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Monday, May 14, 2012

A Blade of Grass...

by Jerome Dechant
May 14, 2012

Beginner's Mind:

The beginner's mind is open to learning, realizing that we don't know everything yet, and we can always learn more, regardless of how much we think we already know. The beginner's mind is excited and energetic about the learning opportunities that present themselves to us to know and understand what we don't know and understand yet.

The beginner's mind is sort of like a blade of tall grass being blown in the wind; it is pliable, flexible and readily bends to the forces which are applied to it without being damaged. It also springs back to it's natural state once the force of the wind has passed.

The steadfast mind is like a stick which is not pliable and therefore when forces are applied to it, it does not bend, but rather breaks. It does not spring back to it's natural unbroken state once the force of the wind has passed which means It can not recover it's natural state of unbrokenness.

This is a lesson for those who are steadfast of mind, who are not willing to bend, to be flexible, who think they know everything and are 100% certain of that which they think they know is the absolute truth. With such rigidity, when pressure is applied to them, to get them to bend to the possibility they really don't know it all, pressure to realize they are not well founded in understanding the absolute truth, they will certainly break or at the very least sustain damage because of their resistance and their rigidity.

In other words, if we think we are 100% certain of anything, we are embodying the stick attitude. We are closed to the possibility that there is anything else to know and understand. This means when a greater understanding and truth is pressed upon us, we stand firm in our already established certainty, and adhere to what we have 100% certainty about, which causes us to break due to the natural forces higher truth exerts upon us.

When we aren't sure whether what we know is all there is to know, and/or is 100% true, we are embodying the blade of grass attitude. When a greater understanding presents itself to us, we bend to its force and easily consider its value to us and thereby grow in our understanding and knowledge. We live another day to bend to greater understandings and learn more. We thrive in the winds of time and change because of our flexibility, openess and acceptance.

The beginner's mind holds a sense of wonder and adventure to discover what's out there, to "Boldly go where no one has gone before..."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Study notes/thoughts

I am re-reading "How to Know God, the Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali," translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Chritopher Isherwood.

I find it to be helpful and illuminating when the content is not just read, but studied and contemplated.  Maybe you will too, if you should decide to get this book and see for yourself.  What follows are some of my thoughts regarding a short excerpt from the book.

by Jerome Dechant
April 7, 2012

Creation is described as an evolution outward, from undifferentiated consciousness (awareness) into differentiated consciousness (awareness,) from mind into matter.* (paraphrased quote from How to Know God, the Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali, translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, pg. 40 paragraph 2)

Sat = Sanskrit for Existence (pronounces similar to got)

Chit = Sanskrit for Conscious awareness

Ananda = Sanskrit for Bliss

Existence without differentiation is the primal medium energy which underlies everything.  Existence is the foundation upon which everything else is built upon.

Consciousness/Awareness: To be aware, there has to be something to be aware of, there has to be duality, i.e. a perceiver and a perceived. In the first instance, the perceiver and the perceived are undifferentiated, that is to say no apparent duality but implied duality. Existence recognized itself as existing.

In this state of existence awareness, great joy/bliss sprang forth. This was the very first ah ha moment of elation. It was the first awakening, so to speak. That is to say, Existence always was and awareness always was too, but until that first moment, there was no linking of the aspects so as to recognize and/or realize beingness. Once there was that recognition/realization, the natural result was elation.

So, undifferentiated existence woke up and realized it exists. Being undifferentiated, it was the only existence, (it still is the only existence.) In that first instance, there was only “I”, there was no “not I” In other words, there was no limit to existence and awareness, therefore there could be no “otherness” except that if the awareness introduced something which gave the appearance of otherness. So IT created difference, it created the idea of me, and not me. This was first awareness, a thought which had to be built upon and therefore established as an experiential expression. At first, it was just energy without form, but as more definition and differentiation occurred, it gradually solidified into form and or substance. The existence which brought forth the form and substance remains as the source, yet within the form and substance of itself, it seeded its own awareness of existence in being. In other words before physical beings appeared, more subtle energy formless beings existed as a stage of evolution from insubstantial to substantial expressions of being in expression. As the evolution progressed, and the substance became more solid, so to did the recognition of oneness diminish and the identity with the form grew because of that transition from undifferentiated to differentiated expression in existence.

Now, we are here, expressing in physical form, most of us are solely identified with out body, our individuality. Very few recognize the undifferentiatedness from which we sprang, which is in fact still true, which is still expressing as Existence Awareness and Bliss.

The process humans are using is an attempt to reverse the process of creative evolution in one respect, that is, to maintain individuality in form, substance and awareness, yet also reawaken the awareness from whence we came.

So the creative evolution is from undifferentiated formless being to differentiate formed being to differentiated formed beings with awareness of undifferentiatedness and formlessness added back into the mix.

Creative Evolution is a natural process just like gravity and water flowing down hill is a natural process. You don’t have to “make” the water flow downhill, it happens naturally. The same is true with our evolutionary process. It happens naturally unless we introduce obstacles to it unfolding naturally.

How long does it take? It takes as long as it takes. There may be a “standard” duration for this evolutionary process, but that standard is likely based upon a process where no obstacles are introduced to impede the progress.

In summary, all you have to do it enjoy the ride. The ride will be over when it is over, and not a moment before then, or not a moment after then either. The question might be whether you will stick around and enjoy the whole ride or not. Whether you do or not will not hamper the evolutionary process because whether you do or not, you are still rooted in the underlying existence and awareness and bliss. (The “you” is only the external form or appearance which does not diminish the ONE you at all.)