Saving the World

“Millions eat bread, but few know all about wheat. And only those who know can improve the bread. Similarly, only those who know the self, who have seen beyond the world, can improve the world. Their value to private persons is immense, for they are their only hope of salvation.”

~Nisargadatta Maharaj

From the absolute perspective, there is no need for any story – things are what they are. What is, simply is. However, while immersed in the relative, objective sphere of time and space (as all of us are), there will be narratives, because that is how humans organize chaos. Even several levels above this vibrational frequency, there are still narratives, just more subtle.

The question is: to which narrative will we grant reality? Depending on our choice, so is the world created. We are not so much in the world as the world is in us. It is a compounded product of our own projections, both individually and collectively. On the macro level, the current world is the result of stories we have collectively fashioned, and so will be the world which follows.

When the mind moves, stories are spawned. Be before mind, and stories will take care of themselves. However, how many are able to drop off the mind? Certainly not the mass of humanity, or even the mass of spiritual practitioners. Consequently, we need to be very discriminative with our story-making.

The following consideration has been touched on previously, in essays such as “To Do Something”, “Shaking Others Awake”, and “Fighting the Powers That Be”, which are archived here. However, given the multiple alarming flash points that threaten humanity of late, it seems appropriate to inquire into the matter once again.

For most of us at our current level of awareness, the story of this realm is to a very large extent about a dedicated theater/training ground for soul evolution. In that respect, it functions perfectly, just as it is. It perfectly serves the various actors/students who appear here, who do so based on various causes and conditions which ripen into human birth on this planet (and countless others throughout the multiverse which provide comparable curricula).

Briefly, it is because conditions here are so different than what we experience in our natural state as immortal beings of light that we are curious about and thus attracted to the possibilities of human incarnation. Among other reasons, it provides a unique opportunity to find out how we would react when faced with the kinds of challenges specific to realms like this one. It is a particular kind of stage with particular kinds of props, and although the props will always be changing, the stage remains the same.

Essentially, the focus of this Earth drama/curriculum revolves around issues of love, integrity, and freedom from ignorance. Consequently, the fundamentals of both right view and right conduct are at the heart of most of the dramas and tests souls are subjected to here. These tests specifically entail such challenges as ignorance, greed, envy, hatred, and pride — the chief impediments that characterize rudimentary levels of soul developmental adaptation. Thus, the main emphasis in this screenplay is on how we treat each other in our lives and relationships, particularly in the midst of the challenging conditions that pertain on a war planet such as this.

Yes, a war planet. For the overwhelming mass of humanity, that is what it was designed to be, that is what it has been for as long as it has been here, and that is what it will likely remain (regardless of any attempts to have it be otherwise) . Throughout its history, there have been many who would like to modify this realm in order to have it approximate their subjective fantasy of what it should be and look like. People project all sorts of attributes onto phenomena in the process, but any efforts to have it correspond and conform to our conditioned ideals are not unlike trying to change a dream. No matter how passionately we may strive, it is still a dream.

This planet is not our home. Rather, it is more like a virtual reality stage, filled with ever-changing holographic props that are like school aids in our ongoing evolutionary explorations. In the course of our immortality, we have appeared in countless realms, material and subtle, but our true home is Spirit. Taking responsibility for our temporary environment is simply the right thing to do, but attaching to and clinging to any of it is the classic source of complication and suffering. How can we hold on to a dream?

We accept a kind of amnesia when we come here, in order to give the adventure story more impact, allowing us to more fully glean the experiential lessons implicit in our endeavors. If we were to retain our natural soul knowledge, it would defeat the purpose of incarnation. We love the mystery of the Unknown. Nevertheless, to one degree or another, most who arrive here will eventually want to change the dream/story in order to have it be more agreeable to their personal conditioned preferences.

Just as one might identify with a movie character to the point that they forget it is merely a movie they are watching, so too do we forget that our own human story is fictional too. Hearing that it is a dream, and even having some intellectual understanding that it is a dream, is not the same as directly realizing that it is a dream, and that is what constitutes the wisdom of awakening — directly seeing the illusion as illusion.

Nisargadatta Maharaj made an excellent point when he noted: “There is nothing that can help the world more than your putting an end to ignorance. Then, you need not do anything in particular to help the world. Your very being is a help, action or no action.” As long as we take the world to be real, we will be operating under a false assumption. We will run around trying to fix Samsara, locked in a vicious cycle of desire and fear, rather than recognizing how we are prolonging our stay in it by continuing to grant it some enduring and substantial reality.

Moreover, as long as we cling to our human identities, we will not be able to raise our vibrational frequency to a level whereby we might expand beyond this dense dark plane of interminable conflict. Our very ignorance will trap us, in the sense of limiting our access to the infinite possibilities available beyond this harsh plane. As such, the metaphor of having to repeat an elementary class over and over again is not inappropriate.

Does this mean things will never improve here? Of course not — things will improve, and then they will un-improve, and that cycle will alternate perpetually, because that is the nature of this realm. The Awake among us have always stressed the fact that we need to change ourselves first, before we run out and try to change others. Great changes can be made and have been made, no doubt, but Samsara is still Samsara, and that fact has not changed. Suffering has not changed, nor has ignorance. Human behavior is still dominated by desire and fear. A brief glance at the current world headlines demonstrates that fact amply enough.

When a questioner demanded to know how to deal with the world’s suffering and sorrows, Nisargadatta responded: “You have created them out of your own desires and fears, you deal with them. All is due to your having forgotten your own being. Having given reality to the picture on the screen, you love its people and suffer for them and seek to save them. It is just not so. You must begin with yourself. There is no other way. Work, of course. There is no harm in working.”

Does that mean we just ignore suffering? Of course not — we do what we can whenever the opportunity presents itself for us to be of service. However, our altruism needs to be tempered by the realization that we are not here to change the world, but to be changed by our experience of it. We are not here to perfect elementary school, but to learn its lessons and then move on to more advanced curricula, and that starts with us coming to know our true being.

Until all the notions, wishes, demands, and beliefs that things should be other than they are, and that this world should be other than it is, are seen through and understood in the light of real awakening, we will only be spinning our wheels, and doing no real good for anyone. Indeed, we will only be creating more suffering, in the conceited guise of being some sort of bodhisattva or savior. Again, it was Nisargadatta who pointed out such hubris: “When you deceive yourself that you work for the good of all, it makes matters worse, for you should not be guided by your own ideas of what is good for others. A man who claims to know what is good for others, is dangerous.”

Just so, who better than the Buddha to clarify exactly how the true Bodhisattva regards sentient beings? In the Vimilakirti Sutra, an essential Buddhist scripture, he begins:

“A bodhisattva should regard all livings beings as a wise man regards the reflection of the moon in water or as magicians regard men created by magic. He should regard them as being like a face in a mirror; like the water of a mirage; like the sound of an echo; like a mass of clouds in the sky; like the previous moment of a ball of foam; like the appearance and disappearance of a bubble of water; like the core of a plantain tree; like a flash of lightning; like the fifth great element; like the seventh sense-medium; like the appearance of matter in an immaterial realm; like a sprout from a rotten seed; like a tortoise-hair coat; like the fun of games for one who wishes to die . . .”

He continues on with these similes for a while, pointing to the truth of emptiness and the dream-like nature of all beings, and when asked how a true Bodisattva rouses great compassion for sentient beings, he replies:

“He generates the love that is truly a refuge for all living beings; the love that is peaceful because free of grasping; the love that is not feverish, because free of passions; the love that accords with reality because it is equanimous in all three times; the love that is without conflict because free of the violence of the passions; the love that is nondual because it is involved neither with the external nor with the internal; the love that is imperturbable because totally ultimate, a love that that causes living beings to awaken from their sleep . . .”

In other words, the highest form of compassion is not involved in schemes and strategies to save or improve the world, but rather is geared towards the awakening of all beings, because all beings are recognized to be none other than oneself, and furthermore, that self is ultimately recognized to be empty of any inherent substance or solidity – a character in a dream. Thus, in Mahayana Buddhism, wisdom and compassion are inseparable.

The Sage Nisargadatta once noted, “Helping others is mere imagination, however noble. In truth you do not help others because there are not others.” To truly awaken to the nature of reality is also to recognize that the whole concept of separate entities in need of being saved is a delusion, and yet it is paradoxically just such a recognition that qualifies one as a true Bodhisattva – one who is able to respond to suffering in the most effective fashion, based on an enlightened balance of love and wisdom.

A contemporary Chan (Zen) teacher, Guo Gu, clarified this matter when he wrote: “Remember: those who are suffering are precisely you, but you are not them. If you only have the first part, then you’re simply suffering. If you only have the latter, then you’re deluded.”

In any case, if we sincerely inquire into our motives, we might come to recognize how arrogant our assumption is that we know what is right for somebody else, much less the world. The fact is, we are never in any kind of position to comprehend the bigger picture, at least as long as we are encased in these meat suits, and are operating at this dense vibratory frequency. That being so, why go about making assumptions about others’ fate that may be merely a product of our own delusion? An old cliché that nevertheless rings true, especially in this regard, is that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.

The various crusades that humans have undertaken can serve as cautionary tales in that regard, because they invariably make things worse. Clearly, we need look no further than places like Cambodia, China, and Russia in recent times, where people imagined they could make things better by imposing a more just ideal of society, but instead ended up with dictatorial regimes that slaughtered millions in the name of progress.

Indeed, this planet has seen countless civilizations rise and disappear, long before our current one began recording its own brief history. All sorts of actors and dramas have played out their roles and scenes on this stage, and that will continue, as long as there are sentient beings who wander in the delusions of “me and mine”, self and other. In the course of time, more trouble than good has been perpetrated on humanity by well-meaning but ignorant missionaries, blinded by their own zeal and uninspected beliefs. Given that, true compassion may very well mean that we let others have the experience they came here to have, without any meddling interference from us (based on our limited filters and idealistic but biased programs).

Does this mean we stop caring? Of course not — there is no end to caring, but few ever bother to deeply inquire regarding who or what exactly is doing this caring. That’s the key the sages are pointing to. They do not urge us to go out and take up social work, suggesting that we become professional “do-gooders”. Rather, they ask us to find out who we truly are (and aren’t). The rest will unfold naturally from that liberating recognition, though without it, we are just endlessly pushing Sisyphus’ rock up a hill — a rock that is bound to roll right back down again.

The fact is, we are not separate from the world. Simply by virtue of being alive here, we are already and always changing it, regardless of where we are geographically located. That is what Inter-being (Co-dependent Arising) is all about. The question is, wherever we are, are we changing things for the better or worse (setting aside for the moment the fact that “better or worse” is a conditional interpretation on perception)?

If our actions are based on ignorance — even seemingly well-intentioned idealism — there will be one predictable result. As noted previously, that is how the world got into its present precarious situation — humans trying to modify the world to make it more agreeable to their conceptual ideal.

Only the alternative to ignorance will change that, and it begins with real self-knowledge, not beliefs and vague hopes. In that regard, simply inquiring into the validity of one’s conditioned belief system is a revolutionary act, and automatically changes the world. “Know thyself” is the mandate of the sages, and for a very good reason. If one truly understands themselves, then they will also understand the world, and what is actually required to effect positive transformation, right where they are. Accordingly, if we want to live in a more aware, peaceful, and loving world, then we ourselves must first become more aware, peaceful, and more loving.

Perhaps the two complementary aspects of love and wisdom were best summed up by Sri Nisargadatta when he said: “When I see I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I see I am everything, that is love. Between these two my life moves.” Just so, true love is selfless in that it embodies the principle of loving others as oneself, because that is the literal truth. In other words, when we awaken to the Real, we realize that there is no other, and there is no world, separate and divided from ourselves. We are that! The mystical epiphany that there is only God actually reflects this recognition.

True wisdom is likewise selfless, because it recognizes the essential emptiness of both the self and the world. We are neither this nor that – self or world – but rather the open spacious transparency of awake awareness, in which both self and world appear and disappear. It is this union of love and wisdom that defines the authentic Bodhisattva — the one who hears the cries of the suffering, and responds with enlightened compassion (Bodhicitta). It is only That One who truly “saves the world”.

“No doubt, striving for the improvement of the world is a most praiseworthy occupation. Done selflessly, it clarifies the mind and purifies the heart. But soon man will realize that he pursues a mirage. Local and temporary improvement is always possible and was achieved again and again under the influence of a great king or teacher; but it would soon come to an end, leaving humanity in a new cycle of misery. It is in the nature of all manifestation that the good and the bad follow each other and in equal measure. The true refuge is only in the unmanifested.

Once you realize that the world is your own projection, you are free of it. You need not free yourself of a world that does not exist, except in your own imagination! However the picture is — beautiful or ugly — you are painting it and you are not bound by it. Realize that there is nobody to force it on you, that it is due to the habit of taking the imaginary to be real. See the imaginary as imaginary and be free of fear.

When you realize that you are the light of the world, you will also realize that you are the love of it; that to know is to love and to love is to know. Of all the affections the love of oneself comes first. Your love of the world is the reflection of your love of yourself, for your world is of your own creation. Light and love are impersonal, but they are reflected in your mind as knowing and wishing oneself well. We are always friendly towards ourselves, but not always wise. A Yogi is a man whose goodwill is allied to wisdom.”

~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

See also:

https://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/shaking-others-awake/

https://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/the-game/

https://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/fighting-the-powers-that-be/

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About Bob OHearn

My name is Bob O'Hearn, and I live with my Beloved Mate, Mazie, in the foothills of the Northern California Sierra Nevada Mountains. I have several other sites you may enjoy: Photo Gallery: http://www.pbase.com/1heart Essays on the Conscious Process: https://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com/ Poetry and Prosetry: http://feelingtoinfinity.wordpress.com/ Writings from selected Western Mystics, Classic and Modern: https://westernmystics.wordpress.com/ Free Transliterations of Spiritual Texts: http://freetransliterations1.blogspot.com/ Wisdom of a Spirit Guide: https://spiritguidesparrow.wordpress.com/ Thank You!
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61 Responses to Saving the World

  1. Bob OHearn says:

    “Grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change,
    the courage to change the things I can,
    and the wisdom to know the difference.”

    ~Reinhold Niebuhr

    • Bob OHearn says:

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      “Forgetting your Self is the greatest injury; all the calamities flow from it. Take care of the most important, the lesser will take care of itself. You do not tidy up a dark room. You open the windows first. Letting in the light makes everything easy. So, let us wait with improving others until we have seen ourselves as we are — and have changed.”

      ~Nisargadatta Maharaj

  2. Bob OHearn says:

    Bearing Each Other’s Burden,
    from “I Am That”

    Q: The war is on. What is your attitude to it?

    Nisargadatta Maharaj: In some place or other, in some form or other, the war is always on. When was there a time when there was no war? Some say it is the will of God.Some say it is God’s play. It is another way of saying that wars are inevitable and nobody is responsible.

    Q: But what is your own attitude?

    M: Why impose attitudes on me? I have no attitudes to call my own.

    Q: Surely somebody is responsible for this horrible and senseless carnage. Why do people kill each other so readily?

    M: Search for the culprit within. The ideas of ‘me’ and ‘mine’ are at the root of all conflict. Be free of them and you will be out of conflict.

    Q: What of it that I am out of conflict? It will not affect the war. If I am the cause of war, I am ready to be destroyed. Yet it stands to reason that the disappearance of a thousand like me will not stop the wars. They did not start with my birth and they will not end with my death. I am not responsible, so who is?

    M: Strife and struggle are a part of existence. Why don’t you inquire who is responsible for existence?

    Q: Why do you say that existence and conflict are inseparable? Can there be no existence without strife? I need not fight others to be myself.

    M: You fight others all the time for your survival as a separate body-mind, a particular name and form. To live you must destroy. From the moment you were conceived you started a war with your environment – a merciless war of mutual extermination, until death sets you free.

    Q: My question remains unanswered. You are merely describing what I know – life and its sorrows. But who is responsible you do not say. When I press you, you throw the blame on God, or karma, or my own greed and fear – which merely invites further questions. Give me the final answer.

    M: The final answer is this: nothing is. All is a momentary appearance in the field of universal consciousness; continuity as a name, and form as a mental formation only, easy to dispel.

    Q: I am asking about the immediate, the transitory, the appearance. Here is a picture of a child killed by soldiers. It is a fact – staring at you. You cannot deny it. Now, who is responsible for the death of the child?

    M: Nobody and everybody. The world is what it contains and each thing affects all others. We all kill the child and we all die with it. Every event has innumerable causes and produces numberless effects. It is useless to keep accounts, nothing is traceable.

    Q: Your people speak of karma and retribution.

    M: It is merely a gross approximation: in reality we are all creators and creatures of each other, causing and bearing each other’s burden.

  3. Bob OHearn says:

    “Do not pretend that you love others as yourself. Unless you have realized them as one with yourself, you cannot love them. Don’t pretend to be what you are not, don’t refuse to be what you are. Your love of others is the result of self-knowledge, not its cause. Without self-realization, no virtue is genuine. When you know beyond all doubting that the same life flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love all naturally and spontaneously. When you realize the depth and fullness of your love of yourself, you know that every living being and the entire universe are included in your affection. But when you look at anything as separate from you, you cannot love it for you are afraid of it. Alienation causes fear and fear deepens alienation. It is a vicious circle. Only self-realization can break it.”

    ~Nisargadatta Maharaj

  4. olivefarmer says:

    I have to admit that I have never studied the minds that passed the thoughts you relate, though something of what you say and relate I have arrived at, clumsily, through contemplation and, I guess, through the edges of science. I like your thoughts, and realise this existence is just a ride, but cannot let go of the ideas of evil and of good and the notion that in some way, somehow, this reality is my responsibility to make as good as I can, that to do so I must somehow change the way human beings think, help them throw of the shackles that bind their consciousness, powerless though I am.
    “Grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change,
    the courage to change the things I can,
    and the wisdom to know the difference.” doesn’t work for me.
    Blog at http://www.olivefarmercrete.blogspot.com , and would appreciate your views.

    • Bob OHearn says:

      Thank you for your comments, Olive Farmer! No doubt, these perilous times especially provoke an inquiry into the whole issue, which is certainly a complex one.

      Blessings!

  5. Great essay as usual brother Bob! As I read your description of Earth as the War planet I was reminded of a National Geographic documentary I watched about the Macaques of northern Japan. Often I have seen photos of these Macaques sitting in the hot springs in an apparent zenned out meditative state, These photos are posted on various spiritual sites as an expression of life in true harmony and balance with nature. In a sense this is true in the moment these pictures were taken. But the bigger truth is that the hot springs are reserved exclusively for the alpha male, his chosen female mates, and his young offspring. All other macaques are repeatedly chased off by the alpha male and many are left to starve and freeze in the surrounding forest.

    We deny our millions of years of history as just one species on the war planet and like to pretend that we are not inextricably linked to the entire web of life. We have developed increasingly elaborate fantasies to give lofty moral and spiritual justification for what is in reality nothing more than instinctual pack behavior.

    These animal instincts are not the problem, the problem is that we have now abstracted and distorted our animal instincts to the point where we are destroying each other, all other life and our environment on a planetary scale in defense of our grossly magnified primitive tribal delusions.

    For better or worse, we are the dominant species on this planet and it’s clear that the lunatics have taken over the asylum. I pity the other life on this planet caught in the fallout of our collective madness.

    • Bob OHearn says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Jeff! As I noted in the essay “School of Life, Play of Light”:
      The human possibility is indeed a challenge — more so than most potential incarnational circumstances — and so provides an excellent classroom for our continuing edification. It attracts us because it is so different than what we truly are, and so beckons as a fascinating opportunity to see what we are really made of.
      Humans are selfish, violent animals, driven by emotions, cunning, and instinct. They use violence to protect themselves from real and imagined potential threats to their ability to get what they want, to amass wealth in its many forms, and to manipulate and exercise dominance over others. Each of us can allow human emotions and instincts to characterize our human experience, or strive to bring love into the equation, and thus magnify the light of our original and true nature.
      We have the innate power to remember what and who we really are, and then compassionately control our human host’s actions, which requires a discipline that does not come naturally to humans. As the Dalai Lama noted: “The purpose of religion is to control yourself, not to criticize others. Rather, we must criticize ourselves. How much am I doing about my anger? About my attachment, about my hatred, about my pride, my jealousy? These are the things which we must check in our daily lives.”
      Consequently, we must not only re-awaken to our true nature, but also learn how to embody that realization in our behavior and relationships. If we sit back and yield to the human instinct, there will be an inevitable result, and we will be perpetually drawn back for more and more tests, until we learn to do the right thing in each situation with which we are presented. That involves the direct and living recognition that love is all that matters. Having demonstrated our adaptation to and stabilization in the capacity to freely give and receive love (even in the midst of any and all circumstances), we are fit to “graduate”, but not until then.

      Blessings!

      • Thanks Bob. I agree with all that you say here. I admit that I am but one fumbling student doing the best I can to attend to my lessons, but I find it difficult to stay focused when I perceive the classroom is burning down around me.
        But this is my dharma, and I am working on equanimity in the midst of any and all circumstances.

      • Bob OHearn says:

        Jeff, it’s interesting you mention a burning classroom. The Buddha spoke of the feeling one would have if one’s hair were on fire. If our hair were burning, if the flames were shooting up from our head, wouldn’t we be focused on doing something about it above all other concerns? He suggests that we should have the same urgency to practice the Dharma, in order to extinguish the suffering born of delusion, craving, and fixation in our lives, as if our hair were on fire.

        Blessings!

      • Excellent Bob! Upon further reflection I realize that my perception that “the classroom” is burning down is simply another illusion born of my own desire for things to be other than exactly how they are.

        Mankind is bearing the fruits of our own collective unconsciousness and this is our lesson. Perhaps this is exactly what needs to happen in order for whatever remains of our species, after we have collapsed under the weight of our delusions, to re-awaken to the reality of our interdependent union with all that is.

      • Bob OHearn says:

        Yes, Jeff, sometimes that is exactly the way nature works, like forest fires which clear the ground for new growth (continuing with the fire metaphor). In Rumi’s marvelous poem, “Moses and the Shepherd”, God speaks to Moses and says, “I want burning”.

        Blessings!

  6. marcelvuijst says:

    Thank you Brother, what a joy to read read a new post today! 🙂

    This is no joke, but you can become ‘Parabrahman’ right now. Only it is not a commodity that you can acquire. You, a hundred years ago, were the ‘Parabrahman’. Give me all the information about that state of a hundred years back. Focus your attention only on that consciousness ‘I am’. Don’t be led astray by all the so-called spiritual disciplines and rigmaroles

    Q: Is the sense of being a product of experience only?
    The great saying (Mahavakya) tat-sat is it a mere mode of mentation?

    M: Whatever is spoken is speech only.
    Whatever is thought is thought only.
    The real meaning is unexplainable, though experienceable.
    The Mahavakya is true, but your ideas are false, for all ideas (kalpana) are false.
    ~Sri Niz

  7. marcelvuijst says:

    Thank you Brother, sometimes I catch myself pursuing local improvements and other [person] mirages, they don’t last as long as they used to, it is just some vague brain stuff and nothing tangible, but fascinating to observe nonetheless. The actor known as my father died last week, yet nothing is added or subtracted in the slightest, funny and amazing.

    • Bob OHearn says:

      Dear Brother, may your Father find deep peace in the light of unconditional love during his bardo journey, and may all left behind feel comforted!

      Your capacity to see clearly is a great gift.

      Love & Blessings!

  8. marcelvuijst says:

    Thank you Brother for your kind and loving words, they are a true inspiration for me, may it extend to all who share this same ground of being

  9. Bob OHearn says:

    Q: When we talk of helping humanity, we mean a struggle against disorder and suffering.

    M: You merely talk of helping. Have you ever helped, really helped, a single man? Have you ever put one soul beyond the need of further help? Can you give a man character, based on full realisation of his duties and opportunities at least, if not on the insight into his true being? When you do not know what is good for yourself, how can you know what is good for others?

    Q: But I am not alone to suffer. There are others.

    M: When you go to them with your desires and fears, you merely add to their sorrows. First be free of suffering yourself and then only hope of helping others. You do not even need to hope — your very existence will be the greatest help a man can give his fellowmen.

    Consciousness is power. Be aware of what needs be done and it will be done. Only keep alert — and quiet. Once you reach your destination and Know your real nature, your existence becomes a blessing to all. You may not know, nor will the world know, yet the help radiates. There are people in the world who do more good than all the statesmen and philanthropists put together. They radiate light and peace with no intention or knowledge. When others tell them about the miracles they worked, they also are wonder struck. Yet, taking nothing as their own, they are neither proud, nor do they crave for reputation. They are just unable to desire anything for themselves, not even the joy of helping others knowing that God is good they are at peace.

    ~from “I Am That”, Nisargadatta Maharaj

    • olivefarmer says:

      There are almost none that do not suffer in some way.
      Speaking of freeing yourself in this current reality is akin to speaking of living on fresh air, which some of these old “wise” guys (and they are almost all guys) claim they can do, too.
      We have, as a species, as one tribe, to rely on each other and to ask for and to expect help.
      The current reality is designed to honour and reward selfishness when our natural way of life is to live as a community, sharing what needs to be done and sacrificing what we have to help those in need, knowing that others will do the same when we need.
      This is the principle of tribe and what it means to be human.
      There is no wisdom in that, just common sense and intuition.

      • Bob OHearn says:

        Hello Olive Farmer,

        Actually, the most recent examples of “breatharians” have mostly been women, such as Anandamayi Ma.

        Moreover, the notion that awakening and liberation are nearly impossible in this realm is contradicted by the fact that there are many awakened people currently alive and active.

        Creating a utopian situation is a fine ideal, but it begins in our own hearts and minds.

        Blessings!

      • olivefarmer says:

        Hi Bob,
        Thanks for your answer.
        I know of no-one that pays no taxes (either through employment or through purchase tax) and also hardly any that are not indebted to usurers or the usurers that indebt our world’s governments and whom we all pay through taxes. Therefore, unequivocally, none are truly free and none are truly awake to their slavery whilst this system pervades. Equally, all are guilty of child murder, perpetrated by their governmental masters.
        Where’s the Karma in that?
        Additionally, I know almost nobody that has survived to any sort of age that has not adopted a dogma of one sort or another that is not of their own divination but is a dogma handed down to them. The consciousness of human beings lies behind the body-mind which is a sponge for such downloaded software and, when this true consciousness is discovered, it is found to be passionate about what needs to be done not for the self and ascension but for others who share this reality now.
        I don’t believe breatharians exist.
        I wish you well on your journey and hope that you recognise that the conditions created in this reality are for tackling now by conscious and awake people. This has always been the duty of better minds.
        Best Regards,
        Olive Farmer.

      • Bob OHearn says:

        Thank you for your comments, Olive Farmer!

        I would offer that real freedom is not a matter of whether we pay taxes or participate in political revolutions, or even whether we eat food or learn to exist on prana. As long as we are fixated on what changes — the body, the mind, the world — we will never know the true freedom of the changeless.

        In any case, where there is an opportunity to help others that presents itself, by all means we can respond, regardless of our sense of personal freedom.

        I understand that you believe you know “what needs to be done”, and I wish you well in your subsequent endeavors!

        Blessings!

  10. Bob OHearn says:

    from “I Am That”, Nisargadatta Maharaj

    Questioner: You say that whatever you see is yourself. You also admit that you see the world as we see it. Here is today’s newspaper with All the horrors going on. Since the world is yourself, how can you explain such misbehaviour?

    Maharaj: Which world do you have in mind?

    Q: Our common world, in which we live.

    M: Are you sure we live in the same world? I do not mean nature, the sea and the land, plants and animals. They are not the problem, nor the endless space, the infinite time, the inexhaustible power. Do not be misled by my eating and smoking, reading and talking. My mind is not here, my life is not here. Your world, of desires and their fulfilments, of fears and their escapes, is definitely not my world. I do not even perceive it, except through what you tell me about it. It is your private dream world and my only reaction to it is to ask you to stop dreaming.

    Q: Surely, wars and revolutions are not dreams. Sick mothers and starving children are not dreams. Wealth, ill-gotten and misused, is not a dream.

    M: What else?

    Q: A dream cannot be shared.

    M: Nor can the waking state. All the three states — of waking, dreaming and sleeping — are subjective, personal, intimate. They all happen to and are contained within the little bubble in consciousness, called ‘I’. The real world lies beyond the self.

    Q: Self or no self, facts are real.

    M: Of course facts are real! I live among them. But you live with fancies, not with facts. Facts never clash, while your life and world are full of contradictions. Contradiction is the mark of the false; the real never contradicts itself.

    For instance, you complain that people are abjectly poor. Yet you do not share your riches with them. You mind the war next door, but you hardly give it a thought when it is in some far off country. The shifting fortunes of your ego determine your values; ‘I think’, ‘I want’, ‘I must’ are made into absolutes.

    Q: Nevertheless, the evil is real.

    M: Not more real than you are. Evil is in the wrong approach to problems created by misunderstanding and misuse. It is a vicious circle.

    Q: Can the circle be broken?

    M: A false circle need not be broken. It is enough to see it as it is — non-existent.

    Q: But, real enough to make us submit to and inflict indignities and atrocities.

    M: Insanity is universal. Sanity is rare. Yet there is hope, because the moment we perceive our insanity, we are on the way to sanity. This is the function of the Guru — to make us see the madness of our daily living. Life makes you conscious, but the teacher makes you aware.

    Q: Sir, you are neither the first nor the last. Since immemorial times people were breaking into reality. Yet how little it affected our lives! The Ramas and the Krishnas, the Buddhas and the Christs have come and gone and we are as we were; wallowing in sweat and tears. What have the great ones done, whose lives we witnessed? What have you done, Sir, to alleviate the world’s thrall?

    M: You alone can undo the evil you have created. Your own callous selfishness is at the root of it. Put first your own house in order and you will see that your work is done.

    Q: The men of wisdom and of love, who came before us, did set themselves right, often at a tremendous cost. What was the outcome? A shooting star, however bright, does not make the night less dark.

    M: To judge them and their work you must become one of them. A frog in a well knows nothing about the birds in the sky.

    Q: Do you mean to say that between good and evil there is no wall?

    M: There is no wall, because there is no good and no evil. In every concrete situation there is only the necessary and the unnecessary. The needful is right, the needless is wrong.

    Q: Who decides?

    M: The situation decides. Every situation is a challenge which demands the right response. When the response is right, the challenge is met and the problem ceases. If the response is wrong, the challenge is not met and the problem remains unsolved. Your unsolved problems — that is what constitutes your karma. Solve them rightly and be free.

    Q: You seem to drive me always back into myself. Is there no objective solution to the world’s problems?

    M: The world problems were created by numberless people like you, each full of his own desires and fears. Who can free you of your past, personal and social, except yourself? And how will you do it unless you see the urgent need of your being first free of cravings born of illusion? How can you truly help, as long as you need help yourself?

    Q: In what way did the ancient sages help? In what way do you help? A few individuals profit, no doubt; your guidance and example may mean a lot to them; but in what way do you affect humanity, the totality of life and consciousness? You say that you are the world and the world is you; what impact have you made on it?

    M: What kind of Impact do you expect?

    Q: Man is stupid, selfish, cruel.

    M: Man is also wise, affectionate and kind.

    Q: Why does not goodness prevail?

    M: It does — in my real world. In my world even what you call evil is the servant of the good and therefore necessary. It is like boils and fevers that clear the body of impurities. Disease is painful, even dangerous, but if dealt with rightly, it heals.

    Q: Or kills.

    M: In some cases death is the best cure. A life may be worse than death, which is but rarely an unpleasant experience, whatever the appearances. Therefore, pity the living, never the dead. This problem of things, good and evil in themselves, does not exist in my world. The needful is good and the needless is evil. In your world the pleasant is good and the painful is evil.

    Q: What is necessary?

    M: To grow is necessary. To outgrow is necessary. To leave behind the good for the sake of the better is necessary.

    Q: To what end?

    M: The end is in the beginning. You end where you start — in the Absolute.

    Q: Why all this trouble then? To come back to where I started?

    M: Whose trouble? Which trouble? Do you pity the seed that is to grow and multiply till it becomes a mighty forest? Do you kill an infant to save him from the bother of living? What is wrong with life, ever more life? Remove the obstacles to growing and all your personal, social, economic and political problems will just dissolve. The universe is perfect as a whole and the part’s striving for perfection is a way of joy. Willingly sacrifice the imperfect to the perfect and there will be no more talk about good and evil.

    Q: Yet we are afraid of the better and cling to the worse.

    M: This is our stupidity, verging on insanity.

    Q: All the Buddhas and Rishis have not succeeded in changing the world.

    M: The world does not yield to changing. By its very nature it is painful and transient. See it as it is and divest yourself of all desire and fear. When the world does not hold and bind you, it becomes an abode of joy and beauty. You can be happy in the world only when you are free of it.

    The world appears to you so overwhelmingly real, because you think of it all the time; cease thinking of it and it will dissolve into thin mist. You need not forget; when desire and fear end, bondage also ends. It is the emotional involvement, the pattern of likes and dislikes which we call character and temperament, that create the bondage.

    Q: Without desire and fear what motive is there for action?

    M: None, unless you consider love of life, of righteousness, of beauty, motive enough. Do not be afraid of freedom from desire and fear. It enables you to live a life so different from all you know, so much more intense and interesting, that, truly, by losing all you gain all.

  11. Bob OHearn says:

    “The ‘world’ by its nature is the separateness of species. It will never function smoothly. Any fruit except for the Self, is futile. Please think this over deeply.”

    ~ Siddharameshwar Maharaj

  12. Candace says:

    Aloha Brother!

    I came across this and thought of you (forgive me if you’ve already posted this) 🙂

    “When you deceive yourself that you work for the good of all,

    it makes matters worse, for you should not be guided

    by your own ideas of what is good for others.

    A man who claims to know what is good for others,

    is dangerous.” Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

    Love & Blessings!
    Candace

  13. marcelvuijst says:

    The world cannot be used to search for something from the world (like salvation) (lil Huang Po alteration) as it is futile to use imagination to fix the imaginative.

    Thanks for all the great quotes, Blessings.

  14. Bob OHearn says:

    “What you are thinking of as ‘awake’ — some intense new passion for a worthy cause or a deep feeling of love for all existence — is actually the deepest of deep sleep, much deeper than a feeling of boredom or indifference. Yours is an intense association with the Illusion. The bored and the indifferent are on the verge of leaving the lure of the temptress Maya behind, no longer swayed by her shiny attractions. They are on the verge of waking.”

    ~ Siddharameshwar Maharaj

  15. Bob OHearn says:

    Chan Master Yongming Yanshou:

    “After all how is salvation for living beings produced?

    These “living beings” are the countless wandering thoughts you yourself produce in your mind day and night. The Great Collection Scripture says,

    “Your thoughts day and night are always producing countless hundreds of thousands of beings.”

    But if not a single thought is produced, you peacefully return to the root; therefore it is called ‘liberating living beings.

    When you realize thoughts are inherently empty and do not have a point of origin, that is also called ‘not seeing any beings to liberate.’ This is also what is meant by the statement, “Only after liberating all living beings will I attain perfect enlightenment.”

    The Flower Ornament Scripture says, “The body is the treasury of truths, the mind is the unobstructed lamp; illuminating the emptiness of all things is called liberating living beings.”

    “Once your own practice is established, you go back to teach others, getting everyone to observe the mind and rely on this study. This is real true kindness, the final deliverance.”

    (Chan Master Yongming Yanshou, Myriad Virtues Have the Same Aim)

  16. Bob OHearn says:

    Q: The world is getting better.

    Nisargadatta Maharaj: The world had all the time to get better, yet it did not. What hope is there for the future? Of course, there have been and will be periods of harmony and peace, when sattva was in ascendance, but things get destroyed by their own perfection. A perfect society is necessarily static and, therefore, it stagnates and decays. From the summit all roads lead downwards. Societies are like people — they are born, they grow to some point of relative perfection and then decay and die.

    What you are, you must find out. I can only tell you what you are not. You are not of the world, you are not even in the world. The world is not, you alone are. You create the world in your imagination like a dream. As you cannot separate the dream from yourself, so you cannot have an outer world independent of yourself. Don’t be afraid of a world you yourself have created. Cease from looking for happiness and reality in a dream and you will wake up.

    Why do you worry about the world before taking care of yourself? You want to save the world, don’t you? Can you save the world before saving yourself? And what means being saved? Saved from what? From illusion. Salvation is to see things as they are.”

  17. Cecil Mills says:

    What if you’re wrong? Would you have any regrets and seek all the gratification you could as it appears to you? What would you do?

    • Bob OHearn says:

      Hello Cecil

      Thank you for your inquiry. I am not sure which part you are referring to, but I would not have put anything into the essay that was mere speculation or conjecture. I verify things for myself, otherwise what would be the point of just rehashing another’s opinion. I have no regrets whatsoever. I came here to have the human experience that I have had, and so would change nothing. Seeking gratification through the exploitation of sensual possibilities has long ago been recognized as a futile strategy, and has no allure here.

      Blessings!

      • Cecil Mills says:

        Hello Bob and blessings to you too.

        I found your site by a very circuitous route and I am glad I did. I tend to binge when I come upon something new and then follow it down until I tire or it or it no longer interests me. Your site did neither. I have read almost all of your postings save a few towards the most current ones. I started at the beginning and just kept going. Good writing and a sense of familiarity, or being able to relate, does that to me. Your posts flickered a pebble into the pond of my thoughts and set off a rippling of currents of deja vu. I related to your story in spades, and what I did not relate to your line of inquiry and exposition and explanation colored in the contours of my ignorance. I felt educated in a way that was felt right. Too much blind adherence to dogma sets off my BS radar and makes me turn away. I don’t know what your intention is with your writings, but if it is nothing else but to give an account of what you have seen and what you have learned then let me say mission accomplished.

        Thanks,
        Cecil Mills

      • Bob OHearn says:

        Thank you so much for your very kind appreciation, Cecil! I am grateful to hear you found elements of interest and perhaps even some measure of inspiration in these writings. My intention in writing was to share something of what I have come to recognize about life, relationships, and spirit along the way, and perhaps to provide readers with some light on their own paths. In return for the many kindnesses shown me over the decades, I felt moved to return the favor by writing things down in as clear and straightforward a way possible. I remember when I was starting out exploring these matters, and I try to offer the kinds of information and materials that I would have found helpful to consider.

        Blessings!

  18. Bob OHearn says:

    “The planet is being neglected and raped of its natural resources. Its potent healing flora and fauna, capable of curing all known disease, is being forced into extinction by deforestation, pollution and ravage slaughter. Oxygen levels continue to decrease due to the aforementioned, so too the purity of your ocean waters. Children starve, are denied basic fundamental rights while thousands of tons of gold sit idle in vaults, and trillions of dollars demanded in taxes are fed into military war machines, lavish lifestyles and other over indulged pursuits. Your children are educated to align to others belief systems, while true knowledge of their spirit and ultimate creative potential are repressed and kept out of schools and universities.

    In this respect one could declare humanity and other suffering creatures to already be in dark times. For many beings of the Earth are suffering under the reign and attitude of man. It matters not if you wish to call it a new age or other decorative distinction. What you personally deem dark times, and what another human or animal deems a time of suffering is subject to their own current experience, perception and perspective.

    A great many other civilisations of other worlds overcame their tragic past mistakes by uniting together through necessity and survival. For they recognised in their eventual wisdom that if they had not, they would have assisted in their own extinction. In some cases it was an external force which threatened their species and way of life which united them, and sometimes it was an internal threat to their way of life which caused change and action to be consolidated. What you will now find is that such civilisations, for the most part, though still having their factions, function much like those of honey bees or ants of Earth. Less focus is placed upon individual ideals and more on contributing to the welfare and sustainability of a singular harmonious ideal which serves the whole. From birth such beings are instinctually, through genetic cellular and consciousness memory, compelled to think and behave in benefit to and harmony with the whole. There is no question of ‘what do I want’, only ‘what do my people need’. In this sense, there is a great sense of connection, camaraderie and shared responsibility for all challenges and all rewards of progress.

    The greatest obstacle to human potential lies in attitude. When many more attitudes are aligned to the sacred core values that ignite and unite nurturing behaviour and common family bonding principles, all other obstacles can be overcome. With the right nurturing attitude you can foster the necessary heart wisdom to ascertain appropriate choices and solutions to all your problems.

    The problem observed is not that human beings do not care, or that they are immoral or inherently bad. Millions of individuals are presently dissatisfied with the welfare of the Earth and aspire for something more harmonious in their relationship with it. The problem observed in human consciousness is individual attitudes of mind which believe they cannot possibly change the world for they are merely one small voice. What they must do is find the courage and determination to create a much larger voice to be reckoned with. For it is the human voice of reason is far more powerful and influential than any organisation that would seek to thwart change, even if that voice is without word, but within action, or inaction.

    Refusing to take up arms, manufacture weapons, or refuse to fund military intentions will remove its influence upon your societies. Refusing to comply with the manipulation of corporations, governments and suppressive forces will remove its influence upon your societies. Refusing to remain quiet and tolerant of the atrocities of neglect and abuse will remove its influence upon your societies. Many have learnt to say no within their own hearts, but very few have come together to shout it. You have a voice. Use it.

    One person can make a difference if they seek the wisdom to recognise the right tools to create it.

    Achieving spiritual potential is a simple matter of achieving connectivity. It is so simple a child can be observed doing it every day. No complicated philosophy or special new age knowledge is required to direct thoughts, intentions and actions in a way which connects you to all other things. How can an individual connect to their own spirit gifts if they fail to connect with the gifts of nature that sit right in front of them? If an individual has not the attitude or inclination for the sacred physical connections necessary for balance, how then can such attitude attune them to receive sacred spiritual sources? If an individual has not the commitment to connect to other voices of the world to end atrocities, how then can they have the commitment to connect to the voice of their own spirit?

    You must seek the wisdom and lessons of your ancient tribesmen, those who live in harmony with the land. Even those who live in smaller communities and remote villages can teach you much about connectivity. These obtrusive artificial cities and living conditions cause disconnection in mind, body and spirit. You must look upon the environment which you live in and contribute to and raise your awareness of its influences upon you as a being. Not only influences on your chemical biological level, but so too on your emotional and mental level through which you compose decisions for your life. What are you connecting to in your current sacred space and environment? What information are you bombarded with and being made to process in your consciousness? What values are you allowing to guide you and bring purpose and meaning to your life? How are you representing your own spirit identity and soul group on Earth?

    Connect with your inner sacred values. Connect with your own species and seek to understand your own nature. Connect with your own planet and understand how it connects to your own well-being. Connect with the other animals and insects to understand their own wisdom and behaviour. Connect your voice to others to educate and raise awareness of imbalances that effect you all. Before spiritual potential can be received the vehicle through which it is delivered must be suitably designed. Connect to your spiritual ideals and aspirations by creating the environment necessary for them to grow in. The environment within you will find balance for spiritual growth when the environment outside you supports it. Even if at first this means creating for yourself a small safe space in which to find your true core values, then this shall be your first step. Within this small safe space where your internal environment finds balance, you must then seek to harmonize this balance with your external environment. If one is not in harmony with the other then you cannot function as a suitable vehicle for your spiritual nature.”

    -Sparrow

      • Bob OHearn says:

        Hi Carol, nice to hear from you! I am preparing a wordpress blogsite with a compilation of Sparrow’s writings, which I will soon introduce to my readers. In the meantime, in Sparrow’s words: “I am, in simple terms, a cosmic tourist attracted to the direction of human destiny.”

        Blessings!

      • Hi Bob, There are a lot of us on that tour these days, so it’s nice to hear from Sparrow. Some of the things I’ve been reading here — that this is a “prison planet that will not change”, that there are “no victims here,” etc., seem to encourage an unhelpful cynicism, though that’s not the intent, I’m sure. While there is no doer and nothing happening, still there is much that needs to be done as we learn how to behave while we’re here.

        Much love and gratitude for your work,

        ~Carol

      • Bob OHearn says:

        Thank you Sister!

        I am just now finishing up that blog of Sparrow’s writings I mentioned, and I trust you will find it enlightening and thought-provoking.

        Btw, please keep in mind the context of any “nonduality”-type messages that you read here in this blog, and you may find that any cynicism is unfounded. It is easy to take things out of context and have them appear to be saying something that, in light of the total communication, is not so. I am sure you understand, based on your years of forum moderation.

        Blessings!

  19. Yes, I understand the context. Just read your Paradox of Perfection piece and see how you are building the bridge. Sickness and medicine … too much non-duality-type medicine sometimes poisons unripe hearers.

    BTW, you might get a kick out of this:

    “Upon first meeting the great teacher Mazu, Damei asked him, “What is Buddha?”
    Mazu said, “Mind is Buddha.”
    Upon hearing these words, Damei experienced great enlightenment. He soon moved to Mt. Da Mei [“Big Plum”], where he built a cottage and lived in seclusion.

    […four years later] When Mazu heard that Damei lived on the mountain, he sent a monk to call upon him and ask the question, “When you saw Master Mazu, what did he say that caused you to come live on this Mountain?”
    Damei said, “Master Mazu said to me, ‘Mind is Buddha.’ Then I came here to live.”
    The monk said, “These days Master Ma’s teaching has changed.”
    Damei said, “What is it?”
    The monk said, “Now he says, ‘No mind. No Buddha.’ ”
    Damei said, “That old fellow just goes on and on, confusing people. Let him go ahead and say, ‘No mind. No. Buddha.’ As for me, I still say ‘Mind is Buddha.’ ”
    The monk returned and reported this to Master Mazu.
    Mazu said, “The plum is ripe.”

    Another story about Damei:
    One day Damei suddenly said to his disciples, “When it comes it can’t be held back. When it goes it can’t be pursued.”
    When Damei paused, the monks heard the sound of a squirrel.
    Damei said, “It’s just this thing! Not some other thing! Each of you! Uphold and sustain it well. Now I pass away.”
    (Later the eminent teacher Yongming Yanshou praised Damei, saying, “When Damei first attained the Way, he said, ‘Mind is Buddha.’ At the very end he taught the monks, ‘It’s just this, not something else.’ The source of the myriad dharmas penetrates the thousand saints’ bones. Truth, though transformed is unmoving. How would one halt its coming forth and passing away?”)

    Another BTW, the dharma name I was given by my old teacher translates into English “The One Who Hears the Birds.” So Sparrow speaks my language! LOL.

    Love and gratitude,
    ~Carol

    • Bob OHearn says:

      “The One Who Hears the Birds.” 🙂

      “Now, there are many points at which to access the principle. I will point out one approach that will allow you to return to the source.

      Chinul: Do you hear the sounds of that crow cawing and that magpie calling?

      Student: Yes.

      Chinul: Trace them back and listen to your hearing-nature. Are there many sounds there?

      Student: At that place, all sounds and discriminations are unascertainable.

      Chinul: Marvelous! Marvelous! This is Avalokiteśvara’s method for accessing the principle. Let me ask you again. You said, “At that place, all sounds and discriminations are unascertainable.” But since they are unascertainable, at such a time isn’t the hearing-nature just empty?

      Student: Originally it is not empty. It is always bright and never benighted.

      Chinul: What is this essence that is not empty?

      Student: As it has no form or shape, it is ineffable.

      Chinul: This is the life force of all the buddhas and patriarchs—have no further doubts. Since it has no form or shape, how can it be either large or small? Since it is neither large nor small, how can it have any boundaries? Since it has no boundaries, it cannot have either inside or outside. Since there is no inside or outside, there is no far or near. As there is no far or near, there is no here or there. As there is no here or there, there is no coming or going. As there is no coming or going, there is no birth or death. As there is no birth or death, there is no past or present. As there is no past or present, there is no delusion or awakening. As there is no delusion or awakening, there is no ordinary person or sage. As there is no ordinary person or sage, there is no purity or impurity. Since there is no impurity or purity, there is no right or wrong. Since there is no right or wrong, names and words do not apply to it. Since none of these concepts apply, all sense-bases and sense-objects, all deluded thoughts, even forms and shapes, names and words are all inapplicable. Hence how can it be anything but originally void and calm and originally no-thing?”

      (From “Moguja’s Secrets on Cultivating the Mind” in Collected Works of Korean Buddhism, Vol. 2, 221-222)

      Love & Blessings, Sister!

  20. Bob OHearn says:

    “It is true that we are called to create a better world. But we are first of all called to a more immediate and exalted task: that of creating our own lives.”

    ~Thomas Merton

  21. Bob OHearn says:

    Many feel the urge to create a new and better world. Rather than let your thoughts dwell on such matters, you should concentrate on That by the contemplation of which there is hope of perfect peace. It is man’s duty to become a seeker after God or Truth.

    ~ Sri Anandamayi Ma

  22. Bob OHearn says:

    The childish work for their own benefit,
    The Buddhas work for the benefit of others.
    Just look at the difference between them.
    Whoever wishes to quickly afford protection
    To both himself and others
    Should practice that holy secret:
    The exchanging of self for others.
    You are not here to change the world.
    The world is here to change you.

    ~ Shantideva

  23. Bob OHearn says:

    There’s not much that you as an individual can do about the wars that are taking place in the world at the moment. Yet the big ideas of peace and the efforts of the UN are certainly not effective. But I declare that the little change in the individual that overcomes war within, and then another, and another, will create a radiance of peace and eventually this radiance will have the power to stop the big wars. If you want a new society, it starts with you. If you want to change this society, the most logical thing to do is change yourself. The most powerful thing you can do is change your own being. In order to get peace in society, you have to get peaceful beings.

    When there is true aspiration for peace, that aspiration is fulfilled peacefully. Peace is not like some bovine animal dully chewing away. The mind of peace is extremely intelligent. There is strength to fulfill the aspiration and the fulfilment comes softly.

    ~ Namgyal Rinpoche, excerpts from ‘The Meditation on Peace’

  24. Bob OHearn says:

    “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
    Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

    ~ Rumi

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  25. Bob OHearn says:

    “To work for others, you first have to develop composure. If you have no basic stability, when you try to help others, they will not benefit from your help. If you are trying to prevent someone from falling out of a window, you will both go out the window together. To prevent that, you have to stay inside so that you can pull them back. In order to do this, training in mindfulness and awareness is absolutely necessary.”

    ~Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
    The Bodhisattva Path of Wisdom and Compassion

  26. Bob OHearn says:

    “You may of course ask the universe for justice if it eases your heart to do so. However the universe does not operate upon the morality or mental principles held by one individual species. You are in effect asking it to think as you do, to hold the values and perspectives you do, and to act as you would. Yet when a lion hunts and kills a zebra or buffalo and eats it, its colt, filly or calf does not seek moral recompense for its loss. Should the universe intervene on behalf of them anyway? Teach the lion a lesson? Or could it be the lesson is actually for the colt, the filly and the calf? Who decides who needs the lesson and what should or should not be taught?

    There is nothing wrong with seeking justice. Yet know whenever you do so it is to preserve and promote values that you perceive to be a statement of who you are. That goes for all those who would join you in bringing about that justice. But do not expect all beings to adhere to the same values that you do, for their perception of themselves can be quite different to yours. In their eyes they may see themselves as the ones in the right, and perceive you to be the one in the wrong. Whose values are to take precedence in the eyes of the universe? After all, all beings originate from the same Prime Creator and have equal right to exist as they may.”

    ~Sparrow

  27. Bob OHearn says:

    “A spirituality that is only private and self-absorbed, one devoid of an authentic political and social consciousness, does little to halt the suicidal juggernaut of history. On the other hand, an activism that is not purified by profound spiritual and psychological self-awareness and rooted in divine truth, wisdom, and compassion will only perpetuate the problem it is trying to solve, however righteous its intentions. When, however, the deepest and most grounded spiritual vision is married to a practical and pragmatic drive to transform all existing political, economic and social institutions, a holy force – the power of wisdom and love in action – is born. This force I define as Sacred Activism.”

    ~ Andrew Harvey

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