Sutra Sayings

Becoming a Faith-Based Optimist
~ Ron’s Memoirs

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

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

“I’m only a cockeyed optimist . . .
stuck like a dope
With a thing called hope,
And I can’t get it out of my heart!”
~ Oscar Hammerstein II, South Pacific, lyrics

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.
Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.”
~ Helen Keller

“The highest thinkers of the ages,
the seers of the tribes and the nations,
have been optimists.”
~ Helen Keller

“An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight… the truly wise person is colorblind.”
~ Albert Schweitzer

“Steady faith is stronger than destiny.
Destiny is the result of causes, mostly accidental,
and is therefore loosely woven.
Confidence and good hope will overcome it easily.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

“Even faith in God is only a stage on the way.
Ultimately you abandon all, for you come to something so simple that there are no words to express it.”
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Optimism optimizes opportunity.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Hanuman


Becoming a Faith-Based Optimist ~ Ron’s Memoirs

Introduction to “Becoming a Faith-Based Optimist”

Dear Friends,

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

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

And because these memoirs are published on commencement of important Equinox religious holy days, I’m including a 2022 Equinox Epilogue.

Memoirs of “Becoming a Faith-Based Optimist”

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

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

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


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

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

Also, I realized that with Faith it’s always best follow one’s conscience in all behaviors, and to surrender outcomes of such conscientious behaviors to Divine Source (or Tao) – to let go and go with the flow; because karmically whatever happens could not be otherwise. So, to clear our karma, we must non-judgmentally and forgivingly accept and bless everything and everyone NOW, as ephemeral and illusory appearances in ever impermanent space and time of our sole Divine Source – ineffable, immutable, and Eternal LOVE.

My insights revealed that our earthly sufferings arise from fearful and illusory ego-mind thoughts because we forget our true Divinity and immortality.
But that as omnipotent immortal spirit we have nothing to fear from anything that seems to happen in always illusory ego-mind space, time, and duality. Moreover, that our transcendence of ego-mind is inevitable, and always advanced by our loving behaviors.

2022 Equinox Epilogue

These memoirs are published concurrent with commencement of the Jewish High Holy Days, and the Hindu Navaratri shraddha period. In prior times I participated in both Jewish and Hindu religious ritual observances of these important holidays.

But in recent years, I’ve stopped attending all scheduled religious ritual services. As an innately faith-based optimist, I now continuously honor God every day and everywhere with Divine intentions, behaviors, and prayers, and with the SillySutras spiritual poetry and philosophy website.

Yet, I’ve instinctively realized that beyond ego-mind’s persistent “optical illusion” of a space, time, and duality worldly “reality”, all that is, was, or will be is NOW. Thus, that being a worldly faith-based optimist (with hope for the future) is like aspiring to an “impossible dream” of a never-attainable mental mirage – a time-based dreamlike fantasy “reality” that can never exist.

Optimists instinctively hope for the best. But “hope” is always “then” while Life is only NOW, ever NOW, never then.

However, since inception of the current historically unprecedented post-pandemic “new normal” era, I’ve become optimistically convinced, and foresee, that a “critical mass” of energetically elevated humans will soon co-create (as a cooperative global family) an infinitely more compassionate world, without fearful ego-mind deprivations and sufferings.

And these faith-based equinox memoirs are deeply dedicated to inspiring and hastening our imminent fulfillment of that optimistic prediction.

Conclusions

I’ve become and irreversibly remain a faith-based optimist, despite apparent cataclysmic threats against survival of human life as we’ve known it.  And I equate my instinctive optimism with inner Faith in our sole Divine Source – ineffable, immutable, and Eternal LOVE.

Therefore I’m especially grateful to be able to now share these memoirs with you to help us realize and enjoy supreme fulfillment and happiness from ever optimistic faith in Divine LOVE, until we ascend and transcend all ego-mind perception-deception illusion.

Invocation

“May we ever ascend –
as LOVE and Light,

Beyond-all suffering,
from ego-mind fright.”


And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


“Cockeyed optimist” video

To further encourage our heartfelt faith-based optimism, I’ve embedded below a YouTube video performance of the Rodgers and Hammerstein ‘cockeyed optimist’ song from “South Pacific”.

Please optimistically enjoy it as we energetically ascend as Love and Light,
beyond all suffering from ego-mind fright.



Raising “Human Consciousness”
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“The key to growth
is the introduction of higher dimensions
of consciousness into our awareness.”
~ Lao Tzu
“Our separation of each other
is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
~ Albert Einstein
‘Time, space and causation
are like the glass through which the Absolute is seen…
In the Absolute there is neither time, space, nor causation.’
~ Swami Vivekananda [Jnana Yoga]
“Consciousness is the basis of all life

and the field of all possibilities.
Its nature is to expand and unfold its full potential.
The impulse to evolve is thus inherent in the very nature of life.”
~ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
“Consciousness is always Self-Consciousness.
If you are conscious of anything,
you are 
essentially conscious of yourself.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
Thought divides Universal Awareness,
as a prism divides light.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Human consciousness is conditioned consciousness;
it is pure Awareness conditioned by conceptions.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Lau Tzu

Raising “Human Consciousness” ~ Ron’s Memoirs

Ron’s Introduction

Dear Friends,

In these critical times when humans are the only species causing unprecedented climate collapse, warfare and other catastrophic crises which insanely, unsustainably and imminently threaten all life on our precious planet, it appears urgently imperative that we bring expanded awareness of our true immortal identity and infinite potentiality into the world. So recently I posted quotations, poetry definitions and explanations about Clearing “Human Consciousness”.

Today, to further emphasize our urgent need and unlimited potential to honor our beautiful planet and all it’s life forms by energetically elevating a “critical mass” of our species, I’m posting memoirs explaining my awakening process and perspectives about raising “human consciousness”, a concept with immense spiritual significance.

Also, I’m hereafter sharing an optimistic prediction of an energetically ascended new Earth reality beyond current fears and sufferings.

My Awakening Process

At midlife I was spiritually awakened (through Amazing Grace) to self-identity as pure awareness, rather than as a mere mortal body, its thoughts and its story. That realization initiated an inner evolutionary process, bringing previously unimagined blessings of peace and happiness, to be shared with others.

After initially self-identifying as pure awareness, I gradually surmised that Ron’s awareness must be the same as that of every other sentient being; that I’m not merely an individual consciousness separate as a person from other sentient beings, but Universal Awareness – the mysterious spiritual Source of all manifestation and all phenomena.

Thereafter I began wondering about seemingly differing space/time states of “human consciousness”, and common consciousness of all other life-forms. For example, I became curious about how “human consciousness” might differ from dog consciousness, cat consciousness, bird consciousness, fish consciousness, plant consciousness, insect consciousness, cell consciousness and perhaps even consciousness of apparently inanimate and lifeless forms like rocks and manufactured objects (like the 1976 Volvo miraculously blessed by my Guruji).

After much reflection, I decided that what we call “human consciousness” apparently differs from common consciousness of other life-forms – which seem spontaneously harmonious with Nature – because most humans mistakenly perceive and think of themselves to be separate from each other and Nature due to what Einstein called “an optical illusion of consciousness”, and what for millennia spiritual scriptures and non-duality teachings call “ego”. Hence I’ve realized that

Universal Awareness is the sole essence and Source of all life/forms; and that human ego-mind divides universal Awareness as a prism divides light.
So, “human consciousness” is an ego-mind mental conception which seemingly circumscribes Universal Awareness; it is Universal Awareness conditioned by conception.

Thus I’ve concluded that all our ideas about “human consciousness” arise and subside in Universal Awareness; that we are never in differing states of consciousness – they are in us as Universal Awareness; and, that as we “widen our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty”, we gradually free ourselves from our optical ego-illusion of separation from other life-forms.

Thereby we increasingly experience elevated consciousness of Universal Awareness – our true Source and Divine essence; and we are more and more blessed with infinite potential to collectively advance all life on planet Earth.

An optimistic “New Reality” prediction

Although most people are now experiencing a matrix programmed era of unprecedented post-pandemic fearful sufferings, this is also an age of immense evolutionary opportunity.

Hence I optimistically foresee that current sufferings are energetically awakening and elevating “a critical mass” of human beings to a prophesied “new reality” of egalitarian and cooperative Earth-life sharing and openness, beyond ego-mind’s optical illusion of separation from Nature and its lifeforms.

Occasionally our Earthly “doors of perception” are opened beyond ego-mind’s 3D (‘mental mirage’) illusions of space, time, and duality by psychic experiences, which can’t yet be explained by conventional material sciences. So they’re called “miracles” or biblical “signs and wonders”.

But such Earthly “miracles” (like astral projection, synchronicity, telepathy, remote viewing, prophesy, or energy-healing) are energetically ordinary in subtler energy realms of 5D and higher.

And so I optimistically predict an imminent new Earth reality, with raised “human consciousness” beyond current fears and sufferings.

Dedication

The foregoing writings and optimistic “New Reality” prediction are respectfully dedicated and offered to help encourage and inspire our collective participation in the elevation of “human consciousness” to resolve and transcend all crises on our precious planet, bringing us universal peace, light, and love.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Healing is Wholing
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“Life is a healing/wholing/gnosis/process.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“Feeling hastens healing,
and happiness heals.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“Evolution is an endless process –

from nescience, to gnosis, to apotheosis;

From bestial to celestial –

We ever evolve, as our boundaries dissolve.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings





“Healing is Wholing” ~ Ron’s Memoirs

Ron’s Introduction to “Healing is Wholing”

Dear Friends,

The following “Healing is Wholing” writings epigrammatically express and explain my post-awakening perspectives about spiritual healing.

They include quotations, sutra sayings and verses (with mp3 recitation) defining, describing and revealing an holistic and evolutionary earth-life ego-mind “healing” process; also included are memoirs explanations about the synchronistic circumstances which motivated their composition long ago.

They are dedicated to inspiring our transformational transcendence of ego-mind’s evolutionary impediments, and so to hasten our spiritual evolution from “nescience, to gnosis, to apotheosis” – our continuing process of “healing” beyond suffering to health and spiritual freedom.

Explanation of “Healing is Wholing”

Since my midlife awakening I’ve gradually realized that all humans and other life-forms are deeply inter-connected.

So to heal our planet’s pervasive pathologies and disharmonies, our lives and ills must be viewed and addressed holistically and systemically, not just symptomatically. Identifying and treating separate symptoms may afford temporary relief, but it can’t cure their causes.

We live in an earth-age of mental malaise – in an extremely fearful, stressful, disharmonious and turbulent illusory world, with widespread human psychological and physical sicknesses and suffering; a world so insane that we appear to be on the brink of human caused nuclear cataclysm or ecological omnicide.

So this posting is dedicated to elevating energies of “human consciousness” beyond illusory states of fear and suffering by identifying and healing the causes of our pathologies. As explained in many other Silly Sutras postings, the root cause of our problems is ego-mind.

“Ego-mind” is our mistaken mental self-identification as mortal entities separate from from each other and Nature, and from Universal Awareness, our Eternal essence and sole spiritual Source.

So to spiritually “heal” many human pathologies, disharmonies and sufferings we must identify, and holistically transcend “ego”.

Memoirs synchronicity story about “Healing is Wholing”

Today’s “Healing is Wholing” poetic verses and sutra sayings arose from these synchronistic circumstances:

After my inner awakening and years of public service as Board Chairman of the California Institute of Integral Studies [CIIS] , I retired from all other public pro-bono activities, but continued serving on the Board of New Dimensions Foundation, a groundbreaking independent producer of spiritual radio interviews. And then became friendly with fellow Board member Dr. Anne Wilson-Schaef, Ph.D, a long-practicing psychotherapist, and best selling spiritual author.

Following years of conventional psychotherapy practice, Dr. Schaef had decided that psychotherapy didn’t work. So she originated and began leading worldwide ‘workshops’ based on 12-step therapy principles which she called “living in process intensives”. She described her “living in process” ideas in her controversially popular book: “Beyond Therapy, Beyond Science: A New Model For Healing The Whole Person”.

In that book Dr. Schaef described society as addictively and psychologically alienated from the whole universe and its universal spirituality. And she asserted that traditionally dualistic Newtonian sciences and psychotherapies co-dependently enabled an “Addictive Society”, just as individual enablers co-dependently fostered addictions (like alcoholism).

So to heal and spiritually transform our alienated societies she proposed going beyond conventional dualistic psychotherapies to a natural evolutionary process of experiential transformation, which she called “living in process”.

At Dr. Schaef’s request for my editorial comments, I carefully read a pre-publication galley proof of a new edition of her “Beyond Therapy” book. In it I recognized that many of her then controversial conclusions and proposals, were harmonious with my perspectives about conventional versus spiritual psychotherapy. For example Dr. Schaef’s proposals were consistent with my view that secular psychology merely attempts to alleviate ego’s inevitable mental suffering, whereas spiritual psychotherapy aims at eliminating our psychological imprisonment. (See https://sillysutras.com/spiritual-psychotherapy/)

Dr. Schaef’s proposed text often used both concepts of “recovery” (as from addictive habit patterns) as well as “healing” (as in the subtitle “A New Model For Healing The Whole Person”}. Though I understood Dr. Schaef’s proposals, I was concerned that other readers might mistakenly conflate the separate “recovering” and “healing” concepts; that “recovering” implied returning from addiction to a prior condition of adjustment to a sick society, whereas “healing” meant being uplifted beyond habitual dependencies to a higher and freer state of being.

So, to tactfully communicate this concern to Dr. Schaef, I ‘channeled’ and sent her these sutra verses about the “healing” process as revealing a new state of spiritual wholeness, beyond adjustment to a sick society:

Please consider and enjoy them!

Ron Rattner

Healing is Wholing

Healing is Wholing.

Healing is revealing,
Not re-covering.

Healing is un-covering;
Healing is dis-covering:

Wholeness,
Holiness,
SELF!



Ron’s audio recitation of “Healing is Wholing”

Listen to



Conclusion

Healing is our individual (and societal) experience of transcending suffering; not of recovering from illness to a prior state of wellbeing, but a process of ever evolving to elevated, expanded, and previously unknown psychological perspectives, beyond prior states of suffering – of continuously discovering and experiencing freer states of being until we become and BE WHOLE, beyond ego-mind’s illusory psychic self-identification separation.

Dedication

These verses and writings are dedicated to inspiring our transformational transcendence of ego-mind’s evolutionary impediments, and so to hasten our spiritual evolution from “nescience, to gnosis, to apotheosis” – our continuing process of “healing” beyond suffering to health and spiritual freedom.

Invocation

“May we Wholly heal –
as LOVE and Light,

Beyond-all suffering,
from ego-mind fright.”


And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Sometimes It Hurts To Heal

“Your pain is the medicine by which the
physician within heals thyself.”
~ Kahlil Gibran
“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.”

“And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life,
your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.
Much of your pain is self-chosen.”

“It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity: For his hand, though heavy and hard,
is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.”

~ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, Chapter 16




Sometimes It Hurts To Heal

Ron’s Introduction to “Sometimes It Hurts To Heal”

Dear Friends,

The following essay-poem was inspired by Kahlil Gibran’s masterpiece “The Prophet”, and composed thirty years ago during my extended post-retirement reclusive period of prayer and introspection.

As hereafter explained, I’m now republishing these verses because they remain consistent with my long-life’s experiences as a senior traveler on a unique path to Self Realization.

Sometimes It Hurts To Heal

Life is a healing/wholing/gnosis/process.

Sometimes we hurt as we heal;
But our healing pains are growing pains.

And as we are healing,
Life is revealing

Ever vaster vistas

Of  inner light,

LOVE and Peace.



Ron’s audio recitation of “Sometimes It Hurts To Heal”

Listen to



Ron’s Explanation of “Sometimes It Hurts To Heal”:

Dear Friends,

Composition of “Sometimes It Hurts To Heal” was inspired long-ago by Kahlil Gibran’s masterpiece, “The Prophet”, especially Gibran’s insight that:


“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.”


Three decades after its composition, this poem remains consistent with my most painful long-life experiences.

Thus, my greatest psychological trauma – a painful divorce – triggered a mid-life spiritual awakening which revealed previously unimagined new insights about self-identity and “reality”, and led to meeting my Guruji on the luckiest day of my life.

Similarly, my greatest physical trauma a sudden near-death taxicab rundown – began a still continuing revelatory spiritual evolution process which has energetically opened me to greatest psychological happiness of this lifetime, with unprecedented Faith in our Divine “physician within”, and enjoying an immensely elevated ‘attitude of gratitude’– with every day a bonus, and every breath a blessing.

Currently, from my optimistic perspective, the current extraordinary post–pandemic “new normal” era of anxiety, fear and deprivation of normal activities and God-given liberties has become so hurtful and painful for so many people worldwide that it’s about to trigger a societal “tipping point” breakthrough to an elevated heart level of “human consciousness”, which will soon cause an historically unprecedented transition to a wonderful “new normal” Earth-age of love, peace and justice, beyond fears and sufferings.  

Hence, with infinite Faith, I continue to confirm that:

Life is revealing

Ever vaster vistas

Of  inner light,
LOVE and Peace.


Invocation

May these writings help assuage our anxieties
about current crazy times,
and inspire our abiding Faith
in the Divine “physician within”,
which wondrously heals everyone everywhere
of all afflictions, individually and collectively.


And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

From Seeing to BEING:
Wholeness, Holiness, LOVE
~ Ron’s Memoirs


“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling 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.”
~ Albert Einstein

“The more we grow in love and virtue and holiness,

the more we see love and virtue and holiness outside.”

“This perfection must come through the practice of holiness and love.”. . .
“Every step that has been really gained in the world has been gained by love; criticizing can never do any good, it has been tried for thousand of years. Condemnation accomplishes nothing.”

~ Swami Vivekananda

However many holy words you read,

However many you speak,

What good will they do you

If you do not act on upon them?”

~ Buddha

“Many good sayings are to be found in holy books,

but merely reading them will not make one religious.”

~ Sri Ramakrishna
 Paramahansa

“The mind, unless it is pure and holy, cannot see God.”

~ Seneca the Younger

“What the world needs today
is neither a new order, a new education,
a new system, a new society
nor a new religion.
The remedy lies in a mind and a heart filled with holiness.”

~ Shirdi Sai Baba

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

“Everything can be taken away from a man but one thing:
the last of the human freedom —
to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances,
to choose one’s own way.”
~ Viktor Frankl

Ron Near Sofa Altar

From Seeing to BEING: Wholeness, Holiness, LOVE ~ Ron’s Memoirs

Dear Friends,

At almost age 90, as an elder on the path to Self-Realization, I remain deeply motivated to help inspire others spiritually. So I’m continuing to write memoirs about my evolutionary experiences.

This memoirs chapter hereafter explains how my living room sofa became a sacrosanct spiritual altar; how I prayed and meditated there for decades; and how my worship of perceived outer images there was gradually transformed energetically to become an open hearted inner experience everywhere – a grateful and soulful process of honoring the Divinity and Holiness of “all living creatures and the whole of Nature” on our precious blue planet.

How my living room sofa became an altar

On meeting my beloved Guruji, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, I was profoundly affected by his powerful cosmic life-force energy [“shakti”]. And I learned that his extraordinary inner energy was independent of his physical vitality, and physical presence. Moreover, I learned that Guruji was one of those rare yogis who could intentionally transfer “shakti” to others not only by touch, gaze, or mantra sound, but also by thought. Thus I’ve experienced Guruji’s shakti when not in his physical proximity, and even when his physical body was very weak.

In 1980 Guruji stayed at my apartment just before returning to India. His physical body and vitality were then exceptionally weak and exhausted. He was so weak that he had to be carried out of my apartment to the van bringing him to the SFO International airport. But his cosmic shakti energy was as strong as ever. After Guruji’s departure, I soon discovered that even objects touched by Guruji had become imbued with his intense cosmic energy.

While at my apartment Guruji slept at night on a large mattress brought here from his Soquel ashram. Daytimes he often sat on a living room sofa looking out at the panoramic view of San Francisco Bay. Soon after his departure I helped carry Guruji’s mattress out of my twelfth floor apartment, via elevator to a devotee’s van parked in the basement garage to be returned to the ashram.

After only a few minutes of clutching Guruji’s mattress, I became tremendously “enshakticated” – intoxicated merely by closeness to Guruji’s cosmic life-force which had amazingly permeated the mattress, rather than by ingesting some inebriating or hallucinogenic substance.

From that amazing energy experience, I realized that my living room sofa where Guruji had sat had been transformed to be a holy relic imbued with his shakti. So I made it an altar. Afterwards for over thirty years I worshiped, prayed, cried and meditated at that altar, and no one sat on it. But sensitive visitors and I felt Guruji’s holy energy still radiating from it.

Here is 2012 photo of Ron, at age seventy, at his sofa altar:



When not then meditating at my living room sofa altar, I began and ended each day worshiping at a bedroom floor altar beside a futon.



Only after being seriously disabled by taxicab rundown injuries did I start sleeping on a bed at age eighty one.

How my sofa altar’s energy was elevated and transformed

Soon after my eightieth birthday, the life-force emanations from my sofa altar were energetically evaluated by my dear spiritual friends Gayla Yates Gordon and Barry Gordon, who are both experienced and genuine masters of Feng Sui.

They tactfully persuaded me to remove the sofa altar images, because the altar’s spiritual energies had so elevated that they’d expanded throughout my living room and beyond. So now only a few inspiring images of Guruji, Jesus Christ, Sri Ramakrishna and a few others have been moved beside my computer desk across the living room.

And especially since my miraculous survival from deadly taxicab rundown injuries eight years ago my worship, prayer and meditation has been transformed to become a continuous open-hearted inner experience of honoring the Divinity and Holiness of all life everywhere.

How I’m now viewing and living this precious human lifetime

I’ve learned from Sri Ramakrishna that ego (either helpful or harmful) is unavoidable on Earth; and that with ego we have apparent free choice of our behaviors, or at least our states of mind – our mental attitudes.

And especially inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I follow my conscience and (if possible) nonviolently refuse to actively or passively obey or condone immoral or discriminatory government activities, laws or edicts.

Further, thanks to Albert Einstein, I’m aware that everything’s energy [E=mc2] in Cosmic Consciousness, with each unique energy form vibrating at a particular rate according to its degree of consciousness. So as a unique energy entity with a unique space/time perspective my views may be inappropriate to others. But I’m sharing them now for those for whom they may be harmonious.

From my optimistic perspective we are now experiencing an unprecedented “new normal” energetic ‘quantum leap’ in human consciousness, and are ascending to a prophesied “new reality” of egalitarian and democratic sharing and openness beyond prior deprivations and sufferings. In this extraordinary era the immoral low energy vibrations of division, fear, anger, greed and deception are being overcome and transcended by the elevated energies of Self-awareness, gratitude and freedom, as more and more humans are awakening and BEING the eternal Light of LOVE.

I’m aware that with apparent freedom of choice we each create and experience a unique “reality” with unique thoughts and behaviors from unique perspectives. And I adamantly refuse to reify this insane world of immoral human caused catastrophic wars, climate collapse, illnesses, injuries, and psychopathic deprivations of God-given rights and necessities.

So I choose to see this world as an unreal, immoral and poorly programmed matrix movie in which I will not participate. Instead of reifying this matrix mirage, I’m envisioning and creating a wonderful new world beyond needless suffering, where everyone everywhere is happy – and where living is Loving.

To avoid being psychologically “brainwashed” by matrix propaganda and gossip I refuse to view all addictive “news” and social media of mass deception and distraction. And I avoid reifying “news” or “op ed” articles that evoke fear, worry, anger, or frustration.

What I’ve learned from elevating altar worship

In space/time duality relative “reality’ we have freedom to live lovingly and fearlessly.
And the more we live with energetically elevated mental attitudes the more we experience peace and happiness, and help to positively co-create an energetically elevated and wonderful world.

Accordingly, all of our fearless, forgiving, and loving thoughts, behaviors, and emotions inevitably uplift this world and everyone/everything everywhere. So:

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

“Everything can be taken away from a man but one thing:
the last of the human freedom —
to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances,
to choose one’s own way.”
~ Viktor Frankl


Dedication and Invocation

Thus, this memoirs chapter is deeply dedicated
to encouraging all others on the path to Self-Realization
to open, listen to, and follow their Heart.

Thereby may we empathetically and lovingly
live for giving, not getting;
for helping, not harming
all beings (not just humans),
and our beautiful precious planet Earth,
which birthed us all.


And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

From Sympathy to Empathy
~ Ron’s Memoirs


“Listen To Your Soul:

You have to grow from the inside out.

None can teach you, none can make you spiritual.

There is no other teacher but your own soul.”

~ Swami Vivekananda

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful
for the evolution of your consciousness.”
~ Eckhart Tolle

“Neither a master nor a servant be.
Abjure control by or over others.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

Ron Rattner and Ida Logan on Ron’s 75th Birthday – November 8th, 2007

From Sympathy to Empathy ~ Ron’s Memoirs

Dear Friends,

On studying law over sixty years ago, I began learning that direct experiential evidence is superior to indirect circumstantial or hearsay evidence; and as a practicing lawyer (mainly motivated by social justice ideals) I always prioritized direct perceptual evidence. Twenty years later, as a busy secular lawyer who became a “born-again Hindu”, I also became motivated by a newly discovered “spiritual goal” often called Self-Realization – a spiritual goal of knowing oneself as indescribable universal LOVE by meditative direct inner experience.

Now at almost age 90, I remain deeply motivated to help inspire others spiritually, as an elder on the path to Self-Realization. So (to honor my Guruji’s request) I’m continuing to publish spiritual memoirs.

Previous postings tell how (through possible pre-destiny) life gives us whatever experiences or relationships are most helpful for our spiritual evolution to Self-Realization.

This memoirs chapter explains how I synchronistically learned from Ida M. Logan, a former housekeeper and long-time spiritual friend, that we learn empathy for bereavements and hurts of others only by our own similar direct life experiences.

Importance of Empathy

Long ago I intuited that every human Earth-being is a Divine soul experiencing seemingly separate and individual lifetimes to attain Self-Realization by learning from life experience.

I concluded that through earth-life behaviors all humans may attain Self-Realization regardless of whether they’re religious, if they lovingly devote themselves to giving, not getting; to helping, not harming all beings (not just humans).

And I’ve learned that virtually all enduring ethical, religious, and spiritual traditions emphasize loving behavior through what is commonly called the Golden Rule of reciprocal empathy for other creatures and people. Therefore I believe we’ve chosen to incarnate on Earth to learn to live with heartfelt empathy.

Ida M. Logan as my friend and empathy teacher

Soon after we moved to San Francisco in 1960, my former wife Naomi hired Ida M. Logan as a weekly housekeeper of our rented apartment. Later, beginning in 1966 after births of our daughter Jessica and son Joshua, Naomi also engaged Ida Logan to be our children’s ‘nanny’ on days when Naomi was busy working as a college English teacher.

All these household employment arrangements were made by Naomi, and as a lawyer working away from home, I had little contact with Ida Logan. But I learned from our children that they loved Ida very much.

My direct relationship with Ida Logan began when I moved into my present high-rise apartment over forty years ago. I engaged her as a weekly housekeeper on days of her choosing, while I continued working in a law office. And our face to face contacts were still minimal.

But that changed when I began working at home to close out a few remaining law cases before retiring at age sixty. Then Ida and I regularly met and often had friendly philosophical conversations about religious subjects. And I developed great respect and appreciation for her intelligence, elevated attitude and wisdom learned from life.

Ida’s history

Ida was born on February 20, 1927 and lived over ninety years until October 12, 2017. Of African ancestry, she lived in race-segregated Mississippi until the 1950’s or 60’s. Then with a large family she moved to San Francisco, and found necessary but limited employment as a housekeeper.

In San Francisco she became a deeply devout member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Christian church, for which she sincerely proselytized and studied biblical passages, to help all other people, including me. Throughout our years of friendship she often gave me copies of The Watchtower and Awake! to read. Shortly before her death, when she was non-ambulatory in a nursing home, I last visited with Ida. As we parted, she urged me to attend nearby Kingdom Hall meetings and to “get on board” with Jehovah.

Because Ida suffered from seriously disabling illnesses she was obliged to retire from housekeeping work, and to live in her public housing apartment, when not hospitalized. (See the above photo taken of us on November 8, 2008, my 75th birthday.)

Ida’s empathy teaching

Before she retired one of Ida’s dear sons, an adult military veteran who survived the Viet Nam war, died unexpectedly of medical negligence at the local veteran’s hospital. I then expressed to Ida my sincere sympathies on her bereavement. Whereupon she thanked me but gently and wisely informed me that I couldn’t understand her grief.

She explained that you have to be a mother, who has lost a dear child to understand another mother’s bereavement feelings. Thus my sincere sympathy wasn’t the same as another mother’s experiential empathy.

What I’ve learned from Ida

1) Ida taught me that experiential empathy is more spiritually elevated than instinctive sympathy. So I’ve learned from her that we’ve incarnated to learn to live with heartfelt reciprocal empathy for hurts of other people and creatures.

2) As a dedicated member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses church, Ida always tried to lovingly help, not hurt, other people. I’ve learned from her and others that people who lovingly help others help all life on Earth, regardless of whether they’re religious.

3) My spiritual friendship with Ida helped me learn to respect all other people as spiritual sisters and brothers, regardless of the how they’re labeled by their race, job, gender, economic wealth, college degrees etc.

4) Therefore, in my entire adult life as a self-employed busy lawyer, I didn’t employ any other person, except Ida; and I didn’t become anyone’s landlord with control over their home and living conditions. As a self-employed lawyer I rented office space, with related services, from larger law-firms.

5) My friendship with Ida, confirmed innate egalitarian instincts that control of anyone who helped me as a spiritual sister or brother seemed morally wrong. So my philosophy became and remained:

“Neither a master nor a servant be.
Abjure control by or over others.”


6) My relationships with Ida and others taught me that sincerely empathetic people can be very important to those they help. For example Ida’s spontaneous love for Jessica and Joshua Rattner, was very important for them in addressing the deep psychological traumas of their parents’ divorce.

Conclusion and Dedication

The long-time Ida M. Logan – Ron Rattner relationship furthered our spiritual evolution to Self-Realization. In giving, she received karmic blessings. And it taught me the supreme importance of learning to live with reciprocal empathy for all people and creatures now suffering on our precious planet.

Thus, this “Sympathy to Empathy” memoirs chapter is deeply dedicated to encouraging all others to empathetically and lovingly live for giving, not getting; for helping, not harming all beings (not just humans), and our precious planet Earth, which birthed us all.

And so may it 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 – and Beyond.”
~ by Ron Rattner


Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep
~ by Clare Harner

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep
~ by Clare Harner

“Life is eternal. There is no death. If people correctly understood death, they would no longer have any fear of the unknown”. . . . “What we think of as life and death are merely transitions, changes in the rate of vibration in a continual process of growth and unfoldment.”
~ Betty Bethards – “There is No Death” pp. 90-91
“Birth and death are virtual,
 but Life is perpetual.”

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

~ H. H. Dalai Lama, from ‘The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom”
“Reincarnation is not an exclusively Hindu or Buddhist concept,
but it is part of the history of human origin.
It is proof of the mindstream’s capacity to retain knowledge of physical and mental activities.
It is related to the theory of interdependent origination and to the law of cause and effect.”

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


Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep
~ by Clare Harner

Do not stand

By my grave, and weep.

I am not there,

I do not sleep—

I am the thousand winds that blow

I am the diamond glints in snow

I am the sunlight on ripened grain,

I am the gentle, autumn rain.

As you awake with morning’s hush,

I am the swift, up-flinging rush

Of quiet birds in circling flight,

I am the day transcending night.

Do not stand

By my grave, and cry—

I am not there,

I did not die.

Footnote
This bereavement poem was first published in 1934 after sudden death of the poet’s brother. It was thereafter published in different versions, popularized in films, songs, and television, and plagiarized. For details see this Wikipedia article with links.

Cartesian Critique:
On Confusing Thinking With Being

“If you correct your mind,
the rest of your life will fall into place.”
~ Lao Tzu
“The mind is a bundle of thoughts.
The thoughts arise because there is the thinker.
The thinker is the ego.
The ego and the mind are the same.
The ego is the root-thought from which all other thoughts arise.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“Ego is the biggest enemy of humans. ”
~ Rig Veda
 “When the mind is completely empty –
only then is it capable of receiving the unknown.” ……
“Only when the mind is wholly silent, completely inactive, not projecting, when it is not seeking and is utterly still –
only then that which is eternal and timeless comes into being.”
~ J. Krishnamurti
“To think or not to think,

that is the question!”

“Thinking and Being can’t coexist.

So stop thinking and start Being.
”

“Forget who you think you are

to Know what you really are.
”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Lau Tzu



Cartesian Critique: On Confusing Thinking With Being

Introduction to Cartesian Critique

Dear Friends,

The following Cartesian Critique essay challenges the well-known philosophical proposition deduced and propounded by influential 17th century French philosopher René Descartes –


“I think, therefore I am”
.


Descartes’ philosophy, known as Cartesian dualism, assumed separation between the human body and mind. Although it became very influential in Western philosophy, Cartesian dualism ignored contradictory ancient Eastern non-dualist philosophies of Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism, which have been scientifically validated by 20th century quantum physicists.

This essay (with above and following quotations and comments) explains how Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am” proposition confuses thinking with being; and the ego/mind with universal thoughtless awareness.

It is particularly important in current critical times, when humans are the only species creating huge ecological and other crises which disrupt and threaten life on our precious planet by mistakenly self-identifying as thought rather than consciousness of thought.

So please reflect on these writings with open and intuitive awareness.

Ron Rattner

Cartesian Critique: On Confusing Thinking With Being.

Descartes deduced his presumed separate existence with thought.
He reasoned: “I think, therefore I am”.

But wasn’t that putting Descartes before his Source?

Isn’t it apparent that we exist when not thinking?

Isn’t thinking optional, while Being is perpetual?

Why are we called human “beings”, and not human “thinkings”?

Isn’t existence much more than just thinking?

Don’t we exist in thoughtless states?

Doesn’t Being encompass conscious and subconscious
phenomena beyond thought – like emotions, feelings, sounds,
tastes, sensations, moods, dreams, autonomic processes, etc.?

Don’t all thoughts comprise and concern past ideas,
whereas life is ever lived in the Now,
never in the past or the future?

Aren’t we most aware of our existence
when we are thoughtlessly/choicelessly mindful?

What might Descartes say,
if he were here today?



Ron’s Comments on Confusing Thinking With Being.

Dear Friends,

In these troubled times, the above “Cartesian Critique” essay is shared to encourage and inspire us to transcend harmful egotistic thoughts and behaviors, and to help us live in harmony with each other and Nature.

It questions famous French philosopher René Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am” proposition, and explains how it confuses thinking with being; and the ego/mind with universal thoughtless awareness. 



This essay was composed following my midlife spiritual awakening as consciousness. After that awakening, I accepted Eastern non-duality philosophy which contradicts Descartes’ duality philosophy of body-mind separation. And gradually I realized that “Ego is the biggest enemy of humans”, and that transcending Ego is the ultimate purpose of all enduring spiritual teachings.

So on learning about Descartes’ influential “I think, therefore I am” declaration, I composed the above critique.

From a non-duality perspective, Descartes mistakenly deduced his supposed separate existence with egotistic-thought, which paradoxically placed Descartes before his Source, and violated both Eastern and Western wisdom cautioning against reversing the natural order of things.

For example a Western proverb cautions: “Don’t put the cart before the horse.”

And ancient Taoist wisdom enjoins us to go with the flow, without mental resistance:

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.

Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow.

Let reality be reality.

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

“If you correct your mind,

the rest of your life will fall into place.”

~ Lao Tzu

Conclusion

Honoring the natural order of things is especially important in current critical times, when humans are the only species creating huge ecological and other crises which disrupt and threaten life on our precious planet by mistakenly self-identifying as thought rather than consciousness – as separate from each other and Nature rather than the Source of our existence.

Invocation.

May these writings inspire and encourage us
to not confuse thinking with being;
and thereby to transcend harmful
egotistic thoughts and behaviors,
allowing us to live in harmony
with each other and Nature
in current critical times.


And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

“There is No Death”
a Tribute to Betty Bethards
(9/23/33 – 7/30/02)

“Life is eternal. There is no death. If people correctly understood death, they would no longer have any fear of the unknown”. . . . “What we think of as life and death are merely transitions, changes in the rate of vibration in a continual process of growth and unfoldment.”
~ Betty Bethards – “There is No Death” pp. 90-91
“Overcoming the fear of death changes our whole perspective on life. Everything we do and think and feel takes on new meaning. When we realize that we are not limited by the physical, we begin to get the idea that we are really master of our own destinies and we more fully align ourselves with the eternal nature of our beings.”
~ Betty Bethards – “There is No Death” pp. 82-83
“As we lose our fear of leaving life,
we gain the art of living life.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“To be afraid of dying is like being afraid of discarding an old worn-out garment.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
“In order to know through experience what happens beyond death,
 you must go deep within yourself.

In meditation, the truth will come to you.”

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


Betty Bethards (9/23/33 – 7/30/02)


“There is No Death” a Tribute to Betty Bethards (9/23/33 – 7/30/02)

Ron’s Introduction.

Dear Friends,

On this twentieth anniversary of my friend Betty Bethards’ transition, it is my privilege and pleasure to honor her retrospectively as one of the spiritually most important people in my life.

I met Betty soon after my 1976 rebirth experience, when attending her Inner Light Foundation lectures. I was then a busy lawyer seeking social justice for others. She was a prominent Bay Area meditation teacher, psychic/mystic counselor, healer, and author.

Betty had just published and was discussing her first (and still important book) “There is No Death”. My autographed copy of that book is inscribed with her powerful perennial wisdom words that have helped me and many others: “Death is but a bridge to life!”

From 1976 until Betty crossed that bridge to life twenty six years later, we had a harmonious rapport and important spiritual friendship. After retiring as a lawyer I became a spiritual philosopher, poet and writer and began The Perennial Wisdom Foundation, which sponsors this website where I’ve been continuing to publish spiritual memoirs, as an elder student on the path.

At almost age 90, I’ve decided to augment my prior tribute to Betty Bethards by recounting (before I cross “the bridge to life”) some specific ways in which her teachings and friendship have significantly furthered my spiritual evolution.

So this twentieth anniversary tribute to Betty still highlights her history and teachings about why “There is No Death”, but also hereafter includes previously unpublished explanations and incidents of her transformative role in my life.

The beginning pages of this tribute were originally sourced in July 2017 from prominent near death authority and author Kevin R. Williams, whose main posting about Betty Bethards remains online at this link together with my original tribute to Betty. Mostly they include excerpts (below) from Betty’s book, There is No Death, in which she gives her description of what happens when we die.

Because I’ve always appreciated Betty’s wisdom expressed in down-to-earth, pithy yet clear and simple language, I have recommended her books and audio recordings which are still available from Inner Light Foundation P.O. Box 750265, Petaluma, CA 94975, (707) 765-2200.

Also her books are sold by Amazon (and other sellers). They include Seven Steps to Developing Your Intuitive Powers, From My Heart to Yours, Be Your Own Guru, and Techniques for Health and Wholeness. Further you can still buy Betty’s book Sex and Psychic Energy, which apparently Elvis Presley was reading in the bathroom when he died of a heart attack at age 42 on 8/16/77.

Betty’s History.

At age 32 Betty was a middle class mother of four boys, and a professional bowler, when she experienced a transformative classic near death experience long before the term NDE was coined and widely publicized by Dr. Raymond Moody, Jr.. She described her NDE experience in her first published (and still important) book “There is No Death”. Because her main aspiration in life was to help others, she wrote and talked about death and dying to comfort the bereaved and ailing.

“There is No Death” was especially powerful because it came from Betty’s dramatic experience of surviving apparent physical “death” and her continuing communications with supposedly deceased souls, including her two eldest sons who later died in Viet Nam and in a California motorcycle accident. Also it recounts inspiring true stories about how people who consulted Betty transcended their fear of death.

Before we met, Betty had formed the Inner Light Foundation [ILF], promoting development of individual spirituality. For many years, she spoke monthly at local SF area church venues and gave psychic readings with mystic counseling at her North Bay foundation office. Raised as fundamentalist Baptist she ultimately gave universal spiritual teachings encompassed by most enduring religious paths, and she became an exemplar and channel for the path of Love.

Rather than promoting herself as a leader, Betty tried to teach others to develop their own spiritual potentials. Thus one of her nine books was titled: “Be Your Own Guru”. Others included: “Techniques for Health and Wholeness,” “Seven Steps to Developing Your Intuitive Powers,” and “The Dream Book,” interpreting over 1,600 dream symbols, and helping readers to remember and find guidance and inspiration from their dreams.

Once when I was invited by Betty for a private New Years Eve dinner at her home in Petaluma, I learned that she had received as a gift – apparently from the Dalai Lama of Tibet, whom she’d never met – a beautiful Tibetan hand crafted mandala scroll or thangka.

Thereafter, though many people regarded Betty a teacher of ‘meditation for the middle class’, I called her a ‘Baptist Bodhisattva’, who humbly and without self-aggrandizement was lovingly dedicated to helping all sentient beings develop their spiritual potentials. Her energy field was so palpably powerful that many people often felt uplifted just being in her presence.

Since Betty’s July 2002 transition, her teachings still bless this world. And her transformative work may be continuing ‘from the other side’.

And so may it be!

Betty’s NDE Story and Teachings Excerpted from “There is No Death”.

Betty Bethards

1. Near-Death Experience.

My first experience with death challenged all my old beliefs about the nature of reality and why we are here in the first place. I learned that if we are ever to come to terms with the meaning of our lives here on Earth, we must understand the meaning of death. Only then can we see it with a total perspective, fitting all the pieces of the puzzle together. Otherwise, nothing makes much sense.

I returned home one night from a bridge game with a burning sensation in my chest and went right to bed. An hour later I awoke to find myself hovering over the bed about two feet above my body. A voice said to me, “You’re going to be very sick with pneumonia. Get to a doctor”. [After two doctor visits which did not help her, she ran a temperature of 103 to 105 degrees and was on the road to death.]

Suddenly I was twenty feet across the room. Everything I considered “Betty” to be -memory, personality, senses -was looking back at that shell on the couch. I thought, “Gee, she’s sick. I don’t want to go back.”

Then a very gentle voice said from behind me, “You don’t have to go back, but this is death if you choose to stay.”

I had a body which appeared the same, was wearing the same clothes, and was raised about two feet off the floor. I wasn’t frightened at all, but felt wonderfully enveloped in peace. I knew then how Jerry had appeared to me ten years earlier. It was as if I could see things clearly, and knew that there was no such thing as death. I realized then that one never dies, but changes vibrations, and goes on living and learning on other levels.

I really didn’t want to go back. But then I started seeing pictures of my four children flash before me. It was a tricky way to get me to make up my mind to return to the Earth plane and finish what I was supposed to do. I was fine with seeing each child, knowing they could take care of themselves without me, until I saw my eighteen month old son. I knew he still needed me, and at that point I made my decision. I had to go back.

As soon as I thought this, the voice said to me again, “Unless you take an antibiotic within the next twenty-four hours, you will no longer have a choice of whether you wish to remain on the Earth plane.”

It was after this experience that I knew there was no death and that it wasn’t the way I had been taught to believe. I didn’t know how it was, but I was determined to find out. I had to wait two years before the teachings began coming to me.
[Within this period of time, Betty became more and more psychic until she was able to communicate with her spirit guides.]

2. Not the Same For Everyone.

When the soul has been exposed to the opportunities it chose for a particular lifetime, it is allowed a release from the physical body. The soul knows when the time for release has come. Death is easy – life is hard work.

Death is not the same for everyone. It depends upon how you have prepared yourself during that incarnation, how old a soul you are, how evolved your awareness, and what lessons you chose to learn through the death experience. You may have chosen to learn courage and to build strength through a physical death with suffering. People who die slow deaths from such things as cancer or strokes are often givers who have never learned how to receive. Their souls may choose a slow death in order to allow others to give to them. But you can learn your lesson and move beyond the need for pain and suffering in dying. You may, in fact, have chosen a fast and easy death. Either way it is not a punishment, but a process of growth for both you and those around you. It allows you and others to work through difficult situations with kindness and compassion.

3. Seeing the Invisible.

When you approach the time of death, often you’re able to see relatives who have crossed over standing around you. The etheric body slips easily in and out of the physical, and many times a person near-death talks to beings who are invisible to others. Doctors for the most part think you are hallucinating, but you’re not. Whether death comes rapidly or slowly, your loved ones know ahead of time when you are coming, and are there, prepared and waiting, happy that you have been released.

4. The Tunnel and the Light.

First, you may experience your whole life flashing in front of you much as a drowning person reports this experience. Next, you will go through what appears to be a dark tunnel or dark tube which has a very bright light at the end. Most entities are just drawn to the light without anyone saying, “Go to the light.” It’s a past soul memory of having left the body many times, and knowing what to do.

This light is from higher astral levels, and you follow it to the one you have earned. However you have lived your life on the Earth side determines how high you can go into the light on the other side.

There is nothing to fear. You leave your body every night as you enter the sleep state. There is no difference. You cannot be harmed.

Fears are within, and this is why you must work to release yourself from fears on the Earth plane, because you will carry these same fears over to the next dimension. As above, so below!

5. Hanging Around the Living.

Some people may want to hang around their old surroundings on Earth rather than go on to discover for themselves the beauty and wisdom which is offered to them on the other side. This may take a long time, but they are coaxed along slowly. Nothing is forced on a soul, neither attitudes nor understandings. This is why we are always counseled here on Earth never to force our beliefs on another person until one is ready to hear them. The free choice of every individual should be acknowledged.

6. Seeing Loved Ones and Teachers.

When you die you are greeted by loved ones first so that you may understand what has happened. There is a big celebration, like a birthday party, heralding your arrival. Family and friends who have gone on before you are there to celebrate your arrival.

There is always good at the time of your cross-over. Even people who have lived lives of selfishness will know and understand the rejoicing. Whatever you have sown you are going to reap in terms of structuring your experiences and lessons which continue on the other side. But the first few days of cross-over (as you know time on the Earth plane) you are allowed to be with your teachers, and those who have loved you in the past. You are able to see those you left behind and to hear their thoughts and words. The first six weeks we stay very close to our loved ones on the Earth plane.

You are given glimpses of things you expected to see in order to bring you comfort. You may briefly see a teacher you worshipped in your lifetime: Jesus, Buddha, or another guru, according to your expectations. After the first seventy-two hours, however, you are gently brought out of many of your illusions and shown that you have not landed in an ultimate paradise with gold paved streets. Of course you could choose to create these for yourself on this plane, but once you truly understand you would most likely choose to be around that with which you felt most comfortable.

If you don’t believe in God or an afterlife, you will probably be kept in a sleep state for the first two to three day period. You will wake up in a beautiful meadow or some other calm and peaceful place where you can reconcile the transition from the death state to the continuous life. You are given teachings in the hope that you do not refuse to believe that you are dead.

On the other side you see things with a clearer, more objective nature, but you are not given total knowledge because you would not understand it or be ready to use it, any more than while you are here on Earth. We are given knowledge only as we are ready to receive it, whether we are in or out of the body.

7. After the Homecoming.

After the first six weeks the soul meets with what may be called a loving board of directors. It is composed of teachers and other higher beings who have walked with you. These beings help you review your past life, to begin to look at what was learned and not learned, and what you wish to work on or do from this point. No one judges you, and this is important to keep in mind. You are the one that judges yourself and decides what is best for continued growth.

You will be given teachings, training, and anything you need to help you prepare yourself for your next incarnation. But this is not given immediately. You can choose your own pace and need not be hurried through the realms of the next realms. It may take centuries for your soul to know what is best for your development once you return again to a physical body. It may take a great deal of reflection before you determine a purpose and direction for your next sojourn on Earth. Since we reincarnate in groups we usually wait 80 to 120 years before we come back.

Also, as part of your training, you are allowed to watch people on the Earth plane to see how they handle situations when they reincarnate. Very few people in a physical body realize that their behavior is a teaching ground for those who are out of the body.

8. Reviewing Past Lives.

As you are ready, and as you choose, you will be shown your past lives. If you do not believe in reincarnation it may take a long time before you are able to deal with this. Eventually, you must learn to understand yourself in a continuity of growth over many lifetimes. You must recognize all the strengths you have built and all the karmic ties you have created which must be dissolved.

By the time you are given the privilege of reviewing all past lives and integrating the knowledge learned, you will have reached a state of total objectivity. You will feel no remorse or condemnation, but will see it as merely a review of why situations occurred and had to be worked through.

The record of your life is very private. Only those who have walked with you as teachers are allowed to see what is called your akashic (or life) record. If during your lifetime you ask that a psychic tune into this record, he or she will only be given a minimal amount of information from it which is particularly relevant to your immediate problems or concerns.

You, too, can tune into this record through meditation and get insight and clarity on the problems you are dealing with. Your own attunement is much more accurate than asking a psychic or someone else to tell you about yourself. This builds up a dependency. We may need clarity or help at times, but should never develop a dependency on others. Our whole purpose is to gain strength and learn how to make our own decisions.

9. Religious Beliefs.

Your religious beliefs have little to do with what you experience in the transition from one realm to another, except that you would be allowed to see briefly the teacher or guru that you followed. Regardless of cultural or religious beliefs, you will have the same basic experience at death (just as mystics of all great traditions attune to the same universal energy). What counts is what comes from the heart, not what one professes to believe. It means nothing whether or not one was baptized, for example, or whether one has various other rites administered. How ridiculous to rely on meaningless words!

The true meaning of baptism is an initiation of the spirit, an opening awareness to the God consciousness. People receive this inner baptism when they are spiritually prepared.

You will not suddenly be sitting at the feet of a man with a long white beard called God. God is within, whether you are in or out of the body. Your awareness of the God force will not be greater on the other side. If you insist upon searching for God, you will do this for awhile until you get the idea that you are following an illusion. We must go through at least four more realms beyond the astral before we could even begin to understand the energy of the God force. God is love in all religions, so the more we live love the closer we are to God.

10. The Idea of Purgatory.

Catholics understand purgatory as a place or level of consciousness one goes for further understanding. It is an intermediary state that gives one the opportunity to develop further clarity. At first it is like being in fog, just as many people walk around on the Earth plane in a fog. They don’t have the clarity to understand how they are setting their lives.

If there has been much negativity during an incarnation, or a suicide, one must spend some time contemplating what has happened.

It is a holding place where souls who are confused, who do not want to let go of their earthly attachments, or who choose not to grow will remain until such time as they allow themselves to be released to flow once more into the light.

Purgatory is a place of your own making. We see souls who are punishing themselves here on the Earth plane. This continues after death just the same as it would if they were still in the physical body. Many people must suffer in order to feel worth. When they finally learn this is a negative number they are running, they can move on.

11. The Meaning of Hell.

What about the reality of a place called hell? Hell is a level of consciousness which can be experienced in or out of the body. It is a lonely place where one is not allowed to be in communication with anything other than one’s own negativity.

Souls do not enter this level unless they need to experience it for their growth. Many people who commit suicide will have to go through this hell of their own making in order to become aware that this is not what they are striving for. The soul must learn that it does not have the right to take its own life, that it cannot kill, it cannot hurt other people; nor can it judge others for we have no knowledge of what they came back to do and learn.

Many people at one time or another have experienced this plane. Alcoholics going through the DTs and people on drugs, may also see it. It is a plane of total darkness where we must confront the fears we have built within our own minds. Understand that fears have no reality unless we choose to give them reality. As soon as we are able to meet them directly, to face them, they dissipate. This lower level is not for one’s punishment, but rather to provide the opportunity to confront and move beyond the negativity created by oneself.

The hell fire mentioned in many traditions is symbolic of the “kundalini” energy (Holy Spirit, God energy, or Creative energy) that dwells within the seven energy centers or chakras within man. Fire is symbolic of the cleansing and purification of the soul.

The struggle between higher and lower self or what some call God and the Devil causes growth, until finally the negativity or the destructive elements are completely overcome.

12. Laws More Protective.

Through questions and answers I have received information about what it is actually like to be on the other side. First, my channel has pointed out that the laws are much more protective. We need no longer be exposed to both good and evil, for we have already experienced that. We see the bad only if we choose to. Those who are living in harmony will not be imposed upon by the ignorant, but can visit the lower planes to help another if they choose to do so.

For example, if you loved someone who is on a lower vibration than you are, you are allowed to visit anytime you choose by simply lowering your rate of vibration. This may help the entity greatly by encouraging self-love and growth. However, the entity will need to incarnate again on the Earth plane to test out these new lessons, because it is the Earth experience that determines your stage of evolution.

13. Marriage and Unions.

There are unions of souls on the other side, and marriage as such is optional. If couples prefer to remain together they may do so, as long as their interests and growth are taking them in the same direction. If they choose to go in different directions, there are no hurt feelings. There is no possessiveness or demands. You are free to go your own way, in your own time, at your own choosing.

Married couples will be reunited after death, and may choose to stay together if they want to, provided they are on the same level of vibration. This is free will. If you have been married three or four times, you will find that you will want to be with the one whom you truly love. It could even be someone from another incarnation. You will be with those you love, and there is a total merger which is a much higher experience and a deeper love bond than anything you can know on the Earth plane.

This total merger is like stepping inside one another’s auras, a total blending of energies. It’s a way of expressing love and sharing. What you know on Earth as a sexual relationship takes the form of a higher merger of souls. There is no need for sexual organs on the other side unless you choose to have them. For this merger of energies is far superior to the physical mechanics of the sexual experience. This merger is not limited to husbands and wives, but may be experienced by any two souls who are loving and caring.


2022 Tribute Addendum: Ron Rattner’s explanations about Betty Bethards’ transformative role in his life.

Dear Friends,

To illustrate how my spiritual friendship with Betty Bethards helped transform my life, here are a few important examples:

1) Losing fear of death

“Overcoming the fear of death changes our whole perspective on life. Everything we do and think and feel takes on new meaning. When we realize that we are not limited by the physical, we begin to get the idea that we are really master of our own destinies and we more fully align ourselves with the eternal nature of our beings.”
~ Betty Bethards – “There is No Death” pp. 82-83

Betty’s wisdom (as summarized in her above quote from “There is No Death”) and my own awakening experiences helped me gradually lose all fear of death and recognize death as a bridge to eternal life. And as I lost the fear of leaving life I gained the art of living life.

2) Learning importance of ever elevating our energies and of honoring energy sensitivities

Betty taught and demonstrated how our energies affect every aspect of our lives; that our lives keep improving as we elevate our energies. And because she exemplified these teachings, she helped to energetically inspire me and many others to develop our infinite potentials. Her energy field was so palpably powerful that many people often felt uplifted just being in her presence.

Though I appreciated Betty’s uplifting energies many times, I had only one unforgettably extraordinary energy experience which happened after I visited her one morning as a patient at the San Francisco University of California Hospital where she’d just had surgery. Her energy field was so powerful that it must have lit up that whole hospital ward.

That afternoon I took my young son Joshua (who was an ardent SF Giants fan) to Candlestick Park to watch a Giants home game. We had lower grandstand seats on the 1st base side of home plate. After visiting Betty my energy field had become so immense that I could sense energies everywhere, as far away as the outfield bleachers. It was so gigantic that I could feel not only every movement of pitchers on and near the pitching mound but I actually could feel their pitched baseballs speeding toward batters and catchers.

But for being lit up Betty Bethards that wouldn’t have happened; and but for her teachings I might not have honored that unforgettable ‘peek’ experience, and many others which are summarized in my memoirs chapter titled Extraordinary Energy Experiences

3) Honoring God as Love

In “There is No Death” Betty Bethards taught that

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

Although Betty was raised as fundamentalist Baptist she ultimately became an exemplar and channel for the path of Love. Thereby she inspired me and countless others who aren’t great saints to honor God by living as Love.

4) Learning about Saint Francis of Assisi and his peace prayer

Betty Bethards helped motivate me to learn about and regularly recite the peace prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi, by whom I’ve become immensely inspired.

When I moved from Chicago to San Francisco in 1960, as a secular Jewish lawyer, I was mostly uninformed about religions other than Judaism, and I knew almost nothing about great saints. Even though Saint Francis of Assisi was patron saint of my new home, I remained ignorant of his hagiographic story until after my profound spiritual opening in 1976.

Since then, through vivid visions of past lives as a Franciscan friar, and teachings of Betty Bethards, I’ve become instinctively identified with and become most inspired by Saint Francis of Assisi – of all great and famous Western saints and sages. On attending Betty’s Inner Light Foundation 1976 lectures, I was taught and began regularly reciting the extremely inspiring “make me an instrument of Thy peace” prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi. The prayer and discussions at Betty’s programs motivated me to begin and keep learning about that great Saint.

Thus that peace prayer became and remains (after over forty years) a deeply instinctive and energetically elevating daily spiritual practice. And I’ve been gradually transformed from identifying as secular Hebrew social justice lawyer to an ardent devotee of Saint Francis of Assisi and (like Francis) becoming a lover of Jesus – history’s greatest social justice reformer.

5) Valuing loving psychic insights

To help ordinary people, Betty Bethards demonstrated extraordinary psychic abilities which I’ve learned to recognize and value in others. Soon after I began learning about Saint Francis of Assisi in 1976, I synchronistically visited a hundred year old SF woman who was freely channelling psychic information to help others. Without my telling her about them she perceived and named my two best friends, and told me about their feelings toward me. Then amazingly she gave me confidential information about Saint Francis in my possible future life. So from Betty Bethards and others I’ve learned to value psychic insights offered with love.

6) Honoring Universal Perennial Wisdom

In 1978 after being inspired by Betty Bethards to honor God as Love beyond any religion, I met a hundred year old Hindu holy man and Guru whose rare demonstration of “signs and wonders” inspired me to receive his shaktipat initiation (like a baptism), and for many years to become a “Born-Again Hindu”.

Like Betty, my beloved Guruji also emphasized the importance of regular meditation and of realizing God as Love beyond rules or religions. So I began learning about Eastern spiritual teachings which all emphasized identical perennial principles. And I learned of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, a 19th Century Hindu Saint, whose life and teachings – like those of Saint Francis of Assisi – have instinctively inspired me more than those of any other saints.
(See Discovering and Honoring Devotional “Holy Fools” )

After retiring as a lawyer in 1992, I became a spiritual philosopher, poet and writer and began The Perennial Wisdom Foundation, which sponsors this website where (as requested by my Guruji) I’ve been continuing to publish spiritual memoirs to help others.

Betty’s simple and small Inner Light Foundation (more than any other charity) was a model for my Perennial Wisdom Foundation whose slogan is “Timeless Wisdom For Every Age”

May it continue helping others until and after I cross the bridge from this precious lifetime.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner