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June 2014

This Month's Contents: Quotes by Richard Rose | Mirror, Mirror, Off the Wall by Bill Griffith | More Quotes by Richard Rose | Humor Video: from Woody Allen's Love and Death | Socks by Richard Rose | Quotes, too | Reader Commentary | A New Home for TAT |

Guest Editor's Note
by Ike Harijanto

It can be painful to see unflattering truths about ourselves. Sometimes, though, it does make us smile.

Do we avoid asking ourselves too many questions in fear we might see too much… silliness? Isn't seriousness necessary for any success? After all, the lives of the great figures involved serious stuff before victory. Jesus' ascent to Golgotha, for example, or the Buddha's years of hardship under a tree. Have we mistaken weighty seriousness for earnestness? Or is seriousness for us another game-playing, another show? For whose entertainment?

This month, take a break from seriousness and laugh with me.

But if along with, or instead of, being tickled, you find yourself afflicted (ranging from feeling, say, slightly nudged to psychotically enraged), it may be a good spot to stop and ask yourself why. What about you is in the spotlight?

P. S. This humor issue is an experiment (thanks to the Forum and its editors). So please send us any comments, feedback, and queries!


by Richard Rose

Richard Rose’s challenges and “criticisms” could be perceived as purely hostile by someone who reads him for the first time without any idea of how he interacted with people in real life, especially if that reader is already in the state of despair. Like I was several years ago. Reading him at that time was like adding salt and insult to the injury. It took close to a decade for me to be in the position to see the humor interspersed throughout the very same writings by him I had read, more than once, and that his main intention was to actually save time for seekers. To me, Rose was truly a master questioner. Now that this wider view is available to me, I’m incidentally encountering one or two people with the same reaction I had years ago. So I thought that maybe I could point out Rose’s other side to them. The following collection of quotes by Rose is split into two sections. Don’t rush through them. Take time to pause.
~ I.H.

"You’ll have plenty of peace in the marble orchard—maybe."

(R. R. quote appearing in After the Absolute, by David Gold, ch. 7)

• • •

"Most of mankind’s conviction about human divinity comes from man’s looking downward, not upward. He endows himself with superlatives because he witnesses other inferior beings."

(The Albigen Papers, p. 16)

• • •

"Who is living? Who is faced with oblivion?

"And once more the observer has to face a very important question besides these last two. Who is asking the question? Who is it that observes the glassy fragments of thought and self, which if sorted and properly arranged, will form some magic crystal ball that shall for all time answer our questions about our future.

"Does the flesh ask these questions? Does desire for life ponder the desire for eternal flesh, and upon witnessing death of the flesh, generate a desire for any form of post-mortem consciousness?"

(Psychology of the Observer, p. 129)

• • •

"The reason I’m harping on this point is because what we’re doing all the time instead of looking for the soul of man is looking for outside effects. We’re looking for a button to press, like in an automaton. One button says 'soda pop' and another one says 'immortality.' So it’s that one; put a nickel in, press the button, and out comes immortality. It becomes an objective thing.

"How do you do it? You do it by eating certain macrobiotic foods, and you’ll live forever. Or you do it by chanting a certain mantra, and you will become transformed or translated. Or you say certain prayers, and you get the deities on your side, and they pick up this cruddy little animal and make an immortal being out of him."

(from part 3 of Zen & Common Sense)

• • •

"We may feel kindly toward the humble, and humility should be commendable for us if we are predisposed toward fatalism. If not, we shall be meek enough when the mortician has finished with us. If we are not submissive toward our condition of ignorance, or do not feel complete, then we must proceed as though we expected to achieve as a result of labor and effort."

(The Albigen Papers, p. 23)

• • •

"We then ask ourselves, if our eyes, our most important contact with the world, deceive us—is it not then possible that more of the objective world than we wish to admit, is adjusted to our comprehensive faculty by nature, rather than exactly understood by the mind.

"We become adjusted and we think that we walk in wisdom."

(The Albigen Papers, p. 14)

• • •

"Yardsticks are a means of measuring the religion or system under appraisal without taking years to argue down every premise or pretense of the particular movement.

"For instance, some of the yardsticks are the motivations of the particular movement. To see—if it is motivated by money or power. I have without hesitation walked away from movements which charge enormous fees, or which are more interested in power than in helping someone look for the truth.

"Other yardsticks measure them for ritual, pageantry, and dogma. Some religions, lodges, and movements have become Roman circuses, attempting to assuage the fevers of the unsatisfied minds with pageantry and mummery.

"There are still other yardsticks. We must measure the movements to see if they appeal to our fears, or to our desire. We must measure them to see if they are deliberately soporific: Trying to put us to sleep, trying to soothe, trying to placate the troubled people who are concerned about their immortality.

"We must examine them to see if they are trying to compensate our weariness, by offering gimmicks and formulas that will enable our souls to develop while we sleep—or they might give us secret words that will supposedly overnight transform us from pumpkins into celestial potentates of some sort."

(from part 5 of Zen & Common Sense)

• • •

"The direction of Truth is not a sensational Eureka! discovery. It’s a gradual retreat—from garbage. And you know what’s more garbage and what’s less garbage, and you settle for what’s less garbage until you find something that’s still less garbage. That's the path to Truth. Not following some heroic personal creature down some brilliantly lighted path. No, no. You fight yourself out of the mud, out of the garbage.”

(from part 5 of Peace of Mind Despite Success)

• • •

"What is equality? …

"Are we all equal because of an indwelling essence, or is the statement a form of political euphemism?

"…the whole political system is based upon the fact that we are equal, in that we all have a soul, I presume, because physically we aren’t equal.

"Do we really have an essence?"

(from part 2 of Zen & Common Sense)

• • •

"We get the idea that this creature, this little warm body, is placed here by a very warm-hearted creature which we call God. And he loves us, and if we love each other—that’s the rule we have to obey more than anything else—and if we love each other and create a tremendous atmosphere of love, then this God will come down some day, and tell us how much he loves us, and take us off to an eternal happy hunting ground.

"But, we never stop to think that love is something we want. We’re trying to impose a condition by preaching it. Very few people stop to analyze this thing we’re talking about when we’re talking about love. Mostly they want people to love them. This is the complaint; it isn’t the idea of love, it’s, “Love me.”

"And what is love? Is it the compassion for lessers? Or is it the rapport of equals? Now if you stop and think about that a minute—do you pick somebody that you can manipulate, or are you looking for rapport with an equal?

"Can you love the unknown or a superior creature? Most people talk, you hear it in theology, about wanting to love God. How can you love a superior creature, especially one you can't see? Can you love God when you find it impossible to love anything out of your range of rapport?"


"Can you love a dog? You hear a lot of this talk: “I love my dog.” What type of person would claim to love a dog more than his neighbors? We find this all the time—these people are great lovers of dogs, but hate their neighbor, especially when the neighbor doesn't like the dog. Sometimes they love the dog more than their mate.

"How could such a person ever find love for a superior one? Much less a God possessing all the superlatives with which God is endowed by man?"

(from parts 1 & 2 of Zen & Common Sense)

• • •

"Do not think that only a small percentage of men are motivated by primitive drives. And do not think while admitting most men to be primitive, that you are not—just because you dropped a nickel in the collection basket, or because you were the actor carrying the basket. Our kindness is a mask, and our smile is not too much more meaningful than a similar gesture by an opossum or hyena. It means, stand still, and do not struggle while I bite you, or put the bite on you."
[or in my personal case, it usually means, “Please don’t bite me; love me.” Another form of manipulation, I see. –I.H.]”

(The Albigen Papers, p. 20)

Spiritual Magazine

Reprinted with permission. zippythepinhead.com.

More Quotes

by Richard Rose

"The law of the ladder says that you can only learn from people one rung above you; you can only teach one rung below you. If you reach down too low, they pull you down by the hair of the head. They crucify you. And if you reach up too far, the guy on the second rung above looks like an idiot to you. You can't comprehend him.

"This I learned while standing year after year on a ladder, painting houses. I realized that there was a significant symbol there at work."

(from part 4 & 5 of Peace of Mind Despite Success)

• • •

"How do you help each other? You punch each other in the nose, that’s how you help them. You stick your finger in their eye. You say, 'Hey— you’re slipping. You’re kidding yourself. You’re getting off the track.' And—this isn’t done in criticism—they immediately say, 'You caught me in time.' And then you go on.

(from part 5 of Peace of Mind Despite Success)

• • •

"Things change. Nobody knows why they change, but like I said—the dinosaurs are no longer here, so there’s no use in the dinosaurs thousands of years ago making these little plans for the future."

(from part 5 of Peace of Mind Despite Success)

• • •

“In the realization that human frustration and fatigue makes for make-believe, we come to still another possibility. It is possible that make-believe is either an intuition of things to come, or is a factor in the creation of events. We find the Flash Gordon of two decades ego becomes the John Glenn of today, and this metamorphosis occurs in the destiny of other dreams and desires. Is it possible, that if humanity believe in God steadfastly—there would come a time when God would gratefully appear?”

(The Albigen Papers, p. 24)

• • •

“We take too big a step when we conjure up a God that surmounts all time and space and then pretend to know Him on a first name basis.”

(The Albigen Papers, p. 80)

• • •

"As a result of the many God-definitions, it is evident that the word God is a very uncertain term. Equally portentious [sic] is the word gizmogle. A scientist might spend decades sifting the sands of the sea with a microscope with the pretence that he was looking for a gizmogle. And in this charade he might actually find a keytone enzyme containing the secrets of life. This is a fairy tale just concocted, but we should not be surprised, if such a case actually occurred, to find that the scientist was quickly ordained as a prophet by virtue of his new power, and find that gizmogle, which previously meant nothing, would now be capitalized."

(The Albigen Papers, p. 83)

• • •

"It does not matter if ninety per cent of all dogs have fleas or ticks, —this should not legislate for all dogs, that fleas and ticks are either normal, natural, or divinely programmed for dogs to have."

(Meditation, p. 17)

• • •

"We learn to doubt the value of spontaneous reaction, and we hesitate while evaluating. If we hesitate too long, and receive injury from the delay, we learn to evaluate with urgency. This evaluation becomes increasingly complex, but it is never anything more complex than reaction. It is not a divine candle in the head, which we might label either discrimination or intelligence."

(Meditation, p. 25)

• • •

"[Go] within. Employ whatever necessary."

(Meditation, p. 30)

• • •

"We like to think that a system that brings peace of mind is one that has the answers. But we know that peace of mind is mental lassitude, and to be really awake, it may be necessary to find an irritation to galvanize the mind from its 'tendency toward inertia.'

"We like to think that scholarly study will keep us awake, and we rejoice that we have developed an interest that keeps us awake, as we absorb concept after concept. But after a while we discover that study is just the rolling up of a huge ball of yarn of relative world-observations, that can go on forever and never bring us closer to the understanding of the mind.

"We come to the conclusion that the finite mind will never pierce the infinite. Nor will a cast iron ball soar into the sky by itself. However, the vehicle can change. The mind can become, at least for a short time, less finite, and the balloon can be made of cloth instead of cast iron.”

(The Albigen Papers, p. 210)

• • •

"I found yoga to be a wonderful sedative. I thought at the time that I was dialing heaven. Years went by, and with the years, my conceit began to shred away. When I reached thirty years of age, I decided that I had been kidding myself. My intense hunger for Truth was waning. I was not sure of anything except that which I could see in the mirror, and that image was not faring too well at the hands of time."

(The Albigen Papers, p. 226)

Many of the preceding brief quotes are from these titles by Richard Rose:

The Albigen Papers
Psychology of the Observer

To meet Richard Rose "in person," visit Richard Rose Teachings, the official website dedicated to his teachings where you will find books, video, audio and a new biography, Retreat from Untruth, by Alan Fitzpatrick.

A Meaningless Life:
Hopeless or Hysterical?


by Richard Rose

I had a dream one day
Of socks at hellish play.
Although they were my roommate’s socks,
With pliers I took them to a box,
And sealed the lid with pick-proof locks.
But that square house where those
Polluted pelts reclined,
Unlike Pandora’s chest required no curious mind
To help them spread their germs,
They ope’d the box themselves, —
I swear, they crawled like worms,
They leaped like bats and elves,
They flew like bats right by the airproof seal,
To make my lungs congeal,
The last roach reel
And leave our habitat.
And yet with all of that
They were not satisfied,
They danced across the bed,
My puny plaints defied, —
They walked right through my head
Like ghosts of which I’ve read.
They left their prints upon my brain,
(Which fevered grew) did not refrain
From jumping on my pulse with feet
Like plaster-Paris forms, moulees
Of jointless paws hard as the street,
Hard as the heartless cobbled quays.
They filled suitcases, dressers, floors,
They hung upon bedposts and doors,
They greeted me from out the mirror, and
Whene’er I reached to pick a comb,
They got by some connivance in my hand.
Yes soon I dreaded coming home,
To greet these guests.
The last time I left
(Of great strength bereft),
I returned to learn
I lacked the strength to burn
Those polluted pests!

~ from Carillon
Reprinted with permission by Rose Publications

Quotes, too

[Here’s another chance to read, pause, and reflect. And to smile, hopefully.]

"May your life experience be decidedly disconcerting."

~ Bob Cergol’s wish to his friends in Dear Aging Becomer

• • •

“It is a great help for a man to be in love with himself. For an actor, however, it is absolutely essential.”

~ Robert Morley

• • •

“Doing God’s work and believing,
That God likes observers acting concerned,
Acting as though God as the victim needs rescuing,
That God as insanity needs explanation . . .
That God as destroyer needs apology,
Or needs humans taking on God’s sins . . .
By acts of pious asceticism.”

~ Richard Rose, excerpted from "The Mirror," in Carillon

• • •

“Death: A big, terrible joke… I have relaxed and am at home.”

~ Shawn Nevins, from Definitions

• • •

"Some folks can look so busy doing nothin’ that they seem indispensable."

~ Kin Hubbard

• • •

Prof. 1: Two positives never make a negative.
Prof. 2: Yeah, yeah.

~ An exchange between J. L. Austin and Sidney Morgenbesser

• • •

"The most important thing in acting is honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made."

~ George Burns

• • •

Q: Where are my blind spots?
A: In front of you.

~ Art Ticknor, from Beyond Relativity

• • •

"Nothing dies harder than a bad idea."

~ Julia Cameron, from The Artist's Way

• • •

"Every day offers you an opportunity to laugh at yourself and turn from the ridiculous and untrue."

~ Shawn Nevins

• • •

Life doesn’t take you seriously, so you needn't take it so seriously.

~ Richard Rose

• • •

The Holy Spirit certainly is there, but you can’t hear it if you are screaming at your self. You’re not so bad; you’re just like everyone else.

~ Shawn Nevins

• • •

One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.

~ Bertrand Russell

• • •

"We don’t solve problems so much as we outlive them."

~ Jim Burns

• • •

"And although I may try to get my point across with some skill, or with an accent of humor, rest assured that my main motive is to hold the attention, not to entertain."

~ Richard Rose, The Albigen Papers, p. 147

Reader Commentary

Thanks for the Forum.

~ A.M.

Dear TAT Forum,

Thank you for your continued publication, which to me now is a lifeline, as I am now living on the other side of the earth from the States, literally. And I am missing, craving, the face-to-face contact, no, confrontations with fellow self-inquirers. Friends who are interested in finding reality turn out to be rare. ––– Rare –––. Since I took for granted the invaluable opportunities I had to meet face-to-face with seeker friends, and worse, didn’t always take those opportunities, I want to now make amends. I need help. And you, too. To those of you who are feeling similarly deprived, let us meet via Skype and hold our own confrontation sessions. As T. S. Eliot said, “Oh, do not ask [too long], “What is it?” / Let us go and make our visit.” me.

~ Ike, Java, Indonesia

Your thoughts are music to our ears.

Please email your comments, suggestions, inquiries, and submissions.

A New Home for TAT Moves Closer to Reality

Last year's essay, A Vision of Home for TAT, lays out this vision:

· A small piece of property adjoining public lands.

· A house for a live-in caretaker.

· Either a wing on the house large enough for meeting space, or a separate building.

· A cabin for isolation retreats.

· Location within an hour and a half of a major airport.

· A reasonable distance from Columbus, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, and the DC Metro areas.


Our objective is to be of greater service to TAT members and friends by creating a spot on earth where people can do retreats and hold meetings; where the emphasis is on friendship and the search.

Our former home was on Richard Rose’s farm and was a sanctuary for many years, and a crucible. He once told me it was like the desert—where you go to meet God.

We officially kicked-off our fundraising campaign in early February, with a goal of $250,000 and we are now 44% of the way to this goal. Many hands do truly make light work. We've had donations from $50 to $10,000. No amount is too small--or too large. The success of this endeavor depends upon a true community effort.

Here is our personal appeal to you, readers of the TAT Forum:

Lend us your hand in this great endeavor
that will create a benefit for yourselves and others.
Help us to find a new home for TAT.

To make a donation, use the contribution button below.

If you would like to send us a check, please email or call (510-725-5195) for more information. TAT is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization and qualifies to receive tax-deductible contributions.


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