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How can we choose happiness?

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

Go outside into the fields, nature and the sun,

go out and seek happiness in yourself and in God.

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

~ Anne Frank





Introduction to “How can we choose happiness?”

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Quotation Collection About Choosing to BE Happy


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

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

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

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

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

Go outside into the fields, nature and the sun,

go out and seek happiness in yourself and in God.

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

~ Anne Frank


“The root of joy is gratefulness…

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

For it is not joy that makes us grateful;

it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”

~ Brother David Steindl-Rast

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


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

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


“If you want to be happy, BE.”

~ Leo Tolstoy

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

~ Saint Teresa of Avila


“True happiness is to enjoy the present,

without anxious dependence upon the future.”

~ Seneca

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

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

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

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

“Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.”
~ Rumi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Love said to me,

there is nothing that is not me.

Be silent.”

~ Rumi

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

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

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

It’s not our longitude

Or our latitude,

But the elevation of our attitude,

That brings beatitude.

***

So an attitude of gratitude

Brings beatitude.

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings



Remember with gratitude,

Life is beatitude –

Even its sorrows and pain;

For we’re all in God’s Grace,

Every time, every place, and

Forever (S)HE will reign!

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


How can we choose happiness?


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



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



Q.  How can we be happier?



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



Q.  Can we choose happiness?

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



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



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


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

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

So let us:



Remember with gratitude,

Life is beatitude –

Even its sorrows and pain;

For we’re all in God’s Grace,

Every time, every place, and

Forever (S)HE will reign!



And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner


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




Choosing Happiness
~ Sutra Poem and Quotes

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

“The root of joy is gratefulness…
We hold the key to lasting happiness in our own hands.
For it is not joy that makes us grateful;
it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”
~ Brother David Steindl-Rast

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

“If you want to be happy, be.”
~ Leo Tolstoy

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

“True happiness is to enjoy the present,
without anxious dependence upon the future.”
~ Seneca






Choosing Happiness

Life is perpetual,
but happiness is optional.

It’s choice – not chance,
free will – not destiny,
that determines our happiness.

Happiness is a state of mind or no mind – an attitude –
which thoughtlessly observes and accepts “what Is”,

So, to choose happiness,
Say “yes” to Life.

Mindfully end unhappy thoughts,
and gratefully accept “what Is”.



Ron’s audio recitation of Choosing Happiness

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Life Is NOW, Never Then!

“That which is timeless is found NOW.”

~ Buddha
“Life can be found only in the present moment.
The past is gone, the future is not yet here,
and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment,
we cannot be in touch with life.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
“People .. who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

~ Albert Einstein
Tao and Zen

are NOW,

not then.

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings





Introduction to Life Is NOW, Never Then!

Dear Friends,

After my mid-life spiritual awakening, which began a new life phase of previously unimagined interest in spiritual evolution, I began to regularly and reflectively walk alone by San Francisco Bay, as an informal spiritual practice.

While walking by the Bay, I synchronistically began “channeling” spiritual sayings, rhymes and poems. Often, too, I’d spontaneously sing original melodies to accompany my poems and rhymes. As I walked, I regularly wrote the words that came to me. But, mostly I forgot the melodies, which I couldn’t write.

One of the few songs with melody that I remembered, I called Life Is NOW, Never Then!

It was telepathically transmitted and received as I joyfully experienced being in the precious present moment – the NOW.

After composing the Life is NOW song I rarely sang it, and it wasn’t otherwise performed or known to others, except for a few of my friends. Later, upon launching the SillySutras website, I recorded and posted an mp3 version of the song.

Also, Rob Tobias, a talented Oregon musician/songwriter/singer and videographer, and longtime partner of my niece Janice Medvin, started filming me for a biographical documentary record of eccentric Uncle Ron’s spiritual journey from litigation to meditation and beyond, which he titled: “Walks With Ron (A Spiritual Memoir)” . During the filming process, Rob heard and liked the Life is NOW song, and ultimately this year he professionally performed and recorded his version of the song.

Embedded below are both my original recording and Rob’s current professional recording of the Life is NOW song. Please enjoy the written and recorded versions of the song, and reflect deeply on their fundamental spiritual message.

May they inspire our spiritual evolution and growing happiness in life, by encouraging our being Here NOW in each precious present moment.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Life Is NOW, Never Then!

Life is NOW
Ever NOW
Never then.

Life is NOW
Ever NOW
Never then.

Life is NOW or never,
Life is NOW forever,
Life is NOW
Ever NOW
Never then.

Past is history,
Future’s mystery;
But, life is never then.

Life is NOW or never,
Life is NOW forever,
Life is NOW
Ever NOW
Never then.

Time is how
We measure now.
But, life is never when.

Life is NOW or never,
Life is NOW forever,
Life is NOW
Ever NOW
Never then.

Life is NOW
Ever NOW
Never then.

Life is NOW
Ever NOW
Never then.

Life is NOW or never,
Life is NOW forever,
Life is NOW
Ever NOW
Never then.



Ron’s singing of “Life Is NOW, Never Then!”

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Rob Tobias’s professional performance of “Life Is NOW”

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Dedication

May the Life is NOW song lyrics and recordings inspire our spiritual evolution and growing happiness, by encouraging our being Here NOW in each precious present moment.

And so may it be!

Namasté!

Ron Rattner

Words About Wishes

“All suffering is caused by human desire,
particularly the desire that impermanent things be permanent.
Human suffering can be ended by ending human desire.”
~ Buddha
“To have no wants is divine….
The fewer our wants,
the nearer we resemble the gods.”
~ Socrates
“The power of unfulfilled desires is the root of all man’s slavery”
~ Sri Yukteswar (Autobiography of a Yogi, Chapter 43)
“The essence of philosophy
is that a man should so live

that his happiness shall depend
as little as possible on external things.”

~ Epictetus
“Do not spoil what you have
by desiring what you have not;

remember that what you now have
was once among the things you only hoped for.”

~ Epicurus
Topping our wish list,
is our wish to be wish-less.
For ’til we stop wishing,
we’ll ever be wanting.
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings




Introduction

Dear Friends,

We are now experiencing exceptionally advantageous Aquarian age cosmic energies and auspicious astrological planetary alignments favorable to spiritual evolution.

Accordingly this posting discusses a fundamental evolutionary obstacle: the ego’s futile pursuit of illusory and impermanent external pleasures and desires that can never give lasting happiness.

Most humans futilely try to hold on to relationships, health, circumstances, or things that cannot last. And this inevitably causes us karmic sorrow and suffering.  

So the above quotations, and following sutra “Words About Wishes” and comments explain how futile ego desires for external pleasures unavoidably impede our evolution and cause karmic sorrow and suffering.

They are shared to help us as a global family attain “critical mass” for evolutionary ascension toward spiritual freedom.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner


Words About Wishes

Wishes and wants are mental projections to the future
of remembered pleasures from the past.

Wishes are then,
but Life is NOW.

Well-wishers sometimes sincerely say,
“May all your fondest dreams and wishes come true.”

But, we’ll never have all we want,
’til we want just all we have.
And – unfulfilled wishes can be Divine blessings.

So – topping our wish list,
is our wish to be wish-less.

For ’til we stop wishing,
we’ll ever be wanting.



Ron’s audio recitation of “Words About Wishes”

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Ron’s explanation and dedication of “Words About Wishes”

Dear Friends,
 
The foregoing quotes and whimsical sutra verses concern a spiritually crucial subject – our futile mental desires or wishes as root impediments to spiritual evolution.

Buddhist philosophy’s primary purpose is to help end human suffering. Gautama Buddha taught that humans suffer because we mentally strive for illusory and impermanent pleasures that cannot give lasting happiness. We futilely try to hold on to relationships, health, circumstances, or things that cannot last. And this causes sorrow and suffering.
According to Buddhist teachings we suffer from ignorance (avidyâ) of our true self-identity, and from our consequent mistaken thoughts, words and deeds.

Suffering ends when ignorance ends. Ignorance ends gradually with experiential Self knowledge that we are Infinite Potentiality beyond conception, rather than merely mortal and limited persons.

Thus the Dalai Lama explains that

“In Buddhism, ignorance as the root cause of suffering refers to a fundamental misperception of the true nature of the self and all phenomena.”

Unfulfilled desire is similarly discussed in Paramahansa Yogananda’s “Autobiography of a Yogi,” Chapter 43, The Resurrection of Sri Yukteswar.  Therein Yogananda recounts an amazing astral visitation by his departed spiritual master Sri Yukteswar, who declares with detailed explanations that: “The power of unfulfilled desires is the root of all man’s slavery.”

According to Sri Yukteswar even very subtle or unconscious desires of highly evolved beings can keep them from Being Infinite.

Also an amazing near death experience consistent with Sri Yukteswar’s  teaching was recounted by my beloved Guruji, Sri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas:



During a terrible Gujarati draught and famine, in 1971 Guruji became extremely sick and exhausted from selflessly helping people and animals. Guruji’s physical body died, and his soul traveled to the heavenly domain of his “Ishta-Devata” Lord Rama – the principal Divine form of his devotional practices. Though Guruji wished to remain forever in Rama’s indescribably loving Presence, he was told that he would have to return to his Earthly body because of his unfulfilled desires to help people, whose images were then shown to Guruji.  Rama told him:

“So long as there are any desires in your mind, … you must return to fulfill those desires.


Thus various spiritual traditions have recognized enlightened beings – like Buddhist Bodhisattvas – who compassionately forgo spiritual Freedom, or nirvana, or the kingdom of heaven, in order to help others who suffer from unfulfilled ego desires.

Dedication

May the above “Words About Wishes” help us, individually and as global family, reveal and heal all sufferings from our unfulfilled and futile ego-mind desires.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Be An Auto-Iconoclast

“Ego is the biggest enemy of humans. ”
~ Rig Veda
“We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts, we make the world.”
~ Buddha
“The mind is a bundle of thoughts.
The thoughts arise because there is the thinker.
The thinker is the ego.
The ego and the mind are the same.
The ego is the root-thought from which all other thoughts arise.”
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi
“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
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
“Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
~ Albert Einstein
“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
“Undo Ego!
Use it to lose it.”
“As ego goes,
consciousness grows,
until it Knows
– Itself.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“Free of ego, living naturally, working virtuously,
you become filled with inexhaustible vitality
and are liberated forever from the cycle of death and rebirth.”
~ Lao Tzu

Beyond Ego

Introduction

Dear Friends,

The following written and recited sutra verses poetically declare that we are not and can never be what we think we are. Such self-identity thoughts are ego illusions, our greatest spiritual enemy.

In metaphorically suggesting that we should iconoclastically break – not make – egoic self images, I was inspired by the second of the bible’s ten commandments against deifying and bowing down to graven images.

These verses together with above quotations, and following explanatory comments, are shared to help advance our spiritual evolution by inspiring us to overcome and control illusory ego-mind self-identity.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Be An Auto-Iconoclast

Who are you? Who do you think you are?

You think you’re only an entity –
a person separate from all other entities.

With such thinking you’ve created
a false ego image of what you really are.
And you’ve mistakenly identified yourself as that ego image.

But you’re not that ego image.

You can never be what you think you are:
Thinking and Being can’t coexist.

So stop thinking, and start Being.

Don’t be an ego-image maker.
Be an ego-image breaker.

Be an auto-iconoclast.
Break your ego image.

End ego identity,
and be –
ego free.

BE what you really are –

Thoughtless Awareness

NOW!

Ron’s audio recitation of Be An Auto-Iconoclast

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Ron’s Comments on “Be An Auto-Iconoclast”

Dear Friends,

Almost all humans at times think themselves separate from each other, Nature and Divine Self. Such thoughts are illusory ego-mind thoughts, and the greatest deterrent to our spiritual evolution.

So the foregoing verses and quotations are intended to remind us to go beyond what we think we are, and BE what we really are – ONE with eternal Universal Awareness, our immortal Source and Divine Self.

In poetically suggesting that we iconoclastically break – not make – egoic self images, I was inspired by the second of the Bible’s ten commandments against deifying and bowing down to graven images. By adulating ego-mind instead of undoing it, we glorify a supposedly separate and independent self, which is an optical illusion of consciousness – like a mirage. But by overcoming and controlling the ego-mind we advance rather than deter our spiritual evolution. (Bhagavad Gita, Chapter Six)

Thus, this “Be An Auto-Iconoclast” posting is dedicated to advancing our spiritual evolution and transcendence of illusory and disempowering ego-mind self-identity, by helping us remember again our once known, but long forgotten, true Divinity.

Please enjoy it accordingly.

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Illumination Rumination

“You are the light of the world.”
~ Matthew 5:14
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate:
only love can do that.”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
~ Chinese Proverb
“For light I go directly to the Source of light,
not to any of the reflections.”
~ Peace Pilgrim
“Just as a candle cannot burn without fire,
men cannot live without a spiritual life.”
~ Buddha
Into my heart’s night

Along a narrow way
 I groped;
and lo! the light,

An infinite land of day.

~ Rumi
“Reality’s essence is Divine luminescence.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
“If the radiance of a thousand suns
Were to burst at once into the sky
That would be like the splendor of the Mighty One –.”
~ Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 11, Verse 12
Every particle of the world is a mirror.
In each atom lies the blazing light of a thousand suns.
~ Mahmud Shabestari, Sufi Mystic, 15th century.
“There are two ways of spreading light –
to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
~ Edith Wharton


Everything's Holy


Illumination Rumination

Soul light, like sun light, is Source light.
Mind light, like moon light, is reflected light.

Meditation reveals Soul light,
while rumination reflects mind light.

Rumination requires mental movement.
Illumination is in mental stillness.

Source light surpasses reflected light.
It’s better to Be the Light,
than to reflect it.

As we are guided by moonlight
until sunlight re-appears,
reflected mind light can guide us
until we are again illuminated as Soul light.

As moon light is but reflection of sunlight,
sunlight is but a reflection of Soul light.

So, for illumination,
focus on Soul light.
But at least reflect on it.



Ron’s audio recitation of “Illumination Rumination”

Listen to



Ron’s Explanation and Dedication of “Illumination Rumination”

Dear Friends,

For millennia all Humankind have observed rituals of light and sun, with participants sharing wishes for universal happiness.

Since March 2020 we have entered a “new normal” post-pandemic era of unprecedented crises imminently threatening all Earth life as we have known it. So, whether or not we may have heretofore observed any symbolic light rituals, these are now times of apparent ‘darkness’, especially appropriate for our reflection upon perennial issues of inner illumination – or “enlightenment”.

Accordingly, I have again posted a sutra-poem, with quotations focused on our inner illumination process. 

Titled “Illumination Rumination”, it is dedicated to helping all of us find and achieve lasting happiness through inner illumination as the “the light of the world”.

Background

This poem was inspired by an unforgettable and theretofore unimaginable intense inner experience. Over forty years ago, while passionately crying and longing for God on a Yosemite mountain top, with amazing grace I beheld an ethereal inner effulgence, which I can only describe as the ‘light of ten thousand suns’the Eternal Light of Cosmic Consciousness.

Since then – as I have increasingly self-identified with that glorious inner light of Eternal Awareness – my life has become ever more faith based and inner directed. Concurrently I have gradually become happier and more grateful than ever before.

With insight (not eyesight), I have begun to realize that as we evolve through a process of inner illumination we increasingly emanate the divine light of Cosmic Consciousness; that our illumined energy becomes ‘contagious’ and inevitably elevates human consciousness, infusing and inspiring others similarly seeking happiness and love.

And I emphatically concur with Dr. King’s wise words that

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only Light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate:
only Love can do that.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.


Invocation

May everyone everywhere be illumined 
as “the light of the world”

To envision and co-create together
A wonderful new  age, of universal
Peace, Joy, Light and LOVE.

May everyone everywhere be happy!


And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

Subject-Object?

“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”

~ Albert Einstein
“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
‘Time, space and causation are like the glass through which the Absolute is seen…In the Absolute there is neither time, space, nor causation.’
~ Swami Vivekananda [Jnana Yoga]
“This whole creation is essentially subjective, and the dream is the theater where the dreamer is at once: scene, actor, prompter, stage manager, author, audience, and critic.”
~ Carl Gustav Jung
“Objectivity is an illusory impossibility.”
“All concepts are mental projections of Cosmic Consciousness.
But for name – subject and object are same.”
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings
Essence Of Nondualism:
Consciousness = Subject = Object = Self
~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings


Albert Einstein



Subject-Object?

Q. Where does subject end, and object begin?

A. Nowhere.

E=mc2.

Everything’s energy everywhere.

Energy’s endless,
So everything’s endless.

But we mistakenly believe what we perceive.

Thus, as Einstein observed:

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

Subject and object are mere ways of thinking –
perceptual/conceptual projections of Cosmic Consciousness,
which is our true Self.

As twentieth century Indian sage Sri Ramana Maharshi observed:

“Consciousness is always Self-Consciousness.
If you are conscious of anything,
you are essentially conscious of yourself.”






Ron’s Subject-Object Commentary:

This “Subject-Object?” essay points to our spiritually limiting illusory belief that we are separate “subjects” observing separate “objects” in space/time.  

Cosmically, as Einstein observed, “Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
 
Due to non-locality of space/time ‘reality’, perceived subjects and objects are not separated, but connected.  All perceptions require projected subjective consciousness, which is immeasurable.  So all perceptions are subjective projections of ONE immeasurable consciousness.

Thus everything perceived everywhere is an impermanent holographic energy form of projected consciousness.  Yet we mistakenly believe in objectivity of what we subjectively project and perceive.

Like most Westerners I grew up culturally imbued with mistaken ideas and ideals of “objectivity” of our scientific, academic, journalistic and judicial institutions – of which as an adult I became disabused.
 
And after my midlife spiritual awakening, I began to realize that objectivity is an illusory impossibility; that the idea of objectivity refers only the measurable material world of forms and phenomena, which mistakenly excludes consciousness – the ultimate immeasurable Reality and source of all perceptions.

Despite revolutionary discoveries in relativity and quantum physics, for the past century most materialistic mainstream scientists have remained reluctant to recognize the impossibility of scientifically ‘objective’ accuracy in describing Nature through measurement without reference to immeasurable consciousness. 

Yet more and more visionary scientists have seen and transcended this mistaken materialist view.  As explained by Nobel prize winning physicist Max Planck:


“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of Nature.
 And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


Invocation

May the foregoing quotations and essay
encourage our deep ‘subjective’ reflection and recognition
that Humankind – and all of its institutions –
are part of Nature’s insoluble Mystery,
with which we must mindfully and reverentially be ever harmonious. 

And so may it be!

Ron Rattner

Certainty ~ by Sant Tukaram*

“Certainty can become an illness

that creates hate and greed.”
~ Sant Tukaram
“The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning.
Uncertainty is the very condition
to impel man to unfold his powers.”
~ Erich Fromm
“Since no one really knows anything about God, 

those who think they do are just 
troublemakers.”
~ Rabia of Basra (first female Sufi saint)
“Never lose a holy curiosity” . . . .
“The important thing is not to stop questioning”.
~ Albert Einstein
“The whole problem with the world is that
fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves,
and wiser people so full of doubts.”
~ Bertrand Russell
When questioning begins, certainty ends.
When certainty ends, wisdom begins.

The fewer our certainties, the greater our possibilities.
With complete uncertainty, we have infinite possibility.

Everything is possible when nothing is inevitable.

We are shackled by illusory bonds of belief.
Freedom is beyond belief.
So, we seek relief from belief.

~ Ron Rattner, Sutra Sayings




Certainty

Certainty undermines one’s power, and turns happiness
into a long shot. Certainty confines.

Dears, there is nothing in your life that will
not change – especially your ideas of God.

Look what the insanity of righteous knowledge can do:
crusade and maim thousands
in wanting to convert that which
is already gold
into gold.

Certainty can become an illness
that creates hate and
greed.

God once said to Tuka,

“Even I am ever changing –
I am ever beyond
Myself,

what I may have once put my seal upon,
may no longer be
the greatest
Truth.”

~ Tukaram*

Source: “Love Poems From God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West”, with interpretation by Daniel Ladinsky

Footnote: *Sant Tukaram was a 16th century Indian devotional poet-saint, still widely regarded as one of India’s greatest and most influential poet-saints.


Ron’s Comments About “Certainty”:

Dear Friends,

Are you absolutely certain about anything in your life?
Have you ever been absolutely certain about something or someone, and later learned that your certainty was mistaken?
    
If so, please consider the foregoing quotations and wonderfully translated poem by 16th century devotional poet-saint Tukaram, one of India’s greatest and still most influential poet-saints.

These wisdom writings remind us that nothing is “certain” in this world of permanent impermanence; that inflexible certainty – even about God – “can become an illness that creates hate and greed”.

Throughout recorded human history, individuals and societies have been compelled to abandon previously cherished inflexible beliefs about religion, science, philosophy etc. which limited learning, impeded progress, and motivated evil and harmful behaviors.

How could we have advanced believing that the earth was flat, or that it was the center of our solar system, or that intuitive women should be burned as witches?

Thanks to quantum science ‘uncertainty’ theory, we have learned from physicists that what we’ve believed to be physical ‘reality’ isn’t really real; that ultimate “Reality” is indescribable consciousness.


“Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.”

~ Niels Bohr, quantum physicist

“I regard consciousness as fundamental.
I regard matter as derivative from consciousness.
We cannot get behind consciousness.
Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

~ Max Planck, Nobel Prize-winning physicist


After an unforgettable midlife spiritual awakening, I have learned that open-minded curiosity and awareness are crucial for life-long learning and spiritual advancement. My awakening epiphany completely and irreversibly changed prior paradigms of Self-identity and Reality, and began a new life-phase of previously unimagined new discoveries.

One of my greatest joys has been in continuously learning from life itself, especially from inevitable difficulties and challenges. Thus I’ve found that we don’t need college or post graduate academic degrees to learn our most important lessons.

In recent years, many people worldwide have been experiencing and behaving from polarized fearful and reactive states of mind directed to others with conflicting political perspectives. To address this disturbing divisiveness, and consequent turmoil, we can follow principles of ageless wisdom revealed by Sant Tukaram’s critique of “Certainty”.

Although purported world “leaders” may seem insanely “certain” of themselves, Earth’s suffering citizens can best address crucial interpersonal and international political challenges, by compassionately honoring the spiritual essence and divine equality of everyone everywhere, without mistaken certainty about them.

Invocation

May Sant Tukaram’s wisdom inspire us
to transcend mistaken certainty
“that creates hate and greed”.

With quiet minds and open hearts
may we compassionately honor
the spiritual essence and equality of everyone everywhere.

Thereby let us overcome exploitation and discrimination
against the world’s most vulnerable sentient beings,
and the iniquity of inequity in our societies.


And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner

Beyond Limited Being:
~ Infinite Awareness — Ever NOW

“Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world.

The forms may change,

yet the essence remains the same. ….

The source is within you

And this whole world is springing up from it.”

~ Rumi
“Into my heart’s night

Along a narrow way
 I groped;

and lo! the light,

An infinite land of day.”

~ Rumi
“There is a life-force within your soul, 
seek that life.

“There is a gem in the mountain of your body, 
seek that mine.

O traveler, 
if you are in search of that

Don’t look outside, 
look inside yourself and seek that.”
~ Rumi
“That which permeates all,

which nothing transcends and which,

like the universal space around us,

fills everything completely from within and without,

that Supreme non-dual Brahman
—
that thou art.”

~ Shankaracharya
“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us ‘universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation, and a foundation for inner security.”
~ Albert Einstein ( N. Y. Times , March 29, 1972)




Beyond Limited Being: Infinite Awareness— Ever NOW

Humans are but blips
in a boundless Ocean of Infinite Awareness.

Individuated humans are limited by thoughts:

Thoughts that create the “universe”;
Thoughts that divide and diffuse Awareness
as a prism diffuses light.

Mind is matrix; consciousness is context.

“Human consciousness” is an idea –
a thought which seems to limit boundless Awareness.

But in Reality consciousness can’t be contained.

Time and space are mere modes of thought,
as are matter, energy, and spirit.

Time is how we measure Now,
and space is for the places where we
think we are in time.

So, in space/time,
human body/mind/souls
are seemingly separate and circumscribed beings.

But in Reality,
we are ONE.

Beyond limited being:

Eternally boundless
Infinite Awareness –
Ever NOW.



Ron’s recitation of “Beyond Limited Being: Infinite Awareness — Ever NOW”

Listen to



Ron’s explanation of “Beyond Limited Being: Infinite Awareness— Ever NOW”

Dear Friends,

About two months ago I began an ‘inner retreat’ from following recurrent media reports of outer violence and suffering. Instead of reifying insanely unprecedented pandemic fears and polarized political turbulence, I’ve focused on emanating and disseminating inner light with loving and peaceful ‘vibes’ to help heal and awaken the world.


During this time of ‘inner retreat’ I’ve been synchronistically “rediscovering” many enlightening essays and sutra poems composed long ago after my 1992 retirement from legal practice. 

“Beyond Limited Being: Infinite Awareness— Ever NOW”, is 
one of those poems, which I’ve shared now with the above profound quotations. Also embedded below (with captioned lyrics) is an inspiring YouTube performance of one of my favorite spiritual hymns “Let There be Peace on Earth” .

If you aspire to help awaken the world with loving and peaceful thoughts, words and deeds, please reflect upon, enjoy and share these postings.

May they help illumine the world with peaceful inner light, lovingly benefiting all beings. And may they inspire our deep and grateful remembrance of our Divine Source and immortal identity, with realization that everyone/everything/everywhere is Infinite Universal Awareness – ever NOW.

And so shall it be!

Ron Rattner


“Let there be peace on Earth” song video, with captioned lyrics.