Lest We Be Judged

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Spiritual adept or life-long failure, saint or sinner, accomplished practitioner or bumbling fool – no life is what it seems, and yet all lives are of equal value, a value beyond measure. There are no better or worse lives, higher or lower, more or less advanced spiritually. It’s not that everything has to be brought to a state of perfection at some triumphal point in the far distant future, but rather that it always already is. Every life, just as it is, is already perfect. As is said: “This is Perfect. That is Perfect. From the Perfect springs the Perfect. Take the Perfect from the Perfect and only the Perfect remains.”

There is just this all-pervading equal-ness. However, that is not what most of us have been taught, and so we might ponder how that can be – such equality. Perhaps a metaphor here can clarify. When the actors remove their theatrical masks, when the persona skins are shed, what’s revealed is the same God who has been playing all the roles, living all these apparently individual and separate lives. Call it God, Big Mind, Supreme Source, Shiva, the Ground of Being, the Self, the Absolute, the Basis, the Sub-stratum, the Heart, Dharmakaya, Primordial Potentiality, Shunyatā, Clear Light, Universal Intelligence, or don’t even bother with a label. Say it is the Un-sayable, the Un-nameable. There is only That. All are the manifold expressions of that One.

It is the same One who is living us now, the One without a second. Yes, we are being lived. There is no independent autonomy, despite appearances to the contrary. All appearances are the creative display of that One. That One is the doer, we are the vehicles, the dreamy creations that populate the Sky of Mind. Moreover, there is not now, nor has there ever been, any distance between ourselves and the Divine, so any talk of a path is moot. Where would that One go to get to Itself?

Believing or not believing makes no difference. Is purple more spiritual than yellow? In fact, adding “spiritual” as a qualifier to life is just superimposing an artificial appendage, like painting legs on a snake. If someone wants to adopt a Sanskrit name and do a lot of esoteric practices, believing they are on some progressive path to enlightenment, fine. If another wants to spend their life trout fishing in mountain streams, without the slightest concern for acquiring some strategic means to become what they already are, equally fine too. It doesn’t really matter, except in our provisional interpretations on perception, which are themselves constantly being modified by all sorts of factors, most of which lie beyond our limited human comprehension.

Fundamentally, all lives are equally precious and valuable, however they might seem to work out or fail to work out. Each one is its own perfect expression of Spirit, which cannot become more spiritual, regardless of the verbal trappings by which we might limit it in our confused efforts to establish some artificial hierarchy of being.

The point is, it is all experience, and that is why we are here, to partake in and appreciate the experience of being human, in whatever form that might take. These various lives that ensue from the prime impulse to experience Itself are among the infinite ways the Divine enjoys Itself, in the same way we might enjoy a movie in which we so identify with the main character that we momentarily forget we are the audience. In that sense, we are all the stories God tells Itself, and no story is better or worse than the next, neither higher nor lower, neither more or less profound or worthwhile.

When the wise say, “Just be”, that’s it — just be whatever we are. How hard is that? The innocent simplicity of our appearance here is actually an amazing and unfathomable mystery, the fact that there is beingness at all in the midst of vast emptiness. The embodied human intellect can’t really account for a tiniest fraction of it, and yet we act as if we are qualified to judge the worth of any particular life, usually based on borrowed opinions. That is an astounding bit of presumption, isn’t it — to suppose that we have some special knowledge of what any of this is all about!

Nevertheless, we humans continue to spend a lot of time and attention judging and categorizing each other, separating each other into denominations, clans, tribes, contrasting social groups, while assigning hierarchical values to each based on our conditional interpretations and biases. However, if we really understood the mechanics of that conceptual activity, we would also understand why this realm is so often characterized as a war planet, on both the individual as well as the macro level, and also why it need not be that way.

Perhaps if we would pause for a moment in the midst of timeless infinity and honestly self-reflect, we might realize just how preposterous our charades of knowing actually are, along with all the judgements we make regarding the ways of others that might diverge from our conditioned fantasy of what is “right”. Almost all of us indulge in opinionated speculation about what other people should be doing with their lives, even though we ourselves are often more like sleepwalkers stumbling through our own. Indeed, how many of us, while embodied in human form, have the capacity to access Universal Knowledge and see the bigger picture, in terms of any soul’s evolutionary journey?

However humbling it may be to recognize our fundamental ignorance, to that degree we just might move closer to the heart of the great matter – appreciation and sincere gratitude for this incomparable gift of conscious sentience, of living, feeling, moving, seeing, speaking, hearing, smelling, touching, thinking, imagining. Of loving and being loved. Of being born and dying, even though, as shards of Source Energy, we are forever, and utterly beyond both birth and death.

When we are able to recognize how our judgments tend to distract us from paying attention to our own process in life and relations, we can release them and thus reduce the burdensome complication they impose on the simple matter of ordinary life – life which is actually not so ordinary at all, but a rare and magical mystery tour beyond description that even the angels might envy!

“Every time you stand in a grassy field playing catch with your dog, a hundred thousand souls gather to watch in envy from above. For they not only wish to smell the sweet smell of the flowers and the wind that carries the scent of soil and grass, but they wish to experience that wind on their face. They wish to experience the trickle of rain on their heads, and feel the warmth of the sun upon their skin. They wish to be the family pet that digs its paws into the dirt as it loses itself in that playful moment, free from concern, sorrow or regret. They wish to be the ball that flies through the air and summons the dog to race and jump. They wish to be the butterfly that lands on your shoulder and captivates your attention for a fleeting moment by its elegant beauty and intimate physical interaction.

They envy you for you have not only witnessed, but you have experienced all of these things simultaneously, intimately and interactively. The flowers. The grass. The wind. The soil. The rain. The sun. The dog. The ball. The butterfly – are all perspectives, are all values, and are all relationships you have experienced intimately in that transitory moment. Just as you have influenced the ball that flew through the air, and the dog that ran to chase it, all these intricacies influence one another to similar effect. Try to perceive the value inherent within each, by placing yourself as each of such things, that you may better understand yourself and your own value outside of who, what, and where you are presently.”

~Sparrow, from The Value of Physical Embodiment

05

“The land of natural perfection
is free of buddhas and sentient beings;

the ground of natural perfection
is free of good and bad;

the path of natural perfection
has no length;

the fruition of natural perfection
can neither be avoided nor attained;

the body of natural perfection
is neither existent nor nonexistent;

the speech of natural perfection
is neither sacred nor profane;

and the mind of natural perfection
has no substance nor attribute.

The space of natural perfection
cannot be consumed nor voided;

the status of natural perfection
is neither high nor low;

the praxis of natural perfection
is neither developed nor neglected;

the potency of natural perfection
is neither fulfilled nor frustrated;

the display of natural perfection
is neither manifest nor latent;

the actuality of natural perfection
is neither cultivated nor ignored;

and the gnosis of natural perfection
is neither visible nor invisible.

The hidden awareness of natural perfection
is everywhere,

its parameters beyond indication,
its actuality incommunicable;

the sovereign view of natural perfection
is the here-and-now, naturally present
without speech or books, irrespective
of conceptual clarity or dullness,
but as spontaneous joyful creativity
its reality is nothing at all.”

~Longchepa

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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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40 Responses to Lest We Be Judged

  1. Bob OHearn says:

    “Do what you are doing.”

    ~St. Teresa of Avila

  2. Ruby. Felman says:

    I find it almost a disappointment that life is not actually some kind of test that finishes in a life review where we are graded. That we are simply here to be an expression of god as a diversion from perfection takes a bit to get your head around. Not unlike being a gladiator whose fight for life is entertainment for the masses. If I step aside from the the human way of thinking and really think about it – then it makes perfect sense and in my heart I know it’s true! Thank you!

    • Bob OHearn says:

      You’re most welcome, Ruby, and yes, the human ego-mind imagines that enlightenment will be its crowning glory, when instead true awakening is the greatest disappointment of its ambitions, since there is nobody there to glory in it — that is the nature of realization. As one of my teachers noted, “truth is not a reward for good behavior, nor a prize for passing some tests. It cannot be brought about. It is the primary, the unborn, the ancient source of all that is. You are eligible because you are. You need not merit truth. It is your own. Just stop running away by running after. Stand still, be quiet.”

      Blessings!

  3. Bob and Sparrow and Longchepa in one potent cocktail! I am giddy with delight. ❤

  4. Bob OHearn says:

    Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love, infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of…messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous, and then to rise again to remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love in truth doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only ask that you show up, and do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s Plenty.

    ~ Courtney A. Walsh

  5. Dash R. says:

    Hello and thank you for this Blog. I occasionally stumble upon it to see what is up. After reading this dispatch I wonder if realization is all that great. I mean, if no one is there to see your crowning glory ( let alone me realizing the moment) what is the use? Does that moment even exist? It makes so sense. I am reminded of the saying “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” I need more than that. I need confirmation. Any suggestions would help.

    Namaste

  6. Carlton says:

    Hello Bob:

    Now, I feel some confusion after reading your assertion that the non necessity of attaining self a realization, since it’s all us (God entertaining itself) and your suggestion of finding a dharma center and a teacher. My question is, for what purpose? Anyway, to that end, I wrote from Italy a few months ago, as I considered having such an experience, but I’ve neither found a teacher nor a dharma center to fit my situation. So, I had planned to write you and ask for your thoughts about seeking a teacher online within the Vedanta tradition, with the understanding (I read this ) that I can weed those individuals out who would charge money for their services, being the main caveat for considering that prospect.

    Can you help me, please?

    • Bob OHearn says:

      Hi Carlton, nice to hear from you again!
      First of all, I should clarify about the paradox of realization. Rather than speaking to your intellect, let me speak to your heart.
      What is it that you really want, in the deepest core of your being? If you can access that, you have taken the first step towards realization.
      The question then is, what will be your priority in this life, now that you have recognized your most profound yearning. Whether or not you call it “realization” doesn’t matter. Do you see what I mean?
      Now, in terms of online teachers, I really don’t know, although I understand that there are quite a few these days. Jerry Katz’ Nonduality site might be a place to start, or you could contact him directly, since he is an authority in that area. I would recommend doing some research, perhaps via google, and trust that you will be led to the one that is best for you at present. In other words, experiment until you find a situation that most resonates with your spirit.

      Best Wishes in your adventure!

  7. David Ashley says:

    Thank you Bob for your crystal insights. Fabulous inspiration. Kind regards David

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  8. Bob OHearn says:

    “Great Perfection means that our nature itself is already fully perfect. We don’t have to make our empty essence pure; it is primordially pure. We don’t have to make our basic nature cognizant; it is already spontaneously perfected as cognizance. Nor does the all-pervasive capacity need to be fabricated. Honestly, how could you possibly create the empty essence or cognizant nature? They are spontaneously present, effortlessly.”

    ~Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

  9. Bob OHearn says:

    “Think about replacing the term spiritual growth with Self-Awakening. You are not a human being embracing a spiritual experience, but an inquisitive spirit embracing the complexities and questions surrounding the human condition. You are not so much growing, but awakening that which you already are, but are currently unaware of. You are bringing your remembrance of Self into being by creating experiences of it in physical reality. Your soul does indeed grow from this experience, but it is your spirit which is Self-Awakened through the process and journey.

    You will know when you are on the right path for ‘you’ when you experience genuine heartfelt joy. You do not need divine signs, angel feathers and other beings to tell you what is your right path, for it is not the role of any guide to dictate your own sense of values and the state of anyone else’s journey. There is no right and wrong journey, there is only ‘the journey of experience’. The question remains, what do you wish to experience?”

    “Spirituality is not a process of vertical movement as if ascending upon some hierarchical ladder of so-called ascensionism. Your spirit, that is, the identity you were first created as many millions of years ago, is already spiritual and cannot be any ‘more’ spiritual than what it already is. For what it IS, is the same as that which is Prime Creator. So then, your ‘level of spirituality’, as you have called it, is simply your human brain, your ego, trying to fabricate challenges, obstacles and interactive pathways for you to somehow ‘achieve’ something which, in fact, you already are, always have been and always will be, regardless of anything and everything you do in physical state. So before you, or anybody who now reads these words lowers their own spiritual Self-value, know that regardless of what ‘spiritual’ progress you presume you have made through physical ‘learning’s’, it does not and will not change who or what your spirit is. You are beautiful, you are perfect and divine, and you do not need to achieve, suffer or struggle for this to remain fact, in life or in death.”

    https://spiritguidesparrow.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/spiritual-development/

  10. Carlton says:

    A Big Warm Thank You:

    Again, I appreciate your taking the time to respond to me. In a word, finding contentment, which for me, would entail learning the truth of existence, would be all of what I’d yearn for in this life. And, as it so happened, I’ve found nothing close to helping me in my venture than the insights you’ve been providing in this blog, for they have answered many major questions (very truthfully speaking) that kept me searching for meaning for many years. It’s just that everything I read feels so real, or so above my pay grade, or just so intriging that, I really struggle to learn more on a level that I’d be able to understand. So, I find myself extracting clues for search entries, in hopes that I could get a better understanding and more importantly, explanations behind what you write in order to add to my belief – then practice it consistently. Now, if only I could find a Conscious Process 101 or “for dummies”, I’d be set!

    Thx!

    • Bob OHearn says:

      Well my Friend, it is heartening to hear that some of my considerations have been useful to you. Nevertheless, I am by no means a teacher, but simply feel moved as a writer to share some of my explorations. Please keep an intention in your heart that an authentic teacher crosses your path, and in the meantime, relax and rest in your own natural sufficiency. Nothing need be added to that, it’s just that we tend to overlay it with all sorts of concerns that create stress and doubt. Accept that you are completely OK, just as you are, and that you always will be. That’s the literal truth. And most importantly, let your genuine lovingness embrace all with whom you come in contact with, recognizing that they too are looking for the same answers, and suffering the same doubts and worries. Life truly is a wonderful gift, and if we see it that way, it can reveal so much, even without us needing to go any place special or accomplish extraordinary feats.

      Much Blessing, Carlton!

      • Carlton says:

        Okay, very well, I’ll do as you suggested.

        The!

      • Carlton says:

        Your salutation in your response to me ( My Friend) brought me to tears. Guess I have more and consistent reading of your blog to do before I can start feeling deserving of such..

        With

        Deep Bows and Warm (manly) Hugs (lol)

        The!

  11. Bob OHearn says:

    “When you feel surrounded by morons
    remember
    life is a hall of mirrors”

    ~Shinzen

    • Carlton Booze says:

      Have I Found A Teacher ?

      Hello Bob:

      You suggested that I could set the intention in my heart to find an “authentic teacher” in a response to me last week. So, can you give me some specifics on what you meant, before I ask someone who was recommended to me on a Vedanta website. I want to be more specific (name, rank and serial number) because you may know the parties in question, but I want to respect people’s right to anonymity, if they wish to claim it, and I know this is not your private email account.

      So, before I go headlong running after a teacher, can you give some pointers? I read one of your posts mentioning Vedanta, and the various yoga qualifications which some teachers unnecessarily require of their aspirants, if I understood you correctly, so I’ll keep that in mind.

      I’m trying not to be impatient or desperate, but relax, as you said, but I want to learn how to learn how to live a little more contentedly than I have been, because most times I find it hard to see life as a gift, as you say.

      With Love and Thanks,

      Carl

      • Bob OHearn says:

        Carlton, may I suggest you check out a site called Sarlo’s Guru Ratings? It is fairly comprehensive, then if you find a couple of possibilities, I would be happy to review them with you, via PM. The site is here: http://www3.telus.net/public/sarlo/Ratings.htm

        Blessings!

      • Carlton says:

        I’m going there now, thanks!

      • Carlton says:

        Hello There, Bob!

        Yes, that site is comprehensive indeed; my head was spinning with the information provided! Besides, I found the teacher (James Swartz) of the gentleman whom I asked to help me on that very site you suggested. I was accepted kindly, but I’d probably be better served, by first studying the four yogas, to ensure myself that I have what it takes (a basic understanding of reality/awareness beyond mind, body/form) to undertake Ted Schmidt’s course in self-realization. I mean, are the yogas the best preparation for Vedantic study, in your estimation? Like I said, I’m seeking contentment via a spiritual practice within my ‘pay grade’, as you would say – not to be a Vedic scholar of some sort!

        As always, any of your golden insights are more than welcomed, as or if your time allows!

        Best,

        Carl

      • Bob OHearn says:

        Hi Carlton, glad to hear you feel comfortable with your choice, and given that, further recommendations should be between you and your teacher. Typically, people embarking on a spiritual practice moderate their lives, avoiding extremes, and also experiment with meditation, detaching from identification with the stream of thoughts and coming to rest as silent awareness. That’s a good start, and your teacher can make suggestions from there. All the best to you in your endeavors!

      • Carlton says:

        Okay, thank you.

      • Carlton says:

        Bob!

        You know, once in a while, I get some lights to go off in this head of mine (half-joking). But, it’s funny that you send me this article at shortly after I concluded that your site provides so many signposts, which are going to be soooo helpful to me, as I start reading more Vedanta sources.for my studies. For instance, after I read something on Viveka, a few of the terms you used to describe human existence (e.g. avatars, virtual reality gamers) came to mind. Even though I’m a long way away from being mindful enough to discriminate between ephemeral and eternal objects on a moment by moment basis, I’m still thankful your insights were there to give me a first taste of this serious otherworldly knowledge.

        Wonderful Info, Huge Thanks,

        Carlton

      • Bob OHearn says:

        Brother, a big smile here, so glad to hear you find these essays helpful! Wishing you lots of adventure, fun, and insight on your path!

        Blessings!

      • Carlton says:

        Again, deep bows to you.

  12. Bob OHearn says:

    Dealing with Difficult People:

    “Do not think about things like that. There is no benefit in grasping and thinking about it. You have to let it go. Everything follows the law of karma naturally, there is nothing we can change about it by thinking about it much. If your family members treat you bad in this life, it is the result or karmic creditor of your own past actions. We are responsible for out own karma, we ourselves have created the causes for all our experiences. Enemies, obstructors, mischievous relatives, etc. are only conditions but not the cause. Moreover, the past is gone, it doesn’t exist any longer, we cannot change the past, we have to let it go, so do not think about this. What is more important is that which is actually in your hands, the future. Thus you should rather give rise to love and compassion in order to ensure a happy future. If you think about others’ faults you will only get angry and resentful. Think about their qualities and stop thinking about their faults, then love will arise. If you can’t stop the thoughts, think of Tara and recite her mantra. The Buddha said, “Perfectly tame your own mind, this is the Buddha’s teaching.” The Buddha did not say, “Perfectly tame someone else’s mind.” You have to purify your own mind. If you cling to these thoughts of resentment and frustration again and again, you form a habit, and this habit will manifest before you in the Bardo in the form of a delusive perception which is the projection of your own mind, just like a TV show. This is what creates hell, it is the projections of one’s own anger and resentment. Let go of it and make an effort to cultivate love. The only thing you should hold on to is love. Then you have no fear when you die, you will be born in the higher realms and slowly attain enlightenment. So do not worry about the faults of others, rather purify your own faults.”

    – Garchen Rinpoche

  13. garyhorvitz says:

    Hi Bob,
    I’ve enjoyed every post I’ve read here. Some more than once. Regardless of the particular conceptual doorway you choose, you always get to the heart of the matter.
    The issue I resonate most closely with here is the use of the term spiritual as it relates to consciousness of the gradual path. I don’t recall a single Buddhist teacher who talks about the truth of non-duality as much as they remind us how far we have to go. Even Dzogchen teachers who say we are already perfect usually follow that with a reminder that we have much work to do. And remaining in an awareness that we are already “there” falls so quickly into the realm of effort.

    Our temporality, our embodiment seems to be what clouds the mind into believing there is such as a thing as spirituality. For me, Longchenpa is direct transmission: there is no such thing as freedom because there has never been bondage, appearance is positive, emptiness is positive, neither appearance nor emptiness have ever existed; neither birth, death, happiness nor suffering have ever existed. I don’t know why this one should be any more difficult to swallow than any of the other assertions of non-dual (non)existence, but being able to say one can never be ‘spiritual’ because temporality has never existed seems (to me) like a key to the rest of the house of cards. So much hangs on that term it really needs to be dismantled.

    Curious to hear what you have to say about this.

    • Bob OHearn says:

      Hi Gary,

      Thank you for your comments and inquiry!

      In brief, all systems that propose some sort of spiritual ascension, progression, or transformation are based on the myths and fantasies of the human persona. We will never be any more “spiritual” than we already are.

      I appreciate Longchenpa’s recognition in this regard, although he too tends to cloud the matter with his carry-over Buddhist terminology and conditioning.

      Fundamentally, we are not here to get “enlightened” and escape this realm. Rather, we are here to explore the nature of physicality, as a factor of Spirit’s infinite expansion in Self-awareness. I discuss this theme in more detail in other essays here, such as “The Myth of Enlightenment”.

      Blessings!

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