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Posts Tagged ‘God’

Seeing GOD
~ Ron’s Memoirs

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

“Have love for everyone, no one is other than you.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa
“One day, it was suddenly revealed to me that everything is pure spirit.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa
“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.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa
“Yes, all one’s confusion comes to an end if one only realizes that it is God who manifests Himself as the atheist and the believer, the good and the bad, the real and the unreal; that it is He who is present in waking and in sleep; and that He is beyond all these.” …. “God alone is the Doer. Everything happens by His will.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa
How can the divine Oneness be seen?
In beautiful forms, breathtaking wonders, awe-inspiring miracles?
The Tao is not obliged to present itself in this way.
If you are willing to be lived by it, you will
 see it everywhere,
even in the most ordinary things.
~ Lao Tzu
“True yogis, uniting their consciousness with God, see with equal eye,
all living beings in God and God in all living beings.” . . .
“For those who see me everywhere and see all things in me,
I am never lost, nor are they ever lost to me.”
~ Bhagavad Gita, Chapters 6:29-30, Krishna to Arjuna
“The supreme purpose and goal for human life
is to cultivate love.”

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

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

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

~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa




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

Ron’s Introduction to “Seeing GOD”

Dear Friends,

This memoirs posting about “Seeing God” is inspired by the timeless teachings of famed 19th Century Indian holy man and Avatar, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, which have helped me and countless others.
(See key quotations above and at “Sri Ramakrishna’s Timeless Wisdom”)

Sri Ramakrishna often experienced communion with the Divine, and from this rare perspective taught that God is immanent in all Earth-entities, while Cosmically transcendent as Infinite LOVE.

Beginning with the following essay-poem about “Seeing God”, this memoirs posting explains why I’ve long experienced great inspiration and felt affinity with Sri Ramakrishna as a Supreme ascetic exemplar of Divine devotion; and it recounts my post-awakening history of gradually perceiving everything as Divine and Holy. The posting includes an attached appendix pdf, about Ramakrishna’s history and his teachings.

Sri Ramakrishna’s spiritual Truth teachings have already helped millions of people transcend fearful mental sufferings. And in the current unprecedented post-pandemic polarized and fearful era these teachings can help countless more humans find peace of mind by realizing that everyone and everything is Divine and Holy.

Thus today’s posting about “Seeing God” is deeply dedicated to helping us fearlessly realize – and possibly perceive – that everyone and everything is Divine LOVE! 

And so may it be!

Seeing GOD

Q. What is God?

A. What isn’t God?

Q. Is it possible to see God?

A. Is it possible to not see God?

God is ONE: God is All –
God is immanent in and manifest as
everything and everyone everywhere.

So, everyone sees God everywhere.

But few know it.

 

Ron’s audio recitation of “Seeing GOD”

Listen to


Ron’s explanation of “Seeing GOD”

Dear Friends,

Before my mid-life spiritual awakening I’d never imagined seeing God, nor wondered whether that was possible. But after the awakening (and previously unimagined mystical experiences) I’ve gradually realized that everyone and everything we perceive is pure spirit, Divine and Holy; that God as Universal Awareness is immanent in all Earth-entities, while Cosmically transcendent as Infinite LOVE. And because of that realization, though physically limited I’m psychologically happier now than ever before in this almost 90 year lifetime.

Encouraged by my Guruji to share spiritual learning experiences, I’m hereafter chronologically outlining the high-points of my history of gradually finding growing happiness by seeing everything as Divine and Holy.

Before midlife.

Beginning during my pre-adult Jewish acculturation, I accepted the core monotheistic Bible proclamation:

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is ONE.”
~ Deuteronomy 6:4 

Whereupon, I instinctively conceived of “God” as formless and invisible, and assumed it impossible to perceive God. And, until after my mid-life awakening, I didn’t understand Jesus’ esoteric pronouncement that “I and the Father are ONE”  [John 10:30]. But after the awakening, that gradually happened.

Beginning after midlife.

In summer 1976, while crying for God with total surrender on a Yosemite mountain top, I beheld within (but did not merge with) the previously unimagined Divine light of ten thousand suns. Thereafter I believed I’d inwardly seen God as formless luminescence, but continued to assume it impossible to outwardly perceive God.

Then, following my 1982 ‘trip of a lifetime’ pilgrimage to India, I discovered the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, and began wondering about possibly “seeing God” outwardly. I hadn’t yet learned about Sri Ramakrishna before traveling to India. But that happened when our tour group visited Dakshineshwar, his long-time residence place outside Calcutta (now Kolkata).  There – almost a hundred years after Sri Ramakrishna’s mahasamadhi – I experienced his presence as shakti life-force with an amazingly intense feeling of déjà vu, while visiting a room where he had lived; a place which felt so harmoniously familiar to me that it seemed I could happily remain there forever.

On returning from India to the U.S., I began reading with curiosity and fascination about Ramakrishna’s amazing life and his teachings.  I learned that like Saint Francis of Assisi, he too was an ascetic mystic who completely renounced worldly pleasures and lived in utter simplicity.  Ultimately, of all the saints whose stories I’d reflected on, I came to feel most intuitive affinity with Sri Ramakrishna as well as with Saint Francis of Assisi, both of whom were extraordinary ascetic exemplars of non-dual Divine Love and devotion, blessed with ‘the gift of tears’.  Though Francis had lived in a vastly different age and culture seven hundred years before Sri Ramakrishna, they had similar devotional traits with which I’ve felt great rapport.

Ramakrisha’s history and teachings about God and Love.
See: Ramakrisha biography and teachings

Sri Ramakrishna’s amazingly unique spiritual life experiences and his timeless teachings are chronologically summarized in the attached biographical pdf file linked above and here. That biography recounts how his spiritual life-path began as a devotional Hindu bhakta rather than as a wisdom path jnani, like Sri Ramana Maharshi.

At first he scrupulously and successfully practiced traditional Hindu devotional paths.  Thereafter, with intense aspiration, he quickly realized the non-dual, transcendental or Brahman aspect of God which is Divine communion beyond human description. Then, with persistent and amazing aspiration, he took initiations into Islam and Christianity. And he assiduously followed their sadhanas, which culminated in his realization of God by each monotheistic religious path. From then on he mostly remained in blissful samadhi.

While continuously existing in states of spiritual ecstasy, Sri Ramakrishna affirmed (to his principal disciple Swami Vivekananda and others) that he had indeed “seen God”.   And ultimately he taught that God is All – immanent in all Earth-entities, while Cosmically transcendent as Infinite LOVE.

My Hindu devotional practices before and after “shaktipat.

Before and after my 1978 “shaktipat” initiation, I instinctively began and later followed only one of the various Hindu devotional paths which Ramakrishna successively practiced; I worshipped God as “Rama”, like my beloved Guruji.

In previous memoirs I have explained the importance of the Rama mantram in my transformational process; how spontaneously I began reciting “Rama” before receiving shaktipat initiation from Guruji, who synchronistically gave me a Ram mantra. And I’ve told why I believe that the power of my Ram mantra helped my miraculous survival and recovery from near death taxicab rundown injuries eight years ago.

Also, I’ve told how Mahatma Gandhi – my hero and first inner spiritual guide – recited “Rama” from childhood until his assassination; that even as Gandhi fell to an assassin’s pistol fired point-blank into his heart, in forgiveness he uttered nothing but “Rama, Rama …” his last words from the eternal depths of his heart.

After my 1978 “shaktipat” initiation, as instructed by Guruji I began worshipping God as “Rama”. And as foreseen by Guruji, I became (and remained) constantly “engrossed in devotion” and blessed with the ‘gift of devotional tears’.

Ultimately I long ago irreversibly accepted Sri Ramakrishna’s timeless teachings, but couldn’t follow the many other devotional paths which Ramakrishna successively practiced, except worshiping God as “Rama”.

As sometimes recommended by Ramakrishna, I daily worshiped God as Rama with the attitude of Hanuman, by repeatedly reciting the Hanuman Chalisa, and Ram mantras for many years. Hanuman became and remains symbolic of my Supreme devotion and Faith in God. And I became instinctively and spontaneously harmonious with “Rama”, as God.

Although, I eventually stopped reciting the Hanuman Chalisa, the Rama mantram has remained as an inherent and autonomic essence of my existence. Like my hero Mahatma Gandhi, the name “Rama” is constantly “in my heart, if not actually on my lips”.

Even now at almost age ninety, I often spontaneously tearfully call out “Rama” gratefully remembering that I’m feeling and seeing God in everyone and everything everywhere.

Dedication of “Seeing GOD”

May the foregoing quotations, verses, and teachings encourage us all to ever remember – and perhaps perceive – that everyone and everything is Divine!

And so may it be!

Namasté!

Ron Rattner

Words About Words

““No more words. Hear only the voice within.”
“Learn to speak by listening.”
~ Rumi
“We are what we think.

All that we are arises with our thoughts.

With our thoughts, we make the world.”
~ Buddha
“Better than a thousand useless words is one useful word,
hearing which one attains peace.
Better than a thousand useless verses is one useful verse,
hearing which one attains peace.”
~ Buddha
“In the beginning was the word
and the word was with God
and the word was God”
~ John 1:1
“The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of God stands forever.”
~ Isaiah 40:8
“True communication” is neither verbal nor mental –
but transcendental.
True communication is communion –
Heart to Heart.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Speak little; say much.”

~ Ron Rattner (aka Swami Onandonananda)





Ron’s Introduction to Words about Words

Dear Friends,

Today’s “Words About Words” posting, is deeply dedicated to preserving, advancing and blessing all miraculous Earth-life with our compassionate and empathetic thoughts, words, and deeds, as co-creators of our perceived space/time reality.

With the foregoing apt quotations, “Words About Words” is a collection sutra-sayings and verses about words, and follwing explanatory comments which supplement other related SillySutras postings about silence, words, and thoughts.

These writings reveal important reasons (especially in these Orwellian post-pandemic times), for us to consciously consider how and why our thoughts, words and behaviors karmically cause our Earth-life experiences.

They accept ancient Eastern non-duality and karma philosophies as well as Einstein’s revolutionary scientific insights revealing that our world is a thought created mental illusion, like a wonderful mirage, where “reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else”. [George Orwell “1984”]

According to mystic masters, the more elevated and compassionate our thought emanations, the further and faster we advance our spiritual evolution. (See e.g. Thoughts About Thought) So this posting is deeply dedicated to thus elevating and advancing our spiritual awakening process, and to helping us live ever happier lives.

May these writings encourage and inspire us, as spiritually awakening beings, to ever emanate elevating word and thought energies of kindness, compassion and empathy which help transform the world, and advance our spiritual evolution toward ultimate Self-realization of our true non-duality identity and infinite Reality – as Universal Life, Light and LOVE.

And so may it be!

Words About Words

Words are thoughts.

Words are mind symbols uttered or inscribed
to denominate and communicate ideas.



Words are then,
Life is NOW.


Life is a word game:

Adding a few syllables to the Ineffable,

we play the word game of life

until we find and become THAT –

Silence that says ALL.



Language can be a ladder for ascent to the Ineffable.


With wisdom words
we implicate
that
 Truth
words never explicate.



Truth transcends wisdom:

Wisdom is primordial;
but,
Truth is pre-primordial.



There’s nothing to say, but words point the way.

So, let’s elevate our spiritual “lexi-consciousness.”


Cosmic contra-diction:

In the beginning was the Word,

but in the end Silence says all.

We maximize the impact of our words

when we minimize the number of our words.


The epigrammatic is most dramatic.



Better than any words is experience.


As the Bible says, “God” is a word – a noun –

with countless connotations,
different for different people –

all believing or disbelieving in “God”.


“God” is a word designating different ideas of a Transcendent Power.


Thus, “God” did not create man,

but man created the word “God” –

with thoughts from ruminations, revelations, intuitions, and speculations,
trying to identify THAT which is beyond words, beyond all thought.


When words are inscribed or uttered with deep insight

and heartfelt compassion, they can be very powerful.

Such words are imbued with the energy of their originator.

So, words from an ‘enlightened being’ are like sun rays;

they radiate the light of their Source.



Live laconically, and

Walk your talk:


Join “The Society of Laconic Walk/Talkers”, where –

The less we talk,

the further we go.

The further we go,

the more we Know.

The more we Know,

the less we say,

’Til as Silence we are the Way.



Ron’s audio recitation of “Words About Words”

Listen to


Ron’s explanation of “Words About Words”

Our space/time world is an ever impermanent and illusory ‘reality’ in which everything and everyone is flowing energy. All supposedly separate forms and phenomena are energy vortexes or information systems constantly vibrating and oscillating within a continuum, field or range of frequencies. Most energies are imperceptible to humans. But some energy vibrations, like those of perceived physical matter, are slow enough for us to detect.

Thoughts and emotions are vibrating energy-forms which humans don’t normally see. They have a vibratory range from lower negative to higher positive. Negative thoughts of anger, anxiety or fear afflict us, while thoughts of kindness, compassion and love, bless us. Therefore, according to mystic masters, elevating our thought vibrations and emanations can be of fundamental evolutionary importance. Because:

We are what we think.

All that we are arises with our thoughts.

With our thoughts, we make the world.”

~ Buddha

Thus the more elevated our thought emanations, the further we advance our evolution toward realization of our true self-identity as Life, Light and LOVE. See: Thoughts About Thought

Thoughts from mistaken beliefs of separateness from each other and Nature cause slow vibrations and low emanations. As we evolve spiritually we gradually quicken and elevate our thought energies. And we thereby progressively transcend supposed separateness, and increasingly understand and experience our Oneness with all Life everywhere. Integral to a divine ‘design plan’, we are graced with infinite potentiality to collectively advance all life on planet Earth, through our loving and compassionate thoughts, words, and deeds, even while we still experience illusionary perceptual separation from Universal Awareness – our shared essence and ultimate identity as Absolute Reality.

It is with words that we mostly express and communicate our beliefs, thoughts and consequent mistaken concepts of perpetual separateness. So words are at the root of our thought-created illusionary space/time world and its inevitable karmic suffering. Thus, the Bible metaphorically tells us that
“In the beginning was the word”.

But, as destined, we inevitably evolve from thinking to loving; from living mentally, to Being consciously. In our evolutionary process, thoughts are obstacles if they muffle or mute our eternal inner voice of conscience, intuition and Love. And ultimately we learn experientially that, whereas in the beginning was the word, in the end it is silence that says all.

Also, we learn that as we gradually clear our conceptual conditioning, we may consciously communicate by various means other than words: that, without words or thoughts, we can powerfully communicate through gestures, touch, tears, smiles, music, and even telepathically.


And we learn that, however it is shared, LOVE is a ‘contagious’ blessing, for all Life everywhere. So, whereas in the the beginning we mostly communicate mentally to share our ideas and emotions, in the end we mostly commune silently to share Love; as we learn that true communication is neither verbal nor mental, but transcendental – that true communication is communion – Heart to Heart.

Thus, as spiritually awakening beings, we are ‘contagiously’ transforming the world by Being and emanating the Eternal Light of Truth and LOVE.

Dedication

The above sutras about words are shared and dedicated to advancing the human awakening process. They are especially important during current extraordinary polarized and turbulent times, when we must transcend fearful and hostile communications and emanations to avert impending calamity, and to co-create a blessed world of Peace and Love.

Invocation

May these Words about Words
encourage and inspire us,
as spiritually awakening beings,
to ever emanate elevating word and thought energies
of kindness, compassion and empathy
which help transform the world,
and advance our spiritual evolution
toward ultimate Self-realization
of our true non-duality identity and infinite Reality –
as Universal Life, Light and LOVE.


And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

Honoring Abraham Lincoln
on Presidents’ Day

“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
“With malice toward none, with charity for all,
with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right,
let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
~ Abraham Lincoln – Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865
“I am a firm believer in the people.
If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis.
The great point is to bring them the real facts.”

~ Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln (Feb 12, 1809 – Apr 15, 1865)

Honoring Abraham Lincoln on Presidents’ Day

Dear Friends,

We are about to honor US Presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln whose February birthdays are commemorated annually on the U.S. “Presidents’ Day” national holiday. They are leaders who who successfully fought the US revolutionary war for Independence from Great Britain, and the US Civil War to end human chattel slavery. Both wars were fought in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence to secure human life, liberty, and happiness pursuant to “the laws of nature and of nature’s God”.

The US founding fathers recognized, that governments and their chartered transnational organizations do not exist by Divine right; that they are established by people to serve people – not to unfairly tax, exploit or oppress them – and that they are illegitimate unless they serve human rights and happiness.

In the US Civil War over 600,000 non-indigenous Americans died; more than during all other US wars, from the Revolution through Vietnam.

Thereafter, in his famous address dedicating a Gettysburg national cemetery, President Lincoln eloquently invoked divine providence, and called for a national rebirth of equal rights, liberty and representative government, proclaiming:

“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


Representative government and empire cannot coexist.

Contrary to President Lincoln’s 1863 Gettysburg aspiration and dedication, and to the Declaration of Independence, the USA has paradoxically become history’s most colossal and hegemonic world empire.

Instead of peacefully furthering human life, liberty, and happiness the vast American empire has been perpetually involved in wars, either directly or vicariously, in ways Washington and Lincoln could have never imagined. It is possible that the US has killed more than 20 million people in 37 “victim nations” just since World War II, including millions of non-combatant civilian women and children.

Moreover, the American government is no longer a republic or democracy. Lincoln’s egalitarian ideal of a US government “of the people, by the people, for the people” has been insidiously co-opted by and for obscenely wealthy worldwide plutocrats, trillionaire transnational hedge funds, and global corporations constituting a mere tiny fraction of 1% of Humankind. (*see Footnote)

Furthermore, in recent years there has been much American civil and political discord, concurrent with unprecedented worldwide turmoil, social unrest and adversity. Countless people are experiencing serious deprivations of human rights and necessities. Accordingly they are angrily and anxiously displaying polarized and violent behaviors and emotions. Moreover, many justifiably fear nuclear, climate, or biological catastrophe ending life on Earth as we’ve known it.

Thus, while some Americans may celebrate their past presidents during the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend, others will be deeply concerned about current edicts, dangers, deprivations, and disappearance of purported American democracy.

Whether or not we are citizens of the American empire, whatever may be our political, cultural, generational, or geographical perspectives, we all share overriding common needs and aspirations which are critically threatened by imminently disastrous world crises involving U.S. policies. So it is appropriate for us all to seriously reflect on Presidents’ Day about the current state of our precious planet.

[*Footnote Even ex-president Jimmy Carter has publicly recognized that the US is no longer a democracy. Eg. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-zuesse/jimmy-carter-is-correct-t_b_7922788.html
https://theintercept.com/2015/07/30/jimmy-carter-u-s-oligarchy-unlimited-political-bribery/
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/09/13/jimmy-carter-speaks-out-against-us-oligarchy-and-trumps-diplomatic-failures]

Evolutionary opportunity.

These are obviously critical times of immense worldwide jeopardy and suffering. But they can also afford us extraordinary evolutionary opportunities for conscientiously promoting world peace and social justice, and for equitably redistributing limited planetary resources which are now greedily and unsustainably monopolized, hidden or hoarded by a few obscenely rich billionaires. And thereby we have opportunities for rededicating Humanity to the sanctity of all life on Earth.

As His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has observed:

“It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.”

Thus, it is appropriate for us to collectively consider how we can do most good for ourselves and others.

And how our precious planet’s societies, institutions and enterprises can be guided for common good by humble, harmonious, and compassionate people, rather than unsustainably dominated top-down by and for obscenely greedy and malignantly exploitive billionaire bankers, sociopaths, technocrats or plutocrats.

Dedication.

This posting is dedicated to our reflecting, recognizing and honoring our immense evolutionary opportunities, to advance Lincoln’s eloquently articulated timeless aspirations:

“With malice toward none, and empathy for all,

Let us end the iniquity of inequity in our society,

So “that government of the people, by the people,

for the people, shall not perish from the Earth”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

Invocation.

May we thereby honor the sanctity of universal peace and justice,
for the welfare of the World and all life.

And may we cooperatively coexist, peacefully, harmoniously and happily, with each other and with all other life on our precious planet,

until ultimately we shall realize our common Self-identity

As the Eternal light of timeless LOVE.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Sri Ramakrishna’s Timeless Wisdom


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

~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa


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



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

Dear Friends,

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

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

As a tribute to him Mahatma Gandhi has written:


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


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

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

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

My Discovery of Sri Ramakrisha’s Teachings

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

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

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

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

Please enjoy and reflect upon them.


Sri Ramakrishna’s Timeless Wisdom Teachings



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Bondage and Liberation are of the mind alone.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Great men have the nature of a child.”

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

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

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

“As many faiths so many paths”.

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

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

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

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

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

“Spirituality automatically leads to humility.
When a flower develops into a fruit, the petals drop off on its own.
When one becomes spiritual, the ego vanishes gradually on its own.
A tree laden with fruits always bends low. Humility is a sign of greatness.”

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

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

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

“Man suffers through lack of faith in God.”

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

“You must have heard about the tremendous power of faith. It is said . . that Rama, who was God Himself – the embodiment of Absolute Brahman – had to build a bridge to cross the sea to Ceylon. But Hanuman, trusting in Rama’s name, cleared the sea in one jump and reached the other side. He had no need of a bridge.”

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

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

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

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

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

“Forgiveness is the true nature of the ascetic.”

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

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

“Do yourself what you wish others to do.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Mahatma Gandhi’s Tribute to Sri Ramakrishna

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


Invocation

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


And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Transcending Ego-Suffering

“Ego is the biggest enemy of humans. ”
~ Rig Veda



Introduction to “Transcending Ego-Suffering”

Dear Friends,

Perennial spiritual teachings ascribe all human suffering to “ego” – mistaken mental self-identity as life-forms separate from non-duality Reality. Thus “ego” is considered a psychological prison in which suffering is inevitable. However, ego-suffering can be karmically mitigated as we spiritually evolve, but not ended until it is totally transcended.

To reduce our suffering and advance our spiritual evolution toward ultimate Self-Realization ending “ego”, I have posted below a poem titled “What is Ego?”, a carefully culled quotation collection about ego, and my explanatory comments which help define and explain the fundamental spiritual importance of “ego”, and why reducing and transcending ego-suffering is especially important in these troubled times.

May these writings inspire and encourage us to let go of who we mistakenly think we are, so we can enjoy more and suffer less, until ultimately we realize and BE what we truly are.

Thus, they are deeply dedicated to helping us live with ever-growing happiness, until our ultimate transcendence of ego-suffering – as ego-free LOVE.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


What is Ego?

Q. What is ego?

A. Ego is what you think you are –

If you don’t self-identify with Universal Awareness, Nature or Divinity.

And your body is your ego incarnate.

As you learn what you really are,
you’ll change what you think you are –

Until without thinking what you are
or who you are,

You just ARE.



Ron’s audio recitation of What is Ego?

Listen to



Quotation Collection About “Transcending Ego-Suffering”


“Ego is the biggest enemy of humans. ”

~ Rig Veda


“Thinking without awareness is the main dilemma of human existence.”

~ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth



“I hold three treasures
 close to my heart.

The first is love;

The next simplicity;

The third, overcoming ego.”

~ Lao Tzu

“If you correct your mind,
the rest of your life will fall into place.”
~ Lao Tzu

“When I let go of what [I think] I am,

I become what I might be.”

~ Lao Tzu

“The mind is a bundle of thoughts.
The thoughts arise because there is the thinker.
The thinker is the ego.
The ego, if sought, will automatically vanish.
The ego and the mind are the same.
The ego is the root-thought from which all other thoughts arise.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi


“The foundation of the Buddha’s teachings lies in compassion, and the reason for practicing the teachings is to wipe out the persistence of ego, the number-one enemy of compassion.”

~ Dalai Lama


“The entire Buddhist path is based on the discovery of egolessness and the maturing of insight or knowledge that comes from egolessness.”

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche


“A spark of truth can burn up a mountain of lies. The opposite is also true. The sun of truth remains hidden behind the cloud of self-identification with the body.”

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

“Personal entity and enlightenment cannot go together.”
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


”When all the false self-identifications are thrown away,
what remains is all-embracing love.”

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

“Life is love and love is life.” 

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

“Only if one knows the truth of Love, which is the real nature of Self, will the strong entangled [ego] knot of life be untied. Only if one attains the height of Love will liberation be attained. Such is the heart of all religions. The experience of Self is only Love, which is seeing only Love, hearing only Love, feeling only Love, tasting only Love and smelling only Love, which is bliss.”

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi

“The way is not in the sky.
The way is in the heart.”
~ Buddha

“All bad qualities center round the ego. .. There are neither good nor bad qualities in the Self. The Self is free from all qualities. Qualities pertain to the mind only.”
“The mind is only a bundle of thoughts [with] their root in the I-thought. Whoever investigates the True “I” enjoys the stillness of bliss.”
“All unhappiness is due to the ego. With it comes all your trouble.
If you would deny the ego and scorch it by ignoring it you would be free.”
~ 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


“Nothing perceivable is real. Your attachment is your bondage. You cannot control the future.

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

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj



“In Hinduism, the very idea of free will is non-existent,

so there is no word for it.

Will is commitment, fixation, bondage.” . . . .

“To be free in the world you must be free of the world.

Otherwise your past decides for you and your future.”

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj



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

~ Swami Vivekananda


“[T]here cannot be any such thing as free will; the very words are a contradiction, because will is what we know and everything that we know is within our universe, and everything within our universe is moulded by the conditions of space, time, and causation. Everything that we know, or can possibly know, must be subject to causation, and that which obeys the law of causation cannot be free.”

“The only way to come out of bondage is to go beyond the limitations of law,
to go beyond causation.”

“This is the goal of the Vedantin, to attain freedom while living.”

~ Swami Vivekananda – Karma Yoga


“To acquire freedom we have to get beyond the limitations of this universe;
it cannot be found here. ….
The only way to come out of bondage
is to go beyond the limitations of [natural] law,
 to go beyond causation.”

~ Swami Vivekananda



“The world, indeed, is like a dream and the treasures of the world are an alluring mirage! Like the apparent distances in a picture, things have no reality in themselves, but they are like heat haze.”

~ Buddha


“A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion,

does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.”

~ Buddha

“A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.”
“In Buddhism, ignorance as the root cause of suffering refers to a fundamental misperception of the true nature of the self and all phenomena.”
“We must recognize that the suffering of one person or one nation is the suffering of humanity.”
~ Dalai Lama



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

~ Albert Einstein



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

they are modes in which we think”.

~ Albert Einstein



“It is true that we are not bound. That is to say, the real Self has no bondage. And it is true that you will eventually return to your Source. But meanwhile, if you commit sins, as you call them, you have to face the consequences. You cannot escape them.”

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi



“When you think or speak about yourself, when you say, “I,” what you usually refer to is “me and my story.” This is the “I” of your likes and dislikes, fears and desires, the “I” that is never satisfied for long. It is a mind-made sense of who you are, conditioned by the past and seeking to find its fulfillment in the future. Can you see that this “I” is fleeting, a temporary formation, like a wave pattern on the surface of the water?”

~ Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks



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

~ Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

“

“As long as the egoic mind is running your life, you cannot truly be at ease; you cannot be at peace or fulfilled except for brief intervals when you obtained what you wanted, when a craving has just been fulfilled. Since the ego is a derived sense of self, it needs to identify with external things. It needs to be both defended and fed constantly. The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, personal and family history, belief systems, and often also political, nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications.”

~ Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now



“The individual is separate from his universal environment only in name. When this is not recognized, you have been fooled by your name. Confusing names with Nature, you come to believe that having a separate name makes you a separate being. This is—rather literally—to be spellbound.

~ Alan Watts



“When the line between myself and what happens to me is dissolved and there is no stronghold left for an ego even as a passive witness, I find myself not in a world but
as a world which is neither compulsive nor capricious.”

~ Alan Watts



“The ego says that the world is vast, and that the particles which form it are tiny. When tiny particles join, it says, the vast world appears. When the vast world disperses, it says, tiny particles appear. The ego is entranced by all these names and ideas, but the subtle truth is that world and particle are the same; neither one vast, neither one tiny. Every thing is equal to every other thing. Names and concepts only block your perception of this Great Oneness. Therefore it is wise to ignore them. Those who live inside their egos are continually bewildered: they struggle frantically to know whether things are large or small, whether or not there is a purpose to joining or dispersing, whether the universe is blind and mechanical or the divine creation of a conscious being. In reality there are no grounds for having beliefs or making comments about such things. Look behind them instead, and you will discern the deep, silent, complete truth of the Tao. Embrace it, and your bewilderment vanishes.”

~ Lao Tzu



“The ego is a monkey catapulting through the jungle: Totally fascinated by the realm of the senses, it swings from one desire to the next, one conflict to the next, one self-centered idea to the next. If you threaten it, it actually fears for its life. Let this monkey go. Let the senses go. Let desires go. Let conflicts go. Let ideas go. Let the fiction of life and death go. Just remain in the center, watching. And then forget that you are there.”

~ Lao Tzu




“Free of ego, living naturally, working virtuously, you become filled with inexhaustible vitality and are liberated forever from the cycle of death and rebirth. Understand this if nothing else: spiritual freedom and oneness with the Tao are not randomly bestowed gifts, but the rewards of conscious self-transformation and self-evolution.”

~ Lao Tzu



“True freedom and the end of suffering is living in such a way as if you had completely chosen whatever you feel or experience at this moment. This inner alignment with Now is the end of suffering.”

~ Eckhart Tolle



“The world is a prison and we are the prisoners:

Dig a hole in the prison and let yourself out!”

~ Rumi



“Why do you stay in prison 
when the door is so wide open?”

~ Rumi



“Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.”

~ Rumi



“The choice that frees or imprisons us is the choice of love or fear.

Love liberates. Fear imprisons.”

~ Gary Zukav



“Deep down, at our cores, there are only two emotions:
love and fear.

All positive emotions come from love,

all negative emotions from fear.

From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy.

From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt.”

~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler – When You Don’t Choose Love You Choose Fear



“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear” . . .

~ 1 John 4:18



“When fear becomes collective, when anger becomes collective, it’s extremely dangerous. It is overwhelming…
The mass media and the military-industrial complex create a prison for us, so we continue to think, see, and act in the same way…
We need the courage to express ourselves even when the majority is going in the opposite direction… because a change of direction can happen only when there is a collective awakening…
Therefore, it is very important to say, ‘I am here!’ to those who share the same kind of insight.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power



“Many people are so imprisoned in their minds that the beauty of nature does not really exist for them. They might say, ‘What a pretty flower,’ but that’s just a mechanical mental labeling. Because they are not still, not present, they don’t truly see the flower, don’t feel it’s essence, it’s holiness-just as they don’t know themselves, don’t feel their own essence, their own holiness.”

~ Eckhart Tolle



“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.”

~ Isaac of Nineveh, 7th C. Orthodox Saint and Persian Mystic



”One of the marvels of the world:

The sight of a soul sitting in prison

with the key in its hand.”

~ Rumi



“I long to escape the prison of my ego
 and lose myself in you.”

~ Rumi



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

~ Albert Einstein ( N. Y. Times , March 29, 1972)



“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



Q: “How much “ego” do
you need?

A: Just enough so that you don’t step in front of a bus.”

~ Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

Ron’s Comments on “Transcending Ego-Suffering”

Dear Friends,

Perennial spiritual teachings ascribe all human suffering to “ego” – mistaken mental self-identity as individually separate from non-duality Reality. Thus “ego” is considered a psychological prison in which suffering is inevitable.

Before my 1976 spiritual awakening I was self-identifying only with my physical body and its story; not with Nature or our Universal Source and Eternal Essence. But since then I’ve become consciously aware that (like almost all other humans) I’m psychologically ‘imprisoned’ by mistaken ego thoughts of being separate from others, Nature, and SELF. And I’ve learned that while mentally ‘imprisoned’ by ego we inevitably suffer from karmic cause and effect.

Therefore, to reduce our ego-suffering and advance our spiritual evolution toward ultimate Self-Realization, I have posted the above quotation collection and poem, which define and explain the fundamental spiritual importance of “ego”, and how we can transcend it.

Reducing and transcending inevitable ego-suffering is especially important in these troubled times, because “ego” can be the greatest impediment to spiritual evolution and Self-realization.

However, as human consciousness ever evolves we are remembering our long forgotten true Self-identity, and universal Oneness with Nature and SELF. And thereby we are consciously reducing ego-suffering, with increasingly harmonious, loving and compassionate behaviors and emotions toward all Life everywhere.

Thus, today’s posting is deeply dedicated to encouraging our living with ever-growing happiness, until our ultimate transcendence of ego-suffering – as ego-free LOVE.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


There’s Nothing Ahead ~ Rumi


“Come out of the circle of time
And into the circle of love.”
~ Rumi

“The Past, the Future, O dear, is from you;
you should regard both these as one.”
~ Rumi

“Fling me across the fabric of time and the seas of space.
Make me nothing and from nothing-everything.”
~ Rumi

“The Eternal looked upon me for a moment with His eye of power,
and annihilated me in His being,
and become manifest to me in His essence.
I saw I existed through Him.”
~ Rumi

“I am an ark in the swift flood of time,
and my companions, a fellowship.
Who throws in with us sails into light.”
~ Rumi

“Forget the future.”
“The day is conscious of itself.”
~ Rumi



There’s Nothing Ahead ~ Rumi

Lovers think they’re looking for each other,
but there’s only one search:
wandering this world is wandering that,
both inside one transparent sky.
In here there is no dogma
and no heresy.

The miracle of Jesus is himself,
not what he said or did about the future.
Forget the future.
I’d worship someone who could do that.

On the way, you may want to look back, or not.
But if you can say, There’s nothing ahead,
there will be nothing there.

Stretch your arms
and take hold of the cloth of your clothes
with both hands.
The cure for pain is in the pain.
Good and bad are mixed.
If you don’t have both,
you don’t belong with us.

When one of us gets lost,
is not here, he must be inside us.
There’s no place like that
anywhere in the world.


Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi,
Translation: Coleman Barks

There’s Nothing Ahead ~ Rumi



Voice: Md Taufikur Rahman
background Music:
🎵 Song: ‘Juan Sánchez – Now The Silence’ is under a Free for YouTube license.
https://soundcloud.com/juansanchezcom…

Perennial Permanence Puzzlement

“This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds
.
To watch the birth and death of beings
is like looking at the movements of a dance.

A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky,
rushing by like a torrent down a steep mountain.”
~ Buddha (563 – 483 BC)
A corporeal phenomenon, a feeling, a perception, a mental formation,
a consciousness, which is permanent and persistent, eternal and not subject to change, such a thing the wise men in this world do not recognize;
and I also say that there is no such thing.
~ Buddha (563 – 483 B.C)
“In the beginning was Atman; the one without a second.”
“We are like the spider.
We weave our life and then move along in it.
We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives in the dream.
This is true for the entire universe.”
~ Aitareya Upanishad of Rig Veda
“In this ever-changing space/time world,
nothing is immutable,
but much is inscrutable.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings





Perennial Permanence Puzzlement

Is there anything permanent
in Heaven’s vast firmament?

Is there a Perfection
beyond all conception –
a Cause of all that’s so?

Is there a force –
an Eternal Source –
that we can ever know?

Is it our task, to seek and to ask,
and so to ever grow?

‘Tis a Perennial Puzzlement!


Ron’s recitation of Perennial Permanence Puzzlement

Listen to



Ron’s Comments on Perennial Permanence Puzzlement

Dear Friends,

The foregoing written and recited sutra verses were initially inspired by actor Yul Brynner’s legendary performance of the song “A Puzzlement” in the award winning Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The King and I”. In that song Sri Oscar Hammerstein’s spiritually insightful lyrics emphasize the inevitable uncertainties about our beliefs and behaviors in an ever changing world. For example:

“There are times I almost think
Nobody sure of what he absolutely know”

“And it puzzle me to learn
That tho’ a man may be in doubt of what he know
Very quickly he will fight
He’ll fight to prove that what he does not know is so”


So (like Hammerstein’s lyrics) the above verses emphasize inescapable uncertainties in this ever impermanent duality reality. They all ask rationally unanswerable rhetorical questions, in a world of “Perennial Puzzlement”.

But beyond rational thought, all sutra verses point to immutable Eternal Awareness ever imminent in everything/everyone everywhere.

Thus, with above quotations, they are deeply dedicated to hastening Humanity’s awakening to That Eternal Source.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

From co-dependent exploitation,
to co-creative realization
~ A rare turning point in Human history

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

Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I —
 I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”
~ Robert Frost – The Road Not Taken



Dear Friends,

We have reached a rare turning point in modern human history. Confronted by apparent dire threats to survival of life on Earth as we’ve known it, our species is awakening to a prophesied new enlightened Earth age. After eons of imagined darkness, we are now realizing our infinite potential as timeless wholeness and Oneness with Source – as LOVE beyond comprehension, imagination or description.

Thus a “critical mass” of Humankind will soon be energetically (not spatially) uplifted to a compassionate new world, dynamically harmonious with Nature and all life everywhere – a “new reality” foreseen for millennia by non-materialist mystic seers.

Accordingly this essay is dedicated to inspiring our awakened inclusion in that uplifted “critical mass”.

Historic Background

Throughout recorded history, in order to evolve, human societies have been compelled to abandon previously cherished inflexible beliefs about “reality” (our cosmology, religion, science, philosophy etc.) which limited learning, impeded progress, and facilitated evil and harmful behaviors.

How could we have advanced believing that the earth was flat, or that it was the center of our solar system? And now, because of unprecedented anthropogenic threats to survival of Earth life as we’ve known it, we are again urgently compelled to transcend cherished beliefs about our perceived (three dimensional) illusionary “reality”.

Refusing Ruling Class Exploitation

Human societies have mostly been undemocratically governed by self-proclaimed elite rulers. But for eons our earthly human societies have been secretly dominated and energetically exploited by psychopathic “leaders” representing a few unimaginably malevolent and unknown astral “rulers”.

Thus, until now we’ve lived unaware of our existence in addictive codependent relationships with our “leaders” and “rulers”, which relationships are parasitically exploitive and dysfunctional. And so far this tiny ruling class has cleverly and selfishly used their understanding of our subliminal Oneness with Source (and all other perceived energy forms) to successfully exploit us.

Currently, using controlled mainstream media of mass deception, they have subliminally “brainwashed”, indoctrinated, and inculcated most of humanity into erroneously and fearfully accepting parasitic servitude to them. Such subliminal servitude has precluded us from realizing our infinite power to fearlessly co-create elevated energetic realities, beyond all domination or exploitation, and thereby to fulfill our deepest evolutionary aspirations.

But in recent “new normal” times our ruling “leaders” have enacted immoral laws, orders and edicts which are so flagrantly outrageous that they are painfully awakening many people to our innate human rights and freedoms. Accordingly, those people are resisting and refusing to follow such insanely immoral and unlawful decrees, rather than degenerate into a locked-down Malthusian global 3D society of unprecedented and insidious human control and enslavement by a few malignant psychopaths.

Thus by their civil disobedience and adamant moral refusal to bear such insanity, a critical mass of humankind are about to be energetically uplifted to co-create a wonderful new era in human history.

Though we appear separate, we are all One with Source

“Human beings are made of body, mind and spirit.
Of these, spirit is primary, for it connects us to the source of everything,
the eternal field of consciousness.”
~ Deepak Chopra

All is a play in consciousness. All divisions are illusory.
You can know the false only. The true you must yourself be.”
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

“You are awareness, disguised as a person.”

~ Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks

Although each human is unique in apparent physical form, (like hexagonal crystalline snowflakes) we all subliminally share the same mysterious spiritual Source, which is inconceivable and indescribable. Because we are so subliminally connected we are all affected by a lack of harmony or morality anywhere in our perceived 3D “reality”. Therefore, we are awakening globally to resist immoral edicts which wickedly violate our innate human rights and freedoms.

Until now our subconscious oneness with all Earth life has permitted subliminal matrix control over our species. But growing human awareness of such Oneness with Source is paradoxically enabling us to irreversibly escape from our current codependent bondage in an imperceptible matrix “prison”.

The following quotations and explanations are about how and why we can soon escape:

Escaping from co-dependent exploitation, to co-creative realization.

“When fear becomes collective, when anger becomes collective,
it’s extremely dangerous. It is overwhelming…
The mass media and the military-industrial complex create a prison for us,
so we continue to think, see, and act in the same way…
We need the courage to express ourselves even when the majority is going in the opposite direction…
because a change of direction can happen only when there is a collective awakening…
Therefore, it is very important to say, ‘I am here!’ to those who share the same kind of insight.” 
~ Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power

“The choice that frees or imprisons us is the choice of love or fear.
Love liberates. Fear imprisons.”
~ Gary Zukav

“Deep down, at our cores, there are only two emotions:
love and fear.
All positive emotions come from love,
all negative emotions from fear.
From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy.
From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt.”
~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler – When You Don’t Choose Love You Choose Fear

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear” . . .
~ 1 John 4:18


Discussion: Until now parasitic lower realm entities have been able to subliminally exploit third dimension humans, only by cleverly fomenting widespread divisive beliefs, fears, anger and other negative emotions. Without such fears and emotions these evil entities can not exploit us. They cannot function in energetically loving dimensions. Fear and Love can’t coexist. And love is “contagious”.

So provoked by outrageously immoral orders and edicts, and aided by unprecedentedly propitious Earth energy cycles, we are now remembering and choosing our true Self identity as Divine LOVE, beyond comprehension, imagination or description.

And as we realize that as eternal LOVE we have nothing to fear, but fear itself, we will inevitably irreversibly escape from captured codependence to fearlessly co-create a wonderful new era in human history.

Methods which are hastening our escape from matrix imprisonment:

1) Living lovingly and gratefully

“Love Is The Law Of Life:

All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. 

Love is therefore the only law of life.

He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying. 

Therefore, love for love’s sake,

because it is law of life, just as you breathe to live.”

~ Swami Vivekananda


“It is not joy that makes us grateful;

it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”

~ Brother David Steindl-Rast

“Thankfulness is the soul of beneficence …

For thankfulness brings you to the place where the Beloved lives.”

~ Rumi


2) Becoming mindfully conscious of eternal LOVE

“By the definite science of meditation known for millenniums to the yogis and sages of India, and to Jesus,
any seeker of God can enlarge the caliber of his consciousness to omniscience to receive within himself the Universal Intelligence of God.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

“Meditation is one of the most direct and powerful ways to awaken to who we really are and to experience happiness as a state of consciousness that already exists within us.”
~ Deepak Chopra


A focused or stilled mind is crucial to spiritual evolution. With stilled minds we access intuition and imagination, and are uplifted beyond darkness of negative emotions.
With stilled minds we telepathically ‘hear’ and follow our Sacred Heart’s message of Love.
With stilled minds we follow our heart – not our ego.
With stilled minds we instinctively reject dark “leaders” who’ve betrayed and ‘imprisoned’ us.

“The heart has its reasons that reason does not know.” 
~ Blaise Pascal

“Faith is a knowledge within the heart,

beyond the reach of proof.” 
~ Kahlil Gibran

“The way is not in the sky.
The way is in the heart.”
~ Buddha

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift,

and the rational mind is a faithful servant.

We have created a society that honors the servant

and has forgotten the gift.” 
~ Albert Einstein


3) Practicing nonviolent Gandhian civil disobedience.

“Satyagraha means resisting untruth by truthful means”

“It is a religious duty to fight untruth.

If one remains steadfast in it in a spirit of dedication,
it always brings success.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi


Those of us who already realize how humans are being psychopathically dominated and immorally imprisoned in an invisible ‘matrix’, must now morally and truthfully act to preserve inherent human rights and protect our planet and progeny. With righteous courage, we must speak out and nonviolently disobey unlawful and immoral edicts.

4) Being the change we wish to see.

“[T]he world will not change if we don’t change.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi

“If we are to make progress,

we must not repeat history but make new history.

We must add to inheritance left by our ancestors.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi

“We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts, we make the world.”
~ Buddha

“The world is a projection of our collective consciousness.
If our collective consciousness reaches that place of peace, harmony, laughter and love,
it will be a different world.”
~ Deepak Chopra


Energetically we live in a labyrinth of thoughts, intentions, feelings and behaviors which create our “reality”. “Whatever we think, do, or say, is changing this world in some way.”

Accordingly, as we prioritize our intention to mindfully radiate loving and forgiving thoughts, behaviors, and emotions we are inevitably and irreversibly elevating and enlightening our earthly “reality” beyond malevolent darkness.

5) Turning off mainstream media.

“Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.”
~ Edward Bernays

“Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated
are confident they are acting on their own free will.”
~ Joseph Goebbels

“The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.”
~ Aldous Huxley

“All propaganda is lies, even when one is telling the truth.”
“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
~ George Orwell


All mainstream information media have become propagandist instruments dishonestly dominated and controlled by our “leaders”. Whenever possible we must turn them off, even if they seem to publish information with which we agree. We must not be diverted or confused by information or speculation, which is published with insidious motives.

If we seek information (not speculation) about purported current events or history, we need to investigate non-mainstream sources, especially those which are ridiculed, slandered or censored by mainstream media – like Robert F. Kennedy’s Children’s Health Foundation. However, in reviewing such alternative information outlets we must carefully consider their facts and sources, and not assume their accuracy or credibility.

6) Mindfully recognizing that this world is a mere mental illusion

“A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion,
does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.”
~ Buddha


“…this separation between man and man, between nation and nation,
between earth and moon, between moon and sun.
Out of this idea of separation between atom and atom comes all misery.
But the Vedanta says that this separation does not exist, it is not real.”

“Your own will is all that answers prayer,
only it appears under the guise of different religious conceptions to each mind.
We may call it Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, but it is only the Self, the ‘I’.”
~ Swami Vivekananda – Jnana Yoga

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
“Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
~ Albert Einstein

“What appears to be a stable, tangible, visible, audible world, is an illusion.”
“Objective reality does not exist” ….
“the universe is fundamentally a gigantic … hologram.”

~ David Bohm, Quantum Physicist

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


We now exist in a perceived relative “reality” where everything is energy (e=Mc2), and suffering is omnipresent. But enlightened mystics and scientists remind us that our “reality” and its seeming separation of perceived thought forms is merely “an optical illusion of consciousness” and that we avert suffering by “recognizing that the world is but an illusion.”

As we consciously identify our comparative “reality” as merely an illusion, we will transcend suffering from negative intentions, actions, thoughts and emotions. And thereby we’ll live with ever growing kindness, and with compassion for others who are still suffering.

Inevitably our kindness will quicken and elevate our subtle energy emanations, until we irreversibly experience our lives from higher dimensions where there is no suffering, just oneness with Source – as LOVE.

Like Gandhi and other great souls we’ll then perceive this world like a metaphoric good versus evil “movie” in which Divine Truth and Love always prevail.

7) Laughter and humor are always uplifting

“When you realize how perfect everything is

you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.”

~ Buddha

“Sing because this is a food our starving world needs.
Laugh because that is the purest sound.”

~ Hafiz

“What is soap to the body, laughter is to the soul.”

~ Yiddish Proverb

“Time spent laughing is time spent with the Gods.”

~ Japanese proverb

“I laugh when I think how I once sought paradise as a realm outside of the world of birth.
It is right in the world of birth and death that the miraculous truth is revealed.
But this is not the laughter of someone who suddenly acquires a great fortune;
neither is it the laughter of one who has won a victory.
It is, rather, the laughter of one who; after having painfully searched for something for a long time,
finds it one morning in the pocket of his coat.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh

“If a person can laugh totally, wholeheartedly, not holding anything back at all,
in that very moment something tremendous can happen
because laughter, when it is total, is absolutely egoless,
and that is the only condition in which to know God, to be egoless.”
~ Osho

“If honesty were suddenly introduced into American life, the whole system would collapse.”
“That’s why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.”
~ George Carlin


Invocation

At this unprecedented turning point in modern human history,
may we mindfully recognize and intentionally radiate
truth of our common Self-identity as LOVE.

May we thereby be part of an irreversibly uplifted “critical mass” of Humankind,
which will co-create a prophesied compassionate new world,
dynamically harmonious with Nature and all life everywhere.

And so shall it be!


Namasté!

Ron Rattner

Saint Francis of Assisi: His Life and His Prayer

“All the darkness in the world can’t extinguish the light from a single candle.”
~ Francis Of Assisi (The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi)
“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”
~ Francis of Assisi
“The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today”
~ Francis Of Assisi
“Vi volglio tutti in paradisio!” [ “I wish all in heaven!”]
~ Francis of Assisi
“Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self.”
~ Francis of Assisi
“When we pray to God we must be seeking nothing — nothing.”
“We should seek not so much to pray, but to become prayer.”
~ Francis of Assisi


Praying to Brother Sun and Sister Moon

Saint Francis of Assisi
September 26, 1181 – October 3, 1226 [*See footnote]


Saint Francis of Assisi is one of history’s most beloved saints. For almost eight hundred years since his canonization by the Catholic Church (in the year 1228), he has been remembered and revered not only by Christian denominations, but by countless others world-wide, who have been inspired by his life of universal love, his teachings, and his oneness with Nature. More than three million people come every year to his tomb in Assisi.

He is patron saint of Italy and of many other places, like San Francisco, a city blessed with his name, his spirit, and a national shrine including the Porziuncola Nuova, the only papally declared holy place in the USA. Also, he is patron saint of birds, animals and ecology and is so remembered on his annual October 4th Feast Day celebration.

Francis loved peace, communed with all living creatures, and lived a life of kindness, simplicity and poverty in contrast to the wealth and apparent corruption of the Church. He was the founder of the Franciscan order of the Catholic Church, and inspired founding of the Poor Clares order for women, and a third secular order for laity sworn to peace.

After living a worldly life of youthful revelry for the first half of his short lifespan, Francis volunteered to fight in a war between Assisi and neighboring Perugia. He was captured during a bloody battle at Collestrada, and was imprisoned and chained in solitude for a year in a dark Perugian dungeon, until ransomed by his wealthy father. Beginning during this time, and thereafter, he suffered a period of protracted physical and psychological illness, remorse and reflection. After fervent prayer, deep introspection, and profuse tears, Francis ultimately decided that money and worldly pleasures meant nothing to him, and as a traumatized battle survivor he came to abhor war. Whereupon, he devoted his life to solitude, prayer, helping the poor, caring for lepers, and promoting peace. Seeing himself as God’s troubadour or fool, he lived in absolute poverty, patterning his life after the life of Jesus and dedicating himself to God.

On returning from a pilgrimage to Rome, where he begged at Church doors for the poor, Francis received a mystical message from Jesus while praying in the ruined church at San Damiano outside of Assisi. There while he was enchantedly gazing at the painted wooden crucifix – a Byzantine image of the crucified Christ still alive on the cross – the silent voice of Jesus telepathically ‘spoke’ to Francesco, instructing him: “Francesco, Francesco, go and repair my house which, as you can see, is falling into ruins.” Thereafter, he devotedly began rebuilding San Damiano and other ruined churches.

Though Saint Francis took literally that mystical message from the crucifix, its true meaning was metaphoric and profound. And by the end of his short lifespan, Saint Francis and his orders had by their example inspired a renaissance of the Catholic Church.

Francis’ exemplary lifestyle inspired and attracted followers who joined with him in his in his Divine mission and life of poverty. Clad in ragged, gray robes with rope belts, they went out barefoot in pairs to spread the Gospel. When they needed food or shelter, they asked someone for it. It was against their rules to “own” anything. Thus, they were known as the “begging brothers”.

In 1209 Francis received permission from Pope Innocent III to form a brotherhood, a religious order of the Church called the “Friars Minor,” (littlest brothers). As “friars” they worked in communities, actively preaching and helping residents, as distinguished from “monks” who then usually lived alone in isolated places. They soon acquired the name “Franciscans”, proliferated and today remain important international symbols and instruments of Francis’ legacy.

The Franciscans’ first headquarters was a simple, tiny chapel near Assisi which Francis received from the Benedictines, and personally restored, naming it “Porziuncola” [“a small portion of land”]. The Porziuncola became Francis’ most beloved and favorite place. Because of his presence and prayers there, it was and continues to be one of the world’s rare holy places. Here, Francis lived, fervently prayed, wrote his rule, created his order of friars minor and consecrated his friend Clara (Chiara), who became Santa Clara, founder of “the poor Clares”, a female religious order dedicated to Franciscan ideals of holiness and poverty. Francis so loved this little place that he chose to die there.

In 1216, while Francis was fervently praying in the Porziuncola, a light filled the chapel and he beheld above the altar a vision of Christ, the Virgin Mary and a company of angels. They asked him what he wanted for the salvation of souls. Francis replied: “Vi volglio tutti in paradisio!” [I wish all in heaven!] And Francis then asked that all those persons who shall come to this church, may obtain a full pardon and remission of all their faults, upon confessing and repenting their sins. The request was granted based on Francis’ worthiness, and the indulgence was later officially confirmed by Pope Honorius III, and became known as “The Pardon of Assisi”.

Francis was extremely democratic and humble. He referred to himself as “little brother Francis” and called all creatures “brothers” and “sisters”. He loved Nature and pantheistically considered it to be the “mirror of God on earth.” He spoke of “Sister Water” and “Brother Tree” and in one of his writings, he referred to “Brother Sun” and “Sister Moon”. There are legends about sermons he preached to trees full of “Sister Birds” in which Francis urged them to sing their prayers of thanks to God. And it is said that rabbits would come to him for protection.

In another legendary story, Francis spoke to a wolf which had been terrifying the entire village of Gubbio, scolding “Brother Wolf” for what he was doing. That wolf not only stopped his attacks but later became a village pet, and was fed willingly by the same villagers, who missed “brother wolf” after he died.

Francis was determined to live the gospels and was strongly influenced and motivated by Jesus’ teachings. “Give to others, and it shall be given to you. Forgive and you shall be forgiven” were his frequent teachings.

Also as a traumatic battle survivor and war hostage Francis cherished peace. So, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” ~ Matthew 5:9 and “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” ~ Matthew 5:44 were often recited by him.

According to a recent biography, Francis was “the first person from the West to travel to another continent with the revolutionary idea of peacemaking.” On a mission of peace, Francis journeyed to Egypt in 1219 idealistically hoping to end the 5th Crusade by converting the Egyptian leader – Sultan Malik al-Kamil – to Christianity. Though his visionary peace mission did not succeed, it proved nonetheless a miraculous portent and important symbol of potential reconciliation between Christians and Muslims and others.

At a time when most Christians demonized Muslims as enemy “infidels”, Francis regarded and treated Muslims with respect, never echoing the negative comments or conduct of his contemporary Christians. Moreover, in Egypt Francis – a devout and gentle peacemaker – was appalled by the crusaders’ sacrilegious brutality.

Francis arrived in Egypt during an ongoing violent and bloody conflict at Damietta, an important city on the Nile, besieged by the Crusaders. There, in the midst of horrible bloodshed, Francis miraculously crossed battle lines totally unarmed and vulnerable, and was able to reach the Sultan’s encampment unharmed and welcomed. Moreover, Francis was admitted to the august presence of the sultan, who was nephew of the great Saladin who had defeated the forces of the ill-fated Third Crusade.

The Sultan was a wise and pragmatic devout Sunni Muslim, influenced by Sufi mystical teachings. He was ready to make peace, and reciprocated Francis’ peaceful and respectful attitude. For at least several days Kamil hosted and dialogued with Francis as an honored guest, before having him safely escorted back to the Crusader encampment. The Sultan – who was amenable to philosophical conversation, but not to conversion – probably noted and honored Francis’ sufi-like appearance and peaceful demeanor, and his regular greeting – “may the Lord give you peace” – uncommon for Christians, but similar to the Arabic “salam aleykum” greeting.

Reciprocally, Francis was deeply impressed by the religious devotion of the Muslims, especially by their fivefold daily call to prayer – call of the muezzin.

On returning to the crusader camp Francis desperately tried to convince Cardinal Pelagio, whom the pope had authorized to lead the 5th Crusade, that he should make peace with the Sultan. But the cardinal who was certain of victory would not listen. His eventual failure, amidst terrible loss of life, brought the barbaric age of the crusades to an ignominious end.

In 1224, near the end of his earthly life, according to legend, Francis became the first saint in history to miraculously receive crucifixion stigmata. It happened after he had been taken to Mount Alverna, a wild nature place in Tuscany, to be in solitude for a forty day retreat.


Though already in a very feeble state, he fasted and prayed intensely with deepest longing for God. In the midst of his fast, while he was so praying he beheld a marvelous vision: an angel carrying an image of a man nailed to a cross. When the vision disappeared, Francis felt sharp pains in various places on his body.

In locating the source of these pains, Francis found that he had five marks or “stigmata” on his hands, feet, and sides—like the wounds inflicted with nails and spears on Jesus during His crucifixion. Those marks remained and caused Francis great pain until his death two years later.

On October 3, 1226 A.D. Francis died in a humble cell next to the beloved Porziuncola, his favorite holy place where the Franciscan movement began. He was blind from trachoma, suffering from malaria and other illnesses, emaciated and racked with pain from the stigmata and other wounds. As he lay dying, the brothers came for his blessing. They sang “Song to the Sun”, a song which Francis had composed.

Sometime before he drew his last breath, he said, “Let us sing the welcome to Sister Death.” Francis welcomed ‘Sister Death’ knowing that “it is in dying that we are reborn to eternal life”, the concluding line of a beautifully inspiring and best known peace prayer mistakenly attributed to him. (**See Footnote)

In conclusion, we offer that prayer in grateful tribute to his blessed life and legacy. May he ever inspire countless beings to become instruments of Divine peace and love, in perfect harmony with Nature and the kingdom of heaven.

“Vi vogliamo tutti in Paradiso”; “We wish ALL in Heaven”.


And so it shall be!

Prayer Of St. Francis Of Assisi **

Beloved, we are instruments of Thy peace.

Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
despair, hope;
darkness, light;
discord, harmony;
sadness, joy;

Divine Mother/Father, grant
that we may seek not so much
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving, that we receive;
It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying – to ego life –
that we are reborn to Eternal Life.

 


Footnotes

* This narrative is based on Ron Rattner’s intuitive interpretation of many disparate and sometimes conflicting historical accounts of the life of Francis of Assisi. The reader is free to accept or reject any part of it.

**This inspiring peace prayer does not appear in any of Saint Francis’ known writings. According to researchers, the first appearance of this prayer was in a French language magazine, La Clochette, in 1912; it was probably then first written by a forgotten Catholic Priest, Father Bouquerel. Later, the prayer was translated into English and widely distributed on cards with a reverse side picture of Saint Francis, without any claim that he wrote the prayer. But, because of his picture and because it invokes his spirit, the prayer thereafter became commonly known as the Prayer of Saint Francis. The foregoing version of the prayer has been edited by Ron Rattner.



Ron’s audio recitation of the Prayer of Saint Francis Of Assisi

Listen to


Monistic Musings – Reflections and Questions on “God” and Divinity

“The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion.
It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology.
Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity.”
~ Albert Einstein
“You are “gods”; you are all children of the Most High.”
~ Psalm 82:6
“Let never day nor night unhallow’d pass,
But still remember what the Lord hath done.”
~ William Shakespeare
Remember God, forget the rest.
Forget who you think you are,
to know what you really are.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings






Ron’s Introduction to his “Monistic Musings”

Dear Friends,

After my spiritual awakening I began wondering why many monotheistic religious fundamentalists – especially Jews, Christians and Moslems – historically espoused different, dogmatic and disharmonious views of their “ONE God”. And I reflected on why monotheistic fundamentalism had often resulted in religious crusades, inquisitions, and jihads against alleged heretics or nonbelievers in the one true God or Messiah.

Later, after my introduction to Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist non-dualism teachings (which I accepted as valid and consistent with Western monotheism), I learned that those Eastern religions also had violent fundamentalist sects; that for example Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by an opinionated Hindu fundamentalist opposed to Gandhi’s advocacy of egalitarian and nonviolent Hindu-Muslim tolerance and cooperation.

As I reflected philosophically, I rhetorically asked and answered the following musings about monotheism, God, and divinity which I’ve called “Monistic Musings – Reflections and Questions on “God” and Divinity”.

These rhetorical ruminations have increasingly helped me remember and revere the Divine Holiness of everyone, everything, everywhere, with ever expanding gratitude for this hallowed human lifetime.

They are shared with the deep aspiration that they may similarly inspire all of us, until ultimately we realize that everything’s holy; and, that nothing’s really Real, but Divine LOVE.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner



Monistic Musings – Reflections and Questions on “God” and Divinity

Q.  What is “God”?

A.  “God” is a word – a noun –
with countless connotations,
different for different people –
all believing or disbelieving in “God”.

Thus, “God” did not create humans,
but humans created “God” – with thoughts from
ruminations, revelations, intuitions, and speculations.

For many monotheists
“God” is a universally Supreme Deity,
and sole Creator and Ruler of the universe;
and, “God” is a “he” word,
meaning an anthropomorphic male deity,
with supernatural yet human-like qualities.

But, in this duality “reality”,
gender is everywhere in everything.
So, how can there be just one such God?

Isn’t it so that for every such God,
there’s got to be a Goddess;
for every “he” God, a “she” God?

Thus, mustn’t any unitary Divinity,
be beyond gender and duality –
and so, transcend this polarity “reality”?

And if Transcendent,
though universally immanent,
mustn’t such a sole Divinity
be infinite, ineffable and inconceivable?

So how can we describe,
denominate, or depict THAT?

Even if we neuter it,
how can we name it?

Doesn’t any designation of unitary Divinity,
tend to divide and disrupt humanity?

What about atheists who ardently deny Divinity,
versus convinced theists and deists?
And what about religious fundamentalists?

Aren’t “God”, Allah, and Adonoi,
the same ‘Supreme Being’?

And if there is just one “God”,
how can that one God
be a different “true God”
for Christians, Muslims, and Jews
and their diverse denominations?

If one “true God” is the same
for all those religions,
what do they fight and shout about?

‘Methinks they protest too much’
because they really can’t conceive Divinity.

Don’t their fundamentalist shouts
disclose their doubts
about the identity of Divinity?

And isn’t there a connection between
monotheistic fundamentalism
and messianic fanaticism?

If one “true God” is the sole benevolent
Creator and Ruler of the Universe,
why did “S/He” create a world
with so much suffering and sorrow?

Why not a perpetual paradise without evil?

How can “S/He” allow holocausts
and other terrible calamities?

In projecting “God” as Creator,
don’t we just reify and deify
our doubts about Divinity?

Did “God” create karma and causation?
If so, why?

So, can we get beyond speculating and
arguing about “God” and Creation?

And can we transcend
dogmatic divisive designations of Divinity?

Can’t we be tolerant
of all benevolent religions,
moral codes, and philosophies?

Can we – as the Buddha –
avert theistic speculation
that “tends not to edification?”

Buddhists aren’t theists or deists.
They don’t believe in a Creator God –
but they pray a lot.

I wonder who they’re praying to?

And I wonder who’s listening to their prayers –
and to everyone else’s prayers?

Isn’t it the same universal Awareness?

If so, how can we ever know?

How can we infer, find,
and know “God”
only through reason,
rather than revelation,
inner insight, or intuition?

If there is a universal Divinity
transcending our “reality”,
what is it’s identity?

Can we ever know such Divinity –
mystically, experientially, intuitively –
while yet dwelling in duality?

Can we know the Immortal
before leaving “this mortal coil”?

Or must first we depart or die,
to be “born to Eternal life”?

To know the Immortal,
must we abjure desire
for earthly pleasures and ways
of this world?

Can’t we be “in this world
but not of this world”?
If so, how?

How, when and where shall we seek God?

Shall we follow doctrines, dogmas, or ideologies
from ‘outer’ authorities or theologies?

Or, as unique beings,
shall we each look within
and follow our Sacred Heart?

Doesn’t inner infinity ‘create’ outer “reality”?

So, isn’t inner infinity true Divinity?

And isn’t true Divinity
Eternal Mystery?

The Bible says:
“Ask, and it shall be given..; seek, and ye shall find.”

So, now that we’ve asked all these questions,
will “God’” answer them?

God Knows!?



Ron’s Dedication of “Monistic Musings”

Dear Friends,

As explained in the above introduction, my curiosity and continuing reflections about disharmonious monotheistic views of One God and the true Messiah motivated the foregoing “Monistic Musings”, and have helped me increasingly experience the Divine Holiness of everyone, everything, everywhere.

So these musings are dedicated to inspiring all of us to see ourselves as “children of the Most High” [Psalm 82:6], until ultimately – beyond all illusory ego-mind perceptions of separation from each other and Nature – we inevitably realize our common SELF identity as Divine LOVE!

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner