A new dispensation?

I begin to see how terribly lost and tragic the world is. To he who is questioning with some seriousness - it becomes less and less noisy. Yes, the noise continues. Yes the bickering goes on - but somehow it becomes background noise - the wail of an old thing that has nothing new to say. I see many great changes in the world ahead. A global society will emerge, though selfishness and labels will have their share of the common mindstate for a long time yet. The populace do not get inspired. Most leaders don't get inspired. Inspiration in its pristine state is very rare. But a life without it amount to a heap of hungry flesh gasping for air...awaiting for the tread mill of existence to expire.

I read the other day about Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and something hit me. They had such high hopes to create a global village in Pondicherry - a place for the birthing of a new dispensation - but what did they create? More nonsense mostly. The Mother died and they hailed her a saint. They will do something similar no doubt with the pope! Why!!!!! Its all so petty and meaningless. Do Saints have anything to prove? Joan of Arc freed the French of British tyranny - she kicked ass...totally dedicated to her task - but she had nothing to prove. I think you can start a war without having anything to prove - just because it is the right thing to do - as was the case with the Korean War...but the moment you introduce motive or hail some new dispensation - then you destroy the originality of what you are really about and you work will fail.

I think Aurobindo was a great scholar and doubltess had some great insights - but I think his efforts and the Mothers created the opposite of what the strove for. They wanted to create a new plan for the future society. But they created a conclave of seekers...without the glue that makes such conglomerations of people meaningful or lasting. I am not sure if Churches can have any real meaning today - communities will always have meaning - but if they are not related to vibrant and profound questions and if they have not the integrity to cultivate individuals who are not part of a mold, then they will have no meaning.

I have traveled a fair bit. I have stood at the foot of Lincoln's statue and lived in Paris and felt the frenzy and pace of modern Asia. I see why religion is by and large such a terrible thing. Religion is as natural as breathing. What we call religion is a mockery of what the real thing is. We think going to the temple or an worshipping an idol or listening to a priest is what religion is about. But I don't think they have anything to do with the real meaning of religion. Religion is not something you can organize. It is not something you can build a church around. Christ never started a church or a monastary. He did have some pretty serious people around him who wanted answers to profound questions - that created some kind of a religious atmosphere...Buddha no doubt had something similar with his bhikkus. He did start monastaries...but one wonders if the spirit of those days is alive today. I think it might be to degrees in the Tibetan tradition - especially recently - in a strange way I think the invasion of Tibet lead to a renaissance of Tibetan culture...perhaps also in some places in the Therevada tradition - there is something of the Buddha's spirit alive...but I am sure mostly it is lost.

I think religion begins with questions and matures with the awakening of compassion. I am not sure if there will be a new dispensation - but naturally as is befitting ever era - new authentic voices will come.

Sadly people think that politics is a secular affair. And for good reason! Religion has laid waste to our hearts - and we come to politics wanting some respite - but then we inevitably bring ourselves to the table and the madness continues unabated!

Real religion is the essense of politics. It is about figuring out what it means to love - there is no pattern which you can pin love down to - which is why we find it so difficult! Our hyper-intellectual minds want to analyse everything - and consequently we throw the baby out with the bathwater. You cannot organize such efforts - it is an entirely individual affair. Without right education religion is lost and with it politics (the word politics means "the family of man"). In the modern world there is so much pressure and very little space for love - our tendencies go unquestioned. Our heart remains unconnected with what we experience - or it is so bludgeoned with uncontrolled emotion that we never learn to see and act with the of the subtle beauty and indomitable strength of real sensitivity.

I think if you are very serious and very determined you can begin to live a path free of bullshit. But for that you have to walk away from all the pernicious traditions - you have to drop your nationality and your prejudices and you have to stand alone. You have to learn to understand how the mind becomes reactionary. In the appreciation of that you yourself end up transformed.

But we want Jesus to hold our hand and we want some theory to wrap everything up so perfectly and we don't have the heart to look in the mirror of our relationships and look at what is actually there. When you do that....you begin to live a life that has meaning - but you will probably lose your job or be called a madman. Tell me though - who is the madman? - he who plucks the flowers for his "sacred altar" or he who does not pick the flowers because they have a beauty far greater than any god on an altar? The world does not need saving. Your soul does not need saving. But you do need to learn to look with all your heart and all your being. After all - if you cannot see "what is" - how can you learn? And if you cannot learn - how can you come to wisdom with the dedication of a truly loving parent and the humility of emptiness?
Wisdom is very precious - you need to protect it and revere its simplicity and "essentialness" - it is more precious than life itself - because it is the key to living... without it - there is no relationship...only shards and shadows of what might be...
Learning is the most natural thing in the world - it happens when you face your superstitions and your fears and your beliefs with a humble mind - a mind that does not conclude. We want to know about the greatest President - or about God or any number of "great" things - but what use are these things...what use are organizations and "great men" if we have not the silent beauty to face ourselves?! And when we do that - do you really think they have any meaning any more?

Sacred cows make the best meat

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Maya and Illusion

The Maharshi was presented with some new calendars.

Q: Does distance have any effect on the gurus grace?

M: Time and space are within us. Time is only an idea. There is only the Reality. Whatever your opinions, that is the way it appears. If you call it time, it is time. If you call it existence, it is existence. And some, after calling it time, divide it into days, months and years. The Reality cannot be new. It must exist even
now, and it does exist. There is in that state no present, no past, nor future. It is beyond time. It is ever here.

Sri Krishna says, "I am time." Can time have a shape? Even the universal vision shown by Krishna to Arjuna on the physical plane is absurd. The seer is also in the seen. Even a mesmerist can make one see strange scenes. You call that one a trick, but the other divine. Why this difference? Anything seen cannot be real. That is the truth.


Ramana Maharishi

Anger, impatience and meanness

I came to India looking for spiritual sustenance - but not blind to the madness of the modern world. I found a country ripe with corruption. It is by far the flakiest country I have ever been to. People's word does not seem to mean much here. But then here also you find a culture richer in saints than any other and sanskrit teachers who race home from their day job and teach sanskrit for free in their evenings for 50 years without missing a day!

I have begun to see something interesting. I think India in a way has brought out the very worst in me. I cannot abide people not keeping their word. If I say I will be somewhere at a certain time - I will be there - and if, due to circumstances out of my control - I am late - I do my level best to call ahead and explain my delay.

Generally people here in India - from my general experience- do not live this way; they make appointments they never keep. They change plans and don't let the people they have made the plans with know...and they don't seem to think this amounts to much.

It brought out an angry, hot monster from within me! How can there be love when people don't have respect? And there certainly is no respecting going on when people promise one thing and then do nothing or do something totally different without caring at all about the consequences for others! But that sort of behavior is rife in India. More than any place I have ever been in fact.

What we say has power - but when our words are not backed up by actions or when they are contradicted by our actions then we are posioning ourselves and our relationships with the world. This is an undeniable fact.

The lesson for me - is to be more forgiving and more patient. My ire is very real because I see how inefficient and careless this society so often is...and it gets to me. Still - rather than condemning I need to open my heart more and learn to forgive. Ha! There is ample opportunity for that in this country! :)

Where there is no teacher

Do you ever question who you are? Is there a source to suffering? Is it within you? Are these questions that have an urgent relevance to you? Are you the body? Are you the mind? Are you that consciousness that is aware of the movement of the mind? Are you something beyond identity?; Something that has assumed an identity?; Something beyond space and time? Something beyond conditioned existence?

The Buddha’s teaches that there are many worlds, many hells and many heavens. But only he is free who is beyond conditioned existence; beyond identity.

We identify with our families, with our bodies, with a thought system, with a religion, with a culture; with a mantra, with a system of psychology…or we seek beauty and therein there is inevitably ugliness, or we seek wealth and therein is the poverty of an impoverished nature – a prisoner to the sense of lack. Some lose themselves in meditation practices and then become attached to that. The conscious mind plays so many tricks. To become enlightened do this and do that and in come all the formulas…all the techniques. There may be some value in these techniques – perhaps – but the point is that most of us are then attached to those techniques.

But if you really want to know what love is…if you really want to be living in a state of clarity…if you really want to grapple with fear and delusions…then something in you has to look at what the world is and what your place in that world is…moment to moment.

It is a world built on fear and a sense of lack. Are you that which condemns? Are you that which analyses the process of condemnation? Are you that which watches? – the witness? Or are you nothing? Something beyond ideation, something beyond identity?

There is a wonderful Sufi story. A Sufi walked into the Palace one day when the King was out. The Chief Minister watched incredulously as the Sufi sat in the throne of the King. Outraged the Chief Minister asked him “Sir, who are you? Are you some minister from a distant part of the Kingdom?” “No, Sir, I am beyond that.” The Chief minister continued “Well, you cannot be the Chief Minister as I am the Chief Minister. Do you reckon yourself to be the King – for I know the King and you are not he…?” “No beyond that.” So the Chief Minister continued, “Are you God?” “No, I am beyond that!” came the reply. “Beyond that is nothing.” Said the Chief minister.” “Ah yes that’s it!” said the Sufi.

When you awaken to what you are…beyond thought of body or mind or soul or Self…there is that Selflessness in which there is the order and freedom of love. Love has no goal, no limits, no conditions…just an intelligence that is not your own – without continuity, without concepts. There is no identity in love. It is the simplest of things. Are you humble enough…to learn its lesson that it teaches now? Beyond eternity…beyond opposites…beyond conditions…beyond substance…beyond non-substance…

Ramana and visions

M: Just as these movements are superimposed on your body, so visions, dream-states and even reincarnations are superimposed on your real Self. The latter does not move, and is not affected by all these outward changes, but ever remains still in its own place even as the body remains still in the ship's cabin.

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Mind is the closest thing to our Reality...Be careful how you use it. Businessman, yogi, teacher, addicted to laughing...