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Old 04-20-2017, 04:46 PM   #41
brock
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I find there is like a split second when you first wake-up, before you become "you" and the parade starts.

I love the image of the dancing Nataraj and the eastern idea of life as a play, a dance or a performance. Even the western existentialists came to a similar conclusion - with Nietzsche saying that great people's lives are such a riveting performance that they'd be willing to play them over and over again, eternally. An eternal re-run that wouldn't get nauseatingly boring. Nietzsche hated religion because he felt that, due to devaluing life, it led to a kind of nihilism similar to the Nothing you mentioned. Sartre famously said, "existence precedes essence" so... there's nobody underneath our masks - no "real" you. We become who we are in the process of making our life's performance and it is up to us to know if that performance is really worthwhile or not. We are kind of improv dancing. So might as well go all out by living up to our deepest desires and values! Expressing all of our internal powers and all that. Or make it a comedy and be the fool of the tarot...lol. Or a great love story. Or a heroes journey. In any case, according to them, we're doomed to choose, and we're drowning in the abyss anyway.

Then there is the eastern notion of Brahman - the eternal, unchanging ground of being. If our activities, masks and personas are the spokes of a great wheel, Brahman seems like the unmoving hub.

I do believe the existentialist insights, as far as I understand them, correspond to the ego or Atman and it's activities, whereas the notion of the Brahman corresponds to a more mysterious, but fundamental, underlying basis of consciousness itself.

But yes, I think it's all as ultimately meaningless as any song or dance or dream ultimately is. As spiritual seekers, it seems we are dreaming that we are seeking to wake up from a dream.

Sorry if these ideas seem a little disconnected and rambling...
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:04 PM   #42
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I find there is like a split second when you first wake-up, before you become "you" and the parade starts.

I love the image of the dancing Nataraj and the eastern idea of life as a play, a dance or a performance. Even the western existentialists came to a similar conclusion - with Nietzsche saying that great people's lives are such a riveting performance that they'd be willing to play them over and over again, eternally. An eternal re-run that wouldn't get nauseatingly boring. Nietzsche hated religion because he felt that, due to devaluing life, it led to a kind of nihilism similar to the Nothing you mentioned. Sartre famously said, "existence precedes essence" so... there's nobody underneath our masks - no "real" you. We become who we are in the process of making our life's performance and it is up to us to know if that performance is really worthwhile or not. We are kind of improv dancing. So might as well go all out by living up to our deepest desires and values! Expressing all of our internal powers and all that. Or make it a comedy and be the fool of the tarot...lol. Or a great love story. Or a heroes journey. In any case, according to them, we're doomed to choose, and we're drowning in the abyss anyway.

Then there is the eastern notion of Brahman - the eternal, unchanging ground of being. If our activities, masks and personas are the spokes of a great wheel, Brahman seems like the unmoving hub.

I do believe the existentialist insights, as far as I understand them, correspond to the ego or Atman and it's activities, whereas the notion of the Brahman corresponds to a more mysterious, but fundamental, underlying basis of consciousness itself.

But yes, I think it's all as ultimately meaningless as any song or dance or dream ultimately is. As spiritual seekers, it seems we are dreaming that we are seeking to wake up from a dream.

Sorry if these ideas seem a little disconnected and rambling...
I don't think that's what Sartre meant, nor the whole school of existentialism / phenomenology. I think he's more referring to the notion that we work towards concepts like essence, ontologically, post factum as it were, after the fundamental experience of existing - in other words, existence, the act of living in the moment, our actual experiencing, is where our rubber hits the road experientially, and essence is arrived at later.

But it is only a short time later that concepts like essence become simply derived concepts with no authentic reference in the existing reality.

In many ways Master and his whole school of thought put all the emphasis on experiencing, tho' his breadth of what is 'experiencable' is infinitely greater than the western philosophers could entertain.

We define ourselves by our act of existing, and the way we exist. Essence is always going to be extrapolated later, ontologically. I think they are correct of course. Western philosophy has got caught up in dead and closed systems by looking behind and 'pretending' to see the hidden.

Last edited by Always God; 04-20-2017 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:34 PM   #43
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An Indian saint was asked (sorry, cannot recall the name presently), Why creation? Answer: Love

So, creation came about because of love. Very simple. Why are we here? Love.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:55 PM   #44
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Oh my, such excellent, well thought advice! Thank you All so very much from the center of my heart. Several things you each said hit home and I am grateful, already calmer, and a bit clearer. Will reply in detail tomorrow, but did not want the day to end without a big 'thank you'!

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Old 04-21-2017, 02:14 AM   #45
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"The insect, which appears in the rainy season, rushes towards a flame and would rather die in the flame than return to darkness. Similarly, the devotee hastens to where holy men live and converse about God. He keeps himself aloof from the worthless attractions of the world and spends his time in devotional exercises.

Parvati once asked Mahadeva: "O Lord, what is the clue to the Knowledge of God?" Mahadeva replied: "Faith is the only clue to it”. You cannot know God, unless you have implicit and firm faith in the teaching of your spiritual guide (guru).

He is born to no purpose, who, having the rare privilege of being born a man, is unable to realise God in this life."

~ Sri Ramakrishna
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:40 AM   #46
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quote: You cannot know God, unless you have implicit and firm faith in the teaching of your spiritual guide (guru).

He is born to no purpose, who, having the rare privilege of being born a man, is unable to realise God in this life.": unquote

Wow, Khitomer!

Maybe, Delsol, (although, my apologies, as you may have had enough posts by now!) one gets these 'meditation blues' before having to make a deep spiritual decision.

I think I recognize a fellow fearful lion when I see one! (wizard of oz)
Your fears are quite legitimate, Delsol. And I understand the need to ground yourself and feel your toes on the sand.
The 'nothingness' syndrome is a way the ego protects itself from taking the next step, which can be quite daunting.


Good luck Delsol, good luck all!
Some of you sound so advanced already it's quite scary! I felt so guilty when I got my Kriya initiation, I was surrounded by all these old souls and here was I , a young soul! The cheek of it! Unheard of! So, after the ceremony I sheepishly went up to the kind monk, and confessed that I felt that I had cheated the system. Rather than say, 'nonsense!', he consolingly said he knew how I felt and that I still had a long journey ahead! 'Phew'!
You're not in the same situation, Delsol, but the moral is, sometimes we think we have an enormous step to take, but in fact, it's just the beginning of another long journey!!

The rest of my text is just repetitions about nothingness which you don't have to read for they have already been explained far better above - it's for my own therapy!:

Delusion delights in helping man misinterpret wise men's words. So, to sum up, Buddha came to put right the misinterpretation of Hinduism and 'caste' and to reinstate the notion of equality and social justice...he sent this pulsing through the ether until it began seeping into man's mind and heart (and yet, man still has far to go...)
Shankara came to put right the misinterpretation of Buddha's words: that it's nothingness that awaits us. Yogananda who is of Shankara's lineage tells us that it's not nothingness but ever new joy. (and yet, man has still far to go before this truly seeps in!)
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:26 AM   #47
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Good morning!

Another 'thank you'. The posts are appreciated, almost everything offered is useful. I have a new sliver of light and direction, am grabbing it, cradling it. A beautiful gift!

Also, please, please do not doubt sharing personal experiences or insights that come to mind as I am sure they are helpful to many. I also wish to thank those of you who have been present and helpful during this last year and a half and who occassionally bore witness from afar as my little tangible (and inner) life completely deconstructed. If one has not experienced such yet, what fun may be in store for you! (Or not - ha ha!) You will not recognize yourself, nor others. You may question everything you ever thought you knew about life, Love, the journey. From the outside, it isn't pretty! Others may think you ignorant, or imbalanced - certainly confused, and the truth is you are all of these things, EVEN with all the teachings and support from a loving Guru. Your strong mind can no longer be trusted, and even your intuition may suddenly seem a trickster, your true North temporarily off the map. It seems to me many of us spend the first half of our lives sussing out what is 'truth' and building our foundations based upon that 'wisdom', only to realize in the second half of life that the foundation was actually built upon coping mechanisms we crafted for survival, likely due to childhood trauma or other pivotal events in our spiritual history. Those mechanisms, like fortress walls, serve us very well for a time - help us to achieve and manifest incredible things in life - but there comes a moment when we realize we've built not a fortress but a prison, and must break through if we are to keep growing. Easier said than done because this 'realization' isn't something you see coming in your mental brain. It comes by way of unexpected or dramatic life events, or maybe a slow boil - like the frog in a pot, or sometimes even an epiphany you were not quite prepared to receive. Comprehension expanding. Mind blown! Pick up the pieces, begin again. And again. And again. You have to look at the destruction then sift through the mess, try to sort what was of value or truth and what was not (e.g. Oh! I was certain Love was THIS! Ah, no, that was co-dependency. Oh! Surely self worth was THIS! Ah, no, that was actually insecurity. Oh! But beyond doubt I am surrounded by loving friends and family who I've attracted through my loving vibration! Ah, no - that was a tribe of toxic narcissists attracted to your overly empathetic nature, you need to balance that out, etc). Ha ha. All of this and more flew through my little incarnation in recent times. 'Despondency' is the perfect word. In my case, I think it has been even more dramatic - had to be - because I was so very content, comfortable and (yes!) attached to who I was, what I was doing, the characters in my play - my ever evolving relationship with the Gurus, etc, etc, etc. Anyway, most of these inner changes are things we must experience alone (with Master, of course) for no one can fully understand another person's inner life, but I decided about a year ago to play with 'vulnerability'. To speak. Speak! Not share every little fear or ask others to wallow with you in doubt, no - of course not, that is not productive. Take most of the time for silence, always, but when one is stuck and all the normal mechanisms are not helping, there is no shame is sharing where we are at because 1) God may be waiting to tell us something through someone else - especially if our direct communication line is 'blocked' and 2) humanity is beautifully vulnerable. It is part of His gift to us. Art, beauty, growth, loyalty, Love - all of these stem from vulnerability, which is actually strength in disguise. Why suppress it? Ignore it? Better to work through it.

Not quite what I meant to talk about, but there it is. Yoga Girl, you may be right. As I have shared before, I could have accepted the Kriya initiation a decade ago but never did. I balked at the oath and did not trust my own ability to be a perfect yogini, which seemed a big deal as I was always a perfectionist and could not bring myself to make a promise I wasn't sure I could keep. Day by day, this seems sillier and sillier, another chunk of my ego falling on the floor! I mean, really! Ha ha. At the same time, I respect that perhaps I had to live through every little thing I've lived through in exactly the way it unfurled so that I could come to a point of greater acceptance and understanding - to really value the gift. I wonder if I should go to convocation this year, or at least receive initiation remotely. Maybe THAT is what this is really all about.
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:18 PM   #48
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Delsol,
Leggo of that inferiority-complexed ego and strive for perfection as He intended for you (and each of us). Fear of failing to be perfect is what holds us back from doing our best and achieving greatness (whatever "it" is). If you believe in reincarnation as repeated tries at perfection, then you have all the time in world and in eternity to practice perfection. So why stop yourself with such ego-driven fear, right? No shame (inwardly or outwardly) in holding yourself to the highest, perfection level. Repeated failures and stumbles is not the point. The point is to keep trying to achieve perfection, no matter your less-than-perfect track record. After all, you are a child of God and He is perfect!
As Bro. Achalananda told the class of Kriyabans of which I partook, the initiation is just the beginning. It suddenly does set everyone's bar seemingly impossibly high, doesn't it?
Go for it! It's up to you how fast and far you go, once you start the Race.
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:48 PM   #49
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Delsol,
Leggo of that inferiority-complexed ego and strive for perfection as He intended for you (and each of us). Fear of failing to be perfect is what holds us back from doing our best and achieving greatness (whatever "it" is). If you believe in reincarnation as repeated tries at perfection, then you have all the time in world and in eternity to practice perfection. So why stop yourself with such ego-driven fear, right? No shame (inwardly or outwardly) in holding yourself to the highest, perfection level. Repeated failures and stumbles is not the point. The point is to keep trying to achieve perfection, no matter your less-than-perfect track record. After all, you are a child of God and He is perfect!
As Bro. Achalananda told the class of Kriyabans of which I partook, the initiation is just the beginning. It suddenly does set everyone's bar seemingly impossibly high, doesn't it?
Go for it! It's up to you how fast and far you go, once you start the Race.
While that approach might work for many people, I think for some people, triguybos, the 'striving for perfection' can have negative consequences. It can result in 'perfectionism'. For some, a better approach might be one based on surrender notwithstanding our imperfections. Just my feelings..... I spent many years working and striving, and I feel more soul peace now that I've taken my foot off the pedal.

I am not questioning the wisdom of what you're suggesting, just that's we come at these things through slightly different channels sometimes.
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:12 PM   #50
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Delsol, first of all, thanks for creating/maintaining this site. And secondly, I admit I didn't read through both of your longish posts, lol, skimmed

I felt inspired to post, not because of any great wisdom I possess, but wanted to before I fade into the shadows. Like I said, skimmed but "despondency" caught my eye. Sri Gyanmata said that despondency was the greatest obstacle on the spiritual path, so it's one of the main weapons of Maya...even a great master like Arjuna had to overcome despondency.

As far as not taking Kriya yet, we all do things in our own time. Me, I had the Lessons, well, the first 36 anyway, stored under my bed for 14 years before I got serious. I was a hard case. In fact I even heard the "we've done everything we can BUT" line from the doctor (after 9 months of chemo hell)...but Master had other plans, 2 weeks later there was no sign (of cancer). But it has been anything but easy lol.

Taking Kriya is serious business. You are signing up for eternity, so once you take that vow, Master IS your Guru eternally. But it sounds like, as Master said, "you head is already in the tiger's jaws" ...Jai Guru
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:25 PM   #51
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A friend just sent me this:


"Short story from Sw. Krishanandaji.

Somewhere in 1998 – 99, Sw. Bhavanandji and I were having breakfast in the dining hall in Ranchi when we heard a meow. We wondered from where the meow came and found out that a cat and kittens were hiding in a pipe in the kitchen. The more we tried to draw them out the more they refused to come. So we gave up. But after some time Sw. Bhavanandji’s love spilled over and he took a bowl of milk and placed it before the pipe. Very soon the mother cat came out and started to drink the milk and soon the kittens followed. In a matter of months the kittens were climbing all over me and demanding give me this, give me that. Then I said to Sw. Bhavanandji one day that the kittens are now obstructing our meditations and so we must get rid of them. Sw. Bhavanandji agreed. We asked Sw. Hiteshanandji to put them in a cage and leave them far away. Soon a big cage was built for them, but as soon as they saw the cage, intuitively they knew it was for them and again went into hiding. Somehow we managed to get the mother cat and put her in the cage and after that it was easy to get the kittens also. Sw. Hiteshanandji wrapped the cage in a cloth, put the cage in the backside of the van and left them in a far off place. I asked Sw. Hiteshanandji where did you leave them and he named some village which I knew was quiet far. But somehow I had the hunch that one or few of the kittens would return.

One day as we sat for breakfast, we heard a meow and Sw. Bhavanandji said, “That’s your favorite one, she has come back.” And sure enough, my favorite kitten had returned. We wondered how on earth did that little kitten find her way, and return home. Then we thought it is probably Guruji’s wish and let it remain.

The One who designed the cat’s brain and gave it the secret to find its way home, must have done the same for us also. When some kids were visiting Ranchi, I told them the story and asked them if they could explain how the kitten could find its way back. I was surprised to see that though the kids gave differing answers some of them answered – It was love that brought the kittens back.

Here kriya is the key of love that will bring us back to God. When the urge becomes strong that I must go home, then God sends the Guru and the Guru says – Get into the spine, I can help you better. What does this mean? We can’t physically get into our spine. (In the womb, the brain and the spine system is formed first and the soul gets encased there.) Mind, prana, breath, sex force – the devotee is asked to control one or two or all of these. Kriya is the most powerful as it helps in controlling all four – mind, prana, breath and sex."
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Old Yesterday, 04:57 AM   #52
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All that said, if nothing is real, and we are nothing but extension's of God's vibration entertaining itself through endless contrasts, why not satisfy our earthly whims and desires all the time? Why not smoke cigarettes, drink wine - laugh, have casual sexual affairs - make tons of money, stick it in our ears and wallow in the Ego if one chooses to, if ultimately it is all just a huge recycling of interconnected light/dark energy anyway? Why spend a lifetime meditating in our bedrooms or in groups to comprehend 'God', wallowing in bliss, walking around with our feet off the ground if we come from Him and are part of Him always, anyway?
Shannon, It is easy to answer this question (which is not answering what you really think of course but the thoughts randomly rising in your mind in specific occasions, I'm aware of that).

Some of the earthly whims you mention, like cigarettes, sex affairs, wine, excesses, are really kids' stuff. No one who has reached an even minimal level of practical understanding will ever try and find satisfaction by such means.
Money, that's more serious but not really a big issue, since I cannot decide: 'I'm going to make loads of money and use it to satisfy my whims'. Welcome to the war for money. People are killing themselves for that and only a few are succesfull, and only a few of the succesfull ones retain physical and mental health. And at a certain age, we have simply no choice but to keep trudging along with our present job, thanking our good karma that we still retain a job. Besides, some of the richest men in the world lead a secluded, disciplined life. excess money does not necessarily mean self-indulgence.

Also, the meditation issue is not so simple. It is not automatic that we meditate and perceive bliss. Too often it is the opposite, we meditate and perceive nothing.

But medical scinece presently extols the health advantages of a disciplined and moderate life, healthy and moderate eating, no smoke no booze, no casual sex, exercise, sleep and meditation and a sense of life purpose.
Sometimes I think I'm almost listening to the teachings a Yoga Master is giving to the disciples and am thankful to Yogananda and SRF who allowed me to start such a path of healthy and purposeful discipline and meditation since I was a boy.

So, the initial 'why not' musings, are more the hallmark of a very childish mind (not yours, LOL !!) or of demonic suggestions.

It is so evident that lack of discipline or despondency or negativity is not the solution to whatsoever existential questions or problems we might incur.
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