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

TAT Forum

December 2020

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!


Receive new-Forum notifications each month
Not getting your notifications?

Let your voice be heard
Enjoy the benefits of TAT membership
Become a TAT member
Help support TAT; become a member today

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

Convictions & Concerns

TAT members share their personal convictions and/or concerns

Absorbing Conflict
From a November 2015 TAT presentation

Session Description for that TAT Gathering's Web Page:

We intuitively sense something deeper in life that is incessantly pulling at our attention. As seekers, we imagine that following a spiritual path will finally abolish all opposites and ultimately end all of life's conflicts. But what if cultivating "something deeper" led to a surprising twist? What if this cultivation actually expanded our perspective on opposites and increased our capacity to absorb conflict, both internally and externally?

In this session, we'll use the group's energy to maximize our discernment of opposites. Through a combination of interactive discussion, silence, and full group exercises, we'll attempt to cultivate something deeper and widen our perspectives. Paul will walk us through a few simple approaches that point us away from the world of paradox and toward what is.

Why I'm doing this

Like all the other presenters, I'm not asking for anything or imposing anything on anyone.

The Subtractive Path (variations/terms)

Awakening to your true nature is the essential loss of the fear of death. It's a fundamental subtraction of everything. But for many, it takes time to lose the essential loss of the fear of love and life. And awakening is a great mystery that isn't totally solved: "There is a storehouse of information about the mind ... that is unplumbed." ~ Richard Rose

We're shifting the baseline of identity away from the mind's noise and into what is. It's a subtractive process....

See the complete presentation.


~ Paul Constant has been a TAT member since 1985. His fascinations and explorations are directed toward integrating body, mind, and Essence through rapport. Read his essays at searchwithin.org, or listen to the SpiritualTeachers.org pocast interview with Shawn Nevins. Paul and his wife live in Pennsylvania. They were adopted by two kittens in 2013.

quill icon

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

Call To Action For TAT Forum Readers

With the intention of increasing awareness of TAT's meetings, books, and Forum among younger serious seekers, the TAT Foundation is now on Instagram (@tatfoundation).

You can help! A volunteer is producing shareable text-quote and video content of Richard Rose and TAT-adjacent teachers. We need your suggestions for short, provocative 1-3 sentence quotes or 1 minute or less video clips of people like Rose, Art Ticknor, Bob Fergeson, Tess Hughes, Bob Cergol, Bart Marshall, Shawn Nevins, Anima Pundeer, Norio Kushi, Paul Rezendes, Paul Constant, & other favorites. (See below for an example).

Please send favorite inspiring/irritating quotes—from books you have by those authors, from the TAT Forum, or any other place—to . If you have favorite parts of longer videos (ex: from a talk at a past TAT meeting), please email a link to the video and a timestamp.

Thank you!

RR quote on Instagram

TAT Foundation Press's latest publication: cover of Sense of Self: The Source of All Existential Suffering?

Sense of Self: The Source of All Existential Suffering? by Art Ticknor is now available in paperback and in Kindle e-book format.

This is Art's third book published by the TAT Press. Others are Solid Ground of Being: A Personal Story of the Impersonal and Beyond Relativity: Transcending the Split Between Knower & Known. All are available to order from Amazon or your favorite bookstore.

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

Also, check out Shawn Nevins's recent interview, audio and video, of Art.

2021 TAT Meeting Calendar

* February 6, 2021 *
April 10-11, 2021
June 12-13, 2021
August 14-15, 2021
November 6-7, 2021

Until 2020, TAT held four in-person meetings each year: one in April, one in November, and two in the months between April and November. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, all four meetings for 2020 were held online. See the events page for descriptions of the past four weekend events. We're hoping that it will be feasible to resume in-person meetings in 2021. But we're starting 2021 with a one-day virtual gathering on Saturday, February 6th and will post registration details as they come together. For additional information, please email .


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).

door on TAT Community Building 2010

See TAT's Facebook page.
Photo of TAT's open door by Phil Franta.

Local Group News

Update 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:
At the end of July, the New York City and the Central Jersey Self Inquiry Groups co-sponsored a 3-hour inquiry meeting using the Zoom platform. The inquiry meeting (the third event organized by both groups) attracted 11 participants. The meeting schedule: Welcome; Byron Katie inquiry exercise (led by a NJ member); "I statements" exercise (led by a NY member), and a feedback session, to collect ideas for future retreats. Organizers feel that organizing an event with another group, is a good way to "find your fellows" as Richard Rose once advised.
      We hold regular Zoom meetings on Friday evenings. ~ Email for more details.

Update from the Central Ohio Non-Duality Group:
The Columbus, Ohio self-inquiry group, now known as the Central Ohio Non-Duality Group, has continued to meet virtually on Tuesday evenings at 6:30PM during the Coronavirus pandemic. Please email one of the people's names below if you wish to get a link to the meeting. Meeting format involves discussion of 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 look forward to the easing of restrictions to the point where we feel comfortable meeting again in person. ~ For further information, contact , , or . We're also on Facebook.

Irish clover Update from the Dublin, Ireland self-inquiry group:
We meet every second Wednesday on Zoom. We were working with Tess Hughes's list of confrontation questions, but we have exhausted them for the time being and will revisit them at a later date. For the last two meetings we tried two different approaches. The first was the standard confrontation approach of people giving an update on what was coming for them in the previous period, in terms of their path. The second was the distribution of a piece in advance for reflection. In the last meeting the Richard Rose quote from the November 2020 Forum was shared with participants in advance, along with a few questions to reflect and respond on in the meeting. Then we proceeded with confrontation based on the response. We will continue in this vein for the time being, using either a general update or a piece for reflection shared in advance. ~ Contact for more information.

rose Update from the Dulverton, South West England self-inquiry group:
‘We continue to stay in touch but meetings have been suspended for the time being due to a second lockdown. We have a quorum of three and two other interested in joining when guidelines permit. ~ Please contact for more information.

Update from the email self-inquiry groups:
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.
There are two men's groups currently with 6 participants in each, down from three groups with 19 participants last year. They function like slow-motion self-inquiry confrontation meetings, which has its pros and cons. We alternate by asking each other questions one week then answering them the following week. Participants provide brief updates of highlights from the previous week and optional updates on progress toward objectives that they use the reports for accountability on.
Both the women's and the men's email groups 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 are still suspended while the library remains closed. In the meantime, the regular participants are saying hello to each other via email every Sunday, sharing whatever is on our minds. We're looking into starting a Zoom or other online meeting. Please let us know if you're interested. ~ Email or for more information.

   TAT Press publishes three of Art's books: Solid Ground of Being: A Personal Story of the Impersonal, Beyond Relativity: Transcending the Split Between Knower & Known and Sense of Self: The Source of All Existential Suffering?

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.

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.

An update from the self-inquiry group in Houston, TX:
The backyard patio meetings are now moved to Zoom meetings, which take place at 4 pm on Saturdays. There are 3 active and inspired participants right now. Topics vary from Mr. Rose's writings to "What is on your mind?" ~ 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.

   See the 2020/11/28 post: Four-day isolation retreat at TAT Center, with photos and YouTube clips.

Update from the Lynchburg, VA self-inquiry group:
We have been meeting on Thursday evenings from 7pm - 8:30pm, online, via zoom. Norio Kushi, Paul Rezendes, and Bob Harwood are consistent guests. We've also had some other interesting characters show up from time to time. Topics come from readings or questions brought up by our members. These are sent out, along with the zoom invitation each week. Recently we posted some "considerations" for joining our group:
** Try to frame your comments as questions to Norio, Paul, or Bob. Draw these questions from you own experience rather than generalities. Maintain attention and discussion on the question rather than philosophical musings.
** Question other participants, in the spirit of group-assisted self inquiry, but without attempting to lead them to any particular conclusion or bring attention to yourself.
**Allow for and attend to the silence and the space that is always present. When you aren't speaking, see that as your role - to hold that space.
**Question, in yourself, the use of personal story-telling and quoting others - though sometimes both are helpful and appropriate.
**Consider the way in which you are listening. Does it have a quality of acquisitiveness or openness?
**Continue to question your own intention for coming to this meeting and let that guide any comments/questions/discussion.
~ Please contact or if you're interested in being on the email list.

Update from the New York City self-inquiry group:
The New York City Self-Inquiry group has continued to meet. We meet every Monday via a free conference call phone number. An advantage to the current format is that it's allowed people to join who live outside of New York City, including people living in Connecticut, Maryland, and Texas. More details, as well as our weekly discussion topics, can be be found on our MeetUp page (link above).

Update for the Online Self-Inquiry Book Club:
This online Self-Inquiry Book Club meets Sunday afternoons. Our book for November will be Sense of Self: The Source of All Existential Suffering? by Art Ticknor. In conjunction with TAT Foundation Press's publication of the book, see Shawn Nevins's recent interview of Art—audio and video versions available. ~ For more information on book club participation, see the meeting website (link above).

Update from the recently listed Online Video Confrontation Group:
The Monday Night Online Confrontation Group is going strong with a core group of participants and room for a few more. We meet at 7 pm EST, using the online video conference platform from "Jitsi.org" which works best with the Chrome browser. The goal of the group is to practice confrontation/group self-inquiry. ~ If you're interested, email or .

Update from the Pittsburgh, PA self-inquiry group:
Group confrontation online every Wednesday, 8:00 pm via Zoom, plus one monthly online intro to self-inquiry with discussion topic for newcomers. Recent topics:
Nov 4: Is there a complete "Absence of will power"? Are intention, determination and commitment all illusions?
Nov 11: Can you observe or experience anything without it being a memory?
Nov 18: As a spiritual seeker, what is wrong or incomplete about you that causes you to seek?
Nov 25: Ego: Friend, Distraction, Necessity or Adversary on the Spiritual Path?
Dec 2: What is your perspective based on? What are its limitations?
Dec 9: Adyashanti's Five Foundations of Spirituality
Dec 16: Ambiguity: is the non-understandable far more important?
Dec 23: "At Home with the Inner Self": what does that mean to you?
Dec 30: Is prayer a part of Self-inquiry? What is prayer, to whom & how?
Sept 30: Are there Natural Laws for Success?
~ All Forum subscribers are welcome to join us. Email to receive weekly topics with preparatory notes and Zoom invitations.

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.

Update for the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area TAT Center:
The new TAT Center in Hurdle Mills, NC recently hosted its first event: an open house for folks in the Raleigh and Lynchburg areas. With the successful opening of the center, teacher-in-residence Bob Fergeson and caretaker Mark Wintgens are looking forward to hosting retreats and meetings for local group members as well as all TAT seekers. ~ Email for information about future meetings and events.

   TAT Press publishes Bob's gateway to within, The Listening Attention, as well as Images of Essence: The Standing Now, which features poems by Shawn Nevins accompanied by Bob's photos.

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.

   TAT Press publishes Shawn's Images of Essence: The Standing Now, which features his poems with photos by Bob Fergeson, The Celibate Seeker: An Exploration of Celibacy as a Modern Spiritual Practice, Subtraction: The Simple Math of Enlightenment, and Hydroglyphics: Reflections on the Sacred, which features his poems with photos by Phaedra Greenwood.

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. ~ 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

Let your Amazon purchases and eBay sales raise money for TAT!

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.



"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


literature motivations

~ Thanks to TAT member Bob F. Traced to many Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook pages but original source unknown.

A Message for the Moon

When NASA was preparing for the Apollo project, they did some astronaut training on a Navajo Indian reservation. One day, a Navajo elder and his son were herding sheep and came across the space crew. The old man, who only spoke Navajo, asked a question, which his son translated. "What are the guys in the big suits doing?"

A member of the crew said they were practicing for their trip to the moon.

The old man got really excited and asked if he could send a message to the moon with the astronauts.

Recognizing a promotional opportunity for the spin-doctors, the NASA folks found a tape recorder. After the old man recorded his message, they asked the son to translate. He refused. So the NASA reps brought the tape to the reservation, where the rest of the tribe listened and laughed, but refused to translate the elder's message to the moon.

Finally, NASA called in an official government translator. He too laughed and reported that the moon message said, "Watch out for these guys; they've come to steal your land."

4 diamond separator: />

</p><p style=

~ Thanks to Humorous Comeback Stories.


illustrated guide to spiritual awakening

~ Thanks to TAT member Michael R. Traced to multitudinous Facebook pages.
Possibly from The Illustrated Guide to Spiritual Awakening by Steve Evans.

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

Energy and Tension

These are slides from a November 2020 TAT presentation of material from Richard Rose's Energy Transmutation, Between-ness and Transmission by TAT member Abhay V:

Energy and Tension 1

See the complete set of slides.


Vector & Energy Transmutation

These are notes from a November 2020 TAT presentation of material from Richard Rose's Direct-Mind Experience by TAT member Bill K:

The Direct-Mind Experience

  • Please note the image on the front cover, used in ancient Egypt by pharaoh Akhenaton, which Rose saw carved into a building during his visit to Egypt. At the top is represented the Absolute, God or Aten, and the bottom are individuals representing humankind.
  • The Absolute is not represented as human or animal-like, but rather without anything suggested.
  • Humanity is not represented as a whole or unity, but as individuals, not as hearts or faces but as hands. That could only refer to an ability to do something.
  • There is a connection between the Absolute and the individuals, no direction indicated so as to suggest both directions possible, so that something could or does happen along that line.
  • Rose suggests that this is the Ray of Creation but also the possibility or way back to our Source.
  • He suggests re-traversing that through which we are manifested, and refers to it as creating a Reverse Vector.
  • A vector is defined by its direction and intensity, and as a seeker we become a vector. Direction is away from untruths, self-deception and false beliefs, and the intensity is due to our personal commitment and intention to find the truth, both relative and eventually Absolute. Along this Ray we are initially motivated by determination, only to discover we are led.

See the complete notes and graphics


These are slides from a November 2020 TAT presentation of material from Richard Rose's Direct-Mind Experience by TAT member Benjy H:

Self-Definition 1

See the complete set of slides.

End of Story

Where should we go, what should we do when we let go of our story?
We are born anew. Clear, intuitively aware silence.
The Ocean is all around us but we remain dry.
Alone, but not lonely.
Eyes open, but nothing to see.
Mind clear, but nothing to think.
No faith, but nothing is needed.
No hope, but nothing is desired.
No love, but nothing is missed.
No fear, because nothing begets nothing.
On the way to the chopping block,
I notice that "the I/eye with which I see God
is the same I/eye with which HE sees me"1...
and that I/eye too is to become dust.
We can not let go of that which lets go…
"it must be taken."2


1. Meister Eckhart
2. Richard Rose

~ Thanks to TAT member L. Schwartz.

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 question for this month is: How do you know when you are being honest with yourself?


~ Thanks to TAT member Kevin S. for the question. Responses follow:

From Y.C.:
I take sensory information to be trustworthy - it is what it is. This includes emotions when they're observed as sensations in the body. The mental stories underpinning emotions are not trustworthy. Mental content in general is not trustworthy - especially anything to do with my sense of myself as a separate entity or my judgements of others. My mind does generate a lot of what I call "instrumental" thoughts - the daily to-do list stuff. Those are fine, they're akin to sensory information in that they're neutral, concerned with the daily running of the organism.

I also sometimes have thoughts that undercut my sense of myself as a separate entity with agency, or my sense of others as separate from me. These are accompanied by a feeling of expansiveness and peace; they feel qualitatively different to the usual mental chatter. I take this sort of mental content to be true and I don't analyze it, as analysis is just more of the usual exhausting mental chatter based in a sense of separation and polarity.

So overall I guess I take as untrue/dishonest, that which upholds my sense of separation. I take as true that which undercuts my sense of separation - and there is a feeling component to this undercutting which feels true, it does not involve rationality. And there is plenty I take as neutral, but actually attending to that neutral stuff (bodily sensations, to-do list thoughts and associated actions) is a form of honesty in itself.

From Paul Constant:
Axiom of Self-Honesty: the volume and frequency of self-narrative required to talk oneself into action or inaction, or into believing or disbelieving ideas, is directly disproportionate to true self-honesty.

The trick is to be fully attuned to the self-narrative!

From Chris L:
In contemplation of the question of “being honest with myself” … what comes to mind is the implication that this idea, whether as a principle or as a specific circumstance, is coming about as some sort of reconciliation of its opposite. Or in other words, I wouldn't need to even consider “being honest with myself” if at first it was realized that maybe I was being dishonest somehow. This brings to mind two words. One is “admittance” the other, “concession.” These are both ways of saying “acceptance.”

What does it take for these words to show up in our lives? Seems that the only time these are necessary is when there is conflict or resistance present. These anxious or angry feelings very often, for me, indicate that I find something going on unacceptable. I find things unacceptable whenever it's deemed that something is threatening my little “bubble” ... (wink at the New Jersey group). Or maybe I find that whatever is happening isn't beneficial to my bubble. Either way, it's concluded, to some degree, that I might lose something I have or not get something I want. The ol' tug-o'-war between fear and desire shows up.

But do I really know what's best for “me”? Haven't I experienced decisions in the past based on what I thought I wanted that ended in disaster? Hasn't the experience of life taught me at this point that some of the most uncomfortable and even all out painful times have proven to be the most beneficial and necessary on the path to waking up to what's true? It's a confrontational question because the implication is that comfort anesthetizes the search. It throws my lifestyle into question. It throws my fantasy of control into question.

Interesting to note, that the first words of the first step in AA are “We admitted” … (we were powerless … and that our life had become unmanageable). The first thing necessary to move away from self-destruction is to face the fact that attempts to control are very obviously gonna end up in continued misery and death. A surrender is necessary. The prospect of seemingly being hopeless, helpless, and ignorant. This too had to happen. I could not will it. I could go on and on about that.

Honesty is not automatically synonymous with truth. It's very easy and common to wholeheartedly believe something and be wrong. The one thing that I have concluded, (and it's not above questioning) is that it seems to be that all I bring to the equation of waking up is my willingness to be wrong. It seems like the only constructive attitude these days.

“It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.” - Mark Twain

Much love.

From Anima Pundeer:
I know I am NOT being honest with myself when:

From Mike Gegenheimer:
The question is open-ended, so I am responding adding, “being honest with yourself about yourself – your actions, thoughts, beliefs, and what you encounter in the search for self-definition.”

Self-honesty is tricky, as nature has wired the mind to obscure our true Nature.

In short, you can never be absolutely certain you are being self-honest. But you can increase the chances by committing to honesty to yourself and continued introspection.

I have found when making a decision if I sense the mind subtly looking away from something, it is probably ignoring a factor that should be considered. A subliminal feeling about self-honesty can sometimes be detected by asking, “would mother / father believe your explanation about ______?” The answer to this question draws upon a sense of right and wrong, or conscience, and promotes self-honesty.

I have found a couple other ways to check my thoughts and reactions for honesty, but none are perfect.

Reason. A reasoned conclusion still reflects a paradigm of assumptions, beliefs, and logic. A train runs on the tracks laid for it. The robot runs its software and database. It is a useful tool for making tentative conclusions, but it is capable of rationalization.

Intuition and feeling. The intuition is essential and can be accurate, but not infallible. Anyone else have an experience of not having been honest with themselves about someone of the opposite sex?

Direct perception. Direct perceptions in response to a question regarding self-definition can lead to a conviction about X. Interpretation of a direct perception (e.g. moments of intense awareness however named, such as “listening attention,” “thoughtless silence,” “shared awareness,” etc.) recorded by the relative mind may still be incompletely understood, because the relative mind is still a filter, or still a primary point of reference. Being self-honest includes acknowledging the direct perception - however deep - is still incomplete, and that the mind may still have an incomplete interpretation despite a valid perception.

Realization of Source, Essence, Absolute, I AM, however named, is beyond the mind. There is no doubt. Honesty is not a question - no mental yardstick has relevance. No question remains.

From Lynn A:
How do I know when I'm being honest with myself? For me it comes down to how it feels. Self-honesty has an overall sensation of openness or spaciousness around the question, issue, or belief at hand. The energy feels light and clear. When I'm not being honest with myself, however, the energy feels dense and heavy and sticky. And when I've been rationalizing, the energy becomes dissonant -- confusing and irritating. I may have to sit with it for a while to get clarity, but if I can tap into the quality of the energy I'm feeling, I can usually see where I'm playing games with myself.

From Gus R:
I believe honesty is like humility: you can't try to be humble nor can you try to be honest. One must first feel a need or desire or want to be genuine, perhaps only because he or she senses dishonesty with some repugnance. For those on a spiritual path this may require a commitment to gain some level of integrity which may lead to becoming humble, dependable and honest—by virtue of a commitment to finding the truth about oneself. The question of honesty becomes a much deeper challenge for the individual who lives to investigate himself, a question as to what level of integrity: If I'm not honest with myself about who or what I am, then how can I be honest with others? If I would state "I am honest," that statement is based upon an "I" that is a mostly deceptive and rationalized existence. For that Self-seeking inquirer, the question should be: "How do I know when I am committed to the Truth?"

From Anonymous:
I have no way of directly knowing if I'm being honest with myself, but there are ways of recognizing dishonesty that can be used to step away from self-deception (not being honest with yourself). In the long run, with enough negation of dishonesty, we'll hopefully end up with self-honesty – or at the least, be a lot closer to it than when we began.

The primary test I'm aware of for being dishonest with myself is a gut feeling that arises, a red flag at the physical/sensory level, accompanied by a sharp inhale of the breath and recurring thoughts on the subject. At this point the thoughts are often self-justification, reassurances that I am *not* in the wrong or deceiving myself, and take the forms of arguments/monologues in my head on the topic in question. The recurring thoughts often continue until I stop and ask myself “why does this keep coming up?” After spending some time contemplating the issue it often becomes clear there is a distortion of some type, a self-deception or self-lie embedded in the event that is the reason the event got “stuck” in my awareness. Generally, once there is recognition of the distortion/deception/dishonestly, the recurring thought dissipates as my model of myself updates to incorporate the new recognition.

With that being said, if this chain of events doesn't happen that doesn't mean I am being completely honest with myself. All it appears to mean is based on my current state of self-knowledge there are no glaring red flags. As time goes on, I recognize subtler self-deceptions in past events that I previously thought were instances of complete self-honesty that had no red-flags at the time. Additionally, there are instances were my perception of myself is so fixed that I appear completely blind to self-deceptions until someone else in my life, looking at reality from a different point of view, draws a perceived case of self-dishonestly to my attention. In the end, this is a long-winded way of saying there is no way to know if I'm being honest with myself; the best I can do is to remain always-open to the idea that I might not be completely honest with myself and continue to recognize and step away from any cases of dishonesty that are drawn to my attention.

From Art Ticknor:
Some thoughts on being honest with ourself/ourselves:

From BH:
It's hard to feel fully confident about if or when I'm actually being honest with myself, but my feeling is that it requires clarity. My working definition of "honest with yourself" is: being sincere with myself. Asking myself if my actions really match with what I really want, and working for mental clarity to figure out what it is that I even want in the first place. If I don't understand what I want the most, I don't have any idea why I do anything or what I'm doing it for.

I've found that the more I understand & can observe & confront how my mind / psychology / emotions function, the more I can identify the patterns, blocks, & subconscious motivations I have up, and the more I can leave space for clarity. The more clarity I have, the more I feel I can potentially be honest with myself.

From Patrick K:
John C. Maxwell quote: “When values, thoughts, feelings, and actions are in alignment, a person becomes focused and character is strengthened.”

I believe with the above quote in mind that the more your thoughts, feelings and actions are aligned, the more honest you will feel. The more out of sync these parts are, you are serving too many masters and honesty/vector is lost.

You can feel honesty. When for me I justify fear and cowardice and not engage to take matters head-on, my honesty is stifled by that.

From Brett S:
If being honest means being “true to my desires” then I don't even want to be honest with myself most of the time. More than anything, honesty for me is a feeling: a feeling of being motivated by self-image (dishonest) and a feeling of “there's nothing I want to add to this” (honesty).

Next Month

"I crave my wife's approval more than anyone else's." - wrote one of November's Reader Commentary respondents. The Reader Commentary question for the January TAT Forum is:

Whose approval do you crave, and what does that get you?

~ Thanks to Tess Hughes for the question. Please your responses by the 25th of December 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?

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?

Galveston, TX visitors

Galveston, Texas visitors. Photo by Anima Pundeer.

We like hearing from you! Please your comments, suggestions, inquiries, and submissions.

Sign up for notices of TAT's four annual events and free monthly Forums by email on our .


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.

He Found Meaning, Shares Experience
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 19, 1977 by Bohdan Hodiak

Richard Rose spent more than 15 years obsessed with finding the meaning of life.

He studied to be a Catholic priest, traveled from one religious or esoteric group to another, read hundreds of books and meditated for an hour a day for 10 years.

“I realized there was no logical reason to believe I had a soul, was anybody or was going anywhere,” he said.

He was alone in Seattle, Wash., at the time, and as soon as he admitted his spiritual bankruptcy a kind of mental fever took hold that lasted for nearly two days.

He felt he was going insane.

Rose, now 60, said he still finds that experience difficult to describe, though he has tried in the final pages of his book, “The Albigen Papers.” The experience washed the despair out of him and gave him the conviction that his essence was immortal.

Yet there was no special feeling of joy or beauty. It seemed to transcend sensory feeling, he said.

“It was like a great wow, when everything seemed to answer itself.”

Rose returned to his family farm south of Wheeling, W.Va., married, raised three children, and held a variety of jobs. He had attended college for a while studying to be a teacher but dropped out during the Depression of the 1930s.

As he got older he wanted to help others who were starting on the same road he had taken years before. From his reading he could now give his experience a name: cosmic consciousness....

See the complete article

Definition of Terms

cherries separator

Index of many of the key terms and principles in Rose's work, with brief definitions, from Richard Rose's Psychology of the Observer: The Path to Reality Through the Self by John Kent.

Jacob's Ladder (Richard Rose diagram)

Jacob's Ladder © 2001 Richard Rose. See this transcript of a talk on the topic by Rose.

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

It's been quite a year for the TAT Center, with a rush to get the building ready for our April meeting, then adapting to virtual meetings, the success of a small gathering in September, along with several visitors using the Center for solitary retreats. Like the rest of the world, we hope 2021 brings the return of in-person events and look forward to meeting all of you at the Center.

Before the year ends, please consider making a donation to help the Center become self-sustaining. We're a bit over half way towards our goal of raising $70,000. The 2020 U.S. CARES act allows 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.

expanded meeting room exterior finished


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

Did you enjoy the Forum? Then buy the book!
Readers' favorite selections from seven years of issues.
Beyond Mind, Beyond Death is available at Amazon.com.

TAT Foundation on Facebook


Keep informed of TAT events and receive our free monthly Forum filled with inspiring essays, poems and images.

Email & Social Media Marketing by VerticalResponse

© 2000-2021 TAT Foundation. All rights reserved.

View Full Site Back to Top


TAT Foundation logo