• Satori

    http://theflickerees.deviantart.com/art/The-Playground-called-Life-210657370

    the playground called life by theflickerees


    Do not question why we are here,
    only answer it.

    i

    time
    shares
    all wisdom
    (every secret)
    unlocked will open
    the most stubborn door

    nothing is fast
    in real-time

    ii

    we admire
    Renoir’s opulence
    Van Gogh’s pain
    taste eternity
    in their work

    artists
    express their lives
    so we recognize ours

    iii

    a wind blew
    and made a whisper
    the house woke up to rest
    the sun shone from the horizon
    clouds formed
    hushed

    iv

    you fear strange words
    will escape your lips
    so you quit talking

    do not question
    an inner motive
    only to find it lacking

    let the milk of life touch you
    for it will only curdle into ash Continue reading

  • The Stream of Consciousness

    http://www.deviantart.com/art/Stream-of-Consciousness-rem-185321155

    “For a materialist such as myself, there is no such thing as ‘mind’. It ultimately reduces down to neurons firing and neurochemical transmitter substances flowing across synaptic gaps between neurons, combining in complex patterns to produce something we call mind but is actually just brain.”  Michael Shermer – The Believing Brain

    “… the mind is a flow of subjective experiences, such as pain, pleasure, anger and love. These mental experiences are made of interlinked sensations, emotions and thoughts, which flash for a brief moment, and immediately disappear. Then other experiences flicker and vanish, arising for an instant and passing away. (When reflecting on it, we often try to sort the experiences into distinct categories such as sensations, emotions and thoughts, but in actuality they are all mingled together.) This frenzied collection of experiences constitutes the stream of consciousness.” Yuval Noah Harari – Homo Deus


    The Stream of Consciousness

    dreams as flow; impulses
    generated in the brain
    create order out of chaos
    sense out of jumble

    unrelated thoughts
    throughout the day
    memories passed
    incoherent images
    organized; make stories

    this is our woken state
    according to the experts—
    an involuntary flow of neurons
    between the synapses in our brains
    affected by outside stimulus
    interpreted in the mind:

    what we think we are thinking
    is the moment
    manipulated
    by the past

    this “dream state”
    while awake; anxiety
    depression
    fear
    and quake

    the panoply
    of emotional states
    can be balanced; guided
    through imagery—
    to the middle
    of the way


     

  • The Inner Light



    Some Buddhist schools insist you spend years practicing meditation in order to achieve spiritual enlightenment. In his article on the school of Ch’an Daniel Scharpenburg makes the argument that we are already Enlightened. In his words: “The only thing that keeps us from our Awakening is the fact that our minds are obscured by delusion.”

    This raises a question. Is everyone born with an inner beacon that guides their path through life?

    Many modern religions insist that their patented belief system is the only way to Salvation. They compel you to follow a strict discipline in order to succeed at their calling. They truly understand this Inner Light—and they hijack it. Taking over your moral compass, they replace it with their own.

    Some traps are lined in velvet and may seem comfortable. But they are traps nonetheless. They take over your life, leaving you with a beacon that is set to someone else’s course. If your compass has been turned this way you are left spiritually bankrupt and unhappy.

    Take each step carefully, as you follow your Inner Light.

  • Enlightenment

    http://www.istockphoto.com/tr/photos/planet-earth?excludenudity=true&sort=mostpopular&mediatype=photography&phrase=planet%20earth

    When he walked the Earth, what was it the Buddha understood that enabled him to stand above the stature of Man and become a Spiritual being?

    Simply put, spirituality is what we call the state of inner understanding. A spiritual man doesn’t have to prove his spiritual stature, it speaks for him. He has attained a state of calmness that comes natural, through understanding, or Enlightenment. As natural as we may find this state, it requires cultivation. For, just as we must attend to a flower after it has sprouted, we nurture Understanding, maintaining that state of transcendent consciousness, allowing a raised sense of being to bloom after it has taken root.

    So, when does a man attain enlightenment? What was it the Buddha achieved that made him a spiritual guide to one-fourth of the human race?

    In Siddhartha, Herman Hesse posed the same question when the Brahman-turned-seeker explained to the Buddha why he could not become a follower. Siddhartha spoke to the Enlightened One, stating in a most reverent and entreating way, the following:

    “I have not doubted for a single moment that you are Buddha. . . You have found salvation from death. It has come to you in the course of your own search, on your own path, through thoughts, through meditation, through realizations, through enlightenment. It has not come to you by means of teachings! And–thus is my thought, oh exalted one. . . You will not be able to convey and say to anybody. . . in words and through teachings what has happened to you in the hour of enlightenment! The teachings of the enlightened Buddha contain much. . . But there is one thing which. . . these so venerable teachings do not contain: they do not contain the mystery of what the exalted one has experienced for himself, he alone among hundreds of thousands.” [italics added]

    So, when does a man attain enlightenment? As the Buddha taught, only the one who has attained it knows.

    2010

  • Losing My Religion for Equality – Jimmy Carter


     

    “My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult.” – Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the US.


    Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.


    I’ve always admired former President Jimmy Carter, not only for his many humanitarian endeavors through the years, but for his role as the Voice of Reason in a world of political and moral chaos. After reading his words in the following article, published recently in The Age I am convinced he is a true hero of our time. -P. Cuzco


     

    By Jimmy Carter

    I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

    This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries.

    At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

    Continue reading

  • On the Road to Satori – Flagstaff

     


     

    Flagstaff

     

    we drove north from Sedona
    amazed at the crystal clear air of the night
    Elizabeth explained that the crackle of bonfires
    were actually in people’s back yards
    not the National Park

    we spent the night
    with a family in the process
    of converting their mobile home
    into a mountain lodge; the framework
    and plywood sheathing visible
    as we sat to dinner

    I marveled at the ingenuity
    of people who engage in such endeavors
    having lived my whole life in apartments
    never knowing what it’s like
    to own a house
    you can convert
    and add to
    at will

    Ralph and his family were ok
    they all got along fine with Elizabeth’s two kids
    and their dog; who later ate the scraps from our plates
    (I think we probably ate venison)

    we had breakfast the next morning
    at a coffee shop on San Francisco Street
    train tracks ran East-West through town
    I walked along them for a half mile or so with Jack
    a fellow we’d met in the café

    Jack told me of his dreams of traveling
    cross-country; riding the rails and bumming it
    how he envied me his job and bills
    reminding me that, yeah
    I was pretty lucky
    out here rambling
    no worries—no dough

    back at the diner
    Elizabeth waited
    to take me to the Interstate
    where I would (hopefully)
    make my next connection
    to the Coast

    she let me off at the crossroads
    and I waited there for a ride
    she stayed in the micro bus
    guarding my journey
    like the angel of
    my mother’s prayers

    a pretty girl
    driving a flatbed truck
    stopped to give me a ride

    I ran jumped up into the cab thinking:


    I’m standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona,
    It’s such a fine sight to see
    It’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford
    Slowin’ down to take a look at me
    . . . take it easy. . .*

    I waved at Elizabeth and the kids
    —I was on my way


    *Take It Easy—Eagles, 1972

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