Rupert Spira : Maya is not Ignorance

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The Dream of the Cosmos: A Quest for the Soul by Anne Baring (Author)

The Dream of the Cosmos is the story of a multi-layered quest to understand the causes of human suffering and to reconnect with a deeper reality than the one we inhabit in this physical dimension of experience. It seeks to answer the questions: “Who are we?” and “Why are we here, on this planet?” It is offered to those who are looking for something beyond the superficial values of our culture, who may be disillusioned with religious and secular belief systems as currently presented and who question political values which are deeply mired in the pursuit of power. It is written with two voices: one the voice of a personal quest and the other which explores the historical and psychological causes that have brought into being our present view of reality.


Anne Baring (1931-) is the author and co-author of seven books and has recently published her latest one — “The Dream of the Cosmos: A Quest for the Soul”. She is a Jungian analyst and lives near Winchester, England. She is passionately interested in the fate of the Earth and the survival of our species in this critically important time of evolutionary change. Her work is devoted to the recognition that we live in an ensouled world and to the restoration of the lost sense of communion between us and the invisible dimension of the universe that is the source or ground of all that we call ‘life’. Website: http://www.annebaring.com

Anne Baring on “The Dream of the Cosmos”

In the course of writing two major books about the development of consciousness in the West and how the conscious mind became dissociated from the deeper matrix out of which it arose, I discovered that one of the foremost reasons for this was the split that developed between spirit and nature in the Western philosophical and religious traditions. This split arose from the belief that a Creator God inhabited a realm that was totally transcendent to the material world of nature and matter and from the repression and loss of the far older tradition of a Mother Goddess who brought forth all cosmic and earthly life from her womb, therefore unifying creator and creation.

In the West, from the sixteenth century onwards, science developed on the foundation of this split. Believing that matter is the only reality, it has taken the “rational mind” as its guide and the brain as the sole origin of consciousness, dismissing any alternative view as superstition. It has ultimately discarded both God and the soul. It apparently ignores the further potential evolutionary development of human consciousness and the states of mind that have long been explored in the metaphysical traditions of both East and West.

At the present time however, something of immense significance is emerging: a new cosmology is being born; a new vision of our profound relationship with a conscious, intelligent universe and a new consensus among a growing number of physicists, astro-physicists and cosmologists that cosmic consciousness and not matter is the primary ground of reality and our own consciousness. Instead of seeing the universe as a gigantic machine with our bodies as miniature machines, they are seeing it as a unified organism with ourselves as part of that multi-levelled organism.

This emerging paradigm, together with the growing environmental movement, gives us hope that we may rescue nature from our predatory and exploitive habits in time to counteract the danger of destroying not only millions more species, but our own as well. It invites us to recognise ourselves as having a role on this planet in the service of nature and ultimately the cosmos, to know ourselves in our innermost nature as cosmic beings, incarnated here for a purpose, aware of our fundamental unity. This awakening to a new phase of our evolutionary journey might be described as living the dream of the cosmos.

Suggested Reading: the book The Dream of the Cosmos with online chapters at http://www.annebaring.com

Anne Baring. MA Oxon (b. 1931) is a Jungian analyst and the author and co-author of seven books including, with Jules Cashford (1992), The Myth of the Goddess; Evolution of an Image; with Andrew Harvey, The Mystic Vision (1995) and The Divine Feminine (1996); and with Dr. Scilla Elworthy, Soul Power: an Agenda for a Conscious Humanity (2009). Her most recent book, published in May 2013, is The Dream of the Cosmos: a Quest for the Soul. Her work is devoted to the recognition that we live in an ensouled world and to the restoration of the lost sense of communion between us and the invisible dimension of the Cosmos that is the source or ground of all that we call ‘life’. Her website is devoted to the affirmation of a new vision of reality and the issues facing us at this crucial time of choice. See http://www.annebaring.com/

What Is The Difference Between Knowing And Being? – Ram Dass

When you walk down the street you see other beings who are doing things… who are thinking things, who are wearing things, who are older or younger, who have personal lives. You see all the individual differences, but you also see them as packaging which holds that being.

This is a 1931 body and it’s decaying at a certain rate. It’s inevitable. I mean, I may prolong it or slow it down, but it’s inevitable. The personality of this being has a lot of residual little neuroses hanging around in it. It’s also charming, it’s delightful, it’s warm, it’s intelligent, it’s a personality, and those are my vehicles for being here on Earth.

It’s like a space suit, when you see those guys on the moon, and they’re encased in these suits. Those suits allow them to be in that particular element, and so we are in an element which requires that we be sheathed in a body and a personality.

Notice what I’m doing. I’m suggesting that we are not an identity with our personalities or our bodies, we are something more than that, and the predicament we face in recognizing this part of ourselves is that it isn’t ‘see-able’ with our eyes, isn’t ‘tasteable’ with our tongues… isn’t recognizable by any of our external senses.

So do we take this whole part of ourselves and assume it isn’t real?

All those times when you are not caught in your personality, or not caught in your role, or not caught in identifying with your body, do you assume at those moments, whatever you’re experiencing, is illegitimate? Do you say, “Oh, I thought I was crazy. I was out of my mind,” whatever I was thinking is irrelevant?

You don’t know what to do with that information that doesn’t relate to you as an object because the nature of your being is such that you can just be it.

You can’t know it, but you can be it.

At this moment there’s a body sitting here, there’s a personality, there’s speaking happening, and behind it all, inside, I’m sitting here. How could I describe myself? I would say that “I am.” The minute that I ascribe any adjective to it, I immediately reduce it to less than what it is, because finally what it is, is “I am.”

In meditation we call it “awareness”. It’s subject, it’s not object, you can’t think about it, because the thinking mind objectifies, and most of us are busy being who we think we are, and in that process, we make ourselves into objects. We think about ourselves, and first we are alienated from other people, and then we finally get alienated from ourselves. The Christians call this awareness, this being, the ‘soul.’

Now, we all project certain identities by our bodies and by our personalities, you can see who a person is by looking at them. You can see who they think they are. You can see it in the lines on their faces and the smile and the quality. You can see when somebody is feeling ugly, when they feel they’re unlovable, when they’re frightened.

And you can also see when people feel connected to beauty and connected to something deeper than themselves.
Source: Ram Dass

Thich Nhat Hanh Explains the Art of ‘Letting Go’

Thich Nhat Hanh, the Zen Buddhist master, has some interesting advice about what it means to truly let go.
Many people mistake detachment or non-clinging to be a form of aloofness, or emotional disconnect from others, but as Hanh explains, truly letting go often means loving someone more than you have ever loved them before.

The Buddha taught that detachment, one of the disciplines on the Noble Path, also called ariyasaavaka, is not a physical act of withdrawal or even a form of austerity. Though the Buddha teaches of a “non-action which is an integral part of the Right Way,” if it is taken out of context it can give the impression that we should develop a lack of concern for others, and that we should live without truly feeling or expressing our emotions – cutting ourselves off from life.

These type of misinterpretations are sadly common, since there are not always direct translations from the Paali language into English.

This form of “detachment” is an erroneous understanding of the Buddha’s message. Master Hanh states that to truly let go we must learn to love more completely. Non-attachment only happens when our love for another extends beyond our own personal expectations of gain, or our anticipation of a specific, desired outcome.

Hanh describes four forms of complete detachment, which surprisingly, aren’t about holing yourself up in a cave and ignoring everyone who has broken your heart, or ignoring your lust or desire for a romantic interest. This is not detachment. Letting go, means diving in. For example:

Maitri (Not the Love You Know)

Hanh describes the importance of Maitri, not love as we normally understand in a Westernized use of the word. He states,

“The first aspect of true love is maitri (metta, in Pali), the intention and capacity to offer joy and happiness. To develop that capacity, we have to practice looking and listening deeply so that we know what to do and what not to do to make others happy. If you offer your beloved something she does not need, that is not maitri. You have to see her real situation or what you offer might bring her unhappiness.”

In other words, your detachment may come in accepting that certain things you would normally do to make another person feel loved and appreciated may not be what the person you are actively loving now, needs. Instead of forcing that behavior on another person, with an egoic intent to “please” them, you simply detach from that need in yourself, and truly observe what makes another person feel comfortable, safe, and happy.

Hanh further explains,

“We have to use language more carefully. “Love” is a beautiful word; we have to restore its meaning. The word “maitri” has roots in the word mitra which means friend. In Buddhism, the primary meaning of love is friendship.”
Karuna (Compassion)

The next form of true detachment is compassion. When we let go, we don’t stop offering a compassionate touch, word, or deed to help someone who is in pain. We also don’t expect to take their hurt or pain away. Compassion contains deep concern, though. It is not aloofness It is not isolation from others.

The Buddha smiles because he understands why pain and suffering exist, and because he also knows how to transform it. You become more deeply involved in life when you become detached form the outcome, but this does not mean you don’t participate fully – even in others’ pain.

Gratitude and Joy

In truly letting go you practice gratitude. Mudita, or joy arises when we are overcome with gratitude for all that we have, such that we no longer cling to some other longed-for result. The Buddha’s definition of joy is more like “Unselfish joy.” It means that we don’t only find happiness when something good happens to us, but when others find happiness.

If you’ve ever had to say goodbye to a love or friend so that they could continue on their life’s path – one that may not have continued to intertwine with your own – you may have felt pain when they found someone new to love, or made a new friend that seemed to take your place. This is not true detachment. Joy arises when you find happiness even when others find joy – and it has little or nothing to do with you.
Upeksha (Equanimity)

Master Hanh describes the final quality of true love which sheds inordinate light on the true process of letting go.

He states,

“The fourth element of true love is upeksha, which means equanimity, non-attachment, nondiscrimination, even-mindedness, or letting go. Upa means “over,” and iksha means “to look.” You climb the mountain to be able to look over the whole situation, not bound by one side or the other. If your love has attachment, discrimination, prejudice, or clinging in it, it is not true love.

People who do not understand Buddhism sometimes think upeksha means indifference, but true equanimity is neither cold nor indifferent. If you have more than one child, they are all your children. Upeksha does not mean that you don’t love. You love in a way that all your children receive your love, without discrimination.”

Hanh explains that without this quality our love tends to become possessive – a stomping ground of the ego. We try to put our beloved in our pocket and carry them with us, when they are more like the wind, or a butterfly, or a stream, needing to move and flow, or risk dying. This is not love, this is destruction.

For love to be true love, it must have elements of compassion, joy, and equanimity – and thisis truly letting go.

The Art of Letting Go is Artless

The real secret is that letting go is not an art, it is an allowing, a being. A non-attached relationship is healthy, strong and filled with effortless love, kindness and compassion. It is completely selfless because your sense of ‘self’ is no longer asserted in every situation. If you want to truly let go, you’ve got to love more, not less. This is the most common misunderstanding about this priceless teaching of the Buddha.

Featured Image: Photo © Unified Buddhist Church.
Source: The Mind Unleashed

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