The TAT Forum: a spiritual magazine of essays, poems and humor.

TAT Forum

July 2021

TAT August In-Person Gathering: Love, Friendship, and the Return Home. August 13-15, 2021.

August in-person spiritual gathering details


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Convictions & Concerns

TAT members share their personal convictions and/or concerns

Notes on Between-ness

Often overlooked in Richard Rose’s writings is the concept and practice of Between-ness—that feeling one may associate with rapport, reflective meditation or prayer, intuition or deep insight. It arises at many points in life, often spontaneously, revealing something directly to the mind, beyond thought. In retrospect, it is key. It is a condition that all the efforts on the path seek to bring about.

What conditions seemingly make Between-ness more likely? Richard Rose dedicated an entire book to the topic, Energy Transmutation, Between-ness and Transmission. The order of the topics in the title is intentional and meaningful. Bart Marshall articulated four factors that facilitate Between-ness in his paper, “Ultimate Between-ness.” These and others’ writings on the topic are more articulate and complete than this note.

Reflecting on my own search, commonalities appear present, but not a formula, where Between-ness has manifested spontaneously. Read this with the knowledge that there is an element of personal experimentation and reflection by the reader upon their own search to identify the feeling referred to as Between-ness.

One common element has been a circumstance presenting an unsolvable question of truly intense personal interest (a philosophical or personal question.) This turns the vector of attention toward truth. And to that end, the question was addressed by an application of dynamic mental energy and thinking aimed at resolution of the unsolvable and was followed by an effort at intuition in the form of a rapport sitting....

See the complete essay.

quill icon

~ Thanks to Mike Gegenheimer. Would you like to share your impressions or questions with other TAT Forum readers? (Comments and questions may be selected for future Reader Commentary inclusions, identified with first name and first letter of last name or other attribution of your choice.) Please email your impressions/questions to the .


TAT Foundation News

It's all about "ladder work" – helping and being helped

Call To Action For TAT Forum Readers

With the intention of increasing awareness of TAT's meetings, books, and Forum among younger serious seekers, the TAT Foundation is now on Instagram (@tatfoundation).

You can help! A volunteer is producing shareable text-quote and video content of Richard Rose and TAT-adjacent teachers. We need your suggestions for short, provocative 1-3 sentence quotes or 1 minute or less video clips of people like Rose, Art Ticknor, Bob Fergeson, Tess Hughes, Bob Cergol, Bart Marshall, Shawn Nevins, Anima Pundeer, Norio Kushi, Paul Rezendes, Paul Constant, & other favorites. (See below for an example).

Please send favorite inspiring/irritating quotes—from books you have by those authors, from the TAT Forum, or any other place—to . If you have favorite parts of longer videos (ex: from a talk at a past TAT meeting), please email a link to the video and a timestamp.

Thank you!

Project: Beyond Mind, Beyond Death II

BMBD cover image TAT Press's Beyond Mind, Beyond Death (BMBD), published in 2008, covers selections from the first seven years of the TAT Forum, from November 2000 to December 2007.

We've had 14 additional years of monthly TAT Forum issues since then. And we're getting ready to launch a project to solicit recommendations from all readers for a 2nd volume of BMBD from the seven years of monthly issues spanning January 2008 to December 2014.

Our approach will be to have a brief, interactive survey each week for participants to rate the items in one issue of the Forum for inclusion in volume II. That will take about 20 months, during which time volunteer co-editors Abhay D. and Michael R. will arrange the selections into chapters and organize the book's contents. Within 2 years BMBD II should be available in paperback and e-book formats.

Your participation to any extent practical for you will help the best formulation of Beyond Mind, Beyond Death II. If you haven't opted-in for participation notices, you can sign up at BMBD_II.htm, where you also can find links to all active surveys.

Random rotation of
TAT Foundation Books & Videos

2021 TAT Meeting Calendar

February 6, 2021
April 10-11, 2021
June 12-13, 2021
* August 13-15, 2021 *
September ??, 2021
November 5-7, 2021

Until 2020, TAT held four in-person meetings each year: one in April, one in November, and two in the months between April and November. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, all four meetings for 2020 were held online.

We started 2021 with a one-day virtual gathering on Saturday, February 6th, followed by a virtual gathering on Saturday and Sunday, April 10 and 11. Our next gathering was a virtual gathering on Saturday and Sunday, June 12 and 13.

We will be reverting back to in-person weekend gatherings with our August meeting. See Love, Friendship, and the Return Home for details and registration.

We're looking into having another online gathering in September ... possibly adding future online gatherings in February and September to supplement our four in-person gatherings. Comments or questions? Please email .


The following video recordings of presentations from a previous April TAT meeting are available on YouTube:

Richard Rose spent his life searching for the Truth, finding it, and teaching others to find their Way. Although not well known to the public, he touched the lives of thousands of spiritual seekers through his books and lectures and through personal contacts with local study groups that continue to work with his teachings today. Meet Richard Rose is a 34-minute audio recording of an audiovisual presentation by Michael Whitely at the August 2017 TAT meeting that explores the arc of Richard Rose's life as seeker, finder, family man, and teacher.

Downloadable/rental versions of the Mister Rose video and of April TAT talks Remembering Your True Desire (details).

door on TAT Community Building 2010

See TAT's Facebook page.
Photo of TAT's open door by Phil Franta.

Local Group News

Amsterdam coat of arms Update for the Amsterdam, NL Self-Inquiry Group:
The group is not holding meetings currently, but email for information.

Update from the Central New Jersey Group:
In a change from our regular meeting format, our group invited a guest to work with us on the topic of “poems which inspire us.” Our guest, Abhay D, had each member read their poem, and helped the member inquire more deeply into themselves, through follow-up questions. A productive meeting!
      Some of the poems shared: “Friendship” by Richard Rose; “If,” Rudyard Kipling; “Nirvana Shatakam,” Shankara; “O me! O Life!” by Walt Whitman; “A Psalm of Life,” Longfellow.
      Abhay shared poems “How I became a Warrior” by Jeff Foster and also some amazing poems written by his own hand. Thank you Abhay!
      We hold regular Zoom meetings on Friday evenings. ~ Contact: www.facebook.com/groups/429437321740752.

Update from the Central Ohio Non-Duality Group:
The Columbus, Ohio self-inquiry group, now known as the Central Ohio Non-Duality Group, has continued to meet virtually on Tuesday evenings at 6:30PM during the Coronavirus pandemic. Please email one of the people's names below if you wish to get a link to the meeting. Meeting format involves discussion of topics of interest to seekers and often bridges from the concerns, questions and interests of the core members in attendance into the topic which we intend to discuss. We look forward to the easing of restrictions to the point where we feel comfortable meeting again in person. ~ For further information, contact , , or . We're also on Facebook.

Irish clover Update from the Dublin, Ireland self-inquiry group:
We meet every second Wednesday on Zoom. We are working using two different approaches. The first is the standard confrontation approach of people giving an update on what was coming for them in the previous period, in terms of their path. The second is the distribution of a piece in advance for reflection. We will continue in this vein for the time being, using either a general update or a piece for reflection shared in advance. ~ Contact for more information.

email icon crystal Update from the email self-inquiry groups:
The Women's Online Confrontation (WOC) group consists of weekly reports where participants can include:
     > What is on your mind?
     > Any projects that you want to be held accountable for?
     > Responses to a selected excerpt (in the previous report).
     > Comments/responses/questions for other participants.
     A philosophical/spiritual excerpt with two or three questions is included in each report. Based on what we share, participants ask questions to help get clarity about our thinking. The intention is to help each other see our underlying beliefs about who we are.
     One rule we try to adhere to is not to give advice or solve problems. The number of participants, to make it work efficiently, is between 4 and 7 including the leader.
We had two new folks join in February, resulting in two men's groups with 8 participants in each. They (the weekly exchanges, not the participants :-) function like slow-motion self-inquiry confrontation meetings, which has its pros and cons. We alternate by asking each other questions one week then answering them the following week. We're currently trying to keep it to each of us asking just one question to each participant--switching from a shotgun to a rifle approach. Participants provide brief updates of highlights from the previous week and optional updates on progress toward objectives that they use the reports for accountability on.
Both the women's and the men's email groups welcome serious participants. ~ Contact or for more information.

Update from the Gainesville, FL self-inquiry group:
Our meetings at the Alachua County library on alternate Sundays are still suspended while the library remains closed. In the meantime, the regular participants are saying hello to each other via email every Sunday, sharing whatever is on our minds. ~ Email or for more information.

   TAT Press publishes three of Art's books: Solid Ground of Being: A Personal Story of the Impersonal, Beyond Relativity: Transcending the Split Between Knower & Known and Sense of Self: The Source of All Existential Suffering?

The Gainesville self-inquiry group is planning a five-day intensive retreat at the new TAT center in Hurdle Mills, NC on Sunday-Friday, Aug. 8–13 preceding the Aug. 13–15 TAT gathering.
The theme will be "The Return Home".
      All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, And I intend to end up there.... [Rumi, "The Tavern"]. ~ E-mail for more information.

Update from Galway, Ireland:
Tess Hughes is currently working with seekers one-to-one and holding occasional group self-inquiry retreats. Anyone who's interested in self-inquiry activity in Ireland is welcome to contact .

   TAT Press publishes Tess's easy to read, profound This Above All, the story of her journey of Self-Discovery.

Update from the newly listed GMT Support Group for Seekers:
We meet every Sunday gmt 17.30, live on Google Meet. Rapport and confrontation, talk and exchange. Someone mostly brings a theme, like a text, poem or whatever to set the mood. Then 10 minutes of silent rapport after which everyone gets their turn on the "hot seat" for 10-15 minutes—the group listens to what the person has to say about the theme then asks friendly questions—depending on how many participants we are. The questioning is aimed at providing material for self-inquiry. There have been sessions in which we just chatted, but that is more the exception. ~ Contact

Update from the Greensburg, PA self-inquiry group:
I am meeting every Saturday morning with three of my former Greensburg SIG group participants who are into non-dualist paths, such as Adyashanti and Mooji. There is also another participant, a professional psychologist who is interested in eastern philosphy and who wasn't in my SIG group but makes a great addition to our proceedings. These fellows are sincere seekers. We spend our time discussing our respective paths and comparing notes. Our new venue is a place called the White Rabbit Cafe in Greensburg. I'm hoping that the lull here has ended and that we're ready to be more dynamic again. ~ Contact if interested in local self-inquiry meetings.

An update from the self-inquiry group in Houston, TX:
The backyard patio meetings are now moved to Zoom meetings, which take place at 4 pm on Saturdays. There are 3 active and inspired participants right now. Topics vary from Mr. Rose's writings to "What is on your mind?" ~ Contact for more information.

"Ignoramuses Anonymous" blog
Ignoramuses Anonymous is for seekers to explore questions together…a fellowship of seekers for whom ignorance of the absolute truth had become a major problem. It started as a blog for Pittsburgh PSI meeting members back in 2009. Welcoming discussion on the path.
To get notices of new posts, you can subscribe by RSS feed or by email.

   See the 2020/11/28 post: Four-day isolation retreat at TAT Center, with photos and YouTube clips.

Update from the Lynchburg, VA self-inquiry group:
We have been meeting on Thursday evenings from 7pm - 8:30pm, online, via zoom. Norio Kushi, Paul Rezendes, and Bob Harwood are consistent guests. We've also had some other interesting characters show up from time to time. Topics come from readings or questions brought up by our members. These are sent out, along with the zoom invitation each week. Recently we posted some "considerations" for joining our group:
** Try to frame your comments as questions to Norio, Paul, or Bob. Draw these questions from you own experience rather than generalities. Maintain attention and discussion on the question rather than philosophical musings.
** Question other participants, in the spirit of group-assisted self inquiry, but without attempting to lead them to any particular conclusion or bring attention to yourself.
**Allow for and attend to the silence and the space that is always present. When you aren't speaking, see that as your role - to hold that space.
**Question, in yourself, the use of personal story-telling and quoting others - though sometimes both are helpful and appropriate.
**Consider the way in which you are listening. Does it have a quality of acquisitiveness or openness?
**Continue to question your own intention for coming to this meeting and let that guide any comments/questions/discussion.
~ Please contact or if you're interested in being on the email list.

Update from the New York City self-inquiry group:
The New York City Self-Inquiry group meets by Zoom every Monday from 6-8 PM EST. The link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3098361863?pwd=anY5OFlMT0pNMld6VXJDb0Z2SjY0UT09. For those joining by phone, the number is +1 929 205 6099 US (New York), with Meeting ID: 309 836 1863, and Passcode: 895478. More details, as well as our weekly discussion topics, are available on our MeetUp page (link above) and via email at .

Update for the Online Self-Inquiry Book Club:
The book club is meeting weekly to discuss previous TAT Forums as they are the focus for the Beyond Mind Beyond Death II project. It’s also meeting monthly on Richard Rose's Psychology of the Observer: The Path to Reality Through the Self by John Kent and will sync up with the new ProBoard book club discussion board on the Kent publication. ~ For more information on book club participation, see the meeting website (link above). TAT Forum readers are welcome to drop in any time.

Update from the recently listed Online Video Confrontation Group:
The Monday Night Online Confrontation Group is going strong with a core group of participants and room for a few more. Now meeting at 7:30 pm EST (previously at 7 pm), using the online video conference platform from Zoom. The goal of the group is to practice confrontation/group self-inquiry. ~ If you're interested, email or .

   Isaac and AJ interviewed Art Ticknor on their Plant Cunning Podcast series, where they "invite herbalists, ethnobotanists, farmers, mages, fungi experts, community organizers and all kinds of other interesting people to the microphone to share their wisdom and experiences with us": Self Realization with Art Ticknor.

Update from the Pittsburgh, PA self-inquiry group:
=> Book discussion of Be As You Are Ramana Maharshi dialogues: Richard Grizinski leads the Monday study group, continuing on July 12 with Ch11: "Mantras and japa"; July 26 Ch12: "Life in the World." Email selfinquirer (link below) to receive an on-going Zoom invitation for Monday meetings.
=> Online group confrontation and individual contributions every Wednesday, 8:00 pm via Zoom:
- Wed, June30: Pgh participant Liora will monitor the topic "Why Do We Meet?"
- Wed, July 7: Abhay returns to host: "Being ruthlessly honest with yourself, what is it that you truly want?"
- Wed, July 14: Mike R, Richmond, VA will host: “What do your actions and reactions say about your self beliefs?”
- Wed, July 21: Doing Nothing vs. Being Nothing: The Case of the Forgotten Self" article by Art Ticknor.
=> Sun, July 25, 3pm EST: Pittsburgh - joint meeting with the Dublin, Ireland group.
- Wed, July 28: Guest Art Ticknor would like us to talk about "things we don't want to question."
~ All Forum subscribers are welcome to join us. Email to receive weekly topics with preparatory notes and Zoom invitations.

Update from the Portland, OR self-inquiry group:
A small group of us meet most Sundays at a coffee shop. The format for our meetings is to give each person 20 minutes or so to talk about whatever is coming up for them in their practice and to answer questions from the others. ~ Email for more information.

Update from the Raleigh, NC Triangle Inquiry Group:
The group is starting up again after a hiatus, now with Zoom online meetings. ~ Email for details.

Update for the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area TAT Center:
Bob Fergeson spent a year as resident teacher before returning to Colorado in March. Mark Wintgens continues as our chief-seeker in residence and invaluable caretaker. He is looking forward to hosting retreats and meetings for local group members as well as all TAT seekers. And TAT is looking forward to the possibility of hosting the August 2021 TAT meeting at the Center. ~ Email for information about the TAT Center.

Update from the Richmond Self Inquiry Group:
There isn't a Richmond self inquiry group at the moment…it never really got off the ground. I'm considering a few different approaches for round three, but it'll be at least a few months away before that takes form. ~ Email for information about future meetings and events.

Update from the San Francisco Bay area self-inquiry group:
See the Shawn Nevins interview by Iain McNay of Conscious.tv, kicking off the publication of Shawn's book Subtraction: The Simple Math of Enlightenment. ~ Email for information about upcoming meetings and events.

   TAT Press publishes Shawn's Images of Essence: The Standing Now, which features his poems with photos by Bob Fergeson, The Celibate Seeker: An Exploration of Celibacy as a Modern Spiritual Practice, Subtraction: The Simple Math of Enlightenment, and Hydroglyphics: Reflections on the Sacred, which features his poems with photos by Phaedra Greenwood.

Update from the Washington DC Area Self-Inquiry Discussion Group:
[This group was previously listed as the Rockville, MD self-inquiry group.] We've been meeting monthly at Rockville, MD Memorial Library. While the library is closed for public health reasons, we're participating more in a weekly online book club. Forum readers are welcome to participate. ~ For more information, please email or see the website http://firstknowthyself.org/virtual/.

Members-Only Area

A password-protected section of the website is available for TAT members. The area contains information on product discounts for members as well as a substantial amount of helpful and historical information, including audio recordings, Newsletter archives, Retrospect archives, policies, conference proceedings, business meeting notes, photographs, and suggestions for ways to help.

TAT's August 2019 Workshop was titled Beyond Mindfulness: Meditation and the Path Within and included three guest speakers who each led separate workshops. The following audio recordings are now available in the members-only website area:

TAT's June 2019 Spiritual Retreat Weekend was titled Between You and the Infinite. The following audio recordings are now available in the members-only website area:

TAT's April 2019 Spiritual Retreat Weekend was titled Once in a Lifetime is Now. The following audio recordings are now available in the members-only website area:

TAT's August 2018 Workshop was titled Beyond Imagination and included three guest speakers who each led separate workshops. The following audio recordings are now available in the members-only website area:

Please us if you have questions. (Look here for info on TAT membership.)

Amazon and eBay

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As an Amazon Associate TAT earns from qualifying purchases made through links on our website.

TAT has registered with the eBay Giving Works program. You can list an item there and select TAT to receive a portion of your sale. Or if you use the link and donate 100% of the proceeds to TAT, you won't pay any seller fees when an item sells and eBay will transfer all the funds to TAT for you. Check out our Giving Works page on eBay. Click on the "For sellers" link on the left side of that page for details.

Your Contributions to TAT News

TAT founder Richard Rose believed that working with others accelerates our retreat from untruth. He also felt that such efforts were most effective when applied with discernment, meaning working with others on the rungs of the ladder closest to our own. The TAT News section is for TAT members to communicate about work they've been doing with or for other members and friends. Please your "ladder work" news.



"One thing you must be able to do in the midst
of any experience is laugh. And experience
should show you that it isn't real, that it's a
movie. Life doesn't take you seriously, so why
take it seriously." ~ Richard Rose, Carillon


Bush '41 and Gorbachev

In fact, Gorbachev had once shared with President George H. W. Bush a little parable about the "egalitarian" tendencies of Russians long before the Soviet period. A peasant finds Aladdin’s lamp, the story goes. "What would you like me to do for you?" the genie asks. "Look at my neighbor. He has a good family, good crops, and the latest means of conveyance," the peasant says. "Look at me," he continues. "My wife is awful, I have no harvest, and I don’t even have a means of conveyance." "So you want me to make your life like his?" the genie asks. "No," the peasant responds. "I want you to make his life like mine."


~ From No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington, by Condoleezza Rice. Photo of President George H. W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev pose for a photo during their meeting in Helsinki (1990)—thanks to Wikimedia Commons.

The Marshmallow Test

The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a study on delayed gratification in 1972 led by psychologist Walter Mischel, a professor at Stanford University. In this study, a child was offered a choice between one small but immediate reward, or two small rewards if they waited for a period of time.

cherries separator

Q: Do you see any parallel with the seeker’s choices between instant gratification and holding out for the possibility of absolute satisfaction?

Comfort Zone

shark cage


~ Photo from TapTrip.jp. Thanks to Dan G.

We enjoy presenting humor here from TAT members and friends. Please your written or graphic creations. Exact sources are necessary for other submissions, since we need to make sure they're either in the public domain or that we have permission to use them.


Inspiration & Irritation

Irritation moves us; inspiration provides a direction

From No-Self to Nowhere

Bernadette Roberts I had no idea where I was or where I was going. If the first part of the journey was, in fact, the movement from self to no-self, this second half was the movement from no-self to nowhere…."

~ Listen to Shawn Nevins reading "How It Works" from Bernadette's The Experience of No-Self in his second Induction Series podcast.

What Do You Want to Become? Q&A

Follow-up questions and answers to Bob Cergol's What Do You Want to Become? presentation at the November 2020 TAT gathering.

Q: You talk about the seeker "becoming" something rather than finding or seeing. What is the difference?

I don’t know where or when I talked about that, not in the writing I sent you—the “rather than” part makes no sense. Anyway, the notion of becoming is paradoxical. I once gave a talk at the community building in WV on becoming, and in that talk I mentioned the path was more rightfully described as un-becoming. You can’t become that which you essentially already are, but the dreamer in the dream can dream that he is a seeker, and by acting accordingly, that character becomes a seeker, and in that seeking, finding entails letting go of attachments, letting them drop away or be stripped away, taken from you—by virtue of seeing clearly. Action impacts the attention. The attention follows it. Action generates thoughts. The attention follows. “Yourself” is revealed and on full display for observation—if you are observing … and in such observing, the attachment is eventually broken. The view is not the viewer…. The observed you is understood as "not you." This is where the battle of self-affirmation vs. -diminishment plays out. A momentum of such observation is needed, in order to counter the self-preservation programming…. Becoming is what you spend your life trying to do—to preserve and affirm self-image, personal growth, etc. Going within entails dropping all of that and seeing what remains when nothing of that “becoming” is left. It is a paradox!....

See the complete Q&A.

Man Carving His Own Destiny Carving One's Own Destiny

A trail is for one. But one has to make it.


Oliver Sacks quote in Insomniac City by Bill Hayes.

~ "Man Carving His Own Destiny" by Albin Polasek. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Just Be Honest

A brief YouTube trailer for a no-longer available 4-DVD set of the 2006 April TAT Conference, "What Is Spiritual Action?" containing thumbnails of five presentations:

  • Three Steps to a Working Spiritual Practice, by Bob Fergeson
  • The Early Teachings of Richard Rose, by Mike Gegenheimer
  • Generating the "Doubt Sensation," by Bob Cergol
  • Is My Hair on Fire Yet?, by Shawn Nevins
  • Look All the Way Through, by Art Ticknor


A look into the past: TAT 15 YEARS AGO. All the presenters are still active in TAT.

Please your thoughts on the above items.


Reader Commentary

Encouraging interactive readership among TAT members and friends

A reader wrote that what would make the Forum more interesting would be:

Hearing from people who are searching – and have questions instead of those providing endless advice and "answers." What challenges they are facing. What their doubts and questions are. How they perceive their path is going. What they are doing in their lives. Where they think they will end up. Etc. etc.

Can you help make the Forum more interesting?

The Reader Commentary question for the July TAT Forum is:

What's your view of intuition?

See last month's Convictions & Concerns section for an essay on Doubting Intuition. Responses follow:

From Topi P:
Intuition is the definite pull
The undefined thought, a whisper unheard but directed, a no-thought
Pulling me from the habits, the habitual circles, circular dreams where happenings occur, showing me the not-way
Pristine shining, pull from the dull, the definite pull, showing me the way, shoving me home.

From Chris P:
Intuition on the path can be like a lighthouse on a misty night with choppy waters. However, don't rely on intuition or even make a big deal of it if your reverse vector movement is crappy.

I can only speak from memories of experience. For years, the search, or the vector or whatever it was that I was calling it, was all just in my head. No real consistency, focus, faith, determination etc.,—you know, the qualities and actions that are required when undertaking any meaningful endeavor. It was all going on in my head. Just mental chatter. Add in a good hard dose of emotionality. If I could go into the past, I would advise a younger me to quit relying on what I thought was intuition, cut the crap, and get down to the brass tacks of applying myself meaningfully.

On the other hand, when there is a momentum, a buildup of charge, the road signs start showing up less and less, you become OK with letting go of things, or maybe you get to the point where the hold of cravings and worries starts to weaken more and more, then, yes, intuition becomes a trusted tool. It will be a trusted friend, so to say, up until the part when even the intuition itself becomes irrelevant. But by then a lot of things become irrelevant.

To get to the point. Become that vehicle, that reverse vector. Lean out, keep at it, stay the course. Don't overly worry about intuition.

From Tess Hughes:
I think of instinct, intellect and intuition as analogously associated with body, mind and spirit/soul.

They are the words we use for the type and content of “knowledge” associated with the different dimensions of ourselves.
Instinct is innate, and automatic. It is genetically pre-programmed into each organism according to the species it belongs to.
The intellect, particular to humans we believe (I am using the word as synonymous with mind here) is the capacity of the individual human to learn and understand its complex and varied environment, both physically and psychologically, in order to survive and thrive. The contents come from the environment, which includes the contents of the minds of others.
Intuition is a different stream of contents, coming from we know not where but which proves useful and “true”. It can be unreliable, or rather, our ability to interpret it can be unreliable. It arrives unbidden. It seems that some folk are better at recognising it and learning to test and trust it. The question arises as to how to recognise it in yourself.
In my experience it sometimes presents as a thought or feeling arising “out of the blue”.
Sometimes it comes in dreams, or synchronicities. It's as if a veil parts momentarily in our perception of mundane reality or mental space and something different appears.
Recently I heard the Irish singer Sinead O Connor talking about how songs arrive to her. They arrive in bits and pieces over time when she is doing something else, like washing the dishes.
I also heard a music composer I know say something similar. Bits of a tune start playing in his head, and later another bit and so on. Eventually it emerges into a cohesive whole. Or it is pieced together, like pieces of a mosaic, into something that makes sense to the receiver.
Obviously, both of these creative people are alert to the possibility of the arrival of such “information”, and they have a way of interpreting it.
For myself, there was a time when I became alert to the possibility of the arrival of what I thought of as “spiritual ideas” or messages from somewhere beyond, the unknown.
It was a question of being hospitable to such messages and paying attention to whatever arises. Over time I became discerning about them. I came to know intuition as it worked or presented itself to me. It was specific to me both in content and in time. I had found a way to interpret these “feelings” in a way that made sense to me.
I saw it as having been given a way to understand and accept a transformation that was taking place in me.
There is nothing general about intuition, or at least not in how I understand it. You have to learn to trust what comes to you. It will reveal itself if you give it time. It does not respond to being rushed or having any demands made on it.
It is a shy visitor!
I think it is what Christians mean by the still small voice. I think of it as having an aura of prescience, a feeling of “what if” or surprising possibility.
It never presented to me as a gut instinct, which is how I often hear it spoken about.

The word intuition is bandied about and I think used to mean different things to different people. What I have written is my way of understanding it, and I make no claim that it is the only way.
Finally, I'd say it is about receiving messages or ideas from we know not where and finding a way to understand them in a way that makes sense to ourselves, the receiver.


Editor's comment: TAT Foundation Press publishes Tess's This Above All: A Journey of Self-Discovery.

From Rob-In Leeds:
The question "What's your view of intuition?" and the article "Doubting Intuition" in the June Forum from Brett S. caused quandary, paradox and conundrum to arise.

Intuition here has mostly been around "trusting my gut", "my instincts" because of job roles, education, training and science-based interests, reading mostly non-fiction, etc.; assumptions are made by others about how rational, logical, precise, pedantic decisions appear here.

The experience here over time shows that the rationalisations, and stories told to justify decisions, are frequently just to enable hunches to sound rational.

The doubting intuition article brought up Rose's "doubt everything but your ability" [to doubt. - Ed.]

The internal noise and perplexity arising from the collision between the article and the question have not stopped reverberating, but to sum up this seeker's current position: These days if you asked me What am I certain about?, the response would be a smug "I am uncertain about most things".

The smugness is revealed to be part of the armour that protective "languaging" and "self-ing" create and construct using beliefs—especially the unconscious ones—to prevent the self-identification being undone.

Instead of rationalising and telling stories about the intuitive self, perhaps I should spend more time observing the self, being instinctive, and following my gut!

From Shawn Nevins:
Intuition: where the grassy edge of a hilltop meets the light blue sky, an edge, a moment pulling us forward into the perfect unknown.
Intuition: a momentary freedom from belief in the primacy of logic.
Intuition: a break in the mental clouds.
Intuition: a product of effort and will plus failure and rest.
Intuition: a signpost on the road of our desire.
Intuition: release
Intuition: source
Intuition: quiet
Intuition: yes

From Amy:
You made a good point in "Doubting Your Intuition." I'm a therapist and have worked with hundreds of people over my 28 years of practice.

I find these are the types of situations where cultural considerations, mindfulness, and awareness of one's triggers or schemas come into play. For example, when the woman got a bad feeling, it was her responsibility to do her processing and ask herself questions like "Am I feeling this way because of past events? Am I feeling this way because this is a trigger?" etc.

I don't think doubting our intuition is wise, but being aware the aforementioned may likely contribute to it being skewed, and self correcting is necessary.

Thanks for an interesting perspective.

From Greg Nicholls / Old man's indulgence:
Intuition is possible action without rationalisation - rationalisation is action from possible solutions.

Intuition is neither right nor wrong until after possible action.

If intuition was more right than wrong it would be impossible not to lose in gambling when using the same stake.

Intuition cannot be cultivated for it is only a possible solution to the unknown.

Intuition is momentary incomplete brain activity, momentary completion in which there is neither controller or control.

Continued from Shawn:
intuition: the mistaken logic of fools
intuition: an excuse
intuition: procrastination
intuition: rationalization

From Anima Pundeer:
I never saw myself as an intuitive person. I couldn’t figure out where to draw the line between intuition, feelings or thoughts. Inexperienced and ignorant me concluded that if I can’t put my finger on something then it is simply a creation of my mundane mind rationalizing its decisions. Based on life experiences, data, or rational mind, I saw intuition merely as common sense.

Now that I am older (painful to admit!), I can see how Intution is the faculty between self and the inner guru. It comes from the wiser, more internal and deeper part of our self. It is not sensory, emotional or intellectual mind, but superior ... though we may fail to recognize it as such and confuse it as emotive feelings or rational thoughts.

Mr. Rose advised seekers to develop their intuition. How do you expect to go inward, on a spiritual journey, with the tools that are meant to operate outwards. Just like everything else, as soon as you start to pay attention to your intuition, it starts to get stronger. Your inner guru starts to communicate with the ego/you. Intuition is what tells you what to do and then self/ego figures out how to do.

Beliefs come from ego and direct knowing—without a shade of doubt, with complete conviction, even when we may not have any idea why—comes from Intuition.

From Dan G:
Intuition is a term used in more than spiritual seeking. For example, at work, sometimes I need to discern does a presenter know more or less about a topic than I do? That starts with a mix of emotions, prejudices, and intuition and then additional information informs that intuition.

In that sense, intuition is different than emotion, prejudice, rationalization, and imagination. It’s a wise perception, informed by first-hand experience, and improved by testing it and acting on it.

Where intuition matters most would be on what I want most. What is the Truth? What is the path from here to the Truth? Is an inspiration a helpful next move or better procrastinated to find what I most want?

Most people’s intuitions aren’t functioning as well. They think there is no path to Truth. I believed that until I intuited I could know the Truth.

Intuition can come out of the blue or it can come as a response to a request for guidance. Asking a question I wish I knew in a prayer-like way can sometimes bring on wisdom I need.

From Beau:
I don't really have a clear concept of intuition. I don't use that word much in my own talking to myself, I don't think. I guess I do things sometimes based on hunches or feelings, or I think I do, and maybe sometimes I call those intuitions (I don't remember for sure?). Sometimes I probably start a sentence off with "My intuition is that..." but often that's maybe just fancy code for "I believe that..."

From Art Ticknor:
I see intuition as a mental process, seemingly on the other side of the brain from the decision-making process and much more sophisticated, with a broader scope of satisfaction and survival, often operating below the level of conscious view, triggered by sensory and extrasensory input, and accessing the database of our entire life experience.

From Gus R:
Certainty should be the lowest, or perhaps the highest, item on your wish list. We may assert that certainty is the goal of all our thinking, but in actuality it becomes like a coating that our mind pursues through all its functioning to convince itself of both its legitimacy and its very existence. For most people, the latter becomes the form of certainty for which we live. The seeker's path is one of uncertainty, as the path leads increasingly into the vagueness of subtleties too elusive for mind and ego to identify with or grasp by thinking. In order to seek or face our Source, there seems to be a form of motion implied, as if to pass through and further into uncertainty, and our first line of guidance may be that of intuition, but only if it is acknowledged. Maybe there is some direction away from small 'c' certainty and with an intensity at the level of our intent or commitment to find some final Certainty. Intuition may itself be vague and more often misinterpreted. It could provide both means and guidance but only through being critically accepted, and sharpened.

Why would I need to know if that was a thug walking up behind me? Mind wants to know. Why does a martial artist want eyes on the back of his head? Why does the old gal with a crystal ball at the circus want to be able to tell the future? And what does the seeker really really want? Could it be that intuition is the grace that every seeker seeks, and though at times we may fear the lack of certainty, is in actuality the very means to be led away from certainty?

Next Month

The Reader Commentary question for the August TAT Forum is:

What's your "desert island" book? The one book you would take with you.

~ Thanks to Shawn N. for this question. Please your responses by the 25th of July and indicate your preferred identification (the default is your first name and the initial letter of your last name).

PS: What question(s) would you like to ask other TAT Forum readers?

Q: What are your thoughts on this month's reader commentary? Please your feedback.

Richard Rose described a spiritual path as living one's life aimed at finding the meaning of that life. Did you find anything relevant to your life or search in this month's TAT Forum?

poisson saturne strange attractor

Poisson Saturne Strange Attractor from Wikimedia Commons. "An attractor is defined as the smallest unit which cannot be itself decomposed into two or more attractors with distinct basins of attraction. This restriction is necessary since a dynamical system may have multiple attractors, each with its own basin of attraction." ~ From Wolfram MathWorld.

We like hearing from you! Please your comments, suggestions, inquiries, and submissions.

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Founder's Wisdom

Richard Rose (1917-2005) established the TAT Foundation
in 1973 to encourage people to work together on what
he considered to be the "grand project" of spiritual work.

More Quotes & Notes on Action
Continued from the June 2021 TAT Forum

“Fight like hell but don’t give a damn.”


“Allow yourself to think—don’t force it. Let yourself be inspired. Even if you don’t know the source of inspiration, it doesn’t matter.”


“There’s no place to look, no place to go. Incessant looking is the only sure factor. No task is justifiable until a person has defined himself. Definition is the first task.”


“Anyone can be aware that they are conscious, but it requires a realization to be conscious or aware of awareness.”


“Don’t be too self critical because it can become a major mental time consumer in itself. Just watch and function as a vector.”


A person must not only set his mind to do something, but he must avoid all distractions, even the smallest. For example, while meditating, you might decide you’re thirsty and want a glass of water, but once you break the meditation, you won’t get back to it. The mind tires—your direction is opposed.


“A man can have an experience through trauma, or by being an extremely sensitive individual, or through an intense search for Truth.”


“One of the greatest forces of adversity is logic and definition. Our definition of an object is based on what it is not. We do not adequately define the object, but accept as fact that which someone else says. If we cannot even define an ant, how can we expect to define Truth? In seeking relative truth, we need to do a little more questioning rather than accepting. And hopefully the questioning will lead to a direct perception of Truth.”


“A person will not experience a breakthrough until he encounters a series of disasters and challenges, and then he must act against those challenges.”


“You will go nowhere until you teach.”


“Attempting to form a spiritual group is never a total failure, because even if things don’t work out, you will have learned from your mistakes.”


It is best not to advocate a discipline—just remove obstacles. Disciplines become mechanistic.


“Profound philosophical ideas cannot be conveyed by a spiritual teacher, because the student soon forgets. The student must have realizations and experience change for himself, then he will never forget.”


In order to die properly, a person must go to the process of not caring, not fearing, not fighting. You cannot prepare for death—can you prepare for stepping off an abyss? This correlates to most true philosophical systems, which aim toward stopping the mind. Results cannot be predicted, though, when the mind finally stops.


“The desire for Truth gets a response from the other side, whether it be guardian angels, entities, or dead relatives. You get a response if you call loud enough.”


See Paul's SearchWithin.org website.

Definition of Terms

cherries separator

Index of many of the key terms and principles in Rose's work, with brief definitions, from Richard Rose's Psychology of the Observer: The Path to Reality Through the Self by John Kent.

Jacob's Ladder (Richard Rose diagram)

Jacob's Ladder © 2001 Richard Rose. See this transcript of a talk on the topic by Rose.

Homing Ground Update

… A spot on earth where people can do retreats and hold
meetings; where the emphasis is on friendship and the search.

Hurdle Mills new home for TAT

July 2021:

  • The August TAT meeting will be live at the TAT Center!
  • Fundraising goal for 2021:
    • Repayment of short-term loans totaling $37,500
    • Repairs to HVAC system: $4,000
    • We've raised $883 (2.1%) of our goal, so we need a concerted effort by our members and friends to reach $41,500. On the plus side, thanks to two generous donors, the TAT Center now has a new riding lawn mower and cart!
  • Projects nearing completion for 2021:
    • Finishing the interior of the meeting room in preparation for holding our first TAT meeting at the Center

expanded meeting room exterior finished


Let's bring this to life! "The job is upon us," Richard Rose said, "and it is worthwhile." To contribute to the TAT Center, mail a check made out to the TAT Foundation to:

TAT Foundation
PO Box 873
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

Big checks, little checks, all are welcome. Or use the PayPal link above (though we lose 2.2% of your donation to PayPal fees).

* See photos and more on the Homing Ground page. *

In friendship,
Shawn Nevins
on behalf of the TAT Trustees

TAT gathering

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