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

June 2006

Essays, poems, opinions and humor on seeking
and finding answers to your deepest life-questions

This month's contents:

Golden Crab Apples by Ann Swan Golden Crab Apples by Ann Swan www.annswan.co.uk

Doing and Being (part 1) by Shawn Nevins | Poems by Shawn Nevins | You Cannot Shape the Truth by Joseph Sadony | Praying Our Way Through Doubt by Fredrick Zydek | Meeting Richard Rose: 1978 (part 2) by Art Ticknor | Easter Sunday by Gary Harmon | Your Dominant Decision-Making Process by Bob Fergeson | Humor

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Want to meet some of the Forum authors in person? Interested in meeting other Forum readers? The next TAT meeting will be held on the weekend of June 9-11. Watch for more information on the meeting schedule and programs.

View video clips of the TAT spring conference DVDs: "Beyond Mind, Beyond Death" and "What Is Spiritual Action?"

Doing and Being:
Exploring the painful paradox of how looking at
what we are not leads us to discover what we are (part 1)

by Shawn Nevins

~ The following transcript is from the presentation made by Shawn at the April 2003 TAT Spring Gathering.

In just a little bit, I'd like to help you understand where I'm coming from. I got started in this business of self-inquiry, self-knowledge, whatever you want to call it, in 1990 with the Self Knowledge Symposium. I was down there about three years working with them, and uh, then I actually moved up, lived on Mr. Rose's farm for about three years. And about that time, his Alzheimer's started affecting his ability to teach, and I decided to move off the farm and for about three years I lived up in Weirton, just about an hour north of here.

I think it's important, and someone mentioned earlier, about the importance of finding a teacher or someone that you get a sense of Presence from. And that is what I remember from Mr. Rose, and that is the gift that he gave to me, is a feeling that there was something more real than I knew. And all I knew was that it was out there, and that it was something that I remembered. And when I moved away from the farm and I no longer had access to him, it was something I tried to find on my own, and I spent about three years basically looking for some way to find within myself what, as someone said earlier, they felt was coming from him.

Shawn Nevins presenting at the April 2003 conference I spent a lot of time hiking outdoors, trying to read inspirational material, trying my hand at writing poems, anything I could think of to try to turn within and find that sense that I got from him. And basically, I didn't have too much luck with that, and I got really, uh, depressed isn't really the right word, but really frustrated, and I decided to move out to Texas. Also, thanks to some of the wonders of biochemistry, I had a pituitary disorder that for several years had left me in a sort of a state of low-level fatigue. And that was actually cured when I was living up in Weirton, and I had a huge surge of "I want to go out and do something and prove myself to the world." I decided to go out to Texas, and make a lot of money and see what that was like. So I pretty much put this business of looking inside, behind me, and moved out to Texas, but I felt like I did want to at least leave a record of the people that I had met that I had found, that I thought were valuable. And I still believed that the search was a very valuable thing to do with your life, even though I hadn't found anything.

So I moved out there and started working on the Spiritual Teachers website, and for some reason or another, a part of what happened to me was that for the first time in my life I did something for other people. And that something, that was as close as I could come to selfless action, was building that website. I really poured myself into that. Around the time I was working on that, I had something happen for me: you would call an 'understanding', a 'realization', whatever you want to call it. But it answered the thing that had haunted me. The thing that Mr. Rose had left for me, I found inside of me. Since that time I've tried and struggled to find the words to communicate to other people, to try to give some sense of the way that I see the world or the way the world is. And so that's what I'd like to try to do with this hour that we have.

I think that, I was joking with Art and some other people a few minutes ago, that I was going to talk about effort, and the importance of effort in the search. (laughter) And uh, I am going to touch upon that some, but I think that you will see the effortlessness of the non-action in what I'm going to talk about, and I hope to give you a sense of that.

I think people need to be honest with themselves, and to ask themselves how long they're going to hold onto things that they hold onto. How long are you going to hold onto the people that you love? How long are you going to hold onto the things that you desire, the things that you own? How long are you going to hold onto your anger? Your misery? How long are you going to hold onto the beauty in the world? And there's tremendous beauty in the world and realizing that is part of the spiritual search. Finding peace is part of the spiritual search, and it's a step along the way. You really need to ask yourself, "How long can you hold onto those things? How long will those things last?

I recommend that folks, if you don't, go outside tonight (and it's something I used to do a lot), go outside by yourself, pick a clear night, and just look up. And look at what you see, and think about your relationship to that sky up there, and try and get some sense of your place in this universe—some sense of your importance against that perspective.

April 2003 TAT conference I was reading a little bit, it was a paper about the history of the earth, and it said something about the earth having been here for about 4.5 billion years let's say. And if you put that on a 24-hour clock, then all of recorded human history is something like a tenth of the last second before midnight. And that's how long all of our recorded history is, and your life is some fraction of that that I can't even understand. And if you look around you, you have some 4.5 billion years of living that we're standing on. Those numbers may not mean a whole lot to you, but I think if you take some time to get a perspective, if you go out at night, you may get some perspective on your life and its place. I think that a key to the spiritual search, I think, is honesty; a key is desire. You've got to have earnestness, you've got to have a drive toward this, and paradoxically, or ironically, I think that desire comes from hope, and that hope actually comes from hopelessness.

I think some folks sometimes think I'm a little dour sometimes in my view towards the search. But I think you need to understand that to say something like "hopelessness"—when you look at your life and you think that "there's no meaning to my life, that I'm an insignificant nothing," (and that may be a depressing thought) but I think there are two types of depression: one is a waste of time and one is very important. I think Mr. Rose used to say that when you're depressed is when you're seeing the truth about your situation. That's a more truthful state, and a lot of folks will say, "Well, when I'm depressed it sure doesn't feel like the truth."

You can be depressed and have a sense of futility and a sense that you can't do anything, and that is a waste of your time. We all run into that roadblock, we all face that feeling that we're not going to be able to find whatever we're looking for. You can. You can find anything that you're really looking for, anything that you really desire. That's not the depression I'm talking about. The depression I'm talking about, the value is where you see ... it is like a view of life as a whole, and seeing that, that life as a whole (you can look out the window) is empty—it doesn't go anywhere, it's not going to take you anywhere, and that depression is close to the truth. It is in itself an impersonal depression. Even though you're faced with that, you're not just that. You may be something more than just that. You have the ability to find that part of yourself.

So what I'm going to do is read a few things to you, and try to give you some sense of what your current situation is, some sense of what your life is, and what the truth is. As you listen to this, you're going to drift off, I'm sure, into other thoughts. You're going to hear people talking, laughing, you're going to hear the birds back there, you're going to hear all kinds of noises. This somewhat relates to what Mike [Conners] was talking about earlier: trying to see the space in which all those things occur in, because that is closer to what you are. Try to listen to what's between the words, and what's between the distractions. So I'm just going to read some things for you.

Shawn then read the following poems to the audience:

Poems by Shawn Nevins

Each day we chatter
on the brink of extinction.
Either great opportunity or ceaseless wandering
awaits us.
Utterly still, complete, endless, empty silence,
disguised as a terrible void,
is our opportunity.


Can you hear my silence,
or do you chatter incessantly?
Each word is backed by Nothingness.
A well absorbing echoes.
Listen to me—
Stillness between your every word.


We—there is no longer "we."
I—even I am no more.
All that I wanted is lost,
slipped under the waters of becoming.
From the first word,
we were completely wrong.
You are dead, yet refuse to die.


Put down the pen
with which you write your life
and let night fall around you.
You are less important
and more at Home in the dark.
Within the pain of emptiness,
is the voice of God.


Stop your frantic motion.
There is nothing that must be done.
In stopping, there is nothing to be,
nothing to hold.
Around the corner from action,
is perfect emptiness.
The fields of motion, of time, and of life
are all the same.
Your voice is heard by no one.
No word was ever spoken.
These words—your words—silence....


Each day all my works crumble into dust.
I found the secret of silence.
My self sloughs off and heaven is revealed
as a place better off without me.
Eternal rest is not in the arms of another,
or a red rose upon a black slate.
It is opening the mind's fist—
moved by Grace.


I gain strength from failing
and my light shines
at the approach of the abyss.

Don't despair over the ineffable.
It will be the rock upon which you are built.
Take the first step and the next is revealed.
A voice speaks through you,
as you realize the stage is empty
and the audience never mattered.

That voice speaks now,
as I know that you know
the end and the beginning are near.


Children play as the blue sky looks upon them—
words tumbling through silence.
When all the voices stop,
and love stands poised between loss and perfection,
our heart will ache for what it believed
and for what it knows.


Stillness speaks words more eloquent than I,
if only you will give up the idea
that I know more than you.
What you see is as dead as stone.

A teacher acts out his destiny
while the student misreads all the parts.
The student is but a teacher
wearing a mask of fearful lies—
blind to the script.

Follow my sad look, as sadness is the mark
of beauty too painful for words,
even as beauty is just a word
floating in an empty canyon at twilight.


My words are your words—
our words are God's words.
Words written on a screen of empty space.
Words of a night so still
that all of our self is lost in silence.
A silence you carry with you,
in the heat of action,
and in the depth of sleep.


I will clasp your hand
which is not your hand, nor mine.
For we are alone.
The eye looks upon itself, looks upon emptiness,
and freezes in a view without a viewer.


Alone.... Taste the word.
Speak it on the empty plain that is your life.
The fields of drama are yours alone—
even you shall not remember them.
I will haunt you to your last days.
I who am you.
That which is Real.


From far across the green hills,
patchworked with misshapen dreams,
came the vision of my dream
carried by the wind.
"I shall be," and "We shall be."
Such are the beginnings of our pain.

There is nothing wrong with living,
except the dying,
and nothing wrong with dreaming,
except the believing
that all we are is being.

Now, on my hill
are the stones of the dead
and no wind blows.
The far off hills are quiet and still,
as am I.


Five birds flying in a rain-drenched sky,
five fingers on a hand wet with tears.
In every motion is the seed of non-motion.
We well up from a vast silence within our heart,
and rise to the surface with our world.
My heart aches with the flight of birds
as the world aches in its hollowness,
yet knows all is well.
Flying birds, moving fingers, aching heart.
The heart knows its way to the door of home.
Let us listen, let us see, and let us be true.


When life in us and around us is so full,
how do we remember our longing?
Like puppies playing in a sun-drenched field,
growing by the moment
we put everything in our mouth.

Listen to your voice receding into silence.
Feel the touch and leaving of your friends.
Be the last to leave the field.
Stand and watch the dying light of day.
Hear the fading sounds of companionship.
A new life begins in emptiness.


"I was never here."
Don't interpret these words;
interrupt your chance.
Say them like a prayer—
through your tears.


You awake into sleep
and come out of Silence into deafening noise.
Misinterpreted longings of the heart
lead you to care
for that which is not.
But a thousand words from me
will not affect you as much as
one moment of honesty from you.

~ Part 2 of Shawn's presentation is available in the July 2006 TAT Forum.

You Cannot Shape the Truth
by Joseph Sadony (1877 - 1960)

Joseph A. Sadony, 1949 Joseph A. Sadony, 1949

From the dust jacket of Gates of the Mind:

Throughout his life of eighty-three years the late Joseph Sadony, scientist, philosopher, inventor and poet, searched for the truth about man, God and the universe. "Seek the truth," he said, "and when you have found it, follow it, for it is God." Perhaps, more than any other man of our time, he found the truth for which all men, to greater or lesser degree, seek.

What Sadony sought—and found—was a universal law applicable to all science, nature and human nature. Through his studies of atomic energy, gravitation, electricity, light, heat, magnetism and other scientific matters, he determined upon the unity of all things: atoms, molecules, human beings, the world about us, and galaxies of stars. All, including the body and mind of man, are one, each and all constantly receiving and emitting radiant energy.

In his laboratories on his eighty-acre estate on White Lake, Michigan, near Muskegon, Sadony spent many years in scientifically proving his theories, many of which he knew intuitively. Behind his experiments and writings was the basic purpose to free the mind of man from the restrictions of environment, faulty thinking, false intellectual concepts and all other impediments to a true understanding of himself and the cosmos. He saw in man an extraordinary potential which such freedom could bring. His own intuitive abilities—powers which he said are possessed by everyone, though usually dormant—enabled him to predict future events accurately, to "see" happenings in far-distant parts of the world. On one notable occasion, through his mental powers he was able to influence and direct the captain of a ship to another ship in distress during a violent storm on Lake Michigan, with the result that many lives were saved. This dramatic rescue was documented, as were many of his "psychic" accomplishments, and presented on a nation-wide radio broadcast.

Although Sadony was well known to scientists, philosophers and world leaders—among his hundreds of correspondents he numbered Gandhi, Frankllin D. Roosevelt, Kipling, Tagore, King Gustav V of Sweden, King George VI of England and Admiral Byrd—he avoided personal publicity and was little known to the general public. This volume, a condensation of his autobiography, in which he explains his "gifts" and his theory of Radiant Energy, the source of all life, will come as a boon and deeply significant revelation to all seekers after truth.

From Chapter 1, Gates of the Mind:

I was six years old we were still in Montabaur, when there began to be talk in the family about going to America. It was then that I began to be conscious of a world beyond the village limits, I climbed to the top of the hill to try to see some of it. I was alone, but I imagined that men were walking up the hill with me, and that I was one of them.

We all had on light, flexible suits of armor, like fish scales made of metal. There was a bright red cross on each breast, a sword in one hand and a Bible in the other.

It was fifty years before I found out, inadvertently, that the village of Montabaur and the hill I climbed that day were originally called Humbach; and that centuries before me the Crusaders had climbed that hill and looked down over the beautiful country, calling it "The Holy Land." The hill reminded them of that Mount that Christ had ascended to pray, with Peter, James and John, where He was transfigured before them. So they christened it Mount Tabor, and henceforth the little village at its foot was called Montabaur.

I did not know this as I trudged along that day, surrounded by the creation of my own imagination, a company of Christian warriors with swords and Bibles.

When I reached the top I still could not see America. So I closed my eyes, but all I could "see" was a lot of Indians. That was of course because of what I had heard about America.


village and schloss Montabaur Montabaur

So far as I know now I had no knowledge of the Crusaders, or in any case of their relation to the hill at Montabaur. Of course it is possible there was a foundation for the "image play" with my remembering it. The fact is here unimportant as the purpose of these early recollections is more to provide the background and to portray the general nature of early thought elements as based on experience.

At present his is merely illustrative of a later problem: What distinguishes a "true" imagination from a "false" one as an element of imaginative experience when it is regarded as an established fact that we can think only with what we have acquired to think with? In other words, all imaginative experience is made up of combinations and recombinations of elements of sensory experience with a physiological foundation. Nevertheless it has been established by experiment that the separate parts or memory elements may be put together correctly or incorrectly to form a true or false internal representation of external events or conditions. What distinguishes between the true" and the "false" when immediate verification by observation or experiment is impossible?

The answer, later to be set forth more fully, is that the distinguishing characteristic of a "true" imagination is a "feeling" that must be felt in order to understand its nature.

I did not at first comprehend this, but now in looking back at many thousands of imaginative experiences of childhood and youth, I see that when the exercise of the imagination is either unaccompanied by any feeling whatsoever, or when the imagination produces a feeling as a result of its exercise (e.g., imagining Indians is followed by a feeling of excitement and anticipation), the imagination is not to be trusted unless a train of thought is followed back to determine its origin, and unless the logic and reason are sufficiently matured and trained to adjust and retouch the picture in accordance with experience, or reason based on observation and experiment.

On the other hand, if a certain type of "feeling" (which is a dominant experience throughout this record) precedes the exercise of the imagination, and in fact produces the imagination by selective stimulation and blending of memory elements to express, to clothe, to embody, or to interpret the "feeling," we have then a type of spiritual inspiration and mental phenomena that merits further investigation, to which an introduction will be found in these pages.


My first experiences of a distinction in feeling associated with imagination were largely unrealized at the time, but preserved in memory. In climbing Mount Tabor, for example, the "feeling" came over me first that I was not alone. This caused met to imagine myself surrounded with companions all starting out together for some distant place to fight a battle. We would have swords but we would also have Bibles. The Cross would be our armor inside, but outside we would need armor of steel.

I did not then realize that these details characterized the Crusaders, who gave the hill historic background and a name. All the elements were familiar to me, but not the history. My memory contained swords, Bibles, Crosses, metal armor, and the idea of men who would use these things. Emphatically, I did not see the "spirits" of Crusaders walking up the hill with me. What I "saw" was entirely the product of my own imagination in which was composited various elements of memory acquired by previous sensory experience.

But these memory elements were selectively stimulated, assembled, and imbued with life by a "feeling" at a particular time, under a particular condition, at a particular place, which invested them with a meaning I did not myself comprehend until fifty years later. Whence and what the "feeling"? Why the particular mental imagery evoked by the feeling? Not in these few childhood cases alone, but in thousands upon thousands of cases extending through a lifetime: my own and the lives of many others whose experiences I have investigated.

That was the quest in which, symbolically at least, I set forth with a sword in one hand and a Bible in the other, to find the answer. I sought the truth, and as time went on I found that my imagination provided the truth in one instance and deceived me in another. It deceived me when I used my own reason and memory to speculate on things I didn't know enough about. It deceived me when I concentrated or "tried." It never deceived me when I didn't try, and didn't care, and had a "feeling" first that started my imagination going to piece together in a flash what was aroused from my memory by the feeling. What was the feeling?


I stress this because as time went on people who knew more about such things than I would say, " The boy is psychic, " or "He is clairvoyant." "It must be telepathy or psychometry," and so on.

And I knew they were all wrong. I possess no special, mystic, or occult sense that other men do not possess. My mental operations are limited entirely to what I have acquired and recorded by sensory experience. My imagination has only my own memory to draw on. I visualize something spontaneously past, present or future, near or far; it proves correct, with witnesses to verify it. My records contain thousand of such witnessed cases in which I was correct 98% of the time. What did I "see"? Nothing but a composite of my own memory elements of past experience.

Truly and literally it was "nothing but my imagination." Still it corresponded with the truth. Why? Was it a good guess? Was it "coincidence"? Was it "chance"? These were questions to be answered by experimental research. At first I did not know. But time ruled out chance beyond all dispute. And I did soon find out that man's most important thinking does not take place in the brain alone, but with the entire body and nervous system.

Truth is not to be found in man's memory of words or his reflective visual or oral thinking. Words and memories of sights and sounds may be woven together into endless combinations. What gives them meaning? What determines the exact word or memory elements that will be combined in any given concept or idea or train of thought? What assurances have we that our ideas have any correspondence with reality at all?

Our only assurance from a scientific point of view is one based on experience, observation and experiment. How then is it possible to know things in the future, at a distance in the present and in the past, without opportunity for experience, observation, or experiment? I can only say that I have established this fact for myself, that I am writing this commentary on my early experience to introduce you to what I did and how I did it, so you too may establish the facts for yourself, without taking anyone's word for it; mine or that of anyone else.

It requires not the use of some mysterious faculty you do not possess, but rather the suspension of the use of your "intellect" (verbal memory, reason, etc.) until after your feeling of intuition has clothed itself imaginatively. Then harness it by "logic and reason," by all means, if you can. But you must first learn how to stop thinking at will. You must learn how to "deconcentrate" instead of concentrating. You must make no strenuous "effort." You can't "force" it. You can't "play" with it. You can't "practice" it. Spontaneity is its most essential characteristic. It cannot manifest in the realm of habit or "conditioned reflexes," as in the case of instinct.

Sadony 'Gates of the Mind' cover In the language of the New Testament, you must not try to move the spirit; you must let the spirit move you. This means that you must let the truth shape you, for the simple reason that you cannot shape the truth. Your relation to truth is direct, and not by reflective or verbal representation. You will find the truth neither in words nor in memories, but only in direct nervous coordination of the whole of your immediate sensory experience, internal as well as external.

~ Thanks to Kelly Johnson for the photo of the Mabel Rolling Harris 1949 portrait of Joseph Sadony, which still hangs in the Sadony home at Valley of the Pines. The complete text of Gates of the Mind is available at the Gates of the Mind web site.

Praying Our Way Through Doubt
by Fredrick Zydek

There's a cold fear nested at the heart
of every doubt, stress sharp as a sword,
hidden agendas, genuine reality waiting
to be sorted out like unmatched socks.

The truth is there are no cheap tickets
to Heaven, no shortcuts to Nirvana,
not a single free ride to enlightenment.
We must learn to ride towards them

on the backs of prayers and meditation.
There will be huge clues along the way.
Learning to be converted from nine
to five is a big step. Getting rid of our

unlovely behavior is another. We must
learn to nibble at the warm promise
of silence, go empty-handed through
the landscapes of loss, the prisons

of melancholy and betrayal. We must
claim sacred ground one doubt at a time,
pray until we can sort out the differences
between angels and serpents, go among

them wrapped in voices of our own faith,
mantras, contemplations, acts of pure
devotion and pleas. We must do the work
of warriors using the agendas of real saints.

~ Fredrick Zydek is a teacher of creative writing and theology. He has more than 800 publishing credits, including personal essays, fiction, academic articles, plays, seven collections of poems and an occasional review. This, in Zydek's own words, makes him "incredibly prolific or incredibly old." Published with the author's permission and with assistance from the editor of Sacred Journey, where it was originally published.

Meeting Richard Rose
Notes from 1978 (part 2)
by Art Ticknor

~ Continued from the May 2006 issue of the TAT Forum.

October 10, 1978

Richard Rose gave a talk at Ohio State University on moods. Here are some of the notes I had made:

Richard Rose, age 42 Richard Rose, age 42
  1. Communication—getting into someone's head—through mood.
  2. Three major moods in the dream world:
    - Fear (nightmare, delirium)
    - Seduction (including acquisition)
    - Nostalgia
  3. Guilt = fear + nostalgia.
  4. Seduction: there's a time in all dreams for acquisition. The unconscious mind of all people seizes things. If you like someone or something, you approach and grab.
  5. The nostalgia mood is the language of the soul and the guide of daytime behavior.
  6. We perceive with the mind, not the senses (easily demonstrated by hypnosis). The Allegory of the Cave in Plato's Republic is about mind-perception. The mind can still be fooled (again, witness hypnosis). Under hypnosis, the hypnotist can induce the mind to have moods.
  7. The average color of dreams is gray. Blackness causes the worst mood.
  8. No words are spoken in dreams. Messages are picked up through direct-mind contact.
  9. Frightening someone who's sleeping has a tremendous affect on waking life.
  10. A person in jail can become suicidal based on a mood.
  11. Fear mood grows like a disease.
  12. The seduction mood is dangerous, but it passes.
  13. We like the nostalgia mood. It uses memories of pleasantness. Movies, commercials, billboards, etc., appeal to nostalgia.
  14. Colors, smells and sounds impel moods.
  15. When dreaming takes us back to a happy experience, we awake saying: "Why can't we live this way?"
  16. Examples of a nostalgic book (also made into a movie): How Green Was My Valley, and songs: "Red Sails in the Sunset" and "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the Lord."
  17. There's a definite language of nostalgia. Typical devices used include deliberate unreality, falsetto voices, schmaltz and inhibited manner of seduction. Nostalgia is like a disease. It determines 95% of people's waking behavior. Seduction (including acquisition) and fear contribute the other 5%. The human family tries to live like Pollyannna [i.e., foolishly optimistic; the name of a little girl who always saw the bright side of trouble, in a novel by Eleanor Portman]. It's there all the time, but easier to see in the Christmas mood, with its colored lights, traditional music, etc.
  18. Nostalgia includes the consciousness of what everyone wants:
    - Acquisition without conflict.
    - Peace. The archetypal mind is filled with 10,000 years of fighting.
    - Love. The cottage and beautiful children.
    - Permanence.
  19. One type of dream could be called "contact nostalgia." It picks up a thread via Mind contact that things are perfect. Acid [LSD] and pot sometimes produce such a vision.
  20. Nostalgia promises, in order of importance: kindness, love, peace, beauty, eternality, and inoffensiveness.
  21. In dreams, the egos of daylight conflict are gone. Mind contact indicates that people do the best they can.
  22. Any collective action has inoffensiveness and peace as motives. Politicians are for everything, against nothing.
  23. Cop movies on TV: we reassure ourselves that they're sweet guys.
  24. Pollyanna more than anything else expresses the mood of mankind. It comes from the language of nostalgia—communicated through dreams with great force.
  25. A mood can cause a person in prison to hang himself, can cause a hobo to go back home after 15 years, can cause the conviction of daylight hours to dissolve. You must survive a mood several times to get strong enough to resist it.
  26. Nostalgia is a direct-mind wavelength. If you pick it up, realize that everyone shares it. It can be a channel to find out what you're supposed to do, the master plan. The Australian aborigine contacts the "elder brother," who see a rabbit over the kill and guides the boomerang.
  27. Most dreams are gray because the light [i.e., the projection] is fickle, which also causes daytime illusion.
  28. The mood when awakening in the morning is set by the last dream before awakening.
  29. There is a continual urge of man to go back to eternal peace. Eternality is the main theme of personality. Nostalgia is the language of eternality. It is a voice saying "relax," there's a blueprint, harmony, which is the destiny for mankind.
  30. We get better readings about people in nostalgic than other dreams. Certain artists and poets get in contact with a universal mood (zeitgeist)—the reason for rhyme, for color on canvas.
  31. Rose's blank verse "Three Books of the Absolute," which was an automatic writing, conveys his realization through mood.
  32. You can learn to contact the eternal language of the soul.
    - But must be firmly centered first. The trick is to keep your consciousness on your point of consciousness.
    - Can learn that there is no death.
    - Can learn that we can move toward patience and understanding.
    - Dreams must conform to balance, or they would drive man to lethargy on this plane.
    - We're here for a purpose.
    - Can tune into this mood best when you're in a horizontal position.
    - Yogis see visions but don't reach this language.
    - Dreams are the door to the voice seeking eternality. We fear death because we're afraid we'll never see Mom and Dad, the kids, etc. again. It's not true. In dreams we can recall anything we want to remember. Gives a new slant on what part of us exists after death.
    - Beauty, as Jung said, is the eternal reflection of absolute reality, the real language (mood), and the real meaning from the mind strata.
  33. The child becomes seduced into living with relative language [words] and loses the direct-mind capacity.
  34. When a man's walking, he's logical, pragmatic. When sitting, receptive. When horizontal, in contact with the direct mind.
  35. In dreams, there's head-to-head contact, through moods.
  36. In rapport, let yourself read the mind of the other person—don't try to force it. This creates brotherhood, no misunderstanding. The spirit of nostalgia is the language.
  37. We're programmed by Nature to have short seduction moods. The new theme of movies is seduction, which isn't a good sign for civilization. This may change.
  38. Nostalgia settles on us when we graduate from high school, when we drop out of class, after we first get married.
  39. For all eternity, the beauty that existed between any two people is there. Actions are eternal.
  40. The shutter of consciousness allows one thought at a time. If you're watching a dream, you may continue to see it after you wake up.

October 30, 1978

I had done the first of quite a few solitary retreats at Richard Rose's farm the week ending October 21st, and I wrote the following letter on October 22nd:

response from RR dated Oct. 26, 1978 Dear Mr. Rose:

This is a personal status report, of sorts, after my week at the farm. (A Columbus TAT report will be forthcoming after our next business meeting on November 12th.) There were five basic questions I wanted to resolve during the week:

  1. Age—am I too old for the University group?
    Resolution: I may be, but I'm going to continue actively in the group until you tell me I'm too old.
  2. Meditation—how am I doing?
    Resolution: I'm just playing around in my head. I may have gained a little more insight from rereading the Meditation Paper last week. Also, I plan to follow your recommendation to Mark S. of listening to the Psychology of the Observer tape regularly.
  3. Celibacy—I would like to use this as a technique of building energy, but would it be fair to my wife?
    Resolution: My 34th birthday was this past Tuesday. In the Transmission Paper you mention that celibacy is dangerous after 40. So that doesn't give me too long. However, I will try to work this out with my wife before I make an arbitrary decision.
  4. What is my goal?
    Resolution: I had gotten sort of foggy on why I was doing spiritual work. The week clarified my objective, which is to find out who I am and what the purpose of life is.
  5. What is my commitment to the goal?
    Resolution: It will be the work of my entire life. I'm probably too old, and not enough of a fighter, to reach enlightenment—but I'm damn well going to try.

I wish I could tell you how fortunate I feel to have found your group and how proud I am to be a part of it.

I remember being outside raking leaves on a sunny autumn day when Mr. Rose's response arrived in the mail. And I remember being infused with joy when I read a sentence in his letter that he had underlined: "I think you'll make it."

December 31, 1978

Mark S., an OSU student who was taking the spring quarter off in order to spend three months in a solitary retreat on the Rose farm, and I were the only people from the Columbus group who went to West Virginia for the traditional New Year's Eve party at the farm.

During a conversation with Mr. Rose about not remembering childhood trauma, he said that traumas were there or I'd have memories of joy.

When I asked for advice on monitoring the OSU self-inquiry meetings, which responsibility I was taking on, he said to keep them friendly above all. To use humor. The transmission of energy goes on all the time between people. An example is healing relatives. And he advised never living with somebody who hates you, or it will make you sick. For teaching purposes, the teacher only needs to be at a higher level to transmit. Final transmission to help someone make the leap has to be done by an enlightened person.

On the topic of how a person goes about dropping false egos: When you really see that which is not you, it will be taken away.

Easter Sunday
by Gary Harmon

In the silence there is nothing discernable,
Quiet needs no explanation,
There resides absolute awareness,
That which speaks thru silence,
To the only one who hears I am that I am,
No justification needed,
No particulars are given,
Awareness however reveals,
There knowing undeniably vibrant,
Essence of life revealed in stark clarity,
Hearing the silence ... I knows the source,
That which is God permeates All,
By existing the Source breathes life into many.

Your Dominant Decision-Making Process
by Bob Fergeson

Trap: Remaining unconscious of our dominant decision-making process, either thinking or feeling. Most of us are heavily weighted to one or the other, and equally oblivious of it. To illustrate how this trap works, let's take a person who is feeling-based.

feeling One afternoon, they decide to quit eating donuts. This decision is feeling-based, meaning they felt it to be good idea from an emotional reaction regarding the negative consequences of continuing the behavior. They don't feel good about the behavior because fear, let's say, has entered the picture. They decide to stop. Then, the secondary function, thinking, comes in and rationalizes the decision in order to bring verbal thought in line with it: "They make me gain weight, they cost money, I need discipline, I need to cut back on the sugar," etc. This is the main clue that their thinking is secondary: it is only used as a rationalizing tool for the already made feeling-based decision. This is best seen when the flip-flop occurs the next morning. The urge, or positive feeling, to have a donut now outweighs the previous day's emotion, and the decision is made to eat one. Then the thinking processes come in and rationalize why: "I can do what I want, I'll start exercising, I won't have one tomorrow, nobody will know," etc. This thinking is directly the opposite of the previous day's, but this doesn't matter when the feeling or desire is primary. This feeling-based system alone is a wobbly, painfully slow way to walk through life.

thinking This one sided trap can be seen in thinking-based people, too. In them, the decision is based on rigid rules of logic, and then reinforced with the emotions. If the situation dictates that the thinking should change, the feelings will arise to support the decision to stick with the old rules, regardless. This can be seen in literalists who fall back on unbending rules for all decisions, and then use the feelings to support them in their foolishness. One will encounter many head-on collisions with brick walls on this path.

Trick: Understanding can only occur when both of these functions, thinking and feeling, occur together in a marriage of reason and emotion. Each should be used to check on the other, forming a system of discernment, rather than thinking being only a rationalizing tool for desires and fears, and feeling only an emotional support for literalism. Together, they can form understanding and find the truth, enabling us to walk the walk, steady and sure; apart, they breed strange creatures as varied as the wishy-washy flip flopper and the unfeeling monster of fanaticism.

~ See Bob's web sites, The Mystic Missal, NostalgiaWest, and The Listening Attention.


On government...

Mahatma Gandhi The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.
~ Ronald Reagan

I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
~ Will Rogers

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
~ Mark Twain

And self-government...

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
~ Mahatma Gandhi [Interesting juxtaposition to the above humor; hopefully the picture will bring a smile. —Ed.]

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