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October 2014

This Month's Contents: TAT Labor Day Meeting: 2014: From the Unreal to the Real; notes from Bob Cergol’s sessions | Excerpt from The Conquest of Illusion by J. J. Van Der Leeuw | Link: Surrounded By Digital Distractions, We Can't Even Stop To Think | A Poem by Ike Harijanto | Quotes | Humor | Reader Commentary |

Editor's Note
by David Weimer

Spiritual Magazine

Welcome to the Forum.

TAT Labor Day Meeting:
notes from Bob Cergol’s sessions

Spiritual Magazine

Bob Cergol was invited to give a workshop at this TAT meeting and provided the following as an indication of what his session content would be about.

Richard Rose spoke of his philosophy as a system and he characterized that system as being negative and subtractive. He spoke frequently of becoming a reverse vector and the need to retreat from un-truth. He used the phrase: re-traversing the projected ray. He warned against visualization during meditation. He said that you live your life in a hypnotized state and wrote of dreams within dreams. So what is really going on when you meditate? Really?

As it turned out Bob also gave the informal Friday evening session which turned out to be a sort of “My Path to Self-Definition Based on the Teachings of Richard Rose” Bob recalled his first meeting of Richard Rose and contrasted his experience on the path and Rose’s teachings with today’s popular, main-stream “New Age” ideas of a spiritual path. He emphasized the following:

“… And if the words of the teacher are kind to the ears, then the ear hears that which it wishes to hear. Then how shall the ear hear of that which is?

… To know is to know that which is. To believe is to weave. …”

In telling his story Bob emphasized the following:

Bob then played an 8-minute clip from Richard Rose’s 1977 Columbus, Ohio lecture, "Zen and The Reality of Thought." He said he selected it to give the audience a sense of the intensity and challenging nature of Rose as well as to draw attention to the emphasis he placed on dynamic, challenging meditation as opposed to quiescent techniques. Bob cited Rose’s belief that Zen teaching has become trivialized over the centuries as more and more words have been written purporting to be Zen teaching, and how Rose often cited the following definition of Zen as commonly attributed to Bodhidharma:

1. A special transmission outside of the scriptures.

2. No importance on words or letters.

3. Direct pointing at the soul of man.

4. Seeing into one’s own nature and the attainment of Self.

The main theme of the audio clip had to do with the last one about seeing into one’s own nature. Several direct quotes were:

Bob concluded his session offering the following “Summary of Advice” from his own life’s search that he said lasted 22 years and culminated with a final answer to the question: “Who – and what – am I?”

1. Define yourself. Find out who and what you are.

2. See clearly. (You just don’t!)

3. Reverse the vector of your attention.

4. Watch the watcher.

5. Cultivate the doubt sensation.

6. Take action and challenge yourself – mentally, physically and in life.

7. Don’t look away from any affliction to the sense of self.

8. Be wary of your thoughts. They are reactionary and follow the body.

9. Make a commitment! – and Act on it! (Action has an effect upon the attention.)

10. Practice a daily examination of conscience.

11. Pray.

12. Help others.

Bob filled in for another presenter who couldn’t make the meeting, and during that session, he used the following to spur a discussion. He prefaced his reading these by saying that while the following statements may strike some as harsh-sounding, people are hypnotized and asleep and require at least some shaking to rouse them from slumber and to disrupt their trance.

Ego-centric, Ego-Reinforcing and Imprisoning Illusions:

That your number 1 priority in life is anything other than self-preservation.
That everything you think and do serves any purpose other than to magnify that self.
That spiritual practice should result in spiritual experiences, such experiences being a desired result, and that experiences add something to you.
That you are not continuously deluding yourself and that a vigorous self-inquiry that exposes your rationalizations and self-deceptions is not central and prerequisite to progress.
That the bond of identification with body-personhood can be ripped asunder by anything less than a shock resulting from direct challenging of that identification through intense self-inquiry and self-definition. (A shock is needed to arrive at the unexpected.)
That life is an evolutionary process that is aligned with, and conducive to your spiritual growth.
That quiescent meditation will result in anything beyond pleasant quiescence, which by the way, you engage in nightly during sleep.
That studying philosophy or thinking about spiritual or religious concepts constitutes spiritual work or meaningful self-inquiry that will lead to discovery of one’s essence.
That practices of teachings that make you feel good are anything more than compliments to the mortal ego that serve only to affirm its central role in defining you.
That relaxing into forgetfulness of self – leads to discovery of Self (self-transcendence).

His scheduled workshop session revolved around challenging the attendees with the following set of questions:

Q1: What is the single most important thing you do that furthers your spiritual path and the attainment of whatever you conceive of as your spiritual goal – that if you did nothing else, is the single most important thing you can do and that demonstrates to you yourself that you are earnest and are attending to your own “salvation” with diligence? Be specific and explain why it helps. Be concise.

Q2: What is the least important thing, that is nevertheless recognizably some action you take or other thing? Explain what its value is.

Q3: Play devil’s advocate and present an argument against whatever you answered in Q1.

Q4: Play angel’s advocate and present an argument why whatever you answered in Q2 might be more valuable than you think.

Q5: Can you think of anything that you do NOT do, that you think would have value?

Q6: Can you think of anything that you do that is detrimental and/or interferes.

In corresponding with Bob about the meeting and preparing these notes to post in the TAT Forum, he offered this final summary of the message he was trying to convey.

Transcendence of thought is not transcendence of self. Shifting the focus of attention away from thought and onto breath or body is a useful prelude to a meditation of self-inquiry, but as an entire meditative technique it is an exercise in self-forgetfulness. It may lead to a wonderful experience but the mind is simply resting on the I-thought and that I-self is having a very pleasant experience, while remaining safely hidden behind the cloak of mental quietude and physical ease. The notion of “coming into the body” is a form of engaging in what Pulyan describes as Ego1↔Ego2 ***. The experience generated from this meditative technique is not the absolute realization that Rose, Nisargadatta, Maharshi, and others speak about. There is always a desire and a need for experiences to be extended in duration and intensity in order to satisfy the ego’s need for affirmation, progress, and the nagging, deep sense of lacking a final answer to the question of ultimate self-definition.

***Pulyan wrote about the Ego dichotomizing itself in order to set up a dynamic of protecting and reinforcing a “boss” ego with the need created by having a subservient ego hard at supposed spiritual work of creating experiences and thoughts that affirmed ego-self.

Spiritual Magazine

~ Email

The Conquest of Illusion
by J. J. Van Der Leeuw

spiritual magazine


The fundamental reason why neither the theological nor the scientific or even the occult view of world-origins can ever give a satisfactory answer is that they all begin by implicitly accepting the questions, without pausing to consider whether perhaps something is not wrong with the question itself, and whether we do not stand self-condemned when we attempt to answer it.

As long as the intellect does not even suspect that its objective universe is but the world-image produced in our consciousness it will unquestioningly accept an absolute time as part of that objective universe. Such an objective time demands beginning and end, and the intellect finds itself confronted by this difficulty that creation must have begun at some time, that is to say, that there must have been a beginning of time. This is in itself absurd, especially when thought of in conjunction with an unchanging eternity of divine existence. It is impossible to co-ordinate our cycles of time, or definite duration, with an unchanging eternity which has neither beginning nor end, being an ever present reality, and all our attempts to make our illusion of an absolute time fit in with the conception of eternity are doomed to failure.

~ from page 73

Surrounded By Digital Distractions, We Can't Even Stop To Think

(click on image below to read this article)

Spiritual Magazine

A Poem
by Ike Harijanto

I thought it was going to be dramatic;
But today I find my care dimming.

I thought it was going to be dramatic;
my leaving.
But tonight I find my care dimming,
for I’m tired of holding


"It never was what it was."

~ Anonymous


Spiritual Magazine

~ from kindofnormal.com

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