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October 15, 2006


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Brian- I like what you say about the value of the ‘comments’. These are golden. We are all prisoners of our own past upbringing, education and life experiences. These constrain our ability to be creative.

Comments convert monologue into a dialogue which allows us to discuss issues in an open way. Stephen Covey says we normally listen ‘with the intent to reply - not the intent to understand’

David Bohm says “people hold relatively fixed positions and argue in favor of their views as they try to convince others to change".

The dialogue allows us to take a preferred position but not stay attached to it. We are ready to listen to others, and our mindset is not one of convincing others but rather of asking what we can learn from others. It is recognizing that their input will help us to refine your own ideas or adjust our point of view. It is not a fight. It is not win-loose. In dialogue all sides win by coming up with a more appropriate solution than a single person could ever have. It is win-win. It is what Stephen Covey calls ‘synergy’.

Synergy is where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It’s where we value our differences – where we respect each other and thus listen to other points of view. We suspend our own views - and focus on alternative views so they can mingle and merge with our own viewpoint.

Also through dialogue we can better see our own paradigms. By engaging in dialogue we can reveal other people’s paradigms to them and they in turn can reveal ours. This helps us all to see the world in a new and more appropriate ways and to destroy a lot of inappropriate assumptions and misinformation from our upbringing, education and life experiences. Thus our view point is expanded and our creativity blossoms.

I believe strongly in one gift that has been given to our mind: the freedom of choice on how we want to perceive this world.
Just as a painter may decide how to mix the paints on his palette, we can do so mentally and observe the consequential effects.

Wow, yes - Dante Alleghieri, Giordano Bruno, even Neal Donald Walsch (moue,) jump to mind. The activities of poetry and architecture are the same activities of spirit. I am sure I learned them that way.

I am purposely transposing the title here because for me the urge of expression is the same. Some literary histories place Enheduana, a Sumerian woman, as the person who wrote the first extant poem... in cunieform, as a prayer to a female deity.

To live poetically, allow someone else to read you aloud. Enheduana's experience of creation was identical to that of her goddess. And simultaneous. The community of music, meaning and meditation is where we find our lives created, even in a shrine, even in a cathedral.

When I worked on a Theravedan Buddhist temple in Massachusetts years ago, my only real contributions were my ability to form cement and a willingness to wash dishes. After some time, I decided to move on to a zendo. When I left, the stupa worshippers gathered on the porch of the house and drummed me down the hill, onto the highway. It is one of the holiest things in my life. Simply, I became alive.

Formalizing the constant experiences of our society into religion works for focusing energies, something Eliphias Levi certainly knew. He also knew it wasn't magic per se.
And it is the magical thinking of modern religions that needs some inspection.

I am so gald to be part of the discussion.


Your statement, "It is one of the holiest things in my life. Simply, I became alive."

I would love to learn more, regarding what you meant by the above statement.

If you desire, collect your thoughts, and write a comment.....

Best wishes,

Brian, this is why I consider this site a sort of temple of knowlegde in my modern life. You, like the best sophists of history, teach through the lens of your own journey, and the brilliance of *light* is refracted in the recounting of it to us.

Yes, Edward, the magical thinking of modern (and even ancient) religion does need some inspecting. And then, just like good video or ventriloquism, magic requires the willing suspension of 'reality' to really enjoy it. I'm happy to peek behind the curtain, but I still happily get goosebumps when I am able to hear The Great Oz speak.

I think the Buddhists have it right when they say all we experience is just an illusion. But the special effects here on this plane -- like reading such profound and moving words -- oh, the special effects are magnificent.

Again, Brian, thank you for creating this environment of sharing and wisdom. What a happy acceident that we are alive in the same time and space and I am able to know your mind and heart a little.



The two tie together: I am who am at sanctification.

When there is a convergence of a) the common consciousness, through established ritual; b) my consciousness, through active participation in the immediate society; and c) the conscious action of other individuals, through choosing to also participate simultaneously, life knows itself.

So I could say, wow that was one of the nicest things anyone ever did for me. But this is the same activity they do when they are venerating the stupa. I could say what a silly ritual, but I also know that this is the cement of their community. So it has little to do with religion, little to do with my ego, and little to do with whatever personal aims these people have.

So it was at my wedding. There were hundreds of dragons in the gorge that morning, scores of sprites and oriads at the falls. I guess I characterize these as “some of the holiest” because I felt profoundly that I had vaulted into being aware. Call it being in the moment; call it a peak or an out-of-body experience.

And I have learned that it is holy to eat birthday cake with someone. It is holy to go to a homecoming game at the high school. Ray Freed has in a poem, that when you see a friend passes the café where you are eating, quickly settle the bill and greet them. In perpetual creation, each step is a coming alive.


Thanks for the discussion. I liked your statement, "I felt profoundly that I had vaulted into being aware."

I wonder, "Can the Awareness, the Enlightenment, be expanded to something refered to as Divine Awareness, or Divine Enlightenment?"

Unfortunately, I have my membership in the "I Don't Know" club.

That's ok, No big Deal, however, I still wonder about this divine realm.

Food for thought.........

Once you position awareness as having a "Divine" or "other" realm, then of course it is sensible to say "I don't know." That is the purpose of constructing a cosmos that has at least one mystery. The mystery becomes the container for the other, the alien.

God as personal god is necessary in order to work out spiritual devision of the personality.
God as embodied in animals is necessary to understanding the activities of the food chain.
God is jealous when we need to be united. God is multi-breasted when we need to control our nutrition.
God is fragmented awareness when we need to delay and segment our commitment to morality.

My experience is that there is an anti-entropic force in the universe. Things in my life change in the direction of both growth and decay. When my awareness increases, I expand into the previously unknown.
If the unknown is the mysterious container of the Divine, then this awareness is Divine Awareness. If the unknown is the land of the elves, I receive direct communication with the little people.

Really, though, no separation.

ha ha...........At the next communication with the little people.........take lots of notes........I will be waiting with more persistant irritating questions.........

Devine on the right...profane on the left. Two ends of the same stick!

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