Excerpt 2 from "Reflections on Suffering" with Ram Dass
This brief excerpt from "Reflections on Suffering" with Ram Dass, recorded live in 1987, gives us insight into how Ram Dass uses guided meditation to access our deepest thoughts and feelings.
"Now let your awareness let arise into your awareness, thoughts that concern some way in which you personally have experienced suffering. Just let the thought arise in your mind. Keep your witness strong. How do I suffer? What suffering has there been in my life? Let yourself into it just a little. It will awaken a lot of thoughts that arouse that are feeling like emotions. Perhaps your suffering is around illness. Perhaps it is around loneliness and separateness. Perhaps it is around addictions, obsessions. Perhaps it is around shame, loathing towards your acts or your fantasies or qualities of your body or personality. Perhaps your suffering has been around the suffering of loved ones or the death of loved ones."Ram Dass Bio and Links
Excerpt 2 from James Hillman's "A Blue Fire", Part 1 -
The late James Hillman -- considered the father of Archtypal Psychology based on the work of Carl Jung -- gives us a glimpse into his thinking when talkng about the relationship between egocentricity, excess and eccentricity in this transcribed excerpt from a fascinating weekend seminar Hillman offered at the Rowe Camp & Conference Center.
Note- this title is our free title of the month through Mid May.
That’s metaphysics and philosophy and has to do with a worldview. I prefer to stay in this other realm, which is just the pragmatics of living with imagination. Let’s stay with this business of working with the images. And the fear… you see, there’s a fear. There’s a fear about those ants. There’s a fear of the power of the image. One of the reasons we don’t like the, you know… I’m not in animal rights… is we’re afraid. What happens if they all had rights? You know, we’re afraid of releasing the humanistic egocentricity. And that fear had given a negative cast to the dreams -- they have to be interpreted because, you know, there’s muck and there’s slime and there’s dirt and there’s danger and there’s psychosis and suicide and depression, and all those terms are used about the imagination that if we give over to it, we will be destroyed. We will be destroyed! The egocentric attitude will be weakened, yes. [talking in background] Control, yeah. Big word, except it’s used now more nicely, deal with, and cope, which means control, which means still holding the wheel in your hand.
[talking in background)] There was something that you said just before that. Before the idea of patient, what was it? Oh, eccentricity. Yeah, let’s just go back to that for a minute. I have to put that thing about acceptance aside for a minute because that tends to rub me sometimes into a kind of fear of new Christianizing. So let’s put that one aside for a second. But eccentricity ties in with also the way I was working last night. The excessive one-sidedness. And when I work that way, polemically, excessively, one-sidedly, I usually constellate in other people a kind of being balanced and moderate and putting it together and getting it right and all of that. And my point, I’m coming to believe in this excessive way of presenting things, is that there is a relation between excess and eccentricity.
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Excerpt 2 from "Program or Be Programmed" by Douglas Rushkoff
We are delighted to offer another transcribed excerpt from Douglas Rushkoff's mind-expanding book Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age. In this book -- and this excerpt -- Rushkoff challenges us to take control of we interact with the ever evolving world of digital technology.
The way people approach me about this problem is they will say, “Well look, I know how to drive a car but I’m not an auto mechanic and I’m fine with that. When my car breaks, I’ll take it to the auto mechanic. I’ll take it to the garage.” Or the dealer at this point because people don’t trust the garage anymore. That’s another story. Take it back to the branded dealer and let them fix it. But I’m not talking about the difference between an auto mechanic and an automobile driver. I’m talking about the difference between an automobile driver and an automobile passenger.
The computer… the way to use a computer is not just to be taken around by it. The way to use a computer is to express what you want through the computer. I’m not asking you to take it apart and fix the power supply and fix the screen and make the processors function better or do heat dissipation on the processor which is too big for the case. That’s not what I’m asking you to do. I’m asking you to know how to use the keyboard to make programs so that you look at the computer as this anything machine.
It’s like… think of the computer as if it were a robot. You could be just, you know, Dr. Smith on Lost in Space, and listen to what the robot does. Or you could be Will Robinson and get in there and make the robot do the things you want. So if you have a robot and you think, “Well shoot, wouldn’t it be cool if this robot could plant my grass this year or start a fire in the fireplace?” The way you get it to do that is by telling the robot to do that. That’s what your computer is capable of. Your computer can do the things that you want. Your smart phone can do the things you want.
On the other hand, if you are content to be a passenger, think about what that would mean in a car. I mean, sure for Miss Daisy, she’s too old to drive. Her glasses don’t work. She never learned. Fine. She’ll be driven around by her driver. But for you -- do you want that to be your relationship to roads, to place, to map? That you have a driver? And what if the driver is not somebody you hire but some corporation who you don’t know? If you say “I want to go to a nice inexpensive restaurant” and it just takes you to McDonald’s all the time, how do you know another restaurant exists if your driver is depending on that company? You could look out the window, sure, but what if they are taking you on a route where you don’t even get to see the alternatives?
Excerpt from Marianne Williamson's Lecture "Showing Up for Your Own Life"
In this transcribed excerpt from Marianne Williamson's lecture "Showing Up for Your Own Life!" Williamson tells us how we cannot and should not look outside of ourselves to be "saved." This lecture was recorded live in Los Angeles as part of Williamson's weekly lecture series.
I’m sure that quite a few of you were here last week, and what we talked about last week was this idea that my salvation comes from me. And what the Course in Miracles was saying with this lesson, "My Salvation Comes from Me", is that it does not come from people or places outside myself. And that when we are thinking that if another person acted a certain way or a circumstance outside ourselves came together in a certain way, then everything would be good. That would complete us.
So what we talked about last week was the quite obvious trick of the mind involved here because if I think that my salvation lies in any other person or circumstance outside myself, then my core belief is that I am not okay already. I am not complete already. So if my core belief is that I am incomplete then I actually go into my relationship with that person or that situation. And the Course in Miracles says that every situation is a relationship. If my core belief is that I’m not enough already -- which I must have if I’m so attached to this being okay, right? The person or the experience. So my core belief is that I’m not okay, I’m not enough, I’m not quite complete.
Then I go into that situation with that core belief and I will therefore and thereby subconsciously set up this situation or that relationship to just reflect back to me more that I am not enough and I am incomplete.
So that human consciousness for a very, very, very long time has been dominated by a thought system based on fear. And it is a thought system, the Course in Miracles says, that is 180° away from the thinking of God. And it is that that we need to be rescued from on this planet, our own insanity. As Gandhi said, the problem with the world is that humanity is not in its right mind. So the only thing to be saved from is our own negative thinking, our own fear-based thinking, our own neuroses, etc. And it’s not a situation that will save us from that. In fact, it’s that situation, the neurosis itself is what makes us think we need that situation.