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

November 2011

November 18-20 attend the TAT Foundation Gathering: Casting Off Illusion

This Month's Contents: 2011 SIG Retreat Videos by Self Inquiry Discussion Group | Wait Me in Now by Eloratea | A Moment Through Time by James W. Donnelly | There is no other by Gary Harmon | Haunted Universe audio book - sample audio by Steven Norquist | Quotes | Humor | Reader Commentary & Answers | Question of the Month

Editor's Note
by David Weimer

If there's anything that embodies the "right" spiritual seeker's attitude, this recently much-viewed address by a recently deceased human being from Earth can't be far off...

Welcome to the Forum.

2011 SIG Retreat Videos

Click on image.

2011 SIG Retreat Videos
by Self Inquiry Discussion Group

Featured speakers at this third annual special event (Oct. 7-9, 2011) include Jem Hopkins, Tess Hughes, Bart Marshall, Shawn Nevins, Bruce Joel Rubin, Art Ticknor and Deborah Westmoreland. Each person's talk is available on SIG's website, as well as two panel discussions--a wrap-up Q&A with the main individual speakers, and a three-member panel presentation of seekers who've experienced surprising revelations on their personal paths.

In addition, surprisingly, there are also--available for viewing and listening--the recorded talks from both 2009 and 2010 October SIG Retreats.

Serious grist for any serious spiritual seeker's mill.

Wait Me in Now
by Eloratea

We walked together,
Through different landscapes,
Through forests and desserts,
Through wild and mild areas,
habited and inhabited spaces.

We looked to the changing,
distant and different horizons,
till you said to me:
Stop, stay here.

But here is no special place,
Not better that all other places -
we have already been through.
But you said again:
No need to go anymore.
Just stand still and wait me in now.

What a paradox, to wait in now!
But I stood still.
I am standing still in now.
And my life is becoming a big paradox;
On one side, ever more expanding
in a wordless desire to encompass you more and more;
And on the other side ever more reducing itself,
to a dimensionless spot with ever less space and time,
living me always just enough air for the one next breath,
making me need less and less of that air,
leading me more and more close to you,
without leaving here and now.

Visit Eloratea's Lightmare blog.

A Moment Through Time
by James W. Donnelly

As I roll myself out of bed each morning and sit with my feet on the floor, it’s not unusual for me to take a meditative moment to marvel at the regularity in life. This fleeting moment does not involve a cerebral wonder at the earth’s rotation nor does it involve a more mundane consideration about what the new day has in store for me. If anything, it’s more an acknowledgement of my getting older and the simple acceptance that this happens one day at a time, measured by putting my feet on the floor each day.

One morning last week, however, as I sat with my feet on the floor, I was surprised at that moment by a strange sense of being at one with all of those who had lived before me, sitting at the edge of their beds, feet on the floor, ready for a new day - a feeling of being warped into a simultaneous sequence of moments - a shadowy link, at one with all generations from the beginning of time and then with those that would look back centuries from now at where I sat - all participating together in the ritual of starting a new day, all with feet on the floor, being at one with what are now our ancestors – just as we will be for those who follow– sharing together this moment in time.

Originally published in Sacred Journey, August/September, 2009

There is no other
by Gary Harmon

[a stream-of-consciousness ride you will not soon forget.]

There is no other. You were always alone, but you thought it was a state of incompleteness. You waited for someone to come. How can there be another when he is ONE? Is that so terrible that you must run and hide? To whom can you talk when there is no other? To whom can you relate? Fish's eyes glow in the darkness. Always you waited. If there is a journey, a relationship, there must be a state to strive for...a project, a potential. Such a joke. It is not even a good idea. You are fortunate enough to disbelieve in everything. You are blessed to have no partner---always waiting at the bus stop for a bus that never comes, BECAUSE THERE IS NOWHERE TO GO. The world spins around a place of silence and waiting. You need to enter that silence, and wait in the eternal presence in which there is no future. Be present, mirrored into silence, as the waves of non-existence crash against the shores of being. Otherwise for whom do we wait? We wait at the threshold of the other world, when the other world is already present. Who is laughing at us? Amused with our seeking in all directions, with our thinking God is other. We struggle with ourselves, thinking of the journey and preparations we need...our preparations prepare us for what we already know, and thus are useless. But one day, maybe not today or tomorrow, something happens, something so fundamental and so simple, and completely bewildering. We come to realize there is no self to return to.... What is experienced is a primal vacancy, an emptiness that is beyond light and dark. And the mystic knows with a knowledge that is inborn, not discovered, that there is no going back. When we discover something so fundamental we cannot forget again, we cannot pull the veil across and pretend not to know. Each of us carries the seeds of our own destruction; if these seekers persist they will find the hidden core of their being and learn to live in the light that guides them, the light of spiritual service and devotion. But for some this is not enough, this was never enough. They have a darker secret which does not acknowledge limitation ... Their destruction MUST BE TOTAL because He is All. So simple, so horrific and ultimate what does it mean to be lost? It means to belong to such a degree that nothing is left. The price is abandonment, the habitation desolation. And one day the lover awakens to the knowledge that it was always like this, and sees how much he avoided it, how many times he looked for relief. But how can a bird avoid the wind? For how long can a fire burn cold? There is a silence so potent that nothing can speak which calls from the hungry emptiness and welcomes a friend. Death is only a word; loss of ego is a phrase that is blown away. The primal power of non being is so terrible and blissful that nothing can survive.... And it was always like this, shall always be like this, cannot be otherwise stepping into the wonderland of the heart, what do I find? Why do I feel so lost, so unable to walk between the worlds? Each time I look for an answer all that surround me are the endless horizons of non-being, which stretch out to the infinite... How is one supposed to walk between the worlds, to hold true to what is of neither this world nor the next? Looking inward, what do I find? Who is there to find what is hidden? Silence stretches around me and I walk with hesitation. Patterns constellate, but who is there to dissolve these patterns? When can we just relate in the ways of love? But in the end, WHO wants to relate in the ways of love, in those strange pathways, in those empty spaces where even travelers do not venture? There is silence, there is nothing for the senses, and there are no answers. To make the mistake of wanting something is to constellate effects, to step out of the silence . Why have I chosen this passage? I have been forced, asked, accepted, to have a foot in both worlds and also to stand alone, seeing only the patterns made by the psyche and mind, without the meaning given by these experiences without looking either to the past or futures, just being here in the locus of events. I wish I could say that there is an answer. But there is nothing to be said I feel that my world is being torn apart, and I do not know what to do, who is tearing whom. There are times in my life when I have been pushed over the edge. I can look at it rationally, even understand it, but it horrifies me. I am shocked by the intensity of what can be lost. But what can be lost when one is nothing? What is my life? I have no life. It is not me who speaks, so what am I holding onto? I do not understand. I feel that I have no ground to stand upon. Whose ground is it? And who would walk this ground in their right mind, when the swirling forces of existence colour everything and non existence is held in the background?

Haunted Universe:
The True Knowledge of Enlightenment
[audio book read by its author,]
Steven Norquist


Click on image to listen to sample audio.
Read a short review of this new audio book version of
Haunted Universe.


"To know a person’s religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance."

~ Eric Hoffer


“Tell me what you laugh at and I will tell you who you are.”
~ Marcel Pagnol

"It's true I had a lot of anxiety. I was afraid of the dark and suspicious of the light."
~ Woody Allen

"The little I know I owe to my ignorance."
~ Sacha Guitry

Reader Commentary
Musical Question of the Month replies

Last month's Question, submitted by a reader:

May I make a suggestion for a question that should bring forth much insight into the power that music has in our lives....

Name two special songs that you have loved for many years. Why do you think these songs have had such a long time influence in your life? [Bonus points if you can provide a YouTube link to the music video] Thanks for the monthly newsletter and best regards,
~ N. H.

has resulted in many responses for this issue. Enjoy yours and other's greatest picks.


This is a response to the October Forum's question:

"Name two special songs that you have loved for many years. Why do you think these songs have had such a long time influence in your life?"

"Time" by Pink Floyd, because the lyric is a good kick-in-the-pants reminder not to squander the life one is given.

"Hymn From A Great Temple" by Gurdjieff/De Hartmann, because it evokes seriousness of intent, and just *feels* like a prayer to not squander the life one is given.

YouTube Link

Thank you,

~Peter Lisa

Two Vedder favorites of mine from the movie, Into the Wild. I haven't known these for years, but they resonate with me now.

~ M.S.

Current song I'm stuck on... by a couple of young Persian Bahá'í guys. I saw them perform recently at a Bahá'í conference. The lyrics are inspired by the writings of Bahá'u'lláh:

"If thou lovest me" by Nabil and Karim

It's hard for me to choose favorite songs of all time. I change my favorite song on a daily basis... there is so much beautiful music...

~ A.B.

~ Anonymous

This is my favorite song (click on link)

Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" sung by four Norwegians. The last guy to sing in this version, plumber Kurt Nilsen--his one phrase is all I would ever need to hear. The four Norwegian singers are: Espen Lind(on guitar), Askil Holm, Alejandro Fuentes & Kurt Nilsen.

~ D.W.

“Ashokan Farewell” by Jay Ungar – a song of lost perfection, yet with hope of finding it again.

~ SN

Song #1 "The Other Side" by Anne Murray

The lyrics - especially the chorus have always sustained me. It is also a very simple melody with a lovely piano intro.

On the other side of doubt is faith
On the other side of pain lies strength
The journey may seem endless
And You know the road is rough
But on the other side of fear... is love

Song #2 "Let it be" - Paul McCartney

What can I say about this? What a simple and profound message. Again lovely piano work.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me.
Speaking words of wisdom let it be...

~ Gloria Oelman

Here are two songs who have influenced my life for many years. The first is Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. It tells the story of my soul, without the constraint of words. My heart seems to sing with the violin and I tear up every time I hear this song.

YouTube Link

The second song that has influenced me is Otis Redding singing "Sittin' on the Dock of a Bay." It certainly has a Nostalgic mood to it. It has a timeless quality to it. To me, it paints a picture of a human coming to the end of his journey, and looking into the infinite.

~ Alana Leopold

Love TAT. love love love
We've not met. My name is Dan.

Two music selections for your consideration.

Yo Yo Ma plays Bach's "Cello Suite No. 1"

Rikiya Yamashita - "Gentle Whisper"

Can man 'do' anything? I don't know. But notes were composed, instruments played, resulting in perfection. Or, perhaps more likely, the perfection preceded the composition, resulting in the canvass for man to play on.

Take care,

~ Dan Andrews

This is my pick....John Michael Talbot - "Healer of my Soul"....when I want to get really in touch...I listen to this.


~ Candace White

I love Pearl Jam's "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town", which I fancy to believe is a song about Eddie Vedder's reflexive/nihilistic description God.

~ B.P.

This song has a strong impact on me. Every time I listen to it, I am overcome with beauty, love and tears. My grandmother used to be a hobby opera singer and sang this song every Christmas at the church. It was also played at her funeral.

~ Andrée Weimer

Other reader submissions and responses:

Was talking about The Matrix with a TAT fellow and how Neo discovers he's still part of the matrix. The Architect of the matrix refers to Neo as the 6th Neo,a[n] homage to the Prisoner TV series from the late 60's. Patrick's character in the series was #6.

I had a look at the often referred to as surreal finale episode 17..... turns out its a strong illustration of the enlightenment event and that very realization of self complicity in our own inprisonment.

#6 is the witness always at odds with #2 his jailer(representing the opposites)

#6 continually asks #2 "Who is #1?" throughout the series and #2 never answers...this episode delivers the answer

#6 is asked at 3:18 minutes into show "What do you desire?" answer "#1"

Interestingly, the question [was] brought up at [a] TAT conference.

Fun stuff

~ Tim

Dear Forum Staff:

Just want you to know how much I enjoy reading and absorbing the Forum each month!


~ Anita White, Cary, NC

this month's Question:

Take your pick (or answer both)

1) What do you know for sure? [from Richard Rose's Lecture of Questions.]


2) What do you want to know for sure?

Write your answer on the back of a twenty dollar bill and send it to: .

Did you enjoy the Forum? Then buy the book! Beyond Mind, Beyond Death is available at Amazon.com.


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