In the last set of videos, uncredited people read from Easwaran’s books. For example: ‘Because [most people] do not know how to enter the deeper levels of consciousness, they are exposed to all the storms that life can bring.’ The reader says, ‘I thought the goal of life was to fulfil your personal desires, but Easwaran was telling me it was to be selfless.’ image from wikipedia.
When Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were murdered in 1968, Easwaran said, ‘Every one of us has a vital contribution to make to combat this serious menace of violence that is now everywhere. Here is the most difficult part of the spiritual life. In order to quieten the mind, … we have to learn to turn anger into compassion, ill will into good will, hatred into love.’ Says one person, ‘He was working on a spiritual principle that love is the most powerful force there is.’ image from wikipedia.
Tuesday night [2013-03-19] we watched James Balog risk his life to take amazingly beautiful photographs on Greenland and Iceland; and from ice today to spice centuries ago, when European seafarers sought the origins of vanilla. image by james balog.
A few days later, as we finished dinner at Explorers’ Café, the servers and owners and their kids brought out candles to mark Earth Hour. We went home and lit some candles too. Some day every hour will be Earth Hour. image from whatsonthorold.com.
Concerning the negative effects of alcohol, our mayor writes that Monday’s county meeting [2013-03-25] ‘will bring together a few activist mayors who want to go beyond just worrying about the negative effects of alcohol and take measures to reduce the social harms.’ image from wikipedia.
Whitehorse (Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland–they were in town 2013-03-24) perform No Glamour In The Hammer on Q (the ‘Hammer’ is Hamilton, Ontario, where they currently live) and talk about their support of Idle No More. Last summer they lived in NYC, just a few blocks from the Occupy movement. In concert they said something like there’s a shift going on and either you can see it or you can wear blinders. They contributed Wisconsin to Idle No More: Songs for Life Vol. 1 (free download), which includes these lines:
They’re bustin’ unions in Wisconsin,
and praisin’ Jesus in the schools.
They keep the science in the basement,
Speak in tongues, and making fools.
Whitehorse says, ‘We believe that conditions in many First Nations’ communities are deplorable [in concert McClelland said she didn’t learn this in school] and would not be tolerated in neighbourhoods in Toronto or Calgary (for example) and as such there is a deep double standard at play in Canada…. [Also,] the shredding of environmental regulations and the defunding of environmental and science organizations at the very time when there is a push by Harper to build a pipeline through environmentally vulnerable lands and waters is cause for great concern to all Canadians.’ images from whitehorsemusic.ca and the cbc.
Another piece of the puzzle falls into place. According to diffusion of innovation theory (DOI), I’m an Early Adopter. That explains my buoyant, initial enthusiasm for people and ideas, and my fearlessness to boldly go where no one has gone before. (Okay, sometimes I’m afraid, but I go anyway.) It also explains why some ideas make it while others don’t. Like, renewable energy and sustainability make perfect sense to me. Why don’t they to everyone? Maybe they need more time, or better persuasion, or simplification, or a perceived advantage. In the meantime I guess the trick is not to let that frustrate you. Also, according to DOI, each of us adopts at various times the other roles. I wonder in what ways I’m part of the Mainstream or a Laggard or a Reactionary? image from yorku.ca.
Back to Ramagiri. In the Seventies the ashram published Laurel’s Kitchen, a phenomenally successful cookbook filled not only with vegetarian recipes and nutritional information but also with love. When you think about it, everything comes together in the kitchen. There are no parts. image from Laurel’s Kitchen.
‘This is the supreme vision, in which we know that we are not a little part, a little cog,’ says Easwaran, ‘that we are the All. And this knowledge that we are all, that I am all, I am one, there are no parts in me…. This acknowledgment brings unutterable security and immeasurable joy in plunging into life…. In Sanskrit this is called lila.’ [It is also the title of Pirsig’s sequel to Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance (that’s Pirsig with his son without helmets on that Zen trip)–and though he studied in India, according to Wikipedia, ‘the name of the female character, Lila, is accidental.’] Easwaran adds, ‘It is our bounden duty to respect everybody because it is the Lord disguised as our parents, our partner, our children, our friends, and, as Jesus adds, our enemies.’ image from univie.
Vanier writes, ‘We all belong to the universe; we all receive from it and give to it; we are all parts of a whole. The danger for people today is to forget that and to think that they are the centre; that everyone else is there for them. People must die to this form of destructive egoism and be reborn in love, where they learn to receive from others and to give to them.’ image from the vancouver sun.
In the Easwaran video, a woman with what sounds like a mild European accent says, ‘We are not our body and we are not our mind and so we are not our intellects but we are our real self, which is much deeper.’
Another quotes Easwaran: ‘As long as I look upon myself as no more than physical, I have an incomplete idea of who I am…. The media reinforces it every day…. [Yet] we are not incomplete but whole; not imperfect, physical creatures, but essentially spiritual beings whose greatest need is simply to discover our real nature.’
‘A man or woman who is devoted to the teacher,’ Easwaran says, ‘gradually he will get home; she will reach the goal.’ A meditator indeed has found home: ‘There’s no more searching, there’s no more wandering.’
Postscript: Christine Easwaran, Tim Flinders, Carol Flinders, and Laurel Robertson continue (2013) to live at Ramagiri.
To be continued….