knowledge

Today’s contemplation …

Step 115: Today I will listen to the Power of Knowledge: Upon the hour, remind yourself to listen to Knowledge and take a moment to do so in whatever circumstance you find yourself. Steps to Knowledge, Marshall Vian Summers

I’ve begun to realize that Knowledge is always available. When we remove ourselves from the incessant wanting (desire) to possess something that is impossible to grasp (Absolute Truth), the pointers are in everything that IS.

Upon becoming still and open-hearted, placing one’s attention on receiving (hearing, seeing, feeling), IT presents Itself in infinite forms.

I don’t claim any religious belief as the only way, and I don’t claim any intellectual belief as the only way. In fact, I don’t claim any belief as “the way.”

Perhaps that’s one of my pitfalls to Knowledge. I’m open to everything that invokes Wisdom (knowledge).

Today, I found Wisdom in both of these seemingly opposing perspectives; a Neoplatonist and an Hasidic rabbi. Knowledge is found in infinite forms – always pointing to the same Truth.

(entirety of talks are linked below the quotations)

“Some people only study physical phenomena. They slice it up and stick it in a microscope and that’s all they know. That’s all well and fine, but a true rounded person is interested in the totality of cosmic mechanics, what is and what is not, and how the universe works – is interested, as the greatest and wisest minds were, definitively, undeniably, interested in both physics and metaphysics, which are in totality a holos, just a one. You know a coin is not a head or a tail, it’s the coin and the silver of the coin, so these are not two different things.” 

Ken Wheeler

“Love is a tricky word. We don’t need to be told to love ourselves, we need to be told to share some of the love we have for ourselves. That’s the whole code of morality. You love yourself, can you give a little away? All your natural instincts are not meant for you . That is a huge lesson in life.

***   We are taught that study is extremely important, why?  So then you can teach. Even studying is not for yourself it’s so you can teach. Knowledge, information, wisdom, very important because then you can share it. Get yourself healthy, so you can turn your attention to others.

Rabbi Manis Friedman

heart cloud photo credit: Annette Adams

unknowing

The day was so perfect for walking outdoors. Endless blue sky. Sunshine so blaring that my shade glasses couldn’t even soften the intensity of brightness.

A perfect moment to hear God’s voice.

It’s your own incessant knowing that is deceiving you.

Why is it you accept your unknowing about death; but can’t accept your unknowing about life?

So often you’ll recognize that no matter what you think you can’t absolutely know what death is. Why can’t you recognize that you can’t absolutely know what life is?

None of MY creations can know. Only the Creator holds the WHOLENESS of Knowing.

If you could see and hear the Reality of Being you would recognize the jewels of creation in a way you can’t now.

You would drop to your knees right now and place your lips on the dirt and stones beneath your feet.

You would raise your eyes to the blaring sun and cry out in devotion and amazement of its glory.

You would raise your arms to the endless blue sky and surrender to your ignorance of Life Itself.

Faith and hope and wonder and surprise and joy and ecstasy would fill your heart beyond your understanding.

Until then, you have not come full circle.

You remain on the rat wheel thinking you know something about life and making up stories and ideas that are simply beliefs you want to believe are true.

None of them are true, Janet.

ONLY I AM IS TRUTH.

THE BEGINNING, THE END, THE ALL.

Upon hearing God’s voice today, I really wanted to kneel down and place my lips on the dirt. Or lift my arms and bow down in adoration to the sun above. But I didn’t want my neighbors to think I’m a complete lunatic. The ego still holds its grip.

As I humbly continued my walk home, I saw the details of shadow and light in a more pronounced vibrancy.

Arriving home, I saw my husband in a new light. I saw my cancer in a new light. I saw my anger, my love, my emotions and my fragile body as a miraculous fleeting experience in my own awareness.

I will forget … but it’s okay … when I’m ready to remember ….

God’s voice is omnipresent

the sun is shining, wow

My brother told me about this new series on YouTube by Peter Santenello.

I am intrigued, as always, to learn how people devoted to God express their devotion in their own unique way. Having grown up in a town (Monsey, NY) that was populated with Hasidic Jews (a very small community back in 1965), it was my first introduction as a child to the culture and ways of this community.

This series was candid and sincere. For me, it was inspiring to witness how people continue to ensue traditions based on strong foundational truths.

There was a part in Episode 2 (there are 3 episodes) when a young boy spoke from his heart. His words, most of all, moved deeply the sense of God in my own heart:

7:25: “the sun is shining, wow”

18:06: “sometimes I can’t see the good, but I know its good”

as they say, from the mouth of babes….

break-through

Whenever I seem to experience what I’d call a Newness of Attention/Awareness I recognize these two distinctions:

If the Newness of Attention/Awareness is experienced on a lower level emotion; i.e., fear, anger, despair, disgust, arrogance, regret, resentment, unforgiveness ….

Usually, almost always, it is the direct result of a duality-focused mindset – the analytical, thinking, separate mind of egoic consciousness.

However, when the Newness of Attention/Awareness is experienced on a higher level emotion; i.e., compassion, acceptance, gratitude, wonderment, faith, humor, glee …

There is no mind-causality – it’s bestowed as pure grace.

I noticed this, especially, because it happened TODAY.

Out of nowhere.

Like a sunray peaking through a cloud-filled sky.

Not of my own doing – or of anyone else.

I clearly recognized the power/strength of my human will while simultaneously feeling the equanimity of the mystery of God’s perfection in guiding my every moment.

A peacefulness beyond any logical understanding.

In this state of grace, I knew something had downloaded into my consciousness. An unexpected gift after a brief time of sadness.

I was intuitively moved to revisit my tattered copy of the I Ching for a reading … for perhaps a deeper insight to this momentary opening to the Presence of Peace.

Here’s what the coins I threw revealed …

43. Kuai / Break-through (Resoluteness)

above TUI THE JOYOUS, LAKE

below CH’ien THE CREATIVE, HEAVEN

This hexagram signifies on the one hand a break-through after a long accumulation of tension, as a swollen river breaks through its dikes, or in the manner of a cloudburst. On the other hand, applied to human conditions, it refers to the time when inferior people gradually begin to disappear. Their influence is on the wane; as a result of resolute action, a change in condition occurs, a break-through.

The hexagram Kuai actually means a break-through as when a river bursts its damn in seasons of flood. The five strong lines are thought of as mounting from below, resolutely forcing the weak upper lines out of the hexagram. The same idea evolves from the images. The lake has evaporated and mounted to the sky. There it will discharge itself as a cloudburst. Here again, we have the idea of a break-through.

The I Ching or Book of Changes, Wilhelm/Baynes

As I acknowledge the Source (God) of ALL THAT IS, I cannot neglect appreciation and honor for every being that contributes to my life

– every being – human and non-human –

who has held me up

and made me laugh

and made me weep

and evoked every potential emotion out of this bodysuit I dwell in.

It is unspeakable how miraculous this life really is.

May that understanding keep hold in my heart forever …..

and in yours …

Namaste.

dream message

When I awoke this morning, I had a feeling/knowing sense about my dream experience.

Here’s my recollection:

There were images. They stood on their own, like beings. These images appeared as black shapes, (symbols?) tall, thin, rounded, simplistic amoeba-like forms. I had no understanding of their relative size (large, small?), just a feeling/knowing that these black symbol/shapes represented something huge and …

Invincible

Irrepressible

Unaffected

Innate

Unintentional

Neutral

Endless

It was as if they were appearing to me as timeless representatives of all of those qualities, informing my consciousness that they were the alpha and the omega, the beginning-less and end-less ground of all EXISTENCE.

In my dream experience, the feeling/knowing imparted by these symbol/images was a sense of pure ease and certainty of all truth and meaning in their underlying existence to all known LIFE.

I awoke wishing I could have had something more solid to translate to my limited thinking mind, and I remain humbled by the mystery of the unknown Divine Majesty of Life which we (all humans on earth) remain unaware of.

I want to believe that the shapes represent the symbols we have built our belief systems on from the beginning of known existence. The symbols that we have used to create our own realities. And that their essence is the building block of all known reality here on earth.

If any reader has had a similar experience, or insight, please do share.

I’ll close with this sacred text …

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.* (or “was Divine.)

John 1:1-3

Bhakti (faith, devotion) and Kriya, (Action, to do)

work not for the food that perishes, but for the food that remains for everlasting life …

John 6:27

During my chemotherapy treatment yesterday I listened to a podcast sent to me by my dear friend, Zahara. The timing of the message felt so serendipitous, as always with relationships we seemingly “find” ourselves in.

I’ll share the link to the podcast below, but in summary, the orator revealed to me something that enhanced my worldly perspective:

Any “other” in our life (shared relationship) is there for you, not you for them.

What does that mean?

What we “see” outside our personal self is perfectly placed there (in harmony) to our (yet unrevealed) need for reconciliation, healing, awakening, purification, and steps to Knowledge (God).

“They” or “It” is there to mold us, shape us, teach us, offer us an opportunity to make choices for our own path to self-realization (one-ness and connection with God)

Does that mean we (our personal self) play no role in service to others?

NO.

Of course, our personal course of action in the world is meaningful – our service to other; however, again, it is actually for the same purpose.

Undeniably, it is ALL for the SAME PURPOSE.

Enlightenment has to translate into service if it is to be real and meaningful. You were sent into the world to do something specific. Knowledge within you knows what this is and is trying to guide you and move you into a position where you can recognize this and meet those individuals who will be a part of your greater service and accomplishment here. Along the way, knowledge is building your strength, building your discernment and building your courage.

Most of the spiritual work is deconstructing your confinement, your disabilities, your fantasies, your obsessions and your delusions to help you divorce yourself from your weakness and to unite you with your strength. It takes faith to do this because you don’t really know where it is taking you. You do not really know the outcome.

You do this because you know you must do this. Because in your heart, you know you must take this journey. Not to satisfy the goals of the mind, your ideas of enlightenment or to become a saint, a goddess, or any of this foolishness. You’ve taken the journey because you must. And this is what returns you to God because you are following what God has put within you to follow. You do not know where it is taking you. It is deconstructing that which is imprisoning you. It is building your strength, your confidence and your ability to discern the power and the presence of Knowledge within you.

Marshall Vian Summers

How can this help us navigate the physical world?

When you look outside your eyes at that other appearing in your life – in every relationship and circumstance, ask yourself, “How will this encounter polish the inner diamond of my heart so that I may better serve the will of God within me while I am here in this moment?”

I hope there is a crumb of inspiration in this writing … I truly hope to share what may serve another along the way.

The foolishness of this world, the seeming deceit, corruption, and insanity has taken my personal mind down to a level of sadness that has actually served to further ignite and strengthen the force within me to seek a course of action in planting seeds of LOVE in the mud of the world.

I devote this post In gratitude to ALL of my teachers along the way:

Cancer – husband – family and friends – pets – nature – food – and every stranger I will encounter in this world.

Namaste.

original

Photographer Credit: Jena Vignola

Way before I began delving into Advaita Vedanta and nondual teachings of all sorts, I often had a thought – an idea – a feeling,

What if I AM really infinity? Holy shit, how horrifying.

It’s a scary thought … to imagine that you’ll exist forever.

Who wants to live forever? (Not here anyway)

On the other hand, there’s the human fear of death.

Holy shit, I’m going to die. I won’t exist anymore.

Which is more terrifying:

living forever or not existing at all?

Over a decade of existential introspection and contemplation, I’ve never found a concrete answer.

In fact, I don’t think that the purpose of IS-NESS is to find an answer to anything.

This HUMAN BEING is the only ‘thing’ we’ve got.

It appears as a hard cold fact. Skin and bones. But, for sure, this solid ‘thing’ ain’t anything close to IS-NESS. This concrete form is like a Xerox duplicator for the Mind. You think, you imagine, and Voila, it shows itself! The mind is the duplicator, the body is the copy.

Which Mind is the Original?

The closest I’ve come to feeling intimate with knowing the “Original” was when I briefly experienced a merging of Subject and Object during meditation. And everything in time stopped. And the meaning of One Mind became clear. (still not an answer, only an intuitive feeling)

The other time was when I was like 10 years old walking home from school and suddenly observed myself as the observer –  I turned my attention back on attention Itself. I was only 10 so I didn’t really comprehend the depth of that experience, but I never lost the perfume it left on my consciousness.

At the present time, I’ve got this cancer thing going on. And, naturally, I’ve contemplated the reality of not living in this body anymore. I’ve wasted a little time wondering why this thing called cancer exists, and what it really is. But the inquiry usually leads me nowhere.

Thinking, thinking

Subject – Object

A vicious cycle. For a non-existent answer.

So now, let’s contemplate this … the photo that inspired this contemplation. (thanks to talented photographer, Jena Vignola)

There’s a background, an All-ness, the neutral-colored wall in the photo above.

There’s a pink sink and pink mirror frame. Let’s imagine Original Creation is the neutral-colored background Wall. The pink sink and mirror frame are the Objects floating in a sea of it’s Creator’s all-encompassing neutrality. But there’s a mirror. There’s an opportunity for even the Creator’s copy to look into the mirror to see it’s object self and contemplate, What am I?.

The Object and the Subject have never really become separate from one another. That’s the illusion.

Why? Why would Creation play such a ridiculous game?

Does it want to keep BEING itself and SEEING itself and FEELING itself again and again and again? …….

Is it’s devotion to ITSELF an INFINITE, never-ending and unfathomable experience to the lowly OBJECT it has created?

Why?

Again, no answer. Just an intuitive imaginative image:

The OBJECT is only a thought in the MIND of GOD. But even those words are insufficient.

Maybe just the photo suffices … a splash of color showing itself on the background of neutrality.

It only wants to experience ITSELF… and look back to see what it looks like.

You heard that I said to you, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, for the Father is great than I am’. John 14:28

unlocked

Today’s Contemplation:

is your heart and mind like a locked box?

are old beliefs locked inside and new beliefs locked out?

what if you could unlock your heart and mind?

allowing the old conditioned ideas to be released

accepting the possibility that those ideas/beliefs were never really true

Now new ideas and possibilities can enter

Leave the lock off

Leave the box open

Now the hearts True Voice can be deciphered.

Now the mind is open to resonate with the heart

the heart’s innate ability is to choose each action in the present moment without attachment to outcome

Today’s Prayer:

Creator of Life Itself

I open my heart and mind to your True Voice

I offer my ignorance up to You and humbly request your True Wisdom

to inform my action in the present moment

Help me to remember to leave the lock off

Unlock my heart and mind

To receive your Infinite Presence and Truth

And to serve Life through That Wisdom

Show me the way to serve in each moment

I’ve unlocked the box for YOU to enter

the unseen

Ultimately, we all share the same fear … THE FEAR OF DEATH.

Why?

Because it is unknown .

Because it is unseen.

Because we will no longer exist.

What if fear is NOT true?

What if we really don’t exist as truth in this form, but instead we are like dreamers in a dream?

If we believe in the dream, we take on the role of a player in the dream.

We are afraid of losing all of the dream-like experiences we call reality.

But if we acknowledge that we are the dreamers of the dream, we know we can only really Exist in the Creator of the dream.

When we establish an inner foundation – an inner stability – a trust that is always in the background of our knowing, we have access to an available well of certainty to remind us that the suffering of the world exists only in the egoic mind (the player in the dream), which finds itself separate from God (the Creator of the dream).

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Therefore, we do not give up, but even if the man we are outside is wasting away, certainly the man we are inside is being renewed from day to day. For though the tribulation (trial) is momentary and light, it works out for us a glory that is of more and more surpassing greatness and is everlasting, while we keep our eyes, not on the things seen , but on the things unseen. For the things seen are temporary, but the things unseen are everlasting.

vow

a solemn promise made to God to perform some act, make some offering or gift, enter some service, or abstain from certain things not unlawful in themselves. It carried the force of an oath.

New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures

I awoke from sleep with the words “double helix” in my memory.

I’ve been contemplating ..

Why are these words being downloaded into my consciousness?

I have very minimal knowledge about DNA, and have no clear understanding of its nature.

I sense that I’m being guided to look deeper. Somewhere in my genetic makeup there is a Vow.  A promise to remember the Source of Life … to place all my attention on it … to have knowledge of it.

PROVERBS 5:1-5

My son, pay attention to my wisdom.

Listen carefully (incline your ear) to my discernment,

So that you may guard your thinking abilities and safeguard knowledge with your lips

For the lips of a wayward (strange) woman drip like a honey-comb(b), and her mouth is smoother than oil

But in the end she is as bitter as wormwood

And as sharp as a two-edged sword

Her feet descend into death. Her steps lead straight to the Grave (Or “Sheol”, that is, the common grave of mankind.)

Look deeper. What is the meaning here?

This wayward woman is the Not Real, the False, the Illusory World.

This Illusory World’s temptations, desires and earthly temporary pIeasures will never fulfill our longing for Truth.

The Illusory World (Maya) has hands that are like prison chains. It pulls us in and we believe that we can’t get out (unless physical death occurs).

When we betray our True connection to God/Reality and place our belief and trust in the world of illusions, we commit adultery, which results in deception of one’s True Self (a forgetting of our true and natural identity as One with God).

***

A sage named Patanjali described an eight-fold path of yoga, otherwise known as “Ashtanga Yoga” (“ashta” meaning “eight”, “anga” meaning “limb” in Sanskrit).

these are the last 4 limbs of the path to Realization:

  • pratyahara- withdrawal of the 5 senses from external objects
  • dharana―Single pointed focus on an external object (the Seer observes the Seen).
  • dhyana―meditation, a concentrated awareness of the relationship between the subject and the object (The Seer and the Seen are aware of each other)
  • samadhi―The subject and object join as One, realization of non-separation, higher consciousness. (Seer and Seen are the same).

What is the significance in all of this?

The number 8 symbolizes infinity … The double helix is an infinite spiral … and something in me remembers that the world of illusions is infinitely unfolding in One Mind (God).