific laws, we sometimes call them “miracles” and may attribute them to a Divine power.

Like other rare saints and mystics my beloved “Guruji”, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, occasionally demonstrated  “miracles”  to foster faith in the Divine.  In writings and lectures, Guruji explained that yogic powers (siddhis) might be attained via control of life-force energies, but that they were seldom displayed; that such powers are only used

“sparingly and on occasion for humanitarian and other discretionary ends”,
but not “for self-aggrandizement.”


In prior memoirs, I’ve explained how Guruji has helped me from subtle planes, like a ‘guardian angel’, since before I met him when his physical body was approximately one hundred years old, and even after his supposed bodily death in India sixteen years later.

I believe that Guruji left his mortal body consciously and intentionally, using his yogic powers; that Guruj’s subtle bodies survived the physical body; and, that from subtle planes he continues to help humanity.

Here are the reasons for this belief:

In the Hindu tradition, when a yogi who has previously experienced the highest state of samadhi intentionally leaves his physical body, this is not the same as death of an ordinary person who has not attained Self-realization. Such a passing is called a Mahasamādhi and is the act of consciously and intentionally leaving one’s mortal body at the time of physical death.

Before receiving shaktipat initiation from Guruji in 1978, I’d already witnessed his yogic powers to influence this relative reality from subtle planes. He had clearly appeared in my subtle inner vision when we were physically distant. Thereafter, I had other memorable experiences of Guruji’s subtle powers, which are recounted in other memoirs chapters.

In 1980, just before Guruji returned to India from four years in the USA, he stayed in my apartment. At that time Guruji’s American attendant, Lackshman, recounted to me his brief conversation with Guruji following a sparsely attended public meditation program. Driving home, Lackshman had remarked to Guruji that it was too bad so few people had attended that event. Whereupon Guruji replied,

“It’s not important. Most of my work is on other planes.”


And, once when we were alone in my apartment, Guruji told me that he came and went from his physical body as he pleased. (See Human Body – A Precious “Prison”? )

Rudy’s Story

Also, at Guruji’s meditation programs, I heard amazing stories from others who had experienced his extraordinary yogic powers. Perhaps the most memorable of these stories was that of Rudy, a Chicago school teacher who decided to travel on his motorcycle to be with Guruji in California. But before reaching California, and while he was in Colorado, Rudy had an unexpected and “miraculous meeting” with Guruji.

On a curvy mountain highway in Colorado, Rudy’s motorcycle skidded off the road and careened three hundred feet down a steep incline. Just before hitting bottom, Rudy called out Guruji’s name, remembering Guruji’s assurance that “I’m always with you.”

Gravely injured, Rudy became comatose. While comatose he had a miraculous “near death experience” (NDE), which he survived and later recounted in detail.

On ‘the other side’ during the NDE, Rudy was greeted and guided by Shri Dhyanyogi, to save his life. Thereafter, at a California retreat, Guruji explained to Rudy that he had saved his life because Rudy still had much more work to do in this world.

Rudy’s vividly credible description of this amazing incident was convincing testimony of Guruji’s yogic power to influence what happens in this relative “reality”, and to manifest at will on subtle planes of “reality”.

Besides my own extraordinary experiences with Guruji, and hearing of Rudy’s experience, I learned of numerous other “miraculous” experiences of Guruji’s devotees.
(See “This House is on Fire, The Life of Shri Dyanyogi, as told by Shri Anandi Ma.”)

My Experience in San Francisco on Guruji’s Mahasamadhi in India.

One of my most memorable mystical experiences of Guruji’s yogic powers happened just after he left his physical body in India and I was at home in San Francisco. In late August, 1994, I was home asleep when I was suddenly awakened in the middle of the night.

With eyes open, I beheld in amazement an extraordinary and unprecedented vision – an otherworldly, multi-colored bird, translucent with a peacock-like tail and human-like eyes. Nothing about the bird appeared like any ‘real-life’ bird I had ever before seen, or might have imagined.

As I gazed in awe at this ethereal apparition, I was enveloped and transformed by a supernal aura of supreme Peace, which emanated from the bird’s radiant dark eyes. I awakened in the morning puzzled, and wondered about that extraordinary apparition which had enveloped me with ‘peace that passeth understanding.’

The next day, still wondering about the vision, I was sitting at my dining room table when an ‘inner voice’ dictated to me a poem concerning death, a subject I hadn’t then been thinking about.

Listening to my muse, I quickly and spontaneously “channeled” this poem about death, which I later titled Dream Life:

When we come to Earth
They call it a birth
When we leave,
They say we die.

But we really don’t come,
And we really don’t go.
We just dream our lives
But why?

To awaken as Bliss
From all of this,
Joyous that all is
“I”.



Thereafter, within a day or two, I received a rare call from one of Guruji’s early US disciples, Elyse (Indu) of Sacramento. She informed me of Guruji’s death – his Mahasamādhi – on August 29. Only then did I realize that I had received this poem (about life and death as a waking dream) as a ‘parting’ profound message and treasured gift from Guruji.  

So I recited the poem for Elyse. Then I told her about my puzzling otherworldly bird vision. She promptly and aptly interpreted that vision as a mythical Phoenix bird, symbol of immortality, resurrection, and life after death.
Co
Whereupon, I realized that the bird’s dark human-like eyes emanating ineffable supernal Peace were Guruji’s eyes; and, that this unforgettable vision and experience of celestial peace was another parting gift and message from Guruji, for which I am eternally grateful.





Continuing “Miracles”

Almost thirty years have passed since my miraculous experience of Guruji’s Mahasamādhi, but I still continue to feel his subtle presence and often shed tears of devotion and joy, when I think of him as my Guardian Angel, or gaze at his photo. And other devotees entering my high-rise hermitage have also experienced his life-force energy (shakti).

Almost twenty years after Guruji’s transition, I had a home visit from my friend Michael O’Rourke, a talented spiritual cinematographer who helped me launch SillySutras.com.
I was telling Michael about Guruji, and feeling His subtle presence, while seated in a reclining chair. After a while I had to excuse myself for a bathroom visit. When I returned several minutes later Michael revealed to me an extraordinary experience of Guruji’s subtle appearance.

While gazing at me as I talked about Guruji, Michael experienced an altered state of consciousness, in which another face morphed into mine – a face without glasses and with a longer white beard. It was Guruji!

Michael said that amazingly after I got up to go to the bathroom he still perceived the image of Guruji seated in the chair, until after I returned and sat down again.

Guruji once said:

“All those who came to me for Shaktipat …. are my spiritual heirs. For my energy works through them.”


Not only were Michael and others blessed by Guruji’s extraordinary energy in my apartment, I believe that (as he blessed Rudy) Guruji saved my mortal life while I was comatose and near death after being rundown by a taxicab nine years ago. (See https://sillysutras.com/another-near-death-experience-rons-memoirs/)

So that it is only through Guruji’s grace that I have miraculously survived to gratefully still share these memoirs.

Dedication

May those reading or hearing these stories also enjoy Guruji’s continuing blessings. In sharing them, I especially pray that they’ll help inspire younger people as they inherit the learning experiences of their forebears in an extraordinary “new normal” world. 

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

The Unanswered Question”
~ Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony


“Music is the language of God.”

“Music can change the world.”

~ Ludwig van Beethoven




“Rise again, yes, rise again,

Will you, my dust, after a brief rest!

Immortal life! Immortal life

Will he who called you, give you.

“You are sown to bloom again!

The lord of the harvest goes

And gathers sheaves,

Us, who have died.

“O believe, my heart, O believe:

Nothing is lost to you!

Yours, yes yours, is what you desired

Yours, what you have loved

What you have fought for!

“O believe,

You were not born for nothing!

Have not lived for nothing,

Nor suffered!

“What was created

Must perish;

What perished, rise again!

Cease from trembling!

Prepare yourself to live!

“O Pain, you piercer of all things,

From you, I have been wrested!

O Death, you conqueror of all things,

Now, are you conquered!

“With wings which I have won for myself,

In love’s fierce striving,

I shall soar upwards

To the light which no eye has penetrated!

“I shall die in order to live.

“Rise again, yes, rise again,

Will you, my heart, in an instant!

That for which you suffered,

To God shall it carry you!”



~ Gustav Mahler – “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2

Gustav-Mahler- ~ July 7, 1860 – May 18, 1911

Ron’s Introduction to “The Unanswered Question”
~ Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony


Dear Friends,

Last month – to demonstrate how passionate mystical music elevates us beyond earthly cares and fears, and to so experience the eternal Light of timeless LOVE – I posted three YouTube video performances of one of the greatest symphonies of all time, Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2 (composed between 1888-1894) including a performance conducted by Leonard Bernstein, a long-time Mahler enthusiast and interpreter.

The concluding choral fifth movement of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony ends with the above-quoted words written by Mahler characterizing inevitable physical death, as a rebirth to the eternal Divine Light of God.

Mahler’s Ninth Symphony (composed in 1909), was his last completed symphony. Like his “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2, it can be conducted and interpreted, as an ode to spiritual rebirth, but also as prophetic of inevitable and unavoidable physical death.

Today, to augment the Mahler “Resurrection” Symphony posting, I’ve posted below as “The Unanswered Question”, Leonard Bernstein’s interpretation of Mahler’s music given in a 1973 Harvard University public lecture titled: “The Twentieth Century Crisis”.

In that lecture, Bernstein interprets Mahler’s music as a reflection of Mahler’s fifty year life and times (from 1860 to 1911), as well as prophetic of current times. Bernstein has even further believed that this Mahler Ninth symphony was a foreboding of the end of musical tonality, and end of honoring artists as European cultural heroes of Mahler’s era, and even of fascist world wars.

In 1973 Bernstein had become the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard. This prestigious position had previously been awarded to such notable musical figures as Igor Stravinsky and Aaron Copland, and to poets such as e.e. cummings and W.H. Auden. The professorship required Bernstein to deliver a series of six public lectures. Bernstein, a “Harvard man”, was honored to become a part of this distinguished tradition.

Bernstein’s “Twentieth Century Crisis” lecture began with his explanation of how during the twentieth century there had been gradually increasing and ultimately excessive musical ambiguity, that had destroyed the essential balance between clarity and ambiguity.

This “The Unanswered Question” lecture concluded with Bernstein’s deep discussion of Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony.

Bernstein described the Ninth symphony as Mahler’s prediction of his imminent physical death at age 50. It was Mahler’s last full symphony, completed soon after the death of his young daughter Maria, and when he’d been diagnosed with a very serious heart condition. After talking, Bernstein showed a video with him conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in the concluding Adagio from this Mahler masterpiece.

One of those attending “The Twentieth Century Crisis” lecture was Zen Master Hyon Gak Sunim, whose Zen center organization extracted Bernstein’s discussion of Mahler and posted it on their cagin YouTube channel as “The Unanswered Question”.

In cooperation with that Zen center organization, I have copied and reposted below “The Unanswered Question”.

May we view and deeply enjoy this video. May Gustav Mahler’s passionate 9th Symphony spiritually elevate us beyond earthly cares and fears, to experience the eternal Light of timeless LOVE.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

“The Twentieth Century Crisis” and Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony

Death? Afterlife? Rebirth?
~ Easter Reflections on Resurrections

At my death do not lament our separation …
as the sun and moon but seem to set,
in reality this is a rebirth.
~ Rumi
“I tell you the truth,
no one can see the kingdom of God
unless he is born again.”
~ John – 3:3
“The soul is eternal, all-pervading, unmodifiable, immovable and primordial.”
“The soul never takes birth and never dies at any time,
nor does it come into being again when the body is created.
The soul is birthless, eternal, imperishable and timeless,
and is never destroyed when the body is destroyed.
Just as a man giving up old worn out garments accepts other new apparel, in the same way the embodied soul giving up old and worn out bodies verily accepts new bodies.”
~ Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Krishna to Arjuna
“I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as a plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was man.
Why should I fear?
When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as man,
To soar with angels blest;
But even from angelhood I must pass on …”
~ Rumi
death, as men call him, ends what they call men
–but beauty is more now than dying’s when…
~ e. e. cummings
“The dewdrop belongs to the sea.
Separated, it is vulnerable to the sun and wind and other elements of nature;
but when the droplet returns to its source, it becomes magnified in oneness with the sea.
So it is with your life.  United to God you become immortal.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda
Eternal Life is gained by utter abandonment of one’s own life.
When God appears to His ardent lover the lover is absorbed in Him,
and not so much as a hair of the lover remains.
True lovers are as shadows, and when the sun shines in glory
the shadows vanish away.
He is a true lover to God to whom God says,
“I am thine, and thou art mine! ”
~ Rumi


Tree of Life

The Last Supper



The biblical story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection raises crucial issues about life and death – about afterlife and rebirth – and about our true identity and reality.

As countless millions traditionally commemorate the rebirth and resurrection of Jesus Christ following his physical death by crucifixion, let us contemplate the deep significance of that story.  Whether we regard it as historic or metaphoric, the story raises crucial issues about life and death – about afterlife and rebirth – and about our true identity and reality.

Physical death is inevitable, but Life is perpetual.

Death of the physical body is inevitable and unavoidable. After birth, “no matter how we strive, no body leaves alive.” Uncertainty exists only about time of death, and about whether there is conscious life after physical death.

For millennia seers, saints, philosophers and mystics have addressed perennial questions of life after physical death and of our true identity and reality. Since the beginning of the 20th century when Albert Einstein revolutionized Western science with his theories of special and general relativity, quantum physicists and other non-materialistic scientists have begun confirming ancient mystical insights.

Raymond A. Moody, Jr., PhD, MD coined the term ‘Near Death Experience’ [NDE] in his 1975 best-selling book “Life After Life”. Since then NDE’s have become widely considered, especially by millions who claim to have experienced them. And some leading-edge non-materialist scientists have cited testimonies about NDE’s and other extraordinary mystical experiences as evidence that consciousness survives physical death.

For example, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, world renowned scientist, teacher, author and pioneering authority on death and dying, believed in survival of spirit after physical death, and used butterflies as symbols of the death process.

Soon after World War II, she visited the children’s barracks at the Maidanek concentration camp in Poland. There, amazingly, she observed hundreds of butterfly images drawn by the inmate children on the walls, even with pebbles and fingernails. Spellbound by the sight of butterflies drawn on the walls, she wondered why they were there and what they meant.

Twenty-five years later, after listening to hundreds of terminally ill patients, she finally realized that the imprisoned children must have known that they were going to die, and intuitively were using butterflies as images of the physical death process. Dr. Kubler-Ross thus explained in The Wheel of Life, A Memoir of Living and Dying:

“They knew that soon they would become butterflies. Once dead, they would be out of that hellish place. Not tortured anymore. Not separated from their families. Not sent to gas chambers. None of this gruesome life mattered anymore. Soon they would leave their bodies the way a butterfly leaves its cocoon. And I realized that was the message they wanted to leave for future generations. . . .It also provided the imagery that I would use for the rest of my career to explain the process of death and dying.”


Dr. Kubler-Ross’s writings have inspired many other non-materialist scientists, authors, and teachers who have followed her lead. Also, of great importance in helping us understand whether spirit survives physical death were the ground-breaking scientific studies by Dr. Ian Stevenson, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, who for forty years studied children world-wide who spontaneously remembered past lives. Dr. Stevenson objectively validated and documented about twelve hundred such cases.

Thanks to the ‘leading edge’ work of Dr. Kubler-Ross and Dr. Stevenson, and of distinguished non-material scientists inspired by them, there now exists overwhelming scientific evidence that consciousness and mind are independent of physical bodies; that our physical bodies and brains are not originators of consciousness and mind, but their receptors, tuners and transducers.  And that until we evolve beyond space/time duality reality, apparent reincarnation or rebirth may happen after death of the brain and physical body.

What survives physical death?

If – like snowflakes – each of us manifests as an absolutely unique physical form, what is it about us that can survive death of that unique form, and be “born and reborn”?

“Reincarnation” is often understood to be the transmigration of a “soul” – viz. apparently uniquely circumscribed spirit – to another body after physical death.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Hinduism’s most cited ancient scripture, Divine Avatar Krishna instructs Prince Arjuna that:

“The soul is eternal, all-pervading, unmodifiable, immovable and primordial.”; “The soul never takes birth and never dies” but “when the body is destroyed” or when “giving up old and worn out bodies . . [it] accepts new bodies.”
~ Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2


Though in Buddhism there is no concept of separate soul or individual self that survives death, Buddhists believe in rebirth. Like most mystics, Buddhists say that in addition to our physical body, we are enveloped by subtle astral and mental bodies, which survive death of the physical body and become consciously associated with successive physical bodies.

Thus the Dalai Lama says that:

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


A detailed and compelling description of afterlife can be found in “Autobiography of a Yogi”, by Paramahansa Yogananda, Chapter 43 – The Resurrection of Sri Yukteswar .   There Yogananda credibly recounts a long discussion with his physically deceased Guru, Sri Yukteswar, who – like Jesus – resurrected to explain to his disciple Yogananda many details of afterlife.  [You can read that extraordinarily fascinating story at http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Autobiography_of_a_Yogi/Chapter_43

Many psychics say that on physical death “we” survive and enter different realms. eg. http://www.victorzammit.com/Whenwedie/whatdoeshappen.htm

But ancient Vedic and Buddhist non-dualism philosophies (“Advaita”;”Advaya”) have for millennia taught that this impermanent and ever changing world is an unreal illusion called maya or samsara; and, that “all that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream”… .

“The world, indeed, is like a dream
and the treasures of the world are an alluring mirage!”
~ Buddha

“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


Notwithstanding the Buddha’s non-dualist teachings, the Dalai Lama says he practices death and rebirth eight times daily. And, as Tibetan Bodhisattva of Compassion, he intends to return until all sentient beings are liberated from suffering.

If you had the option of a one-way exit pass to ‘heaven’, would you volunteer as a Bodhisattva to come back to this crazy world?

Vivekananda and Einstein.

The ancient Eastern non-dualism teachings were first brought to large Western audiences by Swami Vivekananda, principal disciple of nineteenth century Indian Holy Man Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, at and after the 1893 Parliament of World Religions in Chicago.

In an eloquent New York City lecture called “The Real and the Apparent Man”, Vivekananda equated maya or samsara with “time, space, and causation” and presciently predicted scientific confirmation of the ancient Vedic non-dual philosophy of One Infinite Existence. He said:

“According to the Advaita philosophy, ..this Maya or ignorance–or name and form, or, as it has been called in Europe, time, space, and causality–is out of this one Infinite Existence showing us the manifoldness of the universe; in substance, this universe is one. So long as any one thinks that there are two ultimate realities, he is mistaken. When he has come to know that there is but one, he is right. This is what is being proved to us every day, on the physical plane, on the mental plane, and also on the spiritual plane.”


“What then becomes of all this threefold eschatology of the dualist, that when a man dies he goes to heaven, or goes to this or that sphere, and that the wicked persons become ghosts, and become animals, and so forth? None comes and none goes, says the non-dualist. How can you come and go? You are infinite; where is the place for you to go?
 
“So it is with regard to the soul; the very question of birth and death in regard to it is utter nonsense. Who goes and who comes? Where are you not? Where is the heaven that you are not in already? Omnipresent is the Self of man. Where is it to go? Where is it not to go? It is everywhere. So all this childish dream and puerile illusion of birth and death, of heavens and higher heavens and lower worlds, all vanish immediately for the perfect. For the nearly perfect it vanishes after showing them the several scenes up to Brahmaloka. It continues for the ignorant.”


“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


Revered 20th century Indian sage, Sri Ramana Maharshi – who was a renowned exponent of non-dualism – taught that for self-realized beings there is no reincarnation, but that reincarnation exists until self-realization – that self-realization reveals this entire world of space/time/duality as illusionary maya or samsara. Thus, responding to the question: “Is reincarnation true?”,  he said: 

“Reincarnation exists only so long as there is ignorance. There is really no reincarnation at all, either now or before. Nor will there be any hereafter. This is the truth.”


Einstein’s revolutionary non-mechanistic science and unconventional religious ideas were consistent with highest non-dualistic Eastern religious teachings, because they questioned the substantiality of matter, the ultimate reality of space, time and causality, and reincarnation. Like Vivekananda, Einstein said:

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”



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



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

“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.”

“There is no place in this new kind of physics for the field and matter, for the field is the only reality.”




“That which is impenetrable to us really exists. Behind the secrets of nature remains something subtle, intangible, and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion.”

“I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, …Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism.”

~ Albert Einstein


Ron’s Explanations and Reflections on Reincarnations and Resurrections.

Dear Friends,

At age ninety, I have long reflected upon crucially important perennial questions concerning life, death, afterlife, and rebirth. And thereby I’ve been blessed to realize that consciousness we call “life” continues eternally after inevitable physical death.

Until my mid-life spiritual awakening, I self-identified only as my mortal physical body, its thoughts and its story, and believed that inevitable death of the body ended life. I had no opinion, knowledge or belief concerning reincarnation or afterlife in ‘heaven’ or ‘hell’, or of an immortal “soul”.

Then in my early forties, I had irreversibly transformative experiences of spiritual self-identity and afterlife: I began to realize that I was not merely my mortal body, its thoughts and story, but eternal and universal awareness. And I started seeing visions of apparent past lives, and inner and outer appearances of deceased people, including my maternal grandfather and Mahatma Gandhi, who I now regard as my first perceived inner guide.

So, I began accepting Eastern ideas of reincarnation and transmigration of an eternal soul, while gradually losing fear of inevitable physical death. Then, on meeting my beloved Guruji, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, I learned that from childhood he had been preoccupied with two perennial puzzles: “Who am I?” and “What is death?”; and, that at age thirteen, inspired by irresistible inner longing, Guruji had run away from home in search of experiential answers to those eternal questions.

Inspired by Guruji, I developed a deep curiosity and philosophical interest in the spiritual significance of death and dying, reincarnation and karma. Elsewhere, on SillySutras.com I have shared many experiences, essays, quotes and poems on these subjects. (See, e.g., https://sillysutras.com/category/afterlife/ ;https://sillysutras.com/category/life-and-death/; https://sillysutras.com/category/reincarnation/ )

Ultimately I’ve concluded that cosmically there is no death; that “birth and death are virtual, while Life is perpetual” and that “as we lose our fear of leaving life, we gain the art of living life.” (See e.g. https://sillysutras.com/know-death-to-know-life-know-death-to-know-that-there-is-no-death/ )

Consequently, I’ve become ever less fearful about my own inevitable and perhaps imminent bodily death, and often witness Earth-life like an illusionary play or movie, rather than Reality – which I now consider timeless LOVE as Infinite Potentiality beyond comprehension, imagination or description.

Moreover, I’ve become persuaded that from a Self–realized ‘Buddha’s eye view’ all our supposedly separate lifetimes, incarnations, emanations or appearances can be Seen timelessly and concurrently – formed like ink blots in a ‘big bang’ Rorschach test; but that (except for rare Avatars or Buddhas) we are karmically challenged to live each supposed space/time lifetime as lovingly and empathetically as possible, while ever mindful that we are not separate mortal entities but indivisible formless and eternal Infinite Potentiality as LOVE.

To encourage our deep insights on perennial questions of afterlife and reincarnation, like “Who am I?” and “What is death?”, I have shared the foregoing writings.

May Easter and every day help us attain destined inner fulfillment and happiness during our ephemeral lifetimes on precious planet Earth.

And so may it be!

2023 Epilogue.

Dear Friends,

During recent equinox holidays we have experienced an unprecedented era of social, psychological, political, and economic turbulence, violence, and polarity, with seemingly imminent nuclear war or other omnicidal catastrophe ending earth-life as we’ve known it.

More people than ever before are suffering fears of death, illness, impoverishment, or imminent calamity, and are unable to live normally. They feel deprived of God-given human rights and necessities, and prevented from engaging in customary economic and social activities. Some are homeless or ‘sheltering’ unable to reverently commemorate the equinox holidays with others. 

Nonetheless, our species is still insanely plundering, polluting and pillaging our planet’s limited resources and and unsustainably destroying it’s precious ecosystem and climate.

But, paradoxically, this is also a time of epochal opportunity, not only a time of apparently imminent catastrophe caused or condoned by our species.

Thus, this an especially appropriate time for us to deeply reflect upon our fundamental life purposes, priorities and responsibilities as sentient Earth beings.

Because ignorance of humanity’s immortal Self-Identity causes continual fearful sufferings which impede evolution and progress, it is crucial that we transcend fears. So the foregoing writings are offered to help us overcome our fears, and thereby enter an unprecedented new era of peace and prosperity on earth.

Dedication

These writings are deeply dedicated to encouraging reflection about our Eternal Self-identity as timeless Divine LOVE.

May they help us experience ever expanding fulfillment and inner happiness during our ephemeral lifetimes on precious planet Earth, whatever we believe about death, afterlife or rebirth.

Invocation.

May we – in this ephemeral human lifetime
on our precious planet Earth –
realize our common dream for a new reality,
where everyone everywhere is happy.

May Everyone Everywhere Be Happy!
“Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu!”



And so shall it be!!

Ron Rattner

Remembering the Resurrection of Jesus Christ with Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2


“Music is the language of God.”
“Music can change the world.”
~ Ludwig van Beethoven

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

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

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

~ Plato



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


”Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God
and the permissible delights of the soul.”

”Harmony is next to Godliness”
~ Johann Sebastian Bach


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

“

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

Gustav-Mahler- ~ July 7, 1860 – May 18, 1911


Ron’s Introduction to Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2

Dear Friends,

In prior memoirs chapters I have explained and demonstrated how open-hearted listening to mystical music, attuned to the eternal Light of timeless LOVE, elevates our earth-energies (beyond the fearful ego-mind) to impart deep wisdom, regardless of whether we self-identify as being religious or spiritual, or with a gender, ethnicity, or as any other separate entity label.

Also, as my recent Vernal Equinox Blessings posting explains, happiness in life comes to all those who lovingly live for the happiness of others, regardless of their supposed separate self-identity.

Today’s posting features embedded YouTube video passionate performances of one of the greatest symphonies of all time, Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2 composed between 1888-1894. These performances demonstrate how mystical music elevates us beyond earthly cares and fears, to experience the eternal Light of timeless LOVE.

They are:

1) A May 2011 BBC Proms performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No.2 at the Royal Albert Hall in London by world-renowned Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel leading the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra. [English translations of Mahler’s German lyrics are visually displayed for choral and solo vocal passages.]

2) A June 1995 performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection”Symphony No.2 at the Urakami Cathedral, Nagasaki, Japan, by the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, plus 10 members of the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, in a “Concert for Peace” arranged and led by world-renowned Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa.
[Only Japanese translations of Mahler’s German lyrics are visually displayed for choral and solo vocal passages. English translations are posted below.]

3) A May 1974 performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection”Symphony No.2 at the Edinburgh Festival by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Bernstein with the Edinburgh Festival Chorus with soloists – soprano: Sheila Armstrong, mezzo-soprano: Janet Baker

4) A separate YouTube video of only the triumphant conclusion of the LSO Edinburgh Festival performance which includes visually displayed English translations of Mahler’s German lyrics for choral and solo vocal passages

Although Mahler’s music is timeless, its resurrection theme is relevant to the current pre-Easter 40 day period of Lent, to prepare for celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter.

And paradoxically the Nagasaki Cathedral venue for the 1995 Japanese performance can be regarded as the symbolic resurrection of a great industrial city with 263,000 people, which was totally destroyed by a US plutonium nuclear bomb on August 9th, 1945.

What is Lent?

Lent is a 40 day period of preparation to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter. It is a season of faithful prayer, fasting, and alms-giving intended to open the inner Sacred Heart.

In the New Testament, Jesus went into the desert to fast and pray for forty days and forty nights. It was during this time that Satan unsuccessfully tried to tempt him ( Matthew 4:1–3).

Also in the Old Testament, the prophet Moses went into the mountains for forty days and forty nights to pray and fast “without eating bread or drinking water” before receiving the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:28). Likewise, the prophet Elijah went into the mountains for forty days and nights to fast and pray “until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God” when “the word of the Lord came to him” ( 1 Kings 19:8–9).

The forty day and night fasts of Moses, Elijah, and Jesus prepared them for their work. And those who observe the forty day Lent period honor that tradition.

Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2

Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2 is one of the most popular symphonies of all time. Composed between 1888-1894, it was Mahler’s first major work that established his lifelong view of the beauty of afterlife and resurrection.

A current 5 movement version of this symphony was produced and first performed at the Royal Albert Hall London in October 2005.

It featured the following (translated to English) choral and solo vocal lyrics originally written in German by Mahler himself:

Fourth Movement

Primeval Light

O little red rose!
Man lies in greatest need!

Man lies in greatest pain!

How I would rather be in heaven.



There came I upon a broad path

when came a little angel and wanted to turn me away.

Ah no! I would not let myself be turned away!

I am from God and shall return to God!

The loving God will grant me a little light,

Which will light me into that eternal blissful life!

Fifth Movement

Rise again, yes, rise again,
Will you, my dust, after a brief rest!
Immortal life! Immortal life
Will he who called you, give you.

You are sown to bloom again!
The lord of the harvest goes
And gathers sheaves,
Us, who have died.
  
O believe, my heart, O believe:
Nothing is lost to you!
Yours, yes yours, is what you desired
Yours, what you have loved
What you have fought for!

O believe,
You were not born for nothing!
Have not lived for nothing,
Nor suffered!

What was created
Must perish;
What perished, rise again!
Cease from trembling!
Prepare yourself to live!

O Pain, you piercer of all things,
From you, I have been wrested!
O Death, you conqueror of all things,
Now, are you conquered!

With wings which I have won for myself,
In love’s fierce striving,
I shall soar upwards
To the light which no eye has penetrated!

I shall die in order to live.

Rise again, yes, rise again,
Will you, my heart, in an instant!
That for which you suffered,
To God shall it carry you!

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._2_(Mahler)

Dedication

This posting of Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2 is deeply dedicated to elevating our earth-energies (beyond the fearful ego-mind) by imparting deep wisdom, regardless of whether we self-identify as being a religious or spiritual person, or with a gender, ethnicity, or as any other separate personality or entity label.

May this commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ thereby inspire all of us to live lovingly for the happiness of others, regardless of our supposed separate self-identities.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

May 2011 BBC Proms performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No.2




June 1995 performance at the Urakami Cathedral, Nagasaki, Japan, of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No.2



May 1974 performance of Mahler’s “Resurrection”Symphony No.2 at the Edinburgh Festival



Conclusion of the LSO Edinburgh Festival performance with English translations of Mahler’s German lyrics


Remembering Wisdom Beyond Words And Mind With Mystical Music ~ Ron’s Memoirs

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

There’s a time for us,
Some day a time for us,
Time together with time to spare,
Time to learn, time to care.
Some day!
Somewhere!
~ West Side Story, Leonard Bernstein music, Stephen Sondheim lyrics.

“Nothing escapes the Principle of Cause and Effect,
but there are many Planes of Causation,
and one may use the laws of the higher
to overcome the laws of the lower.”
– The Kybalion

“Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end,
by forces over which we have no control.

It is determined for the insect, as well as for the star.

Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust,

we all dance to a mysterious tune,
intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.” .
“Human beings in their thinking, feeling and acting are not free
but are as causally bound as the stars in their motions.”

~ Albert Einstein

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

~ Albert Einstein

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

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

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

“Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.”
~ George Orwell, “1984”

“We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.

With our thoughts, we make the world.”
~ Buddha

“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

“Perception is a mirror, not a fact.
And what I look on is my state of mind, reflected outward.”
~ A Course In Miracles

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”.
~ Shakespeare [ Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2]

“Reality cannot be found except in One single source,
because of the interconnection of all things with one another.”
~ Gottfried Leibniz, 1670

“Though One, Brahman is the cause of the many.”
~ Rig Veda, 1500–1200 BCE

“Love is what we were born with.
Fear is what we learned here.
The spiritual journey is the relinquishment – or unlearning – of fear and the acceptance of love back into our hearts.”
~ Marianne Williamson


“Nothing Real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.”
~ A Course In Miracles

“Forgiveness is the demonstration that you are the light of the world.
Through your forgiveness does the truth about your Self return to your memory.
Therefore, in your forgiveness lies your salvation.”
~ A Course in Miracles

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

“I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt.”
~ A Course In Miracles

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear,
. .
and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”
~ 1 John 4:18

“Love blesses the world; 
fear afflicts it.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“As we lose our fear of leaving life,
we gain the art of living life.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“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 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




Remembering Wisdom Beyond Words And Mind
With Mystical Music ~ Ron’s Memoirs


Introduction

Dear Friends,

Several recent memoirs postings have demonstrated with musical performances, the spiritual importance of mystical music .

Today’s posting again features the beautiful song “Somewhere” from the 1957 Broadway musical “West Side Story” (which contemporizes the “Romeo and Juliet” story) with masterly music by Leonard Bernstein and transcendent spiritual lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

Both the original Romeo and Juliet story and the contemporized West Side Story version of the romantic tragedy involve young heterosexual lovers from clans feuding over domination of disputed territory. Only after tragic deaths of the lovers and many others do the grieving groups tribally agree to end their feuds.

In this memoirs chapter, I’ll first display and sing the “Somewhere” lyrics. Then I’ll briefly explain how that mystical music communicates deep perennial wisdom beyond words, and how our musical “mirror of mind” has evolved since the 1987 West Side Story opened. Please listen and consider “Somewhere” with a receptive mind and open heart.

“Somewhere” (West Side Story) Lyrics

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

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

Some day!
Somewhere!

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

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

Somehow,
Some day,
Somewhere!





“Somewhere” (West Side Story) sung by Ron Rattner

Listen to


“Somewhere” (West Side Story) explained by Ron Rattner

Dear Friends,

In the “Somewhere” lyrics the young lovers (Maria and Tony) long to live in peace and quiet, with time together to learn and care, while forgiving all others, without feuding and fighting with them – with distrust, fear, and hatred. They affectionately hold hands to comfort each other from anxiety and fear of imminent tragedy.

Maria and Tony intuit and long for a completely peaceful, loving and harmonious existence that doesn’t yet exist in our predominantly low and fearful 3D earth energies of time, space and duality. But subconsciously (as Divine souls) they remember and can intuit the possibility of such an existence.

After eons of existing physically and fearfully in low third dimension energies humans are now in an ascension process from low third dimension to fourth dimension energies described or implied in the “Somewhere” lyrics.

Such energy ascension cannot be attained, until we transcend all fears and fighting with one another, to become harmonious with loving elevated energy planes.

Deep within ourselves we have always known that we were created as, and always have been, ONE Divine LOVE. And that any separation from Mother, Father, God is an ego illusion.

But long ago, with free choice, we began an experiment in time, space and duality, in which we intentionally forgot our true Divinity, and existed as seemingly separate and mortal physical forms – in an unreal and illusory mental reality, which we each created, perceived and projected from unique perspectives, with our thoughts and behaviors.

In choosing an Earth plane experiment in time, space and duality, seemingly separate from our Divine Source and true identity, we subjected ourselves to suffering from inescapable law of karmic cause and effect. But now after eons of fearful suffering we have an unusually auspicious opportunity to ascend to loving elevated energy plane behaviors because of favorable cosmic energies and astrological planetary alignments.

Therefore many humans, like Maria and Tony, can now intuit that our perceived Earth-life separation from eternal Mother/Father/God and Nature is a mental illusion that never happened; that our that true eternal identity and Reality is ONE Divine LOVE, from which we never separated; and, that any seeming separation from Mother, Father, God is an ego illusion. So we have nothing to fear – EVER.

Thereby together we can choose to end our fearful and hurtful separation thoughts and behaviors, with which we’ve created this illusion. And with our loving thought energy vibrations we can transcend any more low energy sufferings. (See above key quotations.)

Thus, I now optimistically foresee humankind’s imminent “critical mass” empathetic awakening to our instinctive caring for one-another, and ascension to elevated new dimensions beyond current space/time sufferings – wherein we will follow our hearts to co-create a prophesied New Earth era of long-lasting happiness beyond space/time sufferings.

Recent evolution of our musical “mirror of mind”

Our musical “mirror of mind” has clearly evolved since the West Side Story opened on Broadway over thirty years age.

Maria and Tony (like Romeo and Juliet) were portrayed as heterosexual young lovers from racially similar tribally feuding clans. And (presumably) the peace and happiness they longed for “Somewhere” wasn’t available to other young lovers with differing racial and sexual labels.

But e.g. as evidenced by Matt Leisy’s heart-felt singing of “Somewhere” at a 2015 gay pride benefit, those illusory racial and sexual labels are being transcended everywhere on our precious planet.

In the Romeo and Juliet story the young lovers’ human sexuality was only determined by their mortal physical bodies, in our “either this or that” illusory duality reality.

But perennial wisdom tells us that sex is merely a manifestation of gender on the physical plane of organic life. “Gender” is much broader and more general than “sex”. Gender manifests in everything on all planetary planes. And everything and everyone has masculine and feminine principles. They have both assertive masculine “I”, and receptive feminine “Me” energies – regardless of their physical bodies.

Thus, e.g. a physically embodied soul with male genitalia may have predominantly receptive feminine “Me” energies, whereas an embodied soul with female genitalia may have predominantly assertive masculine “I” energies.

And in the past thirty years we have clearly evolved to openly express much more truth, with much less taboo hypocrisy, about sex and gender on Earth.

Evolution Beyond Anthropocentrism

Anthropocentrism is the belief that human beings are the central or most important entities in the universe. From an anthropocentric perspective, humankind are seen as separate from nature and superior to it, and other entities (animals, plants, minerals, etc.) are viewed as resources for humans to use.

Many humans view the universe from an anthropocentric perspective, and imagine non-human entities as humanoids, with human form or characteristics, versus hominids or “Great apes”, which are considered as human anthropological predecessors.

Although anthropocentrism isn’t important in the Romeo and Juliet stories, it is relevant to spiritually elevated perspectives of the mental Universe which humankind may soon experience in our process of evoluton from low third dimension to fourth dimension energies described or implied in the “Somewhere” lyrics.

As divine souls we mentally evolve to endlessly elevated causal planes of creation as seemingly ego-separated from Nature and Mother/Father/God – our common Source. And we may exist in infinitely expanding potential forms from infinite perspectives which are well beyond human conception, imagination or intuition, but which are all energetically subject to karmic cause and effect until our predestined transcendence of ego-mind as ONE Divine LOVE – Eternally NOW.

In this extraordinarily rare period of human awakening from eons of past fearful beliefs and behaviors, it is highly probable that we are being assisted by totally benevolent extraterrestrial beings who (if judged anthropocentrically) may appear to humans as bizarre and terrifying.

It is very important that we avert any such anthropocentrism and gratefully accept any such benevolent extraterrestrial assistance or appearance everywhere – and not just “Somewhere”.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Invocation


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

That all that is, was, or ever can be

is the Eternal Light of Divine Love – NOW!

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

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

Everywhere – and not just “Somewhere”,

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

May we ever remember and never forget

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


That all that is, was, or ever can be

is the Eternal Light of Divine Love – NOW!



And so may it ever be!

Ron Rattner

My ‘Near Death’ Experience
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“Birth and death are virtual, but Life is perpetual.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings




My ‘Near Death’ Experience ~ Ron’s Memoirs

Introduction

Dear Friends,

The following memoirs chapter recounts an extraordinary 1979 out of body [OOB] experience, in which I initially thought I was dying of a stroke. But it soon proved not to be a stroke or a near death experience [NDE].

However, because I wasn’t afraid of dying (though not “enlightened” by the experience), I’ve compared it to the famous Self-Realization experience of renowned 20th Century Indian sage Sri Ramana Maharshi.

Since 1979 I’ve been blessed with many more amazingly related experiences, from which I’ve continued to learn.

So in 2022 I’m republishing and augmenting this memoirs story before my probably imminent transition at almost age ninety.

Like all other SillySutras postings this memoirs chapter is dedicated to helping us live ever happier earth lives. And in these extraordinary post-pandemic times, this posting is particularly intended to help console those bereaved by deaths of dear ones. May they not worry, and be happy.

May everyone everywhere be happy!

Ron Rattner

Sri Ramana Maharshi’s Self-Realization Death Experience.

A few years after the death of his father, the famous sage was suddenly overcome with a fearful premonition that he too was about to soon die, which impelled him to investigate the bodily death experience. So he introspectively imagined that he was dying, and thereby Self-Realized that he was not his mortal body, but eternal consciousness of the body and all else.

Long afterwards, in response to a devotee’s question about his “enlightenment” Sri Ramana replied as follows:


“The shock of the fear of death made me at once introspective or ‘introverted’. I said to myself mentally, ‘Now that death is come, what does it mean? Who is it that is dying? This body dies’. ….The material body dies, but the Spirit transcending it cannot be touched by death. I am therefore the deathless Spirit. … Fear of death vanished at once and for ever. The absorption in the Self has continued from that moment right up to now”.


My Almost ‘Near Death’ Experience

In early 1979 I too had an extraordinary presumed near death experience. Unlike Ramana Maharshi’s pretended death experience, I really believed I was dying of a stroke, and decided to observe the death process without resistance. Unlike Sri Ramana’s experience, my supposed death experience didn’t result in my instant “enlightenment” or permanent absorption in the Self. But, it was an extraordinary and unforgettable event, and it spurred my gradual transformation process of more and more identifying with spirit rather than body/mind; a process which began with my 1976 realization and rebirth experience.

After receiving shaktipat initiation from Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas (Guruji) in 1978, I began following his practices. But, with Dhyanyogi’s approval, I also continued exploring spiritual mysteries by attending various other events and lectures. When asked about our seeking information from other teachers, Guruji said it was OK but unnecessary.

My supposed near death experience happened after I’d attended an inspiring lecture and experiential program given by Sufi master Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan. At the program I whole-heartedly participated in a Sufi remembrance of God ritual called Zikr, featuring repetition of names of Allah. Fervently repeating in unison with other participants: “La Ilaha Illallah” , “La Ilaha Illallah”, I vigorously rotated my body, head and neck, and became quite ‘high’ and rapturous.

The next morning I awakened feeling fine, and prepared to attend an important Federal Appeals Court hearing. I had put on my grey pinstriped suit trousers, shirt and tie, and was in the bathroom, when suddenly I collapsed and fell onto the tiled floor in a supine position. I was unable to move my head or body up or over, but discovered that I could inch along on my back like a caterpillar. In that manner with tremendous difficulty, I managed to move out of the bathroom and into my carpeted living room floor, still in a supine position.

I was not then near a phone and couldn’t call for help. Lying on my back, without pain, I said to myself mentally,

“I must have suffered a stroke and am about to die.
Now I will see what happens when I die.”


I closed my eyes and went into a deep state of relaxed awareness.

Suddenly my consciousness was astrally projected into the cosmos, where it was surrounded by magnificent luminescent silver, blue and gold heavenly bodies (like in pictures from the Hubble telescope).

Next, my inner vision shifted from outer space to vividly beautiful, luminescent and intricate geometric yantras – like mandalas associated with Vajrayana Buddhism, only more ethereal.

As I was silently sensing these celestial scenes, thought returned. First, I thought that dying was quite an interesting experience. Then, suddenly, I thought:

“I never took Naomi off my life insurance policies. I can’t die now.”


The ethereal visions immediately ended and consciousness returned to my supine body on the carpeted floor.

I don’t remember how much time had passed before my return to body consciousness. But when that happened I found that I could move easier and managed to slither supine to answer a telephone when it rang.

Synchronistically, it was a call from my friend Kusuma, who had been one of Guruji’s translators and cooks. I told her what happened, and she dispatched Stan, a disciple of Dhyanyogi then living in San Francisco, to come help me. By the time Stan arrived, I was able to crawl with difficulty to the front door to let him in. He called my doctor who said my symptoms sounded like extreme vertigo from an inner ear problem, not a stroke. Later, Kusuma asked Guruji about my dizziness symptoms. He told her that they came from “shakti”, intense kundalini spiritual energy activated in my head.

What I learned

Following my nearly ‘near death’ OOB experience, my identification with immortal spirit was immeasurably enhanced, while psychological fear of bodily death diminished.

But I didn’t become “enlightened” enough to transcend long-lingering psychological traumas of my contentious divorce. So, after reverting to usual consciousness I soon removed my former wife Naomi’s name as a beneficiary on my life insurance policies.

Also I became curious to learn about Tibetan Buddhism, and the spiritual symbolism of yantras and mandalas, like the Sri Yantra below and on SillySutras’ home page. This led to my receiving Tibetan Buddhist refuge, empowerments, and teachings from Kalu Rinpoche, a Very Venerable Tibetan Buddhist master, and then from other Tibetan lamas, including H.H. the Dalai Lama – who became a living hero for me.

Remaining Fear of Death

Because of my calm fearlessness during the assumed ‘near death’ OOB experience, I wondered whether I’d transcended all fear of death. That question was soon answered when a deranged young driver raced his car right at me as I was walking across an intersection on Broadway, the busy four lane street where I live.

Instinctively and reflexively I jumped out of the way, and screamed “Jesus!” so loudly that it probably could have been heard for a block or two away. Thereafter, for several hours I had a “fight or flight” adrenaline rush. Moreover, since then I’ve had several similar (though less intense) precarious experiences while crossing San Francisco streets.

So, despite my serenity during the assumed near death experience, some instinctive fear of bodily death or injury remains, even though I accept physical mortality as unavoidable. As Sri Ramakrishna Paramahanse revealed some ego/mind (either helpful or harmful) is inevitable even for Mahatmas returning to their bodies from nirvikalpa samadhi. Hence while incarnate on earth we cannot avoid living with egos.

While yogis in other times and places could attain and maintain elevated states of awareness by taking refuge in forests, on mountains, or in caves, such stress-free physical environments aren’t available for most humans living in present day US society.

For me attempting to live authentically and sanely in our crazy US culture has at times been quite challenging. I’ve found that in San Francisco courtrooms and environs midst societal insanity, without some ego I’d would have been metaphorically and actually run over while traversing my spiritual path, as well as while crossing streets. So I now accept physical ‘fight or flight’ bodily self-preservation instinct as “normal” and necessary.

Suzuki Shunryū, Roshi, who popularized Zen Buddhism in the United States, was once asked by a student:

“How much “ego” do you need?”  He replied: “Just enough so that you don’t step in front of a bus.”


I wonder now what past spiritual masters would have done when suddenly confronted with immediate bodily threat? It’s quite unlikely that they would’ve shouted “Jesus”, with an adrenaline rush. Maybe they would have stepped quietly out of harms way. Or, like Gandhi, uttered “Ram” with their last bodily breath.

What do you think?

2022 Epilogue: More Related Learning Experiences

Since first publishing this memoirs chapter I’ve been blessed with many more related synchronistic and mystical experiences, from which I’ve continued to learn. Hereafter I’ll discuss some of them:

1) Another near death experience?

I’ll first recount to you a critical taxicab rundown experience that happened over eight years ago.

My 1979 ‘fight or flight’ fear of being hit as a pedestrian ultimately materialized thirty five years later when I was suddenly run down by a taxicab while crossing a busy San Francisco intersection which can be seen from my high-rise view apartment.

I’m unable to recall what happened immediately before and after the taxicab incident, and while I was comatose. Thus for such details I must rely on paramedic and hospital records, and on a cam video showing the taxi hitting me.

My wise expert MD friend, Dr. Solomon Sevy, (who retired after decades of Kaiser California clinical experience as a pediatric cardiologist) succinctly summarized his “diagnostic” opinion after reviewing my medical records.
Dr. Sevy told me:


“Ron, you should be dead!”


My my medical records reviewed by Dr. Sevy revealed the following bodily injuries and symptoms, radiologically and clinically diagnosed:

Traumatic bleeding brain contusion and concussion, with extended loss of consciousness; large 2” chronic subdural hematoma pushing brain .6” out of normal alignment; massive soft tissue tears and other traumatic shoulder injuries, temporarily rendering both shoulders largely non-functional, with prosthesis recommended for left shoulder; multiple facial fractures, bruises and swelling, with broken nose, fractured sinus areas, etc.; facial lacerations requiring sutures; lacerated and bleeding liver; cracked ribs; slight spinal fracture; excessive external bleeding, with anemia requiring prompt two unit blood transfusion; tibial plateau (“bumper”) fracture and extreme swelling of right knee and leg, with large knee wound, open and seeping for over two months; continuing post-traumatic stress syndrome [PTSD]; retrograde amnesia; mental confusion, headaches, dizziness, and dyslexia.


Today at almost age ninety, I’m again living alone without caretakers in my high-rise hermitage. Considering my advanced octogenarian age and the multiplicity and severity of my injuries and symptoms, my survival, recovery and healing so far have been miraculous.

Moreover, I have amazingly survived without any pain drugs or brain or shoulder surgical interventions recommended by various allopathic doctors, and (until the pandemic lock-down with closure of SF Bay public toilets) I’d resumed a largely independent pre-injury life style with frequent walks, after extended convalescence, and treatment with acupuncture, organic herbs, and physical therapy. And I still don’t voluntarily take prescribed allopathic drugs.

Unlike most people who can describe their near death experiences I can’t tell you what happened while I was comatose due to residual post-traumatic stress syndrome [PTSD] and retrograde traumatic amnesia. So I don’t know if it was a conventional NDE.

But I consider my bodily survival and recovery an immense spiritual blessing and am psychologically happier than ever before in this precious human lifetime.

Further details of this Divine blessing are recounted in a prior memoirs chapter titled: “Another near death experience?”.

2) Another vertigo seizure?

The foregoing 1979 almost near-death OOB story began with a completely disabling vertigo experience, which I mistakenly thought was caused by a cerebral stroke. Since then I’ve had many episodes of varying degrees of dizziness, especially after the 2014 taxicab rundown. But not until this week (over forty years later) have I again been completely incapacitated by vertigo from a possible stroke seizure.

In 1979 my extreme dizziness was medically diagnosed as a middle-ear problem, but explained by Guruji as a kundalini cerebral “shakti” kriya. This week, without asking for assistance, I introspectively self-diagnosed the disabling dizziness as kundalini “shakti”.

Here’s what happened:

On August 12, 2022 I was composing my Cartesian Critique essay about confusing thinking with being. While writing about how most humans mistakenly self-identify with their thoughts, rather than consciousness of their thoughts and behaviors, I had a rare inner epiphany.

Whereupon I was suddenly stricken with intense vertigo, like the vertigo I experienced over forty years ago when I was young and healthy. Now at almost ninety I am physical injury and age limited and subject to recurrence of serious taxicab rundown traumatic brain injuries. Moreover, in these extraordinary post-pandemic times, ubiquitous environmental heath threats are causing even young and apparently healthy people to often experience physically fatal strokes.

Nonetheless, as I will hereafter explain, in all apparently paradoxical rational versus intuitive dilemmas, with complete faith I’ve learned to follow my heart. And my heart said:

“You’ve been immeasurably blessed; keep composing and sharing to help others”.


My heart clearly confirmed this perennial wisdom:

“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

In 1979, I accepted my primary care doctor’s medical diagnosis of an inner-ear problem, not a stroke. In 2022, without seeking a medical diagnosis, I’ve followed my Sacred Heart and keep composing to help others.

Explanation

1) In all space/time relative “reality” everything’s energy [E=mc2].

2) In earth’s dense three dimensional [3D] energy sphere, humans (individually and collectively) create “reality” with their thoughts.

“We are what we think.

All that we are arises with our thoughts.

With our thoughts, we make the world.”

~ Buddha

3) Each incarnate human is individually unique, creating a unique personal “reality” with apparent freedom of choice, which subjects them to experience the karmic consequences of their unique thoughts and behaviors.

“Every action, every thought, reaps its own corresponding rewards.
Human suffering is not a sign of God’s, or Nature’s, anger with mankind.
It is a sign, rather, of man’s ignorance of divine law. . .

Such is the law of karma: As you sow, so shall you reap.
If you sow evil, you will reap evil in the form of suffering.
And if you sow goodness, you will reap goodness in the form of inner joy.”

~ Paramhansa Yogananda

4) We each have freedom of choice to perceive only Divine spirit or God until we ultimately awaken from this dream-like relative “reality” to BE the eternal mystery of Divinity – as LOVE.

“You should love everyone because God dwells in all beings.”
“Have love for everyone, no one is other than you.”
“Yes, all one’s confusion comes to an end if one only realizes that it is God who manifests Himself as the atheist and the believer, the good and the bad, the real and the unreal; that it is He who is present in waking and in sleep; and that He is beyond all these.””God alone is the Doer. Everything happens by His will.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa

Conclusion and Dedication

By following my Heart with Faith, I choose to create a new Earth “Reality”;
an elevated energy dimension beyond all current environmental catastrophes, wars, deprivations, diseases, miseries and sufferings now being inflicted upon and fearfully experienced, and condoned or denied or allowed by most humans.

Therefore I refuse to reify this illusionary mental mirage-like samsara ‘reality’ which is constantly discussed and reported on by global “leaders”, institutions and media. Instead I constantly meditate and pray for Nature, and all its life-forms on our precious planet; and for the happiness of everyone and everything everywhere.

Inspired by Jesus Christ – the historic paragon of LOVE – my prayers forgivingly include even those who insanely and selfishly despoil and unsustainably exploit earth-life through their ignorance of our common eternal Self identity as timeless LOVE.

And I deeply dedicate this memoirs chapter to inspiring a “critical mass” of other empathic humans, who together will collectively transcend current earthly psychopathic insanity, by co-creating an envisioned wonderful
New Reality.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


© The Perennial Wisdom Foundation – “From Secular Hebrew, to Born-Again Hindu, to Uncertain Undo – An ex-lawyer’s spiritual metamorphosis from Litigation to Meditation to LOVE.”
~ by Ron Rattner


Sri Ramakrishna’s Timeless Wisdom


“God alone is the Doer.
Everything happens by His will.”

~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa


Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa
February 18, 1836 – August 16, 1886



Ron’s Introduction to “Sri Ramakrishna’s Timeless Wisdom”

Dear Friends,

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was an exraordinary 19th century Indian holy man who has become likened to Krishna, Buddha, and Christ, as a Divine Incarnation. He was an extremely rare and eccentric mystical genius who taught from his direct experience. Like Jesus, in order to explain abstruse spiritual philosophy to common people, Sri Ramakrishna used parables and illustrations, culled from his observation of the daily life around him.

His exceptional life exemplified the ancient universal non-dualism truths of Advaita Hindu philosophy. However, Sri Ramakrishna’s mystical experiences transcended most precepts of Hinduism, and were similar to experiences of prophets and mystics from other enduring religions.

As a tribute to him Mahatma Gandhi has written:


“His life enables us to see God face to face. .
Ramakrishna was a living embodiment of godliness.”


Sri Ramakrishna’s spiritual teachings have been preserved and disseminated globally through “The Gospel of Sri Ramakrisha”, a unique written record of the direct words of a prophet consisting of a very detailed account of the daily life and conversations of Sri Ramakrishna interspersed with his profound and subtle utterances about the nature of Ultimate Reality. Those teachings continue to bless and benefit countless people worldwide, including me.

Sri Ramakrishna’s groundbreaking religious pluralism and spiritual non-dualism teachings were first prominently disseminated by his most important disciple Swami Vivekananda, a renowned sage and eloquent orator, who came to the West beginning in 1893 as the spokesman for Hinduism at the first Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago.

Thereafter to promote Sri Ramakrishna’s teachings, in America Vivekananda established Vedanta Societies, and in India he founded the Ramakrishna Mission. There now exists a thriving Ramakrishna spiritual revitalization movement with numerous Vedanta centers in India, America and worldwide.

My Discovery of Sri Ramakrisha’s Teachings

I first learned about Sri Ramakrishna during my 1982 pilgrimage to India, while at Dakshineshwar, his long-time residence place outside Calcutta (now Kolkata). There – almost a century after Sri Ramakrishna’s transition – I experienced his shakti life-force presence with an intense feeling of déjà vu while visiting a room where he had lived; a place which felt so pleasingly familiar to me that it seemed I could happily remain there forever.

Before visiting Dakshineshwar I knew nothing about Sri Ramakrishna. Nor was I yet aware that Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna’s principal disciple, had often visited him at Dakshineshwar; or that, touched and blessed by Ramakrishna, Vivekananda attained highest spiritual states, became an Indian national hero and first brought Vedantic wisdom to widespread Western audiences and spiritual practitioners. (Nor had I yet learned that Vivekananda was very important to my beloved Guruji.)

On returning home I began reading with fascination about Ramakrishna’s life and his teachings. I learned that (like Saint Francis of Assisi) he was an egalitarian ascetic mystic who completely renounced worldly pleasures and lived in utter simplicity. Ultimately, of all the saints whose stories I’d reflected on, I came to feel most intuitive affinity with Sri Ramakrishna (as well as with Saint Francis of Assisi), both of whom were extraordinary ascetics with similar Divine devotional traits with which I’ve felt great rapport, especially their “gift of tears”.

Moreover, I’ve especially appreciated Sri Ramakrishna’s simple sayings, parables, and spiritual stories, which continue to bless the world.
So to honor Sri Ramakrishna on his February 18th birthday anniversary I have gathered the following collection of his teachings.

Please enjoy and reflect upon them.


Sri Ramakrishna’s Timeless Wisdom Teachings



“The supreme purpose and goal for human life… is to cultivate love.”

“He is born in vain, who having attained the human birth, so difficult to get, does not attempt to realize God in this very life.”

“Try to cultivate love of God. You are born as a human being only to attain divine love.”

“Unalloyed love of God is the essential thing. All else is unreal.”

“You should love everyone because God dwells in all beings.”

“Have love for everyone, no one is other than you.”

“One day, it was suddenly revealed to me that everything is pure spirit.”

“I have now come to a stage of realization in which I see that God is walking in every human form and manifesting Himself alike through the sage and the sinner, the virtuous and the vicious. Therefore when I meet different people I say to myself, “God in the form of the saint, God in the form of the sinner, God in the form of the righteous, God in the form of the unrighteous.”

“Yes, all one’s confusion comes to an end if one only realizes that it is God who manifests Himself as the atheist and the believer, the good and the bad, the real and the unreal; that it is He who is present in waking and in sleep; and that He is beyond all these.”

“God alone is the Doer. Everything happens by His will.”

“When the divine vision is attained, all appear equal;
and there remains no distinction of good and bad, or of high and low.”

“Men are like pillow-cases. The color of one may be red, that of another blue, and that of the third black; but all contain the same cotton within. So it is with man; one is beautiful, another is ugly, a third holy, and a fourth wicked; but the Divine Being dwells in them all.”

“The sun can give heat and light to the whole world, but he cannot do so when the clouds shut out his rays.
Similarly as long as egotism veils the heart, God cannot shine upon it.”

“God is in all men, but all men are not in God; that is why we suffer.”

“It is on account of the ego that one is not able to see God.
In front of the door of God’s mansion lies the stump of ego.
One cannot enter the mansion without jumping over the stump.”

“The water of God’s grace cannot collect
on the high mound of egotism. It runs down.”

“The ego is like the root of a banyan tree, you think you have removed it all then one fine morning you see a sprout flourishing again.”

“All troubles come to an end when the ego dies.”

“As a piece of rope, when burnt, retains its form, but cannot serve to bind, so is the ego which is burnt by the fire of supreme Knowledge.”

“Imagine a limitless expanse of water: above and below, before and behind, right and left, everywhere there is water. In that water is placed a jar filled with water. There is water inside the jar and water outside, but the jar is still there. The [ego] ‘I’ is the jar.”

“Take the case of the infinite ocean. There is no limit to its water. Suppose a pot is immersed in it: there is water both inside and outside the pot. The [wise] jnani sees that both inside and outside there is nothing but [God] Paramatman. Then what is this pot? It is [ego] ‘I-consciousness’. Because of the pot the water appears to be divided into two parts; because of the pot you seem to perceive an inside and an outside. One feels that way as long as this pot of [ego] ‘I’ exists. When the ‘I’ disappears, what is remains. That cannot be described in words.”

“The waves belong to the water. Does the water belong to the waves?”

“Bondage and Liberation are of the mind alone.”

“Bondage is of the mind; freedom too is of the mind. If you say ‘I am a free soul. I am a son of God who can bind me’ free you shall be.”

“It is the mind that makes one wise or ignorant, bound or emancipated.”

“By the mind one is bound; by the mind one is freed. … He who asserts with strong conviction: “I am not bound, I am free,” becomes free.”

“A man is truly free, even here in this embodied state, if he knows that God is the true [doer] and he by himself is powerless to do anything.”

*“God alone is the Doer.
Everything happens by His will.”

“Two things are necessary for the realization of God;
faith and self-surrender.”

“God has put you in the world. What can you do about it?
Resign everything to Him. Surrender yourself at His feet.
Then there will be no more confusion.
Then you will realize that it is God who does everything.”

“Surrender everything at the feet of God.
What else can you do?
Give Him the power of attorney.
Let Him do whatever He thinks best.”

“Have faith. Depend on God. Then you
will not have to do anything yourself.
Mother Kali will do everything for you.”

“An ocean of bliss may rain down from the heavens,
but if you hold up only a thimble, that is all you receive.”

“The winds of grace are always blowing,
but you have to raise the sail.”

“Through selfless work, love of God grows in the heart.
Then through his grace one realizes him in course of time.
God can be seen. One can talk to him as I am talking to you.”

“Great men have the nature of a child.”

“So long as one does not become simple like a child, one does not get divine illumination. Forget all the worldly knowledge that thou hast acquired and become as a child, and then will thou get the divine wisdom.”

“Only two kinds of people can attain self-knowledge: those who are not encumbered at all with learning, that is to say, whose minds are not over-crowded with thoughts borrowed from others; and those who, after studying all the scriptures and sciences, have come to realize that they know nothing.”

“Different creeds are but different paths to reach the same God.”

“As many faiths so many paths”.

“The way of love is as true as the way of knowledge. All paths ultimately lead to the same Truth. But as long as God keeps the feeling of ego in us, it is easier to follow the path of love.”

“Pure knowledge and pure love are one and the same thing.
Both lead the aspirants to the same goal. The path of love is much easier.”

“If you weep before the Lord, your tears wipe out the mind’s impurities of many births, and his grace immediately descends upon you. It is good to weep before the Lord.”

“Devotional practices are necessary only so long as tears of ecstasy do not flow at hearing the name of Hari. He needs no devotional practices whose heart is moved to tears at the mere mention of the name of Hari.”

“God cannot be realized if there is the slightest trace of pride.”

“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.”

“The tree laden with fruits always bends low. If you wish to be great, be lowly and meek.”

“If you meditate on your ideal, you will acquire its nature. If you think of God day and night, you will acquire the nature of God.”

“Make your meditation a continuous state of mind. A great worship is going on all the time, so nothing should be neglected or excluded from your constant meditative awareness.”

“Man suffers through lack of faith in God.”

“Once a person has faith he has achieved everything.
There is nothing greater than faith.”

“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.”

“The magnetic needle always points to the north, and hence it is that sailing vessel does not lose her direction. So long as the heart of man is directed towards God, he cannot be lost in the ocean of worldliness.”

“Dwell, O mind, within yourself; Enter no other’s home. If you but seek there, you will find All you are searching for. God, the true Philosopher’s Stone, Who answers every prayer, Lies hidden deep within your heart, The richest gem of all. How many pearls and precious stones Are scattered all about The outer court that lies before The chamber of your heart!”

“A boat may stay in water, but water should not stay in boat. A spiritual aspirant may live in the world, but the world should not live within him.”

“Sugar and sand may be mixed together, but the ant rejects the sand and goes off with the sugar grain; so pious men lift the good from the bad.”

“Sunlight is one and the same wherever it falls; but only a bright surface like that of water, or of a mirror reflects it fully. So is the light Divine. It falls equally and impartially on all hearts, but the pure and pious hearts of holy men receive and reflect that light well.”

“Forgiveness is the true nature of the ascetic.”

“The compassion that you see in the kindhearted is God’s compassion. He has given it to them to protect the helpless.”

“The Man who works for others, without any selfish motive, really does good to himself.”

“Do yourself what you wish others to do.”

“Wisdom leads to unity, but ignorance to separation.
So long as God seems to be outside and far away, there is ignorance.
But when God is realized within, that is true knowledge.”

“One must be very particular about telling the truth. Through truth one can realize God.”

“Unless one always speaks the truth, one cannot find God Who is the soul of truth.”

“Different people call on [God] by different names: some as Allah, some as God, and others as Krishna, Siva, and Brahman. It is like the water in a lake. Some drink it at one place and call it ‘jal’, others at another place and call it ‘pani’, and still others at a third place and call it ‘water’. The Hindus call it ‘jal’, the Christians ‘water’, and the Moslems ‘pani’. But it is one and the same thing.”

“So long as the bee is outside the petals of the lily, and has not tasted the sweetness of its honey, it hovers around the flower emitting the buzzing sound; but when it is inside the flower, it noiselessly drinks the nectar. So long as a man quarrels and disputes about doctrines and dogmas, he has not tasted the nectar of true faith; when he has tasted it, he becomes quiet and full of peace.”

“One should not think, ‘My religion alone is the right path and other religions are false.’ God can be realized by means of all paths. It is enough to have sincere yearning for God. Infinite are the paths and infinite are the opinions.”

“It’s enough to have faith in one aspect of God. You have faith in God without form. That is very good. But never get into your head that your faith alone is true and every other is false. Know for certain that God without form is real and that God with form is also real. Then hold fast to whichever faith appeals to you.”

“Who is whose Guru? God alone is the guide and Guru of the universe.”

“Men bound hand and foot in the endless chain of [karmic] cause and effect cannot free each other.”

“Do not be small minded. Do not pray for gourds and pumpkins from God, when you should be asking for pure love and pure knowledge to dawn within every heart.”

“If you must be mad, be it not for the things of the world. Be mad with the love of God.”

“Pray to God that your attachment to such transitory things as wealth, name, and creature comforts may become less and less every day.”

“Pray to Him anyway you like, He can even hear the footfall of an ant.”

“The truth is that you cannot attain God if you have even a trace of desire. Subtle is the way of dharma. If you are trying to thread a needle, you will not succeed if the thread has even a slight fiber sticking out.”

“Common men talk bagfuls of religion but do not practice even a grain of it. The wise man speaks a little, even though his whole life is religion expressed in action.”

“We laugh at the efforts of the musk deer to find the source of the scent which comes from itself and despair at our efforts to find the peace which is our essence.”

“One cannot be spiritual as long as one has shame, hatred, or fear.”

“Those whose spiritual awareness has been awakened never make a false move. They don’t have to avoid evil. They are so replete with love that whatever they do is a good action. They are fully conscious that they are not the doer of their actions, but only servants of God.”

“It is true that God is even in the tiger, but we must not go and face the animal. So it is true that God dwells even in the most wicked, but it is not meet that we should associate with the wicked.”

“As a boy holding to a post or a pillar whirls about it with headlong speed without any fear or falling, so perform your worldly duties, fixing your hold firmly upon God, and you will be free from danger.”

“Little children play with dolls in the outer room just as they like, without any care of fear or restraint; but as soon as their mother comes in, they throw aside their dolls and run to her crying, “Mamma, mamma.” You too, are now playing in this material world, infatuated with the dolls of wealth, honor, fame, etc., If however, you once see your Divine Mother, you will not afterwards find pleasure in all these. Throwing them all aside, you will run to her.”

“When an unbaked pot is broken, the potter can use the mud to make a new one; but when a baked one is broken, he cannot do the same any longer. So when a person dies in a state of ignorance, he is born again; but when he becomes well baked in the fire of true knowledge and dies a perfect man, he is not born again.”

“The world is impermanent. One should constantly remember death.”

“Disease is the tax which the soul pays for the body, as the tenant pays house-rent for the use of the house.”

“Meditate upon the Knowledge and Bliss Eternal , and you will also have bliss. The Bliss indeed is eternal, only it is covered and obscured by ignorance. The less your attachment is towards the senses, the more will be your love towards God.”

“If you first fortify yourself with the true knowledge of the Universal Self, and then live in the midst of wealth and worldliness, surely they will in no way affect you.”

“When one has love for God, one doesn’t feel any physical attraction to wife, children, relatives and friends. One retains only compassion for them.”

“All will surely realize God. All will be liberated. It may be that some get their meal in the morning, some at noon, and some in the evening; but none will go without food. All, without any exception, will certainly know their real Self.”

“As long as I live, so long do I learn.”


Mahatma Gandhi’s Tribute to Sri Ramakrishna

“Ramakrishna was a living embodiment of godliness. His saying are not those of a mere learned man but they are pages from the Book of Life. They are revelations of his own experiences. In this age of scepticism, Ramakrishna presents an example of bright and living faith, which gives solace to thousands of men and women who would otherwise have remained without spiritual light. Ramakrishna’s life was an object-lesson in Ahimsa. His love knew no limits, geographical or otherwise. May his divine love be an inspiration to all.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi


Invocation

May Sri Ramakrishna’s Universal Divine Love
inspire us to become ego-free Lovers of God;
To Self-realize that we are all equally Divine manifestations
of ONE Universal spirit – which is timeless LOVE.


And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Afterlife?

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

you must go deep within yourself.
In meditation, the truth will come to you.”

~ Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas
“It is in love that we are made; in love we disappear.”
~ Leonard Cohen
“It is in dying to ego life,

that we are reborn to Eternal Life.”

~ Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi (edited by Ron Rattner)
“It is crucial to be mindful of death —
to contemplate that you will not remain long in
this life. If you are not aware of death, you will
fail to take advantage of this special human
life that you have already attained. It is
meaningful since, based on it, important
effects can be accomplished.”
~ Dalai Lama – From “Advice on Dying: And Living a Better Life”
(written with Jeffrey Hopkins, PhD)
Whence come I and whither go I?

That is the great unfathomable question,

the same for every one of us.

Science has no answer to it.

~ Max Planck, Nobel Prize-winning physicist
“People .. who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

~ Albert Einstein
“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 is NOW
Ever NOW
Never Then!”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings





Introduction to “Afterlife?”

Dear Friends,

The mystery of bodily death has long been a central religious and philosophical issue.

Since midlife I have gratefully realized from previously unimagined mystical experiences that inevitable physical death does not end our conscious lifetimes, and that we can enjoy ever growing happiness and soul fulfillment as we lose all ego/mind fears and worries about death and dying.

My profound mystical realizations are explained and discussed in the following Q and A sutra essay verses and comments thereon.

These writings are shared to help inspire our Self realization that beyond ego illusions there is no time, no death or afterlife; that on transcendence of conceptual life, there is only eternal mystery of indescribable and unimaginable Infinite Potentially.

May these writings thereby advance humanity’s ever growing happiness free from fear of inevitable physical death, and all other fearful and negative earthly emotions, and elevate us to harmoniously live together with kindness and compassion, as LOVE.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Afterlife?

Q:  Is there an afterlife?
A:   After-life is NOW.

Q:  Is there life after death?
A:  There is no death – only Life.

Q:  Then, what is it we call death?
A:  A vacation – eternal life-force vacating a transient vehicle.



Ron’s Comments on “Afterlife?”

Dear Friends,

Have you ever considered what if anything happens after bodily death?

The mystery of what happens upon bodily death is an enduring philosophical and religious issue. It is therefore addressed in the above quotations and Q and A sutra essay verses, and in many other SillySutras postings revealing that beyond ego/mind illusions there is no death or afterlife – only Eternal Life NOW.

Background Discussion.

Physical death is inevitable and natural. But for many years it was largely a taboo subject in American society. Euphemistic language was used to describe death. Most Americans feared death, believing it ended life; they usually died in hospitals or other institutions, and not at home surrounded by family.

Today fear of death remains a major societal issue, impeding spiritual evolution, especially for Westerners.  Such fear arises from mistaken ego identification as only a mortal physical body rather than the eternal life-force which enlivens the body.  But gradually millions of people are transcending fear of death, and leading happier lives after near death [NDE], out of body [OOB] and other mystical experiences.

Since my midlife spiritual awakening I’ve realized that conscious contemplation of physical death can be spiritually important and helpful.
 
On meeting my beloved Guruji, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, I learned that from childhood he had been preoccupied with two perennial puzzles: “Who am I?” and “What is death?”; that at age thirteen, inspired by irresistible inner longing for Self-realization, Guruji had run away from home in search of experiential answers to those enduring questions.   Ultimately his questions were answered through meditative experience.  Thereafter he taught that:


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

you must go deep within yourself.

In meditation, the truth will come to you.”

~ Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas


Also I’ve learned that Tibetan Buddhists encourage frequent contemplation of physical death as an important spiritual practice for optimizing opportunities of this precious lifetime, and in preparation for auspicious future lifetimes.  Thus the Dalai Lama has written that:


“It is crucial to be mindful of death —  
to contemplate that you will not remain long in
this life. If you are not aware of death, you will
fail to take advantage of this special human
life that you have already attained. It is
meaningful since, based on it, important
effects can be accomplished.”
~ From “Advice on Dying: And Living a Better Life” by Dalai Lama and Jeffrey Hopkins, PhD


Inspired by Guruji, the Tibetan Buddhists, and mystical experiences, I developed deep curiosity and philosophical interest in the spiritual significance of death and dying, reincarnation, and karma.  And gradually I have realized the importance of these subjects.

So I’ve shared many stories, essays and poems about these subjects, which I commend to your attention. (Eg. See “related” posts and audio files linked below.)


Especially after suffering a June, 2014 near-death taxicab rundown, more than ever before I now frequently contemplate my inevitable – and perhaps imminent – death, with unspeakable gratitude for this precious human lifetime and for the evolutionary opportunities and happiness it has brought me.
 
Gratefully I have learned from experience that life is eternal and that “as we lose our fear of leaving life, we gain the art of living life.”

So this posting is dedicated to helping us find growing happiness free from fears and worries about inevitable physical death, and related fearful and negative emotions. So that we instead accentuate optimistic and compassionate feelings, attitudes, and behaviors, which bring us ever growing happiness and further our spiritual evolution.

And so may it be! 

Ron Rattner