“And as to me, I know nothing else but miracles.”
~ Walt Whitman
“Synchronicity is choreographed by a great, pervasive intelligence that lies at the heart of nature, and is manifest in each of us through what we call the soul.”
~ Deepak Chopra, Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire
Before January 1, 2000, [the year “Y2K”] there was much societal fear in technically advanced countries about a possible planetary systemic break-down of crucial infrastructure institutions because of computer software bugs which would not facilitate or permit automatic transition to the new year and the new twenty first century.
As Y2K approached, I was then in a period semi-solitude with no computer, TV, or daily paper. So, I was largely insulated from exposure to mass media hysteria.
But, in conversations with friends, I learned enough about the technical facts to become a bit concerned. And, in case dire predictions of systemic failures proved prescient, my conservative lawyer attitude suggested that prudence required me to keep some cash at home.
So as our transition to the twenty first century became ever more imminent, I was thinking about withdrawing some cash from my neighborhood bank. But that trip to the bank proved unnecessary.
Here’s what happened:
One sunny afternoon, after praying and meditating that morning, I began my daily walk by the water in an elevated state of consciousness. As I was walking on a path beside the Bay toward Crissy Field beach, I noticed a small brown paper bag on the sidewalk near a waste disposal container. After walking just past the bag, I intuited that I should pick it up and put it into the trash receptacle. So I turned around, and picked it up.
Feeling something in the bag, I opened it before trashing it. To my amazement, I found ten new one hundred dollar bills in a small envelope, without any identification of the person who had put them there. They became my Y2K stash of cash.
Thus, the universe had provided my Y2K stash of cash with an amazing synchronistic “manifestation miracle”.
Thereafter, despite dire warnings, the new century dawned without great technological turmoil, and the stash of cash proved unnecessary. But it’s amazing synchronistic appearance enhanced my ever abiding faith in the benevolence of the universe. If you had asked me (as Einstein allegedly asked) “Is the universe friendly”, my emphatic answer would have been and still is, “Yes!”
So on New Year’s Day, 2000, I resolved to share my spiritual faith and optimism with others. And I wrote this poem:
[January 1, 2000]
2000 years ago
Master Jesus counseled us
to pray in our closets alone.
But today we feel
a millennial urge
And to live
So, we’re coming out
of our spiritual closets,
to bless all life,
My Y2K stash of cash had quickly manifested following thoughts about it. But only after many more years had elapsed did my millennial “outing” vow ultimately come to pass. And that happened only after the universe had synchronistically re-encouraged my prior determination to emerge from semi-seclusion.
In September, 2009, I received an inspiring astrological reading from Visionary Activist astrologer, Caroline Casey, who I much appreciate. Caroline intuitively and persuasively encouraged me to emerge at long last from my spiritual closet and to share my writings with the world.
Thereupon, with this encouragement from Caroline Casey, I began arrangements and preparations for starting SillySutras.com. The website was launched on May 22, 2010, with my heartfelt gratitude for our ‘friendly’ universe, and with deep aspiration to help bless all Life everywhere therein.
And so may it be!
“We get what we need when we need it.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
Look at the birds of the air;
they do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they?
~ Matthew 6:26
See how the lilies of the field grow.
They do not labor or spin.
Yet I tell you that
not even Solomon in all his splendor
was dressed like one of these.
~ Matthew 6:28-29
But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish of the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know that
the hand of the LORD has done this?
~ Job 12:7-9
A Sunday Synchronicity Story
On a sunny Sunday morning, I awakened to a gorgeous and warm November day. After showering and watering my plants, I dressed and happily walked to the Fort Mason farmers market. After chatting with farmer sellers and shoppers, and filling my cloth shopping bag with some delicious organic veggies, I was ready to return home. But it was just too lovely not to be outdoors.
So I decided to walk out to the end of the San Francisco Municipal Pier, one of my favorite walking destinations. Usually I hike there in the afternoons after eating brunch, my first meal. But daylight savings time had ended and afternoons had been getting cloudy and cool at my usual walking time. So I decided to ‘make hay while the sun shines’ and walk to the pier before eating.
To get from the farmers market onto the path to the pier, I needed to climb up a very steep concrete stairway, perhaps the equivalent of four or five apartment building stories. Gratefully I climbed the stairs with alacrity and walked out onto the pier carrying my bag of veggies, happily chatting with strangers along the way. But as I started going home my body began ‘running out of steam’, since it hadn’t been refueled since Saturday night and wasn’t accustomed to walking before eating.
I decided that I needed to rest somewhere before walking home. So I took a ‘detour’ route into Fort Mason where I planned to sit on a sunny bench in the community garden there. But the detour route required me to climb another steep bank of concrete stairs about as high as the others I’d ascended.
By the time I approached the garden, I was a bit ‘pooped’ and ready to rest for a while to recharge my body’s batteries. Just as I reached the garden gate, I was greeted with a smile by a very friendly lady who was about to leave, and asked: “How are you today?” I told her I had just climbed some steep stairs and needed to rest on the garden bench before walking home.
Whereupon, to my amazement, she asked “would you like me to give you a ride home?” I felt reluctant to impose on her generosity if she would have to drive out of her way to take me home. So I asked where she’d been planning to drive before meeting me at the gate. She said “I’m your neighbor Jan Monaghan, and I’m going to same building where we both live.” Only then, to my embarrassment, did I recognize her. She was wearing sun glasses and a cap, and never before in the twenty five years that we’ve been neighbors had I ever seen her away from our apartment building.
I then promptly accepted Jan’s offer, got into her Honda and was quickly taken home with my bag of fresh veggies. Jan drove right into the garage. So I got out of her car, into the elevator, and rode up to my high-rise hermitage without any further exertion or enervation.
And I ate my late lunch, with ever growing gratitude for this miraculous life and its wondrous blessings.
Moral of the story:
Synchronicities can infuse us with feelings of awe and gratitude for our miraculous and mysterious Life on this precious planet, and remind us that we are part of Nature, interdependent with all Life everywhere.
“Synchronicity is choreographed by a great, pervasive intelligence that lies at the heart of nature,
and is manifest in each of us through what we call the soul.”
~ Deepak Chopra, Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire
“There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
~ Albert Einstein
As explained in other posts, during a traumatic 1976 divorce, I experienced a transformative mid-life spiritual awakening. Two years later, I met a hundred year old Hindu guru, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, and evolved from being a secular Hebrew, to becoming a “born-again Hindu”. Then gradually I developed ever increasing interest and curiosity about Indian spirituality and culture. After a few years, the “universe” presented me with an ideal opportunity to satisfy that curiosity.
In 1981, soon after my beloved Guruji, Dhyanyogi, had returned to India, I met Sant Keshadavadas, a devotional Indian spiritual teacher known as a singing saint. Especially in the absence of Guruji, I appreciated Sant Keshadavadas’ loving demeanor, singing, stories and teachings. So I frequently attended programs at his Oakland, California “Temple of Cosmic Religion”. Thereafter, on learning that Sant Keshadavadas would be conducting a spiritual tour of Indian holy places, I wanted to join that tour.
So after obtaining Guruji’s approval, in January and February 1982, I journeyed with Sant Keshadavadas on a wonderful spiritual pilgrimage to Japan, India and Nepal. That guided tour was, and remains for me, the most important trip of my lifetime.
Never before had I been in a land with such a palpably spiritual ambiance as I experienced everywhere in India. Our tour group crossed the length and breadth of that vast country (mostly by airplane and local buses) visiting many spiritual shrines and meeting saintly beings, like Mother Teresa and Satya Sai Baba. And I had numerous wondrous experiences. (In other chapters I have recounted some of those experiences.)
Ten years after that trip, in 1992 I retired from law practice and returned to India to pay my respects to Guruji, who at age 114 requested that I write and publish my spiritual memoirs. Though initially bewildered by this request, I knew that such memoirs needed to describe experiences during my 1982 ‘trip of a lifetime’. But I hadn’t kept a diary during that pilgrimage trip, and had to rely mostly on memory to tell about it.
Thereafter, many years passed during which I lived in introspective semi-seclusion, without a TV, computer, newspaper, or radio news of the “real world”, meditating, praying, seeking philosophical answers to ultimate questions, and “enlightenment”. During these years I did not yet feel ready to honor Guruji’s request that I write and publish my spiritual memoirs. But I was always mindful of the importance of fulfilling his wishes.
More than twenty years after my ‘trip of a lifetime’, while thinking about Guruji’s request, I discussed it with two long-time spiritual friends. I told them that while I was delaying in writing and publishing my spiritual memoirs they were being edited by time, as my memories waned. And I expressed concern about whether I could remember sufficient details of the 1982 pilgrimage to India, suggesting that my friends might be able to help me remember stories I had previously shared with them.
Thereafter, within a couple of weeks, the universe produced an amazing double synchronicity – two “manifestation miracles” which re-kindled memories of that momentous trip.
Here is what happened:
One afternoon while walking to the Marina Green adjoining San Francisco Bay I intended picking some dandelion and fennel leaves for my salad. But as I passed across the street from the Marina Safeway supermarket, I realized that I’d forgotten to bring a plastic bag in which to carry my ‘harvest’. After momentarily considering a detour into the Safeway, I decided instead to keep my eyes peeled for stray small bags which then commonly could be seen blowing around in the public park area where I was walking.
Soon I saw at a distance on the sidewalk ahead of me a white plastic bag, and presumed that it was just what I needed. But as I approached it, I saw that it was far too large for my purposes – a Bed & Bath bag rather than a Safeway bag. So, rather than leaving it cluttering the sidewalk where it might be blown into the water, I decided to put the plastic bag into a nearby waste dumpster.
I picked up the bag, walked a few a yards to the dumpster, and opened the dumpster lid prepared to discard the bag. But I was diverted by a surprising sight. Clearly visible, at the very top of the refuse pile in the dumpster, were about a dozen commercial VHS video tapes, which I began to examine with curiosity. If I’d come sooner, the tapes probably wouldn’t yet have been discarded; if I came later they’d probably already be covered over with much more trash, and not be visible.
As I looked at the video titles, I saw that they all seemed related to spiritual subjects that interested me, like yoga. Though never before a ‘dumpster diver’, I decided that I’d like to take all those videos home and check them out.
Thereupon, I wondered momentarily how I could carry them. Then, remembering the large plastic bag that had led me to the dumpster, I laughed as I realized that the universe had not only led me to the videos, when they were clearly visible, but also had provided me a bag perfectly sized to carry them home. So I put them in that bag, which when loaded became quite heavy.
So, unable to continue walking as planned, I returned home with the heavy bag of videos but without dandelion or fennel for my salad. At home I discovered to my amazement that the universe had just produced perhaps the most extraordinary “manifestation miracles” of my life.
On examining the videos, I found one titled “Call of the Flute – Spiritual Journey To India And Nepal”*. To my delight and amazement, I discovered that it was all about my 1982 pilgrimage to India with Sant Keshavadas.
And then I remembered that a team of professional videographers, led by a devotee of Sant Keshavadas, David Karp, had accompanied our tour group. Apparently afterwards they had produced and distributed this one hour documentary video for display on some non-network and cable television outlets. I had never acquired a copy of the video, and don’t recall ever before seeing it.
Yet somehow, over twenty years later, a copy of that video had synchronistically manifested for me in a Marina garbage dumpster which I unexpectedly visited at a rare time when videos were visible at the top of the garbage pile, and when I had just found a plastic bag large enough to carry them home.
And on viewing the video at home I found that it included numerous scenes which had been filmed when I was present, thus serendipitously rekindling memories of that momentous trip, and fulfilling my recently expressed desire for such reminders.
Who can explain such synchronicity “miracles”? Nonetheless, despite their mysterious origins, such synchronicities can fill us with feelings of awe and gratitude for our miraculous life on this precious planet, and remind us that we are part of Nature, connected and interdependent with all Life everywhere.
Einstein once observed that: “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” As I have been ever more blessed by such noteworthy and amazing “coincidences”, they ever more inspire and infuse me with heartfelt gratitude for the grace of this lucky life, and for the omnipresent but ‘anonymous’ Divine Source – The Lone Arranger – of all appearances therein.
*Videographer David Karp has generously permitted me to share with you on You Tube this documentary video, which so miraculously manifested for me just when I was trying to recall details of our 1982 pilgrimage to India and Nepal.
“Wait for me here by the way,
whilst I go and preach to my little sisters the birds.”
~ St. Francis of Assisi, Little Flowers of St. Francis
“You should love everyone because God dwells in all beings.”
“Have love for everyone, no one is other than you.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa
“All things are our relatives;
what we do to everything, we do to ourselves.
All is really One.”
~ Black Elk, Oglala Sioux
“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
“We did not weave the web of life.
We are merely strands in it.
All things are bound together. All things connect.”
~ Chief Seattle
“The heart has its reasons that reason does not know.”
~ Blaise Pascal
A Magical Sea Gull Friendship ~ Ron’s Memoirs
After living alone for over forty years, I cannot remember any recent time when I’ve felt lonely or bored. Though I very much enjoy and require regular interactions with people, animals and nature, I’m invariably happy and savor solitude whenever I am alone at home.
However, soon after my 1976 divorce there were many times when I felt quite lonely and craved adult companionship and social contact – especially on weekends when I was alone and not working.
Gradually, such feelings of loneliness faded away and finally disappeared. And I preferred being alone – while in my apartment and while regularly jogging or walking along the Bay or in nature places, like the Point Reyes National Seashore.
Moreover, with continuing spiritual practices and amazing synchronicities, more and more I experienced a subtle connection with everyone and everything, and realized that at a subtle level I was never really alone.
The last time I recall feeling rather lonely in my apartment was just after my beloved Guruji – Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas – returned to India in 1981. Until his departure, he and his entourage had been living with me for several weeks.
He was then constantly attended by several people who also slept in my apartment. And many others came every day as helpers and visitors.
Never before or since then has my apartment been the scene of so much activity, with so many people. Never before or since then has my apartment had such a palpably powerful and magnetic spiritual ambience.
Then after Guruji’s departure, in abrupt contrast to the period of his visit, I was suddenly living all alone again without any human company, and without Guruji’s extraordinary shakti energetic presence.
So, at first, I felt somewhat lonely – especially missing Guruji’s powerful presence. But, soon thereafter, I had an amazing synchronistic experience which assuaged my loneliness feelings, and which reminded me that I’m never really alone.
Here is what happened:
One lovely weekend morning, I arose from an extended period of prayer and meditation in my living room, unknowingly in an elevated and abstracted state of awareness. It was a beautiful sunny day, without any fog obscuring my panoramic view of the Golden Gate and the Bay.
Then, looking far westward toward the Golden Gate bridge I saw glimmering in the sunlight a distant lone white sea gull gracefully flying and hovering in the wind currents.
While gazing at that delightful scene in a ‘spaced out’ state and uninhibited by ordinary limiting beliefs about “reality”, I silently and spontaneously asked the sea gull:
“Oh beautiful bird, won’t you please come here and visit me?”
And almost immediately the sea gull obliged.
It banked, turned and flew from far away directly toward me until it landed and perched on the West deck railing of my apartment, just a few feet away from where I was beholding it through a floor to ceiling living room window.
The sea gull and I gazed at each other for a few moments. Then I silently asked:
“Dear sea gull, please let me feed you; please fly to that North window that opens, so I can give you some food.”
And again the bird obliged.
It flew about thirty feet from the West railing where it was perched in front of me, to a concrete ledge, just outside the only ventilation window on the North side of my living room. Then, I walked near the sea gull’s new resting place, and already having established communication, I again silently asked it:
“Now, dear sea gull, will you please wait there until I can find some food and feed you?”
And again the bird obliged. It remained on that ledge until I found some bread and seeds, opened the North window, and fed it. Finally, after eating, the bird flew away. But that didn’t end our magical new relationship.
Not only did my new sea gull friend later return for a few more feedings, but for several months it often ‘reciprocated’ my kindness by treating me to extraordinary aerobatic displays.
Just as captive dolphins or other marine mammals might constantly swim round and round in their confining pool or tank, my sea gull friend often visited me by flying round and round a large open space between the front of my twelfth floor apartment (on the north side of my high-rise apartment building) and a row of five high-rise buildings half a block away on Vallejo street.
All of these extraordinary sea gull visitations happened when I was alone in my apartment, except one. On one occasion the bird appeared when I had a visitor from out of town, my friend Steve, who like me was both a lawyer and an initiate of Guruji.
After Steve witnessed my sea gull visitor, I remembered that Guruji once told us that some advanced yogis have the ability to enter or possess bodies of other creatures, even scorpions in caves conducive to meditation. So I wondered then whether Guruji had sent that sea gull to assuage my feelings of loneliness on his departure.
But, however it happened, the sea gull experience proved a crucial blessing because it synchronistically bestowed an important evolutionary insight about how our concepts of “reality” determine and disrupt our ‘relationship’ with Nature.
My communication and communion experience with the sea gull happened because I was in an elevated, open-hearted, and intuitive state of consciousness uninhibited by ordinary limiting beliefs about “reality”, and about our apparent separation from other life-forms.
Thus, that unforgettable experience demonstrated our human potential to intuitively feel loving oneness with all of Nature. It was a dramatic reminder of our cosmic consciousness connection with all seemingly separate life-forms.
As Einstein observed, “Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
Throughout human history indigenous societies have intuitively revered and communed with all of Nature. In such societies, my sea gull experience might have been considered quite ‘normal’, not at all unusual or noteworthy.
But in our present technological age, most humans have lost their innate ability to be attuned and harmonious with all of Nature. So, paradoxically, it is only our species – the species which considers itself most advanced – that is causing serious natural disruptions, disharmonies and ecological crises.
Like my sea gull friend, other creatures without any conceptions about “reality” are spontaneously harmonious with Nature.
So I view my sea gull communion experience as symbolic of our ever innate human potential – and urgent ecological imperative – for returning to an elevated heart level of awareness from which spontaneously, intuitively and harmoniously we shall honor and cooperate with Nature, thus allowing all life everywhere to survive and thrive.
And so it shall be!
“And as to me, I know nothing else but miracles.”
~ Walt Whitman
“Synchronicity is choreographed by a great, pervasive intelligence that lies at the heart of nature, and is manifest in each of us through what we call the soul.”
~ Deepak Chopra, Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire
All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.
In deciding to move to San Francisco from Chicago I was attracted by San Francisco’s climate, physical beauty and ambiance. Within its boundaries there are more than fifty hills, several islands, and significant stretches of Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. So, some lucky San Franciscans enjoy wonderful views from their dwellings and working places.
When Naomi and I arrived in San Francisco in 1960, I was immediately attracted to view places, especially places with Bay and Golden Gate views. Though Naomi did not seem to share my great aesthetic appreciation of view places, our first tiny apartment was situated atop Buena Vista hill, and enjoyed a lovely Southeast panoramic city and Bay view. But we soon outgrew that apartment and rented a larger place in a more elegant neighborhood, without any view, where we resided for most of our remaining fifteen married years. But I never lost my love of view places, and ultimately rented law offices with lovely views.
Upon divorce, I moved into a one room furnished studio apartment without a view, intending later to find a larger unfurnished view apartment. My studio apartment was in a very large high-rise building with a magnificent panoramic view from its roof deck, which I sometimes enjoyed. When standing on that roof, I noticed a few corner apartments in the high-rise building across the street, with obviously wonderful views of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge.
“The people living in those view apartments are lucky,” I thought, without imagining myself as a fortunate one of them. I remained in the studio apartment for over two years planning, but not actively trying, to move.
One morning as I left my studio apartment and was about to walk to work I met in the elevator, Mark, an upstairs neighbor and real estate lawyer. Mark offered me a ride to the financial district which at first I declined, telling him I preferred walking. But he persisted and urged me to join him – and I agreed. Whereupon he told me that before driving, he was going across the street (to 1998 Broadway) for a few minutes to register on a waiting list for an apartment rental there. And at his request, I accompanied him.
As we walked across the street, Mark told me that all apartments at 1998 Broadway were soon going to be converted from rentals to condominiums. He said he was registering to rent because tenants would be given the first option of purchasing their rented apartments, a good “investment” opportunity. Then he importuned me to also register for an apartment there.
Until this time I had been so occupied with my law practice and in adjusting to life as a single person, that I hadn’t yet looked for an unfurnished apartment. And I wasn’t then in the mood to do so. So at first I was reluctant to register for an apartment across the street before evaluating possible alternatives. But Mark explained that registering for an apartment at 1998 Broadway would not oblige me to take any apartment offered to me.
So I followed Mark’s well meaning advice and told the office manager that I too wished to be wait-listed for an apartment. She asked me whether I wished a one, two, or three bedroom apartment and if I had any other requirements. Without thinking I responded, “whatever first becomes available”.
Many months passed. I met Dhyanyogi, was fully occupied with personal and professional activities, and had almost forgotten about that apartment waiting list. Then I was surprised by a call from the 1998 Broadway building manager informing me that an apartment had become available for me.
She said she needed to rent it promptly and that she was calling me because she had been unable to contact Mark, who was ahead me on the waiting list, but out of town. I told her I’d call her back later in the day. Only after confirming that Mark was traveling abroad and was unreachable, did I tell her that I would promptly come to see the newly available apartment.
Miraculously, it was one of those few view apartments that I had noticed from the roof of my building across the street. It was apartment #1204 with two bedrooms and two baths, and the fourth best Bay and Golden Gate Bridge view in the entire 82 unit building.
On beholding the panoramic view, I immediately signed rental papers, and soon moved into apartment #1204. But, I felt concern about Mark, who was my benefactor but had missed this opportunity. However, the universe soon assuaged my concern. Shortly after Mark returned to San Francisco, he was called to rent an apartment above mine, #1404 with an even more panoramic view. I was happy that the waiting list sign-up thus turned out to be very lucky for both of us.
But renting my view apartment was only the beginning of this “manifestation miracle”. After I had been renting the apartment for about a year, Mark’s prediction of potential apartment ownership proved prescient. All tenants were notified that there were new owners of the building who intended converting it to condominiums.
Under San Francisco ordinances at that time, the new landlords were required to obtain majority tenant ratification of their conversion subdivision plans. So a tenants’ committee was organized to negotiate with the new owners. Mark and I were then the only lawyers in the building, and were asked to help with our legal skills. I agreed, but Mark was mostly busy with other matters.
After spending much time in legal research and in personally checking building records at City Hall and at the Department of Public Works, I discovered some significant “loop holes” enabling the tenants to exert much unforeseen bargaining power with the new landlords.
Ultimately, my legal work enabled the tenants’ committee to negotiate significantly reduced proposed purchase prices for those who wished to buy their apartments, plus generous bonuses for tenants who elected to move-out. I believe that aggregate value of these price reductions and move-out bonuses was about $2 million.
Tenant negotiators Alyce and Leonard Brown told me that the negotiating committee intended to accept the landlord’s latest offer, and invited me to attend their final meeting with the developer and his attorney. At the meeting, to my amazement, the committee informed the landlord that his latest offers of price reductions and move-out bonuses were acceptable, only subject to one further condition – that he pay Ron Rattner a very large specified fee for legal services rendered to the tenants.
The landlord immediately agreed to this condition, and I soon received, for legal services which I had intended as a pro bono gift to all my neighbors, what proved to be the largest legal fee of my entire professional career. That fee not only covered my condominium purchase down-payment but much of the rest of the purchase price as well.
For over thirty years the apartment has been the happiest dwelling place and best financial investment of my adult life. Moreover, in 1981, my apartment was the last place in the USA where Guruji stayed before returning to India.
His presence was another great gift, and it imbued the apartment with lasting spiritual energies and “good vibes” in addition to its wonderful view – all of which have continuously nurtured my spiritual evolution during a long and transformative life period.
So, I consider my condominium “high-rise hermitage” a synchronistic gift from the Universe and an important “manifestation miracle”, for which I remain ever grateful.
“From wonder into wonder existence opens.”
~ Lao Tzu
“We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts, we make the world.”
“Life will give you whatever experience
is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
“Whatever we think, do, or say,
changes this world in some way.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
Synchronistic “Manifestation Miracles”
After many years of reflection, I’ve become convinced that my life has unfolded and evolved perfectly, as if a Divine novelist was writing Ron’s life-plan script. Accordingly my attitude toward life’s inevitable ups and downs has become that everything happens for the best – to promote our evolution; that in every adversity there is an evolutionary opportunity. (See https://sillysutras.com/ive-found-a-faith-based-life/)
Also, I now believe that I’ve been and am now continually blessed and guided by frequent ‘miraculous’ synchronicities – premonitions and meaningful or noteworthy apparent coincidences in time – which Western science can’t yet explain. Therefore, in these memoirs I’m sharing with you some of those synchronicities.
For many years after my midlife spiritual awakening – beginning with a three month period of extraordinarily high energy – such synchronicities have included numerous amazing mystical and psychic experiences elsewhere described.
I learned from my Guruji, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, that many of these experiences could be considered manifestations of an autonomic kundalini purification process; an evolutionary process enabling us – each in our own unique way – to live happier and more meaningful lives, and thereby to further evolution of all life on our precious planet with which we are inseparably connected.
Virtually all of my many synchronistic experiences have happened unexpectedly. They have been noteworthy because they were surprising, and often meaningful.
But, in recent years, one type of synchronicity experience – manifestation of desired circumstances or artifacts – has happened so often that I am no longer so surprised by such experiences. However, they remain for me frequent meaningful reminders of our miraculous relative reality and of our blessed life therein, for which I am unspeakably ever grateful.
I haven’t sought psychic powers – and am wary that they can be ego traps – so I haven’t consciously willed such experiences. Yet, frequently some circumstance has fortuitously arisen, or some person or artifact has appeared in my life, fulfilling a wish or perceived need. And sometimes I have perceived such synchronicities as significant spiritual experiences.
The most important of such spiritual experiences was the inner appearance of Guruji and my later synchronistic meeting with him. This happened only after I wholeheartedly began seeking answers to spiritual mysteries arising in my life, had discovered a deep inner yearning for God, and had intuitively begun reciting a Sanskrit Ram mantra.
Probably my most amazing synchronicity experience happened while I was taking a daily walk toward San Francisco Bay, more than twenty years after my 1982 “trip of a lifetime” spiritual pilgrimage to India. At a time when I was trying to recall details of that journey, I found in a garbage dumpster a rare documentary video about that pilgrimage of which I was previously unaware. See https://sillysutras.com/synchronicity-story-miraculously-manifesting-memories-of-a-spiritual-pilgrimage-to-india-and-nepal/
One of the most noteworthy synchronistic circumstances not apparently associated with my spiritual longing, but with an aesthetic longing, was the fortuitous manner in which I found my spectacular San Francisco view condominium and later acquired it as an almost free gift from the Universe. I have now resided in that apartment for over forty years, as a high-rise hermitage, and it has been the happiest dwelling place of my adult life. So elsewhere I’ve shared the story of how it was virtually given to me.
Also, I now have in my lovely dwelling place dozens of previously desired items: plants, furniture and clothing items, other artifacts, and (formerly) even a ‘stash of cash’, all of which I unexpectedly found or received after wanting them. I call these experiences “manifestation miracles”.
Such “miracles”, which are happening continually and with ever increasing frequency, are far too numerous for me to recall and recount. But, in addition to my dumpster and condominium stories, I have recounted other memorable synchronistic “manifestation miracles” which are emblematic of this phenomenon, and which have been especially noteworthy for me.
(* See footnote)
These spiritual memoirs stories are shared, as requested by my Guruji, to help inspire our faith that life always gives us whatever experiences are appropriate for advancement of our happiness and spiritual evolution.
And so may it be!
*For example, see my previously posted essays on synchronicity. These include A Stash of Cash For Y2K – a “Manifestation Miracle”. And see Apples and The Road Not Taken, a synchronicity story about a “manifestation miracle” involving my unforgettable friend Carol Schuldt.
“Crying to God for five minutes is equal to one hour of meditation.”
“The state that we attain by calling and crying to God is equal to the bliss that the yogi experiences in samadhi.”
~ Mata Amritanandamayi (Ammachi)
“The fruits of the inner man begin only with the shedding of tears.
When you reach the place of tears,
then know that your spirit has come out from the prison of this world
and has set its foot upon the path that leads towards the new age.”
~ Saint Isaac of Nineveh
After receiving shaktipat from my venerable Hindu Guru, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas (Guruji), I entered a new life phase as a devotional “born-again Hindu”, and for many years thereafter I faithfully followed Guruji’s kundalini maha yoga practices. But, especially after Guruji returned to India in 1980, I synchronistically met and spent memorable time with other spiritual teachers, in addition to Guruji’s successor, Shri Anandi Ma, while always maintaining my heartfelt inner relationship with Guruji – above all other teachers.
So in writing these memoirs, as requested by Guruji, it is appropriate that I tell you about some of these other teachers.
Elsewhere I have described my 1982 India pilgrimage experiences, including my darshan with Sathya Sai Baba. I told how Sai Baba hit my head three times uttering ”Enough!” ”Enough!” ”Enough!” while I was crying uncontrollably; that I was left in a state of confusion about my pronounced devotional crying tendencies. (see https://sillysutras.com/darshan-of-sathya-sai-baba-rons-memoirs/)
My confusion about crying for God lingered until it was memorably dispelled years later during darshan of another well known spiritual personality – Mata Amritanandamayi or Ammachi – now known for hugging millions of people worldwide.
Here’s what happened.
Crying Darshan With Mata Amritanandamayi [Ammachi].
After returning from the 1982 India pilgrimage I occasionally meditated at the San Francisco Sai Baba Center. Early in 1987 Timothy Conway, a friend and former president of that center, called asking if I would host at my apartment a program about an Indian woman spiritual teacher, Amritanandamayi or Ammachi, who was then largely unknown in the US. He explained that Ammachi would soon be making her first US visit, and that a small group of her devotees from India were seeking a San Francisco venue for an advance promotional program about her; that as a favor to them he was calling me since Sai Baba Center rules precluded holding the program there.
At that time I was living in semi-seclusion and had hosted no large gatherings in the seven year period since Guruji left my apartment. Guruji was eternally enshrined in my heart, but I remained open to learning from other spiritual teachers. So I hosted at my high-rise hermitage the first San Francisco public program about Amritanandamayi, at which some of her earliest devotees shared films and stories about Ammachi’s unusual history and devotional path. One of them, Neal Rosner (Nealu), Ammachi’s first Western male disciple, had just published a memoir which I acquired and read.
I learned then that Ammachi had been an abused child of an Indian fisherman’s large family in a remote and primitive village in Kerala; that after constantly calling and crying for the Divine, she had manifested many extraordinary spiritual tendencies and that, ultimately she had become a noteworthy trance channel displaying Krishna and Kali energies or moods (bhavas) to the enthrallment of villagers and visitors, some of whom – with her encouragement – had begun considering her a saint or avatar.
Thereafter, on Ammachi’s arrival in the Bay area, I attended one of her first public darshans at which I unforgettably learned about her devotional path of crying for God. Unknowingly I had been following that path since my spiritual awakening. (see https://sillysutras.com/kundalini-crying-for-god-and-other-kriyas-rons-memoirs/ )
By that time I’d become a spiritual friend of pundit Pravin Jani, father of Guruji’s successor Shri Anandi Ma. Pravinji had moved with his family from Bombay to Berkeley, and together we attended an Ammachi darshan at a small house in Oakland. On our arrival, the darshan room was filled with others and there was little remaining seating room. So we sat in a far corner of the room behind the elevated throne-like chair where Amma was receiving visitors with hugs and compassionately answering their spiritual questions.
As I sat in that warm spiritual ambience I experienced a heartfelt meditative state, and tears began trickling – not ‘torrentially’ but steadily. On observing Amma hugging each person who approached her, I felt content to sit and savor that devotional environment, with tears constantly seeping from my often closed eyes. But I was not inspired to go up up for a hug.
After so sitting for some time without intending to approach Amma, one of her attending swamis came and aroused me from my meditative state, quietly saying “Mother asks that you come up for darshan.” Respectfully, I complied with that request, anticipating a quick hug and, perhaps, some blessed fruit (“prasad”). But that is not what happened.
Instead, while lovingly embracing me in her arms and then in her lap, with my tears still seeping, Ammachi gave an extended discourse on the evolutionary importance of crying for God. (Her words spoken in Malayalam were translated by a swami.) After perhaps twenty minutes she concluded her talk referring to me still in her embrace, saying: “If you can cry like him, you’ve won the spiritual sweepstakes.”
The Path of Tears.
Dramatically encouraged by Ammachi, I never again doubted the immense blessing of my spontaneous devotional longing and crying for the Divine. And with curiosity sparked by Ammachi’s discourse, I later found similar teachings from other spiritual teachers in various traditions. (see https://sillysutras.com/the-emotion-devotion-crying-for-god/ ) Especially resonant were teachings of nineteenth century Indian holy man Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, with whom I had developed inner rapport after my unforgettable 1982 deja vu experience at his Dakshineswar residence place.
Ramakrisha, who had cried torrential tears for the Divine Mother, taught:
“[I]f you weep before the Lord, your tears wipe out the mind’s impurities of many births, and his grace immediately descends upon you. It is good to weep before the Lord.” – “Devotional practices are necessary only so long as tears of ecstasy do not flow at hearing the name of Hari. He needs no devotional practices whose heart is moved to tears at the mere mention of the name of Hari.”
After receiving shaktipat initiation from Guruji and the spiritual name “Rasik” – “One engrossed in devotion”, I had continuously kept yearning and often spontaneously calling and intensely weeping for the Divine. So, encouraged by Ammachi, Ramakrishna and others I was much attracted to Ammachi’s path of heartfelt singing and calling to the Divine, and was strongly motivated to see her again. And I did.
Years of tears with Ammachi.
For the next seven years after that first darshan I saw Ammachi during her bi-annual visits to the US and, in her absence, I often attended meditation programs at her nearby San Ramon ashram. Also, on my retirement, in February 1992 for several weeks I visited Ammachi’s Kerala, India ashram, since my daughter Jessica was then an ashram resident known as “Yogini”.
Though often I cried intensely for the Divine at Ammachi’s darshans, unlike most others there I usually was not motivated to receive her hugs. But in her presence I enjoyed marvelous devotional meditations, with tears, laughter, singing, and occasional spontaneous dancing to Amma’s bhajans. Thus through Ammachi I received bountiful blessings for which I am eternally grateful.
Prelude to a new life era.
At first I experienced an exceptionally powerful devotional ambience around Ammachi. And I was much moved by her soulful singing of bhajans calling to the Divine. However, my experience of devotional blessings around Ammachi and my enthusiasm for her darshans gradually diminished and eventually ended in distressing disillusionment.
After a while there seemed to be less and less pure heartfelt energy coming to me from her music and her presence. Ultimately it seemed that the music degenerated from being powerfully authentic to almost banal.
And as Ammachi attracted more and more followers, I perceived a growing cult of personality and materialistic atmosphere around her which greatly agitated and offended my pronounced egalitarian inclinations and aversions to spiritual organizations emphasizing “adulation of the incarnate” over “adoration of the Infinite”.
Also, though initially I always had felt energized by Ammachi’s darshan environment, after a while subtle energies there were more and more flowing from me, rather than to me. So, unlike my experience with Guruji, I was sometimes enervated rather than elevated after Ammachi darshans. This was especially noteworthy when I visited Ammachi’s Kerala ashram in 1992.
Moreover, I ultimately learned of private behaviors associated with or sanctioned by Ammachi which contradicted and belied her outer image and public pronouncements, and which so greatly disturbed me that I began regarding her as a flawed or false guru and not as a purported divine incarnation or avatar. (see Epilogue)
But like my traumatic marriage dissolution, the traumatic dissolution of my faith in Ammachi has proven to be a great disguised blessing which sparked an important new transformative life phase of reliance on inner rather than outer authority. (see e.g. my essay “I’ve Found A Faith-Based Life”)
Because I spent seven important years at Ammachi darshans I feel obliged to write about those years in fulfillment of my obligation to Shri Dhyanyogi, my beloved guru, who requested that I write and publish my spiritual memoirs.
Until now I have been reluctant to publicly share my distressing disaffection with Ammachi and her organization. I did not wish to discourage other devotees with different perspectives, some of whom are friends. But I now feel morally impelled to tell my truth, with the intention of helping others who might learn from my experience.
Moreover, I feel morally impelled to share elsewhere my observations which support credibility of a recently published critical book about Ammachi.
Gail Tredwell (aka “Gayatri” or “Swamini Amritaprana”), who for twenty years was Ammachi’s revered first and closest Western female devotee, has just published a memoir entitled “Holy Hell, A Memoir of Faith, Devotion and Pure Madness” containing many shocking but credible revelations.
Some of Gail’s revelations are consistent with my observations and corroborate an incident which was my “last straw” with Ammachi, to be explained in another memoirs chapter. Moreover, some of her credible revelations are so shocking that I feel they should be seriously considered by those who may be contemplating relationships with Ammachi and her organization, or with other hierarchical religious or spiritual organizations.
As a long-time former litigation attorney deeply dedicated to social justice and with skills in evaluating credibility of witnesses, I read Gail’s book, initiated extended phone conversations with her, and discussed her allegations with other yet anonymous witnesses. I have found Gail to be a sincere, honest and accurate percipient witness.
Nonetheless, the MA Centers organization has attacked Gail’s character by asserting that she is “a troubled individual” whose writings are “completely untrue and without a basis in fact or reality”. Since I am quite convinced that Gail’s memoirs are absolutely true, I find deeply offensive an ad hominem attack on her by those to whom she selflessly dedicated much of her adult life, and I feel dharmically impelled to support Gail’s credibility.
“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.”
“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
Discovering How Consciousness Holographically Projects ‘Reality’
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, addressing the 1893 Chicago World Parliament of Religions, 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.”
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’.”
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.
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.
After addressing the World Parliament of Religions, Swamiji met noted scientist Nikola Tesla who became influenced by Eastern perspectives about the material world, and presciently foresaw that:
“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)
“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
Hallucinations or Reincarnations?
Until my mid-life change of life, I identified solely with my physical body, its thoughts and its story and assumed that physical death ended our existence. Until then, stories of afterlife, reincarnation, ghosts or other disincarnate spirits were fanciful fiction for me.
But after my transformative mid-life spiritual awakening I became clairsentient and began having many extraordinary clairvoyant experiences, including seeing apparent apparitions and visions of what seemed ‘past lives’.
So with great curiosity I wondered about this new apparent ‘reality’ of ephemeral forms and phenomena which I’d begun to perceive. Even though I had realized that my ultimate identity is pure awareness – and not my physical body or its story, I wanted to understand the nature and meaning of our apparent individuality as energy entities in space/time reality.
Through synchronistic inner and outer experiences I was gradually given answers to my questions about phenomenal ‘reality’, and became convinced of the relative reality of reincarnation and afterlife, while still realizing that ultimately all such phenomena are mental projections of universal consciousness; that “birth and death are virtual, while Life is perpetual”.
Hereafter I’ll tell you about some of my earliest memorable experiences of apparent afterlife and reincarnation. [See also https://sillysutras.com/pilgrimage-to-assisi-communing-with-saint-francis-rons-memoirs/]
The first of these experiences happened when I was alone one weekend in an attic room of our family house, where I was living separately from my wife during the traumatic divorce period shortly before moving out. Never do I recall feeling more miserable and heartbroken.
Then while seated in an armchair and gazing out of the attic window, I felt a comforting presence seemingly embracing me from behind the chair. Momentarily I glanced behind me and perceived my deceased grandfather, Morris, who had died five years earlier in 1971. He had silently come to console me. I was quite sober then, and this experience seemed very ‘real’ – not an hallucination.
Months later, I again saw Grandpa Morris in inner – rather than outer – images while in meditative or ‘alpha’ states of consciousness, after attending a Silva Mind Control seminar. [See https://sillysutras.com/silva-mind-control-rons-memoirs/ ] During and after the Silva seminar Mahatma Gandhi had begun appearing within as my first inner spirit guide. But sometimes, instead of Gandhi, Grandpa Morris also came to guide me.
During the same period of inner and outer encounters with Grandpa and Gandhi, I began having dreams and visions of apparent other lifetimes. [See https://sillysutras.com/visions-of-past-and-future-rons-memoirs/]
These visions radically challenged my prior Newtonian paradigm of ‘reality’. But still I remained skeptical about their meaning. So the universe kept giving me synchronistic experiences which answered my questions and confirmed new ideas of reality.
The first of my memorable experiences which seemed to authenticate an apparent past life vision began during the period of my traumatic divorce, when a broken heart had opened my heart.
Here is what happened:
In the early 1970’s my wife and I were San Francisco neighbors of a prominent family living across the street. Both we and our neighbors had children the same age attending the same private schools. Our youngest children attended a pre-school kindergarten. The mothers, who were both professionally busy, agreed to carpool our children to school on alternate days. I assisted in carpooling, on days when my wife was teaching at City College.
Mysteriously, while driving our children to school I kept feeling an extraordinarily strong attraction or affinity to my neighbors’ darling little four or five year old daughter Tara as she sat in the back seat of my car, especially noting her beautiful dark eyes and charismatic energy.
During this period, I had begun having many extraordinary clairvoyant experiences, including precognition and seeing apparent ‘past lives’. While wondering about my mysterious attraction to Tara, I saw myself in a ‘past life’ vision as a pre-Christian era Chinese male farmer with several children, one of whom – a darling little girl – was ‘the apple of my eye’. It was Tara.
Shortly after having this past life vision, I synchronistically met Tara’s mother while attending a program at the Masonic Auditorium. Briefly I alluded to my inner experience and, at her request, afterwards I sent her a confirming note recounting the story.
Soon she sent me a reply note saying that Tara “has said several things to me that suggest she has access to information from other times” and she suggested I question Tara about my vision.
So thereafter, with her mother’s approval, I told Tara that I had a vision of her as my daughter in another lifetime in Asia. Tara’s spontaneous response, which I immediately noted, was “Yes, I know.”
There was no further discussion.
As a long-time lawyer, I immediately accepted Tara’s guileless statement as ‘corroborating evidence’ validating my past life vision of her.
Years later, I learned that there is considerable empirical evidence of very young children with memories of other lifetimes, beginning with ground breaking scientific studies by Dr. Ian Stevenson, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. For forty years Dr. Stevenson studied children world-wide who spontaneously remembered past lives, and objectively validated and documented about twelve hundred such cases.
I have elsewhere posted quotations, aphorisms, poetry and essays about afterlife and reincarnation, to help readers overcome fear of death and mitigate grief from loss of loved ones. I have learned from experience that as we lose our fear of leaving life we gain the art of living life – authentically and lovingly; that we lose fear of death as we self-identify with eternal spirit rather than our temporary space/time soul suits.
Tara’s actual name and some identifying details have been changed to protect her privacy. She is now internationally known for her artistry.
“Everywhere I look, I see the face of God.”
~ Walt Whitman/Ron Rattner
“In a single atom, buddhas as many as atoms
Sit in the midst of enlightening beings;
So it is of all things in the cosmos —
I realize all are filled with buddhas.”
~ Avatamsaka Flower Ornament Sutra
“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.
Who are YOU? said the Caterpillar.
Alice replied, rather shyly, I–I hardly know, sir, just at present– at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then. —-
The Caterpillar was the first to speak.
What size do you want to be? it asked. —–
Well, I should like to be a LITTLE larger, sir, if you wouldn’t mind, said Alice: three inches is such a wretched height to be. ———
One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.
One side of WHAT? The other side of WHAT? thought Alice to herself.
Of the mushroom, said the Caterpillar
~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, Chapter 5
Panther Meadow, Mt. Shasta
A Magic Mushroom in a Magic Meadow on a Magic Mountain
After my mid-life awakening my life’s focus gradually evolved from litigation to meditation and I became less and less ‘up-tight’ about some of my prior worldly ways. But I remained reluctant to use psychedelic substances, even though my pivotal OOB experience had been triggered by inadvertent ingestion of marijuana.
As a lawyer, I didn’t want to do anything illegal that might prejudice my professional reputation or law license. Also, as CIIS Board Chairman in the early 1980’s I didn’t want to participate in any activity that could adversely reflect on our institution’s obtaining crucial accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
As a spiritual practitioner, I had learned that many prominent Eastern teachers and paths strongly discouraged the use of any psychoactive drugs. Nonetheless many spiritual people I greatly appreciated – like Ram Dass – had been awakened, but not “enlightened”, by LSD and other psychoactive substances. In all events, because of many experiences without psychedelics, I became convinced that for me they were not necessary and might be detrimental to my spiritual evolution.
Once, soon after my divorce, I was with a date who sociably offered me a marijuana “joint” to share with her. Curiously and so as not to offend her, I took a few puffs on the marijuana cigarette. But, just as with nicotine cigarettes, it seemed insane for me to intentionally pollute my body’s precious lungs with smoke instead of breathing fresh air. And I never did that again.
Nor did I ever again intentionally ingest any other psychoactive substance, until an unplanned incident in a beautiful nature place on a legendary mountain sparked an unforgettable “peek experience”, forever raising my spiritual awareness.
Here’s what happened:
After my spiritual opening, I began having extraordinary energy experiences involving other people, creatures and places. One of the places where I experienced extraordinary spiritual energy was Mt. Shasta, a spiritually legendary majestic volcanic mountain in Northern California near the Oregon border.
I ‘discovered’ Mt. Shasta in the early 1980’s while occasionally visiting a nearby ashram established for Guruji by his disciples in Yreka. There I was told that Guruji regarded Mt. Shasta as one of the world’s holy mountains, like those in the Himalayas. And I learned that Mt. Shasta is considered worldwide as one the most sacred and mystically powerful places on our precious planet; that there are legends about it as a focus for angels, spirit-guides, spaceships, and ascended masters, and as home of Lemurians, subterranean survivors of an ancient lost continent which sank into the sea.
Apart from these legends, Mt. Shasta’s extraordinary beauty and almost palpable spiritual energy attracted and fascinated me and I wished to spend time there rather than just passing by on trips to the ashram. So, I arranged to visit Shasta with two spiritual friends who had been initiated by Guruji – Tara and Ramdassi – both of whom were later amongst those on the 1982 pilgrimage to India, my ‘trip of a lifetime’.
On a lovely sunny Saturday morning in late summer 1981, we three began a day hike on the mountain, carrying our lunches and extra clothes in light backpacks. At mid-day we arrived at Panther Meadow, the most beautiful alpine meadow I have ever seen. I beheld it then as lushly verdant with abundant delicate plant-life, bifurcated by a tiny creek meandering into a pristine pond at the bottom of the meadow. Above the lush green meadow appeared a stand of beautiful evergreen trees, and above the tree line the snow-capped mountain peak framed by an azure blue sky glistened in the sun. Later, I learned that this extraordinarily beautiful nature place was ceremonially revered as a sacred site by indigenous peoples and spiritual pilgrims.
This breathlessly beautiful meadow appeared a perfect place for our picnic lunch. So, we found a place near the creek to quietly eat while reverently enjoying the immense beauty surrounding us. Before we sat down, I walked to the pristine pond into which the creek was flowing and tested the water temperature with my left hand. It was ice cold, from the melting mountain ice and snow – and I immediately withdrew my immersed hand.
Sitting near the creek, we silently and contemplatively ate our lunches. After perhaps an hour, when we had finished eating, Ramdassi withdrew from her backpack a small packet of tiny dried mushrooms, which she silently offered to Tara and me.
Although I had never before seen or eaten psilocybin mushrooms, I intuitively realized that these were such mushrooms and politely declined Ramdassi’s offer. Then Tara, who was a registered nurse at a large hospital, also declined the mushrooms. Whereupon, Ramdassi, who was a talented artist and shaman, importuned each of us to reconsider and to join her in ritually partaking of the mushrooms. She explained that she could not eat the mushrooms alone, but only with others, as part of a sacred ritual.
But Tara still refused them. Though I felt no desire to use the mushrooms, and was somewhat inhibited, I empathized with Ramdassi, sensed her frustration and was motivated to help if possible. So I asked her how many of the tiny mushrooms were needed for a psychoactive experience. She replied, “at least three or four”. Whereupon, I said: “OK, I’ll take only one, if that will permit you to proceed.” So she handed me one tiny mushroom which I ate as she proceeded with her mushroom ceremony.
Soon thereafter I fell into an exceptionally deep meditative state, which I later realized was a ‘psychoactive samadhi’. I was immersed in timeless state with my body sprawled prone, eyes closed and head facing downward and resting on the verdant meadow carpet. After Tara and Ramdassi had waited for at least an hour for my return to waking consciousness, the mushroom’s effects finally began to wane, my body stirred and eyes blinked open onto the green plant cushion.
Whereupon, I beheld an extraordinary and unforgettable sight. With “X-ray and microscopic vision” I saw beyond the green surfaces of the meadow grass, plants and leaves into each and every cell and atom thereof. And in each plant atom I wondrously beheld an image of a Divine being, angel or saint. These images were similar to those I had infrequently and fleetingly seen during deep meditations at home. They seemed to appear holographically and fractally in some regular repetitive fashion.
After gazing at this wondrous sight, my body finally stirred as I awakened from the samadhi state. Then, though as an ‘uptight’ city dweller I had never before gone skinny dipping alone or in the presence of others, I spontaneously threw off my clothes and jumped naked into the waste-high ice cold pond waters. And for the first time in this life my body spontaneously went into a crucifixion posture with arms extended parallel to the pristine pond’s surface. There, half baptized in the sacred water, my body so remained motionless for some timeless/thoughtless moments, without any awareness of bodily chill.
Ultimately, I came out of the pond, dressed, and continued silently hiking with Tara and Ramdassi. But in some ineffable and awesome way I felt transformed – as if I had just experienced a deep secret of Mother Nature.
What I Learned
Prior to this amazing experience, I’d already (intuitively but not experientially) realized that manifest “reality” is a holographic mental projection of consciousness. But this synchronistic experience seemed to confirm the accuracy of that insight about the holographic nature of our perceived reality.
Also, after initiation by Guruji I had learned that Hinduism, Buddhism and other spiritual traditions refer to an esoteric ‘third eye’ supposedly located around the middle of the forehead slightly above the eyebrows, and anatomically connected with the pineal gland; that in the Kundalini yoga tradition this ‘third eye’ is associated with the sixth or ajna chakra, which when fully opened supposedly permits universal vision into every place and time without limitation. This experience of x-ray/microscopic vision helped confirm what I had heard and read about the existence of such a ‘third eye’ with potential universal vision.
As to the significance of my unprecedented and spontaneous assumption of a crucifixion posture in the pristine pond, I can only speculate. Perhaps this act symbolized soul recognition of incremental rebirth and resurrection from a lower to higher state of spiritual awareness. Or perhaps it was the manifestation of a deep devotional tendency from another lifetime.
What do you think?
May we remain ever aware and grateful for our divinely blessed lives on this beautiful blue planet Earth, always open to infinitely possible magical blessings beyond our present imagination or conception.
And so may it be!