August 31st, 2008

New Moon Watch: The Teacher Student Relationship

“A neurotic human being is a childish human being. A psychotic human being is an infantile human being. A healthy human being is an adult.”
— A.H. Almaas.

Yesterday’s new moon occurred in the eighth degree of Virgo. One of the zodiacal degrees associated with the student teacher relationship. So that’s what I’ll be writing about today. The symbol’s specific image is: “A five-year-old takes a first dancing lesson.”

In his book on the Sabian Symbols, Dane Rudhyar writes the following: “The individual can express his own individual character only according to traditional modes. He is still entirely responsible to his teacher… Yet new perspectives are now open to him.” Rudhyar also notes that this degree is associated with “the potentiality of initiation.” The number five, taken from the child’s age, represents a movement towards “conscious manhood.”

When I turned 32 I had the good fortune of finding my spiritual teachers. Actually my spiritual teachers found me, but I’ll say more about that seeming mystery as I go.

Events in my life, around the time of meeting my teachers, were difficult, both externally and psychologically. And I had exhausted whatever quantity of fuel my personality was burning to maneuver, manage and ‘design’ my life. I was literally running on empty; my mantra being a line I’d read in one of Maurice Nicoll‘s Commentaries. Quoting Ouspensky: “It’s only when you realize that life is taking you nowhere that it begins to have meaning.”

Depression was a constant. This despite the fact that I had a ‘fulfilling’ career as an artist. A parade of boyfriends. And lived in a beautiful tropical valley, recessed in the hills of Honolulu. Better yet, I was tucked away on an island, 3,000 miles away from my mother and father. Surely I was an autonomous adult, finally free from my family matrix; a condition that I’d drawn a dark curtain across after graduating high school and moving to Los Angeles in my late teens.

But then a family death opened a trapdoor and I tumbled down the rabbit hole. A hole created by what I call the “blow back” of death — a kind of astral opening where the shock of death exposes the various blinders and “buffers,” as Gurdjieff called them, that keep the deluded sense of immortality humming within oneself. Three months later I met my teachers and joined a Work school. Read more

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Filed Under: New Moon Watch and Teacher/Student
August 25th, 2008

The Origins of Alchemy in Graeco-Roman Egypt

Men have thought the prospect strange
demonic scaring as they woke
from a ravishing crystalline dream
of abstract Eternities
to touch the edge of Change
where all Numbers twist and break:

yet Pattern lurks in the vanishing lair
of ragged particles. Alchemists
first kept the double vision and reckoned
as aspects of a single Stream
the Vortices of spinning mist
and the Structure of the unseizable second
when Life leaps upwards through the range
of fiery unstable Symmetries,
intricate dangerous Time.

is the moving
image of Eternity
Plato remarked among the Stars.
is the sudden
wholeness of Time
Apollo answers amid the Flowers.

Jack Lindsay

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Filed Under: Poetry
August 23rd, 2008

Jack Kornfield on Meeting Nisargadatta

There’s something in us, in our nature, which compels us to

I remember a very powerful moment with the old guru who I studied with, Nisargadatta Maharaj, who taught the way of Nisarga Yoga. “Nisarga” means natural. The basic translation of his name was “Mr. Natural”. He was this 80-year old cigarette-smoking man. He had a little cigarette stand. He was kind of a combination like Krishnamurti and Fritz Perls. He would put you on the hot seat when you came in and ask you about your spiritual life.

One day we were in a room about this big. People were coming in and asking questions. Somebody came in and asked a question and was a little bit dissatisfied and left. And another person raised their hand and said, “Maharaj, what will happen to that person who came and asked that question and left? Is it all over for them in this life? They didn’t stay here. You are a great guru, and they weren’t interested, and they went home.”

And he twinkled at that moment, he really lit up, and he said, “It’s too late. Even the fact that they put their foot in this room, even if they hadn’t asked the question, means that somewhere in there there’s a seed of really knowing who we are and what this life is about. Not what you were taught in elementary school or what’s on TV or the newspapers, but a deep seed of knowing our true nature, that wants to discover; it’s like coming home. The fact that he just walked in the room means that that seed has started to sprout. And no matter if he tries to forget it and goes back and gets lost, sooner or later that will manifest in awakening.” Read more

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August 21st, 2008

The Land of Truth

“A certain man believed that the ordinary waking life, as people knew it could not possibly be complete.
He sought the real Teacher of the Age. He read many books and joined many circles, and he heard the words and witnessed the deeds of one master after another. He carried out the commands and spiritual exercises which seemed to him to be most attractive.
He became elated with some experiences. At other times he was confused; and he had no idea at all of what his stage was, or where and when his search might end.
This man was reviewing his behavior one day when he suddenly found himself near the house of a certain sage of high repute. In the garden of that house he encountered Khidr, the secret guide who shows the way to Truth.
Khidr took him to a place where he saw people in great distress and woe, and he asked who they were. “We are those who did not follow real teachings, who were not true to our undertakings, who revered self-appointed teachers,” they said. Read more

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Filed Under: Idries Shah and Sufi Wisdom and Truth
August 18th, 2008

A Moment’s Pause with Meister Eckhart

The divine countenance
is capable of maddening and driving
all souls out of their senses
with longing for it.

When it does this by its very divine nature
it is thereby
drawing all things to itself.

Every creature —
whether it knows it or not —
seeks repose.

— Meister Eckhart

from Meditations with Meister Eckhart, Bear and Company, Rochester Vermont

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