Eckhart Tolle...Is Presence Possible Without Questioning Thoughts? (13 min, Byron Katie ref)
Jeff Foster...How I Became a Warrior (poem...about 5 minutes)
Rupert Spira...All Spiritual Traditions Make Concessions (about 9 minutes..good!)
"Understanding anything that ‘comes and goes’
[the entire universe], is merely being an expert at
the functioning of illusions. .." ~~John McIntosh
“Desire is fueled by the illusion of lack and that the source of happiness is outside oneself and therefore has to be pursued or acquired. The importance of the object of desire is thereby inflated and overvalued by its symbolism and mystique. The pleasure of the sense of Self is blocked by desire. When that desire is fulfilled, the ego ascribes the resultant sense of joy to the acquisition of an external. However, this is a clever illusion because the actual source of the pleasure is that the block to experiencing the joy of the Self has been temporarily removed. The source of the experienced happiness is the radiance of the Self that shines forth when it is not shut off by an ego distress.”
~~ Dr. David Hawkins, I: Reality and Subjectivity, pg. 189
“The death of the body/mind is only the ending of the illusion of a journey in time. We are enveloped in our original nature regardless of anything that apparently happened.
When the body/mind is dropped, there is no intermediary process of preparation or purification. How can there be? Who was there? All ideas of a personal “afterlife” or reincarnation are merely the mind wishing to preserve the illusion of its continuity.
The story is over. The divine novel has been written and, regardless of how the mind might judge, not one iota could have been different. The scenery evaporates and the characters have left the stage…their apparent existence begins and ends with the dream that has been played out.
For we are the ocean and the waves, the darkness and the light.”
~ ~Tony Parsons
Perfect Brilliant Stillness, David Carse
"There is only this. And this would be a preposterous claim if there were any‘one’ here to claim it, which there is not. There is only this, and this is clear. I know abso- lutely nothing about anything except this: knowing, seeing, understanding; the knowing, seeing, understanding that is not, that is beyond human understanding, has occurred here, is here. Seen now always not as from this mind/body. Unearned, unsought, even unasked for, at least overtly. It is unspeakable, cannot be expressed, cannot be thought."
The reason nothing expressed here can be the Truth is that concepts, thought, and language are all inherently dualistic, and what they are trying to express is not. In duality, for every object there is a subject; for every better there is a worse; foreach truth a falsehood; as much clarity as confusion; both love and hate, stillness and motion, perfect and imperfect, complete and incomplete.
This is why the masters were, and are, so fond of remarking, "Neti, Neti." Neither this nor that, neither one side nor the other. In duality, and therefore in language, there's always
the flip side, the opposite that completes or complements and which is equally untrue.
Inherently dualistic language is used here in a peculiar way, to point to what transcends duality: 'Love'which is beyond love and hate; 'Stillness' that is not the opposite of movement; 'Perfection'which has nothing to do with perfect versus imperfect.
Put another way. When you are asleep and dreaming, what does a character in your dream 'do' to cause that character to wake up? It is the dreamer, not the character, who 'wakeS Ltp,'and waking up happens when it happens, for reasons well and thoroughly outside the control of any of the characters in the dream, including the character which in the dream you think is you.
This is why the Teaching has traditionally.been finger pointing toward the moon." Take your dog outside some evening. Say, "Hey, look!" and point dramatically the moon. Your dog will most likely stare expectantly at your finger. It shows great devotion.and is quite endearing, but demonstrates a basic lack of understanding, of any ability to see beyond. Fixating on the story, or elements of the Teaching, or practices, or a guru or teacher, or spiritual experiences, is staring at the finger, unable to realize that these are only pointers. None of these things have any importance in themselves. Look past these, beyond them to what is being pointed toward.
Once this is understood, descriptions and stories can perhaps be useful or at least interesting as pointers. There have always been texts, sutras, stories of the ancient masters and how it was that the Understanding occurred in the case of the Buddha, or Hui-Neng, or Shankara, or Ramana Maharshi. And there is no reason that the telling of these stories should stop there. As Suzanne Segal intro- duces her own account, Collision uith the Infinite, "The story that follows is my contribution to the modern version of the ancient texts."
Our culture is shifting and moving through growing pains. We are opening, softening and beginning to listen to each other’s truth more deeply, to each other’s pain more attentively. Bell hooks tells us that "To be loving we willingly hear the other’s truth." And so we dare truthtelling, truly listening, exposing ourselves in our imperfection, risking mercy, staying with discomfort and holding each other as we are. We are learning to practice love. In her extraordinary interview Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams shares, "There is something dying in our society, in our culture, and there’s something dying in us individually. And what is dying, I think, is the willingness to be in denial.
We are moving away from the superficial understanding of oneness that excludes the complexity of difference, from a nonduality that denies the struggle of our relative experience, or bypasses the systemic aspects of suffering. We are learning. Failing. Coming undone. Coming together. As Sará King said, "We are modeling a radical new vision of love, and not a love that seeks to deny pain, but that holds and includes all of it. This is intimacy in action."
Vera and the SAND Team