5/28/2010

Natural Resources Belong to God

 The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof." (Psalm 24:1)

God forbid that, as we shift to green energy, private corporations will try to sell us our birthright of sun and wind.

It is time to put laissez-faire capitalism out of its misery. Now in its death throes, laissez-faire was invented by 18th Century humanists, sustained by the Social Darwinists of the 19th Century, and boosted later by the savage ideology of Ayn Rand.

Ayn Rand, born Alissa Rosenbaum in Tzarist Russia, was traumatized as a little girl when the Bolsheviks stole her family's wealth. Henceforth, she saw all regulatory government as Bolshevik, including our elected government, "we the people." Her minions in the Reagan administration, most notably Alan Greenspan, deregulated corporate America. They got plenty of help from the Clinton regime, which was the most laissez-faire administration ever disguised as Democrat. Under Clinton, Congressional corporatists gutted the Glass-Steagall Act, which since 1933 protected our deposits from the banking schemes that, after 1999, stole our pensions and savings.

Laissez-faire capitalism is rooted in half-truths, and half-truths are lies. These lies gave us the 19th Century robber barons, the Great Depression, and Reaganomics' short-lived but disastrous euphoria. Laissez-faire lies tell the rich exactly what they want to hear, absolving them from the discomfort of collective social responsibility.

Such lies thoroughly contradict the teachings of Jesus: hence it becomes interesting to watch Evangelical Christians embrace the heritage of Rand and Reagan. For Jesus' teaching on the responsibilities of wealth, see the passages beginning at Luke 18:18, Luke 6:17, and Luke 16:19. Jesus' words were not intended to make us feel comfy.

What, specifically, are the lies of laissez-faire?
  • That enlightened self-interest can replace the ethic of community; 
  • that investors soley motivated by profit will support worker safety and environmental health;
  • that private corporations will regulate themselves; 
  • that the self-interest of the rich will trickle down to the poor;
  • that government is the enemy of the people; 
  • that the invisible hand of the free market is the hand of God.
Yet the biggest lie of all is the obscene notion that anyone but God can own our natural resources. We the people as stewards of the earth may manage natural resources collectively in a Commonwealth. But no private corporation has the right to own nature's energy and sell it to us - not coal, oil, timber, water or wind-power.

Wealth derived from natural resources is neither yours nor mine. It is God's, and it is to be shared as God's bounty, with respect for all creatures. To usurp the wealth of God is equivalent to the first sin in Eden, where Adam and Eve tried to be "like gods." The hubris of owning what only God can create must end in the tragedy of a fall.

The tragedy we see in the Gulf of Mexico is a clarion call to nationalize our energy production.

5/25/2010

When 'I' Am Depressed

Depression is a disease. Spiritual practice is not a substitute for medical treatment, but it can be part of the treatment. The following practice, even if it only grants some understanding, can be helpful in lightening the weary weight.

'I' am sad.
'I' am lost in a fog.
'I' am falling down a bottomless well into darkness.
'I' am anxious about anything, about nothing,
about being anxious.
'I' am hopelessly tired of living.
'I' am worthless.
'I' am longing for non-existence.
'I' am not me.
Who am 'I'?
'I' am depressed...

These are my names.
These are my adjectives,
a long list to get rid of,
a long list to carry,
an endless list to be...

Yet they all stand on a ghost
called 'I.'

If this endless heaviness rests
on a ghostly, weak and worthless 'I,'
wouldn't it be easier just
to let go of 'I'
than to carry all these feelings
that 'I' have?

Who is this 'I' that is so sad?
Who is lost and falling?
Who is anxious, tired, and worthless?
What if there is no 'I'
for all these feelings to stand on?

Could it be that 'I' am just a thought
made of nothing?
If 'I' dissolve, then 'sad,' 'lost,' 'anxious,' 'depressed'
fall away into emptiness
like withered leaves cut off from their root.

What if my suffering is just the thought of 'I'?
What if 'I' am a thought, not a problem?

Breathing out, 'I' am released.
Breathing in, no 'I' returns.
Just a breath, just a breath.
And if 'I' arise again,
this 'I' seems thinner, lighter,
more transparent to the vast
space of Being.

Now, pure breath fills my heart.
No 'I,' just breath, just breath...

It's Not You












If you feel a stinging in the breeze
singeing your eye with drops of onyx,
it's not you.
If you feel a throbbing
like broken valves in the heart of the earth,
it's not you.
If you hear weeping in the song of a sparrow
and deep within that a dolphin's pant,
it's not you.
If you can't scent old salt among the reeds
or fishy seaweed in the brackish driftwood,
it's not you.
If the waters look empty and tears feel dry,
it's not you.
If you want to say, "Don't cheer me up.
Don't try to make me happy.
Just let me be sad today.
I have some grieving to do,"
it's not you.
If the whiteness of the sky looks belly-up
and the world, it's body, trembles
with a slight but dangerous fever,
it's not you.
And walking, sighing, praying doesn't help,
it's not you.
And rain clouds gather like a council of elders
furrowing their brows in prophecies that won't speak
because they come too late, too late now,
it's not you.
Don't worry, it's not you.
It's all of us, and what we've done
to our home.

5/23/2010

Bow Before You Know

Bow without knowing
who bows
to whom
or why.
It's just good to touch the earth
with your forehead.
That's how rain behaves
in a sunbeam,
how seeds die into new roots,
what happens to night
when one sparrow
starts singing.

5/19/2010

There Are No Inanimate Objects

We gouge the earth for coal and bleed her black veins for oil as if She were an inanimate object. Western culture assumes that the material world is simply "raw material," ours to take and to monetize. Otherwise, Earth has little or no value because minerals, water, oil and air are lifeless matter. How's that been working out for us?

In truth, there are no inanimate objects. A single atom in a rock vibrates with layers of living intelligence. A pebble is animated with atomic motion, organized in unfathomably brilliant mathematical architecture. Some stones are quite wise.

Native Americans who keep to the ancient ways, still fast and pray near sacred rock formations and mesas, listening to voices of the mineral kingdom. For thousands of years, Australian Aborigines have oriented themselves in vast stretches of desert by listening to the "Song Lines" that vibrate from rocks and sand.

Jesus illuminated a morsel of bread with divine fire: "Take, eat, this is my body." "Every creature is a word of God," wrote Meister Eckhart. St. Basil the Great said that nature was "God's other book." And St. Bernard told the first monks who settled the European wilderness, "Go into the woods: rocks and trees will teach you more than any library." Christian mystics incorporated this ancient way of knowing, called Animism, into their vision of "the universal body of Christ."

But post-Enlightenment science and Protestant theology debunked Animism as primitive superstition. And tragically, modern education drills such modes of knowing out of our children. When my daughter was in first grade, I explained to her how native peoples honor the life in stones. She shared this with her classmates in the art room. You'd think at least the art room would be safe! One of the children told the art teacher, and the art teacher made my daughter stand in the corner for suggesting that stones are alive.

Our survival as a species may depend on our ability to revive our tribal Elders' way of knowing. This is why the film, "Avatar," ignited such yearning for atavistic vision. The salvation of the earth may depend on our recovery of Animism.

For we have lost our vision of a living earth, our second sight of soil infused with spirit. We have divorced Father mind from Mother matter, and thus devised an economic system that brutalizes the natural world.

Yet an Animistic vision of hope arises, not in our churches and synagogues, but in the science of quantum physics. Founding quantum physicist, Sir James Jeans, wrote that the material world is "a world created out of pure intelligence." Physicist Arthur Eddington, another quantum pioneer and president of the Royal Academy of Science, wrote: "All through the physical world runs that unknown content which must surely be the stuff of our consciousness. The stuff of the world is mind-stuff."

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force," wrote Max Planck, one of the monumental physicists of the 20th Century. "We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter."

This body is as sacred as the soul, each molecule of flesh a portal to unbounded consciousness. A blade of grass embodies an angel. On its tip, oceans of wisdom overflow the dewdrop. Take the smooth pebble from a cold stream and hold it in the palm of your hand: this too is sacred. Each atom of it glitters with galaxies, and a radiance sub-nuclear, where nebulae are born. Deeper inside, the quark sings in silence; photons effervesce in the primal vacuum. Here are the waters of the void, which are the waters of your own primordial awareness. Matter and consciousness are One. For over those waters the Spirit breathes, and God is always saying, "Let there be light."

5/18/2010

Profit or Praise?

"You may eat from every tree in the garden, but not from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for on the day that you eat from it, you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:16)

What a beautiful place this planet would be if human beings had never been created!

I want to bow down and weep before the smallest living creature - a sea urchin, a beetle, a turtle egg barely stirring with its little load of miracle. Between my tears, I would attempt to say, "Forgive me, forgive me, I have destroyed paradise, your home!"

Yet imagining how green and luminous in untainted dew this earth would be without my rapacious species, I suddenly see that if man had never been, then no one would be aware of this place.

As each creature has its genius, there must be a creature for whom awareness is the sacred gift and sole mission. Else who would worship? Whose heart would overflow with gratitude? Whose wonder would offer creation back to the Creator in a praise song?

Mute creatures can do almost everything better than men. They hunt better and run faster, climb more nimbly and fly with their own wings. Their systems of navigation are more sophisticated, their hearing more subtle, their seeing more fine. Their nostrils work better than any technology.

But there is one thing the creatures, each with their particular duty, cannot do: one task they leave to us. And in the end, it's all we're really here for. Perhaps if we had done it more, instead of eating from that other tree to master all knowledge, we would be living in a purer world.

Our human duty is thanksgiving. We are here to praise, not profit.

5/17/2010

Invest in the Now

'Dow Rebounds After Record Drop' (May 6, 2010, FoxBusiness.com)

Every day we watch the stock market rise and fall, wondering if we'll ever get to WEALTH, wondering how much MORE we can accumulate. Our economy is based on the assumption that there will always be more.

But how could there ever be more than there is right now? Now IS more.

We may reconfigure the CONTENT of now, and stuff it with more things. We call the stuffing of now our wealth. But does stuffing the now with more content actually transform the quality of its SPACE, which is the quality of our awareness?

Real prosperity is knowing that, whatever the content may be, the space of now is eternally brim-full of inviolate bliss. Our wealth is not more or less than the changeless space of now, which has nothing to do with its ever-fluctuating content.

We exhaust our lives investing in future wealth. Yet do we ever feel, "Ah, I finally have enough"? Even those who obtain millions never feel this illusive contentment. For real wealth does not increase or diminish. Nor is it affected by getting or spending.

If we don't feel wealthy right now, we must be looking in the wrong place. This is why Jesus give us this financial advice: "Store up for yourselves not treasure on earth, where moth and rust may corrupt, but store up treasure in heaven." Where is this kingdom? "The kingdom of heaven," he affirms, "is within you." Heaven is awareness.

If you want to strike it rich this very moment, simply allow your awareness to become unlimited spaciousness.

Don't invest in the Dow. Invest in the Now: the only account that perpetually expands and pays immediate dividends.

5/16/2010

Give Nothing But Your Presence


"A man's mind may plan his way, but the Lord directs his steps." (Proverbs 16:9)

 The human intellect chatters about a divine plan. But God is the being whose sole purpose is Presence. I can either walk in that Presence, or stumble into the future. 

Baba Ram Das said, "The best gift you can give another is your presence." I would add that, in fact, the only gift you give is your presence. 

One might object, "I must have a purpose for my future. Purposeful work gives my life meaning." Another might add, "I give more than mere presence. I work many hours in community service to build a better future for the sick and the poor. And it's hard work!"

Your efforts I commend. But in the final analysis, what matters is the quality of those hours, not their quantity. The material sum of all our work is but a drop in the bucket of what must be done. Whatever we do in the physical realm will never be much compared to the need. It is the quality of our presence, not the quantity of our labor, that inspires others to carry the work on after us, and to do for themselves what we once did for them.

Only if we are fully in the now during work, offering our work to the Lord of Presence, will work be fruitful in its inspiration. Thus the Bhagavad Gita teaches us to turn work into worship: "Set thy heart upon thy work, but never on its reward... and do thy work in the peace of Yoga." (2:47) "He who in his work finds silence, and sees that silence is work, he truly sees." (4:18)

But the wealthy giver of charity may also object: "I have donate my hard-earned money to build hospitals, support shelters, provide aid for Third World people. I worked hard for that money. Is this labor and money not more than presence?"

No. In the end, all work and money express but our presence. Money is not neutral: it is karmic. Our money reflects the quality of consciousness we have in its making. How do we know that our money does good simply because we give it to a good cause? Millions might be wasted by corrupt inept bureaucrats and government officials. We know, for example, that during the supposed rebuilding of Iraq after the American invasion, billions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer aid simply disappeared. The karma of that war's conception infected its aftermath.

If money is earned in anxiety, with a restless and unhappy heart, it will be spent on things that produce restless unhappiness. If money is earned in a distracted state of mind, it will be dissipated through inefficiency. If wealth accumulates in greed or corruption, even when given in charity it tends to be wasted by the greedy and corrupt, before it feeds one hungry mouth.

Yet if wealth is earned through work done in the divine Presence, then even if we only have one dollar to give, that dollar will purchase what is needed, in its special moment, to nourish and inspire a man or woman of destiny who will change the world.

So Jesus teaches us to "take no thought for tomorrow." Be present in each breath, each footstep. And in the words of Black Elk, the Sioux prophet: "Let every step you take upon the earth be as a prayer." To walk cheerfully in eternal Presence is true wealth.

What's Weird?

I am so honored to serve as an interfaith chaplain at an alternative community like The Evergreen State College in Olympia WA. We worship in this Longhouse, built as a sacred space by the Native Peoples' Program. At Evergreen, yoga, meditation, organic farming and sustainable economics are central to the curriculum. Recently someone told me that Evergreen is 'weird.' My reply:

Evergreen is 'alternative.' What's 'weird' is mainstream America's unchallenged assumption that earth can survive another decade of unregulated capitalism, as practiced by Goldman Sachs, Massy Energy, Haliburton and BP, with workers' pensions robbed by Wall Street parasites, coal miners facing negligent homicide from CEO's, the environment devastated by big oil, and our valiant soldiers forced into multiple combat tours as imperial legionnaires, while vulture corporations gorge themselves on war profiteering.

Communities like Evergreen represent a new paradigm that will rise like a phoenix from the ashes of post-industrial corporate feudalism. Some cry, 'Evergreen is socialist, communist!' But the Greeners I know are wise enough to see that socialism and communism are as dead as Reaganomics.

Evergreen is not about socialism: it's about simple living that supports local businesses. Evergreen is not about big government: it's about small government and lots of community.

The opposite of capitalism is not communism but contentment: the contentment of sustainable agriculture, green technology, worker-owned cooperatives, publicly chartered local banks that operate within their means, all nourished by shamanic circles of prayer, chant, dance and celebration.

The opposite of a corporation is not socialism but a singing heart: one that knows, "If you live in love, it is enough to have enough."

5/15/2010

Confessional



The time has come for us to bow down and weep before our Labradoodles and Collies, our Longhaired Domestic or Persian cats, our Parakeets, Macaos, Chestnut Fillies and Pythons. Then recite the following confession.

"I take refuge in my Pet, whose name is ___________; and with all my heart I implore the Four Leggeds of the Earth, the Serpents and Crawling Things, the Winged Ones of the Air and the Swimmers of the Water, to forgive me and my human race for what we have done to your sacred planet."

5/13/2010

Mover


Breeze moves the flower,
but who moves the breeze?
Mind moves my hand,
but who moves the mind?
Who is the Do-er?


'Notice the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap
nor store into barns.
Yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Behold the lilies of the field; see how they grow:
they neither toil nor spin.
Yet the king in all his splendor
is not dressed like one of these.'
Who is the Do-er?


We attack impoverished Third World nations
like an invasive non-native species,
pocking the earth with bombs,
displacing millions, frying the air itself
with spent uranium bullets of 'democracy.'
We slaughter tens of thousands more innocent civilians
in Iraq and Afghanistan
than Islamic terrorists ever killed in America.

When is it enough? When is it finished?
Who is the Do-er?

We drill the earth for coal and oil
to frolic in illusory abundance
on uninhabitable coastlines,
in dead oceans,
sucking a breathless atmosphere.
Who is the Do-er?

Pleasure happens: 'I' did it.
5 billion dollars in first quarter profits.
Pain happens: the corporate 'person'
points his finger at someone else.
5 million gallons of oil in the Gulf.
Who is the Do-er?

And perhaps, if it is not too late,
we bow down and cry,
"Forgive us, Mother."
We bow to the poor
who pick every morsel of our food,
every bean and apple and tomato
with brown work-wizened fingers
(who is the Do-er?)
and we cry, "Forgive us, Brother."

And perhaps, if it is not too late,
we learn to want less instead of more,
own less instead of more,
do less instead of more.
Who is the Do-er?

First Mover, teach us
to walk among the wild poppies, singing.
Teach us simplicity, at last.
Teach us only how to refrain
from trampling what lives.
Teach us to feel at home in this
beautiful body. It is enough.
Bare our feet to native soil
that we may never infest the earth again
with that invasive foreign species,
the Do-er._____________
Painting by Raphael, 1512, on the ceiling of Pope Julius' apartment in the Vatican, portraying Aristotle's 'Primum Mobile,' the first mover of the universe, as feminine.

5/10/2010

Freedom From Freewill

 I am gradually learning to live in the grace of freedom without the burden of freewill.

"Behold the birds of the air... and consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they they neither toil nor spin." (Matthew 6:26) Jesus pointed to the grace-filled lives of these simple creatures, not because they have no work to do, no struggle with the wind and weather, but because they don't have a little "I" to constantly whine about it.

Let me be wise as a wildflower, knowing the difference between freedom and freewill!

The extent of my "freewill" is paltry. The only thing I am really free to do is to invent this little "I" who claims to be the do-er. In fact, no "I" ever does anything. What happens simply happens. Yet, when awareness no longer superimposes an "I" on the happening, freedom is limitless.

To see that the scope of freewill is merely to invent or not to invent an "I," is immeasurable unfathomable ecstatic freedom.

But for the "I," it is a shock and a scandal to discover there is no control over what happens. The shape of the now is predetermined by the past, and by the mysterious laws of karma which even Krishna declares, in the Bhagavad Gita, to be unfathomable. I can embrace what is happening with a YES, and dance with it. Or I can resist with a NO, creating the personal suffering that solidifies my separate "I." YES to now dissolves the I. NO solidifies the I. That is the extent of my freewill. It has nothing to do with what happens, only with my reaction to it.

But surely, even if I cannot change the present, my intentions can change the future!

My intentions arise from what I have already known, and any thought I form in response to this now is a reaction of my personal story, my history. Therefor, the only future I can intend is a repetition of my past. Is that freedom?

"Therefor," says Jesus, "take no thought for tomorrow." Those who exhaust themselves planning for the future might welcome this message, but usually resent it. They are too busy to notice that what exhausts them is not their present work, but the burden of their past.

Life is really very simple. The chaos of choice only exists in the imagination of "I." Each moment grants me the gift of Happening. My only choice is to accept the gift and dissolve the "I," or resist the gift and perpetuate the illusion of a separate do-er.

Some will say, "This sounds too passive! I don't want to be a bump on a log, accepting everything as it is." But in fact, this "I" is the bump on the log, the obstacle to creative action. The pioneer therapist Carl Rogers wrote: "The irony is, when I accept myself as I am, then I begin to change." This is the elegant irony of freedom from freewill. Unimaginable creativity blossoms when awareness surrenders the "I" who wants to change the world. With no "I," awareness and emotion and senses and body and all the world out there become partners in one dance of radiance, energy, and creation. The new creation is the Kingdom of Now.

Wild poppies burst into bloom. This body walks among them, singing.
____________

'Wild Poppies,' by Andrew Dandridge

5/09/2010

Sabbath

Sabbath is simply spaciousness. Keeping the Sabbath means resting in the space of awareness. Space is awake: it's content is like a dream. Have a lovely Sunday.

The word ShBaT in Hebrew actually does not mean a day of the week or a temple ceremony. It literally means, "stop, desist from all doing."

If, even for a moment, I surrender my doer-ship, and desist from ascribing "I" to what is happening, this moment refreshes my whole day. During this gap in doer-ship, awareness fills with Shakti's dance: endlessly reconfiguring electrons in the vast silence of Shiva. No need to impose any thought-forms from  my memory onto this dance, in order to give it meaning: for "meaning" is just a repeating loop of my past impressions. After such a moments of I-less seeing, "I" return, thinned out and transparent to the Light of God, to work again in creation.

5/05/2010

What Are We About?

The problem with our communication is that we think it has to be about something. Is there a form of communication where we are not about, but simply are, sharing the fierce vulnerable radiance of our pure being?

Isn't that what we really want to do when we communicate, though we hide it behind words and concepts, plans for the future and stories of the past?

In this new age, why not extend the mystical experience from our inner life to life in community, life in communication? Mystical experience has a precise definition: it means immediate communion with Truth, or Spirit. Most religious experience is mediated through words, doctrines, images of scripture and symbols of ritual. There are also human mediators between the believer and the Spirit: priests, prophets, ministers, popes, imams, rabbis. Traditional religion has been a second-hand experience of Truth, just as most communication has been second-hand communication, mediated by and about things.

But in every religion, there have been mystics: those who had the courage to ask, "Why can't I commune immediately with God, without the mediation of another?" These mystics found God in their own being, in the hidden depths of their own consciousness, "intimeor intima meo" in St. Augustine's words: "more inward to me that I am to myself."

If there can be a non-mediated communion between the soul and God, why can't there be such mystical communion between two persons?

What would mystical communication between two persons be like? What would a whole community be like if its members were immersed in mystical communication? Would community relationships not express the qualities of communion with God?

Radiance of two flames merged in one fire: do these two flames create the greater fire, or did they arise from that fire to begin with?

Divine fire is the third person in every living relationship. God's presence pervades all intimacy.

I am not talking about sex, for sex is about something! - about fulfilling the primal drives of the body. Fulfilling those needs is neither bad nor good: it is just nature. But for humans seeking spiritual relationship, fulfilling the sex drive can hijack real communication. In fact, the deepest communion of lovers often happens in the gentle silence after sex.

Mystical communication is far more intimate and mindful than sex. It is more like musicians improvising together, who seem to know which note the other will play in the moment, as if they both are being played by some invisible cosmic musician.

What would be the nature of words in such intimacy? Words that no longer need to be about anything? Words that simply convey the electrical thrill of Presence? Wouldn't such conversation be pure poetry, beauty for its own sake?

What would be the role of silence in such intimacy? Would silence not be the very substance of the communication? Silence not as absence, not as waiting, but as fulfillment. Silence streaming with the nectar of complete affection.

What would be the role of fingers, lips, ears, skin? A pantheistic sexuality pervades every cell of the enlightened body, every leaf of the tree, every cloud and raindrop falling from the sky. Nature overflows with the orgasm of Mother Divine and Lord Shiva, the green earth in all its abundance their perpetual love-making. In such pan-sexual spirituality, the fruition of human community, would there be any need for sexual intercourse except for the procreation of children? And if there was, it would be ever so gentle, tender, and full of respect.

And what of the eyes? Eyes gazing into the eyes of the other, eyes gazing into the Self, the Self in the other, the other in the Self, dissolving all distinction between inner and outer.

5/03/2010

Catch the Wave














In the coming age, the real soul-work will be done, not by world religions or global spiritual organizations, but by local shamanic circles rooted in a sense of place.

A spiritual "movement" is fresh and authentic when 10 to 12 seekers gather in a circle, in someone's living room or under a tree in the back yard. The teacher is your Friend, who walks beside you, stays in your humble guest bedroom, rides in your Honda.

There are no fancy academies. No vast auditoriums with $100 tickets to catch a glimpse of the guru. No canned, rote, step-by-step programs for getting enlightened. No corporate hierarchy. No fund-raisers that give front row seats to the rich. No flower-strewn BMW's. No bowing to a distant Master who nobody can talk to any more because he or she has 4 million groupies, many of whom only last a month.

When a movement gets that big, its time to be a circle again, in someone's living room or under a tree in the back yard. Catch the soul-wave when it's small, compact, circular, barely manifest yet powerful, wild and intimate. When the wave breaks, spectacular and brilliant on the shore, that is precisely when it loses its power. Then the wise rider drops off, to sense the subtle surge of the sea rising in a new wave, just beginning.

To catch a wave, rest in beginnings. Find them in the ocean of your own soul, not in another. The wave is You. You are the frictionless immeasurable moving crest of the present moment. What other movement do you need to join?

The Secret of Love

















When I was with this beloved Teacher, a small roomful of us were gathered before him, and he said two things that transformed my heart. I have never seen these words in print. I want to preserve these teachings in his honor. They have resonated in me for forty years.

1. The wave said to the ocean, 'How can I be like you?' The ocean replied, 'It's easy. Just settle down.'

2. No one ever loves anyone but himself, or herself. Every wave of love goes forth from the Self and returns to the Self. This is the secret of love.

Hearing this first offended me, then confused me, then brought a sea-change in my understanding. I'd always wondered how anyone could be selfless. I'd always suspected that selflessness was a hoax. I knew I would never be capable of it!

Maharshi boldly yet innocently shared what no other had ever said to me. Love is not selfless. Love is divinely selfish. Love gathers all others into the unity of the Self.

For the first time, I could understand the basis of my own Christian tradition, and the Bible's great commandment: Love thy neighbor as thyself. For my neighbor is not other than my Self. Love is the radiance of the Self, the play of the Self, the delight of the Self in itself.

Both Yogic and Biblical traditions are rooted in the vision of non-dualism.

Jai Guru Dev

5/01/2010

Our Revolutionary Situation

 “I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, that already challenge our government to a trial by strength.” (Thomas Jefferson)



Plutocracy - a slightly gentler word for fascism - is government by unregulated mega-corporations. Plutocracy aims to distract us with foreign wars while raping our environment and stealing our democracy at home.

How many more coastlines must perish? How many more miners must die? How many more hard working citizens must go bankrupt paying 35% credit card interest so that Wall Street vultures, who produce no product but debt, can feast on million dollar bonuses? How many more must lose home, pension and healthcare because corporate elites value stockholder profits above the lives of workers and the environment?

Propagandists of the Right want us to believe that virtually all public governance is  "socialism." In fact, regulation of corporate power is not socialism but the discipline of democracy. Through taxation and regulation, we the people protect our commonwealth from exploitation by those who assume that private wealth gives them inordinate privilege.

We are entitled to wealth and the comfort it brings. But our wealth does not entitle us to authority over other citizens or the environment.

It is time for the enlightened to work for progressive political change:
  • Public funding of elections,
  • Empowering workers to resurrect the labor movement,
  • Regulating corporate power,
  • Ending dependence on fossil fuels.
If the rational do not bring progressive revolution, the irrational will bring violent revolution. Do we want streets that flow with justice, or streets that flow with blood? That is the simple choice that now confronts Americans.