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Posts Tagged ‘Lao Tzu’

Synchronicity and Spirituality

“Synchronicity is choreographed by a great,
pervasive intelligence that lies at the heart of nature,
and is manifest in each of us through what we call the soul.”
~ Deepak Chopra, Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire
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




Synchronicities and Spirituality

Q. Why are coincidences and synchronicities in time and space noteworthy spiritual experiences?

A. Synchronicities and coincidences in time and space are noteworthy reminders of ONE Divine spiritual Reality, where there is no time or space, and where all that ever was or will be is eternally NOW.

Great mystics and scientists tell us that planet Earth’s space/time duality “reality” is a persistent mental illusion, like a mirage; that without our illusionary perceptions and egoic thoughts of separation, there no separate experiencers of separate space/time “coincidences” and “synchronicities”.

Thus, coincidences and synchronicities are like Nature’s ‘radar’ signals’ reminding us that: “Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.” and that “space and time are not conditions in which we live, they are modes in which we think.” [Albert Einstein]

Therefore, synchronicities and coincidences in space and time are noteworthy spiritual experiences reminding us that WE ARE ONE; that in Reality we are inseparable from Nature and eternal Divine Source.


Ron’s discussion of “Synchronicity and Spirituality”

Dear Friends,

In 1992 my beloved Guruji, Sri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, asked that I write and publish spiritual memoirs to “inspire many people.“ To honor that request, in 2010 I launched SillySutras.com, with “Ron’s Memoirs” as most important and tab-highlighted website category.

Also, similarly tab-highlighted is the “Synchronicity” category, because I’ve realized that my life has been guided by synchronicities, which I now notice with amazing frequency. [“Synchronicity” postings include definitions and explanations, followed by many of my favorite synchronicity stories.]

I’ve realized the spiritual importance of synchronicities, not only from my own experiences but from those of others. Many people commonly experience and wonder about synchronicities because they can’t be explained rationally or statistically. So that opens us to consider their possible spiritual or psychical causes.



For reasons explained in numerous posts on SillySutras.com I have concluded that synchronicities are signs of subtle and ordinarily imperceptible dimensions into which we are inevitably evolving, individually and collectively.



So I regard synchronicities as significant spiritual experiences, impelling us to question skeptics and mainstream materialist scientists who fail to recognize overwhelming empirical evidence that consciousness and mind are independent of physical bodies; that our physical bodies and brains are not originators of consciousness and mind, but their receptors, tuners and transducers.



Thus according to scientifically trained Dr. Deepak Chopra:

“Synchronicity is choreographed by a great,
pervasive intelligence that lies at the heart of nature,
and is manifest in each of us through what we call the soul.”
~ Deepak Chopra, Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire


Especially if you have ever wondered about ‘miraculous’ synchronicities or coincidences in your life, I hope that you’ll find this post helpful in your further reflections on their spiritual significance.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Seeing GOD

“I have now come to a stage of realization in which I see that God is walking in every human form and manifesting Himself alike through the sage and the sinner, the virtuous and the vicious. Therefore when I meet different people I say to myself, “God in the form of the saint, God in the form of the sinner, God in the form of the righteous, God in the form of the unrighteous.”
~ Ramakrishna Paramahansa
“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.”
~ 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
“The self, harmonized by yoga,
sees the Self abiding in all beings,
all beings in the Self, everywhere he sees the same.”
~ Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 6, Krishna to Arjuna

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

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,

Have you ever imagined seeing God?  Or wondered whether that was possible? Or heard of anyone claiming to see God?

During my early Jewish acculturation, I accepted the core Bible proclamation:


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

Thereafter, I consistently conceived of “God” as formless and invisible and assumed it impossible to perceive or to be enfolded in God. So I never understood Jesus’ esoteric pronouncement that “I and the Father are ONE”  [John 10:30].

But after my mid-life awakening, while crying for God with total surrender on a Yosemite mountain top, I beheld within (but did not merge with) the Divine light of ten thousand suns. Thereafter I began wondering about “seeing God”, especially after reading the Gospel and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa – famed 19th century Indian holy man who often experienced communion with the Divine.

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

On returning to the US I began reading with fascination about Ramakrishna’s 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 Divine devotion and 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.

As an enlightened mystic Sri Ramakrishna affirmed to his principal disciple Swami Vivekenanda and others that he had indeed seen God during states of spiritual ecstasy.  At first he worshiped God through a personal deity as the compassionate Mother, or the all-loving Father.  Thereafter, he aspired to and quickly realized the transcendental or Brahman aspect of God which is Divine communion beyond human description.

Ultimately he taught that God is All – omnipresent as all manifestation, while timelessly transcendent as unmanifest Infinite Potentiality.

Thus the foregoing whimsical verses about seeing GOD were inspired by Sri Ramakrishna and his teachings.

May those 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


Undo Ego!

“Ego is the biggest enemy of humans.”
~ Rig Veda
“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.”
~ H.H. Dalai Lama
In the pursuit of learning every day something is gained.
In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped.
~ Lao Tzu
“Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find
 all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.”
~ Rumi
Q. How much “ego” do you need?
A. Just enough so that you don’t step in front of a bus.
~ Shunryu Suzuki Roshi
“Undo Ego!
Use it to lose it.”

“As ego goes,
consciousness grows,
until it Knows
– Itself.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

Lau Tzu


Undoing

Undoing

There’s nothing to do
but undo,

Until you’re through and undone.

Then, when nothing’s undone,
there’s nothing to do,

But to BE –

Free and

ONE!



Ron’s audio recitation of “Undoing”

Listen to


Ron’s explanation of “Undo Ego”

Dear Friends,

For millennia spiritual teachings have identified “ego” as a fundamental impediment to spiritual evolution and realization. Thus, the ancient Vedic seers told us that “Ego is the biggest enemy of humans.” (Rig Veda ) And the Dalai Lama says that ego is the “number-one enemy of compassion.”

Spiritual teachers refer to “ego” as mistaken human self-identity as a personality separate from eternal Infinite Potentiality – our true identity. 
Ego is often described as a psychological prison, causing inevitable karmic suffering. 

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

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

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

~ Rumi


I have posted the foregoing quotations, sutra sayings and poem about undoing ego to remind us of our critical need to let go of who or what we think we are, so we can realize and BE what we really are – ONE with Nature as Infinite Potentiality. 

Every Human – except for rare Buddha-like beings – knowingly or unknowingly is in some evolutionary stage of undoing mistaken ego identity – a process indispensable to our spiritual evolution.

For example, in spiritual memoirs I tell how (after many years of reciting and following prescribed prayers and practices) I became an “Uncertain Undo” looking within to discover and discard remaining ego impediments to spiritual evolution and realization – as eloquently advised by Lao Tzu and Rumi.

“In the pursuit of learning every day something is gained.

In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped.”

~ Lao Tzu



“Your task is not to seek for love,

but merely to seek and find
 all the barriers within yourself

that you have built against it.”

~ Rumi



Whimsically I’ve suggested that everyone should “seek relief from belief”; because “on the path of Undo we’ll never be through ’til we’re an undone ONE”. So as an “Uncertain Undo” I’ve gradually been letting go of previously accepted beliefs and concepts about humanity, self-identity and reality.



My present paradigm is that we live earth-lives to learn from experience our essential common self-identity as LOVE – each from a unique karmic perspective. 

That each of us is here to transcend suffering by uncovering and undoing our unique barriers to Self realization – our mistaken ego identities and tendencies. As we mindfully identify those mental mistakes, it becomes possible for us to use ego, to lose ego. As revealed in the Bhagavad Gita, Hinduism’s best known scripture, it is possible for our mind to become our “best friend”, rather than “worst enemy”


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


Dedication


This posting is respectfully offered to help remind us of our critical need to let go of who or what we mistakenly think we are, so we can realize and BE what we really are – ONE with Nature as its Eternal Source. 



Also, these undoing ego writings are sincerely intended to help us live ever happier lives, until we all become “an undone ONE”.



And so shall it be!


Ron Rattner

Let Life Live Us As Love

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
~ Deuteronomy 6:4-5
“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
Love has befriended me so completely
It has turned to ash and freed me
of every concept and image
my mind has ever known.
~ Hafiz
In the end these things matter most:
How well did you love?
How fully did you love?
How deeply did you learn to let go?”

~ Buddha
“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.”

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.
Without them humanity cannot survive.”
~ H.H. Dalai Lama

“Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
~ Albert Einstein
“The identification of pure awareness with the mind and its creations
 causes the [ego] apprehension of both an objective world and a perceiver of it.”
~ Patanjali – Yoga Sutras
“Free of ego, living naturally, working virtuously, you become filled with inexhaustible vitality and are liberated forever from the cycle of death and rebirth.”
~ Lao Tzu
“Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find
 all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.”
~ Rumi
“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
“Let us let go of ego, and
Let Life live us as LOVE!”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

Maitreya – The Next Buddha


“Let Life Live Us As Love”

Einstein revolutionized Western science with his groundbreaking theory of relativity establishing equivalence between all matter and energy in the universe, quantifiable by the simple equation e=mc2.

Since then, for over a century, Western science has more and more shown what ancient shamans, seers, and indigenous societies have known for millennia:

That there is a cosmic web of life connecting everything and everyone in Nature from the greatest galaxies to the tiniest sub-atomic particles; that we are each an integral inter-connected part of Nature’s web of life – not separate from it; that as Einstein observed:

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

Though Einstein’s insights revolutionized quantum physicists’ views of space/time “reality”, most humans haven’t yet changed our way of thinking about such “reality”.  Until now, most people mistakenly keep behaving as if we are separated from each other and from Nature, and not part of it.   This behavior has resulted in continuing selfishness, cruelty, wars and unsustainable exploitation of our precious planet.

But gradually we are awakening.  From seeing everyone and everything as discrete and separated by apparently immutable boundaries, we are more and more realizing that everyone and everything are ever-changing energy phenomena appearing from a common immutable Source of Infinite Universal Awareness, which is LOVE.

All of our selfish, disharmonious and unsustainable behaviors have arisen from human ignorance of the true non-dual nature of the Self and all phenomena as Love; and from consequent mental mis-identification with the illusion of physical separation from each other – called “ego”.

Thus, the ancient Vedic seers told us in the Rig Veda that

“ Ego is the biggest enemy of humans.”

Only rare Buddha-like beings, are said to totally transcend ego identification.  So we all experience some degree of separate self-identification.   But all humans are in various stages of an ultimately irresistible evolutionary process of ego attrition and transcendence.

In this world of cause and effect, Nature – not ego – is in charge and determines everything.   But, while believing ourselves separate from Nature, we exercise apparent free will and seemingly make non-predestined choices.

Depending on whether we are in harmony or disharmony with Nature, these apparent choices hasten or impede our evolution, and create or mitigate crises, sufferings and problems.   So, let us ever aspire to be harmonious with Nature:

Ever mindful of our ONENESS with all Life on our precious planet, as Universal Awareness, let us live with loving-kindness and compassion for everyone and everything everywhere.

Ever mindful that in space/time Nature is our nature,
let us see and cherish Nature in everything and everyone everywhere.

Ever mindful that Universal Awareness, as Love,
is our ultimate identity and Source:

Let us let go of ego, and
Let Life live us as LOVE!

And So Shall It Be!

 
Ron’s comments and explanation of “Let Life Live Us As Love”

Dear Friends,

On moving from Chicago to San Francisco in 1960, I was ignorant about spiritual subjects, or religions other than Judaism. Growing up in Chicago, I had become familiar with Judaism’s core teachings:


“ Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is One”;  and
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
~ Deuteronomy 6:4-5

But initially, I had no idea of the supremely profound esoteric importance of those teachings, or of devotional Love as crucial in all enduring religious and spiritual traditions. Not until my 1976 spiritual awakening and rebirth did I begin experientially learning about spirituality.

Whereupon, gradually I became inspired by “love of God” as a key spiritual tradition, with which I had instinctively joined in frequently crying and calling for the Divine. And ultimately I became convinced that our true nature and identity is LOVE.

That in space/time “reality” everyone, everything, everywhere is an ever-changing energy phenomenon appearing from a common immutable Source of Infinite Universal Awareness, which is LOVE.

So as Rumi profoundly tells us we need not “seek for love, but merely .. seek and find all the barriers [we] have built against it.” Those barriers are mistaken ideas about our true identity, which we can only discover and transcend by looking within.

This process of finding and letting go of ego-mind barriers to experiencing ourselves as LOVE is explained in the foregoing profound quotations and essay/poem.

May they remind us of our common Self-identity as Love with all Life on our precious planet.
And may they encourage and inspire us to live with loving-kindness and compassion for everyone and everything everywhere.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Perfect Paradox

“The truest sayings are paradoxical.”
~ Lao Tzu
“Perfection is a state in which things are the way they are,
and are not the way they are not.
As you can see, this universe is perfect.”
~ Werner Erhard, est
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.
Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow.
Let reality be reality.
Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
~ Lao-Tzu
“By letting it go it all gets done.
The world is won by those who let it go.
But when you try and try,
the world is beyond the winning.”
~ Lao Tzu
“Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life.”
“[It] is surrender to this moment, not to a story through which you interpret this moment and then try to resign yourself to it.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
“Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment…
Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life –
and see how life starts suddenly..
working for you, rather than against you.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
If you can accept the flow of life and give in to it, you will be accepting what is real. Only when you accept what is real can you live with it in peace and happiness. The alternative is a struggle that will never end because it is a struggle with the unreal, with a mirage of life instead of life itself.
~ Deepak Chopra
“Embrace the higher truth that everything comes to pass exactly as it should. Find peace and wisdom by accepting what is.”
~ Dan Millman
“The moment that judgement stops through acceptance of what it is, you are free of the mind.
You have made room for love, for joy, for peace.”
“Your acceptance of ‘what is’ takes you to a deeper level
where your inner state as well as your sense of self
no longer depend on the mind’s judgment of “good” or “bad.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
“True surrender . . . . does not mean to passively put up with whatever situation you find yourself in and to do nothing about it. Nor does it mean to cease making plans or initiating positive action. Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life.”
~ Eckhart Tolle




Introduction to “Perfect Paradox”

The following SillySutras poem restates a perennial wisdom principle.

It cautions that we mentally yield to life’s flow in each moment because we can’t change it; that we accept the NOW, as paradoxically “perfect”, even though it is pervaded with painful problems, because causally and karmically “what is” cannot be otherwise.

The poem’s esoteric message is explained by above apt quotations, and by my following comments.

Please enjoy and reflect upon these writings. Moment by moment, may they bring us ever expanding happiness.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Perfect Paradox

Despite Omni-present ignorance,

selfishness, misery and suffering,

and apparent chaotic uncertainty,

Perfection pervades our “Loco Loka * –

the realm of space/time and causation;

the realm of manifest Mystery.


*”Loco Loka = crazy world



Ron’s audio recitation of “Perfect Paradox”

Listen to



Ron’s explanation of “Perfect Paradox”

Dear Friends,

Today’s posting is about accepting as “Perfect” ‘what is’ NOW, despite pervasively perceived suffering and problems.

For millennia mystics have taught that our ever impermanent space/time ‘reality’ is ultimately unreal and illusory, like a mental mirage; that life exists only in the choiceless, thoughtless present moment, which karmically cannot be otherwise.  But we mostly experience this world mentally and conceptually, rather than thoughtlessly. Thus for most humans our life is a thought-created continuing story in which (as William Shakespeare revealed) “nothing’s either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

Yet, whatever we may think about ‘what is’ NOW, it can’t be changed. So mentally resisting each present moment is futile, and inevitably causes karmic suffering. (see https://sillysutras.com/dont-seize-the-moment/)

Thus mystics (like those quoted above) perennially counsel us to let go of mental descriptions or characterizations, and to non-conceptually accept each moment of Nature’s spontaneous flow of life.

Background

I first learned about the spiritual principle of choicelessly accepting ‘what is’ soon after my mid-life awakening. In 1977, I attended “est”, an impactful self-help seminar where I was first exposed to certain Eastern spirituality principles cleverly collected and presented by Werner Erhard, est’s founder, to motivate participants to radically transform their lives. 

To communicate an alleged epiphany experienced while he was driving across the Golden Gate Bridge, Werner’s key est teaching was to: Always accept “what is”. [See Ron’s Memoirs: Getting “IT” at est]

To encourage est participants to accept “what is”, Werner described the world as “perfect”, with innovative definitions such as:  

“Perfection is a state in which things are the way they are, 
and are not the way they are not.

As you can see, this universe is perfect.”

Intrigued by est teachings, I began wondering about, and gradually accepting, “what is” in the present moment (because karmically it could not be otherwise).  And non-judgmentally accepting “what is” has significantly spurred my spiritual awakening process. So I have written about it, to help others.
(see https://sillysutras.com/dont-seize-the-moment/) 


“Perfect Paradox” poetry

Today, to encourage our accepting “what is” in the present moment, I have shared the above poetic verses first composed during my post-retirement reclusive period, together with apt quotations, including Werner’s definition of “perfection”.

The poem is oxymoronically titled “Perfect Paradox” because in our space/time polarity duality reality we can’t have “perfection”, without imperfection. (See https://sillysutras.com/what-is-perfection/) Moreover Eastern mystics have persuasively taught for millennia that this so-called ‘reality’ isn’t even real; that it is an optical illusion – like a mental mirage. So to call it “perfect” is cosmically contradictory. Furthermore, words can never describe or express mysterious transcendent Truth beyond illusionary ‘duality reality’.

Nonetheless, words which seem intellectually illogical, can metaphorically, rhetorically, or paradoxically point to otherwise ineffable Truth. So sometimes

“The truest sayings are paradoxical.”
~ Lao Tzu

Therefore today’s “Perfect Paradox” verses and quotations are offered to encourage our acceptance of “what is” NOW, which karmically cannot be otherwise.

Accepting “what is”, need not impede our nonviolent opposition to injustice.

But yielding to life’s flow, need not discourage or impede our vigilantly questioning and peacefully resisting pervasive suffering and injustice caused by human ignorance and greed – as did Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..

“True surrender . does not mean to passively put up with whatever situation you find yourself in and to do nothing about it. Nor does it mean to cease making plans or initiating positive action.

Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life.”
~ Eckhart Tolle

“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.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh



And so shall it be!


Ron Rattner

Cartesian Critique

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

that is the question!”

“Thinking and Being can’t coexist.

So stop thinking and start Being.
”

“Forget who you think you are

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


Lau Tzu



Introduction

The following Cartesian Critique essay challenges the well-known philosophical proposition deduced and propounded by influential 17th century French philosopher René Descartes – “I think, therefore I am”.

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

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

Please reflect on these writings with open and intuitive awareness.

Ron Rattner

Cartesian Critique: On Confusing Thinking With Being.

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

But wasn’t that putting Descartes before his Source?

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

Isn’t thinking optional, while Being is perpetual?

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

Isn’t existence much more than just thinking?

Don’t we exist in thoughtless states?

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

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

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

What might Descartes say,
if he were here today?



Ron’s Commentary on Confusing Egotistic Thinking With Being.

Dear Friends,

The above “Cartesian Critique” essay is shared to encourage us to transcend harmful egotistic thoughts and behaviors, and to help us live in harmony with each other and Nature.

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



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

So on learning about Descartes’ influential declaration, I questioned it and composed the above critique.

In my view, Descartes mistakenly presumed and deduced his supposed separate existence with egotistic-thought, which paradoxically placed Descartes before his Source, and violated both Eastern and Western wisdom cautioning against reversing the natural order of things.

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

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

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.

Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow.

Let reality be reality.

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

“If you correct your mind,

the rest of your life will fall into place.”

~ Lao Tzu

Conclusion

Honoring the natural order of things remains of great importance today, because the vast majority of Humans continue to egoically identify with thought and their mistakenly perceived separate mental mirage projections.

In current critical times, when humans are the only species creating huge ecological and other crises which disrupt and threaten life on our precious planet, it is especially imperative that we bring compassionate awareness of our true collective identity and infinite potentiality into the world.

Dedication.

So these writings are dedicated to reminding us to not confuse thinking with being; and to helping us transcend harmful egotistic thoughts and behaviors, allowing us to live in harmony with each other and Nature in current critical times.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

When and How Shall We Think?

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

~ Blaise Pascal
“If you correct your mind,
the rest of your life will fall into place.”
~ Lao Tzu
“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
“I think with intuition.
The basis of true thinking is intuition.

Indeed, it is not intellect,
but intuition
which advances humanity.
”

~ Albert Einstein
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
~ Albert Einstein
“We are formed and molded by our thoughts.
Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts
give joy when they speak or act.
Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them.”
~ Buddha
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
~ Proverbs 23:7




When and How Shall We Think?

Q. When and how shall we think?

A. The power of rational thought is a great gift.
But, like a tool, it’s best to choose it before we use it.

Before thinking rationally, if we still the ‘voice in our head’,

we can feel and listen to our Heart – our intuition and soul.

Thus we can first hear our Heart, not our head.

In our metaphoric Heart shines the Eternal light of Truth –
the light of Love. As stated in ancient Vedic scriptures:

“There is a light that shines beyond all things on Earth, … beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the light that shines in your Heart.”
~ Chandogya Upanishad 3.13.7

Logic has its limits. When confused or misused as ego, rational thought can impede spiritual evolution, causing perpetual karmic suffering. But Truth and Love are boundless and timeless.

So, it’s best to honor our Heart, over our rational mind –
using innate intellect to serve and follow our Sacred Heart.

And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

Invocation

May we still our minds,
to follow our Heart.

And as we so follow our Heart,

May we uncover and discover
ever expanding happiness, empathy and awareness.

With which we consciously and cooperatively
co-create an ever better world –
as we intend, intuit, and imagine it to be.


Related Post:
How Can We Think More Objectively?

Like A Waterfall

“Just as the strong current of a waterfall cannot be reversed,
so the movement of a human life is also irreversible.”
~ Buddha
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.
Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality.
Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
~ Lao-Tzu
“If you realize that all things change,
there is nothing you will try to hold on to.
If you are not afraid of dying,
there is nothing you cannot achieve.”
~ Lao Tzu




Introduction

Dear Friends,

The following “Like a Waterfall” poetic sutra verses are based upon ancient deterministic and non-dualistic philosophies, and reflect an esoteric interpretation of the above Buddha quotation from a book of daily reflections by the Dalai Lama, that: “Just as the strong current of a waterfall cannot be reversed, so the movement of a human life is also irreversible.”

With comments and quotations after the poem, I explain my poetic interpretation of that Buddhist teaching. Also, the poem’s allusions to our predestined life flow are related to other postings about Go with the Flow and Free Will or Fate.

But before considering those comments and quotations, please reflect upon and enjoy “Like a Waterfall”.

Its verses are dedicated to encouraging us to yield and skillfully go with Nature’s predestined flow, to co-create an ever better world, as we intend, intuit, and imagine it to be.

And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner


Like A Waterfall

Like a waterfall
is the course of your life.

Arising mysteriously from
interdependent karmic causes,
its current flows irreversibly and irresistibly –

Out of this impermanent world
of ever changing forms and phenomena,
and into Eternal Mystery.

You have no destination option.

So, choicelessly and unresistingly,
let go, and go with Life’s flow –
Now!.

Inevitably it will carry you
to an infinite ocean of Eternal Awareness.

There – like contents of a time release capsule –
your illusion of separateness from Source
will melt and merge timelessly
in Truth, Existence, Bliss.

There you will BE –
Eternally –
Wholeness, Holiness, SELF.

And so it shall be!



Ron’s audio recitation of “Like a Waterfall”

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Explanation of “Like a Waterfall”

Dear Friends,

The foregoing “Like a Waterfall” poetic verses are based upon ancient deterministic and non-dualistic philosophies, and reflect my esoteric interpretation of the above Buddha quotation from a book of daily reflections by the Dalai Lama, that: “Just as the strong current of a waterfall cannot be reversed, so the movement of a human life is also irreversible.”

For those curious about this enigmatic teaching (as once I was), I’ll try to briefly elaborate. Poetic passages are consistent with perennial deterministic and non-dualistic philosophies which do not accept supposed separate human “free will”.

Thus this “Like a Waterfall” verse asserts and advises:

“You have no destination option.

So, choicelessly and unresistingly,
let go, and go with Life’s flow –
Now!.” 


Other verses are similarly consistent with determinist non-duality philosophy (as now confirmed by quantum physics).

They accept that our supposed material world is a mental illusion, like a mirage; that there is no matter, or free will, and that our perceived separation from other apparent forms and phenomena is “an optical illusion of consciousness.” And that beyond our illusory reality, is ONE indescribable and transcendent Source – to which we are irreversibly destined to return.

Also, here are key quotations which may help us understand verses suggesting that the course of each human’s life is irreversibly predetermined, ‘like a waterfall’.

“God alone is the Doer.

Everything happens by His will.”

~ Ramakrishna Paramahansa

Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end,

by forces over which we have no control.

It is determined for the insect, as well as for the star.

Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust,

we all dance to a mysterious tune,

intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.” . . . .

“Human beings in their thinking, feeling and acting are not free
but are as causally bound as the stars in their motions.”

~ Albert Einstein

“The assumption of an absolute determinism
is the essential foundation of every scientific enquiry.”

~ Max Planck

“The only difference between a human being
and a stone rolling down a hill,
is that the human being
thinks he is in charge of his own destiny.”

~ Baruch Spinoza

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

such as his main occupation or profession, predetermined,

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

moving from one part of the room to another?”
A.  “Everything is predetermined.”

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi 


Dedication

These “Like a Waterfall” verses are dedicated
to encouraging us to yield and skillfully go
with Nature’s predestined flow,
to co-create an ever better world,
as we intend, intuit, and imagine it to be.

And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

Go With The Flow!

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.
Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow.
Let reality be reality.
Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
~ Lao-Tzu
“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
“Those who flow as life flows,
know they need no other force.”
~ Lao Tzu
“By letting it go it all gets done.
The world is won by those who let it go.

But when you try and try, the world is beyond the winning.”

~ Lao Tzu
“If you correct your mind,
the rest of your life will fall into place.”
~ Lao Tzu
“Tao is Now,
Tao is One,
Tao is Doer,
Tao will be done. –
Tao will be done,
So let Tao do it.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutras Sayings



Introduction to “Go With The Flow!”

Dear Friends,

The following whimsically poetic sutra verses and explanatory comments are about ‘common wisdom’ advising us to “go with the flow”. Together with posted quotations from Taoist Master Lao Tzu, these writings reveal esoteric insights into fundamental principles promoting spiritual evolution. Please enjoy and deeply reflect upon them.

May these writings inspire us to honor and yield to Nature’s flow, which will inevitably carry us back beyond ego-mind to our spiritual Source – an indescribably joyous and eternal Infinite ocean of Universal Awareness.

And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

Go With The Flow!

Go with the flow!
Go with the flow!

Everyone says
to go with the flow.

Go with the flow!
Go with the flow!

But nobody knows
where the flow goes.

So, where will we go,
if we go with the flow?

Nobody says;
Nobody knows.


Ron’s audio recitation of “Go With The Flow”

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Ron’s explanation of “Go With The Flow”

After much reflection and observation, I’ve concluded that being “in the flow”, or “in the zone”, or “in the Tao”, are all salutary and substantially similar spiritual states. So with poetic license I’ve often equated or conflated them in spiritual writings – where “Flow” and “Tao” and “zone” are often used synonymously.

From a poetic perspective all of these concepts point to non-dualistic Universal Intelligence or Infinite Potentiality which is the mysterious Source of the universe and all energy patterns that cosmically keep it harmonious, balanced and ordered.

Definition

I’ve defined going with the “flow” or the “Tao” – or being in the “zone” – as thought-free, effortless, and focused merging of intention, action, and awareness – consciously letting Life happen through us, to harmlessly harmonize with Nature and achieve effortless action. 

Contrary to some interpretations, “Going with the “flow” or the “Tao” is the antithesis of being passive, apathetic or indolent. Or of just letting things happen without rational response.

When “in the flow” we skillfully and spontaneously respond to ever changing conditions or stimuli, like accomplished athletes, artists or stand-up performers who are “in the zone”. Such responses help us harmoniously co-create this ever impermanent world while maintaining homeostatic equilibrium and balance. And it is a sign of our spiritual progress in the evolutionary process of ultimately merging with Mystery.

Taoist Perspectives

Some of the wisest reflections on these perennial questions are in Lao Tzu’s enduring masterpiece the Tao Te Ching, including those preceding the above “Go With The Flow” verses.

And here are some further Tao Te Ching verses which have especially interested me:

“Stop thinking and end your problems.”



“To a mind that is still the whole universe surrenders.”



“Become totally empty

Quiet the restlessness of the mind

Only then will you witness everything unfolding from emptiness”



“Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.”



“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.”


Invocation

May these “go with the flow” writings
inspire us to honor and yield to Nature’s flow,
which will inevitably carry us back
beyond ego-mind to our spiritual Source –
an indescribably joyous and eternal
Infinite ocean of Universal Awareness.

And as we awaken to harmlessly harmonize with Nature,
may we consciously and cooperatively
co-create an ever better world –
as we intend, intuit, and imagine it to be.


And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner


Related Post:
Like A Waterfall

Life’s in the Balance

“Interdependence is a fundamental law of nature.”
~ Dalai Lama
“Happiness is not a matter of intensity
but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.”
~ Thomas Merton
“Life is balance of holding on and letting go.”
“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes.
If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed.
Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding,
the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.”
~ Rumi
“joy and sorrow are inseparable. . .
together they come and when one sits alone with you . .
remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.”
~ Khalil Gibran
“what is joy without sorrow? what is success without failure?
what is a win without a loss? what is health without illness?
you have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other. there is always going to be suffering. it’s how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you.”
~ Mark Twain
“In Attunement with God you will find the way to true success,
which is a balance of spiritual, mental, moral, and material attainment.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda
“As long as you live, you will be subject to change,
whether you will it or not –
now glad, now sorrowful;
now pleased, now displeased;
now devout, now undevout;
now vigorous, now slothful;
now gloomy, now merry.
But a wise man who is well taught in spiritual labor
stands unshaken in all such things,
and heeds little what he feels,
or from what side the wind of instability blows.”
~ Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
“As it acts in the world, the Tao is like the bending of a bow.
The top is bent downward; the bottom is bent up.
It adjusts excess and deficiency so that there is perfect balance.
It takes from what is too much
and gives to what isn’t enough.
Those who try to control, who use force to protect their power,
go against the direction of the Tao.
They take from those who don’t have enough
and give to those who have far too much.
The Master can keep giving because there is no end to her wealth.
She acts without expectation, succeeds without taking credit,
and doesn’t think that she is better than anyone else.”
~ Lao Tzu, translation by Stephen Mitchell
“Let us celebrate – not separate – the Whole;

Let us balance our differences on a fulcrum of

< LOVE >.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings






Life’s in the Balance

Our life is in the balance,
Ever < NOW >,

‘Twixt our hopes
and our history,

On a fulcrum of Mystery,

Our life is in the balance,
Ever < NOW > !



Ron’s audio explanation and recitation of “Life’s in the Balance”

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Ron’s explanation of “Life’s in the Balance”

Dear Friends,

The foregoing quotations and sutra verses address an important philosophical and practical question: “How can we live a “balanced life”?”

Have you ever considered what it means to live a “balanced life”?  If so, what did you decide?  Have you considered eating a balanced diet, or balancing and prioritizing your time spent with work, recreation, meditation, relationships, rest, etc.?

Each of us is unique with a unique Earth life history and perspective.  So there can be no specific answer or definition for each of us about what constitutes “a balanced life”.  Moreover, everything is in constant flux, precluding any unchanging answer.  Yet living a “balanced life” is an issue of considerable importance for all of us.

Especially since my mid-life inner awakening, I have learned that – just as our bodies naturally tend toward maintaining a state of homeostasis – there is a strong tendency throughout Nature to maintain homeostatic equilibrium, and to energetically compensate for any disruptions or deviations from that balanced state.  Also that “Interdependence is a fundamental law of nature.”

Yet it appears that we Humans are the only earthly species responsible for significant ecological imbalances. Forgetting that Nature is our nature; that we are interdependently ONE with Nature; and, that Nature ‘bats last’, we have mistakenly believed and behaved as if we are separated from each other and from Nature. So people unsustainably neglect or try to control Nature, and mistakenly disrupt Nature’s homeostatic equilibrium.
 
This behavior has resulted in catastrophic threats to all Life as we’ve known it, from disharmonious cruelty, wars, and insanely unsustainable exploitation of our precious planet. So we now see widespread physical, psychological, and economic suffering and unhappiness. Our mistaken self-identification as supposedly separate entities is what spiritual teachers call “ego”.  And most spiritual teachings are intended to help us transcend such limited ego consciousness.

For example the Dalai Lama reminds us that

“Interdependence is a fundamental law of nature. Not only higher forms of life but also many of the smallest insects are social beings who, without any religion, law, or education, survive by mutual cooperation based on an innate recognition of their interconnectedness. The most subtle level of material phenomena is also governed by interdependence. All phenomena, from the planet we inhabit to the oceans, clouds, forests, and flowers that surround us, arise in dependence upon subtle patterns of energy. Without their proper interaction, they dissolve and decay.”

Because we have egocentrically forgotten our inseparable interconnectedness and interdependence with all life everywhere, we have degenerated into insanity – unconsciously committing mass suicide by ecocide, and threatening nuclear catastrophe. So these are critical times of immense jeopardy and suffering, yet immense opportunity.


The human species has developed amazing new technologies, which if wisely and unselfishly used could foster a wonderful new enlightened age. And paradoxically we can advance toward such a new age by emulating past pre-industrial societies.

Isn’t it now crucial that we learn from the wisdom of indigenous people who have lived sane and happy lives by prioritizing sustainable harmony with Nature over it’s unsustainable exploitation; cooperation over competition; respect for prophets over lust for profits; democracy over authoritarianism?

Conclusion

Since Nature is our nature and is in charge of our lives, to live a “balanced life” we must self-identify with Nature, and consciously cooperate with our precious planet’s interdependent ecosystem.  We must behave mindfully without disrupting the crucial homeostatic harmony of our body-minds with our environment.

Dedication

May the foregoing “Life’s in the Balance” sutra verses and quotations help us discover innate happiness in our interdependent and inseparable ONENESS with Nature and all of its lifeforms, and encourage us to allow Nature to bless all life everywhere with interdependent balance and harmony. 

 

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner