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Posts Tagged ‘Sri Ramana Maharshi’

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.




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

Transcending Ego-Suffering

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



Introduction to “Transcending Ego-Suffering”

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


What is Ego?

Q. What is ego?

A. Ego is what you think you are –

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

And your body is your ego incarnate.

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

Until without thinking what you are
or who you are,

You just ARE.



Ron’s audio recitation of What is Ego?

Listen to



Quotation Collection About “Transcending Ego-Suffering”


“Ego is the biggest enemy of humans. ”

~ Rig Veda


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

~ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth



“I hold three treasures
 close to my heart.

The first is love;

The next simplicity;

The third, overcoming ego.”

~ Lao Tzu

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

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

I become what I might be.”

~ Lao Tzu

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


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

~ Dalai Lama


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

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche


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

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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


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

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

“Life is love and love is life.” 

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi

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

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

“This perception of division between the seer and the object that is seen,
is situated in the mind. For those remaining in the heart, the seer becomes one with the sight.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi


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

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

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj



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

so there is no word for it.

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

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

Otherwise your past decides for you and your future.”

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj



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

~ Swami Vivekananda


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

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

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

~ Swami Vivekananda – Karma Yoga


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

~ Swami Vivekananda



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

~ Buddha


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

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

~ Buddha

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



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

~ Albert Einstein



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

they are modes in which we think”.

~ Albert Einstein



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

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi



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

~ Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks



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

~ Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

“

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

~ Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now



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

~ Alan Watts



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

~ Alan Watts



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

~ Lao Tzu



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

~ Lao Tzu




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

~ Lao Tzu



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

~ Eckhart Tolle



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

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

~ Rumi



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

~ Rumi



“Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.”

~ Rumi



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

Love liberates. Fear imprisons.”

~ Gary Zukav



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

All positive emotions come from love,

all negative emotions from fear.

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

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

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



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

~ 1 John 4:18



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

~ Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power



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

~ Eckhart Tolle



“The fruits of the inner man begin only with the shedding of tears. When you reach the place of tears, then know that your spirit has come out from the prison of this world and has set its foot upon the path that leads towards the new age.”

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



”One of the marvels of the world:

The sight of a soul sitting in prison

with the key in its hand.”

~ Rumi



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

~ Rumi



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

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



“One must elevate – and not degrade – oneself with one’s own mind, as the mind is both a friend and an enemy.

For those who have subdued and conquered the mind, it is the best of friends. But for those who fail to do so, the mind remains the greatest of enemies.”

~ Bhagavad Gita, Chapter Six, Lord Krishna to Arjuna



Q: “How much “ego” do
you need?

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

~ Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

Ron’s Comments on “Transcending Ego-Suffering”

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Choosing Happiness:
~ a Synchronicity Story About Rosa Luxemburg


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

~ Albert Schweitzer

“Everything can be taken away from a man but one thing:

the last of the human freedom —

to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances,

to choose one’s own way.”

~ Viktor Frankl

“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 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.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi

“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

Rosa Luxemburg, March 5, 1872–January 15, 1919


Choosing Happiness: a Synchronicity Story About Rosa Luxemburg

Introduction

Dear Friends,

The following synchronicity story about Rosa Luxemburg is one of my favorite and most inspiring manifestation miracle stories. It can encourage each of us to choose ever more inner happiness in our lives, as we realize and remember that we are always free to choose our attitude and thoughts about our outer circumstances in life, though we may not be free to choose those circumstances.

Also, this story can inspire us to steadfastly adhere to socially moral principles, like Mahatma Gandhi and (his disciple) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; and, it factually demonstrates how living a socially moral life in turbulent times invariably involves spiritual, religious, ethical and political behaviors.

Moreover, this amazing synchronicity story reminds us that synchronicities are noteworthy spiritual experiences emblematic of Reality beyond time, where there cannot be “coincidences” in time; that in timeless Reality we are ONE Divine SELF, eternally inseparable from each other, Nature and all Life everywhere.

Synchronicity background

In 2010 I was writing an essay about happiness as a choice; and, saying: “Though we may not be free to choose our outer circumstances in life, we are always free to choose our attitude and thoughts about those circumstances”. But, I was concerned whether SillySutras readers would question that statement absent some supporting facts. Whereupon, just as I was so reflecting, an unexpected and previously unknown eloquent answer to my concern synchronistically arrived in my email in-box – as a “manifestation miracle”.

While I was writing, I received an unexplained email message enigmatically entitled “Breslau Prison, December 1917 — Rosa Luxemburg”. Wondering what this was about I stopped drafting the essay about choosing happiness, and opened the email. It contained an excerpt from a letter written from Breslau prison by Rosa Luxemburg, a “pacifist and revolutionary socialist, [who] was repeatedly imprisoned and eventually murdered by forces of the German Reich on January 15, 1919.” The letter excerpt eloquently fulfilled my wish for evidence that we can choose happiness by choosing our inner attitude about our outer circumstances.

Until synchronistically receiving that mysterious message, I knew nothing about Rosa Luxemburg, so I consulted Dr. Google and Wikipedia, found an online copy of Rosa’s entire letter from Breslau prison, plus interesting biographies, with photo portraits. I learned that Polish-born and Jewish “Red Rosa” had been the founder of the Polish Social Democratic Party and headed the left wing of the German Social Democratic Party; that she was a political and societal revolutionary who is now revered as ‘patron saint’ of the German left – a visionary icon like Che Guevara or Joan of Arc.

At Christmastime in 1917, after almost three years as an unjustly jailed political prisoner, Rosa Luxemburg wrote from a dismal dark cell in Breslau Prison to Sophie Liebknecht, a friend whose husband Karl Liebknecht was also a political prisoner. [Karl was co-founder with Rosa of the Spartacus League, the precursor to the German Communist Party, and like Rosa was later murdered in 1919 by the German army.]

Instead of bemoaning her own fate, Rosa attempted to console Sophie who had been traumatically separated from Karl. Rosa expressed her motivation in writing thusly:

“My one desire is to give you ….
my inexhaustible sense of inward bliss. …..
Then, at all times and in all places,
you would be able to see the beauty, and the joy of life.”


Excerpts from Rosa’s extraordinary letter to Sophie:

“This is my third Christmas under lock and key, but you needn’t take it to heart. I am as tranquil and cheerful as ever. —– Last night my thoughts ran this-wise: ‘How strange it is that I am always in a sort of joyful intoxication, though without sufficient cause. Here I am lying in a dark cell upon a mattress hard as stone; the building has its usual churchyard quiet, so that one might as well be already entombed; through the window there falls across the bed a glint of light from the lamp which burns all night in front of the prison. —– I lie here alone and in silence, enveloped in the manifold black wrappings of darkness, tedium, unfreedom, and winter – and yet my heart beats with an immeasurable and incomprehensible inner joy, just as if I were moving in the brilliant sunshine across a flowery mead. And in the darkness I smile at life, as if I were the possessor of charm which would enable me to transform all that is evil and tragical into serenity and happiness.
But when I search my mind for the cause of this joy, I find there is no cause, and can only laugh at myself.’

“– I believe that the key to the riddle is simply life itself, this deep darkness of night is soft and beautiful as velvet, if only one looks at it in the right way. The gride of the damp gravel beneath the slow and heavy tread of the prison guard is likewise a lovely little song of life – for one who has ears to hear.

“At such moments I think of you, and would that I could hand over this magic key to you also. Then, at all times and in all places, you would be able to see the beauty, and the joy of life; then you also could live in the sweet intoxication, and make your way across a flowery mead. Do not think that I am offering you imaginary joys, or that I am preaching asceticism. I want you to taste all the real pleasures of the senses. My one desire is to give you in addition my inexhaustible sense of inward bliss. Could I do so, I should be at ease about you, knowing that in your passage through life you were clad in a star-bespangled cloak which would protect you from everything petty, trivial, or harassing.”


The letter ended with this postscript:

“Never mind, my Sonyusha; you must be calm and happy all the same. Such is life, and we have to take it as it is, valiantly, heads erect, smiling ever – despite all.”


Moral of the Rosa Luxemburg Story?

What can we learn from unjustly imprisoned Rosa Luxemburg’s “joyful intoxication” and “inexhaustible sense of inward bliss”; her professed ability “at all times and in all places, … to see the beauty, and the joy of life.”?

How was Rosa able to remain “tranquil and cheerful as ever” and selflessly and compassionately think of Sophie while suffering her own misfortune and unjust political imprisonment?

Can each of us – like Rosa Luxemburg – learn to accept life “as it is” and thereby find inner tranquility with an “inexhaustible sense of inward bliss”?

Was there a causal relationship between Rosa’s selfless concern for others and her experience of tranquility and inner bliss?

Was Rosa’s happiness her choice?

As explained in the above quotations and following commentary, I believe it is possible to choose inner happiness despite adverse outer circumstances; that by elevating our mental attitude we can experientially discover within inexhaustible and ever accessible eternal bliss.

What do you think?

~ Ron Rattner


Commentary on Rosa Luxemburg, Spirituality, and the Politics of Social Morality

Dear Friends,

As explained in the above introduction, this amazing story about Rosa Luxemburg can encourage each of us to choose ever more inner happiness in our lives, as we realize and remember that we are always free to choose our attitude and thoughts about our outer circumstances in life, though we may not be free to choose those circumstances.

Moreover, this amazing synchronicity story reminds us that synchronicities are noteworthy spiritual experiences emblematic of Reality beyond time, where there cannot be “coincidences” in time; that in timeless Reality we are ONE Divine SELF, eternally inseparable from each other, Nature and all Life everywhere.

Also, this story can encourage us to steadfastly adhere to socially moral principles, like Mahatma Gandhi and (his disciple) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; and it demonstrates how living a socially moral life in turbulent times invariably involves spiritual, religious, ethical and political behaviors.

Though she was martyred a century ago, Rosa Luxemburg’s inspiring resistance to German imperialism remains highly relevant to current dystopian times of insanely unsustainable exploitation of precious planetary lifeforms and resources by global imperialism now centered in the USA.

Paradoxically, just ten years after Rosa Luxemburg was bestially murdered on January 15, 1919, Nobel Peace laureate Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr was born on January 15, 1929, to become one of the most renowned world peace proponents in modern history. And paradoxically, like Rosa Luxemburg, Dr. King was also martyred for criticizing imperialist violence of his time.

But, instead of Germany, Dr. King decried US empire violence, saying:


“I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.” 

“Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That’s the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system.” ..

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”

“Don’t let anybody make you think God chose America as His divine messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world.” .. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” ..“The choice is not between violence and nonviolence but between nonviolence and nonexistence.”


Barbarically violent and immorally unsustainable governmental exploitation decried by both Rosa Luxemburg and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in their 19th and 20th century times, persist in current 21st century “new normal” dystopian times, historically demonstrating that imperialism and democracy cannot co-exist.

Whatever economic system may be most appropriate for these troubled times, it needs to be democratically determined – bottom-up – by each human society and productive enterprise, not hierarchically imposed – top-down – by a tiny worldwide minority of psychopathically exploitative ruling billionaires.

Especially, because we face possibly imminent catastrophic nuclear or ecological extinction of human life on Earth, it is imperative that Humankind cherish Nature NOW, or perish from this precious planet; that we revive and rekindle the universal outer light of ‘Liberty, Equality And Fraternity’, while collectively accessing our shared Eternal inner light of Truth and LOVE.

May we be inspired to do that by remembering Rosa Luxemburg’s relentless pursuit of social justice morality, with amazingly continuous inner joy, despite extraordinarily unjust and dire outer circumstances.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner




Close Out Your ‘Karma Card’ Accounts

“Karma is a cosmic incentive system.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“The Book of Life is a karmic comic book.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“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
“It is true that we are not bound. That is to say, the real Self has no bondage. And it is true that you will eventually return to your Source. But meanwhile, if you commit sins, as you call them, you have to face the consequences. You cannot escape them.”
~ Ramana Maharshi
“Clear your past, to live as presence.

Clear your karma, to live your dharma.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“To go from mortal to Buddha, you have to put an end to karma,
nurture your awareness, and accept what life brings.”
~ Bodhidharma





Introduction

Dear Friends,

We are living in difficult times, with many people enduring much suffering.
In such hard times, laughter and levity always help. Also, truth said in jest can help us understand and remember previously unknown ways to transcend suffering.
 
So the following “Close Out Your ‘Karma Card’ Accounts” whimsical sutra-poem is about suffering from karma, a spiritually significant subject that many people don’t yet consider or comprehend.

As hereafter explained, it is dedicated to helping us transcend inevitable cause and effect suffering from the earthly illusion of duality.

And so may it be,

Ron Rattner

Close Out Your ‘Karma Card’ Accounts

Coming from subtle planes to Earth
(the plane of space/time and causation)
the soul dons an “earth suit” – a human body/mind  –
as its vehicle to explore this realm.

Each such vehicle comes equipped with
a revolving “karma card” account.

The object of the visit is to clear all “karma card” debits,
without incurring new ones.

Until we close out all our “karma card” accounts,
our visits to Earth become endless revolving round trips
repeated in a different vehicle for each trip.

So, we’re here to try closing out
all our “karma card” accounts.



Ron’s Karmic Commentary:

Dear Friends,

Karma is the subtle spiritual manifestation of Newton’s Third Law of Motion, that for every physical action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  It is a natural tendency which governs all space/time interactions including those on on subtle or spiritual planes, where we ‘reap as we sow’. 

Thus, for every space/time thought, word or deed – there is also an equivalent and opposite reaction on subtle or spiritual planes.  So  karma can be seen as  “a cosmic incentive system”, of cause and effect.
 
As explained by Paramhansa Yogananda: “Every action, every thought, reaps its own corresponding rewards” – either joy or suffering.

Hence, knowing the law of karma can encourage us to do good and be good – even if initially we are motivated by what the Dalai Lama has called ‘enlightened selfishness’.   Yogis say that by selflessly doing good we can transcend inevitable suffering from identification with this physical world, which they see as unreal illusion – maya or samsara

But, as Swami Yogananda observed, “those who cling to the cosmic illusion must accept its essential law of polarity: flow and ebb, rise and fall, day and night, pleasure and pain, good and evil, birth and death.” 

So to help us transcend suffering from the illusion of polarity, I sincerely invite your mindful consideration of the foregoing whimsical sutra-poem verses about karma.

May they help us sow ever more loving-kindness and compassion, bringing everyone everywhere ever more worldly happiness and fulfillment, until ultimately we reap eternal joy.

And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner


Ron’s audio explanation and recitation of Close Out Your ‘Karma Card’ Accounts

Listen to


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 are constantly composting but can’t comprehend.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings 




Introduction to “Composting Life’s Sufferings”

Dear Friends,

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

It is shared to encourage us to skillfully process our psychological ‘garbage’, and thereby experience ever increasing happiness, and ultimate fulfillment of our deepest inner aspirations.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Composting Life’s Sufferings

In Nature nothing is 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 on its fleshly death by associated 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. Gardeners know that through composting organic material can be 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 inevitable recycling processes.

Just as composting physical garbage can hasten garden 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, inwardly we all share similar mental and emotional ‘software’, with which we can process life’s challenges.

Therefore, let us naturally, communally, 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

Together may we fearlessly follow our heart to experience ever increasing happiness, and ultimate fulfillment of our deepest inner aspirations.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Everything’s Holy

“The more we grow in love and virtue and holiness,
the more we see love and virtue and holiness outside.”
~ Swami Vivekananda


Everything's Holy

Ron’s Introduction to “Everything’s Holy”

Dear Friends,

Today’s “Everything’s Holy” posting includes a visionary sutra-poem, a quotation collection about “Holiness”, and an explanatory commentary about THAT transcendent “miraculous” and mysterious Divine Reality beyond illusionary space/time duality reality. Also embedded is an inspiring video performance by Louis Armstrong (with lyric captions) of his legendary song “What A Wonderful World”.

This posting was inspired many years ago after I was emotionally moved and uplifted by Peter Mayer video performances of his song “Holy Now”. (See https://sillysutras.com/holy-now-by-peter-mayer/ ) Since imagining and composing the “Everything’s Holy” sutra-poem, I’ve gradually transformed to a “holy” state of being, with virtually constant gratitude and awareness that all Life is Divine and Holy.

Thus, I’ve learned from life that we can evolve, from just hearing about “holiness”, or observing “holy days” or ‘holy seasons’ with ‘holy songs and scriptures’, or visiting rare ‘holy places’, holy people, or holy artifacts, to always experiencing the Divine Holiness of everyone, everything, everywhere.


And I’m sharing these ‘holiness’ writings and Wonderful World song with the heartfelt aspiration that they may advance our inner evolution from seeing everything everywhere as separate and impermanent manifestations of mortal matter, to realization that all phenomena are reflections of Eternal Holy Spirit – that all Life is an endless gift of God’s Grace and LOVE.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Everything’s Holy

Everything’s a miracle:

E=mc2 – all manifestation is miraculous.

Everything’s Whole:

Mind and manifestation are ONE!

Everything’s Holy:

All matter manifests from Mystery,
and melts to merge with Mystery –

The mystery of Divinity.

So essence of everything is Divine Mystery, and

Everything’s Holy.



Ron’s audio recitation of “Everything’s Holy”

Listen to



Quotation Collection about “Everything’s Holy” and “Holiness”


“For everything that lives is Holy,
life delights in life.”
~ William Blake – The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“The more we grow in love and virtue and holiness,
the more we see love and virtue and holiness outside.”
“This perfection must come through the practice of holiness and love.”
“Every step that has been really gained in the world has been gained by love; criticising can never do any good, it has been tried for thousand of years. Condemnation accomplishes nothing.”
~ Swami Vivekananda

“There comes a holy and transparent time
when every touch of beauty 
opens the heart to tears.

This is the time the Beloved of heaven 
is brought tenderly on earth.

This is the time of the opening of the Rose.”

~ Rumi

“If you put your soul against this oar with me,

the power that made the universe will enter your sinew

from a source not outside your limbs, but from a holy realm

that lives in us.

~ Rumi – “That Lives in Us”

“A holy spirit lives within you.”
~ Leo Tolstoy

“The wisdom of the Holy Spirit is much greater than the wisdom of the entire world. Within the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, silence prevails; the wisdom of the world, however, goes astray into idle talk.”
~ Isaac of Nineveh

“Everything is interwoven, and the web is holy.”
~ Marcus Aurelius

“Even the merest gesture is holy if it is filled with faith.”
~ Franz Kafka

“Holiness consists simply in doing God’s will,
and being just what God wants us to be.”
~ Saint Therese of Lisieux

“Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.”
~ Abraham Joshua Heschel

“However many holy words you read,
However many you speak,
What good will they do you
If you do not act on upon them?”
~ Buddha

“Many good sayings are to be found in holy books,
but merely reading them will not make one religious.”
~ Sri Ramakrishna

“The mind, unless it is pure and holy, cannot see God.”
~ Seneca the Younger

“What the world needs today is neither a new order, a new education, a new system, a new society nor a new religion. The remedy lies in a mind and a heart filled with holiness.”
~ Shirdi Sai Baba

“One need not scale the heights of the heavens, nor travel along the highways of the world to find Ahura Mazda. With purity of mind and holiness of heart one can find Him in one’s own heart.”
~ Zoroaster

“The most holy and important practice in the spiritual life is the presence of God –
that is, every moment to take great pleasure that God is with you”
~ Brother Lawrence

“One should hallow all that one does in one’s natural life. One eats in holiness, tastes the taste of food in holiness, and the table becomes an altar. One works in holiness, and raises up the sparks which hide themselves in all tools. One walks in holiness across the fields, and the soft songs of all herbs, which they voice to God, enter into the song of our soul.”
~ Martin Buber

“To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Everything is holy! everybody’s holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman’s an angel!”
~ Allen Ginsberg

“If God gives you an abundant harvest of trials, it is a sign of great holiness which He desires you to attain. Do you want to become a great saint? Ask God to send you many sufferings.
~ St. Ignatius of Loyola

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

“Throw away holiness and wisdom, and people will be a hundred times happier. Throw away morality and justice, and people will do the right thing. Throw away industry and profit, and there won’t be any thieves. If these three aren’t enough, just stay at the center of the circle and let all things take their course.”
~ Lao Tzu

“I disbelieve all holy men and holy books.”
~ Thomas Paine

“I studiously avoided all so-called “holy men.” I did so because I had to make do with my own truth, not accept from others what I could not attain on my own. I would have felt it as a theft had I attempted to learn from the holy men and to accept their truth for myself. Neither in Europe can I make any borrowings from the East, but must shape my life out of myself-out of what my inner being tells me, or what nature brings to me.”
~ Carl Jung

“There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
~ Albert Einstein

“And as to me, I know nothing else but miracles.”
~ Walt Whitman

“Do you realize the unimaginable greatness, the holiness of what you so casually call ‘consciousness’? It is the unmanifest Absolute aware of its awareness through the manifestation, of which your mind-body is presently a part.”
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

“Do you realize the unimaginable greatness, the holiness of what you so casually call ‘consciousness’? . . . . How can you ever forget the basic truth that consciousness is the very expression of what-we-are. It is through the stirring of consciousness that the unmanifest Absolute becomes aware of its awareness through manifestation, and the whole universe comes into existence.”
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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

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

“Mind and Manifestation are One”
~ Mary Saint-Marie


Ron’s Reflections on “Everything’s Holy” and “Holiness”

Dear Friends,

The Louis Armstrong video below and the foregoing ‘Holiness’ quotations and sutra-poem are shared with the heartfelt aspiration that they may further our inner evolution from seeing everything everywhere as separate and impermanent manifestations of mortal matter, to realization that all phenomena are reflections of Eternal Holy Spirit – that all Life is an endless gift of God’s Grace and LOVE.



So that – with opened Hearts in “a holy and transparent time” – we may realize all space/time phenomena as appearances of Divine Holiness.

Yet, as we are blessed to perceive this Wonderful World as holy, let us always remember that our space/time perceptions are like an ego-mind projected movie – an unreal and illusory play of Universal Consciousness in which nothing’s really Real but Divine LOVE.

“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

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

And so shall it be!

Namasté! 

Ron Rattner


“What A Wonderful World” sung by Louis Armstrong with captioned lyrics



Advaita-Vedanta For Dummies
~ You are not what you think you are!

“Consciousness is always Self-Consciousness.
If you are conscious of anything, you are essentially conscious of yourself.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“Personal entity and enlightenment cannot go together.”
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
“You will know the truth, 
and the truth will set you free.”
~ John 8:32
“You are “gods”; you are all children of the Most High.”
~ Psalm 82: 6
“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
Essence Of Advaita
E = mc2 = Consciousness
Subject = Object = Consciousness
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
Theory of Everything:
E = mc2 = Consciousness = SELF.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Sri Ramana Maharshi



Ron’s Introduction to “Advaita-Vedanta For Dummies”

Dear Friends,

Advaita-Vedanta means non-dualism: it is the oldest extant school of Hindu philosophy.

The following sutra-poem was composed after my midlife spiritual awakening. With the above quotations, and following explanations, it succinctly summarizes previously unimagined perennial wisdom insights about our true spiritual Self-identity and ultimate Reality.

These insights are especially important now because of current quickened “new normal” era cosmic energies which are elevating a “critical mass” of humanity toward unprecedented 5D lasting happiness beyond suffering in illusory 3D matrix reality,

So I have updated this posting and dedicate it to our inclusion in the awakening “critical mass”, and attainment of lasting happiness in these unique times.

May we consider and enjoy it accordingly!

Ron Rattner


“You are not what you think you are!”

You are not what you think you are:
You are not a person, or a personality.
You are not a body, or a nobody.
You are not your mind, or your thoughts.
You are infinite Eternal Awareness.

You are the screen, not the movie.
You are Rama, not the drama.
You are the glory, not the story.
You are the Whole, not your role.

So, wake up, and  –
Transcend entity identity!


Ron’s audio recitation of “You are not what you think you are!”

Listen to


Ron’s explanation of Advaita-Vedanta For Dummies

Dear Friends,

As revealed by the foregoing quotations and sutra-verses, we’re not what we think we are, but Infinite Eternal Awareness!

Until midlife I self-identified only with my mortal physical body, its thoughts and story, and believed that bodily death ended life.

But then I was then blessed with a synchronistic spiritual awakening, which revealed previously unimagined perennial wisdom insights about our true non-duality Self-identity and ultimate Reality, and bestowed ever increasing happiness and peace of mind.

The foregoing quotations and poem succinctly summarize my previously unimagined pivotal insights about our Self-identity and ultimate Reality.

Encouraged by my Guruji, since launching the SillySutras website in 2010, I have been sharing these insights online with the aspiration of helping others to similarly experience ever increasing happiness and peace of mind by realizing the illusion of “ego” and the true reality of non-duality.

From childhood we have been labeled and taught to self-identify only with a false and disempowering ego image; with a separate name, gender, and story about who and what we are. We are taught that we are each born into Nature as limited mortal beings; but, not that Nature is our nature, or that we are limitless Beings of Light sharing immortal common consciousness with all life-forms.

Thus, for millennia humans’ ignorance of our true identity and immortality, has resulted in our hallucination of separation from Nature, from each other, and from our sole Self and spirit, with consequent brutal insanity, selfishness and suffering. 

Yet, for countless ages sages, seers and mystics have been trying to tell us that we are not what we think we are!  That we suffer from perception-deception – with self-identity and reality not what they appear to be; but that it is possible to transcend inevitable karmic suffering of space/time body/mind 3D human existence through Self-Realization of infinite spiritual Reality – which is the Source and essence of all perceived creation.

Thereby we ultimately learn that:

1) We are not merely our mortal bodies. What we call “death” is just a vacation – eternal spirit vacating temporary physical vehicles. Cosmically, there is no death or time, just Eternal NOW! 

2) We are not our genders, features, colors, religions, beliefs, emotions, habits or stories – or the ‘voices in our heads’. 

3) We are non-dual immortal spirit experiencing fleeting earth lives from infinite perspectives in transitory physical vehicles.  But no matter how we are ‘labeled’, we’re all the same ‘under the hood’.
 
Concluding observations and dedication 

The foregoing perennial wisdom insights are especially important in these painfully turbulent and troubled post-pandemic “new normal” times. Paradoxically, they provide a unique opportunity for a “critical mass” of humankind to compassionately transform the world!

Although much of humanity continues to suffer illusory separation from each other and Nature, many others are awakening. Deeply disturbed by irrational and immoral interruptions of their normal lives, more and more people are compassionately awakening to our sacred connection with, and deep moral responsibility to cherish and lovingly preserve, all life on our precious planet Earth.

Moreover, currently quickened cosmic energies are elevating a “critical mass” of humanity to ascend toward unprecedented lasting 5D happiness beyond suffering in the illusory 3D matrix reality.

Such “critical mass” ascension will transcend current insanely unsustainable ecological desecration of precious planet Earth, and end barbaric exploitation of vulnerable beings and other life-forms, which now catastrophically threatens unprecedented destruction of all Earth life as we’ve known it..

Therefore, this updated Advaita-Vedanta For Dummies posting is dedicated to inspiring the spiritual awakening of a “critical mass” of our global family, and thereby our attainment of unprecedented happiness in these uniquely troubled times, until our ultimate spiritual Self Realization – as Infinite Non-Duality Reality.

And so shall it be!

Namasté!

Ron Rattner

Video

Also embedded and highly recommended below is this powerfully inspiring four minute YouTube viral video by rapper *Prince Eo already viewed over 100 million times and titled: “I Am NOT Black, You are NOT White” and also “I Am Not a Label; We Are One Race, The Human Race”

“I Am NOT Black, You are NOT White”


[*Prince Eo a/k/a “Makmantis X” also posted this video on Facebook titled: “This literally made me question everything.” There have been over 100 million YouTube and Facebook views. Prince credits his spiritually inspired perspectives to enduring ancient wisdom texts such as the Tao Te Ching and Bhagavad Gita.]

Who am ‘I’, and What is What?
~ Ron’s Memoirs

“The essence of all wisdom is to know the answers to ‘who am I?’

and ‘what will become of me?’ on the Day of Judgment.”

~ Rumi
“Give up all questions except one: “Who am I?”
After all, the only fact you are sure of is that you are.
The “I am” is certain. The “I am this” is not.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“By the inquiry ‘Who am I?’, the thought ‘who am I?’ will destroy all other thoughts, and like the stick used for stirring the burning pyre, it will itself in the end get destroyed. Then, there will arise Self-realization.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“Who am I?
The quest is in the question.

The question is the answer.

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Sri Ramana Maharshi



Introduction to “Who am ‘I’ and What is What?”

Dear Friends,

Twentieth century sage Sri Ramana Maharshi (pictured above) was renowned for his teachings of constantly asking “Who am I?” to attain Self-realization. The following “Who am ‘I’ and What is What?” sutra verses were inspired by those “Who am I?” teachings.

But I instinctively began asking “Who am I?”, when I was ignorant of ancient Eastern spiritual philosophy and identified only with my mortal physical body and its story. It happened after an unforgettably realistic out of body (OOB) experience during a 1974-5 “pot luck” New Year’s Eve party, where I unknowingly ingested marihuana.

Such “Who am I?” questioning resulted in a life changing spiritual awakening and rebirth, which eventually led to my discovery and acceptance of the non-dualism wisdom teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi.

Over forty five years since that previously unimagined midlife awakening, I continue to irreversibly accept non-dualism teachings as pointing to ultimate Truth beyond ego-mind illusion. So I’m gratefully sharing this posting so that it may help others (as it helped me) find ever greater happiness in life.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


“Who am ‘I’ and What is What?”

WHO AM ‘I’ and WHAT IS WHAT?

What lives?   What dies?

What laughs?  What cries?

What sleeps?  What wakes?

What gives?  What takes?

What thinks?  What knows?

What comes?  What goes?

What’s grief?  What’s bliss?

What’s that?!  What’s this?!

The quest is in the question; and

THE QUESTION IS THE ANSWER!

The question is the answer?



Ron’s audio recitation of “Who am ‘I’ and What is What?”

Listen to



Ron’s explanation and dedication of “Who am ‘I’ and What is What?”

Dear Friends,

As stated in the introduction, “Who am ‘I’ and What is What?” was first inspired by ancient nondualism wisdom teachings of twentieth century sage Sri Ramana Maharshi, who endorsed constantly asking “Who am I?” to attain Self-realization. However, I instinctively began asking “Who am I?”, at a time when I was ignorant of ancient Eastern spiritual philosophy and identified only with my mortal physical body and its story.

After repeatedly asking “Who am I?” I experienced a previously unimagined life changing spiritual awakening and rebirth, which eventually led to my later discovery and acceptance of the non-dualism wisdom teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi.

Here is the memoir story about how my life was blessed and transformed by instinctively and irresistibly asking “Who am I?”.

Over forty five years ago, after unwittingly ingesting a marihuana-laced cake at at ‘pot-luck’ New Year’s party, I had an unforgettable out of body experience (OOB) in which from a bedroom ceiling I perceived my body and thoughts as detached below me. Thereupon, I constantly and irresistibly started wondering, if I’m not my body and thoughts, “Who am I?”. 

Fifteen months later, my “Who am I?” question was amazingly answered, when I suddenly realized my true Self-identity as pure awareness, rather than as my body/mind and its story, as previously believed. 

Whereupon, I experienced an unforgettable mid-life spiritual awakening and rebirth, which completely and irreversibly changed my prior ideas of Self-identity and Reality, and began a previously unimagined and continuing new life phase of ever increasing happiness, peace of mind, and gratitude, with faith in the mystery of Divinity: a continuing process of increasingly incorporating into my daily life the realization of Self-identity as eternal universal awareness, rather than as a merely mortal body/mind and its thoughts.

As a secular Jewish lawyer, I had been ignorant of any spiritual or esoteric teachings which might explain my extraordinary awakening experience. But afterwards I was soon synchronistically led to profound non-dualism teachings of twentieth century sage Sri Ramana Maharshi, who endorsed constantly asking “Who am I?” to attain Self-realization.

At the time of my awakening I hadn’t yet learned about synchronicity. But retrospectively I’ve realized that my asking “Who am I?” was a wonderful synchronicity.  And that synchronicities are constantly present as important blessings in our lives.  So  that

“Life will give [us] whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of our consciousness.”
~ Eckhart Tolle



Identifying “Ego”as Source of all Unhappiness and Suffering

In explaining the self-inquiry (vichara) process Sri Ramana identified “ego” as the source of all human unhappiness, and taught that by transcending “ego” we are freed from all unhappiness and suffering.

He defined ego as mistaken self-identification with thought, and equated it with mind and memory. And he identified the ‘I’ thought as root of the ego-mind and, hence, source of all suffering.

For example, he said:

“All bad qualities centre round the ego. .. There are neither good nor bad qualities in the Self. The Self is free from all qualities. Qualities pertain to the mind only.”

“The mind is only a bundle of thoughts [with] their root in the I-thought. Whoever investigates the True “I” enjoys the stillness of bliss.”

“All unhappiness is due to the ego. With it comes all your trouble. If you would deny the ego and scorch it by ignoring it you would be free.”



And he taught that

“By the inquiry ‘Who am I?’, the thought ‘who am I?’ will destroy all other thoughts, and like the stick used for stirring the burning pyre, it will itself in the end get destroyed. Then, there will arise Self-realization.”



Sri Ramana recognized that the “Who am I?” question could never be answered rationally, but only through the inconceivable and ineffable experience of Self-realization. He explained that:

“The question ‘Who am I?’ is not really meant to get an answer; the question ‘Who am I?’ is meant to dissolve the questioner.”



Ultimately, I realized the supreme wisdom of Sri Ramana’s ancient non-dualistic method for efficiently dissolving ego, while I’ve remained mostly engrossed in the emotion of devotion. Thus as a frequent crier for God, while ever mindful that I’m only calling and crying to universal Self; that

“[Our] 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


Moreover, I’ve also realized that since “ego” is the apparent sole source of all human suffering, all enduring spiritual paths, scriptures and teachings are aimed at ending ego; that for millennia spiritual teachings have identified “ego” as the fundamental impediment to spiritual evolution and realization; as “the biggest enemy of humans.” (Rig Veda ); and the “number-one enemy of compassion.” (Dalai Lama). The Dalai Lama has said that all Buddhist teachings aim “to wipe out the persistence of ego.” And Eckhart Tolle believes that transcending ego is the only spiritual teaching.

And after decades of observation and experience, I still see “Who Am I?” as a key path to be considered by those with spiritual aspirations;  that persistently asking “who am I”, with constant curiosity, patience and acceptance of inevitable uncertainty can significantly enhance and advance spiritual evolution.

Accordingly, many SillySutras quotations, essays and poems are dedicated to furthering our happiness by recognizing and transcending “ego” through various disciplines, including the nondualism path of self-inquiry, addressed in today’s “Who am ‘I’ and What is What?” sutra-verses.

Invocation

May today’s Who am ‘I’ and What is What? posting,
help us live ever happier lives,
and advance our spiritual evolution
until we realize that

“The end of all wisdom is love, love, love.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi



And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner.