Posts Tagged ‘Paramahansa Yogananda’

Becoming a Faith-Based Optimist
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“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

“Faith is intuitive conviction, a knowing from the soul,
that cannot be shaken even by contradictions.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

“I’m only a cockeyed optimist . . .
stuck like a dope
With a thing called hope,
And I can’t get it out of my heart!”
~ Oscar Hammerstein II, South Pacific, lyrics

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.
Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.”
~ Helen Keller

“The highest thinkers of the ages,
the seers of the tribes and the nations,
have been optimists.”
~ Helen Keller

“An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight… the truly wise person is colorblind.”
~ Albert Schweitzer

“Steady faith is stronger than destiny.
Destiny is the result of causes, mostly accidental,
and is therefore loosely woven.
Confidence and good hope will overcome it easily.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

“Even faith in God is only a stage on the way.
Ultimately you abandon all, for you come to something so simple that there are no words to express it.”
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Optimism optimizes opportunity.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Hanuman


Becoming a Faith-Based Optimist ~ Ron’s Memoirs

Introduction to “Becoming a Faith-Based Optimist”

Dear Friends,

In prior postings I’ve told how “I’ve Found A Faith-Based Life”, and defined faith as distinguished from belief. And I’ve explained that inner faith in the Divine, is the same as faith in one’s Self, and that such inner faith can bring us previously unimagined happiness.

Today I’ll tell how I found faith in Divine Self in a midlife transition from self-reliant secular litigation lawyer to devotional “born-again Hindu”; and how that faith became an optimistically unshakable conviction that everything happens for the best, until we transcend the ego illusion of existing separately in space/time.

And because these memoirs are published on commencement of important Equinox religious holy days, I’m including a 2022 Equinox Epilogue.

Memoirs of “Becoming a Faith-Based Optimist”

Soon after receiving 1978 shaktipat initiation from my beloved Guruji, I began daily Sanskrit recitations of a Ram mantra and the Hanuman Chalisa – a rhymed poetic ode to the mythological Vedic ‘monkey-god’ Hanuman (pictured above). The Hanuman Chalisa (composed by poet-saint and philosopher Tulsidas) metaphorically venerates Hanuman, who faithfully served Hindu avatar Rama, as the epitome of faith in God.

Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (with whom I feel deep devotional affinity) often cited an epic Ramayana story about Hanuman heroically leaping over the sea between South India and Shri Lanka (Ceylon) to serve Rama, as illustrating the epitome of divine faith. In the Gospel of Ramakrishna, he taught:

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


While repeatedly reciting Ram mantras and the Hanuman Chalisa, I felt their devotional energy while unconcerned about their precise Sanskrit meaning. And I became instinctively harmonious with Ram, as Divinity. Even today (at almost age ninety), I still often instinctively call out to Rama in devotionally honoring the Divine. And Hanuman energy became and remains for me symbolic of both enduring Faith and immutable optimism.

After I became an instinctive Rama devotee, I realized that my initial secular self-confidence and optimism had gradually grown to heartfelt Faith in God; that I’d evolved from being a pragmatic secular optimist into living a devotional faith-based life, with both conviction and optimism.

Also, I realized that with Faith it’s always best follow one’s conscience in all behaviors, and to surrender outcomes of such conscientious behaviors to Divine Source (or Tao) – to let go and go with the flow; because karmically whatever happens could not be otherwise. So, to clear our karma, we must non-judgmentally and forgivingly accept and bless everything and everyone NOW, as ephemeral and illusory appearances in ever impermanent space and time of our sole Divine Source – ineffable, immutable, and Eternal LOVE.

My insights revealed that our earthly sufferings arise from fearful and illusory ego-mind thoughts because we forget our true Divinity and immortality.
But that as omnipotent immortal spirit we have nothing to fear from anything that seems to happen in always illusory ego-mind space, time, and duality. Moreover, that our transcendence of ego-mind is inevitable, and always advanced by our loving behaviors.

2022 Equinox Epilogue

These memoirs are published concurrent with commencement of the Jewish High Holy Days, and the Hindu Navaratri shraddha period. In prior times I participated in both Jewish and Hindu religious ritual observances of these important holidays.

But in recent years, I’ve stopped attending all scheduled religious ritual services. As an innately faith-based optimist, I now continuously honor God every day and everywhere with Divine intentions, behaviors, and prayers, and with the SillySutras spiritual poetry and philosophy website.

Yet, I’ve instinctively realized that beyond ego-mind’s persistent “optical illusion” of a space, time, and duality worldly “reality”, all that is, was, or will be is NOW. Thus, that being a worldly faith-based optimist (with hope for the future) is like aspiring to an “impossible dream” of a never-attainable mental mirage – a time-based dreamlike fantasy “reality” that can never exist.

Optimists instinctively hope for the best. But “hope” is always “then” while Life is only NOW, ever NOW, never then.

However, since inception of the current historically unprecedented post-pandemic “new normal” era, I’ve become optimistically convinced, and foresee, that a “critical mass” of energetically elevated humans will soon co-create (as a cooperative global family) an infinitely more compassionate world, without fearful ego-mind deprivations and sufferings.

And these faith-based equinox memoirs are deeply dedicated to inspiring and hastening our imminent fulfillment of that optimistic prediction.

Conclusions

I’ve become and irreversibly remain a faith-based optimist, despite apparent cataclysmic threats against survival of human life as we’ve known it.  And I equate my instinctive optimism with inner Faith in our sole Divine Source – ineffable, immutable, and Eternal LOVE.

Therefore I’m especially grateful to be able to now share these memoirs with you to help us realize and enjoy supreme fulfillment and happiness from ever optimistic faith in Divine LOVE, until we ascend and transcend all ego-mind perception-deception illusion.

Invocation

“May we ever ascend –
as LOVE and Light,

Beyond-all suffering,
from ego-mind fright.”


And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


“Cockeyed optimist” video

To further encourage our heartfelt faith-based optimism, I’ve embedded below a YouTube video performance of the Rodgers and Hammerstein ‘cockeyed optimist’ song from “South Pacific”.

Please optimistically enjoy it as we energetically ascend as Love and Light,
beyond all suffering from ego-mind fright.



Honoring God’s “Holy Fools”
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.”
~ 1 Corinthians 3:19
“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
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loves is born of God, and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
~ 1 John 4:7-8
“Full of love for all things in the world;

practicing virtue in order to benefit others,

this man alone is happy.”

~ Buddha
“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 highest, the grandest, the most inspiring,
the most sublime principle in creation.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda
“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
“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

 



Honoring God’s “Holy Fools” ~ Ron’s Memoirs

Introduction

Dear Friends,


Prior memoirs have recounted my midlife transformation from “Secular Hebrew” social justice litigation lawyer to “Born-again Hindu” devotional-emotional lover of God, and then to “Uncertain Undo” seeking ‘relief from belief’, because ‘on the path of Undo, we’ll never be through, ’til we’re and undone ONE!’.
[See e.g. Crying For God and other ‘Kundalini Kriyas’]

This memoirs chapter tells how, as a newly awakened ‘lover of God’ (Bhakta), I’ve discovered and honored “Holy Fools” – rare ascetic and eccentric lovers of God, who don’t live in ordinary worldly ways.

I’ve learned that throughout human history there have been very famous “Holy Fools”. Only after first ‘discovering’ such famous “Holy Fools”, did I later learn that in all human societies there are countless more unknown God intoxicated “Holy Fools”; and that they timelessly bless this world as LOVE.

In some Eastern societies they are called “masts”, a word which originates from the Sufi term mast-Allah, meaning “intoxicated with God”.

In Hindu societies they are called Avadhutas, who are overwhelmed with inner love for God. For millennia India has honored Avadhutas, as self-realized bhakti mystics living beyond worldly ego-mind consciousness and concerns, and without adhering to accepted social standards. (See e.g. Advadhuta Gita)

To help you understand why I have honored spiritual “heretics” and “holy fools” as lovers of God, here is a summary of my devotional history:

Ron’s Devotional history

Until my profound midlife spiritual awakening, I hadn’t shed tears as an adult. But then I cried for twenty four hours. Thereafter, I began wondering why I was crying so much. But soon I realized with amazement that I was crying with intense longing for God. (See Beholding The Eternal Light Of Consciousness.) And I became and remained an extremely devotional, and frequent crier for God – often ecstatically longing and calling for the Divine.


After meeting my beloved Guruji, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, and receiving his shaktipat initiation into the path of kundalini yoga as “Rasik: one engrossed in devotion”, I gradually learned that my continual longing and profuse crying for God was an immense transformative blessing – recognized not only in the bhakti Hindu devotional tradition, but also in:

1) Sufism epitomized by enlightened Muslim mystical poets Rumi and Hafiz who realized that all appearances in our seemingly complex earthly “reality” are manifestations of ONE eternal LOVE; and

2) in the Orthodox/Catholic “gift of tears” tradition of St. Isaac of Ninevah, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.


Thus, when not crying I often had what I called ‘alternative LSD experiences’ of spontaneous (and sometimes ecstatic) Laughing, Singing, and Dancing. And even as an octogenarian “Uncertain Undo” I still often privately experience spontaneous outbursts of laughing, crying, and calling to God.


Guruji’s explanation was that:

“There are two kinds of kriyas, one is for purification and the other for the manifestation of joy. ..
Whenever one experiences great joy or bliss, this also manifests physically as crying or laughing.”
~ Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas


Learning about devotional spirituality

Not until my 1976 spiritual awakening, did I begin learning about spirituality.

On moving from Chicago to San Francisco in 1960, I was ignorant about spiritual subjects, or religions other than Judaism.

I knew nothing about Christian saints, or core Christian teachings. I didn’t even realize that my new “San Francisco” home city was named for history’s most popular Christian saint. Moreover, apart from Christianity, I was ignorant of Eastern spiritual and religious teachings.

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

However, I had no idea of their supremely profound sacred significance.

But my midlife spiritual awakening experiences triggered an unprecedented interest in spiritual subjects. Initially – sparked by inner experiences and amazing synchronicities – I experienced great curiosity about Saint Francis of Assisi, and about Christian teachings which inspired him.

Later I began reading hagiographic stories about other Eastern and Western saints and sages. Gradually, I learned that – apart from Jesus and a few other world-famous paragons of Divine LOVE – the Divine devotional path has been followed by countless unknowns, especially in certain societies which for centuries have honored and emphasized devotional Love.


And gradually I became inspired by genuine “lovers of God” as exemplars of an important spiritual tradition, with which I had instinctively joined.

Lovers of God as “Heretics”

On discovering Rumi’s poetry, I learned that Muslim culture has long encompassed all aspects of love, culminating with Sufism’s mystical Self-realization as Divine LOVE as life’s ultimate goal. And, similarly, that Sufi philosophy has so honored eccentric lovers of God that it has specifically identified many of them as “masts” – persons so overwhelmed with love for God, that they appear externally disoriented.


Also, during my 1982 pilgrimage to India I learned that for millennia India has honored avadhutas, self-realized bhakti mystics living beyond usual egoic consciousness and worldly concerns, without adhering to accepted social standards. (See e.g. Advadhuta Gita, and Avadhuta – Wikipedia)

I indelibly remember seeing a peacefully smiling elderly man sitting stark naked on a rock in freezing temperatures midst ice and snow near the Himalayan headwaters of the holy Ganges river.

Like Sufi “masts” and Indian avadhutas, worldwide there have been countless unknowns societally honored as God intoxicated ‘holy fools’ with extraordinarily unconventional behaviors inconsistent with social norms.


Famous “Heretic” Prophets

Supremely eminent Greek philosopher Socrates, who taught the Delphic oracle’s fundamental transformative spiritual maxim “Know Thyself”, was considered an heretic and was sentenced to death after being unjustly tried and convicted for allegedly corrupting the youth of Athens. He was an archetypal wise ‘fool’ whose distinctive teaching method consisted in exposing foolishness of the world. For example, just before Socrates died of a coerced suicide, by drinking hemlock, he declared that fear of death was fear of the unknown.


In Western Christianity Paul the Apostle proclaimed that

“The wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.”
(1 Corinthians 3:19)


So, Christianity has at times rejected as foolishness “the wisdom of this world”. And it has endorsed the ‘Imitation of Jesus Christ’ – who preached “Love your neighbors” and even “your enemies”. And ‘heretically’ repudiated socially condoned hypocrisy, brutality, greed, and selfish desire for worldly power and gains; forgivingly endured crucifixion, mockery and humiliation from ignorant crowds; and even audaciously proclaimed the ultimately ‘forbidden mystical Truth’ – that “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

In learning about Jesus’ “heretic” teachings – especially his Sermon on the Mount – I instinctively recognized him as an outspoken social justice reformer, and Truth telling political and religious nonconformist. And I intuitively honored him as a paragon of virtue, like prophets of other great religions, but not as God’s “only Son”.

I always conceived of “God” as ONE universally immanent nameless, formless, nonjudgmental Supreme Power. So I rejected any idea of a personal or judgmental God, and considered the Bible a collection of metaphoric legends – not as ‘the word of God’ who spoke only through special messengers.

And just as I always rejected Torah teachings about Jews as “chosen people”, I could never accept Christian dogma that Jesus was God’s “only Son” because he declared “I and the Father are one”.

Nor – like Gandhi – could I morally accept non-egalitarian Hindu scriptures justifying socially stratified caste systems, with some people deemed “untouchables”.

But I accepted that especially in historically dark and threatening eras of rampant world materialism, decadence, and violence, there have often appeared renowned sages or incarnate avatars to prophetically guide Humankind to societal and spiritual renaissance. And as religious nonconformists and social dissidents these famous reformers – like Jesus and Socrates – often were considered as “heretics”, and severely punished by contemporary worldly authorities.

‘Discovering’ Saint Francis of Assisi and Sri Ramakrishna as heretic “holy fools”.

Most famous Christian emulator of Jesus was Saint Francis of Assisi who in midlife – as an unconventional apostle of Love – renounced and relinquished all his worldly possessions and privileges as son of a wealthy merchant, to live reclusively in the Umbrian countryside; and later to establish an exemplary order of Franciscan Friars who gave away all possessions and survived only on alms while preaching in the streets to common people. Francis so completely identified with Jesus that, near the end of his earthly life, he became the first saint in history to miraculously receive crucifixion stigmata.

st-francis-of-assisi

St. Francis of Assisi



Perhaps the best known Indian saint of the nineteenth century was Indian Holy Man Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa – an extraordinarily charismatic and eccentric ascetic, sometimes compared to St. Francis of Assisi.
(See Sri Ramakrishna and St. Francis of Assisi, by Sister Devamata, 1935)


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



After my midlife spiritual awakening, I felt increasing egalitarian affinity and harmony with people living unconventionally ‘from inside out’, rather than with outer-directed worldly and conventional people.

And in learning about many famous saints and mystics, I felt most affinity with Saint Francis of Assisi and Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa.

Both of them were extraordinarily charismatic ascetics, having relinquished and renounced all worldly pleasures and privileges, to live in utter simplicity. Both were remarkably unconventional and seemingly “God intoxicated” exemplars of Divine Love and devotional faith – blessed with the ‘gift of tears’ and of spontaneously praying, singing, conversing and calling to the Divine, which as egalitarians they beheld everywhere and in every being.  Both saints eschewed punditry and were simple, unschooled and unscholarly, yet with vast innate wisdom imparted conversationally and recorded by others.

Both historically helped to reform world religions by charismatically living their teachings. And both were so eccentrically unconventional that they were even considered insane by some worldly people, including a few friends and relatives.

Perhaps I found exceptional rapport with both St. Francis and Ramakrishna because my own private devotional tendencies and unconventional behaviors seemed similar to theirs, and especially because of inner and synchronistic experiences, including amazing and unforgettable déjà vu of their still palpable divine energies (shakti) during pilgrimages to India and Assisi.

Later, I learned that that renowned mystical poet-masters Hafiz and Rumi, were Supreme exemplars of the Sufi-Persian path of love. But that even in their societies which honored Love, they were considered by Moslem authorities to be “heretics” or “holy fools” because – like Jesus – they realized and truthfully proclaimed their mystical self-identity as Divine LOVE – a fundamentally forbidden heresy to ruling mullahs. Thus, though Hafiz was not executed, his remains could not be entombed in a Moslem cemetery in his beloved birthplace and cultured home city, Shiraz, Iran.

LOVE as the unseen Source of the worlds we see

Following the midlife spiritual rebirth and awakening, I’ve gradually discovered that LOVE is all that is, was, or will be; that LOVE is our true SELF-identity, and the unseen timeless Source of all worlds we see.

So I’ve realized that all God’s “holy fools” bless this world as living LOVE. And that their eccentricities and ‘heresies’ can help reveal that societal sanity requires radical reform of orthodox worldly rules and beliefs.

Dedication and Invocation – Love for all, Hatred for none!

This memoirs chapter is deeply dedicated to inspiring a critical mass of humanity increasingly to honor each other and all life as ONE LOVE – beyond the endless ego-mind illusion of a space/time duality universe

And let us ever remember that we are the unseen Source of all worlds we see!

So let us love GOD with all our heart and soul and with all our might.

And with firm faith, may our guiding motto ever be

‘Love for all, Hatred for none!’


And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Extraordinary Energy Experiences
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“The entire physical creation,
so awe inspiring to human mentality…
provides only tantalizing hints
to the underlying wonders of being.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda
“We never cease to stand like curious children
before the great Mystery into which we were born.”
~ Albert Einstein
“The miracle is not to walk on water,
but to walk with love on earth,
as if your feet are kissing the ground.

We must learn to say ‘Yes’ to the miracles of life.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Directly experiencing the multi-dimensionality of manifest reality
helps free the mind and open the heart,
inspiring and encouraging ever new insights,
while raising ever new mysteries.
~ Ron Rattner – Sutra Sayings
As we lose our fear of leaving life,
we gain the art of living life.
~ Ron Rattner – Sutra Sayings

Ron as Franciscan Friar,
Halloween 1981


Extraordinary Energy Experiences

Introduction

Einstein revolutionized our understanding of physical reality by showing that everything everywhere is endless energy, viz. E=mc2. But rare are those who mindfully self identify with this pivotal revelation.

Since realizing my true essence and identity as eternal spirit, beyond form – beyond birth and death, I have been experientially blessed with unforgettable reminders of the ephemerally impermanent and energetic nature of our apparent physical reality, and of its eternal context in cosmic consciousness beyond time and space.

From these experiences I’ve gradually lost fear of death and have been opened to innumerable new revelatory insights about this magical and mysterious world of forms and phenomena. These experiences have helped me live an ever happier life, as predicted by my beloved Guruji, and have inspired ever new insights and questions concerning our infinite evolutionary potentialities.

Subtle energy sensitivities

Amongst my most noteworthy new experiences have been unprecedented subtle energy perceptions.

Immediately after my spiritual rebirth experience I briefly experienced myself as mere lines of energy – like those associated with Chinese acupuncture.

Then my experience of bodily consciousness returned, but never again as before. Previously perceived bodily boundaries expanded well beyond my skin, and in rare instances even melted or merged into mystery. And I became aware that my bodily self-perceptions constantly varied with varying states of vitality and subtle awareness.

Here are some examples of this new clairsentience.

Starting soon after the rebirth experience, at times I felt the energies of people, creatures and objects visually perceived to be far away. And beyond my visual perception I became consciously sensitive to the energies of people and places both in and remote from my physical proximity – their ‘vibes’.

For example, I remember sitting with my then young son Josh in the grandstand at a San Francisco Giants baseball game, almost palpably feeling the energy of each pitched baseball as it left the pitcher’s hand and sped toward the batter. The entire playing field seemed within the ambit of my perceived energy field.

Once when meditating alone in my apartment and concerned about a grove of Northwest Pacific coast old growth trees then being clear-cut for lumber, I empathetically experienced with endless tears the suffering of those ancient beings.

After meditating in my high-rise view apartment, I remember at rare times looking out and feeling the energies of birds flying in the distance. And while walking on a path or beach by the Bay I sometimes palpably felt the energy emanations of people i saw moving at a distance from me.

One sunny Sunday, as I walked along San Francisco Bay to and from the Golden Gate Bridge, I beheld  every person I encountered – dozens, without exception – as a divine being emanating and glowing with Divine luminescence. (See Beholding Beings Of Light )

Energy ‘mergers’

The foregoing unusual energy experiences seemed to involve supposed subject-object perceptions, viz. Ron aware of various supposedly separate distant forms. But other new energy experiences apparently transcended such supposed subject-object separation.

For example when I was talking in person or by phone with certain people with whom I felt special rapport – like my ‘high energy’ friend Betty Bethards, a spiritual teacher and psychic – I often experienced elevated energy, as if our subtle energy fields had synergistically expanded. And after I met Guruji I was consistently transformed and energetically uplifted when in his physical proximity, irresistibly resonating with his amazingly powerful “shakti” cosmic life-force.

Perhaps my most extraordinary new energy events were subtle energy ‘mergers’ that happened during out of body [OOB] experiences. The first ‘merger’ happened quite synchronistically, soon after my divorce. Just before awakening one work-day morning, I beheld an extremely vivid and large movie-like inner image of a blue-eyed blond woman who I’d never before seen.  Quite puzzled I wondered who she was and why she had appeared in my inner vision.   Those questions were soon answered.

A few days later, alone and lonely on a Saturday evening, I searched the SF Chronicle’s weekend event calendar for something to do.   There I learned that a Tibetan bell concert was about to happen in an auditorium not far from my apartment.   Though I then knew nothing about Tibetans, and never before heard Tibetan bells, this concert seemed interesting.  So I made a last-minute decision to attend.

There were no reserved seats, and by the time I arrived the only remaining seats were on a small back balcony far from the stage. So I sat there waiting for the concert to begin.  After a few moments, I noticed the person already seated immediately to my left.   She was undoubtedly the woman who had appeared in my vision a few days earlier.  She was a yoga teacher with whom I soon had a brief but very important romantic relationship.

Once during that relationship I had the unprecedented experience of leaving my body during physical coition with union of our subtle bodies above the intertwined physical bodies, which I viewed from above. Apart from that brief OOB experience, it seemed thereafter that our subtle bodies remained conjoined even when we were physically apart. One week I had a mysterious leg pain not traceable to physical trauma. That weekend I learned from my friend that she had injured a leg, and that apparently we were simultaneously experiencing the same leg pain.

After we were together physically, I initially experienced amazingly enhanced vital energies. But later because of very stressful life circumstances she became quite devitalized and enervated. Thereupon, she unknowingly began syphoning my vital energies whenever we were together. When we parted, instead of having amazingly enhanced energies, I became so debilitated that I couldn’t jog or even walk to work as usual. Finally, without vital energy it became impossible for me to continue to be with her. Our relationship ended. It was virtually my last romance before becoming abstinent for the remainder of my adult life – so far.

A few years later I had another memorable OOB merger experience, but this time without any physical intimacy. Here’s what happened.

In October 1981 I was invited to attend a Jungian archetypal Halloween costume party in Sausalito, California. Attendees were asked to dress as a personality or image important to them in this lifetime. Never before had I attended an adult costume party. Nor had I ever before thought about any “archetype” important to me.

But on learning that I could borrow a Franciscan friar’s habit from my friend Michael Toms, I decided to attend as Saint Francis of Assisi, with whom I had discovered a deep inner rapport. Dressed as St. Francis, I went to the party alone.

It was held in a large old warehouse space where there was live music and an extensive dance floor area. The warehouse was hot, noisy and crowded – not an ambience apparently conducive to spiritual experience or elevated awareness. But that’s what happened to me.

I was standing alone on the dance floor when a woman stranger costumed as an angel invited me to dance with her. I gladly accepted. Then she told me that as a spiritual practice she was “toning”, and asked if I would like to “tone” with her as we danced, explaining that while dancing together we could make harmonious tonal sounds.  I hadn’t before heard about toning, and was curious.

So, at her suggestion, we danced and twirled and toned together like Sufis. Soon, while we were thus twirling and toning, I had another memorable OOB experience.

Fleetingly I ‘left my physical body’ and from above the two twirling dancers perceived our subtle bodies merged. This was a revelatory experience for me, because I learned from it the possibility of “tantric” merger without physical union.

After dancing and toning for a short time, we shared contact information. I learned that her name was Mary Saint-Marie, and that she was a visionary artist from Mount Shasta, California. But I did not reveal my merger experience to her. We parted without dancing again. Thereafter, we briefly exchanged correspondence when Mary was considering enrolling in graduate studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) where I then was Board Chairman. But we never met again for almost thirty years.

In the meanwhile, I wondered why I had such an extraordinary experience with an ‘angelic’ stranger in a crowded, hot and noisy place. Ultimately, I determined it happened because my dancing partner was an extraordinarily elevated being who (then unknown to me) had recently experienced a prolonged period of out of body cosmic Oneness.

As I write, Mary Saint-Marie is still a visionary artist and spiritual guide who shares her rare transcendent perspectives and experiences via inspiring art and spiritual writings, and in work shops and consultations.

Several years following my subtle merger experience with Mary Saint-Marie, I had another unforgettable revelatory union experience even more extraordinary than the previous ones.

Mahavatar Babaji

“Total merger [with another soul] is a much higher and deeper love bond than anything you can know on the earth plane. [It] is like stepping inside of one another’s auras; [and] is far superior to the physical mechanics of the sexual experience.”
~ Betty Bethards,
“There is No Death”, pp 89-90. [edited]

One night I was awakened from a deep sleep to behold within the face image of an Indian yogi, who looked familiar but who I could not then identify. Thereupon, the yogi merged our subtle fields, and we became ONE. Words cannot describe the orgasmic thrill of that merger.

It was for me thrilling beyond any other experience of this lifetime.

For many years after that extraordinary glimpse of evolutionary potentiality I wondered about the identity of the benevolent yogi who had bestowed the unforgettable experience, and why it happened. Finally, through synchronicity, I intuited his identity.

One evening, while on-line at my computer, I was wondering about the mysterious yogi when a familiar portrait appeared in a file I was searching. It was Mahavatar Babaji the legendary timeless saint and root guru of Paramahansa Yogananda’s kriya yoga lineage, who was pictured and described in “Autobiography of a Yogi”. Instantly I intuitively recognized him as the compassionate yogi with whom Ron had been merged.* [See footnote.]

Conclusion

I don’t know why I was karmically granted these wonderful “peek experiences”. Like other extraordinary experiences, they’ve helped to free my mind from illusory limitations and to open my heart to ever new Divine insights.

Perhaps they were portents that – after eons of endless evolution – Humankind will ultimately realize ever elevated life experiences through our precious planet’s inevitable dimension Ascension,

In an autogyral
Endless spiral
Flowing up and beyond
The beyond.

Or maybe we’ll experience supramental powers upon earth, as envisioned by Sri Aurobindo.

In all events, these fleeting extraordinary energy experiences have helped inspire my ever growing gratitude and unconditional faith in our Infinite Potentiality – in the Mystery of Divinity.

*Footnote:
In February 1982 at the Kumbha Mela in Allahabad, India, I beheld an ethereal being who was soon identified to me as “Mahavatar Babaji”. I believe the Oneness experience with him happened several years after our encounter in India.


Dedication and Invocation.

The above energy stories are published with the deep aspiration that they will help free our ego-minds from all illusory fearful limitations, and open our hearts to ever new Divine insight and inspiration.

And with ever-growing gratitude and unconditional faith in our Infinite Potentiality as Universal Love:

May they inspire our Sacred heart Realization
of our infinite evolutionary potentiality
to bless the universe as Divine Love,
beyond all illusory fears
of death, disease or deprivation,
and without current insanely-inflicted
space-time perils, sufferings and sadness.

May they thus portend our continuing co-creation
of harmoniously elevated societies
which inspire and benefit all of Nature
and all Life everywhere as LOVE –
until our destined ultimate transcendence
of this permanently impermanent dream-like world
of space/time and duality!



And so may it be!



Ron Rattner

Solstice Salutations and Quotations
~ For a Happy World

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life,
the whole aim and end of human existence”
~ Aristotle
“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.”
~ Dalai Lama
“A disciplined mind leads to happiness,
and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.”
~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,
and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
~ Buddha
“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





Solstice Salutations and Quotations For a Happy World

Dear Friends,

Happy Summer Solstice!

With a new summer solstice sunlight zenith, let us envision the dawning of an Aquarian age of divine light, peace, compassion, and joy everywhere on our precious planet and beyond.

May we thereby rededicate ourselves to the Eternal Light of LOVE within and beyond everyone and everything on Earth; to THAT universal spirit of eternal light, love, harmony and happiness, which is the unseen Source of the worlds we see.  
 
And as we optimistically envision a new season of previously unimagined planetary peace and joy, may we be infused with unprecedented illumination and inspiration for harmoniously healing our beautiful blue planet and all its life-forms.

To help inspire us, hereafter posted is a collection of wisdom words about finding timeless happiness. Please enjoy and accordingly consider these inspiring quotations.


Perennial Wisdom Words About Finding Happiness:

“Seek first the kingdom of heaven,
which is within.”
~ Matthew 6:33; Luke 17:20-21

“Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it.
What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside.”
~ Ramana Maharshi

“Happiness comes when your work and words
are of benefit to yourself and others.”
~ Buddha

“The happiness of one’s own heart alone cannot satisfy the soul;
one must try to include, as necessary to one’s own happiness,
the happiness of others.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

“One great question underlies our experience, whether we think about it or not: what is the purpose of life? From the moment of birth every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering. Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affects this. From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.”
~ H.H. Dalai Lama

“I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness.
That is clear. Whether one believes in religion or not,
whether one believes in this religion or that religion,
we all are seeking something better in life.
So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness…”
~ Dalai Lama

“True happiness cannot be found in things that change and pass away.
Pleasure and pain alternate inexorably.
Happiness comes from the Self and can be found in the Self only.
Find your real Self and all else will come with it.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

“There is only one life and one world, and this one life and one world is appearing to us . . . . like a dream. . .You do not live in your dreams. The dreams come one after another; scene after scene unfolds before you.
So it is in this world of ninety per cent misery and ten per cent happiness. Perhaps after a while it will appear as ninety per cent happiness, and we shall call it heaven. But a time comes to the sage when the whole thing vanishes, and this world appears as God Himself, and his own soul as God. It is not therefore that there are many worlds; it is not that there are many lives. All . . is the manifestation of that ONE.”
~ Swami Vivekananda

“He who has not looked on Sorrow will never see Joy.”
“We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.”
~ Kahlil Gibran

“Find ecstasy in life;
the mere sense of living is joy enough.”
~ Emily Dickinson

“I do not think of all the misery, but of the glory that remains.
Go outside into the fields, nature and the sun,
go out and seek happiness in yourself and in God.
Think of the beauty that again and again
discharges itself within and without you and be happy.”
~ Anne Frank

“The root of joy is gratefulness…

We hold the key to lasting happiness in our own hands.

For it is not joy that makes us grateful;
it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”

~ Brother David Steindl-Rast

“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

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
~ Abraham Lincoln

“When you are suffering, when you are unhappy, stay totally with what is now.
Unhappiness or problems cannot survive in the Now.”
~ Eckhart Tolle

“Happiness does not depend on how the furniture is arranged –
it depends on how I arrange my mind.”
“When you change the way you look at things,
the things you look at change.”
“Simply put, you believe that things or people make you unhappy,
but this is not accurate.
You make yourself unhappy.”
~ Wayne Dyer

“The surest way to be happy
is to seek happiness for others.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Joy comes not through possession or ownership
but through a wise and loving heart.”
“If one speaks or acts with a pure mind,
happiness follows like a shadow.”
~ Buddha

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
~ Dalai Lama

“Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold,
happiness dwells in the soul.”
~ Democritus

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more,
but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”
~ Socrates

“Happiness belongs to the self sufficient.”
~ Aristotle

“The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live
that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.”
~ Epictetus

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not;
remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
~ Epicurus

“Cultivate compassion; harvest happiness.”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“Joy is not in things; it is in us.”
~ Richard Wagner

“I am happy even before I have a reason.”
~ Hafiz

“The superior man is always happy.”
~ Confucius

“Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.”
~ Chuang-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

“What is the worth of a happiness for which you must strive and work?
Real happiness is spontaneous and effortless.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

“He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sun rise.”
~ William Blake

“Always be joyful. That is the only truly saintly state.”
~ Teresa of Avila

“Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service,
and have a definite object in life
outside themselves and their personal happiness”
~ Leo Tolstoy

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.”
~ Rabindranath Tagore

“Somehow not only for Christmas
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart’s possessing
Returns to make you glad.
~ John Greenleaf Whittier

“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination”
~ Mark Twain

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow,
it only saps today of its joy.”
~ Leo Buscaglia

“Some cause happiness wherever they go;
others whenever they go.”
~ Oscar Wild


Closing Invocations:

May we consciously and cooperatively participate together in co-creating an ever better world – Happy, Harmonious and Peaceful – as we intend and envision it to be.

May we so become infused and used as instruments of Light and Love for everyone and everything everywhere – on Solstice Holidays and Always!

May everyone everywhere be happy!

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Seeing the World as “Nothing But Movies”
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“This earth is nothing but movies to me. Just like the beam of a motion picture. So is everything made of shadow and light. That’s what we are. Light and shadows of the Lord. Nothing else than that. There’s one purpose. To get to the beam.” 
~ Paramahansa Yogananda-Autobiography of a Yogi, Chapter 30
“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 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
“I regard consciousness as fundamental. 
I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. 
We cannot get behind consciousness. 
Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
~ Max Planck, Nobel Prize-winning physicist
“Objective reality does not exist” ….
“the universe is fundamentally a gigantic … hologram”

~ David Bohm, quantum physicist


Swami Paramahansa Yogananda


Ron’s Introduction to Seeing the World as “Nothing But Movies”.

Dear Friends,

Today’s memoirs title was inspired by Swami Paramahansa Yogananda’s above quotation, and by my unprecedented state of mind, since miraculously recovering from near-death taxicab run-down injuries eight years ago.

I now often experience this life like a movie, with scenes of continuing synchronicities enigmatically arising from ever mysterious karmic causes and conditions. But this life-stage has arrived only after many decades of difficulties and experiential evolution, beginning before my mid-life spiritual awakening.

During childhood my entire life seemed very dreamlike, and – like my nocturnal dreams – I’ve forgotten most of it.   

Thereafter, and until midlife, Earth life became my sole “reality”.  Then following a profound midlife spiritual awakening and previously unimagined mystical experiences, I more and more have been blessed to self-identify as non-dual eternal spirit inhabiting a mortal body, in an illusory world.

Thus my life again seems quite dreamlike and synchronistic – often like a masterfully pre-scripted movie, in which I am currently playing a fleeting role as retired lawyer and spiritual philosopher, who is still learning and evolving.

Retrospective realization of the apparent perfection of my lifetime’s evolutionary history has instilled in me unshakable and irreversible faith in God and Nature, and unspeakable gratitude for their blessings – especially since my miraculous survival and recovery from near death injuries sustained eight years ago on being run down by a taxicab.

At almost age 90, as I contemplate my inevitable (and possibly imminent) physical death, I keep wondering how we can best ‘be in this world but not of this world’ while remembering that we are immortal spirit – not mere embodied mortals – experiencing unique lifetimes, karmically predetermined to help us learn and see our true self-identity. And how we can keep alert for constant potential lessons and blessings in our lives.

I have been blessed with unforgettable fleeting ‘peek’ spiritual experiences demonstrating that earth life is like a ‘light show’ – an illusory play of consciousness. Yet, I’m often deeply moved by the insanity, violence and suffering now rife on our precious planet, and often wonder how we can best address it.

Questions.

As we awaken from the illusion of our apparent separateness from each other and Nature:

Is it possible for us to live in this impermanent world of inevitable suffering, without responding compassionately and emotionally to the immense miseries and apparent injustices experienced everywhere by countless sentient beings?

How can we most skillfully and compassionately address ubiquitous world misery, injustice and suffering?

Discussion.

Each of us has a unique perspective with unique karmic causes and conditions. So I am unqualified to offer specific spiritual advice to anyone else. But, encouraged by my Guruji to share spiritual learning experiences, I offer the following views, in case they may help others.

I believe that even highly elevated incarnate beings cannot always live emotionally detached from ubiquitous misery and suffering. But that we can all best respond compassionately and intuitively, rather than react reflexively, while peacefully remaining self-identified as incarnate universal spirit, rather than as separate ego-minds.

Recently I learned that – even while experiencing transcendent states of consciousness – Indian Holy Man and Avatar, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, suffered bereavements on deaths of a nephew, older brother, and beloved attendant. Similarly Swami Paramahansa Yogananda experienced deep bereavement on death of his mother, and significant emotional trauma following a betrayal and lawsuit by his former trusted childhood best friend and assistant, Dhirananda.

Yet, Yogananda later explained in Autobiography of a Yogi, Chapter 30, his view that:“This earth is nothing but movies to me.”

But (except for psychopaths) aren’t we all often autonomically emotionally attuned with others when with them or thinking of them, and even in viewing videos, movies and plays?

Background

In my student days I learned of maniacs like Hitler in Nazi Germany, Mao in Communist China, Stalin in the U.S.S.R., Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and numerous other dictators who were then bestially causing untold murders and misery. Naively, I then believed that my country the U.S.A., and its Western allies, represented only virtues of good and democratic decency, and that after the demise of World War II era psychopaths, the world would be restored to a utopian age of peace and prosperity. But I was wrong.

I slowly realized that the U.S.A. was becoming a violent and totalitarian police state, rather than a socially benevolent democracy – especially beginning with the legally unprecedented and undemocratic U.S. Supreme Court selection of George W. Bush as 43rd US President (after patently flawed Florida elections).

Bush’s inauguration was soon followed by outrageous false flag terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which purportedly justified a preplanned series of unprovoked and unlawful U.S. invasions of sovereign middle East countries on the fraudulent pretense that they threatened us with further “terrorism” because of (non-existent) alleged “weapons of mass destruction”.

So (like Professor Howard Zinn), I began feeling that I was living in an ‘occupied country’; that the so-called “American dream” of Presidents Ronald Reagan, et.al. had become a global nightmare of a rapaciously violent uni-polar empire threatening all life on Earth.

Current perspectives.

Never before did I imagine how far purportedly democratic world societies and the U.S. government ‘of by and the for the people’ would degenerate. Nor until recently did I realize that neither of the two dominant U.S. political parties provides an alternative to a rapaciously violent worldwide American empire threatening possible nuclear or ecologic or biologic catastrophe.

Optimistically, I believe that the present post-pandemic “new normal” era has been a “red pill” portent of the end of empire; that it is awakening a critical mass of concerned humans who will no longer tolerate current global hegemonic tyranny with unsustainable, unjust, immoral, and criminal exploitation of life on our precious planet; and, that we will at long last democratically and compassionately avert human caused calamity, by ending totalitarian governments by and for psychopathic billionaires, and replacing them with democratic governments by and for all people and all life on our precious planet Earth.

Aspirations.

May current global insanity and suffering soon awaken humankind to a new democratic era of compassionate concern for all life everywhere. Yet may it also inspire us to realize, like Swami Yogananda, that this world is “nothing but movies”; that it is an illusory mental projection of shadow and light displayed to help us “get to the beam” – which is the Eternal Light of LOVE.


Invocation.

Whatever happens in this ever impermanent illusory world of inevitable suffering, may we never forget our eternal oneness with Nature and all earth-life, and may we ever emanate universal peace and happiness, while realizing that this world is “nothing but movies”.


And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner


Death? Afterlife? Rebirth?
~ Easter Reflections on Resurrections.

At my death do not lament our separation …
as the sun and moon but seem to set,
in reality this is a rebirth.
~ Rumi
“I tell you the truth,
no one can see the kingdom of God
unless he is born again.”
~ John – 3:3
“The soul is eternal, all-pervading, unmodifiable, immovable and primordial.”
“The soul never takes birth and never dies at any time,
nor does it come into being again when the body is created.
The soul is birthless, eternal, imperishable and timeless,
and is never destroyed when the body is destroyed.
Just as a man giving up old worn out garments accepts other new apparel, in the same way the embodied soul giving up old and worn out bodies verily accepts new bodies.”
~ Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Krishna to Arjuna
“I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as a plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was man.
Why should I fear?
When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as man,
To soar with angels blest;
But even from angelhood I must pass on …”
~ Rumi
death, as men call him, ends what they call men
–but beauty is more now than dying’s when…
~ e. e. cummings
“The dewdrop belongs to the sea.
Separated, it is vulnerable to the sun and wind and other elements of nature;
but when the droplet returns its source, it becomes magnified in oneness with the sea.
So it is with your life.  United to God you become immortal.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda
Eternal Life is gained by utter abandonment of one’s own life.
When God appears to His ardent lover the lover is absorbed in Him, and not so much as a hair of the lover remains.
True lovers are as shadows, and when the sun shines in glory
the shadows vanish away.
He is a true lover to God to whom God says,
“I am thine, and thou art mine! ”
~ Rumi


Tree of Life


The Last Supper



The biblical story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection raises crucial issues about life and death – about afterlife and rebirth – and about our true identity and reality.

As countless millions traditionally commemorate the rebirth and resurrection of Jesus Christ following his physical death by crucifixion, let us contemplate the deep significance of that story.  Whether we regard it as historic or metaphoric, the story raises crucial issues about life and death – about afterlife and rebirth – and about our true identity and reality.

Physical death is inevitable, but Life is perpetual.

Death of the physical body is inevitable and unavoidable. After birth, “no matter how we strive, no body leaves alive.” Uncertainty exists only about time of death, and about whether there is conscious life after physical death.

For millennia seers, saints, philosophers and mystics have addressed perennial questions of life after physical death and of our true identity and reality. Since the beginning of the 20th century when Albert Einstein revolutionized Western science with his theories of special and general relativity, quantum physicists and other non-materialistic scientists have begun confirming ancient mystical insights.

Raymond A. Moody, Jr., PhD, MD coined the term ‘Near Death Experience’ [NDE] in his 1975 best-selling book “Life After Life”. Since then NDE’s have become widely considered, especially by millions who claim to have experienced them. And some leading-edge non-materialist scientists have cited testimonies about NDE’s and other extraordinary mystical experiences as evidence that consciousness survives physical death.

For example, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, respected scientist, author and pioneering authority on death and dying, believed in survival of spirit after physical death, and used butterflies as symbols of the death process.

Soon after World War II, she visited the children’s barracks at the Maidanek concentration camp in Poland. There, amazingly, she observed hundreds of butterfly images drawn by the inmate children on the walls, even with pebbles and fingernails. Spellbound by the sight of butterflies drawn on the walls, she wondered why they were there and what they meant.

Twenty-five years later, after listening to hundreds of terminally ill patients, she finally realized that the imprisoned children must have known that they were going to die and intuitively were using butterflies as images of the physical death process. Dr. Kubler-Ross thus explained in The Wheel of Life, A Memoir of Living and Dying:

“They knew that soon they would become butterflies. Once dead, they would be out of that hellish place. Not tortured anymore. Not separated from their families. Not sent to gas chambers. None of this gruesome life mattered anymore. Soon they would leave their bodies the way a butterfly leaves its cocoon. And I realized that was the message they wanted to leave for future generations. . . .It also provided the imagery that I would use for the rest of my career to explain the process of death and dying.”


Dr. Kubler-Ross’s writings have inspired many other non-materialist scientists who have followed her lead. Also, of great importance in helping us understand whether spirit survives physical death were the ground breaking scientific studies by Dr. Ian Stevenson, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, who for forty years studied children world-wide who spontaneously remembered past lives. Dr. Stevenson objectively validated and documented about twelve hundred such cases.

Thanks to the ‘leading edge’ work of Dr. Kubler-Ross and Dr. Stevenson, and of distinguished non-material scientists inspired by them, there now exists overwhelming scientific 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.  And that until we evolve beyond space/time duality reality, apparent reincarnation or rebirth may happen after death of the brain and physical body.

What survives physical death?

If – like snowflakes – each of us manifests as an absolutely unique physical form, what is it about us that can survive death of that unique form, and be “born and reborn”?

“Reincarnation” is often understood to be the transmigration of a “soul” – viz. apparently uniquely circumscribed spirit – to another body after physical death.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Hinduism’s most cited ancient scripture, Divine Avatar Krishna instructs Prince Arjuna that:

“The soul is eternal, all-pervading, unmodifiable, immovable and primordial.”; “The soul never takes birth and never dies” but “when the body is destroyed” or when “giving up old and worn out bodies . . [it] accepts new bodies.”
~ Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2


Though in Buddhism there is no concept of separate soul or individual self that survives death, Buddhists believe in rebirth. Like most mystics, Buddhists say that in addition to our physical body, we are enveloped by subtle astral and mental bodies, which survive death of the physical body and become consciously associated with successive physical bodies.

Thus the Dalai Lama says that:

“We are born and reborn countless number of times, and it is possible that each being has been our parent at one time or another.  Therefore, it is likely that all beings in this universe have familial connections.”


A detailed and compelling description of afterlife can be found in “Autobiography of a Yogi”, by Paramahansa Yogananda, Chapter 43 – The Resurrection of Sri Yukteswar .   There Yogananda credibly recounts a long discussion with his physically deceased Guru, Sri Yukteswar, who – like Jesus – resurrected to explain to his disciple Yogananda many details of afterlife.  [You can read that extraordinarily fascinating story at http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Autobiography_of_a_Yogi/Chapter_43

Many psychics say that on physical death “we” survive and enter different realms. eg. http://www.victorzammit.com/Whenwedie/whatdoeshappen.htm

But ancient Vedic and Buddhist non-dualism philosophies (“Advaita”;”Advaya”) have for millennia taught that this impermanent and ever changing world is an unreal illusion called maya or samsara; and, that “all that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream”… .

“The world, indeed, is like a dream
and the treasures of the world are an alluring mirage!”
~ 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


Notwithstanding the Buddha’s non-dualist teachings, the Dalai Lama says he practices death and rebirth eight times daily. And, as Tibetan Bodhisattva of Compassion, he intends to return until all sentient beings are liberated from suffering.

If you had the option of a one-way exit pass to ‘heaven’, would you volunteer as a Bodhisattva to come back to this crazy world?

Vivekananda and Einstein.

The ancient Eastern non-dualism teachings were first brought to large Western audiences by Swami Vivekananda, principal disciple of nineteenth century Indian Holy Man Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, at and after the 1893 Parliament of World Religions in Chicago.

In an eloquent New York City lecture called “The Real and the Apparent Man”, Vivekananda equated maya or samsara with “time, space, and causation” and presciently predicted scientific confirmation of the ancient Vedic non-dual philosophy of One Infinite Existence. He said:

“According to the Advaita philosophy, ..this Maya or ignorance–or name and form, or, as it has been called in Europe, time, space, and causality–is out of this one Infinite Existence showing us the manifoldness of the universe; in substance, this universe is one. So long as any one thinks that there are two ultimate realities, he is mistaken. When he has come to know that there is but one, he is right. This is what is being proved to us every day, on the physical plane, on the mental plane, and also on the spiritual plane.”


“What then becomes of all this threefold eschatology of the dualist, that when a man dies he goes to heaven, or goes to this or that sphere, and that the wicked persons become ghosts, and become animals, and so forth? None comes and none goes, says the non-dualist. How can you come and go? You are infinite; where is the place for you to go?
 
“So it is with regard to the soul; the very question of birth and death in regard to it is utter nonsense. Who goes and who comes? Where are you not? Where is the heaven that you are not in already? Omnipresent is the Self of man. Where is it to go? Where is it not to go? It is everywhere. So all this childish dream and puerile illusion of birth and death, of heavens and higher heavens and lower worlds, all vanish immediately for the perfect. For the nearly perfect it vanishes after showing them the several scenes up to Brahmaloka. It continues for the ignorant.”


“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


Revered 20th century Indian sage, Sri Ramana Maharshi – who was a renowned exponent of non-dualism – taught that for self-realized beings there is no reincarnation, but that reincarnation exists until self-realization – that self-realization reveals this entire world of space/time/causality as illusionary maya or samsara. Thus, responding to the question: “Is reincarnation true?”,  he said: 

“Reincarnation exists only so long as there is ignorance. There is really no reincarnation at all, either now or before. Nor will there be any hereafter. This is the truth.”


Einstein’s revolutionary non-mechanistic science and unconventional religious ideas were consistent with highest non-dualistic Eastern religious teachings, because they questioned the substantiality of matter, the ultimate reality of space, time and causality, and reincarnation. Like Vivekananda, Einstein said:

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



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



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

“Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.”

“There is no place in this new kind of physics for the field and matter, for the field is the only reality.”




“That which is impenetrable to us really exists. Behind the secrets of nature remains something subtle, intangible, and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion.”

“I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, …Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism.”

~ Albert Einstein


Ron’s Explanations and Reflections on Reincarnations and Resurrections.

Dear Friends,

As an 89 year old octogenarian, I have long reflected upon crucially important perennial questions concerning life, death, afterlife, and rebirth. And thereby I’ve been blessed to realize that consciousness we call “life” continues eternally after inevitable physical death.

Until my mid-life spiritual awakening, I self-identified only as my mortal physical body, its thoughts and its story, and believed that inevitable death of the body ended life. I had no opinion, knowledge or belief concerning reincarnation or afterlife in ‘heaven’ or ‘hell’, or of an immortal “soul”.

Then in my early forties, I had irreversibly transformative experiences of spiritual self-identity and afterlife: I began to realize that I was not merely my mortal body, its thoughts and story, but eternal and universal awareness. And I started seeing visions of apparent past lives, and inner and outer appearances of deceased people, including my maternal grandfather and Mahatma Gandhi, who I now regard as my first perceived inner guide.

So, I began accepting Eastern ideas of reincarnation and transmigration of an eternal soul, while gradually losing fear of inevitable physical death. Then, on meeting my beloved Guruji, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, I learned that from childhood he had been preoccupied with two perennial puzzles: “Who am I?” and “What is death?”; and, that at age thirteen, inspired by irresistible inner longing, Guruji had run away from home in search of experiential answers to those eternal questions.

Inspired by Guruji, I developed a deep curiosity and philosophical interest in the spiritual significance of death and dying, reincarnation and karma. Elsewhere, on SillySutras.com I have shared many experiences, essays, quotes and poems on these subjects. (See, e.g., https://sillysutras.com/category/afterlife/ ;https://sillysutras.com/category/life-and-death/; https://sillysutras.com/category/reincarnation/ )

Ultimately I’ve concluded that cosmically there is no death; that “birth and death are virtual, while Life is perpetual” and that “as we lose our fear of leaving life, we gain the art of living life.” (See e.g. https://sillysutras.com/know-death-to-know-life-know-death-to-know-that-there-is-no-death/ )

Consequently, I’ve become ever less fearful about my own inevitable and perhaps imminent bodily death, and often witness Earth-life like an illusionary play or movie, rather than Reality – which I now consider timeless LOVE as Infinite Potentiality beyond comprehension, imagination or description.

Moreover, I’ve become persuaded that from a Self–realized ‘Buddha’s eye view’ all our supposedly separate lifetimes, incarnations, emanations or appearances can be Seen timelessly and concurrently – formed like ink blots in a ‘big bang’ Rorschach test; but that (except for rare Avatars or Buddhas) we are karmically challenged to live each supposed space/time lifetime as lovingly and empathetically as possible, while ever mindful that we are not separate mortal entities but indivisible formless and eternal Infinite Potentiality as LOVE.

To encourage our deep insights on perennial questions of afterlife and reincarnation, like “Who am I?” and “What is death?”, I have shared the foregoing writings.

On Easter and every day, may they help us discover within ever expanding fulfillment and happiness during our precious ephemeral lifetimes on planet Earth.

And so may it be!

2022 Epilogue.

Dear Friends,

Since the 2019 equinox holidays we have entered an unprecedented “new normal” era of post-pandemic social, psychological, political, and economic turbulence, violence, and polarity, with possibly imminent nuclear war or other omnicidal catastrophe ending earth-life as we’ve known it.

More people than ever before are suffering fears of death, illness, impoverishment, or imminent calamity, and are unable to live normally. They’ve been deprived of God-given human rights and necessities, and prevented from engaging in customary economic and social activities. Some are homeless or ‘sheltering’ unable to reverently commemorate the equinox holidays with others. 

More than ever before our species is ignorantly, insanely and unsustainably plundering, polluting and pillaging our planet’s precious resources and destroying it’s precious ecosystem and climate.

But, paradoxically, this is also a time of epochal opportunity, not only a time of immense suffering and potentially imminent catastrophe caused or condoned by our species. Thus, this an especially appropriate time for us to deeply reflect upon our fundamental life purposes, priorities and responsibilities as sentient Earth beings.

Because ignorance of our immortal Self-Identity causes continual fearful sufferings which impede evolution and progress, it is crucial that we transcend fears. So to help us overcome our fears and enter an unprecedented new era of peace and prosperity, I have today posted the foregoing writings and reflections.

Dedication

These writings concerning life and death, afterlife and reincarnation, and Ultimate Reality as timeless LOVE, are deeply dedicated to encouraging our continuing curiosity and reflections about our common and non-dual eternal and Infinite Self-identity.

May they help us discover ever expanding fulfillment and inner happiness during our precious ephemeral lifetimes on planet Earth, whatever our ideas about death, afterlife or rebirth.

Invocation.

May we – in this precious human lifetime
on our wonderful planet Earth –
realize together our common dream for a new reality,
where everyone everywhere is happy.

May Everyone Everywhere Be Happy!
“Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu!”


And so shall it be!!

Ron Rattner

Problems:
~ Can We Ever BE
Problem-FREE?

“Life is not a problem to be solved,
but a reality to be experienced.”
~ Soren Kierkegaard




Ron’s Introduction to “Problems”

Dear Friends,

This posting asks whether we can ever be problem-free. And it affirmatively answers that question (philosophically and pragmatically) with quotations, poetic verses, and comments defining “problems” as purely mental and explaining why all problems are created and exist in the human mind as ego illusions, and are ended when seen mindfully and transcended with LOVE.

Please enjoy and deeply reflect on these writings.

They are sincerely dedicated to helping us live happily and problem-free.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Problems?

Q. 

What causes problems?
And how can we solve them?


A.  

Ignorance spawns them;

Intelligence solves them;

Wisdom averts them;

Truth transcends them.



Ron’s audio recitation of “Problems?”:

Listen to




Quotations About Seeing and Solving Problems

“Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve.”
~ Erich Fromm

Ego is the biggest enemy of humans. ”

~ Rig Veda


“All problems are [ego] illusions of the mind”
~ Eckhart Tolle

“There is not a single problem in life you cannot resolve,
provided you first solve it in your inner world, its place of origin.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

“Whenever you experience unhappiness or depression in daily life, this is caused by the ego, the self-cherishing thought.
Any obstacle to practicing Dharma or even to achieving
happiness and success in this life is caused by the ego.”
~ Lama Zopa Rinpoche

“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



“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

“Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.”

~  Erich Fromm

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.

Without them humanity cannot survive.”

~ Dalai Lama

“All the happiness there is in the world arises from wishing others to be happy.
All the suffering there is in the world arises from wishing oneself to be happy.”
~ Bodhisattva Shantideva

“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

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

~ Albert Einstein

“Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.”
~ Albert Einstein

“Freedom from the desire for an answer
is essential to the understanding of a problem.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

“If we can really understand the problem,
the answer will come out of it, because
the answer is not separate from the problem.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

“The quest is in the question.
The question is the answer.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“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

Ron’s Comments about seeing and solving “Problems”

Dear Friends,

As sentient beings on planet Earth, we share innate yearning for continuing happiness. But there aren’t yet utopian Earthly societies inhabited by perfectly happy people without problems.

Thus, individually and societally, all humans inevitably experience problems and limitations which interfere with their happiness – no matter who we are, or how we are self-identified or categorized.

Though physically – like snowflakes – each of us is unique (but mortal) with a unique story and history, spiritually we are all inextricably interconnected and interdependent – existentially sharing an Eternal common Divine Source as Universal LOVE.

Problems preclude lasting happiness

So solving our societal and interpersonal problems is crucial to fulfillment of our inborn wish for lasting happiness. And just as curing disease usually requires diagnosis of its cause, to solve Earthly problems we need to see their source.

To help us “diagnose” our problems I have posted the foregoing quotations and enigmatic sutra poem (composed many years ago) about seeing, solving and transcending “problems”.

Seeing and solving psychological problems

The above sutra poem mainly addresses mental – rather than physical – “problems”, since physical pain is inevitable while mental suffering is optional.

As to psychological problems, His Holiness the Dalai Lama teaches that

“The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion” because “the need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence;” and because without “love and compassion . . .humanity cannot survive”.

Psychological problems and suffering inevitably arise when – ignorant of our true spiritual self-identity as LOVE –we futilely seek happiness from ephemeral worldly satisfactions. So the poem identifies “ignorance” as the source of “problems”.

And Rumi tells us:

“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.”


Mental Problems are Ego Problems

Those mental ‘barriers’ which we have ‘built within’ all arise from ego, to which Buddhist teachings often refer as ‘self-cherishing thought’. Through ego we mistakenly mentally self identify as entities separate from the Whole – as separate perceivers of a supposedly objective world.

But this is an unreal ego illusion – samsara. And our self-cherishing beliefs and behaviors seeking psychological self-preservation and protection of that ego illusion of separateness are ultimately futile.

What never was can never be preserved

To promote lasting happiness and compassion, most spiritual practices have for millennia been aimed at transcending illusionary ego identity. For example this intention has been mentioned in ancient Vedic and Taoist texts such as Rig Veda and Tao Te Ching, as well as in Buddhist scriptures:


Ego is the biggest enemy of humans. ”

~ Rig Veda



“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

“

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

Thus, according to perennial spiritual teachings, ego must be recognized, renounced and transcended.

No thought, no ego.

Ultimate overcoming of ego happens only when thought ceases NOW, and Universal Intelligence which has been mistakenly regarded as a separate experiencer of sensations and emotions, and a separate performer of actions, exists by itself and as itself, and is not mentally divided and projected.

Happiness grows as ego goes

Only very rare ‘awakened’ Buddha-like beings have completed the metamorphosis from Humanity to Infinite Intelligence – from human consciousness to superconsciousness. So the overwhelmingly vast majority of Humankind are incarnate because we are limited by illusionary ego entity-identity, and we inevitably suffer “problems” in space/time causality/duality.

But all of us can gradually evolve and achieve ever growing happiness by seeing and solving our ego problems from ever elevated mental states of consciousness, subtler than those which created them.

Initially we may use our inborn intelligence to “diagnose” and abandon the beliefs and behaviors causing our experience of such problems. Also, with wisdom we may avert problems by observing mistakes of others and not emulating such mistakes. And ultimately we will thoughtlessly BE problem-FREE – as LOVE.

Invocation

May we overcome our sufferings from earthly ‘problems’,
and experience ever growing happiness,
and fulfillment of our deepest aspirations,
by gradually recognizing, renouncing and transcending illusory ego-beliefs and behaviors,
until we become eternally problem-FREE –– as LOVE.


And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Living Lovingly in Harmless Harmony

“Love is the energizing elixir of the Universe,

the cause and effect of all Harmony.”

~ Rumi
“When there is harmony
between the mind, heart and resolution
then nothing is impossible.”
~ Rig Veda
“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another . . And over all these virtues put on LOVE, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
~ Colossians 3: 12-17
“Let us live in harmless harmony,

and stay in cosmic synchrony,

as we play in Nature’s symphony.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Ron’s introduction to “Living Lovingly in Harmless Harmony”

Dear Friends,



I’ve republished below a treasury of inspiring quotations and sayings about “Harmony”, which express ever enduring ideas and ideals of fundamental spiritual significance. Also included in this posting are my explanatory comments about the crucial importance of living harmoniously with Nature, and an apt sutra poem (with oral recitation) titled “Harmonic Coalescence”.

May this posting inspire our harmonious thoughts, emotions and behaviors to help heal the world, beyond illusory perceived separation from Nature and each other.

Ever mindful of our Oneness with Nature and all Life
on our precious blue planet and beyond,
May we do no harm, and treat all beings
with the same dignity we wish for ourselves,
and that they wish for themselves; and

May we do all in our power to prevent Humankind’s further insanely unsustainable despoliation of our precious planet and threatened imminent ecological catastrophe.



And so may it be!



Ron Rattner


Quotations and Sayings about “Harmony”


“Harmony is the secret principle of life.”

~ Paramahansa Yogananda


“When there is harmony between the mind, heart and resolution

then nothing is impossible.”

~ Rig Veda


”Neither human wisdom nor divine inspiration
can confer upon man any greater blessing than
[to live a life of happiness and harmony here on earth].”

~ Plato

“Clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive one another . .
And over all these virtues put on LOVE,
which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”

~ Colossians 3: 12-17


“Love is the energizing elixir of the Universe,

the cause and effect of all Harmony.”

~ Rumi

“(A)ll problems of existence are essentially problems of harmony.”
~ Sri Aurobindo

“The heart and mind can find peace and harmony
by contemplating the transcendental nature
of the true Self as supreme effulgent life.”
~ Patanjali

“Where the heart is full of kindness which seeks no injury to another,
either in act or thought or wish, this full love creates an atmosphere of harmony,
whose benign power touches with healing all who come within its influence.
Peace in the heart radiates peace to other hearts,
even more surely than contention breeds contention.”
~ Patanjali, Yoga Sutra

“Affirm divine calmness and peace,
and send out only thoughts of love and goodwill
if you want to live in peace and harmony.
Never get angry, for anger poisons your system.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

“A harmonized mind produces harmony
in this world of seeming discord.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

“Go forth in every direction –
for the happiness, the harmony, the welfare of the many.
Offer your heart, the seeds of understanding,
like a lamp overturned and re-lit, illuminating the darkness.”
~ Buddha

“The life ahead can only be glorious
if you learn to live in total harmony with the Lord.”
~ Shirdi Sai Baba

“Happiness is when what you think,
what you say,
and what you do are in harmony.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi


“Virtue is harmony.”

~ Pythagoras

“God reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists.”
~ Albert Einstein

“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed.
Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

“The sage is one with the world,
and lives in harmony with it.”
~ Lao Tzu



”One who lives in accordance with nature

does not go against the way of things,

but moves in harmony with the present moment.”

~ Lao Tzu

“He who lives in harmony with himself
lives in harmony with the universe.”
~ Marcus Aurelius

“The essence of saintliness is total acceptance of the present moment, harmony with things as they happen.”
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

“If only the whole world could feel the power of harmony.”
~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


”The superior person is in Harmony,

but does not follow the crowd.

The lesser person follows the crowd,

but is not in Harmony.”

~ Confucius


“Love opens all doors,

no matter how tightly closed they may be,

no matter how rusty from lack of use.

Your work is to bring unity and harmony,

to open all those doors which have been closed for a long time.

Have patience and tolerance. Open your heart all the time.”

~ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

“The life of this world is nothing but the harmony of opposites”
~ Rumi


“Where there is discord,

let us sow Harmony.”

~ Peace Prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi


”Without law or compulsion,

men would dwell in harmony.”

~ Lao Tzu


As soon as laws are necessary for men,

they are no longer fit for freedom.

~ Pythagoras


”Happy the man whose lot it is to know

The secrets of the earth.

He hastens not

To work his fellows hurt by unjust deeds,

But with rapt admiration contemplates

Immortal Nature’s ageless harmony,

And how and when the order came to be.”

~ Euripides



”To have a positive religion is not necessary.

To be in harmony with yourself and the universe is what counts,

and this is possible without positive and specific formulation in words.”

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


“The unlike is joined together,

and from differences results the most beautiful harmony.”

~ Heraclitus

”Mutual respect and mutual listening

are the foundations of harmony within the family.”

~ Buddha



“Harmony can not thrive in a climate of
mistrust, cheating, bullying; mean-spirited competition.”

~ Dalai Lama


”Wherever I go meeting the public… spreading a message of human values …
[and] harmony, is the most important thing.”

~ Dalai Lama


”If you want peace and harmony in the world,

you must have peace and harmony in your hearts and minds.”

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj



“Happiness is not a matter of intensity

but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.”

~ Thomas Merton


”Harmony sinks deep into the recesses of the soul

and takes its strongest hold there,

bringing grace also to the body and mind as well.

Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe,

wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness,

and life to everything. It is the essence of order.”

~ Plato



”Music then is simply the result of the effects of Love on rhythm and harmony.”

~ Plato


”Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God

and the permissible delights of the soul.”

”Harmony is next to Godliness”

~ Johann Sebastian Bach


“If only the whole world could feel the power of harmony.”

~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart



“Every element has a sound, an original sound from the order of God; 
all those sounds unite like the harmony from harps and zithers.”

~ Hildegard of Bingen



“A life in harmony with nature,

the love of truth and virtue,

will purge the eyes to understanding her text.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


“With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony,

and the deep power of joy,

we see into the life of things.”

~ William Wordsworth



“Life’s errors cry for the merciful beauty
that
 can modulate their isolation

into a harmony with the whole.”

~ Rabindranath Tagore



“The highest education is that

which does not merely give us information

but makes our life in harmony with all existence.”

~ Rabindranath Tagore

“Training the intellect does not result in intelligence.
Intelligence comes into being when one acts in perfect harmony,
both intellectually and emotionally.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

“As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures
there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people.
Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.”
~ Isaac Bashevis Singer


”I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world,
 not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind…”

~ Albert Einstein



”The harmony of natural law reveals an Intelligence of such superiority that, 
compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings
is an utterly insignificant reflection.”

~ Albert Einstein


“In art, and in the higher ranges of science,

there is a feeling of harmony which underlies all endeavor.

There is no true greatness in art or science

without that sense of harmony.”

~ Albert Einstein



“My feeling is religious insofar as I am imbued

with the consciousness of the insufficiency of the human mind

to understand more deeply the harmony of the Universe

which we try to formulate as “laws of nature”

~ Albert Einstein



”Today wherever you go, carry the intention of peace, love, and harmony in your heart.”

“Just as light brightens darkness, discovering inner fulfillment can eliminate any disorder or discomfort.
This is truly the key to creating balance and harmony in everything you do.”

~ Deepak Chopra


”There is great freedom in simplicity of living,

and after I began to feel this,

I found harmony in my life between inner and outer well-being.

There is a great deal to be said about such harmony,

not only for an individual life but also for the life of a society.

It’s because as a world we have gotten ourselves so far out of harmony,

so way off on the material side,
 that when we discover something like nuclear energy
 we are still capable of putting it into a bomb 
and using it to kill people!

This is because our inner well-being lags so far behind our outer well-being.”

~ Peace Pilgrim



”Everyone has the perfect gift to give the world-
and if each of us is freed up to give our unique gift,
the world will be in total harmony.”

~ R. Buckminster Fuller


“Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.”

~ Plato (The Republic)



“Out of clutter find simplicity.

From discord make harmony.

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

~ Albert Einstein


“The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace.

A persistent simplification will create an inner and outer well-being

that places harmony in one’s life.”

~ Peace Pilgrim



“Adversity draws men together and produces beauty and harmony in life’s relationships,
just as the cold of winter produces ice-flowers on the window-panes,
which vanish with the warmth.”

~ Soren Kierkegaard



“Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend;

you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left”

~ Aldo Leopold


“Live harmlessly in Harmony.”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


“How can there be harm in me,

when I’m in harmless Harmony?”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“Let us live in harmless harmony,

and stay in cosmic synchrony,

as we play in Nature’s symphony.”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

“Don’t disrupt and polarize,

but syncretize and harmonize.”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings



Harmonic Coalescence

May we harmonize,
together in unity:

Unity in diversity,
not uniformity;

Unity in equality,
not hierarchy;

Unity in integrity,
not conformity.

Unity as universal

LOVE!



Ron’s audio recitation of “Harmonic Coalescence”

Listen to



Ron’s closing comments about “Living Lovingly in Harmless Harmony”

Dear Friends,

I began deeply reflecting and writing about the crucial importance of living harmoniously with each other and Nature, during an extended period of post-retirement solitude in the 1990’s.  Since then humans have so insanely and unsustainably polluted our precious blue planet that we are now threatened with possibly imminent catastrophic annihilation of all life on Earth.

So I’ve been updating relevant postings to remind us that we must urgently end psychopathic behaviors which threaten ecological catastrophe.  As a compassionate global family we must urgently cherish or perish; and immediately live lovingly in harmless harmony and synchrony with Nature and with all life on our precious planet.  

Consciously and conscientiously we must at long last follow perennial wisdom common to all enduring religious, spiritual, indigenous, and ethical traditions, that above all else we do no harm and do not despoil our precious planet; but that we honor and preserve Nature.

May this posting inspire our harmonious thoughts, emotions and behaviors to help heal the world, beyond illusory perceived separation from Nature and each other.

Invocation

Ever mindful of our Oneness as Eternal LOVE,
with Nature and all Life on our precious planet and beyond,

Let us do all in our power to prevent Humankind’s further despoliation of our precious planet and threatened imminent ecological catastrophe.

And with reciprocal respect and empathy, may we treat all beings everywhere with the same dignity we wish for ourselves,
and that they wish for themselves.


(See Golden Rule For a Golden Age )

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner



How can we choose happiness?

“The greatest discovery of any generation
is that human beings can alter their lives
by altering the attitudes of their minds.”
~ Albert Schweitzer
“I do not think of all the misery, but of the glory that remains.

Go outside into the fields, nature and the sun,

go out and seek happiness in yourself and in God.

Think of the beauty that again and again 
discharges itself within and without you and be happy.”

~ Anne Frank





Introduction to “How can we choose happiness?”

Dear Friends,

The following essay about choosing happiness was composed and published ten years ago. Since then we’ve begun experiencing an extraordinarily stressful post-pandemic period, when it’s more difficult than ever before for many of us to feel happy.

Accordingly I’ve updated this happiness essay, and supplemented it with a large collection of key spiritual quotations (mostly from Rumi) with deep insights about experiencing happiness, even in traumatic times.

These writings are deeply dedicated to our choosing happiness by elevating our behaviors and attitudes, beyond prevailing polarized and fearful levels of human consciousness.

They are intended to encourage us to gratefully cherish our lives as gifts of God and Nature, and thereby to help bless the world and all Life everywhere as LOVE.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Quotation Collection About Choosing to BE Happy


“The greatest discovery of any generation
is that human beings can alter their lives
by altering the attitudes of their minds.”
~ Albert Schweitzer

“The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery
that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds,
can change the outer aspects of their lives.”
~ William James

“If you can change your mind, you can change your life.”
~ William James

“If you have made up your mind to find joy within yourself,
sooner or later you shall find it. Seek it now, daily,
by steady, deeper and deeper meditation within.
Make a true effort to go within and you shall find there
your longed-for happiness.”
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

“I do not think of all the misery, but of the glory that remains.

Go outside into the fields, nature and the sun,

go out and seek happiness in yourself and in God.

Think of the beauty that again and again 
discharges itself within and without you and be happy.”

~ Anne Frank


“The root of joy is gratefulness…

We hold the key to lasting happiness in our own hands.

For it is not joy that makes us grateful;

it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”

~ Brother David Steindl-Rast

“Whatever happens to you, don’t fall in despair. Even if all the doors are closed, a secret path will be there for you that no one knows. You can’t see it yet but so many paradises are at the end of this path…
Be grateful! It is easy to thank after obtaining what you want,
thank before having what you want.”
~ Rumi


For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


“If you want to be happy, BE.”

~ Leo Tolstoy

“Always be joyful. That is the only truly saintly state.”

~ Saint Teresa of Avila


“True happiness is to enjoy the present,

without anxious dependence upon the future.”

~ Seneca

“Do not look back,
No one knows how the world ever began.
Do not fear the future, Nothing lasts forever.
If you dwell on the past or future,
You will miss the moment.”
~ Rumi

“Except for Love, nothing you see will remain forever.”
~ Rumi

“Love is not written on paper, for paper can be erased.
Nor is it etched on stone, for stone can be broken.
But it is inscribed on a heart and there it shall remain forever.”
~ Rumi

“In every religion there is love,
yet love has no religion.”
~ Rumi

“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

“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.”
~ Rumi

“Don’t dismiss the heart, even if it’s filled with sorrow.
God’s treasures are buried in broken hearts.”
~ Rumi

“Every leaf that grows will tell you:
what you sow will bear fruit,
so if you have any sense my friend,
don’t plant anything but Love.”
~ Rumi

“It’s your road, and yours alone.
Others may walk it with you,
but no one can walk it for you”
~ Rumi

“Yesterday I was clever,
so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
~ Rumi

“We carry inside us the wonders we seek outside us.”
~ Rumi

“One of the marvels of the world:
The sight of a soul sitting in prison
with the key in its hand.”
~ Rumi

“While the mind sees only boundaries,
Love knows the secret way there.”
~ Rumi

“Love said to me,

there is nothing that is not me.

Be silent.”

~ Rumi

“Last night
I begged the Wise One to tell me
the secret of the world.
Gently, gently, he whispered,
“Be quiet,
the secret cannot be spoken,
It is wrapped in silence.””
~ Rumi

“There is nothing outside of yourself, look within.
Everything you want is there.
You are That.”
~ Rumi

“You are not just the drop in the ocean.
You are the mighty ocean in the drop.”
~ Rumi

It’s not our longitude

Or our latitude,

But the elevation of our attitude,

That brings beatitude.

***

So an attitude of gratitude

Brings beatitude.

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings



Remember with gratitude,

Life is beatitude –

Even its sorrows and pain;

For we’re all in God’s Grace,

Every time, every place, and

Forever (S)HE will reign!

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


How can we choose happiness?


Q.  Sometimes I’m happy and sometimes I’m sad.
Why aren’t I always happy?



A.  Even if our basic needs are satisfied and we are not suffering physically,
we aren’t always happy because of our state of mind– thoughts and moods which are ever changing and always alternating between happiness and unhappiness.



Q.  How can we be happier?



A.  By uplifting our mental and emotional attitudes.
Though we may not be free to choose our outer circumstances in life,
we are always free to choose our inner attitudes and thoughts about them.
Because we karmically ‘reap as we sow’,
our free will –not destiny– mostly determines whether we experience happiness.



Q.  Can we choose happiness?

A.  Yes!
We can choose happiness by mindfully discarding our thoughts of unhappiness.
And by gratefully accepting our lives as precious blessings.
So, we can choose happiness by gratefully saying “yes” to life.



Q.  It’s easy to advise that, but not easy to follow that advice.



A. Choosing happiness can be much easier said than done –
but it’s definitely doable.


Just as we can always choose to put a smile on our face, however we may feel,
we can always choose to replace unhappy thoughts
with attitudes of acceptance, gratitude and compassion.
Thereby, we eliminate the negative by accentuating the positive.

By thus choosing happiness, we can radically improve our lives.

So let us:



Remember with gratitude,

Life is beatitude –

Even its sorrows and pain;

For we’re all in God’s Grace,

Every time, every place, and

Forever (S)HE will reign!



And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner


Human Potential Differential?


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

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

“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

“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

“This earth is nothing but movies to me.
Just like the beam of a motion picture.
So is everything made of shadow and light. 
That’s what we are. Light and shadows of the Lord.
Nothing else than that.
There’s one purpose. To get to the beam.” 

~ Paramahansa Yogananda-Autobiography of a Yogi, Chapter 30

“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

“Cultivate compassion;
harvest happiness.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings

Evolution is an endless process –
from nescience to gnosis to apotheosis;
from bestial to celestial.
We ever evolve as our boundaries dissolve.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings






Introduction

Dear Friends,

For many years I wondered whether human ignorance was leading us to unavoidable ‘end-times’; whether human evolution was inevitable, or just optional.  I observed greatly contrasting behavioral differences between people in various stages of evolution – from barbarians to Buddhas – and wondered whether those who were selfish, violent, or warlike would ‘condemn’ us all.

The following sutra verses (first composed many years ago) reflect a prior perspective, which is explained and augmented in my optimistic comments below about human potential in current “new normal” times.

Ron Rattner


Human Potential Differential?

 

Q.  Can humankind transform:

From bestial to celestial?

From infernal to supernal?

From barbarians to Buddhas?

From sinners to saints?

From selfishness to selflessness?

From immorality to immortality?

 

A.  YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES !!!!

As medieval alchemists transmuted lead into gold,
God inevitably transforms Humanity into Divinity –
transmutes suffering into LOVE.

Transformation is inevitable,
but pace of process is optional.

Depending on karmic causes and conditions,
we ‘reap as we sow’.

As we cultivate compassion;
we harvest happiness, until
we melt and disappear timelessly –

Soul drops of Mystery
in an Ocean of Divinity –
as Eternal LOVE.



Ron’s Human Potential Differential Commentary:

Dear Friends,

During many years of relative solitude, I deeply questioned and reflected on whether human ignorance was leading us to unavoidable ‘end-times’; whether human evolution was inevitable, or just optional.  Ultimately, I concluded that human evolution is inevitable while our pace of progress is optional.

After George W. Bush, Jr. was selected as 43rd US President, I learned that he and the Dalai Lama shared the same July 6th birth date.  From my perspective at that time the Dalai Lama was a Buddha, whilst Bush was a barbarian.

Then I soon read with utter amazement, that despite Bush’s patently dishonest warlike behaviors and responsibility for millions of Iraqi civilian deaths, (in a CNN TV interview) the Dalai Lama publicly pronounced his uncritical love and praise for Bush as a human being.

Until then I had admired the 14th Dalai Lama as a paragon of wisdom and compassion, but I could not reconcile his status as renowned spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism with his patently paradoxical endorsement of Bush. As a long time social justice attorney, based upon irrefutable factual evidence, I regarded Bush as legally responsible and culpable for various international war crimes and impeachable domestic “high crimes and misdemeanors”.

The foregoing poetic verses were initially published as I reflected upon seeming paradoxical inconsistencies between the Dalai Lama’s elevated spiritual status and his public political pronouncements.

Recognizing the fallibility of all incarnate humans (especially Ron Rattner), and convinced of the unerringly accurate law of karmic causes and conditions,  I have given to the highest Inner Authority (above any outer Ruler) my irrevocable ‘power of attorney’ to eternally judge and forgive all apparent human immorality. My power of attorney includes religious, secular, or political “leaders” who instigate, condone, or cover up official acts of aggression responsible for countless avoidable deaths and immense sufferings of innocent civilians, women and children.

Epilogue: Human potential in current “new normal” times.

In these crazy turbulent “new normal” times of unprecedented global suffering and turmoil, I steadfastly remain a dedicated spiritual optimist, despite dire predictions of the cataclysmic end of human life as we have known it. I’m optimistic because I’ve learned that Life is eternal and there is no death; that we are immortal souls who’ve temporarily forgotten our timelessly true Self-identity as Divine LOVE

For countless ages rare Avatars have revealed that with our thoughts we unknowingly create an illusory and dreamlike perceived duality “reality”, which they call maya or samsara; that we are not what we think we are, but Infinite Eternal Awareness!

From what I’ve learned from these revelations and decades of life experience, I’m irreversibly optimistic about survival of Human life, for the following reasons:

1) We are not what we think we are, but Infinite Eternal Awareness!

2) What we call relative duality “reality” isn’t really real; it’s merely an illusory mental mirage of supposed separation from each other and Nature; just a persistent optical illusion and play in Cosmic consciousness.

3) Cosmically, there is no space or time, just Eternal NOW! Life is eternal and there is no death. What we call “death” is just eternal spirit vacating an illusory physical vehicle.

4) We are not our mortal physical bodies; their genders, features, colors, religions, beliefs, emotions, habits or stories – or the ‘voices in our heads’.

5) We are immortal souls confused by ego, who’ve temporarily forgotten our true Self-identity as ONE eternal Divine LOVE, and are mistakenly believing ourselves to be separate physical mortals.

6) While confused by ego, we are unavoidably subject to inevitable karmic cause and effect suffering from the earthly illusion of space/time/duality. But the more we intentionally live fearlessly, lovingly and forgivingly, the more we will enjoy happy lives, and the less we’ll suffer from karmic causes and conditions.

Invocation

May today’s verses, quotations and explanations
help hasten our inevitable process
from nescience to gnosis to apotheosis.
 
Remembering that we reap as we sow,
may we ever more choose to cultivate compassion
and harvest happiness
for everyone everywhere.


And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner