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Sutra Sayings

Why Do We Suffer?

“Suffering is the way for Realization of God.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.”
“In Buddhism, ignorance as the root cause of suffering refers to a fundamental misperception of the true nature of the self and all phenomena.”
“We must recognize that the suffering of one person or one nation is the suffering of humanity.”
~ Dalai Lama
“All the suffering in the world comes from seeking pleasure for oneself.
All the happiness in the world comes from seeking pleasure for others.”
~ Shantideva (Buddhist master)
“True freedom and the end of suffering is living in such a way
as if you had completely chosen whatever you feel or experience at this moment. This inner alignment with Now is the end of suffering.”
“When you are suffering, when you are unhappy, stay totally with what is now. Unhappiness or problems cannot survive in the Now.”

~ Eckhart Tolle
“No pain, no gain!”
~ Proverb
“Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.”
~ Buddhist saying
“Pain is a relatively objective, physical phenomenon;
suffering is our psychological resistance to what happens.
Events may create physical pain, but they do not in themselves create suffering. Resistance creates suffering. Stress happens when your mind resists what is…
The only problem in your life is your mind’s resistance to life as it unfolds.”
~ Dan Millman
Q. “How Can We End Suffering?
A. Be a Buddha, be a Tara;
Say sayonara to samsara.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“In the school of life we suffer
to learn compassion for those who suffer.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“Compassion is born from understanding suffering.
We all should learn to embrace our own suffering,
to listen to it deeply, and to have a deep look into its nature.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
“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
“You may die a hundred deaths without a break in the mental turmoil. Or, you may keep your body and die only in the mind. The death of the mind is the birth of wisdom.”
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
“All formations are ‘transient’ (anicca); all formations are ‘subject to suffering’ (dukkha); all things are ‘without a self’ (anatt ). Corporeality is transient, feeling is transient, perception is transient, mental formations are transient, consciousness is transient. And that which is transient, is subject to suffering. ”
~ Buddha
“When another person makes you suffer,
it is because he suffers deeply within himself,
and his suffering is spilling over.
He does not need punishment; he needs help.
That’s the message he is sending.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering.
Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
“Suffering is not holding you. You are holding suffering.
When you become good at the art of letting sufferings go,
then you’ll come to realize how unnecessary it was
for you to drag those burdens around with you.
You’ll see that no one else other than you was responsible.
The truth is that existence wants your life to become a festival.”
~ Osho
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.”
~ Helen Keller
“My dear son, be patient, because the weaknesses of the body
are given to us in this world by God for the salvation of the soul.
So they are of great merit when they are borne patiently.”
~ St. Francis of Assisi, The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls;
the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

~ Khalil Gibran
Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind.
~ Aristotle
“[I]f the mind is attentive and does not move away from suffering at all, then you will see that out of total attention comes not only energy…but also that suffering comes to an end.”
“…when you suffer, psychologically, remain with it completely without a single movement of thought… Out of that suffering comes compassion.”
~ J. Krishnamurti
”As you would not like to change something very beautiful: the light of the setting sun, the shape of a tree in the field, so do not put obstacles in the way of suffering. Allow it to ripen, for with its flowering understanding comes. When you become aware of the wound of sorrow, without the reaction of acceptance, resignation or negation, without any artificial invitation, then suffering itself lights the flame of creative understanding.”
~ J. Krishnamurti
“It is the truth that sets you free and not your effort to be free.
Suffering is but intense clarity of thoughts and feelings which makes you see things as they are.”
“I maintain that truth is a pathless land,
and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever,
by any religion, by any sect.”
~ J. Krishnamurti


Shakyamuni_Buddha.


Introduction.

We are living in very stressful times with billions of people worldwide now enduring great stresses and sufferings. This posting is dedicated to helping us lessen our sufferings, and to enjoy increasing happiness despite unavoidable worldly problems and turmoil. Although many of the cited and discussed ideas are from Eastern teachings, they apply to all human suffering in this ever changing world.

Why Do We Suffer?

Q. The Buddha taught that human life entails unavoidable suffering (duhkha), but that we can be freed from suffering. Why do we suffer, and how can we be freed from suffering?

A. We suffer from ignorance (avidyâ) of our of our true self-identity and ‘reality’, and from our consequent unskillful thoughts, words and deeds, which subject us to the law of karma. Suffering ends when ignorance ends; ignorance ends gradually with experiential Self knowledge that we are Infinite Potentiality beyond conception, rather than merely mortal and limited persons.

Although enduring spiritual traditions propose different methods for attaining such Self knowledge, they can not bestow it, but only point to the Self realization goal. Moreover, each person is unique, with a unique perspective and unique karmic history. So different practices may apply to different people.

An often recommended method for overcoming such suffering is mindful introspection to identify, realize and transcend our unskillful inner tendencies.  Such attention and realization can gradually decrease and ultimately free us from mental suffering.


Ron’s Commentary on Why We Suffer

Dear Friends,

I feel privileged to share with you a profound colloquy about why we suffer between two of the greatest Indian spiritual teachers of the 20th century:
Sri Ramana Maharshi, and Paramahansa Yogananda.

On Nov. 29th, 1935, Yogananda made a pilgrimage to holy Mt. Arunachala to meet Sri Ramana.  During most of that day Ramana sat silently.  However, he responded to a few questions from Yogananda, as follows:

Yogananda
How is the spiritual uplift of the people to be effected?
What are the instructions to be given them?
 

Maharshi: They differ according to the temperaments of the individuals and the spiritual ripeness of their minds. There cannot be any instruction en masse. 

Yogananda: Why does God permit suffering in the world? Should He not with His omnipotence do away with it at one stroke and ordain the universal realization of God? 

Maharshi: Suffering is the way for Realization of God. 

Yogananda: Should He not ordain it differently? 

Maharshi: It is the way. 

Yogananda: Are yoga, religion, etc., antidotes to suffering? 

Maharshi: Who suffers? What is suffering? 

(Without responding to these rhetorical questions, Yogananda paused, arose and, prayed for Sri Ramana’s blessings for his own mission.)

Discussion of why “Suffering is the way for Realization of God.” 

Many years ago, as I was being treated for painful left leg injuries by Taoist master and Doctor of Chinese Medicine Sifu Wei Tsuei, I had an unforgettable experience.

During an acupuncture treatment, Sifu suddenly inserted a large metal needle into my left buttock, and I loudly exclaimed in pain, “OUCH!”. Whereupon Sifu responded,


“No pain, no gain!”


Then he quietly continued his treatment, which proved quite helpful.

Thereafter I often reflected on the wisdom of Sifu’s words, “No pain, no gain”, and learned they are a popular proverb. With human bodies we experience inevitable physical pain, which can be a crucial catalyst and incentive for spiritual evolution. As stated by another popular Buddhist proverb: 
“Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional”.

Though we may not be free to choose our sometimes painful outer circumstances in life, we are always free to choose our psychological attitude about those circumstances.

Thus every painful earth life experience which induces an elevated attitude can be a disguised blessing furthering our spiritual evolution, and our ultimate transcendence of psychological suffering. And, the greater such suffering, the greater its potential blessing.

The foregoing important quotations and brief essay help explain why we suffer and how we can transcend psychological suffering. They are spiritual teachings which can help us suffer less, and live ever happier lives. So I urge our deep reflection on them.

Moreover, as mindfully we experience ever less suffering and ever more happiness, it becomes possible for some of us to realize that everything in human life is an enormous blessing. For example, renowned master mythologist, author and teacher Joseph Campbell taught that

“Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not.
The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes.”


Invocation.

May our ever expanding and disciplined inner acceptance of inevitable outer problems, and our heartfelt compassion for the sufferings of all other sentient beings, motivate us to constantly

Remember with gratitude,
life is beatitude,

even its sorrows and pain;

For we’re all in God’s Grace,

every time, every place,

and

Forever (S)HE will reign!


And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

Let’s Leap To Quantum Consciousness

“Concerning matter, we have been all wrong.
What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.”
“There is no place in this new kind of physics both for the field and matter, for the [Quantum] field is the only reality.”
~ Albert Einstein
“With quantum theory we have to leave behind our naive picture of reality as an intricate clockwork. We are challenged by quantum theory to build new ways in which to picture reality, a physics, moreover, in which consciousness plays a central role, in which the observer is inextricably interwoven in the fabric of reality.”
~ Adam McLean
“Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
~ Albert Einstein




Ron’s Introduction to Let’s Leap To Quantum Consciousness

The following visionary poem was composed many years ago as I was imagining blessings to be enjoyed when, at long last, with elevated quantum consciousness human societies, institutions and enterprises function democratically, holistically and cooperatively for the benefit of all life everywhere.


Let’s Leap To Quantum Consciousness

Imagine how blessed our lives would be
If everyone could really See

How everything is energy.

So, let’s take a quantum leap:

From particle to wave,
From lost to saved,

From I to Thou,
From then to Now,

From doing to Being,
From having to Seeing,

From ego to Soul,
From part to Whole.



Ron’s audio recitation of “Let’s Leap To Quantum Consciousness”

Listen to



Ron’s explanation and dedication of
“Let’s Leap To Quantum Consciousness”


Dear Friends,

For millennia mystics have recognized the permanent impermanence of all forms and experiences in our space/time energetic ‘reality’ – an insight now confirmed by quantum physicists.

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

A century has passed since Einstein’s revolutionary relativity theory revealed to us that “reality” can’t be reduced to objects or entities in space. Yet culturally we’ve kept acting as if this is so – habitually clinging to a false Newtonian materialistic worldview that sees everyone and everything as discrete and separated by apparently immutable boundaries.

Nonetheless, we are inevitably evolving into the light of creation: from a Newtonian “reality” of polarized duality, to a quantum “reality” of holistic connectedness; from either this or that, to this and that are ONE.

Synchronistically, current unprecedented worldwide dystopian restrictions of civil and human rights, and threats of imminent ecological, biological or nuclear catastrophe jeopardizing earth-life as we’ve known it, also provide to our species (which allowed or caused these dire problems) exceptionally urgent incentives to resolve them forthwith from elevated heart levels of quantum consciousness.

Invocation.

May the above poetic vision help inspire and encourage our evolutionary transformation and realization of open-hearted human societies infused with loving quantum consciousness, blessing and benefiting all life everywhere.

And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

Discovering How Consciousness Holographically Projects ‘Reality’
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“Objective reality does not exist” ….
“the universe is fundamentally a gigantic … hologram”
~ David Bohm
“We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.

With our thoughts, we make the world.”
~ Buddha
“We human beings consider ourselves to be made up of “solid matter.”
Actually, the physical body is the end product, so to speak, of the subtle information fields, which mold our physical body as well as all physical matter. These fields are holograms which change in time (and are) outside the reach of our normal senses. This is what clairvoyants perceive as colorful egg-shaped halos or auras surrounding our physical bodies.”
~ Itzhak Bentov -“Stalking the Wild Pendulum”
Q. Does Objective Reality Exist… Or Is The Universe A Phantasm?
A. “What is ‘there’ is actually a holographic blur of frequencies, and if the brain is also a hologram and only selects some of the frequencies out of this blur and mathematically transforms them into sensory perceptions, what becomes of objective reality? Put quite simply, it ceases to exist. As the religions of the East have long upheld, the material world is Maya, an illusion.”
~ Michael Talbot – “The Holographic Universe”
“What appears to be a stable, tangible, visible, audible world, is an illusion. It is dynamic and kaleidoscopic — not really “there”. What we normally see is the explicit, or unfolded, order of things, rather like watching a movie. But there is an underlying order that is mother and father to this second-generation reality.”

~ David Bohm
“The very study of the physical world leads to the conclusion that …. consciousness is an ultimate reality and, all the possible knowledge, concerning objects can be given as its wave function”

~ Eugene Wigner, Nobel laureate physicist and co-founder of quantum mechanics
“Every particle of the world is a mirror.
In each atom lies the blazing light of a thousand suns.”
~ Mahmud Shabestari, Sufi Mystic, 15th century
“Reality isn’t real.”
“Reality is a holographic theater of the mind.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
Theory of Everything:
E = mc2 = Consciousness = Self.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Fractal


Discovering How Consciousness Holographically Projects ‘Reality’

Introduction.

After the unforgettable inner experience of seeing my thoughts manifest as separate kaleidoscopic thought-forms outside my body or brain, I deeply intuited that thought was the genesis of all phenomenal reality. [See Beginning a New Year and a New Life With a New Mystery] But I had no idea of how that could happen, and became quite curious about any such “creation” process.

Ask and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find. Synchronistically I was gradually given answers which confirmed my initial intuition about the origin of manifest ‘reality’. I had no computer then, or mathematical or scientific background or aptitude, so most of what I was learning came synchronistically, intuitively, and from Eastern mystical teachings, which previously were completely unknown to me.

And gradually I also became acquainted with ‘cutting edge’ scientific models of holistic reality.

In 1977, on recommendation of Dr. Lee Sanella – who later led me to Guruji – I attended lectures by Itzhak Bentov, unconventional Israeli engineer, inventor, adept inner explorer, and whimsical artist, who was then proposing a scientific approach to understanding consciousness in his wonderful book called Stalking the Wild Pendulum: On the Mechanics of Consciousness.

Bentov’s talks and book proposed a scientific and holographic model of the universe consistent with his mystical insights, and with my mysterious psychic and clairvoyant experiences. Bentov suggested that all manifestation results from oscillating electronic fields; that humans are multi-dimensional electromagnetic holograms mentally generating interference patterns with all other manifest consciousness in the universe, and thereby holographically experiencing various apparent realities. Bentov proposed that the universe and thought are inseparable, and that the thoughts of all human beings affect each other and in turn the whole universe.

Until then, I had never heard of holograms and didn’t clearly understand what Bentov was saying about them. But I had previously channeled that “This world is wrought with naught but thought”, and I intuited Bentov’s credibility and authenticity, and was inspired to better understand his ideas about holograms. And soon thereafter that happened.

With my children, I visited The Exploratorium, a wonderful San Francisco science museum, which “coincidentally” then had an exhibit explaining and demonstrating holography, including an amazingly lifelike three dimensional holographic display of Holstein cows. From that exhibit I began to understand holograms. And on viewing the lifelike holographic Holstein images I became intuitively and irreversibly convinced that Bentov’s holographic hypothesis was correct; that our entire universe is an immense holographic informational field, a virtual consensual reality perceived and experienced by each of us – as Universal Awareness energy vortices – from infinite perspectives.

Later, in early 1981, I had an amazing “peek” experience in a meadow on Mount Shasta wherein with microscopic/x-ray vision I holographically beheld images of saintly beings in every atom of every cell of every blade of meadow grass. [See A Magic Mushroom in a Magic Meadow on a Magic Mountain]

Afterwards, I became acquainted with the cutting edge holographic theories of Dr. David Bohm, a foremost theoretical physicist, who had worked closely with Albert Einstein and had advised the Dalai Lama and J. Krishnamurti on theoretical physics. Though I did not read Dr. Bohm’s books, I listened to him in masterful radio interviews by my friend Michael Toms, of New Dimensions Foundation, where I was a Board member for approximately twenty years.

In 1991, Michael Toms also interviewed Michael Talbot, author of an exciting new book entitled “The Holographic Universe” which eloquently summarized and augmented Dr. Bohm’s holographic explanation of reality with holographic brain theories of Stanford neurophysiologist Dr. Karl Pribram, of which I was previously unaware.

Working independently in the field of brain research, Pribram had also become persuaded of the holographic nature of reality. He theorized that the human brain can be modeled as a hologram wherein memories are encoded not in neurons, but in patterns of nerve impulses that crisscross the entire brain in the same way that patterns of laser light interference crisscross the entire area of a piece of film containing a holographic image.

As a sensitive and talented intuitive with a history of many paranormal and mystical experiences unexplained by conventional science, Michael Talbot’s life experience enhanced his insight into the significance of the Bohm and Pribram scientific theories. Talbot concluded that holographic theory could scientifically explain psychic phenomena. *

Fascinated by Talbot’s ideas*, I eagerly read “The Holographic Universe” and more than ever before accepted holographic theories of “reality”, both intuitively and scientifically.

Beyond my intuitive insights, the information in Talbot’s book convinced me that universal consciousness projects space-time/causality “reality” holographically, and that holographic theory can largely explain ‘paranormal’ phenomena and mystical experiences, yet unexplained by conventional science. Since reading Talbot’s book I have continued to explore cutting edge scientific explanations for our “universe” without yet discovering any idea that has changed my insights about the holographic nature of space/time reality.

In 1893, Swami Vivekananda came to the West from India and eloquently explained to Westerners how according to ancient Indian Advaita philosophy this impermanent and ever changing world is an unreal illusion called “maya” or “samsara”; he equated maya or samsara with “time, space, and causation”, explicating that


“Time, space and causation are like the glass through which the Absolute is seen. In the Absolute there is neither time, space nor causation.”


And Vivekananda presciently predicted Western scientific confirmation of the ancient Vedic non-dual philosophy of One Infinite Existence beyond relative reality. [See Epilogue – below]

Thereafter, in 1916, Albert Einstein revolutionized Western science with publication of his general relativity theory that “mass and energy are both but different manifestations of the same thing”; that there was an equivalence between all matter and energy in the universe, quantifiable by the simple equation e = mc2. But Einstein’s non-mechanistic science has been very difficult for Western materialist minds to comprehend because his mystical view questioned the substantiality of matter and the ultimate reality of space, time and causality. Gradually, however, we are seeing the fulfillment of Vivekananda’s prediction as more and more Western scientists like Einstein verify the accuracy of the ancient Vedic science.

Like Vivekananda and the ancient Vedic seers, Einstein questioned the ultimate reality of space, time and causality. He said:

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


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


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

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





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



And like the ancient Vedic inner explorers, Einstein intuited and venerated an ultimate universal Reality beyond time, space, and causation, saying:

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


Conclusion.

It is with deepest veneration of THAT Infinite Existence beyond relative reality, these memoirs are offered with the heartfelt prayer that Humankind shall soon realize at long last that – as Swami Vivekananda eloquently observed –


“…this separation between man and man, between nation and nation, between earth and moon, between moon and sun . . does not exist, it is not real” ; and that “Your own will is all that answers prayer, only it appears under the guise of different religious conceptions to each mind. We may call it Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, but it is only the Self, the ‘I’.”

* Footnote.


Here is an excellent article, THE UNIVERSE AS A HOLOGRAM, written by Michael Talbot which summarizes his ideas about holographic reality. Also, you can now find on-line rare audio and video interviews of Talbot, who died at age 38 shortly after the 1991 publication of this book. And you can obtain mp3 interviews from New Dimensions Media.


Epilogue.

Swami Vivekananda’s 19th century prediction of Western scientific confirmation of the ancient Vedic non-dual philosophy of One Infinite Existence beyond relative reality is more and more proving prescient in the 21st century.

As Nikola Tesla foresaw:

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena,

it will make more progress in one decade
 than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”

~ Nikola Tesla

Both mystics and quantum scientists now say that all the forms we perceive and call “reality” are impermanent – ever appearing and disappearing beyond time and space; and that “consciousness is fundamental”.

“I regard consciousness as fundamental.
I regard matter as derivative from consciousness.
We cannot get behind consciousness.
Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

~ Max Planck, Nobel Prize-winning physicist
“Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.”

~ Niels Bohr

Thus, more and more non-material scientists have begun confirming – like Einstein – that our perceived ‘separation from each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.’

Moreover, in recent years even many conventional scientists are now seriously entertaining – and some are accepting – what is widely known as “The Simulation Hypothesis”: that “reality” is like a computer-generated simulation. (See “Samsara 3.0”: The Simulation Hypothesis)


Free Will or Fate?

“Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end,
by forces over which we have no control.
It is determined for the insect, as well as for the star.
Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust,
we all dance to a mysterious tune,
intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.” . . . .
“Human beings in their thinking, feeling and acting are not free but are as causally bound as the stars in their motions.”
~ Albert Einstein
“The assumption of an absolute determinism is the essential foundation of every scientific enquiry.”
~ Max Planck
“God alone is the Doer.
Everything happens by His will.”

~ Ramakrishna Paramahansa
Q. “Are only the important events in a man’s life,

such as his main occupation or profession, predetermined,

or are trifling acts also, such as taking a cup of water or

moving from one part of the room to another?”

A.  “Everything is predetermined.”

~ Ramana Maharshi 
“[T]here cannot be any such thing as free will; the very words are a contradiction, because will is what we know and everything that we know is within our universe, and everything within our universe is moulded by the conditions of space, time, and causation. Everything that we know, or can possibly know, must be subject to causation, and that which obeys the law of causation cannot be free.”
“The only way to come out of bondage is to go beyond the limitations of law, to go beyond causation.”
“This is the goal of the Vedantin, to attain freedom while living.”
~ Swami Vivekananda – Karma Yoga
“In Hinduism, the very idea of free will is non-existent,
so there is no word for it.
Will is commitment, fixation, bondage.” . . . .
“To be free in the world you must be free of the world.
Otherwise your past decides for you and your future.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“There is only one central issue, crisis, or challenge for man,
which is, that he must be completely free.
As long as the mind is holding on to a structure, a method, a system, there is no freedom.”
~ J. Krishnamurti
Ultimate freedom is not
freedom of choice,
but freedom from choice.
Ego is free to choose,
but is never free.
Self does not choose,
but is ever free.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Every Cause has its Effect;
every Effect has its Cause;
everything happens according to Law;
Chance is but a name for Law not recognized;
there are many planes of causation,
but nothing escapes the Law.”
~ The Kybalion
“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
“It is true that we are not bound. 
That is to say, the real Self has no bondage. 
And it is true that you will eventually return to your Source. 
But meanwhile, if you commit sins, as you call them, 
you have to face the consequences. You cannot escape them.”
~ Ramana Maharshi
“Nothing perceivable is real. Your attachment is your bondage.
You cannot control the future.

There is no such thing as free will. Will is bondage.
You identify yourself with your desires and become their slave.”

~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Free-will is a non-entity, a thing consisting of name alone.”
“The will of man without the grace of God is not free at all,
but is the permanent prisoner and bond-slave of evil since it cannot turn itself to good.”
“For grace is needed, and the help of grace is given, because “free-will” can do nothing.”

~ Martin Luther – The Bondage Of The Will
In the mind there is no absolute or free will; but the mind is determined to wish this or that by a cause, which has also been determined by another cause, and this last by another cause, and so on to infinity.
~ Baruch Spinoza 
“The only difference between a human being and a stone rolling down a hill, is that the human being thinks he is in charge of his own destiny.”
~ Baruch Spinoza
“There is no such thing as chance;
and what seems to us merest accident
springs from the deepest source of destiny.”
~ Johann Friedrich Von Schiller
“There are no mistakes, no coincidences,
all events are blessings given to us to learn from.”
~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
“Not my will but Thy Will be done.”
~ Matthew 26:39; Luke 22:42
“We must believe in free will, we have no choice.”
~ Isaac Bashevis Singer
“Man plans, God laughs” (Mann traoch, Gott Lauch)
~ Yiddish proverb






Free Will or Fate?

Q.  Do we have free will, or freedom of choice, or is our life predetermined or fated?

A.  Our experience of apparent freedom of choice or of predestiny depends on our evolutionary history and perspective.

In space/time ego/mind causality/reality, most “normal” people experience freedom of choice, and make decisions and plans about ostensible options in their lives. And some people consciously choose the attitude or state of mind with which they experience earth life. Because each person is unique, with a unique evolutionary perspective and personality, we each choose our life experiences differently. And as our self awareness becomes more focused, our free will powers increase.

But according to mystics, our belief in free will is ultimately illusory. For example, both Albert Einstein and Ramana Maharshi have asserted that every detail of worldly life “is predetermined.” And Swami Vivekananda told us that “free will” is a self-contradictory concept; that with worldly will there can be no freedom, which is always constrained by the universal law of cause and effect. Similarly, Vivekananda’s master, Ramakrishna Paramahansa, taught that

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

Enlightened saints, sages, shamans and mystics for millennia have reported attitudinally transcending this ever impermanent world reality, and experiencing it as an illusory play of consciousness, sometimes called ‘samsara’ or ‘maya’. Such masters do not self-identify mentally as only mere mortal embodied beings, but experientially as non-dual universal intelligence or spirit, which is the Source and essence of this ever impermanent world. 


They report realizing experientially – as Albert Einstein explained scientifically – that:

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one;” [that] “space and time are not conditions in which we live, they are modes in which we think”, and [that our separate self-identity] “is an optical illusion of consciousness.” 


They define “freedom” as a timeless non-dual immutable spiritual Reality beyond thought or ego – beyond human comprehension, imagination, description or belief – which can only be known experientially, not mentally or rationally.

Free will requires ego/mind separation in space/time.

Since free will implies separation of one who wills or chooses from the objects of his/her will, there can be no free will or free choice without an imagined or conceived doer or chooser separate from objects of his/her actions or choices. And without time there can be no destiny of any supposedly separate doer or chooser.

Thus, in space/time causality/reality, as long as we self-identify as supposedly separate entities distinct from the apparent objects of our perceptions, choices or intentions, we have apparent freedom of choice, until we transcend separate self-identity and experience existence as universal choiceless and timeless awareness, or consciousness without an object.  [*See footnote]

So

Ultimate freedom is not
freedom of choice,
but freedom from choice.
Ego is free to choose,
but is never free.
Self does not choose,
but is ever free.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


But, our ego/mind exercise of apparent freedom of choice creates karmic causes and conditions which can keep us believing in the “optical illusion” – that we are separate entities rather than ONE infinite Potentiality. And with the law of karma we reap as we sow. According to Swami Yogananda,

“If you sow evil, you will reap evil in the form of suffering. If you sow goodness, you will reap goodness in the form of inner joy.”

With Self realization there is transcendence of illusory separate self-identity; whereupon there remains only Being – only Infinite Potentiality – with no separate someone to will or intend or separately experience anything in time.


Thus, upon total transcendence of separate entity identity, there is no free will or free choice, nor is there time in which karmic fate or destiny unfolds –


Only choiceless “Freedom”,

Ever
 
NOW!

Footnote.

*According to Eastern philosophies, Karma is universal law of cause and effect applied at subtle levels to everything we think, do or say during repeated reincarnations as supposedly separate beings. A similar concept is implicit in Western teachings that we reap as we sow [e.g. Galatians 6:7-9]



Ron’s Reflections on Free Will or Fate.

After my midlife change of life, I reconsidered all prior paradigms about self-identity, reality, free choice or predestiny, and began entertaining intriguing ideas about reincarnation and karma.   After experiencing my self-identity as universal consciousness, gradually I realized that space/time reality – which previously I had considered as the only reality – is an ever impermanent projection of universal intelligence which is the essence and matrix of all worldly phenomena.

Ultimately, I concluded that  space/time “reality” is a digitally preprogrammed simulated world – a “holographic theater of the mind”;
so that space/time “reality isn’t really real”.

But even though it appeared to me that “reality isn’t really real”, like all other “normal” people I’ve lived this lifetime mostly behaving as if this crazy space/time world is very real – yet  ever aware of a deep intuitive aspiration to be ‘in this world but not of this world’.  And I’ve never stopped wondering with great curiosity about how and why space/time reality was created and why we are here.    

For example, on returning to San Francisco from a February 1977 miraculous week in New York  where I amazingly experienced many previously foreseen events, I began wondering:

“What is time?”
“Are there really any coincidences or accidents, 
or is everything that happens to us predestined by laws of causation or karma?”
“Do we really have free will as most people believe?
And if so, what free will?”


Forty years since then, I am still uncertain about answers to those mysterious perennial questions.  But many aphorisms, essays and poems reflecting my theories, intuitions and speculations about them, are posted with apt quotations on SillySutras.com. 

Thus I have posted the above quotations and Q and A essay about free will or fate, proposing that karmically and cosmically our lives are predetermined, but that morally we must live as if we have freedom of choice to heal the world.  

I suggest that cosmically free will is an illusionary aspect of Nature’s predetermined evolutionary ‘incentive system’; that we are subjected to inevitable earthly sufferings which motivate us to transcend them by choosing to improve or peacefully accept our life’s circumstances.  Thus, I think that Nature’s determinism promotes evolution by fating us to make apparent choices, individually and collectively, which ultimately will advance human consciousness until we experientially realize our essential common self-identity beyond death as Infinite Potentiality – Universal spirit, Being, Awareness, Bliss, Eternal Life, Light, LOVE.

Mostly I agree with Einstein’s Mystical Views on Free Will or Determinism: that ‘God doesn’t play dice’, so

“Human beings in their thinking, feeling and acting are not free but are as causally bound as the stars in their motions.” 
[* See commentary footnote]


Assuming predestination while always acting morally can help us find happiness.

Whether or not we agree with Einstein and rare mystics that what happens in space/time reality is like a preprogrammed dream predestined by mysterious karmic causes and conditions, I have found that assuming predestination, while always acting morally, can help us find happiness. We can experience ever growing peace of mind by more and more accepting each moment with the attitude that it could not be otherwise, and that it is happening in the best way and at the best time – as an evolutionary incentive and opportunity. 

Gradually we can thereby accept inevitable difficulties as evolutionary opportunities, without remorse or regret about the past, or worry or fear of the future.  This attitude of assuming everything as predestined has helped me experience ever increasing equanimity and contentment, and to enjoy countless unplanned synchronistic meetings with ordinary people as ‘holy encounters’ with divine beings wearing ‘space/time soul suits’.

Conclusion.

So, whether or not we believe in spiritual evolution or predestiny, I invite your careful consideration of the above quotations and essay.  I hope these ideas can help all of us find increasing happiness by accepting inevitable difficulties as evolutionary opportunities, and by finding blessings in unplanned events and interactions with others.  

And if we do accept predestined karma, let us remember that
when we sow love, we harvest happiness.

Accordingly, (whether or not predestined) I invite you to join with me frequently in the heartfelt affirmation which appears atop every SillySutras.com page.

“Infuse us, enthuse us, and use us, to bless all life as Love!”


And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

Commentary Footnote.

*Until his death in 1955, Albert Einstein rejected the “uncertainty” principle of quantum mechanics advanced by most respected physicists of his time. Einstein stubbornly maintained his view, consistent with ancient mystical insights, that ‘God does not play dice with the universe’; that the principle of cause and effect (or karma) pervades the phenomenal Universe without exception; that the ideas of chance or “uncertainty” arise from causes and conditions not yet recognized or perceived.
Some quantum physicists now suggest that recent non-locality experiments show that Einstein erred in rejecting quantum uncertainty theory; that these experiments support what Einstein rejected as “spooky action at a distance”.  However, it is still possible that quantum physicists’ ideas of chance or “uncertainty” arise from predetermined causes and conditions not yet recognized or perceived by mainstream science.


What is “Reality”?

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
“Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
“There is no place in . . [Quantum] physics both for the field and matter, for the field is the only reality.”
~ Albert Einstein
“Consciousness is always Self-Consciousness.
If you are conscious of anything, you are
essentially conscious of yourself.”
~ Ramana Maharshi
“This whole creation is essentially subjective, and the dream is the theater where the dreamer is at once: scene, actor, prompter, stage manager, author, audience, and critic.”
~ Carl Gustav Jung
“The world, indeed, is like a dream
and the treasures of the world are an alluring mirage!”
~ Buddha
“A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion,
does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.”
~ Buddha
“What appears to be a stable, tangible, visible, audible world, is an illusion.
It is dynamic and kaleidoscopic — not really “there”.
What we normally see is the explicit, or unfolded, order of things, rather like watching a movie.
But there is an underlying order that is mother and father to this second-generation reality.”

~ David Bohm, Quantum Physicist




What is “Reality”?

“Reality” isn’t REAL!

“Reality” – like beauty –
is in the eye of the beholder.

It is a mental concept arising in consciousness,
and projected by the beholding self-awareness
onto certain perceived objects.

As rays of sunlight are in essence
the same as the emitting sun source,
perceived “reality” is in essence
the same as the Awareness
from which it originates.

But, because of the “magic mirror” of mind,
“reality” is mistakenly perceived
and objectified as separate and distinct
from the perceiving subject.

So, isn’t it NOW
time to really realize
that “reality” isn’t really real;

That only Awareness is REAL?



Ron’s Reflections on What is “Reality”?

Dear Friends,

Have you ever wondered what is really  “Real”? –  or “unreal”?
These are crucial questions because our beliefs about “reality” determine our Earth-life experiences.

Today’s What is “Reality”? posting focusses on mystical perspectives of “Reality”.  It can help explain how in our world of duality – of apparent opposites – our projected mental perspectives determine our experience of “reality”.  

“Reality” and “the real world” are  common concepts; frequently used but rarely deeply considered. They mean different things to different people.

According to dictionary definitions, “reality” is that which actually exists as distinguished from that which is merely apparent.   So what in this world actually exists?  And what in this world is merely apparent, like a non-existent mirage or a dream? – or a virtual or simulated reality?

Albert Einstein realized that cosmically everything is energy – e=mc2; so that when we experience as reality our perceived separation from other life-forms, it is is an “optical illusion of consciousness”.   And Einstein said that

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

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

Similarly, Eastern mystics have long revealed from inner exploration that this world is not actually real, but an ‘unreal’ illusion: 


“The world, indeed, is like a dream and the treasures of the world are an alluring mirage!”
“A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real,
so he escapes the suffering.”
~ 
Buddha

Also for millennia, indigenous shamans and mystics everywhere have told us that there is only ONE eternal and immutable Source, of the seemingly countless impermanent forms we perceived as “reality”; that  therefore this  world of apparent multiplicity and separation is merely an ever impermanent dream-like mental projection of That ONE matrix.

“All things come out of the One, and the One out of all things.”
~ Heraclitus, 500 BCE

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

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

“We did not weave the web of life. We are merely strands in it.
All things are bound together. All things connect.”
~ Chief Seattle

“At the center of the Universe dwells the Great Spirit and —
this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.”
~ Black Elk, Oglala Sioux

“This separation between man and man, between nation and nation, between earth and moon, between moon and sun.
Out of this idea of separation – – comes all misery.
But the Vedanta says that this separation does not exist,
it is not real.
~ Swami Vivekananda


Shakespeare wisely told us that


“there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. 

[ Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2]

Similarly, cutting edge scientists increasingly confirm that what appears to us as “real” or “unreal” depends upon our thinking – the projected mental perspectives of those concepts. Also, that the supposedly ‘solid’ Earth reality of our limited perceptions is an ever impermanent energetic illusion – only a virtual, simulated, or relative ‘reality’. (https://sillysutras.com/our-mentality-is-our-reality-quotations-and-reflections/)

Conclusion.
 
Our spiritual evolution is greatly advanced if we realize and remember our true self-identity and “Reality” as universal Awareness or Eternal spirit, not just as mere separate and mortal physical body/minds. Such realization will dramatically transform our Earth-life experience. If we stop separately self-identifying and labeling everyone and everything, it will bestow happier and more fulfilled human lives, with ever expanding compassion for all other life-forms, and with  less suffering from unhelpful worldly emotions, desires and attachments.

In the current “new normal” era, it is particularly important that we end our immensely limiting illusions of self-identity as merely mortal separate entities.

As presciently explained in 1980 by brilliant quantum physicist and Einstein protege David Bohm, our

“widespread and pervasive distinctions between people (race, nation, family, profession, etc., etc.) .. are now preventing mankind from working together for the common good, and indeed, even for survival.”
~ David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980

Thus transcendence of our “optical illusion” of separation has become especially crucial in the current 2020 “new normal” coronavirus era of unprecedented worldwide human deprivations, suffering and turmoil, with extremely imminent threat to survival of life as we’ve known it.

Dedication and Invocation.

Realization that our precious planet is only a virtual or simulated ‘reality’ need not in any way diminish our immense awe and thankfulness for Earth’s magnificence as part of Nature’s miraculous manifestations, well beyond our comprehension or imagination. 

Nor need it detract from our unspeakable gratitude for our experiences in “space/time soul suits” as precious human body/minds – harmonious life-form manifestations of Nature, to be lovingly and skillfully nurtured from our unique perspectives.

So may we find growing happiness and fulfillment in this precious human lifetime, as we ever evolve toward Self-identity as universal Eternal spirit, not just as mere separate and mortal life-forms.

And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

Our Mentality is Our Reality:
~ Quotations and Reflections

“Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.”
~ George Orwell, 1984
“Perception is a mirror, not a fact.
And what I look on is my state of mind, reflected outward.”
~ A Course In Miracles
“We do not see things as they are;
we see things as we are.”
~ Talmud
“Our mentality is our reality.
Our “reality” is what we think it to be.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“All appearances are verily one’s own concepts, self-conceived in the mind, like reflections seen in a mirror. To know whether this be so or not, look within thine own mind.”
~ Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche)
“Objective reality does not exist” ….

“the universe is fundamentally a gigantic … hologram”

~ David Bohm
“Reality” isn’t REAL!

“Reality” is an holographic theater of the mind.”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“As you grow up, you form a mental image of who you are,
based on your personal and cultural conditioning. We may call this phantom self the ego.
It consists of mind activity and can only be kept going through constant thinking. The term ego means different things to different people, but when I use it … it means a false self, created by unconscious identification with the mind. …..


As long as you are identified with your mind, the ego runs your life.”

~ Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

“If the doors of perception were cleansed
everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”
~ William Blake
“If you could get rid of yourself just once,
the secret of secrets would open to you.
The face of the unknown, hidden beyond the universe
would appear on the mirror of your perception.”
~ Rumi
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.
What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
~ Antoine de Saint Exupery
“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart.
Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”
~ Carl Jung
“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;
then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part;
then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
~ 1 Corinthians 13:12
“True vision is insight, not eyesight.
‘[N]ow we see through a glass darkly’,
but with ever expanding human consciousness and ever deepening insight,
we can and shall ‘see’ more and more –
we can and shall see what we couldn’t see before.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“When your sense of self is no longer tied to thought, is no longer conceptual, there is a depth of feeling, of sensing, of compassion, of loving, that was not there when you were trapped in mental concepts. You are that depth.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
“There are two ways of spreading light –
to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.”
~ Edith Wharton
“And we, with our unveiled faces reflecting like mirrors the glory of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image that we reflect.”
~ 2 Corinthians 3:18
“Reality’s essence is Divine luminescence.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings





Introduction to “Our Mentality is Our Reality”.

This poetic essay describes and explains persistent egoic thought processes by which Humankind mentally conceive, label and self-identify themselves as supposedly separate mortal entities in a misperceived space/time “reality”.
It is shared with the aspiration of helping us recognize and reverse these constant ego/mind processes, which inevitably subject us to karmic-causal sufferings and limitations of our inconceivably infinite potentialities. [See e.g. The Way In, Is The Way Out ]

Our Mentality is Our Reality

Through the ‘mirror of the mind’
we think we see space/time “reality” –

as multiplicity of seemingly separate
beings, objects, forms and phenomena.

But our perceptions and self-identifications
as separate mortal entities is a mere mirage;
“an optical illusion of consciousness” .

What we think see is merely our state of mind
reflected and projected outward.

Such illusory vision is invariably obscured and distorted;
it arises from our personal and cultural mental conditioning – our ego/minds.


Ego/minds distortedly refract, reflect and project

onto the ‘reflective’ screen of human consciousness

the unseen light of Eternal Awareness – our true Self.

As Eternal Awareness, what we really see
are ego-minds’ ever conditioned
misperceptions, reflections, and projections.



As a mirror’s reflection depends not only on its optical transparency and precision
, but also on the angle from which it is viewed,

our perception and response to the space/time world,

depends not only on our state of mind,

but on our unique point of view –
 each from a different place in time and space.


As still, clear water best reflects light –

while permitting perception of its depths,

a still, clear mind best reflects and reveals

the invisible Light of Self-awareness.


The fewer our thoughts,
the clearer and calmer our mind,

and the deeper and more transparent our awareness.


The more we think,

the more conditioned, disturbed and perturbed is the mind,

and the more it refracts, distorts and dims the eternal light of pure Awareness.


The clearer and calmer our mind,

the more skillfully we experience

ever changing quantum energies,

without attachment or reflexively reacting to them.

With meditation and other attentive mind-stilling modes,

we can clear and enlighten our mind –


From opacity to translucency to transparency –

from mental mirror to window of the soul.

Thereby, with ever expanding awareness

and ever deepening insight,

We can and shall ‘see’ and be,
more and more –

what we couldn’t see or be
before.


We can and shall see and BE:

Wholeness, Holiness, SELF –
Infinite Potentiality, Awareness, Bliss;
Eternal Peace, Life, Light – LOVE!


And so it shall be!

Ron Rattner


Ron’s Commentary on Our Mentality as Our Reality.

Dear Friends,

Have you ever wondered why the world seems so crazy?  Why so many people worldwide unnecessarily suffer from wars, poverty, illness, lack of basic life-sustaining necessities?  Why even in the richest nation on Earth, suffering is ubiquitous?  Why even materially super-rich people often become depressed, addicted or mentally disturbed?  

For millennia mystic teachers and spiritual scriptures have consistently identified ego/mind as the ‘biggest enemy of humans’. So understanding and eliminating ego has always been of supreme spiritual importance.

But in the current “new normal” coronavirus era of unprecedented worldwide human suffering and turmoil, it is crucial that a “critical mass” of Humankind very soon realize at long last how we are ignorantly and unsustainably creating enormous problems by habitually identifying ourselves with our thoughts.

After my mid-life change of life, I began deeply reflecting on root causes of our pervasive pathologies, individually and societally. In the above essay/poem and quotes, I’ve shared my perspectives about how and why illusionary human perceptions and thoughts are causing extremely psychopathic behaviors which threaten life on earth as we have known it.

If you agree, please consider and share them, to help heal the world.

Conclusion.

In the Bible (1 Corinthians 13:11-12), St. Paul observes that “now we see through a glass darkly”, 
but that some day we shall fully know, as we are fully Known now by the Divine.  Now, we view our “reality” through the ‘mirror of the mind’, which imperfectly refracts and reflects the unseen light of Eternal Awareness onto the screen of our human consciousness.



But, with meditation and other mind-stilling methods, we can and shall evolve and transform our mind mirror, from opacity to translucency to transparency (as ‘window of the soul’).  And thereby, with ever expanding human consciousness and ever deepening insight, we can and shall ‘see’ more and more – what we couldn’t see before.

Invocation.

As ever more we inwardly SEE
May we ever more inwardly BE:

Wholeness, Holiness, SELF –
Infinite Potentiality, Awareness, Bliss;
Eternal Peace, Life, Light – LOVE!

And so shall 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



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

The following poem was inspired by Kahlil Gibran’s masterpiece “The Prophet”, and composed during my extended post-retirement reclusive period of prayer and introspection. It remains consistent with my long-life’s observations and experiences, as I will hereafter explain.

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”:

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

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

Decades after its composition, this poem remains consistent with my long-time experience.

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 revelatory evolutionary process which has opened me to unspeakably expanded faith in Divine providence, and to an elevated ‘attitude of gratitude’– with every day a bonus, and every breath a blessing.

Currently, from my perspective, the extraordinary 2020 post–coronavirus era of anxiety, fear and deprivation of normal activities and liberties has become so hurtful and painful for so many people worldwide that it is about to trigger a societal “tipping point” breakthrough to an elevated heart level of human consciousness, which will hasten our imminent transition to a wonderful “new normal” age of love, peace and justice.  

Hence, from long-time faith-based experience, 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 THAT mysterious “physician within”
which wondrously is healing everyone everywhere
of all afflictions, individually and collectively.

And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

We’re not what we think we are!
~ Advaita-Vedanta* For Dummies

“Consciousness is always Self-Consciousness.
If you are conscious of anything, you are essentially conscious of yourself.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“Personal entity and enlightenment cannot go together.”
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
“You will know the truth, 
and the truth will set you free.”
~ John 8:32
“You are “gods”; you are all children of the Most High.”
~ Psalm 82: 6
“Your own will is all that answers prayer,
only it appears under the guise 
of different religious conceptions to each mind.
We may call it Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, but it is only the Self, the ‘I’.”
~ Swami Vivekananda
Essence Of Advaita
E = mc2 = Consciousness
Subject = Object = Consciousness
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
Theory of Everything:
E = mc2 = Consciousness = Self.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Sri Ramana Maharshi



Ron’s Introduction to “Advaita-Vedanta* For Dummies”

The following poem was composed during my extended post-retirement reclusive period of prayer and introspection. With the above quotations, it succinctly summarizes previously unimagined pivotal insights about our spiritual Self-identity and ultimate Reality realized after my midlife spiritual awakening. I will hereafter comment on these perennially transformative insights.



Advaita-Vedanta* For Dummies

You are not what you think you are:
You are not a person, or a personality.
You are not a body, or a nobody.
You are not your mind, or your thoughts.
You are infinite Eternal Awareness.

You are the screen, not the movie.
You are Rama, not the drama.
You are the glory, not the story.
You are the Whole, not your role.

So, wake up, and  –
Transcend entity identity!

* Advaita means non-dualism: it is
the oldest extant school of Indian Philosophy

Ron’s audio recitation of Advaita-Vedanta For Dummies

Listen to


Ron’s explanation of Advaita-Vedanta* For Dummies

Dear Friends,

We’re not what we think we are; not separate labels, but Universal Awareness!

Until midlife I self-identified only with my mortal physical body, its thoughts and story, and assumed that bodily death ended life.

But I was then blessed with a transformative spiritual awakening, which fundamentally changed my perceptions and perspectives of self identity and reality, bestowing ever increasing happiness and peace of mind. The foregoing quotations and poem succinctly summarize my previously unimagined pivotal insights about our Self-identity and ultimate Reality.

Since launching the SillySutras website in 2010, I have been sharing these insights online with the aspiration of helping others to similarly experience ever increasing happiness and peace of mind by transcending our acculturated mental limitations.

From childhood we have been labeled and  taught to self-identify only with an illusory and disempowering ego image; with a separate name, gender, and story about who and what we are. We are taught that we are each born into Nature as limited mortal beings; but, not that Nature is our nature, or that we are Beings of Light sharing limitless immortal common consciousness with all life-forms.

Thus, for millennia humans’ ignorance of our true identity and immortality, has resulted in our hallucination of separation from Nature, from each other, and from our sole Self and spirit, with consequent destructive insanity, selfishness and suffering. 

Yet, for countless ages sages, seers and mystics have been trying to tell us that we are not what we think we are!  That we suffer from perception-deception – with self-identity and reality not what they appear to be; that it is possible to experientially transcend the inevitable suffering of ordinary human existence through self-realization of and self-identification with an ultimate universal spiritual reality – which is the matrix and common essence of all space-time causality reality.

We are not merely our mortal bodies – their genders, features, colors, religions, beliefs, emotions, habits or stories – or the ‘voices in our heads’.  We are non-dual immortal spirit experiencing fleeting earth lives from infinite perspectives in transitory physical vehicles. 
But we’re all the same ‘under the hood’!  

What we call “death” is just a vacation – immortal spirit vacating temporary physical vehicles.   Cosmically, there is no death or time, just Eternal NOW! 

Conclusion

This mystic message is especially important in these turbulent and troubled times, because it can encourage and inspire us to fearlessly be inner – not outer – directed; and to thereby follow our heart, rather than the frightened herd.

Therefore, I have reposted the foregoing key quotations and Advaita-Vedanta* For Dummies  poem, emphasizing our shared Self identity – as Cosmic Consciousness or Non-Duality Reality.   And I’ve embedded a powerfully inspiring four minute YouTube viral video by rapper *Prince Eo already viewed over 100 million times and titled:

“I Am NOT Black, You are NOT White”


[*Prince Eo a/k/a “Makmantis X” also posted this video on Facebook titled: “This literally made me question everything.” There have been over 100 million YouTube and Facebook views. Prince credits his spiritual perspective to inspiring ancient wisdom texts such as the Tao Te Ching and Bhagavad Gita.]

Invocation

May the above quotations, poetry and video, encourage and inspire us to fearlessly be inner – not outer – directed; and to thereby follow our heart, rather than the frightened herd.

And by so living from inside-out, may we find ever expanding happiness and peace of mind, as we realize and actualize our common Self identity as Infinite Potentiality, Being, Awareness, Bliss; Eternal Peace, Life, Light – LOVE!
 
And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

Crazy World

“‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ said Alice.
‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the cat.
‘We’re all mad here.’”
~ Lewis Carroll
“I have lived on the lip 
of insanity,
wanting to know reasons,
knocking on a door.
It opens.
I’ve been knocking from the inside.”
~ Rumi
Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.
~ Carl Jung
“When the world goes mad,
one must accept madness as sanity;
since sanity is, in the last analysis,
nothing but the madness on which the whole world happens to agree.”
~ George Bernard Shaw
“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. —– They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.”
~ Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority,
but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination”
….
“When we remember that we are all mad,
the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”
~ Mark Twain
“To recognize one’s own insanity is, of course, the arising of sanity, the beginning of healing and transcendence.”
~ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
“It’s no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
~ J Krishnamurti
In this crazy world normality’s insanity,
and silliness is sanity.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings





Ron’s Introduction

The following four-line whimsical poem was composed during a brief midlife period when I felt I didn’t belong here.  After you consider it, I’ll hereafter try to explain it.

Crazy World

I feel like a stranger in a strange world.

This crazy world has driven me sane!

I seek refuge from this crazy world;

I seek a sane asylum.


Ron’s 2020 explanation and dedication of “Crazy World”

Dear Friends,

During childhood my life seemed like a waking dream, most of which I forgot.

Then during adulthood I became a social justice seeker in a perceived unjust and insane society.  But now (at age 87), as I prepare to bid Bye-Bye to the 21st century, I’m again often experiencing this life as an illusory waking dream of an insane world. Yet I still deeply aspire to help those who are suffering in this dream world.

During the 1950’s, I was deeply influenced on reading “The Sane Society” a best-selling book by then prominent German-born psychotherapist Erich Fromm. In it Fromm analyzed the pathology of ‘normalcy’ in Western materialistic societies. He proposed that inequities and disharmonies inherent in entire industrial societies were pathological and lacking in sanity. That they thereby cause alienation, stress and mental illnesses of people comprising such societies. Fromm’s essay synchronistically confirmed my long-time views of the insanity of materialistic society, with its inevitable injustices.  

Long before my spiritual awakening, I had a deep inner instinct to pursue social justice causes, with considerable sensitivity to the “insanity and iniquity of inequity in our society”.   So, in becoming a lawyer and throughout my professional career, my main motivation was to help others; not to become rich or famous.

Then, following my midlife spiritual awakening, I began feeling like Moses in Egypt – like a stranger in a strange land. [Exodus 2:22] For a short time, I felt like I no longer belonged in this crazy world.

But I needed to support my young children, and gradually realized that maybe I might continue helping others better than ever before, because of my discovery of happiness and sanity beyond space/time “reality” normality. As the bible says, eternal happiness or “the Kingdom of Heaven” is beyond this world. [e.g. John 15:19]

The foregoing four-line whimsical poem was composed during the brief midlife period when I felt I didn’t belong here. I’ve shared it aspiring to help expand our experience of inner happiness.
 
Invocation

May the foregoing whimsical poem and serious quotations encourage and inspire each of us to seek and find refuge from this crazy world in an Eternally “sane asylum”.

Thereby may we irreversibly realize that our precious lives here, are like waking dreams – fleeting episodes in an endless play of ever joyous Universal Awareness, our ultimate shared eternal Self–identity.

And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

Ron’s oral explanation and recitation of “Crazy World”

Listen to


Is Personal Perfection Possible?

“Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth
who continually does good and who never sins”
~ Ecclesiastes 7:20
“Were I to await perfection, my book would never be finished.”
~ Chinese Proverb
“Nowadays the world is becoming increasingly materialistic,
and mankind is reaching toward the very zenith of external progress, driven by an insatiable desire for power and vast possessions. Yet by this vain striving for perfection in a world where everything is relative, they wander even further away from inward peace and happiness of the mind.”
~ H.H. the Dalai Lama
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That’s how the light gets in.”
~ Leonard Cohen
“This is the very perfection of a man,
to find out his own imperfections.”
~ Saint Augustine
“The man with insight enough to admit his limitations
comes nearest to perfection.”
~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
“Advance, and never halt, for advancing is perfection.”
~  Kahlil Gibran
“Incarnation is limitation.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
All people are flawed;

none are perfect.

But the most flawed,

are those who think or claim they’re perfect.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings





Is Personal Perfection Possible?

Q. Is personal perfection possible?

A. As Ecclesiastes 7:20 aptly observes:

“There are none on Earth so righteous that they never sin.”

Incarnation is limitation – and fallibility.

We’re here to learn and to evolve,
and evolution toward ‘perfection’ implies imperfection.

So, a perfect person’s not possible.



Ron’s explanation and dedication of
“Is Personal Perfection Possible?”


Dear Friends, 

The forgoing essay and quotations raise an important philosophical question for our consideration:
“Is Personal Perfection Possible?”. 

The idea of “perfection” has different meanings for different people.  But, in our world of relativity and duality “perfection” implies “imperfection”.  You can’t have one without the other. And realizing that all humans are limited or flawed can help us accept others as spiritual siblings – children of the Divine in varying evolutionary stages of opening to the eternal Light of Infinite Awareness.

Upon mistakenly believing ourselves to be mere “mortals” separate from each other and Nature, we become subject to the karmic law of cause and effect.  And we are motivated by inevitable karmic sufferings to evolve beyond our supposed duality; beyond our conceptions of separate perfection or imperfection.  Thus we are advancing toward realization that cosmically we are not separate “persons”, but ONE Eternal Spirit or Infinite Awareness.  

But while we remain mentally caught by karmic cause and effect, we can’t ever achieve individual “perfection”. 

Soon after my spiritual awakening I enrolled in a ‘new age’ seminar called “est”, founded by Werner Erhard, a charismatic and controversial former salesman who claimed to be sharing an esoteric epiphany he experienced while driving across the Golden Gate Bridge.  As discussed in my  Getting “IT” at est  memoirs chapter, the est training planted significant seeds for my spiritual evolution process by presenting some important and intriguing ideas from perennial wisdom teachings, which were then new to me, and which today remain important – like disidentifying with the “voice in my head” and “accepting the present moment”. 

Accepting “what is” NOW in the present moment remains for me a core principle for living a happy life, after over forty years of experience and reflection.  And since 1976 and est, I have repeatedly written about the illusory idea of individual “perfection”, as in the foregoing brief essay/poem and quotations. 

In philosophically reflecting and writing on “perfection”, I have concluded from experience that when we empathetically see all humans as imperfect or flawed it helps us experience ever growing happiness.

So this posting is offered to help us identify all humans as spiritual siblings in varying evolutionary stages of opening to the eternal Light of Infinite Awareness – children of the Divine with whom we are ‘fellow travelers’ on the spiritual path to “perfection” beyond incarnation.  
 
And so may it be! 

Ron Rattner