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August 11, 2008


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Sure, there is no harm in seeing things as they are, but then the world in my view takes on a much more limited aspect.

A mountain can become a thing of majesty, a symbol that inspires reflection, introspection, achievement and so much more.

A fish can be just a fish, or it can prompt us to have compassionate thoughts. those buddha like mini-moments.

Literal is ok, but it doesnt stretch us beyond the obvious.

Im not sure I buy what you say "But what's apparent is good enough for me" Brian.

I suspect that you want to believe that what is obvious satisfies you. I suspect that the objective intellect of you wants above all else to rule your view of life, but that nagging something else in you drives you to keep looking for the meaning beyond the matter.

Life can just be life, or it can be an opportunity. opportunity we know is just a word, but it has meaning and inherent magic.

to learn, to live, to love, to share, to grow, to yearn, to ponder, to discover, to realise, to delight in, to go beyond. to beyond. not something for all, but its a path. a choice.

many years ago i lived and boarded with a good friend and fellow Satsangi - Rahendra Naidoo in Oranjezich Cape Town. it was a great tme in my life. the owner was an elderly german gent - Mr Dorn.

what was a mind opener for us, was the discussions we'd have at the breakfast and dinner tables. We'd talk about many things, as he was well traveled and very intellectual.

however, the discussions would reach a point where his interest would clearly wane.
when we spoke about metaphysics, about life and death etc - his very objective view on life would 'kick in', his eyes would glaze and his attention would veer off into more comfortable avenues of literature, art and science.

as far as Mr Dorn was concerned, we all lived and then when we died - it was over.

just like that. snuffed out. no purpose, no meaning, no magic - no inspiration.

i am really ok with anyones views on anything (as long as they can debate it with some class and a modicum of humility), but cant help being saddened by the dullness of the world Mr Dorn seemed to create for himself.

Sure, its a subjective view of mine. But when he sat at the table with as and went into these fugue-like states, withdrawing from worlds and discussions beyond the obvious - it seemed (and this was only my imagination) that he took on a cow-like disposition. Cows munch. They moo and munch and expel the munch. then, through a very traumatic and violent process - turn into Big Mac Burgers and the like. It seemed Mr Dorn was happy to munch and moo.

Its really ok for him, but its a depressingly limited one, with a predictable outcome. Of course if the cow realised his predicament through some inspired and imaginative reflection, he'd make every effort to escape those grazing grounds... and then munch and moo.

I have just finished reading "Rare Earth".
The last great extinction occurred 65 million years ago when most life on Earth was destroyed.
Do you think there is a line between what
happened then and what you wrote here?
"The patterns, eddies, mini-whirlpools, currents…ever changing. There will be a large section of calm water for a while. Then, it'll change into a swirling liquid dance.
It's all caused, naturally (fluid dynamics), but there's no conscious purpose behind all the movement
That's how my fish hatchery visit seemed to me – a happening without intention."
I wonder if the Dinosaurs would agree with you?

we can choose to live as your hatchery operates... and as those that munch and moo... or not.

we have choices..

It is self-deception to claim to see things "as they are" and even greater deception to claim to see things as they "really are" What this actually means is a state understanding that any interpretation of an event is just that--an interpretation. Wen looking at a mountain, the thoughts and feelings that occur are thoughts and feelings, but mean nothing really about the mountain itself. Being aware of this is what Brian is referring to. But seeing things as they are? We see things as we are.

sorry for all the spelling errors in my last comment--I really need to start previewing my comments! :) Hope you all can read it anyway...

Brad said:

"Literal is ok, but it doesnt stretch us beyond the obvious."

--the obvious is what you seek.

I was thinking Brian doesn't have a challenge with ego, since he was proclaiming Rick Davis' buddha nature.

And there is no other meaning than the one that applies now. The mountain is not a comment on my life today, the mountain is a metaphor for how I do not need comments.

Because separation is an ILLUSION.

Good comments. Made me think.

Brad, you made me think that your attitude toward Mr. Dorn is rather short-sighted and judgmental.

I have friends and relatives who view life just as Mr. Dorn did. Their lives aren't at all shallow or empty. They see this life as ending at death. That makes it exceedingly special and valuable -- much more so, in fact, than a life some true believers lead, where physical life is just a springboard to a spiritual existence.

Did you ever ask Mr. Dorn if his life was empty and meaningless? Or was this your assumption because he looked on things differently than you?

Adam and Edward, you made me realize that yes, our response to the mountain (or anything, like feeding fish) certainly is part of "what is." I didn't mean to imply that we can be an empty mirror who only reflects pure unvarnished objective reality.

Obviously, our subjectivity is part of objectivity. What I was getting at, I guess, is where the emphasis lies. As I've noted in other posts, some religious types see every experience in life as having been designed (by God, karma, guru, whatever) for their benefit or learning.

They don't see a rose as just a rose, a mountain as just a mountain, a parking space right in front of where you want to go as just an empty parking space.

Humility, to me, starts (and perhaps ends) with a feeling of "nothing special." This is the paradox of religiosity. Believers claim to be humble, but actually they're filled with the notion that they are "chosen people" in some fashion.

My years in RSSB/Sant Mat showed me this. Every satsang (talk) was filled with mentions of how fortunate disciples were to be on the true path back to God, while other poor deluded fools (like my wife) were doomed to wander in the "Wheel of 84" (cycles of reincarnation) until they found, or were found by, a perfect guru.

This is just how Christians think. And Muslims. And every other fundamentalist sect. Not for me. I'm too humble for that bullshit now. So speaks my Buddha nature.

Hi Brian

We are all judgmental, because we are human. if we didnt apply our discrimination - we would be animals. so yes, it was a value judgment of mine when I thought what I did with Mr Dorn.

I expressed my views, and he did his. He understood my view and I his. He saw my view of life as unrealistic, while I saw his as mind numbing, and told him so. in his german way, he laughed - and i smiled. not a condescending smile, but a smile that recognises that each of us has their own path to tread. we respected each other for our differences.

Interesting to see how you have weaved Santmat back into the conversation Brian, and once again use it as your personal whipping boy.

You cry humility in this post, and yet you are proud of your 'enormous' ego in previous posts.

Brian, you scorn those who express gratitude for what they perceive as good fortune. For 'finding' their way. If we are wrong, if others are wrong - then so be it.

But your cynicism and bitterness for being retrenched from your speaking platform at RSSB, still seems to burn you up.

Everything is BS to you, now that you have 'evolved' beyond RSSB. I dont need a doctorate in psychology or philosophy to read between your blog lines.

rather than see humility with a 'nothing special' attitude, one could as easily see humility as supreme gratitude. a gracious sensitivity for every moment and the magic it holds. who cares if its sentimental. it shows a sentiment, a sensitivity towards life and the magic it holds. if we treasure everything, we recognise our insignificance in the scheme of things. and humility grows.

this dry cynicism, and a pointless battle to show some victory over RSSB simply because your ego was bruised (and admit it as you've admitted it before - you have a massive ego), is being expressed in an endless multi-"mindverse" of rhetoric and theories.

i know you are encouraged by your aggressive high priests (Tao, Tucson et al) who rant and threaten and copy-paste dissect non-COTC commentary, but at some point Im sure you will eventually outgrow this exercise in futility and in the process have your rabid priests euthenased. a mixed metaphor.

a more important realisation...

you are remembering Master with every post on this blog.

this blog is effectively a form of simran.


I'm not an ex-satangi. I have nothing for or against SantMat.

However, I must say, you are an interesting study in Religious/Spiritual group personalities.

Your persitant "attack dog" nature is evident. Experience in written debate is evident. Throw in the 39 years of SantMat exposure.

Do you carry a leadership role in SantMat?
Say, some national leadership title? I wonder, in South Africa, do any honest and sincere SantMat devotees have a "burnt-in" fear of you?

I feel for any meek and gullable devotee that comes across your path. The fear that you must generate.

Brad, if you knew me, you'd realize how ridiculous your conceptions of me are. You have an interesting habit of taking questions and making them into personal attacks.

Are you capable of answering simple questions in a simple way? Let's see if you are:

(1) Brad, do you believe that you know the truth about the cosmos? Or at least, that you are on a path leading to knowledge of this truth? (yes, no, don't know)

(2) Brad, if you answered "yes" to 1, do you believe that other people could find this truth in different ways? (yes, no, don't know)

(3) Brad, do you believe that a cosmos-truth seeker would make an unbroken progression toward knowing this truth, or would the path to truth take unexpected twists and turns, impossible to predict in advance? (unbroken, unexpected, or don't know)

I look forward to your short and simple replies. Thanks for taking part in our churchless discussions here. It's entertaining to have you around.

I had a conversation about spirituality and religion with a long time friend recently and laughed as I told her what she had said and what I had said would have been reversed by us both 20 years ago. We had gone through things and each was now where the other had been. The interesting part of life is that it cycles and what we think we know today, unless we atrophy or petrify, we may think the exact opposite down the road. It's one of the fascinations of life. Not to say someone could not stay exactly the same with a truth that they held tightly and be happy. It has not been my personal experience. What I like about that is that I am not responsible for what I might someday know. Just for the truth of today-- in my own understanding.

So many visitors to this site have a remarkable inability to perceive metaphor beyond the strictly etymologic.

Brad, in a very real way, the ego and futility you see in these posts is your very own. In this dream, the figures you imagine waving in the shadows are monsters from under the bed.

This is not a literary device: perceived reality, as the master will have told you, is suspect at best. Semiotics is your friend.

Maya indeed.

Brad seems to think that an honest and pragmatic approach to life is dull.

Brad presumes that his mysticism, which is fundamentally comprised of nothing more than abstraction and subtle imagination, as well as faith and belief in the unseen, is somehow superior to the wisdom of abiding in here and now reality.

What can said or done for people like Brad? What can be done for people who insist that there is something of greater significance and importance which lies beyond the domain of consciousness? What can be done for someone who thinks he knows better than others?

When an individual is asleep and dreaming, and rigidly (or even fanatically) self-righteous like Brad is, then it is difficult if not impossible to engage in any true rational communication with them.

Anyone who challenges their narrow religious-view or world-view, or their belief system, is perceived as an enemy of themselves and of their so-called path.

Brad is a perfect example of this narrow judgemental mind-set. Hopefully he will begin to engage in some genuine self-inquiry, as well as being more receptive to other perpectives and what others have to say.

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