Recommendation

Our old StumbleUpon friend Ogmin (aka, Craig from Turtle Hill) has a fine Blogger blog, as well.

Here’s a sample:

Mankind suffers from the narrow viewpoint afforded by conditional consciousness and the largely egological concerns of this present life. We habitually ignore or overlook those aspects of the cosmos which do not relate to the present pursuit of money, food and sex. Through the subtle complexities of causality, one of the more obvious consequences of this mass fixation on self is the wave of extinctions now taking place on all continents. Short-sighted, expedient actions and decisions made by ordinary people are irreversibly changing and impoverishing us all far into the future. In a saner world, awareness of this situation would immediately lead to a global summit to direct all available resources toward measures which might slow (if not stop) this trend, beginning with attention to the most vulnerable species. Like the dark of the moon, the moment passes and it is already tomorrow.

We will all do everything we can while true transformation will not come about through any mechanical process. The nature of consciousness itself provides the key. Beyond all the hope and hype, the media is fixated on absurdities, congress is chasing down baseball players while all the Presidents men conduct business as usual. It doesn’t take a Buddhist to see that on the political front, things are so locked up, fixated on fear, and dumbed down, whatever we might think is practically irrelevant; thus the angle of this blog.

You said it, brother.

I like.

Abusive Guru

If this is you, please take your fishing gear somewhere else:

The Abusive Guru is an all too common phenomenon in the “spiritual supermarket”.

Abusive gurus are almost always highly charismatic, emotionally immature and parasitic sociopaths suffering from Narcissistic personality disorder, and having a tendency to sadomasochistic co-dependency with their disciples and devotees. They justify their abusive treatment in terms of pseudo-spiritual psychobabble like “crazy wisdom” and “breaking down the ego”.

All abusive gurus are False Gurus, although the inverse is not necessarily the case (e.g. you can still have a false guru who is not abusive to their devotees). In other words, no truly enlightened or transenlightened or liberated being, no SadGuru, is ever abusive, ever. There is no exception to this rule, because abusiveness is a result of narcissism and ego, nothing else, and the primary definition of a true guru is they no longer possess ego. Thus any (and I mean any!) abusive behavior of the sort described here immediately and absolutely defines that so-called teacher or so-called master as being of at most partial or limited realisation.

It is the policy of this blog to ban, shun, cast-out and otherwise blot from its existence all personages who match the above description. It has happened once and it can happen again.

We’re here to find common ground, to work toward inner solutions to an outer world gone mad. We’re not here to hurl insults, bask in passive-agressiveness or promote salvation in the guise of insanity.

Just so you know.

Is This So Much To Ask?

Wanted:

Insan Kamil (Arabic) Perfect man, God-realized being. One who has realized Allah as his only wealth, cutting away all the wealth of the world.

Also from my current favorite (though, unfortunately, having passed away before I could meet him), Bawa Muhaiyaddeen:

But, children, all those who have a body made of the five elements must undergo suffering. Even though you might be one who has cut away the attachments to the world and the connection to the five elements, nevertheless all those who have a body of these elements will experience difficulty. Only God who has no form does not experience this suffering. I too feel tired just as you do. Why? Because even when you are in a place of truth, there are difficulties. Even for one on the path of God, difficulties can arise through the connection to one’s children. When troubles come to the children, then one of truth asks, “O God, why are You giving these difficulties to the children? Protect them.” The poverty, illnesses, sorrows, and hunger of a child affect the wise man also. These sorrows do affect a man of truth. Because of his physical body, he is shaken a little. Because he has firm faith in God, however, it affects him for only a second or two and then passes. But it does affect him for that moment.

Even though he has given up attachment to the world, the attachment to his children on this path affects him. Once he gives up that attachment, then he is God. But as long as he has this attachment to take God’s children back to God, he is man. Although he is an insan kamil, a representative of God, he still has this attachment to take the children of God back to God and the truth. Because of this, he also has a connection to all the accidents and difficulties that befall his children on this path.

When disease, disturbances from the world, sorrow, the five elements, mind, and desire come to attack one of his children, and the wise man realizes that the child has fallen, he has to lift that child up, care for him, and carry that child with him. That work is a little difficult, and at such times he undergoes suffering. Until he opens that path and hands you over to God’s responsibility, difficulties will come. Until that time, he has to take you carefully, with strong faith. He does not have the world within him, but he is attached to taking you to God and giving you the freedom of your soul. Because of attachment he has to share your suffering.

All those born in this world with the form of the five elements undergo disturbances and sorrow. God alone is the exception. Like all of you, I too have a physical body. God does not have such a body, so for Him it is easy. You must understand this. With every thought you have, sorrows can come to you. They come and they go, but we must have firm faith and certitude in God. When you are affected by the pull of your connections to caste, lust, anger, bloodties, colors, and religion, you feel tired. This weariness does not come from God. It comes because your taproot is not strong enough. If we do not have this strength, we cannot find peace either for ourselves or for others.

False gurus need not apply….

About Those Commandments….

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Makes you think!

Moses was high on drugs: Israeli researcher

High on Mount Sinai, Moses was on psychedelic drugs when he heard God deliver the Ten Commandments, an Israeli researcher claimed in a study published this week.

Such mind-altering substances formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times, Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem wrote in the Time and Mind journal of philosophy.

“As far Moses on Mount Sinai is concerned, it was either a supernatural cosmic event, which I don’t believe, or a legend, which I don’t believe either, or finally, and this is very probable, an event that joined Moses and the people of Israel under the effect of narcotics,” Shanon told Israeli public radio on Tuesday.

Moses was probably also on drugs when he saw the “burning bush,” suggested Shanon, who said he himself has dabbled with such substances.

“The Bible says people see sounds, and that is a clasic phenomenon,” he said citing the example of religious ceremonies in the Amazon in which drugs are used that induce people to “see music.”

He mentioned his own experience when he used ayahuasca, a powerful psychotropic plant, during a religious ceremony in Brazil’s Amazon forest in 1991. “I experienced visions that had spiritual-religious connotations,” Shanon said.

He said the psychedelic effects of ayahuasca were comparable to those produced by concoctions based on bark of the acacia tree, that is frequently mentioned in the Bible.

You know, I must not have been there the day in Sunday School when they talked about this….


The Politics of Just Living

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One of the tensions in my life, especially since doing a Sociology degree in college, has been between spirituality on the one hand and social engagement on the other.

A part of me (Libra Moon, some would say) has always been concerned with issues of justice. I’ve always come down on the side of the underdog, knowing intuitively that the “have-nots” are continually screwed by the “haves,” and that the “haves” will do just about anything to maintain their status as overlords. At the same time, I’ve known intuitively that, should a “have-not” somehow scramble out of the muck and into the rarefied stratosphere occupied by the “haves,” this new arrival will most likely take on the behavior of his new social class, so that the oppressed is now the oppressor.

With all of this in mind, I have in the past spent a lot of time and energy keeping up with the drama played out between “haves” and “have-nots.” I purchased and devoured books on the following:

The Cold War

The Vietnam War

— The JFK/Malcolm X/MLK/RFK assassinations

The CIA

Watergate

The Spanish Civil War

Nazism

The Federal Reserve

U.S. Intervention in Latin America (and beyond)

The Red Scare

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

AIM and the Black Panther Party

Conspiracy Theories around all the above, plus

9/11

Danny Casolaro and The Octopus

The New World Order

UFO’s

Iran-Contra

COINTELPRO

The War on Drugs

And so forth… you get the picture.

At a certain point – say, around the year 2002 – I looked at the many piles of these books that had mushroomed in my office – some of them already read, most of them waiting – and I asked myself, “What is the point in all of this?”

I’d spent all that time thinking there was an answer to the who, what, when, where and how of our political history. The same names popped up, going back centuries – the same families, same money interests, same bloodlines. I thought that, if I just studied this stuff diligently enough, there would come a time when a light would snap on in my head, and I’d finally emerge into an intellectual clearing – and I’d be able to tell others about my discovery, thereby rendering thousands of years of human ignorance obsolete, so that we may all move forward into a Golden age of total honesty and mutual assistance.

Silly me.

Instead, I came to that moment in 2002 – having already spent years in meditation, studying holy texts and engaging in nonstop spiritual dialog – when I understood that these conspiratorial (or not) machinations were not going to end just because someone like me thought he’d stumbled onto “their” game. It occurred to me that, even if all the worst aspects of all the conspiracy theories – that royal bloodlines are connected with extraterrestrials, that bankers are the new slave drivers, that the New World Order will turn humanity into a Borg hive of soul-less automatons – there is no amount of screaming and hollering and “revelatory disclosure” on my part that is going to bring measurable change. The more you shout CONSPIRACY, the more marginalized you become – laughed at, ridiculed, pushed straight out of “respectable” conversation, relegated to Internet forums filled with other nutjobs who you’d otherwise not touch with a mile-long pole.

It’s not been, however, a matter of simply ignoring my passion for social justice in order to escape into spiritual practice. Rather, it’s been a matter of slowly shifting the emphasis from screaming and hollering (i.e., complaining) about the degenerate state of the external world, migrating toward greater and greater inner awareness, withdrawing from my anguished projections onto the world mirror and allowing something more essential (as in, of my Essence) to bubble up to the surface of my worldly presence.

In other words, I decided to elevate meditation, study of the sacred, and spiritual dialog to occupy larger and larger parts of my daily existence, so that when I now take a look at the horrors of current events, I’m able to honestly assert myself as “not that” — as an antidote, a solution, a reason for hope.

And in the process, I’m meeting many others who’ve come to a similar place. They’re no longer sniveling, playing the victim and waiting for the worst. They are making of themselves living examples, trusting that as a collective expression, millions around the world will form a wave of positive change from within. They trust that external circumstances stand no chance of holding back this wave.

So hey… vote for your favorite Presidential candidate. March for change. Slap bumper stickers on your car. Write to the Editor, to your Representative, your Senator. Sign petitions. Hold placards on street corners. Argue your point of view. Give your two cents. Participate.

I’m for all of this.

I just hope that we all remember: our Paradise is already here, right now, beneath our feet, in our hearts. It’s been here all along; it was never gone. We just have to live it from where we are, no matter what our external circumstances may be. We have plenty that we can do to build-up our Paradise. We can meditate. We can eat right. We can walk instead of drive. We can love instead of hate.

The point is, life’s too short to spend it in opposition to the world around us. With the time we’ve been given, how can it hurt to assert our own Paradise every moment of every day? All those Players of the Game – teach them by your example! They know not what’s best for them, as they are bought into a set of values born of television. Love them, even as they wave weapons in your face. They may not know it, but they are not separate from you.

In this way, the bridge between social justice and spirituality is maintained. In this way, the puzzle is solved… and we are free to get on with just living.