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January 2020 / More

Convictions & Concerns

TAT members share their personal convictions and/or concerns


After being introduced to the search for Truth within by Richard Rose in the fall of 1972, my questions were answered 46+ years later, April 7, 2019, during a rapport sitting with friends at the TAT Foundation meeting.

As a college freshman, I held the belief that the truth was to be found in science and that fundamental paradoxes in physics could be resolved by knowledge of first principles. After meeting Richard Rose in the fall of 1972, my search for Truth quickly turned to a search within for answers.

Working increasingly closely with my friends on the path and Rose during the ensuing 4 years of college and several years after, I found "rapport sessions" to be times of insight. Rose encouraged sitting silently with other seekers with whom one has a feeling of rapport, and then feeling for others' minds without focusing on self or on others, feeling for what is "between." Rose wrote about this topic in his book, Energy Transmutation, Between-ness and Transmission. He also believed that such rapport sessions could prepare the mind of the seeker for Transmission. Between-ness opens the mind to Grace.

Three and a half years into the search, in the Spring of 1976, a partial realization occurred unexpectedly and simultaneously to me and a friend (Dan P.) with whom I had sat in rapport almost weekly for several years. Following intense contemplation of something Richard Rose had said, we began a silent rapport sitting with others. At the end of the sitting we were suddenly and instantaneously Aware, immersed in singular, undifferentiated Awareness wherein no-thing and no person is present. Only Awareness. He knew that I knew, and I knew that he knew. Aware as one, we witnessed in the periphery a roiling dimension of thought—all that ever is or ever will be, present in a roiling dimension of thought, all present at once.

The immersion in singular, undifferentiated Awareness lasted perhaps twenty minutes, until a thought attracted curiosity and attention, whereupon our minds instantaneously separated. In the ensuing twenty minutes we sat astonished, observing thoughts, feelings and emotions passing back and forth between our minds, the source of which was unclear. We were watching life unfold in the mind dimension as we slowly returned to identification with the world experienced by our separate minds. The phenomena of ESP are trivial by comparison.

I found similarity in Ramana Maharshi's description of Kevala Nirvikalpa Samadhi, and his analogy of the bucket being lowered into the well and back out again. The bucket—the mind—holding onto its identity while being fully immersed in Awareness.

For many years, my immature mind held onto its identity, believing that it had "experienced" Awareness. Despite what was witnessed, the mind believed the relative mind was real, had an "experience," and returned to reality. But this is exactly backwards.

The partial realization was a prelude to a rapport session a little over a year later in 1977, when my 22-year-old immature mind observed its imminent potential to die or go insane. Face to face with death of the mind caused an intensive reaction by the body and mind to "LIVE!" And, an equally intense reaction of fear of death, which took years to face. Over two decades went by, during which these events kept returning the mind to the questions of meaning, and life and death.

During a period of several months of freedom from work in late 2000 to early 2001, I recognized my inability to articulate or understand what had happened in 1976 and 1977, and the search began again. Now, in my late forties, there was no teacher. Richard Rose had declined into Alzheimer's.

In April 2019, during the third and final day of the April TAT meeting, all questions were answered. And again, it began with a rapport session.

The April 2019 TAT meeting agenda was inspiring, including as speakers Bart Marshall, Paul Hedderman, Norio Kushi and Paul Rezendes, with Paul Constant leading rapport sittings.

Early Saturday before his talk, Bart and I caught up, and he asked if I prayed. He reminded me that realization comes from outside the mind, the prayer is for the Truth, and the answer is not in the mind. Bart noted as he does in his talks and writings, "Be careful what you wish for" and "strap on the seat belt." Paul Hedderman pounded away in his talk that evening about what he calls "selfing," emphasizing that the self does not act as it thinks it does. Rather, thoughts and action proceed first, and the mind takes credit for it.

Later Saturday evening, I spoke to Norio about the partial realization of 43 years prior that is briefly described above. Norio began talking about the "space between two people." "That space," he remarked, "is a creative space, where such things can occur that are beyond the mind." Only weeks later did I realize Norio was talking about Between-ness. Norio's comments reminded me that in rapport sittings one simply observes the feeling that arises. I determined to trust completely the feeling of rapport, to absolutely trust the feeling in that "creative space." Somehow, the next morning, doing so invited Grace.

The first event on the Sunday agenda was a morning rapport session. A lot of energy was in evidence, and at one point very intense sustained energy. What was absent and unseen seemed more real than what appeared present. It was building in intensity. With absolute trust, abandoning all mental reservation, following the feeling of rapport "inward" with all those present, Grace intervened.

Intense Awareness accompanied by intense energy, revealed Absolute Emptiness, Nothingness. The biblical "rending the curtain of the temple" describes the feeling. I do not exist nor ever existed—Richard Rose did not exist nor ever existed—the world which appears through the mind does not exist. Awareness and intense energy present in wave after wave. Only Awareness, Only Emptiness. Various phrases from sutras and poetry spontaneously came to mind, now fully revealed in new meaning. The energy was so intense my arms and legs felt like electrical current was flowing through them. I was weeping uncontrollably. Nothing mattered.

Several friends sat with me for a while (Chuck W. and Leesa S.) and then seeing the weeping, Bart Marshall came over and sat with me, understanding immediately what was happening. Leesa S. spoke to me, and her comment revealed with absolute clarity the abyss between the mind and Awareness. Sadness was overwhelming. There is an "abyss" the mind does not cross to what IS. The mind cannot touch IT.

Intense Awareness and energy continued in waves of intensity for nearly an hour; Emptiness prevailed. I eventually was able to rise to walk and leave the room before the next talk. Bart, steadfastly with me during this time, helped me up and we walked upstairs to a quiet library room. On the way, each step I took was as if stepping into Nothingness.

Awareness and energy continued in waves, and began to lessen in intensity and frequency. Bart left to allow space for solitude. After a while, I rejoined the meeting in the back corner of the room. When Paul Rezendes finished his session he came over to see how I was and mentioned we could talk later. The compassion and love in this simple gesture by Paul began another crescendo of Awareness and energy. Out of exhaustion, the mind and body resisted slightly, and the energy did not again become overwhelming. Awareness remained. When the self is gone, Awareness remains.

Life seems to creep in. An hour later when trying to help settle TAT's bill with the host of the meeting facility, I could not add up a column of "1"s. The mind was still in shock, and an element of shock remained for months afterwards.

In retrospect, nothing "happened." Only a false belief in self was taken away by Grace, and All that IS was revealed. No one was there or ever was there—me, Rose, anyone. In "The Three Books of the Absolute," Richard Rose used the phrase, "All that remains is All." IT, Awareness, Source, the Absolute, simply IS.

Having heard many talks over the years seeking to convey the perspective of realization, it really does little good to talk about it, unless it inspires to action. We are not what our mind believes itself to be. For each person, what it is about their presumed identity that stands in the way of seeing what IS, is likely quite different. Different from what needed to be subtracted from me, or more accurately, seen through and taken from me, and different from the path of others whose accounts may be read.

There is a great paradox here, which makes no sense to the relative mind. I can't express fully the mystery of Awareness and Absolute Emptiness. Both exist forever, in an Eternal Moment. Nothingness, just as Awareness, defies words.

Bart Marshall addresses this paradox in his book, Verses Regarding True Nature. The 29th verse provides great insight into this paradox:

Why is there something rather than nothing?

Presence, Life, Aliveness, God…
It has many names.
Timeless, ever new –
It can be called Eternal Life.
There is no reason or explanation.
It just is.

It is not ancient—it arises only Now.
It is not distant— it is nearer
than you are to yourself.

It is the substance of Void
and Everything is made of it.

For those seeking to know the Self or the Truth, there is hope, there is a subtractive path that involves working with others and on yourself, to find Truth for its own sake. Your efforts are not in vain.

There is no formula. There is nothing to fear. It is always there, waiting, present at every moment, waiting for a moment of Between-ness, where Grace intervenes.

May Grace befall every seeker who seeks Truth without reservation.

Many words for something so simple, and something the mind cannot understand.


~ Thanks to Richard Rose student and long-time active TAT member Mike Gegenheimer for this November 2019 description of his April 2019 revelation.

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Return to the main page of the January 2020 TAT Forum.


TAT Foundation News

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

Downloadable/rental versions of the Mister Rose video and of April TAT talks Remembering Your True Desire:

"You don't know anything until you know Everything...."

Mister Rose is an intimate look at a West Virginia native many people called a Zen Master because of the depth of his wisdom and the spiritual system he conveyed to his students. Profound and profane, Richard Rose was not the kind of man most people picture when they think of mystics or spiritual teachers. Yet, he was the truest of teachers, one who had "been there," one who had the cataclysmic experience of spiritual enlightenment.

Filmed in the spring of 1991, the extraordinary documentary follows Mr. Rose from a radio interview, to a university lecture and back to his farm, as he talks about his experience, his philosophy and the details of his life.

Whether you find him charming or offensive, fatherly or fearsome, you will not forget him, and never again will you think about yourself, reality, or life after death in quite the same way.

3+ hours total. Rent or buy at tatfoundation.vhx.tv/.

2012 April TAT Meeting – Remembering Your True Desire

Includes all the speakers from the April 2012 TAT meeting: Art Ticknor, Bob Fergeson, Shawn Nevins and Heather Saunders.

1) Remembering Your True Desire ... and Acting on It, by Art Ticknor
Spiritual action is like diving for the Pearl beyond Price. What do you do when you don't know what to do or how to do it? An informal discussion centered around the question: "What prevents effective spiritual action?"

2) Swimming in the Inner Ocean: Trips to the Beach, by Bob Fergeson
A discussion of the varied ways we can use in order to hear the voice of our inner ocean, the heart of our true desires.

3) A Wider and Wilder Vision, by Shawn Nevins
Notes on assumptions, beliefs, and perspectives that bind and free us.

4) Make Your Whole Life a Prayer, by Heather Saunders
An intriguing look into a feeling-oriented approach to life.

5+ hours total. Rent or buy at tatfoundation.vhx.tv/.

Return to the main page of the January 2020 TAT Forum.


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.

Richard Rose Quotes
Developing the Intuition and Reason

A Prelude

A.P. (p. 207): A true seeker is a very unique person. Outwardly he will not appear to be different from anyone else. His uniqueness comes from the particular game that he plays. He allows himself to become addicted or to become a vector, -- once the idea of being a vector makes sense to him. He is like an eccentric deep sea diver who has experienced the rapture of the deep. He needs no motive to live, except to live to continue the pursuit that seems to hold the most promise.

The enlightened man has nothing to live for (by most people's standards), and yet he continues to live. Everyone else seems to have something to live for, but they are always ultimately disappointed. The seeker gradually grows indifferent to the objects of his appetites, continues to move, even though those objects are the only motivation for other people.


DMX (p. 79): Before you get into too much of this business of a reverse vector you have to develop an intuition, or you will not know how to decide that which is absurd.

Basically we have to develop our intuition and our reason.

Because this process is basically the sharpening-up of a computer. Giving the computer two important faculties, developing these faculties, and then keeping a problem in that computer incessantly.

P. of O. (p.60): By his logic man can do nothing. By himself he can do nothing. Unless. Unless man can, through some faculty for feeling, pick up a downward emanation [the Invisible Current] from man's Real Self, or from God, or the Absolute, or from that which you wish to call It….

A.P. (p. 172): …There is no book of symptoms that covers all of the blocks that may be generated by these "states" nor is there an instruction-book of any sort that will list the manners of surmounting each block. Without perfected intuition, we are lost.

A.P. (p. 177): From "List of Obstacles":
Forms of Rationalization:
     That we can "feel" our way alone. Intuition alone.
     That we can do it with our omnipotent reason.

A.P. (p. 193): If I have a system, it is simply a system by which Truth is reached by the continual analysis (not breakage) of various transcendental poses, and by a constant vigil over the many factors within the self.

A.P. (p. 194):
2. That the human mind is not infallible in its processes, and that it suffers errors as a result of many factors, such as… inadequate intuition, inadequate reasoning (or inadequate common sense faculties)….

5. That illusions are the great obstacles to Truth, and the dispelling of these illusions involves the improvement of the inadequate factors mentioned in premise 2, and better control over them.

A.P. (p. 202): We must develop a faculty, consequently, for being more aware of the difference between things true and things untrue. And it will not come suddenly.

A.P. (p. 206): And rarely do we try to protect them [our religion, teacher, or cult] with logical implementation or common sense, but choose to confound our critics with such protests as divine visitation or intuitional guidance.

If our intuition is not perfected, this maneuver will only serve to bury us deeper. We are only setting up a smoke screen to prevent further questioning.

A.P. (p. 216): Step-two [of the Reversal Path] deals with developing the intuition. The reversal of desire and curiosity, affects the natural, relative vehicle, -- the relative mind. And while such a process does lead us to the state of Reality, the process may be slow because of the limitations of the relative perspective. An intuition with some degree of infallibility is needed.


DMX (p. 79-80): Now there are ways of developing your intuition. One of them, of course, is by checking it. For instance by using ESP cards, -- trying to pick up things directly with your mind and then watching to see if you're getting a greater degree of accuracy.

There are certain mental exercises, such as using mathematics, that can be used. We give an "intensive" of largely mental math exercises, prepared for the purpose of exercising logic, to try to get you to try to think in an orderly manner, rather than in a random, desire manner.

There is a certain lifestyle, a certain way of living that develops your intuition.

P. of O. (p. 33): Also in this category [Visions without projection by the perceiver] are direct-mind communications which we pick up accurately from another person, such as in mind-reading.

This sense can be discovered and developed. It amounts to a sort of sensitive feeler which the mind extends to the mind of another, using in the beginning all manner of clues from the countenance of the other person and even items of posture and tone of voice, to guess (at first) that which the other person may be thinking. But after a while, success will breed accuracy, and later still, we will be able to possess a feeling of knowing instead of uncertainty. This feeling of knowing results from persistent checking over a long period of time with the person that we are reading. Group sessions for the purpose of attempting to have rapport and picking up information are good.

P. of O. (p. 59): And so we embark upon an intuitional trip. And this trip is no trip of idle dreaming and fairy-tale conjecturing alone. It embodies techniques for developing mental apprehensiveness, and perfecting it. It involves the study of all new approaches to the business of defining life. So that we try to digest books on theology, magic, philosophy, and esotericism, and many more, to try to pick up any clues that previous students may have discovered.

E.T.B.T. (p. 44): The raising of the Kundalini is not the only method of transmutation of sexual energy into mental-energy-quanta. …They [geniuses] applied tension to their work for an extended duration of time, and endured the body tension that generally goes with scholastic concentration. Only when the mind conquers the problem at hand, does it relax, and after the mind relaxes then the body relaxes, and this dual process of relaxing in victory enables the mind to become clearer and more astute in each such exercise.

Concentration, if persistent enough, will transmute the sexual energy, and influence the direction of future sexual energy build-ups.

E.T.B.T. (p. 59): …Intuition itself is directly related to celibacy and the management of prostaglandins.

M.P. (p. 3): There are some spiritual meditational exercises, … in which the yogi does not visualize, but only fixes his attention on an object to be studied.

This method of meditation is valid…. The error of margin with this method will always lie in the efficiency of the meditator as a receiver….

And so it seems valid then that the yogi should first use this system upon himself. In the process he may discover and correct his voltage, and his filtering and recording mechanisms. If he is lucky, he may take another step, with improved sensors, and come to know about himself and his essence.

M.P. (p. 15): This path inhibits sex, not for the sake of holiness, but to isolate the thinker from all outside influences. The path does not inhibit sex totally, but until certain objectives are reached, such as the development of maturity and intuition.

A.P. (p. 208): The inhibition of the appetites, for a period of time, is conducive to the development of the intuition. Sex, being the appetite with the strongest influence, must be proportionately inhibited.

A.P. (p. 216): And the intuition is automatically developed, but its development can be accelerated by personal techniques. We must get into the habit of taking this energy which is projected into us, and channeling it into exercises that consist of looking into pertinent things for their consistency or lack of it, which exercises are the first steps, or are meditational techniques that lead to becoming. Finally, this habit develops a sense, -- an automatic computerization of greater and greater accuracy. …And concurrent with the developing of this sense, should be the developing of a system of checking. We must find a way to periodically check out intuition to see if it is straying into hallucination of an egotistical belief in its own infallibility.

Carillon (p. 111): By meditation men have improved their Intuition.| By suffering and adversity, men have improved Intuition.| By abstinence from food, or from certain foods men have improved their Intuition.| By abstinence from sex action men have improved their Intuition.| By the establishment of a system of shocks, or alternation between abstinence and indulgence, between suffering and happiness or even ecstasy, men have improved their Intuition.| By the practice of concentration on one thing, then on many things, and then on nothing, men have improved their Intuition.| By the practice of remembering the self, men have improved.| By the practice of concentration on various nerve centers, men have improved their Intuition.

Reason may be improved by the coordination of similarities and opposites in nature.| Reason may be improved by qualifying all statements with their relative nature.| Reason may be improved by exploring the "possible opposite" of that which seems to be final.| Reason may be improved by listening to the words of those who firmly believe in opposition to ourselves.| Reason may be improved by the study of mathematics.| Reason may be improved by the study of symbols, words numbers or figures, or by the juggling of these, or by exchanging or interpolating symbols of one system for those of another system, and by the resulting effect of all this upon memory and imagination.| Reason may be improved by desire, or fear.| Reason may be improved by the determination to reason.


P. of O. (p. 23): Reason is nothing more than a reaction process which goes on in all of us, and is monitored by a built in observer. … we lay claim to being the reaction process, instead of that which watches and perhaps, -- decides.

P. of O. (p. 57): Intuition is nothing more than developed feeling.

M.P. (p. 27): This [reaction to a reaction] would be a third reaction, or a reaction to a previous pattern of reaction. And we like to call this Reason. However it is all automatic if we observe it closely enough.

A.P. (p. 50): Reason is a pattern of reaction of reactions among themselves. Many such patterns may form a reasoning. It differs from intuition in that it is a process that is projected through the window of consciousness step-by-step. Intuition is that same reaction, or gestalt interchange, or cross-checking of reaction patterns, without any projection through the window of consciousness of each step of the process. Only the answer is projected.

~ Thanks to Shawn Nevins, who compiled this list of quotes and included the following notes-to-himself at the end:

Discovering the process observer is equivalent to the discovery of reason. You will have intuition in your area of interest and focus. Look into consistency bias and Joseph Sadony's verification of his intuitions (Gates of the Mind). "Validation requires courage."

Check out Shawn's SpiritualTeachers.org website.

Return to the main page of the January 2020 TAT Forum.

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