Dream: village leader

 

I am in a middle-eastern village and have the role of a leader – coordinating community projects and much more. The village is rustic and has an earthy quality. After a while, I remember that the real leader of the village is still alive, although he is very old and is being taken care of at another location. He is not capable to lead the village, so I have taken the role. There is an uneasiness about having forgotten about him.

The village has an earthy spiritual quality which I associate with Sufism. In the dream there was a parade of projects and situations that I coordinated and led in a way that seemed natural and relatively effortless. There was a sense of natural strength and receptivity combined with authority.

At some point, I realize or remember that I am not the official leader of the village.

The old man is, even though he is absent and not capable of leading. I feel uneasy and ashamed over having forgotten about him. It seems out of place, a lack of humility, a lack of respect of the hierarchy of the village, and a lack of appreciation for him and how he has governed the village over many years with a great deal of wisdom (far more than me, since I am still relatively young.)

The dream feels significant, although the meaning of it is still not quite clear.

(more…)

A hundred complex cases against God in court

 

I know you have a hundred complex cases
Against God in court,

But never mind, wayfarer,
Let’s just get out of this mess

Hafiz/Ladinsky

A hundred complex cases

We all have a hundred complex cases against God in court. A hundred complaints. A hundred reasons why God should do things differently.

So let’s get out of this mess. Let’s explore these cases, thoroughly investigate them, evaluate the testimonies and the evidence. Let’s have a clear verdict, based on what is revealed.

Let’s get out of this mess. (Through one of the many forms of inquiry.)

A belief means identity with content

 

They decided to divide the stone into pieces.
Of course then the Priceless became lost.

Most everyone is lousy at math
And does that to God –

Dissects the Indivisible One,

By thinking, saying,
“This is my Beloved, he looks like this
And acts like that,

How could that moron over there
Really
Be
God.”

– from The Gift

In an earlier post, I mentioned the shifts from (a) a sense of I as seen, as content of awareness, as this human self, to (b) I as seeing, as pure awareness, as Witness, as that which content arises to and within, to (c) a realization of absence of I in seeing and seen, and Ground as seeing and seen.

Whenever there is a belief in a thought, in any thought, there is automatically an identification with content.

An idea is attached to, it is believed in, it is taken as true. Right there, the world is split.

It is split into I and Other. I is placed one segment of the world, leaving the rest to Other.

It is split into I as having a particular identity and Other as outside of this identity. I am those segments that fit into this network of ideas making up an identity, and whatever is left is Other.

Right away, there is an identification with content. I am this, not that.

Right there, the center of gravity is in content.

Right there, comes a sense of drama and struggle.

Right there, forgetfulness comes in.

Forgetting myself as the seeing, as pure awareness.

Forgetting myself as Ground, as seeing and seen, absent of I anywhere.

Hafiz: Lousy at Math

 
Lousy at Math

Once a group of thieves stole a rare diamond
Larger than a goose egg.

Its value could have easily bought
One thousand horses

And two thousand acres
Of the most fertile land in Shiraz.

The thieves got drunk that night
To celebrate their great haul,

But during the course of the evening
The effects of the liquor
And their mistrust of each other grew to such
An extent

They decided to divide the stone into pieces.
Of course then the Priceless became lost.

Most everyone is lousy at math
And does that to God –

Dissects the Indivisible One,

By thinking, saying,
“This is my Beloved, he looks like this
And acts like that,

How could that moron over there
Really
Be
God.”

– Hafiz, from The Gift translated by Daniel Ladinsky.

How can Bush, republicans, liberals, terrorists, fundamentalists, cancer, nuclear war, hatred, suffering, death, confusion, how can it really be God? God is everything that I believe is good, and not everything I believe is not good. Right there, the world is split. The Priceless became lost. Right there.

Hafiz: Why Aren’t We All Screaming Drunks?

 
Why Aren’t We All Screaming Drunks?

The sun once glimpsed God’s true nature
And has never been the same.

Thus that radiant sphere
Constantly pours its energy
Upon this earth
As does He from behind
The veil.

With a wonderful God like that
Why isn’t everyone a screaming drunk?

Hafiz’s guess is this:

Any thought that you are better or less
Than another man

Quickly
Breaks the wine
Glass.

– Hafiz, from The Gift translated by Daniel Ladinsky.

Any belief in any thought, and the wine glass is broken. Any belief splits the world, creates a sense of I, sets up an identity for this I, and then creates a sense of I and Other.

Hafiz: Until

 

According to the introduction in The Gift, Meher Baba saw the poems of Hafiz as a complete teaching in themselves. And I don’t find any reason to disagree.

Until

I think we are frightened every

Moment of our lives

Until we

Know

Him.

– Hafiz, from The Gift translated by Daniel Ladinsky.

When our center of gravity, our main identifiaction, is with the seen, with our human self, there is bound to be a sense of unease, dissatisfaction and fear.

This is a natural effect of filtering the world into I and Other.

The only remedy is to shift the center of gravity, the sense of I, into the seeing itself, into pure awareness.

And then to realize the absence of any I anywhere, in the seing and in the seen.

Popping & Path

 

An awakening can happen spontaneously, out of the blue, apparently uninvited. Or it can happen following a period of practice, of deliberately walking the path.

In sufism, the initial version is apparently called majzub, and the second salik. One is obviously grace, the second apparently effort. Although there is also effort in the first one, in terms of exploring and living what happened. And there is clearly grace even in the second one, first in the external and internal circumstances coming together for someone traveling the path, and then in the awakening itself.

As J. Nurbakhsh says in The Path (p. 31), both have to be present for it to be complete – especially if that person is to guide others. If there was first an awakening out of the blue, then the path has to be traveled later on (either from within the awakening, or after an apparent fall). And if the path was traveled initially, then the grace and popping of awakening has to happen for it to be more complete. One alone is not sufficient.

Different Emphasis

 

The mystical (practical spiritual) movements within all of the world’s major religions all seem to be able to lead people into an awakening into Big Mind. But there are some differences in emphasis. For instance, it seems that the Buddhist awakening emphasizes clarity and wisdom, although the compassionate aspect is strong. And it seems that the awakening through Christianity and Islam (Sufism) emphasizes the fullness and richness of love and compassion. Buddhism may be more head-centered, and Christianity and Islam more heart-centered. Within Big Mind/Heart, Buddhism may emphasize Big Mind, and Christianity and Islam Big Heart. Buddhism may be more yang, Christianity and Islam more yin. And together, there is an even richer experience.