Life is change

Growth is optional

Choose wisely

–Karen Kaiser Clark


Every living thing comes from the One living Spirit. Everything originates in the One Sacred spirit. All that can be seen is created the One Sacred spirit. Everything visible and invisible is caused by the One Sacred spirit. From this we can see that all that exists has its origin quite clearly in the One Sacred spirit. Because of this Heaven and Earth are stable and nothing changes. Heaven has no need of support to stop it falling down. If it wasn’t for the One Sacred spirit, how could it stand? If the One Sacred spirit was not, what would keep Heaven and Earth firm? This shows how the One Sacred spirit has mysterious powers. No tent pole holds up Heaven yet Heaven cannot remain where it is by itself. It does so because of the One Sacred spirit’s power. Were we to see the tent pole supporting Heaven we wouldn’t believe in the One Sacred spirit’s powers. In fact it is the One Sacred spirit at work.

–The Sutra of Origins (from The Jesus sutras)


Only when we see ourselves in our true human context, as members of a race which is intended to be one organism and “one body,” will we begin to understand the positive importance not only of the successes but of the failures and accidents in our lives. My successes are not my own. The way to them was prepared by others. The fruit of my labors is not my own: for I am preparing the way for the achievements of another. Nor are my failures my own. They may spring from the failure of another, but they are also compensated for by another’s achievement. Therefore the meaning of my life is not to be looked for merely in the sum total of my achievements. It is seen only in the complete integration of my achievements and failures with the achievements and failures of my own generation, and society, and time. It is seen, above all, in my own integration in Christ.


–Thomas Merton (no man is an island, page 16)


Rabbi Bunam went to the market to buy beans. The farmer was not happy with Reb Bunam’s offer and asked him, “Could you try to do better than that?” This question captivated the rabbi. From that day on, he often persuaded his disciples to engage in self examination solely by repeating that very appeal made at the market, in the same earnest intonation: “Could you try and do better than that?”


–The Kabbalah of Food (Rabbi Nilton Bonder)



Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

We are the change that we seek.

–BARACK OBAMA, speech, Feb. 5, 2008


Introduction to Sufism

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakes.


–CG Jung



“‘The process of creation takes place on two levels,’ says the Zohar, ‘one above and one below, and thus the Torah begins with the letter Bet, with a numerical value of two.’ The lower creation corresponds to the higher: one produced the world of the Sefirot, and the other produced the material world. But all creations, teaches the Zohar, occur simultaneously. To the Kabbalists, then, creation has a twofold character: it presents the cosmogony which is the internal creation that takes place in God, i.e. inside the realm of the Sefirot, and the cosmology which is the external creation that takes place in the material world, i.e. outside the realm of the Sefirot. But it also signifies a crisis in the hidden life of Ein-Sof, since the introspective God, who until now was hidden in the world of ‘nothingness,’ begins to externalize and ‘dress-up’ into the world of ‘everythingness.’ This is the most crucial shift in the hidden life of Ein-Sof: it involves the gradual unfolding of the hidden Ein-Sof into the world of the Sefirot through the act of emanation. At this point Ein-Sof shifts from being undifferentiated into being differentiated. Here He breaks from the One to the two and the many, and thus plurality emerges from singularity.


The transformation of God in the creation is an illustration of a chain whose links are revealed as unfolding levels of many different worlds. It is an illustration where ‘everything is linked with everything else down to the lowest ring on the chain, and the true essence of God is bove as well as below…..and nothing exists outside Him,’ as formulated in Sefer Ha-Rimmon by the great Kabbalist Moses de-Leon. This transformation is a godly act of expansion; it is God’s exit from His own infinity and His entrance into space and time. And at the same time it is a theory that establishes the Kabbalistic foundation of pantheism, for the expansion of God causes Him to be everywhere, pan-theos, i.e. to reside in all spiritual and material things, above and below.


The transformation of God in the creation, however, is first and foremost a godly mental conversion. It is the transposition of God’s Self from unconsciousness to consciousness, since during the process of the creation He undergoes a change of mind. The Kabbalists teach that the Hebrew word for ‘nothingness,’ Ayin (written in Hebrew aleph yud nun, AIN), has the same consonants as I (written in Hebrew aleph nun yud, ANI). God departs from His hidden ‘nothingness,’ AIN, and acquires His revealed I, ANI; although this is revealed only to Himself…..In the classic teachings of the Kabbalists of Spain, in the Kabbalah of the Zohar and in the Hebrew works of the master Kabbalist, Moses de-Leon, the transformation of God from the Ayin to the I is described by means of the symbol of the primordial point, nequdah. Nequdah is the pristine seed of emanation; it expands and grows by its motion, and it eventually creates the line and the surface until it is manifested into the ten Sefirot. Thus, the expansion of the Sefirot manifests the expansion of God’s mind; that is, through the godly act of expansion He becomes aware and conscious.”


– Shimon Shokek (Kabbalah and the Art of Being)


The infinite Logos of the eternal God is the most powerful and stable support of the totality of the world. It is This, which stretched from the center to the boundaries and extremities, assures everywhere the course of nature, rendering it invincible and uniting all parts in strict unity. For the Father who engendered this Logos made it the link (desmos) of the Universe, a link which nothing can break



God is ineffable

as soon as you say what God is…
You have not said what God is.

The more you speak, the less you say.



“When an individual goes through a traumatic experience and reacts as if nothing has occurred, then the experience has most likely not yet sunk in. The data is in the intermediate period between the gathering of the information and the time when it becomes fully processed and absorbed. The information is still lingering on in the passageway and has not yet trickled down into the heart. This occurs with all types of information. There is always a lapse between receiving information and the emotional absorption of that information. The only variable is how long this takes. Some information is processed immediately, while other data takes more time to absorb and to be registered emotionally. At times we smile walking down the street because of something we heard hours earlier, and it is only then that we feel its impact.


There are times when this connection is impaired, or severed, so that one’s ability to feel what one thinks is all but absent. This occurs when the passageway is cluttered, and it is a no go between the mind and heart. On a physical level, within the neck of a human being there exists two passages, the esophagus, which is the food pipe, and the trachea, which is the windpipe. In the spiritual domain as well, these two passages can be stuffed and cluttered. Spiritual blockage of the food pipe occurs when one is filled to excess with physical nourishment, when one is so overly engrossed in consuming and absorbing physical pleasures that one neglects the spiritual. The windpipe, on the other hand, represents air and ambiance. When this pipe is clogged, it means that one is not in an appropriate environment conducive to the arousal of noble emotions. When these connecting pipes are congested, the intellect has no avenue to penetrate the heart. The thoughts cannot evolve into emotions, and so they remain in the mind.


In Kabbalistic terminology this phenomenon is called Timturn halev, dullness of the heart. This is when one suffers from the inability to be responsive and to feel emotions. One may perceive with one’s intellect how one should love, yet one’s emotions remain silent. One is incapable of feeling or being spiritual moved. This spiritual numbness arises from and is a manifestation of one’s ego, where all that one feels is one’s own existence and need for survival. The preoccupation with coarse bodily experiences does not allow for genuine sensitivity to spirituality. In this state of spiritual numbness the ego does not allow the light of comprehension to illuminate the emotions.”

– DovBer Pinson (Meditation and Judaism)


Children, you belong to God, and you have defeated these enemies. God’s Spirit is in you and is more powerful than the one that is in the world. These enemies belong to this world, and the world listens to them, because they speak its language. We belong to God, and everyone who knows God will listen to us. But the people who don’t know God won’t listen to us. That is how we can tell the Spirit that speaks the truth from the one that tells lies. My dear friends, we must love each other. Love comes from God, and when we love each other, it shows that we have been given new life. We are now God’s children, and we know him. God is love, and anyone who doesn’t love others has never known him. God showed his love for us when he sent his only Son into the world to give us life. Real love isn’t our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven. Dear friends, since God loved us this much, we must love each other.

–1 John 4-10



the words flow, decisions made
idea’s mine, but the inspiration not
dreams of hangers on, dreams of getting well
spells of ezmerelda, emeralds foretold
splinters in the eye sentiments remain
bones that never rest where we going to
it was never up to me and yet i pushed until it broke

I love the open road and all that it suggests
wheel wagon dust weeds and infidelities and
always for a love never question why
in a wooden house immoveable and silent and
drinking strawberry wine forever lost in town
and thru the sleeping streets night bound and heavy
wheels in the spoke still spoken for himself

now my gates are high, my friends even higher
forgotten in my mind, yet the sky still linger and
cloud the blue skies, i’m jealous of you birds
was the only truth in a world full of words?
hear the prairie sound in a friend called near
the heart is pointed down but my spirit pointed up
his voice for siren of greek mythology

i pause with my pen i begin to defend
every action taken, every moment sealed
when i was quick it coursed through open veins
the will to live the urgency to move
behind a panel door sealing cherry stain
i play my guitar and live those lonesome notes

like a dog that’s down
in a corner just a sigh
waiting to be called
waiting to be yours
ghosts of all my shame
without purpose or will

i often speak of you but the you is always me
cause when i speak of me it’s me i ask of you
so let there be no truth just trickery in rhymes
time the only thing waiting still as death

i hope for resolution pray one defining moment
pause without restrain barren without child
a child is who i was a child is who I’ll die
soot in my hair
and stars in my hands
soot in my hair
and stars in my hands
soot in my hair
and stars in my hands

–soot and stars (smashing pumpkins)


“Samsaric pleasures are like salt water, the more we indulge, the more we crave.” 

~ Ngulchu Gyalsey Thogmed Zangpo, Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas.


The nature of will and the nature of ego are very close. A person who has labored long that the distinction between with his or her spiritual discipline often has great I illusion-it is all good! All pride. These are the people who have been punc- tilious about the law, observed the fasts, and given much time and energy to meditation and prayer. But this work and devotion have a hidden danger, which is the danger of pride. Pride is not the same as enjoying the labor or even rejoicing in one’s accomplishment. These two feelings rest on the knowledge that life is temporary. Pride, on the other hand, knows of no future other than itself. Filled with itself, it believes that all reality revolves around it.


The following story describes the danger that can bring to our practice: Naftali the tzaddik was sitting at home one evening and heard a  knock at the door. He answered. Standing there was a young man dressed in the robes of a scholar.


“Rebbe,” he said, “I have come to study with you.”


“Really?” said the rebbe. “What have you learned so far in your studies?”


“A tremendous amount,” said the young man. ” I have memorized all of Torah and most of Talmud.”


“I am sorry, young man, I cannot teach you,” the tzaddik said and closed the door.  A little later there was another knock. He.answered it, and a young woman was there. “Ex cuse me, Rebbe,” she said. “I would like to learn with you.”


“And what have you learned of Torah up to now?” he asked sternly.


“To tell you the truth, I know nothing,” she said.


“Come in, come in,” he said, smiling broadly.  Later his wife asked him the meaning of this  strange behavior.  “The first lesson and the important-the one we must always begin with – every year, every day, every moment-is that we know nothing.  If we come from a place of thinking we know, it is very hard to progress.”


–The Klippah of pride (Avram Davis, “The Way of flame”)


“What meaning is there in that kind of happiness? It is like a dream that just stops in the middle when you wake up. Those who, as the result of some slight positive action, seem to be happy and comfortable at the moment, will not be able to hold on to that state for an instant longer once the effect of that action runs out. The  kings of the gods, seated high on their thrones of precious jewels spread with divine silks, enjoy all the pleasures of the five senses. But, once their lifespan is exhausted, in the twinkling of an eye they are plunged into suffering and fall headlong down to the scorching metal ground of hell. Even the gods of the sun and moon, who light up the four continents, can end up being reborn somewhere  between those very continents, in darkness so deep that they cannot see whether their own limbs are stretched out or bent in. So do not put your trust in the apparent joys of samsara.” 

~ Patrul Rinpoche in Words of My Perfect Teacher.


Saṃsāra, the Sanskrit and Pāli term for “continuous movement” or “continuous flowing” refers in Buddhism to the concept of a cycle of birth (jāti) and consequent decay and death (jarāmaraṇa), in which all beings in the universe participate and which can only be escaped through enlightenment. Saṃsāra is associated with suffering and is generally considered the antithesis of nirvāṇa or nibbāna

“True will is participation in Divine Will. True awareness is participation in Divine Mind. True life is actually participation in Divine Life. We don’t own them, we only participate.

If I am not the owner of will and consciousness, only a participant, then who am I?

The truth is that the self is the most elusive, most difficult to cognize. Why is this so? Because the self is that which is seeing. The eyes cannot see themselves.”

– David Aaron (Seeing God: Ten Life-Changing Lessons of the Kabbalah)


The right approach to life is like water.

Water is everywhere and exists in all places.

It flows even in places that men reject.

That is why the sage approximates Tao.

He dwells in the right place. His heart is as deep as an abyss. His love is perfect. He abides in the truth and he does the truth. Destined to govern, he maintains order. He performs his actions well, and acts at the right time.

Since he does not quarrel or contend with others, there is no guilt in him.

–Tao Te Ching (chapter 8, Rijckenborgh and Petri,)

One can see why chapter eight of the Tao Te Ching compares the way of life to be followed by the liberation seeking personality with water. Water is a sublime, universal symbol of the power-radiations of the new life. Just as the ordinary human being lives and moves in the electro- magnetic radiation-field of dialectics, so the pupil who, through the sacrifice of the self, has established a liberating link with the spirit of the valley, the God in him, will enter and live in the new electromagnetic radiation-field.

This is the true, living water, which is poured out over him , and fills every corner of his existence. In this stream of new power he becomes a new creation, a new creature. He under-

goes a new Genesis, a new beginning. This process can be compared with the first Genesis, when the spirit of God moved over the face of the waters and created a firmament in their midst, for when the living water is poured out over the he, too, gains a new firmament. It is the new lipika, a new magnetic system which imparts to him a quite new and different personality-consciousness. He is again ensouled by his only God, who works for his salvation.

If we shift our attention from the individual, microcosmic level to the level of the cosmos and macrocosm, we can see that the same concepts must apply there, too. For obviously, the God in us, the true, divine human being, the source of true life in the heart sanctuary, does not live in isolation from other human Gods. Just as the earthly human being experiences and is conscious in the nature of death, so, by the law of analogy, the divine human being must exist in a nature of life, a quite different, divine universe. The life-substance, the radiation substance of that divine universe is living water, the pure, primordial substance.

This divine universe, this divine primordial substance, is not separated from us by time or distance; it is here and now, interpenetrating everything, nearer than hands and feet. The water is everywhere, and there is no place where it is not. It is even in places scorned by man. The sage knows this, and that is what makes him say, in the words of Psalm 139:

If I ascend to heaven, thou art there!

If I descend into the realm of the dead, thou art there!

If I take the wings of the morning and go and dwell in the thirst. That thirst is yearn uttermost parts of the sea, even there thy hand shall lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

If I say: ‘Let darkness cover me’, the night shall be a light about me even the darkness is not dark to thee. The night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with thee.

The Chinese Gnosis (Rijckenborgh and Petri, a Gnostic Rosicrucian commentary on the Tao Te Ching)


The highest good is like water;

Water is good at benefiting the ten thousand things

and yet It does not


compete with them.

It dwells in places the masses of people detest,

Therefore it is close to the Way.

In dwelling, the good thing is the land;

In the mind, the good thing is depth;

In giving, the good thing is being like Heaven;

In speaking, the good thing is sincerity;


In governing, the good thing is order;


In affairs, the good thing is ability;


In activity, the good thing is timeliness.

It is only because it does not compete, that therefore it

is without fault.

Tao Te Ching (chap 8, trans. By Robert G Henricks)





left is right, right is left.

The key to polarity is to realize that opposites are the same thing. A Kaplan explains this well early on in his version of the safer yetzirah.

Opposites if stretched out forever…will bend in upon themselves and meet.

However beyond opposites is the 3rd…

The sperm and the egg form a zygote
a chemical wedding…marriage of opposites to create a 3rd

Thus a child is of the mother and the father, both and yet neither.
Thus Christ is of the father and the world (the mother), both, and yet neither
The line (father) and the circle (mother) when joined form the serpent (child), which is the circle and the line, yet neither.

the end is in the beginning, kether is in malkuth, kether is closer to malkuth than it is to chockmah.
When united, there is no kether or malkuth………there just is

“Tarry a little; there is something else. This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood; The words expressly are ‘a pound of flesh:’ Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh; But, in the cutting it, if thou dost shed one drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate unto the state of Venice.

Therefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh. Shed thou no blood, nor cut thou less nor more but just a pound of flesh: if thou cut’st more or less than a just pound, be it but so much as makes it light or heavy in the substance, or the division of the twentieth part of one poor scruple, nay, if the scale do turn but in the estimation of a hair, thou diest and all thy goods are confiscate.”

–the merchant of venice, the bard

So we see, nothing exists in isolation. Blood is inseparable from flesh. Good is inseparable from evil.

“Light and Darkness, life and death, right and left, are brothers of one another. They are inseparable. Because of this neither are the good good, nor evil evil, nor is life life, nor death death. For this reason each one will dissolve into its earliest origin. But those who are exalted above the world are indissoluble, eternal.”

–gospel of Philip

good is not good, evil is not evil. Christ is not the father or the mother.

This is dualism…..


He who has known that all beings have become one with his own self, and he who has seen the oneness of existence, what sorrow and what delusion can overwhelm him?

He has occupied all. He is radiant, without body (incorporeal), without injury, without muscles, pure, untouched by evil. He is the seer, thinker, all pervading, self-existent, has distributed various objects, through endless years, each according to it’s inherent nature.

–Isa Upanishad

of course concepts are concepts. Concepts by their very nature are inherently wrong. The Tao that can be spoken of is not the Tao. But concepts “help”, the greatest thing you can say is however, to remain silent.



Do not involve others in your unrighteousness,
Nor destroy your mind by believing your own untruths.

Do not flatter or give false praise
When there is fear compelling you.

Do not converse falsely with any man,
For it is abhorrent to the Gods.

If you do not separate your mind from your tongue,
Then all your plans will succeed.

You will be revered before others,
And you will be secure in the sight of Rah.

The Gods hate he who falsifies his words,
His duplicity is a great abomination.

–ancient egyptian



One day Mara, the Evil One, was travelling through the villages of India with his attendants.

he saw a man doing walking meditation whose face was lit up on wonder. The man had just discovered something on the ground in front of him.

Mara’s attendant asked what that was and Mara replied,

“A piece of truth.” “Doesn’t this bother you when someone finds a piece of truth, O Evil One?”

his attendant asked. “No,” Mara replied. “Right after this, they usually make a belief out of it.”

From 108 Treasures for the Heart: A Guide for Daily Living by Benny Liow

In Buddhism Mara is the lord of misfortune, sin, destruction and Death. Mara is the ruler of desire and death, the two evils that chain man to the wheel of ceaseless rebirth. Mara reviles man, blinds him, guides him toward sensuous desires; once man is in his bondage, Mara is free to destroy him.

Buddhist tradition holds that Buddha encountered Mara on several occasions. When he abandoned the traditional ascetic practices of Hinduism, Mara reproached him for straying from the path of purity. Mara later reappeared as a Brahmin, criticising him for neglecting the techniques of the yogins. At another time, Mara persuades householders in a village to refuse to give alms to the Buddha. Mara also accuses Buddha of sleeping too much, and not keeping busy like the villagers.

In a famous incident similar to the temptation of Jesus in the Christian religion, Mara urges Buddha to become a universal king and establish a great empire in which men can live in peace. He reminds Buddha that he can turn the Himalayas into gold if he but wishes so that all men will become rich. Buddha replies that a single man’s wants are so insatiable that even two such golden mountains would fail to satisfy him.”

While Mara is unable to subjugate Buddha, he is more successful with Buddha’s followers, even approaching the Buddha’s own brother, Ananda. As the source of evil, he causes misunderstanding between teachers and pupils, casts doubt on the value of Buddha’s sayings by calling them nothing but poetry, or encourages monks to waste their time on abstruse speculations. Worse, he appears in the guise of a monk, nun, relative or prominent Brahmin, bringing false news that a disciple is destined to be a new Buddha. If the disciple succumbs to the temptation, he will be filled with sinful pride. Mara could even appear in the form of Gautama Buddha in order to confuse Buddhists or lead them astray.

Mara is lord of all men who are bound by sense desires. His origin, according to Theravada commentators, was as a rebellious prince who seized control of our world from the supreme god of the highest heaven. As prince of this world, Mara can boast of possessing great majesty and influence. Though he has only a spirit body, he is endowed with the five modes of sensual pleasure, has plenty to eat and drink, and lives to amuse himself.


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