Tag Archives: Education

THE EGG AND I? NO, I AM THE EGG

From the newsletter, Sufis Speak

A beautiful Sufi in the prime of youth complained, “The world is bleeding to death while we sufis are wallowing in self-praise, boasting of achievements, power, force, ignoring children starving…”

So true to the egg and I, but we are in the egg, it in us; we are the egg and it is us, so why not stop, look and listen? If you see children  starving and if you aren’t sure the latest charity begging letter that just came through the mail will solve that matter entirely, would it be wrong, heartless, to pause for a moment and think? Use the grey matter in your nubbin to sort out the threads and figure what to do? You may call it thinking. You may fancy bigger words, call it meditation, which may not make it bigger, really, nor smaller. If you feel the need of force to carry out that meditation, you may squirm seeing how little of the Power of the Universe (which is all yours) you have been able to partake of and use, so you cannot wallow in self-praise to the disgust of this precious young sufi who, on her part, failed to see the striving GOD-embryo trying to charge itself.

As you plod along thus you may see several plots at once, confusing you,  so you end up asking half in despair: Why doesn’t the President do something? We elected him for that, didn’t we? You may have voted for him but also a few millions did. His task is not to follow your ideas exclusively but all the ideas of his voters as far as he can, and with due regard to the accumulated experience and ideas of his bureaucracy. What are those many ideas? Why don’t you find out? And after having found out, nudge the whole system and nation in the direction you think it ought to be nudged, without hurting or antagonizing any one too seriously?

It’s becoming a bit complicated now, isn’t it? You feel not quite up to it? In that case, is it not your obvious duty to elevate yourself into feeling and knowing you are up to it, at least partially? Here then, you have arrived at or are back at analysis — analysis of yourself as well as the egg around you — to enable yourself to tackle the burning problems. It does not mean you wait until you are perfectly prepared before you act, but while acting, you go to school, a mundane school or religious training or even a yoga or sufi training, all with the same intent: To equip yourself to act efficiently.

Among all these training trips, what characterizes the sufi trip? Many things, first that all religions, sciences and efforts are expressions of the same universal drive, the arms and tools and thoughts of GOD. What help is that? It helps you not to waste your time and effort on useless criticism, but to see, understand, encourage and gently lead all sincere efforts. Religion may have lost much of its grip but religious bigotry still has a firm grip and is to blame for much of the starving of children, for the very same bigotry expresses itself in color, race, social strata. A New York Corporation lawyer, my uncle, told me too many of the important company executives he knew thought they, the executives, were a special kind of people, chosen by God or somebody to lead men and that the opinions and needs of the men they were leading did not matter much. With such ideas a society is bound to suffer tension, malnutrition, even possibly destruction. Such dangerous sentiments are thwarted by such groups as sufis, yogis and all who see the spirit permeating all life.

The sufi training or simply the sufi attitude also makes you see the stirrings and movements of thoughts and feelings that make up and move society and the nation. You learn to see why and how the richest nations in the world develop desperate poverty pockets, health hazards, foul air and water and how to correct these things and you can also see which public servants ably perform and who do not.

A yogi, Swami Rama, is presently retained by the Menninger Institution, that prestigious Hospital and Research facility for mental health. His task is to train doctors as yoga preceptors so they in their turn can use the yoga methods to establish communication between a patient’s (or any person’s) deeper divine faculties and the conscious mind. A magazine reporter interviewing Swami Rama asked what he thought of Americans as yoga pupils and teachers, especially the American youth, its future.

“American youth” said Swami Rama, “is the best in the world, you know, with unlimited potential; their deep and strong emotions assure success if properly directed. Emotions are the driving force of life. Unfortunately American youth are lacking essential qualities today.”  “Which qualities?”   “Discipline,” (which he explains, not as a relation to others or to imposed rules but as efficient communication between the inner, deeper man and his conscious mind). “The reason for this is,” continued the yogi, “that the American home has lost its sacred hold on the family members.”

We know that this is the case in some homes, even in some that are called good homes. I never thought it was the case for the majority of American homes. At any rate, I know of sufi homes, and Yoga homes, and homes of no such designation but of the spirit , in which the light shines brightly, in some homes like enormous blazing suns.

Why do Americans go beyond their borders to accept Sufi and Yogi methods? First, because a thousand sects of Christianity, the Hebrew religion and Islam are already with us. It behooves us to acquaint ourselves with the origin and pure aspect of all this, which is sufism for the Western and Near-Eastern traditions and Yoga for the Far Eastern ones. Apart from that, the same truths were already honored by great Americans of the past, by practically all the nation’s fathers, George  Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin who were not narrow sectarians but ‘deists’ which is much the same as Sufis. And the philosophy of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman is essentially the Sufi line. Whitman’s friend and physician Richard Maurice Bucke wrote “…with the flux of cosmic consciousness all religions known and named today will be melted down [into an essence that] will absolutely dominate the race. It will not be [just] part of life [limited to] sacred books, mouths of priests or bibles. It will not ‘save’ men from sins or secure entrance to heaven, will not teach future immortality or glory, for immortality and glory will be in the here and now, the evidence of it in every heart as sight in every eye. Each soul will feel and know itself to be immortal, and that the entire universe with all its good, all its beauty belongs to it forever…”

The same elements are found in the Maya culture, born in the heart of the Americas.

Far afield we find this same spirit in the ancient Chinese culture, claimed by some to be the origin of sufism. The best known evidence today is perhaps the I CHING, the book of changes, that recently captured the fancy of Carl Jung, the prestigious psychiatrist who seeks to combine the wisdom of all cultures. He sees in the I CHING an approach to understand life different from Western Science’s Causal idea, the theory of cause and effect. In contrast he calls the Chinese idea the synchronistic approach and wonders if it isn’t more true. He sees modern Western physicists now approaching this synchronistic concept, realising that to satisfy the more current western idea of cause and effect you had to go to a laboratory, with artificial restrictions, to reproduce the desired results, to make the experiments ‘obey’ the ‘laws’ we thought we had ‘discovered’. The findings of these modern physicists have been with us for millenniums, hidden behind the contempted term “mysticism”. Great scientists and artists of all ages have known.

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Meditation

From the newsletter, Sufis Speak

“Meditation is just thinking isn’t it? So why the long word?” This is a frequent remark. Meditation is a certain type of thinking. And this is just the beginning.

When you read a book, or skip through it, or when you listen to a lecture, this is not meditation. When you take out of a book or a lecture a thought or two, play with them in your mind, turn them around, look at them from all sides and try to build them into your mind as part of your mind, that is meditation. If you are planning a building or a trip, and particularly if you are not writing things down, but keep the entire picture in your mind while you work on it, that is meditation. When you repeat a well-known prayer without much thought, that is not meditation. Feeling is always a principal part of effective meditation. Actually there is no thought without feeling behind it. There is no life without feeling behind it, and no meditation.

A typical example is the morning prayer some people use. Addressing the Creative Force field that creates and maintains the world, you pray, “Through the rays of the sun, through the waves of the air, through the all-pervading life in space — purify and revivify me…” If, while saying this, you ,just see  a moderately warm ball the size of the sun as you see it from here, you really don’t “meditate”. But if your own creative force rushes into the center of the sun and helps create a huge flaming body, so hot it nearly burns you (though in the non-physical force field heat does not really burn you, but your vivid imagination, sustained by physical experience may make you feel slightly burned) — then you know you are meditating and so effectively that may stretch your consciousness beyond what we have usually called mind. Another sign is that if you meditate on or deeply think about a person who interests you, you may suddenly discover in your mind a concept of this person entirely different from what you have had. What is this? It may be the concept that person has of himself. You may have entered his mind. And it is at first a deflating experience for it shows you what a fool you have been before, thinking that what you thought or felt was reality, and the only one.

This concept that a person has of himself. and which you may share, through meditation, is still. not all there is. Behind and in a sense inside that person is a force field that science is rediscovering today, a non-physical and autonomous system that created and now maintains him, and through meditation you may even be able to reach some of that and be very helpful to your friend, though it is doubtful he will at first accept your “help” and you better be careful and try and test again and again before you maybe relatively sure you have a good thing.

Eventually, through meditation, you may be able to transcend what we have so far termed “mind” and this is the meaning of “transcendental meditation”. Today science realizes that there is a “non-physical” force field, but this non-physical reality is again divided into numberless stages of fineness. It isn’t really a matter of physical or non-physical. All of life is a vast system of force fields of finer and finer structure. “Non-physical” simply means that most people cannot observe this part of the system with their eyes or physical instruments. However, more and more electronic instruments can observe more and more “non-physical” systems. Through meditation some have penetrated deeper into these worlds than any instrument so far devised.

Meditation may develop to be not only cognitive but creative. What is at first imagination may be turned into reality or into non-physical or even physical systems. Was this the way the whole world was once created and is being maintained? Find out!  Practice meditation until you know!

Meditation ought to be the very foundation of education, rather than the present copying of past follies. The ancient Yoga schools feel that this education should start at age 8 to have a chance of success. The perhaps equally ancient sufis claim you should start before you are born. Future civilizations may do so, with results we can hardly imagine. Meanwhile you may begin any time and, and if persistent, go far.

Harvard, MIT, Yale and our huge mega-universities in New York and California, the Humanistic Psychiatrists and other large organizations are today investigating deeply the methods, problems and possible results of meditation, or mind-heart training. This does not exclude individual efforts. On the contrary, the latter may be as important or more important. A few individuals have gone far beyond the institutional methods and results so far offered and all the latter are really due to outstanding individual performances that have been registered and catalogued by the large institutions. If a person prefers to go along this path without any institutional contact he is in good company and should proceed.

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Dolphin Eye Drops

From Correspondence:

20 January 1980
Dear ____
Thank you for two letters. It is clear from them that you are one man who can solve the eye drop problem along with one or more Canadian eye medical doctors, preferably of the modern medical type who acknowledges the virtue of some Indian and other native medicines. Fred’s and Dolphin drops are good but not necessarily the best. With your own and the eye doctor’s knowledge you may produce something as good or better. Also, if the eye doctors wants to he may go to the Medical association in Seattle and together they may make Fred reveal his formula or else he would be prohibited from making or selling it. The doctors are welcome to come to me for information on the whole story. My sight was threatened by extinction in the fifties, all doctors medicines no good. The Dolphin Drops cured me completely even increased my sight. A woman in Seattle had a diagnosed cancer on her eye lids. It disappeared completely after some months treatment with the drops.
In your letter of 9 January you generalize about the state of the world. This is based on your education through school, sufism etc. and not the best way. The world is as it is today simply because humanity is still very young and strays in all directions. Nothing particularly wrong or unexpected with that. Unfortunately though we may be wiped out because ….. Do not, please, mention any of all that to the doctors or other you talk to about eye drops. Neither about sufism. Much in sufism is not right. I mean: in the minds of some sufis today. Nor are the “gurus” from India or Tibet right as a group. Some few individuals are. On the whole: speculate if you will, but don’t take that too seriously. A time will come when you will see. Then you will talk very little, perhaps not at all. In your lifetime you may meet one or two people who are clear. That is all today.
Love,
Shamcher

(Click here for a random post from somewhere else in this blog.)

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Bohm’s View

In a letter to a fellow scientist:
…Dr. David Bohm's "enfolding-unfolding universe" permits a more unified terminology.  The Cartesian viewpoint, shared by Newton, Einstein et al, see points or subjects in the universe determined by grids in space and time.  Bohm feels space-time grids merely represent our oblique perceptions.  To him, points or subjects in space are interlinked by characteristics, not space-time grids.  So General Uban in India and Dr. Xenofan on Jupiter are closer to us than Ed Teller at Stanford, who, along with the UW scientists belong in the respected category of fierce loyalists, loyal to their once-conceived perceptions.  While you and Dr. John Gofman and I are more eager to change viewpoints when additional facts stare us in the face, and favor paths that we call more true (absolute truth is evasive so far) – and paths that may save humanity and our dear animal and vegetable friends from annihilation.

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Seminars on Ignorance

Engineers, physicists, economists, psychologists achieve more, and with more zing, the more they are aware of their degree of ignorance — and of their potentials. I would like to conduct seminars to this effect, including current history and examples.
When my friend Henri Coanda, professor of physics at Sorbonne (Paris), flew his first jet into a barn door and just survived, Vannevar Bush, called our greatest scientist, pronounced, “Jet power will never be appreciably used, neither in military nor civilian aviation.” Professor Everett D. Howe and I built three plants on the principle of thermal difference between ocean surface water and deeper layers at University of California. Only plants of considerable size are economical and only if a few large cold water pipelines are used rather than several small ones, which would involve prohibitive friction losses. Reputable engineers, failing to acknowledge their ignorance of this, pronounce the method not feasible, having built plants with no regard for the mentioned condition. Professor Edgar Schieldrop of the Norwegian Institute of Technology used to say “Our so-called natural laws are crutches, to make us believe we understand what we don’t.” Einstein might have taught us. His theories are more advanced crutches.
In the field of economics, inability to see our ignorance causes tragedies. How many economists cling to the credo that employment and inflation must be ‘traded off’ according to that famous “Philip’s Curve?” (To cure inflation we must have unemployment!) this is rejected as flimsy fabrication by economists who have delved into this matter, Yale’s John H.G.Pierson, Harvard’s John Philip Wernette, the Truman administration’s Leon Keyserling, the Kennedy and Johnson administrations’ Seymour Harris. And there is John Maynard Keynes’ foreword to his famous book: “I have called this the General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money … to contrast the character of my arguments…. with those of the classical theory upon which I was brought up…and which are applicable to a special case only ….the characteristics of which happen not to be those of the society in which we actually live…”
In the field of psychology Carl Jung warns, “If you really want to help your patient, forget all your science…”
The University of California considered helping their engineers by adding sociology, philosophy, psychology to the curriculum. Remarked Dr. Joe McCutchean, “I’d say it is a matter of attitude rather than adding subjects. The sociologists and psychologists who’d talk to our engineers would add their own limited syndrome.” He listed a number of teachers he thought had it, and those, he added, had not been exposed to the considered courses.
Professionals of all lines can be trained to acknowledge their ignorance — and potentials. This may be a first step to make us all generalists.
Bryn Beorse

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Discard Reason

Your reasoning power is highly developed – so highly that you should be ready to discard it in such cases when it should be discarded. This short-coming, that you don’t jump into the “other vehicle” (that of intuition) when such is due, is something you share with our entire Western civilization (and today with Eastern civilization too). All our universities, all sciences, most religion, is 98% working on logic, and reason does not dare leap into the term of intuition. While this is our most important matter, it is impossible to criticize anybody because from birth to the grave everyone is pushed and forced into the intellectual jail. Yes, it becomes a jail when it no longer applies. So this is not your “fault” but it is something that your contact with a few people who have made the jump may suddenly open your eyes to.
(from correspondence)

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Children

Children choose their parents, not because they seem ideal to the coming child but because it seems the least harmful choice.  The child’s spirit often overshadows and leads the parent, for example to your school. ..what do the parents know?  By this child coming to your school, that child, not necessarily the parent, has taken a decision.  How do you dare to challenge that decision?
You say, very well, but is she really prepared to make a decision on behalf of the child in this fashion?  Whom does she think this child is?   Her property or the property of its Creator?  Her mind or the child’s own mind?  How much authority does she really think she ought to have and exercise over that messenger from Heaven?
Permit not the parent to interfere with the career of the child, if you possibly can avoid it.
(from correspondence)

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