Posts Tagged ‘Sri Ramana Maharshi’

“Amazing Grace”
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“Amazing grace!
how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind but now i see.”
~ John Newton
“Above all the grace and the gifts
that Christ gives to his beloved,
is that of overcoming self.”
~ St. Francis of Assisi
“Every breath we draw is a gift of [God’s] love,
every moment of existence is a grace,
for it brings with it immense graces from Him.”
~ Thomas Merton
“Give up to grace.
The ocean takes care of each wave ’til it gets to shore.
You need more help than you know.”
~ Rumi
“Love cannot be learned or taught.
Love comes as Grace.”
~ Rumi
“The winds of grace are always blowing,
but you have to raise the sail.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna
“Grace is ever present.
All that is necessary is that you surrender to it.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“Grace comes to forgive and then forgive again.”
~ Rumi
“I know, to banish anger altogether
from one’s breast is a difficult task.
It cannot be achieved through pure personal effort.
It can be done only by God’s grace.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
“As far as inner transformation is concerned,
there is nothing you can do about it.
You cannot transform yourself,
and you certainly cannot transform your partner or anybody else.
All you can do is create a space for transformation to happen,
for grace and love to enter.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — 
not by works, so that no one can boast.”
~ Ephesians 2:8-9




“Amazing Grace” ~ Ron’s Memoirs

Ron’s Introduction to “Amazing Grace”

Dear Friends,

At age 90, I am again reflecting on my most important spiritual insights, learned so far.

Today’s memoirs posting refers both to the idea of Divine Grace in religion, philosophy, and perennial spiritual teachings, and to the phrase “Amazing Grace” which began in 1772 with John Newton’s well-known Christian hymn. (See footnote)

This posting hereafter includes my recited sutra poem titled “Amazing Grace” (composed almost thirty years ago}, together with apt quotations, explanations and invocations. It also includes powerful embedded a cappella performances of that hymn, by internationally famed vocalists Hayley Westenra and Andrea Bocelli, and sung by by the South African Soweto Gospel Choir.

Footnote
Amazing Grace” first became well known as the title of a powerful Christian hymn text, composed in 1772 by English poet, abolitionist, and Anglican  clergyman John Newton – who wholeheartedly wrote from his genuine ‘born-again’ Christian experience, after leading an extraordinarily miserable, difficult, and dissolute life as a slave trader.

Background

Long before consciously considering the blessings of Divine Grace in my life, I remember being moved by cantorial chants during Jewish High Holy Day services. And I recall thereafter being emotionally moved on hearing the wonderfully powerful “Amazing Grace” gospel hymn.

Then in 1976 I was spiritually awakened to self-identity as much more than my mortal physical body, its thoughts and its story. That awakening initiated an evolutionary process of inner transformation bringing previously unimagined blessings of peace and happiness.

Most importantly, in 1978 I received Shaktipat initiation by my beloved Guruji, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas. Whereupon I became a self-declared “born-again HIndu”. Thereafter I gratefully began reflecting upon, and sometimes describing as “amazing grace”, what was happening in my life.

During a post-retirement period of solitude, prayer and reflection, I composed (and later recited) the following visionary sutra-poem titled “Amazing Grace”.

Because Divine Grace applies to all human spiritual experience – that poem and all online quotations about “grace” can apply to everyone everywhere whether or not they are religious ‘believers’. So I’m blessed to share with you this Amazing Grace posting, with the deep aspiration that it may open our hearts to receiving and sharing gifts of Divine Grace, which are ever-potential blessings in all our lives.

“Amazing Grace” Sutra Poem ~ by Ron Rattner

Knowingly or unknowingly we seek
Wholeness, Happiness and Love.

Consciously or subliminally,
We intuit and long for a state of being
which transcends inevitable Earthly cares and suffering.

And there is a transcendent spiritual Force
which impels and rewards our longing.

Some call it Grace –
‘Amazing Grace’.

Grace is to mind as gravity is to matter:

Grace is an inescapable centripetal force
drawing mind to its Source –
To the Sacred Heart.

Knowingly or unknowingly,
we are all seekers, and

With ‘Amazing Grace’,
we shall all be finders, of –

Wholeness, Happiness and Love.


Ron’s recitation of “Amazing Grace”

Listen to


Recent Propitious Events

This 2023 post-pandemic winter solstice season is an especially auspicious time for our reflecting upon, and opening our hearts to, Amazing Grace. We are now extraordinarily privileged to witness an unprecedented turning point in modern human history, with marvelous opportunities for realizing blessings of Divine Grace.

Countless people worldwide are awakening from believing and fearing massive untruths long told by a tiny ruling class to control, divide and exploit humankind. And they are collectively and righteously refusing to continue following their purported leaders, any longer. And with Divine grace many are remembering our true eternal identity as Divine Love.


Ron’s Reflections on Divine Grace

Rumi reminds us that our loving behaviors, rather than our theological beliefs, are most crucial in opening us to gifts of Grace.

“Love cannot be learned or taught.
Love comes as Grace.”
~ Rumi

Thus Grace comes without warning to those who have opened their hearts to receive it.

“The winds of grace are always blowing,

but you have to raise the sail.”

~ Sri Ramakrishna

So I’m blessed to share with you this Amazing Grace memoirs posting with the deep aspiration that it may help us open our hearts to receive and share gifts of Divine Grace, which are ever potential blessings in all our lives.

Ultimately, may we realize that

“Every breath we draw is a gift of love,
every moment of existence is a grace,
for it brings with it immense graces from [Mother/Father/God].”
~ Thomas Merton


Invocation

With unspeakable gratitude for our constant Divine blessings,
May we open our hearts with faith
to receive and share endless gifts of Divine Grace,
which are ever potential blessings in all our lives.


And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner


Amazing Grace vocal solo by Hayley Westenra



Andrea Bocelli: Amazing Grace – Music For Hope (Live From Duomo di Milano) – Easter Sunday April 12, 2020



“Amazing Grace” by John Newton ~ Sung By Soweto Gospel Choir


Remembering the Mirror of the Mind
~ Ron’s Memoirs


“The identification of pure awareness
with the mind and its creations
 causes the [mistaken] apprehension of both an objective world and a perceiver of it.”

~ Patanjali – Yoga Sutras
“All appearances are verily one’s own concepts,
self-conceived in the mind,
like reflections seen in a mirror.
To know whether this be so or not,
look within thine own mind.”

~ Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche)
Perception is a mirror, not a fact.

And what I look on is my state of mind,
 reflected outward.”

~ A Course In Miracles
“When you look in the mirror, what do you see?”
Do you see the real you, or what you have been conditioned to believe is you?
The two are so, so different.
One is an infinite consciousness capable of being and creating whatever it chooses,
the other is an illusion imprisoned by its own perceived and programmed limitations.
~ David Icke
“The mind of the Sage being in repose
becomes the mirror of the universe,
the speculum of all creation.”
~ Chuang Tzŭ
“The Witness and the witnessed are ONE.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Saying
“Space and time are not conditions in which we live,

they are modes in which we think.”
“The distinction between past, present, and future

is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
“Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
~ Albert Einstein
“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.”

~ Albert Einstein
‘Time, space and causation
are like the glass through which the Absolute is seen…
In the Absolute there is neither time, space, nor causation.’
~ Swami Vivekananda [Jnana Yoga]
“Every particle of the world is a mirror.
In each atom lies the blazing light of a thousand suns.”
~ Mahmud Shabestari, Sufi Mystic, 15th century
“We are what we think.

All that we are arises with our thoughts.

With our thoughts we make the world.”
~ Buddha

“The world, indeed, is like a dream

and the treasures of the world are an alluring mirage!”

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

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

~ Buddha
“This separation between man and man, between nation and nation,
between earth and moon, between moon and sun.
Out of this idea of separation between atom and atom comes all misery.
But the Vedanta says that this separation does not exist, it is not real.”
~ Swami Vivekananda [Jnana Yoga]
“We are like the spider.
We weave our life and then move along in it.
We are like the dreamer
who dreams and then lives in the dream.
This is true for the entire universe.”

~ Aitareya Upanishad
“Our mentality is our reality.

Our “reality” is what we think it to be.”

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Whatever we think, do, or say,
changes this world in some way.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Thought divides Universal Awareness,
as a prism divides light.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Human consciousness is conditioned consciousness;
it is pure Awareness conditioned by ego conceptions.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Ego” = “Mind”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
One must elevate — and not degrade — oneself with
one’s own mind, which is one’s friend as
well as one’s enemy. The mind is the friend of those
who have control over it, and the mind acts like an
enemy for those who do not control it. (6.05-06)
~ Bhagavad Gita 6.5-6



Remembering the Mirror of the Mind ~ Ron’s Memoirs

Introduction

Dear Friends,

At age ninety I’m again updating memoirs to emphasize my most important spiritual insights learned since spiritually awakening over forty years ago.

I’ve learned that our space/time duality “reality” is an energetic mental illusion which we create with our unique “free choice” thoughts, beliefs and behaviors. And that by understanding and intuitively using and controlling our “mind” we can inwardly advance our happiness and spiritual evolution, despite challenging outer life circumstances, with inevitable fears and sufferings.

For millennia mystics, seers and sages have revealed that space/time/duality reality is an unreal mental illusion, that they’ve often called maya or samsara. And these inner discoveries have been scientifically confirmed by Albert Einstein’s revolutionary relativity discoveries that everything everywhere is endless energy – E=mc2.

As an elder seeker of Self-Realization, I’m sharing this memoirs posting to help us understand and use our minds to transform and transcend them. Therefore the posting explains how the mind functions like a mirror, which only perceives and projects reflections. These perceived reflections are mistakenly interpreted by our minds as physical or material objects, which are only optical energy illusions.

Like mirrors the clearer the mind, the clearer and more accurate are its displayed images. And minds like mirrors can identify as “reality” only via perceived light wave images. Since most humans discern only a tiny part of a vast and ever expanding electromagnetic energy spectrum, what we visually and mentally reify is only a persistent “optical illusion of consciousness.”

Yet while incarnate we cannot escape viewing our space/time duality world through the ‘mirror of the mind’. But more and more we can remember that it reflects the unseen light of Eternal Awareness onto the screen of our human consciousness its Source. And thereby we can gradually transform and transcend the mind’s persistent “optical illusion of consciousness.” by inwardly remembering and Self-identifying with that Eternal Light of Consciousness..

So by learning how human minds perceive, reflect, and project like mirrors we can better understand why our perceived reality is only a mental illusion, which we can inwardly control to advance (and not deter) our spiritual evolution.

(See What is the human “mind”? Is it best friend or worst enemy?)
(See Transcending Ego-Suffering)

Therefore, I’ve posted the above and following quotations and explanations about how human minds appear and function like mirrors, to further our spiritual evolution.

Quotations about mental unreality of time on Earth

“The world, indeed, is like a dream

and the treasures of the world are an alluring mirage!”

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

they are modes in which we think.”
“The distinction between past, present, and future

is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
“Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
~ Albert Einstein
“Ego is the biggest enemy of humans. ”
~ Rig Veda
“The foundation of the Buddha’s teachings lies in compassion,
and the reason for practicing the teachings is to wipe out the persistence of ego,
the number-one enemy of compassion.”
~ Dalai Lama

“The mind is a bundle of thoughts.
The thoughts arise because there is the thinker.
The thinker is the ego.
The ego, if sought, will automatically vanish.
The ego and the mind are the same.
The ego is the root-thought from which all other thoughts arise.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“All bad qualities center round the ego. ..
There are neither good nor bad qualities in the Self.
The Self is free from all qualities. Qualities pertain to the mind only.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“The mind is only a bundle of thoughts [with] their root in the I-thought.
Whoever investigates the True “I” enjoys the stillness of bliss.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“All unhappiness is due to the ego. With it comes all your trouble.
If you would deny the ego and scorch it by ignoring it you would be free.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
One must elevate — and not degrade — oneself with
one’s own mind, which is one’s friend as
well as one’s enemy. The mind is the friend of those
who have control over it, and the mind acts like an
enemy for those who do not control it. (6.05-06)
~ Bhagavad Gita 6.5-6
“Every Cause has its Effect;
Every Effect has its Cause;
Everything happens according to Law;
Chance is but a name for Law not recognized;
There are many planes of causation,
But nothing escapes the Law.”
~ The Kybalion

Conclusions about the Mirror of the Mind as a controllable ego-mind illusion

The foregoing quotations from scriptures and seers and information on related SillySutras postings enable us to conclude that:

1) The ego = the mind; they are the same. The ego is the root I-thought from which all other thoughts arise. The mind is only a bundle of thoughts [with] their root in the I-thought.

2) Ego is what we think we are when we mistakenly self-identify as an individual mortal physical body separate from eternal non-duality Reality,
and as perceiver of a supposedly material space/time world. And our body is our ego incarnate.

3) Our Ego identification as separate forms permits our free choice. But it subjects us to the karmic cause and effect law at every energy plane of illusory separate existence. And at lower energy planes karmic suffering is inevitable. So ego can become like a psychological prison in which earthly karmic suffering or reward is unavoidable.

4) Uncontrolled ego invariably attempts to perpetuate its unreal existence. But such attempted ego self-preservation is always futile. What never existed can not be preserved.

5) Until the ego-mind is psychologically cleared, it can be controlled to gradually advance spiritual evolution. We can use it to lose it. Like using a thorn to remove another thorn’s sliver, we can use ego-mind to clear ego-mind.

6) To hasten our spiritual evolution we should mindfully control our thoughts, and behave with forgiveness, kindness and compassion; and no longer confuse non-dual projected pure awareness as a separate objective world.

7) We should remember that our perceived Earth-life separation from eternal Mother/Father/God and Nature is a mental illusion that never happened.
So we have nothing to fear – EVER.

Invocation


May we ever remember and never forget
That our true identity is immortal LOVE;

That all that is, was, or ever can be

is the Eternal Light of Divine Love – NOW!

That as embodied Human Souls
we’ve fleetingly appeared through the
Mirror of the Mind

As illusionary space/time energy forms,
to always follow our Heart

Until we’re formlessly dissolved as ONE LOVE
within Mother/Father/God and Nature –
our Eternal Source.

May we ever remember and never forget

That our separation from Source never happened.
So we’ve nothing to fear – EVER.


That all that is, was, or ever can be

is the Eternal Light of Divine Love – NOW!



And so may it ever be!

Ron Rattner

“Sunrise, Sunset”
~ a Modern Melody With Ancient Meaning


“The soul of man has been separated from its source,
wandering in exile in a strange land –
“I am stranger on earth” (Psalm 119:19-20) –
ever yearning to return to that from which it first sprang,
and cleave to the Soul of all souls.”

~ Ba’al Shem Tov, Hasidic master

“Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears”
~ Sheldon Harnick, Jerry Bock – “Fiddler on the Roof”

“What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”
~ Crowfoot, 1890

“Thus shall ye think of all this fleeting world:
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream;
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.”
~ Buddha: Diamond Sutra

“In the end these things matter most:
How well did you love?
How fully did you love?
How deeply did you learn to let go?”

~ Buddha

Fiddler on the Roof



“Sunrise, Sunset” ~ a Modern Melody With Ancient Meaning

Introduction

Dear Friends,

In recent postings I’ve explained verbally and demonstrated with recorded musical performances how the hauntingly beautiful melody of the ancient Kol Nidré prayer which begins Yom Kippur, the highest of Jewish High Holy Days, communicates deep feelings of instinctive perennial wisdom beyond words.

Spiritually, Kol Nidré melodies have for centuries communicated innate human awareness of our unavoidable fallibility and inability to live without inevitable life-long ‘ups and downs’ and mistakes, from which we learn Love on the Earth branch of an infinitely expanding Cosmic University.

Shortly after my 1976 spiritual awakening I experienced a melody from the play and movie Fiddler on the Roof – “Sunrise, Sunset” – as a modern analogue to Kol Nidré which to me communicated similar ancient instinctive wisdom beyond words.

During an amazing February 1977 week in New York (a time for me of great spiritual sensitivity and curiosity) after I was scheduled to return home I attended a Broadway revival performance of the play.

I was extremely interested in the fictional story because all my maternal and paternal Rattner surname ancestors over a century ago had emigrated to the USA from Western Ukraine near Kiev to escape hatred and persecution for their Jewish religious customs, and my father and his extended family had fled an actual village just like the fictional village portrayed in Fiddler on the Roof.

Now, at an historically unprecedented time, when survival of all humans – not just Jews – appears threatened globally by war and hatred in Ukraine “Sunrise, Sunset” is for me more important than ever before. So I’ve decided to explain and demonstrate it with this posting.

Although “Sunrise, Sunset” was composed to be sung by different fictional characters and a chorus i’m hereafter singing it as a cantor, for all humans at this unprecedented time of Ukrainian war world jeopardy. Also to demonstrate the power of the melody alone I will cantorially hum it in the mystical Jewish wordless song tradition of the nigun.

Please listen, enjoy and open your heart to the contemporary importance of these timeless melodies.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

“Sunrise, Sunset” Lyrics [*excerpted]

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly fly the years

One season following another

Laden with happiness and tears.

Is this the little girl I carried?

Is this the little boy at play?

I don’t remember growing older

When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty?

When did he grow to be so tall?

Wasn’t it yesterday

When they were small?

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly flow the days

Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers

Blossoming even as we gaze.

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly fly the years

One season following another

Laden with happiness and tears.

*Lyrics excerpted from Fiddler On The Roof – Broadway Musical 1964
Melody composed By Jerry Bock, Lyrics By Sheldon Harnick


“Sunrise, Sunset” ~ Lyric Excerpts and Melody Cantorially sung by Ron Rattner

Dear Friends,

Although “Sunrise, Sunset” was composed to be sung by different fictional characters and a chorus I’m hereafter singing lyric excerpts as a cantor, for all humans at this unprecedented time of Ukrainian war world jeopardy.

Also to demonstrate the power of the melody alone I will cantorially hum it in the mystical Jewish wordless song tradition of the nigun.

Please listen, enjoy and open your heart to the contemporary importance of these timeless melodies.

May they invoke Divine Grace, and soon fulfill our soul’s deepest aspirations!

Listen to



And so may it be!

Ron Rattner



Fiddler On The Roof – “Sunrise sunset” Scene from film



Composting Life’s Sufferings

“All formations are ‘transient’ (anicca); all formations are ‘subject to suffering’ (dukkha); all things are ‘without a self’ (anatt ). Corporeality is transient, feeling is transient, perception is transient, mental formations are transient, consciousness is transient. And that which is transient, is subject to suffering. ”

~ Buddha

“Suffering is the way for Realization of God.”

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi

“There are those who say that in their heaven there is no suffering.
But if there is no suffering, how can there be happiness?
We need compost to grow flowers, and mud to grow lotuses.
If you know how to make good use of the mud, you can grow beautiful lotuses.
If you know how to make good use of suffering, you can produce happiness.”

“We do need some suffering to make happiness possible.
And most of us have enough suffering inside and around us to be able to do that.
We don’t have to create more.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

“Both suffering and happiness are of an organic nature, which means they are both transitory; they are always changing. The flower, when it wilts, becomes the compost. The compost can help grow a flower again.
Happiness is also organic and impermanent by nature.
It can become suffering, and suffering can become happiness again.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

“The ground’s generosity takes in our compost and grows beauty!
Try to be more like the ground.”
~ Rumi

“Earth is a world of mysterious interdependently co-arising complexities,
which we’re constantly composting, but can’t comprehend.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings 

“No matter how we strive, no body leaves alive.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings





Composting Life’s Sufferings

Introduction to “Composting Life’s Sufferings”

Dear Friends,

The following comments on “Composting Life’s Sufferings” are dedicated to helping us insightfully examine and improve our lives as human beings on planet Earth, where suffering is inevitable. They metaphorically view our physical lifetimes as natural evolutionary processes, by comparing them to the composting process, well known to organic farmers and gardeners, and to urban waste processors.

They are intended and dedicated to encouraging us to skillfully process our psychological ‘garbage’, and thereby to experience ever increasing happiness, and ultimate fulfillment of our deepest inner aspirations.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Comments on “Composting Life’s Sufferings”

In Nature, everything’s energy – E=mc2. And nothing’s wasted; all energy is conserved. Eventually everything is recycled.

As part of Nature, all human bodies are recycled. Every physical body inevitably dies, disintegrates and is returned to Mother Earth.


“No matter how we strive, no body leaves alive.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


But each physical human body is survived by subtle bodies: astral, mental, and causal.
And – like all else in Nature – these subtle bodies are not wasted. After persisting in other planes, most are recycled. They are accessed and used as ‘software’ for other physical bodies, in a process known as reincarnation. In very rare cases they may transcend all worlds of form, and merge with infinite eternal Awareness – their Source.

Composting is a natural recycling process. Biodynamic farmers and organic gardeners know that organic material can be composted, recycled and re-used as mulch for growing new plants. Composting enriches the ground where new plant-life is cultivated, and so hastens Nature’s continuing recycling processes.

Just as composting physical garbage can hasten our garden’s growth, we can advance our spiritual growth process by composting our ‘psychological garbage’. Thus, Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh counsels us to metaphorically compost our anger to transform it into “peace, love, and understanding”, and our suffering to “produce happiness”.

Human life has inevitable ‘ups and downs’, difficulties, and challenges. Though we appear physically different, mentally and emotionally we all share similar ‘software’, with which we process life’s challenges.

Therefore, let us naturally and cooperatively ‘compost’ earth-life’s unavoidable challenges and sufferings by lovingly, fearlessly and faithfully following our heart.


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


Invocation

May we fearlessly follow our heart
to naturally and harmoniously process suffering
by “composting” our “psychological garbage”
for ever growing “peace, love, and understanding”
to “produce happiness”, and ultimate
fulfillment of our deepest aspirations.


And so may it be!


Ron Rattner

Raising “Human Consciousness”
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“The key to growth
is the introduction of higher dimensions
of consciousness into our awareness.”
~ Lao Tzu
“Our separation of each other
is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
~ Albert Einstein
‘Time, space and causation
are like the glass through which the Absolute is seen…
In the Absolute there is neither time, space, nor causation.’
~ Swami Vivekananda [Jnana Yoga]
“Consciousness is the basis of all life

and the field of all possibilities.
Its nature is to expand and unfold its full potential.
The impulse to evolve is thus inherent in the very nature of life.”
~ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
“Consciousness is always Self-Consciousness.
If you are conscious of anything,
you are 
essentially conscious of yourself.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
Thought divides Universal Awareness,
as a prism divides light.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Human consciousness is conditioned consciousness;
it is pure Awareness conditioned by conceptions.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Lau Tzu

Raising “Human Consciousness” ~ Ron’s Memoirs

Ron’s Introduction

Dear Friends,

In these critical times when humans are the only species causing unprecedented climate collapse, warfare and other catastrophic crises which insanely, unsustainably and imminently threaten all life on our precious planet, it appears urgently imperative that we bring expanded awareness of our true immortal identity and infinite potentiality into the world. So recently I posted quotations, poetry definitions and explanations about Clearing “Human Consciousness”.

Today, to further emphasize our urgent need and unlimited potential to honor our beautiful planet and all it’s life forms by energetically elevating a “critical mass” of our species, I’m posting memoirs explaining my awakening process and perspectives about raising “human consciousness”, a concept with immense spiritual significance.

Also, I’m hereafter sharing an optimistic prediction of an energetically ascended new Earth reality beyond current fears and sufferings.

My Awakening Process

At midlife I was spiritually awakened (through Amazing Grace) to self-identity as pure awareness, rather than as a mere mortal body, its thoughts and its story. That realization initiated an inner evolutionary process, bringing previously unimagined blessings of peace and happiness, to be shared with others.

After initially self-identifying as pure awareness, I gradually surmised that Ron’s awareness must be the same as that of every other sentient being; that I’m not merely an individual consciousness separate as a person from other sentient beings, but Universal Awareness – the mysterious spiritual Source of all manifestation and all phenomena.

Thereafter I began wondering about seemingly differing space/time states of “human consciousness”, and common consciousness of all other life-forms. For example, I became curious about how “human consciousness” might differ from dog consciousness, cat consciousness, bird consciousness, fish consciousness, plant consciousness, insect consciousness, cell consciousness and perhaps even consciousness of apparently inanimate and lifeless forms like rocks and manufactured objects (like the 1976 Volvo miraculously blessed by my Guruji).

After much reflection, I decided that what we call “human consciousness” apparently differs from common consciousness of other life-forms – which seem spontaneously harmonious with Nature – because most humans mistakenly perceive and think of themselves to be separate from each other and Nature due to what Einstein called “an optical illusion of consciousness”, and what for millennia spiritual scriptures and non-duality teachings call “ego”. Hence I’ve realized that

Universal Awareness is the sole essence and Source of all life/forms; and that human ego-mind divides universal Awareness as a prism divides light.
So, “human consciousness” is an ego-mind mental conception which seemingly circumscribes Universal Awareness; it is Universal Awareness conditioned by conception.

Thus I’ve concluded that all our ideas about “human consciousness” arise and subside in Universal Awareness; that we are never in differing states of consciousness – they are in us as Universal Awareness; and, that as we “widen our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty”, we gradually free ourselves from our optical ego-illusion of separation from other life-forms.

Thereby we increasingly experience elevated consciousness of Universal Awareness – our true Source and Divine essence; and we are more and more blessed with infinite potential to collectively advance all life on planet Earth.

An optimistic “New Reality” prediction

Although most people are now experiencing a matrix programmed era of unprecedented post-pandemic fearful sufferings, this is also an age of immense evolutionary opportunity.

Hence I optimistically foresee that current sufferings are energetically awakening and elevating “a critical mass” of human beings to a prophesied “new reality” of egalitarian and cooperative Earth-life sharing and openness, beyond ego-mind’s optical illusion of separation from Nature and its lifeforms.

Occasionally our Earthly “doors of perception” are opened beyond ego-mind’s 3D (‘mental mirage’) illusions of space, time, and duality by psychic experiences, which can’t yet be explained by conventional material sciences. So they’re called “miracles” or biblical “signs and wonders”.

But such Earthly “miracles” (like astral projection, synchronicity, telepathy, remote viewing, prophesy, or energy-healing) are energetically ordinary in subtler energy realms of 5D and higher.

And so I optimistically predict an imminent new Earth reality, with raised “human consciousness” beyond current fears and sufferings.

Dedication

The foregoing writings and optimistic “New Reality” prediction are respectfully dedicated and offered to help encourage and inspire our collective participation in the elevation of “human consciousness” to resolve and transcend all crises on our precious planet, bringing us universal peace, light, and love.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

My ‘Near Death’ Experience
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“Birth and death are virtual, but Life is perpetual.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings




My ‘Near Death’ Experience ~ Ron’s Memoirs

Introduction

Dear Friends,

The following memoirs chapter recounts an extraordinary 1979 out of body [OOB] experience, in which I initially thought I was dying of a stroke. But it soon proved not to be a stroke or a near death experience [NDE].

However, because I wasn’t afraid of dying (though not “enlightened” by the experience), I’ve compared it to the famous Self-Realization experience of renowned 20th Century Indian sage Sri Ramana Maharshi.

Since 1979 I’ve been blessed with many more amazingly related experiences, from which I’ve continued to learn.

So in 2022 I’m republishing and augmenting this memoirs story before my probably imminent transition at almost age ninety.

Like all other SillySutras postings this memoirs chapter is dedicated to helping us live ever happier earth lives. And in these extraordinary post-pandemic times, this posting is particularly intended to help console those bereaved by deaths of dear ones. May they not worry, and be happy.

May everyone everywhere be happy!

Ron Rattner

Sri Ramana Maharshi’s Self-Realization Death Experience.

A few years after the death of his father, the famous sage was suddenly overcome with a fearful premonition that he too was about to soon die, which impelled him to investigate the bodily death experience. So he introspectively imagined that he was dying, and thereby Self-Realized that he was not his mortal body, but eternal consciousness of the body and all else.

Long afterwards, in response to a devotee’s question about his “enlightenment” Sri Ramana replied as follows:


“The shock of the fear of death made me at once introspective or ‘introverted’. I said to myself mentally, ‘Now that death is come, what does it mean? Who is it that is dying? This body dies’. ….The material body dies, but the Spirit transcending it cannot be touched by death. I am therefore the deathless Spirit. … Fear of death vanished at once and for ever. The absorption in the Self has continued from that moment right up to now”.


My Almost ‘Near Death’ Experience

In early 1979 I too had an extraordinary presumed near death experience. Unlike Ramana Maharshi’s pretended death experience, I really believed I was dying of a stroke, and decided to observe the death process without resistance. Unlike Sri Ramana’s experience, my supposed death experience didn’t result in my instant “enlightenment” or permanent absorption in the Self. But, it was an extraordinary and unforgettable event, and it spurred my gradual transformation process of more and more identifying with spirit rather than body/mind; a process which began with my 1976 realization and rebirth experience.

After receiving shaktipat initiation from Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas (Guruji) in 1978, I began following his practices. But, with Dhyanyogi’s approval, I also continued exploring spiritual mysteries by attending various other events and lectures. When asked about our seeking information from other teachers, Guruji said it was OK but unnecessary.

My supposed near death experience happened after I’d attended an inspiring lecture and experiential program given by Sufi master Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan. At the program I whole-heartedly participated in a Sufi remembrance of God ritual called Zikr, featuring repetition of names of Allah. Fervently repeating in unison with other participants: “La Ilaha Illallah” , “La Ilaha Illallah”, I vigorously rotated my body, head and neck, and became quite ‘high’ and rapturous.

The next morning I awakened feeling fine, and prepared to attend an important Federal Appeals Court hearing. I had put on my grey pinstriped suit trousers, shirt and tie, and was in the bathroom, when suddenly I collapsed and fell onto the tiled floor in a supine position. I was unable to move my head or body up or over, but discovered that I could inch along on my back like a caterpillar. In that manner with tremendous difficulty, I managed to move out of the bathroom and into my carpeted living room floor, still in a supine position.

I was not then near a phone and couldn’t call for help. Lying on my back, without pain, I said to myself mentally,

“I must have suffered a stroke and am about to die.
Now I will see what happens when I die.”


I closed my eyes and went into a deep state of relaxed awareness.

Suddenly my consciousness was astrally projected into the cosmos, where it was surrounded by magnificent luminescent silver, blue and gold heavenly bodies (like in pictures from the Hubble telescope).

Next, my inner vision shifted from outer space to vividly beautiful, luminescent and intricate geometric yantras – like mandalas associated with Vajrayana Buddhism, only more ethereal.

As I was silently sensing these celestial scenes, thought returned. First, I thought that dying was quite an interesting experience. Then, suddenly, I thought:

“I never took Naomi off my life insurance policies. I can’t die now.”


The ethereal visions immediately ended and consciousness returned to my supine body on the carpeted floor.

I don’t remember how much time had passed before my return to body consciousness. But when that happened I found that I could move easier and managed to slither supine to answer a telephone when it rang.

Synchronistically, it was a call from my friend Kusuma, who had been one of Guruji’s translators and cooks. I told her what happened, and she dispatched Stan, a disciple of Dhyanyogi then living in San Francisco, to come help me. By the time Stan arrived, I was able to crawl with difficulty to the front door to let him in. He called my doctor who said my symptoms sounded like extreme vertigo from an inner ear problem, not a stroke. Later, Kusuma asked Guruji about my dizziness symptoms. He told her that they came from “shakti”, intense kundalini spiritual energy activated in my head.

What I learned

Following my nearly ‘near death’ OOB experience, my identification with immortal spirit was immeasurably enhanced, while psychological fear of bodily death diminished.

But I didn’t become “enlightened” enough to transcend long-lingering psychological traumas of my contentious divorce. So, after reverting to usual consciousness I soon removed my former wife Naomi’s name as a beneficiary on my life insurance policies.

Also I became curious to learn about Tibetan Buddhism, and the spiritual symbolism of yantras and mandalas, like the Sri Yantra below and on SillySutras’ home page. This led to my receiving Tibetan Buddhist refuge, empowerments, and teachings from Kalu Rinpoche, a Very Venerable Tibetan Buddhist master, and then from other Tibetan lamas, including H.H. the Dalai Lama – who became a living hero for me.

Remaining Fear of Death

Because of my calm fearlessness during the assumed ‘near death’ OOB experience, I wondered whether I’d transcended all fear of death. That question was soon answered when a deranged young driver raced his car right at me as I was walking across an intersection on Broadway, the busy four lane street where I live.

Instinctively and reflexively I jumped out of the way, and screamed “Jesus!” so loudly that it probably could have been heard for a block or two away. Thereafter, for several hours I had a “fight or flight” adrenaline rush. Moreover, since then I’ve had several similar (though less intense) precarious experiences while crossing San Francisco streets.

So, despite my serenity during the assumed near death experience, some instinctive fear of bodily death or injury remains, even though I accept physical mortality as unavoidable. As Sri Ramakrishna Paramahanse revealed some ego/mind (either helpful or harmful) is inevitable even for Mahatmas returning to their bodies from nirvikalpa samadhi. Hence while incarnate on earth we cannot avoid living with egos.

While yogis in other times and places could attain and maintain elevated states of awareness by taking refuge in forests, on mountains, or in caves, such stress-free physical environments aren’t available for most humans living in present day US society.

For me attempting to live authentically and sanely in our crazy US culture has at times been quite challenging. I’ve found that in San Francisco courtrooms and environs midst societal insanity, without some ego I’d would have been metaphorically and actually run over while traversing my spiritual path, as well as while crossing streets. So I now accept physical ‘fight or flight’ bodily self-preservation instinct as “normal” and necessary.

Suzuki Shunryū, Roshi, who popularized Zen Buddhism in the United States, was once asked by a student:

“How much “ego” do you need?”  He replied: “Just enough so that you don’t step in front of a bus.”


I wonder now what past spiritual masters would have done when suddenly confronted with immediate bodily threat? It’s quite unlikely that they would’ve shouted “Jesus”, with an adrenaline rush. Maybe they would have stepped quietly out of harms way. Or, like Gandhi, uttered “Ram” with their last bodily breath.

What do you think?

2022 Epilogue: More Related Learning Experiences

Since first publishing this memoirs chapter I’ve been blessed with many more related synchronistic and mystical experiences, from which I’ve continued to learn. Hereafter I’ll discuss some of them:

1) Another near death experience?

I’ll first recount to you a critical taxicab rundown experience that happened over eight years ago.

My 1979 ‘fight or flight’ fear of being hit as a pedestrian ultimately materialized thirty five years later when I was suddenly run down by a taxicab while crossing a busy San Francisco intersection which can be seen from my high-rise view apartment.

I’m unable to recall what happened immediately before and after the taxicab incident, and while I was comatose. Thus for such details I must rely on paramedic and hospital records, and on a cam video showing the taxi hitting me.

My wise expert MD friend, Dr. Solomon Sevy, (who retired after decades of Kaiser California clinical experience as a pediatric cardiologist) succinctly summarized his “diagnostic” opinion after reviewing my medical records.
Dr. Sevy told me:


“Ron, you should be dead!”


My my medical records reviewed by Dr. Sevy revealed the following bodily injuries and symptoms, radiologically and clinically diagnosed:

Traumatic bleeding brain contusion and concussion, with extended loss of consciousness; large 2” chronic subdural hematoma pushing brain .6” out of normal alignment; massive soft tissue tears and other traumatic shoulder injuries, temporarily rendering both shoulders largely non-functional, with prosthesis recommended for left shoulder; multiple facial fractures, bruises and swelling, with broken nose, fractured sinus areas, etc.; facial lacerations requiring sutures; lacerated and bleeding liver; cracked ribs; slight spinal fracture; excessive external bleeding, with anemia requiring prompt two unit blood transfusion; tibial plateau (“bumper”) fracture and extreme swelling of right knee and leg, with large knee wound, open and seeping for over two months; continuing post-traumatic stress syndrome [PTSD]; retrograde amnesia; mental confusion, headaches, dizziness, and dyslexia.


Today at almost age ninety, I’m again living alone without caretakers in my high-rise hermitage. Considering my advanced octogenarian age and the multiplicity and severity of my injuries and symptoms, my survival, recovery and healing so far have been miraculous.

Moreover, I have amazingly survived without any pain drugs or brain or shoulder surgical interventions recommended by various allopathic doctors, and (until the pandemic lock-down with closure of SF Bay public toilets) I’d resumed a largely independent pre-injury life style with frequent walks, after extended convalescence, and treatment with acupuncture, organic herbs, and physical therapy. And I still don’t voluntarily take prescribed allopathic drugs.

Unlike most people who can describe their near death experiences I can’t tell you what happened while I was comatose due to residual post-traumatic stress syndrome [PTSD] and retrograde traumatic amnesia. So I don’t know if it was a conventional NDE.

But I consider my bodily survival and recovery an immense spiritual blessing and am psychologically happier than ever before in this precious human lifetime.

Further details of this Divine blessing are recounted in a prior memoirs chapter titled: “Another near death experience?”.

2) Another vertigo seizure?

The foregoing 1979 almost near-death OOB story began with a completely disabling vertigo experience, which I mistakenly thought was caused by a cerebral stroke. Since then I’ve had many episodes of varying degrees of dizziness, especially after the 2014 taxicab rundown. But not until this week (over forty years later) have I again been completely incapacitated by vertigo from a possible stroke seizure.

In 1979 my extreme dizziness was medically diagnosed as a middle-ear problem, but explained by Guruji as a kundalini cerebral “shakti” kriya. This week, without asking for assistance, I introspectively self-diagnosed the disabling dizziness as kundalini “shakti”.

Here’s what happened:

On August 12, 2022 I was composing my Cartesian Critique essay about confusing thinking with being. While writing about how most humans mistakenly self-identify with their thoughts, rather than consciousness of their thoughts and behaviors, I had a rare inner epiphany.

Whereupon I was suddenly stricken with intense vertigo, like the vertigo I experienced over forty years ago when I was young and healthy. Now at almost ninety I am physical injury and age limited and subject to recurrence of serious taxicab rundown traumatic brain injuries. Moreover, in these extraordinary post-pandemic times, ubiquitous environmental heath threats are causing even young and apparently healthy people to often experience physically fatal strokes.

Nonetheless, as I will hereafter explain, in all apparently paradoxical rational versus intuitive dilemmas, with complete faith I’ve learned to follow my heart. And my heart said:

“You’ve been immeasurably blessed; keep composing and sharing to help others”.


My heart clearly confirmed this perennial wisdom:

“Faith is different from proof;

the latter is human,

the former is a Gift from God.”

“Faith embraces many truths

which seem to contradict each other.”

~ Blaise Pascal

In 1979, I accepted my primary care doctor’s medical diagnosis of an inner-ear problem, not a stroke. In 2022, without seeking a medical diagnosis, I’ve followed my Sacred Heart and keep composing to help others.

Explanation

1) In all space/time relative “reality” everything’s energy [E=mc2].

2) In earth’s dense three dimensional [3D] energy sphere, humans (individually and collectively) create “reality” with their thoughts.

“We are what we think.

All that we are arises with our thoughts.

With our thoughts, we make the world.”

~ Buddha

3) Each incarnate human is individually unique, creating a unique personal “reality” with apparent freedom of choice, which subjects them to experience the karmic consequences of their unique thoughts and behaviors.

“Every action, every thought, reaps its own corresponding rewards.
Human suffering is not a sign of God’s, or Nature’s, anger with mankind.
It is a sign, rather, of man’s ignorance of divine law. . .

Such is the law of karma: As you sow, so shall you reap.
If you sow evil, you will reap evil in the form of suffering.
And if you sow goodness, you will reap goodness in the form of inner joy.”

~ Paramhansa Yogananda

4) We each have freedom of choice to perceive only Divine spirit or God until we ultimately awaken from this dream-like relative “reality” to BE the eternal mystery of Divinity – as LOVE.

“You should love everyone because God dwells in all beings.”
“Have love for everyone, no one is other than you.”
“Yes, all one’s confusion comes to an end if one only realizes that it is God who manifests Himself as the atheist and the believer, the good and the bad, the real and the unreal; that it is He who is present in waking and in sleep; and that He is beyond all these.””God alone is the Doer. Everything happens by His will.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa

Conclusion and Dedication

By following my Heart with Faith, I choose to create a new Earth “Reality”;
an elevated energy dimension beyond all current environmental catastrophes, wars, deprivations, diseases, miseries and sufferings now being inflicted upon and fearfully experienced, and condoned or denied or allowed by most humans.

Therefore I refuse to reify this illusionary mental mirage-like samsara ‘reality’ which is constantly discussed and reported on by global “leaders”, institutions and media. Instead I constantly meditate and pray for Nature, and all its life-forms on our precious planet; and for the happiness of everyone and everything everywhere.

Inspired by Jesus Christ – the historic paragon of LOVE – my prayers forgivingly include even those who insanely and selfishly despoil and unsustainably exploit earth-life through their ignorance of our common eternal Self identity as timeless LOVE.

And I deeply dedicate this memoirs chapter to inspiring a “critical mass” of other empathic humans, who together will collectively transcend current earthly psychopathic insanity, by co-creating an envisioned wonderful
New Reality.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


© The Perennial Wisdom Foundation – “From Secular Hebrew, to Born-Again Hindu, to Uncertain Undo – An ex-lawyer’s spiritual metamorphosis from Litigation to Meditation – and Beyond.”
~ by Ron Rattner


Cartesian Critique:
On Confusing Thinking With Being

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

that is the question!”

“Thinking and Being can’t coexist.

So stop thinking and start Being.
”

“Forget who you think you are

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


Lau Tzu



Cartesian Critique: On Confusing Thinking With Being

Introduction to Cartesian Critique

Dear Friends,

The following Cartesian Critique essay challenges the well-known philosophical proposition deduced and propounded by influential 17th century French philosopher René Descartes –


“I think, therefore I am”
.


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

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

It is particularly important in current critical times, when humans are the only species creating huge ecological and other crises which disrupt and threaten life on our precious planet by mistakenly self-identifying as thought rather than consciousness of thought.

So please reflect on these writings with open and intuitive awareness.

Ron Rattner

Cartesian Critique: On Confusing Thinking With Being.

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

But wasn’t that putting Descartes before his Source?

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

Isn’t thinking optional, while Being is perpetual?

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

Isn’t existence much more than just thinking?

Don’t we exist in thoughtless states?

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

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

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

What might Descartes say,
if he were here today?



Ron’s Comments on Confusing Thinking With Being.

Dear Friends,

In these troubled times, the above “Cartesian Critique” essay is shared to encourage and inspire us to transcend harmful egotistic thoughts and behaviors, and to help us live in harmony with each other and Nature.

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



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

So on learning about Descartes’ influential “I think, therefore I am” declaration, I composed the above critique.

From a non-duality perspective, Descartes mistakenly deduced his supposed separate existence with egotistic-thought, which paradoxically placed Descartes before his Source, and violated both Eastern and Western wisdom cautioning against reversing the natural order of things.

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

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

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.

Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow.

Let reality be reality.

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

“If you correct your mind,

the rest of your life will fall into place.”

~ Lao Tzu

Conclusion

Honoring the natural order of things is especially important in current critical times, when humans are the only species creating huge ecological and other crises which disrupt and threaten life on our precious planet by mistakenly self-identifying as thought rather than consciousness – as separate from each other and Nature rather than the Source of our existence.

Invocation.

May these writings inspire and encourage us
to not confuse thinking with being;
and thereby to transcend harmful
egotistic thoughts and behaviors,
allowing us to live in harmony
with each other and Nature
in current critical times.


And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

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

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

Finding Freedom ~
Question, Quotes and Comments

“You will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free.”
~ John 8:32
“There is only one central issue, crisis, or challenge for man, which is, that he must be completely free. As long as the mind is holding on to a structure, a method, a system, there is no freedom.”
~ J. Krishnamurti
“Freedom is not a reaction; freedom is not a choice.
Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily existence and activity.”
~ J. Krishnamurti
“Bondage is of the mind; freedom too is of the mind.
If you say ‘I am a free soul.
I am a son of God who can bind me’
free you shall be.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa
“Be empty of worrying,

Think of Who Created Thought!

Why do you stay in prison

when the door is so wide open?”

~ Rumi
“The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body,
the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him–
that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.”
~ Swami Vivekananda
“All life is an effort to attain freedom from self-created entanglement;
it is a desperate struggle to undo what has been done under ignorance,
to throw away the accumulated burden of the past, to find rescue from the debris left by a series of temporary achievements and failures.”
~ Meher Baba
“Freedom is of the nature of the soul, it is its birthright:
.. real freedom of the soul shines through veils of matter in the form of the apparent freedom of man.”
~ Swami Vivekananda
“To acquire freedom we have to get beyond the limitations of this universe;
it cannot be found here. ….
The only way to come out of bondage
is to go beyond the limitations of [karmic] law,
to go beyond causation.”
~ Swami Vivekananda
“Liberation is our very nature. We are that.
The very fact that we wish for liberation shows that freedom from all bondage is our real nature.”
~ Ramana Maharshi
“Spiritual freedom is freedom from all wanting. . . When the soul breaks asunder the shackles of wanting, it is emancipated from bondage to body, mind, and ego. This freedom brings realization of the unity of all life and puts an end to all doubts and worries.”
~ Meher Baba
“True freedom and the end of suffering is living in such a way as if you had completely chosen whatever you feel or experience at this moment. This inner alignment with Now is the end of suffering.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
“The most fundamental message of Gautama the Buddha is not God, is not soul… it is freedom: freedom absolute, total, unconditional. He does not want to give you an ideology, because every ideology creates its own slavery. He does not want to give you a religion, because religion binds you.”
~ Osho
“We are shackled by illusory bonds of belief.
Freedom is beyond belief.”
~ Ron Rattner – Sutra Sayings
“You are truly free when you are not a person.”
~ Deepak Chopra – The Book of Secrets
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every tenement and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual,

“Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr. — “I Have a Dream” speech, August 28, 1963

 

Free Fall


How can we find “freedom”?

Q. What is “freedom”, and how can we experience it?

A. “Freedom” is a word with different meanings.

Here we define “freedom” as ultimate spiritual Reality beyond thought or ego – beyond human comprehension, imagination, description or belief –
which can only be known experientially, not rationally or mentally.

Ultimate “freedom” is our divine birthright, our nature and our destiny. Freedom is ever NOW, never then.

After mystically experiencing “freedom”, great beings like Jesus, the Buddha and Krishna have encouraged us to aspire to this ultimate transcendent experience. Knowingly or unknowingly, all people – including atheists, non-theists, and agnostics – long for “freedom”.

Mystics say that as long we self-identify only with our thoughts in ever changing space/time/causality reality we are inescapably ‘imprisoned’ in a state of psychological bondage, with inevitable suffering; that we experience ultimate “freedom” only in the present moment – the NOW – as we choicelessly self-identify with timeless universal awareness or spirit immanent in each of us.

Essential wisdom teachings of all enduring spiritual, mystical and mythic paths allude to spiritual “freedom”.

Thus, the most important Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, is a teaching by Divine Avatar Krishna about the ultimate spiritual goal (“moksha”) of liberation or “freedom” from the cycle of death and rebirth (“samsara”).

Similarly, all of Gautama Buddha’s teachings were aimed at ending human suffering through attainment of “freedom” from mental fetters or chains (samyojana) of mistaken self-identification with samsara.

When Jesus said: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) he meant that we will experience “freedom” on realizing our true self-identity as soul or spirit. And in declaring: “I and the Father are One” (John 10:30), Jesus showed that we can only find such freedom when we self-identify with ONE Divine spirit – the kingdom of heaven within – rather than as supposedly separate embodied personalities.

“Freedom” is the esoteric essence and mythical message of the biblical Passover story. Many Jews and Christians annually remember and ritually observe the biblical Exodus legend about God miraculously rescuing Jews from bondage as slaves in Egypt, with Christians recalling that a Passover seder dinner was Jesus’ last supper.   Some Afro-American Christians celebrate by singing the popular spiritual song “Go Down Moses

The Exodus story symbolizes humanity’s eternal quest for spiritual freedom – for societal escape from enslavement by mistaken beliefs in false external Gods or goals to an inner ‘promised land’ of ONE eternal Divinity universally imminent within each of us, regardless of religious or spiritual beliefs, if any. So Passover rituals of lighting outer candles, can symbolically remind us of humanity’s perpetual quest for the eternal inner light of universal freedom.

Conclusion

We find and experience ultimate freedom only in choiceless awareness beyond our apparent subject/object separateness; beyond our beliefs, religions, ideologies or philosophies. By recognizing and transcending illusory belief barriers which seem to imprison us, we are –

“Free at last, free at last!”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.”


Ron’s Commentary on Finding Spiritual Freedom

Dear Friends,

Spiritual freedom is an ultimate goal of all perennial wisdom paths. Most people associate “freedom” with personal, political, and economic liberty.  But spiritual freedom is an extraordinarily rare transcendental state which can be inwardly attained even by those who do not enjoy external freedoms, like slaves or prison inmates. 

I first deeply reflected on transcendental concepts of “freedom” during the 1950’s on learning of Abraham Maslow’s humanistic psychology theories concerning self-actuated people, and when I read “Escape From Freedom” by German-born psychotherapist Erich Fromm, who endorsed the fundamental importance of not submitting to outer-dictates from an authoritarian societal system that prescribes inauthentic beliefs and behaviors.

Though I’ve always been instinctively inner-directed, after becoming a lawyer I rarely reflected about inner “freedom” until I had a memorable face-to-face exchange with my beloved Guruji, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, just prior to his 1980 return to India. 

While then residing in my apartment, Guruji told me: “Rasik, a yogi’s body is like a baby’s body. Your body is like a prison. I am like a jailer with the prison key. I come and go as I please.”

Thereupon, I became intensely curious about Guruji’s surprising revelation that my body was “like a prison”. And I wondered how and why ‘I’ was ‘imprisoned’, and how ‘I’ could get out of ‘jail’ – free like Guruji. So I began deeply exploring inner spiritual freedom, as distinguished from personal, political, and economic freedoms.  

Soon, I was reminded of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legendary  “I Have a Dream” speech, and wondered why his words “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last” were so deeply powerful. 

Ultimately, I realized that those words were rooted in the biblical Exodus Passover story; and I intuited that spiritual “freedom” is the esoteric essence and mythical message of that story.  I concluded that the Passover story symbolically emphasizes escape from outer bondage to a Divinely ‘promised land’ within – viz. escape from enslavement by mistaken beliefs in false external idols, Gods or goals to an inner ‘promised land’ of ONE eternal Divinity imminent in each of us.

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


Later, I noted that Jesus powerfully alluded to spiritual freedom by prophesying:

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
~ John 8:32

 
So Jesus was teaching that we will find freedom (from psychologically self-imposed worldly slavery) only when we transcend entity identity and self-identify as ONE Divine spirit – the kingdom of heaven within – rather than as supposedly separate embodied personalities.

Ultimately, I concluded that our limited and limiting ego ideas about self-identity and reality confine each of us within a kind of psychological prison in which suffering is inevitable, and which restricts realization of our infinite potentialities.  

However, the masters teach and demonstrate that we can each mentally transcend that “prison” and emerge “free at last” from our self-woven karmic cocoons, no matter what our outer circumstances.  

Thus, Rumi reminded us:

“Be empty of worrying,

Think of Who Created Thought!

Why do you stay in prison

when the door is so wide open?”

~ Rumi


The ultimate possibility of getting out of thoght-jail FREE is explained in the foregoing quotations and essay.  May they encourage our evolution to precious inner freedom, our divine birthright.

And so may it be!

2022 Post-Pandemic Epilogue

Dear Friends,

Happy Easter/Passover/Ramadan/ et al. post-pandemic holiday season!

Two years ago, we entered an extraordinarily unprecedented “new normal” period of fearful pandemic panic. Billions of people worldwide have fearfully kept socially distant from one-another, wearing government-prescribed masks, or have been locked-down and “sheltering” instead of living normally. Observant Christians and Jews were at times barred from worshiping together at Easter services which memorialized the death and resurrection of Jesus, or at Passover seders (like Jesus’ last supper) which ritually observed the biblical Exodus legend of God’s miraculous deliverance of Jews from slavery in Egypt to seek and find freedom in a ‘promised land’.

As an expert retired longtime social justice attorney, I’ve become extremely concerned about obviously unconstitutional authoritarian edicts, laws, regulations and prescriptions for harmful genetic experiments which have prevented billions of people (individually and societally) from democratically enjoying innate and personal, political, health and economic “freedoms”. Especially because such edicts threaten imminent tyrannical enslavement of humanity I urgently encourage worldwide revolutionary resistance and refusal to obey them.

Additionally, to address the psycho-spiritual origins of our worldly pandemic panic and fears, I’ve also edited and republished the foregoing posting about finding transcendental inner “freedom”.

Paradoxically, this is a time of both catastrophic threat to Earth-life as we’ve known it, and unprecedented opportunity for a wonderful new era of peace and prosperity. Because pervasive panic and fear precludes us from resolving current quandaries, it is crucial that we now deeply reconsider our life purposes and priorities as sentient Earth beings instinctively seeking political, social, health, and spiritual “freedoms”.

Invocation

May today’s writings (and embedded gospel music)
inspire and encourage our democratic worldly progress
toward liberty, equality, fraternity and justice for all,
and hasten our fearless inner spiritual evolution,
to a wonderful world where we are 

“Free at last, free at last.”

And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

“Go Down Moses”

Afro-American spiritual about exodus story, sung by Louis Armstrong and chorus.