Saturday, November 28, 2009

Life Is A Flux Of Thoughts

If I have described life as a flux of moods, I must now add, that there is that in us which changes not, and which ranks all sensations and states of mind. The consciousness in each man is a sliding scale, which identifies him now with the First Cause, and now with the flesh of his body; life above life, in infinite degrees.

The sentiment from which it sprung determines the dignity of any deed, and the question ever is, not what you have done or forborne, but, at whose command you have done or forborne it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson is considered one of the most influential figures in 19th century Victorian America. His 1842 essay, Experience confirms his perceptions of life. Emerson has been defined in many ways. Some of those definitions describe him as a metaphysical anomaly because of his beliefs about the multiplicity of man. He identified other aspects of the self, and he wanted to experience those aspects

Religions tell us that our actions are the result of God’s hand or lack of it. We are taught to believe that we have no say in what happens in our life. We are at the mercy of a judgmental being that considers us flawed until we die. This being controls our destiny in ways that are rooted not only in mystery, but in fables, myths and distorted truths. We accept them because we believe in the truth of the past.

Religion exists to control and that system will be in place for some time. Religious believers will experience what they want to experience through the church. Even when truth is distorted, the message is still there. Responsibility for expressions and experiences rests within us. If we want to believe that a certain religion will open the door of awareness, it will. If we believe that religion is not the path that allows us to experience our beliefs in life, we will experience what we perceive without religion. If we believe that we create our own reality through our perceptions, we will experience those perceptions in some way. As Emerson points out, it is not what we have done or forborne, it is our awareness that expands consciousness.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Thought Be Found

Since neither now nor yesterday began
These thoughts, which have been ever, nor yet can
A man be found who their first entrance knew

Emerson the proficient philosopher, poet and minister of the 19th century, included that poem in his 1842 essay Experience. Trying to sense the senselessness in his thoughts is worth the effort.

The truth that now or yesterday never began cannot be translated using rational thought. In our dualistic world, everything must conform to a beginning as well as an end, especially if we believe we are experiencing something tangible. Tangible items have a beginning or at least we are taught they do. But, do they really have a beginning? If we are creating those tangible items through thought, where did that thought begin? We can say it started in our brains, but nothing starts in our brains. The brain merely transfers information and signals from the mind. The thought was there before our brain was there.

We could say the thought came from an idea. We can ask when did the idea start? The answer is it started in our consciousness. Then we ask, when did our consciousness start, and we may say it started with God. We bring our religious belief into focus in order to justify the story of beginning. Religion tells us among other things, that we are created in God’s image, which can mean we are an aspect of God’s consciousness, which had no beginning. So if we follow that reasoning we can say that tangible items have no beginning now, or yesterday. They are an expression of God’s consciousness. That means all physical manifestations are expressions of God’s consciousness in different forms or if I take the Word God out of this exercise, I can say all physical manifestations are expressions of consciousness vibrating in different frequencies of thought.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fit For Use

Beyond the universality of the symbolic language, we are apprised of the divineness of this superior use of things, whereby the world is a temple, whose walls are covered with emblems, pictures and commandments of the Deity, in this that there is no fact in nature which does not carry the whole sense of nature, and the distinctions which we make in events, and in affairs, of low and high, honest and base, disappear when nature is used as a symbol. Thought makes every thing fit for use.

The vocabulary of an omniscient man would embrace words and images excluded from polite conversation. What would be base, or even obscene, to the obscene, becomes illustrious, spoken in a new connexion of thought. The piety of Hebrew prophets purges their grossness. The circumcision is an example of the power of poetry to raise the low and offensive. Small and mean things serve as well as great symbols. The meaner the type by which a law is expressed, the more pungent it is, and the more lasting in the memories of men: just as we choose the smallest box, or case, in which any needful utensil can be carried. Bare lists of words are found suggestive, to an imaginative and excited mind; as it is related of Lord Chatham, that he was accustomed to read in Bailey’s Dictionary, when he was preparing to speak to Parliament. The poorest experience is rich enough for all purposes of expressing thought.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote those thoughts in his 1841 essay, The Poet. Emerson gets to the root of things, no matter what they are by expressing himself using different aspects of his consciousness. He looks at the rational and calls it insanity. He sees words and symbols and realizes they are half baked attempts to express perceptions and beliefs about the natural of being. Emerson finds truth in nature’s expressions and he vibrates with them as he thinks and writes. When we take a moment and look around us, we sense the senselessness of our learned behavior. It is a shell game with no shell.

We pay attention to great words and symbols and let the small words pass through the open drain of unawareness that seems to follow us through our physical illusions. Emerson says it all when he reminds us that the poorest experience is rich enough for all purposes of expressing thought. Experiences are thoughts manifested physically.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Death is great.
We are in his keep
Laughing and whole.
When we feel deep
In life, he dares weep
Deep in our soul

Rilke always has something to say about topics that are usually left unsaid. Death is one of those topics. We tend to avoid it until it presents itself in our reality in one form or another. Rilke didn’t feel that way. He faced his demons, especially death by writing about how he perceived it. He spend days and nights watching and listening to depressed and desolate souls that were anxiously knocking on the door of death and waiting for a reply.

In his work Coda,translated by Walter Arndt, we can sense his perceptions. Just like death, the poem comes from nowhere and awakens another aspect of our reality. As Rilke points out, death is very much alive. We give it life in the hallways of our beliefs.

The playground for death is called life.Death laughs on the playground. We want to sense and feel death physically using our thoughts and emotions. We want to taste loss in order to remember nothing is lost. We want to experience trauma, so we can know the self in its diversity. We want to accept the self as a whole, within another whole in the act of death.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Golden Bowl

Does the eagle know what is in the pit?
Or wilt thou go ask the mole?
Can wisdom be put in a silver rod,
Or love in a golden bowl?

William Blake, the immortal poet of myth and mysticism, wrote Thel’s Motto in 1789. Blake has a way of asking questions and never expecting answers, for they are obvious once the cob webs are cleared from our minds. The eagle in us already knows what’s in the pit, there’s no need for us to search, That exercise results in self-separation, which is the dis-ease that creates all disease.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Energetic Vibrations

The sparrow sleeps, thinking of nothing.

Meanwhile the universe has shrunk to half.

He’s attached by a navel string, swimming

In a sea of fluid, amniotic, slightly bitter.

The center is severance; not a sound at all;

Until the navel string is snapped. All of which

Was told by her as she sat astride Pegasus,

The poet on a circuit of the universe.

The sparrow came at her, bill like a sword,

And suddenly from her buttocks, the sun!

The sparrow carried the stained sheetsTo the moon.

On drawing the clouds apart,

He discovered the cold corpse of Mars.

Not once had he disclosed the secrets of his life.

The work of Shinkichi Takahashi is dressed in the colorful expressions of a connected consciousness. His 1970 work Disclosure from Afterimages: Zen Poems of Shinkichi Takahashi, is an amazing example of how Takahashi lives in more than one reality. The sparrow is not just a bird it is another portion of the conscious mind. It is not controlled by our beliefs and perceptions. Mars is as fresh and solid as the earth in the reality experienced by this portion of the self. Takahashi’s work. We could say part of our conscious mind is daydreaming on a star, and the moon winks at its presence.

Finding the right words in English to express the thoughts of Takahashi is the work of our sparrow, which is a portion of our inner self. That self finds truth between the lines, not in the print itself. These energetic vibrations of our inner self are present in several realities. If we move our vibrations a few megahertz in either direction using the portion of the conscious mind attached to the brain, we find our sparrow waiting to share secrets with us.

The cold corpse of Mars is heated and floating in the sea of our own consciousness. When we let go of one self, we find another self suspended by an embryo of another sparrow.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Truth Of Fear

The big cities are not true; they betray
The day, the night, animals and children.
They lie with silence, they lie with noise
And with all that lets itself be used.

None of the vast events that move around you
Happen there. In city streets and alleys
Your great winds falter and churn,
And in frenzied traffic grow confused.

Rilke’s 1905 Book of Hours is an incredible look into the consciousness of this fascinating individual. His insight and expressions are structured in a way that can only be described as innately active. He stimulates thoughts from the inside, and we sense how complex yet simple this world was and still is. Rilke's work goes beyond typical thoughts of truth. It touches on deep-rooted truth, and twists it around a world of words and symbols that form the foundation for 21th century thought.

Some big cities do lie. They are built by citizens that believe in a foundation of lies. Lies set the mood for agony and the suffering that exists within them. These cities silently lie and add more silence to each layer of redundancy that creates a fear ridden society that knows no justice, but the justice of retribution. The vast events that move around a city are tangled in a web of accepted entrapment, and that hammer-lock breaks down the ethics of a culture.

The great winds of consciousness churn in a cycle of madness, and some city-dwellers find a distorted world that knows itself in separation, not in unity. The frenzied traffic of nervous beliefs creates experiences filled with the muddy water of senselessness. Citizens wander through city after city looking for the key that unlocks a faint spirit of being within being. But Rilke's thoughts are just that; thoughts from one aspect of consciousness to another. The only string that ties them together is the belief in a world that has no truth, but the truth of fear.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Will of Life

The life or lives of man may be regarded as constituting a curve, an arch of time-experienced subtended by the duration of the individual Will to Life. The outward movement of this curve, Evolution, the Path of Pursuit is characterized by self-assertion. The inward movement, involution is characterized by increasing self-realization. The religion of men on the outward path is the religion of Time; the religion of those who return is the religion of eternity.

Ananda Coomaraswamy, the 20th century Sri Lankan philosopher, expressed those thoughts in his 1957 work, The Dance of Shiva. 

The Will to Life is consciousness in action. We sub-divide life into two distinct aspects of awareness. Our physical self expands using time and space. They serve as the foundation for our creations, and those creations expand our inner energy personality's awareness.

The physical self eventually unites with the inner energy personality as we create experiences. When that happens, all physical experiences open the door for dual or multiple self-awareness.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Ego

The ego is the dark spot where the rays of the intellect fail to penetrate; it is the last hiding-lair of Ignorance, where the latter serenely keeps itself from the light. When this lair is laid bare and turned inside out, Ignorance vanishes like frost on the sun. In fact, these two ideas are the same thing, Ignorance and the idea of ego. We are apt to think that when Ignorance is driven out and the ego loses its hold on us, we have nothing to lean against and we are left to the fate of a dead leaf blown away hither and thither as the wind listeth.

D.T. Suzuki wrote those thoughts in his 1949 book, Essays in Zen Buddhism. The ego is a word that seems to contain both a negative, as well as positive meaning. The ego is an aspect of consciousness. It is a pliable and a moldable aspect of the self. It plays different roles as we move through different realities.

Ignorance is an essential aspect of our ego. We tend to be ignorant of when and how we use this quality of consciousness. The power of ego is greater than the power of the atom bomb.

But, that energy is only a pittance of the energy that is a quality of our inner consciousness. When we turn our ego inward, as Suzuki mentions, we connect with that power.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

An Idea Of Self-Nature

What comes first in importance in the philosophy of Hui-neng is the idea of self-nature. But self-nature, I must warn the reader, is not to be conceived as something of substance. It is not the last residue left behind after all things relative and conditional have been extracted from the notion of an individual being. It is not the self, or the soul, or the spirit, as ordinarily regarded. It is nor something belonging to any categories of the understanding.

It does not belong to this world of relativities. Nor is it the highest reality which is generally ascribed to God or to Atman or to Brahma. It cannot be described or defined in any possible way, but without it the world even as we see it and use it in our everyday life collapses. To say it is to deny it. It is a strange thing.

D.T Suzuki is explaining Hui-neng's concept of self-nature in his book, The Zen Doctrine of No Mind. Hui-neng was the Sixth and Last Patriarch of Chan Buddhism. What Hui-neng identified as self-nature 13 centuries ago is now called consciousness. Suzuki describes self-nature by telling what it isn’t, not what it is. There are no words that adequately describe consciousness except the words energy in action. The atoms and molecules in our cells are consciousness. Our bodies contain consciousness and our minds function thanks to our unique quality of consciousness. There are forms of consciousness, aspects of consciousness, qualities of consciousness and regions of consciousness. But there are many other types of consciousness that we can't describe.

Our cells act like miniature brains. They contain a memory of all personal experiences even though they are constantly being replaced. The cells contain an innate record of the body's full history. That history includes the past, present and future. A change in one cell is immediately noted by our body consciousness. Body consciousness is the combined consciousness of all our cells. All changes impact the present condition of the body as well as a picture of the future condition of the body.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Sip of Rosewater

When Abu Bakr met Mohammad, he said,
“This is not a face that lies.”

Abu Bakr was one whose bowl
Has fallen from the roof.

There’s no hiding the fragrance that comes
From an ecstatic. A polished mirror
Cannot help reflecting.

Muhammad once was talking to a crowd
Of chieftains, princes with great influence,
When a poor blind man interrupted him.

Muhammad frowned and said to the man,
“Let me attend to these visitors.
This is a rare chance,
Whereas you are already my friend.
We’ll have ample time.”

Then someone nearby said, “That blind man
May be worth a hundred kings. Remember
The proverb, Human beings are mines.”

World-power means nothing. Only the unsayable,
Jeweled inner life matters.

Muhammad replied, “Do not think that I’m concerned
With being acknowledged by these authorities.

If a beetle moves towards rosewater, it proves
That the solution is diluted. Beetles
Love dung, not rose essence.

If a coin is eager to be rested
By the touchstone, that coin
Itself may be a touchstone.

A thief loves the night.
I am day. I reveal essences.

A calf thinks God is a cow.
A donkey’s theology changes
When someone new pets it
And gives it what it wants.

I am not a cow, or thistles for camels
To browse on. People who insult me
Are only polishing the mirror.”

The immortal Rumi, in his 13th century thoughts, opens windows where consciousness waits to express other qualities of itself. Rumi, like most of us, uses his religion to express his beliefs about the reality that he called his. Every man lives a reality created by beliefs and perceptions. When those beliefs and perceptions are expanded other metal enzymes create forms of consciousness that dip into hidden dimensions and realities. Like the calf who thinks the cow is God, we expand in awareness and sense the God that lives within us. Every aspect of energy that swirls in this moment gives us what we want.

Rumi quotes Muhammad, but it’s not Muhammad talking, it’s Rumi’s inner consciousness spewing energy, and creating a reality to experience. A thief does love the night and during the day the thief finds a path filled with separation and fear. That path is our path, until we realize that we are a beetle that loves rosewater and dung in the same moment. We hold a mirror up to reality and wait for others to polish it, when we create the fog.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Perceived

For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never catch myself at any time without a perception and never can observe any thing but the perception.

David Hume, the 18th century Scottish philosopher, wrote those thoughts in his 1741 work, Treatise of Human Nature, Hume is saying that whenever we look for our true self all we find is perceptions. There is always a space between the subject and the object of our perceptions. Perceptions become beliefs and beliefs become choices and choices become experiences. We call that processed life, but that reality, or any reality built on that foundation is rooted in separation. There is another self that is creating these perceptions. We believe through our perceptions that there is another entity involved in creating our perceptions.

The contrast from our experiences influences our perceptions. The notion that the seer is different from the seen is an element of our distorted perception.

The history of physical reality is based on the fact that we are more than we believe, but we doubt this innate belief and create another belief system. In linear time there will always be space and time between us the seer, and the seen.

Hume goes on to say:

The now-moment in which God made the first man and the Now-moment in which the last man will disappear, and the Now-moment in which I am speaking are all one in God, in whom there is only one Now. Look! The person who lives in the light of God is conscious neither of time past nor of time to come but only one eternity.

Monday, November 2, 2009


An enormous number of things in the world subserve a common purpose. All the man made systems, administrative, industrial, military, or what not, exist each for its controlling purpose. Every living being pursues its own peculiar purposes. They co-operate according to the degree of their development, in collective or tribal purposes, larger ends thus enveloping lesser ones, until an absolutely single, final and climactic purpose subserved by all things without exception might conceivably be reached. It is needless to say that the appearances conflict with such a view. Any resultant, as I said in my third lecture, may have been purposed in advance, but none of the results we actually know in this world have in point of fact been purposed in advance in all their details.

Men and nations start with a vague notion of being rich, or great, or good. Each step they make brings unforeseen changes into sight, and shuts out older vistas, and the specifications of the general purpose have to be daily changed. What is reached in the end may be better or worse that what was purposed, but it is always more complex and different.

William James in his 1906 lecture, The One and the Many is explaining what we all experience in physical life. We forget that our purpose is experience, and we use perceptions and choices based on our belief system to expand in each and every experience. The method of this expansion is never the same. One day we could have a designed purpose and experience what we desired and the next day performing the exact same acts, the purpose changes in substance and form. We may blame the difference on time or some variable that was not present the day before, but the underlying cause is our own consciousness.

Within purpose there is a vast wonderland of choices and perceptions and each one can change an aspect of purpose slightly or radically based on the actions that manifests from our beliefs, perceptions and choices. Within a moment there is a universe of choices and they can take on a life of their own.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Portion of Life

Society is a wave. The wave moves onward, but the water of which it is composed does not. The same particle does not rise from the valley to the ridge. Its unity is only phenomenal. The persons who make up a nation to-day, next year die, and their experiences with them. And so the reliance on property, including the reliance on governments which protect it, is the want of self-reliance.

Men have looked away from themselves and at things so long, that have have come to esteem the religious, learned and civil institutions as guards of property, and they depreciate assaults on these, because they feel them to be assaults on property. They measure their esteem of each other by what each has and not by what each is.

But a cultivated man becomes ashamed of his property, out of new respect for his nature. Especially he hates what he has, if he sees that it is accidental; came to him by inheritance, or gift or crime; then he feels that it is not worth having; it does not belong to him, has no root in him and merely lies there, because no revolution or no robber takes it away. But that which a man is does always by necessity acquire, and what the man acquires is living property, which does not wait the beck of rulers, or mobs, or revolutions, or fire, or storm, or bankruptcies, but perpetually renews itself wherever the mans breaths.

Caliph Ali said:

Thy lot or portion of life is seeking after thee; therefore be at rest for seeking after it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson in his 1841 essay, Self-Reliance, fills us with with common sense, as well as un-common sense. He skillfully holds a mirror up to us and gently moves it closer, so we can feel the energy of expanding consciousness. That energy is not just our worldly possessions and accomplishments; part our belief system is based on that perception. We tend to measure the self by what is stored in ego awareness, and discount other aspects of the self in order to conform to our image of religious righteousness, and political correctness.

Society is a wave and we ride it like foam in a misty sea. But, we gradually begin to sense that as foam, we are connected to bubbles of awareness that constantly manifest around us. One by one we merge with various bubbles and taste the essence of our own salt.

The days of external power and rational ruthlessness is sinking below the foam, and merging in the water that continually moves onward. The water is not a place or an activity. It is consciousness blending and separating in order to experience the nature of diversity. That blending is a portion of life that manifests without any effort from us. We create realties from the bubbles in our own foam, but discount them until we allow the bubbles to become what they have always been- us.

As the 7th century cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, Caliph Ali, said:

I can be at rest from seeking after anything, because I hold everything of value within me.


Value is always present in one experience after another in linear time, and we own it regardless of our scope of awareness.