PISCES LUNAR ECLIPSE, HARVEST MOON, SUPERMOON, September 16, at 12:05 pm PDT

WendyCicchetti

This Full Moon is quite close to the Earth and is considered a Supermoon, in addition to being a lunar eclipse. This is a very subtle eclipse known as a penumbral eclipse, where the Moon passes through the edge rather than the center of the Earth’s shadow, visible from the Eastern Hemisphere. Since the Moon is beneath the horizon as it becomes exactly full, those of us in the Northern Hemisphere will not be able to see it. For those living in the Eastern Hemisphere, the experience will be very subtle and you may not see it at all as it will appear only as a dark shading of the Moon.

Even though, visibly, it is a very subtle lunar eclipse, its gravitational and electromagnetic influence will be profound. An Eclipse creates a reset or re-calibration of consciousness while it interrupts the normal or consistent flow of electromagnetic energy to earth, which affects us all. When it is dimmed or blocked for a time, our perceptions change and we have the possibility to see things anew. This happens with a lunar eclipse on a subconscious and/or emotional level. This can bring to our awareness that which needs to be addressed that we may not have seen before. It can also represent emotional disturbances coming forth from our shadow side, below the surface of our awareness. This gives us the opportunity to take positive steps moving forward with a greater depth of knowledge and understanding.

It is helpful to understand the energies of the Pisces/Virgo axis (12th and 6th houses). This is called the serve or suffer axis which means that if we don’t serve humanity in some way, we suffer. This is an important message for us at this chaotic point in humanities evolution. We were each born with special gifts that can be helpful to others and to the planet. We were born at this profound time of awakening to interject our gifts into the matrix. Large or small interplay is needed now. some of us have an easier time for large participation, while others can only make small contributions. Whatever we can manage to put on the altar of these shifting times is beneficial. Remember there is no contribution too small or insignificant. This Full Moon lunar eclipse is a powerful reminder of our obligation to serve in some way.

There are other powerful influences pulling at us now. Mars in Sagittarius is in a T-square with the Moon and Chiron in Pisces and the Sun in Virgo. Mars represents the challenge point and pushes us to act and serve with courage if awake and conscious, or to war like aggression and destruction for those still blinded by deception. Chiron influencing the Moon in Pisces represents our core wounds and the betrayal that we have felt of late as our eyes have been opened to so much deceit. Chiron helps us to learn from pain as Pisces helps to compassionately heal our wounds through service and love.

Jupiter has finally left the sign of Virgo (where it wasn’t very happy) and moved into the creative and pleasing sign of Libra. We can expect a much more creative year moving forward. All you Libras out there can expect a boost of some needed good fortune and progress.

Both Pluto and Mercury have been retrograde and will be changing direction soon. Mercury turns direct on September 21st at 15 degrees Virgo and Pluto turns direct on September 26th at 15 degrees Capricorn. This will be a pleasant shift for many who have been struggling with these potent retrogrades.

And last but not least, Uranus in Aries is in a trine to Mars in Sagittarius and in opposition to Venus in Libra. This is a quirky configuration and can mean sudden actions and explosive and aggressive behaviors but with hope for creative solutions. Fortunately, the Mars component doesn’t last too long!

Written by Wendy Cicchetti

A Full Moon symbolizes the fulfillment of the seeds planted at a previous New Moon or some earlier cycle. Each Full Moon reminds us of the seeds that may be coming to maturity, to their fullness, to fruition, to the place where the fruits or gifts are received. It may seem that fulfillment of our goals takes a long time. Some intentions may manifest within the two week phase prior to the next New or Full Moon. Some however, depending on their complexity, may take a much longer time. Just remember that our thoughts and emotions set Universal Action in motion and much work takes place behind the scenes as everything is orchestrated for fulfillment. Keep visualizing your goals as though you have already attained them and they will eventually manifest. Do not concern yourself with current conditions or worry about controlling it. The universe takes care of those details. Just keep seeing what you want, and move in that direction with your actions, and give no energy to what you don’t want. Patience is required.

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The National – ‘Morning Dew’ (via Gwyllm Llwydd)


‘Morning Dew' by The National, from ‘Day of the Dead’, a tribute album to the Grateful Dead curated by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, with all profits going to Red Hot Organization. ‘Day of the Dead’ is released on 20th May via 4AD.

Pre-order CD: http://smarturl.it/DayOfTheDead_4AD
Pre-order from iTunes: http://smarturl.it/DayOfTheDead_i
Pre-order from Amazon: http://smarturl.it/DayOfTheDead_a
Pre-order from Google Play: http://smarturl.it/DayOfTheDead_a
Stream on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/DayOfTheDead_Spotify

Find the full line-up and more about the project: dayofthedeadmusic.com

Matt Berninger – vocals
Aaron Dessner ­- electric guitar
Bryce Dessner – electric guitar
Bryan Devendorf -­ drums
Scott Devendorf -­ bass
Sam Cohen -­ electric guitar
Conrad Doucette -­ drums
Josh Kaufman ­- piano, synth, electric guitar
Walter Martin -­ organ
Produced by Aaron Dessner and Josh Kaufman
Recorded by Jonathan Low (Dreamland Recording Studios – West Hurley, NY)
Mixed by Jonathan Low (Miner Street Recordings – Philadelphia, PA)

By Michael Brown

Copyright Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI); used by permission.
(Dobson / Rose)

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“Is Your ‘Self’ Just an Illusion?” by Robert Lawrence Kuhn (livescience.com)

Is Your 'Self' Just an Illusion?

Are “you” just an illusion, a mix of experiences and “stuff” in the universe? Credit: agsandrew / Shutterstock.com

Robert Lawrence Kuhn is the creator, writer and host of “Closer to Truth,” a public television series and online resource that features the world’s leading thinkers exploring humanity’s deepest questions. This essay, the first of a four-part series on the “Self,” is based on “Closer to Truth” episodes and videos, produced and directed by Peter Getzels and streamed at closertotruth.com. Kuhn contributed it to Live Science’s Expert Voices.

My mom just celebrated her 100th birthday. This once vibrant, eloquent, stylish lady with a sense of pride and a touch of vanity can no longer walk or talk. But she recognizes family, smiles when her great-grandchildren visit or her fingernails are polished, and utters rough phrases of displeasure when caring aides must intervene bodily. She makes an angry face when she senses (quite correctly) that people are talking about her, and she expresses overt frustration at her incapacity to communicate orally by scrunching up her face and balling her fist.

Is she still a “self”? Of course she is. She may not be “her self” — that is, her old self. But though diminished, she is surely a self.

What about her fellow residents in an assisted-living unit specializing inmemory impairment? Some have advanced Alzheimer’s and can no longer recognize their loved ones. Are they still selves? When does one cease being a self? [10 of the Biggest Mysteries of the Mind]

What is a “self,” anyway? What does it mean to be a self? What are the requirements of selfhood?

The nature of self is one of philosophy’s perennial and persistent questions. Self is easy to describe, yet maddening to decipher. Partphilosophy of the mind, part biology of the brain, it combines two elusive ideas: the philosophy of continuity (how things persist through time) and the biopsychology of psychic unity (how the brain makes us feel singular). I see; I hear; I feel. How do separate perceptions bind together into a continuing, coherent whole? How do sentient properties congeal as “me”?

Look at an old photo, perhaps from primary school. Then look in the mirror. Those two people are the same person. But how so? They don’t look the same. Their memories are different. Almost all of the cells that composed that child’s body have gone from that adult’s body.

I feel myself to be the same person who attended high school, went off to college, started a family and struggled through careers — the same person, until I look in that mirror. Decades roll by. Experiences accumulate. Memories multiply.

Yet I sense myself, inside, all together the same. “I” am always “me.” Not just continuity, but unity. Some say my feeling is an illusion.

“The problem with personal identity is, we feel there is a fact that ‘I’m me,'” John Searle, a philosopher of mind at the University of California, Berkeley, said on my TV series “Closer to Truth.” “But that’s hard to pin down philosophically, because all of my experiences change, all of the parts of my body change, all of the molecules in my body change.”

(All quotes are derived from “Closer to Truth.”)

The 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume denounced the very notion of a self. Paraphrasing Hume, Searle said, “Whenever I grab my forehead and wonder, ‘Where is the self?’ all I get is a kind of headache. I feel my hand pushing against my head; I may feel a vague hangover from last night. But in addition to all of my particular experiences, there isn’t any self.” [The 7 Biggest Mysteries of the Human Body]

To Searle, we can try to define continuity of self — that is, a self that remains even as every other aspect of a person changes — by continuity of body (or of memory, personality, etc.). But we find that none of those criteria suffices, because any or all of them can be altered, even eradicated, and we still sense a continuing, unified self.

“You have to postulate a self to make sense of rational behavior,” Searle said. “We want to find a ‘soul’ that is at the bottom of all this … but, of course, there isn’t any.”

British philosopher of mind Colin McGinn agrees. To him, our confusion about the self is essentially ignorance about the brain. “The self is something real,” he said, but “the self has got to be grounded in the brain — the self’s unity over time must be a function of what’s in the brain. We don’t know how that works, but it must be so.”

McGinn stressed that we don’t yet have a clear definition of self. “Our grasp of the concept of the self is very limited because we experience it from our first-person point of view when we say ‘I,’ but we really don’t know what that thing [‘I’] is at all, except as the bearer of mental states,” he said. “Our imaginative adventures with the concept reflect our ignorance about what the self actually is and what constitutes it in the brain.”

McGinn worries that theories of the “self” seem “too thin to ground the idea of personal identity” persisting through time. “All we’ve got is the idea that you, at a later time, are causally connected to you at an earlier time,” he said. “That isn’t the same thing as you persisting through time.”

But McGinn rejected any sort of supernatural entity, which he called “a kind of receding transcendent thing that is capable of strange feats.” “People imagine themselves to be capable of all sorts of strange things, supernatural things, where a self can exist independently of the brain,” he said. “I’m saying that the self is rooted in the brain. … But we have a really thin conception; it’s just the idea of ‘I.'”

But how could a conscious self be rooted in a physical brain? By what mechanisms? I can’t even imagine what could count as an answer.

Some say there is no mystery because there is no self; the self does not exist.

Could our internal sense of personal identity — about which we seem so sure — be an illusion? I asked former parapsychologist, now skeptic, Susan Blackmore.

“There’s no reason to suppose that we have real continuity,” Blackmore said. “Because if you look at what a body and a brain are, there’s no room for a thing called a ‘self’ that sort of sits in there and has experiences. So then, the question becomes, why does it feel that way?”

To Blackmore, we invent that feeling ourselves. “The illusion of continuity is created only when you look for it,” she said. Though all things about us change from moment to moment, when we connect all of our experiential dots, we conjure up our inner sense of self. “So you imagine this kind of continuous stream of consciousness when you’re awake, but actually, it’s not like that at all,” she said. “There are multiple parallel things going on. And every so often, we go, ‘Oh, that’s me,’ and we invent the self-story. [Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?]

“This so-called ‘me’ is really just another reconstruction,” she continued. “There was an earlier one 30 minutes ago, and there will be others in the future. But they’re really not the same person; they’re just stuff happening in the universe.”

“So there’s no self to die,” she concluded, because there is no self prior to death and “there’s certainly no self to continue after death.”

Sue appears rather cheerful in her inexorable mortality, so I asked if she thinks that “no self” is “good news?”

“I’m smiling because it’s so beautiful when you get it,” she says. “You can let go and just accept that it’s just the universe doing its stuff. It’s not me against the world because there really isn’t any me at all. Death has no sting, because there never was a ‘you’ to die. Every moment is just a new story.”

To Tufts University philosopher Daniel Dennett, our conception of a self is an illusion created by our experience of the world. He offered an analogy of an object’s center of gravity, which is an abstraction, not an actual concrete thing, yet we treat it as something real. “Faced with complex human sentience, we do the same thing: We try to make everything cohere around a single point,” Dennett said. “That’s the self — the center of narrative gravity.

“What makes a self is a big collection of memories and projects, desires and plans, likes and dislikes — a psychological profile,” Dennett continued. “Well, what holds that all together? Opposing processes in the brain, which tend to abhor inconsistency.” And so when inconsistencies arise, Dennett said, either you have to jettison the thing that’s inconsistent or concoct a coherent story to explain the inconsistency.

How, then, does the self persist through time, notwithstanding all the changes to the body and brain? “The notion that the only thing that could persist is a little, special, unchangeable pearl of self-stuff seems like a fairly lame solution to the problem,” Dennett stated. “That’s just gift wrapping the problem and pretending to solve it.

“But more to the point, what makes you so sure there has to be an answer to these questions?” he continued. “The conviction that there has to be a single right answer is a leftover from metaphysical absolutism. And we should just dismiss it.”

But, sorry Dan, I can’t just dismiss it. My sense of self — my inner feeling of personal identity and unity through time — seems so real.

Am I fooling myself?

Check back for the next in this four-part series on the “Self: Possibilitiesand Survival for Your ‘Self.'” 

Kuhn is co-editor, with John Leslie, of “The Mystery of Existence: Why Is There Anything at All?” (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013). Read more of Kuhn’s essays on Kuhn’s Live Science Expert Voices landing page and Kuhn’s Space.com Expert Voices landing page.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. 

(Courtesy of Gwyllm Llwydd.)

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JOURNAL ENTRY 2 the PROSPEROS ASSEMBLY 2016

Calvin profile

By Calvin Harris, H.W., M.

Saturday, September 3, 2016 – 9:45 p.m. My thoughts are reeling about what has transpired thus far, as I attempt to quiet myself for sleep. and yet the mind feels fully awake reviewing all that has occurred today and yesterday. It is the end of day two of The Prosperos Assembly 2016 at the Westin Hotel, in Long Beach, California. This was the first full day of planed activities.

Friday, September 2, the central focus for many of the participants was just getting there, be it drive or fly, then, to settle into the hotel, to acquaint themselves with events, existing attractions, restaurants, and local transportation. That evening, the Assembly attendees made first contact as a group, in an informal meet – and -greet with Prosperos Dean Al Haferkamp H.W., M.

As the Coordinator of the event, I came to the hotel, about 11:00 a.m., to check myself in, and if need be, to be of assistance to anyone that might have questions. I was keenly interested in who would be there, even though I had an inkling of who might be there, in the form of a pre-assembly registration report. As Prosperos students started arriving, I was delighted and surprised to see and greet so many of the participants as they entered the Westin Hotel. Some of them, I knew for months were coming to Assembly, others I found out just days before the event, like the phone call from Tom Charlesworth,H.W., M., of Seattle, or the E-mail from long-time students: Mary Ann of Colorado, now in Hemet, Ca, Jerry Glasgow of Colorado, now in Northern California, Amy Cuff-Wall of Central Calif., Sara Walker of Oregon, Bo Lebo of Hollywood.

I was really excited and eager to welcome our first-time assembly students: Annie Becker of Arizona, and Richard Branam of Washington state. Of course I was looking forward to seeing those students that I have long-term bonds with. Some go way back over 40 years, yet I have not seen for a long time. I was ready with that big hug, that embrace of Aloha – There was Greta and Sarkis Balayan, Hanz Bolen, Anne Bollman, Debi and Larry Byrnes, Janet Cornwell, Al Haferkamp, Alana and William Fennie, Cookie James and Richard Hartnett, Hugh John Malanaphy, Maureen Malanaphy, Tibor Nagy, Rick Thomas, and Heather Williams. There were those who I would have to wait until the banquet dinner to add to the list of Aloha’s: Bob Biddle of Long Beach, Kathleen Malanaphy of Hawaii, and Rob Klopfenstein of San Pedro. I am sure I may have missed one or two other names in my recollection, but as you can see we hailed from the east to the west coast, the Hawaiian island, and parts in between.

From September 3 to 5, it was my privilege to emcee the Assembly, as emcee I had the honor of introducing my fellow Mentors before their presentations or workshops. As part of introducing them, I presented them with a ti-leaf lei, as well as a special symbolic teaching lei that Zoe Robinson H.W., M. (now in Greece) had sent to us for the Assembly. This special lei was ceremoniously presented to me by Rick Thomas, H.W., M., President of the Prosperos, and I subsequently passed it on to each presenter as they came to the lectern.

My opening remarks for the Assembly was a brief talk about the meaning of Aloha and the Aloha Spirit, to have the participants evoke that spirit within our Assembly community.  According to old kahunas (priests), Aloha is a most ancient Hawaiian word – “ALO,” meaning presence or face, and “HA,” meaning breath, being able to live the Spirit of Aloha is to live Face-to-Face with the Breath of Life, thus Aloha is a way of living whole.

“Aloha” also means Love. Another word we use concurrent with Aloha, in the Prosperos is the Greek word “Agape” also meaning Love, what then is at the core, the essence of relationships, in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence. Thomas Merton wrote, “Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.” Thus our focus for those few days, was to work in concert with the Aloha Spirit, so we could hear what is not said, see what cannot be seen and know the unknowable.  Following my opening remarks, I asked for Elton John’s tumble weed album version of “Love Song.”

After the break, I introduced Al Haferkamp, H.W., M., Dean of the Prosperos, who gave a welcome speech called “Introduction to the Crossroads.” Al expressed some of the goals for this assembly, which began by reminding us of our Assembly theme, “Companions at the Crossroads.” After a few words about that, he reminded us about our work, which is to bring straight thinking from the abstract into our lives, not to just feel better and go on until the next crisis hits, but to encourage us to use the powers that the practice of RHS and Translation releases within us, the powers of the Supra Conscious that can break the chains of “fear” and “inertia” caused by unresolved unconscious conflicts and contradictions, which keep us from satisfying achievements.

During the short break after Al’s talk, Janet Cornwell, H.W., m., and Anne Bollman, H.W., M., were finishing up with everyone’s registration for the event. Sarkis Balayan, H. W., was doing an excellent job with running the video, and sound equipment. Hugh John Malanaphy, H.W., M., was of great assistance with the music portions of the Assembly. He queued up and had playing Gene Wilder singing “Pure Imagination.” from the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

After the Break, Anne Bollman, H.W., M., was introduced and came to the lectern with her presentation called “Understanding your Unconscious Drives in a Time of Change.”  Anne’s presentation touched on the astrological aspects of the unconscious interpretive apparatus of the individual, family and social survival dynamics active within each of us. Her focus in this presentation, was on the transits of Uranus and Pluto as far as clues to upcoming challenges and changes in our world that give us the power of choice to act or react.

During the break after Anne’s talk, the song that was played, was a duet or conversation in song from the musical Wicked (the retelling of the Wizard of Oz before Dorothy came.)  It was between Elphaba (the so called wicked witch) and Glinda (the so called good witch), after their first-eye opening encounter with the Wizard of Oz. The song was called, “For Good,” the lyrics gives a pretty good indication of where we want to be after an RHS: “I’ve heard it said, that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those who help us most to grow if we let them, and we help them in return … I know I’m who I am today because I knew you … And now whatever way our stories end I know you have rewritten mine … And just to clear the air, I ask forgiveness [to Give-For], For the things I’ve done, you blame me for. But then I guess, we know there’s blame to share. And none of it seems to matter anymore [Release] … I do believe I have been changed for the better… because I knew you … I have been changed … For good.”

Up next was one of my favorite talks, it was presented by Richard Hartnett, H.W., M., it was called “To Awaken in the Dark Forest.”  Richard, like Mary Ritley H.W., M., before him, reminds us of our symbolic, archetypal stories that we all reenact. And what makes the Prosperos teaching so powerful and effective is our ability to take courage and to shine enlightenment within the dark side of ourselves. Richard used the archetypal story of “Dante’s descent into hell” to walk us through the spiritual journey from the dark forest to the heavens. After which we listened to Peggy Lee’s version of Love Song. We then adjourned for lunch.

After lunch we heard Elton John’s version of Love Song. The room had been rearranged for a demonstration of the Empty Chair Technique (ECT), coupled with the Releasing the Hidden Splendour (RHS) process.

Richard Hartnett was introduced as an RHS/ECT facilitator. He began by going over the 5 steps of RHS: 1). Retrieve the memory, 2) Re-live feelings as you knew them then, identify yourself and others in that then state of awareness. 3) Re-Act to act out the emotions of the scene, saying what could not be said then. 4) Release – let go of or release yourself and others in the scene from anger, blame, guilt, etc., as mind unfolding the truth. 5) Re-file – the memory automatically refiles when we give up the understanding that it is not about the non-survival mechanism, and “to Give-For” our identity, as Joseph above Pharaoh, “Consciousness Unfolding”.

Rick Thomas H.W., M., then joined Richard to present a demonstration of the RHS/ ECT, process.  (Rick, Richard, Al, and myself had gone through an eight-week intensive lead by Zoe Robinson, H.W., M. in honing our facilitators skills in the use of the RHS/ ECT).

Rick and Richard prepared to do a RHS/ECT process that include the Assembly participants. But before they began, we were all admonished to uphold the Confidentiality Agreement that nothing is revealed or passed on about what you have witnessed or heard other than what you gained from your experience, your own insights as to your relationship to the experience. The Confidentiality Agreement is to be treated as sacred and binding.

There are three roles that are performed when RHS/ECT is done in a group situation.

There is the Participant (some may know this role as the protagonist in pyscho-drama).

There is the Facilitator, who support the participant through the process.

And there is Witness Participant, the rest of us in attendance who witness and support the process by intense listening not only of the participant triggers and releases, but of our own self-dialogue as well, using self-observation to see where we might be triggered or stuck, how we can better enhance and perfect the use of the tools when we are working with them on our own, and to be present in your sharing during the gratitude circle at the end of the workshop.

After the RHS/ECT demonstration, we were assigned to break-out groups in various locations. A recess was called, and afterward we met up with our various break-out groups.

The break-out groups each had a trained facilitator acting as moderator. The facilitator’s goal was to help identify, clarify, and review issues. As in our tape groups, there was also a group recorder who through group discussion, would jot down identified shared issues when we look more closely at the 5Rs, or the concept of the Observer Self or Joseph above Pharaoh. Concepts that we could dive into and work to release.

The breakout groups were organic in nature, not to be analyzing but rather a process of inward listening. And if something bubbled up the facilitator was there to provide a safe environment to support a participant if they would want to go through a RHS/ECT session.

At an appointed time, we regrouped in the main meeting room, still in an environment of Loving Listening, we shared our break-out groups summations. For me, what stood out were statements like a move towards balance, straight-thinking in the abstract, and getting back to source. Issues of reclaiming our power and somatic balance by letting go of false identities and unresolved emotional memories, transforming fears into self-actualizing servants of Consciousness.

We had come to the end of our program for that evening.

My deep breath and release, reminded me, Aloha is a way of living whole, to live Face-to-Face with the essence of life.

As we adjourned for the evening, we filed out of our meeting room with Hawaiian music playing in the background into the main hallway of the hotel, into a larger world filled with the larger world filled with sound of drums, gourds, chants, music and the sway of life.

To Be Continued…

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Rufus Jones on the Oversoul

“According to Emerson’s doctrine, there is no impenetrable wall, ‘no screen or ceiling,’ between the individual soul and the oversoul:

‘There is no bar or wall in the soul where man . . . ceases and God . . . begins.  The walls are taken away.  We lie open on one side to the depth of spiritual nature.’

“Like his masters, Plato and Plotinus, Emerson thinks of this oversoul, this universal reason, as the interpenetrating life and power and intelligence in nature, which is ‘the perennial miracle’ of spirit.  Nature is alive through the same oversoul which is within us.  At the center of nature, as at the center of man’s soul, one supreme mind is actively present, is showing its unvarying laws, and is weaving the web, which partly conceals and partly reveals the hidden-working spirit.  There is one common, penetrating pulse of nature and spirit — ‘the earth-beat, sea-beat, heart-beat which makes the tune to which the sun rolls, and the globule of blood, and the sap of trees.'”

“Since Emerson’s day there have been many interpretations of ultimate reality in terms of oversoul.  William James concludes that ‘continuous and co-terminus’ with our personal selves there is a ‘wider Self through which saving experiences come.’  R. M. Bucke calls this ultimate reality ‘cosmic consciousness’ and gives many illustrations of its influence.  F. W. H. Myers worked out in much detail a doctrine of the subliminal self, from which, he holds, come inspirations, revelations, and a vast number of extraordinary experiences and manifestations.   There are, furthermore, in contemporary thought, many popular varieties of oversoul doctrine.”

–Rufus Jones in an essay called “Oversoul”

rufusjones

Rufus Matthew Jones (Jan. 25, 1863 – June 16, 1948), Haverford, Pa.) one of the most respected U.S. Quakers of his time, who wrote extensively on Christian mysticism and helped found the American Friends Service Committee.

 

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Jacob Boehme on “The Supersensual Life” (passtheword.org)

O F

T H E    S U P E R S E N S U A L     L I F E,

O R

T H E   L I F E   W H I C H    I S   A B O V E   S E N S E.

I N

Two  D I A L O G U E S  between a Scholar or Disciple and his Master.


D  I  A  L  O  G  U   E       I.

 

Disciple.  

Woodcut - THE Disciple said to his Master:   Sir, How may I come to the Supersensual Life, so that I may see God, and may hear God speak?

Master.

The Master answered and said: Son, when thou canst throw thyself into THAT, where no Creature dwelleth, though it be but for a Moment, then thou hearest what God speaketh.

Disciple.

Is that where no Creature dwelleth near at hand; or is it afar off?

 

Master.

It is in thee.  And if thou canst, my Son, for a while but cease from all thy thinking and willing, then thou shalt hear the unspeakable Words of God.

 

Disciple.

How can hear him speak, when I stand still from thinking and willing?

 

Master.

When thou standest still from the thinking of Self, and the willing of Self; “When both thy Intellect and Will are quiet and passive to the Impressions of the Eternal Word and Spirit; when thy Soul is winged up, and above that which is temporal, the outward Senses, and the Imagination being locked up by Holy Abstraction,” then the Eternal Hearing, Seeing, and Speaking will be revealed in thee; and so God heareth “and seeth through thee,” being now the Organ of his Spirit; and so God speaketh in thee, and whispereth to thy Spirit, and thy Spirit heareth his Voice.  Blessed art thou therefore if that thou canst stand still from Self-thinking and Self-willing, and canst stop the Wheel of thy Imagination and Senses; forasmuch as hereby thou mayest arrive at length to see the great Salvation of God, being made capable of all Manner of Divine Sensations and Heavenly Communications.   Since it is nought indeed but thine own Hearing and Willing that do hinder thee, so that thou dost not see and hear God.

 

Disciple.

But wherewith shall I hear and see God, for as much as he is above Nature and Creature?

 

Master.

Son, when thou art quiet and silent, then art thou as God was before Nature and Creature; thou art that which God then was; thou art that whereof he made thy Nature and Creature: Then thou hearest and seest even with that wherewith God himself saw and heard in thee, before ever thine own Willing or thine own Seeing began.

 

Disciple.

What now hinders or keeps me back, so that I cannot come to that, wherewith God is to be seen and heard?

 

Master.

Nothing truly but thine own Willing, Hearing, and Seeing do keep thee back from it, and do hinder thee from coming to this Supersensual State.  And it is because thou strivest so against that, out of which thou thyself art descended and derived, that thou thus breakest thyself off, with thine own Willing, from God’s Willing, and with thine own Seeing from God’s Seeing.   In as much as in thine own Seeing thou dost see in thine own Willing only, and with thine own Understanding thou dost understand but in and according to this thine own Willing, as the same stands divided from the Divine Will.  This thy Willing moreover stops thy Hearing, and maketh thee deaf towards God, through thy own thinking upon terrestrial Things, and thy attending to that which is without thee; and so it brings thee into a Ground, where thou art laid hold on and captivated in Nature.  And having brought thee hither, it overshadows thee with that which thou willest; it binds thee with thine own Chains, and it keeps thee in thine own dark Prison which thou makest for thyself; so that thou canst not go out thence, or come to that State which is Supernatural and Supersensual.

jacobboehme

Jakob Böhme (March 8, 1575 – November 17, 1624) was a German Christian mystic and theologian. He was considered an original thinker by many of his contemporaries within the Lutheran tradition, and his first book, commonly known as Aurora, caused a great scandal. Wikipedia

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“The Ancient Sage” by Alfred Tennyson

A THOUSAND summers ere the time of Christ
From out his ancient city came a Seer
Whom one that loved, and honour’d him, and yet
Was no disciple, richly garb’d, but worn
From wasteful living, follow’d—in his hand
A scroll of verse—till that old man before
A cavern whence an affluent fountain pour’d
From darkness into daylight, turn’d and spoke.This wealth of waters might but seem to draw
From yon dark cave, but, son, the source is higher,
Yon summit half-a-league in air—and higher,
The cloud that hides it—higher still, the heavens
Whereby the cloud was moulded, and whereout
The cloud descended. Force is from the heights.
I am wearied of our city, son, and go
To spend my one last year among the hills.
What hast thou there? Some deathsong for the Ghouls
To make their banquet relish? let me read.

“How far thro’ all the bloom and brake
That nightingale is heard!
What power but the bird’s could make
This music in the bird?
How summer-bright are yonder skies,
And earth as fair in lute!
And yet what sign of aught that lies
Behind the green and blue?
But man to-day is fancy’s fool
As man hath ever been.
The nameless Power, or Powers, that rule
Were never heard or seen.”

If thou would’st hear the Nameless, and wilt dive
Into the Temple-cave of thine own self,
There, brooding by the central altar, thou
May’st haply learn the Nameless hath a voice,
By which thou wilt abide, if thou be wise,
As if thou knewest, tho’ thou canst not know;
For Knowledge is the swallow on the lake
That sees and stirs the surface-shadow there
But never yet hath dipt into the abysm,
The Abysm of all Abysms, beneath, within
The blue of sky and sea, the green of earth,
And in the million-millionth of a grain
Which cleft and cleft again for evermore,
And ever vanishing, never vanishes,
To me, my son, more mystic than myself,
Or even than the Nameless is to me.
And when thou sendest thy free soul thro’ heaven,
Nor understandest bound nor boundlessness,
Thou seest the Nameless of the hundred names.
And if the Nameless should withdraw from all
Thy frailty counts most real, all thy world
Might vanish like thy shadow in the dark.

“And since—from when this earth began—
The Nameless never came
Among us, never spake with man,
And never named the Name”—

Thou canst not prove the Nameless, O my son,
Nor canst thou prove the world thou movest in,
Thou canst not prove that thou art body alone,
Nor canst thou prove that thou art spirit alone,
Nor canst thou prove that thou art both in one:
Thou canst not prove thou art immortal, no
Nor yet that thou art mortal—nay my son,
Thou canst not prove that I, who speak with thee,
Am not thyself in converse with thyself,
For nothing worthy proving can be proven,
Nor yet disproven: wherefore thou be wise,
Cleave ever to the sunnier side of doubt,
And cling to Faith beyond the forms of Faith!
She reels not in the storm of warring words,
She brightens at the clash of ‘Yes’ and ‘No,’
She sees the Best that glimmers thro’ the Worst,
She feels the Sun is hid but for a night,
She spies the summer thro’ the winter bud,
She tastes the fruit before the blossom falls,
She hears the lark within the songless egg,
She finds the fountain where they wail’d ‘Mirage’!

“What Power? aught akin to Mind,
The mind in me and you?
Or power as of the Gods gone blind
Who see not what they do?”

But some in yonder city hold, my son,
That none but Gods could build this house of ours,
So beautiful, vast, various, so beyond
All work of man, yet, like all work of man,
A beauty with defect——till That which knows,
And is not known, but felt thro’ what we feel
Within ourselves is highest, shall descend
On this half-deed, and shape it at the last
According to the Highest in the Highest.

“What Power but the Years that make
And break the vase of clay,
And stir the sleeping earth, and wake
The bloom that fades away?
What rulers but the Days and Hours
That cancel weal with woe,
And wind the front of youth with flowers,
And cap our age with snow?”

The days and hours are ever glancing by,
And seem to flicker past thro’ sun and shade,
Or short, or long, as Pleasure leads, or Pain;
But with the Nameless is nor Day nor Hour;
Tho’ we, thin minds, who creep from thought to thought,
Break into ‘Thens’ and ‘Whens’ the Eternal Now
This double seeming of the single world!—
My words are like the babblings in a dream
Of nightmare, when the habblings break the dream.
But thou be wise in this dream-world of ours,
Nor take thy dial for thy deity,
But make the passing shadow serve thy will.

“The years that made the stripling wise
Undo their work again,
And leave him, blind of heart and eyes,
The last and least of men;
Who clings to earth, and once would dare
Hell-heat or Arctic cold,
And now one breath of cooler air
Would loose him from his hold;
His winter chills him to the root,
He withers marrow and mind;
The kernel of the shrivell’d fruit
Is jutting thro’ the rind;
The tiger spasms tear his chest,
The palsy wags his head;
The wife, the sons, who love him best
Would fain that he were dead;
The griefs by which he once was wrung
Were never worth the while”—

Who knows? or whether this earth-narrow life
Be yet but yolk, and forming in the shell

“The shaft of scorn that once had stung
But wakes a dotard smile.”

The placid gleams of sunset after storm!

“The statesman’s brain that sway’d the past
Is feebler than his knees;
The passive sailor wrecks at last
In ever-silent seas;
The warrior hath forgot his arms,
The Learned all his lore;
The changing market frets or charms
The merchant’s hope no more;
The prophet’s beacon burn’d in vain,
And now is lost in cloud;
The plowman passes, bent with pain,
To mix with what he plow’d;
The poet whom his Age would quote
As heir of endless fame—
He knows not ev’n the book he wrote,
Not even his own name.
For man has overlived his day,
And, darkening in the light,
Scarce feels the senses break away
To mix with ancient Night.”

The shell must break before the bird can fly.

“The years that when my Youth began
Had set the lily and rose
By all my ways where’er they ran,
Have ended mortal foes;
My rose of love for ever gone,
My lily of truth and trust—
They made her lily and rose in one,
And changed her into dust.
O rosetree planted in my grief,
And growing, on her tomb,
Her dust is greening in your leaf,
Her blood is in your bloom.
O slender lily waving there,
And laughing back the light,
In vain you tell me ‘Earth is fair’
When all is dark as night.”

My son, the world is dark with griefs and graves,
So dark that men cry out against the Heavens.
Who knows but that the darkness is in man?
The doors of Night may be the gates of Light;
For wert thou born or blind or deaf, and then
Suddenly heal’d, how would’st thou glory in all
The splendours and the voices of the world!
And we, the poor earth’s dying race, and yet
No phantoms, watching from a phantom shore
Await the last and largest sense to make
The phantom walls of this illusion fade,
And show us that the world is wholly fair.

“But vain the tears for darken’d years
As laughter over wine,
And vain the laughter as the tears,
O brother, mine or thine,

For all that laugh, and all that weep
And all that breathe are one
Slight ripple on the boundless deep
That moves, and all is gone.”

But that one ripple on the boundless deep
Feels that the deep is boundless, and itself
For ever changing form, but evermore
One with the boundless motion of the deep.

“Yet wine and laughter friends! and set
The lamps alight, and call
For golden music, and forget
The darkness of the pall.”

If utter darkness closed the day, my son——
But earth’s dark forehead flings athwart the heavens
Her shadow crown’d with stars—and yonder—out
To northward—some that never set, but pass
From sight and night to lose themselves in day.
I hate the black negation of the bier,
And wish the dead, as happier than ourselves
And higher, having climb’d one step beyond
Our village miseries, might be borne in white
To burial or to burning, hymn’d from hence
With songs in praise of death, and crown’d with flowers!

“O worms and maggots of to-day
Without their hope of wings!”

But louder than thy rhyme the silent Word
Of that world-prophet in the heart of man.

“Tho’ some have gleams or so they say
Of more than mortal things.”

To-day? but what of yesterday? for oft
On me, when boy, there came what then I call’d,
Who knew no books and no philosophies,
In my boy-phrase ‘The Passion of the Past.’
The first gray streak of earliest summer-dawn,
The last long stripe of waning crimson gloom,
As if the late and early were but one—
A height, a broken grange, a grove, a flower
Had murmurs ‘Lost and gone and lost and gone!’
A breath, a whisper—some divine farewell—
Desolate sweetness—far and far away—
What had he loved, what had he lost, the boy?
I know not and I speak of what has been.
And more, my son! for more than once when I
Sat all alone, revolving in myself
The word that is the symbol of myself,
The mortal limit of the Self was loosed,
And past into the Nameless, as a cloud
Melts into Heaven. I touch’d my limbs, the limbs
Were strange not mine—and yet no shade of doubt,
But utter clearness, and thro’ loss of Self
The gain of such large life as match’d with ours
Were Sun to spark—unshadowable in words,
Themselves but shadows of a shadow-world.

“And idle gleams will come and go,
But still the clouds remain;”

The clouds themselves are children of the Sun.

“And Night and Shadow rule below
When only Day should reign.”

And Day and Night are children of the Sun,
And idle gleams to thee are light to me.
Some say, the Light was father of the Night,
And some, the Night was father of the Light,
No night no day!—I touch thy world again—
No ill no good! such counter-terms, my son,
Are border-races, holding, each its own
By endless war: but night enough is there
In yon dark city: get thee back: and since
The key to that weird casket, which for thee
But holds a skull, is neither thine nor mine,
But in the hand of what is more than man,
Or in man’s hand when man is more than man,
Let be thy wail and help thy fellow men,
And make thy gold thy vassal not thy king,
And fling free alms into the beggar’s bowl,
And send the day into the darken’d heart;
Nor list for guerdon in the voice of men,
A dying echo from a falling wall;
Nor care—for Hunger hath the Evil eye—
To vex the noon with fiery gems, or fold
Thy presence in the silk of sumptuous looms;
Nor roll thy viands on a luscious tongue,
Nor drown thyself with flies in honied wine;
Nor thou he rageful, like a handled bee,
And lose thy life by usage of thy sting;
Nor harm an adder thro’ the lust for harm,
Nor make a snail’s horn shrink for wantonness;
And more—think well! Do-well will follow thought,
And in the fatal sequence of this world
An evil thought may soil thy children’s blood;
But curb the beast would cast thee in the mire,
And leave the hot swamp of voluptuousness
A cloud between the Nameless and thyself,
And lay thine uphill shoulder to the wheel,
And climb the Mount of Blessing, whence, if thou
Look higher, then—perchance—thou mayest—beyond
A hundred ever-rising mountain lines,
And past the range of Night and Shadow—see
The high-heaven dawn of more than mortal day
Strike on the Mount of Vision!
So, farewell.

alfredtennyson
Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, FRS (August 6, 1809 – October 6, 1892) was Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria’s reign and remains one of the most popular British poets. Wikipedia
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Ramana Maharshi on self-inquiry

ramanamahirshi

[Self-Inquiry] alone can reveal the truth that neither the ego nor the mind really exists, and enable one to realize the pure, undifferentiated being of the Self or the absolute.
~ Ramana Maharshi (December 30, 1879 – April 14, 1950)  was an Indian sage and jivanmukta. He was born Venkataraman Iyer, but is most commonly known under the name Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. He was born in what is now Tiruchuli, Tamil Nadu, India. Wikipedia

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David Hume on the human condition

davidhume
David Hume (May 7, 1711 – August 25, 1776) was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of radical philosophical empiricism, skepticism, and naturalism. Wikipedia

“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 can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception…. If any one, upon serious and unprejudic’d reflection thinks he has a different notion of himself, I must confess I can reason no longer with him. All I can allow him is, that he may be in the right as well as I, and that we are essentially different in this particular. He may, perhaps, perceive something simple and continu’d, which he calls himself; tho’ I am certain there is no such principle in me.”

David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature

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