Are there angels?
yourself -- what is
I am uncertain what to say.
Both Buddhists and Vedantists agree that this subtle ‘I’ should be given up if you want liberation, but disagree about the terminology and how belief in this ‘I’ can be annihilated.
Buddhists say: ‘There is no entity at all, no ‘self’ or ‘I’, just a sequence of causatively conditioned psychic and physical processes.’ For the rest they do not talk about an ‘I’. They even disapprove of talking in terms of ‘I’, for instance in a statement like “When we regard the nature of this knowing as being ‘me’ or ‘I’, and hold onto that concept – this is a small view, and it is confused, mistaken.”¹
Nevertheless in Dzogchen, the radical non-dualistic core of Tibetan Buddhism from which the last quote originated, a number of texts have been produced in the past in which the term ‘I’ is used, even with emphasis, to point out the highest principle, as being the ‘majestic creativity of the universe’. In one of the root texts of Dzogchen, the Kunjed Gyalpo, it is stated:
“I, the creativity of the universe, pure and total presence, am the real heart of all spiritual pursuits”; and
“Because all phenomena are none other than me, I, the all-creating
one, am the decisive experience of everything.”²
From texts like these it becomes apparent how comparative the term ‘I’ actually is. The same term that deserves to be disapproved as signifying a mistake, is apparently also used to denote the highest principle.
(—Excerpt from Introduction to: "I” Is A Door: The Essence Of Advaita As Taught By Ramana Maharshi, Atmananda And Nisargadatta Maharaj" by Philip Renard. Scribd.)
I don’t know what to think.
I think I am being watched.
If I were a pessimist I’d take pleasure in the unhealthy state of the country and the unhealthy outgoing incumbent still at the helm.
But I’m not a pessimist.
I’m an unknowing being looking at a set of circumstances, causes, and conditions that suggest an ignorance and spiteful uncertainty at the fate of the 65 days remaining until a new president is inaugurated.
Time to go to war.
Time to disable democracy.
Time to suffer viral illness and die from negligence and inane behavior.
I’m not a pessimist. I’m not. I’m really not.
Thich Nhat Hanh has a breathing gatha that is familiar. “ Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.”
This morning I hear it differently:
This is how we know God — by doing what God is doing.
It is a kind of knowing that doesn’t know, but is, what is God’s present activity.
Dirk Vandersloot, the homeopathic doctor, introduced the writings of Ramesh Balsekar to meetingbrook twenty five years ago. We carried The Net of Jewels the year it was published the year we opened the bookshop.
“You have to be there to contemplate the terror of death and your impending absence therewith! Paradoxical, that you must be present first to give rise to the terror of your absence! In fact, the thought of not being here can only be contemplated precisely because you are always here! So death is an idea of absence within your presence!” (--Ramesh Balsekar)
(--from the book Explosion of Love, in The End of Duality, by Gautam Sachdeva, writing about Ramesh Balsekar's death)
It was good to know Dirk (d. 2014) and good to read Ramesh (d. 2009).
As it happens, they were good to have happened.
This world is not what it seems. How shall I live in this troubling and mind boggling existence?
I think of the Kingdom of God as the Really Real (with two capital Rs). That experience of the Really Real—the “Kingdom” experience—is the heart of Jesus’ teaching. It’s Reality with a capital R, the very bottom line, the pattern-that-connects. It’s the goal of all true religion, the experience of the Absolute, the Eternal, what is.
God gives us just enough tastes of God’s realm to believe in it and to want it more than anything. In the parables, Jesus never says the Kingdom is totally now or totally later. It’s always now-and-not-yet. When we live inside the Really Real, we live in a “threshold space” between this world and the next. We learn how to live between heaven and earth, one foot in both worlds, holding them precious together.
We only have the first fruits of the Kingdom in this world, but we experience enough to know that it’s the only thing that will ever satisfy us. Once we have had the truth, half-truths do not satisfy us anymore. In its light, everything else is relative, even our own life.
(—Richard Rohr, Jesus and the Reign of God, Sunday, November 15, 2020)
You and me
This and that
Here and there.
Nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst. (– Luke 17:21)
I can hardly wait to learn to read. ‘Midst’ is middle. The kingdom of God is between you. Or, maybe, ‘within youse.’