03 February 2011

Please, please, please re-watch the Consciousness is a Harsh Mistress Satsang on this blog.

I want you to completely let go of the notion that Advaita advances a theory that every moment is perfect presentation of peace and love, and you are at every moment embraced by a benevolent consciousness that works every second to bring you to freedom, and that a "real" student or a "real" teacher are lost in pacific bliss every moment.

Spiritual states are important to bringing you to a final experience of who and what you are at the deepest level, but in the end, it is the understanding of who and what you are, a strong conviction based on experience that is unshakable no matter what happens in this appearance of your life and world.

Consciousness tends to be most unkind. The child who disappeared in Mumbai many months ago, for whom Rajiv searched for months, was never found. He may, like many other children, have been deliberately blinded and turned into a beggar by mobsters.

I am leaving it to you to be kind and just. This often requires a lot of effort, sweat and tears on your part as well as disappointment. Do not get lost in trying to maintain a state of temporary peace.  Awakening has nothing to do with peace.

Take a look at Christ's history. Was his life of peace, or harshness and death?  Krishna fought on the side of Arjuna in a great war, telling Krishna it was his duty to kill even his relatives. Moreover, Zen has a history of violence and equanimity even in the midst of battle. 

This is how we all have to be: to have a strong sense of morals and justice in this apparent world, and act to make it better and kinder, even if that means you have to fight to make it so.

With this in mind, we are going to launch on another blog, an expose of VCA-Antech, and how their buying over 500 veterinary clinics and then doubling and tripling practices has had a ripple effect throughout the US and Canada, resulting in far fewer animals getting effective treatment, and at a cost to those who can no longer afford vet care for their pets.

Eventually, this campaign will result in the establishment of low cost, non-profit veterinary clinics that will reverse fee levels and provide care for people who cannot afford current vet prices.


  1. I hear you Ed, but I just am not moved to ACT most of the time. It all appears to be perfectly ran to me, so why fix it?

    For example-

    Two days ago, traffic in Thousand Oaks, Ca was like that of downtown LA due to a small chemical spill on the freeway.

    So, the surface roads were parking lots, and it took 1 hour to drive 9miles.

    Before I arrived to the real congested part, some big tool truck hit my car in a fit of rage as he was trying for space. Not a damaging hit, but with purposeful intent.

    I looked in my rearview mirror and saw the look on his older face, with long silver hair in a pony-tail, and I could see pain and suffering on his glowing little angel face.

    All this did was illicit a deep sense of brotherhood and compassion for him, and I did nothing. And through all of that, I could see the answer he was seeking through his rage now registering on his face.

    I continued on, and forgot about it all.

    I happened to be taking my wife to work, and later when I picked her up, she told me how her co-workers were behind us and saw the whole thing. I laughed at myself for having forgot about this,and listened to the rest of the story.

    They, too, were terrorized by him and his aggressive driving, although he did not actually hit their car.

    They were so upset that they called his company, and the police.

    Since there is no YOU, there is no choice in what the outcome will be, right?

    Acting is an illusion, there is no choice in this...especially when there is no "I" to act in the first place.


  2. Jason,

    Consciousness needs our help as (apparent) beings, whom, from our perspective, experience the suffering of animals and the countless other injustices that are in the world as a result of sub-conscious and other primitive manifestations of Consciousness.

    There is no 'you', but there appear to be 'movements' of conscience as Edji says, within consciousness itself, and if you identify with a certain movement, just as if you stepped into a moving river, you are carried away by it's course. The course is not your own, but you still follow it because you have entered the flow of the river.

    If you see suffering in someone's life, you help them because, even though you may be beyond suffering and thus untouched by it, you are aware of the pain of suffering yourself, and therefore have compassion for those who believe they are suffering.

    This is stepping into the river of compassion, and it takes you down the path of actively helping other beings who appear to be suffering.

    This is clear, even from the Ultimate perspective, as Edji so graciously demonstrates for us all.

    May you help many beings in this world,

  3. Pranams EDJI
    Thanks for posting this. The peace an awakened one is connected to is 'Peace' for lack of better words. It is beyond peace, infact it is nothing (quite literally). The new agey idea of peace is childish and fanciful. What's peace got to do with it?!
    The suffering/joy in the world continues, There is no desire to tweek this dream to make it better/more peaceful/happier. Going with the motions. What wants to be done gets done despite me.

  4. Namaste Edji....

    Who knows what happened to that Indian child!!! Isn't all possibilities possible!! It might also be a very positive thing that he disappeared. Who knows for the long run what is best!! He might be living in the best physical conditions.

    Yes consciousness seems to move in all opposite directions but again these dual opposites are very relative from one mind set to another. Yes consciousness moves in contracted & expanded cycles at the same time creating those who kill animals & those who defend them, those who kidnap children & those who search for them. Who really really really knows what is best in the long run!!

    Some run tests & experiments on animals & lock them in cages as they think they r doing a great deed in helping to create medicines for humanity. Others defend these animals as they think this is inhuman & unjust for animals. So both act out from a total opposite perspective. Who is right & who is wrong is really non of my business. I could move with or against any of them "who knows"!!.

    I'm not saying to condone anything that seems harmful at any given moment, all what I'm saying is: no one knows what is really best in the long run & what seems unaccepted now could turn out to be very beneficial later.

    Bodies move as consciousness wants whether we agree or not & no amount of holding to one polarity will change that.

    Some are moved to create wars & some to create peace. What is right "I DO NOT KNOW". I will move as consciousness wants it might be creating war or peace on any level. A brutal war could be the door for great peace to come & a loving peaceful movement could be the door for a long brutal war.



  5. Thank you Ryan, I agree.

    Let me leave you with another example-

    I will pass out if I see blood, but one time I heard a lady scream for help. I ran over to see what was going on, and a she was yelling about some man who had fallen in front of her home and she was hysterical- unable to act.

    Seeing all of the blood on the ground, I could tell this guy needed help RIGHT NOW.

    I ran up the stairs, following the trail of blood, and found him laying on the ground, gushing blood out of his head.

    I was able to help this man, get the hysterical woman to calm down and call the paramedics, and get me some towels to help stop the bleeding.

    None of this was done by me, but through me.

    Do you see, Ryan? Her and I , and the poor gentleman who feel, none of us had a choice in what happened, and what we did about it.

    I understand and agree with what you are saying, it just doesn't seem like there is a choice.

    I think you even stated that to some degree.

    I also don't like to get caught up in all the words of what is going on, trying to explain it, because as far as I sense, I am always where I need to be, being, and there is no need to define it. Or decide if there is a choice or not.
    Just being. Yes, a movement- beautifully said, Ryan.

    Love to you Ryan for your response and support, and to all here , and especially Edji for being.


  6. Faisal, you are letting not knowing stop you from compassionate actions? Every year 10,000,000,000 animals are killed in the US for food. Do you think there is some higher purpose for this?

    Most of the primate experimentation done now is repetition of similar experiments done before because of grant money. Money motivates the cruel experiments.

    Yes, perhaps the child was spirited away by rich New York bankers, and he is not living in the lap of luxury in Rochester N.Y. However, the probability of this is close to zero, as opposed to the 90% probability he shares the same fate as hundreds of other kidnapped boys in Mumbai.

    You are caught by your mind's excessive thinking and pondering, rather than feeling the horror that most of life is for a good deal of the sentient beings on this planet.

    "Greater goo," and terms like them are a paralyzing impediment to helping others and unleashing your own love and compassion.

    Faisal, take some small steps of compassionate action every day as an exercise. Don't worry whether giving $5 to a beggar is for his greater good. It is actually for your greater good.

    Each step taken frees you to take a larger step later, and eventually your heart will break open with continuous compassion but also feeling the suffering of others.

  7. Jason, the concept "since there is no you, there is no choice," is just a concept, and it is being used wrongly.

    Until the experience "no me" continuously, there is the constant danger of using that concept of no me to justify almost anything, from complete non-action, to becoming mass murderer because it does not matter.

    You must become stupid. Just let the words enter your ears, go through your brain, and exit without interpreting behavioral consequences of a concept that is not experienced as truth.

    You must first experience no me as truth before you make any conclusion, otherwise it is intellectual masturbation or worse.

  8. Dear Edji,

    Your Satsang from Dec. 10 th is my favorite because of the statement you made:

            In fact, ending suffering was the single goal of classical Buddhism. One of four
            vows says,  "Sentient beings are numberless, I vow to save them all.”

    It is my opinion that the main cause of suffering is fear, which is ultimately the fear of death we all experience unconsciously most of the time.
    Until we are identified with the dream we are bound to be afraid and project our fears onto others (including animals) and make them suffer.  Christ was killed because the truth he spoke threatened the belief system of many and that can feel like death itself.  Also, in my brief psychoanalytic practice I was shocked to find out how much all my patients talked about death.  It is very real to us.

    Oh, I dream of one day all of us knowing who we truly are.  How can then there be fear and suffering even if it is only in a dream?  
    Until then we have to make the effort to free ourselves and help each other to the best of our abilities even if we are afraid.

    Much love and deep gratitude,

  9. Dear Edji
    In a place like India, where so many people are poor and fight for their survival it is so difficult to be untouched by the harshness of consciousness.Many times I do help the needy in little ways I can, but the inability to change things and corrupt systems here makes me irritated and feel helpless..Tears and very little money or care is all I'm able to do with my capacity.Perhaps a pack of biscuits for the stray dog that guards my hostel room is all I'm able to do..The helplessness and despair brings tears and only tears.When seeing children begging on roads, when seeing mad people roaming about the roads dressed in rags, when people are ill-treated in the name of caste, when old people are not cared for, there is so much rage and anger on myself, my society and everyone.This rage comes as a big wave of energy, translates itself to tears and slowly even wanes away..till I encounter another situation similar...Consciousness is indeed a harsh mistress....She lets all corrupt politicians, policy makers live in luxury, when there is a majority of people suffering...


  10. Namaste Ed .....

    I can't deny there are some blocks to let the compassion open up fully .... Perhaps fear.

    Some actions do flow as compassion thru me but yet I know much much much more will do later on .... Something seems needs breaking down b4 that can take place fully.


  11. I don't like the idea of being self-realised and feel no compassion anymore. Compassion is the fuel that keeps me going. Let's do what we can to make change for the better in this slaughterhouse.

  12. This conceptual trap that many of us fall into once we hear that there's no "I" gets seductive and as Ed so rightly points out can readily keep one rationalizing any sort of behavior. So for instance, if many people witnessed someone suffering or being brutally attacked by another, they would then justify their non action saying they had no choice in the matter(echoes of many a soldier's statement, "I was just following orders"?). Nonetheless we all have the potential to bypass the mind and instinctively react as did Jason when coming to the assistance of someone else.


  13. Thank you Ed for confirming everything I don't know about ME.


  14. A sypathetic TV media reporter looking for a hot spot in the hearts and minds of animal loving Americans (most) would be a great boost. A good story of big bad money grabbers taking advantage of low income, mostly elderly animal owners has always been a solid, tried-and-true staple of the American TV news spotlight diet. And rightfully so. Anybody know know a a young buck or gal looking for a no-miss shot at a great story? A salty national vet would be so much better. Any connections at all out there? It could happen...if we make it happen.


  15. Hey Master Edji,
    is there a way to help Rajiv with the street children ?
    Does he have a website ? An address or a center to visit him ?
    Thanks a lot.