How often do you let other people’s nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss or an insensitive employee, difficult neighbour, ruin your day? Well, unless you are thick skinned like the Terminator, you’re probably setback on your heels. This happens to me regularly, even though I try to practice mindfulness but just now and then some Garbage Truck comes along and knocks me down for a while. I honesty think I am a sucker for punishment when it comes to life’s little niggles and being dumped on. However, the mark of success is how quickly you can recover and refocus on what’s important in your life. A few years ago I learned this small lesson. And I learned it in a city taxi. Here’s how the story goes:
I hopped into the taxi one day and we took off for the train station. We were travelling in the right lane when all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, the car skidded, the tires squealed and at the very last moment our car stoped just one inch from the other car’s back end. It was a close call.
I couldn’t believe it.But I couldn’t believe what happened next. The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us. And for emphasis, he threw in a one finger salute, as if his words were not enough.
But then here’s what really blew me away. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy as if old friends. And I mean, he was very friendly. So, I said, “Why did you just do that? This guy could have killed us!” And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, “The law of the Garbage Truck.”
He said, Many people are like garbage trucks.They run around full of garbage, full of frustrations, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they look full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up even more, they look for a place to dump it. And if you let them, they dump it on you. So when someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Believe me you’ll be happier.”
So I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people, at work, at home, or in the street? It was then that i said, “I don’t want their garbage and I’m not going to spread it anymore.”
I began to see Garbage Trucks all over. Like in the movie the Sixth Sense, the litte boy said, “I see dead people.” Well, now “I see Garbage Trucks.” I see the load they are carrying. I see them coming to dump it and sometimes it’s on me! Now, like my taxi driver, I don’t take is personally, I just smile, wave, wish them well, and I move on.
From an original story by David J Poolay with thanks.
THE RISE OF THE PREDATOR CLASS A subscriber exclusive article by Foster Gamble
Two visionary thinkers I would like to highlight here today.
Foster Gamble creator of Thrive Movies One and Thrive Two, and Thrive On.
Jamie Wheal author of the global bestseller Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, Navy SEALs and Maverick Scientists are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work.
Foster Gamble writes:
Once upon a time, and the time was different in different parts of the planet, most people survived through hunting and gathering their food. They needed to stay on the move, adapt to harsh weather, follow the herds.
And then at some point some innovative folks were tired of the hassle, the risk, and the homelessness. They just wanted to stay put. A few figured out how to plant seeds, harvest and store crops for the winter, and then save the new seeds for the next growing season.
Such was the beginning of civilization- of some time to think, to plan, to build and create.
Settlements, villages and even small cities began to emerge.
But there were others with a penchant for violence and ill-gotten gains who realized they could just band together and steal from the storehouses of the farmers. This was still dangerous but took less life-force than hunting or growing in terms of energy output. Their lives became focused on fighting, pillaging and raping.
But they still had to keep moving and risk injury or death in battle, so they had to figure a way that they too could just stay put.
And thus, was born the notion of royalty. The head of a successful band of marauders would declare himself King of a region and then demand a percentage of everyone’s resources in return for protection from robbers just like himself.
People began seeing through the myth of royalty and collusion with the priesthood in they claimed as their “divine right to rule.”
So then the oligarchs had to up their game to keep their serfs believing that they should continue giving a large percent of their hard-earned resources to a group of nonproducing elite.
…so government was born.
Protection money was now going to be called “taxes” – the “price of civilization” – though such coercion is hardly civilized. This began the “social contract” (though the people never signed up for such a mythical contract… except at the point of a gun.
First there were the dictators, and as their absolute power became a source of resentment. Then came the presidents and premiers – democracy and republics. But this is, at best, mob rule. America was the “shining light on the hill,” and the Declaration of Independence was a dramatically ethical and liberating document – but soon people were paying far more in taxes than those for which they had fought the Revolutionary War against England’s King George I.
By the time this historic declaration of equal rights (except for women, slaves and poor people!) became the US Constitution, the elite had secured control over the people once again.
But even this was still a huge improvement in human relations leading to tremendous enhancement and prosperity. But what was all of this leading toward?
Martin Luther King said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
We’ve come a long way from the pharaohs, kings and dictators. As Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government except for every other one that’s been tried.”
But what we haven’t tried is NO centralized authoritarian control, with no one having rights that others don’t.
We have been duped into thinking that we are already there, when we are actually just approaching true sovereignty – the individual freedom that each of us naturally seeks. We have been trained to believe since beginning in our government schools that life would be dangerous and impossible chaos without government – so we don’t even consider the final step in the march toward ultimate freedom – and that is a condition of voluntary association – with rules – but no rulers.
Rules that protect each individual’s body, person and rightfully gained property – but no rulers – no one who assumes special rights – like taking someone’s money and calling it taxation; like forcing indoctrination and calling it mandatory schooling; like kidnapping youth, calling it a “draft,” and sending them like slaves into the battles for imperialist plunder.
With all human association based on the Non-Aggression Principle, no one would have the authority to confiscate inventions, impose toxic pharmaceuticals, destroy ecosystems, suppress cures or forbid healthy food.
Our world could be a paradise on Earth of unleashed creativity, cooperation and thriving.
THERE IS LIGHT AT THE END OF THE RABBIT HOLE!
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I would like to add here several reviews from Jamie Wheal’s new book Recapture the Rapture: Rethink God,Sex, and Death in a World that’s lost its mind. This book in particular fits in with everything expressed above by Foster Gamble.
Jamie Wheal’s new book Recapture the Rapture: Rethinking God, Sex, and Death in a World that’s lost its mind – is a “A highly personal, richly informed and culturally wide-ranging mediation on the loss of meaning in our times and on pathways to rediscovering it, from breath through psychedelics–a search fueled by Jamie Wheal’s boundless curiosity and commitment to transformation.” — Gabor Maté M.D., Author: In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction
“Can humanity survive today’s exponential world change? Doomsayers say NO–we’re flying blind in the spiraling collapse of civilization. But Wheal offers us a savvy, intriguing and novel roadmap to self-renewal. And it’s packed with literary, cultural, historical and biological references as well. You won’t forget this gem–it’s a fascinating read.” — Dr. Helen Fisher, Senior Research Fellow, The Kinsey Institute, Chief Scientist, Match.com, author Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love
“Recapture the Rapture offers an invaluable roadmap for transformational consciousness and culture, filled with practical tools to harness our healing, reclaim our inspiration and connect to each other for the road ahead.” — Rick Doblin, Founder and Executive Director, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)
Jamie Wheal is the author of the global bestseller Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, Navy SEALs and Maverick Scientists are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work. Wheal is an expert in peak performance and leadership, specializing in neuroanthropology––the intersection of culture, biology and psychology and the founder of the Flow Genome Project, an international organization dedicated to the research and training of ultimate human performance. Wheal is a mountaineer who’s climbed the North Face of Mount Everest, trained Navy Seals, Olympians and RedBull extreme athletes and advised everyone from the U.S. Naval War College and Special Operations Command to the executives of major corporations including Google, Goldman Sachs and Cisco, among others. His work and ideas have been covered in The New York Times, Financial Times, Wired, Entrepreneur, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, INC, and TEDx. Wheal lives in Austin, TX.
Quote from the book: Recapture the Rapture:
“Back in the age of empires, pharaohs built pyramids and kings constructed castles, enshrining their divine right to rule. In the medieval era, monasteries and cathedrals loomed large across Europe, reflecting the power of the Church. With the emergence of the nation-state in the eighteenth century, capitols and courthouses took center stage in urban plans and skylines. By the twentieth century and the age of corporations, skyscrapers towered above everything—monuments to the barons and banks that built them. Today, silicon campuses designed by celebrity architects claim the spotlight. Power has now been harnessed in the physical world by those who invented our virtual ones.” ― Jamie Wheal,
Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, the mystic poet and India’s first and the only Nobel laureate in literature, had his life dedicated to social causes We are ever grateful for his gracious uplifting of the downtrodden and the oppressed women and highlighting the tragic incidents of the so-called low-caste people of India.
‘Punishment’, one of his more powerful books with a social message for corrective measures, is a treatise on social horrors.
But, it is his Nobel-winning book, Gitanjali, that deals with divine and human love, and makes him a messenger of peace and love across the globe.
With his “song offerings”, Tagore turned himself into an instrument in making the world realise that truth is God and God is truth.
Tagore stood for humanity and humility, and for him God did not dwell in temples and other places of worship; for him God was with the poor and the workers and the tillers in the field. In other words, Tagore wanted to make us realise that work is worship and, therefore, God’s presence is among the humble and those who toil for an honest and truthful living.
Rabindranath Tagore believes that God pervades the whole of the human existence and man is nothing but an instrument in the hands of God, a servant whose duty it is to carry out the commands of his master. The human body is like a frail of a vessel which God empties again and again and then fills it ever with fresh life. Man dies and takes birth in another shape. In this way, human life is constantly renewed. this shows Tagore’s faith in the Hindu doctrine of transmigration.
He compares his body to a flute, made of reeds. God is the musician and He plays upon it everywhere, over the hill, as well as, in valleys. He always plays new and fresh melodies. Tagore believes it is under divine inspiration that he is always able to sing fresh and new songs. As God is everywhere and in every object of Nature, he gets His inspiration everywhere and sings over hills and dales.
Whenever God touches his soul with His immortal hand I.e. whenever He inspires him, he sings with immense joy, forgetting his own physical limitations. He loses his identity in his union of man and God, the eternal soul gets absorbed in Infinite.
God’s bounty knows no limit. His gifts are numerous and He has scattered them everywhere for ages. But the human soul is too little to enjoy in full abundance and profusion of divine bliss. again human soul is compared to a little child, whose hands are too small to hold the gifts which his parents offer to him. God has been bestowing His gifts upon His slaves for ages and still, His blessings are not exhausted. God’s gifts are endless.
This is the first poem from the collection of poems “Gitanjali” by Rabindranath Tagore.
Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure, this frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life. This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new. At the immortal touch of thy hands, my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable. thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine. Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still, there is room to fill.
Deliverance is not for me in renunciation.
Deliverance is not for me in renunciation. I feel the embrace of freedom in a thousand bonds of delight. Thou ever pourest for me the fresh draught of thy wine of various colors and fragrance, filling this earthen vessel to the brim. My world will light its hundred different lamps with thy flame and place them before the altar of thy temple. No, I will never shut the doors of my senses. The delights of sight and hearing and touch will bear thy delight. Yes, all my illusions will burn into illumination of joy, and all my desires ripen into fruits of love.
Just a taster for anyone unfamiliar with Rabindranath Tagore and his wonderful creative spirit and genius.
“Before my teacher came to me, I did not know that “I am.”
I lived in a world that was a no-world. I cannot hope to describe adequately that unconscious, yet conscious time of nothingness. Since I had no power of thought, I did not compare one mental state with another.” ~ Helen Keller
The unity of language and consciousness.
If we want to know more about communication between people, epochs and cultures, we must investigate the nature of the means of communication—language. Language is the highest form of thought expression, the basic means of controlling behaviour, of knowing reality and knowing oneself and the existence of culture. Without the gift of speech man could never acquire cultural values. Consciousness presupposes speech as its material reality in the form of gesture, sound, symbol, and so on. Speech may convey thoughts, feelings and volition in the process of mutual communication, because words are material and can therefore be sensuously perceived. Speech is language functioning in a specific situation of communication. It is the activity of communication and its recorded results. Russian speech, for example, embraces an infinite number of statements by specific individuals and all that has been written in that language. Language, on the other hand, is a specific vocabulary and grammar, expressed in rules and sentence patterns, which have been evolved historically and are national in character. But specific sentences, both spoken and written, belong not to language but to speech: they form the symbolic reality that constitutes the existence of language.
~ A. Spirkin – Consciousness of the World
Ferdinand de Saussure a Swiss linguist now considered the father of twenty century Linguistics said:
… “In language there are only differences. Even more important: a difference generally implies positive terms between which the difference is set up; but in language there are only differences without positive terms. Whether we take the signified or the signifier, language has neither ideas nor sounds that existed before the linguistic system, but only conceptual and phonic differences that have issued from the system. The idea or phonic substance that a sign contains is of less importance than the other signs that surround it. […] A linguistic system is a series of differences of sound combined with a series of differences of ideas; but the pairing of a certain number of acoustical signs with as many cuts made from the mass thought engenders a system of values.
Semiology is the study of signs and sign processes (semiosis), indications, designation, likeness, analogy, metaphor, symbolism, signification, and communication. Semiotics is closely related to the field of linguistics, which, for its part, studies the structure and meaning of language more specifically Semiotics is often divided into three branches.”
Relation between signs and the things to which they refer; their denotata, or meaning
Relations among signs in formal structures
Relation between signs and the effects they have on the people who use them
In what language do deaf people think? I think in English, because that’s what I speak. But since deaf people cannot hear, they can’t learn how to speak a language. Nevertheless, they must think in some language. Would they think in English if they use sign language and read English? How would they do that if they’ve never heard the words they are signing or reading pronounced? Or maybe they just see words in their head, instead of hearing themselves?
… Can you think without language? Answer: Nope, at least not at the level humans are accustomed to. That’s why deafness can have far more serious consequences than blindness, developmentally speaking. The blind suffer many hardships, not the least of which is the inability to read in the usual manner. But even those sightless from birth acquire language by ear without difficulty in infancy, and having done so lead relatively ordinary lives. A congenitally deaf child isn’t so lucky: unless someone realizes very early that he’s not talking because he can’t hear, his grasp of communication may never progress beyond the rudiments.
… About one child in a thousand, however, is born with no ability to hear. Years ago such people were called deaf-mutes. Often they were considered retarded, and in a sense they were: they’d never learned language, a process that primes the pump for much later development. The critical age range seems to be 21 to 36 months. During this period children pick up the basics of language easily, and in so doing establish essential cognitive infrastructure. Later on it’s far more difficult. If the congenitally deaf aren’t diagnosed before they start school, they may face severe learning problems for the rest of their lives, even if in other respects their intelligence is normal.
Photo of Helen Keller in mid-life
A few more thoughts!
“Human consciousness, as constructed by human language, becomes the vehicle through which the self-reflective human mind envisions time. Language enables the viewer to reflect upon the actions of the doer (and the actions of one’s internal body), while projecting forward and backward — other possible bodily actions — into imagined space/time. Thus the projected and imagined space/time increasingly becomes the conscious world and reality of the viewer who imagines or remembers actions mapped onto that projected plan. The body thus becomes a physical entity progressing through the imaged world of the viewer. As the body progresses through this imaged world, the viewer also constructs a way to mark progress from one imagined event to another. Having once marked this imagined time into units, the conscious viewer begins to order the anticipated actions of the body into a linear progression of events.” ~Sue Savage-Rumbaugh
Kindly pusblished through the generousity of Blog: KoneKrusosKronos.wordpress.com
flowers in the fountain
To end on:
There is nothing in this world that can arise without the Self. All existence is one – in one’s Self. When the mind moves, like a restless wave, the world arises also. Be still, throw away everything and be free. Free of those burdens that keep you bound to suffering. Stillness of mind comes from giving up all desires and attachments, except that attachment to Self. Meditation, the masters say, is to effortlessly turn the mind inward. When the mind is quiet, all is Self. There is nothing else. ~ Eve
A Jesuit priest and paleontologist, Teilhard was one of the first evolutionary mystics to popularize the term “noosphere”.
You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.
We are one, after all, you and I. Together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other.
The world is round so that friendship may encircle it.
Ever since the Big Bang, our universe has gradually grown in complexity. From an initial point of intensely concentrated and homogeneous matter, we see the formation and evolution of stars, galaxies, and planets as the primordial ball of plasma expanded, cooled, and formed structures of ever-increasing complexity. In the case of Earth, we also see the development of biological life with its even more complex forms of matter. These organic structures are actually containers of sorts-densely packed with information. The more information an object carries in a given volume, the more complex it is. A strand of DNA is not only smaller than a grain of sand, it is also considerably more complex because it contains more information than the silicon in the grain of sand.
The densest collection of complex information we know of thus far is the human being, and human activity gives rise to even greater complexity. Teilhard states that this reflective consciousness is “the specific effect of organized complexity,” and that it follows that some sort of intensification of human consciousness is the next step of human evolution. In other words, a massive amount of information is building up within the relatively small confines of the planet Earth. This, Teilhard believed, will result in the blossoming of the noosphere into some form of super-consciousness, once the amount of information it contains reaches a critical density.
Teihard de Chardin first used the term noosphere in approximately 1927, but the intellectual concept was first developed during Teilhard’s service in the trenches of World War I.
Quote from T.D.C.s writings:
The atmosphere of ‘the Front’: it was, I am quite sure, from having plunged into that atmosphere—from having been soaked in it for months and months on end—and precisely where it was at its most dense and heavily charged, that I ceased to notice any break (if not any difference) between ‘physical’ and ‘moral’, between natural’ and ‘artificial’. The ‘Human-million’, with its psychic temperature and its internal energy, became for me a magnitude as evolutionary, and therefore as biologically, real as a giant molecule of protein. I was later to be astonished on many occasions to find in my own circle that those who could not agree with me suffered from a complete inability to understand that precisely because the individual human being represents a corpuscular magnitude he must be subject to the same development as every other species of corpuscles in the World: that means that he must coalesce into physical relationships and groupings that belong to a higher order than his. It is, of course, quite impossible for him to apprehend these groupings directly as such . . . but there are many indications that enable him to recognize perfectly well their existence and the influences they exercise. . . I have no doubt at all (as I said earlier) that it was the experience of the War that brought me this awareness and developed it in me as a sixth sense.
Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre (1980-07-23). Heart Of Matter
and following on:
The concept of a universal connection of human consciousness is very old and forms the heart of the Christian tradition. Teilhard’s contribution was to take this concept put place in within the scope of recent knowledge of the universe being a work in progress from the Big Bang, through the development of individual human consciousness, through the future convergence of collective human consciousness and unification with the Cosmic Christ or Omega Point. As Teilhard described our current evolutionary state:
Quote From Teilhard’s writings:
“[H]ow can we fail to see that the process of convergence from which we emerged, body and soul, is continuing to envelop us more closely than ever, to grip us, in the form of—under the folds of, we might say—a gigantic planetary contraction?
The irresistible ‘setting’ or cementing together of a thinking mass (Mankind) which is continually more compressed upon itself by the simultaneous multiplication and expansion of its individual elements: there is not one of us, surely, who is not almost agonizingly aware of this, in the very fibre of his being. This is one of the things that no one today would even try to deny: we can all see the fantastic anatomical structure of a vast phylum whose branches, instead of diverging as they normally do, are ceaselessly folding in upon one another ever more closely, like some monstrous inflorescence—like, indeed, an enormous flower folding-in upon itself; the literally global physiology of an organism in which production, nutrition, the machine, research, and the legacy of heredity are, beyond any doubt, building up to planetary dimensions; the increasing impossibility of the individual’s attaining economic and intellectual self-sufficiency”
Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre (1980-07-23). Heart Of Matter (Kindle Locations 499-510). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
Excerpted from a blog-post on Teilhard de Chardin by W. Ockham
Alan Watt’s videos are a great source of wisdom. This short one is no exception. He speaks here about attachment, and how we humans hang on to things. We grasp at fleeting happiness that, like a butterfly, flits in and out of our lives leaving only memories. Neither things nor people make us really happy. We need to learn happiness from those who are masters in that department. Anandamayi Ma was a master of happiness or what she called bliss.
In the book The Essential Sri Anandamayi Ma, the author, Alexander Lipski has given many wonderful accounts of her mastery and her teachings on non-attachment. Anyone who was fortunate enough to meet Anandamayi Ma – and there are many fortunate ones still living – knows that something of her teaching is in her very person. She was the living embodiment of “A Blessing”, a gift to mankind. I wish there were more like her alive today, but it seems as the darkness of the age has drenched us with uncertainty and fear, so the great masters have retreated from our world. We are left with their words and timeless wisdom, in those we need to find solace in this age of Kali.
From Selected Discourses – Anandamayi Ma..
Question: “Please explain the nature of worldly and divine happiness.”
Mataji: “Divine happiness is pure, unalloyed bliss, happiness in its own right.”
Question: “But surely, there is happiness in the world too!”
Mataji: “Then why do you make this remark?”
Question: “Why do people run after material happiness?”
“You know this happiness from experience, and hence your question. But the Divine is gracious and makes you see that this so-called happiness is not happiness. He kindles discontent and anguish in you, which is due to the want of communion with the Divine. Worldly happiness is derived from the countless manifestations of God. People talk and marvel about those who renounce the world, but in actual fact it is you yourself who have renounced everything. What is this “everything”? God! Leaving Him aside, everyone is literally practicing supreme renunciation. It is only natural that the sence of want should awaken. Even in the midst of comforts and pleasures one feels homesick in a foreign land. There is distress even in happiness, one’s possession are not really one’s own – this is what He causes man to feel. It is said, it is not, that on being hit one recovers one’s senses, one learns by receiving blows.
When He manifests Himself as worldly happiness, one does not feel contented, for along with it He appears as the sense of want. But divine happiness, even the tiniest particle of a grain of it, never leaves one again; and when one attains to the essence of things and finds one Self – this is supreme happiness. When it is found, nothing else remains to be found; the sense of want will not awaken anymore, and the heart’s torment will be stilled forever. Do not be satisfied with fragmentary happiness, which is invariable interrupted by shocks and blows of fate: but become complete, and having attained to perfection, be YOURSELF.”
A precious necklace was seen flashing from the bottom of a lake. Many felt tempted to recover the valuable ornament and dived deep into the water for it, but found no necklace anywhere. Yet it was clearly visible to everyone from the edge of the lake. They were all puzzled. Eventually they realized that there was no necklace at the bottom of the lake; what they saw was its reflection in the water. They looked up and discovered the precious ornament hanging from a tree. A bird must have picked it up from somewhere and deposited it there.
God who dwells within you is the source of true happiness. In the objects of the senses this happiness is merely reflected. The individual, misled by birth after birth by having only a glimpse of this reflected joy, thinks that this is the real thing, namely sensuous delight. So long as one believes that true happiness can be had in sense objects without searching within, one will never taste true happiness. The kingdom of God, hence of happiness, is within you.
– Anandamayi Ma, the Mother Bliss – Incarnate, by Anil Ganguli
Sathya Sai Baba with Dear Sai Geeta – now passed on.
I do hope Sai devotees and others will enjoy this sweet letter from Ted Henry. (with thanks.)
Love as Thought is Truth.
Love as Action is Right Conduct.
Love as Understanding is Peace.
Love as Feeling is Non-violence.
Duty without love is deplorable.
Duty with love is desirable.
Love without duty is Divine. -Baba
~ THE MAIN EVENT
All is well here. Sai Baba is everywhere and his hand hand can be seen here in everyone’s lives. From dawn to dusk people talk of amazing first person experiences, from dawn to dusk my head spins from what I hear, see, learn and understand. Enough said.
~ LIFE IS BUT A BREEZE
Somewhere from deep within the Deccan Plateau comes an evening breeze that regularly cools off the still tiny town of Puttaparthi. Following the evening bhajans and darshan, the walkway back to Round House 1 is a good place to catch the breeze that always seems to bring the day’s best relief from the hot winter sun. Yes, it is winter here, but who would know? Daily the temp climbs to the high 80s with seldom a cloud in sight.
I do tend to go on about the ambiance of Sai Baba’s beautiful ashram. Actually I can’t help it. The late day’s devotional singing in the open air prayer hall clearly sets the stage for the brief program that remains at the end of each day here, a good dinner and a long read of one of the hundreds of Baba books available in the ashram. Jody is the chief reader in our apartment, but I manage to get in some good reading as well. And to my credit, as of heading into our sixth week here, I have yet to read a single word in any of the novels I brought to India with me.
The evenings are anything but lively here. You’ve got the sound of the crickets outside, the occasional howling dog off in the distant, and the ever present whirring of the two ceiling fans in our flat.
~ SOULJOURNS INTERVIEWS
We spent time with Jay Jethna yesterday. Jay is from Austrailia and works for the United Nations. On video he told us three amazing stories, not the least of which occurred back in 1968.
Jay was 13 at the time living in Uganda, where he was born. A friend told him that he had heard that God was coming to town in two days. Jay couldn’t wait and was extremely excited even though he had no idea if “The Blessed One” had a name or what he looked like. Jay and his family showed up to wait for Baba at the 6 pm appointed hour. It wasn’t until 1 o’clock in the morning that the country’s important guest finally arrived. Several people got out of the car but there was no sign of Him. When Jay asked someone about this he was told that the man in the orange clothes with fuzzy hair was who everyone was waiting for and that his name was Sai Baba. Jay had seen this man get out of the car earlier but thought he was one of the security guards.
The next day Jay sneaked into the backyard of the people hosting Sai Baba trying to get another view of the important visitor. Baba was blessing people in the yard when he spotted Jay in the back. When he went up to Jay, Baba told Jay that he was not well, which was true since Jay had suffered from a serious life long asthma condition.
And then Baba said, “Go”, but Jay thought this meant Baba wanted him to leave, to go back to school. But Baba wanted to see Jay for an interview, of course and later, once inside the host’s home Baba produced a fluid from the palm of his hand and applied it to Jay and said, “Go, no more sickness”.
Jay left and from that day forward he has never suffered from asthma again in his life. Twenty two years passed before Jay gave much thought to Baba again. At the age of 33, he was visiting a shopping mall with his wife in Hong Kong. On the sign board were the words, “Sai Baba and this made him think.” This prompted Jay and his wife to visit the tenth floor offices of the local Sai Baba center. As they entered, bhajans were underway, something Jay and his wife, Julie had never been exposed to, but they stayed anyway and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Needless to say, Jay reconnected with Sai Baba in his life and has become an ardent devotee coming to Prasanthi countless times since turning 33. Jay has two additional stories to share on Souljourns, both of which are blockbusters. Look for them soon at vimeo.com/souljourns and/or youtube.com/souljourns.
Also look for the many other Souljourns interviews we’re recording in India. So far we have about 30 of them recorded, and in their own way they’re all powerful. Many of them include useful guidance for additional spiritual growth.
I found this short article by accident and being drawn by the beautiful image, I paused to read. The words “opposite of love is power“ really made me sit up and think. I’d thought the opposite of love was fear, now a new adjective – (power-ful). This reminds me of the quote from The Master of Sacred Knowledge by Allan Rufus, who says: “Note and Quote to Self – What you think, say and do! Your life mainly consists of 3 things!
What you think,
What you say and
What you do!”
and remember thoughts are powerful too.
“As we see more deeply into our inner drives and defenses, we discover that the choices we are faced with aren’t all black and white. Life teaches us that our decisions aren’t necessarily based on “this” or “that.” We come to understand the truth of “both/and.”
The assumption that things are either good or bad, true or false, that I’m either happy or miserable, lovable or hateful, has been replaced by astonishing new facts: I both want to be good but my efforts can have bad effects; there’s falsehood mixed in with my truth; I want and don’t want whatever is my current desire; and I can both love and hate another person at the same time.
What about the two primary human drives, love and power? I used to think the opposite of love was hate. But life experience tells me that’s not true. Hate is so tinged with other emotions, including love! No. In my understanding, the opposite of love is power-ful. Love accepts and embraces. Power refuses and crushes opposition. Love is kind and knows how to forgive.”
—Patty De Llosa, “Power and Love.” Parabola Magazine, Spring 2011
Patty de Llosa, author of The Practice of Presence: Five Paths for Daily Life and Taming Your Inner Tyrant: A path to healing through dialogues with oneself, is a Tai Chi and Alexander teacher who lives and practices in New York City. She has studied many spiritual teachings while she made her living as a mainstream journalist at Time, Leisure and Fortune and raised a family.
Also by Patty De Llosa,
Happiness or Wisdom?
We all want to be happy. Is that wise? Perhaps it only works the other way around: those who become wise find happiness. The Buddha explained that what makes us feel miserable is the hankering and dejection to which we are continually subject. We hanker after what we desire, and become dejected because life doesn’t offer up what we want.
Does it take a lifetime to find the wisdom to accept what we’ve got? Not necessarily. The minute some of what we had is taken away we begin to appreciate it! Then, oh then, how we remember the Good Old Days!
Then there’s the opposite message, the folk wisdom that your reach should exceed your grasp. How to bring these opposites together? In my opinion, the solution lies in practice and, above all, work. If you aim both body and mind at what you want and work hard for it, your feet tend to stay on the ground and, hopefully, your head this side of the clouds. So inner and outer work are part of real wisdom, expressed in Madison Avenue’s adage that there’s no free lunch.