Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Charioteer and the Reins of the Mind.

Not having internet access has provided me with time for many other considerations, as well as contemplation of the essential rather than the representative. Not having the internet, like not having anything, puts the mind into the state of feeling compelled to fix the situation or... gain what is lacking... or remove what is hindering... or however one views or defines it. The truth is that things happen for a reason. One doesn’t have to know what the reason is to know that there is a reason. Nothing happens without a reason, or a cause. Karma is like this.

Good and bad are relative terms for conditions we are attracted or repelled by; what we prefer to experience or prefer to avoid. We don’t know the essential meaning of most things so our idea of good and bad are subjective. This means that what we think to be good may not be and what we think to be bad may not be. In this way we come to war against our own best interests. By example, most people think that death is bad and life is good. Most people think pain is bad and pleasure good. Most people think what most people think and the usual truth is that most people are wrong about many things and the world shows this.

I’ve been reading The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation. Here is something from that text which will repay careful consideration, especially the last line... “It matters not what name may carelessly be applied to mind; truly mind is one, and apart from mind there is naught else. That unique One Mind is foundationless and rootless. There is nothing else to be realized.”

Of course, realization is one thing but understanding is another. We can realize a great many things but there are many levels of understanding. Understanding comes through surrender; the greater our capacity for Surrender, the greater our capacity for Understanding.

On a number of occasions, I have noticed a certain feature about observed respiration. I’ve noticed that conscious breathing can be an orgasmic experience that easily rivals sex and far surpasses it as well. My limited experience in these matters has resulted in some surprising states of being and it is not possible to convey this in words. Imagine how much lies beyond my limited understanding of the matter. The same is true about a great many things. Our assumption that what can be known is contained in our present state of knowing is a degree of arrogance that also cannot be put into words. The usual reader here is not an example of this but examples abound in this dark period on the planet. Just as you can’t pour water into a vessel that is already filled, you can’t comprehend something you already think you comprehend but...don’t. This is the meaning of Christ’s exhortation to become as a little child.

It has taken me a long time to obtain the visceral realization that I don’t make things happen and that everything is already under control. My efforts at making things happen appear to me to be obstructions in the way of life’s perfect ease in making everything that should appear, flower perfectly in its appointed moment. The unease; impatience, resistance, worry and concern well as all of the other devil’s pitchforks that accompany our need to control life are some of the things that make life a burden and an annoyance.

Many of us grasp intellectually that we should just move with the flow of what life intends for us and reap the bounty of the cosmic love that materializes in and around us but we go right ahead and muck it up regardless by insisting that we know best what we require and just exactly how to go about getting it. This is where all the push and shove comes from and this is the source of the tension anyone is aware of as they move through the byways of this crowded world. Most of us suffer from it and most of us contribute to it and we get back on our investment with interest. Even when we know we are going against our own best interests we insist on continuing to do so. It’s a marvel and a mystery.

It is impossible to state in words just how remarkable life becomes when we let go of it and allow The Charioteer to take the reins, which we might even feel in our own hands, as well as the mind of The Charioteer simultaneously. That’s the One Mind guiding the ‘seemingly’ separated mind toward union, which is the direction it naturally goes in no matter what direction it goes in.

We think we can see around the corner but we can’t. We could see around the corner if we weren’t doing the seeing. Many of the readers here are aware that there is a charioteer but for some reason we think he’s busy somewhere on important affairs of the cosmos which don’t necessarily, or only incidentally, include us. The fact of the matter is that The Charioteer is rooted in our minds- our being- and is never anywhere else at any time and everywhere at the same time. We might think of ourselves as The Chariot. I often think of my body as a horse and on occasion, in more rarified states of mind, actually experience this to some degree.

The mind is like an ocean... restless and always coming and going like the tides. Very often, while in a more rarified state of mind, I can see horses galloping into the shore and their manes billowing in the whitewater of the waves. One might almost imagine the world is an ocean and all those waves pounding on the shores of the day to day are composed of millions of horses always arriving and never arrived. There are some who take objection to my more rarified states of mind or the mediums I occasionally use to get there. Some not only know what is best for them but they know what is best for me too. I feel lucky in that respect because I don’t know at all about any of it. Truth be told, the mediums vary and sometimes they are as au natural as it gets. The point is getting there by whatever medium. We could tortoise and hare this to death but there’s no point in that.

I’ve said on occasion that those who love much are forgiven much. I could also say that the divine is impressed by one’s intensity to experience the divine and is far less concerned with whatever mechanisms one might employ to do it. This isn’t relevant to the point of this piece. It just showed up on its own for whatever the reason. By the same token, the divine doesn’t care if we are a Christian or a Moslem or a Hindu. The divine doesn’t care if we chant or pray... kneel or stand. It’s the intention and intensity of the heart and the direction of it that counts far, far more than whatever rituals or practices we engage in. None of these things are permanent ends. Not many of us get in our car to drive somewhere and then sit in our car once we get there, with the motor running, as if that were the point.

For some reason we know what’s best for us and, by extension, we know what’s best for everyone else as well. As long as we know all of this we can be certain that we are pretty much wrong at both ends of the spectrum. We fill our minds with concepts and structures of an infinite variety. We build intricate architectures; temporary projections into mental space, according to long existing blueprints that get changed with every age and we call it truth. Our mind gardens become so cluttered we can’t tell the weeds from the flowers and wherever the path used to be... who knows where that went?

The point is to unclutter the mind, not the other way around. The purpose is to empty the mind so that what really is can be isolated and highlighted because, once you empty the mind, what really is, is all that remains. It’s pretty simple... too simple... let’s just add a whole lot of things. Let’s dress it up until we can’t see it any more. Yeah, that’s it. Heh, heh... it would be funny if it wasn’t so painful but it only hurts when I laugh.

My warm and enduring greetings to you all and an especial bon voyage to that sincere pilot in Austin who made his statement in his own way. I don’t know the right or the wrong of it but it sure looks like he had a great many of us in mind when he did it and you can’t doubt his commitment.

From The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation;

“The Non-Created is the Non-Visible. By knowing the invisible Voidness and the Clear Light through not seeing them separately, there being no multiplicity in the Voidness - one's own clear mind may be known, yet the Thatness is not knowable.

Mind is beyond nature, but is experienced in bodily forms. The realization of the One Mind constitutes the “All Deliverance.” Without the mastery of the mental processes there can be no realization. Similarly, although sesame seed is the source of oil, and milk the source of butter, not until the seed is pressed and the milk churned do oil and butter appear.

Although sentient beings are of the Buddha essence itself, not until they realize this can they attain Nirvana. Even a cowherd [or an illiterate person] may by realization attain Liberation.

To Give oneself, body, speech, and heart, to the cause of Holy Truth, is the best and highest occupation, O ye Tingri folk.

Wealth and riches are illusory, loaned for a moments use; show not overfondness for them, neither hoard them, Tingri folk.

One's kindred are alluring visions, glamorous mirages; break the tie, sever the knot of sentiment, O Tingri folk.

Fatherland and homes are transient, even as a nomads camp; let not fondness bind you to them; renounce all things, O Tingri folk.

Even on one's birthday morning, omens of one's death appear; ever be alert and watchful; waste not time, O Tingri folk.

One pointedly devote yourself to the Sacred Dharma Path; it shall be in the hour of death, your Guide and Boat O Tingri folk.”

Radio Show this Sunday or download it later.


Anonymous said...

"Even when we know we are going against our own best interests we insist on continuing to do so. It’s a marvel and a mystery."

This particular line seems to be the story of my life. Being aware of my missteps as I'm making them makes me feel like I must be 40 kinds of crazy and yet--I proceed on that path anyway!

I thought of you this week and wished you'd be back to write again and here you are. Welcome back.


Ben There said...

Welcome back Les. Good to get online and find this here today.

About that Austin pilot. No doubt he was feeling some of the same frustration and anger that many people are feeling at this time but killing yourself and other innocent people who are just trying to make it the best they can in this system that is rigged against them just seems counterproductive. I can't find anything remotely noble about it.

It's interesting how the media is handling the situation. Nobody is using the word terrorism. If the guy would have been Muslim you can just imagine the uproar.

John said...

This reminds me of an incredible book that I am now reading, "Initiation" by Elizabeth Haich.

Anonymous said...

the best i have seen thank you for putting it into words...........

Joe Bloggs said...

Superb, Les!

Gravitas most enlightening

Thank you for all your potent and poignant prose

Please join us as we horse around with Big Brother

Anonymous said...

Thank you Les for these fine words.
It is so easy to be caught up in all the business of life that doesn't really matter in the long run and fail to notice breathing and/or the divine all around us all the time - exactly as you stated.
Hoarding temporal materials (money, things) happens so quick we don't even notice we are doing it.
Everything we "own" actually "owns" us.
One's house, car, stereo system etc.

Glad you're back Sir.


Anonymous said...

I suppose
one mind
in one time
one find
if climbed
cloud nine
in sign
the universe
beyond time
divine shine
better resign
to one mind
and liberation
evaluation of the creation
and seperation
and contamination
that make complications
and those who dominate
with calculations
to make profit
from war with invasions
the greedy nations.


Anonymous said...

Srila Prabhupada stated, "Krishna (God) Consciousness is easy for the simple hearted and complicated for the crooked. It's so simple it will pass you by".

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Cool spring water to the parched, warm sunshine to the cold, a light on the path.
Easy to forget, and get caught up in complexities, so it's good of you to keep returning to the basic truth periodically, to remind us all.

Anonymous said...

my friend u say the devine does not care if we christain, hindu or muslim... so i wanna ask if u think that Jesus died that horrible death on the cross for nothing?

abe said...

You are nearing readiness my friend.

"Truly he who is all compassion demands this strange thing"

Anonymous said...

Your words touched places of my fettered mind/heart that ached to be weeded. Thank and bless you for being such a prolific gardener!!! There truly IS such a thin veil between seduction/violation........

Visible said...

There is a new Reflections in a Petri Dish up

RW said...

Hmmm. . been reading the same thing. This part resonates:

“O son of Noble family, at this time bridges, shrines and monastaries, huts, stupas and so on will shelter you for a moment, but you will not stay there for long. Since your mind has separated from your body you can not settle down, you feel angry and cold, and consciousness becomes airy, speeding, swaying and impermanent. Then you will think, “Alas I am dead! What shall I do now?' and thinking this your heart will suddenly grow empty and cold, and you will feel intense and boundless pain. Since you must move on without settling in any one place, do not occupy yourself with all kinds of thoughts, but rest your mind in its basic state.
“The time comes when you have no food except that which has been dedicated for you to eat, and there is no certainty of friends. These are signs of the mental body wandering in the bardo of becoming. At this moment pleasure and pain are determined by your karma. You will see your homeland, friends and relatives, and your own corpse, and you will think, 'Now I am dead, so what shall I do?' The mental body will be in extreme pain, so you will think, 'Now why not find a body?' and you will experience going everywhere to look for a body. Even if you enter your own corpse up to nine times, winter will have frozen it, or summer made it rot, or else your relatives will have burned it or buried it in a grave or given it to the birds and wild animals, for a long time has passed in the bardo of dharmata, so you will find nowhere to enter; you will be in great despair, and have the feeling of being squeezed in between all the rocks and stones. Suffering like this is the bardo of becoming, even if you look for a body there is nothing but suffering, so cut off your yearning for a body and rest in the state of non-action, undistracted”.

Anonymous said...

Fellow Canadian Bruce Cockburn's 'They Call It Democracy'

Padded with power here they come
International loan sharks backed by the guns
Of market hungry military profiteers
Whose word is a swamp and whose brow is smeared
With the blood of the poor

Who rob life of its quality
Who render rage a necessity
By turning countries into labour camps
Modern slavers in drag as champions of freedom

Sinister cynical instrument
Who makes the gun into a sacrament --
The only response to the deification
Of tyranny by so-called "developed" nations'
Idolatry of ideology

North South East West
Kill the best and buy the rest
It's just spend a buck to make a buck
You don't really give a flying fuck
About the people in misery

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there's one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

See the paid-off local bottom feeders
Passing themselves off as leaders
Kiss the ladies shake hands with the fellows
Open for business like a cheap bordello

And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy

See the loaded eyes of the children too
Trying to make the best of it the way kids do
One day you're going to rise from your habitual feast
To find yourself staring down the throat of the beast
They call the revolution

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there's one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

Todd said...

Les, thanks for coming back to us and putting into words what I know to be true, but cannot express nearly so well :)

European American said...

Yatinam Brahma bhavati sarathih

For those who are established in the singularity of fully-awake self-referral consciousness, Brahm. the Creator—the infinite organizing power of Natural Law—becomes the charioteer of all activity.

Rik Ved, 1.158.6

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks Les, I agree with Todd!!! A gift of words you seem...words I can hear myself saying!

"I’ve said on occasion that those who love much are forgiven much."

I find this to be very true. You had time to breath and rest, great! The ocean of the mind is much like breathing its self too. Lost can I get in the waves and ideas I speak out and filled with love am I when taking in all things, most of all things I haven spoken of. Just plain old joy and wonder Les, thanks!!!

The Fool

Bruce said...

Thank you Brother for this post - so eloquent and so right on...the recipe for awakening, well, at least one recipe to guide one to the omniscience of themself. So easy yet so difficult, our worthiness getting in the way of our joy. Much love to you Brother.

Anonymous said...

Knowing that everything is under complete control is what gives me peace of mind in this crazed world. I look at the creation as if The Creator is a computer programmer. HE wrote up the program and hit start. HE even threw in a few viruses. The good thing is that the viruses are about to be stamped out by HIM. :)


Anonymous said...

so I let
peace take the reins
charge across the plains
like an indian
in a streak of flames
cos the truth's in chains
lies rule the games
that man play
and man wont change
dont know why
why man lie
infecting his nature
cant liberate the mind
he's aligned,resigned
to delusion
and suffering confusion
doused in pollution
through manipulation
and false communion
of his self
and the untapped wealth
that lives inside
good for health
medicine dealt
truth felt
one day we'll all see
like the the bird
the butterfly
the sun and the bee
untill then
I'll send poetry
I hope it helps
its invoked in peace
a feather sent
on eternal breeze
cos all is one
under the universal tree.


Visible said...

New Smoking Mirrors up

Anonymous said...

hi les, good to have u back! as usual, u put things into words that others think but cant express nearly as well. keep it up xxx

m_astera said...

Ben, back in comment #2, what evidence do you have that any others who died in Austin were innocent?

Anonymous christian in comment #10, no one could die for sins I had not committed yet, nor would I give them permission to or accept any debt they might try to attach to me by claiming to have done so. The concept is not only immoral, it is absurd and insane.

Copernicus Kidd said...

"So we are being forced to serve, but we don't wish to serve. What is the adjustment? Krsna consciousness. If you become the servant of Krsna, your aspiration to become the master is immediately achieved. . . . Krsna is the Supreme Lord; Arjuna is a human being. But Arjuna loves Krsna as a friend, and in response to Arjuna's friendly love Krsna has become his chariot driver, his servant. Similarly, if we become reinstated in our transcendental loving relationship with Krsna, our aspiration for mastership will be fulfilled. If you agree to serve Krsna, gradually you will see that Krsna is also serving you. This is a question of realization." - Srila Prabhupada, "the Pleasure Principle"

Anonymous said...

Joshua died on the cross to demonstrate non-attachment, even to suffering. That was his own personal style. Other enlightened ones might use a different style, depending on who they are and the times they live in.



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