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  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 3:49 am on July 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baha'u''lah, being, Messengers of God, , peace, Perfect Mirror, The Hidden Words, unity   

    How many times does Baha’u’llah use the the term ‘being’ in the Hidden Words? 

    I think it is about 22 times, but the really important use is ‘O Son of Being’.

    To address humans in this way emphasise three levels of reality.

    LEVEL !: Ultimate Being is God. God is Ultimate being – another name is Mystery.

    Mystery is the primary fact of life & our primary relationship.

    Unity & peace can only come as we stand with others in the face of Mystery, a stance that admits, as Socrates/Plato did that the chief thing we know is that we don’t know.

    Unity & Peace can never come via words and names and theology. Ask any true mystic.

    LEVEL 2: The sons & daughters of God have the challenge to reflect in their being, their selves, Godlike qualities.

    Between Level 1 & 2 there is;

    LEVEL 3: Since finite humans cannot embrace the Infinite we can most surely develop our reflecting of the names & attributes of God through turning to the Perfect Mirror, the Messenger of God.

    Our aspiration is to mirror the Perfect Mirror.

    3 levels cf 2 is the difference between Baha’i understanding and that of (some) Sufis & Gnostics.

     
  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 4:55 am on July 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: death matters, human reality, Human Spirit, Journey of the Soul, mind, soul, ,   

    Do you remember where you were when you had one of your more important ‘aha’ moments’? 

    talkintarn-Northumberland

    I have appreciated greatly the ‘One Garden: the inter-spiritual way’ group’s dialogue and inspiration generated around insights, the aha moments, satori etc. One of our ‘One Garden’ members actually did her doctorate on the nature of ‘Aha! experiences.

    I am wondering if you remember where you were, not when President Kennedy was assassinated or the Twin Towers were attacked but when you had a particular ‘aha’ moment.

    Was it when you stood in the prow of a speeding boat like Kate Winslet in Titanic? Or whilst lying in bed? Or in front of a beautiful vista?

    ONE OF MY ‘AHA’ MOMENTS – AT TALKIN TARN IN CUMBRIA:
    For my ‘aha moment recalled’ I re-visited a subject necessary when I wrote my thesis namely ‘What is soul?’ If you want to see how challenging this apparently simple question is visit the WikiPedia page on ‘Soul’! – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul

    I found I got most help from Baha’i teachings. I would like to correlate what I got from Baha’i with other major traditions – so if you want to do some research in one or several of the other traditions please send me the results of your investigation!

    The passage that gave me the most help doesn’t amount to scripture but if it is an accurate report it provides a great insight. So great was the impact when I discovered this passage about 20 years ago that not only did I yell something like ‘Eureka’ I can remember the exact spot of the exact place when I first read the passage – it was Talkin Tarn Country Park in Cumbria. I was sitting on a bench in front of trees facing the tarn.

    THE PASSAGE THAT GAVE ME AN ‘AHA’ MOMENT ABOUT THE SINGLENESS OF SOUL, MIND & SPIRIT

    ‘…..it (Human Reality) is the same reality which is given different names, according to the different conditions wherein it becomes manifest.

    Because of its attachment to matter and the phenomenal world, when it governs the physical functions of the body, it is called the human soul.

    When it manifests itself as the thinker, the comprehender, it is called the mind.

    And when it soars into the atmosphere of God, and travels in the spiritual world, it becomes designated as spirit.’ – Star of the West 7.19 (March 1917):190.

    So………

    At one level I take the soul to be ‘human spirit individuated as a person’, as in ‘several souls were saved by the lifeboat crew’.

    But from the above passage, and from indications on the WikiPedia page, the soul is more a particular activity of being human – as the will particularly in regard to ‘governor of the body’. The singleness of being human or ‘human reality’ manifests as three roles or activities of which one is our will;

    1) The soul as will governs our body and our interactions with the physical world. The same human reality that manifests itself as soul, also manifests as
    2) mind when engaged in thinking and
    3) ‘spirit’ when soaring in ‘the atmosphere of God’ and ‘travelling’ in the spiritual world.

    For those who see themselves as inter-spiritual the three in this ‘three-in-one’ incorporates
    1) being engaged in thought or contemplation (mind),
    2) turning to God/The Whole/Mystery with mind quietened (ie spiritual connection as in prayer or meditation) and
    3) willing an action e.g getting up and closing a door or deciding to give some money to a particular charity etc.

    All three are modes within ‘the human spirit individuated as a person’ – in terms of levels of spirit (mineral, plant, animal, human and Holy Spirit). All three emanate from the singleness of Being, and from ‘being that individual’. But that singleness shifts into one of the three modes depending on circumstances and intention.

    A similar three-in-one I suggest in my SunWALK thesis. Each of us is a discrete individualization of the human spirit – the singleness of white light. But continuously, in micro-seconds even, we switch between the three modes of Caring, Creativity and Criticality – for the same reasons – need and circumstances. These three can be seen as the 3 primary colours of being human. We develop these, or fail to develop them, in a fourth C Community (in reality communities plural). These are NOT three kinds of thinking. If a child falls in front of you you don’t paint a picture (Creative response) or intellectually examine the frequency of particular kinds of accidents in UK families (Criticality response) – you pick the child up and dust her down, console & distract her.

    See HERE – https://wordpress.com/stats/insights/sunwalkmodelofholisticeducation.wordpress.com

    These three; Caring, Creativity & Criticality are THREE MODES OF BEING & ACTING not three ways of thinking (sorry to shout) – thinking is the servant, and in at least Caring & Creating can be at a very low level – like the hum of the nondual as we go about our daily lives. When we take a conscious breath we are simply ‘fore-fronting’ the nondual, which when we are doing the shopping or washing-up, is the ‘hum’ in the background – like the drone in certain kinds of music. This is our staying in contact with ‘home’, God if you prefer, the nowness to which we return via each ‘conscious breath’.

    DEATH MATTERS – especially dying before we die!
    Incidentally according to Baha’i teachings you retain your individuality through out the worlds of God after this life. So does that mean I don’t believe in the drop into Ocean idea? No – I think we as a drop are relieved of the burden of self whenever we rest in the Whole i.e our true Ultimate Self. Breathing in “I rest in…’ – breathing out; ‘….the Whole’. There this particular tiny drop, so far as he is able, just became at-one with the Ocean. Hooray! Wow as Tim Freke-ians say! It is a real-time nowness thing not a goal at the end of a journey. (Check out Richard Rohr’s The Naked Now, as stunningly good as Tim’s ‘The Mystery Experience’). Every time we rest in a circular breath we sense that at-one-ness. Wow – and Aha! Wow – and Aha! Wow – and Aha!

    The above passage attributed to Abdu’l-Baha was important to me since it it presents a ‘trinitarian driver’s-eye view’ of being human. We can simply ask which of these modes am I in most often or at a particular time. Am I getting as Tolle suggests of the human condition as a whole ‘lost in thought’ too often?

    SOME LINKS:
    My aha extract is far from being a comprehensive view of Baha’i teachings on the subject.

    Other Baha’i sources on this subject are here;

    Life Death and the Soul – http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-0-5.html

    The Soul – http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-5-1.html

    The Human Soul – Selections from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh – http://info.bahai.org/article-1-3-2-25.html

    Heaven and hell: a Bahá’í view of life after death – http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-5-2.html

    Abdu’l-Baha on the Journey of the Soul – http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-6-1.html

    -0-

    SUGGESTED QUESTION

    1 How does the tradition that you know best explain ‘What is soul, mind and spirit?’

     
  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 2:53 pm on July 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddhism, Christianism, Jewism, Meister Eckhart, , mystics of the world speak the same language, Sufism   

    Buddhism, Christianism, Jewism, Sufism About The Same Mystical Experience Part 1 

    Theologians of the world may quarrel, but the mystics of the world speak the same language. – Meister Eckhart

    Don’t Miss Parts 2,3 & 4 etc

     
  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 5:24 am on July 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baha'i teachings, God, Judaism's Talmud & Torah, , ONENESS, our heart   

    ONENESS: God, our heart, Judaism’s Talmud & Torah – and Baha’i teachings 

    Baha’is will recall this teaching from Baha’u’lah;

    ‘He hath refused to reserve for Himself any share whatever of this world’s dominion. To this He Who is Himself the Eternal Truth will testify. The things He hath reserved for Himself are the cities of men’s hearts, that He may cleanse them from all earthly defilements, and enable them to draw nigh unto the hallowed Spot which the hands of the infidel can never profane. Open, O people, the city of the human heart with the key of your utterance.’ – Gleanings CXXXIX

    Surprise, surprise we also find;

    ‘The Talmud says that God wants the heart, and the Talmud also says that God gave the Torah only to purify our hearts.’ – in Judaism’s Theological Voice: The Melody of the Talmud by Jacob Neusner p29

    “Well I never – we find that at their heart the great Traditions teach the same set of core Teachings!”

     
  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 4:43 am on July 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: analogy, , I can see more clearly now, , metaphor, Reading the book of self, satori, spiritual quest   

    Reading the book of self: part of our spiritual quest is to be able to say “I can see more clearly now!” 

    Seeing more clearly now, seeing what was always there but only now is readable, undergoing an inner shift via insight that enables us to see ‘all things made new’ – all of these enable us to read more accurately the ‘book of self’ as well as the world in which we live.

    Part of seeing deeply is to become familiar with how metaphor or analogies are used. All spiritual writing, most poetry and scriptures use metaphor and analogies. For as in Zen, which is ultra-cryptic in this koan;

    A lightning flash:
    between the forest trees
    I have seen water.
    Shiki Masaoka
    (1867-1902)

    Outwardly it is about being in a forest in a storm But it goes deep if we have the ‘eyes to see and ‘the ears to hear’. Water is a symbol of the spiritual. The lightning flash is a flash in insight or satori, that enables the self to see beyond the apparent real world. So it about the nature of being human and how insights come to us and enable us to see more clearly beyond appearances and darkness,

    SHARK Stereogram cf Magic Eye

    This YouTube video helps you to see auto-stereograms;

     
  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 8:26 am on July 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Breath, breath matters, Breath-mantra, conscious breathing, duality, last breath first breath, , Richard Rohr, Yahweh   

    Our Spirit, our breath: 21 pointings on the journey to realizing our true Self – Listen to the breath of a sleeping baby. 

    Our Spirit, our breath: 21 pointings on the journey to realizing our true Self

    NB Enjoy 3 breaths * after each line is read.

    1 In most languages spirit means breath. With each breath we murmur Yah – wehhhhhh….. Listen to the breath of a sleeping baby.

    • 2 Breath is life. The difference between you, or me, alive or dead is the presence or absence of the life-force, or chi.
    • 3 We don’t have life we are life – in the form of the human spirit. Life flows through us and flowers in our individuation, our being, & our doing.
    • 4 At birth the human spirit is undifferentiated. Almost immediately the process of socialization into modes of being begins.
    • 5 Socialization, in addition to physical expression, enables us to form a self, an identity formed out of selfing & ‘me not-me’ boundaries.
    • 6 Gradually we learn to read the world & our self with greater sophistication via language & subtler modes such as body-language & intuition.
    • 7 At the same time we learn to express our self in three states or modes of being; the Caring the Creative, and the Critical.
    • 8 Although early socialization comes from home & extended family the 3 “C’s, above, correspond to the Humanities, the Arts and the Sciences.
    • 9 They are three forms of truth & knowledge acquisition & expressions; moral, subjective, & objective.
    • 10 Over and above the three modes there is the no-self mode, in which we rest as awareness.
    • 11 When we return from resting as awareness we re-enter the dual ‘normal’ realm & engagement via the 3 Cs.
    • 12 The fourth C then is Contemplation but at the level of unitive meditation – i.e. the state of no-self, transcending our self, at-one-ment.
    • 13 As we mature in no-self, or no-selfing we bring that resonance to our Caring, Creativity & Criticality.
    • 14 Our participation in the dual world becomes imbued with the Spirit of our true Self awareness.
    • 15 We are citizens of two realms the contingent dual ‘normal’ world and the nondual transcendent world.
    • 16 The three Cs are sub-divisions of the dual realm and the ‘normal’ world.
    • 17 But every separate thing in the dual world is enhanced as we realize our true Self as being awareness.
    • 18 Another view of the singleness dividing is in this explanation by ‘Abdu’l-Baha, of the singleness behind soul, mind & body;
    • ‘Human Reality is the same reality which is given different names, according to the different conditions wherein it becomes manifest. A) Because of its attachment to matter and the phenomenal world, when it governs the physical functions of the body, it is called the human soul. B) When it manifests itself as the thinker, the comprehender, it is called the mind. C.) And when it soars into the atmosphere of God, and travels in the spiritual world, it becomes designated as spirit.’
    • 19 Conscious, circular breathing is the primary portal to enable us to step into, and expand consolidation of our true Self; & rest as awareness
    • 20 We heal & reduce our ‘me-me-itis’, clearing out our inner rubbish of ‘selfing’ you might say, by conscious, circular breathing as we practice unitive meditation – “moment-to-moment presence that excludes nothing & sticks to nothing”. Joan Tollifson in her ‘Bare-Bones Meditation’.
    • 21 God is as available as the breath, the air we breathe. God is breathing us. In our last breath, as in our first, we murmur the name of God – Yah-wehhhhh….. Listen to the breath of a sleeping baby. Yah-wehhhhh….. Yah-wehhhhh…. Yah-wehhhhh…. * * *

    ****************************************************************************************************************************************

    EXPLANATION of Yahweh as the ultimate breath-mantra

    RP Yahweh = the ultimate breath-mantra – a mantra said in unison with conscious breathing – because it is something we do automatically from birth to death, regardless of our beliefs.

    From Richard Rohr;

    “In Hebrew, all you write are the consonants and what it means to be an educated Jew, is that your eye automatically fills in the appropriate vowels and there are four consonants in the sacred name Yahweh, and he, the rabbi, said, “Did you know that those consonants if correctly pronounced do not allow you to close your lips or use your tongue”.
    In fact the reason the name could not be spoken is it could only be breathed, in fact the sacred name Yahweh was an attempt to imitate and replicate the sound of inhalation and exhalation.”
    (on the recording Fr Richard Rohr slowly breathes in and out several times with a whispering sound.)

    “He did it about 30 times in this crowd of PhDs and I’m not exaggerating. But at the end of it I heard sobbing in the room, that people got it. God is as available as the breath, the air, the wind and the words are the same in many languages.”

    -0-

    SOURCE: https://tsvceo-web.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/Richard%20Rohr.pdf

     
  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 5:32 am on July 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Al-Hallaj, Li Po, , NONDUAL experience, , Sufi   

    Can you think of a better way to express Nonduality? 

    Matterhorn_Riffelsee_2005-06-11

    TOWARD A BETTER WAY TO EXPLAIN NONDUALITY & NONDUAL OR MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE

    Yesterday I found a stunningly simple definition of the Nondual or mystical.

    The poem I’ve always used to explain the Nondual or mystical is;

    “The birds have vanished from the sky,
    and now the last clouds slip away.

    We sit alone, the mountain and I,
    until only the mountain remains.” Li Po 8th C Chinese poet

    Yesterday I was transfixed by;

    “Between Me and You, there is only Me;
    Take away the Me, So only You remain.” – Al-Hallaj

    The Sufi statement is however a description from the ‘outside’ not a work of art that re-creates the experience. If you know of any other poems or other works of art that re-create the experience please let me know.

    Even as a description from the outside the Al-Hallaj lines are exquisitely simple and therefore beautiful.

     
  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 6:25 am on July 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: inter-spirituality, ,   

    Compilation Quotations showing Nonduality in each of 7 traditions 

    Quotations showing Nonduality in each of 7 traditions
    from which we primarily take inspiration in our One Garden groups – not excluding other traditions!

    Baha’i: “…all parts of the creational world are of one whole.”,
    “God contains all….The whole is greater than its parts…”
    “All that exists is God….”
    The paradox that the God-head is unknowable – the finite cannot know the Infinite – yet we can know God
    SOURCE Baha’i writings – BWF p.364., PT 23 27, AB in London p22 & the paradox is HERE

    “A man may converse with the ego within him saying: “May I do this? Would it be advisable for me to do this work?” Such as this is conversation with the higher self”. – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

    Buddhism: The great Master Dogen said,
    “To study the Buddha Way is to study the self, to study the self is to forget the self, and to forget
    the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things.” To be enlightened by the ten thousand things is to recognize the unity of the self and the ten thousand things. from Zen Buddhist writings.

    Christianity: Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is single, your whole body is full of light; but if it is hurtful, your body is full of darkness. (Luke 11:34)
    If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. (Psalm 139:8)

    Hinduism:
    “Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the
    individual self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the
    self same tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the
    tree; the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes.

    “The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the
    divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he
    recognizes the worshipful Lord as his own true Self, and
    beholds his glory, he grieves no more.” from the Hindu Bhagavad Gita
    -0-
    Having realized the Self, which is soundless, intangible, formless,
    undecaying, and likewise tasteless, eternal, and odorless; having
    realized That which is without beginning and end, beyond the Great,
    and unchanging–one is freed from the jaws of death. Katha Upanishad 1.3.15

    Judaism:
    The search for reason ends at the shore of the known;
    on the immense expanse beyond it
    only the sense of the ineffable can glide.
    It alone knows the route to that
    which is remote from experience and understanding.

    Neither is amphibious:
    reason cannot go beyond the shore,
    and the sense of the ineffable
    is out of place where we measure, where we weigh…….

    Citizens of two realms, we must all sustain dual allegiance:
    we sense the ineffable in one realm;
    we name and exploit reality in another.
    Between the two we set up a system of references,
    but can never fill the gap. – A J Heschel

    Sufi/Islam: “When you know yourself, your “I-ness” vanishes & you know that you & God are one & the same.” Ibn ‘Arabi

    And
    For no reason
    I turn into a leaf
    That is carried so high
    I kiss the sun’s mouth
    And dissolve.

    And
    For no reason
    A thousand birds
    Choose my head for a conference table,
    Start passing their
    Cups of wine
    And their wild songbooks all around.

    And
    For every reason in existence
    I begin to eternally,
    To eternally laugh and love!

    When I turn into a leaf
    And start dancing,
    I run to kiss our beautiful Friend
    And I dissolve in the Truth
    That I Am. Hafiz/ Trans. Ladinsky – http://allspirit.co.uk/quotations/nondual-quotations-2/

    Taoism: The tao that can be told
    is not the eternal Tao
    The name that can be named
    is not the eternal Name.

    The unnamable is the eternally real.
    Naming is the origin
    of all particular things.

    Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
    Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

    Yet mystery and manifestations
    arise from the same source….. Written by Lao-tzu – Chapter 1 from a translation by S. Mitchell
    -0-
    The life-long breath-mantra “Yahweh,” is the preeminent portal to the Nondual state of being

    VER as at 1st July 2016

     
  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 1:03 pm on June 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advaita, direct experience, , experiential, neo-advaita, , Peter's Pearls, Scott Kiloby   

    Scott Kiloby: Daily Pointers to Enlightenment -‘The One and the many’ – duality and Nonduality 

    Scott Kiloby: Daily Pointers to Enlightenment -‘The One and the many’

    Our session in our One Garden group yesterday was a pointing to Nonduality. When I got home I found the piece below in my email inbox. As with most of his 365 pieces in his book ‘Reflections on the One Life; daily pointers to enlightenment’ it is simple, clear and profound – and therefore valuable.

    “The One and the Many
    Oneness includes the many. Non-duality is not only a realization of the formless realm or non-conceptual awareness, but also a recognition that form is none other than formlessness. Form includes people, jobs, relationships, ideas, feelings and all other things. So what is the difference between living life as a separate self and living life from non-dual realization?

    The only real difference is that instead of believing that you are a person separate from the rest of life, there is a recognition that what you are in the deepest sense is (RP? delete ‘is’?) an unnamable presence. That presence is also the essence of everything you see. In that way, what you are is not separate from the rest of life. This seeing reveals a natural compassion, love, peace, and joy.

    Your very essence is spacious awareness. This spacious awareness is prior to the story of being a separate person. But don’t let the realization stay there. See that the nothingness of awareness is appearing as absolutely everything.

    As soon as the mind starts to associate non-duality only with nothingness, it is holding onto an idea about non-duality. That is not non-duality. Although the word “non-duality” is an idea, it is pointing to reality itself. In reality, form and formlessness are not two. The One is appearing as the many. Don’t try to grasp that intellectually. Look to where the words are pointing in your direct experience.”

    ~ From: Reflections of the One Life, by Scott Kiloby http://www.kiloby.com/

    -0-

    I gratefully receive Scott’s reflections from Peter’s Pearls – Web Site: http://www.peterspearls.com.au

    I bought my copy from Amazon – if you are in the USA its HERE – https://www.amazon.com/Reflections-One-Life-Pointers-Enlightenment-ebook/dp/B00472O78S/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1467259446&sr=8-4&keywords=kiloby#nav-subnav

     
  • Roger - Dr Roger Prentice 5:54 am on June 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: beyond words, , Divine Philosophy, , intuition, , , Rumi,   

    Communion beyond words, prayer as 'conversation with God' meditation as speaking with your own spirit 

    ‘Abdu’l-Bahá says,

    1. “I have the greatest desire to speak with you, but if I do not talk with my tongue I commune with my heart and my soul is with you. Without the medium of words it speaks to you of mysteries. Those who understand can converse with me thus for night and day I cry, “Yá Bahá El-Bahá,” and I proclaim the kingdom of BAHA‘O‘LLAH so that intelligent hearts can understand the significance.

    Those turned toward the kingdom perceive the light of BAHA‘O‘LLAH; but if they are not turned, even should I address them in eloquent and resonant words, it would be like playing a marvelous instrument for the deaf.

    Thanks be to God, your hearts and intelligence are awakened, so that you hear the divine mention night and day, I hope that you understand what I say, that you comprehend the praises of BAHA‘O‘LLAH, for I have no aim save to proclaim the kingdom of El-Bahá; I have no occupation save to explain the book of BAHA‘O‘LLAH. My hope in you is great, that the song may penetrate.”
    (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 119-120)

    2 “In His talks ‘Abdu’l-Bahá describes prayer as ‘Conversation with God‘, and concerning meditation He says that ‘while you meditate you are speaking with your own spirit. In that state of mind you put certain questions to your spirit and the spirit answers: the light breaks forth and the reality is revealed.”
    (Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 540)

    RUMI
    It seems that Rumi said something very similar;

    There is a voice that doesn’t use words.
    Listen.
    ~ Rumi (allegedly)

    QUESTIONS:
    1 How are we to understanding this communing with heart and soul?
    2 Who is the you? What is your ‘own spirit’ if it is separate from the ‘you’? Is there definitely the definite article implication of ‘your’ in ‘your spirit’ in the original language – might it be just ‘spirit’?

     
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