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January 2021 / More

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TAT Foundation News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2012 April TAT Meeting – Remembering Your True Desire

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

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

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

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

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

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

Return to the main page of the January 2021 TAT Forum.


Inspiration & Irritation

Irritation moves us; inspiration provides a direction

Psychology and Truth

Notes from a November 2020 TAT presentation of material from Richard Rose's The Albigen Papers by TAT member Vince L:

The Albigen Papers “The path to truth begins with the self.” So begins Richard Rose's second paper in The Albigen Papers. Some, especially those who spent years of schooling in order to be certified as experts, will say it is simplistic. But as one reads through this devastating overview of orthodox modern psychology, it will become apparent that the certified professionals, who, with their legal franchise comprise its exclusive priesthood, turn out to be the real over-simplifiers. For the approved methods and practices employed by contemporary psychologists deal only with the mechanics of the human robot, and not with those matters related to the robot's origin.

The problem of man's origin, his essence, and his real self, is a crucial one. Rose shows how woefully deficient modern psychology is in addressing these problems. Indeed, most psychologists ignore them, or even declare that attempting to seek their solution betrays a pathological mind. In contrast to the prevailing psychological methods, Rose boldly states that the only true psychologist is one who enters his own mind. This is the route to self-definition.

The issue of free will versus determinism is an example of where authors on psychology have given various opinions regarding the attributes of the mind. Is the choice only between total fatalism and total libertarianism? On this issue, Rose suggests living the paradox. It would be foolish, he says, to believe we are free agents, but equally foolish to think we live in eternal shackles. Perhaps the best course of action may be to assume there is room for free will within a broader determinism. The seeker can study freedom and generate a will, thereby receiving “yard privileges” in life's prison, while non-seekers remain in their cells. Another challenge by Rose: “It all comes back to this … do we really wish to find the Truth? And how desperately?” Our original desire for Truth may dissipate, but new findings generate new perspectives and create new desires.

Rose suggests riding the horns of the paradox. “We must not legislate that it is impossible to have a will.” The human robot was programmed with implants such as desire and curiosity. We should, says Rose, use this curiosity by expending our “energy-vector” towards pursuing “wisdom while living.” It is here that he introduces his “Law of the Vector.” By reversing the vector, we can approach a type of mind that will survive death.

Perhaps the most significant, and damning, criticism by Rose addresses conventional psychology's insistence on relying only upon scientific, materialistic criteria. He rejects the synaptic theory as being incomplete, even though he does not deny the merits of studying the relation among memories. What, however, should one make of such phenomena as ESP, prophecy, and the apparitions of saints, astral projection, and near-death experiences?

Unfortunately, though, psychology operates under Burke's law, where complexity breeds experts at complexity. Both reason, which is projected through the consciousness, and intuition, which is without projection, needs to be employed. This is not what is happening in the field. Here is Rose's verdict, in his own words:

My quibble with modern psychology is that it not only poses with inquisitional authority, but also reneges on the basic job of at least approaching the mind. It tries to make of Psychology a materialistic and mechanistic science and in the ensuing efforts, abort the very meaning of psychology. It now investigates only protoplasmic and sensory reactions. The physical senses are part of the body which is visible while the mind and its projections are not. Of course, the modern psychologist gets around this by issuing an encyclical: “Either the mind is physical or it does not exist.”

In this vein, Rose criticizes psychological works dealing with mental illness, but which do not define the mind. Rose believes there are cases involving people who were cured of their so-called “insanity”—that they were aware of their affliction, but could not communicate it.

He thought the detached witness to their suffering was the mind and the final observer, though not the final mind. Noyes is held to be a prime example of a “biological mechanic” who makes sanity a matter of public mandate. How, Rose asks, would he treat possession, mediumship, and telepathy? He warns: Beware of the over-simplifying methods of psychology. Psychiatrists are simply mechanics and “somatic electricians.”

Regarding the final observer, Rose says it “… is such that it presumes the observer to have neither need of mundane perception or memory to BE. It has a different perspective when the body is negated, or removed, in that it no longer particularizes, for one thing.” He compares our memories and personality to characters projected onto a movie screen. When we come out of the theater, there is the “chilly shock of the out-of-doors reality.”

For the time being, Rose says, we should examine psychology with the assumption we can talk about it, and also assume we are the observers.

Return to the main page of the January 2021 TAT Forum.


More to Reality Than We Know

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

Energy Transmutation, Between-ness and Transmission Rose starts off this book by poking at the materialist paradigm: “Materialism and agnosticism come easy. It is less difficult to surrender to fatalism than it is to try to enhance your own consciousness.” He skewers the idea that science will ever explain the whole cosmos, and he suggests that a materialistic worldview leaves out a lot of phenomena that don't fit in with the paradigm. This idea is important to understand, in order to understand the rest of the book.

I believe the basic points of this book are that 1) there is a lot more to reality than we know, and 2) by the law of progression, we can presume that there are beings on more subtle planes who utilize the subtle energy that humans produce. “By Law of Progression, is here meant that any series of events or circumstances that indicates consistent direction, also indicates a possible continuance of that direction beyond the series presently witness able.” 3) By conserving our energy, we can transmute it and utilize it ourselves for our own spiritual goals. 4) Tension is the key to producing and transmuting energy.

There are 3 kinds of energy: “somatic” or physical, meat energy; “mental,” which is more subtle; and “essential,” which is more subtle still, cannot be conceptualized except by the Law of Progression, but “can be experienced.”

Rose was from a different time than we are, and was well versed in the occult philosophy in resurgence then. In traditional occult philosophy, the universe is populated by an enormous variety of beings, not just physical beings, and humans are not anywhere near the top of the dung heap. Humans may be the apex of the physical plane, but are themselves prey to astral and etheric parasites, demons and other malicious entities. In traditional occult philosophy, these beings feed on fear, violence, sex, and in other ways that energy is released. Rose suggests that the two main releases of human vital energy are in war and in sex, and that humans may be “farmed” in a way by more subtle beings. If one wants to transmute their energy for spiritual purposes, first one must conserve it. Celibacy both conserves energy and protects one from preying subtle parasites. Celibacy for Rose was “temporary, total abstinence from the conscious sex act.... By 'temporary' is meant the number of years that are needed to reach our goal.” It is a common practice for occultists to stay celibate for a period of time before a powerful magical working, to conserve energy and transmute it. One could say that the entire seeking period, to Become the Absolute, was an extended magical operation. One could also say that it was an extended Alchemical preparation, where the seeker is what is transmuted.

I do have a few criticisms of this very fine book, and those are just tidbits of info that we have now that Rose might not have been privy to. The first is that I find this to be as much a record of his process as directions for other seekers. For instance, in the “Notes on Tension” part in the end of the book, he gives “Life Stages” that don't correspond to everybody, or maybe not even most seekers or finders. On page 47 he says “just leading a half-hearted pretence of celibacy with the idea that something has to happen before forty would be unwise. Rather we should live as though we knew we had to take advantage of the young years when the body is elastic, knowing that if we do not achieve Satori in those years, we are out of luck.” As it turns out, most of his students that did achieve “Satori” were over forty, and age doesn't really seem to be a factor. However, on his views of the danger of subtle parasites, I am in agreement. The “astral plane” is the plane of thoughts and images. There are often thoughts and images that intrude into one's mind that push one towards acting in particular ways that are not in the benefit of that person, and one is often left wondering afterwards “why did I do that”? Whether you consider these thoughts to be coming from “entities” or not, it can be a very useful way of talking about thoughts, urges, and images that seem to not originate from one's own mind, and dissipate energy.

“The task of the seeker of eternity is to die while living, to know of death so that the seeker will know of all the secrets of life. To effect this enormous task, the seeker must produce an enormous amount of energy. And to create that energy the polar mechanism must have a large gap … a gap as large as death itself.”

Return to the main page of the January 2021 TAT Forum.


Afflictions to the Sense of Self

Notes from a November 2020 TAT presentation of material from Richard Rose's Carillon by TAT member Michael R:

Richard Rose was full of priceless advice for seekers, which often took the form of more mental or logical approaches to the search. He was also a poet. Today I'll share one of those poems and talk briefly about how it has affected me.

"The Dawn Breaks"

Carillon: Poems, Essays and Philosophy of Richard Rose The dawn breaks because another day and night have died,
But the sky was there through all.
The butterfly floats a moment and then
His dalliance is only an eternal picture.
The breast flows with milk and is
Dry forever
And the lullaby of life and the ear
That hear it weaken and cease.

Nothing is happening. Nothing is done.
The sun rises in glory and the lover
Stretches his shoulders with ambition,
The sunset is forever, and the lover
Drinks of beauty,
And beauty drinks of the lover
And life loses its pride in death.

But nothing is happening. Nothing is done.
The eye and the urge are beauty and life,
The owner is disenfranchised
The holder lets go his grasp and everything becomes
His domain.
God is in his thought, and his thought lives only
In his God.
Nothing is judged. Nothing is known.
Nothing is meaningful. Everything is perfect.


I wonder what those listening feel when they hear this poem.

Defeated is a word that comes to mind for me . . . there is a kind of peace at the bottom of this . . . life loses its pride in death . . . this is the feeling communicated here for me . . . a sort of eternality behind all relative significance, something felt but not really comprehended . . . the sky was there through all.

But it's always been the closing four statements that stood out to me the most.

Nothing is judged . . .
Nothing is known . . .
Nothing is meaningful . . .
Everything is perfect.

It's like a 1-2-3 punch to the mind followed by a pointer to what is left.

The mind wants to know and feels threatened by the unknown . . . is there a kind of knowing other than the mind's domain? If it's relative knowing then I feel confident saying it's in the mind. What is not relative and how could it be known? This poem sparked these questions for me. Nothing is known . . .

For a long time, and in so many ways still, I search for meaning. We talk about meaning often. This poem slaughtered that sacred cow and I could see how strongly I felt threatened by even the idea of there being no meaning. I've come to see these threats or afflictions to the sense of self as clues that point to how my identify is built. Meaning is relative and subjective—we project meaning into situations in ways that attempt to shore up that sense of self.

A lack of meaning feels deflating; when something feels meaningful there is a sense of inflation. Eventually I came to see that this inflation/deflation was linked into my sense of self, and that something feeling meaningful typically meant little more than “it makes me feel significant in some way.” When I feel seen, understood, connected, thought about, valued, right in the eyes of God, etc.—a moment will often feel meaningful, because it affirms my existence.

Meaning, in the way I'm using the word here, rests upon relative definitions of significance. For anything to be meaningful in this sense of the word, something else must by definition be less meaningful or less significant. Meaning isn't based in the differentiation of, say, colors. It is based in imagined value judgments. Nothing is judged . . . nothing is meaningful . . .

This point surrounding meaning and significance . . . the ways in which our sense of self depends so heavily on these distinctions . . . how deeply we are threatened when they are threatened . . . and the possible perfection that remains when all projected value judgments are seen as merely thought—even the sticky one's we've become identified with . . . is what stuck with me the most from this poem.

Rose had many ways of attempting to communicate—and I've found his poetry to be a powerful way he spoke “between the words” to a more felt sense. So for those who may be less familiar with his poetry, I wanted to take a moment to introduce it here and share some of my thoughts.

And that's all I have :)

Return to the main page of the January 2021 TAT Forum.

Did you enjoy the Forum? Then buy the book! Beyond Mind, Beyond Death is available at Amazon.com.

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