“One great question underlies our experience,
whether we think about it or not:
what is the purpose of life?”
~ Dalai Lama
“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life,
the whole aim and end of human existence.”
“The world is so unhappy because it is ignorant of the true Self. Man’s real nature is happiness. Happiness is inborn in the true Self. Man’s search for happiness is an unconscious search for his true Self. The true Self is imperishable; therefore, when a man finds it, he finds a happiness which does not come to an end.”
~ Ramana Maharshi
“What are we here for?
We are here for freedom, for knowledge.
We want to know in order to make us free.
That is our life; one universal cry for freedom.”
~ Swami Vivekananda
“Our purpose is process –
Gleaning meaning in matter,
we learn all that matters –
we learn all that matters is LOVE!”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished.
If you’re alive, it isn’t.
~ Richard Bach
Is Earth-life Purposeful?
Q. Is earth-life purposeful?
A. Yes! We are here to learn and evolve.
Though some Eastern mystics may call this ever changing “reality” a dream, maya, samsara, or illusion,
it is a marvelous and miraculous mental creation.
So how can anyone ever imagine earth-life to be without purpose?
Our purpose is process – metamorphic process.
Like unique facets of an infinitely faceted jewel,
each earth being has a unique perspective, but a common Source* – which transcends this world, while everywhere immanent therein.
So, our purpose is harmoniously to realize and experience,
and to actualize from infinite perspectives,
our ONE transcendent Self identity.
As long as we believe ourselves to be seemingly circumscribed
and separated from the rest of our reality,
We incarnate to realize and to actualize
our common Self identity.
We learn until we leave.
But, we don’t leave until we learn –
*Innumerable names – God, Love, Nature, etc. – may be used to signify that Source or any of its infinite aspects. Or as in the Jewish tradition it may be acknowledged that no name can denominate “That” which is beyond conception or expression – since naming limits the illimitable and ineffable Infinite Reality.
Ron’s Commentary on Purpose of Life.
Have you ever reflected on whether human life is purposeful – individually or collectively?
Or have you wondered:
“Why was I born? Why am I living?” Or “What is the meaning of life?”
According to the Dalai Lama “What is the purpose of life?” is the “one great question [which] underlies our experience, whether we think about it or not”. And since midlife, I have found that reflecting about our life’s purpose, if any, has sparked a very helpful process of finding ever expanding happiness.
So today I’m sharing the foregoing quotations and essay/poem to help us consider perennial questions about ‘purpose’ or ‘meaning of life.
Not until my midlife change of life did I ever wonder whether Earth-life is purposeful. But since then I’ve continued to reflect and write about it.
Tentatively, I’ve hypothesized that, as students matriculating on the ‘Earth branch of the great cosmic University’, we’re learning to let life live us as LOVE, until ultimately we realize that LOVE is our common Self-identity and Universal Reality; that beyond this conceptual space/time relative reality, there are no philosophical questions or concepts or purposes, just infinitely potential Cosmic Consciousness as a ‘maha-matrix’ of all samsaric illusory mirage-like ‘realities’.
While growing up in 20th century America – like millions of others – I greatly enjoyed popular New York musical theater songs. Many of my favorite lyrics were composed by Master lyricist/librettist Oscar Hammerstein II, mostly in collaboration with great musical talents like Richard Rodgers with whom he wrote Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music.
Until midlife I understood Hammerstein’s lyrics to encompass worldly subjects, like romantic love. But, after spiritually awakening, I began to realize that Hammerstein’s lyrics often esoterically encompassed mystical perspectives. And I started referring to him as “Sri Oscar Hammerstein”.
When I was born in 1932, one the “top ten” popular songs was Why Was I Born, for which Hammerstein, with composer Jerome Kern, had written lyrics in 1929, beginning with these perennial questions:
“Why was I born? Why am I living?” “What do I get? What am I giving?”
And they concluded with this enduring answer:
“Why I was born? To love you!”
Fifty years after Hammerstein’s composition of Why Was I Born lyrics, I began to realize that they could refer to Divine LOVE, beyond just romantic love – e.g. to the ecstatic devotional spiritual path exemplified by Sufi-Persian Mystic Masters Hafiz and Rumi, as an ultimate goal of Human life.
And so with poetic license I pluralized Hammerstein’s lyric questions and edited his answer:
Q. Why were we born? Why are we living?
What do we get? What are we giving?
A. Why were we born? To love THEE!
Reflecting on life’s purpose, if any, can help us gradually realize that we are not who or what we were taught or ‘labeled’ to be by society, or by our mistaken mental reification of our projected-perceptions:
That we are not merely our mortal bodies – their genders, features, colors, religions, beliefs, emotions, habits or stories, or the ‘voices in our heads’. We are nondual immortal spirit experiencing fleeting earth lives from infinite perspectives in transitory physical vehicles. But ultimately ‘under the hood’ we’re all the same Cosmic Consciousness.
By realizing and actualizing our common spiritual identity, may we help transform and transcend this world of suffering.
And so may it be!
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.
Without them humanity cannot survive.”
“Ultimately, the decision to save the environment must come from the human heart. . [from] a genuine sense of universal responsibility that is based on love, compassion and clear awareness.”
~ Dalai Lama
“In the present circumstances, no one can afford to assume
that someone else will solve their problems. Every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged.”
~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from “The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom”
“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us ‘universe’,
a part limited in time and space.
He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his 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 this 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)
“Ethics is nothing else than reverence for life.”
“Compassion, in which all ethics must take root,
can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces
all living creatures, and does not limit itself to mankind.”
~ Albert Schweitzer
“Look how the caravan of civilization
has been ambushed.
Fools are everywhere in charge.
Do not practice solitude like Jesus.
Be in the assembly, and take charge of it.”
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
We’ve nothing to fear but fright;
fright which hides our light.
For just beyond our darkest fright
shines our brightest light –
The Eternal light of LOVE.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“God sends hope in the darkest moments.
The heaviest rain comes from the darkest clouds.”
When a reporter once asked Mahatma Gandhi, “What do you think of Western civilization?” Gandhi supposedly replied, “I think it would be a good idea”.
Whether that story is actual or apocryphal, it raises key insights into our allegedly ‘advanced’ societies.
We have undemocratically degenerated into an insane and warlike Orwellian world dominated by criminally psychopathic oligarchs committing mass suicide by ecocide and threatening imminent climate collapse and potential World War III nuclear holocaust which would destroy Earth life as we know it.
Though heretofore there have been seemingly isolated instances of self-inflicted human societal collapses – like that at Easter Island – never before have we confronted such a planet-wide imminent climate collapse. Yet without planet Earth’s favorable ecology, humanity can not survive.
So we must seriously consider whether humans are now ignorantly and unsustainably doing to our precious “Turtle Island” or “Earth Island” what they did to Easter Island. And whether or not we will avert repeating worldwide that disastrous history of ecological collapse.
In my view, our insanely illogical ecological, political and social behaviors are but symptoms of widespread psychological disease – not its cause; that to end this illness we must address and transcend its root cause, rather than merely decry its symptoms.
At the root of our present ecologically omnicidal insanity is a scientifically disproved and long outmoded reductionist, materialistic and mechanistic worldview belief system which sees everything and everyone as solid and separate, while disregarding our non-local common Cosmic consciousness.
We have forgotten what indigenous peoples have always known and remembered – our inextricably interrelated spiritual connectedness to mother Earth and to everything/everyone/everywhere; that what we think we do to apparent ‘others’ we do to ourselves.
Hence to avert calamitous ecological breakdown we must NOW breakthrough to a new and higher heart-centered worldview before it is too late; thereby we can see, solve and resolve our problems from levels of psychological awareness beyond those which created them.
This a crucial time for compassionate people to become politically and socially engaged.
As we commemorate Earth Day 2019, all lifeforms on our precious planet Earth are threatened by potentially imminent ecological catastrophe attributable to psychopathic human behaviors. These are critical times of immense jeopardy and suffering, yet immense opportunity.
Perhaps more than ever before in recorded human history people who are awakening to our spiritual common essence and nature realize not only that humans are collectively threatening our “reality”, but that together we have the capacity to solve and resolve our critical problems from heart levels of human consciousness above and beyond lower psychological states which created current crises.
Hence this a crucial time for compassionately aware people to become politically and socially engaged.
Dalai Lama’s Observations and Advice.
H.H. The Dalai Lama of Tibet wisely warns us that we must act to solve ecological crises and restore peace “before it is too late”. Here are some of his observations from which we may draw inspiration and motivation:
“Peace and the survival of life on earth as we know it are threatened by human activities that lack a commitment to humanitarian values. Destruction of nature and natural resources results from ignorance, greed and lack of respect for the earth’s living things.
This lack of respect extends even to the earth’s human descendants, the future generations who will inherit a vastly degraded planet if world peace does not become a reality, and if destruction of the natural environment continues at the present rate.
Our ancestors viewed the earth as rich and bountiful, which it is. Many people in the past also saw nature as inexhaustibly sustainable, which we know is the case only if we care for it.
It is not difficult to forgive destruction in the past which resulted from ignorance. Today, however, we have access to more information; it is essential that we re-examine ethically what we have inherited, what we are responsible for, and what we will pass on to coming generations.
Many of the earth’s habitats, animals, plants, insects and even micro-organisms that we know to be rare may not be known at all by future generations. We have the capability and the responsibility to act; we must do so before it is too late.
Just as we should cultivate gentle and peaceful relations with our fellow human beings, we should also extend that same kind of attitude towards the natural environment. Morally speaking, we should be concerned for our whole environment.
This, however, is not just a question of morality or ethics, but a question of our own survival. For this generation and for future generations, the environment is very important. If we exploit the environment in extreme ways, we will suffer, as will our future generations. When the environment changes, the climatic condition also changes. When the climate changes dramatically, the economy and many other things change. Our physical health will be greatly affected. Again, conservation is not merely a question of morality, but a question of our own survival.
Therefore, in order to achieve more effective environmental protection and conservation, internal balance within the human being himself or herself is essential. The negligence of the environment, which has resulted in great harm to the human community, resulted from our ignorance of the very special importance of the environment. We must now help people to understand the need for environmental protection. We must teach people to understand the need for environmental protection. We must teach people that conservation directly aids our survival.
If you must be selfish, then be wise and not narrow-minded in your selfishness. The key point lies in the sense of universal responsibility. That is the real source of strength, the real source of happiness. If we exploit everything available, such as trees, water and minerals, and if we don’t plan for our next generation, for the future, then we’re at fault, aren’t we? However, if we have a genuine sense of universal responsibility as our central motivation, then our relations with the environment, and with all our neighbors, will be well balanced.
Ultimately, the decision to save the environment must come from the human heart. The key point is a call for a genuine sense of universal responsibility that is based on love, compassion and clear awareness.”
(From “Humanity and Ecology”, © 1988, The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama)
Ron’s 2019 Earth Day Commentary.
We live in an age of mental malaise; the Hindus call it Kali-Yuga.
Many humans have forgotten and flagrantly transgressed the perennial wisdom Golden Rule of ethics shared by all enduring religious, spiritual, indigenous, and ethical traditions that we do no harm; but that with reciprocal empathy we treat all beings with the same dignity we wish for ourselves, and that they wish for themselves.
Accordingly, our precious planet is pervasively polluted by human ignorance and greed.
“The more that money rules the world,
the more that money ruins the world.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
We have undemocratically degenerated into insane societies, unconsciously committing mass suicide by ecocide, and threatening nuclear catastrophe.
Unrestrained transnational corporate-capitalism perpetually seeking profits is unsustainably, insidiously and coercively, exploiting countless vulnerable people and creatures worldwide, and insanely pillaging, plundering, depleting and corrupting finite planetary resources which support life. Thus, billions of people suffer needless poverty, starvation and avoidable disease or death, while a tiny group of privileged financial, corporate, political and religious oligarchs immorally acquire and misuse power and obscenely excessive material wealth, far beyond their conceivable needs.
Life as we know it is imminently threatened by environmental catastrophe or nuclear annihilation, possibly precipitated by criminally psychopathic world “leaders”; people so corrupt and crazy that they are myopically scuttling Spaceship Earth; destroying the life support systems which sustain us; pillaging and poisoning our precious planet’s ecology; and, harming human health, with countless chemically, genetically and radiologically polluting activities and products – even including foods, drinks, medicines and pharmaceuticals.
Even in purportedly technically “advanced” countries, it is virtually impossible now to breath air or drink water which is not in some way polluted by our species. Agricultural soils have been depleted and corrupted. Global weather patterns and hydrologic systems have been irreversibly disrupted by secret government geoengineering and nuclear projects, and other human activities; protective atmospheric ozone is being depleted. Glaciers are melting; long frozen Arctic tundra is thawing. Though non-polluting and sustainable alternative energy technologies are available and feasible they are suppressed as allegedly “economically” impractical, or “proprietary”, or “government classified”.
No one is protected. From birth (and even prenatally) every person’s body/mind is polluted and threatened by numerous and ubiquitous man-made chemical and radioactive materials, many of which are carcinogenic. By “bio-engineering” living organisms, we are even tampering and blindly experimenting with our genetic origins.
Many species are rapidly becoming extinct. Around the world, most insects have disappeared, thousands of birds are suddenly falling dead out of the sky, and countless dead fish and marine mammals are appearing on shores of poisoned rivers, lakes and oceans. Ecologically indispensable marine species are depleted and endangered. Honey bee and butterfly colonies crucial to pollination of food crops are disappearing; nearly one-third of all honey bee colonies in the US have vanished, and Monarch butterflies are becoming extinct. The oceans are polluted with our detritus, and much marine life is threatened. Even remote Arctic polar bears are becoming hermaphroditic because of phthalates and other chemicals dispersed by humankind, and they are threatened with imminent destruction of the ecosystem on which they depend for survival.
So, how should compassionately conscious people live and exist in this crazy world, in which timeless ethical values are forgotten and flagrantly transgressed? Do we not observe obvious omens of impending catastrophe?
As we “widen our circle of compassion to embrace the whole of Nature and all living creatures”, doesn’t it become morally imperative for us to help solve imminent ecological crises?
If so, how?
Shouldn’t we “become actively engaged” as the Dalai Lama suggests?
If so, how?
Can’t we, with heartfelt common intention and compassionate vision, co-create salutary solutions to the immense challenges facing us?
If so, how?
Optimistic observations and speculations.
Perennially, in the darkest and apparently most threatening eras of rampant world materialism and decadence, there invariably appear divine miracles, oracles and Beings to guide Human societies to, “a genuine sense of universal responsibility that is based on love, compassion and clear awareness.”
Moreover, many mystics suggest that everything that happens to us, societally or individually – until we transcend ego’s “optical illusion” of separateness – is in our best interest, because it affords opportunity and incentive to evolve.
So paradoxically, life’s most painful and difficult experiences often prove the best evolutionary opportunities, and biggest blessings, because they most challenge and motivate surrender of egoic misidentification and provide greatest transcendence incentives.
Thus, current turbulent ‘Trump times’ can be seen as a great “red pill” awakening opportunity, permitting Humanity to recognize and resolve current critical problems from elevated intuitive Heart levels of consciousness, above and beyond those fearful lower psychological states which created them.
Hence we can see present world problems as transitionally arising from inevitable disintegration of a prior “scientific” materialistic paradigm that has become painfully and harmfully anachronous – to make way for a more enlightened and elevated new age that blesses all life on our precious planet and beyond.
Such an elevated intuitive perspective will motivate and enable us to transcend current environmental and political insanity. And it will further our spiritual evolution until ultimately we realize that – beyond our illusory separation from all we perceive – we are ONE spirit eternally encompassing all life, and everything everywhere and beyond.
Let us become actively engaged as a global human family to resolve the immense ecological challenges facing us, not just as a matter of morality or ethics but for survival of life as we know it – “before it is too late”.
Ever mindful of our Oneness with all Life on our precious planet and beyond,
may we act with loving-kindness and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty – on Earth Day and every day.
Rather than worry or be afraid, may we remember that
“The only thing we have to fear is…fear itself.”
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt, first inaugural address
“For God sends hope in the darkest moments.
The heaviest rain comes from the darkest clouds.”
And so it shall be!
YouTube documentary about how humans threaten Earth’s ecology.
This is an excellently narrated video documentary, which includes worldwide graphic cinematography portraying many societies: like Easter Island, where humans insanely destroyed one of Earth’s most abundant ecosystems; and Dubai, U A E, which is emblematic of our current unsustainable and obsolete global fossil fuel dependency, threatening historically unprecedented global climate collapse in “ten years”. Please view and share this video!
“I consider myself a Hindu, Christian, Moslem, Jew, Buddhist and Confucian.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
“I have learned so much from God
That I can no longer call myself
a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew”
“Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi, or Zen.
Not any religion, or cultural system. I am not from the East or the West, nor out of the ocean or up from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not composed of elements at all.
I do not exist, am not an entity in this world or the next, did not descend from Adam and Eve or any origin story.
My place is placeless, a trace of the traceless. Neither body nor soul. I belong to the Beloved have seen the two worlds as one and that one call to and know,
First, last, outer, inner, only that breath breathing human.”
~ Rumi, ‘Only Breath’
“There is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church where I kneel.
Prayer should bring us to an altar where no walls or names exist.
Is there not a region of love where the sovereignty is illumined nothing,”
~ Rabia of Basra
“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.”
The new millennium demands a new universal religion –
A religion of Love.
So, let us curb our dogmas
and park our hierarchies.
Let us leave atonement theology,
and live at-one-ment Reality.
Let us transcend our ism schisms
and live a Universal ism —
The love of Life.
Let us live life
as love of Life.
Let us let go, and
let life live us,
Ron’s audio recitation of “Biophilism”
Ron’s explanation of “Biophilism”
Many years ago the then obviously imminent dangers of nuclear or ecologic catastrophe inspired my composition of the foregoing poem envisioning a new universal religion of LOVE. Since then the doomsday clock of the bulletin of atomic scientists has been moved to two minutes to midnight. And we have been experiencing very violent and politically polarized times, beyond those which motivated this poem. But the poem remains more valid now than when it was compassionately composed.
In order to peacefully resolve current catastrophic threats to Life on our precious planet, humanity requires egalitarian and democratic societal organizations – including religious, political, and business organizations – which emphasize coexistence, compassion and cooperation over insanely unsustainable domination and exploitation of other people and other lifeforms by psychopathic billionaires.
Though countless people may have benefited from their religious organizations, I believe that Humans are inevitably and imperatively evolving beyond the divisiveness often associated with religious belief systems to adopting universal religious ethics of empathy and Love.
Thus, the above poem suggests that we need a new universal religion of LOVE. Its title Biiophilism is a rare word which we define as “love of Life”.
Although many may consider this poem as unrealistically Utopian, I deem it not just feasible but evolutionarily imperative that we envision human transcendence of current unsustainable societal insanity, because I agree with Sri Oscar Hammerstein’s spiritually insightful lyrics for the South Pacific song “Happy Talk”, that:
“You got to have a dream,
If you don’t have a dream,
How you gonna have a dream come true?”
As lovers of God and Nature, may we all envision and experience our true nature which is Universal LOVE!
And so may it be!
“This place is a dream.
Only a sleeper considers it real.
Then death comes like dawn,
and you wake up laughing
at what you thought was your grief.”
“The world, indeed, is like a dream
and the treasures of the world are an alluring mirage!”
~ Buddha (The Awakened One)
“A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion,
does not act as if it is real,
so he escapes the suffering.”
“Thus shall ye think of all this fleeting world:
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream;
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.”
~ Buddha: Diamond Sutra
“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.”
~ The Upanishads
Life Is But A Dream
Q. “Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream?”
A. Yes, each person’s life is like a dream story within a dream of space/time reality.
For millennia, mystics have revealed that all we see or seem is mental illusion, ‘samsara’ or ‘maya’ – like a very persistent day dream from which we can awaken, just as we awaken from nocturnal dreams. And scientists like Einstein confirm the mystics, saying e.g. that “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one”; “space and time are not conditions in which we live, they are modes in which we think”; and, that “our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
Just as nighttime dreams are mental images arising during sleep on a ‘screen’ of formless awareness, our daytime “reality” arises from mental images projected on the same screen of formless awareness that perceives nocturnal dreams.
Both mystics and scientists say that all the forms we perceive as “reality” are impermanent – ever appearing and disappearing in timeless formless awareness; awareness which is universal and beyond time and space, beyond birth and death. That formless awareness is in the Bible called “everlasting life” [Daniel 12:1-3] and “eternal life” [e.g. John 17:1-2] And it is our Essence and Ultimate Identity.
We can realize the biblical/mystical promise of eternal life upon awakening from illusory egoic self identification as mere mortal bodies, their thoughts and their stories, and thus awakening to self identification with that timeless, formless awareness in which we perceive our lives and all we call “reality”.
AND SO IT SHALL BE!
*Edgar Allan Poe, “A Dream Within A Dream”, 1849
Ron’s Commentary on Life Is But A Dream.
Have you ever yet thought about a “dream” other than as a nocturnal sleep experience? Or as an unfulfilled ‘utopian’ aspiration such as expressed in Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legendary “I Have a Dream” speech, John Lennon’s “Imagine” lyrics, or by master lyricist Oscar Hammerstein in “Happy Talk” from “South Pacific”:
“You got to have a dream,
If you don’t have a dream,
How you gonna have a dream come true?”
To help us validate and actuate those “new age” ideas, I have explained in the above essay why “all that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream” in response to an insightful 1859 rhetorical question by poet Edgar Allan Poe; and why – as mystics and seers have told us for millennia – what we believe to be reality is, like a dream, just a play of universal consciousness.
From my “dreamlike” perspective, the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as 45th US president was a major disguised blessing which wouldn’t have happened if Hillary Clinton had been declared the US election winner. It has sparked an unprecedented mass political awakening to insanely dystopian secret government threats to everyone everywhere.
Because a critical mass of awakened Humankind worldwide are now adamantly demanding and intuitively envisioning a new era of peace and justice for all life everywhere – an era which ends and transcends unconscionable and unsustainable exploitation of our societies and planet to obscenely enrich a tiny group of psychopathic billionaires – I see this as beginning of a new era which will advance the highest good for all life on our precious planet.
In a recent Happy New Year posting, I said that:
“The personal and planetary are intimately connected.
Just as dreamers ‘create’ their dreams,
together we are a ‘dream-team’,
dreaming our world into being; and,
consciously or unconsciously creating a ‘common dream’”
Quotations from Rumi, Buddha (The Awakened One), and ancient Upanishads which precede the essay, elucidate and illuminate our common dream “reality”. And here are more quotations from famous people which can help us realize why our supposed waking life is like a dream:
“As we live through thousands of dreams in our present life, so is our present life only one of many thousands of such lives which we enter from the other more real life and then return after death.
Our life is but one of the dreams of that more real life, and so it is endlessly, until the very last one, the very real the life of God.”
~ Leo Tolstoy
A dream! What is a dream? And is not our life a dream?
~ Fyodor Dostoevsky
“This whole creation is essentially subjective, and the dream is the theater where the dreamer is at once: scene, actor, prompter, stage manager, author, audience, and critic.”
~ Carl Gustav Jung
“To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub:
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil…”
~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet (c. 1599), Act 3, sc. 1.
Especially since modern medical technology has begun resuscitating apparently dead heart attack victims, many survivors have recounted amazing near death experiences (NDE’s) helping us to learn societally about what happens “when we have shuffled off this mortal coil”. And such NDE’s have been portrayed in movies like the 1998 Robin Williams film, “What Dreams May Come”, which paradoxically dealt with post-suicide experience.
Paramahansa Yogananda poetically observed:
“The mysterious soul abides forever’ changing never….
It loves to live in the grottos of change, ever steadfast and immovable.
It never dreams ought but eternity.”
May our awakening Human ‘dream team’ ever more self-identify as “the mysterious soul [which] abides forever” .
Thereby may we at long last create an ever nobler ‘common dream’ that honors the equality and divinity of everyone everywhere, thus transcending exploitation and discrimination against the most vulnerable people and other sentient beings, by using our common sense and our common wealth for our common weal, and to end the iniquity of inequity in our society.
And so may it be!
Faith is the highest passion in a human being.
Many in every generation may not come that far, but none comes further.
~ Soren Kierkegaard
“On a long journey of human life,
faith is the best of companions;
it is the best refreshment on the journey;
and it is the greatest property.”
“Faith is a knowledge within the heart,
beyond the reach of proof.”
“Faith is an oasis in the heart which can never be reached by the caravan of thinking”
~ Khalil Gibran
“The heart has its reasons that reason does not know.”
“Faith is different from proof;
the latter is human, the former is a Gift from God.”
“Faith embraces many truths which seem to contradict each other.”
~ Blaise Pascal
“The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. …
To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.”
~ Albert Einstein
“Faith is much better than belief.
Belief is when someone else does the thinking.”
~ Buckminster Fuller
“Faith means living with uncertainty –
feeling your way through life,
letting your heart guide you like a lantern in the dark”
~ Dan Millman
“My faith runs so very much faster than my reason that I can challenge the whole world and say, ’God is, was and ever shall be’.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
“This above all, to thy own Self be true.”
~ William Shakespeare
“The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves!”
~ Swami Vivekananda
“Intelligence must follow faith, never precede it, and never destroy it.”
~ Thomas Kempis
“Faith is a light of such supreme brilliance that it dazzles the mind and darkens all its visions of other realities,
but in the end when we become used to the new light, we gain a new view of all reality transfigured and elevated in the light itself.”
~ Thomas Merton
“I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed,
you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there” and it will move.”
~ Matthew 17:20
Ron’s Commentary on Mystical Faith.
In reviewing and revising previous SillySutras postings, as preparation for ebook publication of memoirs and other postings, I’ve been wondering about the subtle circumstances which have seemed most important in furthering my spiritual evolution from age forty two to age eighty four.
Forty two years ago, I was self-identifying as an uptight and unhappy middle-aged secular litigation lawyer on the brink of divorce, when I had an unforgettable “out of body” experience [OOB] which sparked four decades of spiritual exploration and evolution – so far.
Now I mostly self-identify as eternal spirit enjoying a brief “in a body experience” as an 84 year old retired lawyer and spiritual writer. And I feel blessed with great happiness and gratitude for this precious fleeting lifetime, despite its inevitable ups and downs.
In wondering why this has happened, I’ve decided that continuing deep faith in the mystical mystery of Divinity has been crucial to my spiritual opening with ever increasing happiness. Previously, I have explained in essays how “I’ve Found A Faith-Based Life” and defined faith as distinguished from belief.
Today I have posted the foregoing profound quotations about faith to help inspire us. Please read and reflect on them.
Also I’ve embedded hereafter a beautiful youtube video performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s inspiring song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as excerpted from the film version of their classical musical play “Carousel”. The emotions we feel from that performance can also help inspire our deep realization that with faith and hope in our heart we’ll never walk alone.
And so may it be!
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from “Carousel”.