Friday, December 14, 2018

Franklin Merrell-Wolff - The supreme adventure

picture Matt Gergyek


 At long last the forest lay behind,
Before stretched a desert, bleak and empty,
Beyond, a mountain, dim in the dancing haze,
Reaching upward, defeating all measure.
I sat resting in the shade of the forest-rim,
The last cool stream at my feet.
Deeply I drank refreshment and pondered:
Long had the journey been and weary
In the maze and the dark of the forest,
Oft had I drifted down false lanes,
Oft had courage been shaken,
Yet I never quite failed to try again
And at last the dim trails were finished.
Behind lay desires, vain and incomplete,
Ambitions inadequate, yearnings now stilled;
Before, reaching all but endlessly,
A dreary waste, trail-less and void of sign.
It seemed I beheld the Goal, dim in the distance,
But, again, It seemed not there.
Was uncertain possibility worth the effort?
Could anything be worth the cost
Paid, and yet remaining to be paid?
Oh I for the rest without ending,
If not the rest of Victory,
Then the surcease of defeat,
But in any case rest.
Thus I pondered while a new strength grew
And resolution again was born
Of the ashes of burned desires and yearnings.
Methought: “Better onward continue,
Else all this effort uncompleted
Useless would lie in the void of vain endeavor.
If thought of achievement thrills no longer,
Yet ‘twere better to complete the half-finished.
Behind lie values exhausted and lost,
No longer potent to ‘rouse the soul
That, in vision, a Beyond hath glimpsed.
Onward alone lieth hope
To fill the void.”
At last I arose, resolution firm,
Gathered my staff and compass ̶
Sole possessions of the final hour ̶
And strode me forth beyond visible trail.
Ere long the forest behind me vanished,
Consumed in refracting desert haze;
Then all about the emptiness of burning waste.
On I journeyed in time-expanding void,
Unafraid, but weary with the seeming endlessness;
On I journeyed o’er rock and sand and thorn,
Alone in the stillness that is not Peace;
On I journeyed, thirsting ever more and more
For refreshing waters of the forest past recall;
Yet on I journeyed as thirst grew numb,
The mountain, haze consumed, as the forest.
And time, my tread less resolute became;
The void without became likewise a void within,
All endeavor unavailing.
I sank me down upon a rock,
Caring nought, accepting what might be.
Then spoke the VOICE,
In accents strong, cheering, comforting,
Calling from out the Beyond,
Telling of the Glory There,
Recalling the need of forest wanderers.
Within me a new courage grew, a new determination.
Once more I ‘rose, onward moving,
Feeling more clear, though not yet seeing
The ancient Mount of untellable Majesty.
The desert journey, all but finished,
Now lay behind.
Already the slopes, mounting in steeper gradient,
Promise of final fulfillment offered.
Steeper grew the Way, but easier,
Strange paradox of a World, inverting former values.
Quickly I ascended, filled with strength
Born downward from Beyond.
The haze grew thin and vanished.
Then, before me, immeasurable Largeness,
Buttresses of the ancient Mountain;
Height rising on height, beyond all vision.
Filled anew with cheer and rich assurance,
Fast I climbed, until at last
Above me stretched the awful cliff,
Transcending the final reach of thought.
Here I lingered but briefest hour,
Extracting from thought its inmost core,
Seeking the Power above all powers.
Success crowned effort beyond all hope
And, as it were, in Time’s briefest instant,
Outreaching time and space and cause, I rose
To unthinkable heights beyond unthinkable heights,
Finding at last the ancient Home,
Long forgotten, yet Known so well.
Gone was the forest-world, a new World mine;
Joy untellable, Knowledge all-consuming,
Eternity stretching everywhere;
Not anywhere aught but I
Sustaining all universes,
Their origin and consummation.
Darkness of ineffable LIGHT
Enveloping all.

II

Darkness, Silence, Voidness, utter,
At once, Fullness in every sense;
Deeps beyond seeing, beyond feeling, beyond thought;
At the inmost Core of all I AM,
Sustaining all, not different from all.
Untellable ages, a moment of time,
All time, but one moment there.
From the inmost Core, descending ̶ downward, outward ̶
Distances immeasurable I came,
‘Till finding the Thought unutterable,
Here, lingering, I dwelt for a season,
Thinking what I could not say,
Understanding transcending human conceiving,
Pure Meaning close-packed and o1erflowing,
Containing of libraries the substance all
and more, ne’er told.
Filled to the brim, I descended, down through the haze,
Which, ever enclosing the world below,
Holds dispart the Mountain Top
From the nether world of outer life.
Gone was the desert and forest-maze,
Scenes of age-old wanderings.
The Way to Heights ineffable a mystery no more,
A new mystery spread below.
Seething multitudes rushing to and fro
O’er far-reaching plane;
Bent over, searching the earth,
Grubbing here and there, ne’er still,
Driven as slaves, joyless and dull,
Seeking the Gold, finding dross.
One here, one there, standing in pause
Looking upward, eyes dim with pain,
Yearning, questioning, searching,
Not Knowing, yet hungering.
These, aliens all in a foreign land;
“Thou would’st of this harvest share,
Of souls drawn Home to Peace and Joy?
Then seek again the way
In yon fields below.
None knows the final secret of human soul,
So ever We try and try again,
In every way, old memory to ‘rouse.
Go forth and try thy way.”
So again I pondered the trails I knew,
The effort wasted, endeavor fruitless,
The final Success, the Key thereto.
Methought:
“‘Tis needless, the journey so hard should be.
A little turn here, another there,
And many a barrier and morass deep,
Easily surmounted will be.
I shall tell of the Way
Which at last I found,
That others in a clearer Light may See.”
So I drew a chart, the best I knew,
And here it is for all
Who, wandering in forest and desert drear,
Wish that a clearer Way might revealed be.




 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Sant Jnaneshvar - The Nectar of Mystical Experience



Just as a nose might become a fragrance,
Or ears might give out a melody
For their own enjoyment,
Or the eyes might produce a mirror
In order to see themselves;

Or flowers might take the form of a bee,
A lovely young girl might become a young man,
Or a sleepy man might become
A bed on which to lie;

As the blossoms of a mango tree
Might become a cuckoo bird,
Or one’s skin might become
Malayan breezes,
Or tongues might become flavors;

Or as a slab of gold might become
Articles of jewelry
For the sake of beauty;
Just so, the one pure Consciousness becomes
The enjoyer and the object of enjoyment,
The seer and the object of vision,
Without disturbing Its unity.

A Shevanti flower bursts forth
With a thousand petals;
Yet it does not become anything
But a Shevanti flower.

Similarly, the auspicious drums
Of ever new experiences
May be sounding,
But in the kingdom of Stillness,
Nothing is heard.

All of the senses may rush simultaneously
Toward the multitude of sense objects,
But—just as, in a mirror,
One’s vision only meets one’s vision—
The rushing senses only meet themselves.

One may purchase a necklace,
Earrings, or a bracelet;
But it is only gold,
Whichever one receives.

One may gather a handful of ripples,
But it is only water in the hand.

To the hand, camphor is touch,
To the eye, it’s a white object,
To the nose it is fragrance;
Nonetheless, it is camphor, and nothing but camphor.

Likewise, the sensible universe
Is only the vibration of the Self.

The various senses attempt to catch
Their objects in their hands-
For example, the ears
Try to catch the words;

But as soon as the senses
Touch their objects,
The objects disappear as objects.
There’s no object for one to touch;
For all is the Self.

The juice of the sugarcane
Is part of the sugarcane;
The light of the full moon
Belongs to the full moon.

The meeting of the senses and their objects
Is like moonlight falling on the moon,
Or like water sprinkling on the sea.

One who has attained this wisdom
May say whatever he likes;
The silence of his contemplation
Remains undisturbed.

His state of actionlessness
Remains unaffected,
Even though he performs countless actions.

Stretching out the arms of desire,
One’s eyesight embraces
The objects she sees;
But, in fact, nothing at all is gained.

It is like the Sun
Stretching out the thousand arms
Of his rays in order to grasp darkness.
He remains only light, as before;

Just as a person, awakening to
Enjoy the activity of a dream,
Finds himself suddenly alone.

Even one who has attained wisdom
May appear to become the enjoyer
Of the sense objects before him;
But we do not know
What his enjoyment is like.

If the moon gathers moonlight,
What is gathered by whom?
It is only a fruitless
And meaningless dream.

There is really no action or inaction;
Everything that is happening
Is the sport of the Self.

The undivided One
Enters the courtyard of duality
Of His own accord.
Unity only becomes strengthened
By the expansion of diversity.

Sweeter even than the bliss of liberation
Is the enjoyment of sense-objects
To one who has attained wisdom.
In the house of bhakti (devotional love),
That lover and his God
Experience their sweet union.

Whether he walks in the streets
Or remains sitting quietly,
He is always in his own home.

He may perform actions,
But he has no goal to attain.
Do not imagine
That, if he did nothing,
He would miss his goal.

He does not allow room
For either remembering or forgetting;
For this reason,
His behavior is not like that of others.

His rule of conduct is his own sweet will.
His meditation is whatever
He happens to be doing.

The glory of liberation
Serves as an asana (seat cushion)
To one in such a state.

God Himself is the devotee;
The goal is the path.
The whole universe is one solitary Being.

It is He who becomes a God,
And He who becomes a devotee.
In Himself,
He enjoys the kingdom of Stillness.

The temple itself is merged
In the all-pervasive God;
The motion of time
And the vastness of space
Are no more.

Everything is contained in the Being of God.
If a desire
For the Master-disciple relationship arises,
It is God alone who must supply both out of Himself.

Even the devotional practices,
Such as japa (repetition of God’s name), faith and
meditation,
Are not different from God.

Therefore, God must worship God
With God, in one way or another.

The temple, the idol, and the priests-
All are carved out of the same stone mountain.
Why, then, should there be devotional worship?
[Or why shouldn’t there be devotional worship?]

A tree spreads its foliage,
And produces flowers and fruits,
Even though it has no objective
Outside of itself.

What does it matter if a dumb person
Observes a vow of silence or not?
The wise remain steadfast in their own divinity
Whether they worship or not.

Will the flame of a lamp
Remain without light
If we do not ask her to wear
The garment of light?

Is not the moon bathed in light
Even though we do not ask her
To wear the moonlight?

Fire is naturally hot;
Why should we consider heating it?

A wise person is aware
That he, himself, is the Lord;
Therefore, even when he is not worshiping,
He is worshiping.

Now the lamps of action and inaction
Have both been snuffed out,
And worshiping and not worshiping
Are sitting in the same seat,
And eating from the same bowl.

In such a state,
The sacred scriptures are the same as censure,
And censure itself
Is the same as a sweet hymn of praise.

Both praise and censure
Are, in fact, reduced to silence;
Even though there is speech,
It is silence.

No matter where he goes,
That sage is making pilgrimage to God;
And, if he attains to God,
That attainment is non-attainment.

. How amazing
That in such a state,
Moving about on foot
And remaining seated in one place
Are the same!

No matter what his eyes fall upon
At any time,
He always enjoys the vision of God.

If God Himself appears before him,
It is as if he has seen nothing;
For God and His devotee
Are on the same level.

Of its own nature,
A ball falls to the ground,
And bounces up again,
Enraptured in its own bliss.

If ever we could watch
The play of a ball,
We might be able to say something
About the behavior of the sage.

This spontaneous, natural devotion
Cannot be touched by the hand of action,
Nor can knowledge penetrate it.

It goes on without end,
In communion with itself.
What bliss can be compared to this?

This natural devotion is a wonderful secret;
It is the place in which meditation
And knowledge become merged.

O blissful and almighty Lord!
You have made us the sole sovereign
In the kingdom of perfect bliss.

How wonderful
That You have awakened the wakeful,
Laid to rest those who are sleeping,
And made us to realize
Our own Self!

We are Yours entirely!
Out of love,
You include us as Your own,
As is befitting Your greatness.

You do not receive anything from anyone,
Nor do You give anything of Yourself to anyone else.
We do not know how You enjoy your greatness.

O noble One!
It is Your pleasure
To become our nearest and dearest
By taking away from us
Our sense of difference from You.


 from Chapter Nine of his Amritanubhav, “The Nectar of Mystical Experience”



 download the book by Swami Abhayananda:
Jnaneshvar:  The Life and Works of the Celebrated Thirteenth Century Indian Mystic-Poet

Sant Jnaneshvar - Nothing but the Self



...When it is always only the one pure Consciousness seeing itself,
why postulate the necessity of a superimposition?
Does one superimpose the sparkle on a jewel?
Does gold need to superimpose shininess on itself? 
A lamp that is lit does not need the superimposition of light;
it is resplendent with light.
Likewise, the one pure Consciousness is resplendent with radiance.
Therefore, without obligation to anything else, He easily perceives Himself.

… Whatever form appears, appears because of Him.
There is nothing here but the Self.
It is the gold itself which shines in the form of a necklace or a coin;
They, themselves, are nothing but gold.
In the current of the river or the waves of the sea, there is nothing but water.
Similarly, in the universe, nothing exists
or is brought into existence that is other than the Self.
Whether appearing as the seen, or perceiving as the seer,
nothing else exists besides the Self.


 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Naomi Stone - The rivering wine of love...



I could write until the end of time
and never touch
the beauty of what I feel

I couldn’t breathe
I thought my heart would stop
I had to run and seek consolation
in the darkness
where the only light
was glowing
in my heart

I had become
a human candle
burning in a longing vigil
that has flickered for
a million years

something set my heart
on fire
and burned away the shielding veil
and everything
was refined
into a river of wine
that would flow forever
and destiny was a forgotten word
in the cosmic winds of time

What beats my heart
who gives me life
and why am I here
were no longer questions I would ask
no answers would I seek
for I lost my breath and name
as was drawn under
the rising and falling waves
of the flow
of the beloved

Life is ever changing
ever new
while Love is always true
when formed
in you

When the curtain of Shams
was consumed
in flames
the scrolls of thousands of names
fell into ruin
and when the nightingale
fell in love with the rose
I knew the singing would never end

Love that never dies
erases all the lies
obliterates illusion
ends confusion
and
the beloved
opens the garden gate
to hearts
that have learned
to create

A single moment changed the world
and dissolved time
suspending all endings
making each moment a first
creating a thirst
for the wine of beauty
that only love
can give

never intrusive
and always inclusive
a kiss
from the beloved claims
the heart
forever
beneath a Sun that contains
every heart
in One

 

 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Rupert Spira - The Most Precious Gift



I am reading, I am sitting, I am thinking, I am young, I am hungry, I am tired, I am dreaming, I am English, I am in love, I am excited, I am sad, I am lonely, I am tall, I am thirty seven, I am happy, I am sick, I am healthy, I am wealthy, I am studying…….it goes on and on, ad infinitum.

What is it that remains present throughout all experience?

Obviously the I-amness that I am. And this I-amness that I am is not buried deep behind or within experience, just as the screen is not buried behind the image, or sunlight is not buried deep within nature. The I-amness that I am is shining in the midst of all experience.

And how is it that we can assert, “I am reading, I am sitting, I am thinking, I am young, etc.”? Obviously, because we know the experience to which we are referring. “I know that I am reading, sitting, thinking etc.” And if I know that I am reading, sitting, thinking, etc., I must know the I am that runs throughout all these experiences.

And what is it that knows the I am that I am? It is I that knows that I am. And obviously the I that knows I am is the same I that I am. That is, it knows itself. This knowing of our own being is the only element of experience that is ever-present; it is thus the only ‘thing’ (that is not a thing) that is worthy of the name ‘I’.

This knowing of our own being – the knowing of the I am that I am – is the fundamental element of all experience, and it never ceases to be and know itself. In fact, all that it seems to know that is other than itself, is simply a modulation of its knowing of itself.

All that is required is to give the I am, that knows itself to be, the attention it deserves. But who would give it attention and what would the attention be that would be given to it? It is already the source and substance of all attention.

This I am, that knows itself to be, can only shine the light of its attention on something that is seemingly other than itself. It is too close to itself to shine its light on itself, just as the sun cannot shine on itself. Thus to attend to itself, it only has to relax the focus of its attention from things that are seeming other than itself – such as the experiences of reading, sitting, thinking, being young, hungry, tired, English, in love, excited, sad, etc., all of which are extraneous to itself – and allow its attention to fall back itself.

This falling back into itself, the knowing of our own being, is itself the experience of peace or happiness. It is the heart of all spiritual knowledge and practice. It is what is meant by meditation, self-enquiry, self-remembering, the practice of the presence of God, sinking the mind into the heart, etc.

‘I am’ is the first name of Christ. “Before Abraham was, I am”. Christmas is the Mass of Christ, that is, the remembrance and celebration of the I am that I am, and that knows itself to be. Instead of stories of children, mangers and sheep, it is this I am that I am, and that knows itself to be, that should be proclaimed from our churches. To know the peace that passeth understanding and the unconditional happiness that accompanies it, it is only necessary to know our own being – the I am that I am, and that knows itself to be – as it is.
To indicate that is the most precious gift that anyone can impart or receive.

Happy Christmas! That is, be happy in the remembrance and celebration of your own being – its knowing of itself. 

Thanks to Amaya