Thursday, April 21, 2022




The human skin is an artificial boundary: the world wanders into it, 
and the self wanders out of it, traffic is two-way and constant. 

—Bernard Wolfe 

.    .    .

The brain is silent, the brain is dark, the brain tastes nothing, the brain hears nothing. All it receives are electrical impulses—not the sumptuous chocolate melting sweetly, not the tingling caress, not the pastels of peach and lavender at sunset over a coral reef—just impulses.

—Diane Ackerman
A Natural History of the Senses 

.    .    .

The Theosophic doctrine that the physical world is an externalization of an astral plane or even the higher Platonic doctrine that it crystallizes a world of divine ideation is given to beginners as a help to give them a crude grasp, a first step towards the theory that the world is an idea, until they are mentally developed. 
When their mind is mature they are then told to discard the astral plane theory and told the pure truth that all existence is idea.

—Paul Brunton
Notebooks Category 21: Mentalism
Chapter 3: The Individual and World Mind


the soul of the whole



We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles.

Meantime within man is the soul of the whole;
the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; the eternal ONE.

And this deep power in which we exist, and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one.
... All goes to show that the soul in man is not an organ, but animates and exercises all the organs; is not a function, like the power of memory, of calculation, of comparison, but uses these as hands and feet; is not a faculty, but a light; is not the intellect or the will, but the master of the intellect and the will; is the background of our being, in which they lie, — an immensity not possessed and that cannot be possessed.  From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all.  

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

.     .     .

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest —- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. 

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. 

Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

—Albert Einstein


whale eye
Christopher Swa

say i am



Of all that God has shown me
I can speak just the smallest word,

Not more than a honey bee
Takes on his foot
From an overspilling jar.

—Mechtild of Magdeburg
Jane Hirshfield version
Women in Praise of the Sacred


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

odd discoveries



Martin Buber quotes an old Hasid master who said, "When you walk across the field with your mind pure and holy, then from all the stones, and all growing things, and all animals, the sparks of their souls come out and cling to you, and then they are purified and become a holy fire in you."

—Annie Dillard
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

.    .    . 


We leave traces of ourselves wherever we go, on whatever we touch. 

One of the odd discoveries made by small boys is that when two pebbles are struck sharply against each other they emit, briefly, a curious smoky odor. 

The phenomenon fades when the stones are immaculately cleaned, vanishes when they are heated to furnace temperature, and reappears when they are simply touched by the hand again, before being struck.

—Lewis Thomas
The Lives of a Cell

.    .    .

Go inside a stone
That would be my way.
Let somebody else become a dove
Or gnash with a tiger’s tooth.
I am happy to be a stone.
From the outside the stone is a riddle:
No one knows how to answer it.

Yet within, it must be cool and quiet
Even though a cow steps on it full weight,
Even though a child throws it in a river;
The stone sinks, slow, unperturbed
To the river bottom
Where the fishes come to knock on it
And listen.

I have seen sparks fly out
When two stones are rubbed,
So perhaps it is not dark inside after all;
Perhaps there is a moon shining
From somewhere, as though behind a hill—
Just enough light to make out
The strange writings, the star-charts
On the inner walls.

—Charles Simic
The Voice at 3 A.M.


everything is magnificent with existence



I said I will find what is lowly
and put the roots of my identity
down there: each day I'll wake up
and find the lowly nearby,
a handy focus and reminder,
a ready measure of my significance,
the voice by which I would be heard,
the wills, the kinds of selfishness
I could
freely adopt as my own:
but though I have looked everywhere,
I can find nothing
to give myself to:
everything is
magnificent with existence, is in 
surfeit of glory:
nothing is diminished,
nothing has been diminished for me:

I said what is more lowly than the grass:
ah, underneath,
a ground-crust of dry-burnt moss:
I looked at it closely
and said this can be my habitat: but
nestling in I found
below the brown exterior
green mechanisms beyond the intellect
awaiting resurrection in rain: so I got up

and ran saying there is nothing lowly in the universe:
I found a beggar:
he had stumps for legs: nobody was paying
him any attention: everybody went on by:
I nestled in and found his life:
there, love shook his body like a devastation:
I said
though I have looked everywhere
I can find nothing lowly
in the universe:

I whirled though transfigurations up and down,
transfigurations of size and shape and place:

at one sudden point came still,
stood in wonder:
moss, beggar, weed, tick, pine, self, magnificent
with being!

—A. R. Ammons




my dear



You have not danced so badly, my dear,
Trying to hold hands with the Beautiful One.

You have waltzed with great style,
My sweet, crushed angel,
To have ever neared God's heart at all.
Our Partner is notoriously difficult to follow,
And even His best musicians are not always easy
To hear.

So what if the music has stopped for a while.
So what
If the price of admission to the Divine
Is out of reach tonight. 
So what, my dear,
If you do not have the ante to gamble for
Real Love. 

The mind and the body are famous
For holding the heart ransom,
But Hafiz knows the Beloved's eternal habits. 
Have patience,
For He will not be able to resist your longing For Long. 

You have not danced so badly, my dear,
Trying to kiss the Beautiful One. 
You have actually waltzed with tremendous style,
O my sweet, O my sweet crushed angel.



Tuesday, April 19, 2022

I AM Not What I AM Aware Of


The fundamental problem or assumption is that, I am the body / mind experiencing the universe. Or It is I the body / mind which is aware of the experience of the universe.

But upon enquiry or simple seeing, it can be realized that.... 

It is not I the body which is aware of experience, the body is experienced. it is I Awareness which is aware of experience, or it is I Awareness which is the Experiencer. 

If we explore our experience, our experience is not that Awareness is in the body, our experience is that the body is a series of perceptions and sensations that appear in Awareness.

It is not I the body that is aware. It is I Awareness that is aware.

Awareness is not a property of the body. The body does not have Awareness. Awareness from time to time has the experience of a body.

All we know of the body is the experience of it. And this experience is not continuous, it comes and goes.

Thinking, sensing and perceiving appear in me the Awareness, not only do they appear in me, they are made of me, the Awareness. Because everything that appears in Awareness is made of Awareness.

All there is to the experience of the body is experience of sensations. 

All there is to the experience of the mind is experience of thinking.

All there is to the experience of the universe is the experience of sense perceptions of seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting. 

All that is there to the mind body and universe is the experience of thinking, sensing and perceiving. 

All that is there to experience is the knowing or Awareness of it. 

I am the Awareness in which my experience appears, shines and disappears. 

I Awareness am the substance out which the totality of my experience is made of. All that appears in me the Awareness is made of me the Awareness. 

I Awareness am the substance out of which the sensation which is referred to as the body is made. I am the body, but I am not exclusively the body.

I Awareness am also the substance out of which thinking is made of. I Awareness am the sensing and thinking. But I am not exclusively the sensing and thinking.

I Awareness am also the substance out of which the perceptions of seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting are made of.

I Awareness am the totality of my experience. 

I Awareness am the stuff out which all my experience is made of. Not just one corner of my experience which comprises the thinking and sensing, body / mind.

I the Awareness, The Experiencer am never the object of experience. I am apart and untouched from all that is experienced. Yet everything that is experienced is not apart from me.

What is Meditation? 

Meditation is to simply pay attention to the experience of thinking, seeing, perceiving rather than to the objects of experience viz thoughts, sensations and perceptions.

This current ever-present experiencing is itself the Absolute Awareness. Eternal, Immortal and Non-dual.

I Am That. 

—Swami Sarvapriyananada and Rupert Spira
extracted from Youtube videos

.    .    .

Give your attention to the experience of seeing rather than to the object seen 
and you will find yourself everywhere.

—Rupert Spira




What is Real?

We could define ‘real’ as something which never changes.

In order to change, a thing has to cease to be what it is and become something else;

i.e. it would have to become what it is not.

Therefore, anything that changes cannot be real, since the act of changing involves non-existence

What is Unreal?

Unreal is something appearing in the locus of its non existence / absence

Unreal is the appearance of something in the locus of its non existence.

Unreal is the appearance of something in the place/location of its non existence.

Example the snake appears where it does not exist, ie the rope.

The snake appears in the location of its own absence. This is the very definition of falsity or unreality.

Where something is not, there it appears. Then it is false.

Blue color appears in the sky where it does not exist. The blue color appears where there is no blue color. The sky IS NOT blue.

Similarly, the entire universe of experience (waking world, dream world, deep sleep blankness) continuously appears and disappears in the sky of Awareness.

The mind which is awake, dreams and dissappears in deep sleep, appears in Awareness. It appears in the place of its own absence, ie mind disappears in deep sleep. Hence it is unreal.

Awareness is the locus or location of the absence of the mind. Awareness is where the mind appears, plays it games and dissapears. Hence, The mind is unreal.

The locus in which something appears and disappears, then in that locus, that thing is an appearance and unreal. The locus only is real, though that thing will be experienced, it is not real, as real as the locus.

You are that locus - Awareness.

—Swami Sarvapriyananda
Lectures on Mandukya Karika


the keeper of flocks, excerpt


What metaphysics do these trees have?

That of being green and having crowns and branches
And that of giving fruit at their hours, 
– which is not what makes us think – us, 
who don't know to be aware of them.

But what better metaphysics than theirs,
Which is not knowing why they live
And not knowing they don't know? 

—Fernando Pessoa


Sunday, April 17, 2022

for a birthday (alive again today)


i thank You God for this most amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened

—E.E. Cummings


Description Without Place



In a description hollowed out of hollow-bright,
The artificer of subjects still half night. 

It matters, because everything we say
Of the past is description without place, a cast 

Of the imagination, made in sounds;
And because what we say of the future must portend, 

Be alive with its own seemings, seeming to be
Like rubies reddened by rubies reddening.

—Wallace Stevens
closing lines to section V



the / mercy of perfect sunlight after days // of dark,will climb; will blossom: will sing (like / april’s own april and awake’s awake) — E. E. Cummings


The plant that directs its growth tendency to the light does not understand the arithmetic of wavelengths; it simply perceives light as good in the form of a positive affection. […] Today’s botanists have used ingenious experiments to confirm the subjectivity of plants. [They] observed that identical plant clones — multiple vegetative twins whose DNA sequences are identical to the letter — behave differently, even though room temperature and substrate moisture are the same. They are clones, but their bodies unfold into individual shapes. They individually choose between different options […]. Every sprout has its own preferences. Each is an individual, not simply an automaton carrying out a genetic blueprint. […]. 
Intelligence, according to the meaning of the Latin verb intelligere, means to be in between, to be able to choose. It signifies the ability to make a decision, and hence the judgment of a distinct self for whom a choice means something — survival, growth, flourishing. In this sense intelligence and life are one and the same thing.

—Andreas Weber
The Biology of Wonder: Aliveness, Feeling and the Metamorphosis of Science

.    .    .

Life is eternal and impersonal and therefore indifferent. It is a principle that is omnipresent and a potential available everywhere for you to pursue. Make of it what you will, it is up to you. You can suffer or you can experience joy and peace and love which are the foundations of the principle. Choose.

—Rudyard Kipling



Friday, April 15, 2022

a dark sort of joy



In the oldest religion, everything was alive, not supernaturally but naturally alive … For the whole life-effort of man was to get his life into contact with the elemental life of the cosmos, mountain-life, cloud-life, thunder-life, air-life, earth-life, sun-life. To come into immediate felt contact, and so to derive energy, power, and a dark sort of joy. This effort into sheer naked contact, without an intermediary or mediator, is the root meaning of religion.

—D. H. Lawrence

.    .    .

Ursula, in a garden, found 
A bed of radishes.
She kneeled upon the ground
And gathered them,
With flowers around,
Blue, gold, pink, and green.

She dressed in red and gold brocade
And in the grass an offering made
Of radishes and flowers.

She said, “My dear,
upon your alters
I have placed the marguerites and coquelicot,
And roses 
Frail as April snow;

But here," she said,
"Where none can see,
I make an offering in the grass
Of radishes and flowers.”
And then she wept
For fear the Lord would not accept.

The good Lord in his garden sought
New leaf and shadowy tinct,
And they were all his thought.
He heard her low accord,
Half prayer and half ditty,
And He felt a subtle quiver,
That was not heavenly love,
Or pity.

This is not writ
In any book.

—Wallace Stevens
(radishes and roses)





Poor, dear, silly Spring, 
preparing her annual surprise!
—Wallace Stevens


when faces called flowers float out of the ground



when faces called flowers float out of the ground

and breathing is wishing and wishing is having-

but keeping is downward and doubting and never

-it’s april(yes,april;my darling)it’s spring!

yes the pretty birds frolic as spry as can fly

yes the little fish gambol as glad as can be

(yes the mountains are dancing together)

when every leaf opens without any sound

and wishing is having and having is giving-

but keeping is doting and nothing and nonsense

-alive;we’re alive,dear:it’s(kiss me now)spring!

now the pretty birds hover so she and so he

now the little fish quiver so you and so i

(now the mountains are dancing, the mountains)

when more than was lost has been found has been found

and having is giving and giving is living-

but keeping is darkness and winter and cringing

-it’s spring(all our night becomes day)o,it’s spring!

all the pretty birds dive to the heart of the sky

all the little fish climb through the mind of the sea

(all the mountains are dancing;are dancing)

—E. E. Cummings



Thursday, April 14, 2022

dewdrop (today's posts, read aloud, open)

Stunning photo from the far side of the Moon was captured by 
the Chinese Space Agency Chang'e 5-T1 spacecraft in 2014


When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.

—John Muir

this road is the heart opening —Mirabai


Every day the body works in the fields of the world
Mending a stone wall
Or swinging a sickle through the tall grass -
The grass of civics, the grass of money -
And every night the body curls around itself
And listens for the soft bells of sleep. 
But the heart is restless and rises
From the body in the middle of the night,
Leaves the trapezoidal bedroom
With its thick, pictureless walls
To sit by herself at the kitchen table
And heat some milk in a pan. 
And the mind gets up too, puts on a robe
And goes downstairs, lights a cigarette,
And opens a book on engineering.
Even the conscience awakens
And roams from room to room in the dark,
Darting away from every mirror like a strange fish. 
And the soul is up on the roof
In her nightdress, straddling the ridge,
Singing a song about the wildness of the sea
Until the first rip of pink appears in the sky.
Then, they all will return to the sleeping body
The way a flock of birds settles back into a tree, 
Resuming their daily colloquy,
Talking to each other or themselves
Even through the heat of the long afternoons.
Which is why the body - the house of voices -
Sometimes puts down its metal tongs, its needle, or its pen
To stare into the distance, 
To listen to all its names being called
Before bending again to its labor.

Bilie Collins
The Night House

.     .     .


My friend, this body is made of bone and excited protozoa and it is with my body that I love the fields. How do I know what I feel but what the body tells me? Erasmus thinking in the snow, translators of Virgil who burn up the whole room, the man in furs reading the Arabic astrologer falls off his three-legged stool in astonishment, this is the body, so beautifully carved inside, with the curves of the inner ear, and the husk so rough, knuckle-brown.

As we walk, we enter the fields of other bodies, and every smell we take in the communities of protozoa see, and a being inside leaps up toward it, as a horse rears at the starting gate. When we come near each other, we are drawn down into the sweetest pools of slowly circling smells . . . slowly circling energies . . . The protozoa know there are odors the shape of oranges, of tornadoes, of octopses . . .

The sunlight lays itself down before every protozoa, 
the night opens itself out behind it, 
and inside its own energy it lives!

So the space between two people diminishes, it grows less and less, no one to weep, they merge at last. The sound that pours from the fingertips awakens clouds of cells far inside the body, and beings unknown to us start out in a pilgrimage to their Saviour, to their holy place. Their holy place is a small black stone, that they remember from Protozoic times, when it was rolled away from a door . . . and it was after that they found their friends, who helped them to digest the hard grains of this world . . . The cloud of cells awakens, intensifies, swarms . . . the beings dance inside beams of sunlight so thin we cannot see them . . . to them each ray is a vast palace, with thousands of rooms. From the dance of the cells praise sentences rise to the voice of the man praying and singing alone in his room. He lets his arms climb above his head, and says, “Now do you still say that you cannot choose the road?”

—Robert Bly
for Lewis Thomas, and his The Lives of the Cell

.     .     .

When I come near the red peony flower
I tremble as water does near thunder,
As the well does when the plates of earth move,
Or the tree when fifty birds leave at once.

The peony says that we have been given a gift,
And it is not the gift of this world.
Behind the leaves of the peony
There is a world still darker, that feeds many.

—Robert Bly






If you want what visible reality
can give, you're an employee.
If you want the unseen world,
you're not living your truth.

Both wishes are foolish,
but you'll be forgiven for forgetting
that what you really want is
love's confusing joy.

Coleman Barks version

.    .    .

hiding in this cage
of visible matter
is the invisible
pay attention
to her
she is singing
your song

Sushil Rao version



Wednesday, April 13, 2022

lights are all friends of each other



There have been times when I think we do not desire heaven but more often I find myself wondering whether, in our heart of hearts, we have ever desired anything else. You may have noticed that the books you really love are bound together by a secret thread. You know very well what is the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words: but most of your friends do not see it at all, and often wonder why, liking this, you should also like that. 

Again, you have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you've been looking for all your life; and then turned to the friend at your side who appears to be seeing what you saw - but at the first words a gulf yawns between you, and you realize that this landscape means something totally different to him, that he is pursuing an alien vision and cares nothing for the ineffable suggestion by which you were transported. 

Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of - something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-clap of water against the boat's side? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. 

All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it - tantalizing glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest - if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself - you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say 'Here at last is the thing I was made for.' 

We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all.

—C. S. Lewis
The Problem of Pain, excerpt

white aurora borealis over Finland

I searched for God and found only myself. I searched for myself and found only God. —Sufi



Think always of the universe as one living creature, made of one substance and one soul: how all is absorbed into this one consciousness; how a single impulse governs all its actions; how all things collaborate in all that happens; the very web and mesh of it all.

—Marcus Aurelius
Meditations 4:40

.     .     .

Real courage is possible only through seeing. It’s not possible through belief in the divine self, which we all share in common, as if that were something you could believe in. This is only to be discovered through not hanging on to anything, not having any armour, not having any beliefs, not having any kind of gimmick with which you try to hold the weaving smoke in position. You don’t need it. If you really are the basis of the world, you don’t need a belief that that is so.

... The gift of remembering and binding time creates the illusion that the past stands to the present as agent to act, mover to moved. Living thus from the past, with echoes taking the lead, we are not truly here, and are always a bit late to the feast.

—Alan Watts


free and yet orderly


All being, it seemed, was built on opposites, on division. Man or woman, vagabond or citizen, lover or thinker — no breath could both be in and out, none could be man and wife, free and yet orderly, knowing the urge of life and the joy of intellect. Always the one paid for the other, though each was equally precious and essential.

—Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)
Narcissus and Goldmund

.    .    .


The divine manifestation is ubiquitous, our eyes are not open to it. 
Awe is what moves us forward. 

Live from your own center. The divine lives within you.
The separateness apparent in the world is secondary. 
Beyond the world of opposites is an unseen, but experienced, unity and identity in us all.
You must return with the bliss and integrate it.
The return is seeing that the radiance is everywhere.

The world is a match for us. We are a match for the world.
The spirit is the bouquet of nature.
Sanctify the place you are in.

—Joseph Campbell

.    .    . 


God turns you from one feeling to another
and teaches by means of opposites,

so that you will have two wings to fly,
not one.