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Transformation

Memorial Day, 2021 –
Rededication Proclamation

“We must . . live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

“The choice is not between violence and nonviolence,

but between nonviolence and nonexistence.”

~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
~ Abraham Lincoln – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863
“There is no honorable way to kill,
no gentle way to destroy.

There is nothing good in war.
Except its ending.”

~ Abraham Lincoln
“And they shall beat their swords into plowshares,

and their spears into pruning hooks; 

nation shall not lift up sword against nation, 

neither shall they learn war any more.” 

~ Isaiah 2:4
“Nothing will end war unless the people refuse to go to war.”

”War cannot be humanized, only abolished.”

“You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.”

~ Albert Einstein
“Thou shalt not kill.”

~ Exodus 20:13
“If you realize that all things change,

there is nothing you will try to hold on to.

If you are not afraid of dying,

there is nothing you cannot achieve.”

~ Lao Tzu




Memorial Day, 2021 – Rededication Proclamation

Dear Friends,

Memorial Day was inaugurated after the internecine American Civil War between Northern and Southern States. Since then it has commemorated the passing of men and women who died while participating in numerous US fomented wars against and amongst nations and people worldwide.

But today many Americans have forgotten the sacred antiwar spirit with which Memorial Day began. Moreover, we are living in an unprecedented “new normal” era of worldwide political polarity, warlike violence, and turmoil.

Contrary to Abraham Lincoln’s eloquent aspiration that American “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”, the USA is no longer a democracy – but an autocratic warlike global Empire of, by and for billionaires and transnational corporations, representing far fewer than 1% of Humankind.

This essay is dedicated to reminding us of the Divinity of all life on Earth; and that for survival of life as we’ve known it we urgently now need to end all wars before they end us. That

“We must . . live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

“The choice is not between violence and nonviolence,

but between nonviolence and nonexistence.”

~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Background

Armed conflicts have occurred throughout recorded human history. But we are now compelled to realize that more wars will probably trigger a nuclear, ecological, biological, or radiological catastrophe insanely ending earth-life as we’ve known it.

However, while human survival is threatened as never before, we have paradoxically gained unprecedented technical capacity to sustainably provide all human sustenance needs. And in this painful post-pandemic “new normal” era, we are awakening to our unlimited human potentiality.

Thus many are realizing that, as a global human family, we have extraordinary opportunities to co-create an infinitely more compassionate world, with democratic societies peacefully coexisting cooperatively and harmoniously with Nature, each other and all life on our precious planet.

Until now, much of humanity has suffered illusionary psychological separation from each other and Nature, fostering unsustainable ecological desecration of our precious planet, and barbaric exploitation of vulnerable beings and other life-forms. But more and more people are awakening to our sacred connection with, and deep moral responsibility to cherish and preserve, all life on our precious planet Earth.

Rededication Proclamation

So in solemnly observing Memorial Day 2021, let us all resolutely rededicate Humankind to preserving and honoring all Life – not just human life – as sacred and holy. And, therefore, to end all wars, before they end us.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Be An Auto-Iconoclast

“Ego is the biggest enemy of humans. ”
~ Rig Veda
“We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts, we make the world.”
~ Buddha
“The mind is a bundle of thoughts.
The thoughts arise because there is the thinker.
The thinker is the ego.
The ego and the mind are the same.
The ego is the root-thought from which all other thoughts arise.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“This perception of division
between the seer and the object that is seen,
is situated in the mind.
For those remaining in the heart,
the seer becomes one with the sight.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
“Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
~ Albert Einstein
“One must elevate – and not degrade – oneself with one’s own mind,
as the mind is both a friend and an enemy.
For those who have subdued and conquered the mind, it is the best of friends.
But for those who fail to do so, the mind remains the greatest of enemies.”
~ Bhagavad Gita, Chapter Six, Lord Krishna to Arjuna
“Undo Ego!
Use it to lose it.”
“As ego goes,
consciousness grows,
until it Knows
– Itself.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Free of ego, living naturally, working virtuously,
you become filled with inexhaustible vitality
and are liberated forever from the cycle of death and rebirth.”
~ Lao Tzu

Beyond Ego

Introduction

Dear Friends,

The following written and recited sutra verses poetically declare that we are not and can never be what we think we are. Such self-identity thoughts are ego illusions, our greatest spiritual enemy.

In metaphorically suggesting that we should iconoclastically break – not make – egoic self images, I was inspired by the second of the bible’s ten commandments against deifying and bowing down to graven images.

These verses together with above quotations, and following explanatory comments, are shared to help advance our spiritual evolution by inspiring us to overcome and control illusory ego-mind self-identity.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Be An Auto-Iconoclast

Who are you? Who do you think you are?

You think you’re only an entity –
a person separate from all other entities.

With such thinking you’ve created
a false ego image of what you really are.
And you’ve mistakenly identified yourself as that ego image.

But you’re not that ego image.

You can never be what you think you are:
Thinking and Being can’t coexist.

So stop thinking, and start Being.

Don’t be an ego-image maker.
Be an ego-image breaker.

Be an auto-iconoclast.
Break your ego image.

End ego identity,
and be –
ego free.

BE what you really are –

Thoughtless Awareness

NOW!

Ron’s audio recitation of Be An Auto-Iconoclast

Listen to

Ron’s Comments on “Be An Auto-Iconoclast”

Dear Friends,

Almost all humans at times think themselves separate from each other, Nature and Divine Self. Such thoughts are illusory ego-mind thoughts, and the greatest deterrent to our spiritual evolution.

So the foregoing verses and quotations are intended to remind us to go beyond what we think we are, and BE what we really are – ONE with eternal Universal Awareness, our immortal Source and Divine Self.

In poetically suggesting that we iconoclastically break – not make – egoic self images, I was inspired by the second of the Bible’s ten commandments against deifying and bowing down to graven images. By adulating ego-mind instead of undoing it, we glorify a supposedly separate and independent self, which is an optical illusion of consciousness – like a mirage. But by overcoming and controlling the ego-mind we advance rather than deter our spiritual evolution. (Bhagavad Gita, Chapter Six)

Thus, this “Be An Auto-Iconoclast” posting is dedicated to advancing our spiritual evolution and transcendence of illusory and disempowering ego-mind self-identity, by helping us remember again our once known, but long forgotten, true Divinity.

Please enjoy it accordingly.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Synchronicity Inquiry

“Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see.”
~ Carl Jung
“There is no such thing as chance;
and what seems to us merest accident
springs from the deepest source of destiny.”
~ Friedrich Schiller
“People … who believe in physics, know that
the distinction between past, present, and future
is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
~ Albert Einstein




Synchronicity Inquiry


Q. What are synchronicities?

A. Synchronicities are noteworthy “premonitions” or “coincidences” in time mysteriously arising from unexplained causes and conditions which connect events, actions and thoughts; and, which show us that in Nature, there is no time and there are no “coincidences – that everything that is, was, or will be is NOW; and, that everything is inter-connected and happens in harmony and synchrony – concurrently, not coincidentally.

Q. Why are synchronicities in time often noteworthy or meaningful?

A. Synchronicities in time are often noteworthy or meaningful because as we live in linear time they remind us of our unchanging timeless consciousness – which is our true Reality. And they can show our complicity in co-creating our ever changing world “reality”.

Time is how human mind tries to measure the immeasurable NOW.

As Einstein observed:

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


Space and time are but convenient conceptions of thought.

Though convenient, time is not congruent with Nature’s way –
the timeless Tao.

As thought, time is always then, not NOW; so living in time is living in the past.

As we transcend living conceptually in past time, and begin living authentically in timeless Presence, we notice more and more “synchronicities”.

And the more frequently we see synchronicities, the more they show we’re in the Flow – the Tao; the Eternal NOW.

So, when events seeming random happen in tandem,
it’s then we’ll know we’re in the flow

the Tao; the Eternal NOW.

Thus, because humankind almost always live in time, synchronistic signs of timeless Reality often seem so noteworthy or meaningful.

Q. How do synchronicities appear in our lives?

A. Synchronicities originate in now hidden depths of mind – at transpersonal and seemingly ‘chaotic’ quantum levels of existence. The more we intuitively entrain with those higher levels of consciousness, the more we are in harmony with the natural order, and the more we see synchronicities manifesting in our lives.

We live in an ever changing participatory vibratory relative “reality” wherein creation is vibration and oscillation, and where we are creative oscillating, vibrating vortices – interconnected and interdependent with all of Nature.

Thus, everything we think, do or say changes this world in some way.

Synchronicities are resonant exteriorations or manifestations of our subtle higher vibrations – our thoughts, intentions and emanations. The higher, subtler and more focused our vibratory frequencies, the more luminous our emanations. And as we become more luminous, our synchronicities become more numerous and more numinous.

Q. How shall we interpret synchronicities?

A. Synchronicities, like dreams, can be meaningful metaphoric messages that help guide us from deep levels of consciousness; and they can present us with evolutionary opportunities, if we recognize and act on them. Even the Dalai Lama has said: “I am open to the guidance of synchronicity, and do not let expectations hinder my path.”

Synchronicities also can be seen as positive “biofeedback’ signs that we are in harmony with the natural order.

Synchronicities reveal the harmonious ONENESS of the Universe – both manifest and unmanifest, implicate and explicate. And the more we see that ONENESS, the more we see synchronicity as normality.

Thus, synchronicities can be seen as significant signs and reminders that temporal linearity is a cosmic irregularity, that “reality” isn’t mechanistic, and that the universe doesn’t work as we’ve thought or been taught.

And so, synchronicities can spur an inner search for a new “reality” paradigm, ultimately leading to the transformational discovery that our ever changing world “reality” isn’t really Real; that our unchanging timeless consciousness is our true Reality.

Q. How can synchronicities inspire us?

A. Synchronicities can infuse us with feelings of awe and gratitude for all miraculous and mysterious Life on this precious planet.

As we see each synchronicity as a mysterious, miraculous and numinous sign and reminder of our interdependence with all Life, we are inspired to BE – in sympathy and harmony with all Life.


Q. Can synchronicities help us harmonize with Nature?

A. Yes. To harmonize with Nature we must intuitively and reverently commune with our natural environment. Synchronicities can help us awaken from misconceived dreams of separation from Nature, so as to honor intuitive insights over mistaken or misguided mental processes.

Mistakenly thinking ourselves separate from our observations and perceptions, we try to explain them with thoughts and logical analyses. This mental process often leads to such preoccupation with details and minutia that we lose a reverent, holistic and macrocosmic view of our miraculous space/time natural environment. And we have thereby become alienated from Nature, and have ignorantly created ecological crises.

Synchronicities can remind us of the limitations of thought, and of the dangers of alienation from an intuitively participatory way of being in this world; that as thinkers, we do not and cannot understand Nature; that we are part of a participatory natural order in which everything/ everyone is interdependent; and, that everything we think, do or say changes this world in some way.

With this awareness we are spurred to harmonize with Nature.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Introduction to Synchronicity Sutras and Stories

“There is an endless net of threads throughout the universe.

The horizontal threads are in space.

The vertical threads are in time.

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

And every individual is a crystal bead. 

And every crystal bead reflects not only the light 

from every other crystal in the net,

but also every other reflection throughout the entire universe.”
~ Indra’s Net – from the Vedas of ancient India, 7000 years old
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.
~ Buddha
“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


Introduction to Synchronicity Sutras and Stories

Have you ever wondered about mysterious meaningful or noteworthy “coincidences” or ‘synchronicities’ in your life, or in lives of others known to you? Countless people experience such strange “coincidences” without recognizing them as miraculous spiritual experiences, and often without paying much attention to their possible significance.

What are synchronicities? How do they happen? How shall we interpret them? Why are they noteworthy or meaningful? How can they inspire us? Can they help further our spiritual evolution?

Since synchronicities are often defined as meaningful or noteworthy “coincidences” in sequential time, what can they tell us about the nature of time? Without sequential time, there can’t be a “coincidence” in time. Do synchronicities originate beyond time, in the eternal NOW?

The word “synchronicity” was coined by Carl Jung  to describe “temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events”.   Jung also variously described synchronicity as an “‘acausal connecting principle'”, “meaningful coincidence” and “acausal parallelism”.

But ancient Hermetic teachings, say – and we accept – that in this world:

“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


And according to Buddhism, “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.” Thus, Buddhism recognizes that all phenomena and events arise from coinciding causes and conditions.

Apart from coincidences in time, the word “synchronicity” is sometimes also used to describe inner premonitions which later happen in the phenomenal world. (E.g. Before 9/11, 2001, many people had ‘synchronistic’ premonitions of the destruction of the World Trade Center.)

Thus, the concept of synchronicity — when seen in a wider context — raises strong doubts about existence of “coincidence” at all. Before the concept was known by this name, people often referred to such synchronistic events as portents or omens.

On SillySutras.com we accept that nothing in space/time escapes the law of cause and effect. But synchronicity indicates that there is much to the Universe beyond our understanding of cause and effect; that the subtleties of the mind and matter are somehow mysteriously interconnected.

So here we define synchronicities as:

“Noteworthy ‘premonitions’ or ‘coincidences’ in time mysteriously arising from unexplained causes and conditions which connect events, actions and thoughts; and, which show us that in Nature, there is no time and there are no coincidences – that everything that is, was, or will be is NOW; and, that everything is inter-connected and happens in harmony and synchrony – concurrently, not coincidentally.”


According to Deepak Chopra, although the term “synchronicity” was coined in the twentieth century by Dr. Carl Jung, it may correspond to concepts described by ancient Indian Rishis or seers thousands of years ago. If so, how? Why?

Dedication

By exploring synchronicity and by recounting synchronistic experiences and stories, this silly sutra site is dedicated to our co-creating an ever better reality by awakening us to our infinite potentialities and by furthering our wondrous experience and appreciation of our mysterious and miraculous world.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Awakening to Ever Present Synchronicity
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see.”
~ Carl Jung
“According to Vedanta, there are seven states of consciousness.
Each of the seven states of consciousness represents an increase in our experience of synchronicity, and each progressive state moves us closer to the ideal of enlightenment.”
~ Deepak Chopra, SynchroDestiny
“As I look back upon my own life, I see how many events – which at the time appeared horribly painful or unnecessary – contained remarkable lessons which I sometimes did not understand until many years later. Now life appears to me – more and more – as a gorgeous Persian rug. Seen from underneath (that is, from the ordinary human viewpoint), it may be a mess of loose strands, knots, pieces of wool hanging in a disorderly manner; but seen from above – from another level of perspective – what perfect order, harmony and beauty!”
~ Pierre Pradervand

 

Marc Chagall – The Praying Jew

Introduction.

Dear Friends,

Many people experience and wonder about amazing coincidences that can’t be explained rationally or statistically. Those “coincidences” have opened some of us to reflect upon their possible spiritual or psychical causes. And such reflection and investigation has advanced our spiritual evolution.

The following memoirs stories tell about an amazing “coincidence” (almost forty years ago) which awakened me to the immense spiritual importance of synchronicity and helped me find unimagined happiness through spiritual evolution.

The stories were originally published soon after the SillySutras website was launched, when the second noteworthy synchronicity reminded me of the original one. As explained in 2021 epilogue comments below, both the original and later synchronicity memoirs stories are again recounted to further our appreciation of the spiritual importance of synchronicities, and to help us find happiness through spiritual evolution.

Therefore, I hope you’ll enjoy and find inspiration from the stories.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Awakening to Ever Present Synchronicity

In “Channeling” for Joseph Campbell I recounted how in October, 1983 I began realizing that at times I was receiving ideas from higher dimensions when – as Board Chairman of CIIS, an academic institution – I bestowed on Dr. Joseph Campbell an honorary PhD. degree.

Four months after the Campbell investiture ceremony, in January, 1984, I participated in two more important investiture ceremonies involving an amazing “coincidence” which proved especially significant for me because it sparked my initial awareness of and curiosity about synchronicities. Before that pivotal “coincidence”, I had been largely unaware of synchronicities or their evolutionary importance. Since then synchronicities have become ever more meaningful in my spiritual life.

I originally wrote about that 1984 “coincidence” experience because twenty nine years later I was reminded of it by another noteworthy synchronicity at the identical place where the first one happened.

In January 2013, my daughter Jessica, a professional photographer, asked me – and I agreed – to accompany her to Temple Emanu-El, San Francisco’s largest Jewish synagogue. She had been engaged to do a photo shoot there of a Bar Mitzvah “coming of age” ceremony, and asked me to act as a focal point so she could check out lighting and lens requirements at various places where photos might be appropriate.

So, at the synagogue I stood for Jessica at various places, including the raised platform or ‘bimah’ at the front of the vast synagogue sanctuary, so she could focus on the place where the Bar Mitzvah honoree would be standing. Thereupon, I nostalgically recalled how twenty nine years ago I stood at that very place at the Bar Mitzvah of my then thirteen year old son Joshua.

That Bar Mitzvah ceremony on Saturday morning, January 28th, 1984, began an extraordinarily synchronistic day for me, which was preceded by the following circumstances.

Joshua was then living with his mother, Naomi, who had remarried after our divorce. She and her husband Bruce were observant Jews and had arranged for Josh’s Jewish education and Bar Mitzvah at Temple Emanu-El. As Josh’s father, I was asked and happy to participate in the Bar Mitzvah ceremony.

To learn my ceremonial role I met with one of the Emanu-El rabbis. He informed me that I was to accompany Joshua to the raised platform or ‘bimah’ at the front of the sanctuary, where I would introduce him to the congregation and place on his shoulders a prayer shawl or tallit, as a ‘coming of age’ mantle. Whereupon he would recite a portion of the Torah (Jewish bible) and give a talk. Then the rabbi gave me mimeographed templates of suggested introductory remarks, but encouraged me to offer my own.

Soon thereafter, an ‘inner voice’ dictated and I quickly wrote the following words:

“Lord God, Divine Master, we remember Thee with deepest devotion and reverence;
with unshakable faith in Thee and the perfection of Thy Way;
and, with unspeakable gratitude for Thy blessings
which are beyond comprehension or imagination.
“On this blessed day, we affirm to Thee our devotion, faith and gratitude
by presenting for initiation into the congregation of Israel
our beloved son Joshua David Rattner.
We pray that his life may be a Divine blessing
in the ancient and holy tradition of Israel
of service to all people and to all of Thy creation.”*


A few days later, on Saturday morning I recited those words at the Bar Mitzvah, with a prescribed opening prayer and then placed a prayer shawl (or tallit) on Josh’s shoulders.

That very evening, I was “coincidentally” scheduled (by The Lone Arranger) to make another investiture presentation at the San Francisco Unitarian Church, also one of city’s largest religious sanctuaries.

CIIS was publicly inaugurating there a new President, Dr. John Broomfield. And as CIIS Board Chairman I was to officially welcome him.

Upon arriving early Saturday evening at the Unitarian Church, I was informed for the first time that I was to place a shawl around Dr. Broomfield’s shoulders as a symbolic mantle of authority. Thereupon, I quickly “channeled” and wrote down the following words:

“Dr. Broomfield I invest in you, with this mantle,
the authority of President and the position of Professor of History and Comparative Studies of the California Institute of Integral Studies.
The entire CIIS community welcomes you with support and love.
We look forward to many fruitful and auspicious years under your leadership.”

Soon thereafter I addressed those words to Dr. Broomfield and placed the mantle on his shoulders as we stood at the Church pulpit.


Dr. John Broomfield and Ron Rattner, 1/28/84
Courtesy of California Institute of Integral Studies archives



Then, Dr. Broomfield gave his evening acceptance address while wearing the mantle of authority I’d placed on his shoulders, just as Josh had recited a Torah bible portion and given a talk while wearing the prayer shawl ‘coming of age’ mantle I placed on his shoulders.

Never before and never yet again, have I placed a shawl or mantle of symbolic authority on anyone’s shoulders. Why did it happen twice on January 28, 1984? Why in January 2013 was I asked by my daughter to stand at the same sanctuary place where I stood twenty nine years earlier?

*Postscript.

A few days after the Bar Mitzvah ceremony one of the Congregation Emanu–El rabbis, called to ask, and received from me, permission for the synagogue to print my “channeled” words to Josh as a template for other parents’ use. I don’t know if others have used those words in other Bar Mitzvah ceremonies. But upon awakening from sleep every morning I continue to greet each day by gratefully remembering the Divine with the opening words given to me for Josh, while always remembering that the universal Divinity addressed with these words is my own Self – Infinite Potentiality spiritually immanent in – and as – all manifestation.



Ron’s 2021 epilogue  comments 

Dear Friends,

As my 89th birthday approaches, I am gratefully enjoying much greater happiness than ever before imagined, with continuing harmonious earth-life synchronicities. But this life-stage came only after many years of spiritual evolution.

Prior to my midlife spiritual awakening, I was unfamiliar with the word “synchronicity” (coined by C.G. Jung in the 1950’s) However, like many others I occasionally noted unusual “coincidences” in linear time which could not be explained rationally or statistically. Then, following a 1977 miraculous week of pre-cognitive events in New York City, I began questioning the reality of “coincidences” in linear time.

But it was not until the foregoing amazing 1984 “coincidence” events that I was first awakened to the immense spiritual significance of synchronicities, suggesting that “There are no mistakes, no coincidences, that “all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” [Elisabeth Kubler-Ross]

Since the SillySutras website was later launched, I’ve considered Synchronicity one of its most important spiritual categories. (So there has always been a tab-highlighted “Synchronicity” category link at the top of every website page.)

Thus I published both the above original 1984 “coincidence” story the second noteworthy synchronicity story which reminded me of the first story because it happened at the same place where the first one happened.

Because of their spiritual significance both stories have again been told today, to further our awareness and appreciation of synchronicities, and thereby to help us find happiness through spiritual evolution.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


“Channeling” for Joseph Campbell
– Ron’s Memoirs

“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe,
to match your nature with Nature.”
~ Joseph Campbell
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
~ Joseph Campbell
“God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought.
It’s as simple as that.”
~ Joseph Campbell
“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves
come when life seems most challenging.”
~ Joseph Campbell



Dr. Joseph Campbell with Ron Rattner, 10/8/83
Courtesy of California Institute of Integral Studies archives



Introduction

Dear Friends,

The following memoirs story tells how (almost 40 years ago) an ‘inner voice’ dictated verbatim a brief speech to be given by me two days later, upon my public presentation of an honorary PhD degree to Joseph Campbell, renowned mythologist, author and professor.

The story also recounts how spontaneously I whispered spiritual advice to Dr. Campbell while he listened on stage to laudatory public orations about his exceptional accomplishments.

In 2021 epilogue comments below, I explain why I consider this story as spiritually significant because the same Source of timeless wisdom which inspired Professor Campbell’s renowned teachings is within each of us. Therefore, I hope you’ll enjoy and find inspiration from the story.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


“Channeling for Joseph Campbell”

During the 1980’s I was Chairman of Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), an accredited graduate school giving degrees in areas of psychology, philosophy, comparative religion, and related disciplines. In that capacity, I was occasionally obliged to give commencement talks and to bestow honorary degrees.

In October, 1983, I was told on short notice that (at a public ceremony) I would be awarding to Dr. Joseph Campbell an honorary PhD degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Religion, and that I should prepare an appropriate presentation talk.

I was informed that two other speakers would be discussing Dr. Campbell’s impressive academic accomplishments, but was not told the order of speakers. I had never met Dr. Campbell. And since by that time he was very famous (especially after Bill Moyers’ PBS interviews), I was in a quandary about how much or what I should say.

A couple of days before the event, I was walking along a San Francisco Bay beach toward the Golden Gate bridge, when synchronistically an “inner voice” told me to write down some words for Campbell, and I obliged.

On three little paper scraps, I wrote five sentences that were ‘dictated’ by the inner voice.

(Copies of those notes and the brochure from the Joseph Campbell event are attached here.)

The presentation event took place in San Francisco on October 8, 1983 at the Palace of Fine Arts theater adjoining the Exploratorium. Dr. Campbell and I and the other speakers filed on stage, each wearing traditional black cap and gown attire, and we sat down. I was seated next to Dr. Campbell, on his right.

The program schedule provided for my presentation to follow introductory talks by two other school officials – Academic Dean Ralph Metzner, and Board Chairman Emeritus Michael Toms – who were lavishing profuse praise on Campbell. During the second talk, which sounded to me like a long, living eulogy, I suddenly and spontaneously put my left hand on Campbell’s right knee and without thinking whispered to him, “Don’t let this go to your head.”

Finally, with paper scraps in hand, I made the honorary degree presentation, uttering the following five sentences which had been given to me on the beach:

“Dr. Joseph Campbell, the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Integral Studies is privileged and pleased to bestow on you the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Religion.

We acknowledge thereby your mastery of these disciplines through your studies of myths and symbols. Like masters of other disciplines you have realized the Source common to all disciplines – to all wisdom.

A Source which integrates and unifies this creation, which is diverse in appearance but the same in essence.

So in presenting this degree to you, we honor symbolically that Source – within you and within each of us.”

Thereupon, Dr. Campbell humbly accepted the new honor.

After the program, a very intuitive PhD student with whom I was friendly, approached me and asked:

“Ron, was your talk ‘channeled’?”  
After a moment’s hesitation, I replied “yes”.

From then on I began receiving more and more inner ‘dictation’ of spiritual thoughts, aphorisms and poetry. Even now my “inner voice” is assisting with these memoirs.

Ron’s 2021 epilogue comments

Dear Friends,

Almost forty years after “channeling” for Joseph Campbell, I’m still receiving spiritual wisdom from within, and I’m mostly letting life spontaneously guide me from moment to moment in the eternal NOW. Thereby, I am gratefully enjoying much greater happiness than I ever before imagined.

So I’ve republished the Campbell story, hoping that it can help us all enjoy similar happiness. The story can teach us (as I have confirmed from insight and experience) that we all share the same inner spiritual Source; and that for inner spiritual and practical earth-life guidance. we should always first look and listen within.

Especially in quiet times of stillness, with meditation or of being in Nature, every one of us can find wise guidance from the Sacred Heart of Humankind, which abides within as the Eternal Light of LOVE.

And so may it be be!

Ron Rattner


Beholding Divinity in a Weeping Willow Tree
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.”
~ Jonathan Swift

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.
What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
~ Antoine de Saint Exupery

“People think that they see, but they don’t.”
~ Henry Moore
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
~ Michelangelo
“True Vision is insight, not eyesight.
Eyesight is mind-sight; insight is soul-sight.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Reality’s essence is Divine luminescence.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,

The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem 

Appareled in celestial light,

The glory and the freshness of a dream.

It is not now as it hath been of yore;

Turn wheresoe’er I may, 

By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see not more.”
~ William Wordsworth, Intimations of Immortality




Beholding Divinity in a Weeping Willow Tree

Dear Friends,

In early 1980’s I experienced at Wilbur Hot Springs, an unforgettably revelatory experience of perceiving luminescent Divine light streaming in a weeping willow tree. (*See Footnote) I was attending a week-end Board and staff retreat of the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), as Board Chairman.

One morning I awakened early before any scheduled meetings, and meditated on a wooded hill above the lodge level. After descending I walked with a silent mind on a nature trail near the lodge. Whereupon, I discovered and crawled into a tiny cave where I again sat in deep meditation for a while. (Later, I learned that cave had long been considered a sacred place by original indigenous people there.)

On emerging from the cave, and while unknowingly still in an ‘altered’ state of awareness, I walked to the bathhouse, removed my clothes, stepped outside, and immersed my body in a large shallow hot springs pond.  

While standing alone in the stilled pond with a stilled mind, I gazed at a beautiful weeping willow tree beside the pond on the side furthest from the bath house.  Instead of seeing the tree as it appeared during usual waking consciousness, I beheld it marvelously transfigured as ever streaming lines of white light, more beautiful than any imaginable Christmas tree.

Unaware of my exceptional state of consciousness, I kept gazing at the tree in awe. After a while Tara, a CIIS staff member, entered the pond.  Then, innocently I addressed her: “Tara, look at the lights in that tree.  Aren’t they beautiful?”  Puzzled, Tara responded “What lights?”.   And immediately the lights disappeared for me, as I was abruptly returned to my usual state of waking ‘un-consciousness’.  

But I can never forget the flowing tree lights, nor the insight which they confirmed:  That there is much more to our “reality” than meets the eye; that “Reality’s essence is Divine luminescence”.

Later that day, I recounted my experience to Dr. John Broomfield, then CIIS President, who cited me to this similar experience of author Annie Dillard:

“[O]ne day I was walking along Tinker Creek thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it.  I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame.  I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed.  It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked breathless by a powerful glance.  The lights of the fire abated, but I’m still spending the power.  Gradually the lights went out in the cedar, the colors died, the cells unflamed and disappeared.  I was still ringing.  I had my whole life been a bell, and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck.” 
~ Annie Dillard, A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek 


Like Annie Dillard’s tree vision at Tinker Creek, beholding the transfigured weeping willow at Wilbur Springs was for me an unforgettably inspiring and transformative experience for which I remain ever grateful.

May these and similar stories ever remind us that “Reality’s essence is Divine luminescence”; that we are all Divine beings of light, gradually remembering and co-creating ever more luminous and numinous Earth lives.


And so may it be,

Ron Rattner


Footnote* Other memorable experiences of Divine light, beginning with an epiphany in Yosemite, are recounted elsewhere in these memoirs.



Beholding Divinity in a Crowded Courtroom
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“We are beings of light –
Eternal and bright,
and so shall ever be.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.”
~ Jonathan Swift
It’s not our longitude
Or our latitude,
But the elevation of our attitude,
That brings beatitude.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“The goal is not to lose oneself in the Divine Consciousness.
The goal is to let the Divine Consciousness penetrate into Matter and transform it.”
Sri Aurobindo – The Mother 15: p.191




Beholding Divinity in a Crowded Courtroom

Ron’s Introduction

Dear Friends,

After my midlife spiritual awakening, I gradually realized that the common Essence of everything in our phenomenal “reality” is the inner Eternal Light of pure Awareness.

Today’s memoirs story significantly contributed to that realization. It tells of a ‘miraculous’ mystical vision in a crowded San Francisco courtroom which revealed that everyone and everything everywhere is Divine, and that experiencing God depends on our state of mind, rather than our physical environment.  

I’m again sharing this story because its mystical revelation (from over forty years ago) is especially important in current “new normal” times, as our world is increasingly troubled, turbulent and politically polarized, with countless people fearfully experiencing poverty, hunger, sickness, and deprivation of basic human rights, while justifiably concerned that a nuclear holocaust or catastrophic climate collapse might soon end life on Earth as we have known it.

So this story is intended to help us live with inner peace and happiness, in an age of extreme mental malaise unprecedented in modern recorded human history.

Background

For two years prior to the revelatory courtroom vision, I’d become profoundly motivated by post-divorce lifestyle changes and spiritual awakening experiences to change my life’s focus from litigation to meditation. But I felt moral and legal obligations to support and nurture my two young children, from whom I had been traumatically separated. 

So I was feeling frustration about apparent conflict between an intense desire to retreat to an ashram or other quiet environment, and need to fulfill my worldly obligations.

Whereupon I was synchronistically blessed with an amazing experience, from which I learned that perception of God depends on our state of mind rather than our physical environment.  It vividly revealed that I didn’t need to retreat to an ashram, mountain top, cave, or forest – like yogis of bygone eras – but could experience divinely luminous and numinous inner states even while continuing my worldly life as an urban litigation lawyer.

Courtroom Story

It happened in a crowded San Francisco courtroom filled with lawyers, soon after my 1978 shaktipat initiation by my Guruji, who was still then in the Bay Area. By that time, especially after meeting Guruji, I was experiencing an intense longing to return to God, and had been praying fervently for a way to exchange my life of litigation for a life of meditation. But (as a divorced parent) I needed the income from lawyering to help support my young children and a separate dwelling.

Synchronistically, I was then shown that Divinity is immanent in everyone everywhere – even in crafty lawyers in crowded courtrooms; that experiencing nearness to God depends on our state of mind, rather than our physical environment.

This unforgettable revelatory experience happened one morning in the San Francisco Superior Court, Law And Motion department, where all pending civil pre-trial motions were then argued and decided. All lawyers were then required to check-in and be seated by 9 am, though dockets were usually quite long and hearings on scheduled motions took up most of the morning.

That day my motion was docketed toward the end of the calendar, assuring a long wait before it was called. I arrived at 9 am, at the last minute, when the courtroom was already filled with seated lawyers awaiting their turns to present legal arguments. I could see only one remaining vacant seat which synchronistically was next to my adversary, who was seated beside the center isle. He was a very amiable, skilled and prominent lawyer, but we did not then have a friendly rapport.

With ‘righteous indignation’, I had become convinced that he was knowingly representing a dishonest client with an obviously contrived and unjust cause. Moreover, I judgmentally considered his pre-trial tactics in our case to have been ethically questionable.

Reluctantly, I seated myself next to him with my motion papers in a small brief case on my lap. Because of the inevitable long wait before our late calendared motion would be called, I decided to close my eyes and meditate. Whereupon, I inadvertently went into a very deep state of meditation.

When the case was finally called for argument, I could barely hear the bailiff’s distant pronouncement: “Number 34, R______ versus D_____.”

I opened my eyes, but for the first time in my life I was totally sightless (when not asleep), and unable to perceive anyone or anything in that courtroom. Instead of seeing the people and objects in the courtroom, I beheld only an amazingly luminescent and radiant effulgence – like a golden mist or miasma. [*See Aurobindo footnote] However, I could sense my adversary getting up and walking up the aisle to the front of the courtroom.

Sightless, I stood and followed him up the aisle. As I was walking without normal vision, the miraculous gold effulgence began to clarify. Instead of just a golden mist, I began seeing everything and everyone in the courtroom – including my mistrusted adversary – as silhouetted lines of gold light. It was as if a Cosmic artist was sketching in golden outline the shape of every person and every object.

I reached the counsel table, perceiving my adversary (and everything else) only as lines of golden light. And, with considerable concern, I wondered how I could present an important case without being able to view my carefully prepared notes and citations.

Then, just as my adversary and I were asked by the Judge to identify ourselves and the parties for whom we were appearing, my normal eyesight was suddenly restored. It was as if a Divine ‘trickster’ had temporarily blinded me to bestow an enormous insight, and then had waited until the last possible moment before restoring my usual eyesight.

Guruji’s explanation

Soon afterwards, I recounted my courtroom experience to my friend Kusuma, one of Guruji’s translators, who then asked him about it. Guruji told Kusuma that, with elevated awareness, I had perceived everyone and everything in the courtroom from a subtle causal dimension.

Ever since, I have recalled that marvelous experience as an immense blessing which not only revealed and reconfirmed to me that the essence of everyone and everything is the eternal light of Cosmic Consciousness, but which vividly demonstrated that to commune with Divinity I didn’t have to retreat to an ashram, mountain top, cave, or forest – like yogis of bygone eras – but could experience eternal luminosity and numinosity even while continuing my worldly life as a litigation lawyer in a vast urban area; that experiencing God is dependent on our state of mind, rather than our physical environment.

[*Footnote] Sri Aurobindo and Aurobindo’s Mother have written descriptions of the light of Supramental Consciousness as appearing to them like “a warm gold dust” “a multitude of tiny golden points”. These are the only descriptions which I have as yet been able to find in mystical literature and poetry comparable to my marvelous courtroom vision.


Jury Trial Epilogue

The realization that everyone and everything everywhere is Divine and Holy, and that experiencing God is dependent on our state of mind, rather than our physical environment, has transformed my life for over forty years.

It was soon put to its first severe test when the foregoing lawsuit was scheduled for trial at the very same time Guruji was giving a retreat at the ‘paradise’ island of Maui, Hawaii. I intensely wanted to attend that retreat, but instead was obliged to conduct a six week jury trial in San Francisco.

So, rather than being with Guruji in an Hawaiian ‘paradise’ [*See photo below.], I spent a month and a half in a San Francisco courtroom with my crafty opponent, who appeared with two assistants – a young lawyer and a paralegal – to eloquently and skillfully present his client’s ethically questionable case.

I didn’t again perceive my adversary as Divine light. But, constantly remembering pervasive Divinity, I silently recited my Ram mantra whenever he addressed the judge or jury. It was a civil case, so only nine of the twelve jurors’ votes were needed to prevail. But ultimately all twelve jurors voted my client a large cash judgment. So civil justice prevailed in our omnipresent Divine ‘reality’.

*Below is a photo of Guruji taken by my friend Ram Dassi in front of the giant Buddha statue at the Lahaina, Maui Buddhist temple, while I was remembering Rama in a San Francisco courtroom.




Invocation

May this revelatory vision story help us remember that
everyone and everything everywhere is Divine and Holy!
And that the enduring happiness we all (knowingly or unknowingly) seek
is never found in superfluous diversions, possessions or pleasures,
but ever abides within our hearts and souls, as the Eternal light of LOVE.



And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

Beholding Beings Of Light
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.
What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
~ Antoine de Saint Exupery

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
“Everywhere I look, I see the face of God.”
~ Walt Whitman/Ron Rattner
“I have now come to a stage of realization in which I see that God is walking in every human form and manifesting Himself alike through the sage and the sinner, the virtuous and the vicious. Therefore when I meet different people I say to myself, “God in the form of the saint, God in the form of the sinner, God in the form of the righteous, God in the form of the unrighteous.”
~ Ramakrishna Paramahansa
“Spirituality is very simple.
I am everywhere, says the sage.
I exist in every form of creation.
If I hurt any form, I hurt myself.
If I raise any form to a higher level, I myself, find progress.
It is easy.”
~ Shree Ma

 

Shree Ma

Beholding Beings Of Light

Dear Friends,

Have you ever beheld strangers as divine beings? This happened to me one beautiful sunny Sunday, in January 1985, as I walked along San Francisco Bay to and from the Golden Gate Bridge. And I can never forget that amazingly inspiring experience.

The previous day and night I had been blessed to spend time with Shree Maa, a saintly and beautiful Hindu spiritual teacher who, with Swami Satyananda Saraswati, had recently arrived from India. They were then staying at a small house in Concord, California, east of San Francisco.

Shree Maa and Swami Satyananda Saraswati were then presiding over extended Navaratri rituals, in homage to the Divine Mother (known to Hindus as Devi, Durga or Shakti). These rituals included a powerful fire ceremony [“yagna”] with appropriate prayers, mantras and offerings to the Divine.

I gladly accepted a friend’s invitation to attend the commencement of these ceremonies in which I fervently joined. Previously, the house in Concord had been owned and occupied by my friend’s dear mother, who had been brutally murdered there by an intruder. We believed that these rituals conducted by saintly beings would help purify lingering negative subtle vibrations from that horrible violence, and bless the departed mother’s soul.

After spending most of the night participating in the ritual fire ceremony, I returned home to San Francisco in an elevated state of consciousness. Unknowingly, after a brief sleep, I awakened the next day still in an elevated state of awareness.

It was a beautiful warm sunny weekend day. So I decided to walk along the Bay to the Golden Gate Bridge. Because we were enjoying exceptionally fine weekend weather, the path along the Bay was filled with many people.

For a couple of hours while still in an abstracted state of awareness, I beheld every person I encountered – dozens, without exception – as a divine being emanating and glowing with Divine luminescence.

Again, with Grace I was given the insight that, beyond normal eyesight, reality’s Essence is Divine Luminescence; that every human is divinity masquerading in a precious human form – a “space-time soul suit”.

Since that unforgettable experience by the Bay, I have from time to time again glimpsed strangers as luminescent divine beings. But never yet again in such a protracted and dramatic way. Nonetheless, almost every meeting with another person has become for me a potential ‘holy encounter’ as I recall our common divine essence and identity.

So, I remain forever grateful for the Grace of that vision of the invisible. And for saintly beings like Sree Maa through whom such Grace manifests.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Mystery of Divinity

“The most beautiful and most profound experience
is the sensation of the mystical.
…To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists,
manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty
which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms
this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.”
~ Albert Einstein – The Merging of Spirit and Science
Whence come I and whither go I?
That is the great unfathomable question,
the same for every one of us.
Science has no answer to it.
~ Max Planck, Nobel Prize-winning physicist
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature.
And that is because, in the last analysis,
we ourselves are part of nature
and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”
~ Max Planck
The feeling of awe and sense of wonder
arises from the recognition of the deep mystery that surrounds us everywhere,
and this feeling deepens as our knowledge grows.
~ Lama Anagarika Govinda, The Way of the White Clouds.
“Since no one really knows anything about God, 

those who think they do are just 
troublemakers.”

~ Rabia of Basra (first female Sufi saint)


mystery of Divinity

Mystery of Divinity

Beyond rationality,
beyond theology,
beyond epistemology,
lies Mystery:

The mystery of Divinity;

The mystery of
“I AM THAT”.

We are here to solve “That” mystery.

To solve the mystery,
we become Divinity.
To know THAT,
we become THAT.

So our life is a meta-morphosis:
a process of transmuting –
Humanity to Divinity.

From earth-bound life
of self-inflicted limits and suffering,
we shall be freed;

Released to a timeless, boundless, formless,
joyous existence as—

THAT!



Ron’s audio recitation of Mystery of Divinity

Listen to



Ron’s explanation of “Mystery of Divinity”

Dear Friends,

The above sutra/poem metaphorically summarizes our perennial earth-life search for Reality beyond this ever impermanent illusory world of space/time and causality.

The poem (together with above quotations) describes the mentally insoluble mystery of Reality beyond relativity – “the enigma of the Unknowable”. The answer to that mystery is beyond our comprehension, imagination or belief; so we must solve it experientially and intuitively, rather than rationally. To know THAT, we must become THAT. 

Upon repeated births in human bodies we experience instant amnesia, forgetting what we knew before we withdrew from dwelling in heavenly domains.   Except for very rare Buddha-like saints and sages, we forget that we are immortal Divinity – each experiencing a Divine play of consciousness from an illusory soul perspective as a perceived separate entity.

Whereupon, we suffer from ‘a case of mistaken identity’.  We mistakenly self-identify only with our mortal physical forms, their emotions and perceptions, and their separate stories – and we become like actors playing unique roles in an endless play of cosmic consciousness.
 
Knowingly or unknowingly, we are here to remember and Self-realize what we forgot on incarnation into mortal human bodies. 

So our embodied lives become like spiritual mystery stories.  Instead of a ‘who-done-it?’ detective story, each life becomes a ‘who am I?’ spiritual mystery, which we are born to solve. Yet, the ultimate answer to that mystery is beyond our comprehension, imagination or belief.  So we must find it intuitively, rather than mentally.
 
Gradually, we uncover, beyond self-imposed ego-mind impediments and obscurations, our true Divine SELF-identity. We use and lose our mind to find our Source.

We solve the Mystery of Divinity, by becoming free at last as THAT which we seek.

To know THAT, we become THAT!

Dedication

May the forgoing “mystery” writings encourage and inspire our ever growing happiness, as we more and more remember our divine Self-identity, until we ultimately realize a timeless, boundless, formless, joyous existence as THAT!

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner