TAT FOUNDATION

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


TAT Forum

May 2020


June 2020 TAT gathering

June spiritual retreat details

Homing Ground Update

… A spot on earth where people can do retreats and hold
meetings; where the emphasis is on friendship and the search.

Hurdle Mills new home for TAT

See the TAT Homing Ground Update section below for how you can help prepare our new home for future TAT meeting. We need more action from Forum readers!


Contents


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Convictions & Concerns

TAT members share their personal convictions and/or concerns


On Learning to Listen


"It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." - William Shakespeare, Macbeth


Paracelsus, a 16th century physician, was known to be able to look at anything, an herb, plant or mineral, and divine its essence, and thus its purpose and use. A direct knowing, given by the Universal Intelligence, to one who had ears to hear. How might we tap into this direct insight of the universe? Most of us are trapped with only a very limited 'knowing' which is basically the description of opinions derived from an arbitrary point of observation; a fixed pattern, based only on the recalled past. This 'knowing' or ego/mind, is hardly capable of knowing itself, much less the essence of an herb, plant, or our Source. This ego is derived from the experience of a character in a story, who is basically unconscious; a scripted unwitting idiot telling a tale, ultimately signifying nothing. To know directly, as Paracelsus, we would have to leave our story-drama and its trap, and become something wider, deeper. We are capable of hearing more than the mind's obsessive chattering about our personal character's recalled experiences. We may begin to wake up, and feel as Arthur Dent in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: "Did I do anything wrong today, or has the world always been like this and I've been too wrapped up in myself to notice?"

Only something which has no vested interest in the drama can look outside of the character in its tale, and see the universal reality behind the dream of life. This is a very scary proposition; it threatens the very system of the drama, for we derive our identity from our character and story-line, each defining the other. The drama is seldom questioned, for this can only happen by stepping outside of it; a paradox. We refuse to listen to the voice of the silence within, because that would imply we don't know it all already. How can we learn to turn to this inner listening, to hear the voice of intuition, of insight?

Spending time alone is one way. We take a break from the distractions of our electronic age with its cell phones, computers, TV's, etc., plus the well-meaning but distracting voices of our friends and family. This can give us time to learn to appreciate silence, and to listen. Perhaps we'll reacquaint ourselves with a long lost companion deep within: our own heart. Time spent alone removes the relentless pressure imposed on us by society to conform to its standards, and allows our mind to clear and become quiet. Another pressure is the ego's defense against its main fear, the unknown. This also requires much time and energy, and blocks out anything that doesn't fit the storyline. Nothing from the higher power within is allowed to get through.

Another way is to spend time with those who value listening within and have found their connection to the inner voice. These fellow seekers can save us time and energy, having been down the long road to their inner self and thus able to help us along our path as well. The higher energy fields of these companions will give the inner self a taste of its own potential. Their inner calm and quiet are a stark contrast to the tale of sound and fury we have been dreaming so hard, without question.

The world of dreams is similar to this drama we call our life. When in a dream, we take it for real, and the experiences of the dream as telling us a true 'knowing' about the dream-world. But when interpreted upon awakening, we see it as only a story of our character's mind, and this 'knowing' as being simply a description of this mind that made the dream-world. The individual pattern or view-point is what's known. Nothing is objectively known about the so-called things, inhabitants, or possible reality of the dream.

To find the reality behind the dream, and possibly behind the dream character, we must find something higher. This universal intelligence is constantly speaking to us, always trying to get our attention. This voice of insight or intuition is drowned out by the voices of the characters in our drama. Look bravely at the plots of the dramas in life you've seen. They all end the same, and nothing is gained. Death conquers all, and the story with all its sound and fury endlessly repeats. Question the character you've been lost in, and the drama of your own so-called life and its significance. Search fearlessly to find the nameless Something behind the play; the calm, clear reality beyond the dream, where nothing is done, nobody's there to do it, and all is perfect in silence.

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~ Thanks to Bob Fergeson—Richard Rose student, long-time TAT member, and now resident teacher at TAT's new home in North Carolina. Bob is the author of The Listening Attention: Gateway to Our Inner Self" and Dark Zen: A Guru On The Bayou as well as co-author (photography) of Images of Essence: The Standing Now with Shawn Nevins (poetry). Check out his websites The Mystic Missal (A Door to Ways and Means on the Spiritual Path), Nostalgia West spiritual photography site & The Listening Attention (A Gateway to Within). Bob can be contacted by .

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Would you like to share your impressions or questions with other TAT Forum readers? (Comments and questions may be selected for future Reader Commentary inclusions, identified with first name and first letter of last name or other attribution of your choice.) Please email your impressions/questions to the .


 

TAT Foundation News

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


TAT Press's latest publication: cover of Hydroglyphics: Reflections on the Sacred, by Shawn Nevins (poetry) and Phaedra Greenwood (photographs)

Hydroglyphics: Reflections on the Sacred by Shawn Nevins (poetry) and Phaedra Greenwood (photographs), is available in paperback and in Kindle e-book format.

In this second collection of spiritual poetry and photography from the TAT Foundation Press, Shawn Nevins teams with Taos, New Mexico-based photographer Phaedra Greenwood to present a breathtaking volume that immerses the reader in the sacred, reflective spaces of water. Available to order from Amazon or your favorite bookstore.

Or check out more details, where you can get a signed copy from Shawn at SpiritualTeachers.org.

Please add your review to the Amazon listing. It makes a difference!

2020 TAT Meeting Calendar

April 3-5, 2020
* June 12-14, 2020 *
August 14-16, 2020
November 6-8, 2020

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, TAT's June spiritual retreat weekend is scheduled tentatively. However, we are not accepting registration payment until plans develop. In the meantime, if you would like to express your intention to attend, please send an email to .

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The following video recordings of presentations from a previous April TAT meeting are available on YouTube:

Richard Rose spent his life searching for the Truth, finding it, and teaching others to find their Way. Although not well known to the public, he touched the lives of thousands of spiritual seekers through his books and lectures and through personal contacts with local study groups that continue to work with his teachings today. Meet Richard Rose is a 34-minute audio recording of an audiovisual presentation by Michael Whitely at the August 2017 TAT meeting that explores the arc of Richard Rose's life as seeker, finder, family man, and teacher.

Downloadable/rental versions of the Mister Rose video and of April TAT talks Remembering Your True Desire (details).


Local Group News

A new listing for the Amsterdam, NL Self-Inquiry Group:
The group is not holding meetings currently, but email for information.

Update from the Central New Jersey Group:
Recently our local inquiry group moved from in-person, to a virtual meeting format, using zoom. At our first virtual meeting on March 20, we had 7 participants. There were minor technical issues –for example the free version of zoom terminates at 45 minutes - however the meeting was productive. Participants were asked to share what has been coming up for them in recent days, specifically with respect to feeling of personal control; noticing moods, etc. We would like to encourage our fellow inquiry groups, to try a virtual meeting, to keep their group work going. ~ Email for more details.

Update from the Central Ohio Non-Duality Group:
The Columbus group operated under the name OSU Self-Inquiry Group and met for many years in a church next to The Ohio State University. After attendance dropped off, the venue was changed to a local Panera restaurant, and the name changed to Central Ohio Non-Duality Group. The group has exposure to seekers through Meetup, but has only occasional visitors outside a core group of 4 people.
     Due to schedules, we have met infrequently the past semester, and in deference to an effort to try to do other things, like rapport sittings, in private meetings.
     Meeting format is a discussion format on topics of interest to seekers, and often bridges from the concerns, questions and interests of the core members in attendance into the topic which we intend to discuss.
     We continue to meet on Monday evenings at Panera across from The Ohio State University. ~ For further information, contact or . We're also on Facebook.

Irish clover We're trying to get a group going in Dublin, Ireland:
~ If interested, email .

Update from the email self-inquiry groups:
An update on the women's self-inquiry group from Anima:
     The Women's Online Confrontation (WOC) group consists of weekly reports where participants can include:
     > What is on your mind?
     > Any projects that you want to be held accountable for?
     > Responses to a selected excerpt (in the previous report).
     > Comments/responses/questions for other participants.
     A philosophical/spiritual excerpt with two or three questions is included in each report. Based on what we share, participants ask questions to help get clarity about our thinking. The intention is to help each other see our underlying beliefs about who we are.
     One rule we try to adhere to is not to give advice or solve problems. The number of participants, to make it work efficiently, is between 4 and 7 including the leader.

Both the women's and the men's weekly email groups are active and welcome serious participants. ~ Contact or for more information.

Update from the Gainesville, FL self-inquiry group:
Our meetings at the Alachua County library on alternate Sundays have been suspended until April 30th. ~ Email or for more information.

Update from Galway, Ireland:
Tess Hughes is currently working with seekers one-to-one and holding occasional group self-inquiry retreats. Anyone who's interested in self-inquiry activity in Ireland is welcome to contact .

   TAT Press publishes Tess's easy to read, profound This Above All, the story of her journey of Self-Discovery.

This is a new listing for the self-inquiry group in Goldsboro, NC:
The Goldsboro Inquiry Group (GIG) meets on the first and third Monday evenings of the month. We begin the meeting with a short reading, then sit in silence for 20 minutes before opening it up to what I like to call group assisted self inquiry. ~ For details on when and where, contact .

Update from the Greensburg, PA self-inquiry group:
I am meeting every Saturday morning with three of my former Greensburg SIG group participants who are into non-dualist paths, such as Adyashanti and Mooji. There is also another participant, a professional psychologist who is interested in eastern philosphy and who wasn't in my SIG group but makes a great addition to our proceedings. These fellows are sincere seekers. We spend our time discussing our respective paths and comparing notes. Our new venue is a place called the White Rabbit Cafe in Greensburg. I'm hoping that the lull here has ended and that we're ready to be more dynamic again. ~ Contact if interested in local self-inquiry meetings.

A new self-inquiry group is forming in Hartland, VT:
Located in central Vermont, along I-91, the group will be using TAT videos from past conferences as a primer for discussion. ~ Contact for more information.

"Ignoramuses Anonymous" blog
Ignoramuses Anonymous is for seekers to explore questions together…a fellowship of seekers for whom ignorance of the absolute truth had become a major problem. It started as a blog for Pittsburgh PSI meeting members back in 2009. Welcoming discussion on the path.
To get notices of new posts, you can subscribe by RSS feed or by email.
From the Nov. 17th post:
William Samuel recommends adding glimpses to your journal, and I've been doing that for about half a year when I review the day. If I haven't had a glimpse I write down something I appreciate…or can appreciate. But what is a glimpse?

Update from the Lynchburg, VA self-inquiry group:
We have been meeting on Thursday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the home of one of the group members. Our meeting format is generally 20 minutes of meditation followed by an hour of group self-inquiry.
     Our group held an on-line meeting via the Zoom website between several seekers and Norio Kushi and Paul Rezendes recently. Zoom platform is fairly user-friendly and inexpensive, and might be a useful avenue for future "virtual" meetings, especially for those folks who live far away from physical SI groups.
     As several of the group members will be traveling during the month of January, they will continue to meet with Norio and Paul via Zoom. Regular meetings will begin again on Monday, February 3, 2020. ~ Please contact or if you're interested.

Update from the New York City self-inquiry group:
Our goal is to investigate and confront our unexamined beliefs in a group dynamic within a safe environment. We aim to serve as mirrors for each other, to see ourselves more clearly. Topics range from the psychological ("What kind of people annoy you?") to the abstract ("What is the nature of perception?"). We have meetings every Monday at 180 Maiden Lane from 6-8 PM. We welcome any new members who are interested in self-inquiry. ~ If interested please reach out to or find out more through our Meetup link above.

The recently listed Online Self Inquiry Book Club:
This online Self Inquiry Book Club meets Sunday afternoons. We just finished The Triune Self by Mike Snider and are starting Living Nonduality by Robert Wolfe. ~ For more information, see the meeting website (link above).

Newly listed Online Video Confrontation Group:
A Monday evening video chat confrontation group was started after the April 2020 TAT meeting. We've been using the free, online platform of "Jitsi" on Mondays at 7 EST and averaging between 5-9 participants. We want to keep the group at around 10 participants or less, but if anybody is interested in joining or starting a new group, you can email me. It would be easy to start another group or two if there is interest. Let me know what times work best for you and if you would be interested in moderating. ~ Contact .

Update from the Pittsburgh, PA self-inquiry group:
Please note new schedule and format:
During the current national health crisis, we will continue to meet on-line on the 1st & 3rd Wednesdays of May, 7:30-9pm via Zoom. On our Meetup group page, Pittsburgh Self-inquiry Group, we invite new-comers to email us to discuss their interests before being invited to the 1st Wednesday meeting. We also meet on other days each month based on interests and by invitation only.
All Forum subscribers are welcome to join us. If interested in participating, please email for more details.

Update from the Portland, OR self-inquiry group:
A small group of us meet most Sundays at a coffee shop. The format for our meetings is to give each person 20 minutes or so to talk about whatever is coming up for them in their practice and to answer questions from the others. ~ Email for more information.

Update from the Raleigh, NC Triangle Inquiry Group:
The group is starting up again after a hiatus, now with Zoom online meetings. ~ Email for details.

A new self-inquiry group is forming in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area:
With the opening of the new TAT center in Hurdle Mills, NC, and teacher-in-residence Bob Fergeson, the defunct Raleigh area group will have a new beginning. ~ Email for information about future meetings and events.

Update from the Richmond Self Inquiry Group:
There isn't a Richmond self inquiry group at the moment…it never really got off the ground. I'm considering a few different approaches for round three, but it'll be at least a few months away before that takes form. ~ Email for information about future meetings and events.

Update from the San Francisco Bay area self-inquiry group:
See the Shawn Nevins interview by Iain McNay of Conscious.tv, kicking off the publication of Shawn's book Subtraction: The Simple Math of Enlightenment. ~ Email for information about upcoming meetings and events.

Update from the Washington DC Area Self-Inquiry Discussion Group:
[This group was previously listed as the Rockville, MD self-inquiry group.] We've been meeting monthly at Rockville, MD Memorial Library. While the library is closed for public health reasons, we're participating more in a weekly online book club. Forum readers are welcome to participate. We're currently reading The Triune Self by Mike Snider. ~ For more information, please email or see the website http://firstknowthyself.org/virtual/.


Members-Only Area

A password-protected section of the website is available for TAT members. The area contains information on product discounts for members as well as a substantial amount of helpful and historical information, including audio recordings, Newsletter archives, Retrospect archives, policies, conference proceedings, business meeting notes, photographs, and suggestions for ways to help.

TAT's August 2019 Workshop was titled Beyond Mindfulness: Meditation and the Path Within and included three guest speakers who each led separate workshops. The following audio recordings are now available in the members-only website area:

TAT's June 2019 Spiritual Retreat Weekend was titled Between You and the Infinite. The following audio recordings are now available in the members-only website area:

TAT's April 2019 Spiritual Retreat Weekend was titled Once in a Lifetime is Now. The following audio recordings are now available in the members-only website area:

TAT's August 2018 Workshop was titled Beyond Imagination and included three guest speakers who each led separate workshops. The following audio recordings are now available in the members-only website area:

Please us if you have questions. (Look here for info on TAT membership.)


Amazon and eBay

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As an Amazon Associate TAT earns from qualifying purchases made through links on our website.

TAT has registered with the eBay Giving Works program. You can list an item there and select TAT to receive a portion of your sale. Or if you use the link and donate 100% of the proceeds to TAT, you won't pay any seller fees when an item sells and eBay will transfer all the funds to TAT for you. Check out our Giving Works page on eBay. Click on the "For sellers" link on the left side of that page for details.


Your Contributions to TAT News

TAT founder Richard Rose believed that working with others accelerates our retreat from untruth. He also felt that such efforts were most effective when applied with discernment, meaning working with others on the rungs of the ladder closest to our own. The TAT News section is for TAT members to communicate about work they've been doing with or for other members and friends. Please your "ladder work" news.

 

Humor

"One thing you must be able to do in the midst
of any experience is laugh. And experience
should show you that it isn't real, that it's a
movie. Life doesn't take you seriously, so why
take it seriously." ~ Richard Rose, Carillon

Addiction


addiction

~ Thanks to Paul Constant.





Lexophilic Laughs


When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate.

cherries separator


A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.

cherries separator


When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.

cherries separator


The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.

cherries separator


Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.




Headless Handwash


Headless Handwash

~ Thanks to Bob Fergeson.



We enjoy presenting humor here from TAT members and friends. Please your written or graphic creations. Exact sources are necessary for other submissions, since we need to make sure they're either in the public domain or that we have permission to use them.

 

Inspiration & Irritation

Irritation moves us; inspiration provides a direction

How to Enjoy Studying


Arlington State College Library


"Studying is an unpleasant task for most people. Students procrastinate on preparing for an exam until a last minute cram. Professionals avoid taking the training they need to get ahead in their profession. Tests make people so anxious they change careers altogether.

"If you can learn to enjoy studying, however, you'll unlock a much larger world of opportunities. Not just in school and classes, but in life...."

"... one of the most powerful ways you can learn to enjoy studying is to, paradoxically, focus on the studying itself. Don't focus on future outcomes, just focus on the puzzles in front of you and challenging yourself to see if you can solve them. Become curious about how they work, rather than feeling burdened with the obligation to learn them.

"Human beings learn through play. The more your study becomes play, the more you'll enjoy it, but also the more you'll learn."

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~ Thanks to an article by Scott Young, republished in getpocket.com. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Q: Does this approach apply to a self-inquiry / meditation practice as well?
Q: Are there puzzles in front of you that you could challenge yourself to try to solve?
Q: Can we study the mind by becoming curious about how it works?


 


Pearls of Wisdom


When facing the unknown, the key is overcoming the fear. You must have faith that it will work. Fear is absolutely the hallmark that you are getting near something important. When you get to this fear, you know something you are looking for will be found. You know that you've found a hot spot.

You have to have consistency in doing this and facing it to produce results. You can't meditate this week, do it again next week, and then let it go. You'll wind up always going back to the beginning.

Your inner being knows. Your outer being is always unknowing.

Facing the unknown takes a lot of personal quiet and divorcement from the world around you. I studied this very carefully. It is the bridge between the inner and outer man.

People who desire a mystical experience may actually be preventing it by thinking that the urgency they feel may be for that experience, when at that point in time it may be for something completely different. You have to find a way of knowing the hunger inside of you. If you don't find a way of satisfying the hunger, you will be hard pressed to pursue anything. You have to see where accidentally you have been making efforts against your own best interests.

~ From At Home with the Inner Self by Jim Burns. Also see The Key.


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~ By Philip Gould, Baron Gould of Brookwood: Labour peer, strategist and corporate adviser. Thanks to Colm H.

Q: Do you feel that cognitive reframing would solve the Damocles Sword of death for you?



Space: The Final Illusion


Arp 273 interacting galaxies


"Many of the great advances in science are marked by the discovery that an aspect of nature we thought was fundamental is actually an illusion, due to the coarseness of our sensory perceptions...."

The elements of space-time are events—the ultimate expression of locality—and each of these is caused by events in their past. Each event will also become a cause of events in the future. Most of the information in the geometry of spacetime is actually a coding of the relations of causality that relate the events.

So, we see that the idea that physical forces must act locally is a consequence of a deeper principle, which is that physical effects are due to causal processes. And the basic principles of relativity theory insist that causes can only propagate through space at a finite speed, which cannot exceed the speed of light. We call this the principle of relativistic causality.

This principle would seem to be so natural that it must be true. But not so fast. Of all the strange aspects of quantum physics so far discovered, the strangest of all has to be the shocking discovery that the principle of relativistic causality is violated by quantum phenomena. Roughly speaking, if two particles interact and then separate, flying far apart from each other, they nevertheless may continue to share properties of a strange kind, that may be ascribed to the pair, without each of the individuals having themselves any definite properties. We say the two particles are "entangled.

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~ Thanks to the article by Lee Smolin in Scientific American. The Hubble Space Telescope image shows a group of interacting galaxies called Arp 273. See commons.wikimedia.org for details.

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Q: Who doesn't believe in causality? And yet quantum physics investigation challenges it as a possible illusion.
Q: How much do our current beliefs about what we are—i.e., our identity—rely on possible illusions?
Q: How certain is our certainty? What do we know for sure?
Q: Is space the final illusion?


Please your thoughts on the above items.

 

Reader Commentary

Encouraging interactive readership among TAT members and friends


A reader wrote that what would make the Forum more interesting would be:

Hearing from people who are searching – and have questions instead of those providing endless advice and "answers." What challenges they are facing. What their doubts and questions are. How they perceive their path is going. What they are doing in their lives. Where they think they will end up. Etc. etc.

Can you help make the Forum more interesting?


The Reader Commentary questions for this month's TAT Forum:

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Thanks to Leesa W. for last month's "Convictions & Concerns" essay including the above questions.


From Ben B:
This effort we make seems to come from an initial impulse of desperation when we realise that the old paradigms aren't working for us, that 'objects' can't make us happy. How we search will be a function of that initial realisation and our conditioning. So yes, it was for me, initially, an egoic search for happiness; I wanted something better for me.

Hope returned when there was a sense that maybe the search for Truth would make me a better person, a happier person. Hope collapsed when it was understood that the search wasn't going to make me happy or better. Slowly it dawned that there was no juicy reward at the end of the road. All of life up to this point had been based on the premise that there would be a reward for 'me', for 'my' effort. To be faced with a possibility that there may be no reward knocked me sideways. Or worse still that there may not be a 'me' to be rewarded! But by then it felt like there was no way back, and life from then on has been experienced as a continual movement between hope and hopelessness.

I can see that there are many ways of making an effort. Some of those ways seem very active, some may seem to be doing nothing. Initially for me it was reading, absorbing teachings, contemplating and group work. But over time I realised that something else was required. That 'something else' was the development of intuition. I began to develop and work with intuition and with it came challenges of acceptance and surrender, and a feeling of both guiding and being guided. Answers and guidance seem to come in the 'Listening Attention' as Bob Fergeson beautifully terms it. Sometimes I feel guided to be very quiet and still. And at other times I feel guided into action.

Succinctly, these are the questions being asked.
Who am I? Am I the story I tell myself and others?
What am I? Am I of substance or simply sensation?
Where am I? Are objects outside of me or inside of me?
Am I the totality of this experience?

Who or what is the effort for? I think somehow one has to get beyond this question. One makes an effort for effort's sake. Something else begins to take over. Perhaps it's remnants of curiosity, desperation, zeal, faith, love or trust. Perhaps it is Grace. Regardless, there seems no way back. I stuck my head down the rabbit hole, took the red pill, sold my soul. And now it seems that what may be required is to give up everything altogether.

It's my sense that one knows the difference between true detachment and that of a false or pseudo detachment only when one experiences no sense of division; no sense of division between an observer and the observed, or no sense of division between what is known and the sense of a knower. The experience of known/knower collapses.

I also feel that true detachment is known when there is a feeling of full and permanent satisfaction, a sense that one has no more questions. I have Glimpses when separation ends, questions cease and peace descends. But the Glimpses are not permanent - a sense of identity, being located and separate returns. Then I know it's time to get back to work.

Rose said "Experience is a worthless and transient existence unless the Experiencer is known." Working to know the knower is thereby justified unless one wants to continue living a worthless and transient existence. Rupert Spira suggests: "Effort is what Grace looks like to the separate self." Thereby, effort is always worthwhile. Sometimes.

From LC:
True detachment is not having a preference. It is not something we do, a state of mind we create, neither an attitude or thoughts. True detachment is being carefree as opposed to not caring, which is false detachment. True detachment can only be mimicked by the ego, a hijacking of the process resulting in homoeostasis on the return journey. This seems like it could be the deal, and it is tempting to settle for this imitation of the truth and that is ego trickery at play.

How we can know when spiritual ego is mimicking true detachment? We know from our experience gained along the path – at some point if we have experienced the stillness and silence of the mind stopping even if only for seconds, this will be the touchstone that guides us to the truth. If we have not experienced this silence we must assume this I have now is not it – because if we have any doubt at all then it could not be it because it is unmistakable and beyond doubt. If we are in and out of states, then assume it is not complete. If the thought arises this is it, then it is not it - because that contains a subject and object, a duality. We develop an intuitive sense of knowing what is truth and untruth. Our spiritual ego will want to make the untruth the truth – watch for this.

When all thoughts about awakening end, the spiritual ego has atrophied, and you are effortless & carefree. The spiritual ego can bring you close to home but cannot cross the threshold.

The temptation of not efforting as a path to effortlessness is a trick, too, in the similar way as the spiritual path is a necessary paradox of working hard to unbecome what I take myself to be, to become that which I am, which requires no effort.

From Brett S:
Below are my answers to Leesa's thought-provoking convictions/concerns and questions:

Is all of this effort that of a big ego searching for Truth or are we obeying our programming, or the will of Source?
- I haven't been successful in getting rid of self-centered thoughts. I've tried various things that I seem to be capable of: meditation, asceticism, harsh self-judgment (!). The big ego remains. But from my current perspective, the ego is like the tip of the iceberg, and stuff can still happen beneath the surface that is beyond or outside of the self-centeredness that's in my face everyday. In other words, I try not to let the incorrigibility of self-centered thoughts be my barometer for spiritual progress. Recognizing them, however, is important to me because it's the difference between self-awareness (seeing them for what they are) and self-obsession (getting lost in a story about a story about a story).

When we come to the conclusion that the effort is fruitless or worse, even building up the spiritual ego, is this just a false passivity of that same spiritual ego?
- If it's a thought about "me," it's probably the same spiritual ego. But my hypothesis is that thought is not the major mover and shaker it claims to be. In other words, I may be having a lot of thoughts about more/less effort being needed, but what actually unfolds may be partially or totally independent of thought's commentary. To say it another way, the question presumes that thoughts about effort are what causes effort/non-effort. I question that.

How do we know the difference between that and true detachment? I wonder how many of us settle for the former.
- Does true detachment mean seeing things objectively, without bias? If so, I think it would also mean not seeing through a lens of "me," and the ability to see this body-mind over here (me) as interchangeable and of equal worth as another body-mind somewhere else (you). That sounds a lot like a realization of no-self, and probably not a perspective that can be manufactured by thought. So I am going to the best of my ability in the direction of my deepest desire. And then continuing to watch, and talk, and read, and write, and listen and see what happens.

From Colm:
I read these questions for a while and reflected on them. I could see my mind going down avenues of consideration for each one, but when it comes down to it, the honest answer was straightforward. I simply don't know.

I have often had similar questions arise for me, but I can't see any way, as yet, that I can give a definitive answer. Determinism seems to make a lot of logical sense, yet there is still a feeling of me here making decisions. I can't stand outside of this to get a clear read on it.

In terms of knowing true detachment, if I had to hazard a guess, I would aim into the level of concern one may or may not experience. Again though, it seems entirely possible that there could be some sense of detachment, but maybe that's all part of the matrix, too. I assume, though, that if you realized there was no local small 's' self, then perhaps there is then nothing there to get attached to, so perhaps it becomes a moot point.

From Joe Blazenski:
Sounds like a walk down Patanjali lane.  What is probably more important is discovering what or who we exactly are rather than addressing intermediate process questions.

To me, this big ego thing is really ATTENTION.  ATTENTION that is always subtractive.  Attention in 3 dimensions utilizes "focus" which, in a 3 dimensional universe means something else is always OUT OF FOCUS or out of attention.

The "absolute" truth is awareness with attention that is NOT subtractive, but rather inclusive.  If there is attention to everything in awareness, then that attention will be none other than the awareness it is attending to.  The two words will point to the same experience.

In one case, I am looking for something within attention, not within awareness.  In the other case I am looking at awareness without restrictive attention, but not without attention AT ALL: a vision of everything with variety rather than a vision of something with uniformity.  One is clarity (experience), the other is identity (knowing).

Do you want clarity awareness or do you want identity attention?  They are mirrors of each.  One contains both and is real experience, the other contains neither and is a false, incomplete knowing like a mirage.  In a mirage, the most sought after identifying ingredient is missing: water.  The water is identified but nowhere to be found.  With clarity awareness, water is noticed AND available AND drinkable.

When I know what kind of awareness and attention I am using myself, the above questions answer themselves as self evident.  There is no need for any assistance from anyone else, except perhaps some help cleaning my windshield to make sure it is clear.

As a general rule, I have found the absolute to be exceedingly simple while the relative to be exceedingly complex.  If your current direction seems to be exceedingly complex, you are probably not going in the direction of the absolute.  (Just a heads up).

From Shawn Nevins:
I have not seen anyone decide to make no effort, then see the Truth of their situation dawn. Which is not to say that some have decided to make no effort and thereby discovered a peace or release from tension.

Effort is only contaminated by ego's belief. Effort itself is pure and flows from the Source. The questioner's questions are a koan--a finger pointing at a curtain softly billowing in the breeze as the mind imagines much ado. Thus there is both false activity and false passivity--two sides of a coin suspiciously hard to pinpoint.

Like the red sky from a setting sun, detachment is a byproduct of the recognition of effort's source.

[See Shawn's new book, Hydroglyphics: Reflections on the Sacred, at www.spiritualteachers.org. -Ed.]

From Joyce S:
Hi TAT folks. Brett encouraged/inspired me to write something in response to the questions above and submit so here goes:

I've always struggled with the seeming contradiction of "it will just happen" and "doing everything" to make it happen. I was a good student and perfectionist so, of course, I gravitated toward doing whatever was presented, usually in excess, to make something happen. Ugh.

After the past 7 years living like a nomad (with no end in sight, sigh), I guess I finally wore myself out doing doing doing (even if ironically it was trying to NOT-do, do, do) and kind of exhausted myself. It's a bit of a letdown, as doing something allows you to feel like you are getting somewhere. I can't buy that one anymore.

One good thing (I think) is that I no longer feel that pressure to get it right and have something happen like I did when I first set off. It's not that I gave up, I think I just realized most of where my motivation was coming from was the SELF. The same practice I discovered, depending on the person and what's behind it, can be used to see through the personality or ironically, build it up!

I guess I kinda reconciled it by seeing that the personality of the character trying to make something happen is just part of what will just happen - if that makes any sense (as in, I didn't choose this Type A personality, I just do what I do). I guess it's not much different than the never-ending discussion of free will, which I was obsessed with also - forgot which TAT teacher said it, but my conclusion is that there is surely no free will but, being human, we need to operate every day as if there is.

From BH:
Q: Is all of this effort that of a big ego searching for Truth or are we obeying our programming, or the will of Source?

Big ego searching: Ego mostly plays for me in the negative, in the sense that attacks on my sense of self motivated my desire for relief and satisfaction. Ego is also at play in the positive in a voice that says, if Truth exists, I am a special someone who obviously deserves to be one of the exclusive people who know it. Seems the way out is to find out where my ego is not what's motivating me.

Obeying our programming: Maybe "I" have no control over anything and personal identity feelings could all be my biological experience of relying on a body and mind. The slippery ego coming in and taking credit for actions that it is not responsible for, thinking you're controlling a car in a video game, but the controller is actually unplugged. Intellectually, that seems much more likely. Problem is, if I say I'm not in control, the organism is still operating, and I'm still along for the ride. I'm going to have experiences and feel reactions even if I go through life saying "There's nothing I can do, I'm just obeying my programming" and mean it. I'm not convinced there's a way to think myself into accepting that, though.

If you're 100% obeying your programming, then it is impossible to do anything. In that case, my ego is not actually doing anything, and I suppose that gives me the same answer as I ended up with on the opposing side above: I have to find where my ego is not what's motivating me. Now someone please tell me where that is. ;)

Q: When we come to the conclusion that the effort is fruitless or worse, even building up the spiritual ego, is this just a false passivity of that same spiritual ego?

I personally don't know a specific place to point that falls in an exact happy medium between effort and passivity. But I think that giving up looking because of this conflict would be a result of ego-based rationalizing. At times I've wished someone would just zap me with the Answer, but when I looked at that desire, it seemed that the underlying feeling at play was a belief that I am special enough to deserve an answer. A belief that MY suffering is suffer-y enough, MY search is noble enough, MY self is deserving enough.

What I end up with is: if ego wants to do effort, and if ego also wants to do nothing, then the contradiction itself derives from ego and either side will be a losing choice.

Q: How do we know the difference between that and true detachment? I wonder how many of us settle for the former.

Passivity and experimenting with effortlessness (not 100% sure I even know what that means) haven't worked for me. I also don't believe it's possible to know "true detachment" until I am certain I know the Truth. So I suppose I can only work with the thing I believe the most until (hopefully) I don't believe it, and I have a new paradigm or belief to work with and can start that process again.

From Bob C:
Debating whether effort is a help or a hindrance when it comes to so-called spiritual work, reminds me of the 'how many angels can fit on the head of a pin' debate. Both have no relevance to one's spiritual condition or potential. Both are based on belief in hearsay: one a belief in angels, the other a belief that you are not you, and that therefore any attempts by that not-you to find the real you are counter-productive. [I can just hear someone thinking the cliché reactionary words: "Oh, so you have another belief, that effort is productive…. Well that's just more irrelevant sophistry."]

Stop speculating about how an imagined, foregone conclusion of your spiritual path should inform your efforts today on such a path. If you want to see some object, you open your eyes and look at it; you don't second-guess yourself, and theorize that since your eyes might deceive you, that you should therefore keep them closed while attempting to see said object.

True, the nature of seeing and the nature of effort, what comprises and influences both, are worth examining. But that should lead to an examination of your desires and fears – just another avenue for going within, to see what you are and are not. Sounds like effort to me.

It is utterly useless to debate yourself as to whether you can "do" anything and whether there is a "doer" or not. Such debates are an avoidance of looking at what you need to look at, just another, equivalent way to close your eyes, while pretending to be looking. Keep your eyes open and try to see clearly! To see who and what you are, you must look, and when it comes to seeing yourself, you must look very hard and very carefully. I would call that type of looking real effort and a spiritual practice.

Because we do not see clearly, because our seeing is clouded by our desires and fears, is precisely why a subtractive path is needed. This is the basis for Richard Rose's teaching that he called The Albigen System. My shorthand for that teaching is simply "becoming an inward vector of the attention". These forum archives are filled with writing on those subjects.

Forget about whether your search is ego-based – of course it is. Forget about whether it reflects the "will of God" – you cannot know the answer to that until you truly know yourself – absolutely. Forget about achieving some ultimate detachment. You can cultivate dispassion of mundane things to the extent that you see clearly how such things affect you, but do not kid yourself about being detached from yourself or your life. That level of detachment requires an absolute going within oneself – or death.

Concluding that effort is bad because it is building a spiritual ego is rationalization pure and simple. There is a big difference between "coming to a conclusion" out of fatigue, or desire for something else, that your effort is not working – versus arriving at the point on your search, of having lost all hope that adding anything to yourself will define you sufficiently or satisfactorily.

In short, less looking at process, and more looking at oneself!

From Mike G:
• Is all of this effort that of a big ego searching for Truth or are we obeying our programming, or the will of Source?

The first bullet questions the source of an individual's search for self-definition or Truth. Each person has an innate survival urge. The baby moves away from irritation and towards pleasure. The child's identity develops in the natural course of growing up, and the desire for survival becomes focused on survival of the individual ego of selfhood. The survival ego naturally arises to defend and reinforce what become the individual's many egos in response to life's events over which no one has control. We are programmed with a limited capacity to affect our reactions.

The deep longing for wholeness is felt by nearly everyone at some time in their life. Yet, it becomes buried by the outward focus on experience that is unbidden. For a few, a question or reaction to genetic, environmental, or personal experiences keeps alive either the expression of this desire or keeps alive a deeper question about life and death. Those become the koans that drive a search.

Thus, the reason for seeking is different for each person. It has roots in our nature as programmed humans, and a psychology that develops around egos we do not choose to have. The will of the Source? Is not the creation of this seeming drama of experience the will of the Source? Would the koans of life exist if not permitted by the Source? If not for the will of the Source, could a path to Truth exist?

• When we come to the conclusion that the effort is fruitless or worse, even building up the spiritual ego, is this just a false passivity of that same spiritual ego?

If one hits a wall in the search, this is when effort needs to be increased, and where one needs to seek out the advice of a mentor or fellows on the path. The search is not fruitless, but a path of action may have become fruitless. A spiritual ego is needed. When it is not needed anymore it will be taken away. The question is a tail-chasing exercise. If a seeker drifts into the conclusion a spiritual ego is to blame for non-action, there is something to pursue in the psychology of the individual, such as what or how they are seeking or their beliefs about themselves, that need to be pursued.

• How do we know the difference between that and true detachment? I wonder how many of us settle for the former.

A seeker is always attached until they are no longer attached - and the seeker will know "true detachment" should it, by grace, befall them.

And a few questions back at the questioner:

The three questions above all seem aimed at the wrong target. Is the concern about the seeker's motivation a mind trick seeking to neutralize one's efforts? Is it preferable, instead, to "damn the torpedoes" and simply reaffirm and act on your personal commitment?

Being at a standstill or plateau from time to time happens to every seeker. Is a high-sounding ego really to blame?

Does not the last question answer itself?

From Tina N:
I am hungry and I've been told there is a dish that will satisfy this hunger. Despite the dishes I tried to make as a novice, I am still hungry. There is a sense of being driven to keep on cooking until I'm cooked.

From Anita A:
• Is all this effort that of a big ego searching for Truth or are we obeying our programming, or the will of Source?

Seeking and self-inquiry feel like local occurrences within the body… "a me at the center of appearances" looking out upon what is labeled as reality, the external world of form.

At first this discovery is a mental understanding. The nature of human minds is to grasp and create meaning from sense perceptions and mental ruminations. With intense self-inquiry we eventually discover/uncover there is only impersonal consciousness seeming to appear as form and formlessness.

We already are what we are seeking. True Nature spontaneously arises as impersonal consciousness. Be patient with the habits of the body and mind as they unwind and dissolve with self-inquiry practices. Diligent seekers eventually notice the heart center opens as the perceived mental, psychological, and emotional separation begins to dissolve.

• When we come to the conclusion that the effort is fruitless or worse, even building up the spiritual ego, is this just a false passivity of that same spiritual ego?

As seekers we may believe we can either build or dissolve a spiritual ego. All appearances, mental, emotional, or physical, are movements of impersonal consciousness. The imaginary self appears to build mental constructions, ideas, and fantasies centered around a personal me in a relative world "out there" we believe we see and sense.

With self inquiry we explore habitual and cherished facts, truths, beliefs and conclusions while chipping away the multitude of untruths stored in the brain/mind and body. We may eventually notice and acknowledge intellectual and philosophical beliefs deeply embedded as mental fabrications and cherished ideas, including I am a woman or man, I am a mother or father, I am an American or Italian. If a spiritual ego is arising too, like all beliefs, it is an appearance and movement of impersonal consciousness.

• How do we know the difference between that and true detachment? I wonder how many of us settle for the former.

True detachment is quiet and accepts whatever is arising and appreciates the various appearances and expressions of duality. No appearance is judged, criticized, nor rejected. The seamless, edgeless, vast impersonal consciousness rather enjoys the imaginary playground of relativity to know itself both as form and formlessness. The path of backing away from untruth includes darkness, pain, illness, alienation, death, deep emotional and psychological holes, and intense emotional upheaval. It's known as the Dark Night of the Soul in several religious systems. Self-inquiry is not for the faint of heart.

Deconstructing a personal self leaves a wake of tears and storms of the heart, mind, and body. Yes, avoiding the shadow side of the personality seems more comfortable at first, as spiritual bypassing feels good. You will not reach complete and lasting surrender unless you explore, accept, and process all the painful emotional, psychological, and physical burrs under your proverbial mental saddle.

When completely surrendered after a long and exhaustive process of self-inquiry, the utter pain and absence of all you believe you know, love, and cherish can push you towards the brink of insanity and spiritual pain. Perhaps the incessant mental and emotional urges are ready to march towards dissolution, death, and oblivion. Your mileage may vary.

Nothing of you remains. ~ Alfred Pulyan

From Anima Pundeer:
• Is all of this effort that of a big ego searching for Truth or are we obeying our programming, or the will of Source?

Who is asking this question? When someone is still questioning 'why/who' is searching, it means this search is only an interesting endeavor? A drowning man would not question what is making him continue swimming even when he knows that he may never make it to the shore.

• When we come to the conclusion that the effort is fruitless or worse, even building up the spiritual ego, is this just a false passivity of that same spiritual ego?

Again, it looks like someone is trying to rationalize their excuse for wanting to turn away from that inner pressure to seek. There clearly are some other games that are calling you to get played. Even if the effort is fruitless, is building ego, whatever, if you have clearly seen your situation, what choice do you have? Do you know that you are anything but your ego?

Might as well play whatever game is calling you. Maybe your fascination with it will get over soon and you may still have some energy, some time, left to get back to your original game . . . the only game that has a promise of ultimate Freedom.

• How do we know the difference between that and true detachment? I wonder how many of us settle for the former.

Real detachment, in my opinion, is the detachment that seekers feel towards themselves. Attention shifts from the object of desire to who has this desire. Do you see anything else but ego? Seeing your attachments to the objects in the world is easy, but the real attachment, which may be the root of all your problems, is the 'I'-centricity. Easy to see my attachment to my children but hard to put a finger on how "I am" attached to my mother-role.

Only when you can observe what you think is your core identity, the detachment comes.

From Leesa W:
I wrote the piece on "Effort vs. Non Effort" back in the fall as a way to provoke a reaction from a fellow seeker I felt was 'hunkering down' in the non effort camp. Life has a funny way of turning the tables as now, a few months later, I find myself in the same position. So I thought I'd take a stab at my own questions.

Q: Is all of this effort that of a big ego searching for Truth or are we obeying our programming, or the will of Source?

A: My feeling is that seeking comes with this human package – it's a natural desire that comes about at some point in our development. The object of this desire can vary, whether fame, fortune, love, or playing the 'master game' of seeking enlightenment. What we're NOT hijacks that impulse and calls it 'mine'. It can be used as fuel to grow a very big head, as Rose would say. I've been so confused, in the past, when pondering the question of why Source would need to find Itself, why this game of hide and seek? Seems easy to conclude that everything is the 'will of Source' – what comes up here is that it's not my business. ;-)

Q: When we come to the conclusion that the effort is fruitless or worse, even building up the spiritual ego, is this just a false passivity of that same spiritual ego?

A: "When we come to the conclusion that effort is fruitless…. " What I've found in these past few months is that intellectual conclusions are not driving this 'state' I seem to be in. The falling away of the seeking is not the result of any mental analysis or, in my case, of an intuitional nudge – it was just noticed to be the case. Not that a lot of contemplation and doubt didn't arise as a result. Everything is seen in retrospect. Yes, the years of suffering/seeking did build up a 'spiritual ego' – in fact, the suffering WAS the identity. Now, when I consider a 'false passivity' of the ego, it's laughable, and I'm not sure why.

Q: How do we know the difference between that and true detachment? I wonder how many of us settle for the former.

A: All I hear in this third question is ignorance and arrogance – as if we could 'settle' or 'not settle'. Of course, I've always looked back at my previous convictions and felt this. ;-)


Next Month

The Reader Commentary question for the June TAT Forum:

To what extent do you shape your own destiny, and how much is down to fate?

*

~ Thanks to OperationMeditation.com for the question. Please your responses by the 25th of May and indicate your preferred identification (the default is your first name and the initial letter of your last name).

PS: What question(s) would you like to ask other TAT Forum readers?


Other Reader Feedback

From Guy R. in response to a question following "On His Blindness" by John Milton in last month's Forum:

Q: Do you feel that your life is controlled by a Higher Power? Does it make sense to you that those who accept such control would be serving that Higher Power best, even if they only stand and wait?

I don't see how any living being is a separate, individual thing, and obviously would need to be part of something bigger, part of a whole, and that whole must have some organization, some plan that I would become subject to, and thus considered to be controlled. In this sense, it matters not whether I acquiesce or not, I am still part of the whole and subject to the order of the plan. There is a suggestion in the question posed, that acceptance or rejection of such a plan or control would in some way be relevant. I do believe that receptiveness or openness to what is, may reveal different alternatives for us, but only if we are inspired to actively pursue them.

*

From Don A. [referencing a question following the "Getting Orientated" essay by Tyler T. in last month's TAT Forum]:

Q: Do you have a feeling for the view that Tyler is expressing?

Tyler seems to imply that he has 'found' something, and looking back, he sees that nothing in particular worked for him in finding that which he found—but his perspective is from the "other side of the fence." Isn't he trying to define the process for me by stating "only when that belief truly and deeply falls away from your state of consciousness that the magic then arises. A beautiful sincerity and sweetness moves right in to take its place"? I appreciate his description and am inspired, but isn't he leading me to anticipate the unexpected with this description of how it came about for him, even if not intended?

There are a number of teachers today who seem to imply the futility, and therefore the uselessness of placing our efforts and disciplines into seeking. My belief is to do whatever I can the best I can in response to the desire to find what I can. And, I am grateful to meet anyone who has either found or is seeking, and especially thankful for the inspiration I found in Tyler's writing.

*

From Leesa W. [also referencing the "Getting Orientated" essay by Tyler T. in last month's TAT Forum]:

The first time I read Tyler's essay, a few months ago, I only made it through the first few sentences before having such a strong 'feeling resonance' with what he was saying that I had to stop reading. I drove to a near-by town for car repairs and the hour spent on the road confirmed that something had occurred on an energetic level. My usual point of reference had shifted considerably and I felt very removed from the body – observation was happening from a greater distance. I also felt a surge of Longing – a deep hole in my chest that felt like it was gaping – strong pressure in my chest with an inability to take a deep breath. Since the falling away of most seeking had occurred a few months prior, this was in contrast to my usual feeling of neutrality – almost numbness. This Longing was not sullied by desire, however, but it was powerful, none-the-less. I don't know if this was because someone put in writing what I had been feeling for months or just some odd resonance that I feel with certain people. I had met Tyler a few years prior and felt an 'otherworldly' connection to him, which I reasoned was our shared history of suffering – which I now see is pretty universal, whether recognized or not. When his essay showed up in this month's Forum, I had the same reaction, though not as pronounced. I highlighted some things that stood out for me.

No matter what you do, and no matter how hard you try your efforts will fail.

It's one thing to agree with this, intellectually, it's another when it's actually experienced in the body – there's such a feeling of … relief and freedom rather than the anticipated angst.

The fire may kill the seeker right then or there or a genuine form of inquiry may open up that dramatically changes the seeker's modus operandi (more on that below).

Or, to be honest, an option that no one wants to really consider is that maybe that's as far as it goes for some. Not every flower blooms. That used to tick me off so much. ;-) I've noticed, on and off, an arising of curiosity, a surge of wonder, that's not laden with angst or the need to know a definitive answer – it feels almost child-like.

Regardless of what arises, when the belief that a person can succeed with liberation finally falls away, the seeker is no longer a seeker. They are a finder and they are no longer living for a future or in a gaining/attaining state of consciousness.

I don't feel like a seeker anymore, nor do I feel like I found anything. I DO feel, strongly, that I'm no longer living in a gaining/attaining state of consciousness. I've said to a 'Finder friend' that nothing has been resolved and he just laughs. I feel like I'm in between (what and what I don't know), but there's not impetus to make any deliberate efforts to change that. Impulses/actions, in what look like a seeker's repertoire still happen now and then. The seeker is no longer a seeker, yet something still IS.

So, if you are reading this and wondering in a very understandably practical way, "well now what the hell, what should I do?"

When this non-seeking state first became apparent there was a lot of doubt and fear – wondering what could be done. Now, even that has faded. Feels like radical non-volitional acceptance … some might call it 'equanimity'. Whatever word is used, there's still a sense of separation – there's a something experiencing these things.

A beautiful sincerity and sweetness moves right in to take its place.

For the most part, the space that's been created is filled with a quiet spaciousness. Sweetness moves in and out, but so does everything else … including momentary arising of strong emotional energy, short-lived usually … curiosity, love. The other thing that 'struck' me was Tyler's use of the word Sweetheart, which I sensed, even prior to his explanation, was in reference to something other than 'me' … but still, it touched something very deep.

THANKS TYLER


Q: What are your thoughts on this month's reader commentary? Please your feedback.



Richard Rose described a spiritual path as living one's life aimed at finding the meaning of that life. Did you find anything relevant to your life or search in this month's TAT Forum?


BepiColombo

"The ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission completed its first flyby on 10 April, as the spacecraft came less than 12,700 km from Earth's surface at 06:25 CEST, steering its trajectory towards the final destination, Mercury. Images gathered just before closest approach portray our planet shining through darkness, during one of humankind's most challenging times in recent history." ~ www.esa.int. Thanks to TAT member Dan G.



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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.


Relative and Absolute


Part 3 of a talk given at Ohio State University in 1978
(continued from the March 2020 TAT Forum) and the April 2020 TAT Forum):


Umpire

Q. Were you saying earlier that when you become aware of your umpire, you see your small-s self and your suffering, and using your umpire you can find your way to your capital-s Self?

R. No, no. You don't do it by virtue of the umpire, you just see through the umpire. What happens is your life becomes adjusted. These are the signposts or milestones. That once you've gotten behind the umpire and see what's happening, you don't have to fight quite as much. You're not at war with yourself. Maybe you're not at war with your neighbor any longer. The wife and the husband aren't fighting because they recognize that it's the person's appetite and not their inner self that's screaming for attention. So there's a lot to be learned along the road in this line. But this is only adjustment of the somatic mind. This study of the different umpire voices will not bring you to the realization of the final truth – but you have to go through it. And you'll be obsessed with doping it out.

Q. That's a big step though.

R. Absolutely. Some people don't do it in their entire lives; they don't even get that far in their entire life pattern.

Q. What happens when the umpire fails and the individual ends his life?

R. I don't know. If they ...

Q. Well, how much power do you attribute to the umpire?

R. The basic motive of the umpire is the coordination of the different voices to keep them all alive. All of them.


See the complete part 3 of "Relative and Absolute"

... To be continued.


~ Thanks to Steve Harnish for the annotated transcription. for information on the transcription project.



Homing Ground Update

… A spot on earth where people can do retreats and hold
meetings; where the emphasis is on friendship and the search.


Hurdle Mills new home for TAT


And the beginnings of an expanded meeting room!:


the beginnings of an expanded meeting room


The Homing Ground is relatively quiet at the moment, though Bob and Mark are busy improving the grounds.  As might be expected with the current Coronavirus challenges, our fundraising is quiet as well.  We still need a boost from all you Forum readers, but take care of yourselves first! We are 23% of the way to raising $70,000. Note that for 2020, the U.S. CARES act will allow many people to easily deduct charitable contributions of $300 per taxpayer ($600 for a married couple). Read more at https://info.pgcalc.com/cares-act and check with your tax advisor.

The gravel parking area is ready!
The water system has been upgraded!
Beds and chairs are in place!
The meeting room expansion is in progress!

We still need to raise around $50,000, to:
Purchase yard equipment and tools to keep the property in shape
Finish the meeting room
Repay the short-term loan

Let's bring this to life! "The job is upon us," Richard Rose said, "and it is worthwhile." To contribute to the TAT Center, mail a check made out to the TAT Foundation to:

TAT Foundation
PO Box 873
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

Big checks, little checks, all are welcome. Or use the PayPal link above (though we lose 2.2% of your donation to PayPal fees).

* See photos and more on the Homing Ground page. *

In friendship,
Shawn Nevins
on behalf of the TAT Trustees


TAT gathering


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