I had one of those oh, yeah! moments yesterday when everything became so clear to me. Now, I've had such moments before. In my "Mini-secret of universe revealed" I described a couple of them. One mescaline-fueled. One clear-headed.
So I'm not claiming that my most recent epiphany is It, the Big One, a foretaste of my impending satori. But hey, it could be.
And it's in line with my other revelations, though you might have to be under the influence of a psychedelic to appreciate my late '60s insight that it's all about a paper bag turned inside out.
I was running around yesterday like I often do. Lots on my to-do list. Feeling like I had more to accomplish than time to do it in. Home chores. Land use appeal chores. Exercising chores. Internet and email chores.
I'd be at the Marion County Planning Division office feeling like I should already be at Kinko's making copies of the documents I was picking up. Standing over a Kinko's copier I'd feel that it was past-time for me to be at the post office, if I was going to get this stuff mailed when it should be.
And so it'd go. Whatever I was doing didn't feel quite right. There was always a raspy buzz of dissatisfaction playing in the background of the music of every moment.
I wasn't unhappy. I never felt that I should have been doing something else. It wasn't my actions that were off kilter, because I was engaged in just what I wanted to do.
So what was creating that annoying buzz? Why wasn't I feeling absolutely fine? Where did that sensation of not-rightness come from?
Suddenly a truth hit me, seemingly obvious but not well recognized until that moment. I'd overlaid the actuality of my day with an imaginary idealized version of it.
Early on in the morning, when I was thinking about what I wanted to accomplish, I'd envisioned how things would ideally go. So much time for this. So much time for that. No wasted effort. Crisp clean efficient doing – exactly unlike how every day previous to that one had gone.
There's always surprises. I always get distracted. I always end up doing something different, or at least differently, than I expected.
Yet I still had a template of expectations that formed the backdrop of my day. When what was actually happening on the stage of my life didn't match up with the script that I'd laid out in my mind, that warning buzz of dissatisfaction would start up.
Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Reality had broken into my conception of what should be, and that was bothersome.
A lengthy back-up at the intersection that I usually flow right through that time of day. A normally reliable copier jamming. A phone call coming just when I was ready to leave. How could reality dare to deviate from the plan that I'd laid out for it!
That thought sounds crazy. And it is, really. Self-absorbed. Egotistical. Delusional. How could I expect that the world would revolve around my intentions for an entire day?
And yet…almost everyone engages in this same sort of insanity. Our myriad worries, anxieties, frettings, and fears almost entirely stem from the same source my buzz of dissatisfaction did: a perceived mismatch between an idealized template we've laid out for the events of life, and what really is happening, has happened, or we expect is going to happen.
Religions market their wares by playing on this same sense of wrongness. Without it, people would have little reason to buy any religious product.
You're sinful, so you need to be forgiven. You're heading for hell, so you need salvation. You're fallen from grace, so you need rising up. You're immersed in ignorance, so you need the truth. Need. A gap between what is and what should be. That's the void religion tries to fill.
But how real is that void? Which is to say, how real was my feeling during much of yesterday that whatever was happening at the moment needed improving upon?
Religions hold out to us the hope that one day – not now but in the future, just have faith and it'll come – all of the wrongness that we feel about life as it's being lived now will turn into a perfect sense of rightness. Bliss. Peace. Nirvana. Love. Oneness.
My big insight, though (and again, this is so obvious that most of us, including me, already know it; we just don't know how to handle our knowing), was that the perception of wrongness is what's wrong. With me, and with religion.
Yes, we should strive. We should try to accomplish things. We should learn more and love more. We should have goals. We should try to make both ourselves better people and the world a better place. All this is absolutely right.
But it's wrong to believe that whatever is happening is wrong, that an error message is flashing on the screen of the cosmos every time reality fails to conform to our expectation for it. That way lies madness. Or at least, anxiety, confusion, and divisiveness as competing groups (including religions) argue over This is the way it should be.
There's only what is. Period.
Admittedly, this includes the sense of wrongness that almost all of us feel much or most of the time. However, I don't believe that this purely human perception is an inherent aspect of really real reality.
It's an unnecessary anthropocentric add-on that creates a lot of grief, both individually and societally. If there's anything wrong with the world, it's that sense of wrongness. Without it, there'd be no need for religion. Or for all the other ways we try to reassure ourselves that one day It'll be all right.
"It" is just fine. It's our perception of It that's wrong.
This is a good one, really resonates with me. Also sounds like dukkha to me.
Keep on writing!
Posted by: Roberto | July 29, 2007 at 06:15 PM
I have read that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
The war on drugs and the war on terror appear to fit in those categories.
But do they? Maybe the motivations behind both these “wars” are based in greed, power, and fear rather than love. Motivations based in love and intelligence appears to often work out pretty well for individuals and society.
As far as that “gap” and void you write about that religion tries to fill whether it is our ignorance or we have fallen from god’s grace (egotistical angry god made in man’s image) or we fell asleep; none of these reasons for the gap never satisfied my inquiring mind. My all time favorite is if we believe certain teachings we will adopted by god. What if you don’t get adopted? Hot hot and hotter.
We humans know so little but pretend we know so much. Who is arrogant enough to state there is no god, isness, intelligence, absolute, pure awareness, cosmic consciousness, underlying reality of materialism, etc? Materialism can blind us from opening our minds to possibilities. Religion does the same by teaching us dogma based in fear not love.
Brian I think you are on to something here. What is “wrong” with all of us is wrong with religion because religion is our human version of reality. Even if a enlighten master or mystic comes along and gives us some hints into their reality in time their followers decide they know more and make subtle but profound changes in these profound teachings.
One of many examples: the KJV bible stated that god created both peace and evil. Well try to find that phase in the new international version. Bunch of “all knowing” preachers decided to change those words and many other phases completely and write a new version to fit their existing paradigms.
My point is that atheists spend too much time attacking religion and not enough time thinking about the phase the beginning of wisdom is the admitting of our ignorance. I suspect the same statement could be made about religious folks also.
If one spends some time reading about why many but not all materialists are so hell bent on attacking religion one would find they have felt duped as a child or adult and/or they were physically or mentality harmed in some way by a person that represented religion to them.
Posted by: researcher seeker | July 29, 2007 at 09:41 PM
I loved reading about your mini satori, and it was a timely reminder about my own "buzz of dissatisfaction" with my recent developments.
I hesitate to ask this, but couldn't this equally apply to your 30-something years on the path?
"Yet I still had a template of expectations that formed the backdrop of my day. When what was actually happening on the stage of my life didn't match up with the script that I'd laid out in my mind, that warning buzz of dissatisfaction would start up."
Is there a chance that the script you had laid out for yourself as a practicing satsangi was inhibiting a more profund appreciation of your experiences on the path?
"But it's wrong to believe that whatever is happening is wrong, that an error message is flashing on the screen of the cosmos every time reality fails to conform to our expectation for it."
I believe expectations are often at the root of our undoing. We may have hope of a good outcome, yes, but by placing expectations on a particular outcome we are actually placing limitations and restrictions on how something will evolve or how we will respond to it.
There's a fine line between hope and expectation, and I rarely keep my mind from entertaining the latter, but the sense of peace and equinamity is worth the effort to be aware when expectations are undermining our moods and reactions.
Posted by: mysti | July 29, 2007 at 09:56 PM
Again, "Amen" to your insight. But recall, too, that many others besides "religions" present/"merchandise" their "wares" in this manner too.
Robert Paul Howard
Posted by: Robert Paul Howard | July 30, 2007 at 10:46 AM
Mysti, yes, you're right. My expectations about Sant Mat/RSSB certainly did affect my "practice." (A good word -- I'm still practicing.)
Here, though, the expectations mostly arose from outside myself. Like all disciples, I was given a road map of what was supposed to occur via meditation and following the other proscribed vows.
So I don't think it's quite the same. At least, I don't feel the same responsibility as I do for my everday buzz of dissatisfaction.
I mean, if someone else tells you, "Buy into this and you'll experience X, Y, and Z." And then you don't, you're perhaps guilty of gullibility, but the expectations came from a source outside of yourself.
Now, I can hear RSSB apologists saying, "But Brian, no promises ever were made. This is a path that can take four lifetimes to complete. You should have had more faith and patience."
Technically true, about the four lifetimes. But in reality all sorts of expectations about what should happen to a devout disciple were presented in every book and every talk.
Still, I agree with you that I should have followed my intuitions more, and the dogma less. For much of the thirty years I sensed the disconnect between what I was experiencing and what I thought I should be experiencing.
Reality should have trumped belief sooner than it did. This shows the power of the conceptual templates we place over immediate experience.
Posted by: Brian | July 30, 2007 at 11:41 AM
I agree with you wholeheartedly here: the root of much unhappiness is friction between what is, and what we want. And naturally religion reflects this basic human failing.
Spiritual solutions very often are non-religious solutions.
Posted by: Mystic Wing | July 30, 2007 at 02:55 PM
>>>Here, though, the expectations mostly arose from outside myself. Like all disciples, I was given a road map of what was supposed to occur via meditation and following the other proscribed vows.
Even though we were all given the same basic roadmap. not all of us created the same expectations.
Every page I read in Sant Mat literature drove home to me just how challenging it was to bring the mind under conscious control and subdue the raging ego. To me, it sounded like an impossible feat to make any real inner progress, and practice confirmed my helplessness to accomplish a result by myself.
It far exceeded my expectations that I would ever walk a spiritual path, and every spiritual gift along the way outweighed any puny attempt on my part to such an extent that I could only laugh at myself.
>>>Reality should have trumped belief sooner than it did.
Maybe for you that is true, I don't know. Someone such as yourself who has dedicated so much time and effort to the practice may feel they are entitled to some inner results, I can certainly understand this. Then others like myself would be over the moon to be able to sit regularly each day for some time, let alone for 2 to 3 hours.
I think the sant mat path is such an individual affair, we all experience it through the lense of our own preconceptions and expectations.
The other day I read about the man, Shaeffer, who dedicated 18 years of his life to solving the game of checkers. At one stage he had 200 computers working on the problem simultaneously.
"The problem is such that if I made a mistake 10 years ago, all the work from then on would be wrong," says Schaeffer. "So I've been fanatical about checking for errors."
Now that is dedication, and what was the reality for him? He gets to have his name written in an obscure journal, and he has the satisfaction of knowing he is the the person to have solved the problem.
Compare his goal and achievement with what a satsangi devotee believes lies in their future. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm truly humbled and even shamed when I read about people like Shaeffer and compare my approach and attitude to my spiritual research to his.
Posted by: mysti | July 30, 2007 at 06:34 PM
Religion is one solution to the perceived problem posed by life. Unfortunately, life is not a problem that can be solved, but Western society is logcentric and likes to imagine the world in terms of beginning, middle and end.
Posted by: celerman | August 04, 2007 at 11:40 PM
To Mysti or anyone else who cares to listen:
I was involved with Sant Mat for over twenty years, initiated by Charan Singh in 1970. I have since found that following a spiritual path has no particular relevance to 'understanding' which can occur at any time under any circumstance. It's a thin veil, a trick of perception that is a result of our habits and conditioning.
A spiritual path is based on the presumption of an individual that needs to go through a variety of disciplines and correct behaviors in order to purify and get rid of the 'I' or ego, and then achieve reunion with God.
The fundamental point that is missed is that the seeker, at every stage of this quest, is already what he/she is seeking. There is no way to make the seeker any more what they already are. It is a simple tweak of perception, of looking in the right direction, which is no direction at all, to see this: to see you are just a phantom, a dreamed character in a play you are playing a role in. There is no individual. No separate soul. No ego to overcome.
There are no particular qualifications for perceiving this because Consciousness is perfectly present in all circumstances and has no need for special diets, disciplines or gurus.
Consciousness is always present HERE whether one is loading the dishwasher or experiencing a grand vison of the creation in some exotic inner region.
When this is perceived, the game of the spiritual quest appears absurd, like a dog chasing it's tail. There is nothing wrong with playing that game. It is your role in the play. Carry on, have fun, but none of it leads to what you already are, which you are, whether you know it or not. Your glasses are on your nose, silly!
What you already are is the unborn and thus undying Presence that is prior to all phenomena and thought. It can't be conceived or circumscribed in any way because in doing so it would be making an object out of itself. This is how the One becomes two and creation manifests and the illusion of individuality begins.
The One is playing a game of hide and seek with itself. All paths lead to nowhere because there is nowhere to go. Just be as you are, really are, right now which is just fine unless you think about it!
You can continue on with this spiritual quest, wrestling with thin air, struggling with yourself to become yourself or you can regognize that THIS is it, that all is already done and complete right now. Let the mind do its thing and don't worry about it. Just settle into being present in whatever is presented and you will find the mind begins to stop its erratic impulses and imaginings. As you settle into this you will find a release of tension, a sense of ease as you give up the fight, as you settle into what you are, as you are, right now.
I'm not suggesting that it is necessary to abandon your satsangi role. Continue playing that part until you find you no longer need it and it drops away of itself. That's what happened to me.
I will say that Sant Mat meditation, at least the basic technique of simran (mantra repetition), seems to me to have a dulling, dumbing-down effect that seems to interfere with intuitive perception.
Imagine you are in a wilderness at night. It is pitch black and you know there is a predator out there. All your being, all your senses are fully in the moment listening for some sound or movement to indicate where that predator is. You are fully absorbed in the present situation, in the immediacy of your current reality. No simran is necessary at this time and would actually be a hinderance to full awareness of what is. Your mind is totally quiet absorbing the sounds of the night because of the urgency of the situation. It is alert, ready.
This is a good non-meditation. Be fully present in whatever you are doing. The mind will wander off. No matter, it can't be helped. When you are fully aware again, just be that way.
Posted by: Tucson Bob | August 05, 2007 at 12:17 PM
Yes, another very excellent comment from Tuscon Bob. I could not agree more.
Posted by: tao | August 05, 2007 at 02:45 PM
Dear Tucson Bob,
Since we might "[i]magine" a "predator" - and thus need "full awareness of what is...because of the urgency of the situation" - we might also "imagine" that some "spiritual path" leads us to what we "seek," or what we "already are." But since: "There is no individual. No separate soul. No ego to overcome" - and "[t]he One is playing a game of hide and seek with itself" - why even bother telling cultists (Sant Mat, RSSB, Calvinist predestinationalists, those filled with the "HOLY SPIRIT," etc.) about their delusive points of view? Why "[b]e fully present in...doing" this? Is this not "how the One becomes two and creation manifests and the illusion of individuality begins"?
In this dream, I ask questions. (And I'm going to eat meat tonight, too. [Not that I imagine that "you," TB, would in the least bit care.])
Robert Paul Howard
Posted by: Robert Paul Howard | August 06, 2007 at 01:30 PM
But you're probaby way too much of a coward to actually go slaughter that poor animal that you are going to eat, and to be really "fully present" while you are killing and taking away its entire little life - just so you can fill-up your stomach for a few hours.
So Mr RPH Wiseass, just how "fully present" are YOU?
Posted by: tao | August 06, 2007 at 03:41 PM
You asked: "why even bother telling cultists (Sant Mat, RSSB, Calvinist predestinationalists, those filled with the "HOLY SPIRIT," etc.) about their delusive points of view?"
Why not? Either way you are adopting a position that is part of the play...it matters, it doesn't matter. Same thing.
We are alive and we play our roles. Some play the deluded that think they aren't deluded, some play the wise but know they aren't wise.
I think I write mostly to bring out the intuition that is behind it, for my own clarity of perception. For the little old me.
You asked: " Is this not "how the One becomes two and creation manifests and the illusion of individuality begins"?
Yes, that is divided mind and every time it opens its mouth it makes a hypocrite of itself. Yet it is the only tool we have here on the blog that I know of. It is only a pointing tool. Not the actual thing.
You said: "(And I'm going to eat meat tonight, too. [Not that I imagine that "you," TB, would in the least bit care.])"
Actually, I care. Do you have thoughts/feelings about eating meat?
Posted by: Tucson Bob | August 06, 2007 at 04:44 PM
Either way you are adopting a position that is part of the play...it matters, it doesn't matter. Same thing.
We are alive and we play our roles. Some play the deluded that think they aren't deluded, some play the wise but know they aren't wise.
There is a BIG difference between (1) trying to arrive somewhere (nirvana, Sach Khand) and (2) Simply playing. Both take actions - but they come from a difference space.
I sometimes go to the Mic when GSD is here in the UK. Why? Simply as entertainment. He even asked me once that if everything is already ONE - why am I even speaking. I said "I am not. We are entertaining each other"
After realisation - life still continues - but it is no longer "YOUR" life. There is no possession and nobody to possess. It is a game to enjoy - of no real significance. There is no possibility of attaining anything because there is nobody who can possibly claim the attainment.
The deluded man is trying to achieve, attain and arrive.
The wise man has already lost the game and does not even care to win - because there is no prize - it is a pointless game. The point is simply to play.
If you speak or don't speak - both are the same - so you can speak - and if you do - then enjoy it. Ot you can remain silent - and if you do - enjoy it. There is no struggle because in speaking you are not trying to convert.
TB and Tao and Brian are not trying to convert anyone. They are simply enjoying each moment of this blog. The followers of RS are trying to convert because they think it is the "right" path and they are trying to save some more souls.
Posted by: osho robbins | August 08, 2007 at 06:06 AM
Dear Tucson Bob,
Thank you for your reply and what I "personally" take to be very good sense. I find your response(s) most usually to be quite worthy of consideration - and even to be instructive.
You do what you do (and write) for: "little old...[you]." So do "I" - even if "for others."
It seems that you engage in the "divided mind" to "point" beyond "the play" and "our roles" in order "to bring out the intuition [which you have] that is behind it." I value your "intuition" - even though I have not "experienced" it with any depth on my own.
I particularly appreciate your statement: "Some play the deluded that think they aren't deluded, some play the wise but know they aren't wise." I regularly experience/see/intuit that nearly every time that I turn to this blog.
As for my eating meat, I am "surprised" (so to speak) that you "care." It is a matter of: "Why not?...[it] is part of the play...it matters, it doesn't matter. Same thing." To quote you: "...consciousness...has no need of a vegetarian diet, yoga asanas, gurus, meditation, deep breathing, fasting, penances or prayer. ...they won't help you get any closer to the consciousness that you already are" (TB to Xexon and Paul on June 06, 2007, at 12:41 P.M., on B.H.'s 5/9/07 topic). Those are likewise my "thoughts/feelings about eating meat."
Thanks again for your response. I appreciate it.
Thank you, too, for your comment as well. For - although you again act like the vicious dog which you so well portray - your point is quite well taken. Despite your making a probabalistic assumption about me and my possible actions, I (although quite aside from your presumption) am not always "fully present" in my doings. But: So what? "...Consciousness is perfectly present in all circumstances and has no need for special diets, disciplines or gurus." Nor need I necessarily engage in "taking away its ["that poor animal"] entire little life" so that I can enjoy eating its meat. If I had to do so, however, I would seek to "settle into being present in whatever is presented" - whether killing and butchering animals, milling grain, or whatever else.
"Wiseass" or not, I am "fully present" enough to sign my own name and not use a pseudonym.
Robert Paul Howard
Posted by: Robert Paul Howard | August 08, 2007 at 10:13 AM
1.) You said: "...you again act like the vicious dog which you so well portray"
Please indicate exactly where you say that I have acted as a quote "vicious dog".
2.) You said: "I (although quite aside from your presumption) am not always "fully present" in my doings."
Btw, I did not intend to make a presumption of anything. Rather, I questioned as to whether or not you would actually be able to be as "fully present" while killing an animal, as you are while eating it's meat. I said quote: "So ... just how "fully present" are YOU?" That is a question, not a presumption.
3.) You also said: "But: So what? ...Consciousness is perfectly present in all circumstances and has no need for special diets, disciplines or gurus."
That is quite true, and fyi, I never said that it was otherwise. I think you are confusing what others have said, with what I have said.
4.) You also said: "Nor need I necessarily engage in "taking away its .... life so that I can enjoy eating its meat."
If you buy the meat, or if you eat the meat that others have bought or slaughtered, you are still part of the chain of supply and demand. If you buy and/or eat meat, then you are supporting the meat industry and the killing of animals to supply meat. It does nlot matter whether you personally killed it or not. So just take responsibility for your actions. If you want to and do eat meat, then know that you are supporting and perpetuating the killing of relatively defenseless animals. You can just as easily fill your stomach and satisfy your hunger and nutritional needs without killing and eating animals. You say that you enjoy eating meat, but just what is there to enjoy in killing other conscious intelligent living creatures? To enjoy killing animals (which is what you are doing by buying and/or eating meat) is cruel and sadistic, and very insensitive towards the lives of animals. Especially in this day and age when it is not at all necessary to do so for you to survive and live. Killing animals and eating meat is hardly being "fully present". On the contrary, it is very insensitive and unconscious of the ramifications.
5.) You also said: "If I had to do so, however, I would seek to "settle into being present in whatever is presented" - whether killing and butchering animals, milling grain, or whatever else."
If that is true, then put your money where your mouth is and go slaughter the animals before you eat them.
Personally, I think that if you actually enjoy killing animals, then you have a very serious mental problem.
6.) And finally, you said: "I am "fully present" enough to sign my own name and not use a pseudonym.
Just because you use what appears to be your "own" real name, does not prove that that is your real name. How would anyone know? Just because you say so? Are you lame? There is no way of knowing if that is indeed your real name, and no one really cares anyway (except for you).
And just because you use what appears to be your own name, does not mean that others who do not use their real name are any less credible. In case you don't know, he internet is not a private place. So therefore I do not need to divulge my so-called "real" name. And what does it matter anyway? Any name will do. I chose Tao. I could have just as easily chosen another pseudonym such as 'Howard Paul Robert' or Micky Mouse for that matter.
Futhermore, Brian happens to know my real name, and so that's quite enough. The name thing is really on a "need to know" basis anyway. It is just not necessary that the whole world know one's legal name. If you don't like pseudonyms, then I guess that's just tough for you. It doesn't make you any better, more honest, or more credible because you SAY that RPH is your real name. It's the content and meaning of your comments that matters, not what name you use.
What if I said that my name was Swami Jnaneshvarananda Giri? That's an actual real name. Would it really matter? No, it would not. It's WHAT people say and do that matters, not what name they use.
The fact that you attempted to twist this rather common sense issue into something different, into a bogus personal criticism, simply reveals your own hang-ups and your unwarrented casting of aspersions.
And finally, no one requires you (or me) to give your real name (if thats really what it is). Tao is as good a name as any. And I am no less for using it. So if you don't like it, then that's your problem, not mine.
You apparently have some unresolved personal issues and hang-ups that you tend to project upon others like myself.
Posted by: tao | August 09, 2007 at 03:24 PM
Tao's delusions and contradictions will never cease to amaze/amuse me.
Posted by: JP | August 09, 2007 at 06:15 PM
That's because you are an idiot.
Posted by: tao | August 10, 2007 at 11:52 AM
Dear tao (and any others),
Thank you for your wish (?), order (?), directive (?), hope (?) - whatever it is - that I "Be Free." So do I intend.
Part of being "free," however, involves my knowing that your statements, judgments, opinions, values, and assertions have no power over me - unless I happen to agree with them. I do agree with some things I have seen you state. Other things I do not agree with. Therefore, those latter opinions of yours are irrelevant to/for me - no matter how dogmatically you may assert them.
I notice that you state that "Swami Jnaneshvarananda Giri" is "an actual real name." But you don't state that it is actually your OWN "legal name." Since I started writing to this blog, I have consistently used my own name as my identification/signature. Apparently you still regard me (Robert Paul Howard) as a probable liar, however, insofar as you restate your objection: "if thats [sic] really what it is." It is. As I have so stated. If "Swami Jnaneshvarananda Giri" is truly the "legal name" of the one who uses the pseudonym "tao," then why do you not directly say so, instead of just remarking that it is AN "actual real name" - one which might not, therefore, truly be yours?
The one who calls himself "tao" directed Edward and Pilgrim to what he called "my papers" at http://categoricalanalysis.com. (-tao, 6/21/07 @ 7:49 PM [on Brian's 6/20/07 essay]) These papers (actually very fine expositions - although needing some slight editing for typos) are copyrighted by John E. Range. The use of the word "my" - as applied to these papers - indicates that the one who called himself "tao," therefore, would be John E. Range. Is that another "name" for the "Swami"? I do not know.
The one who called himself "tao" also directed Robin to six site addresses at www.new-enlightenment.com, which offers instruction (at $600/6 months) by Norman D. Livergood. (-tao, 7/15/07 @ 12:11 AM [on one of Brian's older essays]) Might this "tao" truly be Norman D. Livergood? I do not know.
I do know that the one who calls himself "tao" did not directly state: My name is Swami Jnaneshvarananda Giri. I wonder why not.
In accusing me of not actually being Robert Paul Howard, the one who calls himself "tao" says: "...no one really cares anyway (except for you)." Thereby he proclaims that he supposedly knows the opinions/views of all other people who read this blog. But, tao, "...You only speak for yourself. ...Don't include everyone else...in your" (-tao, 8/10/07 @ 3:36 [on B's 7/30/07 essay]) opinions about what they might think. "You should not assume that you know what others think, unless they actually state it or tell you what they think with their own words." (-tao, 6/8/07 @ 3:17 PM [B's 6/2/07])
The one who calls himself "tao" has not only implied that I (RPH) am a liar, he further accuses me of engaging in "bogus personal criticism simply reveal[ing my]...own hang-ups and...unwarrented casting of aspersions." This "tao" further has implied that I am "a coward" and a "Wiseass," and that I approve of being "cruel and sadistic," as though I might "actually enjoy killing animals...[and] have a very serious mental problem." It seems that two standards of judgment are being applied here - his right to defame and abuse me, and his touchiness about not revealing his (supposed) name up till now.
The one who calls himself "tao" further desires me to "just take responsibility for...[my] actions" in "supporting the meat industry and the killing of animals to supply meat." But I do, in fact, do that. I acknowledge doing so. This "tao," however, further orders me, thereupon, to "go slaughter the animals before you eat them," as if he were my judge, overlord, or master. But I reject his opinions, judgments, values, and directives - except when I might happen to agree with them. Thus I need not obey his whim in so ordering me about, no matter what rationalizations he might assert. This "tao" is certainly welcome to his personal opinions. But I reject several of them, and I also believe others should likewise judge for themselves as they so see fit.
Indeed, one might wonder if this "tao" is possibly "reveal[ing his]...own hang-ups...[by his] unwarrented casting of aspersions" against me.
I affirm that there is wisdom in the statement: "One can intelligently criticise and yet still respect. Each is at his or her own level of understanding and perspective, and also we all sometimes learn things from each other." (-tao, 8/10/07 @ 3:36 PM [7/30/07]) How do the implicatives of "coward," "[w]iseass," "cruel," "sadistic," and "serious mental problem" rank within that piece of wisdom? Will rationalizations and excuses be further used to justify those false accusations? "It's WHAT people say and do that matters, not what name they use."
I further believe that there is also wisdom in the urging of B. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (the third citation at http://www.bmf.org/wisdom/gallery.html, a site commended by "tao" on 6/9/07 @ 9:18 AM [B's 6/2/07]): "Always use positive words, and never use negative or evil words. Cultivate good thoughts, not bad thoughts. Make sure your intentions are constructive intentions. Never be jealous; be grateful. Be tolerant, peaceful, and honest instead of vengeful. Always be compassionate, never proud and arrogant. Praise God, because God is the Deserving One. You need these in your life. If you can teach yourself to follow these suggestions, you will have a very good life."
Against this well commended recommendation, the one who calls himself "tao," however, has told Lorie Borst: "You are god-damned moron. In fact, you are mentally ill. Your pathetic religious bullshit sucks, and you are a delusional religious nut. Do go and get some professional psychiatric help. ...Take your goofy big-mouth trailer-trash soap-opera sunday-school jack-ass Jesus mentality and stick it back into your fat red-neck ass where it doth cometh frometh, you stupid dumb-ass religious troll bitch."
There is, of course, no way to prevent "tao" from having, and expressing, his opinions. But - despite my agreeing with various ones of them - I do hope all will realize that they properly should "[b]e [f]ree" from this kind of attitude which he repeatedly evinces. This may all just be a "play" - but I thank/praise That Which Is that I do not act the part that "tao" does: like a "vicious dog." (And I apologize to all dogs ["poor animal[s]"] for my making them seem complicit with that sort of vicious behavior.) As someone wisely pointed out: "It's WHAT people say and do that matters...."
Those who have seen my past notes to this blog will know that I have admitted to my own mistakes and errors in the living of my life. I acknowledge being quite imperfect. In contrast to this, however, the one who calls himself "tao" has said: "I myself abide in and as genuine Self/God-realization." (-tao, 8/2/07 @ 2:44 PM [B's 7/30/07]) ............But ----> so are we all: "Everything is God, and there is no difference." (-tao, 3/9/07 @ 12:48 PM [2/6/07]) "No one is superior to anyone else..."; "We are all equally characters in a dream. We are all manifestations of the divine mother, part of the earth, and units of primordial awareness." (-tao, 8/10/07 @ 3:36 PM [7/30/07]) "We are all ordinary people." (Ibid.)
The one who calls himself "tao" has told Matthew, "I am not here to 'help' anyone. I really don't give a damn. You can take my opinion, or leave it." (-tao, 7/4/07 @ 12:47 PM [10/19/06]) Personally, I (RPH) will "leave" his opinions when I perceive that they are wrong - especially since I know that those he has attached to me are so wrong. There is wisdom in the statement that "...the truth isn't always what people want to admit." (-tao, 7/2/07 @ 9:08 PM [10/19/06]). That statement, however, applies as much to "tao" as it does to me and all the rest of us. For all of us, "...There is no 'path' other than your own being. Your own life is really your only 'path.' But it is not even a path. No path is even necessary." (-tao, 8/5/07 @ 1:33 PM [7/30/07) Whether one does, or does not, eat meat and/or slaughter animals for food, thus, doesn't matter. "You can believe whatever nonsense you want, but that doesn't make it so." (-tao, 8/10/07 @ 3:36 PM [7/30/07]) "There is nothing lacking or absent which needs to be attained (or realized)....it does n ot [sic] matter what you think. Nothing that you do is taking you 'closer or away' from anything. That is just a mistaken idea that you have that is binding you. Just let go of it....There is nothing to achieve. Life is simply happening. ...There is nothing that needs to be done. ...This ever-fresh moment of your life is all there is....There is nothing else to achieve and nothing to realize." (-tao, 6/1/07 @ 3:23 PM [5/31/07]) This is true for all of us - even if one eats meat.
The one who calls himself "tao" has further said: "Only genuine 100 percent certified sanctified and mystified sages commit typos...." By his own standards, then, I must also be a "certified sanctified [sic] and mystified sage..." - since I have made some various typos in my past writing. But "tao" wants to go further by saying: "Because they never look back. Life is just happening. There is no one there to be in control. ...there are no 'Masters'....All of that is but an illusion, a myth, a kind of dreams." (-tao, 8/5/07 @ 1:33 PM [7/30/07]) Therefore, you - tao - are no "Master" over me. Your judgments are irrelevant. I hope all others will see this too, and thus "Be Free" of any wrongful judgments you might be making about them, and from any bullying you may direct against them as you have done against me.
So, tao (or Swami) - whoever you might be - since I have never met you in person, all I can go on is the comments that you write and post here. With that in mind I have tried to "not assume that...[I] know what others think, unless they actually state it or tell you what they think with their own words." (-tao, 6/8/07 @ 3:17 PM [6/2/07]) In my reply, likewise, I have told you why I am "free" from your aspersions, castigations, and abuse. Maybe it is you that "apparently have some unresolved personal issues and hang-ups that you tend to project upon others like myself."
All others may judge your opinions and accusations as they see fit. I wish the same "freedom" for them that I have.
Robert Paul Howard
Posted by: Robert Paul Howard | August 13, 2007 at 02:17 PM
I never said or implied that my "statements, judgments, opinions, values, and assertions" should have any "power" over you. Nor do I "dogmatically assert" anything.
Also, in response to your question, Swami Jnaneshvarananda Giri is indeed an actual formal name of mine.
Next, it doesn't matter to me that you have consistently used your own name as your identification/signature. Nor do I regard you "as a probable liar". I don't really care if your name is real or not.
Swami Jnaneshvarananda Giri is indeed a real name that I was given as a swami upon my entering the traditional sannyasa ashrama, the renounced order.
You also asked: "Might this "tao" truly be Norman D. Livergood? I do not know." -- No, that individual and his site is not mine.
You wrote: "...he (tao) proclaims that he supposedly knows the opinions/views of all other people who read this blog." -- No I do not.
You wrote: "The one who calls himself "tao" has not only implied that I (RPH) am a liar..." -- No, all I indicated is that I have no way of knowing if RPH is really your so-called real name.
You also wrote: "...he further accuses me of engaging in "bogus personal criticism simply reveal[ing my]...own hang-ups and...unwarrented casting of aspersions." -- But the factb is that you actually were casting aspersions.
You wrote: "...his (tao) touchiness about not revealing his (supposed) name up till now." -- There was never any such "touchiness". And furthermore, I am not required to "reveal" anything, name or otherwise. And this does seem to be more or less a hang-up for you.
You wrote: "The one who calls himself "tao" further desires me to "just take responsibility for...[my] actions" in "supporting the meat industry and the killing of animals to supply meat." But I do, in fact, do that. I acknowledge doing so." -- How is that? You say so, but just how do you take responsibility?
You wrote: "This tao, however, further orders me..." -- I did not "order" any such thing.
You also wrote: "I reject his opinions, judgments, values, and directives - except when I might happen to agree with them." -- I don't care what you do. But you do sound rather self-concerned and self-possessed to me.
Furthermore, Lorie Borst is clearly (imo) a "moron", and "mentally ill" and a christian religious internet troll.
You wrote: "The one who calls himself "tao" has further said: "Only genuine 100 percent certified sanctified and mystified sages commit typos...." By his own standards, then, I must also be a "certified sanctified [sic] and mystified sage..." - since I have made some various typos in my past writing." -- Perhaps you are, but don't take it so seriously.
You wrote: "Therefore, you - tao - are no "Master" over me." -- But I never said I was a "Master", and not "over" you.
You wrote: I hope all others will ... "Be Free" of any wrongful judgments you might be making about them, and from any bullying you may direct against them as you have done against me." -- It's rather sad that you perceive my comments as "bullying". So I guess you really do have some hang-ups.
In conclusion, I don't know how old you are, but I think it's high time for you to grow up dude, and be a man. Don't be so self-concerned.
Posted by: tao | August 13, 2007 at 05:02 PM
Robert Paul Howard,
Just wondering... Are you, or were you, a follower of Sant Mat, a "satsangi"?
Do you have any belief? If so, what is it?
What would be your honest answer to the question put to yourself: "Who Am I"?
Posted by: tao | August 13, 2007 at 10:20 PM
It would be great if we could discuss one and only one topic at a time.
These really long-winded comments or intellectual sparrings are really getting to be a drag!!!!
Let us try to take just topic and then just offer our opinions focused only on that one issue.
Thanks for your consideration,
Posted by: Roger | August 14, 2007 at 08:17 AM