You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
~Max Ehrmann, excerpted from Desiderata.
You’re welcome to read the story behind this photo here: http://blog.alexgreenshpun.com
"Since you say that you have forgotten your real Self, the only way is to go back to it. If you keep the light on all the time, darkness can never enter your room. Even if you open the door and invite the darkness to come in, it
cannot enter. Darkness is just the absence of light. In the same way, the mind is a self inflicted area of darkness in which the light of the Self has been deliberately shut off. So, go back to your own Self.”
[Art by Jane Adams]
"It is the mind that deceives itself. At least you must admit that you exist. Either you accept the Supreme or at least enquire into the true nature of your self.
Who are you? Knowing or not knowing belongs to the mind and therefore all your so called ‘knowledge’ is really ignorance. You identify yourself with the mind and that is the cause of the confusion. Enquire more deeply into the true nature of your individuality (i.e., Who is it that possesses a mind?). In fact, if you perceive that the mind does not exist at all, then it will vanish along with the confusion, and what truly is will stand revealed.
When you look at your reflection in the water and believe it to be an accurate representation of yourself, then you are troubled when the movement of the water disturbs the reflection. But when you realize that this has no reality to it, then your worries cease.
You cannot get rid of your shadow, but you need not believe that it is who you really are.”
~Sri Ramana Maharshi (from ‘Death Must Die’)
A yellow flower
(Light and spirit)
Sings by itself
A golden spirit
(Light and emptiness)
Sings without a word
Let no one touch this gentle sun
In whose dark eye
Someone is awake.
(No light, no gold, no name, no color
And no thought:
O, wide awake!)
A golden heaven
Sings by itself
A song to nobody.
[Photo: ‘Golden Spirit’ by Alex Greenshpun]
It is the mind that sees objects and has experiences and that finds a void when it ceases to see and experience, but that is not ‘you’. You are the constant illumination that lights up both the experiences and the void.
- Sri Ramana Maharshi
[Photo: Symphony of Light by Alex Greenshpun]
The true contemplative is not one who prepares his mind for a particular message that he wants or expects to hear, but is one who remains empty because he knows that he can never expect to anticipate the words that will transform his darkness into light.
He does not even anticipate a special kind of transformation. He does not demand light instead of darkness. He waits on the Word of God in silence, and, when he is “answered,” it is not so much by a word that bursts into his silence. It is by his silence itself, suddenly, inexplicably revealing itself to him as a word of great power, full of the voice of God.
Once I was bathed in the Light of Truth within,
I abandoned all planning and scheming.
If you, too, seek this transcendence,
leave your lower self — then from head to foot
you will see your whole being as God’s refulgence.
The more a man enters the light of understanding, the more aware he is of his own ignorance. And when the light reveals itself fully and unites with him and draws him into itself, so that it finds himself alone in a sea of light, then he is emptied of all knowledge and immersed in absolute unknowing.
Symeon the New Theologian (with thanks to christ-consciousness)
Symeon the New Theologian (949–1022 AD) was a Byzantine Christian monk and poet who was the last of three saints canonized by the Eastern Orthodox church and given the title of “Theologian”, which was applied to Symeon not in the modern academic sense of theological study, but to recognize someone who spoke from personal experience of the vision of God. A central theme throughout Symeon’s teachings and writings is that all Christians should aspire to have actual direct experience of God in deep contemplation, or theoria. Regarding his own mystical experiences, he presented them not as unique to himself, but as the norm for all Christians. He taught that the experience came after purification through prayer, repentance, and asceticism.
Symeon repeatedly describes the experience of divine light in his writings, as both an inward and outward mystical experience. These experiences began in his youth, and continued all during his life. They came to him during inward prayer and contemplation, and were associated with a feeling of indescribable joy, as well as the intellectual understanding that the light was a vision of God. In his writings, he spoke directly to God about the experience variously as “the pure Light of your face” and “You deigned to reveal Your face to me like a formless sun.” He also described the light as the grace of God, and taught that its experience was associated with a mind that was completely still and had transcended itself.