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November 18, 2006


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Okay, I'll show you mine:

Dialogues with the Devil - Taylor Caldwell
Hitchhiker's Trilogy - Douglas Adams
Waldens Pond - Henry David Thoreau
Tao te Ching - Steven Mitchell
Sermons and Teachings - Meister Eckhart
God Emperor of Dune - Frank Herbert
Nag Hamadi Transcripts - various translators
Collected Writings - Florence Scovil Shinn
Chop Wood, Carry Water - Rick Fields
The Soul's Code - James Hillman

I had to omit several books that I technically read for personal insight & enjoyment (Vidal, Pratchett, Rumi, McKuen) and those that I turn to for specific mind-states (Aquinas, Crowley, Yates, Gawain) to access information.

I would add Johnathan Livingston Seagull, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, and The Tao of Pooh to the list since I turned to them constantly when I was younger and keep them around for old times sake.

Nice exercise.

Spiritual inspiration, that starts becoming a pretty broad range. In no particular order:

1. Infinite Way - Joel Goldsmith
2. Teachings of Bodhidharma - trans. Red Pine
3. Magick in Theory and Practice - Aleister Crowley
4. Triumph of the Sparrow - Shinkichi Takahashi
5. Goddesses, Ghosts and Demons, Collected Poems 790-816 - Li He
6. Selected Poems - Czeslaw Milosz
7. Te Tao Ching - trans. Robert G Heinricks
8. Li Po and Tu Fu - trans. Arthur Cooper
9. Chuang Tzu Basic Writings - trans. Burton Watson
10. Answer to Job - C. G. Jung
11. Fragments - Heraclitus
12. Knots - R. D. Laing
13. Yi Jing - Wu Jing-Nuan
14. Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast - Giordano Bruno
15. The Essential Rumi - Coleman Banks

Okay, that's more than ten, and I find I read poetry to feed my spirit. When I first think about spiritual inspiration, I think of the music I listen to, since I do not normally re-read books. These I go back to all the time, in whole and in part.

My list of books also exists. But I will do a better one by summarizing all my readings. This is the jist,pith,core,substance,sum,reduction or whatever you can call it, of my reading from all of these books. And this is also in a book, available freely from www.ramana-maharshi.org, by the name/title "Who Am I?"
by Ramana Maharshi. The particular line is this:
27. What is the difference between inquiry and meditation?
Inquiry consists in retaining the mind in the Self. Meditation consists in thinking that one's self is Brahman, existence-consciousness-bliss.

On reflection, after all my escapedes and adventures in this, I found that whenever one is in inquiry mode, one does not function as a thinking mechanism. Enquiry is characterized by any or all of the following words/processes, namely, unwinding,simplifying,deeper and deeper relaxing, giving up, not conceptualizing, being still, just be, surrender,childlike state,faith in the unknown, the father, etc.
For example prayer = stopping of conceptualization and being in that mode (=prayerfulness) etc.
Thus, Self Enquiry will result in the false ego reach a state of true being by annihilating itself; when this happens all questions stop as the ego that knows another has become one with the answer, like a lost person who finds his way back home by enquiring, becomes silent on reaching home.

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be spiritual or peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be spiritual or peaceful if we destroy Nature.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.
Subject : Environment can never be saved as long as cities exist.

Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.

When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

Emotion ends.

Man becomes machine.

A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.





To read the complete article please follow either of these links :




This is a scary, mechanistic Philip K Dick meets Steven King world view. I simply am not "buying" the notion that "Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking." So the subsequent globe-encompassing damage purported to result from such a phenomenon must have another cause.

I am not disputing that "Our Minds cannot be spiritual or peaceful if we destroy Nature." Our minds are as natural as deer scat.

Read James Hillman's "Emotion: A Comprehensive Phenomenology of Theories and Their Meanings for Therapy."

Brian asked, "What books turn you on Spiritually?" Finally, something different to chat about.

I belong to the, "I don't Know" club.

Again, what did we decide the definition for Spiritually is? I forgot. Is Spirituality something Spiritual? Or, is Spirituality something Intellectual?

I think we talked about the process of "Turning On" to Spirituality. Again, could someone repeat that discussion for me?

Are books the only path to "Turning On?"

Again, I have a membership in the "I don't Know" club. Folks, my membership expires on December 31, 2006.

Does anyone have a copy of the 2007 Renewal forms? I wonder, should I renew or do something different?

Maybe the question can be phrased this way:

Can you name more than one book in which you found information that you used as a basis for asking questions about the condition of your own soul?

For purposes of the chat, let "soul" refer to the place where you hide from the scary things.

Listed are a few books that come to mind:

Pipe Threading Made Simple – Donald M. Dopit

Demonology for Dummies – Fredrick L. Fangorian

Encyclopedia of Female Belly Dancing (Pictorial) Vols. 1 & 2

Foundation Repair for Beginners – Samuel T. Slabbman

Chuang-Tzu - A.C. Graham translation (not as readable as Burton Watson, but philosophically more astute)

Daodejing, "Making This Life Significant": Philosophical Translation, Roger T. Ames and David L. Hall (though I still use the D.C. Lau translation as well)

Job (King James Version)

Ecclesiastes (various translations)

Master Yunmen: From the Record of the Chan Teacher "Gate of the Clouds", trans. Urs App

I and Thou, Martin Buber

Tales of the Hasidim, Martin Buber

God in Search of Man, Abraham Joshua Heschel

Idries Shah, The Way of the Sufi

Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

Duino Elegies, Rilke - trans. by Edward Snow (and the other Snow translations of Rilke: Book of Images, New Poems, Uncollected Poems)

Poems of Paul Celan - trans. by Michael Hamburger

The Book of Light, Lucille Clifton

Riffs & Reciprocities, Stephen Dunn

Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, Belknap Press variorum edition

Marriage of Heaven and Hell, William Blake

Passing Through, Stanley Kunitz

(I could go on, but these are the favorites that come most readily to mind)

I am new to this website and this is my first post. I thought it might be fun to throw my "Top 10 Inspirational Works" into the fray. Being as I am currently a stay-at-home, homeschooling Dad for three kids age 7 and under, I fondly remember the times when I could sit down and read a book...accordingly, a couple of the items on my list are short, pithy articles or lists themselves. Here goes, in no particular order:

1. Tao Te Ching (Stephen Mitchell trans.)
2. The Holographic Universe, by Michael Talbot
3. The Ascent of Humanity, by Charles Eisenstein
4. I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, by Maharaj and Maurice Frydman
5. Healing, Living and Being (Audiobook), by Mitchell May
6. The Universal One, by Walter Russell
7. Cleansing the Doors of Perception (article), by Georg Feuerstein (online at http://www.yoga-age.com/articles/kundalini.html)
8. 12 Hallmarks of the Spiritually Advanced Being (article), channeled inforamtion online at http://www.healpastlives.com/future/rule/ruadvanc.htm
9. The Fifteen Major Tests of the Spiritual Path (list), by Dr. Joshua David Stone, online at http://modernawakening.com/awake/index.php/spiritual/34-spiritual/64-the-fifteen-major-tests-of-the-spiritual-path.html
10. Setting Your Heart on Fire: Seven Initiations to Liberate Your Life, by Raphael Cushnir

There are more, of course, but these items are towards the top of what keeps me going.

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