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October 22, 2010


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It seems we have some tough choices in thinking about our own precious self. We can hang on to the way it feels and assume that a persisting self or soul or spirit exists, even though it cannot be found and leads to deep philosophical troubles.

I'd agree with Blackmore if someone fanatically clings to belief without knowledge. But the goal of mystic disciplines is inner transcendent knowledge, not some ritualized narrative of souls and heavens.

We can equate it with some kind of brain process and shelve the problem of why this brain process should have conscious experiences at all, or we can reject any persistihg entity that corresponds to our feeling of being a self.

I believe that's ultimately unsatisfying for most. On a intuitive level, we sense a self that's aware. To equate this consciousness with brain processes stultifies that deep intuition and inner awareness. And, on the other hand, every explanation of brain process leads to another question. The mystery of awareness, all the enduring existential questions of life go unanswered.

We may get to our driving destination without being aware of how we got there. But the same lapse of awareness may send you down an unknown street. How many times do we regret the dead ends and lost time our unfocused consciousness and aimless thought have led us to... The mystic discipline is that we can achieve, not just transcendent knowledge, but mastery of thought itself and an ability to remain focused in the eternal "now".

Once, while I was sitting in front of Bhagat Munshi Ram (Baba Faqir Chand’s nominee to work as Satguru), he explained selfless actions. He was of the view that any action with our will could not lead to selfless actions. However if the actions are under instructions of a well chosen Guru, it leads to selfless work. I think he is right. However, I think, we may not know when our will may join such actions.

" It means accepting that there is no one who is having these experiences."
quote Susan Blackmore

You know I always joke about being a diehard
atheist (desperately in search of God).

And I like to take walks on the riverbank
because no one is there.

For years I have played this strange game
with my self about God.

For instance I would hold out my finger
and say, "God if you exist, make this dragonfly land on my finger."

After thousands of tries, the closest one ever came was a foot from my finger.

Various tests to see if God would come
out of his hole.

So, a few months ago I posted on Church of the Churchless several atheist blogs.

A few minutes later, I walked up the banks of a riverbank wall, next to where a big pipe span the riverbank.

There sat a bald eagle and it did not move
when I approached it. (It turned out to
be a broadtail hawk, very large white head bird identical to an eagle).

I thought is must have been someones pet
as I got within ten feet of it and it just
sat there looking at me.

So, of course I asked the eagle if there
was a God. (Who would know better then an
eagle I thought)

The bird started making strange noises
and I mimicked the sounds and we went back
and forth for about 2 minutes.

The eagle flew off down the river bank
and I watched it land in a tall tree
about 1/2 mile down the river.

So, I said, well that still doesn't prove
there is a God.

So, I said to myself, OK eagle, if there
is a God I want you to immediately fly
out of that tree, fly around my head exactly
three times and fly back to your nest.

The eagle did exactly that and only 20 feet
over my head while watching me three times
and flew back to its nest.

I immediately started calculating the odds
and came up with an amazing 4,000,0000 to one.

I began to think I must be dreaming.

Then I thought there must be some rational
explanation, because I was so sure God
didn't exist.

But, could I have been wrong all this time ?

So, I started looking for some reason the eagle flew back to me.

Then it occured to me, the eagle was sitting
on the pipe because it was watching for
a lizard, or rat.

But, that was impossible as the land was
perfectly flat with not a single bush
for an animal to his behind.

So, I started to freak out. My God,
there is a God I declared to myself !!!


I thought I can't wait to go back home
and post to Brian we have all been wrong
and I was now a believer.

As I turned around to walk away I noticed
a small hole in the ground.

Oh No .... I thought.

A gopher hole had been right next to me.

The eagle had circled to look for a gopher.

What I have told you is absolutely true.

I figure the odds on it circling my head
exactly three times was only one in ten.

The next time I was there I tried it
with a crow and a seagull.

No luck.

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