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”
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 …..
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 …
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.)
work not for the food that perishes, but for the food that remains for everlasting life …
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?
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.
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.
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?
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
Ultimately, we all share the same fear … THE FEAR OF DEATH.
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.
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.
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 worldof 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).
This time-stream I’m witnessing on planet earth feels kind of like the worst movie I’ve ever seen.
Like when you’re watching a movie and you want it to horrify you, enrage you, confuse you …
I wonder … Could it be that deep within our collective unconscious we want this scenario that’s seemingly happening?
And because we thought it, we desired it, we feared it, we imagined it,
it has to play out?
Anything we can possibly dream up – the most auspicious and the most ominous
Sooner or later it’s gotta show up – Every potential will be manifested
What the hell is going on here?
Are we lost and hopeless? Is there anything that we can do? What on earth is happening? Is anything true? Is this all a concocted game of insanity without purpose? What the hell am I doing here?
Then I relax. Breath. Close my eyes.
I feel alone in my uncertainty.
I hold the moment of silent inward connection.
Through what feels like my heart’s voice, I can feel what I intuit to be God’s (Absolute) pull.
It pulls so strongly at my heart that I can’t help but feel Certain that this pull is the most important thingto place my attention on. It’s voice silently informs me that I should spend every waking (and sleeping) moment in Time in devotion to Serve Its purpose, even though I don’t understand it.
This pull wants me to Trust It’s Certainty.
It says, Don’t ever stop contemplating my mystery and my omnipresence. This is your highest purpose.
And even when I forget, and feel lost in uncertainty, this pull of God continues to yearn for me to remember.
…you should no longer go on walking just as the nations also walk, in the futility ( emptiness; vanity) of their minds. They are in darkness mentally and alienated from the life that belongs to God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the insensitivity (dulling) of their hearts. (Ephesians 4:17, 18). Let a rotten word not come out of your mouth, but only what is good for building up as the need may be, to impart what is beneficial to the hearers (Ephesians 4:29)
I am pulled to remember that this paper world is not Real. We have forgotten how to connect with nature (God) and our materialism has become the only God we know. Of course, it looks bleak when we place our trust in what is Not True.
I feel the pull …. I feel the pull … I feel the pull of my heart strings.